Getting heard in the B2B market today means being relevant at the top of the sales funnel

The fact is, customer learning is happening all the time, and doesn’t coincide with your campaign calendar. The goal of marketing should be to influence thoughts and actions before your prospect is even searching!

It's not a secret that the B2B audience is online. We know that 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process. On the surface, this isn't much of a change from 2012. If we dig deeper, though, we can see that while the percentage of people using digital may have remained the same, what's happening behind the scenes hasn't.

The modern customer journey is complex. So it’s important to focus on the key moments that can help inspire people to buy your product or service. We analyzed millions of consumer interactions through Google Analytics to show how different marketing channels affect online purchase decisions. What are the most important moments along the journey for your customers?

The challenge is digital

Google research has shown that, on average, business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57% of the purchase process is complete. That means for nearly two-thirds of the buying process; your customers are out in the ether: Forming opinions, learning technical specifications, building requirements lists, and narrowing down their options, all on their own, with minimal influence from you.

It wasn’t always like this with customers engaging in self-directed learning. The difference today, is of course, thanks to the internet. And customers today must learn about products and solutions themselves is a function of increased budget pressure amid a stagnant economy.

So what’s wrong with waiting for customers to come to us? Because by the time they do, they have hardened expectations about what they want out of a supplier – and at that point, your job is to take their order and fill it for the lowest price. They’re learning on their own, and there’s no room to teach them why what they’ve taught themselves is wrong.

It’s Marketing’s job to influence the 57% of the sale that occurs mostly on the web, before Sales contact, but three challenges – incomplete digital integration, ineffective content, and a poorly-optimized channel mix – are keeping marketers from growing mind-share and making the most of what they are getting already. True integration means adjusting marketing to connect to different learning stages.

Using science to influence digital conversations

Today we can map, create, publish and analyze content in real-time to influence and change social media conversations that build reputations, brands, and stories. This technology provides the ability to create unique and consistent content at scale; generating 100,000 uniquely keyed messages in minutes based on the conversation (content/story) you are trying to influence.

This unique digital proprietary technology from EdgeTheory leverages:

  • Advanced machine learning and neural linguistic active listening provide real-time content listening and analysis to any product or storyline.
  • Conversation mapping builds a dynamic graph of the real-time conversations centering around specific keywords, geographies, topics, and people.
  • Skilled analysts (conversation engineers) construct and deploy content templates or packages for each conversation topic, campaign or targeted persona.

Want to know more? Ask for our reputation amplification module.