Marketers, let’s be realistic.

Your content consumers are not always “leads” with active needs, and they shouldn’t be treated as if they are. Instead of marketing to all your “leads” as though they might be ready to move through your marketing and sales stages, you can focus on creating excellent experiences and value for them until the timing is right for them to engage.

Doing this well requires account-specific research and understanding the behavioral nuances that should trigger one campaign versus another. Did they ignore your content because they are busy? Or because it’s not relevant right now? The answer is important. A marketing organization’s ability to shift strategy or campaign delivery based on information is paramount.

A well crafted nurture campaign tailored for buyer personas with specific and active needs should help your contacts to learn more, be inspired to solve a problem and hopefully select your solution for purchase. Commonly depicted like a funnel, with a certain number of buyers moving through each stage and, of course, losing some along the way.

sales funnel stages.jpgUnderstanding which groups of buyers are in the same buying journey is at the core of account-based marketing and selling. Finding these groups, delivering a tailored program and moving them through the funnel is exactly what needs to be done—and tracked—to show an increase in leads in accounts, progression through the funnel and support of revenue.
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But when you’re hyper-focused on the paths through your funnel, it’s easy to lose sight of what happens outside of your funnel. Whatever the statistics are for your business, you likely know that X% of your MQLs or MQAs become SQLs or SQAs.  But what about the percent that doesn’t? Are they part of your ICP?  If so, did they drop out because your well-crafted message landed in their inbox over and over at the wrong time?  Often times this is the case. You’ve sent content relevant to typical challenges in their industry, but haven’t reached them at the time it aligned with the goals and initiatives they are actively solving for and held accountable to in their company.

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The opportunity cost of delivering a poor experience to contacts not ready to move through your stages can be high. These contacts may have the same motivations, challenges and job roles as the buyers you successfully advance, but your timing might not align with their circumstances.  These people may not respond to you, no matter how many times reach out.  And continuously reaching them with the same message or campaign isn’t going to change their current needs, it’s probably going to annoy them. They are often silently forming opinions that carry over into when their needs do arise.

It’s time to start tailoring content experiences to your ideal customers when it aligns with their needs.