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Email Marketing: The importance of lead nurturing in the complex B2B sale

January 19th, 2012 6 comments

While gathering presentation material for the upcoming MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2012 (February 7-10 at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas), I had the chance to reach out to Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager, MarketingSherpa, to get some additional background on lead re-engagement and nurturing.

Jen was the lead author of the 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, and was very helpful in finding a couple of relevant charts for me, providing some additional comments on what this research means for B2B marketers.

 

73% of all B2B leads are not sales-ready

The first lesson Jen offers is almost three quarters of all B2B leads are not sales-ready. This means Marketing needs to engage with those leads in some fashion to move them down the buying funnel. This also means it’s possible for leads to “go cold” somewhere between entering the funnel and becoming sales-ready. Those are the leads Marketing needs to reengage with.

Here is the first chart of MarketingSherpa research Jen provided:

 

Chart: Average percentage of total lead volume that is sales-ready

 

Click to enlarge

 

And here is Jen’s commentary:

The above chart is the demonstration of why all leads cannot go directly to Sales.

At the time of original lead conversion, an average of 27% of those leads will be qualified to the point where they are ready and willing to engage with Sales.

The remaining 73% are not there yet. When these leads are prematurely sent over to Sales, they are not receiving the experience they desire and will look elsewhere for it.

Besides, do you really want your Sales team spinning their wheels making dial after dial where nearly three-quarters of those leads are not ready?

 

So, a large majority of B2B leads are not ready for Sales. This is where lead nurturing campaigns come into play.

The usual touch point for lead nurturing is email. These campaigns are greatly enhanced by utilizing marketing automation software to track and score those leads, and send triggered email based on demographic, firmographic, and probably most importantly as the lead moves closer to be becoming sales-ready, behavioral information. Behavioral information would include website visits, whitepaper downloads, webinar participation, and similar activities that indicate the lead is getting ready to buy the product or service.

With that in mind, this second chart is not good news for many B2B marketers:

Read more…

Email Research: Top 3 tactics to grow your list

January 17th, 2012 5 comments

Growing your email list has benefits beyond the obvious increase in size. For example, new subscribers are often more active than older ones. They just signed up for your emails and want to click and open them.

For this reason (and many others) you should always strive to grow your email list. Doing so will help keep your engagement numbers healthy and ensure your brand is connecting with new prospects.

Growing your database can seem daunting, though, with the number of tactics at your disposal. Thankfully, marketers have been running list growth campaigns for years. Here is a chart of 10 popular tactics, starting with the most effective on top. The chart is pulled from the all new MarketingSherpa 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

 

Read more…

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Social Media Marketing: Social login or traditional website registration?

January 12th, 2012 10 comments

Janrain, a social Web user management platform provider, recently released its Social Identity study with the research conducted by Blue Research.

The study involved a final sample size of 616, with respondents recruited by email and screened to ensure they either purchased a product online within the past 30 days, or read articles or watched video from major media outlets in the past 30 days.

A key element of the survey was finding out how respondents felt about using a social login — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. — instead of having to register individually at multiple websites.

Some of the results were very interesting:

  • 86% of respondents reported being bothered by the need to create new accounts at websites and said they would actually change their behavior:

–        54% might leave the site and not return

–        26% would go to a different site if possible

–        6% would just simply leave or avoid the site

–        14% would not complete the registration

  • 88% admitted to supplying incorrect information or leaving form fields incomplete (this result should come as no surprise to marketers). This figure is up from 76% in last year’s study
  • 90% admitted to leaving a website if they couldn’t remember their login details rather than taking the time to recover their login information. This figure is up from 45% in 2010

The study also found that even though website visitors are becoming more frustrated with traditional marketing, they are becoming more open to using social identities for website registration.

In fact, 77% responded that social login is “a good solution that should be offered,” with 41% preferring social login over creating a new user account or using a guest account.

 

Click to enlarge

 

Among that 77%:

  • 78% of social login fans have posted a comment or message to their social networks about a product or service they liked or thought others should know more about
  • 83% reported being influenced to consider buying new products or services based on positive social media comments
  • 69% report positive reviews might increase their likelihood to purchase a product or service
  • 82% seek out, or avoid, companies based on social media reviews

 

That’s a lot of pretty numbers, but what do they mean for marketers?

