By getting started with B2B content marketing, companies can more cost effectively increase awareness, preference and volume of qualified leads in a way that their prospects will actually like.
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.
B2B marketers who excel at lead nurturing are growing their businesses rather sweetly by generating more sales-ready leads at a lower cost per lead. Leads are the lifeblood of any B2B business, and many companies are good at generating them. However, the problem with leads (and there is one), is that according to Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, up to 95% of qualified prospects on your Website are there to research and are not yet ready to talk with a sales rep, but as many as 70% will eventually buy from you or one of your competitors.
With marketing automation tools, B2B companies can close the gap between marketing and sales by seamlessly and consistently nurturing prospects with relevant information at every stage of the sales cycle. In a Forrester report, author Jeff Ernst defines marketing automation: "Tooling and process that help generate new business opportunities, improve potential buyers’ propensity to purchase, manage customer loyalty, and increase alignment between marketing activity and revenue."
B2B marketers who build and leverage a strong brand can gain a strategic competitive advantage and enjoy explosive sales growth. Mention “branding” to B2B management, and logos may come to mind. But, a logo is not a brand. According to Branding Strategy Insider, a BRAND = [Prediction of what to expect] X [emotional power of that expectation].
With a dashboard of marketing metrics and analytics, B2B marketers can measure marketing's link to revenues and profits. John Wanamaker (1838-1922), retailer and marketing pioneer famously complained, "Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half." Wanamaker's frustration has long been the lament of marketers who want to know which of their marketing mix elements are effective (and which are not effective).