• 3 Best Practices To Drive Online Engagement

    Business technology decision makers have access to more information from more sources on more platforms than ever before. This means you must compete harder than ever for their attention, and make the most of every opportunity.

    World-class performance marketing campaigns are not solely about generating leads. While it’s vitally important to track the return on your marketing investments, it’s equally important to look beyond raw numbers, and craft a multi-dimensional strategy that generates trust, builds engagement and deliver better-qualified leads for your sales team.  Enterprise technology marketing requires creating and developing relationships of trust with multiple professionals involved in the decision process. The discipline has only grown more complex over the past decade.

    Technology buyers have access to more information – and along with it, more noise – than ever before. Marketers now have new avenues to communicate with prospects and advanced metrics to measure and optimize marketing efforts – we call this “Performance Marketing.”  While many people treat that term as a synonym for “lead generation,” we believe that such a definition is one-dimensional.

    Yes, many of the performance marketing campaigns we execute for clients are built around creating leads. Real performance marketing, though, is not limited to demand gen. It’s about creating mutually beneficial relationships based on useful, professional information. It’s about delivering that information into your prospects’ buying cycle at the right time and in the right format. And it’s about optimizing and measuring your efforts using the right mix of communications strategies, tactics and platforms.

    Technology buyers are a savvy audience. They know what kind of information they need and are quick to discard what they consider “marketing fluff.” Truly enduring customer relationships are built on marketing programs that operate across multiple dimensions and have long-term goals as well as short-term ones.

    These are the top three best practices for creating long-lasting, profitable customer relationships:

    Best Practice #1 — Provide Real Value

    Performance marketing begins with creating professional content – research, white papers, videos, demos, webcasts, virtual events, etc. – that will attract and reward engagement throughout the buying process. Your prospects and customers rely on you to provide in-depth information about your technology offerings and how it addresses their business needs. They rely on this information to do their job. It’s this value proposition that lies at the heart of performance marketing. Technology buyers are more than willing to engage with vendors if they are promised – and receive – the data they need to research technologies, compare solutions and make informed decisions.

    Best Practice #2 — Engage Across Many Dimensions

    Many vendors base their marketing campaigns with a certain number of leads in mind.  For example, a goal of 200 director-and-above registrants from large enterprises. Such metrics are important, but planning, executing and measuring performance marketing should go way beyond collecting and counting qualified leads.  A more sophisticated approach would involve nurturing prospects through content of increasing specificity and depth. Not only will this allow prospects greater control over the process, it will also give you and your sales team greater insight into what their individual concerns are.

    Best Practice #3 — Break Through The Noise

    Performance marketing is obviously also about scale and efficiency. No matter how great your content is, it won’t do you any good if it doesn’t get discovered by a critical mass of interested buyers. Technology pros are bombarded with content every day –and their attention is a scarce commodity. The keys to grabbing that attention are:  a. relevant, contextual content, delivered in the way that best suits the buyer and b. constant optimization of content and programs.

    These goals require a flexible, creative, multi-dimensional approach to planning, executing and measuring performance marketing campaigns. You’ll find the extra investment that you make will be well worth it.  Read the complete white paper for details.

    Prior to joining TechWeb, Tom Smith worked as an Internet editorial content developer and manager working on brands such as InformationWeek.com, TechWeb.com and InternetWeek.com. His core goals in managing performance marketing include optimizing performance and delivery of all lead-gen, lead-nurturing and audience engagement campaigns for tech marketers.

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