Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Getting Started

In my case we were already in the market with a product and an inside sales team.   The company had just raised the B round and I was the new marketing talent funded by that round.  We were already late because it took longer to raise the round than expected.  Basically it was May, we had about $300k year to date and a $2.5M nut for the year and the problem was clearly labeled 'not enough downloads'.

The initial spurt of energy had to be focused on generating incoming leads and quickly.  Part of the problem was the compellingness of the product.  The good news was there was new product near term - the bad news was a) it was 3 new products all overpriced for the functionality and b) the sales team hadn't figured out how to sell 1 product yet.  The solution - create 1 product out of all 4 and price it to capture attention and share customers quickly.

With the new product in hand by July, we were began working to convert proven content syndication programs like Techtarget, Techrepublic and eMedia to product download programs.  That, a few list trades and email blasts to a list of some 30,000 names and we were able to triple the download volume in July over June.

The lesson learned:  While outbound programs generate quick returns in downloads, they require attention equivalent to the SEO/SEM work that you need to do to slowly build your inbound.  Outbound is addictive and expensive.   Sooner or later, you are going to have to ween yourself off of the outbound programs and it is a painful withdrawal.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Model

The B2B IT technology market is rapidly waking up to the 'new model'. It's the buzz, it's what all the VC are investing in, it's the model for the leading IPO's in this otherwise bleak year. What is it? The combination of an internet marketing and inside sales go to market. No high priced, prima donna, enterprise sales guys, no powerpoints, no long sales process. This has all been replaced by a high velocity transaction model of small transactions ($1k to $15k?).

Pretty cool, huh?

Actually, it's lots of fun for the professional marketer.

First you need a high demand product category. You can't fool yourself here - where talking need to have or at a minimum 'lots of pain without' products.
Mix that with a downloadable product (preferably in less than 15 minutes).
Stir in some easy to use, no training needed, I can figure this one out by myself thank you.
Then follow up with a well oiled inside sales model.

Companies like Solarwinds and LogMeIn have accomplished some stellar results (where talking operating margins in the 40s!

This blog is a record of my sojourn through the model for the first time.

Hope you enjoy it.