The digital age has produced a lot more work and responsibilities for marketers. They are overwhelmed by data, tracking website stats, campaign results, social media engagement, click-through rates, and more. Meanwhile, sales teams are still waiting on the leads to come through. For both teams, the concern is that the already lengthy B2B buying cycle will continue to grow longer as prospects stall out in the research stage.
So how do you hack into the buying cycle, meet your prospects in the research stage, and facilitate the sales process?
Don’t Be Afraid of the Unknown
Now, buyers have gotten savvy and will do just about anything to avoid getting one of your promo emails. In other words, they are trying to stay unknown for as long as they possibly can. This can be discouraging, unless you’re willing to rethink exactly what information you need in order to do your work.
While you may not have certain persona or contact data, you do have the ability to learn a lot about the companies your target prospects work for: size, industry, geographic location(s) and of course, company name. Marketers use these data to create campaigns, target prospects, deliver content and track website engagement, which means the lead nurturing has begun long before you have a lead.
Narrow Your Focus
Even once you get contact information, you can be more strategic about your lead nurturing if you consider the right data sets. For example, website traffic tends to be in the domain of the marketing team, while CRM is a primarily a sales tool used to measure the progress of accounts. Given what we know about digital buying behavior and how much today’s buyer likes to research, it’s clear that website engagement is powerful digital body language.
Even once a company is engaged in the sales cycle, if key stakeholders within the organization are viewing product and services pages, it’s a good sign of interest. But does your sales team have that insight? If they did, they might be able to make better decisions about where to spend their energy. On the flip side, marketers can prioritize their campaigns based on account status in CRM.
Go for the Full Court Press
To be effective as a digital marketer, you need to take advantage of all the channels available to you and start running surround-sound campaigns. For example, if traffic from a particular prospect spikes, they should immediately be added to a retargeting campaign.
Then, ensure that they’re seamlessly enveloped in a full, connected integrated marketing campaign that includes advertising, social media, email, events, website experience and personalized follow-up. And of course, you don’t have to rely solely on your own data; consult with sales to determine how best to build and tailor each campaign.
There’s no question that digital trends have shaken up our traditional marketing strategies and tactics. At first glance, it seems like we may have found ourselves with lots more work and no clear path forward.
Although there’s plenty of technology that helps us meet those challenges, the real key is being strategic and being an active participant in the new buyers’ journey. When we’re able to get our bearings and eliminate the noise, we see that this is actually the best time to be a marketer. With the right hacks, we can speed up the sales cycle and use these new trends to our own advantage.
Read the full article on Marketingland.com for more details!