My grandmother used to tell me if I don’t have something smart to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s a lesson many “modern” digital marketers need to learn. Sure content is king, but crappy content is more like the court jester than royalty.
Unless your prospect has a need to solve a problem they are not going to buy a product. In consumer marketing customers sometimes buy things spontaneously without thinking through what their actual need is, but that is not the case in the Business-to-Business (B2B) world. In the B2B world, no initiative gets started without first feeling the pain of the problem.
Every time I sit down with sales executives from Fortune 500 companies to small startups, they all start with the same story: just how “amazing” they are. They will go on for hours and hours if you let them….and they will describe ad nauseum just how their company is amazing and why you should think they are amazing too. The problem is nobody is listening to, let alone believing, that BS. This is why so many sales and marketing strategies fail before they even start. They lead with how great their company is instead of the key problem they can help their prospects solve and how they have helped their current customers achieve this. They need to leave their ego at the door and start becoming more customer-focused.
While it may sound like an old country song from the movie Urban Cowboy, many companies waste too much time and energy looking for business-to-business leads in all the wrong places. With so many different potential lead generation tactics, many companies water down each initiative in order to do them all, instead of focusing on doing one really well. This results in too many companies looking for leads in all the wrong places.
Your prospects don’t wake up in the morning and say "Hey I am going to lie to this person today". They don’t intentionally set out to deceive you. But unfortunately, that seems to be the nature of the game. But I have found that actions speak louder than words. So how well are you reading your customers' actions? Thanks to tools like marketing automation, we can now see your prospects' digital behaviors on your website.
This must be the question I am asked most by many of my new clients. And the simple answer is: “When your prospects are ready to read it” Sounds simple, but actually very difficult to achieve. There are stats all over the internet telling you the different figures and metrics about “open rates” and “click through rates”, but those stats do not reflect sending targeted emails at the correct time, to the correct person. How do you achieve this? Read on….
Let’s stop the insanity that is happening in companies everywhere. Branding is NOT Demand Generation. Yes, branding does wonders to help your company image and sure, it makes everyone feel all nice and warm inside, but it is not the same thing as demand generation. Yes, demand generation does contribute to your companies brand and a good brand can help your demand generation campaigns, but they are not the same thing.
When you ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up they may respond with “Doctor”, “Fireman”, “Pro Athlete”….you never hear them say, “I want to be a salesman.” Let’s face it, sales is not an easy profession. If it was, there would be more people doing it and those that do it would be getting paid far less. However, there are ways that you can make sales easier. One of the best ways is through lead nurturing.
It’s a simple statement, but it’s one so that many companies seem to forget when developing their demand generation programs. You see, instead of first getting a clear understanding of their buyers, companies are more concerned about what they want to sell. The problem is, you need to clearly understand the who before you can even start to consider the what. The who in this case is your buyer.
There is no question that in the digital world content is king. Content is an essential part of any marketing strategy. According to a Marketing Profs/Content Marketing Institute survey, 68 percent of marketers said they used content for brand awareness, 68 percent used content for customer acquisition and 66 percent used content for lead generation. However, the stat that really catches our attention is that only 39% of marketers are using content marketing for lead management and nurturing. That means that 61% of those companies are not leveraging content marketing to its fullest potential.
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