Read on for 5 important things NOT to do, listed in reverse order of importance. Take heed; unless, of course, meeting your goals is not important to you.
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1 …skip the persona building exercise.
It would be great if your customer came to work today and said “I don’t have any problems. I think I’ll read a bunch of marketing materials to figure out how I should spend my day.” The reality is: your customers have real, day-to-day needs, and as a marketer it’s your job to understand these needs, and help them see why and how your product/service/or solution can help make their lives easier.
2 …overlook your client’s technology environment
Understanding your persona’s technology environment can be an important predictor of a company’s willingness to adopt your solution. If your company provides a cloud-based product, knowing a company has adopted other cloud-based technologies tells you precisely how to message to them. Also, use technology-install data to identify companies using your competition, and don’t be afraid to message aggressively. Targeted messaging to companies with competitive installs packs a 1,2 punch because it helps increase your market share while decreasing that of the competition.
3 … engage with only the final decision maker
Have you noticed? The length of the B2B tech buying cycle has increased more than 20% in just three years. Why? CIO’s readily admit that their own companies are to blame for most of the waiting period – 60.8% of the delay is due to their own buying process complexity 1 . The truth is, more people are now involved in each decision. Failing to engage all of them with your content means missing opportunities to align them around your product, and build internal champions. Increase your opportunity to make a sale by engaging enough of the influencers at your target organizations. (Yes, this means you’ve got to build more content geared to their needs as well. Sorry.)
4 … ignore how the customer wants to buy
IT executives have consistently told IDC that they’d like their buying cycle to be shorter. Three months feels about right to them – which is 40% less than what they experience currently1. About 36% of the delay, according to IT leaders, is caused by poor marketing and sales processes on the part of their vendors1. It’s time to figure out the sell cycle of your clients, because marketers are getting part of the blame.
5 … send product-feature email blasts.
‘Nuff said. Yikes.
1 IDC’s 2012 Buyer Experience study.
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