Curiosity is innate to man. Even as infants, we crawled to sockets and put keys in our mouths out of curiosity. Google is an expert at feeding man’s curiosity—using our insatiable need to know.
In business, the goal is to get the buyer’s attention and maintain it through engagement. Curiosity is a useful tool towards this goal.
Just like when you go out on a first date, getting married is not your initial goal. Curiosity is what got your date’s attention and what will keep it. As in business, your goal is to create trust and conversation, without telling all at the first meeting.
But, curiosity can lead to frustration. This is where businesses can fail. They dump features and benefits on the minds of their customers but fail to close the deal. Why?
Information overload requires so much mental effort that the decision-making process slows down. We are naturally irritated by the need to decide in 10 minutes—one of the reasons why cold calling fails.
Curiosity marketing, however, can turn a decision-maker into an impulse buyer. You don’t buy the latest smartphone after analyzing all the specs. You purchase it because it’s the best camera phone of 2018—and you need to experience it yourself.
How Does One Create Curiosity?
Economist and educator George Loewenstein at Carnegie Mellon University revealed that curiosity takes place when there is a gap between what man knows and what man wants to know. To create curiosity, we need to:
- Create a difference between what they know and want to know.
- Provide information in bits to maintain interest.
Instead of setting your customers up for cognitive overload, you continuously feed their curiosity and keep them engaged.
Curiosity Marketing for B2B Companies
In B2B, the goal is more long-term than a one-off deal. Where products and services are more complicated than off-the-rack goods, it takes commitment and intent planning to work. Curiosity marketing, when done right leads to customer-centered engagement, solutions that solve problems and achieve goals, build strong relationships, and opens buyers to new opportunities for better results.
5 Ways to Use Curiosity Marketing in B2B
1. Focus on Internal Curiosity
Curiosity marketing begins within the B2B company. A lot of people see apples fall from a tree, but only Newton asked why. You need a team of Newtons with an insatiable curiosity towards your buyers, their key decision-makers, the Key Performance Indicators of your marketing strategy, and more. Curiosity marketing is creating the A-ha moment similar to the Eureka moment you had when your product or service was born.
2. Be an Expert at First Impressions
When you get a “yes” to a first date with someone you like, you want to make the best first impression. You buy flowers, dress to impress, and pick the right place. In B2B, the first impression dramatically influences decision-making. It is vital to invest in your brand image to position yourself high in the market and retain loyal customers.
3. Provide Information Necessary in a Step-By-Step Selling Process
Make it easy for decision-makers to seal the deal by giving only the information they need to know to complete every step of the sale. Give them small decisions to make in the span of their working relationship with you. This strategy will minimize the likelihood of making the wrong choices, making it easier to work with you.
4. Use Storytelling to Get Your Message Across
You can hear without listening, look but not see—that is if you see something like a mere distraction and nothing that will help you solve your problems now. You don’t want your customers to passively skim through your product and get on with their daily affairs. You want to hold their attention like water in a desert that a thirsty man will run towards. So you need a transformation story that will direct your buyer from where he is now to where he could be—pain vs. desire.
5. Study Your Buyers More than You Study Your Competitors
You can’t promise to solve your buyer’s problems if you don’t know what they struggle with. Knowing their pains and desires will tell you what message is relevant and will not be filtered out. You need to get in the mind of the decision-makers, understand what their buying agendas are, and what triggers them to buy. In marketing terms, spend time documenting your buyers’ personas. Studies show that high-performing companies that exceed lead and revenue goals invest more in knowing what drives their buyers and how they decide.
Curiosity marketing works because it achieves two goals—that of the buyer and the company they are buying from. There’s no magic ingredient to catch the attention of key decision-makers and make them buy into your idea.
It takes a lot of hard work to create a team of curious people along with optimizing their branding, filling in the curiosity gap without creating cognitive overload, getting the right message across, and documenting buyer personas.
The rewards more than pay for the efforts as you earn the loyalty of your customers who are impressed with your ability to helping them reach their personal goals.