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The Content Pinch Point in B2B Marketing


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We spoke to 402 decision-makers in B2B about content consumption and buying behaviours...this is what we found out

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The Content Pinch Point in B2B Marketing

  1. 1. The Content Pinch Point Presented by Billy Hamilton-Stent, Director, Octopus Group
  2. 2. 2 Running order • Research overview • Key insights • Learnings since ‘the pinch’ • Case study
  3. 3. 3 Research overview 402 key decision makers responsible for choosing and purchasing products and services for their company completed a survey during Q4 2015 Conducted by Loudhouse Research
  4. 4. 4 The Content Pinch Point
  5. 5. 5 Have we reached 'peak' time? Time spent each week information gathering Following reading industry news & developments Researching specific products / services / suppliers
  6. 6. 6 Almost half of buyers say they’re taking longer to make purchase decisions and on-board new suppliers / services than 2014 Extended decision cycles We take less time to make decisions and on-board new products/services/partners We take longer to make decisions and on-board new products/services/partners
  7. 7. 7 Information gathering influences supplier shortlisting / selection for 93% of buyers 57% rely more on content to inform purchase decisions than a year ago Increased appetite for content
  8. 8. 8 The purchase pinch point
  9. 9. 9 Audience differentiators 15 wks Those with increased budgets in 2016 62%
  10. 10. So what?
  11. 11. 11 A pinch is a wake-up call • Under the new rules emerging from the Pinch Point research, you have to be more ‘relevant’ than ever • To do inbound marketing REALLY well, you have to re-think your strategy • Great content is a magnet, a differentiator and a relationship • Relevance is mostly about insight, simplicity and timing
  12. 12. 12 Three content questions, post ‘pinch’ Process How difficult do we want to make this? Buyer When do we build the time machine? Audience When does a browser become a buyer?
  13. 13. 13 When is a browser a buyer? • Open-minded, undecided • 80%+ of your traffic • Easily taken away or distracted • 6-9 months from purchase • More open to brand influence • More likely to share, refer to other browsers “I have a business problem” “I need new accountancy software” • Direct, mind made-up • Ready to approach • (-)20% of your traffic • Competitor literate • Seeking assurance, proof • More open to direct approach • In a hurry Even the most enlightened B2B content campaigns tend to invest most of their time on Barry…even though they THINK they are targeting Brenda We like sure things! IT Browser Brenda IT Buyer Barry
  14. 14. 14 How difficult do we want to make this? • Death of a thousand variables • Content marketing has a default switch set to ‘complicated’ • Software can make ‘gods’ of very normal marketers • Businesses tend to start complicated and fail • Start simple and build complexity into a campaign over time
  15. 15. 15 When do we build the time machine? • Most organisations want a time machine • Great lead gen is the result of long-term investment • Patience is not a common commodity in sales or marketing • But you can distort time with the right tools: • Themes that have a long shelf life • Content that can be slow-burn and ‘snackable’ • Proactive touchpoints with sales / education • ‘Vitamin shots’ to show early wins • Always aligning to strategic sales goals
  16. 16. Case Study
  17. 17. 17 Case study: A post-pinch punch! • Tech service provider • 500 employees • Recent IPO • Growing ahead of industry rate • Disruptive technology in the sector
  18. 18. 18 All the tools in place…but Underperforming on pipeline. Marketing out of step with sales KPIs / ROI Hubspot / Salesforce integration, lead scoring MQL / SQL AUTOMATION High cadence schedule of ToFU / MoFU / BoFU content and social amplification CONTENT Segmentation by company size, names, profiles and needs PERSONAS
  19. 19. 19 A change in direction needed 15% increase in traffic volume. 30% increase in MQLs. 45% increase in SQLs. Over six months. No increase in content expenditure. KPIs / ROI Simplification of automation processes to reflect persona and content changes. Fastflow / slowflow workflows. AUTOMATION Clearer messaging, stronger thematic consistency. Persona-first. Browser-led. Less volume, more quality. CONTENT Insight-led development of sales personas. ‘Needs-based segmentation’. More detail, less people. PERSONAS
  20. 20. 20 Looking ahead • Introducing more personas, more sophistication • Marketing investment aligned to personas • Sales buy-in to inbound processes • More to do on Enterprise • More communication on timings, expectations and alignment
  21. 21. The Content Pinch PointThe Content Pinch Point