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Seven Important Takeaways from the 2011 MarketingSherpa B2B Summit

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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Offline Marketing Becomes Online Marketing with QR Codes

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 »

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