Just like Bueller’s world, the tech world moves fast. If you’re not moving and adapting with it, your company could miss out on connecting with potential customers.
The traditional marketing tactics of sales-heavy vendor demos and self-published product reviews have lost cache with the savvy, cautious B2B buyer. In fact, vendor-created content that only focuses on selling a company’s service or product turns off potential customers with its salesy approach, no matter how carefully it is worded.
Today’s buyers are leading themselves through the sales cycle, researching and evaluating new products before they reach out to your brand. They want their questions answered and they’re looking to your company to help them.
Product and service decision makers also know that vendor-created content is thick with bias and that analyst reports become quickly outdated. Instead, a high percentage of IT buyers now depend more upon reading case studies, network recommendations and peer reviews.
However, before you can develop campaign messages and content, it’s important to understand who your ideal customer is. A buyer persona helps you understand your prospective and existing customers better.
Getting into the mind of your buyer
Let’s say your buyer is a busy executive at an IT company of 500 employees. His team recommended five companies and you’re one of three he was interested in. Understanding the process your buyer takes to evaluate and select a vendor can help you craft an original and thoughtful message that addresses the need, interest and concern of your buyer. You’ll need to distribute your message through the best channel through the journey from prospect, lead, follow-up, consultation and finally to conversion.
These are some multi-faceted approaches for effective marketing and PR campaigns, especially when you incorporate the case studies and peer reviews your buyers want:
- Peer-to-peer reviews on unbiased, popular and influential sites that post the good and the bad;
- Net promoter score (NPS) surveys;
- Worthwhile and newsworthy press releases;
- Content marketing with on-site and off-site blogs, using content that is original, creative, honest and authentic; and
- Persistent and engaging social media.
Just as a hammer can be wielded ineffectively, these tactics are only blunt instruments unless skillfully and creatively executed. All of these must be centered around your customer’s state of mind, which you should understand well if you’ve established your buyer personas.
These are tactics that can be used throughout the marketing and sales funnels, so that you warm up your prospects, address their needs and reinforce key points from your other interactions. By the time your prospect is ready for a sales demo, they’re primed and educated so you can make that time more valuable.
How are you featuring your existing happy customers and their reviews in your PR and marketing? To help close a deal provide valuable and educational information that goes beyond discussing why your product is great.
Ensure you have a thorough understanding of your audience, as well as what information they need. It's worth putting in the extra effort to uncover this information beforehand, as your prospects will be much more receptive to campaigns that deliver worthwhile and educational messages to their specific needs.
Need help developing buyer personas? Get our free template with everything you need.