Four B-to-B Marketing Efforts That Can Improve Your Results

As B-to-B marketers, we are concerned about demand generation as our fundamental mission with lead generation being the primary way of measuring success. Here are four ways that will help you get better results.

I read an interesting article by Jim Leach, VP-Marketing, Harris Corp that outlines the CORE items you need to focus on. Here are some highlights:

  • Content – You have two challenges here for creating great content. One, the people who probably know the most about your product are probably terrible writers and two, your audience has no time to read. Jim suggests that a product engineer or possibly a customer service person might be the ones to tap to write content. His rules are simple: be brief, be brilliant, and be gone.
  • Outreach – Your best source of info is from your sales force. They are out in the trenches every day and know what the pain points are for customers and potentials. Take those insights and turn them into content nugget one pagers with common themes that might be used in a drip marketing program.
  • Response – Don’t lead your potential back to your home page on the web where they have to start the search over for the particular item that interested them in the first place. Create specific landing pages with tailored messages and the ability to collect info and download valuable info depending on where they are on the sales ladder – awareness, research, evaluation, selection or purchase – you should have items on that page that address each step in the process so the potential can find what they want easily.
  • Engagement – Most B-to-B sales have longer buying cycles so you need to keep your prospect engaged throughout the process. Make sure that when they come back at you with questions to be sure to ask them some as well so you can continually update their status.

CORE marketing can help you focus your efforts and close more sales. What are you doing to improve your marketing results?

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B-to-B Marketers: Need to Embrace Engagement Marketing

Brands are no longer defined by marketers, but by the very people we hope to influence – our customers and potential customers.

B-to-B marketers have to embrace the new engagement marketing (social media) as a viable way to target and talk to both customers as well as prospects. This is about developing a two-way conversation between you and your prospect.

Think about it – it’s like dating. If on your first date all you do is talk about yourself and don’t let your date get a word in edgewise, where do you think this relationship is going?

Instead, if you talk less and ask questions about her and her interests, you’ll engage her in a conversation which might lead to other things based on what is learned by both sides.

Engagement marketing works the same way. You need to ask questions, listen and respond. Customers know they have choices and want to be treated as partners, not prospects.

As a B-to-B marketer, it is increasingly important to establish customer loyalty because without it, it becomes an issue all about price and that’s a road no one likes to go down.

Engagement marketing is about a process that invites, engages, nurtures and then consummates into a sale. Once you do get the sale, you must continue the dialog and turn that customer into an advocate.


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10 Engagement Tactics That Will Help B-to-B Marketers

Social media is not going away and a good number of B-to-B marketers haven’t figured this out yet.

Engagement marketing is developing a two-way conversation with a customer or prospect.

Engagement happens when people look forward to hearing from you and find your communications meaningful and helpful.

Engagement marketing creates a common purpose between a manufacturer and its customers. It’s not a “Push” or “Pull” strategy, rather a collaborative one.

Someone is currently engaging your customer. Is it you or your competition?

Econsultancy found that fewer than 50% of companies actually have a defined customer engagement strategy.

I read an interesting white paper recently from Silverpop titled, B-to-B engagement , that outlines 10 tactics that benefit you from the engagement process. Here are the  highlights:

  1. Web2.0. Allows customers to easily communicate with other users as well as the company.
  2. Spread the load over multiple channels. You need more than a strong pay-for-click strategy. You need prospects to stay for awhile and one of the best ways is to offer them an e-newsletter.
  3. Monitor the marketplace. You’d better because your customers are. Read blogs relevant to your industry. Find out what the industry is buzzing about and then comment on it. Use your blog research to capture posts about you and your competitors.
  4. Work the Web. You need to set yourself apart which means in most cases reworking your site to be customer centric instead of marketing centric. An engaged site talks to individuals.
  5. Leverage your sales team. I don’t know of a successful marketing program that didn’t include the sales force. They are in the trenches every day and know what’s on customers minds. Ask them as they will be the least expensive and most reliable source of market information.
  6. Incorporate customer conversations. Issues they bring up will resonate with prospects. Customer testimonials are a good way to start conversations with prospects.
  7. Uniform messaging. This is marketing 101. When you do an e-mail or banner ad program and send the potential to a micro site, make sure the messaging stays constant.
  8. Build a community. Customers and potentials alike need somewhere where they can discuss issues that are common to both. Foster this by offering them a place to do it, like a forum on your web site. If they’re talking, wouldn’t you think it best to have access to what they’re saying?
  9. Encourage input. Continually seek info from both customers and prospects. Send surveys, polls, make calls, talk to them at trade shows or conventions and ask for their feedback.
  10. Drive relationships through data. A richly nuanced database of both customers’ and prospects’ interactions are fuel that drives engagement marketing.

Conclusion: The more engaged a company is with its marketplace, the better the chances of generating sales. The new demand – generations and management technologies provide unique opportunities to touch customers and prospects.


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