Are you tired of being badgered by sales people before you are ready to buy?
In some organizations, the primary role of marketing is simply to help sales make a deal.
How do you help them make a deal? You negotiate amazing offers like price reductions and special financing. You create flashy sales collateral. You book fancy events and cold call to get them appointments.
Now I’m NOT saying we should stop supporting sales or that we should stop helping them to close deals. And I’m not sure traditional marketing is dead, but it ain’t what it used to be. So here are some facts to help support a move to an Inbound Marketing strategy…
Recently the Corporate Executive Board’s Marketing Leadership Council released the results of a study they conducted among 1,900 B2B buyers. It found that on average customers are ready to speak to a sales person after they have completed 60% of the information gathering required for their purchasing process.
And before you say “not in my industry,” MLC states that there was very little variation across industries. They call 60 “the most important number in marketing” and they just might be right!
What does this mean for marketers? They suggest we invest in conversational channels like twitter and blogging and also look at customizing messages for various buyer “personas” like the ROI-minded, the risk-averse, the innovator and the buyer seeking a long-term relationship.
This is all music to my ears. I have been stating as often as I can that the customer is now fully in charge of the process. And I truly believe that putting customers first is the biggest challenges in marketing. But I really think this survey further highlights the need for an Inbound Marketing Strategy.
This recent post from written by MarketingSherpa‘s David Kirkpatrick covers Hubspot CEO (@bhalligan) Brian Halligan’s presentation “Killing It: How Inbound Marketing Can Help Your Company Crush the Competition.”
Brian’s main points:
- The traditional marketing playbook is dead
- (Inbound) Links are the new currency
- We need to stop creating “offers” and create insights for our buyers
- If we create insightful content and optimize it for SEO, then it will get shared…a lot
- Personalization will drive higher conversion in the middle of the funnel
- Hire people who are D.A.R.C. (Digital, Analytical, who understand how to achieve Reach, and create Content)
- Crush the competition with better business results for less money spent on marketing
So what are the major takeaways?
I would start hiring the right people who understand the digital world, can analyze keywords and can create web optimized content. Then I would stop spending all my money on traditional push tactics and create a content strategy to maximize the inbound marketing potential.
But when I talk to many marketers about these changes and the implications for a need to shift our budgets to inbound marketing and towards a more holistic content strategy, I have to say most of them look at me like I’m crazy!!! I think we have a long way to go…
What do you think?