How To Use Knowledge Marketing To Create B2 B Customers


Published on

A 4 step guide to creating customers using the value of what you know.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How To Use Knowledge Marketing To Create B2 B Customers

  2. 2. Today, business needs a better way to connect with customers. Here’s why: “Across industries, the marketing and selling context has changed. Buyers are behaving differently, and the work required to make a sale is becoming more difficult.” >>> Harvard Business Review © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 2
  3. 3. Let’s go back to fundamentals. Noted management consultant Peter F. Drucker reminds us, with his usual focus, wisdom and clarity: "The purpose of business is to create customers." And that's exactly what knowledge marketing does. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 3
  4. 4. Knowledge marketing can help you leverage what you know to engage more prospects. Nurture prospects. Generate better leads. Increase your sales conversion rate. Build a more effective B2B marketing machine. Sell more stuff. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 4
  5. 5. The Birth of Knowledge Marketing In 1928, Mildred Day invented Rice Krispies squares for Kellogg. They were wise enough to put her recipe on the cereal box. That decision was Knowledge Marketing 1.0. It established the principle that in marketing and sales, it’s a good idea to build customer relationships by giving people something they want to know. The knowledge Kellogg has been sharing for over 80 years — how to make a tasty treat — has sold a lot of Rice Krispies. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 5
  6. 6. Yes, Mildred, even the Rice Krispies squares recipe has now gone digital. The Internet has changed marketing forever. That's certainly true in the world of B2B (business- to-business) marketing. It's true for B2C (business-to-consumer) marketers, too. How? The Internet has dramatically increased the speed and ease of access to information about competitive products and services. More importantly, it has given would-be buyers the opportunity to connect and trade stories with people who have already used those products and services. When your competitor does something smart, your prospects hear about it in an instant. When your product gets the hiccups, well, they hear about that, too. The Internet has made marketing transparent. It’s the most amazing sharing engine ever devised. And it’s insatiably hungry for things to share. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 6
  7. 7. When they're using Google, your prospects are not just looking for information. They're looking for knowledge. There is something they want to know. • They have a question, and they want to know the answer. • They have a problem, and they want to know the solution. • They have a business issue to deal with, and they want to know what to do. • They have money to invest and they want to know what to purchase. Giving prospects what they want to know is what knowledge marketing is all about. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 7
  8. 8. Welcome to the age of Google. It gives people the power to be in the know. “As a new age of customers becomes increasingly adept at accessing company information and better understanding the competitive landscape, businesses are forced to equip their sales force to work smarter, not harder.” >>>Aberdeen Group © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 8
  9. 9. B2B companies that are not sharing what they know to engage customers are losing potential sales every day © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 9
  10. 10. Let’s take a 15 second time out for this bit of advice: Don’t panic. Q: “Knowledge? What do you mean, knowledge? That sounds really abstract. What could we ever share with prospects that would be of value to them? All we know about is our product. Can't we just do an ad?” A: “There’s nothing wrong with doing ads. Some of our best friends make ads every day. But chances are, you do know things your prospects would like to know. Sharing what you know will create customer connections in a whole new way.” You really can achieve measurable results by transforming your knowledge into customer connections and sales opportunities. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 10
  11. 11. B2B buying cycles begin earlier now, because there is more up-front pre-sales contact research by purchasers. In fact, more than 85% of B2B purchases now start with research on the web. Over 80% of B2B purchasers source their purchase options directly. Traditional lead generation is saturated with too many companies chasing prospects with directories, vertical media, telemarketing and direct marketing. Basic product data sheets and brochures no longer create incremental demand. In short, prospects now expect more value, information, and responsiveness than traditional channels can deliver. This isn’t a problem. On the contrary, it’s an enormous opportunity. Yet fewer than 3% of B2B website visitors convert to prospects. Something is missing. But what? © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 11
  12. 12. TIP #1: Overcome Inertia. (Don’t just sit there, share something.) Think about it. The sales process can’t begin if the landscape is static. If your prospect has not begun moving toward you, it’s because she’s uninterested in you, or even worse, it’s because she’s paying attention to someone else. You have to create movement. Without movement, you can’t create customers. Your goal is to get your prospect moving toward you, psychologically. Your goal is to overcome her inertia. (You might also have to overcome your own inertia, by the way. Sharing your knowledge takes some work. Reading about how to do it is a good first step. But admit it, right now you’re sitting there, inert, exactly like your would-be prospect. Isn’t it time to get things moving?) © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 12
