You are probably familiar with those emails that are supposed to be smart-ass: “Hey Karthik, I have reached out to you many times and wonder if 1) You are really busy and do not want to improve your sales, 2) You are not the right person, or 3) If I should send this email to a llama in Peru,” and such ruthless re-targeting. Attend a trade show, and your badge is scanned aggressively, and then the deluge follows: emails, phone calls, more emails, and yet more phone calls. Download a white paper at your own peril. What mar-tech has done is put the buyer in the center as a commodity to be treated as game: and the game has reached fatigue very rapidly, getting annoyed and turning querulous enough to be dangerous.
Buyers are in marketing fatigue.
What can we do to rethink our approach to B2B marketing? Over the last 6 weeks, we have been speaking to numerous CMOs at B2B companies, buy-side CIOs, and other influencers. Here are some learnings:
- Remove friction from the buyer’s journey: All marketing automation, contextual marketing, account-based and content-based marketing are designed to be intrusive, and create friction in your prospect buyers’ journeys. CMOs declare they’d rather have 10 qualified leads at the top of the funnel rather than 100 leads that leak out very quickly. By removing friction, your buyers will declare themselves at a certain point of time to be ready for your firm, but we need to be patient for this.
- Reset time and target goals: Building trust takes time, not just content and spraying it. In the same manner, targets change with time and context, so resetting target profiles continuously is a much-ignored element of marketing automation. And in also the same manner, content cadence should change alongside the buyer profile’s changing context. Part of the goal of a content-based approach or account-based approach is to provide insight, credibility, and knowledge to the prospect. When you overdo follow-up, it works in reverse and you become a nuisance.
- Relate to the buyer journey speed: Just because we have a profile in target, throwing the kitchen sink at them doesn’t help. How many campaigns a month are you launching to reach your desired goals? Are you doing drip programs on every campaign? When is the buyer going to be ready to buy? Spraying-at-speed leaves you with rapidly diminishing fuel levels, and content becomes stale.
How is your B2B marketing gaining buyer trust, enabling sales, and building long-term funnels? I’d be happy to include your feedback here.