Gaining Buyers’ Attention Remains Number One Challenge For Marketing And Sales Leaders
Gaining buyers’ attention became that much harder during the pandemic. The pandemic wreaked havoc on the ability of people to give attention. To concentrate. To focus. Particularly in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, there were numerous reports, TV stories, and studies pointing to a decrease in attention span. Working from home, anxiety, and stress proving to be major factors. Even reading a book became a lot harder.
We, in the United States at least, began to assimilate a new reality of living with the presence of a widespread pandemic. We adapted by finding new ways to work, wearing protective masks, and developing new routine social behaviors. As well as regaining attention, focus, and concentration. Perhaps not at 100% but more so than at the start of the pandemic.
Becoming evident is that capturing buyers’ attention is the number one challenge facing B2B marketing and sales at this stage of the pandemic. I viewed and listened to a recent Selling Power online event. Clearly, the common issue was that of reaching and gaining the attention of buyers. It is issue number one for many marketing and sales leaders.
A November 2020 Trust Radius research report on the B2B Buying Disconnect points to buyers increasing the amount of research they do, searching online more, seeking more review content, and looking for more sources. The work from home phenomenon proving to be a major contributing factor to these increases. One must consider that these shifts in behaviors also led to more wandering within the search, more discovery, more exploring, and more curiosity. And yes, giving less attention to content that fails to connect.
Although there is more optimism today due to the success of the vaccinations, it is hard to believe we will have a rubber band effect. We will not see a return to an old reality. But a new reality will emerge. How then, do marketing and sales leaders begin to meet this challenge of capturing buyers’ attention in a new reality?
Let us take a look at several ways:
1 – Address New Goals Your Buyers Are Trying To Accomplish
A pandemic of this order of magnitude mostly surely has altered the goals of buyers. Businesses have had to adapt and set new levels of expectations on what they and they cannot accomplish. Avoid the mistake of reverting back to assumptions on what your product or service is solving. Start with qualitative buyer research to establish a new understanding of buyers and their goals.
2 – Identify Situational Challenges Your Buyers Face
The situations and challenges buyers find themselves in also have changed. You will not capture attention by speaking to situations they were in pre-pandemic.
3 – Update Your Buyer Personas And Make Sure They Are Goal-Directed
With buyer goals changing radically, the importance of updating your buyer personas becomes critical. Equally important is to ensure that your buyer personas are goal-directed in nature. Bad buyer personas completed with old product marketing terminologies and viewpoints will not help you to capture the attention of buyers.
4 – Rethink Your Personalization
A good amount of personalization has not moved beyond “Dear Jennifer” emailing, overly aggressive chatbots, and a “gotcha” mentality on intent signals. Buyers are hating on these in the new reality. Marketing and sales need to rethink personalization through the lenses of first knowing their buyers at a deeper level. Especially now in a new reality for B2B.
5 – Redesign Your Buyer Interactions
It is clear from research such as by Trust Radius, McKinsey, and Harvard Business Review that buyers are desiring new forms of interactions. As millennials emerge as the dominant category of buyers, they will embrace new forms of interactions geared towards them. As opposed, to older forms of interactions pre-pandemic.
6 – Marketing and Sales Teams Understand Your Target Buyer Personas
Personalization requires understanding. And not all personalization and understanding means only in the digital realm. Leaders today must invest in human personalization and interaction. Meaning their teams are able to engage in personalized conversational marketing or conversational selling. In the most human way possible. They can only do so by truly understanding your buyers and the target buyer personas that archetypally represent them.
These 6 key essential elements of understanding buyers can help you to capture their attention. It will remain a challenge throughout the rest of 2021. But doing nothing and standing pat may just put you too far behind.