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What 3 Experts Say About Creating Content for the B2B Buyer's JourneyThe moment your target customer realizes his need for your product, he begins a three-stage buyer’s journey.

First, he’ll experience the awareness stage, in which he is aware that there is a problem that needs to be solved.

Then he enters the consideration stage, in which he considers all of his options to solve that particular problem.

And finally, he reaches the decision stage, in which he narrows down his options and decides on a final choice.

How you approach your buyer’s journey will have a direct impact on how effective your content marketing efforts are. This includes when, where, and how you reach out to your customer during each of these stages.

To help make your efforts more effective, here are three valuable insights from B2B marketing experts/analysts:

Lori Wizdo From Forrester Research

“Today’s buyers control their journey through the buying cycle much more than today’s vendors control the selling cycle. Although it varies greatly with product complexity and market maturity, today’s buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor,” writes Lori Wizdo on the Forrester blog post "Buyer Behavior Helps B2B Marketers Guide The Buyer's Journey."

This is one of the main arguments for developing a comprehensive suite of content assets on your B2B website.

If your buyer delays speaking with a salesperson until they are ready for a price quote, then your website must speak for itself.

How to Apply This Advice At Your Company

Apply this insight to your website by working with your sales team to develop content. Make sure that key points in the sales process are addressed in whitepapers, guides and blog posts to help your customer’s buyer’s journey be as effective as possible.

Creating information on your website that's genuinely helpful can also get your website found when people search for things other than your company name.

And since Forrester Research shows that your customer will find three pieces of content for every one piece of content from your company, the more you can produce, the better.

Atri Chatterjee From Act-On Software

In his post "Guide the New Buyer's Journey With Marketing Automation," Atri Chatterjee from Act-On Software writes that “a loyal customer has enormous value in both recurring revenue and advocacy (and even today it still costs six to seven times as much to acquire a new customer as to maintain an existing one). It's wise to keep them engaged and informed with specialized programs—made easy with multichannel, integrated marketing automation.”

How to Apply This Advice At Your Company

This is a great example of why ongoing marketing efforts such as email newsletters and social media engagement are so valuable to your buyer’s journey.

It’s not just the first purchase that matters -- it’s an ongoing, long-term relationship that will best serve your customers and your business.

To meet this need, you may choose to automate as much of your marketing efforts as possible. In particular, we recommend and use the HubSpot marketing platform.

McKinsey & Company Analysts From Forbes.com

“One chief marketing officer learned from customer interviews that 70% of the marketing budget and 40% of the sales efforts were not spent in places that actually influenced the customer’s purchase decision. They were either over-investing in some areas or under-investing in others with the result that they were leaving money on the table and missing out on deals they might otherwise have won,” writes Oskar Lingqvist, Candace Lun Plotkin, and Jennifer Stanley in a recent McKinsey & Company post on Forbes, "The B2B Customer Decision Journey: The Route To Increased Sales." The team recommends that companies “focus on those points in the decision journey where they can be most successful in influencing those decision makers.”

How to Apply This Advice At Your Company

McKinsey & Company found that even though most B2B companies use customer-centric marketing strategies, few have truly embraced customer behavior as a serious study.

This mistake represents millions of marketing dollars and lost sales. It’s simply not enough to identify the decision maker; you need to make strategic choices about how, when, and where you target your marketing to have the greatest impact on your customer’s buyer’s journey.

The first step is knowing your customer. Do you have written buyer personas for the different types of customers you hope to sell to?

Is your targeted content performing as well as you'd expect? If not, consider applying the advice from these experts to further target your buyer’s journey.

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