B2B Marketing Wrap Up – January 2017

Now that we’re well into the new year – and the presidential inauguration behind us – we’re taking some time at True Influence® to put together our monthly wrap-up (January edition) of some of the most important B2B marketing information posted around the web or published in the latest books.

For us, it’s all about Intent Monitoring right now, which is expected to make a big impact on marketing initiatives with near real-time information gathered by following digital footprints, so you’ll immediately know if they are ready to buy. Intent signals® are seen as so important to B2B lead generation that SiriusDecisions created a category for Intent Monitoring to distinguish it from predictive analytics, so we expect it will be the B2B marketing buzzword of 2017.

But despite the undeniable important of Intent Monitoring, there are other things going on in the world of B2B marketing. We’ve culled the best, so you can spend less time reading and more time analyzing the latest data.

Our top blog posts for January

Top 8 Trends in Intent Data for 2017

This post talks about how intent data or Intent Signals™ has changed the art of the deal, because it gives sales the inside information that can move leads through the sales funnel faster, primarily because they now know what potential clients need exactly when they need it, based on real-time data. Intent data is available to everyone, so departments throughout your company can follow the same movements, helping them determine R&D or other important aspects of your company as you unlock information about potential clients and what they’re looking for in a product or service, based on their online activity. Intent data will help you improve targeted advertising, erasing the waste, and can be used in conjunction with predictive analytics for a bigger picture that takes advantage of all available information so marketing decisions are more focused and informed.

B2B Marketing Practices to Follow in 2017

B2B Marketing Best Practices 2017With the advent of intent monitoring taking B2B marketing to a whole new level, it’s time to understand that no matter your marketing strategy, having technology in place to track consumer footprints is one of the most important moves you can make this year. Thanks to the Internet of Things, your potential clients will be conducting seamless searches across multiple channels, and you want to be able to track their movements no matter how they’re communicating their intent. This post talks about some marketing practices you should have in your radar, including intent monitoring, which provides so much information about a potential prospect. It will also allow you to focus on one of the oldest and most important tenets of marketing, which is providing not only excellence within your brand, but also in how you approach consumers with your marketing, because consumers hold all the cards. “Their expectations of excellence are higher –they demand the best,” so as marketers, “we have to aim higher.”

Why Intent Monitoring Should Be Your Big Thing This 2017

Intent Monitoring 2017In case we haven’t really been clear enough, intent monitoring is everything in the world of marketing right now. With this post, we talk about what it’s like to have information about potential clients at your fingertips, translating to being able to  reach them with the right message at exactly the right time. Because you can act early, it will become more likely that your product or service will be the one they chose at the end of their buying cycle, because you had insider information that allowed you to beat your competitors to the punch.

Intent monitoring erases marketing waste, because you can analyze data to determine potential clients, focus on existing clients by giving them information they’re looking for, like a stealth but helpful internet spy, and create more focused campaigns that are more like darts aimed at a dartboard rather than tickertape tossed into the wind.

The B2B community is currently taking about…

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2017

5 B2B marketing tips to jump-start your 2017 results

Columnist Jessica Cameron brings together some of the top B2B tips of the year to kick off 2017, most importantly, Google’s shift to make search engine results pages for visible for paid advertising. Cultivating a mix of organic keyword searches and paid ads will draw the highest visibility, Cameron said in the post. She also suggested using analytics to determine how prospects are interacting with your website – which pages they click on, how long they stay – so you know how to include calls to action.

She also points out that despite all the high-tech monitoring, the old-fashioned phone call can still seal the deal.

6 Hottest B2B Social Media Marketing Trends in 2017 (Infographic)

Social media is a growing hot spot for B2B marketing, and this infographic shows why, with numbers on the growth of both social media users and spend, suggesting that more marketers than ever are looking to social media audiences as their target. It makes sense, given the numbers of industry-centric organizations that are available to join on Facebook and the ease with which industries can connect on LinkedIn.  It’s important to make sure that you stay true to your brand with any social media posts or other interactions, offering information that hits your demographic while using social media as another place to direct advertising dollars.

Five Ways B2B Marketing Will Change in 2017: All Roads Lead to Marketing Performance Management

Marketers will still be talking about the effectiveness of account-based marketing and CMOs will still be talking revenue, but managing successful marketing investments will be the biggest wave of 2017, according to this post from James Thomas on Marking Profs. Tighter budgets will force marketing departments to look at what’s working and what’s not, so they can focus their attention on what strategies are offering the greater ROI.

And it will be important to make the right moves – buy the right data analytics platform, use the data correctly – because “The tenure of a CMO continues to be tenuous,” Thomas writes. “At least 30% of CEOs will fire their CMOs in 2017, according to Forrester.”

