THE END IS NIGH-ish
Kenneth has enjoyed a marketing
career both agency and client side.
With over seven years experience
writing B2B and B2C copy, Kenneth
has created content for a wide
variety of industries.
Enthusiastic about all things copy, he
has a proven track record of creating
content capable of generating leads,
sales and revenue.
In the role of Head of Content at
Really B2B (a SundayTimes Top 100
firm and ranked agency in B2B
Marketing’s Agency League), Kenneth
is responsible for creating a strong
brand personality and crafting
content for our B2B clients which
generates action and solid ROI.
Kenneth is passionate about writing
that gets results.
The Mayans predicted that the world will end on 21
December 2012, so if you’re reading this after that date
then the likelihood is you are currently one of only a
few survivors in a post-apocalyptic landscape littered
with the remains of the world as we once knew it.
In this new and frightening world, your immediate needs will most likely include
food, shelter and warmth. But if you’re also concerned about how to generate
sales and revenue for your business (which also survived the apocalypse), then
this survival guide is for you.
Really B2B’s Marketing Survival Guide for 2013 is jam-packed with information
about trends and expectations in the world of B2B marketing in 2013.
SURVIVAL GUIDE # Oi, Marketing! What are
you actually doing?!
“80% of CEOs admit they are not very
impressed with the work done by
(Fournaise Marketing Group Global Marketing
Effectiveness Program 2012)
Thankfully though, there is a change coming.
Over the next twelve months, marketers are
going to become more accountable for
revenue generation and see a notable
difference in the way they operate. Updated
key performance indicators, quotas and SLAs
are all going to become part of the marketer’s
everyday vocabulary and not just from a cost
per lead basis, but cost per sale too. As a way
of meeting these new revenue targets,
marketers will become more proficient at
reporting and owning the sales and marketing
analysis from the top of the funnel to the
Marketers will have an ever increasing
requirement to prove their accountability, but
with the numbers that really matter.
Marketing for traffic and lead generation is
great... but it’s sales and revenue that matter.
SURVIVAL GUIDE #
Time to get real and act
The race to keep up with technological
changes and advances in 2012 left a lot of
organisations stuck in the starting blocks.The
reason for this is that prospects now connect
with your company in a very different way.
People don’t just visit your website anymore,
they also have the chance to engage with you
on social networking sites like LinkedIn and
Twitter too. Third-party forums also allow
people to converse about your company.
These forum conversations can, in turn,
increase your position in the search engine
results pages – especially on Google which
uses third party forums to help ‘rank’ your
So why were some companies left baffled by
the advances in technology? The simple
answer is because they relied on the old
technique of marketing ‘campaigns’.These pre-
planned activities often can’t react quickly
enough to prospects’ changing behaviours and
new technologies. Granted, they were worth
their weight in gold for a long time, but
nowadays it’s all about immediate reactions to
real-time triggers (including comments,
feedback and ‘Shares’).
So in 2013, get ready to start reacting in real-
time, especially as the move to inbound
marketing continues to grow.
SURVIVAL GUIDE #
A recent B2B marketing report has stated that
“78% of responding B2B organisations are
already conducting social media activity, while
another 19% are planning to introduce it in
the next year”.
This all sounds great, but is it really? Is it
enough to just have a social media presence?
The smarter marketers out there will already
be aware that in order to see the real benefits
from sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter,
they need to be integrated and the results
need to be measurable.
In order to successfully utilise social media
sites, the standard marketing KPIs need to
change. Data such as followers,‘Likes’ and
‘Shares’ become important, as does the type
of followers you are looking to attract.What
industry do these people come from and what
is their job title?You need to focus on where
your prospects are most likely to be found,
target these platforms and then measure
performance through to lead generation.
Behavioural data from social networks
coupled with your current marketing activities
and database will give you the ability to better
personalise and segment your other
communications... in real-time.
