Lead generation is becoming simpler in practical terms—it’s easier than ever before to find and nurture prospective customers. But the forces driving it are complex, including the integration of marketing and sales tools and continued industry consolidation. “Today, all these tools, including marketing automation, CRM and email, are talking to one another,” said Adam Blitzer, VP-b2b marketing automation at ExactTarget’s Pardot. “Because of API management, every channel I use in marketing communicates with each other.” Blitzer said this new world of interconnectivity is particularly important not just for connecting all the marketing operations dots but also because customers prefer to communicate in different ways.
“Say you collect someone’s data from a Web form,” Blitzer said. “Being able to pass that seamlessly to a direct mail or email system is a powerful thing. Or consider when an email recipient clicks on a link. He then will visit a landing page with more engaging information, which in turn can trigger a direct mail piece.”
These capabilities weren’t possible a few years ago, he said.
The most popular marketing tactics used by B2B companies are digital, according to [pdf] a survey released in July 2012 by Sagefrog Marketing Group. When asked which of 16 common marketing tactics they use, 94% of B2B marketers pointed to websites, followed by email (76%), social media (68%), and SEO (58%). More traditional tactics such as direct marketing (48%), tradeshows (46%), seminars (44%), and print ads (35%) appeared further down the list, though they are more popular than search engine marketing (30%), webinars (26%), and online ads (25%).
The online marketing world moves fast, and sometimes it can be too easy to maintain the status quo in your strategy and analysis techniques. Here are five common ways that companies aren’t up-to-date on the best practices in online marketing:
1. You’re not integrated between platforms…
IBM Inc. produced more than 200 interactive online events last year, carrying marketing messages, educational sessions and expert advice to global audiences via a digital channel it calls the IBM Global Virtual Events Center. The digital event models on display in the perpetual environment reflect a new proficiency with an emerging medium. Hybrid events combine digital and face-to-face elements to increase reach.
“Get it 85% right and just go for it. Be in perpetual beta.” Those are the words of Bob Carrigan, CEO of IDG Communications, when discussing risk taking and online product development at the National Newspaper Association of America Conference in D.C.. In the Q&A session with Dallas Morning News Publisher Jim Moroney, Carrigan shares other insights on digital, innovation and business transformation. Carrigan stresses the importance of strategy for marketers and the difficulty of transitioning into digital for most media companies. As digital media grows and continues to be supported by a variety of media platforms, marketers need to become more service oriented, show leadership, and leverage the tools to successfully help their consumers.
Click here to see a video about IDG’s transformation from a print to digital company and how the transformation may apply to other companies… http://bit.ly/HjG7It