2009 was unlike any other year in B2B Marketing & Sales.
So I ( ) asked 5 very smart B2B Marketers the following question: What was the best decision you made in 2009? And here’s how they responded…
Stick with prospects and customers ARDATH ALBEE CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist B2B marketers have a hard time making the switch to content solely focused on the needs of prospects and customers as they address top priorities. They’re so used to talking about their products and solutions that they try to sneak them back into their content, sure that they can’t get the attention of their prospects and customers without mentioning their latest features, feeds and speeds. In 2009, I stuck firmly with the position of creating thought leadership content that’s useful to prospects and customers because it addresses business value. And we got some fabulous results.
Don’t ignore one-to-one Marketing CLAUDINE BIANCHI VP, Marketing Marketers can't forget that business is about the customer and that each customer is an individual; an individual who is uniquely motivated. The internet has allowed us to freely communicate to the masses but at the end of the day we have to convince that one buyer as to why our product or service can help them. I'd rather focus my efforts on 50 people that my product could really help than 5000 that it might help. It probably won't broaden my brand in the short term, but in the long term, it will sustain my business.
Take a Sales-view on Marketing leads DIANE CARLSON VP, Marketing Communications - Sparta Systems We’re always looking for ways to streamline the process of making sure that the most qualified leads are making it through to the sales team. That’s why this year, one of the best decisions we made was to select and implement a marketing automation platform. It consistently gives us better insight into which of our programs are delivering the most value, ensuring that we’re better equipped to support sales and contribute to the success of the overall business.
Launch a social media strategy Our decision to launch our social media strategy was one of the best decisions we made this year. Our strategy was not one dimensional, but a well thought out, integrated social media strategy with our blog as the hub and Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin etc. as the spokes. The results have amazed us and the strategy is now a central component of our marketing plan. GARY MCNEIL VP, Marketing - Parature
Develop high quality content One of the best decisions we made at Kadient in 2009 was to invest in developing high quality content. We were able to express Kadient’s unique point of view and address the daily challenges that VP’s of Sales, and those who support Sales, face effectively and creatively. This not only added to growth at the top of funnel, it also helped to further position us as leaders in the Sales Enablement space. HEATHER STOKES Field Marketing Manager - Kadient
Bridge the Marketing & Sales divide I'd say the best decision I made in 2009 was to actively team with my Sales counterpart (my internal customer) to recognize and respond to the difficulty that Sales has faced in closing deals. With most b2b companies experiencing challenges at the bottom of the marketing waterfall (i.e. close rates dropping), Marketing teamed with Sales to address this problem in several ways. First , we worked with sales on pipeline acceleration programs. Second , Marketing accepted the reality that Sales would need more qualified leads (from Marketing) if they are to make their numbers and that despite reduction in marketing funds, it was our responsibility to provide more qualified leads. Third , we took steps to build and enhance our customer relationship marketing efforts with the goal of increasing renewal rates and offsetting slowing growth in new business revenues KIM LEGELIS VP, Marketing - Core Security
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