August 1, 2019
You’re a marketer and just put together some beautiful content, a webinar, a blog article, and a white paper. You see that a certain individual interacts with all three of your marketing materials. You notice this same person has attended every webinar you ever had.
This person must be really interested in buying your product or service right? Think again!
A Marketing Leader, B2B Strategist, and the VP of Marketing at TOPO Inc., Kevin O’Malley, cautions marketers to beware of the “fake Gucci buyers” and to reconsider who you are marketing to as the buyer and who you are marketing to as the influencer. Check it out!
- “Fake Gucci buyers” are people that will engage with all your marketing materials, they love your brand, they love all your content, but they do not have the purchasing power, so they will never buy.
- ABM is a great marketing strategy, but marketers need to remember to market to the correct people on the purchasing committee. The lower tier roles may be your influencers where their boss is the decision maker, go after the boss.
- Separate out the fake buyers from the real buyers by looking at the actions the person is taking after they interact with your marketing materials. If there is no action, but they are consuming all this content, you guessed it, fake.
- Marketers need to work closely with sales development. This will bring them closer to revenue, allow them to monitor the messaging, and learn faster from the SDR conversations about what their buyers are saying.
- Marketers should not only focus on the top of the funnel but the customer experience as well. Both customer experience and marketing are thinking of optimizing messaging and building a relationship with the brand.
- Marketing from customer experience needs to be careful that they are not just taking from the customer, for example, customer referrals and case studies. They also need to be adding to the customer’s experience with the brand through useful content.
- SDR phone conversations are a great resource for marketers to be able to draw conclusions of common pain points and questions that buyers are having. Then they can personalize their website and their content towards those pain points and questions.
- In your career, don’t just think of your position’s responsibilities but think of the top role at the company. If you were the top person, what would you do? How do you help this role where you are at currently and how can you continue to think big picture?
- People that are engaging with all your marketing materials are your ideal buyers. - Not so, there are plenty of people that are interested in the content that you are marketing, but they will never buy. Similar to “fake Gucci buyers”, these buyers will buy all the fake Gucci products in the world, but there’s no way they will spend the money to acquire a real Gucci product. You may have a business analyst that is highly interested in your webinars and blog articles, but they are not the ones at the company that will make the decision to purchase your product. You should be marketing to the higher tier decision makers above them as the buyer and look at people like the business buyers as influencers.
- 29:21-Sydney Sloan, CMO of SalesLoft
July 26, 2019
Some of the greatest baseball players have the highest strikeout rate. Why is this? They tried and went for it. Do you feel like your marketing has become stagnant? Do you need some inspiration to try something new?
An Author, Speaker, THE Conversion Scientist, and the Managing Partner of Conversion Sciences, Brian Massey, returns to the Hard Corps Marketing Show to give marketers the encouragement to go forth and test! Test out your crazy idea and see if it makes a difference for your brand! Check it out!
- If you keep doing the same thing you are going to get the same results.
- Go do an experiment and see if your crazy idea will have an impact on your brand.
- Focus group data can guide you but it is not reliable to make changes solely from those results. Run a test to get a larger sample size.
- You do not have to have a PhD or be a scientist to do testing in marketing.
- Get comfortable with the idea that a lot of experiments will fail. Learn from the failure and work through it.
- Consider testing causality. For example, are people finding your business from the search bar or are they buyers that know what they want, so they use the search bar and type in exactly that?
- Have a measurement of your campaigns all the way through to the CRM. This will better assist with understanding what efforts are driving conversion.
- Aim to optimize your marketing campaigns that are performing.
- Consider doing a podcast, it builds trust with your audience and it builds relationships with your guests.
- Conversational marketing can increase credibility with site visitors and grow lead generation.
- The best time to ask someone to do something, is right after they have done something.
- Consider asking your buyers after they have made a purchase, what almost kept you from purchasing today?
- You should always do the same thing in marketing, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. - You can always be optimizing your marketing. If you keep doing the same thing you are going to get the same results. Testing allows you to see what you can do to get better conversion rates.
- 16:32 - Dr. Diane Hamilton
- 46:59 - Michael Greenberg
July 18, 2019
Content is everywhere, so much that without strategy, it will be under utilized. How can marketers maximize their content marketing to get more buyer data, track ROI, and prioritize their efforts? What if there was an event that a marketer could go to, to get armed with practical strategy for maximizing content marketing?
A Marketing Leader, Digital Strategist, and the VP of Marketing at the Content Marketing Institute, Cathy McPhillips, lights the path for marketers to find Content Marketing World, an event where marketers can grow and learn to better their content marketing. Check out this episode for all the details and a marketing executive’s strategic approach.
- Create content that is valuable to your prospects. Content should be helpful and educational, does it solve a question the prospect has along the buyer’s journey?
- Build out your content marketing process, so it will provide you data on prospect engagements.
- What content topics do you have for your blog that could be categorized under bigger themes? Use those bigger themes to dedicate your reporting to and see what topics are getting the most engagement.
- Marketers can draw the conclusion of implied interest when a prospect interacts with multiple pieces of content on the same topic. Use this implied interest to engage with the prospect and build a personalized experience.
- Use the data from prospect engagement with your content to create segments based on content interest. Then deliver targeted calls to action based on those interests. For example, people that want to know more information about content marketing, could receive an email with a link inviting them to attend Content Marketing World.
- Content Marketing World is a conference in Cleveland, Ohio this year from September 3-6, that will have around 4,000 attendees. There are 14 different tracks that attendees can choose from to get the most out of their session choices based on their learning and growth goals.
- Content marketing IS marketing.-This is not the case. Content marketing is not general marketing. There are so many different pieces of marketing such as product marketing and advertising. Content marketing is just one piece of overall marketing.
July 11, 2019
Marketing is saturated with buzz words and strategic approaches like agile, ABM, AI, conversational marketing, and digital transformation. It’s difficult not to jump to one of these items and hope that it will be the answer to your marketing prayers.
A Marketing Leader, Podcast Host, and the Marketing Director of AttorneySync, Kelly Street, empowers the audience to not look at just one piece of marketing to fix all their problems, but to use a holistic approach. Do you want more than what Google tells you on Holistic Marketing? Then check out this episode to get a practical approach to apply to your marketing strategy.
- Holistic Marketing takes into account the company’s brand, their ideal buyer, looks at the different marketing initiatives they could be doing to reach the ideal buyers, captures their engagement with reporting, and makes sure that the marketing aligns with the company’s deliverables.
- A brand is more than a logo, it’s the company’s mission, values, goals, and what people think of that company.
- To determine your Ideal Customer Profile, look at who is engaging with your website, your marketing materials, and who is actually buying from you. All three will start to form your ideal customer and show you if your messaging is not aligning with your ideal audience.
- Your company’s mission needs to match the ideal buyers you are trying to attract. Consider, does this mission have an audience?
- At large companies that want to boost internal morale where employees need to connect, consider doing an internal podcast. It spotlights different players at the company and allows your coworkers to learn more about each other.
- Before doing a podcast, look to see if there have been other successful podcasts in your industry. Where are the gaps in content that you could deliver to your audience?
- To plan a podcast, one needs to answer the following questions: who is the audience, why would someone listen to it, what is the content, cadence, and format, and how will production be executed? If these questions are not answered, do not start the podcast until they are.
- “Not all your jobs in marketing will be great, but you will learn something from all of them. And a traditional path sucks, don’t worry about your windy road.”-Kelly Street
- Find the one marketing method that will save your company and do it.-This is not the case as there is no one thing to do that will save you. Marketers need to take a holistic approach and consider their ideal customer, their brand, use all different marketing mediums, and track their reporting to see what marketing efforts are receiving the most engagement from their ideal buyers.
- Everyone should do a podcast.-Not quite. Someone should only do a podcast if they know they have an audience for it. They also need to create a plan and see if they have the time to dedicate to producing a podcast on a timely cadence that will keep listeners engaged.
Books to Check Out:
- Brand: It Ain’t the Logo by Ted Matthews
- Superfans by Pat Flynn
- The 10x Marketing Formula: Your Blueprint for Creating Competition‑Free Content by Garrett Moon
July 5, 2019
As a marketer, when do you feel like you are doing your job? Is it when you pass an MQL to sales, thinking that you have done your duty to nurture the buyer and it is now the sales team’s responsibility to close the deal and drive revenue?
