Marketing a B2B technology-based product or service is particularly challenging for several reasons:
- The market is continually evolving as is the technology
- The sales process is typically lengthy, often lasting at least several months
- There are multiple decision-makers, many of whom may have a hard time understanding the benefits of one technology over another, each of whom focuses on different factors, and any one of whom can veto the purchase
- The buying process tends to be a consultative one where the components of the final proposal as well as its pricing will vary depending upon the client’s specific needs
- There are often different channel partners such as system integrators, value-added resellers, & distributors who help to develop the final proposal
These complexities have been intrinsic to technology marketing for decades. What has changed in recent years is buyer behavior, as B2B Marketing Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Joel Harrison points out in this interview:
Research shows that most B2B buyers today will be more than half-way through their buying process before they will agree to speak to any sales representatives. Instead, they will spend a lot of time browsing through your website and those of your competitors in an attempt to learn everything they can about the technology and to narrow down their search to the few companies which seem to have the best understanding of and solutions to their problem. If your website doesn’t communicate these two things in a simple, compelling way, you stand a good chance of losing a potential sale without even realizing that the company was in the market for a product or service like yours.
This relatively-recent change in buyer behavior requires technology companies to drastically change their marketing approach and focus on creating compelling, easy-to-understand website content that persuasively answers the different types of questions buyers are asking.
B2B technology marketers who’ve taken this content marketing approach are doubling down on their investment. A mid-2013 study of 270 North American B2B technology marketers found that they were already spending an average of 28% of their marketing budget on content marketing, and that 58% of them were planning to increase their budget for content marketing over the next 12 months:
The biggest challenges these technology marketers claimed to be having with content marketing were:
- lack of time (69%)
- producing enough content (58%)
- producing the kind of content that engages (55%)
As a result, 58% of these technology marketers outsourced at least some of their content creation.
Want help developing a strong B2B technology marketing program that will bring in qualified technology leads for years to come?