Inbound Marketing Shortens Your Sales Cycle

We saw this study from HubSpot the other day, and it reinforced what we know –and what, fortunately, many of our clients also understand: good marketing requires patience. However, the more inbound marketing a company implements, the sooner they enjoy the benefits of lead generation.

Refining your message and getting it out through the right blend of marketing channels takes time. And once your message is out there, it takes a while for it to go through the rinse-and-repeat cycle of multiple exposures that your key buyers need in order to form an opinion and make a purchasing decision about your product or service.

But not seeing an immediate sales bump does not mean your message isn’t being received; the buying cycle for most businesses is long and needs time to go through the essential channels before you will likely hear from a prospect. Many companies take a year or more to make a buying decision.

However, increasing the amount of inbound marketing can result in increased website traffic in an average of 7 months. What is inbound marketing?  This category includes website content development, blog posts, engaging people through social media, and implementing Search Engine Optimization.

Our clients observe that increased marketing and PR activities result in not only increased website traffic, but also in more leads from better qualified prospects. And once we implement a consistent marketing and public relations program, these increased leads become a regular thing.

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Want to talk about your marketing strategy? We’d love to help you enjoy the results of a solid integrated program! Drop us a line at kyliew@pwmginc.com.

White Papers Remain Influential to IT Buyers

When is the last time you produced a white paper? Or refreshed an old one to make it relevant to your prospects of 2010?

If you can’t remember, then stop wasting any more time thinking about it and just get busy.

This piece from BtoB (http://bit.ly/91QWFa) shows that white papers remain an important influencer in the IT buying process. And beyond the fact that this survey shows white papers to have sway over final purchasing decisions, they also are proven to serve your SEO needs, thus making your website a more valuable resource for the search engines as well as your prospects.

Integrate Your Marketing Efforts with Your Lead Generation

Pete Wiltjer was the guest speaker at the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association’s Business-to-Business monthly meeting in September. He talked about the importance of effectively integrating a brand message within a company’s outbound lead generation efforts. Here are a few key points from this presentation that we’d like to share with you:

1. Your brand is the whole experience of doing business with your company, including a prospect’s or client’s time on the phone with anyone representing your organization. So, even your outbound email and telemarketing should be aligned with a positive brand experience.

2. This often means fine tuning your email messages and outbound calling scripts to reinforce value, rather than only pushing for an appointment.

o For instance, try offering a free case study, a white paper or something that can assist the prospect in taking action on an acknowledged problem he plans to spend $$ to resolve.

o WHEN YOU GET VOICEMAIL: Leave an intelligent message. Avoiding leaving a message that reminds prospects of auto-dialers.

With regard to email marketing, in particular, I agree with Craig Kerr of iPost, who was quoted in this insightful article from BtoB. Kerr said that by focusing on your e-mail strategy instead of devising the next cool campaign, marketing managers should be able to demonstrate to upper management that they are focusing on return on investment. And that importance cannot be understated in a recession.

3. After all, outbound call and email campaigns should generate interest in your company.

o But it only happens when you tell a story that connects with the prospect’s acknowledged need.

o The challenge is to keep tailoring the storytelling to the interests of the prospect, not just preaching principles and products.

*Contact us if you’d like to discuss ways we can support your lead generation efforts!

Marketing by Example, Pt V

What were we up to last week?

More than you think. Beyond our main commitment to our clients (new sales letters developed, new pitches going out, new interviews coordinated), we were also working hard to protect our good name (rotten identity thieves) while refining our own messaging.

Justin Petrucelli gives you a look in his latest post at Entrepreneur’s Daily Dose.