We’ve been working in the B2B space for many years and this year we’re seeing companies across the board embracing online and digital marketing in ways they haven’t before. This is good news. And we’re excited that instead of hiding during a pandemic, businesses continue to talk to customers and prospects. Digital marketing is a great way for sales and marketing to work together to communicate to prospects, provide value and move sales forward. So it seems like now is a good time to clarify some things about digital marketing, the sales process and how to get the most out of your marketing dollars.
Let’s think about the sales process and the idea of leading a prospect through that process from Awareness to Consideration to the Purchase Decision. According to HubSpot (and Salesforce) the magic number of touches needed in order to convert a lead to a purchase is eight – before diminishing returns set in. Eight touches. Most sales processes don’t even get close to that number before they give up – so those sales organizations are leaving money on the table in terms of the longer term sales opportunities.
Digital marketing is ideal for sales because it’s measurable, you can target specific audiences who will have an interest and potential need, plus expand your reach considerably. Another great thing about digital marketing is the immediacy of it. By using search, you can get in front of people with an immediate need.
In any digital campaign, you will get some prospects who recognize your brand to respond within the first few digital touches. However, for the vast majority of sales, and especially at higher price points, you will have to lead your prospect through the steps to the purchase. Thinking about what the eight touches can be, they are relevant email, phone calls/voicemail, web/landing page or other content interactions, etc. But it’s important that each of these touches is meaningful or you’ll lose the prospect. Some things to think about while setting up your digital campaign:
- Is the content on point – relevant, educational, showing thought leadership in your space
- Does the email offer helpful information and links to your content or case studies that solve a problem for prospects (and customers)
- Is your landing page useful and easy to navigate – not just filled with ad copy and product features and shots
- Do you have a valuable piece of content that you can gate online to help you gather opt-in email addresses to build your CRM
Each touchpoint matters.
So back to the idea that digital is immediate. If a prospect knows and likes your brand and they have an immediate need, you’ll be in the consideration set for their purchase. But what if they don’t know your brand? Then you’re starting farther back in the decision process (higher up the funnel). You have to gain their trust by providing helpful, insightful content that educates and leads them to see your brand as credible. Once the prospect is aware of your brand and you have built trust and credibility, only then will a prospect put your brand into the consideration set for future purchases – and that’s where ongoing opportunity lies.