The Single Most Effective Marketing Tactic For B2B Marketers

Marketing

According to the 2011 Marketing-Sherpa B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook, the most effective marketing tactic identified by B2B Marketers all centered around one thing.

The far reaching handbook revealed many interesting insights into the world of a B2B Marketer and when asked to choose the one tactic that is the most effective in their marketing efforts, 93% of respondents said it was their company’s website – and the optimization, management and design thereof, which is the most effective and vital.

The Single Most Effective Marketing Tactic For B2B Marketers

To me, the high number of B2B Marketers who identified their website, management and optimization as either “very effective” or “somwhat effective” speaks to the growing popularity of social media in the B2B Marketing world. Consider that according to a recent study by BtoB Magazine, 93% of all B2B marketers are engaged in some form of social media marketing.

Another form of inbound marketing falls under optimization and SEO which was also identified as being an effective marketing tactic for B2B Marketers.

All of these inbound marketing tactics all lead back to one place – the website which is why so many B2B Marketers consider it to be so important.

From the 2011 Marketing-Sherpa B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook:

There is a growing trend of utilizing inbound marketing tactics that is demonstrated in the above chart. The top two tactics are inbound and two of the three least effective tactics are outbound. The top-rated tactic is website design, management and optimization, partly due to the growing popularity of inbound marketing tactics. Inbound tactics like search and social media drive traffic back to the hub, or an organization’s website, for conversion. With an increased level of inbound traffic, even marginal gains in website conversion rate can have a great impact on the number of leads generated and an organization’s and bottom line.

Social media is undervalued in terms of effectiveness — a result of the infancy of this marketing tactic. As B2B marketers become more mature with their social marketing practices, perceptions on the effectiveness of this tactic will improve.

Another finding that came out of the Handbook was the fact that once again, the #1 challenge facing B2B Marketers is finding leads – both a high quality and high volume of leads.

The Single Most Effective Marketing Tactic For B2B Marketers

For her part, Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager, Marketing-Sherpa and lead author of the Handbook, offered these high-level suggestions to B2B Marketers re: uncovering new prospects:

  • Adapt a customer-centric approach
  • Identify compelling value propositions that resonate and convert
  • Deliver content and messaging through an optimal mix of lead gen tactics
  • Continually test your efforts
  • Adapt to an evolving marketplace
  • Embrace sales conversion as a Sales and Marketing responsibility, and support it with funnel optimization strategies

These are all great tips for sure but here’s one more:

If you’re responsible for increasing business to business sales, don’t be afraid to ask for help. As a B2B Marketer you are faced with an incredible number of day-to-day challenges and obstacles and so on. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a business to business marketing communications agency who will partner with you, kind of lighten the load so to speak.

So, how important would say your website is when it comes to B2B Marketing? Do you agree with the respondents who put so much emphasis on it?

Or would you identify something else as being the most effective marketing tactic?

Shoppers Want Integration, Retailers And Marketers Not Delivering It

Marketing

In two separate reports/surveys issued by my-buys, a provider of cross-channel personalization for retailers, revealed that integration, along with convenience and service are what consumers want most but find most retailers and retail marketers don’t deliver.

Their 4th annual Consumer Insights Survey queried over 1,000 adults, evenly split between men and women who shopped online for products 4 or more times in the past year, spend at least $500 online annually and make shopping purchases both online and in stores.

They asked these folks to rate/rank what they would want from their favorite retailers in an ideal world vs. what they are actually experiencing in the real world. You will see there is a quite the disparity between the ideal and real worlds.

To me, this is the most important take away from this survey…Marketing

Integration (consistency) – What Consumers Want

  • 85% want an integrated shopping experience
  • 72% want an integrated marketing approach

Integration (consistency) – What Consumers Currently Get

  • 50% get an integrated shopping experience
  • 39% get an integrated marketing approach

Those in marketing retail and retailers alike, the people are speaking loud and clear. They want to see and experience the same thing be it on your site, your store, your mobile site and they want to see and experience the same message across all marketing collateral – AKA they want a branded experience across ALL channels!

Marketing

Now there are some findings which are perfectly logical and are to be expected, i.e. people want good service. I am a little surpised hower to see how low Personalization scored – could be The Big Brother theory at play as people don’t want retailers to know them too well. But what really surprised me was how low Mobile and Social scored. With both Mobile and Social so prevalent today, it is quite surprising to see only 26%, even in an ideal world, say they would want to be able to make a purchase via their phone.

The other report/survey my-buys issued was their 10th Annual e-tailing group Merchant Survey, which surveyed merchants across 32 different categories of products and services.

What was most-troubling to me was this chart below which showed a staggeringly low number of retailers using an integrated approach to their customers…

Shoppers Want Integration, Retailers And Marketers Not Delivering It
22% not currently planned?

6% will always remain siloed?

16% don’t know?

What’s going on here?

Is just this a case of these retailers not knowing how to go about creating an integrated approach?

Or is it a case of these retailers not seeing the value in creating an intergrated approach?

Or is it something completely different?