There is an ideological divide in B2b Marketing between those who let their information roam free and those who lock it in a cage, only to be released on submission of a dozen data fields.
It’s my contention that the second approach, the “you want it, you give me your email address” is completely contrary to how modern B2b buyers want to buy things.
Using myself a focus group of one:
– If I’m researching vendors for a product or service I want to buy I want to read, study and view as much stuff as I can before even speaking to another person.
– When I’ve done this, I’ll form opinions about a few of them and create a shortlist.
– When I’m pretty damn knowledgeable about the whole subject, I’ll then engage with my preferred couple of vendors.
So, I’ve basically done most of the navigation of your “funnel” myself. I’ve started as a lead, moved myself into being a prospect, and qualified myself – all without you even knowing I’m interested in that service.
Now imagine you’re a vendor at the initial stage of that process and you want me to fill in a form (for someone to get back to me…eek) at the start. It’s an immediate no. I’ve already moved on. I’m not ready to be sold to by you yet. And I’m not losing any sleep over not reading your sales documentation – I’m busy forming an attachment to your competitor by hoovering up all of their materials, following them on social media and generally learning about them.
So – create good marketing materials, in different formats that I can consume in different types across different media. And do it about good products that you don’t have to apologise for, and that don’t have cracks that marketing needs to paper over.
And once you’ve done that, set them free. No gateways, no data harvesting, nothing that you qualify as a lead but we all know isn’t anything of the sort.
And then wait for your prospects to be ready. Then, sell.