Retargeting is becoming a more prominent tool for marketers as buyers pull their purse strings tighter and are becoming more educated on their own before making a decision. Businesses want to be at the forefronts of the minds of their audience and retargeting campaigns generate constant brand awareness and impressions. The Chango Retargeting Barometer found that 53% of marketers and agencies intend to increase their search retargeting budgets in the next six months, while 46% of marketers and agencies intend to increase their site retargeting budgets in the next six months. In this post, we break down the what, why and how of retargeting. Read the full entry
We hear it all the time, read it on every marketing blog and in every advertising magazine. When it comes to buyers, your success is dependent on how effective your business’s content is in driving awareness, engagement and profits. On average B2B marketers spend 28% of their overall budget on content marketing (Tweet this stat!), according to research from B2B Marketing. Content marketing can drive brand awareness, quality leads, and boost customer engagement. Content marketing can’t be ignored because it’s what buyers want throughout the purchase process. In the B2B space, your content marketing delivery could be the make it or break it moment. Let’s take a look at what the B2B Marketing study found and what your business can take away. Read the full entry
Digital advertising revenues continue to climb and more marketers are moving towards digital mediums instead of more traditional channels. In fact, a recent study from IAB found that display advertising revenues totaled $12 billion in 2012 (Tweet this!) and banner ads account for a large percentage of that. While some may be hesitant about investing in new display advertising campaigns, many may not be really evaluating their display ad strategy and optimizing their company’s spend. Here are some common display advertising mistakes and how you can avoid them to boost your CTRs and ROI. Read the full entry
Customer retention and recurring revenue keep businesses afloat, but in order for a business to really prosper new customers must be acquired on a regular basis. According to Chief Marketer’s 2013 Prospecting Survey, 41.5% of marketers cited finding new customers as the primary goal of their lead prospecting efforts in 2013 (Tweet this stat!) and nearly half of all marketing budgets are focused on new customer acquisition. Prospecting, one of the most important steps in the sales process, is a focus for many, but sometimes strategies fall short of success. If your business is on the prowl for new prospects, consider taking these three steps to be more powerful. Read the full entry
B2B marketers need to stay on top of purchase trends to get ahead when it comes to connecting with buyers. The buyer process continues to shift as buyers become more informed about the investments they’re considering before they even hop on the phone with someone in sales. While more than 95% of all corporate buyers want a salesperson to be involved in the sales process, the B2B buyer space isn’t the same as it used to be. With the wealth of information available to buyers online, buyers are becoming more independent. Recent studies indicate that the B2B buyer space is experiencing some shifts and new trends are emerging.
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B2B buyers are using content to research products, services and vendors. Buyers want the content and marketers are delivering it. In fact, many are now spending more than 25% of their budgets on the development, delivery and promotion of content to drive business leads, influence markets and build brand awareness. A new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council found that 87% of B2B buyers said online content has either a major or moderate impact on vendor preference and selection (Tweet this!). If your business aims to use content to reach new audiences, influence current prospects and close sales, consider these facts, figures and fundamental practices your business needs to be aware of. Read the full entry
Many studies have shown that the faster a company responds to a lead, the more likely that company is to close. One survey found that responding to a completed form within 5 minutes versus 10 minutes led to a 900% increase in contact rate (Tweet this!). In a recent study by InsideSales, companies were asked about how they respond to leads, focusing on lead response time, persistence, ratio between phone calls and emails, and what method companies use to make their first response. What this study found is that many companies are overestimating their lead response efforts. Here’s what the study found and steps your business can take to improve lead response contact rate and conversions. Read the full entry
It’s all about the numbers: social followers, email subscribers, and conversions. Conversions: a keyword for marketers looking to validate their efforts. Landing pages play a role in the conversions rate and many marketers are well aware of the term “above the fold” when it comes to their design. Often times, businesses will include their key product or offering and a clear call-to-action in this section of their landing page. Some marketers are wary of longer pages due to more aggressive sales techniques. However, the “right” page length will vary from business to business so testing is a must. When it comes to your longer landing pages, analyze the way your users scroll and know your metrics before getting started. Read the full entry
Lead generation is a term many B2B marketers are familiar with. However, the B2B buying process is shifting and just as sales and marketing funnels have shifted, so has the lead landscape. Lead generation is often broken into two areas: marketing, which generates leads, and sales, which follows up and closes with those same leads. This is where lead generation and demand generation differ. Demand generation involves multiple areas of marketing and is really an integrated suite of marketing programs coupled with a structured sales process. Eloqua found that an integrated demand generation program lead to 16.5% higher campaign response rates and conversion rates as well as a 50% decrease in the time it took to execute campaigns (Tweet this!). Dominating with demand generation requires two things: buyer-obsession and integrated marketing efforts.
The first step in becoming buyer-obsessed is finding out who your buyers are and then getting your business and products/services in front of them. In this case, becoming buyer-obsessed means focusing more on the buyer than on your own product or business. Customers want to feel important, so place your priorities on making their experience and interactions with your business better. Here are 4 steps you can take to become more buyer-obsessed and more dominate with demand generation:
- Focus on the buyer network. You’ll want to ask yourself who is involved in the buying process? You want to reach the individual buyer and their network. Promote your products with new takes targeted to each person involved.
- Evaluate typical buyer behavior. What prompts your business’s average buyer to seek out information or make a purchase? Look for ways to reach the buyer during their decision making process with the right content based on their behaviors, industry and role within their company.
