Avoid the commodity trap with account-based marketing
Commoditisation means your customers see little or no difference between you and your competitors. So price becomes the only way to win business.
Recently, Momentum has shared some interesting conversations with customers who feel their markets are becoming increasingly commoditised.
An obvious example is in the technology sector, where hardware such as storage and bandwidth has all become much of a muchness.
Perhaps a less obvious example is in the field of research and information publishing. With advances in search automation and discovery software, it’s become easy to replicate offerings and harder to protect IP, resulting in fewer points of difference across suppliers.
Whether it’s related to coal, memory chips or water – the word commodity strikes terror in the heart of many marketers.
Of course, there’s tried and tested ways to differentiate and avoid the commodity trap. Academics and analysts have written about different strategies to do this – from product innovation, smarter bundling, intelligent pricing, better customer service and enhanced distribution methods.
The way to approach the commodity dilemma is to create value for your customer. This means getting back to basics – knowing your market, your customers, and your products. And of course, in ABM terms, that means making this unique to each individual customer.
So what does this look like? Let’s look at five practical tips:
1. Do your homework
Take time to research your customers and understand their values. This doesn’t just mean looking at their corporate website, it means finding out about the people who work there and what’s driving change or transformation in the market.
2. Go beyond ‘satisfied’
This is a commodity response to a commodity transaction. Instead, make customers go ‘wow!’ with specially prepared content that speaks directly to their needs.
3. Make it personalised
OK, so your gadgets and gizmos might have the same features as your rivals’ products. But if you speak directly to decision makers’ business and personal motivations you’ll stand a much better chance at creating interest and loyalty in your brand.
4. Don’t talk about products
Focus instead on the capabilities your products will give your customers, and how these in turn will create value for their business goals.
5. Don’t mention price
Saying that your products are cheaper simply reinforces the idea of a commodity. Again, link it back to value.
By applying these simple ABM principles you can show customers that you understand their goals and can elevate the conversation above product and price.
In doing this you’ll find that customers will frequently choose your business over another – even if your products are very similar.