Can’t say you heard it here first, but you’ve certainly heard it here before—and anytime you may have talked with our team—”You’re not selling your services or products, and your not just promoting benefits over features, you are solving a business problem.” You need to be providing an answer to what keeps your prospects up at night. After all, isn’t that how you yourself make purchase decisions both great and small?
Forester Research has stated that “54% of B2B buyers begin the buying process with informal research around business challenges.” And here’s the kicker, “78% of the time they use the Internet to initiate that research”. This may not sound surprising but other findings go deeper to show that:
• 81% use search
• 59% look for peer recommendations, and
• 41% read content from thought leaders.
Point one: they are buying to solve business challenges.
Point two: they begin with research.
So the question of the day is: How connected is your marketing as far as search optimization, content structuring, use of client testimonials, social media integration, knowledge sharing, blog, and every other possible touchpoint that will place your organization in front of the prospects that need you most—when they are looking. And, does your messaging align with their issues of finding solutions to their most pressing challenges.
In a nutshell, this is marketing that is relevant. The right solution discovered at the right time. All you have to do is close.
This does not mean that outbound marketing is less important. Remember these numbers are for B2B buyers looking for something. Outbound marketing can present your solution before (or during or after) they begin to look. Sometimes you just have to ‘stir the pot’. However, your outbound messaging should still speak to your prospects’ challenges. And the content is often the same. Peer testimonials are still a golden opportunity for endorsement—whether in video on your website or part of a direct marketing campaign. Thought leadership is important—whether a series of blog posts or a lunch-n-learn at an interested prospect/client.
So the take-aways are four-fold:
1. Your prospects are looking for answers to business challenges—marketing solves business problems
2. The sales process often begins before you are contacted or contact them
3. Integrated inbound marketing is crucial
4. But not at the expense of outboundShare: