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Business card information or the download of digital content is often times not enough to judge the quality of a prospect. If you can determine a person’s Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing (BANT) then a marketer delivers a truly qualified prospect to sales.
In an interview with IDG Communications Director Howard Sholkin, IDG Connect General Manager Andrew Sambrook explained the value of skilled telephone qualification and how BANT can help turn a lead into a customer….
A new survey from content marketing provider Skyword found that nearly half of the respondents polled have a formal content marketing strategy, but only 25 percent are measuring the results of their social media content marketing efforts. Conducted by Unisphere Research, the survey included 217 participants from the readership base of CRM Magazine and EContent Magazine, reflecting a variety of industries and business sizes.
The survey covered a number of content marketing trends, focusing on how organizations produce and distribute content. According to the findings, the number one reason marketers are implementing content marketing initiatives is to engage customers and prospects, with 68 percent of respondents claiming it is their primary goal.
While 46 percent of the survey participants report their organizations have formal content marketing strategies, 37 percent claim they are working on developing content marketing programs.
For the organizations leveraging content marketing programs, 48 percent say their efforts are resulting in engagement with customers and prospects, and 41 percent are seeing an increase in brand awareness.
There’s been considerable debate in recent weeks about the use of partners, including telemarketing firms, in the B2B lead-generation business. TechTarget, one major B2B lead-gen provider, took an aggressive stance against the practice.
I’d like to explain why I disagree. Let’s start by considering the various forms of communication that are prevalent today. You engage in a “conversation” via email. You ask two simple questions of the person you’re corresponding with, and you get one answer. So you have to go back and ask the second question again.
Now, think of the challenge of relying exclusively on the accuracy of personal data that an individual enters into an online registration form. Are they really giving you their specific job title or their precise budget authority?
Compare that scenario with a live telephone conversation between two people in a business context. Yes, many people at work don’t answer their phones and many actively screen calls to avoid unwanted calls. But on the other hand, we maintain that in a B2B context, telephone contact lends itself to the delivery of branded marketing messages, whilst accurately verifying business data that is typically the key goal of a B2B telemarketing call.
Gaining popularity on social media is only half the battle. How do you convert those “Likes” into paying customers?
According to data compiled by Wishpond, a maker of social-media marketing applications, 77 percent of business-to consumer (B2C) marketers have acquired customers through Facebook, while business-to-business (B2B) marketers have found more success on LinkedIn — finding it a whopping 277% more effective than Facebook or Twitter.
For more on how social-media marketing helps generate business leads and ideas to stand out to potential customers, take a look at the infographic below.
Content marketing is gaining in awareness and importance among marketers, and roughly half have established a formal strategy, according to Please login or create an account in order to access this content. results from IMN’s second annual Content Marketing Survey. As more marketers develop strategies and grow their maturity levels (11% describe themselves as “experts”), their content marketing programs and measures of success appear to have gravitated towards a focus on lead generation.
This year, when asked their most important content marketing goal, a leading 44% of respondents pointed to increased leads, a huge gain from last year, when 16% cited leads, good only for the 4th-most important goal. In fact, lead generation was such a consensus this year that the next-most important goals, awareness and customer and prospect engagement, were each cited by less than half as many respondents (19% each).
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.
In today¹s complex digital landscape, a solid content strategy won¹t see success without three core components: search, social and discovery. Many companies focus on just one or two areas without considering how individual tactics can be integrated into one overarching content strategy. It won’t be enough to get your content the exposure it deserves if only one area is emphasized.
Whether it’s time, resources, or budget, investments need to be made in each area, and departments need to be on the same page.
Since the inception of search engines, Internet geeks have explored innovative ways to optimize their content to be seen in expanding search engine results pages by people who were looking for it.
For a long time the SEO conversation was focused on how to optimize through keywords, backlinks, and crawl-ability. While many of the foundational philosophies are still valid today, most of the tactics have changed with search engines cracking down on shady SEO practices and the introduction of social media. People are still performing searches, but the results are a more complex and the users are smarter.
Over the next two weeks, IDG Connect is serializing commentary from industry experts on marketing 2013 predictions. We feature expert opinion on the key trends in 2013, and regional outlooks on what 2013 holds for marketing around the world.
Mobile users have evolved, and mobile advertisers need to catch up.
If 2012 taught the industry anything, it’s that sitting in front of a computer isn’t necessarily a consumer’s preferred means of consuming content. While the mobile uptick was already apparent prior to this passing year, the numbers for 2012 solidify that things are indeed changing. With end-of-the-year mobile analyst reports coming out every day, there appears to be no shortage of data, and all of it points to double-digit increases in smartphone and tablet penetration.
The rise in the popularity of these devices has been married to a fundamental change in the way that people think about, consume and share digital content. The increased acceptance and use of mobile devices has also been accompanied by a change in the mental models of users. Priorities and interaction habits of mobile consumers are changing with the ability to be on the go and with smaller hardware. Bottom line: people’s mobile behavior has evolved and mobile advertisers need to catch up.
From the perspective of cost savings and reduced technical implementation, it may seem like a good idea to just dish up the same experiences to mobile devices that were originally created specifically for the Web. After all, mobile browsers can generally render most of the content out there. While that is the case, just relying on legacy digital display ads or linking people to a bloated Web site with a design that isn’t optimized at all for mobile viewing is out of sync with the expectations of mobile users. Mobile should no longer be an afterthought. While I wouldn’t go so far as to argue that “Mobile First” makes complete strategic sense when thinking about marketing, it is fair to say that mobile should be treated with at least the same priority as Web and in certain scenarios mobile should take precedence.
Our B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn conducted the 2013 lead generation survey to better understand how B2B marketers are adjusting to new challenges, and to identify new trends and best practices.
Here are the Top-5 Trends in B2B Lead Generation (for more details download the report):
(1) The number one challenge for B2B marketers: Generating high quality leads.
(2) The most effective lead generation tactics used by marketers: Company website, email marketing and SEO.
(3) The greatest barrier to lead generation success is lack of resources: Staff, budget and time.
(4) B2B marketers’ top metrics to measure marketing ROI: Cost per lead, revenue and lead volume.
(5) The secret to B2B email success: Provide compelling content for each stage in the buying process to move buyers from first touch to purchase.