B2B sales and marketing has had to wake up a bit. No longer is it about pouring badly targeted messages through fax machines in offices across the land (showing my age there) and sending terribly serious glossy brochures through the post.
Just as with consumer marketing and sales B2B must find it's 'feminine side' and make sure it's engaging audiences emotionally as well as commercially.
My business (Retriever) is based around the psychology of wise -mind. Don't panic, my head's not about to disappear up my arse; let me explain.
Wise mind is simply the balance between the emotional (red) and the rational (blue) and it's a useful 'state'.
Some of us will recognise ourselves as being quite far up the emotional end of the spectrum or perhaps far up the rational end of the spectrum. Wherever you reside there will always be times you need to use both ends in order to make a good decision about anything ranging from buying a car to investing in stocks and shares to deciding whether or not to have another kid. They influence everything.
So if you take a look at businesses that market themselves to other businesses there seems to be a disparity between what they sell and how they sell it.
Let me try to give you an example...
A great friend of mine used to work for a company that brokers bricks, facades and other building materials. One's instant thought is that these are products that are bought in an entirely rational, not emotional way. And on that basis the company builds it's website to suit. It's cold, it's hard, it lacks a connection with the reader and uses Alpha language to get its points across.
Then consider how it does business...
It's sales guys are dependent upon the relationships they have developed with developers and architects. There's emotion, friendship and a desire to get along really well with your potential customers so that they always buy from you and not your competitor.
Most of the energy that goes into building and maintaining these relationships is, of course, emotional (red).
So, immediately we can see that the website that is brash and blue does not reflect the sales process which is about camaraderie and is red.
So what should a business do?
Firstly businesses need to really look at their audience carefully, nay from a wise-mind perspective.
In many cases it's the only way to 'de-commoditise' themselves where they are in highly competitive and price driven markets.
They must also take a really good look at the product or service they provide and ensure that their sales and marketing efforts are balanced enough to be commercially appealing but (and I think this is more important) emotionally engaging.
Before you shout at me for stating the bleeding obvious I am well aware that people have been talking about -
...for a long time but it still appears to me that the colour purple (a mix of blue and red) is still very much missing.
So, the smart ones will steal a march.