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Marketing and Sales Content – Differences That Matter

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What IS the difference between marketing and sales content? This is a good question to ask across your organization. The answers will reveal people’s thinking and understanding about “content” in general. Notice how clear, specific, consistent and actionable the responses are. Or not. Why does this matter? Effective sales content is a strategic imperative when selling in a digital age of hyper-connected, hard to engage, low attention span buyers.

How Do Audiences Assess Your Marketing Content?

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What if you could assess your marketing content the same way your audiences do? How would that improve content quality, audience relevance, performance? Of course. Makes sense. But what exactly does this mean — in practice? I invite you to collaborate in this real-time case example.

Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

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The B2B Value Sale is Actually Three Distinct Sales

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Companies trying to execute a B2B solution or value sale must overcome selling problems that start at the prospecting stage and persist to the end. Symptoms include too few quality additions to the sales pipeline, protracted and lengthening sales cycles, and low win rates.

How a CMS Enables B2B Marketing Success

A CMS lies at the heart of a B2B marketing framework

Why Google Plus is Our Company Content Hub (and should be yours)

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This article is written for small and mid-size businesses, but also for groups within larger organizations that are constrained by poor enterprise infrastructure.

Micro-content — the most important content type you don’t manage

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Micro-content isn’t widely understood or consciously used. When it is, it’s usually by marketing for social media content. But micro-content may be the most important content type you have, and you probably don’t manage it. Micro-content is simply what the words imply. The term is credited to user experience expert Jakob Nielsen: “micro content is a small group of words which can be skimmed by the reader to understand the wider message of the article.”

6 Competencies for Enterprise Content Strategy

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The epidemic in B2B sales prospecting

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Many B2B selling organizations hit a wall in their new customer acquisition and revenue growth rates. This is the result of a critical underlying cause they unaware of, and do not fully appreciate even when they become aware. Sales pipeline quality, volume and conversion rates are both symptom and impact of this condition. This condition is especially evident in companies that are engaged in a complex or solution sale. Sometimes this is called a system or platform sale.

2018 B2B Marketing Mix Report

B2B marketers like you contributed their insights to Sagefrog’s annual B2B Marketing Mix Report, a valuable asset in planning your marketing strategy for the year ahead.

Selling into the “hidden opportunity market”

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We used to say, “sell ahead of the RFP.” ” Then, for more than a decade we’ve been telling clients, “sell ahead of your competitive herd.” ” Now we’re telling them, “sell into the ‘hidden opportunity market’ ” As a result of recent client work, I’ve re-examined CEB’s Challenger Customer for clues on how to improve B2B sales practices, especially for sales content.

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Why Content Creation Isn’t Everyone’s Job

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I read with interest John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing blog Why Content Creation Is Everyone’s Job. The post raises good ideas with, in my opinion, the wrong conclusion. It’s a short post, I suggest you read it. I’d like to offer a different perspective and approach. This is a teachable moment. The lesson involves the difference between thinking like a marketer, and thinking like a publisher.

Continuum and Process vs. Event, Project or Campaign Thinking

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The consensus is clear. It’s past time to shift your thinking about your approach to marketing activities as an event, project or campaign, to continuum and process thinking.

How Content Operations Can Create Marketing and Selling Breakthroughs

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Marketing and selling content operations isn’t sexy. But it could be one of the most important focus areas for marketing leaders. See Is Content Operations Your Next Focus Area?

An All Too Typical Sales Prospecting Phone Message

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I attended a lead nurturing webinar recently. I’m always looking for insights, especially about how companies are thinking about content to support their many use cases. I also like to experience selling from a buyers perspective.

The Marketing Landscape: Where Data and Content Merge

Understand the importance of good data and good content and how they work together to help your marketing efforts.

B2B Customer Content Operations Manifesto

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The custom content business is a difficult business. It’s a difficult business due to the economics of the underlying content operations model, as well as poor inputs from inefficient clients.

Unpacking Challenger Customer Insights

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The CEB book Challenger Customer, released in September 2015, will continue to garner support for its many insights. They provide important considerations for all B2B marketing and selling professionals, especially sales executives. Despite a breezy writing style, there are many dense sections.

Changing Your Sales Mindset

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In my view selling is 85% mindset and 15% technique. Unfortunately, most sales professionals focus primarily on learning sales techniques. Adopting a better sales mindset might be what’s required. With the typical sales mindset, techniques might be even be experienced by prospects as gimmicks.

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Elevate B2B Content Strategy to Business Level Execution

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B2B Content Strategy for Messages, Conversations and Content This post speaks to why B2B organizations should elevate content strategy from siloed functions to the business level, with executive accountability.

Make No Mistake: How Worst-Practices Derail Successful ABM Efforts

This Quick Study Slide Show from Node identifies the common mistakes of ABM executions and offers practical advice to help teams avoid them.

Shift from Repository to Content, Communication and Collaboration Ecosystem

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People responsible for sales and channel enablement, marketing and content operations, or supporting groups that use content, face many challenges. We have identified a solvable challenge that immediately improves productivity, efficiency, and, most of all, business outcomes.

What is Strategy?

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Lack of clarity about content strategy might have roots in a universal confusion about strategy. See Robert Rose in Content Marketing Institute.) In the business world, Michael Porter of Harvard Business School is a preeminent authority of business strategy.

