4 Things B2B Marketers Should Focus on in 2012

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2012 is almost here and as I prepare myself to celebrate the holiday season with my family and friends, I can’t help but think of all the things I would like to achieve in the coming year.

I think most B2B marketers would agree that for us, it feels like Christmas every time we manage to fill the sales pipeline with quality leads. After all it means that our marketing strategies, tactics and efforts over time have borne the fruits of our labor.

So as I prepare for the real Christmas, I am also working on my list of must-do marketing activities in the coming year, which will ensure, the team has enough reasons to celebrate work and their marketing efforts through the year.

Below I share with you my list of marketing must haves for 2012.

2012

Prioritize Content

Lots and lots of content in all possible formats. Yes I know you already know this and you have a regularly updated corporate blog and have managed a constant flow of keyword driven articles for SEO purposes. But that is a very miniscule part of your overall content requirements for qualified lead generation.

What you need is a superlative content plan that helps establish your company as an industry thought leader and trendsetter in your space. Invest time, money and resources in producing high quality research reports, whitepapers, presentations, video-logs, webinars, info-grahics etc. This kind of content serves a larger purpose than just getting your brand visibility and improved search engine ranking, it attracts your prospects and leads, helps them understand and believe in your offerings and also see how well your solutions fit their budget, need and timelines.

Redefine your Social Media Strategy

Your company might already be into social media marketing, but 2012 should be all about going beyond working on your brand pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It should be about sharing your expertise on expert groups and forums, participating in group discussions, promoting your offerings in a subtle or indirect way in place of in the face marketing. It is about running small and big, channel/platform specific campaigns, online events, which help your brand, interact with its followers and understand them better. These campaigns should be designed keeping in mind the tastes of members of each of these social networking platforms.

We all know that in B2B the lead-to-sale time is long and often takes months for leads to move from one stage of buying to the next. Sending repetitive emails as part of the lead nurturing process can often get too predictive and boring, in such a scenario social media can add a whole new dimension to how you interact and connect with your leads, nurturing them on a more interactive and inclusive platform than an email.

Focus on strengthening existing customer relationships

Marketers and sales professionals are usually busy pursuing new leads and prospects. Often in this rush to meet targets, they forget to nurture and strengthen their existing relationships with their customers.

If your current customers are happy and think well of you, they will reward you with recommendations and referrals which is any day better and a more qualified lead than those who you have to convert from a scratch.

So it makes sense to spend sometime keeping in touch with your customers as it ensures, upsell opportunities and increased mindshare. You can be assured that they’ll remember you when the need arises for them or for some contact who needs some information on offerings similar to yours.

Optimizing the use of our Marketing Automation platform

Investing in a marketing automation platform is something many B2B companies did this year. But optimizing their investment, by ensuring their marketing and sales teams use the platform effectively is something they should work on in the coming year. With the kind of insights, analytics and automation of regular marketing activities a good marketing automation platform can provide, the effort is most certainly, worth it.

Marketing automation not only helps in increasing the number of qualified leads discovered on your website, but also helps the marketing and sales teams to set a common standard for qualifying leads, scoring them on criteria beyond just BANT. It also helps them in assisting a lead’s journey through the buying process in a more strategic, well thought and customized manner.

Looking back there is so much we have accomplished this year, learned so much about the B2B online marketing space which is constantly evolving and now it is time to review all those discoveries and successes, analyze them and see how they can be enhanced and implemented for more success in the coming year too.

So tell us what will your list of marketing must haves for 2012 look like. We would love to add your suggestions to our list…like they say…there is always scope to do more..

Image courtesy – http://comprendia.com/

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Merlin

    Nice post! Most definitely agree on the content front – getting lots of really high quality content out there to support your audience is going to be absolutely key when it comes to differentiating your brand from your competitors. Information which helps and educates your readers, information they will want to share across their social media platforms. The benefits to companies of this ‘nurturing’ type of marketing are plentiful – very exciting for 2012!

    Michelle

  2. Hi Mechelle,

    Glad you liked the post! You are right high quality content is going to be key for any kind of B2B marketing and lead generation activity. Those who can create such content will lead in their industry space.

    2012 definitely looks exciting and I look forward to seeing some interesting marketing trends emerge!

    Merlin

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