When B2B marketers are planning their demand generation programs, they usually (or at least should) keep a few factors in mind to determine how useful the programs will actually be in driving leads and engaging the sales pipeline:
- How much time and effort and money goes into programming and executing the program?
- Does this program allow me to collect prospect or customer data so I can follow-up?
- Will this program benefit my prospects and customers and lead them down a path to purchase?
- Can I control the content in the program, or is it dictated for me?
- Can I measure the success of the program down the road to determine the ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)?
I had a lesson in "writing like a real person" the first day on the job of my Marketing career. It was a brutal awakening, but an easy lesson to pass along - especially for start-ups and lean teams who don't have the budget or resources to outsource creation of their Marketing materials. But I promise, it's actually good news...
This morning I had the privilege of attending a TechPoint sponsored breakfastin Indianapolis which hosted 3 individuals in the tech community whom are huge influencers: Tim Kopp, CMO ExactTarget, Scott Hill, Executive Chairman CIK Enterprises, and Mike Langellier, President of TechPoint. I've always known Indy to be the "Silicone Valley of the MidWest", a name that was dubbed several years ago because of the low cost of building businesses and the boom of tech companies HQ'd here. But as time goes on, Indy is getting a lot more traction and a lot more visibility far beyond our small borders.
If you own your own start-up, are an entrepreneur, or are working with a start-up or B2B firm, listen up: owned media is the likely the most important, most lucrative, and least expensive marketing opportunity available to you.
In B2B Sales, it's all about the contract. You may think it odd that a marketer that preaches demand generation and marketing pipeline bring up contracts, but after all - what good is Marketing and a solid process if nothing closes? Half of the battle with Marketing is the constant tension with Sales. Usually, this tension is a good thing - it keeps the teams honest and accountable for their share of the burden. But often times there are ways the Marketing team can assist Sales by making their jobs a little easier.
Permission Marketing is in essence the crux of success for B2B marketers. And likely, even if you haven't heard this exact phrase, you understand the reasoning and the meaning. After all, if you remove your marketing hat for a moment, you can truly understand the customer's point of view.
Chances are, if you're an entrepreneur, you've come across the topic of "time management" quite often. And if you're anything like me, you look at individuals who seem to manage it all with amazement. Those that own their own business, have and invest in their family, are involved in their church, sit on boards of non-profits, and somehow have enough time to volunteer in their community. But the important thing to remember is that everyone has the same amount of time to work within - 24 hours in a day. Nothing more, nothing less. No one person has an edge or advantage over another. But the difference is time management and prioritizing.
If you're a Marketer for a B2B SaaS company, then you're probably really familiar with the process of obtaining leads and qualifying those leads into opportunities to sell. But if you aren't well versed in the area of leads, opportunities, and conversion, then this post is dedicated to you. I'll seek to make the explanations as simple as possible. And if you're looking for more resources, I recommend reading the book "Maximizing Lead Generation" by Ruth P. Stevens. It's a great guide for getting started.
You're an entrepreneur. By nature, you're always looking for the newest and most innovative way to do business. And for the purpose of your business, that's more than likely a really good thing. And there are certainly different avenues in Marketing where you can take risks and do something crazy and new. Apple does it. Google does it. Salesforce.com does it. Miracle Whip does it. Old Spice does it. And it works. But those companies also do some fundamental things well. Really, really well.
While on business in London, I had the privilege of connecting with consumers from all over Europe. One common theme - no matter where in the world you're from - is the notion of publishing. And no, I'm not referring to becoming an author. I'm also not talking about academia, where publishing constantly is a pressure weighting upon scholars that want to push their names in the limelight. Quite the opposite, actually. Did you know that the average person is online at least 10 hours a day? At least? In fact, many of us (and quite likely most reading this article who are in B2B Marketing) are online at least 15 hours a day. Be it on a laptop, mobile device, or tablet. And what are they doing? You guessed it... searching for content.
So what the heck is demand gen? In it's simplest terms, it is building a brand in such a way to make your company or organization appeal to your prospects; it is essentially your "go-to-market strategy". What will your brand positioning be? Where and how will you advertising, and will you pay for it? What does your online presence look like, and what kind of content will draw your prospects to your company? How will you create forms and innovative ways to capture prospect information so you can follow-up quickly and effectively? How will you measure your success? These are all important questions that are fundamental to demand generation.
In my "Results Marketing Blog", I'll be starting to review products and books that I personally find helpful and will review them for you. As you know, I work primarily with SaaS B2B companies who are looking for creative ways to boost their demand generation, build credibility in the market, and ultimately lay a successful foundation for future endeavors. In order to do that, though, goals must be well thought out and documented in order to be successful. I think that rule applies to most anything in life. Without clear direction and steps to achieve, you won't just stumble upon success. But what is success? Well, that's the key.
The first step is always the most critical, because it means you have to DO something. You have to take a risk. You have to at least try, and be prepared to potentially fail. At my day job, I work at a software company where we recently had a guest inspirational speaker, Eric Grietens, Navy SEAL and CEO of his own national non-profit. His words were empowering, and are actually the inspiration behind my first post to you. Eric said, "people never quit when they are doing something. No, they quit when they start thinking about it".