The Marketing Consigliere reads a lot of trade rags. He scours them to for articles or ideas to bring to The Marketing Consigliere Blog. Sometimes, believe it or not, there’s nothing he thinks meets the newsworthy standards of this blog. Sometimes he gets Blogger’s Block. Sometimes the day job gets in the way, or he spends too much time exploring Second Life for ideas and get sidetracked…
And before you know it, sales cycles have come and gone… Opportunities have been missed… Heads will roll… and then someone comes in and reinvents the wheel… BtoB magazine, one of his favorite trade rags, helped him get out of his blog slump with an interesting article about long term lead nurturing entitled “Marketing for the Long Haul.” Christopher Hosford succinctly states how customer information is “prime.”
In a network-centric marketing world, the ability to manage lead nurturing is critical using great tools like Eloqua to help track behaviors of buying center participants over long periods of time. This is so for some simple truths, including the high turnover of marketing and sales people, especially in the tech sector. Having a repository for data mining of customer interaction during the buying process, automated to a higher degree than manual input driven CRM or account management tools, will make a huge difference when there are shifts in personnel. Of course, having enough staff to maintain the tools is critical, but the institutional knowledge of the customer should be facilitated to outlive the “actors” that come and go on the vendor’s “stage.”
The B2B vendor owns the data and should ensure that it is there to assist the next sales and marketing staffers who inherit a long term sales cycle.