B2B companies who create marketing that their prospects and customers love can sell more, keep their customers longer and be less reliant on price competition.
If you are a marketer, there's good news and bad news about how you are perceived by the general public:
- The good news is that, according to recent polling, marketers are held in higher regard than lobbyists, car salespeople and members of Congress. That's a relief.
- The bad news is that marketers are held in lower esteem than stockbrokers, labor union leaders and, gasp, lawyers! Ouch.
[Click graphic for an enlarged view.]
The reasons marketers are held in such low regard are probably not a surprise, and have been a long time in the making.
From the 1950s until recently, marketers have been able to push their messages in an interruptive, outbound manner on a somewhat passive audience forced to endure it.
Rosser Reeves was the high priest of hard sell advertising.
However, because of technological advances and the Internet, two key changes have occurred:
- People are increasingly able to avoid marketing messages. Examples of this include caller ID, DVR's, iPods, do-not-call & do-not-mail lists, satellite radio, RSS readers, etc. It's getting more difficult to shout at prospects, so marketers using traditional, outbound marketing are finding that approach less effective.
- Because of the wide availability of information on the Internet, buyers don't need to engage with a sales person to research a purchase decision until later in the sales process.
To succeed in this new era of marketing avoidance and consumer control, B2B marketers are offering useful content to their prospects to earn their attention.
Examples of this inbound, content marketing include eBooks, whitepapers, blogs, webinars, videos, podcasts, etc. As this is information that is useful to a prospect, consumers are hating marketing less and less. Some are even beginning to love it.
In a HubSpot eBook, the steps to developing lovable marketing are outlined:
- Develop a Stellar Marketing Offer - It should be educational and helpful, focus on the right stage of the sales funnel, and be in the right formats.
- Place Offer on Your Website - Using optimized landing pages and well-placed calls-to-action (CTA).
- Build Workflows - Workflows are an automated series of emails that pre-qualifies early-stage leads before handing them over to sales. Workflows are also known as lead nurturing, marketing automation, drip marketing, and auto-responders. Their goal is to make your new leads more sales-ready.
Workflows are Valuable:
- Only 5-25% of the traffic on your site is ready to do business with you at the moment. The rest are doing research
- 25-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
- Market Offer to Existing Contacts - Your email list should be one of the most powerful contact databases that you have access to.
- Promote Offer Through Blogging & Social - You blog and social media can increase the reach of your content and support your lead generation efforts.
- Measure Every Element of Your Campaign - Revisit each element of the campaign and how it performed individually and as a part of a whole. Then, do more of what works and stop doing what doesn't work.
But the stakes for lovable B2B marketing continue to rise.
Amazon and Netflix are examples of this holy grail of context marketing. On those sites, the content is customized based on purchases and information provided by the customer, as well as the customer's past actions on the site.
When you log on to your Amazon account, suggested items are offered based on your past purchase and browsing history.
Similarly, Netflix offers suggested entertainment (TV show, movied, documentaries, etc.) based on how you much you've enjoyed previous content based on the ratings you provide.
Unfortunately, that that type of context marketing has not been available to small and medium sized businesses. Until now.
At Inbound 2012, HubSpot introduced its newest version of its powerful marketing software, HubSpot 3.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/29/4767989/hubspot-launches-hubspot-3-delivering.html#storylink=
Full Disclosure: Artillery is a HubSpot Value Added Reseller and is hopelessly in love with HubSpot and its software.
HubSpot 3 adds 10 new or fully rebuilt tools to the powerful HubSpot all-in-one software arsenal, each of which makes highly personalized, relevant marketing easier for HubSpot customers.
Customers of the companies using HubSpot 3 experience more engaging, more enjoyable marketing that genuinely makes research and buying easier for them when they have a problem to solve.
Each individual website visitor can receive personalized calls to action, images, emails and web pages based on their relationship to the company. Marketers can track how all of their marketing actions perform, and follow up with extraordinary relevance, based on what social media they responded to or which piece of content they were interested in.
Further explanation on HubSpot 3 in this 7:20 video...
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/29/4767989/hubspot-launches-hubspot-3-delivering.html#storylink=cpy
Need even more details? Specifics on what’s new or rebuilt in HubSpot 3:
1. Contacts Database: Contacts is an ever-evolving information portal on a company’s audience (Prospects, Leads and Customers). Contacts is really the brain of the new platform with lead and customer profiles automatically adapting based on changing preferences and interactions with the company.
2. Email: The email system is closely integrated with the contacts database, workflows social media, dynamic content and a company’s CRM system. It enables greater personalization and deliverability than ever before.
3. Workflows: Workflows leverage the enormous amount of data in the Contacts database and a series of rules set by the marketer to create dynamically evolving segments and automate marketing actions. More than email automation, workflow enables marketers to trigger campaigns, change contact profile properties, score leads, send notifications, and sync to a CRM system based on when a lead has met a set of conditions.
4. Landing Pages: Landing pages have been rebuilt to be closely integrated with the Contacts database, CRM systems, email, dynamic components, and social media. Using the new landing pages marketers can build, implement, and measure a full multichannel campaign in one place. A/B Testing is built in (at the enterprise level) and the new landing page templates have responsive design to optimize for different devices and browsers. Because of Smart Forms and Smart CTAs, HubSpot's landing pages are also among the most adaptive on the market.
5. Smart Fields: Smart forms adapt and minimize over time. As a company gathers contact information about a given lead, the forms remove fields that have been satisfied in past submissions, making for a better user experience.
6. Smart CTAs: Built off the Contacts database, HubSpot 3 enables you to show images and CTAs that adapt to reflect the interests and stored qualities of the person viewing them.
7. Smart Lists: Smart lists are continually evolving contact lists based on a set of criteria. Each time an individual meets the rules of a smart list, they are added. You can have an unlimited number of Smart Lists that are segmented based on the value of a contact property, being a member of a static list, or having ever filled out a specific form.
8. Social Media: With a new integration directly into Contacts, HubSpot Social Media now enables you to view a lead's social activity and create dynamic segments based on your most engaged social media followers. In addition to that functionality, called "Social Contacts," HubSpot social media now has an in-app view of all your Twitter and Facebook interactions and enables you to respond, follow or other
9. Mobile App: Available for free in the apple store, HubSpot has added a mobile application to enable marketers to keep tabs on their lead generation and customer conversions on the go. The mobile app includes a view of Sources, Marketing Grader and Contacts.
Click here to download a copy of HubSpot's "Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Lovable Marketing Campaigns."