At True Influence®, to make sure you’re on top of the most cutting-edge ideas and information, we’ve hidden the communal Halloween candy bowl and pulled together some of the best reads of the past month for our October Marketing Roundup, from not only our blogs, but also top content we read this month across the web, ensuring that no new tricks, tips or ideas slip past you while you’re debating between the zombie or witch costume.
Crafting the B2B Persona: 8 Essential Components
According to the experts at Four Quadrant, “Over 70% of B2B organizations that exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas…”
That means your business needs to distinctively define its prospects through every aspect of your business model.
Essentially, you better know who you’re marketing to, down to the last detail, or statistics show that you’re one-fourth more likely to fail completely.
This blog looks at ways to use data you’ve already gathered from existing consumers to refine and define your potential client base, so that your business personality and all of your marketing materials match all of your targets, allowing you to reach the people you’re meant to reach, in the right way.
Account Based Selling and ABM. Why They Work
This post looks at how and why account-based marketing and account-based selling are such a winning combination when it comes to boosting sales. Linked together strategically, they not only ensure that your sales and marketing departments are on the same team, they also ensure that marketers create content that allows the sales department to take a very personalized approach to potential prospects.
That helps give prospects confidence, making them feel as though they will be given the same priority as any other prospective client, helping to cement the sale.
5 Key Steps to Creating your B2B Marketing Budget
This post from early October looks at different ways to determine just how much of your budget should be spent on marketing in order to get the best return on your investment.
It suggests looking to big B2B spenders and following their fiscal cues while ensuring that you’re using the most effective marketing techniques for your product in order to maximize your marketing spend.
Digital will give you the most bang for your buck, but automated marketing is following closely behind, suggesting that data is poised to become one of the most important marketing strategies of the future.
Across the internet, other industry experts are also looking at ways to boost your business and improve sales through marketing. We’ve culled some of the best and timeliest among them.
The Real Truth About B2B Marketing And Social Media
An October 3 post on Forbes.com essentially suggested that without using social media to market your B2B, your chances of success are slim.
This smart post showed that one in four people specifically used Facebook first as a way to help make decisions about purchases, especially if information is shared by trusted sources, and talked about the importance of creating a professional, trusted blog presence on LinkedIn in order to establish a strong social media reputation. With that in mind, let’s look at some articles focused on best practices for B2B marketing across a few platforms.
4 Ways B2B Can Use Snapchat and Instagram
While you might think social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram aren’t suitable for B2B marketing, think about the audience using them, and understand that they may not be your prospects now, they likely will be in the future.
This blog post from Social Media Examiner shows you ways to make both platforms work for you.
Not only can you mine the millennial talent pool from Snapchat and Instagram users, you can also use both platforms to keep prospective clients on what you’re doing and where you’ll be, so they’ll know, for example, to look for you when you have representation at an upcoming conference.
It can also help develop a brand awareness for future prospects by creating a contemporary business model that is accessible across a wider variety of platforms to reach a wider variety of different people.
5 Ways B2B Marketers Use Facebook
Social Media Examiner also offered tips on how to create a successful profile on Facebook, using the behemoth social media platform to not only help potential prospects get to know your business more intimately, but also allowing you to tell more personal stories about your business, showcasing not only your brand and your employees, but your current client base, using a variety of tools including video and ad placement to reach your target audience.
Social Media Marketing: 7 Opportunities for B2B Brands to Rock Pinterest
According to Top Rank Marketing Blog, Pinterest is also a burgeoning market for B2B businesses thanks to not only a growing market, but also content that’s continually expanding, introducing users of the platform to a variety of new things.
That makes it an ideal marketing option, especially since Pinterest’s design gives you a chance to create a more visual presence for your brand.
How B2B digital leaders drive five times more revenue growth than their peers
If you think digital isn’t important, a McKinsey & Company post reveals that B2B marketers are lagging behind their B2C counterparts when it comes to digital content, and it is showing in more dismal revenue growth.
While B2B businesses have been quick to embrace the concept of digital, they haven’t put enough focus on sales and marketing, and haven’t used digital content in the right way. If businesses have enough available content to create a complete portrait of the business, it helps prospects make a better decision.
According to statistics compiled by McKinsey & Company, B2B businesses with a stronger digital presence showed more growth than counterparts that did not streamline content, the ability to make a purchase or other critical digital strategies.
