Content Matters

Discussing best practices in marketing automation, content marketing, and demand generation
26
May
Are You Really Listening?

Engage in Regular Conversations with Customers to be Most Impactful

Producing and delivering relevant content requires the research and development of custom buyer personas, each with its own tailored lead scoring model and intelligent mapping of impactful, relevant, persuasive content. Providing the right content at the proper stage in the buying cycle to convert a prospect into a customer is the challenge. Your content itself must know what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and to who (whom?). This requires a deep understanding of your buyers and their key motivations.

When creating buyer personas, the primary goal is to gain ongoing visibility to the four most impactful insight types: their business drivers, performance goals, road blocks, and evaluation methods. In the past, buyer personas were often developed by salespeople and product specialists, reflecting on their experiences with their own customer base. But building buyer personas using data gathered by interviewing sales reps and product specialists tends to be superficial, as prospects are often not fully candid throughout the sales process.

To achieve higher-quality results, consider having regularly scheduled, live interviews with customers directly, including existing clients, competitors’ clients, or those undecided. Optimum results can be achieved through unscripted, agenda-driven dialog, focused on creating meaningful conversations. Scripted calls and surveys tend to provide pretty results for charts, but very little insight.

In addition, “extreme research” may be realized from those passionate few who express a strong feeling of affection or distain for your offering. This often provides “canary in the coal mine” visibility, offering a predictive understanding of strengths and weaknesses, while concurrently unearthing potential product or service advancements and influencing company-wide innovation.

Consolidation of buyer personas must then be performed to provide more efficient, cross-industry marketing strategies. Buyers in varied businesses with similar priorities, barriers, or other criteria are combined into single personas, allowing for more agile, streamlined campaigns.

This type of visibility must be persistent, to continually understand (1) the requirements in developing content unique to each buyer type and (2) how to strategically stage the content for delivery to the right prospects at the right stage in their buying cycle.

Once buyer personas are identified, consolidated, and prioritized, historical marketing program success metrics and current industry trends are introduced to advance the rigor of these analyses, and programmatically discover the most impactful content to develop next.

So, keep talking with your customers, but mostly just listen.