Look at B2B marketers’ new normal: Buying Centers are officially gatekeepers to the C-Suite. Most B2B buyers have opted out of the traditional sales and marketing funnel in favor of DIY digital evaluation. And, study after study shows that the buyer/vendor gap continues to widen and buyers’ trust in brands erodes. Can’t blame them either.
Today’s digital experience can be disruptive, and content is often full of jargon and promises. There are some beacon brands out there, but most organizations fail to deliver a connected experience that is on target. No surprise then, sales cycles can be long and painful. On all sides.
As you close out the year, do you know which levers to pull to avoid these all too common pitfalls? Consider spending your time focused on foundational work that’ll better set you up for success in 2019. In our experience, for companies of all sizes and at different stages of development, there are several areas of focus that can help you identify gaps and uncover opportunities in the short-, mid-, and long-term.
Content Strategy Diagnostics
Is your content relevant to your target audience? What is the quality of the experience and delivery of that content? To answer those the questions, consider a:
- Strategy & KPI review
- Content and experience audit
- Peer review: competitors and beacons
Sales and Marketing Journey Alignment
Sales doesn’t use marketing’s content. Sales doesn’t know what content buyers have consumed in self-serve mode. Connecting the dots internally will allow organizations to deliver a holistic and uninterrupted experience to customers and prospects. Consider:
- Buying Center mapping
- Collateral and digital experience assessment
- Journey mapping and alignment
Thought Leadership Gap Analysis
Quality is the watch word of thought leadership. Done poorly, thought leadership can knock you out of contention. We can look across your programs and provide concrete actions based on our assessment and research. This entails:
- Current state review
- Best practices industry research
- Custom scorecard development
Community Engagement Scoring
Haven’t cracked the code on engagement? Is your content and community strategy aligned? Got advocates? By scoring your community ecosystem against best practices and industry peers, we can give you specific direction on how to take your community to the level you want.
- Custom scorecard development
- Community analysis – yours, peers’ & beacons brands’
- Recommendations roadmap
Keep in mind that almost a third of buyers don’t view their vendors as strategic, only necessary—for now? How do you want your buyers to view you? To read an interesting take on personas and maximizing your investment in understanding the Buying Center, click here. Better yet, if you are interested in collaborating on a project like these with the team at ComBlu, click here.
Jenny is a digital content strategist, who leads customer-centric engagements that focus on understanding B2B buying behaviors and developing custom roadmaps.
Her expertise is creating buyer personas and mapping digital content journeys to assess the multi-channel user experience. She helps clients operationalize plans across workstreams and identifies processes to create efficiencies in marketing operations. Jenny also has extensive time under her belt developing and managing customer advocacy programs and community building.
She has helped a diverse group of organizations including Cisco, VMware, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, BMO Harris, Capital One and many others become more customer-centric.