True Influence September B2B Round-up

Marked by Labor Day and the kickoff of a football season already mired in controversy, September was a month that won’t be forgotten too easily.

Because September is also the month heralding the arrival of autumn, it was also a good time to take a hard look at your current marketing strategies, and give them an upgrade, a fall cleaning if you will.

At True Influence, we focused in September on intent signals, which are essentially the Holy Grail of marketing trends. When properly analyzed, they offer real-time insight into a potential prospect’s needs and desires; knowledge which, in effect, is the most effective gateway to adding them to your business portfolio.

In case you missed them, here’s another look at some of our best posts from September.

3 B2B Marketing Best Practices That Actually Work

There are so many B2B marketing buzzwords that the landscape can become confusing, especially when deciding whether or not an idea is a trend which will last, or in reality, just a flash in the pan.

These three, however, are built to last. (We took a more in-depth look in this post from the beginning of the month.)

  • Marketing automation. The best way to secure your customer base is to know your customer base, and marketing automation gives you those tools. By using a marketing platform that offers insight not only into who you customer is, but where they are in their buying process, you can market to them in an informed way, with more impact.
  • Real-time personalization. By reaching out to the right people – those in the company you’re targeting with the buying power – you are much closer to making a sale. True Influence’s InsightBASE platform offers invaluable insight (hence the name) that allows marketers to target buyers with personalized information they can use in the now.
  • Mobile optimization. Everyone is on the go, and so is their research. With 42 percent of B2B buyers using mobile during the research process – which for big purchases can typically take months – successful marketers can’t discount mobile. You must have cross-channel strategies to reach buyers at all stages of the buying process, or risk missing out on a potential sale.
  • True Influence Study Unveils Top Ten Keywords Searched Through First Half of 2017

    Today’s marketers are on top of the latest trends, if the information gleaned from the latest True Influence research is any indication.

    In looking at the 10 marketing terms that have gotten the most attention for the first part of the year, based on intent signals, “account-based marketing,” “Intent marketing,” “location-based marketing,” and “video marketing” were at the top of the most-searched list. Because they were found alongside some classics including “email marketing” and “B2B marketing,” the results suggest that a mix of tried-and-true and new marketing practices are believed to yield the best results.

    “This trending study is significant; it clearly shows what is happening in the minds of marketers everywhere,” said True Influence CEO Brian Giese in the post. “As the B2B buying journey begins with online research, the use of intent signaling data powerfully illustrates a significant capability for B2B marketers. Now, more than ever before, they can see what products and services companies are researching online, tailor and personalize their marketing activities more specifically, and win new customers faster than ever before.”

    Data Analysts Fuel Advanced Insights into Your Customers

    While creatives view their work as art, marketing, is in truth, a mix of art and science, and when B2B marketers work to find their potential client base, science wins each and every time.

    According to True Influence CTO RK Maniyani, who wrote this in-depth piece, a company’s data analyst specialists can be the most important part of a marketing strategy, because if you can’t reach the right clientele, the most creative campaign won’t mean a thing.

    While marketers can’t ignore the science of analytics – teamwork is the best approach – data analyst specialists can use the right intent signals and other data to help guide campaigns, ensuring that marketers don’t miss the mark, such as a recent Gillette “Welcome to Manhood” campaign that sent razors to young men turning 18 and to teenage girls, middle-aged men, and women.
    Data analysis takes special skill, and “as customer data continues to grow exponentially, distilling meaningful metrics will require the advanced skills of analysts trained in statistics and other data sciences,” Maniyani said.

    A fusion of teamwork that allows for crossover between creatives and analysts, as well as the constant evolving of data analysis, and the avoidance of relying on data at the expense of creativity, can make your marketing team’s data analyst the most important cog in your marketing wheel.

    6 Keys to a Killer B2B Mobile Marketing Strategy

    Going mobile is vital because establishing cross-channel marketing campaigns is so important to the success of any marketing team, B2B or otherwise…

    While B2Cs understand the important of mobile, B2B businesses have been slower to the party, with only about half investing in mobile marketing. That’s a big mistake, because 49 percent of B2B buyers research purchases on their mobile devices – even at the office where a laptop is readily available.

    On average, U.S. consumers spend as much as five hours per day on their mobile devices, making mobile more important than ever before.

    So how do you build a great mobile strategy? We showed you how in this information-packed post.

