As the New Year prepares to descend on us, how will you as a B2B marketer take the bull by the horns and make 2012 the best year yet for your company?
Before doing that, keep in mind that the slower holiday period is the best time to crunch the numbers for the last 12 months, seeing where marketing tactics yielded positive results and where some campaigns came up short.
You would think that the majority of marketers would be reviewing their data in earnest this time of year, yes? Not always.
According to Marketing Sherpa's 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report which interviewed more than 1,700 B2B marketers, 68 percent of them have not identified or optimized their sales and marketing funnels. Yes, nearly three-fourths failed to do that; rather staggering percentage if you ask me.
Other findings from the report noted:
- Sixty-one percent continue to pass on leads, even non-qualified ones, straight on to sales;
- Seventy-nine percent have failed to put together a lead scoring process;
- Sixty-five percent fail to nurture and grow their leads.
Going forward in 2012, here are some tips to better utilize your B2B marketing efforts before the ball falls on New Year's Eve:
- Put together a year-end report of the each and every campaign you instituted and its results. Measure the ROI and use that data to guide your marketing planning. It is important that you look at the long-term and not just short-term satisfaction;
- Determine what your key performance indicators (KPI) are for the first three months of 2012 (Q1). As you launch your first B2B marketing campaign in 2012, be sure ahead of time to define the KPIs in place to record the results. While the numbers are important, remember that you need to explain the data to each and everyone involved in the campaign. If a new marketing campaign has led to a 50 percent higher click through rate than the prior effort, demonstrate what that result means to the business as a whole in order to meet your company's objectives;
- Clean up contact data -- How many times have you set out to conduct a marketing campaign, only to discover that your contact data is not refreshed? It happens more often than you would realize, meaning having up to date contact data is critical to getting a campaign off on the right foot. Use these last few weeks of 2011 to update your contact data and demographics for both customers and prospects. The data should be cleaned on a regular basis, but especially at year's end so that you start the New Year off correctly;
- Social media and its impact on campaigns -- Even though some marketers have not been entirely sold on social media and its ability to move their marketing campaigns along, most know that SM plays an integral part in each and every endeavor. It is imperative to be able to deal with customers in a real-time mode so that you are not playing catch up to the competition. Be sure to set goals going into January for how you will utilize social media. Will you devote more time to sites like Facebook and Twitter? Will you put more emphasis on items like videos, podcasts, infographics etc. to market your products and services? How will you chart your social media efforts as far as recording the data than in previous years? If you have not been aggressively tracking the data, why is that? What good are your social media campaigns if you don't know who is following you, where they are coming from, how often they are visiting and so on?
With the economy's performance over the next year still hard for many financial experts to pin down, your marketing efforts should be clearly stated and ready to roll out Jan. 2.
Your boss is going to demand results sooner than later in order to justify the marketing department expenses.
With that being the case, be ready going into 2012 to provide evidence that the marketing campaigns you are and have been instituting will continue to be profitable for the business over the next 12 months.
Tell us how you are approaching year-end reporting and planning.
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