This is a guest post from Samantha Stone, Founder & Senior Analyst at the Marketing Advisory Network.

In a recent survey conducted by ITSMA, business-to-business (B2B) marketers worldwide expect that understanding buyers will be their #1 responsibility in two years (85%).

No, you didn’t read that wrong in TWO YEARS!

C’mon marketers how can we say that brand and positioning are our number one priority and not pair that with understanding buyers?

When I first read the survey data I kept trying to justify the results as logical. Perhaps the survey was conducted of newly graduated college students with math degrees. Nope, that’s not the case, this was sent to leading marketing organizations.

Maybe the survey was sent only to marketers who’s compensation is 100% tied to brand studies. Not likely.

No matter how many ridiculous scenarios I devised I simply could not understand how these results reconciled with what I know to be true.

There’s nothing a marketer does that isn’t informed by understanding our buyers or desired buyers.

No matter how much marketing evolves one thing remains constant; people buy our products & services even when you sell to companies. Understanding our buyers enables us to:

  • Design offerings which are truly impactful (and make people want to give us money)
  • Identify new opportunities for expansion
  • Increase the number of potential buyers who intersect with us in their day to day search for efficiency, entertainment or education
  • Reduce the cost of sale by appealing to a buyer’s human drivers
  • Grow customer satisfaction and encourage referrals

I’d probably sleep better at night thinking the survey technique was somehow flawed but it’s more realistic to accept that marketers need reminding every now and then – marketing is NOT about our companies – it is about our buyers.

I for one am not willing to wait until 2016 to make understanding buyers a priority. Who’s with me?


headshot 2014About the Samantha Stone: I’m a fast growth, B2B marketing junkie, mother of four high energy boys and wannabe gourmet chef. Throughout my career I have launched go-to-market initiatives and lead marketing strategies for award-winning, high growth technology companies including Netezza, SAP, Ascential Software and Powersoft. In 2012 I founded The Marketing Advisory Network to help enterprises unleash the possible within their organizations. You can read more about my marketing philosophy and get practical advice by visiting or following me on twitter @samanthastone.




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