Voice of the Customer – More Important Than Ever for B2B Marketers to Attract New Customers

Many marketing folks diligently work alongside their product development teams, and when a product is ready to release, they share information about what’s new and different.  They spend time detailing out new features on their websites, in brochures, and in wonderfully illustrated PowerPoint presentations.  While existing customers will want access to this information eventually, the challenge with attracting new customers is they don’t know about your product, its old or new features and most importantly, they don’t know what you call any of those things.  They know their business and they know the problems that they are facing.

Social media and the web have given vendors a unique opportunity to speak directly with their target audience.  The key to developing this conversation is to speak the language that your customer uses.  That means talking about solving business challenges, providing insightful market information, and sharing ideas to avoid costly mistakes – things that your customer is thinking about right now.  The reason this is so critically important is because when prospects are facing an issue, they are going to be thinking of ways to solve that challenge.  To do that, they are going to be searching the web and when they enter a search term – it will be in their words and not yours.

If you are investing in content development with the hopes of connecting with new customers, you must remember that the best way to be found is to use the words they are most likely to be entering in their searches.  Over and over again, my experience has shown me that product marketing managers tend to have limited knowledge of how their products are applied by their customers and marketing communication people have even less information on that topic. This is a dangerous mix, because it leads to the development of promotional material that does not connect with prospects.

So next time you are creating content to attract new customers, make sure you think about what would cause them to seek information in an area where your product could be used.  If you are unsure of the words that they use to describe this problem, then go ask them yourself.  Discussing how your product is used with existing customers is a great strategy to determine how to attract new prospects.  An easier and faster way to start this conversation is to also speak with your sales channel to better understand the sales objections and questions they get on regular basis. This will give you some direction on where to start the discussion with your customers.  Armed with these challenges and a better understanding of how your products are applied, you will be ready to create material that will attract prospects and by addressing those issues in the content, you will engage them in a discussion.  Connecting with prospects on a regular basis and teaching them how to solve their challenges is the best way to sell your products in today’s market place, and those type of results are important regardless of what language you speak.

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