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Engaging the B2B prospect at the top of the funnel.

In conversations with our clients, we hear a lot of similar pain points about marketing to B2B audiences. “Our target is extremely busy.” “Decision makers are hard to reach.” Attention lies at the heart of the challenge. How can you capture the eyes and ears of B2B buyers? Think about it as a one-two punch. First, take cues from existing buyer behavior. Second, embrace the fact that bold, breakthrough creative may be required to drive awareness and consideration.

Meet buyers where they are.
How do buyers want to interact? In person? Online?

For search and discovery, buyers prefer to interact online. According to Demand Gen’s 2017 Buyer’s Survey Report1, 61% of B2B buyers initiate their research with a broad web search. Boston Consulting Group (BCG)2 research adds that “[m]ore than one-third of all customers expect the supplier’s website to be the most helpful channel.”

Only after a prospect has completed the original search and discovery phase do personalized interactions become relevant; at this point, the prospect is further down the funnel and into the phase of serious consideration. According to BCG2, more than 75% of all B2B buyers say they have only limited interaction with salespeople. However, it is imperative that the sales team is able to prove their worth, as 64% of B2B buyers said the sales team’s knowledge and insights were very important when choosing a solution provider, according to Demand Gen’s 2018 Buyer’s Survey Report.3

So, invest time in your digital experience to ensure it’s a great resource for users at the top of the funnel. The content and design should clearly and simply communicate what your company offers and why it’s better than the competition. MailChimp, for example, does an excellent job of sharing their capabilities in a simple and straightforward manner.   

A little creativity goes a long way.

Once you’ve developed informative digital content, aim to engage buyers in new and creative ways to break through the clutter. Creativity can be inserted throughout your strategy, whether it be through using a tactic that’s new to the industry, catching attention through creative design elements or creating unique experiences.

For example, Rayner, a British intraocular lens manufacturing company, launched a new device called RayOne in 2016. Along with the product came an eye-opening (pun intended) B2B campaign. The campaign, titled “Not everyone can do this,” featured a contortionist, whose bendy body brought the product to life. The contortionist was featured at one of the company’s key events and drew in hundreds of surgeons. In fact, so many requested product demos that CEO Tim Clover had to step in and assist as the interested surgeons far outweighed the Rayner staff4,5. 

In an era when information is on overload and prospects have the world at their fingertips, it is important for marketers to make an impact during the search and discover phase. Engage in a way that your prospect will appreciate, make the smart tactical moves to capture their attention, and then wow ’em with your creative thinking. From there, it’s time to pass the reins to your sales team and allow them to seal the deal!

1. Demand Gen. 2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report. Available at:
http://e61c88871f1fbaa6388d-c1e3bb10b0333d7ff7aa972d61f8c669.r29.cf1.rackcdn.com/DGR_DG061_SURV_
B2BBuyers_Jun_2017_Final.pdf
 Accessed July 15, 2018.

2. BCG. How Digital Leaders Are Transforming B2B Marketing. Available at:
https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2017/marketing-sales-how-digital-leaders-
transforming-b2b.aspx
 Accessed July 19, 2018.

3. Demand Gen. 2018 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report. Available at:
http://e61c88871f1fbaa6388d-c1e3bb10b0333d7ff7aa972d61f8c669.r29.cf1.rackcdn.com/DGR_DG081_SURV_
B2BBuyers_Jun_2018_Final.pdf
 Accessed July 3, 2018.

4. Rayner. The Global Launch of RayOne®: Over 320 Surgeons Participate in Product Demonstrations. Available at:
https://www.rayner.com/en/news/global-launch-rayone.html Accessed June 5, 2018.

5. Create Health. Positioning A Product Very Differently So That All Eyes Were On It At Launch. Available at:
https://createhealth.com/works/rayner-rayone/ Accessed June 29, 2018.


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