Building relationships with your prospects is not just dependent upon relevance, but consistency. And, you have to be in it for as long as it takes your buyers to buy.What I'm seeing is that marketers aren't sticking with their strategies long enough.
They're jumping ship for the next new thing, leaving their "old" programs - and the leads generated from them - swinging in the breeze. One day the leads receive an email with a link to a thoughtful, compelling article. The next thing they know, your company communications have either disappeared, reverted to standard company-focused emails or you've launched a whole other story they don't care about and didn't opt in to receive.
How do I know this? Because research shows that marketers are sticking with marketing campaigns for less time than buyers spend buying. They quit too soon. [I've also seen it. And let me tell you the company lost more than their investment in nurturiing.]Here's the real problem.
Marketers are marketing from a tactical campaign mindset instead of a overarching strategic mindset. If some new idea comes along, they're willing to switch to the more exciting idea of something new. And, they do it without thinking about impact from the prospect's side of the exchange.Or, they don't look far enough downstream. I've seen campaigns planned for three touches.
Then there'll be some new effort coming down the pike with different creative, a new focus and a new story.I've seen companies that have so many separate marketing campaigns going on in different areas of their companies that their prospects can't help but get whiplash from the conflicting messages coming at them due to the lack of visibility the company has across the programs that would enable any reasonable coordination.
B2B Marketing deserves to be executed as a long-term, customer-focused strategy tied to business objectives.B2B marketing is NOT a series of campaigns with a "theme of the moment" approach. It's more of an intensive strategic marathon with a lot of parts that should all be related to the company's core storyline. But here's the real disappointment.
When prospects buy in to the story you're telling, you've got their attention and their permission to continue to communicate with them. Switching your story like you change your socks violates that agreement. For example, if you opted in to a content series that promised thought leadership articles and after the 3rd one you start getting links to videos meant to entertain, instead of inform, are you still interested?
One thing you can do (although I still say your story has to be in alignment) is ask your prospects if they're interested in whatever your new focus is before you commit them to it. Don't promise one thing, deliver it for a while and then change on them without warning.Instead of rinse and repeat, marketers are letting any momentum they've generated from past efforts go down the drain every time they flip their focus toward something new.
Even worse, your prospects wonder what's up with you? Then they start wondering if your company will be like that in a working relationship...you know, when they're counting on your company to deliver.
Ask yourself these basic questions:How long is the buying cycle for your average prospect?Then ask yourself how long your average nurturing campaign lasts. Is there a disparity?And, if so, when you string your campaigns together, do they tell a compelling story from start to finish? Or do they give your prospects whiplash?
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