Your Lead Scoring Blind Spot: The Internet

Marketers have a huge blind spot when it comes to nurturing and lead scoring. It does not matter if you have built a sophisticated lead management and nurturing system, driven by content consumption, engagement and response. Your blind spot is there.

The problem is, you only see how people respond to your content and your offers. You only see what is happening on your own properties. Your blind spot is all the time potential prospects spend on competitor sites, on editorial properties, on topical blogs or discussing with peers.

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Modern Media Buying and Enterprise B2B Demand Generation

The current trend in digital media is to move online advertising to trading desks, ad exchanges or real time bidding platforms. These platforms provide access to enormous pools of advertising inventory and allow media buyers to cherry pick their exact target audience, based on a wide range of audience data available for targeting.

However, for enterprise B2B marketers, these approaches are not mature enough to broadly support demand generation marketing. The challenges these platforms continue to face are access to sufficient high quality inventory and access to data appropriate for targeting company sizes and roles.

Published market research differs on the relative importance on audience and context, however the research I have seen does not align with the typical B2B marketing audience experience.

The problem: consuming traditional B2B content used for demand generation requires a significant time commitment. Taking the time to dive into a whitepaper or watch a webcast imposes a major time requirement. Read more of this post

Buyers to Marketers: Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

“Why do you want my email and phone number again? So your sales consultant can contact me? No thanks, I’ll pass.”

Boonville Missing Bucky Walter PhoneMost B2B marketers are still fixated on capturing registration data, and no wonder. The marketing automation machine lives on a diet of email and your sales process is built on the telephone.

The problem is, your buyer’s process is not built on your email or your phone. According to research, buyers only engage with companies directly during the last 40% of their research process.

When you insist on registration, you are in effect telling prospects:

  • We don’t want to be involved in the first half of your research.
  • We are only willing to engage with you on our terms and timetable.

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Five Signs Your Content Marketing is an Illusion

do not look at the center...Content Marketing should provide valuable information to your market at large and to prospects at each stage of the buying process. Ideally, your content is easily discovered, naturally making you and your content a resource.

But how do people find your content? Is it through search and peer recommendations (which are increasingly connected), or will they only find it in their inbox?

Five Signs of Illusion

Here are the signs Read more of this post

Not Just Automation, Marketing Needs REAL Conversation

Create a personalized dialogue with each prospect at every point in the sales process!

This sounds like a pitch for marketing automation. While the result is valuable, it is not a dialogue. Here are some of the characteristics of this “dialogue” marketing has created with automation:

  • Most of the audience response is a click and inferred consumption. In mass it is a valuable indicator but it isn’t a valuable individual response (Scott Brinker discussed this at Insights from the explosion of marketing touchpoints)
  • It is based on well educated guesses about what information someone needs next, not answering a specific question or need.
  • It is designed to replace the conversation that once happened directly between sales and a potential new prospect.

Real conversations need to come back into marketing communications. Read more of this post

Thought Leadership Marketing is an Oxymoron

Thought leadership is a common marketing topic, but unfortunately thought leadership is not a common outcome of marketing. Part of the problem is that thought leadership marketing has lost all notions of actual thought leadership.

Gartner defines thought leadership marketing as “the giving — for free or at a nominal charge — of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.”

The problem is, knowledge of what a product or service can deliver or its differentiation does not establish real thought leadership. Read more of this post

It’s Not Rational, B2B Marketing Needs to Get Emotional!!

This post was sparked by a spirited, and at times emotional, debate during the #bizforum chat on Twitter yesterday evening. Thanks to @samfiorella for instigating and @chieflemonhead, @MaureenB2B, @PrashSabharwal and @josepf, among others, for a spirited discussion.

B2B buying is complex because the products are complex. Evaluating B2B solutions is hard, and the final decision is not made with absolute knowledge it is the right decision.

I submit as Exhibit A: the numerous regrettable ERP and CRM investments that have been made by large corporations.

In B2B, buyers are incredibly knowledgeable, but they simply cannot be certain. To confidently proceed, they must believe they are making the best decision. At its heart, it is an emotional decision. Read more of this post

Five Marketing Changes You Need to Make

CardsIf B2B marketing isn’t dead, it is changing very quickly. But the real change isn’t the marketing, it is how marketing has evolved in response to the evolving buyer.

The biggest factor driving the changes in today’s buyers is the accessibility of information technology has enabled. This change has turned demand creation upside down. In the past, your prospect held the budget cards and you held the information cards. Through the sales and negotiation dance, the cards were slowly revealed one at a time, with you and your prospect jockeying for advantage through the entire process. Read more of this post

Three Principles for the Future of Marketing

The TunnelIn the future, marketing must be valuable. But that isn’t enough.

Earlier this week, Michael Brenner outlined the future of marketing, drawing from last fall’s future of advertising article in Fast Company. It is a great perspective. The question is, how do you accomplish it? How do you, as Michael said, “create communities of customer advocates and evangelists”?

There are three principles to excel in the future of marketing that Michael presented and create the advocates and evangelists Read more of this post

Three Reasons to Give Me a Solution, Not a Sales Pitch

Closed for businessWe don’t want to be sold. When we expect a sales pitch, we put our defenses up, or just turn away.

We always need solutions to challenges. Lower cost, reduce risk, increase visibility. Your solution does that, right? The problem is, everyone else’s does too. Claims like these are so broadly used in marketing they have become cliche and have lost nearly all meaning.

The answer is to show me your solution. No, not the worn out demo, where I commit my time and you share a mostly canned view of your product. Skip the traditional positioning step and tell me what you will do specifically for me.

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