High-Tech Marketers: Engaging Prospects in the 2.0 Sales Cycle

Part 1 of 3 in the discussion of the 2.0 Sales Cycle and its impact on high-tech marketers. 

You are the CMO of a $500M dollar hardware company.

You are the head of marketing of a $1B software company.

You are the VP of Digital for a digital agency reaching over 100M consumers.

I know because we have been talking to you and your peers all summer around Limelight’s digital presence management. As you have shared your marketing challenges and strategic plans for the remainder of 2012, did you realize that you all talked about remarkably similar challenges – even using identical words to describe them?

We have been collating all the feedback around current marketing challenges we heard from heads of marketing over the last few months, and here is what we have distilled down as your top three:

  • Inability to engage prospects early during buying cycle before they officially engage with your company
  • Inability to reach and engage with prospects on mobile devices, a growing preferred channel
  • Inability to coordinate content distribution across web and social channels with email

Today, I’ll talk about the first problem – effectively reaching prospects in the sales 2.0 cycle – and the other two challenges over the next two days.

When it comes to purchasing enterprise products and services, prospects have more information than ever before to guide their discovery and evaluation processes. From professional social networks, to social media channels, to third-party sites and blogs, RSS feeds, etc., buyers have an unprecedented amount of transparency and a wide array of getting information. As a result, prospects are entering your “formal sales cycle” more educated about the problem they want to solve, the technologies available, and maybe even how much the solutions should cost.

This trend requires changes to the way high-tech marketers must engage with prospects. They need to connect with their prospects earlier on in the buying cycle, by ensuring that information about their products and services, framed in the way prospects think about their problems, is everywhere their prospects are looking. Brand image and marketing collateral are as part of the marketing mix, but CMO’s must implement programs with content that reach prospects across social media channels, 3rd-party web sites, microsites, blogs, etc. That content has to be engaging, sharable across social media channels and needs to be refreshed continually.

Prospects have a unique perception of a brand based on the experience they have from interacting with the company’s website, talking to a sales person, reading the latest email offer, following a Twitter account, finding a product demo on Vimeo. It is all connected.

That’s difficult to do when your content management, optimization and delivery is split between four or seven different content management, marketing automation, video and advertising delivery systems. And even more difficult to do when the development and distribution of that content is splintered and even siloed among different departments – marketing, IT, your digital agency, PR and regional sales/marketing teams around the globe.

Maybe that’s why 81% of Limelight customers cited that they were looking to improve the efficiency of managing, publishing and delivering their digital content as a key priority for the remainder of 2012. Customer Proof verified by TechValidate.

Limelight announced a new solution bundle today – Orchestrate for High-Tech Marketers, a cloud-based digital content management solution that gives high-technology marketers a unified platform for managing all aspects of their digital presence, including web content, complex graphics, and video – securing delivery of their content in any format needed, including mobile devices. Let us know what you think and make sure to talk to your Limelight Account Manager if you’re interested in learning more.

I’ll talk tomorrow around the issues for the second challenge: Inability to reach and engage with prospects on mobile devices, a growing preferred channel.

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