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The # 1 Reason B2B Marketing Fails (Hint: It’s Not Tactical)

by Jennifer Beever on December 10, 2014

PainContent marketing. Digital marketing. SEO. Inbound marketing. Outbound marketing. None of these will work if you don’t figure out the number one most important thing.

In B2B marketing, what tactics you employ won’t matter if you don’t understand your target audience’s pain, speak to it and provide the right solution. Yes, pain is the key to marketing success. But it’s not enough just to know what the pain is and talk about your solution.

You have to show your target audience that you understand and can solve their pain.

If you think pain is too strong a word to use for why your customers buy your product or service, use other words such as triggers, issues, problems. Whatever you call it, it’s what keeps your customer up at night. It’s what gets them on the Internet searching for solutions. It’s what gets them to spend time researching the options. In the end it’s what gets them to part with their valuable money and buy your product or service.

Here’s a graph from a study about content marketing – the latest tactic for B2B marketers. 58% of survey respondents said that the number one factor that makes content marketing effective is relevance to the audience. How do you increase relevance? By understanding your audience’s pain.

What Makes Content Effective

How do you find customer pain?

You listen. You observe. Maybe your product or service idea is born from your own experience with pain. (Studies have shown that a majority of new product ideas come from existing customers.)

Once you understand your customers’ pain and have the solution (and validate that your solutions works), you need to tell your audience you understand their pain. This is called empathy.

How do you show empathy for your customers?

The best way is by telling stories. Notice that in the Content Marketing survey results shown above, the number two success factor (57%) for content marketing is effective storytelling.

Of course, you can just add benefit statements to your websites. Benefit statements are good – much better than having a website that only talks about features. But, now potential customers are leery of benefit statements. “Yah, I saw that on that company’s website, but how do I know it’s true?

You should include stories in the form of case studies, which make your website and your marketing better.

What will make your marketing best is to have others tell how you solve pain.

This is why social media is so essential. Buyers today are wary of marketers. Unless your solution is the only one, for the most part buyers want proof that others chose and recommend your product or service. Your customers testimonials and recommendations (likes and shares on social media) are some of the most effective forms of marketing today.

Do you need help showing your target audience that you understand them? That you have the right solutions? Contact us at New Incite today. We’ve created better messaging and marketing for hundreds of B2B businesses to drive more results and revenue.

Photo on Flickr by Ryan Weisgerber. Some Rights Reserved.

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