I’m a B2b marketer somewhat by accident.
Graduated with a standard marketing degree, scrapped my way into my first marketing job, then my second, then third, and so on. And it happened to be that this path took me from educational marketing into a variety of B2b focused roles.
So, like many people I’ve had to learn somewhat on the job. And more than a decade in I’m still learning. It’s a fast moving space, and there is a lot to get your head round.
Over the last year or so I’ve become fascinated and obsessed by a missing link in B2b marketing – that of what I’m calling ‘sponsor content’ (spontent? no? sorry)
Like many B2b marketers, I’m also a buyer of services. A money haemorrhaging cost-centre, some might argue. Anyway, as part of this bit of my job, I’m often having to source services, compare suppliers, do due diligence and implement various tools.
This is all fine. I can find excellent content assisting me with solving my problem, helping me to narrow down my supplier choice and advising me on what to do when I’m implementing the service itself.
But in 99% of the cases I’m doing a lot of this work myself, or someone in my team is. I’ll be the one who understands that we need tool X to solve problem Y. But it’ll be someone else that I need to get on board with signing the cheque to make it happen. Often they’ll be happy using tool Z to muddle on with half-solving problem Y. They won’t know any different.
So why don’t more B2b vendors help me make that case internally. This isn’t “a sales guy will come in and present to a wider team”, this is more equipping me with tools to sell their service into my organisation. The guys I need to convince (could be sales, the exec team, the HR team or a combination) don’t want to do your demo with you on the other end – but they’d listen to me. Possibly.
So, B2b vendors, you’ve got me, you’re on my shortlist, I’ve followed your fancy content (look at you being all helpful and not at all salesy) and I’m sold on it. I now want to click on a link that gives me a shit load of stuff that helps me make that case internally – without your involvement at this stage.
Let me demo your product to the stakeholders here. Trust me to do that on your behalf, and equip me to do so. It’ll be a damn sight easier to get a deal done if you let me be your sponsor internally here, so take some of the road-blocks out of the way.
In my recent work, and recent searches for solutions, I’ve not seen anyone do this well. If anything, a lot of vendors want more information out of me – who are these other people? Can we get them to sign up for our newsletter? rather than just helping me make the case.
One to add to the ever growing list of ‘new stuff to think about in the wonderful world of B2b’