Your Buyers Are Bored! Fire Up Your B2B Demand Generation!

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—How About Some Crispy, Fried Mealworms?

Before you say “Yuck”, let me tell you why this unusual meal came to my mind.

Rarely do I flip TV channels since we now live in the tablet era. Last week, however, I happened to turn on the television and was just in time for the season finale of Top Chef Canada. Food being one of my biggest passions, I decided to stick around and watch the three finalists dish up their multi-course meal. Interesting show, I have to say, but even more interesting was the creative genius of these master chefs at work. There were some fascinating twists on traditional favourites and others were completely novel creations.

The winner of the competition was Rene Rodriguez, chef and owner of Navarra in Ottawa (must try this restaurant when I’m there next). For the finals, Rene presented two of his signature dishes that are popular at Navarra. One was a steak tartar appetizer and the other, the one that really disrupted my thoughts, was a braised lamb shank in a traditional Mexican mole sauce with parsnip puree. This beautifully presented dish was then topped off with crispy, fried mealworms. I loved the shock on the judges’ faces when he told them what he had put on their plates. I loved even more their sheer delight as they ate and marveled at how delicious this unique dish was! Until that point, I’m convinced they were all starting to look bored and anxiously waiting for a stellar moment on the show. (And I was getting ready to change channels, but I didn’t.)

Overall, the show offered me a wonderful perspective on how to be innovative, creative, and be able to market your ideas to end the boredom your audience is most definitely feeling. Look at what’s happening around us in B2B marketing. While technology and media channels are extremely dynamic and exciting, B2B demand generation campaigns simply can’t seem to keep pace. Every other campaign is lacklustre, boring, forgettable and as a result, ineffective. How can you change that? How can you get your buyers to sit up and take notice? Even more important, how can you get them to stand up and take positive (buying) action? Can you toss some fried mealworms on their plates? It’s an idea…and if you make them taste great (good isn’t good enough), you are steps closer to conversion and well on your way to long-term engagement.

Fire up your B2B demand generation5 Ways to Ignite B2B Demand Generation and Achieve Customer Delight        

  1. Be Bold, Show Courage, But Don’t Be Foolhardy. Just like Chef Rene! It was a bold move and definitely brave to serve mealworms on the final episode of an extremely tough competition. He took a risk, but it was a calculated one because he was confident of the success of his dish. After all, he serves it as a signature dish at his restaurant. The judges were shocked, then delighted. That’s what you want. You want to disrupt your buyers’ thought process but you want it to be a tremendous and incomparable experience. Otherwise, it would only be a temporary interruption where they take notice but then go back to whatever they were doing and forget about you.       
  2. Take A Stand. Disruptive marketing is a chance to be strongly opinionated. The important thing to remember is that when you voice your opinion, it must resonate with the values your customers uphold. Take a stand and stick to it because it shows your customers you share their values and care about them. One of the other finalists, Rich Francis decided to go back to his aboriginal roots and served cuisine that is typical of his community. His pickled blueberries were another show-stopper. Rich told the judges he wanted to win the competition for himself and his family but also to be an ambassador of aboriginal cuisine. Now that’s a commitment you can’t help but admire.
  3. Speak In A Familiar Voice. As marketers, we are always making the attempt to be heard but often end up adding to the noise that buyers are trying so hard to get away from. When you want to find your voice and showcase your brand personality in a strikingly new and different type of lead generation campaign, it’s important to ensure that your audience still finds it familiar. There is no point in making an impact if the memory and recall of that campaign is not clearly associated with your brand in your buyers’ minds.
  4. Strike An Emotional Connection. All three contestants vying for the Top Chef title were passionate about their cooking, and it showed. They struck an emotional chord with the panel bringing each course to the table. When a judge remarks, “I want to take a bath in that soup, it was so good!” or says, “I’m going to tackle him and hold him down until he gives me that recipe for the crumbled onion soil”, or delights in, “What a novel way to cut the richness of salmon with pickled blueberries; I’m going to steal this idea!”—there’s no doubt about it; the chefs stirred up very strong and positive emotions in their audience.                    
  5. Enjoy the Experience, Have Fun and Get Your Audience Excited. Chef Terry Salmond presented hands-down, the best dessert on the show. But when he brought it to the judges’ table, he really piqued their curiosity. It was a caramelized yogurt parfait with burnt onion crumble. How many desserts can you think of that use onion? I had never heard of any and it certainly looked like the judges hadn’t either. When they dug into the parfait, one of them said, “Terry is a master of texture; this is phenomenal”. Now that’s the kind of experience you want your buyers to enjoy—phenomenal. That’s when they get excited and look for more experiences like that. Then they also want to share their experience with others and that’s why one of the judges was so determined to have the recipe for Chef Terry’s one-of-a-kind dessert.

A shout out to Paul Dunay here who nails it in his tips for CMOs on mastering online customer experience.

Is your B2B demand generation stuck in the same old, same old? There’s no need to ditch the tried and true methods and processes that are proven to deliver results. Throw in a good measure of disruptive, innovative marketing to help your buyers kick off the boredom and get interested in your brand. Do you have more ideas on how to do this? I would love to hear from you. Share your thoughts and let’s discuss this on my blog.

Image credit: Shutterstock    

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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