Today’s B-to-B Marketing: It’s a Lot Like Shark Tank
As a marketer, I understand the challenge of reaching business decision makers like me in a fresh and meaningful way, but I will tell you that as a focus group of one, I despise the direction marketers seem to be headed:
- My LinkedIn inbox is now overflowing with invitations to connect to people I don't know and now choose NOT to connect to because I know they're going to simply try and sell me something based on their job description/profile.
- To download a whitepaper of interest requires me to complete a form that includes my phone number, which means dealing with unwanted calls from a bored sales rep.
- My regular inbox is stuffed with offers from strangers that want to set up meetings, desperate attempts to sell me data from unknown sources, demands that I click links to view the video about revolutionary new technology that will "change the way I do business."
- If I express any interest at all in a product (attend a webinar, visit a tradeshow booth, download a spec sheet), I am relentlessly mobbed by emails and phone calls.
I get that sales folks have a job to do, so what's the answer?
It's called Lead Nurturing.
An organized and systematic way of building a relationship that will, over time, help turn a cold prospect into a warm prospect... and from a warm prospect into a hot prospect... and ultimately to a sale.
But excellence in lead nurturing seems to be a lost art form as I haven't been exposed to many companies that are doing it—let alone doing it well.
Best practices suggest that the marketer try to ask just a few questions at the outset of the relationship to try and determine the prospects pain point (the reason for their download or visit to your website or tradeshow booth), and the role the individual plays in the purchase process (influencer, part of a decision making team, final decision maker).
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.