Marketing technology has evolved in multiple ways, originating in spreadsheets, databases, contact management tools, graphic design software and word processing. The Internet accelerated the process, turning an evolution into a revolution. And the result was a jumble of tools and systems, each seemingly dedicated to solving a section or two of the marketing process. Some of these tools are known in the tech world as “point solutions” and focus on a single activity or segment of what marketers do. Email, for example, or lead scoring. Others attempt to automate large swaths of the process.
Almost three quarters (72 percent) of buyers planning to purchase a business product begin their research with a Google search, according to a recent report by Pardot. After an initial search, 70 percent of buyers then return online 2 to 3 times to do additional research, and 12 percent return online more than three times. Just under one in five (18 percent) do all of their online research in a single sitting. Besides Google, B-to-B buyers also use personal networks (15.5 percent), Yahoo (5.5 percent), Bing (2.7 percent), and LinkedIn (2.5 percent) as starting points for their research
Up until the dawn of the Internet, I thought I knew pretty much all there was to know about B-to-B marketing communications. Since the Web's advent, new B-to-B marketing methods have proliferated, some of which I know almost nothing about. Marketing automation is at the top of the list. I knew it was a hot trend, had some vague notion of what it entailed, but my understanding was foggy at best.
"In 1960, there were five marketing channels; in 2013, there are 60-plus marketing channels." This is an interesting statement I recently took away from attending the Pardot B2B Inspiration Tour. Sixty-plus?! No wonder integrating online and offline data has become such a pressing need and an increasing challenge for almost all marketing organizations.
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Gosh, it is almost getting boring around here waiting to see where the next selection will go. Salesforce grabbing up ExactTarget with the first selection was the first big surprise. Not so much the ExactTarget side, because there had been rumors for some time that ET was on the market.
Contrary to what many industry insiders have said, Salesforce.com did not purchase ExactTarget just to get into the marketing automation platform (MAP) market. If Salesforce.com had sought simply to enter the MAP market, it would not have waited for Pardot to be acquired by ExactTarget. Remember ExactTarget purchased Pardot last October for $95.5 million; Salesforce.com had plenty of opportunity to acquire Pardot directly for much less than the $2.5 billion it paid for ExactTarget. What does ExactTarget bring to the table, then? A B-to-C entry point. ExactTarget holds a significant roster of b-to-c customers, ranging from Expedia and Universal Music
You've realized the benefits of lead nurturing, but haven't figured out a simple way to leverage your resources and get started. Are there best practices for simplifying lead nurturing? Yes! Join Gleanster Principal Analyst, Ian Michiels, and Pardot Marketing Automation Evangelist, Mathew Sweezey, on March 19 at 1:00 p.m. (EST) for a closer look at how top-performing organizations use lead nurturing to outperform peers and competitors.
For B2B marketers with long, complex sales cycles, landing pages are crucial for generating new leads and gathering prospect data. Did you know that the vast majority of visitors leave within seconds of viewing your landing page? For that reason, it's vital that you follow best practices to boost the effectiveness of your landing pages and raise the quantity and quality of your conversions. Download our Best Practices Guide to Landing Pages to start improving your landing pages now.
With inbound marketing on the rise, the popularity of content marketing has exploded into a widespread phenomenon. Today's B2B marketers are under constant pressure to create a steady stream of worthwhile and relevant content. Sitting down to map out a content marketing strategy can greatly benefit you in the long run. Download our Content Creation Guide to get access to six templates that will contribute directly to the success of your content marketing efforts.