Courtesy of Sand Hill
If you are an enterprise software vendor, at least half of your marketing programs are likely not making the right connection with your prospects to convert them into customers. On paper you are doing all the right things. You have done the market research and know where your prospects are. You are marketing your latest webinar in the right online forums or advertising your latest white paper by buying the right keywords. You have amassed a large prospect database and are actively marketing to them. You may even have a blog and a social media strategy. But despite all these efforts, your lead-to-opportunity conversion ratio is still below target because your leads are too raw and just not yet ready to engage. You have also recently started a drip nurture marketing program, but even that is not helping.
This article will help you identify the core issue and then suggest steps to improve the effectiveness of your marketing programs.
Why prospects don’t engage with marketing programs
How can your marketing programs engage your prospects better? To answer this question, you have to first think: when was the last time you sat down and paid attention to all the marketing messages that surround you every day? Customers have simply stopped listening to all the noise from the traditional world of marketing. At home, they use TiVo to skip television advertising and rarely notice the ads in newspapers and magazines.
However, when an ad appeals to their emotions, they pay attention. Remember the Apple “javelin throw” commercial at the 1984 Super Bowl? What about last year’s mini Darth Vadar unleashing “the force” on his dad’s Volkswagen? Similarly at work, customers will listen to your marketing messages if you have something that makes them better at their jobs and can be consumed rapidly. This is the essence of the new marketing technique called content-based marketing. Successful software marketing organizations are already using it very effectively.
So what is content-based marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute, it is a technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. It is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they continue to pay attention and ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty. And they do.
The key to effective content marketing is that it must be relevant and valuable to prospects and that it must be bite-sized, so that it can be easily consumed by the busy, multi-tasking professional during his or her already overloaded work day. Even if the content is relevant and important, who has time to listen to an archive of a 45-minute webinar or read a six-page white paper that your marketing organization may be promoting using Google Adwords or in a nurture email campaign?
Read the entire article at Sand Hill