“It’s not the ink, it’s the think.”
This quote was the basis for Avinash Kaushik’s opening keynote at MarketingProf’s B2B Marketing Forum. For those of you that don’t know, Avinash is a Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google and best-selling author.
According to Avinash, the difference between companies that will be great and those that will die (either quickly or slowly) are the ones that understand how to obsess about the think. Thinking about how your company can connect with people and execute process and structure will make you masters of marketing. Below are some of the many highlights from his entertaining, informational and inspiring keynote.
The Growth of Digital
In 2015, digital consumption has far surpassed all other forms of media including TV, print and radio. The main reason that digital has come to dominate consumption is that everyone is constantly connected to their mobile devices. If you understand the implication you should be joyous as marketers.
Mobile devices are incredibly powerful in that they allow you to be closer to your prospects, customers and colleagues all of the time. That is a phenomenal gift to each of us as marketers because we are in the business of influence. At the end of the day, that is all we do.
Rethinking the Marketing Funnel
“Imagine yourself as a regular human being and not a marketing robot.”
The framework that we all learned was the traditional marketing funnel that includes some variations of awareness, consideration, conversion and advocacy. As a consumer, ask yourself; when was the last time that you purchased something and went down that path?
Instead, we should be considering a framework that solves business problems and is not selfishly trying to move prospects down the path of our choosing. A common mistake made by B2B marketers is to use information like job title to define a prospect without including any information about their intentions.
Alternatively, consider making decisions based on user behavior as a means to determine what is relevant for your target audience.
A New Business Framework: The 4 Clusters of Intent
In the interest of better serving customers, Avinash recommends building a new frame work for marketing that focuses on the following four categories of intent:
- See: Figure our who is your largest addressable qualified audience:
- Think: Largest addressable qualified audience, with weak commercial intent.
- Do: Largest addressable qualified audience, with strong commercial intent
- Care: Current customers, with two, or more, commercial transactions.
The goal should not be to move people through the marketing funnel, but to understand their intent.
How to Put This Framework Into Action
Normally, a company’s strategy involves driving a bunch of people to their website in the hopes that a small number of people will convert by completing a lead form. But what happens to the rest of your visitors? Perhaps you have a large number of visitors that aren’t ready to make a purchasing decision, but are still very qualified to make a purchase in the future.
Avinash used the example of XTRAC Solutions’ approach to providing value for visitors that want to make a decision now, and those that may not be ready.
Someone can obviously sign up for a demo or complete a contact form but there are other options available such as using their workflow calculator, downloading an eBook, sign up for their email list, watch videos or follow them on social networks. There is virtually something for everyone.
Xtrac Solutions solves for near term intent , but they also have a content strategy that covers all intents. Instead of solving for 2% of people that engage with them. They’re solving for everyone that is a part of their qualified audience.
I look forward to seeing what you think about Avinash’s recommendation for changing our approach to digital marketing from a funnel, to focusing on user intent. If you’re attending the MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum I encourage you to attend TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden’s session, Participation Marketing: If You Want B2B Content to Be Great, Ask Your Community to Participate today at 4pm.