The B2B customer has changed. Whether they buy software or a new desk, for themselves or their business, they don't do it the same as five or ten years ago. Some people might even say they're not doing it the same way as a year ago, which is exciting but also scary if you're on the sales end. People are constantly evolving the way they execute purchases.
Once upon a time, brands made products and consumers bought them. But not anymore. Today, it's all about what people want to buy -- not what companies want to sell. Consumers have very smart and specific ideas about the products they are willing to purchase. And, it's the brands that listen who get their business.
Recently, the annual list of companies with the worst customer service came out and it got me thinking. It's time that marketers seized the opportunity of "helpfulness" and use its value at every stage of the purchase journey, from prospect to long-term, raving fan. All too often, helpfulness is dismissed as a throwaway, when it can be transformed into your most valuable engagement strategy.