Attracting clients who will potentially buy a product or service is one of the most important business activities because a business will fail without a steady stream of revenue generating customers. However, there has been a fundamental paradigm shift in the way that businesses go about generating leads. That shift is most profoundly seen in companies that conduct business to business (B2B) marketing. Advancements in information technology provides marketing professionals with tools that make it easier for them to assess the effectiveness of marketing strategies. The results have shown that old school, outbound marketing techniques are less effective than less intrusive inbound marketing practices for both consumer and B2B customers. Here are some ways that modern marketing professionals use inbound marketing techniques to generate qualified B2B leads.
Align Marketing Strategies to Target Customers
Instead of guessing about targeted customers' needs, an inbound marketing professional uses tools like Moz Analytics to determine which organic search terms are used that pertain to their company's products, services and industry. They determine that the people making those queries are prospective clients, and they adjust their online presence to begin a relationship with those B2B prospects. For example, they conduct search engine optimization (SEO) by strategically inserting identified search terms or keywords into their websites. Marketing specialists can also update their company blogs with valuable content that informs and educates the B2B customer about subjects that interest them. By doing a little research and focused SEO activities, marketing professionals do not waste time when generating qualified B2B leads. They simply acquire them by giving prospects the information for which they have been searching.
Use Customer Relationship Management to Map Customers' Purchase Path
Customer relationship management (CRM) has become a key tool used to identify customer needs. Although each B2B client has unique needs, they are all likely to have some requirements in common with their competitors. For instance, business clients' purchasing decisions are more predictable than consumers' choices that tend to have emotional aspects to them. B2B clients are going to do what is best for their company's bottom line, and their purchasing decisions always relate back to cost benefit analysis results. CRM tools help marketing professionals to gauge the location of prospective customers on the path to purchasing products or services. They know that prospects are either being introduced to a valuable product or service, considering a buy or actually making a purchasing decision. B2B clients often require a deeper level of information and more time to analyze a product's value than consumers need. Marketers must be prepared with information that meets the needs of their prospects at each step.
Be Accessible With Measurable Engagement Channels
Marketing professionals who can communicate the fiscal value of their products and services through a desired communication channel can generate qualified B2B leads. According to recent statistics, nearly 81 percent of U.S. adults use social media, and the fastest demographic users of the large social media platforms are people between the ages of 45-54 years old. In most companies, this group represents most of the key decision makers. A marketing professional that provides links to their company's updated social media pages has the opportunity to further inform and educate their prospects via a communication channel that these prospects choose to use regularly.
Inbound marketing encourages companies to foster relationships with their B2B prospects and clients that take time. However, the long term rewards are often generous because valuable information was shared instead of obnoxious gimmicks that tarnish brands.