Modern Marketing and Demand Generation


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Modern marketing - what's changed and what can we do about it? This guide looks at the most effective B2B marketing strategies in today's business climate.

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Modern Marketing and Demand Generation

  1. 1. Modern Marketing and Demand Generation
  2. 2. Contents 1 Introduction 3 4 Convert opportunities to sales 17 Who is this book for? 3 4.1 Low hanging fruit 18 4.2 Ban ‘batch‘n’blast’ 19 4.3 The customer journey, fuelled by marketing automation 20 4.4 Repeat sales 21 4.5 Automate messaging 23 5 Content marketing 24 5.1 Good storytelling 25 5.2 Your content cupboard and how to stock it 26 5.3 Developing a content plan 27 5.4 Mobile and apps 28 5.5 Social and community 29 About Ledger Bennett DGA 30 2 4 2.1 The buyer journey 5 2.2 Demand generation 6 2.3 The propel methodology 7 3 Generating more opportunities 8 3.1 Inbound marketing – search and social 9 3.2 Getting found – search 10 3.3 Broadening your reach – social 12 3.4 Your inbound toolkit 14 3.5 Unknown to known 15 Share The modern buyer 3.6 What basket? 16 2
  3. 3. Introduction 1 Who is this book for? This book looks to pull apart the motivations and drivers of the modern B2B buyer, explore their relationships with business, and help you create a marketing strategy that adapts to the new modern digital world. Share This book has been written for the demand creators within a business. Those tasked with one of the most important functions a business has – to market and sell its products and services. We choose our words carefully here as (we’ll explain later in this book) the traditional roles of sales and marketing have shifted, greyed and merged. If you are a CxO, or work in the marketing or sales department – this is for you. This book aims to explain the changing world of modern marketing, and explain the techniques and tools you will need to adapt to it. 3
  4. 4. The modern buyer 2 The landscape is new, constantly changing, and in some areas uncharted, the tools and techniques different, the rules redefined. Some things, however, have not changed. Buyers do not buy because you’ve chivvied them into buying. They do not buy because you’ve set-up your processes and made it easier for you to sell to them. Buyers buy when they’re ready – in their own time and on their own terms. We’re in a buyers’ market. In a business context, buyers research the products and services they believe will help them to meet a need, to solve a business problem. They do what it takes to understand solutions and suppliers at the touch of a button, a press of a key, an open, online question or two to peers. Because they can. Like it or not, some of them will be better-informed than the sales force employed specifically to know everything there is to know about this or that product. These prospects are 67% of their way through the buying cycle before engaging with suppliers. The power has shifted from the brochurebearing salesman. The power is with the buyer. Traditionally, marketing would attract leads and hand them off to sales quite early in the buying cycle. Prospects would rely on sales appointments, physical brochures and technical documents to get the information they needed. Essentially they were led into the sale by marketing (a little) and sales staff (a lot). Things are different today. Buyers go online to source the information they need that will include other customers’ experiences with the product or service being considered. It takes a different approach to marketing, based more on digital body language (how a prospect navigates pages of product information online) than traditional broadcast media ‘push’ strategies. Marketing Awareness Then Marketing Sales Education Evaluation Selection Purchase Now B2B buyers are 67% through their buying cycle before interacting with suppliers. Awareness Share Then Sales Education Evaluation Marketing Selection Purchase Awareness Education Evaluation Sales Selection Purchase 4
  5. 5. The buyer journey 2. You may also enjoy watching: 1 Marketing Automation: the Buyer Journey video Download The buyer journey is a path well-trodden in marketing. It’s just that, where previously it’s been a walk in the dark as far as marketers are concerned, today there are diverse tools to map and manage this journey towards purchase. And it doesn’t end there. When a prospect has become an active customer who has spent good money with you, these same tools enable you to enhance your relationship and make more purchases more likely. It’s that old thing (still holds true) about 20% of your customer-base being responsible for 80% of your sales. The diagram gives you a broad understanding of what a prospect-to-customer journey might look like. With the breadth and depth of analytics available, it’s possible to visualise exactly where in their journey your audience is, and what you can do to support or influence their decision-making at each stage in terms of: Prospect Engagement Customer Engagement Attract / Engage Profile / Win Cross-Sell / Upsell Renew / Refresh n Generating more opportunities n Converting those opportunities into sales n Retaining those customers and growing their value Share 5
  6. 6. Demand generation 2. You may also enjoy reading: 2 Download We have already touched upon how your customers have changed. And it’s odds-on that they’ll continue to change – in their expectations, their needs, their pre- and post-purchase behaviours – as long as technology and good business sense open up new and different possibilities. It is not just a buyer’s market, but a market in which organisations are also empowered. No-one can predict the future, but it doesn’t look likely to be in the sphere of conventional marketing theory. Buyer empowerment on the left, you the enabled marketer on the right, and the internet bang in the middle of the playing field, has changed all that. Right now your buyers have all the tools they need to research, understand and make decisions about the products and services they want to buy without involving you. Conversely, you have the ability, if you really listen and look, to understand and to meet their needs more precisely than you’ve ever done before. It’s down to you to find alternative ways into their awareness, engaging in conversations at the earliest possible opportunity, and influencing their decisionmaking that way. Many see it as a buyer’s market, only successful enterprises see it as an opportunity. As a marketer today, your role is not to just create leads, but to create demand. A lead is seen as an opportunity. Demand is a wholly different thing. Demand signifies a prospect who has done his background research and who is ready and able to take the next step. He is open to the possibility of purchasing from you. Even though numbers show that traditional sales and marketing techniques are failing. That buyers are savvy to double-page spreads and shiny, perfectly-formed pieces of direct mail. The channels are fractured, the old corridors of communication blocked. New channels have opened with an array of tools providing marketers with an unprecedented level of insight, transparency and measurement. Share Lead Generation vs Demand Generation To run an effective modern day Demand Generation programme, your enterprise is required to do three things: n Generate more opportunities n Attracting, engaging and identifying more prospects using content and inbound marketing strategies n Convert opportunities into sales n Turning their interest into sales by using personalised content and marketing automation tools to walk alongside them throughout their buying journey n Retain customers and increase their value n Keeping the customer and increasing the number of purchases by cross-selling and up-selling using digital marketing techniques Nurturing leads who aren’t ready to buy straight away can increase your sales leads by 50%. source: Marketo 6
