Fast forward to 2012, and the global economy is not faring much better. While bailouts and austerity measures have helped most European countries to keep their heads above water (if only just, in some cases), those same austerity measures, coupled with the threat of a complete or partial collapse of the Eurozone, have dampened spending both by consumers and by businesses.
But while the economy has been standing still, there has been a surge in marketing creativity. B2B buying cycles have been getting longer, as buyers become more cautious and more people are being involved in every purchasing decision, marketers and (ahem) marketing automation vendors have had to get much more innovative.
The old days of mass marketing, big industry tradeshows and blanket advertising are long gone – today, B2B marketing is all about getting to know each prospect individually, and providing the right information, advice and guidance to get them ready to buy.
With all this going on, we thought it was time we brought our guide up to date. Over the next three weeks, we’re going to bring you a new three-part guide to marketing in an economic downturn.
This week we focus on lead generation and lead nurturing, next week we’ll look at getting the most from content marketing, and finally we’ll concentrate on how to improve your sales and marketing alignment.
Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing
In a downturn, you can’t afford to let a single lead go to waste. But too often, leads are left to go cold because the prospect is cautious and doesn’t seem inclined to buy straight away.
It’s never been more important to nurture the leads you generate, providing content, information and assistance to build a rapport and help them come to a point where they are ready to engage with a sales rep. – B2B Marketing in a Downturn Part 1: Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing by Liz Smyth