All B2B marketers have one common desire; they want to reach and convert their ultimate buyer, in this article referred to as decision-makers. These people are extremely busy, and to reach them, you need to think thoroughly about what content to create. In this article, I summarise how to create content to attract their attention.
What is a decision-maker?
Decision-makers are the people in an organsation who has the power and mandate to make a decision.
Why do you need to reach decision-makers
If you are selling a complex product, solution, or service, the purchase will most likely have to be approved by one or more decision-makers.
For years B2B suppliers have competed for the decision-makers attention. Various strategies and tactics have been introduced and tested. Some are more successful than others. When I talk to colleagues and friends who have +20 years in the industry, and everyone agrees;
'The only way to reach decision-makers is to provide highly relevant content based on their existing challenges and needs.'
But how do you create content that is relevant for decision-makers?
To know what content to create, you first need to understand the characteristics of a decision-maker and their reality.
What are the characteristics of a decision-maker?
Decision-makers are busy, and generally, they only do things they cannot delegate.
In fact, before approving a product or service, many other employees are often involved in and influencing the screening process.
Suppose that you are offering a product, solution, or service to a company.
When someone at the company discovers the need for your type of service is, the decision-maker appoints a smaller team with the following tasks;
What are the best practices in solving this challenge?
Who are the possible suppliers of the solution?
How much investment is needed?
What are the main risks?
Such a team is often lead by an extra trusted individual and a team of influencers. The team will evaluate and recommend to the decision-maker what solutions and suppliers to use.
To create content for influencers is the same story as to create for decision-makers. It requires a bit more practical approach describing the prerequisites and the implications of the solutions.
But for now, let's focus on the decision-makers.
If the decision-makers usually are presented with a variety of options after the screening process - why should we spend hours trying to write compelling content to reach them?
Well, the decision-makers are also humans. They want proof and need an overall understanding of the product or service before they approve it.
Therefore, they are looking for information, and like everyone else, they search for answers on Google.
That behaviour gives an opportunity to create a relationship with the decision-maker even before the screening process has started. By creating content that helps decision-makers understand what something is, why they have a need, and how to solve it, you can make it easier for them to be more positive about the investment needed to solve the challenge or need.
When to create compelling content for decision-makers
Generally, I have identified two very important occasions where you have good chances to capture the attention of the decision-makers. I call it pre-and-post delegation.
When I talk to decision-makers, most reveal that before they delegate a task, they search for information on Google. Their search intent is often to get enough information to be able to brief their colleagues on what to look for.
To reach the decision-maker in this phase, you need to create content that explains the topic on a general and strategic level. If your product or service is related to a buzzword, which the decision-maker is likely to search for, make sure that you have covered that in an article.
To give you an example. If I want to reach a decision-maker who is about to delegate the task to source different agencies who could help with a digital transformation, I'll make sure that we have created articles like;
All three of the above articles are relevant for the decision-makers in that situation.
The second-best opportunity to reach the decision-makers is after the users and influencers have submitted a list of possible options. Now they are closer to actually making the decision. Their search intent in this phase is to evaluate the different options they have been given, get tips on how to choose and what to consider.
In the scenario where decision-makers have a list of different options for their digital transformation, I'll make sure that we have articles such as: