Create Sales-Ready Buyers with Marketing Interactions

Ardath Albee

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Getting Content Caught by the B2B Buyer's Filter

FilterThere's so much information available today that we've been left no choice but to filter the fire hose. I use Google Alerts, see mostly what people I'm connected to post on LinkedIn, belong to specific groups on LinkedIn based on relevance, use longer-tail keyword phrases to find specific information, have a specific group of people I monitor on Twitter because they provide information I find valuable. There are many other ways I filter information, but these came top of mind.

I'm working on a client project right now that's presenting a challenge for which channels to select to get the attention of the personas my client needs to sell to. One of the keys to persona development is to make sure that those you select can actually be reached and attracted by marketing. If you can't, then focusing your marketing efforts on that persona isn't going to get you very far.

When we realized this issue, we started asking our interviewees where they spent time online and how they did their research. One of the things we learned was that quite often, their filter was team or staff based. They engaged with content that was forwarded to them via email by link or attachment from a peer or colleague. They also relied upon associations they belonged to for insights on topics of interest.

So we started looking into the composition of their teams. Not only is the challenge to catch their attention, but to provide content that they perceive their boss or colleague would be interested in. That's a tall order.

What we really need is a pass-along strategy. Content designed to provide value for the team member with easy access to related information most relevant for the person they'd pass it along to coupled with easy sharing options (email to a colleague).

The other approach that holds promise is getting involved with presenting webinars through the associations they belong to.

One finding that was startling was that even after this hard-to-reach person was involved in the conversation, they never visited the client's website. At least not that they remember.

We did, however find LinkedIn groups that they belong to. Although they don't actively participate in discussions, we have found evidence that they "Like" posts, showing that they do monitor the discussions and content shared.

By compiling a list of discussions that they "Liked" we've been able to create a topic list to help us understand what ideas they're showing interest in which is helping with the design of a storyline.

The findings from building personas during this project has obviously changed some of the assumptions we'd had about where we'd invest marketing budget. Creating content without the capacity for getting it found by the right audience would have been a colossal waste of time, effort and resources.

How sure are you that your content is getting caught by your B2B buyer's filter? What have you seen change lately?

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More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.