That means CMOs will be uber-focused not only on successful campaigns, but also the bottom line.

The Hottest B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2017 (Infographic)

Again using visuals – a move that boosts retention significantly, according to most experts – this infographic looks at what’s trending in content marketing, including spending increases in the marketing category (right now, companies direct on average 29 percent of their marketing on content), especially for companies that currently don’t use content marketing at all. Of those, more than half plan to add it to their marketing strategies in the next year.

Those that are using content marketing are becoming more skilled in selecting appropriate materials that fit their brand’s messaging, and more consider themselves more sophisticated users of the marketing strategy than in years past. The majority of marketers – 62 percent – say that their content marketing “has become much more or somewhat more successful compared to a year ago.” Still, only about 45 percent of marketers see content marketing as the most effective strategy they could use to generate leads.

While time – or the lack thereof – is considered a major factor in the success of a content marketing campaign, more important is having a targeted, planned, strategic campaign. Those who have a documented strategy – 37 percent of companies using content marketing, compared to 32 percent last year – are infinitely more successful using content marketing than those with no plan.

Email, social media and search engine promotion are getting the most buzz, but offline content marketing is also expected to be in play in 2017.

WHEN PREDICTIVE AND FACT-BASED ANALYTICS COLLIDE

The Signal and the Noise: From Marketing Intelligence to Intelligent Marketing

While marketing predictions are virtually everywhere, marketing Intelligence is essentially the only way to filter out the noise and glean the crumbs of information that will provide actual value, writes Michael D. Shaw in this Huffington Post blog.

The piece features quotes from our CEO Brian Giese along with other marketing experts who say that no marketing campaign can be successful – or even deemed successful – if there is no way to gather data and analyze it in place.

“Marketing rises or falls with the information companies have at their disposal. That reality demands a technological solution, which sorts through billions of pieces of online behavior and sifts through thousands of timely topics—up to 5,000 such categories, to be exact—to enable a business to craft a scalable marketing campaign in minutes.

“Automating that outreach, while maintaining a degree of personalization, is essential to advancing the cause of marketing in general.”

The New Books That Fascinate Us

“Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change” by Frank Sesno

It’s most often asking the right questions that give us the results we’re looking for, and Sesno looks to the experts to find out how. He looked to NPR’s Terry Gross, who uses empathy to reach her guests, Anderson Cooper, who uses confrontation to hold people accountable, and business expert Steve Miller, who helps revive failing companies by asking key diagnostic questions to help determine where a business’s troubles lie. Asking the right questions can help you find out more about a potential prospect, so you’ll better understand his or her business needs.

“Ninja Selling: Subtle Skills. Big Results,” by Larry Kendall

Kendall reinforces Sesno’s look at asking the right questions at the right time by showing you how to integrate that process into your selling techniques by shifting away from the hard sell to a more empathetic approach to sales, improving relationships between business and client.

“Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success” by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch and Sean Lynch

“The concept of leadership is not a difficult one to understand. It’s that straight-forward, but it’s by no means intuitive. It must be learned and practiced,” says FedEx Corporation chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith in the foreword to this book, which uses the business and military backgrounds of the authors to give concrete tips on how to successfully lead, not simply as a leader, but as a Spark – an innovator that inspires others to be their most creative best.

“Fit for Growth: A Guide to Strategic Cost Cutting, Restructuring, and Renewal,” by John Plansky and Deniz Cangler

The guys behind PricewaterhouseCooper’s Strategy&, who helped revive Chrysler and protect the car manufacturer from bankruptcy, show businesses how to successfully streamline and set themselves up for growth, sharing more than 70 years of strategic knowledge to help companies regain their edge over the competition and get back in the game.

“They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer,” by Marcus Sheridan

If your marketing strategy isn’t working as well as it should, Sheridan has the answers for making the most of your marketing dollar in an analytical, data-based world. Sheridan brings with him his own personal story of turning potential failure into success. When the housing market collapsed, Sheridan could have lost his pool business, but instead, he turned his company into one of the largest pool installers in the world, by being available to answer the questions consumers asked online.

“Digital Sense: The Common-Sense Approach to Effectively Blending Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technology, and Customer Experience,” by Travis Wright and Chris J. Snook

This book is a great asset for companies looking for establish a more engaging digital footprint that allows consumers to better interact with them. The premise is the baseline of using intent signals to read potential prospects, so the more opportunities you create for interaction, the more in-depth your data will be. “This book is a requirement for leaders who, like me, believe that building companies that put their people and their customers in the center of every decision and strategy is the only way to go.” Wrote Peter Shankman, author of “Nice Companies Finish First,” in a review.

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