Catching the attention of buyers is done differently today. In the digital world we live in today, classic interruption marketing is less and less effective.
Applying traditional marketing tactics in the online world doesn’t work.
In your case as a marketing professional, you are constantly looking for insight, trends, best practices and how-to-do stuff. You are blind for advertising, you use Google as your best friend, follow RSS feeds of major marketing blogs, and subscribe to newsletters. Right?
What catches your attention? As digital marketers we are constantly flooded with whitepapers, ebooks, ultimate guides and webinars.
Not all of them are of the same quality.
But sometimes you encounter brilliant, well researched, and extensive ebooks.
In this blog post I want to share some of the best ebooks I have found in 2014. Each and every piece is really useful, practical, visual, and something you want to save on your PC.
With the holiday period coming up, you might have some time to read some of them ;-).
* image by Mary(n_n)West, on Flickr.
Long sales cycles and complex purchase decision-making challenge B2B marketers to find the most qualified prospects and to build relationships long before the first sales call.
In this environment, automation is essential to achieving a high level of demand generation maturity, and many marketers turn to lead management or marketing automation providers to meet this need.
The clear benefits of lead management automation should have B2B marketers jumping to purchase it.
However, back in 2009 this Forrester study reviewed a number of vendors in this area, they saw an underachieving space. Market penetration was low (between 2% and 5% of B2B firms have invested selling to <25M$ companies).
Forrester named some reasons for the slow market adoption:
- Heated competition battling to grab share: because of the “big CRM players” beginning to play in this field, buyers hold back their investments because they believe they have the functionality already in house through their CRM system
- A massive amount of new players entering the playfield all with different backgrounds claiming to have similar functionality. These claims keep B2B buyers running from demo to demo and scratching their heads over which offering will best meet their needs.
Today, looking at the recent Gartner report of June 2012 the CRM market as a whole, of which this industry is very much part, enjoyed a strong rebound in 2011 with revenue reaching $11.9 billion in 2011, a 12.7% growth from 2010.
Does it feel like you need to invent your marketing message every time you start a marketing action?
Do you feel like your remote marketing teams do not understand what messaging to put in their marketing actions?
And how do you make your messaging consistent across all channels, at all times?
That can be a challenging task…
Changing marketing dynamics and exploding expectations
Compared to a few years ago, marketing has becoming increasingly complex as a result of the exploding number of sales and marketing channels that need to be managed. Marketers need to go from one-way conversations to two-way dialogue with integrated channel activity.
Operational tools that help marketers
In order to successfully manage these changing dynamics and expectations, marketers now must have tools that enable them to:
- Communicate their brand messaging consistently across channels, regions and maybe also different business units;
- Collaborate with internal and external partners through effective scheduling, time and resource management;
- Integrate all campaigns and initiatives into a common strategy, and
- Provide clear reporting and visibility so that sales and senior management and all stakeholders are clearly aware of how projects are delivering versus corporate goals.
There exist many tools on the market, ranging from very simple but adequate project planning tools for small teams like milestoneplanner.com or basecamp.com, towards full fledge marketing resource management tools (see this Gartner Magic Quadrant of 2012 for the most important players). And I am not even talking about the exploding array of marketing automation vendors.
(I am not affiliated with any of these vendors).
But if you are the one responsible to develop communication campaigns or lead generation campaigns, these strategic plans won’t tell you how to translate these elements into tangible messaging which you can use in your marketing activities.