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Where Marketers Go to Grow

February 26, 2009 // 8:11 AM

How to Hire a B2B Marketing Consultant

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I connected with Rebekah Donaldson of B2B Communications a few months back. She caught my attention when she quoted me next to David Meerman Scott and Laura Ramos in a white paper she co-authored with Cris L. Rominger about how a b2b company should select a marketing company (No registration required).

There are some really great nuggets in the paper about inbound marketing and how it specifically effects b2b companies.

Below are the headings from the paper and quotes directly from each section:

Checklist for finding the best B2B marketing consultant

"A team led by internet marketers. Because 92% of B2B buyers use online resources when looking for products and services.

A team of testers. Because you need help to show others and steadily improve your marketing ROI."

When you need a B2B marketer in your corner

"Because buying committees expect a powerfully built business case, smart B2B marketers focus on building relationships through credibility and trust and offering multiple opportunities to engage. After all, B2B purchasers are buying the supplier along with the product or service. From generating awareness to educating and influencing, success depends upon addressing each prospect's unique motivations and needs - in the places they are looking and in the ways they prefer."

How the shift to inbound marketing affects you

"So many B2B marketers have shifted their approach. Today, B2B marketers talk about "pull" or "inbound" marketing - that is, attracting prospects rather than cornering them. What does all this mean for a Marketing Director? At one level, it means shifting budget from traditional marketing techniques to inbound marketing efforts. At a deeper level, it means examining how your company engages with the outside world. You can see why your B2B marketing consultant should be committed to inbound marketing. With a fundamentally outbound approach, they may guide you in the nuances of successfully interrupting and pitching busy executives. Instead, they need to guide you in being visible and helpful when prospects are looking for companies and guidance: facilitating comparisons, providing all the elements of a strong business case, and being authentic."

Your site is more important than you might realize

"Enquiro surveyed 1,000 B2B buyers and found that 'respondents across all phases indicated that the website of the vendor' was the top influence on buying decisions."

Importance of integrating all major marketing disciplines.

"However, it often takes a combination of business case building, website conversion optimization, SEO, PR, email nurturing, creative, business writing, and constant testing and tweaking to get consistently found and favored when executives go looking for information."

How can Marketing Directors prove marketing ROI?

"What's most interesting is that the largest group of respondents (47%) reported that the biggest obstacle to spending more is the lack of reports to show the ROI for what they are spending. It seems marketers don't know how to prove ROI at a time when it's never been more critical to do so. You can't fight diminishing returns and get the best results for your marketing dollar without knowing what works and what doesn't.  Yet, with so many ways of interacting with prospects, it's increasingly hard to close the loop."

Cutting ROI guesswork with a methodical approach

"What's new is the marketing environment, and the need for a methodical approach to ensure that all the moving parts of an inbound marketing program are working together. How does an experienced B2B marketing consultant help you reach business decision makers in the places they are looking and in the ways that they prefer?" 

What do you think? Have you hired a marketing consultant lately? Did you hire one that focuses on B2B Marketing? What factors did you weigh?

There's already a good discussion going on - over at Rebekah's blog.

Again, you can download the whole whitepaper here . If any of these insights piqued your interest, you also should download a report produced by an MIT MBA student which provides even more data to back up Rebekah's & Cris's research

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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