According to our 2019 State of the Industry Report, the top two focuses for tech marketers this year are inbound marketing (37%) and sales enablement (25%). Combining both initiatives is a guaranteed recipe for success but can be tremendous undertaking for smaller marketing departments. How can it be done? Time to get out your inner “mad scientist” and get to work!
Why Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing has been around for a few years but the transition from straight up cold calling and other outbound tactics is taking its toll. While inbound is a humanistic approach to marketing, tech marketers have been trained to remove emotion from campaigns and focus on specs instead of storytelling.
Need an inbound marketing refresher? This B2B Tech Marketer’s Guide to Inbound will get you up to speed.
Saas companies now have to battle with learning curves making continuous adjustments the new constant. The hardest part of inbound is that there are no true step-by-step instructions. Every industry is diverse, every persona has a nuance, every campaign with a unique intent. Tech marketers can read up on inbound as much as they want but until their marketing department begins implementing and testing, it’s all just theory.
How to Test Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Conducting A/B testing is the marketing equivalent of not putting all your eggs in one basket. What you feel might be the best image, copy or call to action, might not actually be the content that resonates with your audience. By testing, your leads will show you what works. You can get crazy granular with this fun science experiment! Follow HubSpot’s checklist of best practices to help you stay safe in the lab.
Perfect for: Landing pages, paid ads, CTA buttons
Did you spend a lot of time crafting the Mona Lisa of landing pages? By integrating a heatmap into your CRM or landing page platform you can see a visual representation of the engagement on your page. Scroll maps, click maps and hover maps can give your marketing team a behind-the-scenes look at where your audience is focusing.
Perfect for: Landing pages, emails, home pages
There is nothing worse than wasting time on an intense resource page no one reads. Content needs to be:
Check out Content Marketing Institute’s recommendations of how gauge if your short-form content should be converted into mega-content.
Perfect for: Blogs, resources, emails
Testing is the only way to confirm your user-focused content hits home by creating stronger campaigns and in turn, more qualified leads. By perfecting your campaigns with the testing data, you’ll create repeatable events which give you and your team time to focus on your next initiative…
Why Sales Enablement?
After the leads start pouring in, marketing’s job isn’t finished. In 2019, tech marketers realize that their job description goes beyond lead generation and extends all the way through the sales cycle to customer creation. Tech marketers want to empower their sales team but site lack of resources as their main challenge.
Looking to learn more about sales enablement before you jump right in? We have The Complete Sales Enablement Guide for B2B Tech Companies.
If your company has any sales enablement tools in place, at a bare minimum, it’s probably a cloud repository where sales collateral resides filled with folders full of white papers, infographs and FAQs. But if marketing is looking to aid sales and truly help them, the goal should be to make it as easy as possible for sales to find and use content.
Steps to Streamlining the Use of Sales Content for Sales Enablement
- Creating an easy-to-use sharing environment, preferably cloud-based, which utilizes a simple naming convention and is immaculately organized. If sales can’t find it or know it’s there, they can’t use it!
- Encourage feedback and regularly discuss content performance with sales to gauge if each piece still serves a purpose - should it be trashed, updated or is there a gap that needs to be filled. The days of creating single-use reactionary content are over!
- Continue nurturing. By crafting email templates and conversation roadmaps for sales, marketing can continue guiding organic leads through the sales process while sales teams focus on opportunities who have moved down the funnel.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the common theme is content. Inbound involves attracting leads with personalized content while sales enablement requires focused middle to bottom of funnel content. Bringing these two initiatives together is not as unnatural as it may seem and can even compliment each other. The bond is only as strong as its weakest link and tech marketers can strengthen it through testing and open communication.