  7. 7. The propel methodology 2. 3 Propulsion is about movement forwards, about creating and maintaining momentum. When inbound marketing, content marketing and marketing automation come together, when they synergise, they create a momentum all of their own, a great example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Any one of these can be used in isolation. Or two can be used together. But it’s only when you activate the power of three that you see the potential in each one fulfilled. 1 n Content Marketing Our key currency to drive engagement in the digital environment, how we put fuel in our marketing vehicle, the glue that pulls all aspects together n arketing Automation The platform that lets M us do more with less, deliver more relevant, customised communications at the right time, to the right people Share To get the attention of people who don’t know who we are, or aren’t ready to buy from us. Content The answer n Content engine to deliver relevant content n Asset library n Guidance in content marketing 2 In modern marketing provide the power they need to increase sales with specialism in three key areas: n Inbound Marketing How buyers find us and we continually develop our prospect base, drive audience insight and optimise performance The challenge 1 The challenge People don’t find us, or what they’re looking for from us, online. The answer n Greater online visibility n Make relevant information easily available n Ask them to give us some information about them 3 2 The challenge Giving them the right information at the right time to move them towards purchase. £ 3 The answer n Understanding their needs n Marketing automation process n Personalised communications Inbound Nurture 7
  8. 8. Generating more opportunities 3 Traditionally, inbound activity was based on advertising and reliant on interruption techniques that effectively bought attention. In contrast, modern marketing means your audience can find you when they are ready, but you have to earn their attention. Guides, articles, eBooks, videos, calculators and digital tools are just a few examples of content that can help you to earn attention by meeting your audience’s need for information. Instead of pushing your message with advertising, in the fingers-crossed hope that it is timely, your audience now has more power to find you when they want. The internet has changed how buyers buy. Trouble is, it hasn’t changed the way too many sellers sell, driven by self-regard and corporate ego, selling by telling, not listening. Companies like this will probably have a website, but they won’t make it easy for visitors to find the information they need, or to do anything constructive with it if they do. Their sales funnel will be emptier than it could be. Data sources will more than likely be sketchy and unreliable. Visitors will get no sense of connection when they arrive, and will probably leave, uninformed and unimpressed. Share 90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy, they’ll find you. source: DemandGen Reports (2012) 8
  9. 9. Inbound Marketing – search and social 3. 1 To attract your audience from an inbound perspective you have two main vehicles – search and social. At its simplest, ‘search’ represents the act of being found when a prospect looks on a search engine for something they want. The goal is to be found by your audience when they are looking for something that you can help them with. Social media increases your ability to be found through communities. It enables communities to be the voice of your company and spread your reach beyond your known contacts, identify prospects you can actively nurture and even boost search performance. 93% + 50% Share of business buyers use search to begin their journey. of tech B2B buyers seek information about products on social sites. source: Marketo Within B2B environments, search and social are fuelled by content. Without content, you will have little to attract audiences with through social media and receive less search traffic. More importantly, without content, the visitors you do generate will remain unknown to you. source: B2B Tech Buyers, IDG websites 9
  10. 10. Getting found – search 3. You may also enjoy reading: 2 Download Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Keywords We have already seen how 93% of buyers begin their journey with an online search and 88% click on organic search results. Organic, search-driven leads even have the highest lead-to-close rate at 15%. Yet, proportionally spend is low on SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) being only 4% of the annual budget. In order to optimise your website and web pages, the first step is to identify exactly what words you want to rank for and be associated with. You should have a limited set of keywords to optimise your website for, and a specific for each web page linked to the theme of article. source: Hubspot and B2B barometer People perceive high search rankings as a sign of trust, credibility and authority. As a result, greater importance should be placed in active management and optimisation of visibility within search engines. It is not a one-off activity in launching web pages with tags and metadata. It is a continual process with over 60% of page rank now determined by offpage factors. In effect, how search engines view your website’s relationships with other websites, not just web pages that you control. These factors include referral links and social signals and are growing in importance. Share Why search, social and content is like a threelegged race Keywords are about how your audience will search for something you can help with, not what terms you want to promote. Always do keyword research to identify preferred search terms, not just what you think. Top tips for on-page SEO n Continually mine, analyse and update keywords based upon market trends and website performance n lways write page content to include A desired keywords that prospects will be looking for – not internally preferred terms n Page titles and meta description should all be unique – and lead with theme of page not company name n Page hierarchy is important – place pages with greater importance higher up the tree 10
