The days when marketers could connect with potential customers in the early stages of the purchase cycle and control messaging to leads down the “funnel” are long since gone.
Today’s information-hungry B2B decision-makers already know a lot about your company before they talk to you. Forrester Research recently reported that the typical B2B prospect is likely to consume three pieces of content about your company for every single messaging item that even the best Marketing and Sales teams can hope to promote to a lead. This information can come from any number of sources—including your competitors—and across almost limitless channels: blogs, traditional whitepapers, social media and mobile apps.
In fact, Forrester suggests that B2B buyers may be anywhere between sixty-six to ninety percent through the classic sales decision process before they reach out to a vendor. Many B2B buyers don’t want to talk to a vendor until they are ready to ask for a quote.
And even after Marketing or Sales do establish a direct connection, potential customers never stop finding and consuming information about you and your competitors. A recent survey found that B2B consumers are increasingly finding value in white papers, case studies, videos and other collateral at all points in the sales process; as recently as 2008, this content was favored primarily in the pre-sales phase.
Potential Customers’ Opinions Are Always Changing
IDG suggest that B2B decision-makers may consume as many as 9 whitepapers and other informational assets—not to mention Tweets and other messaging—throughout the purchase cycle.
So, now, Marketers are faced with a relationship flow that resembles a maze, more so than the classic linear funnel. You may first encounter a prospect who’s ready to purchase in the next 30 days, and even deep into the sales cycle your contacts are researching your competitors and getting bombarded by messaging from all corners. Your Marketing team needs to be out there on the front lines, getting your message out across all those channels—but that’s not enough.
To close the deal, you also need intelligence into all the information that your leads are consuming, and how they are reacting to it.
Matching Keywords on the Page Just Isn’t Enough
Traditional Behavioral Marketing tactics, like serving ads to Web site visitors based on page content on click stream activity, are a start, but they are limited to data available on a given site or ad network; they don’t give insight into the almost limitless sources of information that are shaping your prospective buyer’s opinions and buying patterns.
InsightBASE™ from True Influence™ tracks content consumption and reaction across company’s database of B2B contacts. Regardless of how a contact consumes information—mobile, social, blogs, email—InsightBASE monitors behavior across a variety of B2B sources and scores leads based on activity and interest in your company. InsightBASE also tracks mentions of your company on social media, and helps you gauge your company’s influence on key topics versus your competitors.
It’s a powerful tool for connecting your marketing and sales team with leads at key points in what can otherwise be an unpredictable B2B purchase path.
Your potential customers never stop researching their purchase decisions. To successfully win the sale, you need the complete picture of the information they are getting from all sources, not only your own marketing efforts.