Enabling sellers to deliver relevant, customized content to B2B buyers with traditional content approaches is like trying to drive 80 miles per hour in second gear. It doesn’t work. Here’s why: Imagine a company that sells just five products. If that company sells into three markets, then its content must address 15 separate combinations of products and markets to be relevant. With four campaigns running, the number of combinations jumps to 60. And the numbers keep multiplying as marketers build content for regional variations, buyer roles, use cases, and so on. Delivering relevant experiences for each buying situation requires combinations of content that increase geometrically or exponentially. Even if it were possible to create all that content, no one would be able to find anything in the resulting enormous pile.
This dynamic happens in most B2B organizations, and it explains some of the tension seen between sales and marketing. Marketing decision makers identify “increasing usage of content by sales reps” as one of their top three content challenges, Forrester data shows. However, because marketers produce more monolithic than modular content, 70% of sales reps spend between one and 14 hours every week customizing content for their buyers. Seventy-seven percent of B2B marketers also report significant challenges driving the right content consumption with external audiences. No one is happy.
The only practical way to shift the content engine into high gear is to turn monolithic content into modular components. Modularized content that is tagged with metadata can be reused, combined, activated, and measured at the component level to create thousands of unique combinations from a manageable set of components. Modular content makes it possible for every buyer to receive personalized sales presentations, account reviews, and business proposals, whether your company is selling five products or 5,000 products.
Modular content techniques and technology have been around for decades in website design and technical communications. Technology for implementing modular content for sales is already available in 52% of B2B organizations — the ones that already have invested in a sales content solution. Sales content solutions provide a wealth of capabilities that let sellers customize content for their buyers and deliver more dynamic experience that go far beyond the simple library and content–access features that most teams buy a solution to support.
At the upcoming B2B Summit North America, my colleague Laura Ramos and I will show how best-in-class organizations are using their sales content solutions to deliver the relevance that B2B buyers demand. In our session, “Pedal to the Metal: Kicking Your Sales Content Solution into High Gear,” we’ll explain the two underlying techniques that unlock the potential for near-infinite scalability and share the three secrets to inspiring organizational momentum to shift your content engine into high gear.