The rational marketer (and the irrational customer)
The most common frustration I see, and I see it daily, comes from marketers who can't figure out why more people won't buy their product. This particularly afflicts b2b marketers, who ostensibly have rational customers.
Let's say, for example, that you have a service that can deliver leads for five percent of what it costs to get them via a trade show. Why would any rational business, particularly one that says it wants qualified leads, spend that money on trade shows and not on you?
I mean, I mean, you can PROVE that your system works. You can guarantee it. You can provide testimonials and real-time evidence. And yet, the person you're calling on won't give you money and will spend it on the traditional system, which is a total waste.
You know that your car is more aerodynamic. You know that your insulation is more effective. You know that your insurance has a higher ROI.
You've thought about it a lot because it's your job to think about it. It's your job to make those charts and tables and graphs and brochures. So you know it.
The problem is that your prospect doesn't care about any of those things. He cares about his boss or the story you're telling or the risk or the hassle of making a change. He cares about who you know and what other people will think when he tells them what he's done after he buys from you.
The opportunity, then, is not to insist that your customers get more rational, but instead to embrace just how irrational they are. Give them what they need. Help them satisfy their needs at the same time they get the measurable, rational results your product can give them in the long run.