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Marketing to the Decision Making Team: B2B

Posted by Brian Berg Google+


More often than ever, business-to-business buying decisions are made by a team of people which should be included in your business to business mailing list considerations.  This team often does their research and shares their findings, before even contacting the new vendor to discuss price.  Therefore, your marketing message must bring value when it contributes to the process of this decision, rather than “selling”. 


This point is articulated in a Forrester blog post written by Sheryl Pattek titled “Three Ways That the Right Message Will Help You Win the B2B Marketing Game”.  In her post, she points out that it takes a team to make B2B buying decisions, and therefore, messaging to this team must bring value in order for the team to properly evaluate the buying decision. 


According to Sheryl, as much as 60% of the “buying journey” is completed before engaging with you.  With this much research completed by a team of people before contacting you, the opportunity for B2B marketers lies in developing value driven content and messaging across multiple platforms so that you maximize your reach among those participating team participants and provide integrated value that resonates with the reader/decision maker. 


Sheryl’s blog post highlights that “empowered customers now define the “who, what, and how” of business relationships.  She states that, “your message must claim buyer mindset early on – and own it across the entire buyer’s journey – maintaining that preference across all customer touchpoints.”  Additionally, poorly executed business mailing list campaigns, content on your website, and sales presentations can add to disinformation which can penalize your efforts. 


Consider these teams that evaluate your products and services.  These people compare your business offerings with your competitors.  They all search for content that informs them on facets related to their individual needs.  Some work late night from their smart phone, searching keywords in Google News, while others preview websites, product descriptions, and reviews.  Still others look at decision makers within the management of your company by searching in LinkedIn.  When it comes to team decision making, often the focus isn’t so much on what they like, but the lack of information, distracting content, and “dirt” they find that eliminates you from the consideration set.


Forrester’s Sheryl Pattek has written several great blog posts on B2B decision making.  Read more from Sheryl here.