Really b2b marketing survival guide 2013


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Really b2b marketing survival guide 2013

  2. 2. 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 AUTHOR Kenneth Connolly
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. SURVIVAL GUIDE # Oi, Marketing! What are you actually doing?! “80% of CEOs admit they are not very impressed with the work done by marketers” (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 bottom. 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.
  5. 5. SURVIVAL GUIDE # Time to get real and act in real-time 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 site. 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.
  6. 6. SURVIVAL GUIDE # Don’t speculate, integrate... 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 sales cycle.
  7. 7. 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 website. 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.
  8. 8. 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, overly technical. 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.
  9. 9. SURVIVAL GUIDE # Email... still a powerful marketing weapon 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 case. 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 generation campaigns. 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.
  10. 10. SURVIVAL GUIDE # Inbound quality, not automated quantity It’s Christmas morning and you’ve just opened that present you endlessly begged your parents for. 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 leads. 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.
  11. 11. 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 12 months. 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.
  12. 12. SURVIVAL GUIDE # A picture is worth way more than just 1,000 words 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 picture.
  13. 13. Content and context sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. 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 #
  14. 14. Direct mail - It’s baaaack! 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 prospects. 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 sale. SURVIVAL GUIDE #
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. LOOKING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH? If you’re interested in improving your lead generation processes, request a meeting. We’d love to discuss your objectives and how our range of B2B lead generation services can help support your business growth. © Really B2B, 1000 Lakeside, Western Road, North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hants, PO6 3EN