Buyer behaviour has changed – and keeps on changing. It goes beyond talking to your market. You must be part of the conversation and traditional forms of marketing are not enough to facilitate this exchange.
The rise of new technology and ease of accessibility to the internet has changed the way your prospects find new services, new vendors and new suppliers. And as trends in technology continue to change, B2B marketers must constantly refresh their approach to meet changing customer needs. A massive percentage – 70-90% - of the buyer’s journey is complete before they even take that step to engage a vendor.
Customers create their own paths to purchase – but why not guide them down that path?
Know Thy Prospect
B2B marketers tend to know the ins and outs of all their products, but lack customer insight. However, to engage with their buyer, before they are too far down the sales funnel, they must know their buyers down to a tee. Their marketing activity must address buyer’s challenges and pain points – rather than push their product or service offering. If you don’t know your buyers, your marketing efforts can be delivered without significant return. Get involved in your prospect’s research and address their challenges with educational information.
As an organisation begins to understand and anticipate the needs of their target market, we see a shift from being consumer-focused to consumer centric. It may sound like a simple strategy yet many businesses find it increasingly difficult to deliver. A sound marketing strategy must be put in place to ensure this approach remains at the centre of both marketing and sales activity. Four key pillars to help you build the foundation of your customer-centric marketing strategy:
- Define your buyer personas – Buyer personas should be at the heart of every marketing campaign and the basis of the overall marketing strategy. Defining these personas allows you to understand your target market and your ideal prospects around which you must shape your activity. To start with begin looking at personal demographics, job role, and the information sources they engage with. Understand their challenges and their goals, so that you deliver what they want.
- Engage with a multi-channel approach – The information sources which are key to your personas are massively important in the selection of marketing channels, as they inform your marketing team of the channels which appeal to and engage with your audience. Delve deep into the way in which they consume information, which publications they read and the social media which they use on a daily basis. Understand how these channels are used – not simply identify them. Mapping out touchpoints across the buying journey will guide the use of these channels.
- Align content to the buying journey – At different stages in the buyer journey, certain types of content are most appropriate to nurture their needs. A variety of content, aligned to each stage of the buying cycle will address different questions to lead to the engagement-ready stage.
- Analyse your results – Measurement is the key to improvement. Evolve with your market’s ever-changing needs - it is essential that you continually review the results of your marketing activity and make amendments, identifying for example the marketing channels within your strategy which are providing the most tangible results or the conversion rates per piece of content.
Implementing a customer-centric approach to marketing will fulfil the needs of your buying market and lead them on the path to engagement, enhancing lead generation activity and this supplying your sales team with the leads they require.
Are you ready to become customer-centric? Download our eBook now to understand how to maximise your B2B lead generation with direct & digital marketing.
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