The goal for P-to-P marketing is to engage decision makers and influence their purchasing decision
If you feel a little out of touch with the whole marketing ecosystem today, don’t feel alone. There has been a seismic explosion in the channels and tools marketers are using to influence purchasing decisions. Now, effective marketing is a mash-up of traditional B-to-B and digital P-to-P strategies with tactical execution determined by company size and where the buyer to be reached spends the most time.
Content everywhere but what do buyers find most useful?
Content can take many forms. Eccolo Media, in collaboration with market-research firm Global Marketing Insite (GMI), with recently published the Eccolo Media 2014 B2B Technology Content Survey Report identifying categories for marketing collateral and what technology buyers in small, medium, and large companies consume when making considered purchase decisions.
16 forms of marketing collateral were identified:
• White papers
• Product brochures
• Case studies
• Technology guides
• Video and multimedia files
• Blog articles
• Podcast, audio files
• Magazines and publications
• Competitive vendor worksheets
• Social networks
• Web slide show
Content consumption in the sales cycle
Breaking down the sales cycle into 4 phases to identify the most effective forms of content that buyers found useful:
• Pre-sale (unaware of the problem) – Blogs, infographics
• Initial sale (understands the problem) – White papers, case studies, video and multimedia files
• Mid-sale (identifying solutions & selecting vendors) – Case studies/success stories, technology guides
• Final sale (finalizing vendor and purchasing solution) – Technology guides, implementation scenarios
Relevant and high quality content plays a critical role in the purchasing decision. Marketers that understand this have the opportunity to engage, connect, and influence buyers throughout the purchasing process.
Social networks – perception and reality
Social networks are prime territory for distributing content. Determining which social platform to concentrate on for content distribution can be influenced by the size of the company you are trying to reach. Small and mid-size companies lean more toward Facebook, while larger companies consume more content from LinkedIn.
Twitter is also a viable network for reaching influencers and purchasers. Click-through rates from vendor posts are increasing because the short burst of information is usually accompanied by a link to a larger content library.
Blogs are also influential in the pre-sale phase to identify problems, bringing them to the surface for consideration.
One thing to remember is that with so much content available, buyers are becoming more selective in deciding which content is worthy of their time. Because buyers choose the time and place for receiving marketing content, formatting for desktop, tablet, and smart phone enhances the buyer’s experience.
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