One of the most common mistakes that marketers make, particularly in technology marketing, is assuming that everyone is basically like them:
- They think about things using the same buzzwords that you use
- They are interested in the same features that you think are ‘cool’
- They feel as passionate about your product as you do
Here’s the problem – in B2B marketing, you are usually in a fundamentally different role/business than your prospect. Okay, if you’re selling marketing automation systems, maybe that’s not true. But for the rest of us, it is. And your prospects have different interests, needs, and concerns than you do.
The cold, hard truth? It really doesn’t matter what you like. It matters what your prospects/customers like.
Few things illustrate this better than the WhichTestWon site, which posts weekly examples of A/B tests for websites, and challenges you to vote on which one you think got better results.
It’s humbling to reveal that I’m probably right only a little better than half the time. Honestly, I could most likely flip a coin and do as well – yet I usually have strong feelings about the different pages before I vote. So, what I think is irrelevant to what the prospects for those sites think.
To be successful in marketing in general, and content marketing in particular, you’ve got to get out from behind your own walls and put yourself in your prospects shoes. Lee Odden put this really well in a post last week on TopRank: Making the Leap: Egocentric to Empathy in Content Marketing.
Sometimes, that means doing the hard work to really connect with those prospects in different ways. But it’s getting easier to do with social networking. And in fact, if you don’t start doing that work, you’re likely to be left in the dust. The ground is shifting under our feet, and for once the most empathetic will survive!