Use Buyer Insights to Make Better Decisions


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English: Competitors Entering the water at the...

English: Competitors Entering the water at the start of the race. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The need for insight into buyer goals, needs, and behaviors has never been more important. It is an essential pathway towards gaining a consistent jump on your competitors. Profound buyer insights give business leaders, like you, the understanding needed to make the right decisions at the right time.

Informed Decisions

To make informed decisions today means we need to change how we make decisions. What do I mean? The majority of business decisions related to marketing and sales rely on quantitative analysis. Usually involving a look at recent and past results. I am not so sure this is fast enough for today’s warp speed digital age. Gaining competitive advantages today is transient.

Buyer insights allow you to get out in front of your competitors. It helps you get focused on the right thing – the buyer. Here is the other pitfall to decision-making it helps you avoid:

Many decisions are based on what competitors are doing, not on what buyers are doing.

This begs a question. What if your competitors have it wrong in the first place?

Arms Race

When decisions are focused heavy-handed on what competitors are doing, it is like the arms race during the cold war. Resulting in each competitor trying to outdo each other one better. I was in a recent discussion with a VP of Marketing, which can serve as an example:

“We need to change our website and get our content in order. Our main competitor site looks better and their messaging is hurting us. What we want is something like their site and get our messaging together like theirs.”

This is an easy reaction to have. Understandable – after all if competitors are doing one better – you want to respond. You very well may respond and get one better. The only problem is it will be short lived. You will not be putting much distance between you and your competitor.

The Upside

Obtaining unique and profound buyer insights gives you the ability to get out of the arms race with competitors. The focus is on the goals and behaviors of buyers. What you want is a new invigorating ability to design innovative approaches that are not “me too” in nature. By understanding what buyers want as well as why they want – you reduce the risk of getting out done by your competitors. And, you increase the potential for putting some distance between you and your competitors.

There may be some counter-intuitive feeling to this. One way to beat out your competitors is not to entirely focus on them. It means shifting the majority of your focus on buyers.

Making the Right Decisions with the Right Insights

Recently, I explored the question of – what is a buyer insight? This is an important aspect to making buyer insight-driven decisions. What you seek are the profound levels of insights focused on the not so obvious and the often unarticulated. Developing a capability of distinguishing profound buyer insights from factual buyer intelligence. It is these types of buyer insights which lead to the new and innovative versus playing the “me too” game. The focus should be on getting at the kernel of “why”.

Not in Isolation

To make buyer insight-driven decisions effective, it has to be a team sport. Getting your team focused on not only understanding buyer insights but also engaging in thinking about how to map back to what has been discovered. Creating a healthy discussion on the implications of recently unlocked buyer insights.

Mapping is helpful for this. I offer a mapping model, Buyer Insight Map™, designed to help you and your team focus in on the right insights. You can lean more about the map through this article, 6 Zones of Buyer Insights to Help You Target the Right B2B Buyer, as well as get a reference copy of the map without registration required.

Changing the way you make decisions and integrating buyer insights into the mix is a transition. However, it is an essential path one must take to gain the lead in a tough competitive world.

(I find this to be a common topic of discussion when helping people recently. Please continue the dialogue if I can be help in understanding how to integrate buyer insights into making informed decisions. Please share widely – someone will be helped by doing so.)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


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