TAG | Lead Generation
Finally – the light is dawning….and the blog below puts an element of it perfectly!
You’ll be delighted to know that I am continuing my mission to get B2B Marketing the kudos it deserves – hence highlighting the below blog. I am finding (and I don’t want to court too much controversy here) but in the US, they seem to focus much more on B2B as a discipline than we do here.
I have seen an uplift in organisations focused on B2B which is very heartening – but we need a defining of standards, a code of best practice – a clear path to B2B excellence so those coming into the field have a standard against which to target themselves – and to ensure that B2B is not overshadowed by it’s perceived more glamourous cousin B2C.
To do B2B Marketing well you need to think over and above lead generation, and in addition to the sales and marketing synergy discussed in the above blog you need to ask yourself:
1. Can you talk in the way your customers talk?
2. Does the way you market match the way your customers buy?
3. Are you talking to the right audience?
4. Are you engaging your customers in your growth strategy?
I could go on..but you’ve probably heard enough.
If you know of good B2B examples – or sites – please comment and list them here.
What makes an effective cross channel campaign?
Integrated lead generation – sounds good? Practical tips below to help integrate digital into your campaigns, feel free to add your own!
1. Create a URL for your campaign, or use your standard one – and make sure you include it prominently in all your collateral (Ads, Emails, etc). The more memorable the URL the better (think short and sweet) – even if it’s a masked URL that goes to your standard site – you should see hit rates increase.
2. Find a term or keyword that relates to your campaign that can be optimised on Google. Include in your outreach (i.e. Google “IceBlueSky” – try this one to see what happens) to drive traffic to your site – this will also help your Google rankings
3. Include unique URL’s in campaign content so that you can track responses from each channel
4. Use your website as more than an information source – create a “learnings” element to your website to encourage people to visit. This needs to be relevant to your campaigns but can be highly effective when done well
5. Link your different channels with a series of activities – create a natural journey between channels and activities so that target contacts come into contact with all of them. Create a story and strengthen the emotional engagement.
6. Make sure your look and feel is consistent – sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often this is sacrificed for “looking cool and creative”! You can still create a strong and effective individual identity whilst retaining common look and feel.
7. Use channels that are appropriate – Facebook is typically NOT appropriate for B2B – LinkedIn and Twitter work well for B2B, but make sure you have a proper strategy in place – and adjust internal expectations accordingly in terms of return. There are plenty of tools around that can help you leverage these channels without risking sacrificing your brand’s reputation. Keep personal and business social media firmly segregated.
Well, this week has been a mixed bag! With the snow staying away, business has actually been able to proceed!
We also visited the TFM&A Exhibition (along with Confex) – with a view to looking at exciting developments in technology to support marketing.
What did I learn?
I now know there are more CRM and automated emailing systems than you can shake a stick at.
I also discovered that “Marketing Automation” is the new buzz phrase.
I also learnt that while a lot of companies talk about Marketing Automation, what they actually mean is “automation of one part of the process” such as email sending for example.
Marketing Automation in itself is in its infancy – which I suspect is why many are talking about it, but still working out how to do it. What concerns me is that the term itself will become diluted as organisations jump into the sector, but have offerings that don’t stack up.
It was also interesting to see the divide in these systems when it comes to B2C and B2B – while B2C platforms looked very robust, and talked about understanding B2B it was clear that the systems could not easily translate between the two. Not surprising in that the two disciplines require different approaches, processes and management – what is suprising is that the providers didn’t seem to want to specialise in one or the other.
Which brings me to my point (there is one) – ultimately, like any technology platform, unless the system is completely aligned to the goals of the user then it won’t do what’s needed.
In marketing, there is definitely a place for technology that enables the marketing process – but without the underlying expertise and process management, the success of campaigns managed through these technologies will be limited.
Take email platforms for instance – they have enabled a large increase in companies bringing email sending in-house (37% increase in 2009 according to the DMA), but this has been accompanied by a decline in the quality and effectiveness in email communications.
Imagine if you could bring TV-quality production in-house using a video camera and some fancy software – would the company be guaranteed to produce successful and good quality TV shows? Probably not. Some might, but most wouldn’t.
It’s the same with email – the DMA acknowledges this and found in its research that a large percentage of companies sending emails from their internally managed systems are ambivalent about the technology (which can impact how your reader sees the email in their email client), and worse, aren’t processing unsubscribes, and hard and soft bounces correctly.
I don’t want to pick on email, but it highlights that we probably need to wait to see a solid marketing automation platform that covers all the bases, and that we shouldn’t rely on the technology to ensure we do the right processes, but on our own disciplines – as technology sometimes lets us do things we shouldn’t!