If you are an IBM Business Partner and want to significantly increase your lead generation in 2013 with the same IBM Co-Marketing dollars, then you need to rethink your marketing approach. I hear over and over that email blasts and cold calling are just not working any more, yet some business partners receive incremental co-marketing dollars and the first thing they try is one more cold calling campaign. Inbound Marketing gives you the opportunity to change the model and create some market pull. The good news is IBM does provide resources to enable this approach, but as an IBM Business Partner you need to plan and drive the change. So how do you leverage Inbound Marketing to double the Return on your Marketing Investment (ROMI) in 2013 and maximize leverage of IBM Partner Co-Marketing dollars?
What is Inbound Marketing
We need to start with defining Inbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing is about marketing the way your clients research and shop for potential solutions in today's market. It starts with making your business easy to find on the internet and then increasing the traffic to your website. The key tools to increase the traffic to your website are Search Engine Optimization (SEO), exploiting Social Media, and blogging about the issues your clients care about.
Increasing traffic to your website alone will not increase lead generation, you need to then convert that traffic to leads and the leads to customers. Generating leads from your website requires having high quality offers and Calls-to-Action. This is generally going to be some form of premium content, such as whitepapers, eBooks or webinars,that your potential clients find valuable. Then landing pages give you the opportunity to capture contact information so that you can track and nurture those leads. Then email marketing can be a great tool to nurture and develop those leads with offers that are further down the sales process until they are ready to buy.
The other key attribute of Inbound Marketing is marketing automation and marketing analytics. The by product of an Inbound Marketing approach, if you use the right tools, is that you can leverage extensive data about the marketing process and build a management system that truly helps you understand your marketing pipeline and your Return on Marketing Investment.
Improving Return on Marketing Investment
So now that we have established that we can track Marketing ROI, how do we improve it? The first step to improving Marketing ROI, is to stop the one time spray and pray email or cold calling tactics and build a sustainable approach the leverages the principles of Inbound Marketing. Once you have the foundation in place, you can run Inbound Marketing tactics and ongoing lead nurturing tactics against multiple solution areas. The key is taking your incremental IBM Partner Co-Marketing dollars you receive and apply them in this approach, then you can be sure that you optimize the leverage your business partner firm gets from those co-marketing dollars and increase your lead generation.
The next question is why do we think that Inbound Marketing will provide a better return than the old push style of marketing? Because beyond the anecdotal data of customers saying how they want to buy, we have data. Here are some of the data points to consider:
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that do not
- 45% of B2B companies that use LinkedIn report acquiring a customer from that channel
- 62% lower cost per lead generated
- 64% of respondents reported and increase in sales
* Data from 2011 HubSpot Inbound Marketing Survey
So if you can lower your cost per lead by 62%, it follows that you can Double your Marketing ROI with the same investment of IBM Co-Marketing dollars.
If you want to learn more about Inbound Marketing and how to apply it to your business, click below and you can download an eBook on Inbound Marketing for IBM Business Partners. You can also request a free direct Inbound Marketing Assessment for your company. Take the first step and get started!