The Inbound and Content Marketing blog

Are you putting your B2B buyer personas first?

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  7, March, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Inbound marketing is customer-centric: your target audience is at the heart of everything you do. Therefore, you need to understand that audience – and one of the best ways to do that is to create B2B buyer personas.

Buyer personas represent the people that matter to your business. HubSpot defines them as "fictional, generalised characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behaviour patterns among your real and potential customers". 

Your buyer personas should inform your entire inbound marketing strategy. Without them, your campaigns and messaging could be completely missing the mark. So, how can you make certain that you're effectively prioritising your B2B buyer personas?

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Why are your B2B marketing tactics not working?

Written by Keith Errington  |  16, February, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Are you struggling to maintain previous levels of sales, or having issues generating leads? If you are simply doing more of the same, it could be that your whole approach is the problem. The entire marketing and buyer landscape has changed – old methods no longer work. Unless you recognise this and change your strategy, your sales will suffer and problems will follow.

The evidence for the revolution

You may have heard the saying: "If you have been doing something the same way for a long period of time – it's probably wrong."

When Adobe carried out a survey in 2013, they found that 76 per cent of people felt that marketing had changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50, with a similar number saying that the old marketing model is no longer sufficient. There are a whole host of factors – technological, social, and more that are accelerating this rate of change.

So, if you haven't changed your B2B marketing tactics in the past few years, you need to rethink - or lose potential sales.

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Why you should focus on B2B marketing fundamentals in 2017

Written by Keith Errington  |  12, January, 2017  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

January is traditionally a time when companies look to the year ahead, so what are the main B2B marketing issues they should be addressing in 2017?

Well, despite the many new technologies being bandied about and the cloud of hype surrounding them, it will be a focus on the fundamentals that will allow B2B businesses to succeed this year.

Integrated approach to business

Managing a business used to be easy – each function of the business – manufacturing, sales, marketing, customer service and management had their own departments – their own boxes if you like. Each reported to the board through a more-or-less vertical reporting and controlling system. It was always very clear what each area did, what is was responsible for and what their territory was.

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Why Inbound Sales is the future

Written by Gemma Rogers  |  21, September, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

It is well-versed that buyer behaviour has changed significantly in recent years. Inbound Marketing redresses the balance by adapting to customers’ needs, but is Sales in danger of being left behind?

Changes in customer behaviour are widening the gap between buyers’ expectations and sellers’ tactics. HubSpot research shows there is a disconnect between customers’ expectations and traditional sales tactics. Buyers are not going to change, so the onus is on Sales to adapt.

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Inbound marketing and sales and the need for an SLA

Written by Jeremy Knight  |  16, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

The old sales playbook would likely quote "always be closing" or "it’s a numbers game". The sales team would be "calling to touch base" or overheard, for the 50th time that day, saying "if I could show you a way…"

Essentially, if a sales rep wasn’t spending the larger portion of their day hustling prospects, trying every trick in the traditional sales playbook to get that deal signed, sealed and delivered, they were likely not long for the role.

The sales manager didn’t care if the solution they were selling benefited the potential customer or not. Their world was driven by the numbers, and "the numbers don’t lie". Unlike the buyer because "buyers are liars" (sic) so, get your foot in that door and show me the money.

But the world around us has changed. Customers are empowered by technology, the internet and the social web. Today, they want to inform and educate themselves long before they are ready to speak with someone in sales.

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Why your inbound marketing agency bangs on about buyer personas

Written by Keith Errington  |  8, June, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

If you have done any reading at all on inbound or content marketing, you will probably have been struck by how often agencies emphasise the use of buyer personas. You may even be slightly bored with the constant urging to define and use these personas when developing your marketing strategy. But if you want to succeed in business, personas are pretty much essential. So if you want to understand the obsession with buyer personas, then read on, as I’m going to explain why they are so important and why successful modern marketing depends on them.

The importance of attracting and engaging prospects

Let’s start by going over some obvious business basics. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. But no customer, no matter how loyal they are to your brand and no matter how well you treat them, will stay with you forever. There is a constant need to attract new customers just to stay in business. And if you want to grow, then there is no denying that new business must become your driving force.

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How the sales funnel has changed for professional services marketing

Written by Keith Errington  |  2, March, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Anyone familiar with sales or marketing will recognise the traditional model of the sales funnel. It can also be represented by the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.

As a model, it was developed in principle in 1898 by American advertising advocate E. St. Elmo Lewis - in the days before the Internet, before television and even before radio. So it’s hardly surprising that this century-old model may need re-thinking.

In professional services marketing, the funnel was traditionally "fed" with leads from networking and referrals from clients. While business is still generated using this approach, the funnel has changed radically - with some even saying that the sales funnel is dead.

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The 5 key tactics of the best lead generation companies

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  27, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

"Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting qualified prospects to fill your sales funnel." (Unbounce)

In other words, lead generation allows you to acquire contact information about people who fit your buyer persona profiles and may go on to become customers. But what do I mean by the term "the best lead generation companies"? Well, quite simply, businesses that are great at implementing this process - that are the best at attracting and engaging the right contacts with what they offer.

And the best way to generate leads is through content. However, it’s not as simple as that. A "churn out content and the leads will follow" approach isn’t going to cut the mustard. Instead, you need to execute a carefully considered strategy and keep your eye on the prize at all times.

So what tactics do the best lead generation companies employ?

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5 questions you need to ask about your marketing data

Written by Keith Errington  |  20, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

Modern digital marketing can produce lots of data – but what does the data really mean? Is it really helpful? This post lists five questions to ask about your marketing data to ensure it’s of value to you. But first, what are the most important questions you need answering?

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4 ways a content writer can help your professional services marketing

Written by Antonia Molloy  |  6, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

“A revolution is underway” (Hinge Research Institute).

Fortunately, it's not a bloody, violent one, but for professional services marketing change is afoot.

Traditional marketing methods - such as referrals, advertising and direct mail - are becoming less effective as more and more individuals and companies rely on online resources and searching the web to guide them through the buyer’s journey.

Within this new system, content is king. In order to attract (and keep) the attention of the people that are looking for the solutions you provide, it’s necessary to create useful and educative content that tells them what they want (and need) to know.

So how can you achieve this? Probably the best option is to appoint a content writer or writers to craft the excellent content you require. This person or persons might be a new hire, or they might already be within your company. In fact, you might be surprised to find that you already have more content writers than you think.

But what benefits will a content writer bring to your professional services marketing? Well, they can help you to achieve a number of things…

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The importance of events to your B2B marketing strategy

Written by Keith Errington  |  5, January, 2016  |  0 Comments  Subscribe

There have been plenty of articles written on the importance of using inbound marketing, including social media, to publicise events - but very little on the importance of events to inbound marketing and your overall B2B marketing strategy.

Inbound marketing content thrives on stories, but sometimes they can be a bit thin on the ground. So what can you do? Well, you can create your own story, and that’s essentially what creating an event is all about.

Here are just four reasons why events make for great content, and how to maximise their benefit.

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