Be personal. Personalise content. Treat prospects like people. These are all statements that have come out of B2B InTech throughout today. Of course, this makes sense, and it’s what Marketers all strive to do – we all recognise the importance of it, especially in light of the statistics that just 3% of Millennials consider advertising to be credible. However, the key question is HOW. Without having a SaaS offering individual profiling, or an investment into LinkedIn Sales Navigator licences, this is one of the biggest challenges that is facing Marketers today. It’s no wonder, as presented today, that the CMO is predicted to spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017. With the rapidly evolving state of marketing, this may even come sooner.
There is an overwhelming demand for brands and companies to be authentic and genuine. Personalised, targeted content is key to doing this, which can only truly be achieved by understanding your customer. This ranges from knowing their role within an organisation, their activities, hobbies, likes and dislikes – right down to the crux of why you are approaching them at all – what are their Critical Business Issues? It’s only by understanding these that you can personalise the customer journey and generate stronger engagement with your brand through your content.
Content consumption is at an all-time high. We’re all inundated with images, blogs, articles and white papers, so what makes yours different, and what makes your customer engage with your content? Delivering content that you customer wants to view is a good place to start, with 91% of buyers watching a video as a part of the buying process. Lee Odden also introduced the high impact of effective Influencer marketing as a part of a content strategy. Identifying the sweet spot between an Influencer strategy and Content Marketing is key to start with, and then building out content that resonates with your audience, and is share-worthy driving benefit for the Influencers themselves.
Before you delve into strategies, however, it’s essential to discover your customer and your audience. Who are you targeting, and are they the right people? James Foulkes demonstrated in his breakout session that whilst we have a tendency to target the C-Suite, they are joining the decision-making process later and later, and who we should be looking to reach are the middle-level managers. This is a shift in behaviour for both the Marketing and Sales team, but a perfect example of how today’s technology buying process is evolving.
This leads us to the very thing that underpins this piece, and has underpinned the conversations today as much as, if not more so than it has for years is the relationship between your Sales and Marketing team, and ensuring business alignment. One key highlight from Jeremy Bevan, was to create a ‘common language’. One that everyone can teach, learn, understand and apply. Without a unified approach and strong relationships across your organisation, your content, influencer programmes and engagement strategies will fail.