- Improve the buyer experience. Experience is everything. Customers who receive a bad experience will take their business elsewhere. Constantly be evaluating the experience you are providing customers and seek out ways to improve it.
- Accurately segment buyers. From email newsletters to sales follow-up calls, segment your buyers so that they are getting information that’s relevant and valuable. You also want to ensure that if a buyer is getting on the phone with someone from your business, your sales rep is the most qualified person to be speaking to this particular buyer.
Integrate Your Efforts
In order for your business to dominate with demand generation, you need to integrate your efforts. Paid media, owned media and earned media must be cohesive. Getting in front of the right audience is only part of what it takes to be successful with online marketing and demand generation. A cohesive and fluid customer experience is key!
- Paid Media – This includes forms of traditional and digital advertising such as online banner ads, pay-per-click search, advertorials, and sponsorships.
- Owned Media – This is corporate content owned by the business, including digital assets like websites, social media accounts and pages, branded blogs, and YouTube videos. Internal social marketing efforts fall in this category.
- Earned Media – This is content produced by users, including social media posts, product reviews, tweets, online communities, and media mentions.
A multi-channel marketing approach needs to be supported by analytics that can produce real-time data for sales and marketing to utilize in their real-time efforts. The indirect connections between these different channels and the platforms your business is active on can be better recognized and exploited for greater success. Integrating earned, paid and owned media will alter your customer acquisition cost, so be prepared to reallocate marketing budgets depending on which channels perform better.
B2B purchasing and marketing are transitioning from business focused to buyer focused. Those who want to be successful with their demand generation efforts need to recognize this and change their strategies. Becoming more buyer-obsessed and integrating marketing efforts have to be a focus for marketers who really want to make an impact and dominate with their demand generation efforts.
Outbound marketing, where marketers and businesses push their content out to a wide audience, is no longer the most effective strategy – inbound marketing is on the rise. Inbound marketing is when a company essentially advertises themselves and engages their audience through content, such as white papers, newsletters and social media to earn their audience. HubSpot gives inbound marketing this definition:
Inbound marketing is a holistic, data-driven strategy that involves attracting and converting visitors into customers through personalized, relevant information and content –- not interruptive messages – and following them through the sales experience with ongoing engagement.
According to the HubSpot 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report, 65% of B2B companies report embracing inbound practices this year (Tweet this!). If your business is just getting started or is looking for new ways to improve its inbound marketing strategy, here are four insights that can help you evaluate and redefine your inbound strategies.
Measuring Inbound Marketing
Perhaps the most impactful insight worth noting is that of inbound marketing measurement. With their efforts to determine ROI, B2B marketing experts are struggling. B2B companies struggle to prove the ROI of inbound marketing much more than other companies, with 27% reporting this struggle versus the 21% average. Some marketers are unsure which of their tactics qualify as inbound marketing, and perhaps this is where part of their struggle in determining ROI lies. If you’re unsure about the metrics that matter the most to your executives, company revenue or customers/wins generated from inbound marketing is a great place to start. While marketers may be focusing on engagement more than ever before, it comes down to the numbers and according to this report, they’re not as clear as they could be.
Overcome Obstacles with Teamwork
Sales, marketing, IT and design all need to work together in order for a business to be successful with inbound marketing. Respondents from the study say that 26% of B2B IT groups impede inbound efforts. B2B firms likely struggle for IT resources because it’s harder to draw a direct line to ROI for lead generation efforts. B2B sales teams also lag in supporting B2B inbound efforts, with nearly 14% of responses. When it comes to allocating resources to support inbound efforts, only 11% of company executives and 17% of sales teams lend their full support. Testing inbound marketing, which requires an investment from your tech department, analysts and design team, is a team effort and companies who test are 75% more likely to show ROI for inbound marketing than those who don’t test. Get your team working together to test, execute, and measure your inbound marketing strategies.
Booming Inbound Marketing Budgets
Nearly 50% of all marketers are increasing their inbound marketing budgets in 2013. While determining ROI may be a difficult task, those who can do so are seeing success. When looking at budget ratings by business model, HubSpot found that success with inbound marketing nets a significant boost among B2B firms, with 45% indicating positive ROI as the reason to grow their inbound budgets (Tweet this!). Inbound marketing campaigns can generate new leads, incite new impressions, and build brand awareness. If you think lead generation is out of the question, consider the numbers. According to the HubSpot report, twice as many marketers say inbound delivers below average cost per lead vs. outbound strategies (Tweet this!). A white paper lead generation campaign is one example of inbound marketing perfect for B2B businesses.
Capitalize with Customer-Focused Initiatives
Content marketing isn’t news. Businesses need to tailor and personalize the content they’re sending out to prospects and leads. Inbound marketers need to focus on “content plus context” to truly add value to their audience and generate more business as the end result. According to HubSpot, “Customer-centric marketing directly works to meet and serve the needs of its customer base by offering them thought leadership content and educational material, rather than content that “pitches” your wares.” Customer-centric business will have less of a problem developing the best inbound content marketing strategies as they’ll understand the problems of their audience and should be able to provide solutions. 42% of customer-focused companies calculated positive ROI from inbound marketing compared to just 38% of sales-focused companies (Tweet this!)
Inbound marketing is growing. More businesses are adopting inbound strategies and directing larger portions of their budget towards these efforts. Inbound marketing is maturing as customers become more educated and involved before ever making a purchase. Make sure your business’s inbound efforts exceed expectations.