Why Marketers Ignore Your B2B Technology Pitch

marketing_tech_stackRight now, we’re entering another Golden Age of Marketing. If you look at the most recent Marketing Technology LUMAscape, there are over 1,800 products and tools to help marketers do their job better than ever before.

The beautiful thing is that most of them don’t require an IT person to set up, or a huge capital expenditure in your operating budget.

However, this overabundance of technology makes it pretty challenging for marketers to know where to place their bets.

As a marketing executive, I have to prove the value of everything in my technology stack. Some new products are riskier investments, but offer higher return potential, while others are solid investments with moderate returns that are an essential part of my infrastructure (like WordPress, for example).

So, where do I (and other marketers) start when it comes to choosing new marketing technology?

Every day, multiple vendors approach me through email, LinkedIn or over the phone, to tell me about a new tool I have to use. I ignore most (if not all) of these requests.

But, when a peer of mine, like Elle Woulfe at Lattice Engines, tells me to check out a product they love, I will immediately stop what I’m doing to take a look. Peer recommendations cut through the marketing noise faster than slick sales copy or a clever email campaign ever will.

I’ll still look at a company’s website, read their online reviews and try a demo before making my final buying decision—but when a colleague advocates for a product, I usually consider incorporating it into my marketing stack.

That’s why I’m so intrigued about this webinar series Lattice Engines is putting on, called “Show Me Your Stack.” Each webinar gives marketers a peek “under the hood” of the technology infrastructure their peers are using to engage customers and drive demand. (If you want to find out what Influitive is using, sign up for the next “Show Me Your Stack” webinar featuring yours truly.)

But I’m not alone and marketers are definitely not unique in this. According to LinkedIn, 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process off with a referral. And Forrester Research found that 59% of B2B buyers will engage with peers who have similar challenges before making a purchase.

What marketers do have a unique opportunity to do, however, is to mobilize their community of advocates to spread the word about their products and services to peers, whether in informal discussions, on social media, in webinars like these, or on review sites like G2Crowd, GetApp, AppExchange and Spiceworks.

Advocate marketing programs nurture your best customers and encourage them to spread the word about your brand, resulting in higher returns than you ever could with the “spray and pray” method. According to Bain & Co., the most successful companies have twice the level of advocacy as their competitors.

And just like every other aspect of your marketing, technology can help you build and scale your advocate marketing strategy. Thanks to all of these innovative tools, there’s never been a better time to be a marketer. Unfortunately, I’ve never invested in a tool that required absolutely no effort to see the incredible returns I envisioned when I bought it. No matter how simple the technology is, you always have to put time and thought into creating a marketing strategy around it.

That’s where our peers — your advocates — come in again, swapping and sharing questions, best practices, insights and results with the rest of the community. This is already happening across the social web, but savvy companies are harnessing advocates to create vibrant, valuable communities in their own backyards.

So, are you ready to see my stack?

 

Upcoming webinar

Jim WilliamsShow Me Your Stack with Influitive’s VP of Marketing Jim Williams

Tuesday, February 24th at 1 p.m. ET

Join Jim Williams, VP, Marketing at Influitive, and Lattice Engines, to get an inside look at how Influitive uses customer advocacy to power its marketing technology stack.

Register now