Demand generation in the face of frugalnomics

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Connecting and engaging with today’s more empowered, skeptical and frugal B2B buyer requires value marketing, interactive white papers, provocative diagnostic assessments, ROI calculators and TCO competitive comparison tools.

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Demand generation in the face of frugalnomics

  1. 1. Demand Generation In the Face of FrugalnomicsFormally defined, Demand Generation is the use of targeted marketing programs to address four keyobjectives for B2B marketers:  Building awareness of a company’s products and services,  Establishing relevance to a prospective buyer/end user,  Supporting validation for the purchase,  Mitigating customer concerns.Successful demand generation programs are uniquely challenged today, and must address a changinglandscape where:  Economics are driving more decisions,  The Internet is fueling a prospect driven buying cycle,  Prospects are faced with information overload resulting in shorter attention spans than ever.Frugalnomics Changes EverythingAccording to Forrester analyst Scott Santucci, "Go-to-market models always change during periods ofdisruption, and this economic downturn has been deep, long, and might not even be over. The more buyingorganizations are a forced to do-more-with-less they adopt different business patterns.‖Alinean terms the current shift Frugalnomics, where two successive economic downturns over the past decadehave produced an age of austerity where buyers demand quantifiable proof that any investment will yield abeneficial bottom-line impact and provide maximum value compared to alternatives.This shift in B2B buying cycles and requirements has significant impacts on marketing and demand-gensuccess. According to Forrester’s Mr. Santucci, ―Today, buyers are looking for business partners that will helpthem drive business results or outcomes – rather than bundle their products and services into solutions.‖In order to attract, connect and capture frugal buyers, marketers need to produce content that raiseseconomic interest, quantifies value, and boosts urgency in a time where it’s easier to do nothing than make awrong investment. Randy Perry, VP of Business Value Selling for IDC indicates that times have indeedchanged, where now ―over 90% of buyers indicate that to connect with them, B2B vendors need to prove thatsolutions can deliver a quantified bottom-line impact.‖A Prospect driven Buying Cycle Changes EverythingBack in the day, in the 1970s and 80s, companies like Xerox and IBM established the best practices on howB2B, and especially technology, was successfully marketed. But the successful ways to sell in the past are longgone.
  2. 2. One of the catalysts for this change has been the Internet, which has clearly made more information and toolsavailable to decision makers, and put the buyer in control of the buying process. As a result, B2B sales andmarketing will never be the same, evidenced by ―how so many things we did when we sold to businesses inthe past — things that actually worked well — no longer work‖, according to Jefre Ogden, author andPresident of Find New Customers.More Stakeholders than EverThe old method used to be to get to the Decision Maker to get the sale. Unfortunately today, B2B buyingdecisions have more stakeholders than ever.To be successful in multi-stakeholder decisions, you often have to engage executives, finance, businessleaders, purchasing, operations and technologists, and provide compelling value messages to eachstakeholder. The challenge, how do you market with what matters to each stakeholder personally with theright content, knowledge and value metrics to be compelling to this diverse group?Customized "Smart Content" is KingIn the past, a nice website would get buyers attention. Unfortunately, most everyone has a nice website today.In the new world where buyers are in control, content is king. Studies indicate that 9 out of 10 buyersconsumed and relied on content on their way to a purchase decision: especially white papers, eBooks,webinars, interactive analysis tools, podcasts, and video clips. And the content that worked best was contentpersonalized to the buyer: their industry, their role, their stage in the buying process.According to MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm surveys, when content is customized, buyers indicatethat the content is much more effective at converting prospects into buyers. The percentage of buyers whoindicated customized content is more valuable when customized for:  By Industry: 82%,  By Role / Job Function: 67%,  By Company Size: 49%,  By Geography: 29%.Buyers are In ControlThe old mantra was that, ―With enough leads, we will find more sales opportunities.‖ Unfortunately, buyers areinundated with cold-calls, e-mails and sales pitches, making qualified leads harder than ever to generate, andmaking ―cold calling‖ a thing of the past. Information overload makes it difficult to break through the noiseand connect with prospects.According to Mr. Ogden, ―9 out of 10 of buyers say, when they are ready to buy, they find you.‖ And whenthey find you do you have the right tools to engage them? The marketing mix needs to change, investing inthe right tools and content to engage the buyer, rather than cold calling.
