To engage b2b buyers in a way that overcomes information overload and drives progress to a successful purchase, marketing leaders need to shift their content marketing strategy. “B2B marketers must move away from a model built on “more” (more content = more engagement = more progress). In a world where customers are struggling with too much information rather than not enough, the most successful marketers are focused on providing less information, specifically designed to make buying easier,” said research firm Gartner.
While speaking at Gartner Sales & Marketing Conference Brent Adamson, distinguished vice president at Gartner, explained how organizations need to focus on “buyer enablement” and developing content that guides customers through critical buying tasks and helps them overcome challenges they encounter throughout the buying process. He said that “buyer enablement” was defined as the provision of information and/or tools to customers that support the completion of specific buying jobs throughout the purchase process.
“B2B buyers today will reward suppliers who make the purchase process easier,” said Adamson, adding that research shows that customers who receive helpful information that eases the purchase process are three times as likely to buy the bigger, more expensive option, with less regret.
Gartner said that there are two types of buyer enablement – prescriptive advice and practical support. While the prescriptive advice helps customers understand what steps to take and how to take them. This information should be clear and credible with actionable recommendations specifically designed to help customers overcome buying challenges and complete each specific step along the buying journey.
On the other hand, practical support help customers complete discrete, job-related activities through the purchase process. This information represents the tools customers might use to follow through on the prescriptive advice.
“By focusing on these two types of buyer enablement, marketing can engineer a complete content ecosystem designed to help drive high-value, low-regret deals — and, ultimately, better support sales,” added Adamson.
Shifting the commercial strategy to buyer enablement requires reallocating resources to producing a different kind of content altogether. There is an urgent need for marketers to move their content marketing portfolio away from thought leadership, industry trends and infotainment, which comprise the bulk of today's content marketing fare, and toward buyer enablement, said Gartner.