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Rewarding (Your Customers’) Innovations

marketing innovationWe know that B2B marketers have a huge effect on the organizations they sell to – they help customers operate more efficiently, less expensively, and with greater levels of confidence. In a business environment that’s becoming more complex by the day, B2B marketers help their customers simplify the world by taking things off their plate and giving valuable insight into how other customers are using their products.

Now, you’ve heard this before: every marketer reading this post has their company’s value proposition memorized or internalized. But sometimes the value prop becomes such an integral part of what we do, that we never question whether our customers are actually seeing the same value. MLC research from a few years back shows that B2B customers typically don’t perceive supplier differentiators – at least, not to the degree that marketers expect them to – and we should be sanguine about how well the marketplace understands value propositions, too.

Informatica, an American enterprise data integration software firm, ran up against this problem when they realized that their innovation-oriented messaging wasn’t working. It wasn’t that the messages were poor – it was just that, although the company enabled groundbreaking innovation at its customer firms, they had no credibility as an innovative supplier.

To solve the problem, the company created an annual Innovation Awards series that recognized the innovative ways that companies were using Informatica products. The result? Happy customers, lots of great press, and a newfound reputation for innovativon.

MLC members, check out the full case, and for more, see our tips on marketing to innovation-oriented buyers.

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