Marketing teams everywhere have embraced the idea that personalized experiences are the new expectation of today’s buyers.
Personalization that goes beyond the surface level of using a buyer’s name in an email, and instead leverages content that addresses relevant challenges to that buyer, provides a level of value that leads to positive outcomes for your business. Showing your buyers you understand their needs builds trust, which is something 81% of marketers are trying to do with their content, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
At the same time, SiriusDecisions reports that 60-70% of content goes unread. This highlights the importance of being buyer-focused and providing high-value content, rather than creating a lot of content that isn’t so relevant to buyers.
On a recent episode of The Marketer’s Journey podcast, FullStory CMO, Kirsten Newbold-Knipp spoke with Uberflip CMO, Randy Frisch about the importance of helping buyers through their journey.
“For us, it’s about optimizing the best possible journey for that business, person or persona,” she said. “The way we think about things is providing enough content, insight and optimal access to resources on our side to make the buyer’s journey appropriate for an engineer at an SMB company, versus a project manager at an enterprise company.”
Challenges arise when looking ahead to a world without cookies, and a change in the way people think about their data. Kirsten says the importance of first-party data is on the rise, but buyers are less likely to share that information unless they know the value they’ll receive in exchange.
The role of transparency in B2B demand generation programs
That’s why transparency is so important for marketing teams. It’s not just transparency about what data you’re collecting and how you’re using it, but also in being open about what buyers receive in exchange.
In many cases, the value exchange is implied and not directly stated. For a lot of buyers who have been burned in the past by irrelevant content, that’s not good enough to earn their conversion and, by extension, important first-party data. Rather, you need to be implicit and direct about what you’re giving in exchange for their information. It needs to be valuable, and you need to follow through on your end of the bargain.
If marketers can follow through on the value promise they’re making, they will build trust and earn additional insight from the buyer. As marketers we need to continuously think about what’s in it for our buyers each time we ask for a different level of engagement
“I [as the buyer] want you to be transparent,” Kirsten said. “I want us to have a value exchange. I think that’s the place we need to come from. There is value exchange, and if I’m going to ask for more data insights from you, I should be willing to give you something in return."
What’s valuable to the buyer?
Which raises the next question: what’s valuable to the buyer?
According to Gartner, customers want information that will make their buyer journey as easy as possible. Gartner reports that 77% of B2B buyers say their latest purchase was complex or difficult. Their study goes on to say that customers who perceived the information they received from vendors to be helpful in advancing across their “buying jobs” were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.
So there you have it. Streamline the path to purchase for your buyers, and you’ve provided the value they need to choose your company, and pay top dollar for the services you provide.
Drive growth through value exchange with your buyers
But to achieve that, we go back to the top of the article where we talked about the importance of first-party data to modern day marketing strategies. If you are transparent about the data you need, but in return, promise to provide this level of value to the buyer - and follow through - then you’ll have built the trust and confidence in your brand that are the building blocks for growth.