End Death by PowerPoint and 1,000 White Paper Cuts

Most organizations spend a significant portion of their marketing budget on creating content to fuel demand generation programs, and to arm sales reps to have better conversations and engagements. 

Unfortunately, the majority of this content spend is currently wasted.

SiriusDecisions reports that 55% of current content spending is squandered.  This means that a typical company is wasting $1 out of every $7 spent on total marketing each year.*

From these findings, ½ of the waste is because sales reps can’t find the content they need for particular selling situations. This has fueled many recent sales enablement investments in content portals and sales playbooks, and for good cause.

But this is only addressing ½ of the waste. The other half of the wasted spending is because the content that sales reps do find and use is not perceived as adding value.

A recent survey revealed that 78% of sales execs say that even though content is an important element for effective selling, only 40% believed their current content is actually helping make a difference in engagements. (Qvidian)

And buyers feel the same way, with 71% reporting that they were recently turned off by vendor content, and a perception that only 7% of vendor content is focused on what they care about, Value, versus a typical “Product Pitch. (The Economist)

It’s time to end “Death by Powerpoint and a 1,000 White Paper Cuts”. Your content needs to stand apart from the crowd and be better.
 
So what can you do to make your content more valuable and effective? The research points out three of the most effective ways:

1)  Make it Interactive – It’s “short attention span theater” out there, and buyers have less time than ever to research and investigate new solutions. It’s no wonder that 91% of buyers prefer content that is visual and interactive, this according to Demand Gen Report’s 2015 Content Preferences survey. This means producing compelling content that can personalize itself based on discovery, improving relevance and communicating unique insights. 
This is why more than 30% like interactive storytelling and 20% leverage diagnostic assessments and ROI calculators to help research and drive B2B purchase decisions, and these numbers are increasing every year. (Demand Gen Report)
2)  Leverage the NeuroScience of Decision Making– there are three buy buttons in the brain, and your content has to stimulate each in order to gain interest and drive positive outcomes:

1.   The “New Brain” and Logic - The neocortex is the part of the brain responsible for rational thought. To appeal to this part of the brain, your content needs to provide provocative insights, quantify “do nothing” costs and provide financial justification.

2.   The Reptilian Brain and Emotion - the cerebellum is responsible for fight-or-flight and basic survival. To stimulate this part of the brain, your content needs storytelling and using simple visuals, show clear contrast between how the status quo is risky / costly, and how your proposed solution can “save the day”.

3.   The Middle Brain and Trust - the "limbic brain is responsible for measuring credibility and gauging trust. To connect with this part of the brain, you r content needs success stories, customer quotes and videos so the buyer can relate to other’s successes and ultimately “see themselves” in the results.

3)  Focus on Value – You are proud of your solutions, but as a result, buyer’s think too much of your content is focused on you, your company and your products / services, versus what buyer’s care about, their challenges and the value they can achieve in you helping them solve these issues. 

Buyer’s almost unanimously wanted content to Focus less on product specifics and more on value, Use more benchmarking data and research to support content, and to Provide more insight from industry thought leaders/analysts. (Demand Gen Report)

The Bottom-Line

It’s not enough to just work on making content easier to find, you have to make the content itself better as well. The three keys include leveraging more interactive content, triggering the 3 buy buttons in the brain, with a focus not on product, but on value.  

With these improvements in your content, you’ll be fueling better sales conversations, making your prospect engagements more effective, and substantially reducing ½ of current wasted spend.

More tips about how to address wasted content spend and develop more effective demand-gen and sales content can be found in the book: The Frugalnomics Survival Guide – How to Use Your Unique Value to Market Better, Stand Out and Sell More

Sources:
The Economist Global Content Survey - http://www.missingthemark.ads.economist.com/infographic


* Content marketing typically represents between 25-30% of total marketing spend (CMI).

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