According to the Corporate Executive Board – the same one who told us that 57% of the B2B buying process is complete before human interaction takes place – marketers own just 12% of their customer’s total mindshare across the B2B purchasing path. And while we have heard many times before that “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know,” clearly the landscape we operate in today doesn’t support that notion.
Today, the best thing we can do is build up a network of smart and important individuals. We don’t mean just collecting business cards that you file away, but creating the type of relationships that add value to both sides and sustain each party for the long term. We must engage on a much more personal level and add those people to our lives as we would like them to do with us.
Certainly, social media is playing a much greater role in how we network, but it all magnifies the idea that who knows us is more critical than any other part of our campaigns. In turn, we must take great care in what people know about us. We must accentuate the kind of people and companies that we rub elbows with and how we internalize their objectives.
Content has become the poster child for creating these kind of relationships, and it’s how we demonstrate that we roll with right kind of clientele. However, to be found by customers in a noisy digital environment demands that we provide valuable, highly relevant content versus repurposed vanilla stories that become static. Unfortunately, many marketing teams are settling for a quantity-over-quality type process when it comes to content.
Mediocre content says as much about us as thoughtful and intelligent content. It says we really are not in the game and may signal a red flag to our clients. They may be concerned that if we didn’t take the time to do a little research or put some original thought into our stories, then our solutions may lack interest.
Most opportunities come from developing the right connections and relationships. So, delving into the market and finding real organic stories is the only way to develop content. Show your community that you are in the game by sharing stories from their world. The worst thing that can happen is that you become more knowledgable, while the best thing will be a newfound level of trust.
Tom Moe, President
“The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present.”
– James Kouzes and Barry Posner