By Bob Jonhson
About six years ago I began using the phrase “random acts of content.” Imagine that when you fast forward to today we are still stuck in a rut without the ability to be methodical. We still use what I call a “cover the waterfront” mentality with our content assets. That means they try to cover too much ground such as multiple buying stages, decision roles or audience segments. This makes it far more difficult to discover several things:
- How a buyers content consumption reveals the current stage of the decision process
- What particular role a buyer plays in the process
- What their primary hot button is if it is technical, financial, or business impact
- What value propositions are most motivating to them
So, you are left with a demographic approach to nurturing, that is, based on their registration or profile information rather than what they are most interested in. This simply does not enable nurturing which must focus on what is most relevant to that individual with sufficient focus. So who in your organization is going to step up to this?
I had over thirty recent meetings where I asked the sales and marketing people if the current challenge is to fill the funnel or move the buyer through it. One person said both, one new business unit head said fill it, and everyone else said move the buyer through it. So, why are so many doing nothing about it except buying more lists, sending out more emails, talking about marketing qualified and sales qualified leads and creating false thresholds of time or number of assets downloaded to determine lead viability and when to push them to partner or direct sales.
The keys to nurture is to break up your content into what can be chunked effectively to the buyer based on preferences, needs and buying stage. In each asset, call out what stage it is for as well as role and interest. If you open an asset with something like “While you build your shortlist of finalists…” you immediately tell the buyer what stage the asset intends to aid. But just stick to a single stage in any given asset and for the later stages where you most likely have gaps, take shortened versions of earlier stage assets and pull out the elements that address members of the larger buying teams who are likely from the lines of business, finance and operations. Smarter and more concise content reduces a tendency towards randomness. Then, you can nurture more effectively and better gauge where a buyer is in the decision process.
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