Inbound marketing is a large part of most B2B marketing’s budget – as it should be. At the same time, the effectiveness of the inbound spend is in question for many organizations and marketing is looking for ways to optimize and monetize this spend.
For me, it begins with knowing your customer and understanding their journey. Understanding why they are looking for your type of solution and understanding what is motivating and driving them in their decision making process. Yet, I also see that many B2B marketers do not know their customers. Time and again I meet with marketing teams to help them build personas, the buyer journey and then create the right content plan for both inbound and outbound campaigns and I am amazed at how often marketing does not know the customer. That’s why I now require sales to be a part of these engagements. It’s interesting that B2B marketers have become so removed from the customer while B2C marketers are the experts on all things related to the customer.
When this knowledge of the customer is not there, it is difficult to have an effective inbound program. I wrote about this for Chief Marketer (https://www.chiefmarketer.com/b2b/focus-customer-inbound-marketing-06082014) and I integrated into the conversation a theory I have recently learned in my PhD program – market orientation. This is a firm-wide capability, led by marketing, that senses and responds to customer changes. Sounds easy and the companies that do this well experience growth in revenue and profit, improved client acquisition and retention, and a competitive advantage in the market.
Read about my thoughts on this topic in Chief Marketer…this is just my opinion based on what I see..what have you experienced?