Last week we pulled the curtain back and walked you through a few of SDxCentral’s buyer’s journeys. While shining a light on our processes helps share knowledge, let’s face it: between the two of us are two very different business models. To that point, we’ve pulled together two example buyer’s journeys that technology providers can use as templates to start building marketing plans and strategy.
Buyer’s Journey 1: Launching a New Product
In this scenario, you’re launching a new product that addresses a known problem in a unique way.
Start by examining the current state of the problem and the steps people and organizations are taking to solve it. Using an editorially independent eBrief series educates prospects on new technologies that have changed the way the problem can be solved, or have eliminated the problem altogether.
Pair the eBrief series with display advertising that draws directly from the ideas and proof points discussed throughout the series. It’s important here to demonstrate a clear connection between the editorially independent content and your branded creative.
You need to prove that your new product can stand-up in the real world and against competitors. While your product is new to most of your industry, it’s always a good idea to launch with at least one customer already under your belt. This is the place to take advantage of that beta customer. A customer case study published on external platforms (via syndication or underwritten content) puts your money where your mouth is and offers a proof point for why your prospects should trust you.
Now it’s time to drive it home by giving your sales team the tools they need to close the sale. A demo (produced internally or included in an externally published webinar) gives prospects a chance to see your product in action and readily imagine how it will work in their systems. Combine this with a technical customer reference featuring a customer engineering lead, and you create a package perfectly designed to put your technical influencers and buyers at ease.
Buyer’s Journey 2: A New Methodology
In this scenario, you’re pitching a new methodology. This could be in anticipation of a new product; as part of a large story that draws together a diverse solution portfolio; or as a brand-building exercise that is not tied to a particular product or product line.
Start by proving the need for a new methodology through independent analyst content. You need to prove that the current methods either aren’t working, or aren’t working efficiently. Even if prospects are aware of gaps in the current methods, you need to open their minds to the idea that those gaps can be closed. A research brief gives respected, independent proof points that you can refer back to throughout the rest of your buyer’s journey.
Like the journey above, you’ll want to raise awareness of your brand’s connection to the proof points in the research brief via display advertising that either links back to the research brief, or to a related piece of content marketing. Remember: it’s important here to demonstrate a clear connection between the independent research and your brand creative.
For consideration, hammer home that your organization is THE BEST or THE ONLY company delivering on the methodologies covered in the research brief. Do this by demonstrating a close relationship between you and the research’s proof points via an analyst webinar followed by a hosted webinar series where you maintain momentum and engage directly with prospects.
The decision here tends to be a little different than when dealing with a concrete product. In this case, your goal is to have your organization included in customers’ high-level strategy conversions. So if AT&T is deciding what its network is going to look like in 2025, you want to be included in those discussions. To do this, you want to ensure your representatives are educated, relevant and respected. Branded interviews prove that your experts are up to snuff, and the editorially independent content ensures that those interviews hold up to industry security.
What was your most successful buyer’s journey? Reply to this email, and you could be featured in next month’s email (please include your full name, title, and company).
Next week: It’s Thanksgiving! Eat turkey and turn off your brain (or simply enjoy the silence from your American coworkers). We’ll catch up on Nov. 29 with our monthly “What our Audience Cared About this Month.” You must be subscribed to our email list to receive this post.
You know SDxCentral for our coverage of the technologies, companies, and people driving the next generation of IT industry. Many of you have worked with us to create content and campaigns to engage SDxCentral’s audience for marketing purposes. We’ve seen A LOT, and we’ve collected A LOT of data. SDxInsider is our way of sharing our knowledge and data with you to help you succeed in your marketing strategies.