Marketers Deliver Business Impact with Interactive Content
by Bill Rose, on Dec, 11, 2019
Marketers can raise their profile within the business by playing a central role in contributing to top-line business growth. Many believe they do, but their sales colleagues don’t agree. Why? The inability to deliver insights from marketing content and experiences that identify buyer behavior and motivations that help get sales done. Research from Forrester finds that 94% of firms struggle with this problem. Interactive content can help marketers answer the challenge.
There’s a disconnect between what marketing views as useful content and insights and what sales teams need to close business. While most sales teams agree that marketing does a good job of providing content and experiences that impact the buying process from lead generation through nurturing, agreement drops off for insights for handling objections and closing the sale.
While sellers want to know about the relative interests of buyers as relates to the organization’s value proposition and motivations that drive the buyer’s research process, marketers rank the product or solutions of greatest interest and their role of the buyer in the decision process as their two top most useful buyer behavior insights.
When it comes to marketers’ biggest struggles, many of them revolve around actionable data and visibility into buyer behavior. Interactive content combined with holistic analytics helps to reduce this struggle.
Based on the report, Interactive Content Experiences Help Marketers Better Understand Buyers, Cultivate Leads and Close Deals[AA1] , Forrester concludes:
We found that interactive content experiences provide insights that help understand buyers, allow business growth through greater conversion, and raise marketing’s profile as a key business driver
How Interactive Content and Holistic Analytics Benefit Marketers
Sales teams are focused on end results. Insights that help them get sales done will do more to elevate marketing within the business than many other efforts you could choose to focus on. Getting these insights is simplified with a Sales Hub that’s built to help marketing and sales work better together.
White Paper vs. Needs Assessment
Thought leadership is sought after by buyers but presenting ideas on their own without a feedback loop doesn’t tell you which part of those ideas resonated most clearly or will have the most impact given the buyer’s current situation.
An interactive assessment will capture the buyer’s inputs about the challenges he’s facing and the potential impact each may have on his business. Not only do his inputs allow marketers to better understand buyers but help sales reps understand how to provide the best value add. For example, what if knowing the combination of the inputs leads your rep to better understand how to help the buyer define their problem or their motivations for solving it?
Static brochure vs. Virtual Product Tour
With a static brochure, the buyer likely downloads a PDF and that’s all you know. Marketers have no idea if they opened or read it or what parts of the product captured your buyers’ interest.
With a virtual product tour, the content is dynamic. When a buyer drills into a specific area of the product, you’ll know. You can arm your sales reps with this information prior to a meeting to help them prepare. You can also use this information to recommend which content the sales rep should share or to inform nurturing programs that deepen engagement based on buyer interests.
You can see more information about how to use interactive content to build buyer engagement in this post.
AI-Powered, Holistic Analytics Remove the Struggle
In the chart above, the inability to gain insights from content is a major struggle. A Sales Hub that provides a central library for all sales content assets can change the game. From automatic content tagging to a breadth of content engagement metrics, you’ll know exactly which content played the biggest role in new customer acquisition, as well as account expansion. And, you’ll be able to tie the impact of content to a specific buyer or customer.
This means you will know which content to make more of or which content to retire. Based on the tags used for the content of interest, it’s easy for your sales reps to find similar content to further develop the relationship with the buyer.
3 Benefits for Sellers:
We’ve shown you how interactive content helps marketers deliver business impact, but it’s not all about you. The impact swings both ways, helping sellers align with buyers by supporting critical conversations between sellers and buyers. As such, creating interactive content that gives sellers an advantage also helps marketers and sellers work better together.
Step Away from the Dreaded PowerPoint Presentation
Craig Rosenberg, Co-Founder and Chief Analyst at TOPO, when asked about B2B Marketing predictions for 2020, says that the next 10 years will be about personalization. Instead of asking a buyer to sit through a static presentation that’s likely designed to talk about your company and your products from a generic macro perspective, use interactive content that helps the seller engage the buyer by showing them the exact capabilities they need to solve the problem at hand. Given the research they’ve likely conducted, prior to accepting a meeting, they’ve learned about your company and already have a high-level understanding of your products. Interactive content helps sellers quickly steer the conversation to what matters most to them. That’s the definition of personalization.
Co-Design the Buyer Experience
People learn by doing—both your sales reps and your buyers. Buyers and sellers, working together, use interactive content to create unique, collaborative experiences that help buyers make sense out of how best to solve their problems with your products. Interactive content, such as a virtual product tour on a seller’s tablet, invites buyers to lean into the conversation while they visualize how your products can help solve their problems. As they indicate which capabilities they need—and why—your sales rep can instantly pivot to support their needs and share more relevant content instantly to increase intent in your favor.
Fulfill on the Buyers’ Mandate to Provide Value
Because 67% of B2B buyers want content 100% customized to their specific situation, interactive content—such as assessments and ROI calculators—completed together during a meeting will get more traction for sellers to help buyers move forward. This type of collaboration will also provide insights on the use of your products to solve business problems, which 66% of buyers want.
Take Control of How Marketing Provides Business Impact
A Sales Hub that empowers marketers to create interactive content experiences—without developers—and use that content combined with insights to how buyers interact with it, will become a valuable partner to sales. You’ll be able to prove the contribution of content to top-line revenue and your sales counterparts will ascribe value to your ability to impact the business.