The Forward Observer
Sales and Marketing Insights
for Growth-Focused Manufacturers
 

A blog where growth-oriented manufacturers find expert advice on marketing and sales.
Our goal is to help you generate better leads and close sales faster.

How Buyer Personas Can Sharpen B2B Marketing

B2B marketers who develop a composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy their products can form a bond of customer trust that most rivals can not overcome. Many B2B marketers have only the faintest idea what lies behind their customers’ buying decisions. They think they know, but a lot of presumption is involved. The truth is, buying decisions are driven by emotional factors which are then justified with rational factors about the product and the price. Add to that any number of subjective factors like office politics, conflicting priorities, and you need a sharp knife to cut through it all. That’s why the emergence of buyer personas as a marketing tool is becoming increasingly popular. In Adele Revella’s “The Buyer Persona Manifesto,” she offers this definition of a buyer persona: "It’s an archetype, a composite picture of the real people who buy, or might buy, products like the ones you sell." Buyer personas are like an avatar crafted from direct interviews with as many buyers as possible. And from their behavior observed at conferences, social media, etc. Other characters who influence the buyer’s decision-making process will emerge from this research: procurement people, bosses, rivals, etc. It’s important to remember that this buyer persona is not necessarily your customer. The development of the persona helps you discern the difference between who you THINK your customer is versus who you real customer is. Flowing from that is a wealth of strategic insights about not only who your customer is, but also how to talk to them. "So instead of talking at the buyer, blurting out a “me-me-me” narrative with absolutely no consideration of his real concerns, marketers can get straight to the heart of the matter."

How To Create Lovable B2B Marketing with HubSpot 3

B2B companies who create marketing that their prospects and customers love can sell more, keep their customers longer and be less reliant on price competition. If you are a marketer, there's good news and bad news about how you are perceived by the general public: The good news is that, according to recent polling, marketers are held in higher regard than lobbyists, car salespeople and members of Congress. That's a relief. The bad news is that marketers are held in lower esteem than stockbrokers, labor union leaders and, gasp, lawyers! Ouch.

How to Grow Your Business with Inbound Marketing

One of my favorite quotes about inbound marketing is from Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist, best-selling author and former Apple executive: "If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing." Inbound marketing is a burgeoning area of marketing that focuses on attracting prospective customers online with valuable content, and then converting them into leads. Inbound marketing tactics include the use of blogs, social media, e-books, white papers, search engine optimization and webinars. In essence, inbound marketing is all about earning your prospect’s attention.

How To Evolve as a B2B Marketer in Just 8 Weeks

B2B marketers who adapt to the tectonic shifts in marketing can reap enormous benefits to both their company and career. As the apocryphal Chinese curse goes, “May you live in interesting times.”  Most B2B marketers can relate as they race to keep up with the new and ever-changing best practices of marketing effectiveness. The current revolution from outbound to inbound marketing is akin to when the horse and buggy industry was faced with the automobile.  Some in that industry adapted to the sea change. Many did not.

Top 6 Marketing Weapons for the New B2B Arsenal

Armed with the right marketing weapons, B2B companies can successfully outgun competitors who are larger, more established and better funded.

Why B2B Companies are Moving to Content Marketing

B2B companies who use content marketing can raise awareness quickly, generate leads, increase website traffic and close more sales. Regardless of industry or company size, 9 in 10 organizations are now marketing with content, according to a comprehensive content marketing study of the state of B2B content marketing.  The study was fielded by MarketingProfs and Juna42, in association with the Business Marketing Association and American Business Media.

B2B Marketers: How to Market Your Webinar

If properly marketed, webinars can help B2B marketers cost-effectively raise their profile and generate leads. Webinars, or web-based seminars are presentations transmitted over the Web, and include interaction of various types between the audience and the presenter. Because of their emphasis on educating rather than hard-selling, webinars have become a popular and effective means of marketing, particularly in the business-to-business arena.

Why B2B Marketers Are Embracing Content Marketing

B2B marketers who use content marketing are lessening their reliance on traditional marketing tactics, and developing highly-qualified leads for less money. What is content marketing?  Here's how the Content Marketing Institute defines it: Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Why a B2B Marketer's Blog Can Have Exponential Power

B2B Marketers who blog can increase awareness, credibility and leads, while improving their search engine rankings. Exponential power is a force that starts slow, but then grows increasingly faster over time, in a non-linear fashion. In today's marketing world, blogs have exponential power. Benefits of blogs to B2B marketers can include:

B2B Digital Marketing = (Faster Growth) + (Higher Profits)

B2B marketers who fully embrace digital marketing can grow faster and have higher profits. Firms that embrace online marketing grow faster, according to a study by Hinge Research Institute.  The study surveyed 500 firms and 20 online marketing experts. Key findings about the faster growing companies include: Firms generating 40% or more of their leads online grow 4x faster than those with no online leads

Top 10 Content Marketing Tactics for B2B Companies

B2B marketers who use content marketing are able to reduce the cost of leads, increase awareness and position themselves as thought leaders. Content marketing, as defined by the Content Marketing Institute, is "... a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

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