In B2B, You’re Only Relevant To Your Customer If You’re Relevant To Theirs
As we get closer to the launch of the o2o platform, I’ve been thinking about a key philosophical concept of product development that is an important differentiator for any B2B business.
You’re only relevant to your customer if you’re relevant to theirs.
While your customers customer may never know who you are, by understanding their needs, your products and services will add value to the entire business chain. And that is a model for your long term success.
Understanding the Customers Customer
For o2o, it also means understanding the social, mobile and local markets from the stand point of the SMB and consumer, not just the enterprises which are deploying our platform. It’s helpful that some of us have been SMB owners, but it also means having a clear vision of where the market is heading so we create products which are ready to serve those customers as the market catches up.
Part of o2o’s ability to develop products with that guiding philosophy is by building a team of people who have a history of developing for end users and enterprises. It’s a tall order sometimes, but as the company and products mature, it’s essential to keeping everyone on the same page.
Start With The Minimum Viable Product
For example, when we launched Briefcase to help media companies sell into SMB’s, there were a myriad of ideas for what we could do with the first version of the service. Rather than load it up on features, overwhelming users in the process, we pulled back and focused on what was important to the sales reps who are using the app and to the end customers they serve.
The result is an easy to use app that adds value to the process of helping SMB’s market their business while allowing sales reps to focus on the right products for the SMB’s they’re selling into. It also leaves room to for the app to grow based on the actual (not assumed) needs of the customer.
Creating that feedback loop and starting with a minimum viable product also underscores the value of the Lean methodology of product development, something we cling to tightly.
If you would like to learn more about the o2o platform, we’d love to speak with you.
If you build B2B software, how do you add value for your customers customer?