• 3 Marketing Myths Busted

    Over the past several years, B2B tech marketers have developed tremendous proficiency in generating leads. Yet high lead-gen numbers aren’t necessarily prompting a pat on the back.

    Consider what happens once those leads get handed over to the sales team. All too often, “leads” offer the tech buyers’ equivalent of “just looking.” These responses are all too familiar to tech sales teams: “I’m still researching,” “I’m not ready to talk to vendors,” or, worse, “I just wanted a white paper, why are you contacting me?” The sales team’s time is wasted along with the money it cost to generate the lead, and the relationship with a potential customer is possibly damaged.

    That’s why the new marketing mandate extends far beyond lead generation. Today, marketers must find effective ways to engage with and nurture prospects in order to convert prospects into profitable, long-term customers.

    New research from UBM TechWeb, conducted in March, asked 240 technology decision makers to shed light on what kind of information they want during the months-long tech buying process — and what kind of information missteps knock vendors out of consideration.

    The data uncovered at least three game-changing revelations, including:

    1: Frequency can increase, as long as value does, too.

    Many marketers impose strict limits on how often to reach out to prospects. But in a UBM TechWeb research study of 240 tech decision makers conducted in March, less than a third of respondents wanted to limit contact with vendors to once a month or less. In fact, frequency of information delivery ranked dead last among factors involved in making a technology purchasing decision.  In contrast, those surveyed listed knowledgeable sales staff and the value of the information provided as the most important factors.

    What does that mean for your marketing practices? “If it’s adding value, don’t put in governance or timing rules just because it looks good on your deployment schedule,” UBM TechWeb CMO Scott Vaughan told the live simulcast audience.  “It’s all about the value.”

    2: Focus on detailed, credible and timely information more than targeting a particular title.

    When asked to choose the factors they find most important in information about business technology issues, 64 percent of respondents said they want facts and figures to support claims; 62 percent listed information that contains both business and technical considerations; and 58 percent named the timeliness of the information. Yet only 27 percent felt that information tailored to their specific role or title is important in the information they’re seeking.

    The takeaway? Don’t spend a lot of time developing a CIO-specific (for example) message. Roles and responsibilities vary greatly from organization to organization. Instead, review your current information assets to make sure they offer credible facts, that they address a variety of buyer roles (business, technical and economic) and that they’re current — decision makers are only interested in information that’s less than a year old, the survey also found.

    If your pieces don’t measure up? “You don’t have to throw away content,” UBM TechWeb’s Vaughan advised, “but you do have to refresh it.”

    3. With content, details and relevancy trump length.

    A commonly held marketing belief is that there’s a magic length for information — get it wrong and the material won’t be read.  But the research tells a different tale. When asked for the top mistakes tech vendors make when producing information, only 19 percent cited information that’s too long.  Far worse, respondents said, are including too much marketing “fluff,” failing to provide real-world applications and examples, and a lack of technical depth.

    The bottom line, according to Jonathan Vlock, director of client marketing at UBM TechWeb, “It doesn’t matter how long it is or how short it is, if it gives me the information I need.”

    Want to know more?

    These three insights came to light at the InformationWeek-sponsored roundtable and simulcast “Lead Gen to Brand Gen: How to Change Your Game,” which took place in April.  For more insights from the survey, watch the on-demand version of the simulcast here.

    Kim Moutsos is the Senior Editor of Custom Content at UBM TechWeb. UBM TechWeb is the global leader in technology media and business information.  UBM TechWeb Marketing Services deliver integrated marketing campaigns and programs including media solutions, lead and demand generation, events, online communities, content development and custom solutions.

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