Modern Marketing

B2B Marketers’ Big Challenges: GlobalSpec’s Industrial Summit Recap

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This week, we were invited to join GlobalSpec’s Industrial Marketing Digital Summit. While it was geared primarily towards marketers in the industrial sector, this virtual event offered valuable advice for any B2B marketer.

Presentations centered around issues that we all face as marketers, such as: how to prove ROI, tips for succeeding in the social sphere, and guidelines to generate quality leads. These are big topics to cover, each with a wealth of information, so to help, I have assembled three summaries for you.

Keynote: Proving Marketing’s Value to the CEO

Jeffrey Kileen, Chairman and CEO of GlobalSpec, opened the Summit with a topic that is on many marketers minds – how to prove that B2B marketing is more of a revenue generator than a cost center. It is no longer business as usual, he pointed out, but business as unusual. Economic uncertainty has forced executives to make tough decisions about spending, so it is more important than ever to prove your marketing department’s value. Today’s marketers need to be more focused on analytics and link their efforts to organizational successes. It is important to work with your sales team, and create plans that will have measureable impact.

If you’re not sure how to measure your marketing programs, download our Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Analytics.

Panel: Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector

Rick Short (Indium), Todd Sierer (Edmund Optics), and Gary Spangler (DuPont) gathered to discuss best practices in B2B social media. If you think that social media is only for B2C organizations, or that your customers are not using social media, think again. Spangler points out that people ages 35-54 made up 29% of Facebook users in 2010.

So, what can you hope to get from utilizing social media marketing? Indium’s key objectives include positioning themselves as thought leaders in the industry, establishing trust and confidence in their brand, and last but not least, generating leads.

A social media plan that aligns with company initiatives will support your marketing efforts, and help promote your content to a wider audience. To be effective, your social media plan should span across the key social channels, involve blogs and visual content, and have measurable goals. For more on how B2B marketers are using social media, take a look at this cool infographic.

What’s Working Best for Driving More Leads and Sales Today

Mac McIntosh, President, AcquireB2B and Principal Consultant, Mac McIntosh Inc., provided useful and relevant examples of how to optimize sales and lead generation. A recent MarketingSherpa study showed that marketing is generally responsible for bringing in 60% of sales leads. And with budgets tightening, it is critical that we be as effective as possible. So how do we do this? Here are the four ways to generate more leads and drive more sales:

  1. Focus on the right prospects: Identify leads that fit your buying profile, have recently visited your website, and leverage more of your existing database by updating and appending the data.
  2. Use the right media: Incorporate inbound marketing strategy, like SEO and social media, to create awareness and generate leads. Optimize your outbound efforts with emails and events (whether they are conferences, webinars, or virtual tradeshows) to nurture and qualify leads.
  3. Make the right offer: Align your messaging with where your prospects are in the buying process and help move them forward with compelling incentives.
  4. Be there at the right time: Use on-going, multi-touch campaigns to stay in-sight and in-mind, and increase the chance of being there when a prospect is ready to buy.

Follow these tips to generate more high quality leads, and improve alignment between sales and marketing. For more on driving leads through the buying cycle, take a look at our Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing.

This event was full of relevant content for B2B marketers, and provided useful tips across a variety of topics. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, I highly suggest participating in another upcoming virtual event, such as MarketingProfs’ Digital Marketing World on Content Marketing. Virtual events like these are great way to stay on top of the latest marketing trends, network with fellow marketers, and swap ideas – all from the comfort of your own desk!