‘Personalization’ and ‘Engagement’ are all we ever talk about. They result in more engaged customer, a lower sales cycle, higher ASVs and a low churn rate. If we cracked this nut, we would own it all.
Mapping content journey to customer journey, formats and channels that drive personalization, engagement that ultimately lead to profiling resulting in a digitally ‘qualified’ buyer that is ready to talk to you is where the challenge and the opportunity lies.
Marketing Automation was launched with the promise of being able to progressively profile a buyer journey during multiple engagements to determine a qualified buyer. What it failed to account for was buyer engagement across other digital media properties. Over the years, growing buyer savvy to circumvent such linear efforts has progressively provided lesser and lesser qualified buyers contributing to a growing sales and marketing debate over quality of leads. Media networks and solutions grew over time to provide us with buyer interaction with 3rd party content and sites as an answer to some of the problems. However, tying it back together, and then running models to identify what set of variables predicted a hand-raiser, has become a nightmarish analysis paralysis problem.
Opportunity for the B2B marketer is to continue to crack this challenge with content relevance and engagement at the right time and through the right channels.
1. Hyper personalization and buyer journeys
Buyer journey is not linear and engagement, once or multiple times, alone does not define intent. It is imperative for the marketer to add more and more variables to their qualification arsenal to triangulate to the bulls-eye that defines the hand-raiser. Buyer maturity requires new frameworks to isolate and message to smaller pockets of buyers. Solutions that provide a seamless tie-in between owned, earned and paid channels, not delivered through traditional automation vendors today, will be key to increasing buyer mind-share. Explained in a few sentences above does not in any way undermine the enormity of this task. This effort crosses all demand generation disciplines of strategy and frameworks, data science, content creation, technology mapping, and outreach programs. For the marketing leadership understanding of the problem and addressing it in baby steps will give them a boost in the right direction than trying to ignore it, leave it undefined, or trying to take it all on at the same time.
2. Content Format and Channel
As the content mushroom blooms, video as the format, and YouTube as the channel, has come out the winner to engage reduced attention spans and provide an interactive, quick way of breaking through the mental fugue we find ourselves in. According to statistics posted by YouTube:
- YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and everyday people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.
- YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18–34 and 18–49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
- More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.
- YouTube has launched local versions in more than 88 countries.
- You can navigate YouTube in a total of 76 different languages (covering 95% of the Internet population).
A scientist and a dreamer, a pragmatist and a poet — a B2B leader truly sits at the confluence.