Influencer Marketing continues to gain traction as a tactic for quick market exposure but consider the real idea of the Infleuncer in Markting… When trying to sell a high-ticket product or solution, almost never is just one person the influencer to buy. In every enterprise level company, there are a suite of decision makers and each has very different levers which drive them to a thumbs up/thumbs down inclination.
Before you start your sales process, it’s critical to make sure you understand the entire chain of approvals and what will influence each persona along the journey.
For example, here is a typical chain of command for an enterprise level technology solution and some questions to consider:
In the technology arena this comes down to the IT professional, and IT is too generic for audience selection. Ask yourself: what solution does your product or service offer, and which type of IT person would it be tailored to? There are very sophisticated methods of targeting this persona, including by proficiencies and skills based on their profiles and technology installations at their site. Getting to the right “who” might be a combination of skills or complimentary software or hardware already in use. Also, consider the varied roles of the IT professional, from technical architects to system admins.
Then, what will capture their interest? In a technical environment, this might be product specifications, a whitepaper, or a use case with demonstrated success. This is your technical audience, so engage them with content and data around what will appeal to their technical mindset.
Let’s pick on marketing since there are a lot of solutions being created and consumed in this area. The ultimate end-user of your product wants to hear things about ease of use, features, and problems your product will help to solve or to automate. Things like user interface, adaptability, integration and training cycles might be appropriate here. While it is important to market to the senior persona, you must also consider the marketing operations role who will be in the trenches.
Consider content in this area which talks about big picture features, and perhaps details as well: a video, a webinar, or an online demo.
A financial decision maker and check signer will be looking at things like price, payment options, and total cost of ownership. Content directed to this influencer and persona should be numbers-driven and geared towards value. An ROI calculator is also a good tool for the financial audience.
If the product is expensive, then the c-suite will need to bless the deal as well. A senior level executive will look for things like executive overviews, big picture, organizational problems solved, time or cost savings, and return on investment. If money is being spent, what will the return be? How much more efficient will we be? When will we reap the benefits?
A considered purchase is a journey, and takes persistence, patience, creativity as well as an aligned coordination of sales and marketing resources. Tailor your content to the appropriate persona, and consider the hot buttons for each along the way. It takes a team to make a decision, so make sure you are considering each player.
Senior Vice President
Data + Media Services
March 15, 2017