By: Ashley La Fleur
What struck me most was the push to be more agile and to take more risks.
Those lessons were supported by surprising stats around the changing role of thought leadership content, the staying power of PR in a digital world, and how buying decisions are made by committees vs individuals.
I invite you to dive into the details below and follow for more updates on our LinkedIn channel, including a 3-part content series on the power of provocative content.
Tailoring Thought Leadership for the B2B Buyer
The B2B buyer has extremely high expectations of content and wants thought leadership that challenges their assumptions. In fact, 71% of B2B buyers report that less than half of the thought leadership they consume provides valuable insights on a topic. Think quality over quantity when creating white papers, guides, videos, and social posts. Get to the point quickly, show some personality, and give readers something that starts a conversation instead of validating what they already know.
Influencing the Committee, not a Single Decision Maker
According to a recent study by LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, B2B decisions are increasingly being made by a committee which means that organizations have more people they need to influence, which in turn, increases the time it takes to make a decision. On average, a B2B buying decision is made with a committee of 6.8 people.
The three Rs – Right message, Right audience, Right time – hold new meaning as we strive to shorten the sales cycle and require a more hyper-focused approach to be effective. One solution/message/approach does not fit all. Never did. Never will.
Public Relations is Alive and Well
In the words of Bill Gates, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on PR.” We’re Team Bill on this one and agree that public relations and communications are critical, particularly for B2B organizations looking to:
- Curate their brand reputation
- Build buzz and drive awareness
- Grow long-term relationships to scale
- Expand into new markets
Consider this: 95% of your future buyers are currently “out of market.”
Introducing your brand and building awareness requires consistency, repetition, and time. It starts at the top of the marketing funnel, casting a wide net across your audience of potential buyers and planting a seed. According to LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, “Most purchases start not by searching Google, but by searching a memory.”
The PR payoff is often felt downstream as it contributes to funneling leads towards the research, consideration, validation, and decision-making processes.
Remember – 83% of the purchase cycle happens prior to speaking to someone. Start early. Stay the course. Measure and optimize your efforts.
We’ve Got More to Say…
We’ve scratched the surface here with intel on content, PR and influencing B2B buyers but INBOUND 2022 over-delivered on inspiration so we are creating part two. In it, we recap HubSpot product announcements, updates to Google Privacy, and the role of data in a CRM.