Latest B2B Picks from CMA’s B2B Council - First Edition

Check out this month’s top B2B marketing reads, curated by CMA’s B2B Council:

The Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing: 6 Key Steps
Nowhere is the happy marriage of analog and digital tactics rewarded more than in effective ABM. Traditionally account executives are relationship builders given the responsibility of growing an organization’s key accounts. The addition of digital insights and behavior understanding will ultimately strengthen an ABM strategy and shorten lengthy sales cycles. However, this requires organizations to align on overall goals and resources and commit to both tracking and measurement. In this article Hubspot gives some good practical tips on getting started on ABM where digital hearts analog 4ever. – Shared by Stacey Cummings, Marketing Director, yconic

Do not put all your eggs in the digital basket
“Technology has changed the way we live, the way we do business and the way we market products. In a world gone digital, companies have had to embrace a digital mindset in everything they do - from HR and operations to sales and marketing. With the rise of the mobile-obsessed Millennial generation, who in 2015 became the largest generation in the workforce, marketers have turned to digital. From content marketing to influencer-driven campaigns on social media, digital media provide brands with new and innovative opportunities to tell their stories and engage consumers directly in a conversation.” – Shared by Barb Huggett, SVP, Ad Sales & GM, Canada, Captivate

The Top Digital Channels for Generating B2B Leads
“B2B marketers say email, organic search, whitepapers, webinars, and LinkedIn are the most effective digital channels/tactics for generating leads, according to recent research from DemandWave.” – Shared by Patricia McQuillan, President, Brand Matters Inc.

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Why the B2B Marketing Mix Needs to be Integrated

By Robert Wyatt, Business Services Director, Optima Communications International

Much of the recent news in B2B marketing is about powerful new digital tools, tactics and strategies. But the best way to achieve B2B marketing objectives is almost always an approach that integrates the power of digital and traditional marketing. Here's why:

B2B’s Drivers for Digital
The differences between B2C and B2B marketing explain why digital communications are so important for the latter:

  1. B2B customers want technical knowledge/expertise from their vendors, which requires wider and/or deeper shareable content, but that content still needs to be easy to navigate;
  2. The customer’s desire for a relationship with a brand is logically stronger in the B2B world, if that brand is delivering on #1 above;
  3. B2B buying cycles are usually much longer than those for B2C because the purchase is higher value, usually involves a contract and/or a relationship of significant duration, and therefore, involves multiple levels of approval. Because of this complexity, much of the early sales and marketing process is lead generation and/or qualification, which digital marketing is very efficient at.

B2B’s Drivers for Analog
Some of the uniqueness of B2B marketing also means that traditional (or analog, to use a more modern term) communications – DM, print, radio and even phone – may enhance overall results, even more than it can for B2C campaigns:

  1. A longer buying cycle indicates a variety of communication types may be most effective. Today, analog can even seem like special attention. Obviously, creative integration between digital and analog is critical;
  2. By virtue of analog being so different from digital, and now much less common, analog communications can break through in engaging the prospect – even when digital is failing. Obviously, there must be adherence to the spirit of CASL and any other digital communications and privacy rules.

Digital and Analog – Stronger Together
As far as we can see into the future, person-to-person selling will always be important at the end of the buying cycle – literally, the close of it. Nothing is more analog than people meeting of people. Since we’re comfortable using digital tools to enhance the analog sales process, we should be just as comfortable using analog tools to enhance the digital marketing process.

It’s All About the Objective
Marketing strategies and tactics are a means to an end. The nature of the B2B buying process indicates that both digital and analog means should always be considered to ensure the achievement of marketing KPIs and overall financial success.

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B2B Council

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Tags: b2b, analog, account-based marketing, leads, insights, ABM