Personalized B2B marketing for multiple buyers

Many experts argue the future of digital marketing is personalization. Online audiences have a wealth of content at their fingertips. Marketing content that suits their particular interests or needs is the only way to rise above the noise.

This means B2B marketing teams have a special obstacle. Company buying decisions are rarely made by one person. Gallup Polls found that small businesses usually use at least three employees to weigh in on company purchasing decisions, while huge corporations could rely on buying teams comprised of dozens of executives, researchers and daily workers (1). How can B2B marketing content deliver personal messages to a variety of people?

Diverse materials built on data
The simple answer to appealing to diverse audiences is to create a wealth of materials. If a business launches an integrated marketing campaign over several channels utilizing many persuasion and education techniques, it is more likely to meet each buying team member's personal demands. Companies, however, don't have unlimited resources and can't create endless content marketing.

The best way to create diverse materials efficiently is to separate decision-making teams into personas. The content marketing institute said common B2B audience personas include: initiators, influencers, decision-makers, users and gatekeepers (2). This means a company's marketing team has to prepare content that speaks to organization members in charge of finding, evaluating, pricing and using new business products and services.

Once a marketing team understands what the most common personas look for in product descriptions or company introductions, it can begin planning targeted B2B lead nurturing. It should have tactics for each segment of its audience based on hard data.

Different solutions for inbound marketing
Each member of a B2B buying team may interact with content at different phases of inbound marketing. Initiators may search industry publications for articles about product innovations while decisions makers are used to standard email marketing messages. Meanwhile, users often trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people who have to perform similar tasks. Of course, each industry is different, and B2B marketers need to know when and where a member of a buying team will likely interact with a piece of content.

There are a variety of solutions for gathering information on audience interactions with digital marketing. Many channels offer metrics to demonstrate their effectiveness as a publisher. Marketing teams may attach questionnaires. It's important to find a data collection tool or strategy that discovers the position the viewer holds and how they felt about the content.

An inbound marketing agency can help provide insight for every phase of a sales funnel. Capturing data from online interactions is much more helpful when marketers can differentiate who exactly shared posts or clicked on inbound mobile marketing content. A professional marketing agency has the tools and experience needed to collect segmented audience details.

Consistent across channels
The success of an integrated marketing campaign is reliant on how well each inbound marketing step and sales channel works together. It's important the material used to appeal to an initiator offers the same brand message and basic information the decision-maker will act on. Inconsistency could make a company look unreliable, as if it is saying anything a particular listener wants to hear but will change its story based on audience.

Businesses should formulate all marketing content from a central plan. Not only should the entire marketing department weigh in on content creation, but different sections of the business should invest in audience educational materials.

When the decision-making team makes contact, sales representatives need to know what information consumers will reference in initial interactions. Marketing Dive said many industries – especially ones with big ticket items – demand in-person meetings with suppliers before companies become clients (3). It's important the details discussed with executive decision-makers over a working lunch are the same as offers made to lower-level employees over social media promotions.

1. B2B Companies: Do You Know Who Your Customer Is?
2. 4 Questions Answered about Buyer Personas
3. How the new buying process is changing B2B sales and driving the need for new tech

Sheila Kloefkorn (1031 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world’s largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.