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Digital marketing: How B2B marketers can use it to pick the best marketing strategies

May 9th 2011
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Your marketing department has limited resources. There's a lot you could be doing to enable Sales. The question is where should you focus?

The increasing importance of this question really hit home for me last month while attending the Future of Digital Strategy session at Future M.

While it sounded fascinating, it also sounded complex, labor-intensive, and expensive. I wondered about the implications for very small B2B marketing departments.

What are the implications for very small B2B marketing departments?

Could they do all this in addition to what they were doing today? Where should they focus? Where should they start? How could they get up to speed? What investments, if any, did they need to make right away? Could they still compete-or would remaining competitive now require a lot more resources?

In an attempt to get answers, I asked one of the panelists, Dave Wieneke, Director of Digital Marketing at Sokolove Law if I could interview him for this blog. He agreed; and the next few posts will summarize what I learned from our conversation.

Can small B2B marketers compete?

Dave's answer was an emphatic yes. In his assessment, most companies are in the early stages of digital marketing adoption-and few are doing it well. Even small B2B marketers can get a leg up on the competition if they start right away.

Where should small B2B marketers focus their efforts?

Not surprisingly, Dave recommends that marketers identify their goals and focus on achieving them. The goals will vary from organization to organization, as will the activities that lead to their achievement.
Like Stephen Covey before him, Dave suggests that marketers start with the end in mind. In their case, the end is figuring out what constitutes achievement of a goal.

At his firm, Sokolove law , the marketing department's overarching goal is to motivate prospects to contact the organization with a case. Dave's team achieves this goal when prospects that need legal help, either call the firm or fill out a form requesting that someone at the firm contact them.

Ensure that achievement of marketing goals trip digital signals

Once B2B marketers determine what actions indicate achievement of their goals, the next step is developing systems for identifying and tracking success. That means that each successful achievement of a marketing goal needs to trip a digital signal.

At Sokolove Law, incoming phone calls, from prospects about a case, trip a signal when there's an update to the customer record. The customer record is able to reflect achievement of the marketing goal, and the lead source, because each marketing campaign has a unique phone number.

Prospect submissions of online forms, that provide contact information and details of a case, also trip a digital signal. In this instance, however, the signal trips when the prospect sees the "thank you page", because the marketing team has set the display of the "thank you" page as a conversion goal for its website.

The tripping of these signals is the focal point for the firm's online marketing efforts. That's because the digital marketing team then has a measure of performance against goals, and a baseline for judging the success of all future marketing efforts.

Measurement opens the door to strategy

Dave points out that this is the beauty of digital marketing so much of it is measurable. Moreover, measurement opens the door to strategy.

Once an organization knows what's working, the obvious next step is figuring out how to do even better. In the next post, I'll share insights Dave provided about how B2B marketers can use analytics to improve the efficacy and efficiency of their marketing initiatives.

Written by: Barbara Bix