B2B Marketing

Can Project Management Rescue B2B Marketing?

A couple of weeks ago MarketingSherpa released the chart below. It shows the processes B2B marketers use (or in many cases don’t use) to manage prospects through the buying cycle. And there’s some biggies.

  • Over half of marketers aren’t collaborating with sales to define sales-ready leads
  • Over half of marketers have no system for rating leads
  • Over 60 percent of marketers have no process for nurturing leads that aren’t ready to buy today

But here’s the thing I find most interesting. In the same B2B Marketing Benchmark survey, B2B marketers were asked to rate their most significant challenges. Here’s the top two:

  • Generating high-quality leads
  • Marketing to a lengthening sales cycle

What constitutes high-quality leads? A lead sales and marketing can agree on as sales-ready -- something over half of marketers have no process for defining or rating. And from Sherpa’s own report, lead quality “may ...

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K’s Top 5 for the Week — September 10

Ok. I'll admit I'm a day late. Hopefully I'm not also a dollar short.

Can’t believe how quickly this week flew by…maybe because Monday was a holiday. That sure didn’t stop this from being a busy, busy week.

Here’s a few different posts that should help your B2B marketing program this week. Enjoy!

20 Clues to Find the B2B Content Your Audience Really Wants by @elizabethsosnow via @junta42

We all struggle with making sure the content we create is something B2B buyers really want to see. This post gives some great ideas to brainstorming content ideas that will make your audience sit up and take notice.

Business Casual Video by @dmscott

Want to use more video on your site, but intimidated by what that might mean? Great article by David Meerman Scott on reframing how you think about video.

3 Steps To Get Started With B2B Relationship Marketing via @sengineland

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K’s Top 5 for the Week — September 3

It’s been a busy week!

Before I head out for a restful holiday weekend, I wanted to share a few posts that stood out for me this week.

From email subject lines to personas to figuring out which page of your website could be doing more for you, these posts won’t disappoint.

Enjoy and have a great Labor Day weekend!

Email Subject Lines that Won’t be Ignored via @copyblogger

Email is back. It’s an important way to build relationships and nurture your prospects through the buying cycle. Check out this post and see how to write subject lines that will enhance your clickthrough rates.

The Anatomy of a Great Web Persona by @bmassey via @junta42

We’ve all heard of the importance of buyer personas. This post explores how touchpoint personas are different from a typical buyer persona and how they can enhance your marketing program.

The Most Wasted Page on ...

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K’s Top 5 for the Week – August 27

Hard to believe another week has flown by!

Here in Ohio it has been sunny and cool, reminding me of school days. And I’ve had lots of opportunities to learn this week.

In fact, I found so many great things that I’ve got six items in my list instead of the usual five.

Check it out!

Marketing Above the Noise by @ardath421

If you have ever struggled with improving your messaging, this is the post for you. In her usual style, Ardath shows how vanilla benefits like “drive revenues” won’t motivate your prospects as much as you think….and how to create benefits that will. Highly recommended.

Content Marketing Group Therapy: What Suggestions Do You Have for This eNewsletter? by @michelelinn via @junta42

I just sat through a preschool orientation for parents discussing how everyone learns differently. For those of you who love the hands-on experience, this is the post for ...

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Is Blogging Worth the Effort for Companies?

To blog or not to blog? It’s a valid question.

eMarketer reports blogging is gaining popularity with companies, but fewer than half will be blogging by 2012.

According to Parker Trewin at Genius.com, “Whether it’s the time commitment, lack of resources or lack of demonstrable ROI…surveys show that blogging…still is not a ‘must have’ in the marketing toolkit.”

Why not?

I have to agree with Mr. Trewin that lack of time and resources is a big culprit. With the widespread layoffs of the last few years, marketing departments are strapped for both time and people. The need to do “one more thing” that takes considerable time and planning to show results falls to the bottom of the list. Especially if the fear is the results won’t be positive and jobs will be at risk.

There is also evidence traditional content marketing trumps social media activity, such as blogs. When buyers ...

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K’s Top 5 for the Week – August 20

I can’t believe it’s the middle of August already. The air is filled with the excitement (and dismay) of the kids getting ready to start school.

Luckily, this week the blogosphere was also filled with lots of posts that gave some great educational tidbits.

Here’s my five picks for this week:

How to Put Together an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing by @michelelinn via @junta42

Editorial calendars are a powerful way to ensure the content you produce is consistent and relevant. They also help you maximize the opportunities to repurpose content and get SEO value. In this post Michele shares a good example of an editorial calendar for marketers.

Customer References Trim the Sales Cycle by @casey_hibbard

A big challenge for B2B marketers is lengthening sales cycles. If you are interested in speeding up your sales cycle, take a look at this post by Casey Hibbard from Stories that Sell.

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Five Marketing Lessons from a Blind Date that Worked Out

When I met my husband a few years ago, it was a coincidence. My mom had a car she was unhappy with because it was constantly in the shop. It was on yet another repair trip that she met my future father-in-law. He drove her home while the car stayed for repairs.

Both are the kind of people who can strike up a conversation with anyone, and before long they were discussing their families. It was pretty much inevitable they’d figure out they both had unattached children around the same age. Nothing unusual there.

Then the unprecedented happened. My mom gave my father-in-law my first name and phone number. She told him if my husband wanted to meet me he could call me. The phone number went from my father-in-law to my mother-in-law to my husband. And against all odds, he called it.

Naturally I wasn’t home when he called and ...

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K’s Top Five for the Week – August 13

This summer is flying by and this week was a scorcher.

I beat the heat by taking a look at all the great content flying around the blogosphere this week. Hope you can do the same!

Here’s my five picks for this week:

Start at Status Quo to Create Buyer’ Momentum by @ardath421

Are your prospects aware of the problem you solve? Do you think that’s enough? This post examines why the status quo is a tough competitor and has to be confronted to create the urgency you need to drive a sale.

Hiding in Plain Sight by @davidreich

Do you make it impossible for anyone to reach you? Or is it just difficult? This post highlights a common problem prospects (yes, even yours!) face when they want to reach out to a company.

Practical B2B Blog Strategy by @jonbuscall via @b2bbloggers

Solid B2B blog strategy can be tough for ...

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K’s Top Five for the Week – August 6

As you might imagine, I do a lot of reading around the blogosphere each week. It’s an effort to both keep up with what’s happening in the B2B space and learn something new.

In an effort to share items which I thought were particularly awesome, I’m going to start posting my top 5 picks each week. It’ll be a kind of one-stop shopping for you and give some love back to those who are sharing some great information.

Here’s this week’s picks: 5 Ways to Build Your Blog’s Voice by @GeorginaLaidlaw via @ProBlogger

Anyone who’s written for more than five minutes has struggled with finding their voice. For companies, voice can be a particularly tricky problem. This post gives great ideas for building a voice readers will enjoy. Your Prospects Don’t Know Who You Are by @diannahuff

“Our customers already know who we are.” Yeah, maybe. But what about your ...

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Build a Better B2B Brochure

There have been cries about the death of the B2B brochure for a while now. I don’t know about you, but I still see B2B brochures. A lot of them.

Turns out the web hasn’t killed brochures. It’s given companies a way to distribute them, and require personal information for the privilege of viewing them. So they are far from dead. And I can’t argue with marketers’ desire to hang onto them. Done well, brochures create value and help move customers through the sales cycle.

What does a well-done brochure look like? It’s a far cry from the PDF files that populate most company websites. You’ve seen the ones I mean. The brochure title is the product name. They begin with a paragraph about how wonderful the product is, how it fits into everything else the company offers, and ends with a list of highlighted features.

Now here’s the big ...

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