Tag Archives: Inbound Marketing

Content Sequencing for Inbound Marketing

At SiriusDecisions, we are always on the lookout for new and interesting technologies that can potentially help sales and marketing leaders meet their business goals. Until recently, content sequencing (providing specific, sequential offers to a target audience based on its last behavior or response) has been the exclusive domain of outbound marketing – typically in the form of e-mails. OneSpot, a vendor from Austin, Texas, recently briefed us on its offering, which brings content sequencing to inbound marketing. OneSpot uses earned and owned content, converts it into standard-size Web advertising units and sequences those ads using retargeting to match the content to the phases of the buyer’s journey. It’s not hard to imagine the use cases. Almost every marketer I know has, at some point in their career, had a CMO hold up a great media review and ask, “How are we going to leverage this?” The standard answer has been to post the review on the company’s Web site or social properties, and occasionally order reprints for sales. With content sequencing, that review could be used in a series of ads placed on the target audience’s favorite Web sites and could take visitors who click on the ads to additional useful or thought-provoking content. The sequencing case study that OneSpot recently shared with us went like this:

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SiriusDecisions Study Shows Evolving Marketing Mix in European Markets

We surveyed marketing leaders and demand creation professionals in European markets including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. We asked participants to identify their marketing mix across four categories: inbound, outbound, social and mobile marketing. Although social and mobile fall into the inbound and outbound categories, respectively, we measured them independently to examine their prevalence in the demand creation mix. Here’s what marketers revealed about how their demand creation program spend is shifting:

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Not Fade Away: Post-Summit Motivation for Sustaining Change

It’s been a few weeks now since the SiriusDecisions Summit in San Diego. That means you’ve gone back to a whole bunch of existing plans and priorities that probably don’t leave much room for adding “sweeping organizational change” to the list. The trouble is, it will take serious change to adopt some of the best new ideas shared at Summit. Right now, you are faced with a choice: Is it ok to go back to what you know, because it’s hard to do something new, or were you inspired enough by the stories of success to make real change? Here are some ways to think about bringing new ideas to life in your organization. With any luck, not to mention some perseverance, you’ll be sharing your own success stories at next year’s Summit.

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Product Launch Has Changed. Have You?

Inbound marketing is driving the need for a redefinition of product launch processes. By 2015, SiriusDecisions predicts that 71 percent of all inquiries will be inbound in nature. This trend must be reflected in launch budgets and strategies, which, historically, have been heavy on events and direct marketing. Organizations that plan and execute inbound marketing techniques (e.g. search engine optimization, search engine marketing, digital marketing, Web site conversion optimization, social media) fueled by thematic, topical, thought leadership content aligned to audience needs do so at their own peril.

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SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall: Inquiry Phase

Inbound vs. Outbound: Are You Asking the Right Question?

SiriusDecisions recently launched, with support from marketing automation vendors Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot, a new survey to measure conversion rates as leads progress through stages of the demand waterfall. The objective is to determine what best-in-class performance looks like for different types of b-to-b businesses. This is the first in a series of posts focusing on the questions the survey is designed to help answer. Today's focus is the inquiry phase of the demand waterfall.

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Marketing to Anonymous Web Site Visitors

Look at the universe of people who visit your Web site. Some may be known, but most are not. Most anonymous visitors take no specific action to identify themselves, so how can b-to-b marketers most effectively market to them to drive higher conversion to inquiries?

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Are You an “Innie” or an “Outie”?

A debate is raging within b-to-b marketing organizations about which approach is best: inbound marketing or outbound marketing. Those who favor inbound approaches (let’s call them “Innies”) claim that outbound is dead or dying, and is so misaligned with how buyers buy that it actually does more damage than good. Most Innies deeply understand and appreciate buyer behaviors and preferences, and want to facilitate the buying process with value-added offers positioned where buyers already go, using tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and social media. We are strong advocates of inbound, and we have data that shows it is producing more high-quality leads at a lower cost than outbound for many companies. So Innies win, right? Not so fast . . .

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You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Marketing, over the past 10 years, has undergone a women’s-lib-esque transformation – shifting from a focus on brand and production value to demand creation and lead generation. The tools and technologies that support the modern marketer are less about design and more about measurement. We operate less on gut instinct and more on predictive outcomes. We’ve come a long way, baby…. There is a dangerous non sequitur in this evolution: the implication that a tactic’s measurability is directly proportional to its value and impact. This type of thinking not only puts almost all reputation-oriented spend at risk, it also reinforces old habits that many organizations are hoping to change, such as the shift from traditional marketing to a more inbound-oriented approach. Philosophically and intuitively, most marketers understand the value of inbound in terms of efficiency and effectiveness but remain stuck in their old patterns of behavior because traditional marketing is easier to measure.

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Is Your Marketing Database Prepared for Inbound?

Among all the effects inbound marketing is having on b-to-b, the least explored may be the impact it’s having on contact databases. Organizations that are experiencing inbound marketing success can quickly find themselves struggling with data challenges they aren’t prepared to deal with. For inbound tactics to be fully effective, they need to be reflected in how the organization manages its data. This means that the traditional thinking about keeping incomplete records out of the database needs to change. For database marketers who can recognize this reality, there’s a huge opportunity to derive even more value from their inbound marketing efforts. Here’s what to do.

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SEO: In Search of a Strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been a staple of the b-to-b marketer’s tactics menu, ranging from Web page optimization to external link-building strategies focused on increasing relevant site traffic. Yet, for anyone who has managed an SEO project, the catchphrase of the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield often defines these efforts: “I don’t get no respect.”

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