We want to deliver content that makes a difference to our buyers…not deliver more carefully curated product content “selfies”.

A classic American TV show, The Dating Game hit in the early 1970s in a simple format. A single woman she questioned three single men (who were hidden from her view) and at the end of the questioning period chose one of her to accompany her on a date. With limited information and time, singles have had to ask good questions to find out what singles can do.

Pop culture has embraced a whole new genre of reality TV shows, but the concept of asking thought-provoking questions to learn more about people is still a classic approach. That time has now come to the world of B2B marketing.

now up to the buyer

Let’s start with some basic facts. The B2B buying process has changed dramatically over the last decade. This change was gradual for him prior to 2019, but from 2019 he surged exponentially during 2020.

Second, today’s target “buyers” are often groups rather than individuals. Forrester found that 63% of his 2021 buying decisions involved four or more of his people. In 2017, this figure was just 47%. Not only will more buyers be involved, but more interaction and information will be required when researching purchasing options. According to Forrester, the average B2B buyer touched him 17 times in 2019. The same buyer now averages 27 touches. That’s an incredible 58% jump.

One final thing to remember is that the typical B2B buyer isn’t in the buying process every day of the year. Put them in the pipeline and depending on the lifecycle of the product, you may wait months or years before you are ready to explore your options.

To stem these changes, B2B marketers must support buyers looking for products and solutions that meet their specific needs. those who work in larger buying groups; those who seek information on multiple channels; those who spend more time doing independent research (and less time selling). People who are actively seeking new products for a limited time.

Related article: Why B2B marketing is a long game, not a hit-and-run SaaS play

marketing transformation

Despite significant changes in buyer behavior, the B2B marketing approach remains essentially the same. By far, B2B marketing campaigns continue to promote organizational solution offerings rather than addressing basic buyer needs. Few companies clearly explain why buyers should buy their products, what their benefits are, and specific use cases.

In today’s buying environment, this is a big mistake. Marketers pay attention to buyers, empathize with their problems and opportunities, speak their language, understand underlying business or technical needs that need to be addressed, and understand how the solution will impact buying organizations. You need to be clear about what you provide value to.

But we can’t be too harsh as our fellow B2B marketers struggle to transition to the new buying reality. products), internal organizational structure (e.g. leading business units), and company initiatives (e.g. transformational migration to the cloud), have been steadily trained by employers over the years to focus on them. Focus on who your buyers are and what business issues they need to address.

But now is the time to change. B2B buyers expect more than that. Here is her list of five basic campaign planning questions that B2B marketers need to answer so they can create better, buyer-focused campaigns.

Related Article: B2B Marketing Suffering from Account Blindness?

5 important questions

1. Who do you sell to?

Rather than starting with a product or solution proposition, marketers should start with the buyer. Can you clearly identify your buying audience? Do you know who your primary buyer personas are? Do buyers vary based on different products and market segments? When answering these questions , don’t make assumptions. Speak with your sales reps to really understand who is involved in closing deals. For example, executives may want to sell her to the C suite (and drive marketing and sales to make this happen), but most sales are actually directed at her done at the level.

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