And we all know what that means... engaged
prospects and sales-ready leads entering your
SURVIVAL GUIDE # Optimise, optimise,
optimise... simple as that
A recent HubSpot report stated that ‘more
people bought a smartphone than a PC in 2012’.
So, for those companies who have yet to create a
mobile optimised website... alarm bells should be
ringing! Entering 2013 without a mobile site is like
entering the year 2000 without a company
But, it’s not just enough to have a mobile site, it
has to be a good one. In today’s society, the office
doesn’t just exist between nine and five anymore,
it’s available 24/7. People can work, check their
emails and visit your website while out shopping
or while lying in bed at 10am on a Sunday.
Work has now simply become a state of mind that
people can connect with whenever they feel like it.
So, ensure you have the best mobile site possible,
because according to Google “57% of users would
not recommend a business with a bad mobile site,
and 40% have moved on to a competitor’s site
after a bad mobile experience”.
Whether you have a mobile site or you’re hoping
to get one soon, remember to keep it simple,
don’t include lots of images (as this will increase
the page loading time), make it really user-friendly
and ensure you include strong calls to action.With
the rise in tablet sales too, there’s never been a
better time to make sure you’re totally optimised.
SURVIVAL GUIDE # We’re all human, so start
speaking like it!
Some B2B marketing communications can be so
boring that they’re actually difficult to read.The
reason for this is because they’re loaded with dull,
lifeless industry phrases and more often than not,
They lack personality! Nobody wants to do
business with a faceless corporation whose
communications could have been written by some
kind of robot, because that’s not what people are
about these days.
We like to be social, entertained and engaged.
With so many metrics and so much data on offer
now, marketers have the opportunity to really get
to know and understand their prospects.What are
their needs and wants? What are their pain points?
What are their issues? This detailed level of
understanding means that communications can be
highly personalised, benefit-lead and show the
prospect exactly how their individual concerns
can be resolved.
With such an in-depth knowledge, it would be a
real waste to create tedious, lacklustre content.
Good data mixed with company personality is the
way forward. Create content that’s informative,
authoritative, fun and personal, all while talking
directly to each individual prospect. It’s a great way
to create a relationship of trust, upon which sales
can be made.
SURVIVAL GUIDE # Email... still a powerful
With the advent of social media, there were
whispers that email as a communication channel
was on its way out... but that’s certainly not the
According to a recent survey by Pardot (a cloud
marketing automation provider),“although
opinions were mixed amongst B2B marketers, 47%
believed that email marketing would still be
relevant in 5 years time”.
Granted, the way we use email has changed, but
it’s still a very valuable resource. At Really B2B,
we regularly find that as a lead generation tool,
email is an excellent choice of communication
channel- hence its inclusion in 98% of all our lead
Other reasons for its continued success are lower
operational costs than direct mail, it has the ability
to capture priceless data and it has excellent
behavioural tracking capabilities.
But most important of all, is that when it’s coupled
with real-time data, email can be personalised,
targeted and relevant.This means that your
prospects are getting the content they want, when
they want it. Doubters are saying that email may
no longer be ‘King of the Hill’, but in our
experience, it still out-performs many of the other
marketing communication channels.
SURVIVAL GUIDE # Inbound quality, not
It’s Christmas morning and you’ve just opened
that present you endlessly begged your parents
Initially, it’s everything you ever wanted and more,
but then you start to realise that it’s actually not
quite as good as you’d hoped.
This is a process that a lot of marketers will go
through in 2013 with their marketing automation
tools.The reason for this is because the reality of
an autonomous marketing system without an
inbound marketing foundation is just a lot of
irrelevant emails spamming peoples’ inboxes.
Real inbound marketing consists of using relevant,
quality content to attract people to your website
in order to download your next piece of great
content, you then convert these people to sales
In 2013, marketing directors and senior executives
will be investing more in inbound marketing in
order to generate traffic, leads and conversions to
support demand generation.
SURVIVAL GUIDE # 100 per cent content
If there is one thing we are certain will happen
in 2013, it’s that content will reign supreme.
