In today’s Cloud Champions II webinar we heard from Melanie Unwin from Carpe Diem how to evolve your marketing approach to build an always on engine attracting self-educated prospects. Driving new customer acquisition is key to feed a high volume sales engine needed as you grow your cloud services business. If you missed the webinar or want to review the content, all previous sessions can be found on demand on the Cloud Champions calendar.
THE BLOG BELOW IS POSTED ON BEHALF OF MELANIE UNWIN, HEAD OF MARKETING CONSULTING SERVICES, CARPE DIEM CONSULTING.
According to research by IDG, the average B2B IT buyer needs to consume five pieces of content before they are ready to speak to a vendor.
Furthermore, countless research says B2B buyers are between 70% and 90% of the way through their buying journey before they reach out to engage with a supplier.
In light of this, and the other challenges in evolving to selling cloud computing, Partners who do not quickly and radically change their current marketing methods will face some serious business challenges in the face of:
- Decreased margins for cloud based solutions
- Commoditisation of even complex IT solutions
- Self-educating buyers (that are sick of interruptive marketing)
- Lack of Marketing alignment with Sales
The concept of the ‘self-educated buyer’ (explored further in the deep dive Marketing session as part of the Microsoft Partner Profitability series) is becoming more widely known within Partner land, and ‘new marketing’ approaches are becoming more mainstream.
However, we’re still only at the beginning of the evolution, so here are my 6 top tips to help you make the transition to adopting new marketing techniques that actually work:
1. Abandon the traditional approach of buying, calling and mass blasting a bought list
This approach doesn’t work! Buyers are fed up with interruptive marketing techniques and cold calling a list, blasting them product related messages and sending them to a product related microsite is not new marketing. It’s still doing it the ‘old way’ – albeit on a digital channel. Make sure your messaging changes – not just the channels in which you distribute the message.
2. Stop talking about yourselves, your products and your services
Nearly every website I look at in Partner land (and there are some great exceptions), talks about the company, the products and the services. This does not attract buyers early on in their buying journey when they are searching around their pain, and it doesn’t offer any education, advice or explanations around the key problems they will be experiencing. Make sure your website speaks to the different buyers that you target, and offers them something of real value and interest.
3. Become an educator, not a product flogger
We are now media outlets. Everybody is responsible for educating our buyers at each stage of their buying journey to help them make decisions about what they really need. In order to educate them about their business, and in order to appeal to different buyers (including CMO’s – eeek!) the product conversation is dead.
4. Attract prospects to you (your website, LinkedIn), rather than spending thousands on trying to find them
By becoming a media outlet, prospects build up a perception about your organisation and you have to ensure they keep coming back at each stage of their buying journey. Make sure you have early buyer engagement keywords (not just product keywords) on your website and on LinkedIn and that you are consistently giving them the education they need to make the right decisions.
5. Nurture prospects who aren’t yet ready to buy
If they’re not ready yet, they might be in three or six months. They need to be nurtured and Partners need to walk hand in hand with them down their buying journey so that when they are ready, they don’t go to a competitor.
6. Know who you’re selling to, and talk to them in their language
We have to know our buyers – it’s as simple as that. What are their motivations? Their drivers? Their pains? Their personal goals? If we can talk to them in their language, they will be more receptive to talk to us about their needs.
Register now for the Marketing Masterclass workshop “Evolving your Marketing Strategy” on 15th June in Sydney and 17th June in Melbourne.
Resources for Partners adopting the New Marketing techniques:
- Content Marketing Institute
- Corporate Executive Board – The Challenger Marketer
- SocialPort – for sharing and scheduling content
About Melanie Unwin
Specialising in developing integrated sales & marketing campaigns for B2B organisations that acknowledge we operate in a digital world, Melanie works with a range of B2B clients within IT on running internal marketing audits, developing marketing roadmaps, and ongoing consulting / coaching to implement successful New Marketing techniques.