Savvy marketers need to focus on the different formats in which their customers would like to consume collateral. Also the type of collateral needed differs based on
- the stages in the sales lifecycle
- the purpose for which it is used (Campaigns, events, meetings etc.)
Marketers should be doing regular reviews of their marketing assets to determine what content they have and what new needs have emerged, said IDC analyst Michael Gerard. Such a “content audit” should have a clear focus on what’s needed at different stages of the buying cycle and by different customer types, Gerard said.
Next, marketers should focus their content development efforts on the gaps identified by this analysis, he said. “This is a significant departure from the historical view of “We need to produce five white papers this year’ without regard for the exact target and type of content of those white papers,” Gerard said. More about this at ‘Finding the best collateral mix’,
Another interesting part is that people are nowadays consuming more and more content digitally, which means that all the efforts spent to create digital collateral assets are a lot more meaningful.
Marketing teams need to translate sales goals into a definition for a dynamic marketing collateral mix. Certain elements of this mix will remain static for a period of 12-18 months, but several others will be far more dynamic in nature and will include content pieces like white papers, articles, webinars, blog posts, e-books etc.
Apart from creating the collateral itself, each independent piece of collateral (as long as it does not use heavy sales language) should be promoted well in communities and forums and in lead nurture programs.
Ultimately, it comes down to getting the right material to the right salesperson—and to the right customer—at the right time.
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