Blog

Get your breath back. Part 5 – “It’s a culture thing…”

By Octopus Group on 7th June 2017

Challenge 5 – We don’t have a clear understanding of our customer

The fifth and final part of our ‘Get your breath back’ series looks at culture – specifically, the impact it can have on being able to focus on the customer in B2B.

Not having a clear understanding of your customer can often be a result of the business culture being too internally focussed. It’s very easy to spend too much time looking inwards in search of alignment before stepping out into the world.

It’s also fairly common to fret over what your competitors are doing at the expense of your customers. Not only is this detrimental to your efforts, it can also be a waste of time and money.

Gain a disruptive advantage

The truth is, we don’t look at customers enough in B2B, yet for any business, they’re the source of the most valuable insights.

55% of businesses surveyed for our Breathless Business report said they needed to get better at understanding their customers. And in organisations where marketing is seen as strategic, this rose to 63%.

Getting to know your customer better is the most constructive way of gaining your own disruptive advantage. But do you truly know what your customer field looks like?

Be aware that your customer base may change over time. The ones you’ve known for a long time may now have different expectations, or you may need to shift your focus to new customer segments as your proposition and strategy evolves.

It’s all in the detail

The way to get a true view is to start with some validated, robust customer research. Once you have this data, share the results with the wider business. What are the trends they should know about? This way, everybody will be on the same page, based on real customer insights. So don’t just file it away, or you’ll fail to realise not only the true ROI of meaningful research, but also what your customers are really looking for.

Our Breathless Business survey revealed that businesses actually prioritise being smarter and slicker over stronger. But in spite of this, strong leadership (70%), a clear strategic plan (57%) and adaptability (54%) are seen as leading to a stronger business culture – not navel-gazing or watching the competition.

We’re not saying ignore your competition completely – just don’t obsess over them. It’s stressful and won’t stop them disrupting you. Knowing your customer better is more constructive and is more likely to earn you that disruptive edge in the long run.

So, start today. Our in-house research specialists, Loudhouse, work with numerous technology and B2B brands, and can help you gain the in-depth customer insight you need to develop your products, propositions and marketing plans around your buyers’ needs.

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