Almost 9 in 10 B2B marketers agree that a deep understanding of their buying audience is critical to creating content that engages buyers, according to results from an Akoonu survey of 100 senior B2B marketers from companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues. To better understand audiences’ needs, many respondents are using buyer’s journey maps, per the study.
The marketers surveyed – all of whom are responsible for or oversee content marketing – were most likely to say they build buyer’s journey maps (48%) in order to better understand their buying audience’s needs for content creation purposes. Close behind, many are also interviewing customers (47%) and interviewing sales (47%) to inform their content creation, and more than 4 in 10 are building buyer personas.
Akoonu – a marketing strategy platform that promotes the use of buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps – obviously has a vested interest in the survey’s results. Still, the focus on the buying journey is supported by independent data contained in a recent MarketingCharts report on B2B digital marketing, in which B2B marketers said that understanding the customer buying journey is the most important factor driving their future digital marketing initiatives.
Overall, roughly three-quarters of respondents to the Akoonu survey reported having built both buyer personas and buyer’s journey maps. Of these, roughly 9 in 10 interviewed customers (89%) and collaborated with the sales team (92%) to help build them.
Armed with those collaborations, more than 8 in 10 feel that these activities have given them enough in-depth insights to guide the creation of quality content. Moreover, those who had built personas and maps were more confident than those who hadn’t built them in their understanding of their buying audience and in their ability to align content to target audiences at each stage of the buying journey.
These are important considerations, given separate data in MarketingCharts’ B2B Digital Marketing Insights Report showing that:
- B2B marketers believe that understanding buyer needs or pain points is the most important strategy related to product launches;
- Audience relevance is the most important element of effective B2B content, per senior B2B marketers; and
- Understanding buyer personas and creating relevant content for each segment is perceived to be one of content marketing’s biggest challenges.
About the Data: The survey was conducted online in August 2015. All respondents were Director level of above. Half of respondents came from organizations with annual revenues of $100-999 million, and half came from organizations with annual revenues of at least $1 billion.