Marketing & Today’s B2B Buyer’s Journey

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For the past year, everybody has been talking about the “new normal.”

But there is also a new normal for marketing…

And you either adapt or you go extinct.

So says Mark Donnigan, Marketing & Business Growth Consultant at d-launch, who joined me on the podcast to go over how marketers should adapt to today’s buyer’s journey.

What we talked about:

  • How COVID has changed the buyer’s journey
  • Why adaptability matters more than ever
  • Why you should focus on solving problems and the beneficiary of your solution

The COVID situation

You can’t talk about how the world has changed without at least acknowledging COVID.

And for marketers, the new normal is obvious.

In an industry dominated by in-person events less than a year ago, the imposition of social distancing could have been a death knell.

But, if you haven’t noticed, many B2B marketers are doing better today than they did before.

Why is that?

Because they learned to adapt to the current reality.

“Whether you’re on the marketing side, or you’re, you know, directly in the revenue side of the business, I think there’s tremendous opportunities now — in some ways, better than before.”

Mark Donnigan of d-launch

That’s why a quick look at LinkedIn reveals a wealth of valuable and effective content from marketers who saw opportunity in crisis.

Connections are important. But even if we can no longer do them face-to-face, the savvy marketer will find a way to connect with their audience.

But COVID isn’t the biggest change for marketers.

B2B marketing itself has changed — and the long-term effects of failing to adapt may be even worse than COVID.

Those who adapt and those who don’t

The big change in marketing?

Your prospects no longer need you. They’re in control now.

“The world of B2B selling is breaking down into those who have adapted to the new reality, which is that they are no longer in control. The buyer is in control.”

Mark Donnigan of d-launch

The journey

Buyers have a million different choices for every product or service these days — and just as many ways to learn about them.

If you don’t realize this and adapt, your days are numbered.

But how?

The main way you adapt is to figure out what captures their attention. And you do that with stories.

Everyone responds to stories.

So if you are a seller or a marketer, you need to find creative ways to get killer and creative content — videos, messaging, etc. — in front of your prospects, buying committees and anyone else who needs to see it.

The ecosystem

You also need to know your industry inside and out.

You need to know the ecosystem and how the sales process works like the back of your hand given this shift in the buyer’s journey.

And if you’re looking to move up as a seller or a marketer in this climate — or you’re in charge of hiring — domain experience is incredibly important, but so is an aptitude for learning.

With so much of the modern marketing landscape changing at a rapid pace, being eager to learn new things and doing so effectively is absolutely essential.

If the buyer is in charge, it means you need to be as informed as possible if you want to stand a chance of survival.

The solution and beneficiary

Mark has one tip for every seller and marketer to crush their goals.

And it’s something we often overlook.

“Focus on really understanding the problem to be solved. But more importantly, who the beneficiary is inside the organization if you solve that problem.”

Mark Donnigan of d-launch

Yes, your job is to solve problems — but for whom?

If you aren’t focused on them, then everything can fall through without warning.

To illustrate what Mark means by this:

Imagine a long sales cycle that seems like a sure thing. You’ve met with all of the important C-suite types, those in charge of buying decisions.

They love the product and are ready to buy. It’s taken 18 months when you would have preferred it take 12, but that’s fine, you’re almost there.

Then it all falls through when those buyers go and talk to the beneficiaries of your solution, who, it turns out, weren’t important enough to be in all those meetings.

Yeah, when they were finally consulted 18 months later, they had a better solution in mind and tanked your deal.

This is why you need to learn everything about both the problem and the beneficiary. You need to not only court the C-suite, but you need to be knowledgeable enough to win over the person who will actually use your solution every day.

This post includes highlights of our podcast interview with Mark Donnigan, Marketing & Business Growth Consultant at d-launch.

Subscribe to hear this episode and many more like it. For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.

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