Today’s reality is very different from past marketing tactics. In the past, marketers relied on outbound tactics such as email and telemarketing that focused on educating the potential buyer. Now, buyers self educate online with search and social tools before any contact with sales. By the time the buyer is interested, they have already analyzed and scored the potential vendor with comparative features and corresponded with references they’ve met on social networks, ignoring most outbound marketing messages.
For B2B marketers to achieve sales goals, it’s critical they employ inbound as well as outbound marketing initiatives. Here are five key marketing tactics:
- Leverage Account-Based Marketing, including relationship management to:
• Generate leads and close new deals.
• Keep current customers and expand revenue within existing accounts.
- Use predictive lead scoring to:
Access data and use advanced analytics to drive action. Use models from traditional data sources (CRM, salesforce automation, etc.) and third-party sources (such as programmatic advertising) to determine the propensity to buy based on intent.
- Employ inbound marketing to:
Leverage relevant, authoritative content, search and social media to better engage business buyers and align with how they learn, buy and build trust with their vendors.
- Borrow from B2C
Assess and adopt selective B2C tactics, such as easy-to-use mobile websites and apps, effective on-site search, integration with social channels, segmentation and personalization.
Gartner predicts that by 2018, companies that consumerize (e.g., Amazon) their B2B digital commerce sites will see market share gains and revenue increases of as much as 25%. Business buyers are bringing consumer shopping behaviors to the workplace and expect the same digital commerce experiences.
- Use advocacy programs to:
Mitigate the risk of a purchase decision and provide an effective alternative to costly proof-of-concept studies. Customer references represent a trusted source of information with no agenda and play a pivotal role in mitigating a buyer’s perceived risk in high-dollar value purchase decisions.