Father of the bride—that was me a week ago. I may not have had the comedic air of Steve Martin, but boy, did I have the same nerves! This was the first of my three daughters getting married, so it was the first wedding in my family. I was responsible for the food, wine and music; all areas I am deeply interested and experienced in, so that was definitely the exciting part of the role for me. I tried hard not to show my anxiety about everything else and with some difficulty, managed to stay out of the rest of the wedding arrangements. Hats off to the girls; this was one of the most classy events I have been to, and I’m not just saying it because it was a family affair. The wedding was understated elegance in its simplicity, it was fun, it was smoothly orchestrated and everything was just right, just enough.
The biggest lesson for me in this process? You have to be able to trust people. Trust is a key element in the success of an event that is multi-dimensional and involves many parties working together with some well-defined and some overlapping areas of responsibility. We came through as a family. It was a truly memorable occasion for everyone who was there and I was definitely the proud father of the bride.
Am I glad that I did not know everything about everything? Am I glad that I was not involved in all aspects of the wedding? While I may not have thought so at the time, I can say for sure now that it was the right way to go about it. The information overload would have been overwhelming and there was a chance I may have not been able to focus 100% on what I was supposed to take charge of. When I look back, I know there are a dozen or more different things that could have gone wrong but did not. Now this was not a corporate event, nor was there a professional wedding planner involved. So there wasn’t a step-by-step, planned monitoring process at play. And yet, if anything had been even slightly out of place or not coming along like it was supposed to, I can bet that one of us in the close family would have sensed it right away and jumped into taking corrective action.
As marketers, we often get caught up in B2B lead generation campaign monitoring and measurement metrics. Do we really need twenty different metrics and parameters to gauge if things are going well or not? Or should we able to tell right away? Given the active conversational environment that social media provides us today, it really should be easy, in my opinion, to pick up the signs of a marketing campaign gone wrong, a strong lead starting to fade away, a potential sale starting to slip through the cracks of inadequate lead nurturing, and so on.
Studies Show that B2B Buyers are Increasingly Frustrated
– Too Much of Low Relevance, Low Value, High Frequency, Multi-Channel Content
The constant chanting of the “Content is King” mantra has clouded our logic as B2B marketers. Yes, we need content and in good measure too, but from what B2B buyer behaviour is telling us, we seem to be headed in the wrong direction. How can you use content marketing to help accelerate your demand generation process? (Note: downloading a free copy of The ALEA Demand Generation Playbook will help you get started).
The 3rd Annual B2B Buyer Behaviour Survey by Demand Gen Report shows some clear trends that B2B sellers need to take serious note of:
- The B2B sales process is becoming increasingly lengthy and complex
- Close to 70% of buyers are using a greater range of reference sources to research possible vendor options and their product/service related information
- Sharp rise in the number of B2B buyers expressing dissatisfaction with their purchasing experience
- Greater reliance on marketing for the early stages of engagement in the buying cycle
- Marketing and sales teams are struggling to meet changing buyer expectations because content is either not relevant, not communicated properly, too complicated rather than simple and useful, not delivered over an extended period throughout the sales lifecycle—or all of these!
This last point about irrelevant, untimely and inappropriately communicated content brings me to ask the question: Is content killing your B2B sales? Evidently, and to a large extent in the B2B marketplace, this seems to be the case. Yet again, we are throwing common sense and logic out the window to douse buyers in unnecessary, much too frequent, convoluted and complex, low value content—until ultimately, we will stand by and watch good quality leads go up in flames before our eyes. We need to stop before it’s too late. We need to take a step back and focus on the key steps in our B2B content marketing process. We need to stop throwing information mindlessly at our prospective buyers and start giving them high value, not necessarily high frequency content on the channels they prefer to be reached.
As this article from Content Marketing Institute says, “Does your business really need to be on six, seven or eight social networks? Really? The more networks you use, the less effective you’re likely to be. Instead of amplifying your content, you may be killing it.”
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What are some B2B content marketing campaigns that have engaged your buyers successfully and brought them to conversion? Do you have some content marketing fiascos to share on my blog? What lessons did you learn and how will you incorporate these into your sales and marketing process?
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