If you’ve been reading this blog for the last two weeks, you know that we’ve covered the first two guiding principles for tech marketers: 1) Targeting and 2) Sources/Vehicles. Clearly, those are critical. Much like you’ve committed 911 to memory for emergencies and 411 to memory for directory assistance, tech marketers should memorize 3:1:1 for guiding their content strategy.

Guiding Principle Number Three: Content 3:1:1

3:1:1 is the simple but powerful ratio that should guide your content strategy. Buyers and influencers of high consideration solutions find 70% of the content they consume on their own during the buying process. 15% of the content that they consume is typically sent to them by marketers and the remaining 15% is delivered to them by sales (or an indirect sales channel).

The 70% of the content that they find on their own can take many forms. They find it via a search query, come across it while reading an online article, seek it out by coming to your website, etc. Because this percent is so great, you can’t possibly control everything they find, but you can still help them find the content. Leave “hooks” to your content in places your buyers and influencers are likely to be. Create “magnets” that draw buyers and influencers to content of your choosing.

For the 15% that you as a marketer can send them, ensure that you’re using the right marketing vehicle paired with the right content at the right time. And for the 15% that sales can deliver, ensure that the content maps to what the buyer or influencer needs to receive from the salesperson, not simply what the salesperson is comfortable delivering.

 So the next time you are deciding on how to use content, remember the 3:1:1 — it will serve you well.

About the data: These data points come from the Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator database and decision tool that helps tech marketers reach and influence their buyers. Forrester’s Tech Marketing Navigator measures how tech buyers and influencers consume marketing across awareness, consideration, and purchase. The data is collected through more than 20,000 interviews per year, covering 20-plus technology categories, across 11 geographies, and annually influences more than $4 billion in marketing program spend.