20 Apr Is 7 touches enough in B2B marketing today?
In the world of B2B marketing, the notion that seven touchpoints (interactions) are needed to turn a prospect into a buyer has been widely accepted for generations. As a senior C-level exec, you’ve probably read dozens of books and papers on the subject.
Like virtually all aspects of modern business, though, the landscape of B2B sales lead generation has undergone a seismic shift in recent years due to tech advancements, evolving decision-maker mindsets, and the global pandemic. So, are seven touchpoints enough to yield success in the current market?
The short answer is ‘no’. But you need to see more credentials and verification than that…
The problem with ‘only’ seven touches
Seven touchpoints may seem to provide a big enough opportunity to convert a prospect. However, the harsh reality is that, like consumers, B2B decision-makers will interact with dozens of brands.
Crucially, the average buyer is also 57% of the way through the buying process by the time they meet a sales rep. If your company fails to create a great first impression followed by positive interactions, you won’t even get to a point where you can actively influence their decision.
Gartner research finds that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with anyone sales rep may be only 5% to 6%.
As the competition for local and global sales increases across virtually every sector of the B2B environment, the individual objectives of a marketing strategy are more complex. Not least because teams are now under greater pressure to get value for money.
Therefore, expecting B2B buyers, particularly with complex deals, to complete the journey through the stages of Awareness, Consideration, and Decision within just seven interactions is naive. There are many reasons for this, including;
- Selling to teams means that seven touches may not be enough to reach a decision-maker or lead them to a point where they are seriously considering a purchase.
- B2B clients have grown accustomed to conducting more research in the early phases of the journey to prevent wasted time further down the line.
- In an era where your company is constantly fighting for interactions, some of the touchpoints won’t carry much impact other than keeping your brand fresh in their minds.
So, what’s the solution?
If seven touches are no longer enough to lead B2B buyers to take the desired action, adding additional interactions is essential. Given this, there is greater value in using content marketing for building brand exposure and sales lead generation for nurturing key contacts over time.. After all, it is reported that just 7% of B2B marketers think their strategies are exceptional – thus giving you a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
However, reading seven blog posts or watching seven videos won’t suffice if you want to get to decision-makers and actually encourage them to act. Therefore, you should devise an integrated marketing approach with multiple touchpoints that both raise your profile and drive B2B sales-qualified leads. To achieve this, you will need to ensure that your comprehensive B2B lead generation strategy includes each of the following;
- Earned touchpoints,
- Managed touchpoints,
- Owned touchpoints,
- Paid touchpoints,
- Shared touchpoints.
Having those touchpoints established will give you the best chance of turning interactions into more meaningful matters, such as telephone calls or face-to-face connections. And once you are actively connected to the decision-makers, your B2B marketing campaigns and philosophy will lead to far higher conversion rates too.
To find out more about building a robust strategy based on integrated marketing across all touchpoints with help from a professional service, contact the Incognate team today!