  11. 11. Getting found – search 3. 2 Authority As with traditional PR, leading journals and journalists carry more weight, more authority. Companies with unique, interesting stories and news gain more coverage. The same is true for the Web. So, even if you have good on-page SEO, leading domains may have more authority than you and will rank higher for your desired search terms. Growing authority is fundamental in increasing organic search traffic. So how do you grow authority? Authority is given by domains linking to your website. They pass you link juice. The more authority they have, the more link juice is passed to you. It is not the number of links, but the value of each link. In order to attract links from reputable sources you have to earn it, as they will not want to give you credit or authority for nothing. Having unique, valuable content is the most effective way to drive link-baiting. Share Similarly with social media, the more people linking to you, the greater positive impact on search results. Once again, you must earn this. People will not link your website to their communities without anything worthwhile to share. One of the most effective ways of enhancing keywords on your website and building backlinks is blogging. This requires continual creation of newsworthy material that people want to share socially and link to from their websites. B2B companies that blog have even been found to generate on average over 50% more leads per month than non-blogging organisations. Top tips for off-page SEO n Look to earn links with helpful and insightful content that people will want to write about and share n o not assume people will just find you – D promote your content to encourage links n Always strive for quality inbound links – 1 high quality link is worth more than 100 low quality links source: Socialmedia B2B n Actively seek link building through guest articles and collaboration with relevant websites 11
  12. 12. Broadening your reach – social 3. 3 Larger, slower-moving or more traditional organisations have been reluctant within many B2B markets to embrace social media. Common reactions to using have included: ‘it doesn’t deliver ROI’, ‘our audiences don’t use it’ or ‘we don’t have the resources available right now to manage it’. While these may have been true in the past, the facts of the matter, available on a multitude of widely-distributed graphs and charts, suggest we can no longer ignore the impact of social media, regardless of industry or audience. In addition to lead acquisition, social media is replacing PR, traditional forms of earned media, in enhancing brand image, perceived reliability and thought-leadership. 94% of business buyers state C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image with 77% saying they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media. Even 4/5 employees trust your company more if the CEO uses social media to communicate to them! Amplifying your message Social provides a free channel and a platform to distribute your messages and content, expand your reach beyond existing contacts, and enables customers to become third-party advocates and objective, external brand ambassadors. If someone shares something about you, you reach new audiences with earned credibility. Just like word-of-mouth being the strongest form for endorsement offline, online it is word of the Web. Identifying and nurturing prospects In complex B2B markets, it’s neither fair nor realistic to think that engaging an audience via social media will immediately lead to a flood of sales. The decision process will involve multiple stakeholders, and will take place over an extended period of time. In fact, only 27% of B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated. source: MarketingSherpa The key is providing something people want to share; a fantastic experience, timely and downtime-saving support, a great product or a guide. Once again, content is seen as a driver. However great your product, without content you’re an empty vessel, unlikely to engage customers and do your sales potential justice. Only 4% of B2B budget is spent on social media, yet 65% of companies have acquired a lead through LinkedIn, and almost half via Twitter. Social media provides a flexible, cost-effective, trustgenerating channel to reach new audiences, enhance relationships with customers and enrich brand personalities. When viewed like this, who wouldn’t want a piece of it? Customers have better visibility of you, and you have the ability to nurture prospects through the buyer cycle. Marketing now has the tools in place to demonstrate tangible ROI with social channels, not just click-and-follow metrics. Prospects acquired, customers acquired and increased loyalty – all and so much more is down to the intelligent, creative use of social. source: B2B barometer and Econsultancy Share 12
  13. 13. Broadening your reach – social 3. You may also enjoy reading: 3 10 Reasons why B2B cannot ignore mobile Download Search and social Let’s play ‘Devil’s Advocate’ and say that your audience isn’t socially engaged right now. Broad adoption of smartphones (usually company phones) are blurring the lines of work and personal space. Download Mobile and Generation Y As web sophistication increases, social is seen to play an ever-rising role in search. 64% of marketers now see only strong content (82%) more important to search rankings than social media. B2B Social Media Communities source: BtoBmagazine The launch of Google+ with personalised results, and Facebook search graph only act to demonstrate the converging mutual relationship between search and social. Now consider the impact as Generation Y enters the workplace and progresses to more senior roles with decision-making responsibilities, and the native digital world begins to become reality. If social isn’t seen as being important now, by the time it is, it will probably be too late to adapt business culture and performance. 82% of CEOs already acknowledge smartphones as being the primary device for business searches. Yet already, 9 out of every 10 internet uses on mobile is a social channel. source: Forbes Top tips for on-page SEO n Focus on channels your audience are on. Do not think you need to be active everywhere n ave a long term vision and strategy, H and work towards it n Remember social media is about being social and building relationships – it is about your customers and audience, not you source: Microsoft Share n Listen to your audience, offer value and help where possible n Track levels of engagement and interaction with your audience – use this insight to enhance activity moving forward 13
