The goal of all B2B marketing campaigns is to generate a measurable pipeline and ‘move the needle’. The content you create always has the goal of moving the potential buyer closer to putting you on the tender list, asking you for a quotation, inviting you to pitch.
It’s all in the data
Of course before you set out to draft a content creation calendar for the new year, you will need to spend some time properly getting to know your potential buyer. You will need to collect data about his goals, pain points, problems, who he is, what he does all day, and how you can help him to do it. In short you will need to gather as much data as you can on the persona of your target decision makers and where they are in the customer journey. This enables you to get in the mindset of the buyer as they are researching solutions to problems.
Falling in love with problems
The content (whether it’s a blog, an image, a post, a website, a podcast or a short film) needs to create a picture for them of what their situation will be like after they have purchased your solution. You do this by first falling in love with their problems.
Your content will describe ‘before and after’ your solution has been implemented and help them to imagine themselves in the ‘after’ stage. The better the quality of the data you collect about your buyers and their problems, the more relevant the content you will create and the higher quality of the leads you will generate.
And how to measure success in a concrete way?
The metric for success is the quality of the opportunities in the pipeline - how suitable are these leads and opportunities for your solution? The more suitable the buyer thinks your solution is, the easier it will be to convert the opportunity to a sale. So the conversation with your marketing team is no longer about metrics such as inbound inquiries, or followers or impressions or views, but actual potential work that you can price. So you are moving away from vague goals such as ‘brand awareness’ and towards more quantifiable targets such as pipeline.
Moving the needle
In this content-obsessed era marketers are empowered to move the potential buyer much further along the journey. Before they call or email you, your potential buyer has researched you, read your case studies, testimonials, your thought leadership articles and they have a knowledge of your track record. They know the leadership team behind the business and their respective bona fides. They may even have already identified the person they would like to head up the delivery of their particular project. In the past your sales people carried out these steps in the process, now marketing completes this work before sales people receive a call. At this point the sales person will discuss the unique set of needs this buyer has, and use this information to produce a bespoke proposal. This proposal will continue to ‘move the needle’ and bring the client along the customer journey.
Justifying the marketing spend
B2B marketers are now responsible for much more than generating leads, but in fact for getting buyers 50% or 60% of the way towards actually asking for a proposal. This means that the suitability of the leads in your pipeline has been more precisely prequalified and you will spend less time chasing work that ultimately you were never going to win.
And that’s how you justify the marketing spend for 2023!