Content Marketing Takes a Turn for the Better: New 2017 Research
According to marketing guru Joe Pulizzi, content marketing is a more successful marketing strategy than it was a year ago, likely because a glut of information forced content marketers to look at quality over quantity to effectively reach prospects.
This post from Content Marketing Institute shows that the year’s growth of content marketing as a strategy has been significant, as long as those using content marketing were “all in,” Pulizzi said. “It’s just like being a parent or a driver: You can’t be ‘kind of’ in and expect positive results. It simply doesn’t work that way. Make content marketing a priority or focus your efforts elsewhere.”
2017 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends
Ann Handley at Marketing Profs agreed with Pulizzi to a point, but said that her research analysis suggested that content marketing had room to grow.
In this post, Handley wrote that while “72% of B2B marketers are more focused on building long-term relationships than on getting quick results from their content marketing, only half agree that their leadership team gives them ample time to produce content marketing results.”
Without enough time to create personalized content, it’s more difficult for marketers and salespeople to generate the trust required for a long-term relationship to last. This particular roadblock is one that needs to be conquered in order for content marketing to reach its full potential.
Big Data Has Forever Changed The Way We Approach B2B Sales
In case you hadn’t noticed, marketing writer Larry Myler shares in Forbes’ Entrepreneurs section that big data has transformed B2B sales completely, turning the industry upside down and erased the need for cold calls by determining who needs your product or service through the information big data offers.
Big data is invaluable because the leads it generates are more likely to become buyers, based on the information gathered and how it is analyzed.
That analysis, however, is the most important part of the battle.
“It’s not about having the most data, it’s about having the right data,” said Mintigo CTO Tal Segalov.
“Some people think they’re data scientists, but they’re really just data janitors – sweeping data around.”
The 5 Hottest Areas for B2B Marketing Right Now
The Huffington Post looked at the top five B2B marketing strategies, and determined that the most successful strategies include email marketing, content marketing, social media, big data and augmented software.
Essentially, finding your target market and then marketing to the wisely is the most successful path toward success, this writer suggests.
October was also a big month for book publishers, who released several tomes targeting marketing strategies and techniques.
The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads
This book by award-winning author Tim Wu (“The Master Switch”) shows how Madison Avenue advertising expanded into an online assault for our attention that consumes much of our thoughts and our days.
Ultimately though, Wu shows us something equally startling, according to Tom Vanderbilt of the New Republic. “We’ve become the consumers, the producers, and the content. We are selling ourselves to ourselves.”
Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice
This book, penned by experts in the industry, shows how the rules of the game have maybe always been a little bit misconstrued. Consumers, they write, don’t buy a product or service, they “hire” it, and if it does the job well, it gets the accolades – and future jobs. If the purchase is a failure, there’s no rehire, no matter how hard the sell.
Lead author Clayton M. Christensen helps teach businesses how to rethink their practices, leading to better success in the marketplace.
Unleash Possible: A Marketing Playbook That Drives B2B Sales
Author Samantha Stone takes a sharper look at B2B marketing, and not only tells you that transformation is necessary, but also offers tangible ways to make that transformation. Changing your marketing strategies and turning them on their heads will help boost your B2B sales, and Stone shows you how.
Simplify: How the Best Businesses in the World Succeed
Entrepreneur Richard Koch and venture capitalist Greg Lockwood open the doors to some of the world’s most successful businesses – Apple, IKEA, Uber and Airbnb, among them – and find out that paring down the way they do business and making it more simple rather than more complicated is ultimately what makes them more successful.
The Advertising Solution: Influence Prospects, Multiply Sales, and Promote Your Brand
Marketing expert Craig Simpson turned to the best advertisers in the business – Robert Collier, Claude Hopkins, John Caples and David Ogilvy among them – to learn how they successfully marketed their clients’ businesses, helping them generate sales.
He then takes what he learned and breaks it down into an entertaining read that helps you use the same principles to successfully boost your brand, lure prospects and elevate sales.
SEO 2017: Learn search engine optimization with smart internet marketing strategies
Adam Clark teaches the latest ways to use search engine optimization to put your business at the top of the heap when prospects search Google, looking for the very product or service you offer. This book is updated from October 2016, and offers new tips for getting noticed.