B2B Inbound Marketing: How to win active Prospects as Clients

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This presentation shows the basis to develop inbound marketing strategies for a Business-to-Business company. The slides are an English summary of my E-Book "B2B Inbound Marketing: How to win active …

This presentation shows the basis to develop inbound marketing strategies for a Business-to-Business company. The slides are an English summary of my E-Book "B2B Inbound Marketing: How to win active Prospects as Clients" (German only).

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  • 1. chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de B2B Inbound Marketing How to win active Prospects as Clients
  • 2. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de The Active Prospect I
    • According to Marketing Sherpa’s “B2B Lead Generation Handbook” 80 % of all clients found their vendors by themselves.
    • Therefore, 20 % of all clients are the result of direct marketing, tele-marketing and sales calls.
    • Which strategies do companies use to better reach this 80 %?
    • Current discussion is mostly about activities instead of strategies, mostly online-marketing on a trial-and-error-basis. A structured, strategic basis for Whitepapers, SEM or Weblogs is needed.
  • 3. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de The Active Prospect II
    • New situation: Active prospects search for vendors and contact vendors when they are ready.
    • This is possible because of the volume of information available from vendors, market analysts, media and other sources, mostly via internet.
    • Additionally, as corporate decision-making has gotten more and more complex, a fast ROI is mandatory and the decision-making climbs up the corporate ladder, the preparation must be right to the point.
    • Therefore, a new strategic approach is necessary:
    • B2B-Inbound-Marketing
  • 4. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de B2B Inbound Marketing
    • Companies exist to integrate and transfer their micro-segmented competencies into complex value propositions relevant to the needs of their clients.
    • B2B Inbound Marketing is the ability of a company to adjust their value propositions to the clients and value needs of individual clients.
    • B2B Inbound Marketing follows the processes of a client (decisions, production, SCM etc.).
    • Basics of Inbound marketing are competencies, relationships and information/content.
  • 5. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de B2B Inbound Marketing in Lead Generation
    • B2B inbound marketing in lead generation follows the decision processes of a client.
    • Targets:
      • Inform the prospect, so he starts the contact with the vendor
      • Demonstrate competency and ability/strengths of a solution
      • Reduce the client’s risk evaluation
      • Pre-qualify the prospect for the sales contact
    • Highly individualized communications is needed in inbound-marketing.
      • Don Peppers/Martha Rogers: “As the interactive age arrives, every enterprise has to learn to treat different customers differently”.
  • 6. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Decision process I
    • Separates itself into preparing for the decision and then making it.
    • Inbound marketing focuses on the preparation:
      • Recognize and describe problems
      • Time-table for an investment
      • Develop requirements for products and suppliers
      • Choose suitable solutions and vendors
      • Research dependencies with current infrastructure
      • Research costs (investment, service, usage, maintenance etc.)
      • Define necessary process changes, market or other (dis)advantages
      • Evaluate make or buy
  • 7. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Decision process II
    • The preparation (as well as the decision making) is rarely a well structured process.
    • The person responsible for the preparation can’t rely on routines. His job is very complex and he welcomes any relief.
    • The person preparing to make a decision needs to feel he can trust the vendor and their information.
  • 8. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de The 5 “I” of B2B Communication to build Trust
    • Developed by Kleinenkamp/Ploetner (1996)
      • Intensity: Trust can only be built long-term and in small steps. Individuality: As every prospect prefers different content and presentation forms, trust must be built on an individual basis.
      • Irradiation effects: As competence and reliability are hard to perceive in advance, prospects look for alternate information, e.g. size of vendor.
      • Intelligence: To communicate intelligently means to deliver the right, risk-reducing information to the decision maker. References are helpful.
      • Integration: Integration means that all communication activities and the prospect have to be involved.
  • 9. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Content Marketing I
    • Eingine of inbound marketing is content that:
      • Focus on decision makers & show solutions from different perspectives (Individuality)
      • Meet decision maker‘s interests, i.e. are relevant (Individuality, Intelligence)
      • Help decision making/preparation because of personal/prof. reasons (Intelligence)
      • Are somewhat exclusive (Individuality)
      • Are consistent and complete (Integration)
      • Allow a long-term dialogue and a step-by-step increase in expertise (Intensity)
      • Make the competence of a vendor and the capability of a solution tangible (Irradiation effects, Intelligence)
      • Are easily available, e.g. registration for download (Integration)
  • 10. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Content Marketing II
    • The vendor needs a concrete content marketing strategy. He must define
      • Who (decision maker, preparer, influencer) should receive
      • Which content (messages) in which detail