  14. 14. Your inbound toolkit 3. 4 While search and social form the foundation of inbound activity, the modern marketer has many other tools at their disposal. Widening the top of the funnel can be achieved through many channels, activities and tactics, not just SEO and social media. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Commonly known as pay-per-click (PPC) or paid search marketing (SEM). Search terms are targeted by your keywords where you bid against other matching results. Best practice is to supplement organic traffic and visibility in search results. Display Ads Ads are displayed across display networks. Bidding on placements can be either cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC). Display ads can be static images, text, animated flash, video, expandable or even using dynamic content. Contextual advertising A combination of display networks with keyword targeting, making ads appear on pages matching a defined criteria and next to highly related content. Bidding and formats are the same as display ads. Effective in enhancing visibility and traffic from highly related websites. Share Remarketing Sponsorship Allows ads to be displayed across networks to previous website visitors based on page tags. PPC format. Highly effective to nurture buyers through the buying cycle, or drive repeat purchase. Strong at improving brand visibility to previous attracted audiences. Just like offline, sponsorship still has a vital role in shaping a brand, driving awareness and leads. In online environments sponsoring a website, report or virtual event all drive recognition, access to a broader audience and opportunities for lead generation. Newsletter sponsorship can also drive traffic and leads. Social marketing (advertising) In addition to driving organic and community traffic through social media, targeted advertising can supplement activity. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all have PPC models. Very strong targeting capabilities based upon; geo, demo, job, groups, interests, networks and friends. More stronglydeveloped social communities can enhance targeting and effectiveness. Slideshare Banner advertising Inbound activity should also utilise offline activity; trade shows, events, workshops, and exhibitions. While these may also form part of nurturing and be used within outbound communications, they also provide data capture opportunities to identify new prospects and feed the funnel. Similar to traditional journal advertising in paying for placement, but in an online environment. Can be either CPM or CPC. Good for raising brand awareness. Targeting occurs only in the booking of the website, domain or resource to place the ad. Slideshare drives three times more B2B traffic than any other social media site. Although it is effectively a form of content, it provides a platform to be found across organic search, social media and within Slideshare. Data capture is also possible within Slideshare making this highly effective at acquiring new prospects. 14
  15. 15. Unknown to known 3. 5 Long buyer cycles, multiple decision makers and complex channels – it’s common for B2B purchases to be complicated. Stimulating organic or social traffic may only have limited impact if these visitors remain unknown to you, especially with pressure to justify marketing spend and demonstrate ROI. Even a ten-fold rise in web traffic may not convince the board of success unless sales or customer retention dramatically increase. If someone isn’t ready to purchase but has shown interest in your company or service, you need to know who they are in order to help nurture them towards a sale. (Nurturing is covered in greater detail in chapter 4.) One thing is clear, the prospect who remains unknown to you is neither useful nor productive. Share Mutual benefit An exchange of information which offers mutual benefit is the simplest way of finding out who they are. The primary currency you have to exchange for their contact information is content; eBooks, webinars, guides, demos, reports and tools are just a few examples. The level of content should also reflect the level of customer data required. For a detailed report you may want full information, but for a simple online tool it may just be a social @handle. But without something of value to your audience, engaging and converting a visitor to known is rarely possible (content is discussed in more length in chapter 5). Top tips for conversion n evelop content that is valuable and D of benefit to your audience n lways consider what content is worth and A where your visitor will be in their buying journey when asking them to fill in a form n ptimise conversion of cost per O acquisition (CPA) n se tools to A/B and multivariate test and U optimise landing pages (for instance Google Analytics Content Experiments) 15
  16. 16. What basket? 3. 6 In the digital age, we’re blessed with analytical and reporting capabilities that previous eras could only have dreamt of. In essence, we can determine ‘which 50% of advertising spend is wasted’ and allocate that to the most effective channels. We can also monitor, adjust and refine activity in real-time to improve marketing performance and get more from our resources. Why? Although insight from results is only possible after activity, you should outline from the beginning what data you want to capture, and why. Look to use big data to improve effectiveness and improve value. Defined metrics should deliver insight that drive actions and KPIs should be aligned to business objectives. Share You may also enjoy reading: Demand Generation metrics C-level care about Download Where? Optimising conversions of unknown to known is one thing, but in order to drive value, optimisation of resources across tactics and channels should occur. Focus should be diverted to activities and channels that are most effective and provide the best return-on-investment (ROI). Analytics into the most engaging content, formats, times and frequency give the ability to get more from the time and money invested. Revenue Performance Management Whilst CPA is an important lead measure to optimise, it does not always reflect ROI or sales. The lowest CPA does not necessarily mean highest ROI, or even any revenue at all. The modern marketer strives for revenue and efficiency. They need end-to-end visibility of the funnel, revenue and conversions. Funnel conversion rates should be optimised, from prospect acquisition, to marketing qualified lead (MQL), to salesaccepted lead (SAL) and finally to sale. Activity should be focused where it ultimately delivers more revenue, at a lower cost. Welcome to Revenue Performance Management (RPM). Top tips for optimisation n onitor and report on end-to-end M conversions and costs per channel n rill down into each channel to identify D areas for improvement or key areas that are performing strongly n Set a benchmark volume and conversion level for each stage of the buyer journey – aim to improve every stage, month-on-month n lose the feedback loop with sales – C seek to better understand the quality of each lead and key feedback on customers to improve future messaging n not be afraid to experiment and trial Do new tactics and channels in order to better understand opportunity 16
  17. 17. Convert opportunities to sales 4 You’ve acquired prospects from inbound activity, or have an existing pot of audience contact data, but now what? Email exhaustion and inbox overload have challenged the effectiveness of email broadcasts. As marketers, we need to be smart to segment, increase relevant and drive engagement on communications. We need to nurture. Share Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with qualified prospects based on the insight you pick up from their digital body language, how they’re moving through their customer journey towards a buying decision. It takes account of the fact that buyers propel themselves through this journey, pulling in relevant information when they need it. They have been shown to engage with sales reps far later in the buying cycle than before, but when they do commit to conversation, they’re far more likely to convert to purchase. 17
