Now that buyers can use the Internet to research solutions, communicate with peers to get insider insights and remain somewhat anonymous during the interest and even consideration phases, B-to-B marketers are tasked to adapt their approaches to fit this new B-to-B prospect.
One of the most important refinements centers on meeting leads' content needs, because content offers drive much of the lead generation and lead nurturing activities. And according to Russell Kern, founder and president of Los Angeles-area direct marketing agency The Kern Organization, new research from IDG Connect and MarketingSherpa shows a disconnect between what B-to-B marketers think buyers want and what they really value.
During the recent Target Marketing webinar, "Follow That Lead: Best practices and new tricks for lead nurturing programs," Kern noted that while B-to-B marketers assume buyers want educational content, free research reports and peer best practices, they really desire news and articles, competitive comparisons and buying guides, and promotional content.
Given this feedback, how should B-to-B marketers switch up their content offers? Kern recommends trying such new approaches as:
- Highly-customized, "just for you" insights
- News briefs and RSS feeds
- Buyer's guides
- Checklists for evaluation
- Non-branded, "comparison" sites
- Virtual events/shows
- Top 10 e-books (crowdsourced)
- Access to a community of peers and the ability to share their own ideas, advice and content (e.g., videos, photos, etc.)