In the past decade, content marketing has become a widely established practice. Companies have hired writers and Chief Content Officers to run departments, create blogs and other materials, and, in the process, some have assured sales people that content marketing can mean the end of cold calling.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketers know what a long haul it can be driving leads to conversions. Unlike the business-to-consumer (B2C) segment, the path to purchase for B2B products can be winding, often requiring the input of many players before a purchase is made.
While marketing and sales professionals increasingly find themselves drowning in data, a new IBM study finds that nearly two thirds- — 64 percent — of surveyed CMOs and sales leaders believe their industries will be ready to adopt cognitive technologies in the next three years.
B2B buyers strongly prefer to conduct their own online research, without ever speaking with a sales rep. Forward-thinking B2B marketers will embrace this change and enable the customer-directed research journey with self-service technologies — such as SEO and contextual help.
Fifty percent of B2B companies currently selling online expect that half or more of their total customer base will be buying online from them within three years. B2B companies are already seeing average annual online sales growth of 19%, according to a Forrester.
You can bring narrative power to your thought leadership by incorporating proven storytelling structures to articulate new paradigms and possibilities, help clients relate personally and connect emotionally, and take them on a journey that they will remember because it changed them.
As marketers, we must understand who the audience is, where they are now, and where we want to take them.
Smart marketers have long understood that people’s word-of-mouth recommendations have a greater impact on sales than any other source of information. And it’s not just that positive buzz moves the financial needle forward. Negative word of mouth from brand critics can push results in the opposite direction.
Although the level of advocacy varies widely by industry and country, we have not found a single category in which advocacy is irrelevant.