In today’s world, buyers have become so overloaded with marketing material that most is deleted without a second thought. Even content about offerings they are actually interested in still fail to impress, focusing too much on what the customer already knows instead of bringing new insight or value to their situation.
Sales and marketing technology platforms often compound this issue. While they have the potential to be the most powerful tool in any organization’s arsenal, in many cases, they only enable businesses to do bad selling and marketing faster. So how do we fix this? how can we get the right message to the right role using the right channel at the right time?
In order to cut through the noise and deliver relevant, valuable content, we must start by developing a deep understanding of the target market’s end-to-end Customer Buying Journey.
The Inaccuracies of Modern Marketing
Our research shows that sales and marketing are typically engaged in less than 10% of any Customer Buying Journey. That short effort is disproportionately focused on raising awareness and gaining interest using readily available information, assuming commitment, acquisition, and adoption will naturally follow. However, gaining organizational alignment, commitment, and managing the change and anxieties associated with any new approach is the most effort intensive part of every Buying Journey for customers. This is especially true for complex offerings involving multiple decision influencers.
Although they are necessary to advertise, your offering details and associated benefits should only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your messaging. However, most firms do not sell this way. More than 70% of marketing energy is directed at proving value, while 90% of buying concerns slowing and stopping purchases continue to go unaddressed. That is why there is an urgent need to rethink marketing and adopt a far more targeted approach based upon how the market buys.
Sharpening Your Approach with Outside-In™
Understanding who your customers are, how they buy, and where they are in the Buying Journey should directly affect how you position your product and engage with a prospect. Without that knowledge, any investments in your marketing projects are subject more to luck than design.
Here are four key factors to consider when planning around your Customer’s Buying Journey:
1. The Right Message: harmonizing your messaging to your customer’s decision-making style is key. You should always align your marketing to their values and the way they see your brand, not what you think their values are or how you may want to be seen. This will help you more effectively manage buying concerns as they arise.
2. The Right Person: equally important is getting your message to the people who count. Not everyone willing to listen to your message is going to be a customer or can help a deal progress. That is why it is crucial to not just know who your customers are, but who plays what role in the overall decision-making process.
3. The Right Channel: a great targeted message is only helpful with the proper delivery vehicle. This involves both the form of the message and how it is delivered, such as a new white-paper in your newsletter. Regardless, your message needs to be delivered how your customer wants to see it or be available where they are expecting to find it.
4. The Right Time: this is where the Customer Buying Journey really comes into play. Everything from your customers concerns to the way they perceive your brand can change as they move through their buying process. New people can be involved while existing players have changing roles and levels of authority over the acquisition.
Bringing it all Together
This interplay does not simply end with the right timing, as none of the four elements are ever isolated. All key players cannot be appealed to in the same way, just like one channel might naturally be preferred for a specific type of message. Even so, these granular details are still a major aspect of the Customer Buying Journey that we like to call the Buying Journey DNA. Though it can seem complicated, it’s worth untangling when you know specific markets purchase in predictable ways and that it will likely be the same buying concerns, key players, and touchpoints at the specific steps.
With all that in mind, what we are recommending is a far more precise and engineered approach to developing marketing messaging and content. Your strategies are most effective when centered around positively influencing the Buying Journey. Instead of underscoring what your customers already know and focusing on why they should buy, help them through how they buy and actualize the value they are seeking from the offering.