It wasn't so long ago that B2B marketing was all about renting lists and banging on doors to reach the CEO. Sales reps, with some help from marketers, would call, email, or golf with executives to try to start the long, slow sales cycle.
Today, just about everything about B2B marketing has changed—and not merely because business marketers now have more tools than ever before.
They're also shifting strategies to address new buyers and new buying behaviors: Instead of targeting the C-suite alone, marketers must now target groups of buyers and influencers, who can range from junior procurement specialists in their 20s, to senior executives in their 50s and 60s.
Reaching and engaging such diverse groups of stakeholders requires more than just banging on doors—especially when so much of the B2B buying process now occurs online, before a customer ever picks up a phone. The most successful marketers are relying on plans that include everything from social and mobile to print and connected TV.
With that in mind, here are some of the tactics that are working for B2B marketers today. These tactics can help reach buyers of all generations and tech comfort levels.
For some marketers, there's nothing new about inbound. Companies like HubSpot have been singing its praises for years now, and with good reason: It's effective and relatively low-cost, which means that it can work for companies of any size.
So, what is inbound marketing, exactly? Essentially, it's the practice of creating content that's relevant and helpful to your target buyers. That content can be in any format—text-based blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts—but it must be optimized for search so that it's easily found by a prospect looking for a solution like yours. In addition to creating that great, sticky content, inbound marketing entails distribution tactics, such as social sharing, email, and optimized landing pages.