B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
How realistic is it for marketers to think they can create a single view of buyers?
There is an aspiration that organizations should have a fully attributable, fully transparent view of the buyer journey in their core systems. In truth, I am not sure that exists.
We do lots of activity that I know won’t show up in our systems unless we’re asking deeper questions about attribution. The podcast or documentary that we share won’t show up in any of our tools, for example. It might show up as direct site traffic or through related Google searches, so we need to measure that activity in different ways. That means looking at content strategy and asking if we are aiming towards the group of buyers that we hope to turn into prospects. We also need to understand whether this is a type of engagement that this group of buyers usually responds to with affinity and reciprocity.
We use Salesforce and set things up to capture insights as far as possible, but there is always an awareness that we miss some things. We are making decisions based on data, but we aren’t making decisions based on a reliable ‘truth’.
Looking at content strategy and asking if we are aiming towards the group of buyers that we hope to turn into prospects.
How can marketing and sales work together to deliver value to potential buyers?
There is a real risk in large enterprises that the person with the best customer insight is the salesperson. This is valuable further down the buyer journey, but it does nothing to help marketing to deliver value to those potential buyers at the top of the sales funnel.
Investing in strong product marketing is key to ensure there is good knowledge about the products and how their benefits are communicated to potential buyers. Alongside this, there are a range of technology tools that can search and track customer engagement and marketing activity to provide marketing people in the enterprise with better insight into what potential buyers think, and what they’re finding in their industry and the wider market.
We should be investing in to help marketers come up with insights, whether that’s clarification and quantification of pain points or identifying the better future that customers want to move towards. We use Wynter for message testing and Gong to search for keywords in customer prospect and sales calls. Additionally, we are always manually pinging customers and asking for conversations and seeing where those conversations take us.
Investing in strong product marketing is key to ensure there is good knowledge about the products and how their benefits are communicated to potential buyers.
How can organizations build trusted relationships with customers when interacting virtually?
Trust goes well beyond in-person interactions and can certainly be built if we are as helpful as possible in wider communications.
We have a very clearly defined media strategy. We want to show up and provide information about our product, but also information about the market, guidance, benchmarking and entertainment. We invest in shows and guides and share content that entertains and informs potential buyers. When we bought a new company, we released a 20 minute documentary by an award-winning documentarian about the behind the scenes story of that purchase. We create Pricing Page Teardown, a virtual show where we discuss pricing strategies for subscription companies. We have seven series of the show and that has engendered huge trust with buyers, which might not be tracked or mapped to a specific sale, but we see its value in deal conversations.