Are You Ready for The Next Generation Tech Customer Experience?
June 9, 2015
Get the right touch points in front of your prospect at the right time, and these leads will become sales. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it?
But what are the right touch points? When is the right time? Today’s technology buyers – and there are no less than 17 of them per company – are consuming content in large quantities before making a decision on what to buy. Yet, 95% of visitors to company sites won’t leave an email address – and even those that do rarely open emails that are sent to them.1
It gets harder. Tech buyers will go through 90% of the sales process before even talking to sales. It’s up to your content to inform your leads as they discover, explore and select possible solutions.2
So as a tech marketer, how do you engage high-quality leads with your relevant content at the right time in their buying journey?
We know that on average throughout the purchase process, ITDMs will consume about seven informational assets (whitepapers, webcasts, case studies) to aid their decision-making – and decision-makers at large enterprises tend to download more assets throughout the purchase process than do their counterparts at small- to mid-sized organizations (8 assets versus the average of 6). This means that getting the right content in front of the right decision-makers at the right time has never been more important.
Understand the Decision-Making Process
A full-funnel approach allows marketers to create a customized experience at each key point in this complex decision-making process:
- Stage I: Reach – getting familiar with the product. This stage can include content about general industry topics that are prioritized for your audience, including articles about trends, strategies, management and technologies. ITDMs look for this information as they gain awareness along their way to a purchase.
- Stage 2: Nurture – building the relationship. This phase can include information about demos and best practices. This is the point when you can further nurture your relationship and provide valuable information as your purchaser continues to explore your product and refine their short list.
- Stage 3: Acquire – closing the deal. In the final stage of the purchase process, ITDMs need access to quality content that validates their decision such as ROI tools, calculators and product demos. This phase provides the greatest opportunity to promote reviews and case studies for your product or service to showcase that you offer the exact solution they need and why.
The above sequence and content is also based on who your prospects are and what they are doing on your web site. The right messages at the right time over a span of time increases a company’s likelihood to make a tech buyer’s short-list - and 63% are more likely to chose you if you’ve educated them throughout the conversion process vs. at just one point. 3
It’s no wonder that the characteristics most valued in B2B content include the breadth and depth of information, and originality of thinking and ideas.4 Other research has found that Editorial content offering in-depth insights is also one of the most influential content types during the purchase process.5
Strategy to Meet Your Customer
Quality leads come from engaging your audience, so a solid content marketing strategy is critical to a marketer’s success. The most effective marketers use strategy and marketing KPIs to inform content. That is, they test their content to see how it works and then update accordingly based on results.
Start by asking yourself, “What are the common pain points my audience is trying to solve?” Then, utilize that information to begin creating content that answers questions and solves those problems based on their concerns at each point in their buying journey.
As buyers digest and connect with your thoughts and ideas, they begin trusting you as a reliable source and brand. And that means your company is much more likely to make the short-list of contenders. In fact, 74% of buyers chose the company that was first to add value as they defined their buying needs.5 Be the company that ads value for tech customers and goes beyond selling, and you’ll be the one building relationships that last.
Want more effective tactics for reaching prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey? Download The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Full Funnel Marketing:
1Sirius Decisions Benchmark Survey
2Forrester, “Buyer Behavior Helps B2B Marketers Guide the Buyer’s Journey,” October 2012
3Global IT Committee
4Research released by IDG Connect, CMO Council and NetLine, and salesforce.com’s Pardot
5Research presented by SAVO Group