Updated: Jul 10
In this networked world it remains a challenge to take potential buyers through a truly personalized interactive experience with your company.
The Holy Grail of business to business marketing is to deliver a one-to-one customer experience at one-to-many prices. In other words, while our budgets and headcount are being cut this is supposed to be more than offset by the power of new technology to do things faster and cheaper.
Here's how the story goes: with social networking creating awareness and bringing visitors to your Web site 'for free', combined with the power of profiling, PURLs and analytics served up by vendors like Eloqua, we can capture, profile, score and nurture buyers like never before using automated workflows. All of this while keeping MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) costs at an all time low by using digital communications.
I'm not sure what your experience is, but if sales cycles for complex solutions continue to stretch from 6 - 12 months, that's a heck of a long time to keep someone interested enough to continue receiving your emails without unsubscribing. Not to speak of the amount of content required to move people through the funnel with a personalized experience from the position of 'unaware and not even looking' through 'bothered I might have a problem, but not a priority' to 'active investigation of our options' (at which point Sales might be vaguely interested!).
Who writes all this content? How much does it cost? How do we match content with the customers' buying cycles? How many people do we need in Marketing Operations to analyze what is going on at a data level and act on it? Can only big companies do this?
I don't know all of the answers to these questions but the challenge is definitely emerging and to really exploit the power of the technology which is at last being thrust into Marketing, we need to redefine the resourcing and skills profile of not only our in-house staff but also those agencies we rely on to add value to what we do. And we all need to get a lot better at generating, harnessing and repurposing content.