Until very recently, we had to wait for answers. We had to look things up in the encyclopedia. We even had to watch television shows one episode at a time. I remember the episode of F·R·I·E·N·D·S where Ross is getting married in London and it ends with him saying not the bride’s name (Emily), but Rachel’s name instead. We all had to wait until the following week for the next episode to learn more! The watercooler was buzzing with speculation of what happened. Today, thanks to advances in the digital realm, binge watching an entire season in a couple of days is the new norm. No more waiting for the next episode, and no more waiting for answers. Thanks to Netflix, Hulu, Siri, Cortana and other AI technology, the answer to virtually any question is now readily available – when you need it and on your schedule.
These changes in technology and availability of information have changed what consumers expect, especially in the online world. They don’t want to progress on your schedule; they don’t want to wait or search. They want it all without a major commitment… they want all the information they need, and they want it without a major commitment… like a simple form submission.
Unfortunately, many B2B marketers still assume that prospects leave these new expectations at home when they go to work. This means there is a big opportunity for businesses that assist consumers in the buyer journey by providing the information they want, when they want it, and without pressure.
So, what does this mean for you? Put simply, it means your job just got a little harder! As a modern marketer, you need to get on board with 3 new essentials of the consumer journey:
1. People don’t want to talk to Sales (Marketing needs to own more of the lifecycle)
Many marketing departments are stuck because they are focused on getting prospects to fill out a form and passing the lead over to sales to educate and close the deal. However, according to Forrester, lead capture forms only capture 10% of buyers in the active buying cycle. Most buyers either abandon the form or put in false information (Hello, Mickey Mouse at 123 Main Street, Somewhere USA). This means you may be missing out on a significant portion of the prospects because sales owns the majority of the life cycle!
Make it happen: This shift is probably the most painful; it requires an internal mindset change to focusing on fewer, more qualified leads. This usually has to start from the top: Telling your VP of Sales that you are going to remove most of your lead capture forms isn’t going to be an easy conversation, but until you make the shift, you are leaving a significant amount of revenue for your competitors.
2. Give away your best content, and lots of it.
No one wants to wait for the next episode anymore. Your prospects and customers don’t want to wait until your drip campaign delivers the next bit of content a week or even 3 days later. If they are actively researching what you offer they want the information now, and they don’t want to have to give you their contact information to get it.
Make it happen: Follow the lead of Netflix: when the current episode ends, the next episode starts playing. The same should be true for your marketing efforts. If your email or social call to action is to watch a video, the video should be embedded in a landing page that has at least three additional assets. Each asset should move the buyer from one stage of the buyers journey to the next. And don’t forget the “I’m ready to buy” call to action, so that when they are ready to talk to someone they don’t have to figure out how to connect.
TEGRITA TIP: Start with content mapping. Then, develop, repurpose and reuse content to fill in the gaps. For example, your late stage case study can become an infographic for earlier stages.
3. Support Free Spirits
It is time to let go of static, time-based marketing campaigns that drip content to buyers based on what we believe is the optimal journey for our prospects. The modern buyers journey is more of a “Choose Your Own Adventure.” We must embrace the idea that each buyer is going to go through the journey in their own way.
Make it happen: Help your free-spirited prospects help themselves to a Netflix and Chill experience – give them what they want, when they want it, with no strings attached. Provide guilt-free content (see steps 1 and 2) and you will gain loyal followers and brand advocates, which will lead to more engaged clients. By modernizing your efforts and shifting to a no-strings-attached philosophy, you are well on your way to becoming a supporter of Free Spirits.
Tegrita Can Help!
Whether you need help modernizing your marketing strategy, or you just need a review of what is already in place, Tegrita can help! We can help ensure you are on track to meet your goals, conduct gap analysis, and assist with the technology side of modern marketing. Just let us know you are ready by contacting us – no strings attached.