  13. 13. The quest for higher quality content, smarter ideas, better answers, deeper insight, and more useful information is never-ending. You have what your prospects are looking for. So share it. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 13
  14. 14. Wisdom from Peter F. Drucker >>> "Knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly, or it vanishes." Why? Because Knowledge flows. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 14
  15. 15. TIP #2: Attract attention. (Hint: don’t do it by shouting. do it by being useful.) To get prospects to begin moving toward you, first you need to attract their attention. Let’s say you’re at the zoo with a paper bag full of peanuts. The elephant is looking the other way, oblivious. To capture his attention, all you have to do is rustle the bag. B2B vendors must offer prospects more relevant content—which makes it better content—than ever before. After all, from the perspective of your prospects, access to useful information and insights from your competitors is just a mouse click away. If you’re outdated, boring or irrelevant, you’re history.. So be fresh, interesting and relevant. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 15
  16. 16. Remember, people are finding out all sorts of things about your company and your products and your services long before they ever contact you. They may be out of your view, over the horizon. But they’re out there. They’re definitely out there. Thanks to easy Internet access to pre-purchase information, the B2B sales nurturing cycle is longer. Today, vendor information needs to offer high value and relevance to compete with other sources of information—blogs, discussion groups, Twitter, Facebook, analyst reports, online media and more. Savvy B2B marketers are engaging with prospective customers online to generate leads in brand new ways, sometimes before the formal buying process has even begun. If you aren't doing that, your business will be left behind. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 16
  17. 17. “B2B buyers want information that is easy to get to, can be easily transferred within the buying organization, and is relevant to their needs.” Enquiro Research/Marketing Sherpa, 2007 Buyer Survey © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 17
  18. 18. Here's the thing about the Internet. It's full of information. Page after page of data, surfing into infinity, information overload. But knowledge? Real honest to goodness knowledge? It's rare indeed. What do we mean by ‘knowledge’? It’s whatever your prospects want to know. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 18
  19. 19. Sharing knowledge isn’t brain surgery. It simply means giving people what they want to know. Why will they thank you for it? Because knowledge is much more valuable than information. Information is as common as the air we breathe. It can be unreliable. When it is delivered over the Internet, it is often unfiltered and unedited and untrustworthy and irrelevant. Calling it 'content' doesn't change anything. A lot of people these days are talking in hushed tones about content. Content is king, they say. Content is, well, just content. Content can be good or bad. Trustworthy or not. Often, it's just filler. It can be a commodity with little inherent value to those with something specific they want to know. Knowledge, on the other hand, is hard-earned. It springs from experience. It conveys expertise. Knowledge provides competitive advantage. Knowledge is money. Knowledge is as good as gold. Knowledge trumps content. When you give your knowledge away without asking for something in return, you earn admiration, respect and trust. Those are things you simply can't buy. Those are things that elevate a brand, or a business. Trust is what puts sellers high on consideration lists. It's what turns cold prospects into warm leads, and warm leads into cold cash. When your brand is admired, respected and trusted, it takes flight. It soars above its competitors. It carries your business to new heights. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 19
  20. 20. Knowledge Marketing is about providing answers before sales prospects ask you questions. It can help you establish and deepen a dialogue with your prospects and turn them into customers. You don't do it with traditional persuasive techniques or interruption marketing. You don't do it with attention- grabbing advertising. You don't do it with push marketing. You do it with content. Even better, you do it with your knowledge. Shared, helpful and useful information, aligned with what your prospects want to know. Not closely guarded and costly to access, but open and free. You put it out there. They pull it in. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 20
  22. 22. Tip #3: Build engagement. When a prospective customer is doing pre-purchase research and wants to know something, your company — and your website — should work very hard to be the source of the knowledge she is looking for. (If you don't do that, she'll get what she needs from your competitors.) If your company’s website isn’t a knowledge node, you're wasting money and losing potential customers every day. Remember, 85% of B2B purchases begin with an online search for knowledge, so B2B k-nodes attract prospects. Let’s be frank. Most B2B websites are not k-nodes. They’re b-nodes. As in, ‘brochure-nodes’. Their marketing content delivers only 2-3% of what customers are looking for, which makes the underlying marketing investment much less effective than it should be. So, how do you get started? © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 22
  23. 23. Want to get going now with knowledge marketing? Okay, Here's how to do it... © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 23
