B2B purchase decisions are rarely as emotional as B2B decisions. In B2B, demonstrable, accountable impact on top or bottom line revenue is essential
A lift in sales--or improved efficiency-- that is greater than the cost associated with the program that generated it, is how ROI is defined in the enterprise. Measurability is essential to understanding the contributions of a given B2B communications program to a firm’s revenue or margin. This is why digital methods have become so popular in B2B communications--they are substantially more measurable and thus more accountable.
Information (or content) demand from the prospect reveals their level of interest in the offering (or the business space) and helps revel their position in the sales cycle. The greater level of interest is seen in the demand behavior for content. The willingness to spend time learning shows interest and tat interest can be leveraged with sales activity.
This cycle shows how a typical digital B2B communication program works. Monitoring is fundamental to any B2B client, as is content development. Once enough content exists, that content must propagate across the web. Doing so requires the content to take different forms that make the best use of the place where they will be found. Once propagated to its optimal place the content’s availability should be publicized. After outreach evaluation by way of measurement takes place where metrics are analyzed
Trade publications recognize that information gathering has changed in the B2B space. To stay more competitive trade publications can now provide more information on readership that can potentially inform critical “intent to purchase” metrics and interest levels.
But trade pubs aren’t the only one way businesses can gather critical sales intelligence. Companies can use visitors’ IP addresses to inform the lead pipeline. Privacy is not an issue at work like it is in the home. Most companies have fixed IP addresses that are publicly available. So firms can see who visits their website, how often they visit it, and what information they are retrieving. Visitor track is a tool our clients can use to gain valuable sales intelligence about visitors to their web site.
IP addresses that are associated with corporate entities are available publicly and are not considered private. The ARIN database (shown here) is a “reverse look-up” for business IP addresses.
There are three key takaways in this presentation. The first is that communication is still indispensable to the sales process and thus essential to the growth of any business. As we’ve already seen, with digital communications technology, it’s more important than ever.
Through demand for information and experience, prospects reveal important information about their level of interest throughout the selling cycle. B2B must communicate-- in every medium possible-- the unique values of their offerings and the unique benefits seen by their customers. As clients demand more support (content) for sales cases, businesses can be confident devoting precious sales resources to those prospects based on their level of interest.
Prospects will trade valuable personal information in exchange for intelligence that will improve their decision making. This is a vital economic exchange. If a business can provide content worthy of that exchange it makes a demonstrable impact on the revenue side AND the expense side. These impacts are seen both in the improvement of the quantity and quality of the leads and in the ability to apply sales resources in a more efficient manner (on prospects ready to buy). The kind of content that prospects will trade their information for include. Topical Articles Analytical Reports White Papers Tools How To's Top 10 Lists Videos Prospects provide that info via forms. Those forms turn into information that becomes lead intelligence for the salesforce
Sales management is charged with forecasting new revenue. Sales revenue forecasts are expressed as a function of the dollar volume a prospect’s business represents multiplied by the likelihood that prospect will do business with the firm by a given date. Knowing what information a prospect is seeking adds reliability to sales forecasts because it can help to indicate how far along in the decision process the prospect is.
Businesses can now automate much of the early part of the sales cycle if the right digital technology and content is in place. Automating the marketing processes early in the sales cycle makes sense for prospect and potential vendor because the activities are repetitive and many prospects aren’t yet ready for personal contact. Marketing automation-- Makes the process more efficient An integral component of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) CRM products can automate salesforce-related activities Keeping lists of leads Assigning list segments to salespeople Allowing list contacts to be called or emailed Tracking responses Generating reports
Marketing Automation isn’t easy. It requires a level of sales coordination that’s almost choreographic in nature. Having that phases in the sales process well-defined makes it more effective. Doing that requires content to continually move the prospect along through the sales cycle and account for pauses and setbacks.
