A Fireside Chat with Austin’s B2B Marketing Agency for Tech Companies
Over the years, the Launch team has worked with quite a few B2B Tech companies in Austin, which means we’ve met and consulted with more tech executives than we can count. As different as they are, we hear a lot of similar sentiments over and over, which we’ve compiled in this blog in an interview with one of the marketing experts on our team.
Q: Give me one good reason why emailing a purchased list of targeted contacts isn’t a good idea?
It’s not a bad idea, but there are definitely better ideas. What’s less-than-ideal in this is what companies want to say in those emails. Their messages are typically very forward, like an offer for a free consultation. This is the equivalent of walking up to a pretty girl at a bar with an opening line of “Let’s go out.” Only it’s B2B, so the chance of chemistry, good looks or a lack of judgement working in your favor is next to none.
Nevertheless, the company will do this and sometimes get a few responses, consider it a success, and wash, rinse, repeat. But what’s happening is they’re picking the low-hanging 1% of very ripe fruit and leaving the other 99% to rot. What about the other contacts in your list who perfectly fit your prospect profile? You could, with a little effort, be cultivating these into opportunities, and growing the conversion of this purchased list from 1% to 5% or 10%. When we’re talking about ROI for that purchased list, the implications get weighty fast.
Q: You’re talking about marketing automation, aren’t you?
Marketing automation is helpful in this process, and you can see that in the trend of businesses adopting it. However, marketing automation answers how when we should still be talking about what. We need to know what to do and have a very clear picture of why, before skipping ahead to how.
So let’s go back to the non-responders of your purchased list: they’re not ready now, but what are you doing to make them ready? You can continue taking your marketing budget and purchasing lists to email blast over, or you can invest that money in your own business to create a scalable process that cultivates the not-quite-ready contacts (i.e. most of your prospects) to become low-hanging fruit a few months down the line. The end-result is an end-to-end process that can walk someone completely through their buyer’s journey, from awareness to close.
What I’m really talking about is nurturing your database.
Q: How do I nurture contacts without the expense of marketing automation?
Start with content. What kinds of people are interested in your product? What else are those people interested in? If your product is a project management software like Projectplace (the fastest growing software in its space), offer blogs of tips and tricks to being a great project manager, share statistics about project management, take those statistics and make them into an infographic or an eBook. These are really what marketers are talking about when we say “thought leadership” or “top-of-funnel content.”
Q: What is the role of thought leadership in B2B sales?
If closed/won is sealing the deal, thought leadership is the playful banter and deep conversations of the B2B world. Not everyone needs it, but most do.
In relationships, typically, it takes a few dates to consider committing to someone. You have to get to know them. The bigger the commitment, the longer it tends to take. Exclusivity? This can be decided in three to ten dates. Marriage, joint bank accounts, or investing in a house together? Try a few years.
If your product is a large investment to most companies, let them get to know you first, and do it in a way that is completely scalable. If your product isn’t such a huge investment, letting prospects get to know you via thought leadership gives them a reason to come to you. This is inbound marketing.
Q: Thought leadership takes too long. It’s a waste of time and money. Why is this all that marketers seem to want to talk about?
Three stats for you:
- 41% of marketers confirm content marketing (largely thought leadership) has a positive ROI in their company
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, and are more likely to buy from that company
- 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles than ads
Want more insight on your marketing plan? Contact us!