  25. 25. STEP 1. Map Use web analytics and digital data capture to find out what your prospects want to know right now. (The tools to do this are getting more powerful every day.) What are they Googling? What are they Tweeting? What are they Digging? What are they StumblingUpon? What’s on their Facebook wall? What are they blogging about? What do they care about most? What kind of problems are they trying to solve? If they’ve already visited your website, what did they type into your Site Search box? Did they find the answers they were looking for? Did they poke around and leave without a trace? Did they bounce away the moment they arrived? Which page are they bouncing from? Why? © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 25
  26. 26. The gap between what would-be customers want to know, and what B2B marketers are telling them, presents a tremendous opportunity. Fill the gap. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 26
  27. 27. Step 2. Extract Figure out if you have the knowledge your prospects are looking for. This is harder than it sounds. It can be very difficult to assess the value of knowledge when you’re the one who knows it. The things you think are important often aren’t, from the perspective of people on the receiving end. The things you think are unimportant, sometimes are. (That’s why it’s a good idea to ask for outside help with Knowledge Marketing.) © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 27
  28. 28. "This is the Curse of Knowledge. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it. Our knowledge has ‘cursed’ us. And it becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others, because we can’t readily re-create our listeners’ state of mind." >Made to Stick, Chip Heath and Dan Heath © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 28
  29. 29. Step 3. Focus & Align Make sure what you know is aligned with what your prospects want to know. This means giving prospects exactly the knowledge they’re looking for, in the places they’re looking for it, in the format they prefer, when they want it most. Think “what, where, how, when”. That way, you’ll be sure to present your knowledge effectively. It should be easy to find, easy to understand and easy to share. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 29
  30. 30. Step 4a. Share Your Assets Turn your website into a sticky, inviting knowledge node (k-node) by packing it with useful resources. Optimize your website by evolving it from product brochureware (b*node) to demandware (k*node) to transform it into a prospect magnet. Fill it with your knowledge, information, ideas, advice and insight on subjects and issues your prospects care most about. Use Google friendly copy. Spread your knowledge online and offline using trade shows, offline materials, vidcasts, podcasts, eNewsletters, webinars, RSS, eBooks, white papers, blogs and more. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 30
  31. 31. Step 4b. Seed Let people know your knowledge is around. Link to the resources on your website from your Twitter account. Use Google Adwords to help prospects find you. (Bid wisely on the keywords your prospects are searching for.) Write guest blogs. Comment on leading industry sites. Write articles for traditional offline media like newspapers and business publications. Speak at conferences. Start a LinkedIn group. Seed the web. Seed the world. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 31
  32. 32. Step 4c. Create Connections Nurture prospects through your sales funnel by using marketing automation tools to share even more knowledge and track their responses. Reduce friction in your funnel to keep them moving. Begin relationships with your visitors by offering to send them links to more knowledge. Be polite. Be friendly. Be helpful. Use lead scoring to qualify the people in your pipeline. Nurture to purchase. When the time is right, pass them along to sales. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 32
  33. 33. Quick Tips Don’t get greedy. Knowledge marketing is about giving. Sharing. Caring. Your rewards will come, in time. Don’t go too fast. Let your prospect set the pace. Don’t push for the quick sale. (Don’t throw peanuts at the elephant. Rustle the bag and he’ll come to you.) Don’t talk about you. This isn’t about you. Your prospects don’t care about you. They care about what they care about. There are things they want to know. If you have the knowledge they’re looking for, give it to them. Forge a reputation as an authority. Keep at it. Remember, building a relationship with prospects takes a committed investment of time and effort. Work hard along the way to earn their respect and trust. You have to give respect to get it in return. When you’ve earned a prospect's trust, she’s more likely to become a customer and buy what you sell. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 33
  34. 34. Things to keep in mind: Begin by learning what your prospective customers want to know right now. What are they Googling in real time? What do they care about most? Then figure out whether you know things they want to know. Align and present your knowledge so it's easy to find, easy to use and easy to share. Seed the web with what you know. Put it out there. They’ll pull it in. When visitors come to your website, use tracking tools and web analytics to determine what they want to know and identify your hottest prospects. Share what you know with them. Build a relationship. Become an authority. When the time is right, and not a moment sooner, send pertinent information about qualified leads to your sales team. The result? Your marketing will find, profile, and nurture more prospects into sales opportunities. Congratulations, you’re ready to create customers. Because now, you know. That's what knowledge marketing is all about. © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 34
  35. 35. About BrainRider BrainRider is an agile agency. We help B2B marketers share what they know, to create customers. Our principals have extensive experience providing marketing services to famous Fortune 500 companies. Their ideas have influenced customers in America, Canada, China and 18 countries in Europe. What do you know? © BRAINRIDER KNOWLEDGE MARKETING GROUP 2009 P. 35