Getting the Most out of Middle of the Funnel Content

Last week I had the great opportunity to join our partners at Kapost to speak to over 200 B2B Marketers in Boston on the importance of content. What I heard from many at the event after my presentation on Using Content in the Middle of the Funnel was, “You just told our story.  We have content, but we are not using it effectively to take the Buyer past initial engagement.”  During my speech I asked the question, “Who has an effective lead nurturing stage in place as part of their Demand Generation program?”  The response? Crickets. Not a single hand was raised out of a room of 200 very smart and passionate B2B marketers.

The issue in most organizations is not the lack of content that exists, but utilizing it correctly.  According to Forrester, less than 5% of organizations state that every one of their prospect interactions is orchestrated.  If prospect engagement is not strategically orchestrated, then marketers cannot expect to utilize content effectively and will continue to struggle with effective lead nurturing.

The result?  A poor interaction between Buyers and Sellers.  Buyers are looking to forge partnerships with their vendors and engage in relevant content, while vendors are selling to Buyers before they are ready. This is what is leading to increased dissatisfaction through the buying process.

Until marketers begin taking a strategic, versus tactical, approach to their Demand Generation, this trend will continue.  Buyers do not buy in a tactical, siloed approach, yet as marketers, this is how campaigns are often structured.  Our content is delivered to them in parts, like a bad story that jumps from one scene to the next without an appropriate lead-in or segue.  If this broken process is going to change, a few things need to happen:

-          We must take an organizational approach to messaging our Buyers

A lot has been stated that marketing and sales must come together to work on aligning around the Buyer.  Agreed!  However, it is more than just marketing and sales.  It should also include, customer support/service, product marketing, product management and partners.  In addition, the customers themselves should be looked to as a resource for gaining key insights into their challenges and pain points.

-          Must take a strategic and rational approach to Demand Generation

Demand Generation is a perpetual process that spans the Engagement, Nurture and Conversion stage of a prospects buying lifecycle.  However, in many organizations this is approached very tactically with email campaigns, or one-off events.  Again, the Buyer does not buy tactically and our Demand Generation programs should not be developed in a tactical manner.  Until marketing organizations take a strategic approach to their Demand Generation and align their content to their Buyer’s unique purchase stages, we will continue to miss the mark and have very little revenue to show for it.

Getting the most from your content is not about how much content you are able to produce.  It is about developing the right content that aligns to your Buyer(s) and their purchase process.  The only way this is possible is by adopting a strategic mindset and moving away from the tactical.

Want to learn more? Download a copy of my presentation!

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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