Selling to the C-Suite? Here is Where They Get Trusted Information

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Admin 0 Comments

The State of Inbound 2017

Released today, Hubspot’s annual report, The State of Inbound 2017 cites two major shifts taking place: Marketers are making the leap into visual content creation while salespeople are slowly shifting from the hard-seller stereotype to a more trusted advisor.

Overall, marketers in North America (61%) and EMEA (62%) primarily are focused on increasing web traffic and generating leads and 69% of C-level executives believe that their marketing strategies are effective.

Red Javelin Take: No surprise here. The role of marketing has always been to raise brand awareness and generate leads for the sales team.  Marketers have been building their marketing technology stack for several years and the tools are now available and in place to measure these activities so that they can communicate better with executive teams.

In terms of planned inbound activities, we did not see much change from the previous years. With Google continually changing their algorithms, it is no surprise that SEO is still the primary focus of inbound activities followed by blog content creation and content distribution.

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Source: State of Inbound 2017 - Hubspot

According to the report, the respondents believe that having a website and blog is no longer enough to attract the attention of their buyers. Nor is a salesperson the go-to resource for when a business needs to make a purchase.

Red Javelin’s Take: The rise of social is rapidly changing the digital marketing and influencer landscape. There are more platforms than ever before to educate and engage prospects.

One of the main disruptors cited in the survey was video as a great channel to connect better with prospects. Respondents are using YouTube (48%) but Facebook Live (46%) is gaining significant ground.

 

Where Does the B2B C-Suite Get Their Information?

Each year, we are waiting to see things change, however there has been very little movement in where the C-suite gets trusted information for purchase decisions. Referrals, customer references, media articles, and vendor-authored articles have consistently been the most reliable sources of information for these decision-makers.

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Source: State of Inbound 2017 - Hubspot

 

Red Javelin’s Take

We are not surprised that the C-Suite still regards media articles as a trusted source of information. Our B2B clients that have integrated PR and inbound marketing programs see much better results than inbound only programs. Whoever said PR is dead was clearly wrong.

Our clients that use video, particularly customer testimonials, see “quicker validation” than our clients that do not use video. Prospects are able to see the body language and enthusiasm of customers and it seems to connect them with the brand faster. Video testimonials act like a word of mouth referral.

We are also seeing journalists and online video outlets “lift” interesting video clips off our client’s sites, incorporating them into their stories. When we pitch, we try to include links to video snippets as part of our pitch.

Over the past several years, marketers have made a significant digital transformation while sales teams have not made the same transformation. As such, many sales and marketing organizations are still misaligned. According to the survey, sales people still rank as the lowest as sources for trusted information in the C-Suite for B2B sales. Marketers can help the sales team gain greater credibility by giving them tools and information that help them become strategic advisers. 

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Tags: Inbound Marketing