In March 2014, Raconteur hosted 80 marketing directors at London’s Hospital Club to inform our audience on key strategies for optimising B2B content for lead generation and sales. The topic was highly relevant to our audience as while almost every marketer is tasked with creating effective content marketing strategies, most are yet to perfect the relationship between content marketing and sales – and therefore the business bottom line.
With the help of our panellists Anthony Belloir (CEB), James Gill (LinkedIn), Joel Harrison (B2B Marketing Magazine), Amanda Jobbins (Sage), and Craig Welch (Bloomberg), the evening’s objective was to explore how we as brand leaders produce content that can generate leads, instead of just improved brand awareness. Belloir explained that content that is able to generate leads must be predicated upon critical insight that challenges the thinking of a prospect – in other words, that “un-teaches” them what they think they know. He continued by saying “The best way to un-teach your customers is to convince them that the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change”.
Anthony BelloirPractice Leader, CEB
James GillDirector of Agency and Partnerships, LinkedIn
Joel HarrisonEditor and Content Director, B2B Marketing Magazine
Amanda JobbinsCMO, Sage
Craig WelchHead of Marketing, Bloomberg
Gill went on to point out that the world of work is changing and that people are investing more time in their professional networks – so if you’re creating B2B content, you are appealing to a professional audience that’s multi‐faceted. He advised the audience to value their prospects as people, and be helpful to them by providing useful insight and information that enables them to do their jobs better.
The panellists agreed that despite all the technology in big data and analytics available, at the end of the day, numerical calculations for lead generation don’t work perfectly. It is ultimately about how good your people and your content are at qualifying prospects. Craig Welch from Bloomberg argued that “to an extent, content marketing can now achieve the very same thing that a salesperson used to – the ability to educate, to qualify, and to engage for the long haul”.