As B2B marketers, we’re pros at identifying and solving problems. Iteration is one of our super powers and we can always make a campaign better next time. But sometimes we’re so focused on improving that we don’t stop to celebrate our successes or be thankful for how much B2B marketing practices and technology has changed for the better over the past few years. In honor of Thanksgiving, here’s a list of 4 things that B2B marketers can be thankful for.
1. Your Fast-Moving B2B Buyers Want to Get Their Binge On
We spend a lot of time and resources creating content to fuel demand. But it’s easy to feel like we’re not making an impact with our content. We build it and throw it out there on all channels, but we can’t really be sure whether anyone is spending quality time with it or whether it’s influencing our buyers. Is that new eBook resonating with your target audience or is it the marketing equivalent of a turkey dinner – inducing big Tryptophan zzzzzzzzzzz’s?
Thanks to new data and analysis of buyers’ content engagement behavior, we now know that fast-moving buyers consume a lot of content very quickly – and they will keep coming back for seconds and thirds if you accommodate them. Put another way, when someone is in the process of self-educating, it’s the B2B marketing equivalent of binge-watching episodes on Netflix: They want to consume more content right now. It turns out that when provided with multiple content assets, 33% of LookBookHQ visitors will consume more than one piece of content in a single session.
2. You Can Now See What’s Happening After Your Buyer Clicks
I’ve never met a B2B marketer who didn’t want to be more data-driven. We can all be thankful that the era of measuring proxies for engagement (clicks, form completes and social shares) and having to make assumptions about our buyer’s engagement is drawing to an end. We now have tools that provide insight into what buyers are doing after they click: what content assets people are engaging with and for how long. Attention spans today are extremely short so time spent reading or watching something has real value as an indicator of a buyer’s engagement and sales-readiness. When we can see what buyers are doing post-click, we can optimize, refine and tailor the content experiences we’re delivering on the destination side of the click.
3. Data-Driven Content Marketing Is A Real Thing Now
We’re beginning to see an exciting convergence of content, data and channel in the real world that is allowing leading marketers to take the guesswork out of identifying sales-ready buyers based on their content consumption behavior.
Sophisticated marketers are increasingly using data and analytics to deliver the right content at the right time in the buyer’s journey wherever and whenever they click. Jessie Coan, Senior Director of Content at the Aberdeen Group, refers to this trend as the “Age of Content Science,” predicting the rise of the content scientist as a key role within modern marketing departments. Data-driven content marketing is about serving personalized, relevant content to prospective buyers and tracking their interactions with that content across multiple channels.
As Kevin Akeroyd, SVP and GM at Oracle Marketing Cloud, put it recently, “As we look ahead to 2016, marketing’s ability to modernize existing processes and embrace data, technology and content will increasingly define the success of organizations across all industries.”
As mentioned earlier, content engagement metrics that allow marketers to track who is engaging with what content assets and for how long will play an important role in the new age of content science. By measuring actual content engagement, rather than proxies, marketers can identify fast-moving buyers who tend to consume a lot of content very quickly and better accommodate their content “bingeing” behavior. By integrating post-click content engagement data with marketing automation platforms, marketers can improve lead scoring, deliver more personalized, behavior-driven follow-ups, and make informed decisions about the types of content that actually work to drive demand.
4. You’re Never Too Far From Coffee
With all this momentous change in the air for B2B marketers, one constant remains: There’s no such thing as a normal day in a fast-paced marketing department with all those moving parts! When things get particularly chaotic or just plain go wrong (yep, slow clap, you really did just send out that email campaign with a mock-worthy typo and now the replies are rolling in to rub your nose in it!), at least there’s coffee, the modern marketer’s jet fuel. Grab another pumpkin-spice-skinny-latte, take a short break to regroup (better latte than never…), and then get back to killing it!
To help you locate that coffee and feed your caffeine craving, here’s a cartographic guide to every Starbucks on the planet. Bonus points if you already know which is the most Starbucks-filled city in the world. It’s Seoul.
Attention is a Gift
As marketers, we’re in the attention business – getting it and holding on to it once we’ve got it. This Thanksgiving, let’s get away from the office and take time to reflect on how precious the gift of attention is, and how we can pay more attention to what really matters in our lives. Thanks to you all for being such awesome marketers – the work you do inspires me every day. Have a splendid time with your family and friends this holiday and enjoy the moment!