As I work with B2B direct marketing clients all over the world I am struck by how much knowledge they have within their companies. Specifically, I am referring the product and application knowledge that is…or could be….useful to their customers. It is garnered from years of selling and servicing their customers and working in their industry or market segment. In fact, such intelligence is not just useful to their customers, but it is valuable. Customers are willing to pay for it as it often saves them time or helps them avoid a potential problem. As such, I would encourage each of you to look around your company and think about what knowledge or intelligence you have that your customer would value if it were presented at the right time, in the right format or in the right place. By packaging such knowledge and being able to deliver it when and where the customer wants it you will not only increase the loyalty to your brand buy you might also find a new revenue source. This opportunity comes into very clear focus if you have had a chance to play with the new I-phone which makes “searching the net on the go” and “portable video” a reality. Other such devices that are sure to follow combined with the onslaught of useful and useable local content, including GPSand eventually voice activation, will only enhance the emerging practice of “getting any information in any format when and where I need it.” (Does this sound like Star Trek yet?) Searching the web, reading an online document, listening to audio, or watching a video “on the go” will become as common place as making a phone call “on the go” is today. (Incidentally, a recent NY Times article about text advertising confirmed that of the 230 million Americans with cell phones, half were currently using text messaging and about 32 million use their cell phone to browse the web. You know that number will grow with improved devices and content.)
Consider the following examples.
1. You sell sink waste disposals to plumbers and for each unit you sell you produce a short video and instructional diagram about how that particular unit gets installed. Would your frustrated plumber customer under a client’s sink appreciate your intelligence at that particular moment delivered via his I-Phone? Would he pay a small transaction fee to have it (in the language of his choice, of course.) at that crucial moment?
2. You sell supplies to dentists. The sales of your supplies are dependant upon the dentist learning, performing and staying current with an evolving dental procedure. Could you hire a leading expert and sponsor a continuing monthly series of audio or video updates to train and update your dentist customers? Might you be able charge extra for that continuing education/service?
3. You sell office supplies. You know a lot about office organization and management and how it changes by company size or industry. Can you package that information as your own branded association or online university for office administrators/managers in each relevant market segment, charge tuition and confer certificates of course completion? Would your customers pay for that?Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221
Comments or questions are welcome.