Last week, I attended the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit in Boston. The line-up of speakers was fabulous including Jay Baer, Kristin Zhivago and numerous experts from MECLABS; all of them providing fascinating information on how to optimize the B2B lead generation funnel. Here are a few things that resonated with me:
The biggest challenges for B2B marketers are 1) generating high-quality sales leads, 2) providing a sufficient volume of leads to sales, and 3) accommodating lengthening sales cycles. No real surprise there. I’m sure all of us experience these challenges.
What is surprising is that B2B marketers don’t appear to be adapting new marketing practices that can help to address these challenges. According to research from MarketingSherpa, 61% of marketers send all leads directly to sales but only 27% of these leads are actually qualified. 68% of marketers have not identified a sales funnel, 79% are not scoring their leads and 65% have no nurturing campaigns in place. Clearly, there is an opportunity for us to address the premature handoff of leads to sales, identify and articulate a lead funnel that we can support with marketing , and begin to develop lead scoring and nurturing processes.
The value proposition is the essence of marketing. Your value proposition should address two key questions: What does your company do? and Why should a buyer that meets your ideal customer profile buy from you and not one of your competitors? It’s important to include at least one key differentiator in your value proposition that identifies what makes your solution or service unique and better than your competition.
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Tags: b2b_marketing, Cisco_Marketing, Cisco_partner_marketing, lead_generation, lead_nurturing, marketingsherpa_b2b_summit, marketing_automation
As a technology marketer, do you ever wonder how (or if) the marketing collateral you work hard to create is used by IT buyers in their purchasing decisions? What influence does this material actually have?
According to a report by Eccolo Media (Eccolo Media 2010 B2B Technology Survey Report, www.eccollomedia.com), the quality, format, length and topic of marketing collateral substantially affects the purchase decision. The delivery channel through which assets are made available is also a factor.
Here are four points that I thought particularly interesting from this report:
1) A wide range of collateral types are used by decision-makers and influencers during a technology purchase, but not all are created equal in terms of influencing power.
Data sheets were the most frequently utilized type of collateral by IT buyers (83%), followed closely by white papers (76%), case studies and success stories (67%), videos (59%), and podcasts (40%).
Interesting side note – The use of video and podcasts/audio content continues to grow significantly with an increase of 8% for each of these vehicles over the prior year results.
What are the types of collateral that influence a purchasing decision the most? Read More »
Tags: b2b_marketing, content_marketing, IT_buyers, lead_generation, marketing_content
Customer and prospect data is the life’s blood of truly effective marketing. As marketers we acknowledge this, but are we focused more on the size of our databases? Is size really what matters? Ok. It matters a little, but it may be that quality matters more. When your data is old, incomplete, inaccurate (aka dirty), marketing performance and ultimately sales suffer. In fact, in a recent DemandGen Report, it’s not only sales and marketing that are impacted. Surveyed companies noted that Finance (30%) and customer relationships (54%) are also effected.
So how bad is our data? According to the DemandGen Report, more than 62% of companies rely on marketing data that is 20% to 40% incomplete or inaccurate. Almost 85% of the companies surveyed say they are operating CRM and sales databases that house between 10% and 40% bad records.
What is bad data, exactly? It can be as simple as an email address missing from a record that is otherwise current, duplicate records, incorrect contact information for a company that otherwise meets your ideal customer target… basically, it’s any data that impedes your ability to reach the contact from a marketing and sales perspective.
With 8 out of 10 companies that their lead generation efforts have been effected by bad data, what can you do to make sure that your company is not one of them?
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Tags: b2b_marketing, database_marketing, data_augmentation, data_hygiene, list_procurement, marketing_data
Barcelona is a great city—with its fantastic Basque food, gorgeous beachside location, and beautiful architecture courtesy of famed architect Antonio Gaudi, this Spanish city can’t be beat.
Next week, Barcelona will play host to partners from around the world who will be convening there to attend Partner Velocity, our annual event focused on giving our partners the insight, knowledge, and networking they need to accelerate their marketing.
This year, we’ll be providing our partners with access to the inside scoop on the latest social media and web 2.0 marketing trends. We’ll also have two sessions on marketing the cloud.
So who’s on tap to present?
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Tags: b2b_marketing, barcelona, blog, Cisco, cloud, Luanne Tierney, marketing, partner, partner velocity, social media, ustream
Originally designed for tracking automotive parts for vehicle manufacturing, QR codes may very well be the next wave in B2B marketing. Funny how technology can sometimes transcend its original purpose…
Although, we, here in the US, may be a bit slower to adopt QR codes,than the rest of the world, it seems QR codes are poised to make it to the mainstream in the near future. Then, it’s only a matter a time before they become a staple in every B2B marketers arsenal. Here’s a few points to back that up:
- According to the International Telecommunications Union, there are 2.5 times more mobile phone users than people connected to the Internet.
- Smartphone manufacturers are pre-installing QR code readers on their phones. This already includes Android, Nokia and some Blackberry phones.
- QR codes are already making creative appearances in music videos -- see Kylie Minogue’s “All the Lover’s” video, NHL marketing -- see the Detroit Red Wings’ interactive game program, and most notably the giant QR codes in Times Square earlier this year promoting Internet Week 2010.
So, how do we capture the power of the QR code for B2B? Here are a few thoughts on how QR codes can bridge the gap between your offline and online marketing: Read More »
Tags: b2b_marketing, Cisco_channels, Cisco_partner_marketing, marketing, mobile_marketing, QR_codes