“We actually turned our marketing upside down” says Marije Gould, Vice President of Marketing EMEA for Verint Systems. She explains that in the past year they chose a completely different approach to their B2B marketing. And it worked. They have implemented a customer-focused approach in all facets of their marketing. Here’s a small taste of what Verint has realized.
The starting point for Verint’s new B2B marketing is no longer telling but listening. As Marije puts it: “It’s not about continuously pushing what we do, how we can help, what we can solve. It’s about first listening and discovering which needs a customer has. Otherwise, our message may be irrelevant for him.”
Offering relevant information means having real insights into the buyer journey and the interests of all those involved in the process. Verint invested in a buyer persona project to discover exactly what these insights were. For each buyer Verint determined:
- Which problems do they wish to have solved
- Which information sources do they consult
- How their buyer journey develops
Don’t start with your own organization
By now Verint knows that their customers follow a long and complicated buying process. Verint System is a global enterprise, with almost 4,500 employees, servicing over 10,000 customers in nearly 200 countries. They are leaders in ‘Actionable Intelligence solutions’. Verint supports companies in making crucial decisions, based on complex information. As Marije explains “We analyze and structure information from many sources like videos, interviews, reports. We transform it into new value for our customers, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding how to optimize customer relationships, operations, information security, risk and compliance etc.”
And this generally involves more than one person. Buyer teams are comprised of representatives from many departments: IT, Customer Services, Operations, and Marketing – just to mention a few. That means that our marketing messages must be tailored to meet the various buyers’ needs, knowledge levels and information sources. This results in a new marketing approach, putting the customer first instead of your own organization.
Going all the way, using buyer personas as the starting point
“If you say it, then do it” according to Marije. That’s why plans didn’t stay just plans. Therefore the marketing content that is now developed and the digital marketing strategy that is executed is fitted to the needs of the various members of the buyer team. Moreover, the key messages can be found in places where the buyers look for them. Even the marketing team has been reorganized around the buyer personas.
Marije: “It takes time to reorganize a team. We had to merge two teams into one anyway, we made use of the opportunity to restructure according to the buyer personas. And seeing the appreciation with which our customers received this change, we can explain the logic of the decision.”