A Guide to a Full Funnel Content Marketing Approach

Last year, the IDG Marketing team created “The Customer Journey – A Guide to Reaching IT Decision-Makers Through Content Marketing” poster. Pulling in research from our 2014 Customer Engagement and 2014 Role & Influence of Technology Decision-Maker studies, the poster-size infographic clearly outlined a path for getting the right content, to the right person, at the right time. This year, we are excited to share our latest poster that addresses the full funnel content marketing approach. Highlighting research from our 2015 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker and 2016 Customer Engagement studies, the graphic navigates you through the process needed to align your content marketing with sales.

Just because technology decision-makers have consumed content (on average 6 informational assets), does not mean they are ready to make a purchase. Realistically, IT decision-makers (ITDMs) don’t want to be sold to – instead they want to have access to valuable content that enables them to research emerging technologies and trends on their own. Welcome to the “The Full Funnel Approach” poster that provides you with a six part step-by-step marketing and sales alignment guide to help you supply meaningful and valuable content to your customers and prospects. Here is a sneak peek to what you will learn:

  1. UNDERSTAND: 74% of technology decision-makers collaborate with different departments outside of IT on projects or for technical needs – do not let these influencers go unnoticed. In order to connect with your full tech buyer target, be sure to appeal to a wide range of business models, hidden roles and collaborators.
  2. ENGAGE: A successful relationship begins when you create the right tools to engage the right audience throughout the purchase process. One way to incorporate this into your content plan is through tailored content. Ninety-five percent of ITDMs value tailored content, which has significantly increased from 2014 (83%); and specifically, 56% ITDMs prefer content tailored to them by industry.
  3. ADVANCE: Ninety-five percent of tech decision-makers will take some action if they find valuable vendor content. What do they do after finding this content? Seventy-two percent researched a product, 68% visited vendor website and 49% forwarded content to a friend.
  4. INTERACT: Be in the know when it comes to personal experiences – face–to–face events are rated the #1 most effective content marketing tactic by tech marketers. Additionally, 93% of ITDMS have attended at least one industry or job-related event, and 66% share event info via discussions while 43% share via email.
  5. NURTURE: Tech marketers are switching their focus from lead quantity to quality. And this all starts with the sales approach. When asked when it is okay to follow up after content registration, 59% of ITDMs said once a month or less. There are additional standards and stipulations when becoming a strategic partner. Vendors must provide adequate customer service/response time, have the ability to understand business objectives and have acceptable post-sales support and services.
  6. EDUCATE: Finally, sales enablement and education are essential components to your content marketing success. Sales behavior that positively influence the likelihood of purchase includes reps being highly knowledgeable/able to answer questions promptly, familiarity with particular line of business/industry, and being well suited to speak to senior level buyers.

Are you ready to learn more about using “The Full Funnel Approach” in your content marketing strategy? Download a PDF of the 2016 poster or request a printed copy to be mailed to you below.

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