  18. 18. Low hanging fruit 4. You may also enjoy reading: 1 From the perspective of cost-effectiveness and effortsaving, it makes sense to harvest your most engaged prospects first. These will be those prospects who can be seen by your analytics to have done much of the legwork themselves. A company’s existing database is often overlooked for one reason or another, surprising when you consider the value inherent in it and the current pressures on marketing budgets generally. Nurturing is the process of providing helpful, relevant information via emails, blogs, whitepapers, webinars and case studies amongst others. It helps to retain interest in your offering and fill in information gaps. Ultimately, it’s the cost-effective way to ensure that no revenue opportunity is missed. Top 10 Tips for Successful Marketing Automation Download A proportion of consumer purchases carry a degree of whim, personal preferences, peer pressure, or lifestyle choice. B2B buying is different in lots of respects. There are more stakeholders, and more at stake, with the decision-maker answerable to senior management, and effectively putting their job on the line. There will be a fixed budget, making the need to quantify the purchase that much more important. And the business need for the purchase, to operate more efficiently, productively or cost-effectively, means that making the right decision is vital. They’ve searched the market, you included. They’ve looked into specifics, product details or sector-specific whitepapers. They’ve registered for webinars, perhaps attended trade events to get a more three-dimensional look at your products and talk to your people. When their digital body language and lead scoring profiles tell you, engage your telemarketing resources and sales teams, ensuring they have access to the same information on the prospect that you do, and that they can use this information to help convert to sale. The flip-side of all of this is that when you see prospects continuing to explore your website or open emails, you can work on the assumption that lead nurturing will be constructive. 50% of qualified leads are not ready to purchase immediately. source: Gleanster Share 18
  19. 19. Ban ‘batch‘n’ blast’ 4. 2 As the ability to read prospects’ digital body language has improved, so has the need to ‘batch‘n’blast’ moved away from the centre of the email marketing strategy. This technique’s random approach is another example of the mistaken notion that frequency beats relevancy, and that if you shout loud enough and long enough, you’ll bully your customers into buying. Customers aren’t like that anymore, if they ever were. As we said already, they buy when they are ready to buy. We need to be present when they are, or actively accelerate the process in making them ready to buy. Tools are available that help marketers to closely measure the online activities of customers and prospects, and predict which contacts will view which product propositions and offers most favourably, increasing deliverability and open rates, and reducing wastage through perceived spamming and unsubscribes.‘Batch‘n’Blast’ is a suitably random term for any number of inappropriate and unnecessary techniques which are, to an extent, a hangover from the technology archive. In its early days, the novelty factor of email ensured exciting and successful open rates and responses. Today, misguided email activity is aggravating at best, illegal at worst. It’s handy to remember what lead nurturing isn’t, as much as what it is: Share You may also enjoy reading: Yes it is big and it is clever Download n eneric emails sent randomly to your prospect database G isn’t lead nurturing n Producing an eNewsletter full of company and product information, and sending to same, isn’t lead nurturing n iving telesales a list of contacts and telling them to work G their way through it isn’t lead nurturing Any activity you carry out without reference to prospect data that’s easily accessible will be lead liquidising, not lead nurturing. Three key factors distinguish useful lead nurturing activity from random acts of miscommunication: Segmentation You can only provide your prospects with information appropriate to their needs if you’ve established who they are and what those needs might be. Segmentation by title, role, industry or stage in the buying cycle are the vital first steps in customising your communications for the recipient and establishing engagement. B2B European email legislation made easy Top 5 success factors of an Eloqua campaign Download Download Customer is king Just as relevant today as always. Use personalisation whenever possible. Use insight relevant to the customer’s industry sector and organisational role, obvious but not always used in practice. Progressive profiling This helps you to build an invaluable picture of your prospect by gathering useful information every time you interact. Over time, you give yourself more opportunities to furnish prospects with the right information at the right time for them. Dynamic content can include anything from demographics to products already purchased to behaviours of related contacts. Whatever it is, it’ll increase your prospects’ propensity to buy. 19
  20. 20. The customer journey, fuelled by marketing automation 4. 3 A state-of-the-art marketing automation platform covers end-to-end delivery of targeted messaging once a prospect becomes known, with appropriate communications automatically sent to the right audience at the right time. From unknown to first touchpoint, through to nurturing and sale, then cross- and up-sell communications, there are materials and messages you can provide to nurture your prospect relationships. Historically, marketing has looked after the first stages of this process, followed by sales, and finally customer services. Today, with prospects navigating their own way through the buyer journey before engaging directly, marketing must adopt more of the responsibility in the process. Likewise, increased customer promiscuity has resulted in greater emphasis to retain customers. Developments in CRM capabilities and integration with marketing platforms have enabled this to be more streamline. They have also effectively allowed for timely delivery of cross- and up-sell messages. Marketing automation enables you to replicate customised, one-to-one communications on a scale not possible before. Technology, insight and a certain amount of intuition work together to deliver relevant, cost-effective communications that acknowledge the customer journey and maximise your opportunities to influence prospects on their terms. Share Prospect Prospect Engagement Engagement Customer Customer Engagement Engagement Attract / Engage Attract / Engage Profile / Win Profile / Win Cross-Sell//Up-sell Cross-sell Upsell Renew Refresh Renew // Refresh Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. source: Forrester Research 20
