The B2B Marketing Iceberg
Many people think that B2B marketing is all about the sale, when in fact it is mostly about creating demand. In fact, the vast majority of people businesses market to aren’t ready to purchase – as illustrated in our iceberg version of the Chet Holmes Buyers Purchase Pyramid :
So, with typically only 3% of your database ready to buy, what Marketing techniques work hardest in creating awareness and desire below the iceberg waterline?
Cutting to the chase
- 3% of your contact base are in active purchasing cycles.
- 7% know they have a problem, but haven’t decided what to do about it. Can be moved to the 3% if a sense of urgency is created.
- 60% may become interested if they learn something that upsets their status quo.
Capturing vs Creating Demand
The top 3% of the iceberg are responsive to SEO activity and PPC activity, as customers are intentionally looking for a solution to their problem. Essentially, Capturing Demand is about waiting for people to search for something.
For the rest, we need to create demand by exploring customer pain points, demonstrating the results of using your product or service, creating urgency and showcasing your “why you”. Strategies enabling you to do this include Social Media, Content Marketing, Webinars, Retargeting, Email Nurture campaigns, as well as off line activity such as Events. To Create Demand, we need to proactively reach out to relevant people in places where they already hang out, to engage, educate, entertain and inspire them in order to develop purchase intent.
Engage, Educate, Entertain, Inspire ….?
Relate to the buyers problems or dreams. Demonstrate that you understand the issues created by not having the thing you offer.
Help buyers understand what “it” is and how “it” works. Show how it’s different to what your competitors offer. Use language that potential buyers can relate to and understand.
Make the learning about you process enjoyable and fun. Demonstrate the lighter side of your brand values and personality in the way that you make the way you entertain engaging and unique.
Help Buyers to see the outcomes that are possible, and how “it” can improve their lives. Demonstrate your expertise. Create urgency / FOMO to move customers towards action.
Your content is how your prospects become curious about you and judge you.
7 paths for Creating Demand
Not only have the channels that we use expanded, but so have the paths for demand creation. Businesses are unlikely to use just one, nor all of these techniques, so we usually see a blend :
|Inbound-led||Content marketing that moves people towards conversion||Targeted marketing to harvest leads, qualify them and move to sale|
|Outbound-led||Co-ordinated and targeted outreach||Cast the net wide. Once a customer, account based marketing|
|Product-led||Product desire, usage and feature discovery||Product facilitates upsells, cross-sells and repeat buys|
|Channel-led||A network of expertise by channel / location||Education and support for resellers and partners|
|Event-led||Premium event experiences that develop quality connections||Targeted educational roadshows or webinars|
|Community-led||Create a movement around a transformative idea||Thought leadership, industry experts and influencers. Happy customers|
|Ecosystem-led||Symbiotic relationships with other businesses||Co-marketing, showcasing your “it” as part of a whole|
Key B2B Buyer Questions
What key questions do your content and customer journey need to answer to help prospects move from created to captured demand for your business?
Awareness : Is this the right type of solution to address our problem?
Interest : Is this a supplier credible in this solution area? Are they the right vendor for us?
Consideration : Would we be successful in implementing this solution?
Decision : Would we be successful in achieving the economic benefit from this solution?
The old way vs the new way for B2B marketing
The changes happening in B2B Marketing can be seen as complex, yet still subtle. They may also feel like they need a bit of a leap of faith when it comes to investment. At WSI Digital Advisors, we specialise in using our business know-how to help B2B businesses navigate these changes successfully, so why not reach out to us for a chat?