To help put this research into a marketing context, I had the chance to interview Larry Drebes, CEO, Janrain. Here is the result of that interview:

  Read more…

Marketing Campaigns: Dig deep to replicate your successes (and learn from your failures) with marketing and sales enablement case studies

January 6th, 2012 No comments

Sales were up 80% in 2011! Congratulations!

Except, well, now you have to repeat that feat in 2012 (or at least hold the line). So, how exactly did you lift sales?

Not only that, but your team is 80% bigger this year, and many of them weren’t even working with you when you initiated many of the changes that got you the big success in the first place (nice hypothetical problem to have, right?). Still, it begs the question …

 

How do your replicate your success?

Or how do you avoid making the same mistakes? Well, first you have to discover why you succeeded and failed. And then you need to spread that new business intelligence throughout your team and your organization.

I recommend forensic reporting. That’s a term I like to use to explain what our reporters do here at MarketingSherpa, and how we write the case studies that appear in our free marketing newsletters. (While our case studies are meant for external consumption, this is something I used to do internally as well for companies like IBM and BEA Systems to spread effective tactics inside the company, so I can see how the same principles apply.)

First, you have to understand these case studies don’t just exist somewhere. Marketers and teams go about their jobs and do various things. From these actions, they bring about successes or failures. But the reasons why and how they did it, which is the case study, is never prepackaged.

As the name “forensics reporting” connotes, you have to investigate and dig pretty deep, because often the entire picture of what led to the success or failure isn’t even immediately obvious to the people that helped make it happen.

Here’s a very simplified, six-step process to get your started …

  Read more…

B2B Marketing: What are the biggest B2B opportunities for 2012?

January 5th, 2012 1 comment

Now that 2012 is upon us, we wanted to share what marketing thought leaders and practitioners have identified as some of the biggest B2B opportunities for the upcoming year.

If you’re familiar with MarketingSherpa research, I must warn you that, in this case, the data gathering was completely unscientific. MECLABS A/V Specialist Luke Thorpe and I simply wandered around the networking event at MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco, and thrust a microphone and camera into the face of every willing participant.

Many speakers and attendees were kind enough to put their drink down, pick up a mic, and share insights with you. Here are a few of our favorites …



 

So what’s on the horizon for B2B marketing in 2012?

  • (00:38) Jay Baer, President, Convince & Convert, and author of “The Now Revolution,” discusses multimedia for B2B
  • (1:34) Tracy DeMay, Marketing Manager, CenterBeam, talks about leveraging social media
  • (1:53) Ge Moua, Senior Demand Generation Manager, Unify, shares her thoughts on the importance of tools
  • (2:23) Beth Toeniskoetter, Product Marketing, ReadyTalk, thinks deciphering which new technologies to invest in is key
  • (2:39) Tony Doty, Senior Manager, Research & Strategy, MECLABS, reminds marketers of the importance of segmentation
  • (3:21) Pamela Markey, Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy, MECLABS, sees a huge opportunity for content in this new year
  • (3:42) Karen Hayward, EVP and CMO, CenterBeam, urges marketers to slow down so you can go faster
  • (4:30) Kristin Zhivago, President, Zhivago Management Partners, and author of the book “Roadmap to Revenue,” wants you to pick up the phone and interview customers
  • (5:00) Michelle Mogelson Levy, Associate VP, Marketing Programs, ECI Telecom, discusses revenue marketing

 

Related Resources:

B2B Marketing: Top “Aha moments” of 2011 from your peers

B2B Marketing: 7 tactics for implementing marketing automation from a fellow brand-side marketer

Social Media Marketing: Why B2B marketers need to care, by the numbers

MarketingSherpa’s B2B Summit 2012

B2B Summit 2011 DVD Combo

Content Marketing: Web-based tool to help email marketers

January 3rd, 2012 3 comments

Editor’s Note: Since MarketingSherpa recently formed an affiliate partnership with ClickMail to help the value-added reseller of ESPs get more attention for its nifty ESPinator tool, we thought it might be worthwhile to rerun this blog post to give you ideas for using a Web-based tool in your own content marketing. (Original publication date: Feb. 22, 2011)

Content marketing goes well beyond publishing whitepapers and blogs. Your company can provide videos, slide decks, webinars and even Web-based tools — like ClickMail’s ESPinator.

ClickMail pairs companies with email service providers (ESPs) and helps them establish effective programs. For years, its marketers have published a blog and an annual PDF guide on how to select an ESP.

“We’ve always felt that we had a clear view of the strengths and weaknesses of the various ESPs,” says Marco Marini, CEO, ClickMail. “From that, we evolved into an annual guide on selecting the best one. It’s completely vendor-neutral. It doesn’t talk about any vendors at all, just what the factors are.”

The ESPinator is the next step in that strategy, Marini says. Launched in early 2011, the tool asks users a series of questions and suggests up to three ESPs that are well-suited to their needs.

“Every vendor at a trade show says their solution is the best. There truly isn’t a best solution. It all depends on what your specific needs are,” Marini says. “There are more than 30 ESPs in the tool, and we don’t have a relationship with the vast majority of them. So this is truly more for the email marketing audience.” Read more…

Most-Tweeted MarketingSherpa Blog Posts of 2011: Top social media tactics, email marketing testing, and more

December 29th, 2011 No comments

It’s that time of year again … time to look back and reflect on what we’ve learned. For the MarketingSherpa blog, we wanted to focus that reflection on what you, our readers, valued most in 2011. So we created our top posts list from the number tweets you shared for each post.

And to say social media marketing dominated this year’s most-tweeted Sherpa blog posts would be an understatement. But it’s not surprising marketers have social marketing on the brain as we found more than two-thirds of organizations increased their social marketing expenditures in 2011, according to the MarketingSherpa 2011 Social Marketing Benchmark Report.

Without further ado, here are your top 11 Sherpa blog posts for 2011 along with a brief (140 character of less) description of the post from your peers …

Read more…

Content Marketing for B2C

December 23rd, 2011 1 comment

This week’s consumer marketing newsletter article wrapped up 2011, and featured four B2C trends to watch in 2012: the mobile marketing channel, local search, online privacy and the new features in pay-per-click advertising.

These choices were based on the 80 (give or take a few) interviews with consumer marketers that my reporting colleague, Adam T. Sutton, and I conducted over the past year. One B2C trend that received serious consideration, but didn’t make it into the article, is content marketing.

Sure, content has its place in any overall marketing strategy, but I’ll bet when many marketers hear “content marketing” as a channel, they think B2B – whitepapers, lead nurturing campaigns, third-party validations within specialized industries, etc.

In fact, content is becoming an important part of consumer marketing efforts.

I’m going to present several case studies and how-to articles from this past year that illustrate just how important it truly is. (Note: MarketingSherpa articles often feature numbered tactics. In this blog post, I’ll call out several specific tactics within linked articles.)

  Read more…

Content Marketing: Statistics are not engaging stories

December 20th, 2011 3 comments

What if I told you 42% of U.S. cell phone owners used their phones to fight boredom? Who cares, right? It’s a factoid. It should pass through one ear and out the other.

But, let me tell you about a completely fictional teenager named Jamal. Jamal wakes up every day at 6:00 a.m. and eats breakfast while checking his phone. He plays Angry Birds on the school bus, and checks his Facebook page in the bathroom during class.

“I use it when I get bored,” Jamal says. “Most of my friends are the same way.”

This little anecdote adds life to the stat. It shows us that 42% is not just a number on a screen. It represents something real.

Read more…

B2B Marketing: 7 tactics for implementing marketing automation from a fellow brand-side marketer

December 15th, 2011 No comments

In the B2B marketer’s toolbox, marketing automation software is more like industrial equipment than a simple screwdriver. It’s a capital investment, and it does some serious heavy lifting.

There are many automation vendors out there with a wide range of price points and features to fit the needs of marketers of all size of prospect list and complexity of sale. One thing that remains the same across all these options is there are some key elements to fitting marketing automation into any sales cycle that every marketer should keep in mind.

Jason Striker, Digital Marketing Manager, ICM Document Solutions, presented “Marketing Automation for Misers – Strategies for implementing an effective automation program on a tight budget” to the audience at the recent MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco, and he offered a solid blueprint for doing just that for marketers with any budget size .

Here are seven tactics Jason gave our Summit attendees that I’d like to share with you:

  Read more…