For B2B marketers, an alternative approach to sales support and content is buyer enablement.
Purchasing a B2B product or service is no more a linear activity, from the seller or buyer perspective. Marketing focused on quickly moving prospects toward a sale ends up ignoring the complexity of the nonlinear reality of B2B buying. The high number of jobs that need to be done overwhelms the buyers with loads of information and sometimes even sets up purchase regret.
Experts believe that in the last five years marketing leaders have failed to understand the tactical details there are needed to reduce buyer pain points. According to Gartner, virtually every B2B purchase lasts around six distinct jobs so that buyers are satisfied and successfully complete a complex purchase. These include problem identification, solution exploration, requirements building, supplier selection, validation, and consensus creation. For buyers, the purchase ease has a significant impact, as many of the buying jobs are visited often throughout the journey.
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Such nonlinear looping from one task to another represents that buyers value the suppliers who make the purchase process easier to navigate. Ease of purchase also has an impact on the value that customers perceive along with the level of regret. High levels of regret can reduce customer loyalty and cut the chances of customer advocating for a supplier.
Gartner states that customers who engage with buyer enablement content are likely to make a high-quality purchase three times more than the ones who do not have any content support. Almost 30% of the learning in B2B buying journey is from the information the buyer can access and encounter. Experts believe that customers don’t have any preference between digital channels and sellers; they just want the right information so that they can complete their job at hand. Therefore, information, and not individuals, make the purchase process more accessible.
Buyer enablement content refers to a particular content marketing that consists of information that enables the customers to complete the critical buying jobs. Experts recommend that rather than focusing the content marketers’ efforts on a constant generation of white papers, thought leadership, infographics, and videos, CMOs should rebalance their content efforts and deploy information that helps buyers buy.
Buyer enablement content falls under the prescriptive advice which is primarily about the “do this” or “don’t do this” recommendations that are designed to ease buying burdens. The content can also have practical support that represents the actual tools that customers use to follow prescriptive advice.
A proper mix of these two can help at multiple points across jobs‚ making this content a powerful tool for the commercial teams to drive customers in buying their solutions.
Also read: It’s Time for B2B Marketers to Leverage OOH