Inbound Marketing: CMO path to B2B customer acquisition

Clever CMOs work long and hard to build lasting relationships with their B2B clients, keeping their eye on long-term gains.

But the c-suite is a hard task-master, demanding proven ROI and short-term rewards from their marketing budget.

It’s no easy task persuading the CEO that inbound marketing is by far the most cost-effective and measurable path to client acquisition in 2016.

Inbound marketing enables companies to merge their marketing and sales departments into one, dynamic revenue team.

As inbound specialist Mike Lieberman explains, the CEO no longer has to mediate between sales and marketing teams blaming each other for bad leads and poor follow-up.

“Give it up”, Mike says.

“Inbound marketing and inbound sales finally offer the methodology to break down those barriers and create a single revenue team responsible for only one thing: revenue.”

Automate the process and the revenue team tracks the entire customer journey, from the first website click to final sign-up – with comprehensive data collected at every touch point along the way.

So how can automated marketing platforms solve specific CMO problems, and keep the CEO happy?

Problem 1: Tracking the customer journey

One of the hardest things for a CMO to pin down is the detail of the customer’s journey. Where did they hear about the company? How did they first make contact? Were they responding to a specific campaign? Which products do they favour?

Solution: Follow the customer from start to finish.

Digital marketing platforms allow the CMO to track every step of the customer’s pathway through the company, from the first blog they read or email they open to multiple website clicks, product or service enquiry and final purchase.

Clicks in different areas of the site or social media channels trigger pre-configured response emails – each one tailored to the page, product or service involved.

Problem 2: Scattergun marketing approach

It’s not surprising CMOs feel overwhelmed. In a typical day they might have wall-to-wall meetings, emails to send for multiple campaigns, data to pull from a dozen different sources and reports to present on performance of various marketing projects.

Solution: Develop a clear and effective digital brand strategy.

Today’s CMO needs not just a content marketing plan but a comprehensive digital ecosystem designed to attract, entertain, inform and engage potential customers. By drawing together multiple functions in one automated platform, it’s far easier to attract interest, generate leads and convert them into valuable customers – gathering invaluable data along the way.

Problem 3: Difficulty scoring leads

Much time can be wasted chasing up casual, unmotivated visitors to the company website who have no genuine interest in buying.

Solution: Prioritise visitors in terms of demonstrated interest and activity.

With lead-scoring, an automated marketing platform offers the luxury of spending more time on motivated visitors and giving useful information to visitors who aren’t ready to buy.

For instance, allocate one point for a click on the Home page; two points for hopping to the Services page; three points for moving to the About Us page; and four points for completing an enquiry form. More time can then be allocated to providing a better service to hot leads.

Problem 4: Customers turned off by generic emails and irrelevant offers

Today’s net-savvy consumers and businesses recognise blunt marketing instruments when they see them, disliking annoying and irrelevant standard emails.

Solution: Make it personal and make it count.

Automated platforms make it easy to tailor unique, highly personalised email messages to suit a variety of different customers and clients.

MORE: 5 Reasons Why You Need a Company Newsletter

Problem 5: Demonstrating ROI

One of the hardest CMO tasks is convincing the c-suite that smart, strategic content is paying tangible dividends, when results are difficult to measure.

Solution: Capture huge volumes of data in one place.

An automated marketing platform allows vital data to be captured at multiple trigger points every time a consumer interacts with the company’s brand online. This allows customer preferences and behaviour to be tracked, analysed, recorded and linked to tangible marketing outcomes.

Actual return on investment can then be calculated using detailed, accurate and targeted customer and sales information.

Does your CEO need more convincing? 

As reported by Hubspot, Search Engine Journal demonstrates that:

  • Inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads.
  • Companies that blog generate 126% more leads than those that don’t.
  • Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months.
  • Nearly 50% of CEOs report complete inbound integration.

The statistics speak for themselves. Lower costs and higher returns are compelling reasons to harness the power of inbound marketing.

Automating many of the steps will deliver more consistent results, tracking every stage of the customer’s progress through the sales funnel.

As Rand Fishkin advises:

“Measure your customer journey, not just your conversion path.”

The c-suite probably wouldn’t argue with that.

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