A marketing leader, speaker, and the VP of Marketing at Sigstr, Justin Keller, delivers a call to action to the audience to shift their focus from the MQL, to pipeline and revenue. Are you thinking of betting all your chips on the MQL? Think again!
- A good way to think if your sales and marketing teams are aligned, is to ask the question, do they trust each other?
- Marketers can build the relationship with sales by sharing the responsibility for revenue and say, “I am just as concerned about hitting your numbers as you are.”
- Rather than focusing on the MQL, marketers should focus on creating value for the sales team, not leads. Consider, how can the marketing team nurture buyers to contribute to the sales pipeline?
- B2B marketers can learn from B2C brands in the way they create brands that can engage with humans. Focus on building a brand that can resonate with people.
- When marketing a brand, consider what words people use to describe your brand. You can use a question like, if this company was a car, what would it be?
- Brands need to match the product and the company culture to be authentic.
- Prior to purchasing marketing technology, the company should consider if they have the skills, time, and resources, to maximize its use. Does it align with the mission of what needs to be achieved?
- Involve yourself in difficult decisions. Do not brush them aside as they will not get easier. Face them head on because you will mature professionally on the other side.
- Imposter Syndrome-When you don’t feel like you are worthy or that you have not earned what you received. You may really not be worthy, but someone thought you were, so rise to the challenge and do what you need, to prepare and advance in that position.
- The MQL is king and it’s what marketers should be consistently using as a measurement of success.-This is NOT the case. Nowadays you can get leads from anywhere, but it does not mean they are qualified just because the prospect clicked on a link or downloaded a white paper. Instead, marketers should be concerned with measuring their contribution to pipeline and revenue.
- 7:46 James Buckley “Saywhatsales”
June 26, 2019
Marketing is filled with buzzwords like AI, MQL, and Digital Transformation. Do you wish that you were able to get the no nonsense take on all of them from an experienced marketing executive?
A career B2B marketer who has worked with all kinds of companies from start-ups to enterprise and the Chief Marketing Officer of Sitecore, Paige O’Neill, wields Thor’s hammer like the pro she is and smashes multiple myths around the marketing fluff buzzwords. You don’t want to miss the marketing executive wisdom Paige delivers, for career growth and for life.
- Marketers still need to put in the hard work of data cleanliness and customer research rather than only relying on AI to solve all their problems.
- Map out the customer journey and get to know your buyers. What are the customers asking during different parts of the buyer’s journey?
- Content needs to be delivered at the right time. It needs to be connected to the buyer’s journey, otherwise a marketer is talking to themselves.
- Digital transformation is all about being customer-focused and delivering the ideal customer experience.
- Customers expect transactions to be seamless and continuous.
- When thinking about marketing strategy, consider, what the company needs, and what does the company expect the marketing executive to do.
- Get clear on exactly what is expected of the marketing executive in that role. Consider interviewing the company’s stakeholders and ask for the company’s priorities, differentiators, and what is expected of marketing leadership.
- There is always something you can align with someone on, therefore listen before speaking, and ask follow up questions.
- “Be bolder...the only bad decision you can make is doing nothing.”-Paige O’Neill
- “At a certain point, make a decision and then stop thinking about it and just do it.”-Paige O’Neill
- AI is going to solve all our problems.-AI is not going to solve all the issues of marketing. The marketer still has to put in the hard work. Data still needs to be collected and kept clean. The marketer still has to talk to customers and build an Ideal Customer Profile and personas, so that the AI software is not automating processes on assumptions.
- Marketing and sales alignment is a constant struggle and most teams are not aligned.-This is not the case with most companies. In order for most companies to be successful the teams have to be aligned. For the few companies that do not have their teams aligned, they are not putting the customer first.
- Marketers should bet all their chips on the MQL’s they generate.-Nobody cares about the MQL. The real topic of conversation is what is the marketing source pipeline and how much revenue has actually come from those marketing qualified leads.
June 18, 2019
How long does it take you to write a blog article? To research it, create the content, edit it, play with the title, find supplemental images, and then style the body?
Now think of a conversation between a host and an expert. In a 30 minute conversation, how long of a transcript is created? Much longer than an article, perhaps it’s the length of two or three articles?
