By Dawn Colossi
A few years ago, I was your typical B2B marketer: I had a “lead goal” (144K to be precise); was churning out “campaigns” (read: three emails and a landing page); and I was completely frustrated that all of my “BANT-qualified” MQLs weren’t turning into revenue.
The way I saw it, I had a few choices:
- Start drinking
- Keep on doing what I was doing and hope things would just get better
- Or figure out a new way to create demand
I chose number three – well, with a bit of number one on the side, if I’m being honest.
Everything I was reading at that time led me to one conclusion: data-driven, digital content marketing may have incorporated all the latest buzzwords, but it was unproven. Further, it seemed very complicated. No one had a blueprint on how to get started because no one was actually DOING it – they were just WRITING about it.
Be that as it may, the concept still made a lot of sense to me, so I decided we were going to figure it out.
It All Starts With the Buyer’s Journey
SiriusDecisions concluded a while back that “67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.” I’m sure you all remember when this first came out. I think every email pitch I received and every vendor I spoke with was using this stat or some variation of it.
In my mind, we were digital. We had a website, obviously. We did email “campaigns,” some online advertising with banner ads and had been doing content syndication programs, or “lead gen” programs as they were referred to, but we definitely didn’t see this as content marketing.
In fact, I had gotten an IM from the CMO once that told me to “shut down” content syndication because we weren’t getting anything out of it. But that just didn’t make sense to me.
What was starting to make a lot of sense to me, however, was everything I’d been reading about the buyer’s journey. Of course, people do more than one thing before they made a buying decision – I certainly did.
Suddenly, it didn’t make sense that we actually expected someone to download a piece of content from a content syndication program and be ready to talk to a sales person.
Think about that for a second. Someone goes to a publisher site, they’re looking around and decide they want to read your whitepaper. So, they quickly fill out the form, providing their name and email address to download it. They very likely have little idea of what your company does or whether they’re interested in your product. Is this really a “lead”?
It seems so absurd now. Why should we be calling this lead gen?
We were definitely missing something. So the first thing we decided to do was go back and look at closed/won deals. We wanted to see if we could plot out the actions taken by an account before the opportunity was created through to closed/won.
The Buyer’s Journey is Real
This is what we saw:
And, this is where Go to the full article.