Because the Internet enables us to devour content quickly and efficiently, we consume content in a completely different way than years past.
We search, gather, research some more, and then really dive in.
The consumer does this too, going back two to three times before making a decision.
This is the basic premise of stage-based marketing.
We need to understand the stage of our prospects in order to be relevant, and in order to move them to that next stage. In addition,
77% of those B2B buyers want content tailored to the stage they’re in. Therefore, if you serve up content that’s relevant to their needs, you’ll have a higher success rate.
Before we begin, we must understand the key buyer stages. These include:
Stage 1: Solve a Problem
The first stage includes researching information. Buyers are looking to solve a business problem, such as doing their job better. A Stage 1, offer a top-of-funnel ebook or blog post that’s not about your product. It’s content that helps them do their job better, for example.
Stage 2: Get Buy In
Now that you’ve got their attention, it’s time to start getting the prospect on board with your world. For instance, in my case, it may not be selling Pardot, but it’s selling marketing automation in general. This helps the prospect get buy-in from the rest of their team. Once their team has buy-in, the project gets legs, and the prospect can move it forward. Until that internal champion can get that project noticed, nothing is going to happen.
Content in this stage may be specific to your industry or field. It still solves business challenges, such as implementing marketing automation, or marketing automation best practices, but product is not at the forefront.
Stage 3: Vendor Selection
Now it’s time to sell your product. The prospect is in the decision-making stage and is ready to buy. Content in this stage is product based. Offer case studies, product documentation, FAQs are more.
Think about the content that fits in each of these stages. My goal is to move them to the next stage.
Stage-based marketing with nurturing emails takes somebody from Stage 1 to Stage 2, or from Stage 2 to Stage 3.
A nurturing program is highly specific, such as, John is in Stage 2 right now so I’m going to send John an email that’s going to let him choose his own adventure. We’ll:
- Help John learn more about Stage 2
- Help John move to Stage 3
That allows John to move himself ahead. I’m not sending John an email that pushes him to Stage 3, instead, it’s an option, and he can choose his own path. No matter what, the subject line is hyper-targeted, and the call to action and copy are targeted as well.
Learn more about stage-based marketing in the Pardot and RingLead webinar below.
Learn more about marketing automation in the free ebook below.