A selection from the new book: Different Rules – the B2B Marketer’s Guidebook to Product Differentiation

Relevance: a B2B marketing must

By Chris Wirthwein

My new book, DIFFERENT RULES goes in depth on B2B product differentiation – what it is, why it’s important and how to do it. Yet, when pursuing customers, simply standing out – being different – isn’t enough. To win, you must also be relevant.

This means your product – what it does, how it works, the features and benefits it provides and the way it’s supported – must appeal to the self-interests of the people who pay you money for it.

Being relevant draws people in. Being relevant says to customers and prospects that you understand their world. It implies you care. In addition, being more relevant than your competition can create differentiation. Relevance creates a win-win for buyer and seller.

Using you as an example, relevant is anything important to you. Relevant is what you value, care about, and have interest in. There’s nothing terribly complex about what’s relevant and what isn’t. But when it comes to marketing B2B products, being and staying relevant can be hard to pull off, especially when you consider internal and external issues, complexities and distractions.

Remember this:

Relevance = appealing to self-interest

Great marketers get this. They display a knack for overcoming pre-conceived notions and setting aside their own self-interests. They learn to understand and address self-interests of others. They don’t let their own views or those of internal peers and superiors get in the way of communicating with customers on their terms. Sure, good marketers pay attention to internal influencers. But they execute marketing – positioning, messaging, branding, and promotion, in ways relevant to the customer.

Dale Carnegie, author of all-time bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People had this to say about relevance.

“The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.”

The book DIFFERENT RULES explains an easy-to-use process that will help you get to the heart of what’s relevant to your audience.

Read Different Rules - all 154-pages - free online e-book or purchase a hardcopy.

Chris Wirthwein is Senior Director for 5MetaCom, a marketing agency that develops strategies and campaigns to differentiate B2B technical and scientific products. He has authored three marketing books, including his latest, Different Rules: The B2B Marketer’s Guidebook to Product Differentiation. You can reach Chris on LinkedIn or at cwirthwein@5metacom.com.

For more B2B marketing insights, follow 5MetaCom or visit the 5MetaCom Knowledge Hub.