I've written frequently here about why it's important to develop marketing content resources for specific buyer personas and specific stages of the buying process. This kind of targeted content produces better marketing results because it enables you to increase what I call personal relevance and situational relevance.
There's also another factor you need to consider when developing marketing content. To make your content more effective, you must understand the type of demand you need to create. The demand type concept was developed by SiriusDecisions a few years ago, and it's basically designed to describe where your market is in the typical evolutionary cycle.
SiriusDecisions has identified three demand type categories.
A new concept is a truly disruptive product or service. It usually solves a problem that most potential buyers don't know they have, or it may address a condition or set of circumstances that most potential buyers perceive to be an inevitable fact of business life, for which no solution exists.
A new paradigm is a product or service that will solve a known problem or fill a known need in a new and novel way that differs significantly for other existing solutions.
An established market represents a product or service that is accepted by the majority of prospect organizations as necessary and best-of-breed. With an established market product or service, most prospective buyers will understand the nature and ramifications of their need, and they will have a general understanding of what solutions are available.
Obviously, these different market environments require different approaches to content marketing. With a new concept, both marketing and sales must be highly evangelistic. Your first job is to show potential buyers that a given set of conditions constitutes a problem and that an effective solution to the problem exists. Therefore, your marketing content needs to contain a significant thought leadership component that is designed to create awareness of the problem and instill confidence that the problem can be solved.
With a new paradigm product or service, most potential buyers are aware of the problem they need to solve, and they may have already implemented one of the conventional solutions. Therefore, your marketing content must demonstrate why and how the new solution you offer is significantly better than the more conventional solutions. In this situation, your primary competition is the existing solution paradigm rather than other solution providers.
When your product or service competes in an established market, the key to success is differentiating your solution from those offered by your competitors. Since your solution is probably similar in general functionality to those of your competitors, your marketing content needs to emphasize other sources of differentiation, such as a lower total cost of ownership, easier and/or faster implementation, or more responsive customer support.
When you're using these demand types to guide your marketing efforts, it's important to remember that the type of demand you need to create will change as your market evolves. Therefore, to keep your marketing content effective and compelling, it needs to evolve in step with your market.