Courtney Eckerle

How PR Newswire created a customer-centric demand gen engine

January 13th, 2017

In today’s digital landscape, the buyer is in control and is more sophisticated than ever before. In fact, according to Forrester, 93% of B2B buyers prefer to transact online when they have decided what to buy.

After publishing this week’s B2B case study featuring cyber security firm SecureWorks’ transformation of its demand generation, I realized how vital a clear, built-out purchase path can be for both marketers and consumers.

With that, I decided to reach back to a Media Center Interview with Ken Wincko, SVP of Marketing, PR Newswire, who spoke at last year’s MarketingSherpa Summit on the topic.

 

To effectively engage and target buyers, Ken and his team developed a sophisticated buyer-centric go-to-market approach that employs tailored content aligned to key segments and personas across the entire customer lifecycle.

It starts, he said, with recognizing that customers have options and that it’s very easy for them to make choices on their own.

“What we’ve really focused on is becoming buyer-centric, and to focus on [buyers’] core informational needs,” he said. “What are their challenges? Where are the opportunities for them?”

This process is very contextual, he added, and is based not only on the type of organization customers are working in, but their specific role and the specific stage of the buyer journey they are in as well.

One of the biggest changes PR Newswire had to make was in taking a holistic approach, where “it’s not just about content, but about people, process, technology, data analytics, all coming together to enable that exceptional experience,” he said.

In working with his team to build up the content and other necessary assets, they have taken a different approach.

“Number one, marketing is not the only team that is creating content for us. We actually go to subject matter experts throughout the business, whether it’s products, service, sales, the executive team, and we all chip in and create content,” he said.

They also leverage third party experts who can lend credibility to content and a different point of view.

“All of the pieces put together is a significant amount of effort, but it’s well worth the investment,” he said.

When it comes to coordinating between all those teams and stakeholders, Ken said it’s best to think of the marketing team as the conductor in the symphony.

“We provide the content calendar and the topics based on the research that we’ve done, and then we coordinate what content gets developed, and then we analyze how effective it is based on analytics,” he said.

All of this effort has seen dramatic improvements in terms of marketing impact, he said.

“We’ve significantly increased qualified leads; we’ve shortened our sales cycle; and most importantly, we’ve generated incremental top line growth,” Ken concluded.

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Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content, MECLABS With a focus on inbound and email marketing, Courtney’s goal is to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind. She has worked as a writer and sports photographer for The University of Notre Dame Observer, and was a collegiate correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys kayaking, travel, reading and photography.

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