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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  May 24, 2012

Winning the Price War

A big issue in our space:  how to deal with commoditizing and low-cost competitors.  A possible antidote could be client relationships, according to this study by Gallup.

From thousands of interviews with B2B customers, this research giant discovered that only 13% of these clients are “fully engaged”.  And that lack of connection comes at a high price:  relationships with low engagement scores (below 4 out of a possible high score of 5), 15% of the accounts grew by 20% or more the next year, while 60% declined by 20% or more.

By Gallup’s calculations, an “engaged” client will yield a 23% premium in budget share, revenue growth, and relationship growth.

I see two opportunities and a warning:  many B2B companies don’t focus on customer relationships, giving us a strategic advantage when we compete with the big dawgs.  I also see opportunities for “relationship” experts to penetrate marketing budgets of these organizations.

But a short trip to the dark side:  many experts are going the mass market route, thinking the “stack them high and sell them cheap” strategy will give them scale.  My thinking:  the more mass we generate, the bigger risk we take for losing that emotional connection.  And it is that connection that is our best path for growth.  Just something to ask yourself while pondering your next marketing move.

Wanna see the stats for yourself?  Click here for Gallup’s study.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.