At the turn of the millennium a salesman had the world where he wanted it. He was the keeper of all collateral to drive business conversations. In fact, he controlled the majority of the sales process at his cadence.
With today's Internet speeds and the new consumer path to purchase, we've witnessed the death of the gatekeeper of information, "shuck and jive" salesperson. Now all the information a prospect or customer needs is readily available on your website, and if not, on your competitors website where they will learn—and potentially buy from.
(picture via verve-pr.com)
Marketing is now the majority owner of the new funnel. Prospects enter at various funnel points, and sometimes require droves of decision makers to align before a sale completes. Then a new process begins as brands look to move a newfound customer to become an advocate. Shelley Cernel at Knowledge Tree quotes Crimson Marketing on the process:
The modern B2B buying process looks less like a linear path from first contact through to sales—it’s more like a spiderweb of social influences and research channels.
With this shift, prospects absorb content at unprecedented rates (from a variety of outlets) before progressing to the next stage of the funnel, and ultimately to the sale. Content is now the backbone for both marketing and sales.
Every piece of content attached to your company needs intent, whether for personas, stages of the funnel, or anything else to support the new era of self-service everything.
More than ever it's critical to create content based off information and insights you know work. As content marketing spend grows, so does management’s interest in how those dollars influence core business goals. Take a look at this infographic for some of the best ways to measure content. And click on the link below for more of Cernel's insights as to what today's B2B buyers want.