Technology and service providers (TSPs) often indicate that they do not see value in conducting outreach, advertising on third-party channels or pursuing prospects who are not in an active buying cycle. Yet, technology buyers tell Gartner that 43% of their software purchase considerations are ad hoc or unplanned and 45% of buyers who explored an unplanned purchase indicated that vendor advertising or outreach was the reason they considered such a purchase. In addition, the abandon rate for planned and unplanned purchases are similar, buyers are just as likely to abandon planned purchases as they are unplanned purchases. If you are not targeting passive buyers in your demand generation programs, you are missing potential revenue opportunity.
What captures buyers attention?
Buyers tell Gartner that they leverage at least three channels across the buying process and their attention is captured fairly equally across multiple marketing channel types, driving the need for a balanced multi-channel mix. Marketing channel strategy must include third-party channels, such as trade and industry publications, associations, and communities where your buyers spend their time. This will ensure you are capturing attention from prospects with limited awareness who are not yet in a planned purchasing effort. This strategy extends reach, drives awareness and builds credibility.
In addition, sales outreach is critical. Two of the top four types of marketing that caught the attention of passive buyers were sales-related. However, often this outreach becomes the standard provider introduction email or call, with a request for a discovery meeting. This approach seldom works. Buyers don’t want to be sold to, they want to know that you understand their business. Therefore, sales outreach must provide value and establish credibility rather than simply asking for 15 minutes to talk about your product.
If you are limiting your marketing investments to prospects with planned projects, you’re missing out on revenue from prospects who are likely to complete an unplanned purchase. Gartner clients that want to learn more about how to capture attention, create urgency and keep attention to create demand from passive buyers can read our latest research.