  21. 21. Repeat sales 4. 4 Your existing customers. They’ve bought into your product or service, your company and your approach. In the online world where trust is irreplaceable, you’ve earned their trust. The 80–20 rule consistently shows that it’s more cost-effective to drive sales through existing business than to sell to a new audience. And yet so often companies fail to capitalise on their greatest supporters, the existing customer base. Treat your customer like a new prospect, albeit a new customer you know some really useful things about. Use the intelligence gleaned from your original lead nurturing exercise. Whether cross-selling or inviting customers to trade up to a higher level of product or service, accessing and using relevant information is easier when you know your prospect. Three areas to concentrate your mind and your efforts on include: Share Make sure they receive a warm welcome You and your new customer have been through a process together. By definition, each know more than before about the other. Thank your customer for their business and make it easy for them to access support when they need it. Do whatever it takes to ensure that the delivery process is watertight, that the order they have made is the order that they receive, that if it has moving parts, they all move as they should and do what you said they would. Co-ordinate a process that introduces your customer to the relevant areas of your business that they might need, including contact details should they be thinking of complementary purchases, now or in the future. Make them feel special Where possible, provide information, or a customer community zone on your website, maybe create customeronly incentives for events, or exclusive customer-only discounts. You could send them an eNewsletter, custom(er)ised to accommodate what you know about them. Find out how they experienced your company, an opportunity not only to maintain and develop your relationship with them, but also, potentially, to unearth case study material that can feed into your lead nurturing activities elsewhere. 21
  22. 22. Repeat sales 4. 4 Apply what you learn on an ongoing basis Communication isn’t rocket science when you consider how you interact with real people in the real world. B2B customers have as many life issues as regular consumers because they are regular consumers. They’re just operating in a different space with different priorities. Common sense, supported by appropriate lead nurturing techniques help you to keep your customer relationships moving freely and beneficially for both parties. Share Top tips for growing customer value n Monitor purchase behaviour and look for opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell n rack digital body language for insight to see what T interests them and personalise communications based upon their interests n Don’t just focus on selling, seek to build a deeper meaningful relationship and offer value. If you have content you know will be useful or of interest to them, communicate it – at worst it provides a further opportunity for conversation n e personal, do not think all communications need B to be marketing messages – you can automate them from individuals with existing relationships n nable sales, arm account managers and business E development professionals with as much insight on the customer as possible to help them understand needs and opportunities 22
  23. 23. Automate messaging 4. 5 The most successful demand generation and lead management programmes involve messaging that is individually customised for prospects at specific points in their customer journey. Marketing automation software platforms enable you to personalise your messaging, increase the efficiency of your processes and maximise conversion to sales and marketing return-on-investment. Where historically, outbound meant a scattergun ‘batch‘n’blast’ approach, today you can provide the precise information buyers need, meeting them at the most appropriate point in their purchase cycle. The change is in mindset, moving to a robust, long-term programme concentrating on filling the sales funnel rather than a shortterm, tactical approach which costs more and converts less. The sceptical might point to marketing automation and accuse it of dehumanising the seller-buyer relationship. And of course there’s an element of standardisation within the messaging matrices. But the fact remains that marketing automation enables you to streamline your marketing, to increase the chances of turning an interested individual into a committed, sales-ready prospect. Share The more processes that can be automated, the more cost-effective the exercise as a whole. Low-touch or zero-touch programmes cut costs dramatically, and are possible when lead scoring, nurture marketing and data management are automated. This approach is also self-propelling to a certain extent. The more you closely target individuals, the more likely they are to respond favourably, so the more information you get about them and their business needs, which leads to closer targeting. When you understand the capabilities of the platforms available, and combine them with the experience, insight and intuition of a good marketing team, you’ll start to question why you’d do it any other way. Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. Top tips for low-touch marketing n Clearly signpost choices on digital communications to help build up digital body language and actionable data n Understand your buyer journey and what triggers levels of interest, engagement and intent n not think on a campaign basis, focus on Do programmes that are discrete and can be constantly active and running in the background, triggered only when the required behaviour is met n not force messages, instead suggest related Do information based upon digital body-language n Use dynamic content to further improve relevance to your audience source: Jupiter Research 23
  24. 24. Content Marketing 5 Compelling content is at the core of every successful modern marketing organisation, the fuel for your demand generation engine. We have established how important it is to align messaging to the modern business buyer and to where they are in their customer journey. Content is no different. Relevant, valuable content will mirror the needs of a specific stage within the customer journey, meeting a specific requirement and accelerating your programmes. Key to good content generation and usage is acceptance of the shift in power we’ve referred to before. With the prospective buyer undertaking up to 67% of their journey through the buying cycle before resorting to conversations with providers to glean information, begrudging acceptance of the new order isn’t enough. Many marketers have heard of marketing automation, but the percentages of those actually using it on a day-to-day basis doesn’t look great. With the right content coming from the right areas in your business, you can look forward to using technology to connect, inform and direct your prospects in their search for the solution to a business problem. Share You may also enjoy reading: Content and Inbound Marketing infographic 95% Download of B2B buyers viewed multiple pieces of content from the vendor they ultimately selected. source: DemandGen Reports 24
