It’s lonely at the top. Whether you’re heading up a large organization or a small startup, as the leader, you have a lot of different responsibilities – and a huge number of decisions to make. That’s especially true when it comes to marketing technology. There are so many options out there – it seems like everywhere you look, there’s a new way to spend your marketing dollars. But sometimes, today’s hottest marketing trend can turn into tomorrow’s dud – or worse, a PR disaster.
Add to that the fact that making any kind of technology decision is difficult. Time is often constrained, and so are budgets. It’s easy to get distracted by what’s new and cool. And it’s easy for decision makers to focus on the current business challenges, rather than the problems that will need to be solved down the road.
How can you find the marketing tactics that will work for your company? What kind of technology tools will it take to put them in place? And how can you ensure successful implementation?
These are tough questions, and the answers depend on the unique needs of your business. That’s why we’ve assembled a guide that puts together all of the need-to-know essentials for top-level executives when it comes to the choosing the best online marketing tactics. The B2B Online Marketing Playbook: A CEO’S Guide to Risks and Rewards makes it easy to learn about the campaigns that are likely to result in the optimal results for your business. It walks you through the plays you can make, the risks involved, and the rewards of getting them right. It can also help you figure out which tactics might not be a good fit in your organization.
Making a Play
Here are the 10 key online marketing concepts you’ll find inside, along with a preview of the information you need to make smart investments, generate higher quality leads, and increase revenue.
PLAY #1: Lead Generation
While it’s not so much as a tactic as a desirable outcome, lead generation is so critical to the game, it’s called out first. The goal is simple: Attract more likely buyers, improve the quality of the leads, and get them into your sales pipeline. It’s a fundamental concept in modern B2B marketing, and it’s one that’s critical for B2B marketers – especially the ones who are trying to sell complex products to companies with multiple stakeholders over long periods of time.
PLAY #2: Email Marketing
B2B marketers have been using email for years, and with good reason – it’s both low-cost and effective. But smart marketers know that batch-and-blast messaging is a thing of the past. These days, you need to send your prospects targeted messaging and relevant offers that get their attention and win their trust. And if you succeed, the results can be astonishing. Email still delivers the highest return on investment: 4,300%, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
PLAY #3: Social Media Marketing
If you’re not using social yet, chances are good that your competitors are – which means they could be connecting with your customers and prospects. According to MarketingProfs, best-in-class B2B firms generate an average of 17% of their leads from social media. These days, most B2B marketing teams know better than to hand the keys of the social media over to the intern, but many still struggle to get it right.
PLAY #4: Content Marketing
According to a recent study, 91% of B2B marketers now use content marketing. That’s a lot of companies, and it adds up to a lot of white papers, blogs, infographics, eBooks, podcasts, videos, and many more kinds of content assets. If hooking new leads is the goal, content is the bait. But to be successful, you need a solid content strategy as well as a commitment to developing quality materials.
PLAY #5: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a critical part of a smart marketing strategy because search is still the primary way B2B buyers begin looking for solutions. Showing up prominently in search engine listings will have a profound impact on your marketing results. But there are risks involved – especially if you try to take shortcuts like buying links and stuffing content with marginally related keywords.
PLAY #6: Paid Online Advertising
Okay, SEO is still critical, but what about banner ads? Does anyone actually click on them anymore? Well, banner ads are just one type of paid advertising, and yes, people click on them all the time, especially when they’re targeted. In addition, there are also pay-per-click (PPC) ads and native advertising to consider. Each type has its own risks and potential rewards, but with the tools, you can make paid online ads an important part of your B2B marketing strategy.
PLAY #7: Sales Acceleration
In many organizations, sales and marketing teams only “work together” in the sense that they’re all getting a paycheck from the same company. And that’s a big potential loss for these teams as well as the entire business. According to SiriusDecisions, B2B firms with tight sales and marketing alignment enjoyed 24% faster three-year revenue and 27% faster profit growth. To speed up sales, you need to get marketing and sales teams into alignment.
PLAY #8: Lead Nurturing
You remember that the playbook started with lead generation. Well, that’s just the beginning of the journey. Once those prospects are in your database, they’re not all ready to buy. In fact, very few of them are likely waiting for a sales call. Lead nurturing is the process of engaging each prospect in a series of ongoing communications, delivering consistent messages and relevant content to inform and educate. It can also help identify when a lead has matured to the point of being sales-ready.
PLAY #9: Marketing Analytics and ROI Calculation
Knowledge is power, and the ability to know exactly which marketing tactics are working – and how much revenue they’re driving – is an extremely potent tool. This insight can be used to do more than justify marketing spend (although that’s critical too). It can also be used to drive better decisions: To put more resources behind successful strategies, for example, and to adjust (or pull the plug) on the ones that aren’t pulling their weight.
PLAY #10: Mobile Marketing
Mobile is becoming a must-have tactic for B2B marketers, and with good reason. Consider the facts. According to the Demand Gen Report:
- 56% of B2B buyers use smartphones and 42% use tablets to access business-related content
- 90% of B2B buyers say that vendors need to provide mobile-friendly access to content.
Creating a mobile-friendly website and content is just the start, but it’s an important step in the right direction. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re giving competitors a huge advantage.
Get in the Game
It’s hard to imagine a business today that’s not using any online marketing channels or tactics. But there are a lot companies that are significantly under-using these tactics, which means they’re missing out on acquiring new leads, losing potential prospects, and failing to keep current customers engaged. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?
Download the eBook to learn more about these 10 key online marketing concepts, and get the information you need to make smart investments, generate higher quality leads boost your company’s revenue.