The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Going Inbound [Ebook]

    Posted by Tracy Lewis on Jul 24, 2012 10:19:00 AM

    Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Tracy Lewis (@Tracy_J_Lewis). Tracy is a rockstar consultant at PR 20/20, the first (and one of the foremost) inbound marketing agencies. Tracy is involved with client services, business development and account management activities. She is also the community manager for Marketing Agency Insider, the hub for a more open and collaborative agency ecosystem. I'm a big fan of Tracy, PR 20/20, Marketing Agency Insider and their leader, Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer). I asked Tracy to summarize PR 20/20's new ebook, The B2B Marketer's Guide to Going Inbound, in the guest post below.

    The marketing industry is changing, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. As Paul Roetzer points out in his book, The Marketing Agency Blueprint, this evolution stems from:

    • Change Velocity: Technology has changed the way that people access and consume information (e.g. mobile devices, social networks, etc.). It also provides marketers with more channels to engage target audiences.

    • Selective Consumption: The core concept behind inbound marketing, selective consumption simply means that buyers are now in control—choosing when and where they want to interact with brands.

    • Success Factors: A greater focus needs to be placed on outcomes, not outputs. With the sophistication of today’s tracking and analytic systems, marketers can tie campaigns to bottom-line results.

    These factors are demanding marketers to reevaluate how they approach campaigns, and commit to activities that drive real business results—mainly leads and sales. Instead of relying strictly on old-fashioned marketing tactics (such as direct mailers and ads), which are increasingly ignored by consumers, it’s time for marketers to go inbound.

    Inbound Marketing for the Complete Buying Cycle

    It’s common for B2B companies to have buying cycles that span weeks, months or even a full year. So, how do you keep these people interested and engaged all the way through purchase? Effective inbound marketing:

    • Fills the top of the sales funnel with leads from search engines, content and social networks.

    • Nurtures leads in the middle of the funnel through targeted content and automated follow up based on each lead’s interests and behaviors.

    • Works closely with sales to improve lead quality, relay key lead details and ensure a smooth handoff. 

    • Analyzes everything to optimize campaigns and prove ROI.

    Inbound marketing is all about turning visitors into leads, and then leads into sales in the most efficient, cost-effective manner. The most successful campaigns are highly integrated, blending data analysis, content marketing, social media, email, mobile, technical know-how, and more.

    Want to Get Started?

    For a detailed look at the strategies, tactics and tools needed to run modern marketing campaigns, download our free ebook, The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Going Inbound. With the right skills and knowledge, you can develop inbound campaigns that span the entire buying cycle from focused lead generation to close, and beyond.

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    Topics: inbound marketing, b2b lead generation

    Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine (Speaking at New England Business Expo)

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Oct 8, 2008 8:36:00 PM

    I'll be speaking at the New England Business Expo. About 3k people from all over Central New England attend the show w/ 150+ exhibitors. I'll be giving a talk titled, "Inbound Marketing: Get Found Online and Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine"

    You can register for it on the New England Business Expo website.

    If you are a CEO or sales manager, I recommend you attend Frank Belzer's talk, "Are your salespeople driving you crazy?"

    Tailored to women, I recommend you attend Deb Penta's "Create Your Personal Brand" and Jeanne Worrick's "Sell Like a Girl"

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    Topics: speaking, seminar, lead generation, inbound marketing

    Are You a Luddite Idiot Who Still Cold Calls All Day?

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Sep 22, 2008 12:57:00 PM

    There was some very colorful non productive banter in my recent blog article, Cold Calling is 280% More Effective than Inbound Marketing.

    In short, someone called me conceited for writing the post the way I did:

    I should be able to stop here and have you see why I called your post sophomoric, but in case you don't yet understand I'll add a little more here.

    Consider your statement "I talked to 3 people today who have a decent sized sales team who spend their entire day cold calling. Yes. Cold Calling. All day."

    You seem to think you have it all figured out because you know what works for one little corner of the world. You don't yet understand that there might be a lot of reasons that things are done a certain way. The sales manager at these companies that you mention might be luddite idiots -- or you might be the carpenter who thinks the solution to any problem is a hammer. In any case, you can't deny that there was conceit and arrogance in your statement "...who spend their entire day cold calling. Yes. Cold Calling. All day."

    HubSpot, in our quest to make people feel really bad for relying on cold calling to build their sales funnel, has filmed a slightly more humourous and less insulting way of getting the point across: 

    I fully expect my sales training development expert readers to have some constructive and thoughtful feedback.
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    Topics: cold calling, inbound marketing

    New Study: Cold Calling 280% More Effective Than Inbound Marketing

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Aug 20, 2008 5:44:00 PM

    I hope you laughed when you read the title of this post. I laughed when I wrote it. However, I'm also sad that so many people actually operate their business as if this post's title was true.

    I had a conversation with Paul Chaney the other day. He's the Internet Marketing Director at Bizzuka, a web content management system.

