Launching Products Into a New Market
Recently, I noticed a statistic from Blue Corona’s B2B Marketing Statistics blog which said that 46% of visitors leave a website because of a lack of a message. In other words, they leave because it’s not clear what the company does.
It reminded me of a CEO of a startup whom I met many years ago. Eagerly, she spoke about the viability and uniqueness of her technology. The product sounded interesting and so I visited the company’s website. Within a few minutes I gave up, frustrated. It was impossible to understand what the company did, and what benefits, if any, the products provided.
If that, in itself, is not a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is. If prospects get motivated to come to a website but leave frustrated and confused due to irrelevant technical details or confusing verbiage, you can be sure it will impact the company’s bottom line.
The leading reason business buyers have limited engagement with B2B vendors is because marketers are sending them too much irrelevant content (34%). KoMarketing
The key from this statistic is the term “irrelevant.” Content is irrelevant, when not enough thought has been put into who your prospects might be, and what they are interested in and will most likely find useful and educational.
By listening to your customers and non-customers (yes, both), you can create messaging and content that resonates better with your audience. By non-customers, I mean people who are most likely to buy your product. Notice that I did not say “companies” but rather “people” because ultimately even in B2B sales, we’re selling to people within companies. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in and knowing how to relate to those people who are your target audience.
Malwarebytes is a great example of a marketing team that created an effective strategy through meticulous research. The company has its advantages, of course. It’s a strong brand that enjoys a near cult-like following among consumers. In 2018, the pre-IPO company launched an initiative to expand beyond its strong, consumer-based business and grow its presence in the enterprise. Aventi Group was brought in to help develop and launch Malwarebytes in the enterprise market.
The first step we took was to perform “voice-of-the customer” messaging testing, while researching enterprise customer profiles. The goal was to set a solid foundation for Malwarebytes’ presence in the marketplace.
We picked a sample size of 20 customers and non-customers across 4 different vertical markets in two different countries—in this case US and UK. For each we did a 45-minute interview to determine the effectiveness of the messaging. We wanted to also determine the impact of mockup webpages in terms of layout and execution of messaging. During the calls we also gathered more information about buyers. For example, one of the things we looked to confirm was that the target customer segments rely on the Chief Security Information Officer (CISO) as the key decision maker for purchases. Based on the information we gathered, we were able to create relevant personas of decisions makers (e.g. CISO, VP of Security) and influencers such as Director of IT or Security.
The new messaging and positioning platform also enabled better articulation of enterprise product benefits and value propositions on website, lead generation activities and other sales and marketing content.
The content that we created stemmed from this messaging. It came from a place of enlightened research versus creating irrelevant content or content that is too technical or reads like product pitches. This messaging can then be used across the organization including in lead and demand generation, so that prospects and customers receive highly relevant and educational content.
The information also fed into sales enablement tools. We equipped sales with competitive battlecards which saw a marked increase in downloads by sales staff and helped sharpen their effectiveness in handling prospective customer objections during sales.
Ultimately, these activities improved the way prospects were qualified during sales, pushing opportunities through the funnel, and increasing close ratios.
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