Find New Customers is pleased to present our interview with one of the top experts in B2B demand generation today, Mac McIntosh. Mac is also publisher of Sales Lead Report® and B2BMarketing Technology Insights™
We’re deeply honored to interview this expert, who was recently voted #1 of the Sales Lead
Management Association’s “Top 50” Thank you Mac for sharing your considerable wisdom with our readers.
- What is the single most common mistake you see companies make in B2B demand generation today?
In my opinion, the biggest mistake B2B companies make in demand generation is focusing on selling their products or services instead of focusing on helping their prospective customers buy.
The next biggest mistake they make is not taking advantage of the cost efficiencies of marketing-driven sales. If you use lower cost per touch marketing to handle most of the prospecting, nurturing and qualifying, and have your salespeople invest their precious time one-to-one with qualified prospects, demoing, proposing and closing, you’ll reduce your cost per sale and increase your sales results. Here’s an article about the cost efficiencies of marketing-driven sales.
- I’ve heard estimates that up to 8 out of 10 marketing automation deployments only do email blasts and landing pages. Since you help companies with marketing automation, what have you seen about how companies struggle with software?
I’m not sure of the percentage, but it seems that the majority of marketing automation users never get beyond doing “batch and blast” emails. They fully intend to develop multi-touch lead nurturing campaigns, but are pressured to generate leads now, promote this webinar now, announce this new product now, and never seem to be able to get their nurturing campaigns started. That’s a shame as research shows that only one in four sales come from leads with short-term needs. The other three out of four sales come from the longer-term leads that are not yet qualified (sales ready) and need to be nurtured until they are.
- Content marketing is so important today, but companies struggle to create compelling content. What do you recommend for them to create compelling content?
Marketers should start by inventorying their existing content, determine which aligns best with their customers buying processes, then refresh, repackage and re-use the materials that. Refreshing may include re-titling, updating the copy or giving it a graphic facelift. Repackaging may include bundling materials into “Decision maker Kits” turning white papers into webinars, podcasts, checklists or how-to guides. Re-using means offering it to your prospects again as it might be better timing for them than the last time you offered it.
- One of the biggest questions I hear from CEOs is “How do we attract the right prospects” to our website? What do you recommend?
Not only do I recommend optimizing your web pages to be found at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), I also recommend getting listed in online industry directories, advertising in e-newsletters being sent by others to your kinds of prospects, sending marketing-automation-driven email marketing campaigns to a well-targeted database of the right people at the right companies, and providing content to other sites or social media venues where your prospective customer are.
- Social media is huge and growing. What role does social media play in B2B demand generation today?
Some B2B marketers, especially those with more time than money, have had success generating leads with social media. However, I view it as more of a branding (thought leadership) tool and an additional channel for cross-promoting your content (white papers, webinars, blog posts, etc.) and driving traffic to your website. Our enewsletters (pushed out by email to opt-in subscribers) generate far more leads and sales than my tweets and blog posts. LinkedIn has proven effective for one-to-one sale activity, and the groups are another channel to use to share your content.
- If a CMO were to ask you “What are the 3-4 things we should be doing right now?” What would you answer?
First, refocus your marketing on helping your prospects buy. This includes making sure your messaging is relevant, your offers are compelling, and your marketing and sales teams are aligned.
Second, make sure you have the content needed to help your prospective customers buy: Content you can use as compelling “offers” or “calls to action.” Content mapped to the various stages of the prospects’ buying cycles. Content modified for specific buying or influencing personas.
Third, focus on implementing or improving marketing automation-driven lead generation, lead nurturing and lead qualification programs.
Fourth, as email is now one of the primary business communications channels, focus on getting more of your emails delivered, read, and acted upon.
“Thanks Mac, for this great interview. We appreciate it.” Jeff Ogden, Find New Customers
M.H. (Mac) McIntosh, recently voted #1 of the Sales Lead Management Association’s “Top 50,” is president and senior consultant of Mac McIntosh Incorporated, a marketing consulting and training firm, founding partner of AcquireB2B, a B2B marketing automation and lead generation agency. Mac is also publisher of Sales Lead Report® and B2BMarketing Technology Insights™ e-newsletters with more than 20,000 B2B marketing, lead generation and sales professionals as subscribers, and Sales Lead Insights®, an award-winning blog.