3 Pillars for Aligning B2B Marketing Content with Buyer’s Goals

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In sports today, there is plenty of talk about parity in teams for such leagues as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL.  To some sports writers, this has not been a good thing and they long for the return of the dynasty teams to love or hate.  Such teams not only dominated but stood apart in their appeal to both the avid and the average fan.  Creating a national following that rivaled some of the best marketing and advertising prowess dreamed up by Madison Avenue.  The New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bulls all have had dynasty years which extended their marketing advertising reach far beyond their geographic regions.

Similarly, the world of B2B Marketing and Content Marketing must contend with parity.  Businesses continue to be in receipt of multiple waves of marketing messaging, email marketing, demand generation, pay per click, and many new forms of social networking oriented content.  The stream of messaging and content is surely to rise as marketing automation weaves its way into the fabric of marketing tactics.  The challenge of standing out above the parity that exists in B2B marketing messaging and content will become increasingly difficult.  

How can B2B businesses achieve more efficiency as well as effectiveness in their content marketing initiatives?  An important means of doing so is to understand how and why buyers make buying decisions. Aligning B2B marketing content with this understanding is a critical difference maker in standing apart from the parity that exists in the literally thousands and thousands of messaging that businesses are presented with daily.  There are three pillars by which businesses can achieve alignment in their content marketing:

Pillar One:  Gain Deep Understanding of Buyer Goals

Buying decisions made by B2B businesses are ultimately made with accomplishing goals as the focal point.  In my previous articles Understanding Buyer’s Goal Orientation Key to Understanding Why Buyers Buy and Buyer’s Goal Orientation Make Decision More Than a Matter of Choice, I focused on how a buyer’s goal orientation help determine how buyer’s buy and how it affects decisions.  Content that is tailored to the understanding of your target buyer persona’s goal orientation will have much more impact.  There is a direct correlation to the depth of understanding buyer’s goal orientation to the effectiveness of content marketing.  Companies that are willing to make the needed investment in qualitative and experiential analysis to achieve such understanding will reap the reward of getting above the noise of parity.

Pillar Two: Gain Deep Understanding of How Content is Consumed in the Buying Process

Gaining a deep understanding of how content is consumed and for what purposes during the buying process contributes toward getting beyond parity.  Early and late stages of the buying process may have not only different requirements but also clearly distinguishable goals that a group of buyer personas are attempting to accomplish.  Whether they are informative or evaluative type of requirements and goals, B2B Marketers will need to understand how and when content should be readily accessible and consumed at each stage of the buying process.

Pillar Three: Gain Deep Understanding of How to Design Content Aligned with Goals

Along with parity, there can be surprising uniformity in how content is designed.  Without a deep understanding of your buyer persona’s goals as well as how content is consumed in the buying process, you are left with the proverbial common denominator of touting features and benefits uniformly across the buying process.  The mix of content design aligned with buyer’s goals and their buying processes is becoming critical to offering freshness in content as well as relevancy at the right moment.  Determining the mix of content can no longer be a guessing game.

To rise above parity, B2B marketing can become more relevant to their target buyer personas by gaining a deep understanding of buyer goals and aligning content with these goals.  Translating the uniform understanding of needs and wants into precise understanding of goals during the buying process will give B2B organizations the means of achieving efficiency and effectiveness in their content marketing efforts.  With businesses being inundated with every form of content and messaging imaginable on a daily basis, becoming relevant to a buyer’s goal orientation is one way to get above parity and perhaps create a dynasty of your own.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Tony,

    Thanks for the great post! Agree with all your points and I love the insight about how adoption of marketing automation is likely to accelerate the need to align your content to buyer goals.

    We use a practical approach to managing content design under the concept of “content hubs”. We often find clients overwhelmed with the complexity of planning and designing content so we built a simple planning framework that lets them build their content over time.

    You can check out the framework here: http://blog.brainrider.com/2010/05/b2b-marketing-content-how-to-plan-website-sales-collateral-email-blog-linkedin-twitter-and-other-marketing-copy-for-my-business/

    Thanks again for sharing your insights!

    Cheers

    Scott at BrainRider
    “sharing what we know is what we do”

  2. Hello Scott,

    Thank you for your comments and they are appreciated. I like the “content hubs” approach and see the practical application indeed. Complexity is prevalent throughout B2B in this area. I’ll be happy to check out framework.

    Thanks again for your comment!

    Cheers,
    Tony

  3. Hi Shelly,

    Thank you for your kind comments. It is great to hear that you find the advice helpful. I appreciate your readership!

    Thank you,
    Tony Zambito

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