Acting within the theory dictated by the Buyer’s Journey there are two groups of people in the world. Those that are undertaking the journey, and therefore are of interest to our sales and marketing teams, and those that are not. As we focus our attentions solely on this group of potential prospects, logic dictates that we also limit our sales funnel to this same group.
But what if we were wrong? What if there are a third group of prospects which we are not recognising? A further group of people which we could cultivate first into prospect’s undertaking the buyer’s journey, and then into promising leads.
That group is out there. They exist on the cusp of awareness – a place just before the buyer’s journey begins, not fully aware that they have a challenge to be addressed. How do we find these people? Quite simply – by actively finding their problem before they do.
In a way this seems no different from the normal process you undertake to understand your Buyer Personas’ challenges. However, the macro environment you and your prospects operate within is constantly changing – often without warning – throwing unexpected challenges into the path of our prospects. With close attention to this environment you can position yourself ahead of the curve – answering the questions your prospects didn’t know they wanted answered.
There are 6 main areas that influence the Macro environment and with increased awareness of any changes within these areas you can craft a B2B lead generation campaign to address these challenges to coincide with your prospects search for answers on this new challenge. More often than not these changes to your prospects environment cause a surge in publicity and attention within the associated areas. By aligning your campaign with the incidents that are receiving increased attention you are then able to channel that attention towards your campaign material.
There can be many forms of political change that will influence the ways in which your prospect, and the organisations they work for, conduct their business. One of the most recent and influential political shifts was the instability driven by the question of ‘Brexit’. The run up to and aftermath of the referendum affected different organisations and industry sectors in a variety of ways. For the technology markets it was feared that the stability and success of the industry will suffer without the support of the EU. As you design your campaign there may not be a single defined solution, but in times of unrest prospects will search for answers that will aide in alleviating their uncertainty.
The economic stability of an environment is often heavily linked to its political landscape. The UK was slow to recover from the 2008-9 collapse which had many subsequent effects. A future slump, as a result of the political instability and the depreciating value of the pound, could also have detrimental effects on how your prospects conduct their international business. In periods of uncertainty such as these the need for longer-term security and future ROI are drivers in your prospects behaviours.
Instances from within this area are often overlooked as an influencer for driving lead generation but can often have a larger than anticipated impact – particularly with the exponential growth of social media use within the B2B markets. The internet has also expanded the reach of socio-cultural influencers to a global level and is no longer limited to the local instances. This is often the area with the largest crossover between how a prospect would view things as a personal consumer and as a professional consumer. As a collective society we are driven by the ideas and themes that bring us together by garnering our attention. The recent Olympics was a global event that dominated our awareness for the month of August and many marketers capitalised on this event. More specifically to the technology markets, the recent revelation of a data breach at Sage drives home the importance of data protection - an area that should not be overlooked by security vendors.
In the technology industry changes within this environment can often make or break an organisation’s sales funnel. It goes without saying that keeping abreast of the technological advancements within your own area of expertise is essential, but consideration should also be given to how other areas of advancements will influence how your prospects interact with you. Pre-empting these changes with an effective lead generation strategy is one way to stay ahead of the competition.
In the current climate, environmental concerns are affecting the ways in which many organisations conduct their business both due to political and societal pressures. A large number of resources are being used to ensure operational procedures are of the highest efficiency while minimising waste output and/or disposing of it appropriately. These advancements are being driven primarily by the technology sectors and many prospects are searching for the ways in which they can ensure their operations conform.
Legislation forms the structure around which business operating procedures are formed and are often interlinked with one or more of the other macro environment influencers. Recent legislative introductions have served to drive the prescribed standards of business higher and tighter. By being aware of any changes in legal requirements of your prospect you can ensure that your lead generation strategy demonstrates how your product or service will enable them to function effectively within these frameworks.
When considering these six areas of the macro environment it is not always important to consider how your product or service solves the initial change in environment. But instead to consider how it could change the ways in which your prospect views the market. A prospect may not be immediately aware of the consequences of a shift in their environment but it is here that the sales and marketing teams should act - encouraging this third group of people past the cusp of awareness and into the start of their journey. In order to better position and adapt your lead generation strategy with the areas that are receiving increased attention, you should maintain a heightened awareness of your overall environment. By being able to moving your campaigns into these new areas as they occur in the public domain you are able to demonstrate to your prospects that you are deeply aware of their current situations and the challenges they are facing; strengthening your position within the market place.
Direct & Digital Marketing: The Key to Optimising B2B Lead Generation
In this eBook we examine how a Direct & Digital Marketing strategy can be used to address the challenges which businesses face in optimising B2B Lead Generation, adapting to evolving buyer behaviour.