Of course content is important regardless of what kind of marketing automation is planned by the business.. But with the sheer volume of digital content available to the B2B audience, it’s easy to forget how valuable content is. Content also continues to commoditize. More sinister still, however, is the ease with which one forgets how a piece of content’s value falls over time.
Content windowing is a concept developed by McKinsey and Company for the film business to show the effect of time and exposure to value of content. We see its application in B2B messaging and content too. This slide is an example of how that might work. In the movie business one pays more to see a film in a theater and less when that film finally shows up on broadcast television, prospects must ( or at least, should) tell the enterprise more about themselves to get the most vital (newest/deepest) information. Accordingly, older, less vital information should require less of the prospect giving them the choice about how much of themselves to reveal.
Content can gain new life and new relevancy by taking on new forms. A whitepaper, once written, can become many smaller more digestible pieces of information. These new forms can help improve relevancy in other channels.
USING CONTENT: this link -- is a great example of the value of content and how content works to generate leads --you must be a registered user (identified lead) in order to access the information.
Both McKinsey and Accenture use the same method to harvest leads and prospect intelligence
What’s important is how virtually identical McKinsey and Accenture’s approach is. This similarity clearly suggests best practice.
To the business, content is a means of delivering valuable information. But what if an actual service could be provided to prospects?
Information provided by a potential vendor requires action (work and or resources)-- and that can be risky or expensive to deploy. What happens when the enterprise actually removes the risk associated with content alone by providing an actual service?
The cloud is just a term for the network that supports the Internet. “Services in the cloud” simply means that the only requirement of the user is an internet browser. (we are even moving away from the requirement that the service user be connected to the internet). This is the way Google is strategically working own the Internet and how Microsoft intends to keep up. With nothing to install, - Software as a service applications are the next wave in technology delivery and sales collateral. Google apps are free. There are many other free SaaS offered in “the cloud” as a means of engaging prospects and turning them into paying customers. Remember, it’s about information from the prospect to understand their needs and value to the enterprise. Services are a great way to gain even more sales intelligence because the value perception is higher and the risk is often lower.
Salesforce.com is A SaaS that is ubiquitous in small and midsized businesses. They offer many tiers of service from free to licenses costing thousands. Almost every customer relationship with Salesforce starts with a free trial.
We have already shown how content works now But what’s next? Can WE do something? Add value beyond content - with applications Think about ways to package applications so that they give our clients valuable information while they provide the user value now and an incentive to BUY when they are ready. Build content AND apps!
“ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
“ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
Moving from simple information and content offers to value generating services as a means of generating generate sales is difficult for business. It’s a big change with huge implications and real risks. We usher these changes for our clients by mitigating risk with solid planning and council.
Here are the stages the enterprise passes through as it faces the reality of its changing market place. Knowing where you are your client or prospect is in this process can help you to frame your offering in a way to make it as relevant and persuasive as possible.
For those who want to provide greater value to clients and customers the key is growing relationships is deeper collaboration. New digital communication technologies enable a level of collaboration unimaginable even a decade ago. Email and other older technologies are making way for communication tools that give message recipients more control over their work flow. Even things as boring and frustrating as document version control are being addressed in remarkable new ways.
Standalone marketing activities that fail to integrate and reinforce a position or theme are easily forgotten. Strategic themes and messaging are essential to a memorable B2B marketing campaign. http://tinyurl.com/5xsjlr
Tactics like email, podcasts, blogs and Whitepapers should support a unified and consistent messaging theme. Otherwise these tactics risk failing to contribute in an additive fashion, and risk being lost in the wash of information that prospects confront daily.
Feed your clients’ lead machine with communications F.U.E.L.
Digital B2B Marketing Communication
Trends in B2B Digital Marketing Communications Using Digital Content to Grow Revenue
Customers buy results, not products or services.
