20 years ago businesses controlled the journey of their customers from beginning to end. Today the journey is vastly different. Control is an illusion.
It’s time to hone your skills and make use of modern marketing tools to do more than just react — you must create unexpected moments of serendipity to delight your prospects and keep customers happy.
Think of the chaos facing every business in the modern era. Prospects form opinions before you even have your first conversation. Patients quote new medical approaches stumping their doctors. Influential video bloggers challenge your brand. New clients uncover special pricing for your B2B product. The customer is bypassing the rigid moat your team painstakingly dug out — they will breach the castle at any moment.
In response to this sudden turn of events many companies opt for a massive marketing spend — a political fight to flood the zone and overwhelm negative messages. This approach can certainly be effective but it’s artificial and as soon as the spend ends the opposition swoops back in.
You need to shift the narrative in your favor. You must use a modern arsenal of strategies, tools, and tactics to help your teams drive serious sales success by creating moments of serendipity.
When was the last time you visited a library? It may have been a while. You’re searching for a certain book when your eye catches an interesting title on a spine on a totally different item. Like an online click-baited headline your arm instinctively reaches for the tome. Distracted by the find, you pull more books off the selves in succession. On-topic or off-topic it doesn’t matter — your brain has just encountered a moment of serendipity.
The word serendipity comes from an ancient tail of the Three Princes of Serendip, whose heroes were alway making unexpected discoveries while they were on a different quest altogether.
With the breadth of businesses and distractions vying for our time — you must foster an environment where you drive unexpected discoveries — unforgettable moments of serendipity — for your prospects and customers.
Here are 3 ways your company can use marketing tools to create unforgettable moments in your business-to-business interactions.
1. Delivery Timely and Relevant Content
It’s no longer sufficient to simply respond to requests for information about your business. You must anticipate what the potential customer is looking for and deliver that information in a timeframe that creates maximum impact.
People are busy and in this world of overwhelming information you have to get above the noise. Using marketing automation tools, companies can track the interaction of their prospects with content on their website and trigger a set of actions to reach that potential customer with relevant information within minutes.
Real-life example: if a prospect seems to be spending a lot of time on a page use an automated rule to send off an email shortly after that interaction relevant to that page. If timed correctly, you can create an incredible moment of serendipity — a connection they weren’t expecting which validates their current needs.
2. Customize The Channel to Improve the Funnel
Business-to-Business sales funnels can be strengthened by learning what channels are most successful. Procurement officers prefer phone calls; C-level execs prefer emails; sales execs love text messages. Vast amounts of data from your CRM platform can help you learn the behaviors of your prospects and deliver your interactions over the best channels.
Real-world example: one of the best hidden gens of Salesforce reports is the HTML Open report. Sales reps use this report to prioritize their hunting engagements. A high open rate on an email shows that not only is the prospect interested but they’ve likely passed the email around the office. A second follow-up set of phone calls into the right person at that account might prove valuable.
3. Use Stories to Drive Your Narrative
Facts and figures can be easily ignored and even more easily forgotten. Stories stick with you. B-to-B interactions can seem cold and methodic. Stir the imagination of your business prospects by sharing existing customer success stories.
As head of memberships at Surf Air we changed the way people fly by creating the first ever all-you-can-fly airline service. Our members pay a monthly fee and fly as much as they want. I often tell the story of a Surf Air corporate member who travels with us on a frequent basis, commuting from San Francisco to Los Angeles as CEO of his company, but coming back during certain evenings to be the coach of his son’s Little League team. His wife told me: “you’ve changed our lives forever.”
The story tugs at the heart strings and puts in stark relief our business of creating the ultimate effortless travel experience. That story creates an emotional moment of serendipity. That story went straight into a solid email drip campaign.
Win back the attention of your business prospects and customers by creating incredible moments of unexpected delight — creating lasting moments of serendipity and positioning you for success.
The Internet is awash in the customization of you entire life. Choose a custom-color sweater for delivery right to your home. Customize your pizza with a single tweet. Customize your child for delivery! But the age of explicit customization is old hat. . Welcome to the age of implicit interactions. Welcome to a marketing world where you can manufacture serendipity.
The brain loves connections. From the plot twist of an M. Knight Shaman movie to the right-swipe roulette of how you meet your next spouse the brain craves unexpected elation being injected into your lives.