Sell, don’t market your way to success with new paradigm offers

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B2B companies bringing new offers to market risk long delays in product or solution uptake. Too often this leads to direct failure. Failure rates range from 40% to 80%. Clearly a risky and expensive bet. This risk isn’t limited to startups. Often we see large companies struggle to gain traction with new offers or new markets. One senior executive told me, “we are buried in our core brand.” ” This isn’t about direct replacement offers.

How to improve content performance and operations output

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Marketing leaders, and the executive team to which they are accountable, understandably want to improve performance of customer facing content, get better outputs from content operations, and better returns on content investments.

Developing a Conversational Approach

Speaker: Carlos Hidalgo, CEO & Founder of VisumCx

B2B buyers are self-guiding their purchase journey, consuming more content along their purchase path and involving more stakeholders in the final decision. Therefore, it is necessary for B2B marketing teams to align to this purchase path and to the buying committees. This is not accomplished by creating more content or sending more communication, the key to success is establishing a conversation with your buyers that engages them in a meaningful dialogue and ultimately converts them to a customer.

Customer Facing Content as a Conversation

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The Four Cs of Content Marketing I’ve written about content as more, and different than, format. While working with clients recently, I’ve heard them wrestle with questions about what content to create, and how to make priority decisions.

A Conversation About B2B Selling Content

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“What is the state of B2B selling content today?” ” That was the first question Barb Giamanco asked me on her sales podcast, Right Message, Right Support, Right Sales Content, on the Razor’s Edge. How would you answer that for your organization? How would you know? Is your selling content considered short life collateral, or mostly long-life assets? What criteria would you use to audit the quality and usefulness of your content?

For Sales Blogging and Social Selling – Think Like a Publisher

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The practice of social selling has crossed the chasm and entered the tornado stage. Huffington Post, see Mike Kunkle’s excellent webinar) To fuel this content dependent activity, many are urging sales people to blog, and to become thought leaders. Lori Richardson, John Jantsch, ITSMA) This is a logical extension from a belief that sales people must think more like marketers. In my view, “think like marketers” means sales people must approach selling from a buyer perspective.

Are You Communicating Synchronously in an Asynchronous World?

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We live in a world that prefers to receive information asynchronously. But we tend to focus on using live, synchronous delivery methods. This is a key source of high costs and low results in every area of a business. I cannot overstate the importance of this idea and distinction, as well as the implication for individuals and organizations. First, some simple definitions. Synchronous communications happen at the same time with all participants.

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7 Common Marketing Mistakes and strategies to avoid them

This white paper addresses the 7 most common challenges marketers hit when marketing products, solutions, or services and offers proven advice on how to avoid these missteps and improve the success of your marketing efforts.

Why You Need a B2B Sales Content Strategy

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If you sell the way you did 10 years ago, you don’t need a sales content strategy. There’s little strategy required to tell people about your company, products, features — just don’t forget those benefit statements!

B2B Sales Conversations — By Design

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To paraphrase David Packard, sales conversations are too important to leave to sales people. B2B sales conversations for key touch points should be designed. This optimizes conversation effectiveness and simplifies selling. It provides a common baseline that makes feedback and continuous improvement possible. How have you designed the sales conversations for your key touch points? How well do each of your sales people handle conversations at key touch points, or with different stakeholders?

Understanding the True Cost of Content in B2B Organizations

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There’s a familiar expression used to describe some people. They “know the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.” ” When it customs to B2B marketing and selling content, it appears most organizations don’t know either.

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Use Knowledge Delivered Strategy to Show Content Value

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A Different Approach to Content Marketing Justification B2B content marketers must continually defend budgets and tactics, especially content investments, by proving performance. This is part of a persistent struggle to raise marketing credibility and awareness of its impact in the business.

Seven Things Marketers Need to Know About Lead Generation

Speaker: Douglas Burdett, Host of The Marketing Book Podcast, Founder/Principal of ARTILLERY

If you are a marketer who needs to generate more high-quality leads that will turn into sales opportunities and revenue, register now for this special event that will show you how to get started and moving in a profitable direction.

Create Customer Content in Multiple Languages

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The requirement to deliver customer content in multiple languages is further evidence of how new realities are introducing new requirements that demand new approaches. It’s also an example of how new requirements raise the importance of the ability to scale content operations.

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Continuously Acquire Customer Stories, Insights, and Ideas

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If content is the fuel for inbound marketing then customer stories or insights are the active performance enhancing ingredients. Well-developed messages targeted to address key buyer questions are better understood when contextualized with customer stories.

An Executive Summary for 6 Competencies for Enterprise Content Strategy

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Enterprise organizations face a serious challenge with the creation and management of content that impacts the success of new customer acquisition and profitable revenue growth, as well as tactical marketing and selling initiatives.

Content Management – Aggregate Don’t Upload

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As a content operations consultancy and service provider we occasionally find ourselves in the embarrassing position of the “cobbler’s children.” ” This syndrome reared its ugly head when we realized that our spreadsheet based content inventory wasn’t really working as a good way to discover and access the right content for specific sales, marketing or content requirements.

30 Ways to Get Inside the Mind of Your Target Buyer

Trust, support, and transparency: that's what your target buyer really wants. These 30 findings show the path from respect, to relationship, to business win.