Knowing why and how organisations purchase technology is vital in creating a successful B2B technology marketing and sales strategy. 

In recent weeks we’ve looked at the big question of ‘Who is my target buyer?’ and why cultural and geographical differences matter.

Another key factor is the timing of your marketing campaign, and we explored trends around when enterprise IT budgets are released or authorised and how that correlates to engagement in Kingpin’s recent report, ‘How organisations purchase technology – mapping the journey with real-life insights’.

And it’s worth noting that the report is based on our proprietary data and insights platform, which means it documents what buyers actually do, rather than what buyers say they do, as typical research tends to show.

So why is the timing of your campaign so important? 

Well, if you get it right, content is produced when budgets are signed off and enterprise tech buyers are actively looking to research as they start the buying process. 

Get it wrong, however, when budgets haven’t been approved or have already been spent, and the content is potentially wasted.

Predicting the best time to launch a campaign needn’t be finger-in-the-air guesswork or gut instinct. Data exists that can help identify when target companies and sectors are more likely to engage with marketing content.

In fact, our report shows one clear event that appears to be a trigger for organisations to engage with content. 

New year, new plans...

Kingpin engagements summary data for a large telco in 2017-18 shows a spike in engagement across some of the most common types of content marketing formats – whitepapers, webinars, events and case studies – in April, just after the end of the organisation’s financial year.

This suggests that enterprise IT buying teams are more actively engaging with vendor marketing efforts at the start of their financial year, just after their new annual budgets have been approved.

There is also a small spike in engagement again around September and October, which could signal renewed buying activity after half-year financials and budget reviews.

Kingpin engagement data for a large global bank also shows a similar spike during the first quarter of the new financial year between April and June, as well as another increase in engagement activity in October, just after the half-year financials.

This kind of insight is particularly important for a highly targeted account-based marketing (ABM) play, where you need to get to know as much as possible about an organisation, or small group of organisations, and the buying team.

Buying and sales cycles are long and complex

However, the financial year is just one example of an engagement trigger and shouldn’t be interpreted as being the only time to target organisations with your marketing campaigns. 

Buying and sales cycles are long and complex. Many people across different departments and at different levels of seniority will be involved at various stages as part of the buying team. This reflects the different roles each person plays at different stages of the process, from initial research and validation, through to testing the product and visiting a vendor’s stand at an event to see it in action.

Use data to test and adjust

The key takeaway here is to use engagement data to hone the timing of your campaign – but marketers must also ensure there are enough communications to hit the right people at the right point in the buying cycle, whether that’s the start of the new financial year or another key point.

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For more insights into the B2B buying process, download the full Kingpin report here: How organisations purchase technology – mapping the journey with real-life insights