Basic B2B Marketing: What Does the Buyer Know?

2B Marketing 101: What Does the Buyer in The Chair Not Know?

A Legendary Lesson in No-Nonsense B2B Marketing

In 1958, Business Week Magazine published a jolting B2B ad known as “The Man in The Chair.” I first saw this ad decades later when it was featured in an Advertising Age retrospective and I was just starting out in my career in B2B Marketing.

The ad’s simple design, stark image, and blunt messaging resonated with me. To this day, it remains a relevant lesson in B2B marketing.

Anticipate the B2B Marketing Buyer’s Questions Before They Even Ask

Times Change, but Some Things Still Remain the Same

The person in the buyer’s chair is still intolerant of intrusive sales outreach, and now they have more ways to avoid your marketing efforts.

To break through the barriers, start with relevant storytelling that is easily accessible where your buyer is most likely to look when and if they need your solution.

Research and Understand Your B2B Buyer Before the Pitch

Before making a pitch, try to understand your targeted B2B buyers’ needs and mindset. Do they know anything about your solutions? How are they getting by now without them? Where, when, and how will they most likely look for helpful information? Conduct thorough research and put yourself in their shoes to gain insights into their perspective. These foundational insights will help you more effectively shape your B2B marketing and content strategy.

Tailor B2B Marketing Content for Every Stage of the Funnel

The content strategy should vary depending on where the prospect is in the sales funnel:

  • Top of the Funnel – Focus more on help and less on hype. Create informative materials to establish credibility and raise awareness. Here, you’re addressing individuals who are just beginning to recognize their needs and seek out solutions.
  • Deeper in the Funnel – Leverage testimonials and detailed case studies. These elements turn satisfied customers into your most credible advocates and are crucial for clients closer to a purchase decision.

Provide Interactive Content and Visualization Tools

Instantly engaging content is crucial at each stage to guide the buyer’s journey. Use less jargon and be more conversational. Use visual aids like infographics, scorecards, and process diagrams. Consider interactive tools such as assessments or calculators. These elements engage users more deeply by encouraging interaction with your content and providing personalized value.

Share True-to-Life Stories Through Customer Voices

Humanize your brand by highlighting success stories where real clients share their experiences. For example, a video testimonial from a long-term client can be more convincing than any sales copy. This approach builds trust and solidifies the credibility of your solutions.

Staying Ahead in B2B Marketing With Commitment and Curiosity

The evolution of B2B marketing continues accelerating, driven by technological advancements, and shifting market dynamics. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are making research and content creation easier, to the point that some marketers are trying to put their marketing on autopilot.

Stay engaged in the process and don’t miss what can be learned about your prospects with personal and professional empathy and curiosity. Collect observations and insights from your frontline reps and anyone in your organization who interacts with your customers and prospects.

What you learn will help make your content and messaging less mechanical, more human, and truly relatable. 

As you refine your strategies, continuously ask yourself:

  • Can you anticipate the questions?
  • Do you have the correct answers?
  • Are you providing the right content at the right time and place?

Remember, the key to effective B2B marketing content isn’t just about answering the person in the chair—it’s about anticipating his or her questions before they even ask.