      • Because of which influencing factors
      • Via which communication channels and activities
    • The vendor needs to see himself as a publisher of high-quality content competing with other information publishers.
    • Content is released on corporate blogs, Twitter, micro sites or external web sites (e. g. whitepaper portals).
    • Holding back information like before is counter productive.
  • 11. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Content Marketing III
    • Marketing has to know the person it wants to connnect with.
    • Buyer persona (David Meerman Scott): Instead of large target groups marketing should reach personalized decision makers.
    • Make buyer persona more lively with names, positions, biographies
    • A buyer persona needs to identity his needs, responsibilities and risk evaluation in marketing communications.
    • All members of a buyer center must be considered.
    • Make it easy for everyone to get hold of your content.
  • 12. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Content Marketing IV
    • Risk evaluation of a buyer persona depends on:
      • Investment type
        • Product, system or plant
        • Recurring purchase, purchase with changes or first-time purchases
      • Technology diffusion along the technology adoption lifecycle ( Everett M. Rogers/ Geoffrey A. Moore)
        • Innovators
        • Early adopters
        • Early majority
        • Late majority
        • Laggards
  • 13. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Micro-positioning I
    • A vendor must communicate their value propositions (capabilities) to each buyer persona = Persona propositions.
    • This general approach is reflected in the content and the level of detail.
    • All influence factors/parties have to be considered.
    • The difference to classical positioning is in the micro-orientation towards the buyer persona.
    • There are three way to get an insight into what a buyer persona wants:
      • Internal or external expertise
      • Analysis of requirement specifications
      • Qualitative, field research
  • 14. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Micro-positioning II
    • Basic messages (persona propositions) are developed based on the expertise or the results of the analysis or field research:
      • per buyer persona
      • per investment type
      • per risk evaluation
  • 15. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Three Steps of B2B Inbound Marketing
    • The 3-step-process to support prospects in their decision making process and to generate them as leads is:
      • Find
      • Providing information and getting contacted by prospects
      • Nurture marketing and lead qualification
    • Generally it is best, if marketing and sales define together, what a sales ready lead is. One possible way is, that marketing is responsible for these first three steps. If the (pre-qualified) prospect wants concrete information on solution, sales steps in.
  • 16. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Find I
    • Prospects do not only limit their supplier search to the internet. To reduce risks they will (Enquiro Research):
      • Look for existing/certified suppliers
      • Ask colleagues inside and outside their own company
      • Ask existing suppliers with other solutions
      • Comb through general information of suppliers
    • But in most cases they will research potential suppliers online first.
    • Additionally, most information research and dialogue will happen online – especially early in the sales cycle.
  • 17. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Find II
    • No separation between online & offline. Users are savvy to navigate in-between.
    • Central B2B inbound marketing activities are:
      • Search engine optimization (SEO)
      • Search engine marketing (SEM)
      • Blogs & Twitter
      • Social media
      • Public relations
      • Exhibitions
      • Public speaking
      • Industry associations
  • 18. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Providing information and getting contacted by prospects
    • As soon as an evaluator starts to consider a concrete, complex solution, he needs a connection to the vendor.
    • To inform himself and to initiate he uses channels the supplier offers:
      • Websites
      • Blogs, Podcasts & Twitter
      • RSS-Feeds
      • Whitepapers
      • Webinars
      • Product tests
      • Bulletin boards
      • E-Books
      • Call-back buttons
      • Online Chats
  • 19. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Nurture Marketing and Lead Qualification I
    • Vendors have to nurture the prospects until they are ready to decide. This might take months. Marketing establishes a continuous information exchange and a dialogue with the prospect.
    • The care consists mainly of materials that the prospects chooses by himself (newsletter, webinars, whitepapers).
    • In parallel the vendor tries to speed up the decision process. The buyer persona might need additional information to push the decision process internally or to see the relevance of a decision.
  • 20. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de Nurture Marketing and Lead Qualification II
    • Sales takes over as soon as the prospects is sales ready. Marketing and sales should decide on when it‘s the case.
    • As the prospect builds up expertise during the process, sales efforts will decrease.
    • During the process and the dialogue the vendor receives information for the lead qualification. Web analytics can be very helpful.
  • 21. B2B-Inbound-Marketing chain relations || Torsten Herrmann || 24.07.2009 || page www.chainrelations.de chain relations Torsten Herrmann Georg-Speyer-Straße 2 D-60487 Frankfurt am Main Tel. +49/69/31 01 90 11 [email_address] http://www.chainrelations.de http://www.twitter.com/torstenherrmann http://www.linkedin.com/in/torstenherrmann https://www.xing.com/profile/Torsten_Herrmann