Change Is Coming To B2B Marketing. Are You Ready?

Change in B2B MarketingImagine for a moment that you could identify precisely the effectiveness of your marketing activities. You are able to tell exactly how well you have delivered on business results in the form of revenue, customer retention or higher brand equity.

Now imagine that the results of that data showed you that 70, 80 or even 90% of your marketing activity produced no measurable impact on those business results!

With the rise of social activity among our customers and the increase in importance of these and other inbound marketing interactions on buying behavior, we are fast approaching the day when outbound marketing can no longer be a majority of the marketing mix…

Consider these “Mind-Blowing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know” (from Hubspot)

  1. 78% of Internet users conduct online product research.
  2. Web-based email usage has dropped 59% among 12-17 year olds in the past year.
  3. 200 Million Americans are registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
  4. 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted-in to.
  5. 84% of 25-34 year-olds have left a favorite website because of ads.
  6. 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their blog.
  7. 41% of B2B companies and 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.
  8. Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic.
  9. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.

Change isn’t coming to B2B Marketing. It’s already well established…

What’s a marketer to do?

The bottom line is that the vast majority of your potential customers are NOT responding to your outbound marketing efforts. They are not waiting for your next brilliant email. And they are not dying for your next convincing phone call.

In other words: They…Find…You!

And once you come to this realization, you can drive change within your organization and re-direct your resources to creating an amazing inbound marketing experience. Here’s how:

1. Seek first to understand your customers. Who are they? What problems do they face? What do they want? What do they need? Conduct research, perform surveys, or just ask them. Conduct lots of keyword research to determine the words they use.

2. Create content that helps them. That’s right, help them by focusing on their needs and amazing things can happen. Don’t make the biggest marketing mistake by focusing on your company, your products and the words you think they use. And create your content for real people, with real problems based on the journey they take.

3. Make all your great content widely available on an easy to use website. Start a company blog if you haven’t already. Use compelling offers to drive action.

Other leadership perspectives on how to drive change in B2B Marketing:

“Throw away the rule book” says Dana Anderson, Kraft Foods’ Senior Vice President of Marketing, Strategy, and Communications. Experiment, learn, try, fall, get up, discover, have fun, be puzzled, find your way out again, thrive, and be humbled by the whole, miraculous vantage point

Lisa Arthur, CMO at Aprimo is leading a marketing revolution by challenging CMOs to take a leadership role as “change agents.” She cites the results of a recent survey that CMOs are optimistic about the economy, their company growth and their hiring plans, however, they still don’t believe their social media activities are well integrated with their companies’ overall marketing strategies.

Mike Gospe, is asking Marketing leaders to take “The Marketing High Ground” by becoming customer advocates for our entire organization: “World-class marketers provide value to the organization not by dictating action, but by reminding everyone…of the customer, their goals, and their pain points.

Andrew Hunt from The Inbound Sales Network says: “The Internet has fundamentally transformed the way people discover, share, connect and shop. It’s time for marketers to transform the way they connect and communicate with their customers—and potential customers—as well. The real question becomes this:  are you going to embrace this change and transform costly, low-yielding marketing programs into finely-tuned lead generation machines?

Tell me in the comments below: What change do you see happening in B2B Marketing and what are your organizations doing about it?

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Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

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