When B2B Buyer’s Needs Don’t Create Demand


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What do you do whenever someone says, "Don't do that" or "You need to…"? If you're anything like me, you go try to do what you've been told not to or you refuse to do whatever it is someone has said you "need to do." Think back to when you were a teenager and tell me that you didn't do the opposite, trying to prove you knew better than your parents. In fact, I bet—depending on the source—that many of us still react that way today.

Have you ever wondered if it's the same for your target markets?

Why wouldn't it be?

The underlying factor that causes marketers to miss the mark with prospects is that we fail to realize that we don't know what we don't know.

As marketers, we think we know what prospects need. After all, our products were developed based on in-depth research that proved our solutions solved a "problem" in our target markets. Yet, the biggest challenge in B2B marketing today is persuading our prospects to agree that they need what we have and getting them to opt in to learn more. Marketing Sherpa's latest research shows that 78% of marketers surveyed said their biggest challenge is generating high-quality leads.

Marketing content focused on what B2B buyers "need to do" may not be doing the job you think it should be.

Headlines like:

10 Pitfalls You Must Avoid In Order to…

Monitor These Metrics to Prove…

Build a Business Case for…

Each of these headlines seems pretty compelling—or at least capable of catching attention. In fact, they may pull a lot of click throughs to the content. The telling factor is what prospects do after they view the content.

The gist of it is that content views don't create demand, actions do. But motivating your prospects to add one more activity to their jam-packed day takes more than telling them they "need" something. Even if they do.

Your prospect may need a lot of things. Comparatively, I bet you could make a list of things you need. How many of them will you actually take action to get? What will it take to motivate you to take next steps? And, what will keep the momentum going until you actually get the thing you need?

We talk a lot about the importance of knowing our prospects well enough to develop content that addresses their priorities. But, content that helps a prospect to make a shift from being aware of a need to being motivated to take action must go beyond being relevant. We've got to gain knowledge that goes beyond just defining priorities to be able to create a path for action.

Perhaps instead of telling our prospects how to build a business case to buy what we're selling, we should start by building a business case for why they should take action to engage with us to learn more.

In fact, if a prospect asked you directly, "why should I interact with you?" What would you say?



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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