  25. 25. Good storytelling 5. You may also enjoy reading: 1 Download From childhood, stories are where we do our learning (a big clue here: as children, we’re not ‘consumers’ on one hand, and ‘business buyers’ on the other. Think about it). Along with our direct life experience, stories help us to formulate our way of being in the world. How to balance good against bad, right against wrong, well told stories engage us and teach us a little more about others and ourselves. Timely, relevant, well-crafted content, though, is going to make them stop to consider what you’re saying. They’re seeking answers to their business problem. Great content not only makes an impression on the reader, it gets passed around, shared, enhancing your reputation and your search ratings, another example of how doing one thing well in marketing automation can significantly support overall improvements in results. From a demand generation perspective, good storytelling is central to success, holding your audience, giving them, over time, the information they’re looking for, establishing yourself and your business as thought leaders, building brand equity. And from a marketing perspective, it’s more than just good copywriting. There’s a degree of altruism in writing content for an inbound strategy, a willingness to connect at a level that’s not necessarily 100% focused on the sale 100% of the time, a need to be purposive but not pushy. The Web is a noisy place to work, where the louder you shout, the more distorted and unwelcome your messages, products and services. Things have changed, and arrogant, self-satisfied sales techniques are old currency. Yes, people looking to buy are picky and quick to dismiss these days, because they can afford to be. It’s their prerogative. They’re the ones spending the money, after all. Share Content Marketing 101 eBook Guide Great content recognises the customer journey and works with it to fill in knowledge gaps, encouraging the prospect down the path to purchase rather than coercing them. Good storytelling is, by definition, interesting and involving. Good content interests because it prompts identification in the reader – ‘this rings a bell, this sounds like it could be of use to me right now’. It involves because it takes the reader further down their path of enquiry than they were before – ‘yep, I need to find out a bit more about this’. 6 To nurture a prospect from lead to sale takes approximately 6 or more marketing touches. source: Forrester Research 25
  26. 26. Your content cupboard and how to stock it 5. 2 Your content cupboard is where you keep your food for thought. It’s the place you’ll find exactly what you require to meet your prospects’ needs based on where they are in their buyer journey. It’s always wise to keep an eye on the stock levels in your content cupboard. By definition, the harder you work at the overall strategy, the better supplied you will be with relevant, useful content. And the further you travel, the better you will become at matching prospects’ information needs with existing content assets, and developing material that can be personalised to the individual level and aimed precisely where that individual is in the cycle. If you stick fairly close to the rules, contribute to online communities, listen, properly listen to your prospects and what business issues they need to overcome, educate and inform rather than bully, then your content will generate organically and exponentially. In its Sunday-best, content will be a compelling combination of facts that differentiate the subject matter, and a conversational, trustworthy style that engages and informs in equal measure. Share You may also enjoy reading: Thought Leadership is Overrated Download B2B products and services are by nature complex, as are the channels used to communicate their benefits, not forgetting the stakeholders involvement in the purchase process. Given these three facts, it makes sense to keep it simple. Before beginning a piece of content, have it clear in your mind what it is you need to communicate, and to whom. Make a note of the key points you want to cover, and what supporting elements you want to include. Marketing automation enables you to paint a clear picture of your prospect in your mind. Think about the way they’re viewing their world. What business issues do they face? Historically, how have you helped to solve problems for similar prospects? How would your targets’ working lives be different if they could find a solution to these issues that met all their needs? Then think about how to present your case. Love them or hate them, lists, cheatsheets and infographics are useful allies, enabling you to cover a number of points at once in an easily digested form. A blog article will be more likely to focus on a day-to-day business problem, an e-newsletter gives you the scope to mix product information with customer stories and industry issues. Is customer engagement really enough? Download What Content Marketing can learn from everyday conversation Download Consider who else could contribute to the process. Members of different teams might offer solutions to a customer problem from a different angle. Product managers will make major contributions where technical input is needed, and a view from the top could lend credibility to your offering. Whether writing your own content or critiquing colleagues’ work, look for a beginning that entices, entertains, amuses, shocks. From this should follow substance, a presentation of your story that leaves the reader more informed than before, and a call-to-action that’s easy to carry out. This needs thought – it’s where you’re beginning to barter with your prospect, more information for more information and a step further taken towards a sale. Throughout, look to educate, demonstrate expertise and back up your story with case studies and rock-solid product benefits that give readers a reason to stay with you and discover a little more about how to solve their problem. 26
  27. 27. Developing a content plan 5. You may also enjoy reading: 3 Great content has become the key currency exchange system between buyer and seller. Customers are prepared to barter for relevant content that’s useful and can help them to achieve their business goals. Four categories of content 10 Steps to Content Marketing success Download The trade-off is information they’re happy to divulge about those goals and about their business issues. It’s more than likely that, by this stage, they’ll know a certain amount about your product and/or service offerings, and they’ll have a broad idea of how you might be able to help. Your content plan enables you to cover the possible scenarios efficiently and cost-effectively. If they say ‘x’, you offer ‘y’. And on and on. Here, marketing automation is your best friend, giving you the flexibility to respond accordingly whatever the situation. – Broadly speaking, content falls under four categories: Sticky messages and tools Trigger, drip-based messaging Community content Broadcast content Usually the call to action from broadcast content (despite the evidence, don’t dismiss ‘conventional’ media – it costs less these days), sticky messages provide the initial glue that begins to engage the respondent. Its aim is to convert anonymous readers into known visitors, swapping useful information about the prospect with useful information for the prospect. A slightly more technical approach, this uses marketing automation to push responses out to prospects based on buying behaviour, interaction with sales and customer support, product teams, digital body language, interaction with sticky content, anything you know at this point in time. The beauty of these messages is that they can be 100% unique to the prospect, reflecting what they’ve done or downloaded, what they’ve expressed an interest in, or, broadly speaking, which buyer group they might belong to looking at demographics and geographics. This is about contributing to the wider business community. