Technology is driving an evolution in marketing and has overhauled the way in which we buy and sell.
This has caused a fundamental shift in control from the buyer to the seller. Buyers seek to understand their problem, label it, identify solutions and seek to compare vendors, products and services. They use Google, social media, peers, websites and a variety of online content to fully conduct their research, before picking up the phone (if at all) to a vendor / reseller.
This provides businesses a real opportunity in which to get in the conversation at the point in which the prospect is ready.
Technology vendors, such as Cisco are increasingly moving towards Inbound Marketing as a way of engaging with their end-user base.
There are a few early adopters in the UK IT Channel, the opportunity in 2016 is to see more companies follow-suit and recognise that their traditional marketing needs overhauling.
A shift to an Inbound approach is a strategic one. It needs to be aligned to a companies business strategy and fundamentally is aligned to:
1. Their goals and revenue targets
2. Becoming more customer-centric
3. Aligning sales and marketing into a revenue-driven team. Enabling the sales and marketing functions to work together coherently use the data and analysis to drive their revenue and growth.
I am excited to see more companies move towards Inbound, reducing the waste in outbound spend and increasing their ROI.
Increasingly, marketers are learning more about customers through their digital footprint and social media usage. We’re using real-time, behavioural data and analytics to complete a 360 view of the customer. And we’re leveraging this deep customer insight to close deals – because we’re able to make the right offer through the right channel at the right time. Conversely, salespeople are now using social selling techniques to open doors with clients and prospects. They’re using social channels to connect, start conversations, and share knowledge and content. These nurturing techniques are paying off. According to a recent Social Media and Sales Quota Survey, more than 40% of salespeople say they have closed between two and five deals as a result of social media.