Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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There is an increasing divide separating the content that buyers look for (and need) versus the content B2B-companies provide. In fact, there is a massive disconnect between what content B2B-buyers expect and what B2B-companies deliver. Companies ignore or are not aware of the crucial opportunity to provide their potential buyers with content assets they consider essential.
As many companies' budgets get scrutinised, they must leverage data and technology to deliver the level of personalisation that customers expect.
Most companies provide personalisation based on customers' essential information. Still, companies must provide personalisation for potential and existing customers that help them find content focused on the problem they look to solve or content relevant to their industry.
While personalisation based on a customer's problem is more complicated than pulling their name, company, and industry out of a traditional CRM database, it is definitely worth the effort. Surpassing the quality of their content, you and your company must focus on the overall experiences you provide. Every content asset must be packaged and distributed in a way that prioritises efficiency and relevance, helping your potential and existing customers consume useful information and content quickly as they research a product or service.
Today, unengaging content is a significant pain point when potential and existing customers research pre and during a purchase decision. Companies tend to over-prioritise long-form content, like white papers and ebooks, while ignoring customers' overwhelming interest in user reviews, product demos, and videos.
Although whitepapers and ebooks allow companies to deep dive into substantive subject matters, they often fall short of making an impression with potential and existing buyers. Whitepapers and ebooks are top-of-funnel content typically used to attract site visitors and generate leads.
You and your company must reallocate your resources towards solution-related short-form and visual content that is easier to digest and more useful for supporting and servicing potential and existing customers.
Some companies are unaware of how irrelevancy can be daunting for customers, and they miscalculate how painful it is. Potential and existing customers need help and guidance sorting through the overwhelming amount of content to locate relevant information and content instantly.
Your company must put more effort and resources in creating useful and needed content and experiences that support the purchase process, rather than just producing content they believe is fun, entertaining or mainly about your company. Spending more time to package and distribute content in a way that makes it easy to use will help the research process and ease the buyers' burden.
Given that irrelevant content is such a pain point, it is no surprise that relevant content is the customers' top driver for taking action—such as filling out a contact form on potential suppliers' .com or other digital touchpoints. By contrast, companies believe that personalised CTA's is their top method for getting buyers to take action. Relevant content is almost considered boring to create, and if they are very truthful, too difficult for them to manage.
Companies that rely on personalised CTA's may put the wagon before the horse. On .com's and other digital touchpoints, prioritise surfacing relevant content faster—whether through an easy-to-use search function or personalised content recommendations. Customers may not even need that industry- or account-specific CTA to make a decision. You and your company will be compensated with higher engagement; more sales qualified leads, signups, and meeting requests.
With slimmed budgets due to the extraordinary time we live in, customers are unlikely to purchase unless they need it right here and now. That means companies' efforts focused on actively pushing sales may fall flat: Clicking through online ads, social media posts, and emails are the three least popular ways for buyers to research a purchase decision.
Instead, potential and existing customers are overwhelmingly taking to online search to find useful, educational content that does not come with a sales pitch. Most customers are willing to explore a potential vendor's website to find the information they need.
While there is certainly a disconnect between what customers want and what companies deliver, the gap is not unbridgeable. To personalise your content based on real customer problems, and not just their basic data like name and company, you and your company can close the experience disconnection week by week.
You should prioritise short form, visual content and engaging experiences, and subsequently, relevant content to educate customers on the solution.
Notwithstanding how much I hear about budget cuts, I do not believe that reducing costs and streamlining operations should be a top strategic priority. Instead, companies should focus everything on improving their customer experience and the relevance of their content. To create and provide a better customer experience supports all main traditional business objectives—and set companies in the needed position to build deep, lasting relationships with their customers.
Download the ebook to learn about the key reasons you should prioritise customer satisfaction today!