TopRank Online Marketing
Lee Odden

B2B Marketing Best Practices – MarketingSherpa 2011 Handbook

By Lee Odden     B2B, Online Marketing
MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Advanced Handbook 2011

B2B Marketing Best Practices 2011

We’ve been fans of MarketingSherpa reports, guides and handbooks for many years, recently reviewing their SEO Benchmark Report for 2011. As passionate B2B Marketers, we’re always on the lookout for qualitative information to improve our B2B client marketing as well as our own. That’s why I’m pretty motivated by the new 2011 B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook from MarketingSherpa.

Led by Senior Research Analyst, Jen Doyle, this Handbook is nearly 200 pages of research based best practices, graphs, worksheets and of course, their FUEL Methodology for elevating B2B Marketing effectiveness. Here’s a rundown of the report:

According to MarketingSherpa, the top concerns of B2B Marketers revolve around getting more value and revenue out of limited resources – all in a fast paced world of increasing competition. Prioritizing resources for maximum impact is critical and MarketingSherpa has developed a methodology called, FUEL that works as a blueprint for B2B Marketing success.

Here’s what the FUEL acronym stands for:

F: Find and attract leads – Strategy to personas to tactical plan.
U: Uncover qualified leads – Lead scoring, nurturing and management.
E: Establish automated marketing processes – Automate for efficiency and scale.
L: Lift results – Continuous improvement and C-Level reporting.

MarketingSherpa provides a model for B2B Marketers to determine their maturity level: Trial Phase, Transition Phase and Strategic Phase as a baseline for making strategic changes to improve process and efficiency. In MarketingSherpa’s research, 50% of participants were Strategic, 36% were in Transition and 14% were in Trial with no formal process or guidelines.

Effective B2B lead generation involves know which tactics are most effective.  MarketingSherpa’s research shows that websites, webinars, email and SEO are the most effective.

B2B Marketing Tactics

Within the area of B2B Search Engine Optimization tactics, the creation of content was rated by MarketingSherpa’s research as the most effective and requiring the most effort. I guess that’s why so many B2B companies hire TopRank :)  On page optimization, link building and blogging were also highly rated SEO tactics for their impact.

B2B SEO tactics

The research data, case studies, screenshots, worksheets and insights provided in this Handbook will require readers to roll up their virtual sleeves and do some honest assessment. But the payoff will be a much more effective program that is worth many multiples of the cost of the report, which is $347 for the pdf version.

In fact, here’s a list of the worksheets included in the Handbook to give you an idea of the range of content and outputs you’ll get:

  • Initial perceptions of buyer personas
  • Questions to ask internal departments in developing buyer personas
  • Questions to ask customers and prospects in developing buyer personas
  • Recruiting a marketing-sales alignment team
  • Qualities of qualified and unqualified leads
  • Questions to ask when selecting a marketing automation platform
  • Marketing automation vendor evaluation sheet
  • Evaluating lead generation performance
  • Questions to ask in evaluating marketing performance
  • Marketing performance benchmarks

While I think the B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook is a great tool and source of information, the endorsement from our client, Jon Miller of Marketo, provides the best summary I’ve read yet:

“The 2011 B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook is a great “all-in-one” resource for B2B marketers, especially those of us who are responsible for driving revenue for the sales team. The FUEL methodology and associated marketing maturity model provide best practices for companies regardless of whether they are starting out with no processes, maturing with informal processes, or undergoing strategic optimization. The handbook tells you which tactics work – and which don’t – for generating leads, and then it goes on to talk about how to turn those leads into revenue, including practical advice for lead nurturing and lead scoring, automating the processes using marketing automation, and measuring results. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shot to take your B2B marketing to the next level, this handbook is for you!”

To get a free preview of the report or for more information and to get a copy, visit the MarketingSherpa site.


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