December 24, 2010
How To

MarketingSherpa's Take on B2B in 2010: Part one -- lead nurturing and social media

SUMMARY: This past year has been fairly challenging in the B2B marketing world, as many marketers were asked to generate higher-quality leads with increasingly limited resources.

To close 2010 we are giving you the first in a two-part series highlighting four areas of particular interest to B2B marketers in 2010. This week features lead nurturing and social media B2B. Next week we'll cover marketing automation and lead generation content.
by David Kirkpatrick, Reporter and Brad Bortone, Associate Editor

This past year has proven to be a challenge in the world of B2B marketing. Marketers were asked to work with limited resources and still generate higher quality leads. To help marketers plan for the coming year MarketingSherpa recently published the 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report featuring the results of 935 marketers' surveys alongside 167 charts and tables.

In October we held two B2B summits -- on the West Coast in San Francisco at the start of the month and on the East Coast in Boston to end the month.

We are highlighting four topics that generated interest among the 478 B2B marketers who attended our two Summits, as well as the client-side marketers and industry experts we interviewed over year of reporting in 2010:

o Social Media B2B
o Lead Nurturing
o Marketing Automation
o Lead Generation Content

This article is part one of a two-part, end-of-year wrap-up, covering social media B2B and lead nurturing. Next week we'll hit marketing automation and lead generation content.

Social Media B2B

Social media has plenty of relevance in the B2B world. A MarketingSherpa B2B benchmark survey found 75 percent of marketers reporting social media was somewhat, or very, effective for their organizations, and only 25 percent reporting social media was not effective. Web 2.0 tools like blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Facebook, are useful in B2B marketing.

The challenge for B2B marketers is in how to utilize these social media platforms that were designed with consumers in mind. Facebook, in particular, should be part of B2B marketing efforts because of its large number of users (more than 500 million at last count), the SEO benefits of a corporate Facebook profile and the interaction "wall" conversations provides with customers.

Is it Time for B2B Marketers to Give Facebook Another Look? 3 Trends to Consider

New Chart: The Effectiveness of Social Media for B2B

How to use Social Media and Email for Prospecting: 8 Essentials

Special Report: Social Media’s Impact on SEO -- 5 Trends to Guide an Integrated Strategy

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a vital part of the complex sale and helps to drive revenue generation -- a metric that reaches across any company divide. You want to monitor every prospect's behavior to understand where they are in the buying process. The key is to both anticipate, and answer, your customer's questions as they are asking them. Successful lead nurturing keeps customers involved and engaged, and not feeling like they are misunderstood in the potentially lengthy B2B buying process.

Lead Nurturing and Management Q&A: How to Handle 5 Key Challenges

How to Design Email Lead Nurturing Programs that Drive Sales

Getting Serious about Lead Nurturing and Lead Management

Useful links related to this article

MarketingSherpa 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report

B2B Marketing Summit Wrap-up Replay: Quick takeaways on lead nurturing, social media marketing, and more

B2B Marketing Summit '10 Wrap-up: Seven takeaways to help you engage potential customers, generate high-quality leads and more

B2B Marketing Summit Wrap-up: Quick takeaways distilled from 478 marketers on lead nurturing, social media marketing, and more

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