  • A responsive web design. A website that adapts to mobile and back again is important, because it doesn’t take much to frustrate a visitor. A site that’s slow to load, or isn’t designed to adapt from one platform to another, is a big turnoff and could turn away potential customers for good.
  • Email campaigns. Because more than half of emails are opened on a mobile device, according to research from Return Path, a company focused on helping to boost the success of email campaigns for its clients, emails that are optimized for mobile will be the most successful. Testing to see that emails are mobile-friendly takes a little time, but can reap big dividends.
  • Mobile video. Video is playing a larger role than ever in driving online traffic, suggesting that successful B2B campaigns should use video as a way to introduce their companies and its benefits. Poorly done video, however, could be costly. Keep them short and to-the-point, to be the most successful.
  • Mobile apps. Consider a B2B mobile app as a way to enhance the customer experience. While most new apps don’t make it out of the gate, a native app focused on your business can be an readily-accessible way to give your marketing a fresh, modern update.
  • Contextual awareness. Using intent signal monitoring will help you learn more about how your audience is interacting with your company via mobile, thus enabling you to tweak your mobile campaigns to improve their overall experience.
  • Airtight privacy. In an era of hackers and identity theft, ensuring your mobile users are secure, when interacting with your site or a native app, is of the utmost importance. Work with your IT department to establish a secure site, then post your company’s privacy policy where it can be seen.
  • Why Personalization Is the Remedy for “Content Shock”

    Content marketing, like everything else, is changing and evolving.

    And with the sheer glut of information available on the internet, that evolution is important, if content as a marketing strategy is going to survive.

    Three years ago, content marketer Mark Schaefer predicted that available content would grow to the point where it could not be consumed, creating a conundrum for marketers who rely on content marketing to inform, educate, and connect with consumers.

    To overcome what Schaefer coined “content shock,” content personalization is the answer.

    Far more than adding a name to an email subject line and calling it a day, personalized content provides information that is of real value to a potential customer, created especially for them, based on intent signals that told their company story.

    “As intent monitoring enables us to gain deeper insights into the ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’ of online behavior, we have a unique opportunity to spin that data into a personalized B2B outreach experience. This personalized experience gives visitors exactly they want … without making them wade through irrelevant details,” we wrote in this post.

    Rather than maintain a mountain of content creating information overload, content personalization edits that information in a manner which genuinely benefits the recipients.

    Increasing Social Value Through Intent Monitoring

    Social media marketing has changed, and it’s not just the proliferation of “fake news” filling up sites like Facebook and Twitter that have led to those changes.

    While social media marketing success was once a matter of getting the most likes, as well as the most followers, nobody is really paying as much attention to that anymore.

    As with any content marketing strategy, social media content has to make a difference, in order to drive traffic to a social media site and elevate your business’s social value.

    Social value is measured by intent signals, and by using intent signal monitoring, marketers can up their social game, as well.

    Intent signals not only tell you what your potential prospect is researching, but where they go to do so. Data also offers insight into what kind of content they find compelling.

    By analyzing that data you can create content that works, including posts on topics that are of interest to your target audience, thus driving traffic by using the keywords they use most online.

    Based on data, you will know what formatting your audience prefers – shorter or longer text, images or video, for example – and you’ll know what time they are more likely to be online, which is when you’ll post your most relevant content. For a more in-depth look, check out the article here.

    These strategies not only boost your social value, but will also help establish trust with your audience, becoming an invaluable asset in a crowded marketplace. (We also addressed this topic in the following September post.)

    How to Build Audience Trust With the “3 Cs”

    As more and more B2B businesses enter the marketplace, the competition is becoming fiercer.

    The best way to stand out from the others, of course, is to build trust with your customer base.

    While establishing trust was much easier when only a handful of businesses were competing against one another, creating that sense of reliability is now much more difficult, and much more important.

    “As marketers, building trust with our audiences has to rank among our top priorities. The people we’re trying to reach are being bombarded with marketing messages every day, from vendors in your field, and determining which one they pick will depend heavily on which provider they trust the most,” we wrote in our September 29, 2017 post.

    “The “3 Cs” – content, creativity, and credibility – are the most effective approach to building that trust.

    By providing content that is informative and useful, not merely campaign-driven, but proffered to benefit your potential prospect, you establish yourself as a knowledgeable and caring player in the marketplace.

    Ensuring the content you provide is not only useful, but also creative – with attention-grabbing headlines and fresh, unique information — is also a great way to set yourself apart from your competition.

    As for the third “C,” credibility, focusing on the aspect of your business that sparked your passion is a great way to demonstrate your wealth of knowledge, while carving out a specific niche for your company.

    “The temptation to ‘be all things to all people’ can be hard to resist,” we wrote. But finding your focus will not only make your marketing strategies more effective, it will also give you a more solidified place among your industry peers.

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