A B2B Growth & Podcast Strategist, the Host of Talk with the Top: Chicago, and the CEO & Chief Interviewer of Call for Content, Michael Greenberg, delivers a call for action to start with a podcast when creating content, not a blog. Check out this episode and rethink B2B marketing content creation!
- “Blogs are the worst thing of all content options you could start with.”-Michael Greenberg
- Create an outline to have a structured transcription from a podcast. Create headings, then questions, then bullet points before doing the interview.
- Buyer personas are the first thing to consider when creating a B2B podcast. Who are you trying to reach? Then comes your audience.
- You could have your guests be partners and then your audience be prospects. You could also have your guests be prospects to develop the customer relationship.
- A seasonal podcast is about 8-12 episodes and the story line of content is planned with an arc. Think about the content you want to create, the order of interviews, and the talking points that should tie the episodes together.
- When deciding whether to do a podcast or a webinar for content, “plan for one, repurpose as another.”-Michael Greenberg
- To pull more conversation out of an interviewee, listen and then count to five in your head, the guest will usually keep talking to break the silence.
- A podcast’s audience determines the structure, style, tone, and the music of the show. For example, if the audience is typically listening on their commute, the pace of the show should be slower.
- Using a podcast for ABM works because the business can target the top accounts and have the prospects on the show. Touchpoint number one could be the business inviting the guest, touchpoint number two, the prep call, and then touchpoint number three could be recording an episode of 30 minutes or more. Then a relationship is developed.
- A podcast’s audience trusts the show’s brand. They have followed their episodes, listened to their conversations, and have already started to build a customer relationship.
- Don’t start with a blog when creating content. Start with a video or a podcast. The product can then be transcribed into multiple blog articles and creating the content becomes cheaper and faster. More content can be created from an hour conversation rather than an hour of writing an article.
June 11, 2019
In a world where magazine covers are airbrushed, movies are overproduced with special effects, and advertisements exaggerate to make products look desirable, marketers need to remember to stay authentic.
A Marketing Leader, Strategist, Public Speaker, and the VP of Marketing at Buyers Edge Platform, Andy Rosenbloom, reminds the audience to stay true to themselves and their brand. If you are tired of the facade that is all around, then listen to this episode for some real inspiration.
- Don’t lose sight of being authentic in your marketing even in a world where everything seems over the top.
- Marketing is communicating complex ideas in simplified ways that resonate with the brand’s buyers.
- Be willing to accept customer feedback, you never know the relationships that you could potentially make with your customers or the ideas for improvement that you could receive.
- When you have different types of buyers, diversify your content to target it specifically to those buyers.
- Remove barriers and make it easy for your buyers to interact with your brand.
- Remember that in B2B marketing, you are still marketing to people from that business. You are still trying to solve their problems and make them better professionals.
- “Moments of delight”-Paying attention to your customers’, likes, dislikes, and what they are going through in their personal life to seize a moment where you can make a difference and show them you care.
- Be humble, listen, learn, and take initiative in your career. Find more ways to be proactive, to anticipate problems and streamline processes for better solutions.
- Not everything has to be embellished and exaggerated all the time. Marketers need to make their brand aspirational, but it should still be authentic.
- Bob Malone 56:33
- Jordan & Barbara Kimmel 1:03:35
June 6, 2019
Marketers, you are busy in your bubble. You are creating content, designing email templates, and planning your next event. When is the last time you got out of your bubble? When is the last time you talked to sales? Have you sat in on a conversation with a customer recently to learn their pain points?
An ABM practitioner, strategist, and the CMO of TimeTrade, Lauren Mead, delivers a call to action for marketers to pop their bubble, step out, and get aligned with sales. She charts the course for a collaborative experience where marketing and sales can work together to establish a target market and better understand their customers. Are your marketing and sales teams not feeling the love? Then this is one episode you can’t afford to miss!
- Marketers need to understand customer pain points to leverage marketing as a resource and share best practices.
- Consider sitting in on a sales call with a customer. Listen to what questions the customer is asking during different parts of the sales cycle.
- When approaching marketing as a whole, start with your data. Consider your buyers’ industries, company size, and the common characteristics among the buyers.
