In today’s always-on world, competition for customer mindshare is at an all-time high. With mile-a-minute social networks, overflowing email inboxes, and more content than it’s even possible to consume, B2B marketers are facing an uphill battle when it comes to standing out. So, how can you reach the potential buyers that you know would be just perfect for your product?
While B2B buyers continue to self educate before interacting with a salesperson, a recent report shows that 83% of respondents said they were receptive to outreach from vendors if the interactions were relevant and contextual.
While they are open to more personalized interactions with salespeople, 63% of the 200 businesses surveyed said that they contact sales professionals only when they made a purchase decision.
B2B buyers continue to do a majority of their buying research on their own, the study revealed. Respondents noted that peers and colleagues are the most trustworthy information sources (95%), as well as independent content (86%).
Other findings from the report include:
"As B2B marketing and sales continue to evolve, this relevancy is going to become even more critical to success," said Adam Blitzer, SVP and GM for Salesforce Pardot, in a blog post spotlighting the study.
Click here to download a full copy of the report.
Despite rumors of the death of email, it remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined, according to research from McKinsey & Co.
Like all of the tools in the B2B marketer’s arsenal, email marketing is driven by data. Data helps ensure that email campaigns align with the pain points and interests of prospects and customers. If you touch a nerve, the email is more likely to get opened.
By Adam Blitzer, Vice President of B2B Marketing Automation, ExactTarget
I’ve seen marketing automation come a long way in the last few years. A rapid shift in marketers’ desire to show both brand impact and business results have fueled a transformation. With more marketers shifting to a revenue-oriented marketing model, this will be the year that even more companies get started with marketing automation.
ExactTarget yesterday announced plans to acquire marketing automation solution provider Pardot and e-commerce personalization solution provider iGoDigital.
ExactTarget paid $95.5 million in total consideration for Pardot, including $85.5 million in cash and $10.0 million in ExactTarget common stock, and $21.0 million in total consideration for iGoDigital, consisting of $14.7 million in cash and $6.3 million in ExactTarget common stock.
Over the past two years, Salesforce.com has embraced social media marketing as a key part of its long-term growth strategy. Today, as the company consolidates its acquisitions of Buddy Media and Radian6, some industry-watchers are asking whether a marketing automation vendor might be the next item on its shopping list.
The speculation has focused on Salesforce.com's recent embrace of the term "marketing cloud," and whether the company aims to extend the concept beyond its current focus on social media marketing.
"I am really excited about the Marketing Cloud," Benioff said during the company's Q1 earnings call. "I really think it is a multibillion-dollar opportunity just as we've seen the Sales Cloud is and the Service Cloud is and the platform is . . . By the time we get to Dreamforce [in September 2012], I think now we'll have a lot to talk about in regards to the marketing cloud."
BtoB marketers are spending millions of dollars annually on social marketing programs, though nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of social media programs on lead generation and sales, according to a survey conducted by Pardot.
The survey, which included input from dozens of companies, aimed to shed light on the developing role of social media in marketing. Survey questions focused on social marketing etiquette, the influence of social media on lead and sales, the most useful social media tools and the cost to operate social marketing programs.
The survey found that social media use among BtoB marketers is on the rise —95% of respondents indicated they use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or corporate blogs to reach prospects. Yet despite the increased use of these services, only 70% are monitoring the return on spend for these programs. And among those who do, about 42% of marketers replied that zero or an uncertain number of sales leads resulted from social media programs.
Cloud-based marketing automation provider Pardot is continuing its rapid growth approaching year’s end, as the company has surpassed the 14,000-user mark, and doubled its employee count year over year. Additionally, the company said it has already added more than 100 new customers to date in Q4 2011.
In 2011, Pardot added more than 100 new deals per quarter, according to Co-Founder & COO Adam Blitzer, and he added the company is on track to finish Q4 with 130 new customers added.
A new study shows that some B2B marketers are still slow to embrace the use of data-based metrics to assess their performance – although many of them are preparing to ramp up their analytics efforts.
The study, which was sponsored by marketing automation vendor Pardot, was conducted online last February. Among the B2B marketers surveyed, 37% say they don't currently track revenue generated by their campaigns, and 30% still are not tracking advanced metrics like marketing-sourced opportunities. The study also found that one in five B2B marketers today don't measure marketing-sourced leads at all.