Content Marketing as a Lead-Gen Method for B2B Companies

October 18, 2011

eMarketer chart showing relative value of content typesAn article from eMarketer stresses the value of content marketing as a tool for generating sales leads — see “Content Marketing Key to B2B Sales Funnel.” Content marketing refers to the practice of providing valuable content to attract and serve the company’s target market and get them to identify themselves as prospects. Such content can include web-based articles, white papers, webinars, and email newsletters.

The article quotes Lauren Fisher, author of a new eMarketer study:

Online content is the fuel for the new B2B marketing lead generation engine. In creating informational, educational and actionable content in the form of white papers and webinars, marketers can effectively lure early-stage buyers into their sales pipeline.

By mixing this content with comparative, company-specific and interactive content—and regularly sharing it via email or e-newsletters—marketers can build relationships designed to nurture prospects throughout the sales funnel.

AB — 18 October 2011

Classic 1995 Internet Marketing e-Book Now Online in Free Archive

May 17, 2010

I’ve now posted the entire text of my groundbreaking 1995 e-book, The Smart (aka Small) Business Guide to Internet Marketing, here on Optimization Marketing. This was one of the first books published electronically and sold and delivered over the Internet.

Although the Smart Business Guide is dated in many ways, many of its principles remain true today for those trying to build a presence and make sales in the online environment. So I thought it would be interesting and useful to have this text online as a resource.

AB — 17 May 2010

Some basic marketing concepts (and gimmicks)

February 22, 2010

Here are some concepts and gimmicks that I have found useful for formulating the basic marketing approach for a product or service:

Key concept: Audience, target market

It’s important to have a clear picture of exactly who your audience is, that is, your target market. Who is your potential customer, and what can you do for them? This means who your customer is as a company or organization, but also who the decision-maker is that you are trying to communicate with at that company. Your message needs to be directed to the needs of the company but also to the individual person within the company (that person’s needs should be articulated separately from those of the company.)

Key concept: Offer

You need to clearly articulate what your offer is, that is, what can you do for your audience, for your target customer? What need do you meet, what problem do you solve for them?

Useful gimmick: USP – Unique Selling Proposition

Formulate a brief statement that distinguishes your company. What is it about your product or service that sets you apart from your competition? (Keep in mind that your competition is not just other companies that do the same thing you do. You are competing for a set of dollars that could be spent in lots of other ways.)

Useful gimmick: Elevator Pitch

This is closely related to “offer” and “USP” as mentioned above. The idea here is to imagine that you are in an elevator with a potential customer, and that person asks what your company does or what you can do for them. You have about half a minute to make your pitch. What will you say in those 30 seconds or so?

Useful gimmick: AIDA

This is a formula that can be used for outlining a marketing-communications piece, such as a sales brochure, ad, or web page. Each stage should be designed to capture and hold your target audience and move them along to the point where they identify themselves to you and become a sales prospect. At the same time, people who are not good prospects for your company will drop out.

  • Attention – Get the prospect’s attention through an attention-getting headline or image.
  • Interest – Generate interest by communicating a compelling offer.
  • Desire – Convince the person that they want and need your product of service.
  • Action – Get them to take action by calling, sending in a reply card, submitting a web form, or other action.

AB — 21 February 2010

Marketing Audit

April 2, 2009

In a marketing audit, the consultant uses a standard process to assess the state of the company’s marketing efforts.

AB — 1 April 2009

Marketing Maps

March 16, 2009

A marketing map is an idea map applied to a marketing effort.

Idea mapping might be used in several ways in a marketing effort:

  • To create a marketing assessment
  • To outline a marketing plan
  • In working with a client or a group to develop a marketing plan or to plan marketing efforts

AB — 16 March 2009