In the absence of actual vacation plans this year, I’ve taken to spending my time thinking about the buyer’s journey instead. It turns out there are a lot of similarities between planning a family getaway and deciding on a purchase. First, we identify the need. (‘I cannot look at this crap-heap a moment longer.’) Then, the ideal solution. (‘An all-inclusive break somewhere warm and sunny.’) There follows extensive research, the dialing back of expectations, the realization that you don’t want to compromise, a proposal to increase the budget (‘But this is a rainy day. What are we saving for anyway?’), and then finally the magic moment when you press ‘book now’.
When I was a child, these holidays would have been booked in person at a travel agent. Now, I can do it all alone, online, without having to speak to anyone at all. The buying journey has evolved.
These days, more than half of the B2B buyer’s journey is digital and self-guided. In effect, it’s a journey of self-discovery. We want to make our own judgements about which direction to take – and avoid at all costs the rip-off tour bus.
So, with buyers preferring to forge their own path, it’s up to marketers to create the tourism campaign, the guide book, the sign posts, and all the infrastructure that gets a prospective visitor to the main attraction and ensures they leave happy. Which is a roundabout way of saying that marketers are no longer just responsible for generating leads – they also play a crucial role in converting leads into happy customers.
That’s a lot of responsibility – and a lot of infrastructure. So how do you ensure you are maximizing your budget and getting the most out of your content? Here are five must-have marketing tools that can help.
Must-have Marketing Tool #1: A Business Value Calculator
‘What’s in it for me?’ is the question all marketers try to answer with their content. But sometimes numbers are more powerful than words. With Mediafly Tool Builder, you can easily create and launch self-service assessments or calculators on your website to help buyers answer the question “why change?”. Take a look at this example from Commvault, which asks visitors to fill out just a few details to help identify the potential savings from investing in their data management solution. Or this one from 6sense, which similarly requires very little input to disclose the potential value of their ABM lead qualification tool. In both cases, it is hard to argue with the numbers, which make a powerful statement about the kind of return you can expect from your investment.
The instant calculations you see on screen aren’t the only value Tool Builder provides. You can also send visitors a report containing a capability and maturity framework, relevant use cases, and an improvement roadmap. This exercise provides a way of proving value before purchase and piques your buyers’ interest, by demonstrating how you can help them solve their specific challenges. It also presents an opportunity for sales reps to engage earlier in the buying process and equips them with the intel they need to transform from sales rep to trusted advisor.
Must-have Marketing Tool #2: A Content Hub
The whole point of sales enablement technology is to create a better experience for the buyer. So, if the buyer is conducting more than half of their buying journey alone, why do traditional sales enablement platforms step in only once the handoff from marketing to sales has taken place?
Mediafly Content Hub enables you to develop a personalized and relevant content engagement experience across the entire buyer journey. This must-have marketing tool allows you to begin surfacing the most relevant content for a buyer on the website, in the early stages of buyer research. It empowers you to track what buyers are engaging with what content so you can better identify sales-ready leads, understand what content motivates buyers along their journey, and ensure your sellers can pick the conversation up where the buyer left off in their own research to speed the sale along.
Content Hub also enables marketers to manage public-facing website content, customer-facing sales content, and internal-only sales content all in one place. So, there’s less time spent fiddling about with different applications and more time freed up to create all that highly-relevant content.
Must-have Marketing Tool #3: A Shadow Content Finder
Talking of time spent fiddling, what is the appropriate response when you’ve spent ages crafting a perfect PowerPoint and then discover that someone has morphed it with some ancient document that is totally off-brand? Asking for a friend.
Anyway, to save marketers everywhere from making this the hill they die on, Mediafly has created the Shadow Content Finder. This tool searches for and highlights user-created content – even to the extent of highlighting specific pages within documents – and then enables you to easily email the creator and shame them— I mean alert them to the presence of shadow content.
If you’re the forgiving type, you can use this must-have marketing tool to understand exactly what content users want and plug any gaps in your resources. Otherwise, it’s time to get out the bells and rotting fruit for a walk of shame.
In all seriousness, users obviously aren’t going rogue just to annoy the content creators, so it is useful to have the opportunity to have this conversation about what they need in the way of content and what the company needs – i.e. brand compliance.
Must-have Marketing Tool #4: Workspaces
There are all kinds of ways to store content these days – but why make do with a content repository when you can have a Workspace? Workspaces are Mediafly’s answer to content navigation – and it’s slick, seamless and oh so simple.
Workspaces are micro portals for customers, sellers and marketers to browse resources, discover specific documents, or create content sets for a whole spectrum of use cases. They are easy to set up and even easier to use, enabling you to quickly assemble customer- or scenario-specific Workspaces that can be shared in-person or by email. Take a look at the demo to see the stylish navigation in action and then start imagining yourself with a customer scrolling through your own resources. Looking good, right? And so much easier to customize than a standard slide deck. Go on, watch it again. I can wait.
Must-have Marketing Tool #5: Content Insights
If you’ve ever wondered whether your content is having an impact, Mediafly Insights is the must-have marketing tool for you. More than views and shares – the so-called vanity metrics, which are not really that insightful – Mediafly’s advanced content analytics and dashboard allow you to measure content engagement.
What does this mean? It means you can finally tie content to revenue. You can identify the ROI of specific resources. And armed with that information you can make strategic decisions about where to invest your time – and money – in order to optimize the sales process and drive revenue.
At the beginning of this blog I said that marketers are now responsible for converting leads into happy customers. Insights allows you to understand which content makes that happen.
The path to self-discovery begins with a single click
The good news about the independent travelers that make up today’s customer base is that by the time they are ready to talk to a sales rep they are pretty motivated. They have done the research. They have got themselves to the airport. Mentally, they have probably committed to going somewhere – they just have to pinpoint where. And with the right marketing tools at your disposal, you can help them make the right choice to meet their needs.
A bespoke content engagement experience, driven by insights and effortlessly delivered – that is the power of sales enablement technology.
View our recorded webinar Evolving Perspectives: Content is King and Engagement is Queen for more on how to create a seamless content engagement experience for buyers.