How Do We Find People Who Are Ready to Buy Our Product?

A prospective client asks:

“What are the best demand generation strategies for finding people who are ready to buy our product?”

My response:

Finding highly-qualified, late-stage prospects has less to do with demand generation channels or tactics, and much more to do with content. For example, if you offer prospects a broad, educational white paper on trends in your product category, you’re more likely to generate a wide spectrum of leads, some more qualified than others, and many who are only mildly curious about your solution.

ready to buyConversely, if you offer an analyst report that compares different solutions, or an ROI calculator, or a free trial, you’re much more likely to attract and engage with prospects who are further along in their buying process.

Does that mean you should only ever use late stage content? No it doesn’t. In fact, as I explained in more detail in this white paper, focusing demand generation activity exclusively on generating only “hot” (read: ready to buy) leads is a very expensive proposition.

Focusing investment on programs designed to capture only short-term, ready-to-buy leads means you’ll be excluding a much larger subset of potential customers, companies who may well have the precise need that your product or service can solve, but just don’t know it yet. It’s much more cost-effective in the long term to use a mix of content – early, mid and late stage – to generate leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey, then nurture those leads that aren’t yet ready to engage with sales.

So yes, by all means offer demos, free trials and late stage content to ensure that prospects who ARE in a “buying mode” find, and engage with, your company. But don’t limit yourself to those offers. If you do, you’ll be surrendering many, additional opportunities to the competition – competitors who engage with those prospects earlier in their research process, nurture a relationship over time, and then are first choice vendors when the prospects are ready to buy.

2 thoughts on “How Do We Find People Who Are Ready to Buy Our Product?

  1. John Schuster

    You nailed it when you said “competitors who engage with those prospects earlier in their research process, nurture a relationship over time, and then are first choice vendors when the prospects are ready to buy.” This is so true.

    Google search advertising is all about capturing buyers when they are ready to buy. Retargeting campaigns can also fit this bill.

    But getting people earlier, even before they have begun the buying process can be a lot less expensive and a great strategy. Social advertising excels at getting leads at this stage; with targeting based on demographics, interests, past behaviors, similarities to other buyers, etc.

  2. Howard Sewell Post author

    Thanks for the comment, John. I disagree with you only on one point, namely that Google advertising is “all about capturing buyers when they are ready to buy.” I agree that SEM can be used to capture late-stage prospects, but it can just as easily (with the right content) be used to engage with prospects at all stages in the sales cycle. Too often we see SEM campaigns that offer demo or trial offers exclusively, for example, and thus suffer from the very issues I describe – namely that only a subset of potential prospects will ever respond.

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