One of the things that make b-to-b marketing and communications different from b-to-c communications is an assumption that decisions are made purely based on logic and facts. After all, the decisionmakers are acting as agents of the company. They have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders. It’s not like they’re buying a sports car or a pair of designer shoes, right?
Think again. As any sales person can tell you, emotion plays a big role in almost all b-to-b buying decisions (Check out Jim Ninivaggi’s excellent post on this topic – “Personas Are People, Too”). The bigger the deal, the more likely your buyer is to be plagued by anxious thoughts and uncertainty. Listen to the inner voice playing inside the head of a nervous b-to-b buyer at about 3:00 a.m.:
So, when you’re coming up with your plan to address all of the buyer questions that come up in the course of any normal buying process, also think about the “3:00 a.m. needs.” This is where influencers can provide the emotional fortitude to help buyers press on in the face of risk and uncertainty. With the SiriusDecisions Influencer Framework, you can identify a range of influencers to address spoken and unspoken needs.
Here are some ways that several influencer archetypes can make the difference in your next deal:
Want to learn more about the SD approach to influencers? Listen to Julie's OnDemand Webcast – Gaining Leverage Through Influencers. Better yet, connect with us so that we can begin a discussion of the marketing and communications problems that wake you up at 3:00 a.m.!
Julie Ogilvie is a Senior Research Director of Strategic Communications Management at SiriusDecisions. She has held a variety of leadership roles in marketing and communications in her 20+ year career, for both B2B and B2C companies. Follow her on Twitter at @julieogilvie.