"Seventy-five percent of global business executives report that the primary purpose for seeking content is researching a business idea, and only 16 percent said it was to support a purchasing decision. However, 75 percent of marketers said that mentions of their products or services are a frequent part of their content strategy....'Business executives are looking for context and perspective to help them do their jobs better'...." Global Business Executives to Marketers: Stop Marketing, digitaljournal.com reporting The Economist Group data
Marketing ≠ Business
What a damming statistic. Business executives (and everyone else) turns to the internet to research ideas, find solutions, understand their problems, etc.
Yet marketers insist on barfing up all sorts of product information all over those poor folks.
And the jaw dropping aspect of this which leaves one at least incredulous if not downright cynical about management, is that the same folks who lament the fact that the information they find through search isn't what they wanted, turn around and approve budgets for their own company's marketing to abuse others the same way!
Somehow the formula for success has been pirated by a group with a different agenda. Maybe media companies, maybe marketers who don't bring industrial business P&L experience and therefore can only talk about the products...who knows. But there's a clear path both to satisfy the desires of folks searching, and ultimately, to revenue growth.
In the big picture nobody cares about the details of your product.
I know - that offends every fiber of your being. Whether you're the inventor cum business owner who saw the market opportunity and filled it with a widget or the "strategic marketing expert" who has years of industry experience.
I'd apologize....except I'd be doing you a disservice.
Now of course, the pharmaceutical engineer who must ensure compliance with FDA regulations; the food scientist extending shelf-life; and any number of other technical specialists certainly do care about specific technical aspects of your products or service. But those are generally criteria which can filter out inadequate solutions - but none actually sell projects. We'll assume your products satisfy requirements, so if revenue growth is your goal, then it's important to understand what drives orders.
Business value is all that matters. You've got to step back and empathetically understand your prospects' businesses and how your product makes their business better - not just helps them with a specific function.
This is a problem often exacerbated in B2B manufacturing businesses where one of the primary buyer personas is engineers. Often engineers do seek product specific information. However, they seek it in the context of the challenge they are trying to overcome, and they're also interested in other innovative solutions to that challenge. So your content, if you really aspire to strategic marketing status, needs to account for business perspectives rather than just product. Further they're rarely the ones approving orders against a budget they control directly. Therefore it's critical that you enable them to position your product in the context of broader business value to allow them to sell it internally.
Strategic marketing built on business savvy
Successful B2B marketing for manufacturers is built on a more complex formula than simply puking up product specs across digital channels and platforms.
And it's cognizant of the dissonance between the 75% of folks searching for information vs. the 16% trying to make a purchase.
The formula is built on a reasonable understanding of business finance, persona perspectives and challenges, industry familiarity, and innovative application of solutions to vexing business challenges.
It recognizes that although getting found (growing website traffic) is a precurser to success, it's only a step toward establishing a virtual relationship during a protracted buying cycle common to complex sales processes.
In short, strategic marketing programs are built on a broad understanding of business rather than a couple of tactical efforts focused on traditional transactions.
Today's revenue growth challenge for manufacturers is complex - and it must be managed as such rather than oversimplified. Interested in how your marketing can be adapted to today's complex environment? Download our free whitepaper. We'll help you understand how to get the right information to the right people - it's time to stop the messy madness of throwing up product specs hoping someone might find a nugget of interest.