It’s official – in 2015, real B2B buyers typically get between 67% and 90% through their buying journey before they reach out to the vendor, according to Jeff Ernst researching for Forrester’s. They will be looking at your company from many different angles including
• your company website
• peer reviews
• social media
• other digital marketing.
Effectively what they’re doing is the digital equivalent of telling a sales assistant in a shop “No, thanks, I’m just looking” and companies need to meet their needs in order to remain on their shortlist list and avoid being eliminated at the initial stages.
So, what are they looking for and how can we provide the information they want?
Essentially the role of marketing here will be to educate, so that buyers feel more confident and informed about their decision. According to Gordana Stok of the Content Marketing Institute, who conducted 100 business and IT executives about their buying journey in 2014, there are 5 key pieces of information that buyers want to find easily, which are
1. Information that will help to enable me to build the business case for change
2. A short – 90 words or less – summary of why I shouldn’t eliminate your product/service from consideration
3. Provide me with more in-depth product information so I can determine if I should short-list you for evaluation
4. Provide me with detailed case studies for companies like mine
5. Information that will help me to sell your solution to our internal stakeholders
What is very noticeable is the need for information that is relevant and fairly specific to their particular organisation. They don’t want a generic list of features and benefits; they’re looking for personalised data that is directly applicable to their business. This could include case studies, white papers and industry analysis as well as company information, product information and typical ROI’s.
The best way that busineses can provide this is by making increased use of marketing automation to bring this more personalised communication in a cost effective manner. This isn’t the easiest option, it requires both investment in the right IT systems and careful thought about how the information is communicated. Like all good marketing it requires marketers put themselves in the buyers’ shoes. The benefits lie in providing a much more effective marketing process.
If you cannot wait until a buyer contacts you to find out who is looking at your great content, there are now IT systems that allow a company to track who visits your website. This lead tracking can provide data including who came to your website, when they visited it and what particular pages they looked at. Many companies currently use analytics to see how many visitors came to their site and collectively which pages were most popular. Lead tracking is much more powerful than analytics alone as it provides data about each individual journey, which gives you the opportunity to offer suitably matched content through marketing automation. It’s big brother in action!
If you’d like to find out more about how marketing automation and web tracking can help your make your business more attractive to buyers, please get in touch,