The top business-to-business lead-nurturing tactic is email, used by 87% of marketers, while 77% employ educational content and 61% prioritize physical events, according to the Content Marketing Institute. In addition, 74% ask their sales colleagues for feedback to inform content.
Executives from leading agencies share their lead-generation advice, including remembering the importance of creating an authentic brand presence, identifying the value of paid search, using thought-leadership techniques and pinpointing target areas across the buying journey. "We look at our entire funnel, from Google Analytics to social media, find weak and strong points in the data, and decide where to attack to show the strongest returns," says Ladder.io's Ed Plotts.
Just 36% of business-to-business buyers fully trust the information they receive from vendors, per TrustRadius, and innovative marketers can capitalize by ensuring their brand stands out as more trustworthy than competitors, John Ellett writes. Give prospects ways to engage with existing customers to boost trust, let them control the purchasing experience and create content that's useful instead of promotional, the TrustRadius report advises.
The top video topics among marketers at Advertising Week were the launch of IGTV, shoppable formats, connecting with Generation Z, and how multiple platforms and devices create challenges to reach prospects, writes Natalie Koltun. BBDO New York's Peter Kain said, "The audience has different expectations for each platform," and advised marketers to "take the idea and know the best way to reward the audience for their time."
Business-to-business marketers should combine the powerful tactics of influencer and experiential marketing by creating events where prospects and influencers can interact to create memorable, shareable experiences, Allen Yesilevich writes. Consider pop-up events or roadshows, and let influencers test products and talk to customers while sharing the experience with their social audience, he advises.
The short supply of talent, coupled with a sizable marketing skills gap, has set the industry back. Companies are also dealing with the fact that many qualified candidates simply don't find the idea of B2B or B2C marketing very sexy. Here's how companies like Mastercard and GE are attacking the issue head on.
The FBI is seeking help from the Association of National Advertisers and members in its media-buying investigation of the advertising industry. ANA CEO Bob Liodice stated in a letter that the association will "not play a coordinating role," but encouraged members who believe they have been the victims of fraud to seek legal representation and advice.
Some 54% of consumers experience relief when a brand provides them with a live expert for advice, yet nearly two-thirds also said an email that personally deals with their concerns would prevent them from sharing negative experiences about a brand, according to a study by Invoca and Adobe. "A personal touch goes a long way, and in every case, in-person and phone interactions performed better than email and chat, often by up to 30 percent," the report states.
Designers working in WordPress can create websites without having to know code by turning to plugins that leverage the utility's power, Brenda Stokes Barron writes. She offers 15 ways to customize WordPress without needing to touch PHP.