Are old style B2B marketing methods giving you a headache? Do you feel a headache coming on at the mere thought of conducting yet another telemarketing campaign to generate sales leads? Are you exhausted from seeking creative ways to achieve better marketing results? Is your stress level on the rise as your company’s investments in traditional outbound B2B marketing yield steadily declining returns? Inbound Marketing is the perfect antidote to your outbound B2B marketing woes!
• Email blast messages that are unopened or intercepted by spam filters
• Telemarketing calls that are blocked or ignored based on caller ID screening
• Cold calling campaigns that deliver few viable leads
• Print advertisements in trade journals that are viewed by shrinking audiences
When traditional marketing tactics fall short of their goals, it is time to step back and reassess the fundamental B2B marketing strategy of your business.
Marketing tactics are the tools that enable a business to execute its marketing strategy. Without a clear and realistic marketing strategy, it is impossible to build a successful marketing campaign. Effective marketing tactics originate from a sound marketing strategy that fits within the context of your industry’s current business environment.
Escape the trap of an old-fashioned marketing mentality that says “Pay for a lead generation program this week to find leads for next week”. That type of short-term thinking may have worked for your business in the past, but it will no longer produce positive, long-term results in today’s B2B world. You must fully embrace modern marketing methodologies in order to succeed in modern times! Inbound Marketing is the modern remedy for restoring energy and vitality to your outdated B2B marketing program!
Massive email blasts are no longer an effective way to reach potential buyers. Even if your email messages manage to evade corporate firewalls and spam filters, today’s busy and savvy buyers tend to ignore random email from unknown sources. But email is unquestionably the most direct and efficient method of content delivery, so what can you do to get your email through to the right buyers? Inbound Marketing facilitates the process by optimizing your website to attract interested buyers and offer them opportunities and incentives to opt-in for email contact. By opting in, buyers grant permission for you to contact them, opening the door for lead nurturing via personalized email with highly relevant content.
The effectiveness of this approach has been substantiated in multiple studies. A prime example is ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey, which measured customer communication preferences for specific types of message content across a broad range of channels including email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, mobile apps, direct mail, telephone, and more. The survey found that 77% of customers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. The report concluded: “Email is the most-preferred channel for direct, one-to-one marketing communications with consumers.”
When was the last time you intentionally answered a phone call from an unknown caller or a known sales representative whom you suspect is just trying to drum up business? The truth is that no one wants to be interrupted by unwanted phone calls, and we all use Caller ID to avoid them. With Inbound Marketing, your sales team no longer has to chase and risk annoying potential buyers to qualify them over the phone. Instead, automated lead nurturing tools are used to educate prospects, earn their trust, and help them move forward in the buying process. Direct phone contact by a sales representative is then postponed until your leads are fully sales-qualified and ready to buy.
Once a staple of every company’s sales program, cold calls have been rendered obsolete by a combination of technology and buyer behavior. In the past, cold calls were used to assess or even create buyer needs and then propose vendor solutions. Now, buyers go online to research the solutions to their business problems, relying on information from vendor and industry websites as well as peer opinions obtained through social media.
Recognizing that buyers typically progress 57% of the way through the buying process before they are ready to talk with sales representatives, Inbound Marketing provides the information that buyers need to understand their problems, determine solutions, and define their purchase decision criteria. When sales teams become involved later in the buying process, they make calls to highly qualified leads who have demonstrated specific interest. There is no such thing as a cold call with Inbound Marketing!
Trade journals have always served as reliable channels for industry-targeted advertising. However, it is no secret that trade magazine subscriptions and overall readership are in decline as online access to cutting-edge information continues to improve. Blogs and social media have become the “go to” sources for up-to-date information on industry trends, product reviews, etc. In lieu of print ads in trade journals, place inbound links to your website from your blog, other social media, and syndicated informational websites popular with your customers. Direct each inbound link to a unique landing page that offers compelling information consistent with the source of that link, and include one or more Calls-to-Action to convert these website visitors into leads. According to Hubspot, websites with at least 30 landing pages produce seven times as many leads as websites with fewer than 10 landing pages.
The answer is summarized in Hubspot’s 2013 “State of Inbound Marketing” report: “We are in the midst of an industry-wide shift away from traditional marketing techniques, which are simply not working in today’s digital business world … Traditional methods to source leads and customers have all but dried up, generating just 22% of all leads in 2013.”
Read the more recent "State of Inbound 2016" report.
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Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of services to enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.