For many B2B marketers, the conventional marketing funnel that motivates prospects to self-identify and then move to a sales funnel is ingrained in our heads. Nevertheless, in the era of the Customer, Forrester Research’s term for a customer-driven marketing landscape, the funnel has evolved to reflect brand new customer anticipation requiring sales and marketing to operate in tandem.
Bearing this in mind, B2B marketers must evaluate how their present B2B marketing strategy is aligned with the psychology of the buyer journey. To put it differently, B2B marketers must understand how to craft a marketing strategy based on the predominance of the client.
So, we’ve outlined a set of steps to follow when crafting a customer-centric B2B marketing plan. Ask yourself and your staff, “have we assessed the following boxes when crafting our B2B marketing plan ”
IDENTIFY TARGET PERSONAS IN YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY
Going through the exercise to build personas based on market and customer research is essential to understanding not only who’s your audience but how to engage them at the buyer travel. Incorporating marketing personas makes sites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. However, only 44 per cent of B2B marketers utilize buyer personas. Thus, make sure your B2B marketing strategy consists of persona-based adventures that move buyers ahead in their journey with your brand.
MAP A PERSONA-BASED CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO DRIVE YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY
Building your influencer and choice personas to understand your target audience is simply part of the procedure for putting a customer-centric foundation for your strategy. Next is to map the touchpoints of your own buyer travel through all buyer phases. To close the loop from consciousness to revenue it is crucial to be aware of the touchpoints along with the travel which are motivators and detractors to influence all areas of the consumer experience. When creating your B2B marketing strategy response the following, “How do I craft a plan together with the framework that contrasts with your client’s journey to obtain clarity and establish priority?”
DEFINE AND MEASURE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY GOALS & METRICS
Possibly a no-brainer for a data-driven B2B marketer is clearly-defined metrics for success. With a heightened emphasis on personalization and customer experience (CX), B2B marketing targets and metrics must be established to gauge the success of the marketing efforts supporting a client’s progression throughout the buyer journey. Your B2B marketing strategy must outline how it will create a direct contribution to earnings with a yield and fuel high expansion.
A recent case study example from one of our technology platform and services customers is Viewpointe, a major private cloud managed services provider. Viewpointe was challenged with continuing to engage clients over the course of a 6+ month sales cycle. After clearly defining their B2B marketing targets, they aligned their content marketing strategy with their persona-based client travel. Because of this, Viewpointe remained engaged with their clients throughout the buyer travel and closed more deals. 1-way Viewpointe quantified customer participation lift was a 52% growth in character aligned website content and a 164% increase in website content participation from organic search referrals.
YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY INCORPORATES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS WITH SALES
Referring back to our previous customer funnel example, the conventional hand-off from marketing to sales, with no feedback loop when an outcome is”flipped over the fence to earnings”, causing misalignment between B2B marketing and sales groups. In reality, 25 per cent of B2B marketers don’t have any clue what is their customer conversion rate. At the Age of the Customer, your marketing strategy should outline how to tear out the proverbial fence and rather encourage inter-team collaboration. Ensuring that this marketing and sales orientation is vital to creating a consistent customer experience together with a purchaser’s journey. Being intentional about sharing insights between groups is one way to promote a broad acceptance of a successful B2B marketing strategy implementation.
YOUR NEXT STEP
With just 45 per cent of B2B marketers confident they have adequate, if not high, levels of customer centricity, the opportunity to be currently to author your new B2B marketing strategy that elevates you above your competitors.
Developing a B2B content marketing strategy that aligns content messaging with your intended audience is no small job. Actually, 88 per cent of B2B marketers currently utilize content marketing as part of the overall marketing plan, yet only 32% have a content marketing strategy.
The development of a fundamentally customer-focused marketing strategy will blaze a path for a B2B content marketing strategy to reach new client engagement and acquisition objectives. By ensuring value is delivered to your clients, the B2B content marketing strategy will fall into place.
Listed below are a few key tenets of B2B content marketing strategy to kick start the process for you and your staff:
1. Determining your content viewpoint. Here is a hint: Be it customer-focused.
2. Ensure as soon as you begin executing on content production, you can measure your own efforts. Another hint: Be sure it’s driving a concrete business outcome also.
3. Align your team’s talents with the sort of content being created. Last trick: Not all entrepreneurs believe the same way.
Prioritize and Establish Content Goals
In a recent poll of content marketing adulthood, Forrester found that 52 per cent of B2B marketers were at the early stages of building a content strategy and implementing it. While B2B marketers appear to be embarking on a more customer-focused approach to content creation, an integral tenet to a closed-loop version for your B2B content marketing strategy is monitoring buyer interactions with content at every point in the purchase life cycle.
Providing buyers with content that’s useful and beneficial to read, watch, or socialize that encourages forward motion in the purchasing cycle is a B2B marketer’s dream. And if those interactions aren’t measurable, how can you understand your content plan and supporting strategies are effective?
To kick start your B2B content marketing strategy that generates customer-focused content, make sure your team is taking a sensible approach to content creation aligned with short term targets. Meeting and rewarding those short term goals will push your team to drive progressively buyer-aligned content. This will inevitably lead to customer interactions which contribute to increased earnings. These longer-term goals ensure content pushes tangible business outcomes.