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B2B tech buyers are making marketers feel nauseous. Here’s why.

The first order of business for B2B technology brands looking to transform marketing activities into measurable results? Engagement—on the buyers’ terms and timeline. Many technology marketers today are getting lost, but you don’t have to be one of them. Instead, follow these rules:

Set your destination. Meet your customers where they are.

The business technology buyers of today are nothing short of amazing. They are smart, resourceful wearers of multiple hats, keen observers of their business’s challenges, and careful jugglers of the needs and wants of a team of voices, all while self-navigating a circuitous path to purchase.

That’s right: not only are your customers making their way through much of the buyer’s journey on their own, but their route is not as linear as the conventional notion of the customer journey might suggest.

Today’s B2B buyers undertake an intrepid process of browsing, researching, sharing, comparing, and deciding, often backtracking and redirecting along the way. And this is especially true for B2B tech buyers, who are considering complex and often high-cost purchases.

So how do you as a technology marketer create measurable engagement with buyers that have a world of information at their fingertips and no predefined path to purchase? By understanding who your unique buyers are and becoming a part of their digital universe. It’s your job to be present whenever and wherever your buyers are researching and considering their way to a purchase decision.

Change gears. How B2B technology marketers are achieving results.

The most successful B2B tech marketers today are taking a dual approach to creating measurable business results:

1. They are cultivating a deep understanding of customers’ profiles for their unique market and, over time, gathering intelligence about customers’ activity across channels.

2. They are driving awareness in the channels where their customers are consuming and sharing information.

Integrated marketing practices, such as inbound lead generation and account-based marketing (ABM), seek prospective customer leads by leveraging insights about buyers that ensure marketing efforts reach the right prospect at the right time and place. These methods employ cross-channel digital engagement tactics, including paid search, social and display media, and email marketing that are purpose-built for tracking and optimization to maximize results.

Inbound lead generation attracts prospective buyers to you through content you promote via paid media and content syndication, and it is a standard practice all technology marketers should have in place. But it’s smart targeting that will really elevate your inbound lead generation and accomplish the mission of meeting your customers where they are.

Similarly, ABM is getting a lot of attention in the world of digital marketing right now, and for good reason. By targeting a short list of accounts, either existing or those on your wish list, you cultivate awareness of the buyers you want to sell to. You have infinite opportunity to customize your content and digital experiences. Furthermore, retargeting your customers to repeatedly engage a specific account can reveal decision makers, influencers, or buying teams as they are forming.

Powering every good integrated marketing practice is a marketing automation platform to synthesize multichannel customer and prospect data and activity to provide real-time analytics that will measure the overall performance of your marketing.

Review your journey. Pay attention to the real indicators of success.

Emails deployed by the hundreds of thousands and media impressions in the millions are impressive tallies, but they can also be ephemeral, or even outright misleading. For metrics to matter, they must lead to points of customer connection that can be tracked, nurtured, and measured.

Success in reaching today’s savvy B2B buyers requires going above and beyond vanity metrics that, on the surface, appear to reflect remarkable success but that ultimately fail to cultivate meaningful connection and long-term customer relationships. To truly assess how meaningful your connection is with your prospects and customers, you must evaluate success in the context of their customer journey:

Awareness: Measures engagement with your brand and solutions through email opens and clicks, page and content visits, and time spent on the page

Consideration: Measures the relevance of your offer and narratives through contact form submission, return visits to your website, and social media shares

Interest: Measures the sales-readiness of your prospect as demonstrated by an accepted appointment or agreement to speak with a sales rep, and by the revenue in the funnel

Purchase: Measures the effectiveness of your sales team through the proposal-to-close ratio and booked sales revenue

Advocacy: Measures your customers’ trust and satisfaction as expressed through referrals, social media shares, and testimonials

Plan your next trip. Keep an eye on the ever-changing final frontier.

At The Garrigan Lyman Group (GLG), we customize strategic marketing solutions to position our B2B technology clients to succeed in the ever-changing digital frontier.

For Avaya, a telecommunications-hardware-turned-communications-software giant, we reimagined a legacy channel marketing program to capture new customers in the exploding communications market through innovative program design, management, and reporting. And for Alert Logic, a leader in cloud security, we created an integrated lead generation campaign that targeted multiple audiences at different points in the customer journey to achieve an omnichannel program to educate and convert new customers.

Technology buyers are moving at top speed along a road filled with twists and turns. GLG is here to help you achieve and maintain momentum by moving B2B technology brands forward.