• Using Win-Loss Analysis to Generate Relevant Marketing Content

    According to Marketing Sherpa’s 2011 e-mail Benchmark report, delivering relevant content in emails was identified as a top challenge by nearly 70% of B2B Marketers. Anyone who has embarked of execution of a long-term lead nurturing effort understands the pain.  Delivering content that addresses more than high level issues or pain points is critical to having an impact in today’s email heavy Marketing environments. While content volume and diversity are important considerations, relevance is clearly the most important factor.  If prospects don’t immediately see themselves benefiting from the content provided, your efforts (and resource dollars) are wasted.

    So, what’s the secret of relevant content? Maybe it’s time to take a step back and really ask the tough question: Do we really know as much about our prospects as we need to in order to create a steady stream of relevant content that will get them to take action?  How much more do you know about the individual buying habits and motivations of your prospects than the baseline demographics of company size, industry vertical and job title?

    If the answer is “not much,” maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and start digging deeper into your prospects’ psyche.  Make a commitment to building the true persona of potential buyers that can take you well past the demographic data and give you real insight –on a one on one basis – into what your prospects really care about, what causes them angst and why, for example, they see the need to buy from an industry leader as more important than innovation in the product or service.

    One way to help with that deeper dive is through implementation of a consistent win-loss survey program. Sales and Marketing organizations have historically used win/loss analysis to uncover deficiencies in the Sales process and identify product shortcomings. But interviewing prospects shortly after the final buy decision is made can also produce critical information that takes you well past the often superficial information collected on online surveys.  Face to face or telephone interviews with recent buyers (or non-buyers) also provides fresh information about the buy decision process that isn’t colored by long-term interaction with sales and support teams.

    Persona experts talk about the need to capture deep information through use of an unscripted interview, conducted by someone outside the Sales process, allowing for discovery of information that goes beyond what the Marketing team expects to hear.

    A series of solid win/loss interviews can provide the objective and detailed information to help content developers uncover the issues and needs that will have prospects clicking to download content and subscribing to newsletters and updates.

    Micky Long is Vice President at Arketi Group, an integrated marketing consultancy that helps business-to-business organizations generate revenue and accelerate growth through intelligent strategy, branding, marketing and public relations. To view all company blogs go to Arketi Group blog site.

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