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15 August 2013

Understanding client needs "a key part" of strong marketing

Content team

Being able to fully understand the needs of customers and how a firm's solutions can help meet them is one of the best things that businesses can do to make their marketing more effective.

This is according to a new report by the RAIN Group, which found that leading marketers are those who know how to connect the dots between the requirements of clients and the capabilities of their company's solutions. They are also much more able to communicate this effectively in order to drive positive returns.

It was reported by Fast Company that in many cases, it is left up to the sales team to make the connection between these, despite the fact that it is often the marketing departments responsibility to analyse potential customers and communicate the benefits of their offering.

"Marketers should create tools and playbooks that do this basic work for the sales team," the publication noted. "These tools should include a grid of company offerings, how these offerings solve needs, the impact (or benefit) of solving those needs and questions sellers can ask to uncover those needs."

Being able to quickly and easily get details on prospective customers also plays a key role in this, as if sales and marketing professionals do not understand the current situation of their targets or what their specific needs are, they will be unable to communicate effectively about what they can do to assist.

However, this is not the only thing that sales and marketing teams can do to persuade buyers they are the right option. Other steps identified by the RAIN Group include being able to convince customers that they are the best option.

This involves not only a thorough understanding of how their own products and services fit into the market, but how they compare to rivals and what key differentiators they should be highlighting.

It is also important to minimise buyers' perception of risk. Mike Schultz, author of the report, explained that risk reduction has become a much higher priority in the last few years.

"Buyers have been burned in the past by promises not kept and are still feeling the sting of the Great Recession. Risk reduction is more important than ever," he said.

Content team, Bureau van Dijk

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