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Pascal Lendermann is responsible for the Demand Generation Engine and managing the lead lifecycle management process at Cisco in EMEA.

He will be speaking at Econsultancy's Funnel B2B marketing event on November 1. I've been asking Pascal about content strategy, the future of B2B marketing online, and more...

How has the web changed B2B marketing? What are the major challenges that it presents for B2B marketers? 

The web has changed B2B Marketing dramatically over the last fifteen years. The web gives prospective customers access to information about the market, the products and the competition most easily.

Saying this, in the beginning the web was just a business card for companies. Today customers expect to find all kind of information to prepare the buying decision - and they do.

For the marketing it is now to present the whole product offering strategically over the course of all phases of the buyer’s journey. 

What should B2B marketers be doing with mobile? 

As we are clearly entering the Post-PC era, and mobile marketing is key as prospects and customer are using it more and more intensively.

This means all information we are offering and all communications we are executing needs to be compatible to the devices our customer uses e.g. email in mobile-friendly format, iPad apps as well as BB and Android compatibility.

How can B2B make the most of social media? What are the best examples of this that you have seen? 

We are using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter as part of our mix to inform and to interact with our customer. Nevertheless I am waiting for the proof that these activities drove or at least supported a multi-million dollar purchasing decision of one of our customer. 

The best examples I have seen so far were in the B2C space like special promotions over a limited period of time but in B2B we are still in the beginning and need to continue to learn.

How do you see B2B marketing developing over the next couple of years? 

On the one hand I do see the need for companies to reduce ‘cost of sale’ which implicitly will drive marketers deeper into the sales cycle and following the customer more intensively on their way.

On the other hand, marketers are asked to do this multi-touch multichannel for thousand’s of potential customers. At this point, Marketing Operations plays a vital role to support with tools and processes to automate the management of the buyer’s journey.

What is your favourite B2B ad campaign past or present?

Wait for the new Cisco campaign! Great pictures and messaging. See what makes Cisco unique. 

How do you determine a content strategy for different funnel stages? Are some content types only applicable at certain stages?

The content strategy starts with the buyer’s journey. Only if you understand the different steps you are able to identify the different funnel stages.

Then you are able to derive the needs and are able to build the right messaging and content at the right time. There are definitively types which work better than others – specifically: start with short educational papers introducing the company, the products and the “Why you need this?”, deeper whitepapers on the way and customer case studies to support Sales to close.

Finally, can you tell me a little about your upcoming presentation at Funnel

Sure. In my Attract session I am going to present three specific programs to fill the funnel from the top.

I will focus on examples like Pay-per-Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization and, if not running out of time, a Banner Advertisement campaign.

I’d like to show why we chose these vehicles, how these fit together and how we optimized our approach over time to drive pipeline and revenue – our most important objective for us as Marketers and Sales as our customer.

Graham Charlton

Published 3 October, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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