Breaking Barriers: De-Silo Sales, Marketing and PR to Cultivate Leads
With reports that the B2B buying cycle is set to get even longer and more complex, organizations with fragmented PR and marketing campaigns can miss prospects and lose sales.
B2B purchasing decisions are not simple consumer transactions. At IBA, we deal with a lot of organizations in the software space. Prospects looking for a new software solution usually only do so once or twice a decade. The decision can take months or years to finally come to fruition, and the potential expenditure can be anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Most marketers have heard the CEB statistic that 57 percent of the buying process is complete before a "customer" even contacts the supplier, and know that marketing-sales consistency will come in handy during the last third of the journey. But it's up to the sales and marketing teams to get the prospect over the finishing line. If the process is fragmented, an organization stands little chance of doing that.
Every Piece of Content Counts
This means the sales team needs to be armed with content tha will help them with prospects at specific points in the buying cycle. For prospects in the early stages of a journey, a news announcement of a customer win, or an analyst report, demonstrates momentum and industry leadership.
These third-party endorsements are then supported by thought-leadership articles from key subject matter experts within an organization placed with relevant media outlets. Once a bid is further along the buying cycle, a specific white paper explaining the finer points of a proposed integration can help push things over the line.
Use It or Lose It
The PR team I work with has a saying: “You might have written the best article ever, but if it doesn’t get used, you may as well frame it and hang it on the wall.”
This is true for all content created as part of sales and marketing campaigns. It could be that each department is creating useful messaging, but if the content sits idle on the shelf and out of sight of prospects, then it will never achieve its full potential.
Turn Content Into an Asset
To optimize campaigns, start by removing any content silos. Breaking down departmental boundaries is important to consolidate all sales, marketing and PR material in one place. This means storing those press releases, customer case studies, articles, blogs, marketing flyers and white papers in a central repository.
As Pitch&Place engagement specialist at IBA International, Jon is responsible for media relations and PR strategy for many of the company’s business-to-business clients, spanning North America, Europe the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Jon is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and holds a Master’s degree in Sports Journalism.