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Mapping content to the B2B buyer's journey


THE MOG

Mapping content to the B2B buyer’s journey – or the Buyer R.A.C.E.R

If you are reading this article, you probably attended one of our training sessions and are familiar with some of the ideas and examples we discuss here. If  this is new to you or you need a refresher on any of the concepts learned– do get in touch!

We all know that only a small percentage of our buyers are ready to buy. The research as to exactly what percentage varies –  but an often quoted number is that 3% are actively buying. That’s why traditional marketing conversations – which are often just a product pitch – have such a small success rate.

So what is the rest of our target market doing?

Everyone else is somewhere else on their B2B buyer’s journey.

They may not even be aware that they have a problem that your solution can solve, they may be aware and trying to articulate their problem better or perhaps even researching various solutions. And guess what? They don’t want to be interrupted by you trying to sell to them!

In other words, the B2B buyer’s journey is really a representation of the different cognitive steps that a buyer makes when moving towards a purchasing decision.  They will gather all the information they and they move through the steps at their own pace.

So what is the Buyer R.A.C.E.R?

There are many models which represent the B2B buyer’s journey. The Buyer R.A.C.E.R is Mogrify’s own model created to be simple to understand and – most importantly – easy to remember! Think of it as the buyer’s ‘RACE to purchase’ – just with an extra ‘R’ at the end, you will see why.  Here is what it looks like:

B2B Buyer RACER

Things to note:

– Even though the RACER is represented in a linear form – it is rarely like this in real life! Buyers move back and forward between stages.

– When they are not looking to buy, B2B buyers are more likely to be searching for information on how they can do their job better, for ways to overcome their professional pains and challenges.

– Much of this activity is done online – whether through standard online searches, through social media activity, by reading online publications or by participating in online forums.

– The buyer consumes various content throughout their journey – these include blogs, whitepapers, case studies, videos etc., as well as through face-to-face conversations with peers and other influencers.

Make sure you have content that targets each step of the B2B buyer’s journey.

This is one of the key strategies you can implement to help your buyers find you. But how?

1. Always go back to your Buyer Personas. These are potentially the most important foundation tool in modern marketing. In creating a Buyer Persona you are developing a picture of the living, breathing people you are hoping to sell to – including their demographics, their likes / dislikes, and (most importantly) their professional pains and challenges. If you are after a template, drop us a line.

2. Identify: what will your Buyer Persona find of interest? Focus on their professional pains and challenges. What problems are they trying to solve? What keeps them awake at night? How can you help them do their job better? Make a list and keep growing it – this will give you the insights you need to come up with the themes and topics to feed your content.

3. Map your content topics to the Buyer RACER. Think about how your content ideas can be expressed differently depending on where your buyer’s head is at. Think like a sales person – you wouldn’t walk into your first sales meeting saying ‘this is how much it costs’, you would ask some questions, qualify the buyer and present information that is relevant to the buyer at that point in time. This is what you need to do with your content.

Let’s work through an example.

Scenario: Let’s assume we are a technology company, selling CRM solutions to marketers.

Buyer Persona: remember Marketing Michelle?

We first introduced you to Marketing Michelle during our session. Here is a summary of what we know about her after completing the Buyer Persona template:

Demographics: She’s female, 28 – 45, likely to be a busy working mum

Industry: Professional Services

Key professional pains: Extremely time poor, under pressure to prove ROI for her marketing spend and to better support the sales team, struggling to get it all done while staying close to the needs of her target market

Likes/dislikes: Likes networking with other marketers, is totally disinterested in technology

Themes and topics

There are lots of things that Michelle will find interesting and will want to learn more about – apart from technology, she hates it, remember? This includes:

– Doing her job better and streamlining her time

– Better supporting her sales team

– Gathering customer insights

– Latest marketing trends

Content / RACER mapping

Let’s pick the top topic – ‘Streamlining a marketer’s time‘. The table below illustrates the process of mapping it to the Buyer RACER, including:

  • What Michelle may be thinking at each stage – and the cognitive steps she is taking between each stage
  • What the aim of the content is at each stage
  • Some potential working titles – they are working titles only as the actual title for each piece of content is what you create last, after your piece is finished.

racer-content-map

The key to success

Get started, keep practicing and make sure you document your ideas! Mapping your content ideas in the way we have presented above can be a little tricky initially, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. And make sure you capture your content topics, themes and working titles in a simple content planner. A spreadsheet designed by you, that works for you is all that you need when getting started – you can move on to more complicated planning tools once you are well underway.

Finally, if you are struggling to create content ideas, do get in touch. Our Content Kickstarter package is focused on identifying the professional pains and challenges of your target buyer personas – and in turning these into working titles at different stages of the Buyer RACER.

Please follow our LinkedIn company page for more insights.

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