Creating useful B2B content marketing tools: the psychology

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Sometimes when you’re looking for something, you need to take a step back and figure out what you really need it for, and what you need from it. Today this type of context is completely missing from product information in the rush to sale. But let’s re-imagine how this happens online …

You arrive at a site about refrigerators and it doesn’t just show you a million refrigerators. It says: tell me about this refrigerator you’re looking for. Tell me about you. And I’ll make a couple of meaningful suggestions too.

(Or a sofa, a new telephone system for a business, a vacation).

Rather than just showing you what they’ve got, there’s questions to answer about what you need from that sofa.

Where is the sofa going?
Who will be using it? Kids? Guests? Is it really a showpiece?
Primary activity? High or low usage?
High traffic area?
Sunny or dark room?

Or for that phone system …

How many employees?
How many calls a month?
Long distance or mainly to each other?
How much outbound?
How much inbound?
Or that vacation …

Type of primary desired activity – active or lazy?
Hot or cold?
Lux or roughing it?
Crowded or isolated?
Sprawling or intimate?

These types of decision-support or decision-refining content are called “diagnostic content” tools, and they are the future of marketing and sales.

Think if all the kinds of questions that would be useful for prospects to think about before they buy your product.

Then think about how useful it would be to you as a marketer to know this data.

How do you achieve that?

Turn these diagnostic questions into content assets. These have so much utility for customers, but that utility is only outdone by their utility to sales and marketing teams: they can be used as marketing content , promotional material, sales tools, training tools – and they can generate qualified leads from your website for years. Turn them into web forms and gather data about desires and develop new products based on data. Contact us if you’d like to see some examples.

Use these gated as the anchors in a multistep content chain, especially those that have significant value. And if you are using a tool like SqueezeCMM to capture the data and map it back to other customer intelligence, you’re starting to form a picture of your prospect pre-purchase. What could be more useful than that?

These, not technology tools, will start to automate the information part of the selling relationship. The human part comes next.

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Jennifer Evans
President, @B2BNewsnetwork (launched Nov 2014). Content, community and analytics obsessed. Inventor @squeezecmm. Past chair, @itac_online @whiteribbon

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