We all know that good content is interesting,
relevant, shows thought leadership and helps
build trust. So, marketers all over the world
will be making this a top priority over the next
A by-product of this thirst for content will be
the rise in ‘Content Marketplaces’ (companies
who will outsource your copy requirements
to freelance copywriters around the world).
These freelance writers will be working
furiously to help marketers meet their needs
for good content in 2013.
SURVIVAL GUIDE # A picture is worth way
more than just 1,000
I don’t know about you, but I love a good
infographic. I can’t get enough of them.The
ease at which I can digest information is
staggering. Happily then, 2013 is going to be a
good year for me, because infographics are
going to be more popular than ever.
A recent study by IDG Enterprise states that
the use of infographics has increased 150%
since 2011 and it’s the fastest growing format
in B2B content marketing.When you consider
that the powerhouses of content are still case
studies, white papers and ebooks, why are
infographics becoming so desired?
Very simply, these little images are compelling
and attractive; they can increase website
traffic; they show thought leadership and they
can go viral.They are also excellent for SEO
because people will repost and share links
back to your site… and we know how much
Google loves to see links to your site.
With all these benefits, it’s clear that
infographics are more than just a pretty
Content and context
sitting in a tree,
This headline is so childish but it perfectly
illustrates how important context is going
to be to your content in 2013. Creating
content on its own is no longer going to
be enough to succeed.
Thanks to reporting capabilities and
metrics, you now know more than ever
about your prospects - and it’s time to use
it.The things they do, the things they say,
the sites they like, the products they
purchase, their happiness level with your
company – it’s all vitally important.
By creating prospect personas you can
now create personalised content which
you know meets their needs and speaks in
a language they understand.You can also
offer them solutions to problems you
know they have and write content that is
tailored specifically for them.
And, by creating a personalised experience
for your prospect over multiple
interactions you can leverage context to
make your marketing fit perfectly with
your prospect’s natural behaviours.
SURVIVAL GUIDE #
Direct mail - It’s
We all know that 2013 is going to see further
growth in integrated marketing campaigns, but
for those of you who were planning to drop
direct mail out of the plans, think again.
According to Fusionb2b, “businesses receiving
brochures or other direct mailings are twice as
likely to convert into a new lead, spend more
meaningful time on the business’ website, spend
more money, and consistently purchase that
business’ product or service”. The reason for
this is because of its high impact potential.
Using your prospect insight, it’s possible to
personalise multiple aspects of the mail and
really grab some attention. Gone are the days
of just sending a brochure to your prospects.
Individual personalisation allows you to talk to
your prospects in a way that addresses their
exact challenges, needs and wants... making
your interactions with them more human (see
Survival Guide #5). With digital printing costs
lower than ever you don’t even need to print
large orders anymore to make it financially
viable. So, don’t miss this opportunity to skip
past the white noise of online marketing and
put something directly into the hands of your
Using direct mail exclusively is a big risk to take,
but as part of an integrated campaign, it can be
a really valuable tool. For example, when
targeting hot leads or dream prospects who
you know are at the sales tipping point (i.e.
coming out of a contract review period); a
highly personalised piece of direct mail may just
be enough to make all the difference... and a
SURVIVAL GUIDE #
Well, lucky survivor, the post-apocalyptic wasteland you
find yourself in now may look a lot different from life as
we once knew it, but at least you know what lies ahead
(in terms of B2B marketing).
If, by any chance, the Mayans were actually wrong about the end of the world
and life has simply carried on regardless, then this guide should still come in
pretty handy.There are many developments and advances likely to happen in
marketing over the next 12 months and we’ve only touched on a few here. But
one thing is for sure, whatever changes are coming, they are likely to happen
very quickly… so be prepared to act fast.
We at Really B2B are always ready to utilise the next technological advance or
marketing approach, as long as we can prove it generates leads and sales. So, if
you need some help, feel free to get in touch.