Making Sense Of B2B Marketing
Irrational Buying Decisions
When was the last time you made a rational buying decision? Consumer behaviorists will tell you that you never have because all of us make irrational decisions, including when buying products. Even in B2B sales, which you would imagine businesses would be more rational than individuals, the buying process defies logic and decisions are based more on emotion than they are on reason.
Because organizational buying is as irrational as any other, there is no “one size fits all” model that can be applied to it. The common belief of marketers is that buying decisions follow logic—and individuals follow a step-by-step process of information gathering and decision-making. The problem is that business decisions aren’t all that linear.
Today’s salesperson is not meeting as many clients face-to-face; however, their company is interacting with clients and prospects in different ways. Potential customers are doing their homework first by seeking out information earlier in the sales cycle than ever before. They don’t want to talk to someone, when they know they can find the answers they need and the information they want online, especially in the early stages of the buying process.
According to a Sirius Decisions report, “Prospects have access to overwhelming amounts of information, but seek intelligence they can trust to support their decision making process. How sales people want to sell has little impact on how buyers are choosing to buy. The knowledge-driven buyer has raised the bar for sales people to be more informed and better prepared to bring value to that interaction.”
Online Marketing Program
The development of an effective online marketing program will result in stronger brand recognition and more qualified leads. Equally important, a specific lead generation program with coordinating web content and sales strategies will allow sales people to diversify their B2B sales outreach in a targeted and efficient manner.
It is true that the internet has made the world our marketplace, but while it has opened up a global pool of prospects, it has also taken away our ability to connect and understand our prospects in an individual way. In order to make successful online connections and generate leads, businesses must fully understand what information potential clients are seeking, where they are looking for it and at what time is appropriate to present the details.
High Quality Marketing Content
B2B marketers cite the number one benefit of marketing automation as the ability to generate more and better leads. Because today’s organizational buyers prefer not to engage with sales people until the later stages of the buying process, companies must provide prospective customers with high quality content that is relevant to their needs. A well-designed lead nurturing campaign provides prospects with information that guides and educates them during the buying process.