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Shifting the B2B Marketing Paradigm From Contacts to People - 4 Steps for Getting Ready

Shifting the B2B Marketing Paradigm From Contacts to People - 4 Steps for Getting Ready

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Published by Nuno Fraga Coelho

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Published by: Nuno Fraga Coelho on Feb 27, 2012
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08/23/2012

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2A DEMANDGEN REPORT WHITE PAPER 2011
E-marketing tools and tactics havemade B2B marketers much moreeffective at generating leads andbuilding their contact database, but thebar continues to be raised as buyingbehavior evolves and social mediachannels become mainstream.In order to connect with B2B buyers in2012, marketing has to expand beyondthinking about contacts. Gatheringemail IDs may help to track behaviorssuch as white paper downloadsand webinar registrations, but thatapproach is missing the vital link of integrating social intelligence into thedemand generation strategy. To keep pace with the new paradigm,industry experts recommend B2Borganizations start by taking thefollowing steps:1.
Shift the mindset from acontact to a person
— Contactsare simply records that getpassed around from marketingto sales based on their activityor lead score. Those companiesthat view prospects as people

intelligence around tweets, postsand conversations to increase therelevance of messaging.2.
Integrate the “peopleapproach” across theorganization
--This new paradigmis not just about marketingchanging its focus, sales alsoneeds to develop more 1-to-1conversations. Buyers are turningto social media for feedback andanswers to business challenges,and those sales executives thatare using their connectionseffectively and adding value willwin more deals.3.
 Avoid social silos
— Many B2B

activity of their employees for asocial strategy. In order to realizethe full potential of a 360° viewof prospects, companies need todevelop a cohesive strategy thatfactors in a company’s entire socialgraph. This enables sales andmarketing to tap into relationshipsacross the organization, ratherthan solely at an individual level.By focusing on the companysocial graph, sales and marketingcan tap into exponentially morerelationships, become moreeffective and increase conversionrates across the revenue cycle.4.
Reach the right people at theright time
— B2B buying cyclesare much more agile than theywere just a few years ago, withbudgets shifting from one line itemto another based on changingneeds. Therefore, it is critical thatas companies focus on peoplerather than contacts. This strategyalso adds deeper intelligencecapabilities and alerts to connectwith people after a major event,such as an acquisition, promotionor relocation. Relevancy is key withtoday’s buyer and delivering theright message to the right personat the right time is a great way tobuild relationships.
 
3A DEMANDGEN REPORT WHITE PAPER 2011
 The following white paper will presentinsights from industry experts, as well ascase study examples from companiesthat have successfully made the switchfrom focusing on contacts to delivering apersonalized message to the right personat the right time.
Changing Buyer Behavior Dictates Shift FromContacts To People
 The traditional approach of demandgeneration had sales driving leads byplacing cold calls and marketing sendingout batch and blast email campaigns

industry experts point out that this

of the messages they receive as theytry to manage overcrowded email andvoicemail inboxes. This breakdown is especially problematicin 2012 because today’s connectedbuyers are less tolerant of unsolicitedoutreach, and increasingly reliant onweb research, deeper relationships andfeedback from their peer networks whenmaking purchasing decisions. The reality is today’s buyer is expectingto have an ongoing dialogue with solutionproviders, and they are demandingthat companies add value with relevantmessaging and information at every pointin their buying cycle.Illustrating these changing rules of engagement, the 2010 B2B Buyer Transformation Survey conducted byDemandGen Report found:

Only 10% of buyers
who hadpurchased a solution
werecontacted cold
by the provider. The remaining
90% reached outdirectly 
to the solution provideror requested to be contacted aftervisiting their site.

Nurturing and ongoing dialogue
is now a necessity, as 95% of recent purchasers said the solutionprovider they chose providedthem with ample content to helpnavigate through each stage of thebuying process.

Social media is now a criticalpart
of the sales and marketingengagement model, as 59% of buyers said they engaged withpeers who addressed a similarchallenge before making a purchasedecision, and 48% followed industryconversations on the topic theywere researching via social media.
While the digital model has been a big improvement over more manual  analog methods, industry insiders argue changing buyer behavior  and the emergence of new mediachannels dictate both marketing and sales teams need to rethink their demand generation models.

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