5 Reasons for B2B Marketers to be Thankful

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

B2B-marketers-thankful.jpgThanksgiving is next week. It brings a day of food, family, football and friends. It also is a time to reflect on things that we are grateful to have or experience.

At our house, we create a thankful tree. It is simply a few branches stuck into a jar with some small rocks to hold them in place. Beside the tree is a stack of leaves made out of cardstock. As guests arrive, they write things on their leaf that they are thankful for and hang it on the branches.

I’m assigned to cutting out the leaves this year and I was working on it, I started to think about what the leaves on a marketing-focused thankful tree would say.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is Broken

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 15, 2016 3:00:00 PM

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is BrokenIf you’re a reader of this blog I’m going to assume that revenue growth is important to your company. Stop for a moment and consider the investment of energy and money your company has made in these efforts. Now consider this question, “How well is it working?”

  • Is revenue growth predictable for you?
  • Are the costs required to sustain decreasing?
  • Are more of your salespeople beating their number (quota) consistently?

According to the research that’s out there, less than 10% of companies can say “yes” to all three questions, and the vast majority of companies would respond “no” to at least two of these questions.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

The Big News at Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 10, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Inbound_2016.jpgSo I just saw my fourth keynote from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founders of HubSpot, at this year’s Inbound conference. Listening to Brian and Dharmesh is always a bit like looking into a crystal ball on the History Channel. You get a tremendous viewpoint of what’s going to happen, all within the context of what has happened.

It’s also an opportunity to hear about the big product updates that HubSpot is rolling out. While I’ve never been to an Apple product launch event, I like to think of Inbound as a slightly less popular version.

This year two things were different. Where it’s typically Brian and Dharmesh that share the product announcements as a part of the keynote, their Inbound 2016 keynote did not have any product announcements. Instead they made the product announcements a breakout session where their Products VP, Chris O’Donell, announced the news. And the big news is...well there wasn’t any really. And, while I like the excitement of major product announcements, I think the lack of them is good news and an important lesson for marketers, demand generators and sales executives.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

5 Tips for Attending a Conference Alone

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

tips-for-attending-conference-alone.jpgThis week, I’ll be in Boston for HubSpot’s Inbound 2016 Conference. I’m really looking forward to it. Inbound provides a great opportunity for learning, inspiration and fun. It also gives me an opportunity to get out of my home office and see my co-workers and other smart sales and marketing people in real life.

While this year I am joining my teammates in Boston that was not the case two years ago when I attended for the first time. That year, I was on my own. And that can be an intimidating place to be at any conference.

B2B marketers for small to mid-size companies probably find themselves in this position on a regular basis. If you have a small marketing team, the likelihood you’ll be attending events on your own are pretty high but it doesn’t have to be scary.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

7 Ways to Use Video in B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 1, 2016 2:00:00 PM

add-video-email-marketing-campaigns.jpgEarlier this year I wrote a post about why B2B marketers should be using video as part of their overall strategy. In that post, I talked about the versatility of video and how it can be used in a variety of ways. One of those ways is email.

Email remains one of the most effective channels available to B2B marketers. Did you know that the number of email users worldwide is currently 2.6 billion and is expected to grow to over 2.9 billion by 2019? That is nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.

To support adding video to your email marketing strategy, consider this: according to the email marketing company Emma, adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rates by 300%. That sounds significant enough to give it a try, right?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing

6 Ways You're Scaring Your B2B Leads Away

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 25, 2016 4:00:00 PM

scare-away-your-leads.jpgEverywhere you look these days, there’s something that’s been designed to give you a chill. From spooky jack-o-lanterns to ghosts and witches to creepy clowns, it’s the scaring season.

In less than a week, kids will be dressed up and invading neighborhoods across the country in search of treats. Where I live, we don’t get many trick-or-treaters. Those who do stop by get a friendly greeting – nothing too scary – and take home a big handful of treats.

In some ways, trick-or-treaters are a lot like B2B leads. Depending on how you present your company and what you offer, they may be scared away before they ever ring the doorbell.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing

5 Things B2B Marketers Should Be Thinking About for 2017

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 19, 2016 5:00:00 PM

planning-time-of-year.jpgThis time of year brings many things…raking leaves, carving pumpkins, crisp mornings…and for many B2B marketers, planning. That’s right…Q4 is the time to start laying the groundwork for next year.

Planning can be overwhelming. There’s so much to consider and so much to review. Today’s B2B marketing world is changing so fast. Just as you get your head around the latest demand generation trends new ones are emerging.

Couple that with the day-to-day level of craziness most marketers experience and thinking about the future can become a scary endeavor quickly. In fact, I think I’d rather rake leaves….every day…for a month.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

9 Ways B2B Marketers Can Convert More Visitors to Qualified Leads

Posted by Maria Votlucka

Oct 18, 2016 1:15:15 PM

convert-more-visitors-to-qualified-leads.jpgAs an Inbound Marketing Strategist at Imagine, I spend time with my clients every month to review metrics and adjust our plan of attack based on what those metrics tell us. One of the things we consider is the visitor-to-qualified lead conversion rate.

Earlier this year, our marketing manager, Stacy, wrote a post about why your 10,000 visitors aren’t converting to new customers. While obviously, it is important to have visitors, if they never convert to customers that indicates a problem with your approach.

In a recent study, Holger Schulze of LinkedIn’s B2B Technology Marketing Group noted that 59% of respondents said generating high-quality leads is a top priority. And in my personal experience working directly with clients, I would say the priority of generating quality leads for B2B SMEs is closer to 100%.

The first step in that process is for the contact to simply move from a visitor to a qualified lead. If that step is broken, the rest of the process is doomed.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Performance

5 Reasons Your Sales Team Is Not Using the Content Marketing Creates

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 4, 2016 2:00:00 PM

sales-not-using-marketing-content.jpgIn my Twitter feed this morning, I came across a statistic that got my attention. Here it is. According to the American Marketing Association, 90% of marketing deliverables are not used by sales.

WHAT?! 90%?! As a marketer, I am well aware that the sales team doesn’t always use the materials marketing creates for them. But 90%? OUCH.

Why is that? Are we really so disconnected from our sales team (and apparently our customers too) that 90% of what we create never gets used to actually close business?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

3 Reasons Not to Pursue Demand Generation-Inbound Marketing

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 30, 2016 2:00:00 PM

3-reasons-not-to-pursue-demand-generation.jpgAnyone who knows me knows that I'm a BIG fan of demand generation and inbound marketing. The only thing I may like more is baseball. 

Readers of this blog know that one reason for my fondness is that Imagine provides services in these areas. What many may not know is that we didn't actually start as an inbound marketing or demand generation agency. When Imagine was founded, we actually focused on solving the bottom-of-funnel sales problem. We practiced demand generation and inbound marketing for ourselves but it wasn't included in the services we provided to our clients. 

We were such fans of the impact it was having on our business that we decided to focus our entire business on creating the same success for others. While I firmly believe that the strategies and tactics associated with inbound marketing and demand generation can benefit every company, my experience has taught me that not every company should go down that path. 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation