b2b marketing

10 must-have B2B marketing tools

Whether you’re a marketing veteran, or are brand new to the game, keeping on top of the latest technologies and tools available is a tough ask.

Four takeaways from our B2B marketing report: The Pursuit of Standard Operating Innovation

The connection between revenue growth and innovation is a powerful one.

Marketing executives report that 30% of their revenue and 26% of their revenue growth in 2014 is attributed to innovation initiatives. 

If B2B organisations are to survive in the face of industry disruption, their rate of learning, innovation, and performance improvement must match or exceed that of their competitors.

Gain trust from the C-suite by being independent

If you’re currently marketing to C-Suite executives and other senior decision makers, you already know how hard it is to generate the sort of sales pipeline that could yield six to seven figures for your organisation. 

The difficulty comes in building credibility for your brand, establishing trust with the C-Suite and delivering value before ever trying to sell them anything.

In this article I want to shine some light on a huge mistake that most marketers make when connecting with senior decision makers.

It involves the positioning of your message, attachments to your brand and how being independent is the key to fixing this problem.

Before we dive into this let’s take a look at how selling to the C-Suite is different from your average sales process. The key lies in doing the exact opposite of how most selling is done.

How Massey Ferguson uses B2B content marketing and social to sell tractors

Farming machinery isn’t necessarily the coolest product on the planet, so it’s good to see a B2B like Massey Ferguson doing interesting things with content, especially when compared to rivals like John Deere, which arguably has wider recognition.

I’ve been taking a look at the tractor company’s website and social feeds to get a feel for how it uses content to engage with a particularly niche market.

Incidentally, you wouldn’t believe how hard I’ve struggled to avoid using the phrase ‘content farm’ in this article…

And for more on this topic, download Econsultancy’s B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing 2014.

90% of B2B companies believe marketing should contribute more to their enterprise

The last decade has shown that few industries or entities are immune to disruption, or fully understand how best to grow as digital changes the playing field.

Threats to the status quo exist at every level of business, but marketing has evolved faster and more dramatically than other parts of the enterprise because it is outward facing, and has to interact with and understand customers on many levels.

This has led to an increasing capacity for flexibility within marketing, largely because it is the only part of the business in a position to respond to the vacuum created as the realities of selling in the digital age pull away from the outdated beliefs most companies have about their fundamental relationship with their customers and markets.

This is why 90% of companies responding to the new Econsultancy/Sparks Grove report, The Reinvention of B2B Marketing, believe that marketing can contribute more to their enterprise.

Behavioural marketing and how to get your customers to love you

How can marketers get consumers to love their brand? It’s a long and difficult process that requires a complex system of tools and tactics.

Yet at Econsultancy’s Funnel event this morning Silverpop’s John Watton managed to summarise the process in just 20 minutes, succinctly laying out the basic premise of behavioural marketing and how it can benefit businesses.

Watton began by describing the relationship he has with a wine merchant in the Chiswick area of West London, which is a neat metaphor for the principles behind behavioural marketing.

Though there are a huge number of shops that Watton could go to for his weekly wine fix, he chooses to return to the same shop due to the relationship he has with ‘Bob’ the shopkeeper.

Facebook drives most social B2B traffic, but Twitter is top for conversions: report

Despite the huge attention lavished on social media, it still accounts for only a fraction of the traffic and leads for US B2B websites according to a new report from Optify.

Overall, social accounts for 1.9% of traffic compared to 41% for organic search, however there is potential for it to become a more important and effective channel.

This is a topic we touched on recently in a post about how to use social media to widen your sphere of influence in B2B and in an infographic looking at how B2B companies are currently using social.

Optify’s report found that companies that actively manage social media campaigns (as measured by companies who had more than one lead from social or more than 10 visits per month) have seen comparatively high conversion and engagement rates.

Using social media to widen your sphere of influence in B2B

Thought social media was the reserve of consumer marketing? Think again.

B2B marketers looking to build relationships with buyers are rapidly wising up to the possibilities of social media and the need for a tightly managed, segmented social ecosystem

The traditional B2B buying cycle is changing beyond recognition. More people, more job functions and more territories now need to be influenced over a over a longer time period and these varying personas have different needs, expectations and triggers.

How Standard Life uses LinkedIn and Twitter for B2B marketing

B2B marketing and social media have a difficult relationship, as it’s tricky for businesses to strike the right tone and actually draw value from platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

But unfortunately social is too big to be ignored, despite the inherent difficulties for B2B companies.

In a talk at Econsultancy’s Funnel B2B marketing conference Standard Life’s Craig Johnston looked at how social has disrupted the traditional sales funnel and which channels have proved most effective for his company’s marketing activities.