Everybody claims to be doing targeted marketing, but few actually get it right. Marketers allocate a significant portion of the budget on tools for better marketing precision (like advanced analytics and marketing automation). But only a minority (around 45%) of marketers believe they’re able to nail down targeted marketing, while an even smaller percentage of marketers (around 30%) think strategies like personalization and segmentation are delivering the right results.
While the exact details vary from industry to industry and from organization to organization, the difficulties that B2B marketers face today when targeting their customers all boil down to four key issues:
- Getting in front of the right decision maker
- Connecting with decision makers at the right time
- Leveraging the right marketing channels
- Crafting the right message
To help B2B marketers meet each of these four challenges head-on, the Callbox team is publishing a complete handbook on targeted marketing available as a downloadable eBook.
The handbook provides comprehensive, step-by-step guides on each of the four key areas of targeted marketing (customers, buying process, channels, and message), as well as detailed checklists and actionable worksheets to put these concepts into action.
Here’s a little sneak peek.
Getting in Front of the Right Decision Maker
The biggest reason why marketers find it difficult to build relationships with the right decision makers is that the average B2B buying decision now involves nearly 7 stakeholders, each coming from a different background and performing unique roles. Now, more than ever, B2B marketers need to define their ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and identify their buyer personas.
- Ideal customer profile (ICP): A hypothetical business or organization that’s a perfect fit for your solution.
- Buyer persona: An idealized representation of your target customer based on demographic, firmographic, and psychographic attributes.
The handbook devotes an entire section on building ideal customer profiles and buyer personas, and then concludes with two worksheets to put everything about your target audience in more concrete terms. At the end of this section, you’ll be able to clearly document the types of companies and decision-makers that impact your marketing results.
Connecting at the Right Time
In case you haven’t noticed, the average length of the B2B buying process has significantly increased. DemandGen Report says more than 3 out of 5 B2B marketers think their purchase process has gotten longer and that they’re doing more research before signing off on a purchase.
This highlights marketing’s growing role in the lead-to-revenue cycle, which also points to marketing’s increasing involvement in activities traditionally carried out by sales. In order to attract prospects and win deals, B2B marketers need to proactively engage potential customers at every buying stage through providing the information they’re looking for. Specifically, B2B marketers should:
- Map/Remap their sales funnel to align with the new path to purchase using the 5 W’s of the B2B buying process
- Refine their lead scoring and ranking capabilities to more accurately reflect how potential customers move from one stage of the buying journey to the next
At the end of the sales funnel/buying journey alignment section of the handbook, you’ll be able to outline and map out the different buying stages that your target customers go through. The section also ends with a checklist for sales funnel/buyer journey alignment, plus worksheets on persona-buyer stage mapping and a lead scoring template.
Leveraging the Right Channels
There’s no doubt engagement takes place across different marketing channels and platforms. This creates both opportunities and challenges for targeted marketing, not least of which is the growing need to keep the marketing message consistent from one channel to another.
This is where having a robust multi-channel strategy comes in handy. Multi-channel marketing goes beyond simply interacting with potential buyers on different platforms; it’s about combining these channels into a single, cohesive set of touch points. Keep in mind that:
- A B2B customer regularly uses 6 different interaction channels throughout the decision journey.
- But 65% of these prospects become disappointed because of inconsistent experiences across channels.
- Outbound channels improve inbound tactics’ effectiveness by enabling scalable, direct, and one-on-one outreach for marketing messages.
The section on multi-channel marketing also walks you through a thorough checklist of steps to do and things to have prior to launching multi-channel programs. It then provides a planning worksheet to help you document your multi-channel strategy.
Crafting the Right Message
The key to generating consistent targeted marketing results (attracting and winning customers) is to deliver marketing messages that move potential buyers from one buying stage to the next. The “right message” consists of any content or material that:
- Drives awareness of a business problem
- Draws attention to potential solutions
- Builds a business case for change vs. the status quo
- Motivates a purchase
The average B2B buyer reviews around 10.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. The more costly and complex the solution involved, the higher the number of content sources B2B customers consult. A LinkedIn Business study finds that B2B buyers want both product information and educational (thought leadership) content, depending on where they are in the buying journey.
This means that your messages need to contain information that’s relevant to the prospect’s current buying context:
- Awareness stage: Prospects need help identifying the problem and narrowing it down.
- Consideration stage: They’re laying out all possible solutions.
- Decision stage: The prospect is evaluating a potential vendor.
Obviously, not all paths to purchase exactly follow the three-step model, but it’s a good starting point for most B2B marketers. That’s why the final section in the handbook provides an in-depth checklist for mapping marketing messages with buying stages and concludes with a content planning worksheet.
Getting targeted marketing right can be very daunting for most B2B marketers, especially since it evidently involves many moving parts and requires a lot of resources. But with the guides, checklists, and worksheets in this handbook, you’re in a better position to deal with today’s marketing challenges.
Related: 4 Fathers Who Shaped the Evolution of B2B Marketing