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.