  3. 3. According to MarketingSherpa and IDG, ―Social Media and blog content have the hype, but lag considerablyin connecting with buyers, behind other more traditional marketing tools, particularly white papers,competitive comparisons and buying guides, and peer best practice / benchmarking tools.‖And if you do reach out to buyers, adding personalized value to every outreach is required. Valuable researchand interactive tools are required.Marketing Needs to go Beyond Search Engine Optimization (SEO)One of the major ways to generate leads in the past was to optimize the corporate website for search.However, new research shows that most buyers rely on vendor relationships and recommendations and notsearch. According Mr Ogden, ―7 out of 10 buyers say they start their buying process at vendor sites, notGoogle.‖This is emphasized in recent buyer surveys from SiriusDecisions, where the most trusted sources ofinformation overall are industry analysts (cited by 31.4% of respondents) and peers (28.7%). Analyst casestudies and validation, and peer social network recommendations are key to early engagement success.Later in the sales cycle, personalized value-added content, tools and advice via the corporate web site ormicro-sites is required. Don’t have the information buyers are looking for as they do their research, and don’thave the content validated by analyst and peers for credibility, and you can lose the deal.The Bottom LineWith prospects in charge of the buying process, and more frugal than ever, today’s marketer needs to beready with personalized and relevant content to address:  Prospects suffering from information overload,  Value conscience and bottom-line focused buyers,  More stakeholders with different goals, issues and value propositions,  Analyst and peer references.The buyer is now in control in the age of Internet fueled decision making and Frugalnomics. The successfulB2B marketer and seller recognize that the old ways to success are dead. Today the roadmap to success is aproactive facilitator in the buying lifecycle, providing personalized content and analysis to help diverse groupof decision makers value the correct purchase decision. Decision-driving content is required, and as a result,will continue to command a greater and growing percentage of B2B online marketing spending.For more information on marketing with value best practices, visit: Alinean Demand Generation Solutions.About AlineanAlinean, the leading provider of dynamic sales and marketing tools, empowers B2B vendors to better sell totodays economic-focused buyer. Alinean-powered interactive white papers, assessments, ROI calculators andTCO comparison tools create more compelling value-based connections, workshops, presentations and
  4. 4. proposals — delivering customized diagnostics, benchmarks, solution recommendations, benefits, investments, ROI, payback and TCO advantage proof points. Leading B2B firms leveraging Alinean tools include: HP, IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Dell, Intel, IDC/IDG, AT&T, Siemens, Unisys, Thomson Reuters, NetApp, Citrix, Symantec, Novell, Cisco, Oracle, Sybase, and CA. Learn more: at the Fight FrugalnomicsTM Resource Center http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com, by visiting http://www.alinean.com, or calling 407.382.0005. ©2010 Alinean is a trademark of Alinean, Inc., in the United States. All other brands, products or service names are or may be trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of, and used to identify, products or services of their respective owners. For more information, please visit www.alinean.comAlinean, Inc., 111 North Magnolia, Suite 1050, Orlando, FL 32801TEL: 407.382.0005 | FAX: 407.382.0906 | TOLL FREE 866.693.6271Sources:1) MarketingSherpa and KnowledgeStorm survey - http://www.knowledgestorm.com/search/viewabstract/901532) SiriusDecisions B-to-B Buyers Survey 20103) New Realities about B2B Buying, Jeff Ogden, SandHill.com Blog, Jun. 08, 20104) IDC Executive Tele Briefing on Sales & Marketing Strategies for 2010

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