According to a SiriusDecisions survey, the buyer’s journey is now 67% digital. Buyers no longer go through the sales funnel from top to down. Rather they come in at varying stages and consume content at every stage of their journey. These are the main things you must know to create effective content in this new sales environment.
The New Way Of Content Consumption
Take into consideration that people are consuming content in increasing levels. According to Hubspot Research, video content tops the list, followed by social media, news and long-form business content. Mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage, video content has become the leading content format for regular and mobile internet use. All of this implies that buyers have become more sophisticated and the biggest challenge marketers face is to be able to extend your message to your target audience.
Traditional Sales Funnel No Longer Works
In the digital age, sales landscape has significantly changed. The sales funnel is no longer linear, and everything has to be quicker, faster and further. You have to provide solutions for your customers and answer their questions in the real time as people rely on discovering and learning about the products before purchasing them. Actually, their minds are almost made up before they end up at the store.
Customer Decision Journey
Rethinking the sales funnel is a great way to understand your new buyer. Thus, consider the funnel alternative – Customer Decision Journey. In this approach, the funnel is removed from the buyer’s journey. Instead, the process is a circle with buyer’s purchasing decision at the core.
The Customer Engagement Journey
This approach doesn’t put the purchase at the center and can be observed in the case of brand advocates. People actually don’t have to buy in order to become brand advocates. They still engage with brands, share interesting content that comes from them even if they’re not making a purchase. While it doesn’t immediately help sales, it develops a relationship that will be worth more than one transaction.
Aligning Marketing With Sales
Synergizing sales and marketing teams should be one of your priorities. You should be able to align the content marketing with what your target audience needs – and what your sales teams need, as well. This means that it’s best to leave the traditional sales funnel models behind. Remember, any approach that hinges on the transaction or the purchasing decision is likely to miss out on the engagements made possible by digital technology.
Thus, when choosing a framework through which to align the efforts of your marketing and sales teams, remember these points:
- The path to purchasing is no longer linear.
- There are several dimensions to social influence.
- Don’t disregard your advocates.
- Focus on the relationships that you build with those you engage with through your content.
- Always measure important metrics