Why we are creating The Vendor Map

 

I have spoken to hundreds of people working in the Marketing & IT departments at large brands about how they approach navigating the enterprise vendor ecosystem.  Specifically, I've asked about how they think about vendors during different stages of their own decision funnel.  How do you achieve awareness?  What steps do you take to make an educated decision about whether you should consider evaluating the company/category’s relevance to your near, mid & long term objectives?  And similar questions from intent through to decision.  On the other side of the table, I’ve had the same conversation from the other perspective w/ 100s of enterprise vendors trying to reach these decision makers and influencers.  What I’ve heard has been unsurprisingly similar from both sides.  The channels for creating awareness and consideration in B2B are fundamentally broken and are hugely dissatisfying to both potential buyer and seller.  Chaos, friction, inefficient & disordered are the words that would be the largest in the tag cloud coming out of these conversations.  For brands, it is very difficult to simply understand which categories and companies exist given the sheer volume of products and the ever evolving jargon that is used to describe them.  Brands explain how much time it takes just to get the initial lay of the land around a new category they are trying to learn about.  But even when they get past that initial understanding, I hear about being faced with two paths forward which forces the choice between something wildly inadequate and something that is completely unrealistically time consuming.  The first, and by far the most prevalent, is to go to the vendor’s website.  And at the risk of stating the obvious, a website is never going to be the best medium to address a potential buyers initial questions.  The alternative is to agree to a conversation w/ a few of the vendors in the space to get the next level of understanding.  However, most potential buyer's threshold for taking this step is much further into intent before they’re ready to jump into the typical vendor’s sales process starting w/ the 30 minute needs assessment call.  

We are creating The Vendor Map to bridge the gap.  The Vendor Map will enable people in the Marketing & IT departments at enterprise companies to easily discover which companies and categories exist in a few clicks.  From the map, people will then be able to launch into an initial dialogue w/ vendors, anonymously, for free, in a way that will enable them to get their initial questions answered in minutes.  Magic happens when B2B conversations occur.  Our goal is to greatly reduce the friction that prevent these initial conversations from ever occurring.

matthew karasickComment