    He said to me, "My job is to generate quality sales leads via the web so our sales team has to do less cold calling. I've had to do cold calling in my career and I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

    I agreed with him. That's a great way to describe the job. When I started my first business (an online event registration service), we basically got some brochures made and I started walking down Main Street in Worcester, MA. I walked into Davis Advertising in Worcester and got a meeting with Andy Davis. We discussed events and how he promoted them and I pitched him my vision. At the end of the meeting, I asked him what the likelihood of him hiring (or referring) my Company was? And he said, "Call me when you grow up."

    I was in my mid twenties, but he just meant that my firm was too inexperienced and that he wouldn't trust me to interact with his clients. He meant, I was green.

    I continued cold calling for a long time and continued struggling to get the Company off of the ground. About a year into it, we got a bunch of good breaks, learned how to network and get referrals, planned and promoted a bunch of our own events so we had some successes under our belts and later learned how to sell a lot more effectively, cold calling or not. (I'm still learning and more of my story is in the about Peter Caputa section of this website.)

    Looking back, though, I was, as Andy basically said, "very green" in business. I was very naive.

    I thought it was about my idea. Our idea was great. It still is. There's a handful of companies around the country that watched what we were doing, as I blogged about it, and took our "lessons learned" into account when designing their business.

    However, ideas don't generate revenue. Solving problems does. People buy because they have a need, they have the budget, they're convinced your solution will help them solve their problems and the timing is right for them to take advantage of what you're offering. They buy for a compelling reason which most likely helps them avoid some recurring pain. Not because you have a smart idea or great product that YOU think will help solve their problem.

    The trick is that most engineers and entrepreneurs (I'm both unfortunately) are very poor at asking questions and discovering problems. Most entrepreneurs skip to the presentation, like I did when talking to Andy a few years ago. Most are way too eager to present their product or solution. Most entrepreneurs don't listen, don't ask questions and don't lead their prospects into coming to the conclusion that "this product will help me solve my problem". They don't understand the unique challenges of each prospect. (Yes, they are unique, atleast to the prospect.) They don't frame the solution using the words the prospect used to describe the problem. They don't help their prospects buy. They pitch and hope the pitch resonates with their prospect.

    In short, most entrepreneurs suck at sales.

    I'm a firm believer that every salesperson must always be a student of sales. They must always be learning and improving their craft. The senior and top performing sales person at HubSpot, Heidi Carslon, said to me the other day, "A savvy sales person is going to be constantly evaluating and evolving their strategy." Agreed. I believe that any salesperson who hasn't directly sold a Million dollars worth of business in their sales career to atleast a few hundred different customers, needs to get their sales skills assessed and their sales weaknesses fixed. Any entrepreneur without this experience should be doing this yesterday. I wish I knew that the option was available to me in my first year of my business, instead of my third.

    Despite typical entrepreneurial sales weaknesses, some get by and are still wildly successful. But, that's usually only because they are awesome at marketing and have a perfectly timed awesome product. (You're probably not lucky enough to be one of them: Google, Youtube, Microsoft, Starbucks, Dell, etc).

    The problem with most startups is that most entrepreneurs stink at marketing too.

    Most successful entrepreneurs understand that they need to constantly be improving their marketing processes too.

    I would never suggest that marketing can fix sales issues OR that good marketing will ever replace the need for strong salespeople, especially in a complex B2B sale. But, based on my experience on the other side now, where I have more leads than I can handle at HubSpot, I know that I don't have to be as good... I don't have to work as hard to generate opportunities; I don't have to cold call; I don't have to travel to see people; I don't have to write custom proposals; I don't have to spend money on brochures; I sometimes don't even have to present my product... in order to make lots of sales.

    That's because there is demand that has been generated for the product I sell. That's because marketing was built into the business plan from the beginning. The founders were smart enough to develop online lead generation and sales processes as they developed the product. It's also because I have a bunch of successful clients who refer me business. But, mostly it's because marketing is charged with delivering an ROI, as well as tasked with constantly improving that ROI. They do measurable marketing. They do Closed Loop Marketing.

    I talked to 3 people today who have a decent sized sales team who spend their entire day cold calling. Yes. Cold Calling. All day. They don't have a marketing team that generates interest or leads. They all get a lot of business through referrals, so their products and services are good. They've just ignored the internet's ability to help them cost effectively deliver warm leads to their sales team.

    I can't imagine why anyone would continue operating like this. Can you?

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    Topics: sales, inbound marketing

    Internet Marketing eBook

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 6, 2008 2:01:00 PM

    HubSpot just launched an 11 page free internet marketing eBook. If you're a small business owner, marketing or sales professional and are frustrated with not generating enough leads from your website, you should go read it online or download it.

    Here's the sections: 

    1. How the Internet Has Transformed Business
    2. Outbound vs Inbound Marketing
    3. B2B Marketing Research
    4. Organic vs Paid Search
    5. On Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    6. Off Page SEO or Link Building
    7. Starting a Blog
    8. Convert Website Visitors into Leads
    9. Web Marketing Analytics
    10. Other Internet Marketing Resources.  

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    Topics: SEO, blogging for business, search engine optimization, marketing analytics, ppc, inbound marketing

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