For the past few years, B2B technology companies have seen an unprecedented shift in buying responsibility among their customers. Today, it’s often no longer the CIO, but instead the CMO, line manager or other business buyer who has emerged as the decision-maker on technology purchases.
The rise of this new buyer — typically senior management in marketing, sales and operations — has presented enterprise tech companies with new challenges. One of these challenges is how to create content to engage a buyer with less technological expertise and perhaps more focus on cut-to-the-chase results than IT buyers of the past.
Business buyers don’t conduct research and reach conclusions in the same ways as CIOs. They often start by seeking out high-level information to give them a grounding in a technology or industry niche, and then create a short list of prospective vendors based on a combination of third-party endorsement (such as via analysts, the news media, and social media influencers) and persuasive vendor content.
Your company may be executing in all the inbound marketing areas such as social media, email and content creation. Your social following may be growing, email subscribers increasing and website ranking rising in search engine results. But at the end of the day, we all want to hold our marketing responsible for bottom-line results. We want to know how all of it is contributing to revenue growth.
But the challenge with calculating B2B marketing return is that marketing isn’t responsible for closing sales. It’s responsible for providing qualified, ready-to-buy contacts to sales teams. So unless these two departments are aligned, you’re going to have trouble holding marketing accountable for hard dollars.
If you’re having trouble with this, it may be because you’ve skipped the three initial steps to aligning marketing efforts to sales goals. Fear not, though, because we’re sharing what we’ve found puts companies back in control of aligning these two departments.
Marketing automation is a term we hear a lot today. But how does it affect the bottom line? Is it worth the investment?
Before diving into those questions, it’s important to establish how automation software ties together your marketing and sales operations. The two often treat their funnels as separate entities, but they’re really parts of one, big process.
Marketing automation software can be the glue that binds sales and marketing and focuses them both on the big picture: turning website visitors into paying customers.
Here are some ways we’ve found that marketing automation helps the B2B sales process:
Two common misunderstandings keep popping up about effective brand marketing in the digital age.
First is the idea that content marketing is somehow a new concept. Second is the notion that, with brands telling their own stories, there’s no need for public relations.
Idea Grove President Scott Baradell couldn’t disagree more, as he explained recently to attendees of the Brand+Aid Conference, a two-day event aimed at helping organizations establish their brands.