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Create Sales-Ready Buyers with Marketing Interactions

Ardath Albee

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Top Stories by Ardath Albee

For some reason, in B2B content marketing, we seem to forget about the "whole" buyer. More and more marketers are embracing buyer personas and the idea of becoming customer centric, but we often only focus on the business side of the buyer, as if they walk into the office and leave the rest of themselves outside. In the personas I help my clients create, a lot of research goes into what I call "orientation." Orientation is an attempt to identify commonalities across the personalities of people who tend to hold the roles that our marketing and sales programs pursue. These traits can tell us a lot about how to structure content to make it more appealing. For example, an engineer who is detail oriented would likely prefer content that backs up a premise with research and fact, rather than relying on the company's credibility for it to be believable. But a report rele... (more)

B2B Marketers Must Stay In the Game to Prove Business Impact

I was reading an interview with Laura Ramos, VP and Principal Analyst with Forrester, and a couple of things she said caught my eye: “The ideal model for understanding how B2B buyers buy is a life cycle, not a funnel.” “When your sales involve multiple buyers in a complex, highly considered process, and when there is a distinct hand-off from marketing to sales—it can get a bit murky when figuring out where marketing’s influence ends and sales’ influence begins.” The question that came up for me (and has for some time) is: Why is there a distinct handoff? If you look at the fir... (more)

B2B Buyers Choose Their Own Adventures

I was reading this blog post interview with Paul Greenberg over on Hubspot's blog about defining customer engagement and one of his examples stuck out to me. The essence of it was "don't make decisions for your buyers." Instead, let them choose. Regardless of how much research you've done, the number of personas you've created, you can only know so much. Each buyer is an individual, a human. While your content marketing programs lay down the bread crumbs they can choose to follow, it's what happens next that's critical. Paul Greenberg defines customer engagement as: “the ongoin... (more)

Product is Not the Hero of a B2B Company's Story

Despite the shift in the B2B buyer landscape that puts them squarely in the power position, I still hear marketers insist that the product is the hero of the story. Well, I'll just rip the bandaid off and say it straight up - You Are Wrong. As a level set for this post: The hero of the story is the protagonist or main character. The protagonist has a goal; is impeded by the antagonist/villain in achieving the goal; seeks knowledge along the way from a mentor to vanquish the villain; and achieves victory to accomplish his goal successfully at the end. Does this description of th... (more)

B2B Website Back Door Optimization

Many of the buyers who visit your company’s website probably originate from a click generated by a search result. Most marketers have done a great job managing from the home page inward. But, how many marketers spend time optimizing from the back of a website to the front? Consider that an interior page can often be the first introduction many of your buyers have to your company. Are you certain of the impression you’re making? Could it be stronger? Stop now and go to a search engine and type in your company name, product, or a keyword and take a look at the search results. Notice... (more)