The Times are A-Changin’, and your Marketing Strategy Should Too

It is nothing short of a well-entrenched fact that buyers are dynamic.

What do we mean by that? Well the thing is, the B2B environment doesn’t stay as is because when it comes to creating strategies in lead acquisition and appointment setting, businesses know too well that the buying climate can change at any second.

Blame it on new technological advancements. Blame it on these spontaneous paradigm shifts within the B2B industry. But the second that companies lose clients and observe a dramatic drop in conversions, they only have themselves to account for their failure to adapt to recent trends. Successful companies know better than to be satisfied with the way they currently handle things. By understanding the changes currently taking place, these companies are able to weather these drastic and often unpredictable shifts.

In her recent contribution to Business 2 Community,  Brenda Stoltz  gives three(3)  important realizations for surviving the current wave of changes in the B2B marketing world.     

1. Marketing Owns the Customer Experience

Your sales team used to be the face of your brand to potential customers. These were the people who walked leads through the buying process, nudging each person gently until he made a purchase. Now, marketing is taking that role.

Marketing must step up to keep the customer’s experience simple and rewarding. This is in such a high demand that many companies are now teaching sales teams marketing tasks. With landing pages, online checkout pages, and email sales funnels, it’s the marketing department’s job to manage the customer’s experience with the brand and ensure it’s delightful from start to post-transaction.

2. Personalized Engagement is No Longer an Option – It’s Paramount

Marketing must feel personal too.

In today’s data-driven world, personalization is easier than ever before. You can send mass emails and personalize each one so it sounds like you’re talking face-to-face. You can use retargeting to make your advertisements more effective.

Today’s consumers don’t just appreciate the personalized experience — they demand it.

3. Marketing Spending Moves to Digital and Data Driven Technologies

Print isn’t dead. It’s just not as cost effective as it used to be. Now, modern marketers are making the shift away from traditional mediums to digital, data-driven technologies. Newspaper ads are getting replaced with Facebook ads. Television commercials are getting replaced with YouTube commercials. Why? Because digital marketing is more focused and more accurately tracked than their traditional counterparts. You can make fast changes and adapt to consumer demands without investing a fortune up front.

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Source: 3 Urgent Changes to Improve Your Marketing Today

The Battle for Net Neutrality- Why Marketers should Take it Seriously

The Battle for Net Neutrality: Why Marketers should Take it Seriously

The internet, ever since its conception, has served as an important part of everyday business.

Nowadays, we conduct most of our transactions online – from paying bills to setting up sales appointments. Moreover, it has also given businesses innovative ways of reaching out to their public, via demand generation and other marketing activities that supply a fresh array of sales leads to track and close.

But one important thing to note about the internet  is that it has provided enterprises (big or small, B2B or B2C) a leveled playing field for promoting their products. The worldwide web is above all a free platform of expression, where everyone is allocated an equal opportunity to be heard by their target audience.

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This pertains to net neutrality which underpins the importance of treating internet data fairly, particularly by internet service providers or ISPs. The Open Computing Facility based in the University of California-Berkeley sums it up clearly as a “networking design paradigm” arguing that “no bit of information should be prioritized over another.” It is clear among many however, that this principle can barely stand in the face of big data manipulation.

It is now obvious why this issue should be a big deal to B2B companies. Imagine this: as a B2B company, you use the internet mostly to prospect for leads. Of course, the quality of leads you are going to encounter depends on the amount of information available about such leads, which can be highly impacted if a big competitor decides to pay its ISP to improve its own prospecting activities. With only a standard data plan, you wouldn’t be able to prospect for high quality leads because a bulk of them has already been munched up by the competition. 

Net neutrality has become a hot issue in recent months. People from across the United States and elsewhere in the globe are calling for the Federal Communications Commission to uphold net neutrality to disallow big corporations from paying ISPs to prioritize their data traffic – or slow down that of their competition.

Lobbyists in support of net neutrality, composing mostly of individuals and small businesses, have voiced their concerns over such a practice of discriminate data deliveries. They opt to keep the internet free and open for all, put a stop to the corporate manipulation of internet data and press the FTC to reiterate the Obama administration’s stand to “protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.”

How about you? What is your stand on this very important issue? Leave a comment below.

The Top Demand Generation Strategies for your Sales Pipeline

The Top Demand Generation Strategies for your Sales Pipeline

Businesses opt to increase their ROI rates by focusing on high profile B2B leads for their sales pipeline. What’s more, trends in B2B lead generation have contributed to important innovations. The B2B landscape today is digitally-empowered. Demand generation fits in this picture as a primary means for customer engagement. It wouldn’t be wise to miss out on opportunities to improve that aspect.

Indeed, there is really no perfect time to stimulate audience awareness and sales traffic other than now. The numbers speak for themselves. To date, close to 89 percent of a sample of B2B marketers make demand generation their primary focus, according to a study by Marketo.

This may sound promising, but the figure wouldn’t account for positive market projections. In the same study, at least 74 percent of the sample demographic point out that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to forecast future demands. Meanwhile, only 56 percent say that it is difficult to keep track of revenue allocation.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that demand generation strategies aren’t that effective. Rather, analytical instruments in lead generation and marketing have limitations. They apparently do not portray whether you’re gaining enough demands as per company goals. But this is not to say you shouldn’t find ways to improve your drive for customer awareness.

Here are a few key demand generation aspects you could develop and maintain for increased sales.

Direction by data. Hubspot made very compelling reasons to love and respect market data. The initial reason is that customer preferences fluctuate, complicating any desire to come up with a general representation of market trends. A great deal of market research, on the other hand, would seek to narrow down your search for potential B2B leads and streamline your lead management processes.

Content curation. Knowing what your customers want comprises the tip of the iceberg. The body of your campaign comprises compelling content, which you will base off of pertinent information of your target prospects. With market data in hand, you will be able to create visible and consumable content that could provide high profile B2B leads to your sales pipeline.

Email automation. This is a prevailing trend. And by the looks of the current social media climate, it might well persist for a very long time. A targeted mailing list enables long-term customer engagement. Moreover, it drives lead generation and impacts appointment setting engagements. So, having such a system installed in your enterprise could at least provide a competitive edge.

Profitable processes and strategies that do not abase demand generation are equally important. For such issues, outsourcing your lead generation and appointment setting to a trusted company  guarantees such benefits – perhaps, even more.