Are you there when your buyers need you?
Some businesses have it easier than others when it comes to being there when their buyers need them. In fact, near the end of a recent girls’ night out, the heel broke off my shoe and one of my friends got a mysterious bug bite that swelled up alarmingly.
As “luck” would have it, there were three Walgreens and one CVS within blocks. Flip-flops for me and cortisone cream for my friend. Consumer businesses can often focus on location and advertising to ensure they’re there when buyers need them.
But it’s a lot harder for business-to-business (B2B) companies and businesses with longer sales cycles. For example, if you sell a complex software solution to banks or universities, you need to be in front of their potential customers when they recognize their needs. But you have no way to tell when that is.
For marketers, it can be a tough job to ensure information about their solutions is in front of potential customers at just the right time.
Here are three tips to ensure you’re in front of your buyers at the right time:
- Help them recognize the need for your solutions.
- Appear when and where they need you.
- Personalize, personalize, personalize.
Help buyers recognize their need for your solutions
While it was clear I needed shoes immediately the night my heel broke, often buyers aren’t aware of needs that could improve their lives. For example, my calendar is difficult to manage, but I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that I needed a solution. Then a friend mentioned a system she uses, so I checked it out.
Wouldn’t it have been great if I’d been seeing ads or other marketing for the solution my friend mentioned? I might have recognized my need and solved my problem much earlier.
Before going in for a straight sell and describing their solutions, marketers first need to help buyers recognize that they have an unmet need. One way to do this is by asking the right questions and getting them in front of your buyers.
If I had seen an ad or email that asked, “Spending too much time scheduling meetings?” I might have found this solution much, much earlier.
Appear when and where your customers need you
Marketing budgets are limited, making it impossible to be in front of every potential customer every day. And too much marketing can annoy buyers and drive them away.
Marketers need to be smart enough to appear when and where their buyers need them. To do that, marketers need to know their audience. They need to know buyers’ frustrations and desires as well as how to reach buyers—what they read and where they go for information.
Here are some ways to get to know your buyers:
- Make and use a buyer empathy map.
- Find out what questions your buyers are asking. My business partner George Stenitzer offers four ways to capture customer questions in this blog.
- Talk to your buyers directly.
Once you know what questions your buyers are asking, make a Message Map that focuses on how your organization can answer these questions. Use the Message Map to guide your content marketing.
Once you’ve created your content, place it where your buyers are to make sure you’re in front of them when they recognize a need for your solutions.
Personalize content for buyers
More and more buyers, both consumers and businesses, demand personalization. While personalization was once thought of as creepy by some, most people now demand it. Why? It shows that brands know and understand us, and it makes our lives easier.
Once you know your buyers, take time to personalize the content you send them. In this article, they claim that companies who use account-based marketing generate 208% more revenue from their marketing efforts.
If you don’t have specific accounts you’re targeting, you can also do regional marketing and vertical marketing to specific industries. Both tactics enable you to tailor your content for your audience.
To learn more about personalizing marketing content, download this guide from On24.
Being in front of buyers the moment they need you can help increase sales. Helping them recognize needs, appearing in places your buyers already frequent, and personalizing content can help you increase revenue.
For assistance with marketing, messaging, and other communications needs, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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