I’m currently attending the B2B Marketing Expo at the ExCel centre in London it’s a quaint reminder of how we conducted business in the past.
Before the internet, it does seem that maybe there wasn’t ever a time before the internet, but there was. Us sellers were in control, we called you up, sent you mail shots and in a way buyers took it. Why? It was the only way as a buyer that you could get information on a company.
A bit like this exhibition, it’s a throwback to a time that has long passed.
The exhibitors have paid thousands of dollars to stand for two days in a place, hoping you will pass the stand, or look the advert at the train station, just hoping that you will walk past have an “emotional attachment” and say “I need to buy that product today”. Really? Is that really how things work in the internet, social media and mobile age?
Today, we have the internet, I can (and do) sit on my sofa on a Saturday or sit in a cafe and look companies up. Outside, of what was “prime selling time (PST)”. Like buyers I avoid websites as they are just brochures. It tells me how great you are, you would say that of course. You will be number one, the market leader, you will be of course, the same as everybody else.
But it’s all about brand I hear you say. Is it? As “joe average” can I really differentiate your brand from the others? Do I care? Do I understand your sophisticated messaging? No.
Don’t forget you are “experts” and I’m not, I don’t have the understanding and experience to see the difference between you and your competition.
But I do have a job to do. I am busy. I have the kids to take to football. I have my parents coming to stay this weekend. The dog needs walking and my boss on my back about that report he needs for the Board Meeting.
So I filter out everything I don’t need and zoom in on what I need to know.
We ignore adverts, sales pitches, unsolicited emails and unsolicited calls, they are all interruptions and we live busy lives and have no time for all of them. What we want is information and insight. We want to be educated. I want to understand how this will help me, my company, my industry?
If I want a short list of products? Do I go to an exhibition? No! I sit at my desk or sit on my sofa at home and surf the internet and draw up my short list. Who does? We all do. Until we get into the office and we pass through some time machine and think that our product is just amazing that everybody else will want to hear about it. If only we cold called more people and emailed more people this will solve our problems. Our problem being that nobody listens to our messaging, nobody opens our emails and people block our cold calls. Why? Because the people are just like us. We are too busy to listen to your sales message.
You can have the best looking sales people on the standing handing at brochures and ……. no … body …. cares!
It’s time to start switching your analogue budget to digital!
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