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April 14, 2015   Posted by: Dale Underwood

Product Content is #2 for B2B Buyers

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Do you believe that “product content is king” for B2B lead generation?

Are you creating blogs, producing webinars, recording podcasts and saturating social media channels with hopes of winning the content race?

Well, according to MarketingSherpa and Enquiro, you can slow down a bit; it turns out that product content is #2 on B2B buyer’s wish lists.

Take a look at the results of this B2B Buyer’s Study:

Can this be right?

Potential customers are looking for Pricing more than Product Information?

How can that be true?

Well, the first thought I had was that this was not taking into account where in the buying cycle a website visitor needed pricing. Of course they need pricing before they purchase, but not to research, right?

Wrong. It turns out that Pricing is needed at the very beginning of the buying cycle, during the awareness phase.

Once again, check out this chart and notice the red Pricing line.

sherpa_slide2_website

This survey is telling us that potential B2B customers not only want pricing, they want it during the awareness stage, well before they view any webinars or contact Sales. While this finding makes sense for Business-to-Consumer marketing, this study is of Business-to-Business buyers.

To summarize:

What Do Serious Prospects Really Want?   Answer: Budgetary Pricing

When do they want it?   Answer: The Awareness Phase

But why is this happening?

TIME vs. CONTENT

My opinion for why this is happening in B2B sales is based on examining the TIME vs. CONTENT problem. Before the internet marketing explosion, there was ample time for a prospect to review and digest offerings from a variety of vendors. The process was slower and generally consisted of attending trade shows, conferences and reading industry magazines. Interested prospects would connect with the sales team in a variety of ways to set up meetings.

time_01

Then, Internet Marketers started generating digital content … and more content … and more content.

Prospective customers love it. They no longer have to travel to get the latest information about the products and services they need.

The problem is, the Time vs. Content ratio has reversed as shown in the following diagram:
time_03

The customer simply does not have time to digest all of the available solutions to his or her problem. The quantity of information is overwhelming.

So, knowing that she will never be able to completely analyze all of the options she decides to eliminate some vendors based on affordability. If she can pare down the group to a “short list” of potential providers, then she can more thoroughly choose between the remaining vendors. This improves the Time to Content ratio in the prospects favor as shown below:

time_04
Using a short list based on affordability, or budget fit, a prospect can now dive deeper into the remaining vendor’s content. The prospective customer has used budget fit at the very beginning of their research to save themselves time.

This revelation means that the savvy B2B marketer may be missing good prospects by focusing too heavily on product content and not providing a way for a website visitor to easily get budgetary pricing.

For a simple way to use self-service pricing as a strong call-to-action to improve your b2b lead generation, check out LeadLifter.

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