Voice of the Industry
Two Ways to Make Your Marketing More Relevant
By David Dodd
Published: May 17, 2011
It's now clear that relevance has become an essential element of successful marketing. Today's environment is filled with marketing clutter, and as the clutter increases, the effectiveness of generic, self-serving marketing messages decreases.
Relevant marketing is especially important for B2B organizations. Many B2B companies sell products or services that are relatively expensive and/or complex. As a result, more people are involved in the purchasing decision, and the sales cycle is often measured in months rather than days. Business buyers are incredibly busy, and they no longer need to rely on vendors for information about products and services. They can go online and find whatever information they need whenever they need it. If these buyers receive marketing messages that don't speak to their immediate concerns, they'll just ignore them.
There are two proven tools for boosting the relevance of B2B marketing - buyer personas and stage-specific marketing content. A buyer persona is a detailed profile of an actual type of buyer. It contains both demographic information about the buyer and information that describes the buyer's business situation and motivations. Buyer personas enable you to collect and organize what you know about your buyers so that you can create marketing messages that will be more relevant and meaningful to those buyers.
The second way to increase relevance is to provide potential buyers with information that is in sync with their decision making process. B2B purchases are usually the end result of a process that contains several steps or stages. The issues that buyers must address change as they move through the process, and the questions they want/need answers for also change. The key to boosting relevance is to identify the important questions that potential buyers will be asking at each stage of the buying process and to develop stage-specific marketing content that answers those questions. This enables you to provide potential buyers the high-value information they need when they need it.
I've just released a white paper that discusses how to develop and use buyer personas and stage-specific marketing content. These tools will be particularly valuable to your company if you sell complex offerings like marketing services and/or marketing asset management solutions. And, if you are providing marketing services to B2B companies, these techniques should be part of your discussions with clients and prospects.
If you'd like to review the white paper, just send me an e-mail at ddodd(at)pointbalance(dot)com.