With just over 14,000 marketing campaigns for the technology industry under our belt over 17 years, the team at Techday really has a unique knowledge set.
The objective of almost all marketing is sales, which in a business-to-business setting (B2B) has historically meant leads, lead capture or lead generation(gen).
Consider the classic marketing-to-sales conversion funnel below:
Ten or more years ago, marketing was responsible for just the early parts of the combined funnel. With customers generally making an enquiry in the consideration funnel:
Things have changed drastically, and now the customer only enquires with the prospective supplier after extensive research. Referring back to this funnel, the customer enquires at the later half of the decision step:
This means that all of the research and consideration has been completed before they engage with a prospective supplier. The organisation's decision-makers have already short-listed what is the ideal solution and now just need to narrow the vendors and pricing.
Behind the thinking
Recent LinkedIn research proves this stating “50-90% of a buyers journey is completed before reaching out to sales”.
Research from the Marketing Leadership Council and Google declared that ‘customers are choosing to delay commercial conversations with suppliers’ and included a nifty graphic saying that these are now most likely to happen 57% of the way through the buying process.
In fact, SiriusDecisions research claims that the magic point in the purchase journey comes around the 65% mark.
The 90% stat comes from a Forrester analyst, Lori Wizdo, who first used it in a blog post in 2013 about the topic.
You can see this behaviour in all of our personal lives, when it comes to big purchases, we don’t walk into the store until we have done our research online and narrowed our focus.
When you combine this with our own Techday research, that shows that 67% of readers never or seldom complete a vendor content gate/form. As well as, 74% of readers don’t enquire with a supplier until they’re ready to purchase.
What do you do then?
For a marketer, this means that the old trick of putting your crucial literature, white papers, expert opinions, and blogs behind a gate/form doesn’t work. By doing that, you are not part of the research and consideration phases and, as a result, will be unlikely to be involved in the following two either.
The answer is to get all of your content out as widely as possible and freely available. The aim of this is to be part of the earliest phases of the funnel and to be seen as an expert in this area.
You need to remove friction and offer value upfront without asking for too much in return.
At any stage, only 3% of the market is looking to purchase right now. So a gated lead capture approach just focuses on that small group, while an educating approach hits everyone.
- 3% are looking right now
- 17% know they have a problem and actively looking/collecting info
- 20% know they have a problem and doing nothing
- 60% have no problem as far as they can see
This means the frequency of your content is critical. You need to have a regular cadence to be in front of potential customers at the right time.