Back to School: 5 Must-Know B2B Marketing Lessons

September 2, 2016 James Thomas

Back to School: 5 Must-Know B2B Marketing LessonsFor many, there’s something special about this time of year – the arrival of pumpkin-infused everything, leaves turning color in cooler temps, and the exciting start of a new school year.

For me, back-to-school season serves as a good reminder that there’s a lot to learn–not just for students, but for marketers too. As Christine Viera, co-founder of the B2B Marketing Academy, writes, B2B marketers “must be fluent in newer digital and content marketing practices, and add a new spin to classic tactics including sales training, event management, and more. We’re innovating how we entertain and engage customers as we bring complex B2B solutions to market. This makes it fun and keeps the craft interesting. But what’s new can be hard.”

You’re probably not expecting a pop quiz soon on the latest marketing trends anytime soon, but to stay competitive, review these five must-know B2B marketing lessons for the modern CMO.

Hit “Play” for Podcasts

“Thanks to the boom in popular podcasts like Serial and This American Life, brands including eBay, GE, Netflix and State Farm are betting on audio shows as the next great opportunity for customer engagement. And this time, they’re not doing it alone. Brands are partnering with established podcast companies who not only have the skills and expertise in audio production, but also the existing base of popular shows that can be used to cross-promote branded content that generates a new source of revenue.” – Read more at Ad Age.

Develop a Hybrid Inbound/Outbound Strategy

“During the past 18 months, marketers have come to realize the limitations of the traditional inbound marketing model,” according to Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio. “You used to be able to put keywords in your blog posts and rank [in Google] for them,’ he says. ‘But now everyone is using content marketing. And demand generation tactics for generating leads have reached a saturation point. So that means going after customers using outbound marketing tactics, like ABM, instead of waiting for people to come to you through inbound marketing efforts.” – Read more at CIO.

Get Creative with Influencer Marketing

“While it is important to understand where your audience is and identify the influencers your target audience is likely to follow and the type of content they like, it is equally important to go beyond the usual and experiment with all types of content. There are plenty of ways to make sure your brand finds a way to look as creative and as interesting as possible. Don’t worry about your brand being boring or your industry too formal; try out different ways because nothing is sacred these days.” Read more at Forbes.

Boost the Bottom Line with Marketing Analytics

“As it turns out, the deployment of such analytics tools appears to give B2B marketers better visibility into their marketing spend, allowing them to more efficiently allocate their marketing dollars and identify top-performing channels. Many of the B2B respondents in Regalix’s survey mentioned identifying marketing channels with the best ROI, more effectively allocating marketing spend and optimizing the marketing mix as the key benefits of using marketing analytics.” – Read more at eMarketer.

Build a Performance-Driven Organization

“Like Captain Kirk, CMOs should be sitting on their own virtual bridge, in command and in control of their digital business, receiving constant reports as to the state of the ship’s health, getting real-time streaming data about what’s happening across the galaxy. We call this ‘bridge’ a Digital Operations Center (DOC), giving CMOs the information needed to measure the many facets of performance already existing within an organization, as well as to bridge departmental data silos and integrate with measurement and analytics tools to collect data over time and recognize patterns. You can use the DOC to see what’s happening in real time, use past data to identify trends, and make future plans by leveraging predictive analytics to run “what if” scenarios.” – Read more at MarTech Advisor.

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