Just a few years ago, B2B marketing meant cold calling. Boiler rooms staffed with young salespeople worked the phones all day using procured lists--an expensive, grueling tactic that netted a low percentage of sales and leads.
At the time, it was better than nothing. Now it’s a bit anachronistic. Catching someone on a landline at work is increasingly unlikely. Call them on a mobile phone and risk being viewed as an intrusion. Spamming with email is also counterproductive.
“The days of blasting email and spamming folks is over,” said Andrew Stanten, president and founder of B2B marketing firm Altitude Marketing, in an interview with CMO.com. “It just doesn’t work anymore.”
What takes the place of the hard sell? Content marketing. The reasoning behind the change is that anyone in the market for a B2B product or service is researching it online. Providing content to help their research and subtly tip them in your direction nets higher conversion rates and gives the prospective customer a better view of your company.
At least, that’s the promise. Not all marketers are sold on the idea. Following is a look at how content marketing fits into the overall picture and the eight best practices for B2B marketing.