- Identifying and understanding your buyer personas is what allows you to segment and target relevant content. You may have thousands of customers but only five personas to prioritize your efforts towards.
- Align with sales to establish your target market. Buyers that do not fit your criteria, should be not sent to sales. That is a waste of their time.
- As a marketing leader, task your team with generating sales accepted opportunities.
- “...if we’re generating a ton of leads that’s great, but if they’re not quality leads, who cares? It’s not tied to revenue.”- Lauren Mead
- Look at the marketing emails you receive from other companies and learn from them. Reflect on what trends you see and what you can do to improve your own marketing emails.
- Be willing to jump into new challenges and see things as an opportunity.
- When needs come up in your company, take initiative and contribute. You may not see the immediate return in your career from this effort, but look at the big picture and see it as a way to develop your overall skillset.
- Sales owns the customer relationship, so marketing has to ask for permission to talk to customers. It’s important for marketing to be aligned with sales, but marketing needs to be able to talk with customers to understand their pain points and create targeted content. There needs to be a trust built between the two departments, so that marketing does not feel they have to ask for permission.
May 30, 2019
Everyone is talking about Account Based Marketing (ABM). It’s all over social media, webinars, speaking sessions, and there are books about it. It has become a buzzword in marketing, the centerstage of a magic show. But what is ABM really? There is so much hype about it don’t you wish it was boiled down to just the essential keys?
Listen to a marketing executive with sales, accounting, and consulting experience, one that hosts the podcast, Talking Sense, and is the CMO of 6sense, Latane Conant. She demystifies ABM and takes away the smoke and mirrors to reveal it at its core. You don’t want to miss the show!
- In marketing, consider the kind of prospect experience you want to deliver. Think about how buyers buy today and you are going to execute the practices of ABM.
- Marketers need to consider The Dark Funnel. It’s the part of the buyer’s journey that you are not able to track. For example, when buyers research your competition, or when they listen to podcasts, or when they search for certain keywords, or if there is a member of the buying team you don’t know about.
- When you ask your prospect to fill out a form give them something better in return.
- Use your content marketing as a means to answer the questions your prospects are having during different stages of the purchase cycle.
- Think about the information that marketers can provide to sales about the account. Why is that account considered in-market? What is their buyer persona? What is their anonymous and known activity and what key-words have they searched?
- Segment your marketing to the different buyer personas. For example, if a competitor’s product fails, how can you market to that specific group of people to reach them and show that your product and brand is the answer?
- The 5 Keys to the ABM Process: 1) Select the Best Accounts 2) Know About Them 3) Engage the Right Way 4) Collaborate with Sales 5) Track Real Stuff
- Collaborate with your sales team. They will help decide the company’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Finding the ICP will help the marketing team decide to which accounts they should prioritize their marketing.
- The 3 Keys to Sales & Marketing Alignment: 1) Trust 2) Transparency 3) Time Horizon
- Be aligned with the product team, think about where is the market going? What are your customers asking for?
- Start your marketing approach with “The Why” and establish your culture, vision, strategy, and your brand. These foundational pieces need to be understood holistically.
- A vision should ignite uncomfortable excitement. Push the limits and be bold.
- Once a vision is established, consider how you can drive that growth. Always be considering the overall pipeline, deal velocity, average deal size, and the win rates.
- Marketers can always learn from the sales team. The sales team members understand the business, customers, and go-to market strategy really well. Therefore, get aligned with sales!
- Prioritize your marketing efforts around the product, service, and buyer personas that are making your company money. Marketers cannot afford to accommodate everybody. Understand the data and go after what gets your company the best win rates.
- Leaders need to help create the fun, it’s why people want to work for them. The fun comes from being motivated, thinking that the work is meaningful, and enjoying the team of employees.
- ABM is a buzzword that people just throw around. It’s really just good marketing. It focuses the marketer to go back to the roots, the customer. This makes for a good marketing and sales experience. To execute ABM the marketer needs to think about how the go-to market strategy can be framed around how buyers buy today.
- Content is king. Content matters, but there is already so much of it. Content marketing efforts need to be prioritized to answering the question of what jobs do the prospects need to do, to make a purchasing decision.