The B2B Sales Cycle Information Demand Time Sales should have the most contact with the prospect here
Channel Planning and Optimization The Content Cycle Digital monitoring Online editorial outreach Evaluation Content development
B2B Online <ul><li>Most trade publications have migrated online </li></ul>
Look up contact and registration info for IP addresses, organizations, people
Three Key Takeaways <ul><li>1) Communication is the fuel for lead generation </li></ul>
F.U.E.L. Drives Leads F ostering U nique E xperiences for L earning
B2B Clients Need Leads <ul><li>Build prospect intelligence with content that informs the prospect’s purchase decision. </li></ul>Informative content means smarter prospects and smarter sales people and shortened sales cycles
Three Key Takeaways <ul><li>1) Communication is the fuel for lead generation </li></ul><ul><li>2) The kind of communication pulled by the prospect indicates interest and likelihood of revenue - informing the sales pipeline </li></ul>
“ New marketing automation systems delivered as a service enable marketers to quickly scale their most successful campaigns to drive a larger flow of qualified leads.” “ B2B Demand Generation in the Age of Accountability, Measurability, and Automation” by Mike Zavershnik
Three Key Takeaways <ul><li>1) Communication is the fuel for lead generation </li></ul><ul><li>2) The kind of communication pulled by the prospect indicates interest and likelihood of revenue - informing the sales pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>3) Web 1.0: Content is valuable </li></ul>
Windowing Content Content Content Content Paid subscribers only Sign up, then free access Free content Time Info demanded of prospect
Repurposing Content WhitePaper Story to pitch Blog post Webcast Podcast
Using Content to Generate Leads Accenture vs. McKinsey
Using Content to Generate Leads Accenture vs. McKinsey Main articles include Summary to grab attention, download required for full text Easy to share the article across social media
Using Content to Generate Leads Accenture vs. McKinsey Popular subjects include Globalization, Growth, Strategic Thinking
Using Content to Generate Leads Accenture vs. McKinsey Featured survey is a current popular topic RSS link to subscribe to feed
Using Content to Generate Leads Accenture vs. McKinsey Like Accenture, subjects include Globalization, Growth, Strategic Thinking Member login prominent on homepage
Using Content to Generate Leads Accenture vs. McKinsey Registration benefits clearly outlined on both sites Additional perks for Premium Members
Three Key Takeaways <ul><li>1) Communication is the fuel for lead generation </li></ul><ul><li>2) The kind of communication pulled by the prospect indicates interest and likelihood of revenue </li></ul><ul><li>3) Web 1.0: Content is valuable </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0: Service is even more valuable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software as a Service and applications </li></ul></ul>
Software as a Service Salesforce.com <ul><li>Salesforce.com 2.0 strategy to take on Microsoft </li></ul><ul><li>Leads the SAAS industry for SMB </li></ul>
If content is the best way to currently perform lead generation, Web 2.0 applications are next.
Simple Applications on the Web Networking and social spaces
Simple Applications on the Web Communication and collaboration “ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
Simple Applications on the Web Content creation, productivity tools “ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
Simple Applications on the Web Marketing, sales, and support “ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
Simple Applications on the Web Timesheets, invoicing, and billing “ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
Simple Applications on the Web Organization “ 25 ways to grow your business” -http://www.avivadirectory.com/entrepreneur-apps/
Simple Applications on the Web Financial Management
Simple Applications on the Web Improving Business Intelligence
What’s Needed: More Collaboration <ul><li>It’s tough - management will fear technological and cultural barriers with Enterprise Web 2.0… </li></ul>Training Security Money Monitoring
What’s Needed: More Collaboration <ul><li>…But it must be done </li></ul>PENSIVE “ It’s too complicated.” “ There’s no way to measure that.” “ Is anyone doing this successfully?.” “ Digital must be integrated across our whole marketing plan.” “ We can measure the impact of this program.” “ This will change the way our prospects sees our offering.” “ We need this technology.” “ Let’s figure out how to measure this.” “ Did you see what our competitor did?” PANIC PLANNING