B2B Marketing: Know the Trends, Pick the Right Strategy

What key tactics best fit our Marketing Strategy?
What B2B marketing tactics are working now for others, and how well?
Where should we emphasize or deemphasize our marketing focus?

In working with leading global B2B companies, our Fusion Marketing team is extremely familiar with the cost/benefits of various lead generation programs. In fact we work closely with the management teams of numerous B2B product and services companies to build and help execute a marketing strategy that fits their industry and their sales model. Knowing the most effective tactics can help you refine or enhance your strategy.

While the right B2B marketing strategy will vary by type of product and industry, we do see distinct trends. The marketer’s challenge is to combine the right mix of programs to build market awareness and fill the sales funnel each month at a low blended cost per lead. With that in mind, we examined the recorded effectiveness of the many online lead generation options. Our experiences are summarized in this B2B marketing strategy infographic.

marketing strategy infographic

Effectiveness of B2B Marketing Tactics – Lead Generation Strategies

The FMP team operates under the doctrine of a consistent and predictable lead generation “engine.” The lead engine is an optimized, scalable set of people and processes that produce massive brand awareness, drive a planned volume of qualified leads, and result in revenue results that meet business goals.

When we work with clients to create their quarterly lead plan, we look at a variety of tactics that when integrated together, produce the volume of required leads at a low cost per lead. While we do occasionally find a highly productive, low cost lead source, the reality is that it’s more often a blended mix of tactics that yield results. And the mix changes as the strength of the brand, messaging and website grows.

But what tactics yield the best results? Referrals and email marketing to the house list are low cost ways to build lead flow. Even better, leads from these sources tend to have higher sales conversion rates. However, these tactics seldom fill the quarterly sales funnel. Content marketing and social media are increasingly important, but these tactics often require a sustained commitment and time to yield significant results. Higher cost push marketing programs such as Pay-Per-Click help supplement the lead flow. And in some markets, vigorous participation in trade shows and conferences remains an important tactic to maintain brand awareness in your market.

Pull (Inbound) B2B Marketing: The Increased Importance of Content Marketing & Social Media

There’s a reason that you see traditional SEO shops rebranding themselves as content marketing and digital marketing experts: The old search engine-manipulating schemes and keyword games are becoming less effective. While Google frequently changes its search algorithm each year with Maccabees, Panda, Hummingbird, and numerous unnamed rollouts, the overall trends place greater value on better-written, more relevant copy. High-quality content that helps your prospects meet their challenges, find better solutions, and do their jobs better has the benefit of attracting your market. Pull marketing strategies that attract through education rather than the hard sell or keyword packing are producing results and driving down cost per lead for the smart marketers who are riding this wave.

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B2B Lead Generation Trends – Changes in Priorities

The balance of power has shifted and B2B buyers are taking more control of their purchasing process. With the explosion of information and social feedback available online, more buyers prefer to find solutions, choose vendors, and self-educate before engaging with sales. B2B Marketers must adapt to these changing dynamics by building online brand awareness and providing resources to support buyers’ needs.

Lead generation strategies that leverage content marketing and social media are increasingly effective in providing prospects the information they want to become viable sales prospects. By providing educational resources, sharing solution details, and offering insights, companies are attracting and engaging potential clients to fill their sales funnels.

The Right B2B Marketing Strategy for Your Business

There’s no question that the right marketing strategy for your business will depend on your brand, your business capabilities, your solutions, and most importantly, your market. But knowing the distinct trends can and should influence your marketing priorities.

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Christopher Ryan
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