How to Make Your B2B Lead Management Program Fail – Part 2

Jeff Cleary  |  Managing Director

December 1, 2016

Mistake #1: You set the wrong business goals

Last week, I discussed how setting the wrong business goals  can be a stumbling block in a smart lead management program. This week, we’re going to take a look at content development, which brings me to Mistake #2.

Mistake #2: Your content does not reflect an understanding of the buyer’s journey

Driving inbound response is a critical element to any lead generation program. But all too often we see marketers focus on quantity rather than quality when they’re developing and deploying content. And all too frequently what passes as “content” is really product literature sheets that merely describe vs. solve problems.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. (Source: DemandMetric). First and foremost, your content must be relevant to the buyer, not you. But you can’t create relevant content unless you understand the buyer’s journey: how they find and assess solutions.

Much has been written about customer experience (CX) on the consumer side, and this type of thinking has started to worm its way into the B2B side of things. It’s long overdue. In order to create appropriate content for the top of the funnel, the middle and the bottom, you must first understand the buyer’s journey. Then you can calibrate your content for each phase.

What are the steps of the journey? A Gartner, Inc. study (May 2015) brings a contemporary definition to this question. Gartner outlines four phases of the journey:

  1. Explore – Buyers identify a need or opportunity and begin looking for ways to address it. Much of this is self-directed research via the web.
  2. Evaluate – Buyers take a closer look at options uncovered while exploring. In addition to continuing self-directed research, buyers may engage with peers and vendor sales may take place.
  3. Engage – Buyers initiate further contact with vendors to help them continue on the path toward purchase.
  4. Experience – Buyers use a solution, often in a pilot or proof of concept, to develop perceptions of value.

An understanding of the buyer’s journey is critical because without it, you simply cannot insert yourself into the process effectively. Ask yourself if your content answers these key questions:

  • Do I understand the prospect’s challenges?
  • What business problem does my product or solution solve? (Pain point)
  • Is my solution positioned effectively?
  • Is the value evident to different buying entities? (Financial, operational, tech, etc.)
  • Does it offer/create interactions? (And does it have a clear call to action?)

Inbound marketing is great, but without relevancy, your content will become just so much noise. To stand out from the crowd, make sure your content strategy focuses on developing content that addresses pain points, solves problems, adds value, provides thought leadership, and makes it easy for prospects to engage with you further.

Next Week: Mistake #3 — You treat all inquiries alike


Jeff Cleary |  Managing Director
Jeff, a University of Massachusetts grad, worked for others for many years. In 1990, Jeff teamed up with Mike Osborn to form Catalyst. Smart move. In his role as managing director, he continually strives to meet and exceed client expectations as well as his employees’, always ensuring a positive, productive workplace.

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