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube – all offer the chance for you to comment, make an observation, answer a question, make connections, have your two-penn’orth. Get out there, get busy and get a name for yourself and your business. What you give, you’ll get back in time. As we’ve said, broadcast content might appear to be yesterday’s news(paper), but that’s exactly why it’s worth serious consideration. A carefully targeted 48-sheet, a tactical press ad in response to a current news story, an ambient opportunity, all have their place – and stand out all the more – when the majority are developing their online strategies. Share 27
  28. 28. Mobile and apps 5. 4 Upwardly mobile business-to-business sales If we invested our time in keeping up with the speed of technological change, we’d never get any real work done. Safe to say that if you think you’re up-to-speed with the opportunities in B2B marketing as a whole, and mobile marketing in particular. More adaptable, portable, functionality-rich and practical, smartphone and tablet sales outstrip those of personal computers by any measure you care to suggest. In the business community, smartphones and tablets enable a whole lot more to be done with a whole lot less. Sales presentations, webinars, product videos, animated iPDFs, the list goes on. The crossover from the workplace to the home space to the train or the plane is easier than ever (the next innovation notwithstanding). Mobile usage of small, multi-talented electronics will only evolve further, as will the apps and the media consumption they facilitate. Share Apps and online tools Whatever you need to get done in the name of business, it seems, there’s an app that can help you do it smarter, slicker, quicker and more cost-effectively. You need support with administration? Apps are available that organise your diary across your applications. Access and adapt your documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in real-time, wherever you are. There are apps to help you organise your task lists and prompt you with reminders. Use location-based apps to pinpoint where your customers are (and to remind you of where you are, when you’re not quite sure). Meeting your needs in the mobile space, and where apps are concerned, depends to a great extent on your being able to distil exactly what it is you need to be doing. Then get out into the market and do a bit of research. Then (the clever bit) check what you’re doing, and make a few notes. Go through the process that has brought you to where you are, and bingo, you’re in the mindset of the business buyer you’re selling to. Now that’s a really interesting, educative place to be. Top tips for low-touch marketing n Whenever producing content, understand the likeliness of it being consumed on mobile n Use mobile and social media to drive buzz, interaction and word-of-web activity around physical events to amplify the impact n Support sales with content that is mobile and tablet friendly helping them to break-up routine presentations and promote interaction Mobile is set to trump laptops and desktops as the ‘first screen device’ for all internet access between 2013 and 2015. 28
  29. 29. Social and community 5. 5 Social media, a whole new world of connections and opportunities. In a B2B context, social gives you the ability to tap into communities of employees, partners, customers and prospects, industry bodies, every imaginable group with a stakeholder interest in buying or selling what it is you have on offer. It gives organisations the previously unimagined access to a process of mass collaboration to help achieve their most important business goals, address their biggest challenges and improve the systems, services and tools they use to create and maintain competitive advantage. Viewed as a long-term strategic investment, social media represents one of the most potent tools in B2B marketing. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook et alia can be used to make acquisition more cost-effective, in creative ways to make purchase more desirable, or just plain good sense. With the advancements in telecommunications social media can now be accessed from almost any device with an internet connection, including computers, laptops, netbooks, mobile phones and tablets. Share You may also enjoy reading: Pulling together: Centralising your marketing Download And with 90% of the world’s data created in the past two years, the challenge for B2B marketers is to take part, or take apart (in the nicest possible way) competitors slower to act on the opportunities available. In terms of what, there are other documents available that can give you a far better insight into the benefits of, say, Twitter, or Instagram than we can here. And you will know which channels your customers are using, again better than us. All we would say is that it pays to be open to the possibilities, creative in the use of them, and customer-focused in absolutely everything you do. After that, what happens, happens. 75% of buyers use social media in their buying process. Top tips for low-touch marketing n personal, warm and approachable – Be social media provides an environment to build relationships n is not just about you, it is about your audience It n helpful, responsive and transparent to Be questions, needs and issues n eek active communities (not just mainstream S social media) to participate in discussion n departments can benefit from being All social, not just marketing: HR for recruitment, technical teams for RD and promoting thought leadership, Sales for prospecting and profiling customer source: Inside View 29
  30. 30. Resource Centre You may also enjoy reading: Download Inbound Marketing 101 Guide Buyer Journey Cheatsheet Download Download State of Demand Generation Infographic Download About Ledger Bennett DGA Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883 Email: Milton Keynes: Ledger Bennett DGA Tungsten House, Warren Road Little Horwood, Milton Keynes MK17 0NR London: Share Ledger Bennett DGA 1st Floor Centric House 390-391 Strand, London WC2R 0LT We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses sales and marketing know-how to help customers increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Marketing Automation strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation programmes drive our customers’ business performance, helping them to: n Generate more opportunity n Convert that opportunity into sales n Retain customers and grow their value Using more measurable and cost effective techniques than traditional full service marketing agencies we are able to maximise business revenue in the modern world where the internet has fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer.