Main Conclusion: Marketing is a Arms Race with free compelling content as the weapons of battle.
Questions asked with Paul’s answers:
- What is the business problem B2B companies are facing in finding new customers today?
Companies are looking for one of three things:
- Revenue growth (during positive cycles)
- Cost Reduction (during negative cycles)
- Customer intimacy (Customer loyalty/customer retention.)
For a highly concentrated company like BearingPoint, it makes sense to match accounts with experts in particular topics. Since a high percentage of revenue came from a small number of customers, it made sense to fly in bodies and use marketing to facilitate these meetings.
- Please describe the differences between demand generation, lead generation and marketing automation.
Demand generation is the base level of driving interest in your products. Lead generation is typically the same, but more focused on driving sales ready leads. Marketing automation makes it all possible and ASP models make implementing marketing automation easy.
Lead nurturing is absolutely critical (a hot button for Jon Miller). Yet only 25% of B2B companies say they have a lead nurturing program in place today.
- Content vs. Audience development. What is your take on the focus on each?
Segmenting your audience is critical. But adhere to the KISS principal. We started with 3 audience and 10 segments with content every 2 weeks — too much.
- Do you tie in the Customer Buying Cycle to your content delivery? If so, how?
Yes. We track based on three categories: Awareness, Need and Interest. One thing we learned is that a prospect who downloaded a white paper twelve months ago is not as valuable as a prospect who downloaded it last week. So we assign negative scores as actions are aged. We also found that by inviting later stage prospects — those with Interest — win rates went up while sales cycles shortened.
- How do you do lead scoring?
Sit down with the head of sales and ask him. He was very clear — we had a productive conversation; they have a need; they have an allocated budget; they have a timeframe and we have access to power. Marketing has its own funnel and we assign a code to the lead as we pass it through inside sales to sales.
- Please evaluate various marketing tactics? What works best and what is a waste of time and money?
No brainers. Absolute.
Pay per Click
Competitor keywords, especially misspellings of competitor names.
PR for trade publications
Webinars with thought leadership
In person events with lots of alcohol.
Account based team events
Super Bowl ads
Contests and prizes
- What about social networks?
We consider those outposts. Since they are free, any thing they give you is positive. If we get 35 good leads from Facebook, that is 35 that cost us nothing. We try to spray good content across all of these outposts — blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.
- How would you recommend someone get started?
Let me share the five questions I used in starting a new position:
- What is the company’s single biggest challenge?
- Why is that a challenge?
- What is the company’s most promising unmet opportunity?
- What needs to happen to realize that opportunity?
- If you were me, what would you focus on?
- What tools, resources and organizations do you recommend?
The biggest area of need is writers for thought leadership. I started this in 2003 and the world has changed dramatically since. You need to focus on developing a strong marketing database and implementing a lead nurturing platform.
For companies looking for best practices in b2b lead generation who wish to improve the way they acquire new customers, Find New Customers is the place to go. CSO Insights says companies need to improve the way they generate leads and implement processes for business to business lead generation.
Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is a demand generation expert and sales leader, as well as the President of Find New Customers, a lead generation company, who helps businesses create lead generation campaigns and continually publishes the best lead generation ideas, so his readers can determine the best lead generation strategy to find new customers. He can be reached at (516) 284-4930 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.