One of the most hotly debated and eagerly discussed presentations at the recent ShoreTel EMEA Partner Advisory Council was the demand generation session, where the conversation ended up talking about modern methods of demand generation.
We had presented some key stats from such companies such as Google, YouTube, Hubspot (Inbound Marketing specialists) as well as some of our own research undertaken on B2B purchasing decisions.
For instance did you know:
- 92% of C level executives rate online as their best source of information
- 80% of B2B buyers start their research online
- 48% of IT buyers watched a video on YouTube in the research phase of the buying process
- An inbound lead costs approximately 1/3 the price of an outbound one.
Online, video, inbound, social media are the keywords that prompted our discussions amongst our top EMEA partners.
So is the old “interruption” based marketing program with e mail and telemarketing dead? Absolutely not – we have partners doing very well at this. However, whatever you’re current practice, inbound marketing is a major trend that our partners need to be aware of and take advantage of to drive funnel growth. At the very least you need to be found online.
One question I posed to the audience was this “When was the last time you bought something domestically based on a phone call you received from someone you didn’t know at home?” No hands went up – B2B buyers are now purchasing the same way as B2C.
So ask yourself the question – how easy are you and your business to find online. Do prospects just use your website for directions to your offices and to see who they will be meeting when they get there or is there real value in visiting and downloading assets form your site – if you don’t have these it’s just directions!
As the debate among professional marketers rages on inbound vs. outbound at least make a start and take a look at the assets ShoreTel places on its public website to drive inbound inquiries – a very good starting point and one that can be replicated in the channel easily.
In part 2 of the Inbound vs. Outbound series we will look at Sales & Marketing alignment…could get interesting…