B2B Marketing – New Tech, Old Challenge

Recent developments in wearables like Glass actually bring to mind the age-old challenge of all marketers: relevance versus distraction.


This challenge is can be a particularly sharp thorn on the side of B2B marketing. Business prospects are busy enough as it is with their job, with management, and with planning. Relevance is your only key to becoming something that’s not reduced to background noise.


Like many gadgets before it, Google Glass has been feared as a lethal distraction for wearers. And while your B2B prospects are not likely on the road when you market to them, the distractive bit is the real point here.


It’s a problem that hasn’t exactly died out no matter what kind of technology we develop. Think about and go back in time:


You’re a traveling merchant and you’ve just entered the capital of a great kingdom. As you’re assessing the local marketplace, you hear fellow merchants crying out for their wares.


Ask yourself, do you listen to each one or simply dismiss it all as noise?


Now go back to the 21st century. You’re an accounting manager sitting at their desk with a new pair of Google Glass. Your current accounting tools seem a bit out of date so you decide to browse online. As you do, you are bombarded by all other business ads.


Ask yourself again, do you notice each one or do you dismiss it all as noise?


It’s nice to think that new technology can reshape the way people do business. In many ways, it certainly has. But in other ways, age-old problems are still fixed by age-old solutions. In this case, the only way to avoid being a distraction is by offering something relevant (whether your prospect is a medieval merchant or a CEO wearing Glass).


Knowing that, here are the basics to remember to stay relevant:


  • A knack for identifying – Reading people back then is just as important as it is now. How can you identify that a person interacting with your business is a prospect? Is it their position? The industry of their business?


  • Thought leadership – Was there thought leadership back in the heydays of Julius Caesar? Actually thought leadership is but another word for intelligent influence. You know something that your prospects don’t. They want to know and that’s how you end up selling them solution. The idea is simple, classic, and it’s only the means that get complicated.


  • Avoid your own distractions – Distractions go both ways. While your prospect is focused on a particular set of needs, you need to focus on a particular set of qualities. You don’t always have the resources to please everybody and gain their attention. So for the most part, stick to your target and don’t consider other possibilities too early when it could only distract you.


So no matter how much wearables like Glass could change the landscape, it doesn’t necessarily change the some really old problems. If you ever hope to adapt, it’s important to understand those problems still have age-old solutions.

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