B2B Decision Making

December 19, 2013

To be or not, not, not, not to be?

By Simon No comments

That is the question. Well sort of, but it is linked to a set of fundamental questions we try to answer when pouring over our complex clients’ latest complex conundrums. Complex clients that are complex to do business with with their complex business solutions being sold via complex routes to market. Pass the Rubik’s cube!

So, where do you start?

Here at dnx we have a simple, yet strikingly effective, way to kick-start the planning process. Not only does it frame the thinking that underpins our approach to planning, it’s also a great learning platform for all our budding juniors to cut their teeth on. It helps them build and hone their own skills in the magic arts of answering a complex brief and is a philosophy that enables us to get under the skin of the problem or the target audience our clients are trying to influence.

Introducing the “The 4 Nots” of B2B

A uniquely dnx approach, “The 4 Nots” of B2B marketing guides us through the simple steps we need to climb if we are going to answer the what’s, why’s and how’s.

Not #1 – Not my money

This is all about building the case. Business decision-makers tend to spend the company’s money cautiously. They are going to need to be persuaded that your service or product is exactly what they need and better than the rest. So under Not #1, we always ensure we answer the following key questions: What is the brand or product proposition? How does it compare to the competitor set? Is it a better choice than competitor brand B, C or D? And what is the expected outcome should they purchase or employ the service? Give them the evidence and you’re halfway there.

Not #2 – Not only my decision

This is all about understanding the influencers in the decision-making unit. The second ‘not’ helps to focus us on answering who is involved in the purchase from the target audience and what are their needs and pains? What relationship do they have with each other? What level of influence do they have on the actual purchase decision? A CTO is different to a CIO or a Line of Business Exec. What info do they each need and how can we help them help each other?

Not #3 – Not small change

This is all about proving the ROI. For some of our clients, the costs of a single implementation can run into millions. Even the least savvy of businesses will be looking to recoup an investment over a given period. So, we ask ourselves what will be the outcome and who will be affected most? What is the business case (other success stories) and what will be their return on investment?

Not #4 – Not tomorrow

The process takes time. Sometimes it feels like an eternity. The final ‘not’ challenges us to think deeply about the buying process (and not the sales cycle). It leads us nicely into our overall campaign strategy and communications planning. We find out the buying process and which influencers have input at each stage of the process. What is our plan to influence and move the decision along at each step?

So is it “nobler in the mind to suffer”? We think not with the 4 Nots of B2B!