Here is an attention grabbing find from a study conducted in 2014 by the Business Marketing Association, Online Marketing Institute and Forrester Research: 83 percent of marketers are unable to measure business value from their content marketing efforts.
Depressing and disconcerting…yes! Should this be surprising? No!
That is because – like social media – content creation absolutely, positively does not replace business-to-business enterprise sales. And, if marketers use revenue creation as a measurement benchmark, they are destined for disappointment.
Rather, Web, content marketing, social media engagement and digital communications empower experienced, proven and relationship-oriented sales reps. It makes them more effective, efficient and scalable, helping sales teams more quickly identify, nurture and close deals.
Plus, a carefully crafted and integrated program – commonly referred to as Web2Sales – allows a company to derive more value from its investment in marketing automation and CRM platforms.
It powers lead generation and drip campaigns, while the resulting analytics and intelligence informs lead scoring, tracking and forecasting.
That is a measurable ROI!
For marketers, the challenge becomes how to structure these often disparate activities in a programmatic way, syncing everything with a well defined sales initiative.
Chantilly, VA-based Iron Bow Technologies provides us with an example of Web2Sales in action. The technology services company that caters to business and government customers recently launched a new campaign called Telehealth Education Delivered or TED for short.
Disclosure: my consultancy works on the TED program.
The effort aligns an innovative approach to product demonstrations conducted on-site at customer locations with a well defined Web, content, social and digital presence. Sales resources have also been marshalled for cultivation and follow-up activities.
The take-away here is that marketers must pay heed to the siren song of content marketing, social media and digital. These high-value activities are merely part of a more comprehensive Web2Sales strategy, which, when executed effectively, can provide a healthy jolt to a company’s sales pipeline.