Buyers sit squarely in the drivers seat of the purchase process - with steering wheel in-hand with a foot on a pedal (brake OR accelerator). Barraging target segments with emails, direct mail, and in-your-face online banner advertising is becoming increasingly ineffective at generating leads. It can, however, be very effective at causing opt-outs and spam reports (prospects slamming on the break pedal).
When prospects are ready to buy (use the accelerator) - they will seek the information they need to make a decision. They will download white papers, visit blogs, read expert reviews, and seek out comparison guides. They are very likely to make their purchase decision BEFORE they every contact your sales team.
This new way of shopping demands marketers focus on the buyer, the sales process, and providing the types information they will need to make a purchase decision. Marketers need to enable learning by creating good content and participating in prospect engagement and learning.
Inbound marketing - creating relevant content and making it available for prospects is the new marketing imperative for driving revenue.