Remember when you were in grade school? Maybe you were the kid who was happiest when the teacher told everyone to sit and read a book. But throughout the classroom there were kids who weren’t into reading; some preferred to learn by listening, either to the teacher during story time or pre-recorded audio. Others learned by looking at pictures or watching video, and some by building models or doing experiments. And the most left-brained kids, the burgeoning scientists, and statisticians? They were all about learning by gathering data and logically digesting it to arrive at a conclusion.
All those kids who had their preferred ways of learning? They’re adults now. Content consuming adults who are part of a group or buying committee—usually comprising six to 10 people—and making buying decisions for companies large and small. The individuals in the group will be there to represent a variety of roles, teams, and locations to ensure the final decision takes into account the unique needs and requirements of Information Technology (IT), Finance, Business Development, Accounting, Operations, Administrative, Marketing, and Engineering teams around the world.
CONTENT PREFERENCES BY LEARNING TYPE
Turns out there are official categories of Learning Types, and significant effort goes into studying them. The studies originally focused on how to help students get the most out of their time in the classroom, but we can parlay that information into effective content marketing.
When it comes to technology buying solutions, four departments hold the most influence. IT leads all other departments with Finance, Engineering, and Business Development following. That doesn’t mean other departments don’t have influence, but tech marketers would be remiss if they neglect to create content that appeals to these four groups.
Logical (Mathematical) Learners
Logical or Mathematical Learners are systematic learners who want facts and figures without any filler. They are, above all, problem solvers, so connect with them your content needs to be detailed and data heavy. Think fact sheets, SEO landing pages, calculators, charts, and stories using graphs and data.
Logicals will take the information you provide to come up with answers to questions by following a linear, logical line of thought.
Buying committee primary influencers from IT, Finance, Accounting, and Engineering fall into this category, so come out of the gate with verifiable facts for them.
Physical (Kinesthetic) Learners
Physical Learners, also known as Kinesthetic Learners, present a great opportunity to create unique, engaging content. This group learns through touch—physical manipulation, writing, and interaction. Your content should get them to interact—not necessarily with people, but with the information.
Look to product demos, virtual reality (VR), how-to videos, and interactive web elements to engage Physicals because once they’ve reviewed the facts, buyers from IT and Engineering will want to see how your product or service works. Make sure there’s a clear connection between what you tell them and what they experience using a product demo, how-to video, or VR.
Visual (Spatial) Learners
Visual (Spatial) Learners, as the name implies, learn by sight, and need you to show them what they need and want to know.
Of all the Learning Types, Visuals are the largest within the general population. Verbal or audio information quickly becomes white noise to them. To get their attention and help them retain information, use images, charts, graphs, infographics, and video they can absorb visually and mentally organize for decision-making.
Business Development professionals are often Visual Learners because scalability is critical to their success. Show them how you can take them beyond just Point A to Point B. Operations personnel, focused on improving processes and procedures that are key to running a business, respond to strong, informative visuals.
Aural (Auditory) Learners
Aural, or Auditory Learners are all about listening, ears, and hearing. In the general population, the Visual Learner group is Second in size to Visual Learners, but they’re more tertiary when it comes to tech buyers.
Aurals require verbal repetition for information retention. Repetition can happen within the content they’re listening to (the old radio ad trick), or by making it easy for them to replay the piece—podcasts, audiobooks, webinars—on their own.
Operations and Marketing are the primary consumers of audible content, but its true value lies in acting as a top-of-the-funnel gateway to the more detailed, deep-dive content you deliver in other formats.
Just as school teachers need to adapt to the learning styles of their students, B2B marketers need to adapt marketing content to tech buying committee decision-makers. When you do that you position your content to be what unites a diverse buyer group while making your products and services a frontrunner for the sale.
Want a deeper dive into Learning Types within tech buying committees?
Complete the form below to download the eBook.