At Forrester, Research Directors do many things around the research process. We help analysts to establish a research agenda and keep them current for the next 12 months – we negotiate the report outlines, edit the drafts, and share the research and reports around other parts of Forrester to ensure consistency. Then, we often create or edit “blurb” text for promotional efforts (tweets, blogs, newsletters). I was sent a proposed blurb (written by our own marketing group) announcing our new report “Make Sales Conversations An Integral Part Of Your Content Marketing Plans”. The blurb said

“Getting Sales to be the content concierge for marketing content.”

I stared at the sentence for a long time. Is that we mean? Do we want to force-feed marketing content to our sales colleagues? Calling it “marketing content” sounded demeaning and confusing; is that Sales’ job – distributing what marketing wants them to distribute? No, of course not. But their job is certainly to share and provide content to their conversation partners that is compelling and interesting and useful – stuff that helps the buyer to proceed down their journey. And the content is usually created by marketing (unless the salesperson cannot find it in which case it is made up on the fly).

So the blurb that ended up in next week’s “Forrester 5” promotional email to be sent to all clients is:

Enable sales teams to be B2B content concierges. Avoid the expensive problem of unused content by reinforcing collaboration between marketing and sales. Bridge the gap with a customer-centric focusto drive long-term content success.

The report describes best practices in content distribution to and through Sales. It is based on extensive research of such best practices by Researcher Shanta Samlal-Fadelle and VP & Principal Analyst Laura Ramos – they interviewed 15 sales enablement vendors — Brainshark, CallidusCloud, Demandbase, Genwi, Highspot, idio, Kapost, KnowledgeTree, Mediafly, Qvidian, SAVO Group, Seismic Software, Showpad, Sitecore, and Storyworks1 — as well as 18 B2B marketing professionals using these vendors’ solutions.

Now that last sentence raises another interesting question. What category of technology are these vendors? The vendors listed used variously: Sales Content Platforms; Content Delivery Platforms; Sales Acceleration; Sales Enablement – we took the latter term but perhaps you have some ideas. I look forward to your inputs.

Which reminds me. Another interesting report for you B2B marketers who are Forrester clients, which is related to this topic, is The Forrester Wave™: Content Marketing Platforms, Q2 2015 by Senior Analyst Ryan Skinner, who is our lead on the content marketing topic itself. At our request, Ryan also included several CMP vendors who support B2B Marketing such as Kapost, Oracle, Skyword, NewsCred, and DivvyHQ in the wave. He described that in more detail in his Forrester Webinar earlier this week.

Always keeping you informed! Peter