We all know that content is king. Connect with your audiences using the right content and you’ve got engagement, attention, and sales. But that’s if you are sending the right content, and one survey shows that in the B2B market, there is a disconnect between what buyers need and what marketers are sending—and a big one.

To check the alignment between what B2B buyers want and need during their buying journeys and the types of content that marketers are sending, Uberflip surveyed 250 B2B buyers and 250 marketers and compared the two. The results of the survey, titled “The Experience Disconnect,” were—as my husband would say—a “big oof.” Marketers are cranking out content, but it’s not the content their buyers want. This disconnect leads to disappointing marketing results. That’s not good for marketers, and it’s not good for their PSPs either.

The first disconnect relates to personalization. B2B buyers are personalizing based on the customer’s name, with 51% delivering this type of personalization most often. But B2B buyers rank the type of personalization most important to them as “the problem I’m looking to solve.” Marketers are next most likely to deliver personalized content based on what they know about the company, but only 22% of buyers say this is the most important to them. Third? Marketers are delivering content based on what they know about the customer’s industry, but only 14% of marketers say this is most important.

This isn’t to say that using a customer’ name, or personalizing content based on company or industry, isn’t important. It is, but only when it is used in support of the customer’s most pressing concern. “Talk to me about my problem first, then show that you can address the details using an understanding of my company and my industry.” Marketers and their PSPs are focusing on what’s the easiest and lowest hanging fruit—demographics. But B2B buyers need them to go deeper.

What about the types of content marketers are delivering? Once again, what B2B buyers are looking for and what marketers are delivering are not aligned. The content B2B buyers find most useful in their buying journeys are user reviews (64%), product tours (43%), and videos (33%). The types of content marketers are delivering? Sales sheets (47%), white papers (42%), and e-books (30%).

What about distribution channels? Again, a major disconnect:

Distribution Channels Buyers Most Frequently Use

Distribution Channels Marketers Most Frequently Use

Internet search (85%)

Website (52%)

Potential vendors’ websites (66%)

Online review sites (39%)

Online review sites (64%)

Sales reps (37%)

Third-party publications (63%)

Email blasts (36%)

Source: Uberflip

This survey is from Uberflip, which produces interactive online content. So we should not be surprised that the results favor that type of material. However, that doesn’t discount the results of the survey entirely.

The big takeaway is that marketers are focusing on the channels and materials they are most comfortable with and that contain the details they think their buyers want to know. But what scratches the marketer’s itch isn’t what scratches the buyer’s itch. Marketers may be sending the right type of information, but how they are packaging and delivering that information isn’t. As a result, you have two entities traveling the same path, but missing opportunities to connect along the way.

How to fix that disconnect? According to Uberflip:

  • Personalize based on buyer’s problems, not just basic data like name and company.
  • Prioritize short-form, visual content and engaging experiences that buyers can digest quickly.
  • Surface highly relevant content that aims to educate on your product more than sell.

If you’re a marketer, be willing to stretch outside your comfort zone and present the same information in a way that is more buyer-friendly. If you aren’t sure what buyers want, take the time to find out before you start blasting away.

If you’re a PSP, be willing to stretch out of your comfort zone, too. That might be offering better, more in-depth data analysis and integrating more interactive channels into your overall product offerings. Or at least having a better understanding of the interactive channels your customers are using so that you can help them develop print and print-related products that complement those efforts at the right stages of the journey. It might also include helping your clients survey buyers in their industry and marketplace to find out what they are looking for.

Whatever you do, be aware of the disconnect and have a plan to address it. Problem-solve. Disconnects don’t fix themselves. Once you are aware that a disconnect is there, it’s up to decide what to do with it.