How To Effectively Target Tech Buyers In Their Journeys

3 min read
Sep 22, 2015 3:09:29 PM
It’s no secret that technology decision makers are pressed to do more with less. They want relevant, impactful content to help them make the right decision, especially because, according to a recent survey, 8 in 10 tech buyers called it “somewhat challenging” (45%) or “extremely challenging” (36%) to locate enough high-quality, trusted information on major enterprise IT products and services to make an informed purchase decision. This is a serious issue.

So, how and when should tech companies deliver that content – and how can you determine this?

Since the roadmap for targeting, nurturing, and converting prospective technology buyers changes so rapidly, traditional lead generation approaches (like cold calls or buying leads) are in the rearview mirror. For tech marketers to be successful, the new road to success is targeting today’s tech decision-makers with the right content at the right time in order to accelerate the sales cycle and help them arrive at their destination more quickly.

86% of tech marketers say lead generation is their top content marketing goal. But, not all technology decision-makers are always ready to talk when they find a gated piece of content. Many abandon that form or even provide fake information. This means that nurturing buyer relationships is now a requirement.

To effectively nurture, you must reach buyers throughout their journey with targeted, timed messaging that resonates, informs, and persuades. When you target tech buyers, this also helps you to support the educational process and earn the right to put a gated piece of content in front of them when they are more ready. The ability to display and customize the content a customer sees, based on their actions, is extremely important. It allows tech marketers to essentially meet the customer where they are and adjust the marketing stream in real-time to respond to customer behavior.

You can do this through Smart content, or content that is intelligently personalized to your customer’s needs. It’s simple: A new visitor is looking for different information than a lead who has already downloaded some of your offers, just as a returning customer does not want to be sold on your product again and again and again. Smart or dynamic content lets you refrain from presenting the same offer to a lead who has already downloaded that offer, present industry-specific product information, elevate content that will be more likely to engage a reader, and eliminate form questions that the visitor has already filled out. Why is this necessary? Because no one wants to be constantly asked to fill out the same information or plied to read an offer they have already grasped, even your customers.

Looking at KPIs, like click-thru and conversion rates, web traffic, time on page, downloads, impressions, retweets, shares, followers, likes, etc., gives marketers a pretty good look at where they stand with the customer. But, the only way to demonstrate the true impact of marketing investments is to holistically integrate varied metrics that map back to stages in the purchase funnel. This is where the focus shifts from quantity to quality, honing in on next-generation KPIs that provide value. These include: 
  • Tailored audiences: Know the universe you’re trying to reach, but avoid the temptation to be too narrow in your targeting.
  • Engagement: Meaningful interaction with your marketing materials, from reads to shares to direct communication with your team. It’s important to optimize engagement throughout your campaigns.
  • Nurturing: Are you focusing on quantity of leads or really looking at quality?
  • Conversions: Track your true objective. There is a difference between leading indicators like CPC and actual outcomes (i.e. event attendees).
  • Quality of leads: 100 meaningless leads? Or 10 that were exactly your target audience?
  • ROI attribution: Specifically linking ROI to granular marketing tactics.

The key is to invest in tools that ultimately help personalize the tech buyer’s journey so as to avoid sending messages to bad/low quality leads (waste of your valued time).

Your tech prospects will appreciate relevant, engaging content delivered in a way that assures them that you understand their current needs, can answer questions and educate based on their concerns and interests, and, ultimately, have the perfect product to offer them that can improve some aspect of their life. Understand, deliver, nurture, track, and THEN you’ll sell.

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