…B2B Marketing Leaders Must Understand Customers’ Shifting Needs to Produce and Deliver Effective Content
B2B marketing leaders seeking to improve their B2B content strategy to resonate in times of disruption should focus on designing their strategy around customer behaviours that are likely to endure into the future, according to Gartner, Inc. This leads to content that is both resonant and durable, while also decreasing the content production volume required.
“Resonant content is content that customers view as both relevant to the moment and indicative of a deeper understanding of their situation,” said Cassandra Nordlund, Director, Advisory, for Gartner for Marketers. “It acknowledges customers’ shifting needs but also demonstrates an understanding of the implications of these shifts to customers’ future processes and ways of working.”
In times of rapidly changing needs, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, resonance can be achieved by addressing a newly emerging need that customers require help to understand.
”Marketers must be mindful that in this environment, their efforts may lack staying power as resonance quickly fades the more customers’ needs continue to shift,” added Ms. Nordlund. “As a result, marketers are faced with the difficult choice of either chasing resonance by increasing investments in content production, or pulling back and reducing content plays to avoid potential missteps.”
To create and deliver effective content focused on future customer needs, Gartner recommends that B2B marketing leaders consider three key tactics:
Use trends to generate future customer insights: While effective B2B content is generated by observing shifts in customer needs, these assets can be given a longer shelf life by identifying indicators of future customer needs. To do this, shift focus from solely understanding customers’ current demands to learning what needs are likely to be important in the future.
Educate customers on new future needs: Use scenario planning to forecast future customer needs under various possible scenarios. The result of this exercise can then be used to educate customers on the steps they’ll need to take now to be ready for a future they are not yet in a position to appreciate.
Deliver content through conversations to increase decision confidence: Help customers feel more confident in their decisions by encouraging them to think through their options in a step-by-step manner with a sales or service representative. These conversations empower customers to feel more confident in their decisions, a proven driver of account growth.
Gartner for Marketers clients can learn more in the report “Improving Your B2B Content Strategy to Resonate in Times of Disruption.”