B-to-B Companies Grow This Way
The study, titled “State of Sales & Marketing: 50 Fastest-Growing B-to-B Companies,” finds companies like Upwork, WeWork and Slack rely heavily on content marketing.
The report says:
“Theory is splendid but until put into practice, it is valueless.”
—James Cash Penney (founder of JCPenney)
MarketingProfs sums it up this way on Tuesday: “The 50 fastest-growing B-to-B companies are investing in blogs, downloadable content and live chat.”
This content is aimed at educating and driving demand from target audiences, reads the research.
On Aug. 9, one reader commenting on Drift’s blog post about the research said the report fails to say if content is the top driver of growth and success.
However, the document itself seems to indicate that content marketing actually is the top demand-generation tool for these marketers.
“With the rise of inbound marketing and content marketing, content has become the cornerstone of many modern B-to-B marketing operations,” reads the research.
Here’s how Drift and Mattermark say B-to-B customers travel down the purchase funnel:
Step 1: Blogging
Top-of-the-funnel traffic flows from blog posts to the marketer’s website in the first content touch, the report says.
The study says:
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
—Andrew Davis (author of “Brandscaping”)
“Eighty percent (40 out of 50) of the companies maintain a blog or online publication,” Erik Devaney writes in a Drift post that announces the research. “So it seems like most of the fastest-growing companies are focused more on top-of-the-funnel content vs. lead nurturing content.”
Step 2: CTAs
Once on the company website, members of the target audience see a call-to-action. That CTA may vary.
“Sixty-two percent (31 out of 50) of websites have primary CTAs directing people to the product/service. 38 percent (19 out of 50) have primary CTAs directing people to talk to Sales.”
Second Content Touch
The 44 percent of B-to-B marketers who use a second content touch as the conversion requested by the CTA suggest visitors download content, such as ebooks, whitepapers and templates that will educate them about a specific topic. (Something relating to a product, perhaps?)
From there, 28 percent (14 out of 50) gate the content and 16 percent (8 out of 50) don’t gate content. What about the rest? This is where live chat comes in. The report points out that just because marketers don’t gate the content doesn’t mean they can’t ID and contact the visitors. Instead, they do it in real-time — on the site. Of the 11 companies studied, three even show pictures of the live chat agents in order to personalize the experience.
“Of the 11 companies using live chat, eight have it on their homepage,” according to the research. “Three have it appear after you navigate to a pricing or contact page.”
The research provides this quote:
“These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.”
—Brian Clark (founder of Copyblogger)
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.