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STAMFORD, Conn., February 25, 2021

Gartner Identifies Three Key Tactics for B2B Marketing Content to Resonate in Times of Disruption

B2B Marketing Leaders Must Understand Customers’ Shifting Needs to Produce and Deliver Effective Content

B2B marketing leaders seeking to improve their B2B content strategy to resonate in times of disruption should focus on designing their strategy around customer behaviors that are likely to endure into the future, according to Gartner, Inc. This leads to content that is both resonant and durable, while also decreasing the content production volume required.

“Resonant content is content that customers view as both relevant to the moment and indicative of a deeper understanding of their situation,” said Cassandra Nordlund, Director, Advisory, for Gartner for Marketers. “It acknowledges customers’ shifting needs but also demonstrates an understanding of the implications of these shifts to customers’ future processes and ways of working.”

In times of rapidly changing needs, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, resonance can be achieved by addressing a newly emerging need that customers require help to understand.

”Marketers must be mindful that in this environment, their efforts may lack staying power as resonance quickly fades the more customers’ needs continue to shift,” added Ms. Nordlund. “As a result, marketers are faced with the difficult choice of either chasing resonance by increasing investments in content production, or pulling back and reducing content plays to avoid potential missteps.”

To create and deliver effective content focused on future customer needs, Gartner recommends that B2B marketing leaders consider three key tactics:

  1. Use trends to generate future customer insights: While effective B2B content is generated by observing shifts in customer needs, these assets can be given a longer shelf life by identifying indicators of future customer needs. To do this, shift focus from solely understanding customers’ current demands to learning what needs are likely to be important in the future.
  2. Educate customers on new future needs: Use scenario planning to forecast future customer needs under various possible scenarios. The result of this exercise can then be used to educate customers on the steps they’ll need to take now to be ready for a future they are not yet in a position to appreciate.
  3. Deliver content through conversations to increase decision confidence: Help customers feel more confident in their decisions by encouraging them to think through their options in a step-by-step manner with a sales or service representative. These conversations empower customers to feel more confident in their decisions, a proven driver of account growth

Gartner for Marketers clients can learn more in the report "Improving Your B2B Content Strategy to Resonate in Times of Disruption."

About the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo

Gartner analysts will discuss the key issues facing CMOs during the Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, taking place virtually August 17-19. This conference provides marketing leaders actionable advice about the trends, tools and emerging technologies they need to deliver business results. Gartner analysts address the biggest opportunities, challenges and priorities marketers face today, including data and analytics, customer experience, content marketing, customer insight, marketing technology (martech) and multichannel marketing. Follow news and updates for the event on Twitter at #GartnerMKTG.

About Gartner for Marketers

Gartner for Marketers provides the objective, expert advice, and proven tools that CMOs and other marketing leaders need to seize the right opportunities with clarity and confidence, and to stay ahead of the trends that matter. With in-depth research and analysis, Gartner for Marketers helps you focus on the opportunities with the greatest potential to deliver results. More information on Gartner for Marketers is available online at www.gartner.com/marketing. Follow news and updates from the Gartner Marketing practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerMKTG.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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