Complex Value Proposition? Perhaps It’s Time For A Two-Way Conversation

October 8, 2014

Have you ever noticed that a lot of B2B conversations are one-way (otherwise known as asynchronous communications)? According to an article on Business 2 Community last week, the problem with today’s interactions in the B2B world is that they are not synchronous conversations. Think about what you’re exposed to: you’ve probably noticed that you see hundreds of one-way communications every day – from standard adverts to mass emails.

Although many companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to precisely define their audience, is this enough? In high-value, sophisticated B2B markets, it’s not just about getting the message and the audience right; it’s about a proper two-way conversations. Here’s what they suggest:

  • Communications must stimulate and intrigue an audience. As well as informing and educating, it has to entice them into wanting to know more and engage in a conversation.
  • The first live interaction with a brand is crucial; it needs to meet their hopes, and then some. Don’t give them the blatant sales pitch; be clever, articulate, and share something valuable.
  • Finally, the sooner you get started, the better. Complex buying environments usually mean a sale won’t occur without an intense series of two-way conversations.

But what do I think from my experience of synchronous communications? Are they really worth the effort, and can a sale ever happen without them? 

Gaining two-way conversation from one-way communication is an art in itself, like a email that leads to a campaign landing page requiring your contact details: it's one-way until they engage. Usually the mistake is made by adding a contact form that essentially says "give me your details", and then a submit button. Why would they want to submit themselves to you? We have learnt time and time again by changing that call to action to something that enters the viewer into a two-way dialogue. Then you're able to follow up and yield amazing results.

For example, we changed the word "submit" on a contact form for one Financial Services client to read "Show me how you will manage my money". The conversion rate on the landing page doubled overnight, as the viewer felt they were going to get value. We could then deliver them the information they wanted and enter a conversation, which is now two-way.