New Products, New Insights Highlight July Marketing Blogs
While many people were struggling with record high temperatures last month, B2B marketing experts weren’t sweating it out. Instead, they were kicking off the second half of the year with plenty of big ideas. Here are some of the best July marketing blogs from the past month.
In this wrap-up of B2B marketing information, we find that July was all about the new – an upgraded martech product from True Influence designed to better tell a potential prospect’s story, new ways of approaching marketing strategies and new books that can help B2B marketers improve their game.
FROM TRUE INFLUENCE:
True Influence Introduces InsightBASE™ Version 2.0
In this press release from July 17, we announced the release of an updated version of our innovative InsightBASE intent signal monitoring system, which takes what was already a cutting-edge platform and gives it a major upgrade based on customer collaborations.
InsightBASE uses intent monitoring to provide data that tells a client’s story thoroughly. But there is always room for improvement, and it has been just over two years since InsightBASE was first introduced.
New features for InsightBASE 2.0, which helps companies find customers that are actively seeking their business solutions, include an improved user experience that makes data easier to analyze and put to use, improved company contact data – using intel from Dun & Bradstreet – so sales teams can more confidently reach out to people at their target organizations who are responsible for purchasing, and enhanced campaign management, which used martech to help teams schedule campaigns for certain periods of time while prioritizing those that are more time-sensitive or aimed at specific businesses.
“Today, companies tend to rely on first-party lists or behavioral data to plan their B2B marketing approach, but that is just a small piece of the puzzle,” said Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence, in a statement. “The fact is, B2B decision makers take a complex journey before making buying choices by conducting research for their next big purchase. To be truly competitive, it’s critical to have a complete, worldwide picture of your prospects’ overall online purchase journey.”
InsightBASE 2.0 was featured in the London-based marketing research publication MRWeb on July 18, earning global recognition. The platform was also featured on the website Demand Gen Report on July 19.
Anyone interested in learning more about InsightBASE 2.0 can contact True Influence to schedule a complimentary demo.
Digital B2B Marketing Trends: A Mid-Year Update
This post from July 24 offers a mid-year update of 2018’s marketing trends, which change as quickly as the state of technology.
Here’s what’s on top so far this year:
- Social media. Video is the most effective way to engage potential prospects, but recorded video is somewhat passé. According to marketing expert Neil Patel, Instagram Stories, which allows for real-time video, product demos and Q&A’s, is “a secret weapon for top B2B companies.”
- Automation. Tech has made it easier for B2B marketers to focus on creativity because so many of the more mundane tasks that once fell are their shoulders are now handled through automated platforms.
- Mobile first. While marketers previously focused on making sure that all methods of engagement – especially websites and landing pages – were mobile friendly, most marketers are now realizing that most buyers use both desktop computers and mobile devices, sometimes at the same time, and the majority of the time they’re using mobile. According to statistics, time spent on digital media is 69 percent mobile and 31 percent desktop, so marketers need to have a strategy in place that successfully meets those user demands.
- “Hyper-Personalization.” Random personalization – a name in an email subject line, for example – no longer cuts it. Personalization has to go deep to be effective, and marketers need to offer valuable, personalized information through content in order to attract attention.
- Smarter chatbots. Your website needs to recognize visitors so that chatbot interactions are more than just furniture, but actually recognize that a viewer is returning to your website and acknowledges that.
Ultimately, with each new trend comes advancements that will challenge B2B marketers, but those who are ready for those challenges will be more poised to excel.
FROM THE WEB:
Think B2B marketing is less interesting than consumer projects? That’s bullshit
It may seem as though B2C marketing gets all the love, but this July 13 post from David Van Schaick, CMO at the Marketing Practice that appeared on the website The Drum, reminds readers that B2B marketing offers as many opportunities for creative marketing campaigns.
While even in education, B2B doesn’t get as much focus, the advertising world offers plenty of opportunity, says Van Schaick, who calls it “the Wild West of the marketing world, the great frontier. Abundant with unexplored possibilities…”
B2B clients require strong ideas, and they have the money to back them.
According to eMarketer, B2B digital advertising is expected to be worth $4.6 billion this year, up 13 percent from last year.
The growing industry is one that is perfect for creative marketers, because B2B campaigns need to stand out from the crowd to be successful, such as HP snagging Christian Slater for a print security campaign, taking advantage of his work on the cyber security-themed show “Mr. Robot” to connect with viewers.
Despite being somewhat underappreciated, the right marketers, Van Schaick says, can win awards and showcase their creative chops as effectively in the B2B sector, especially if more focus is placed on training, since B2B marketers face a unique set of challenges that don’t apply to B2C.
To tips the scales more in B2B’s favor, the Marketing Practice has recently created a training program that takes advantage of the latest martech to teach marketers:
- How people behave when buying in groups
- How consumers make buying decisions at work
- What challenges businesses face so marketers will be better equipped with the right tools to influence them to make buying decisions.
How to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams Aligned for Success
One of the most important steps to a successful account-based marketing campaign is a cohesive union between sales and marketing.
This Forbes post by Dan Golden, founder of the digital marketing firm Be Found Online, reminds marketers that aligning teams that are traditionally out of sync can make it easier to meet revenue and sales goals.
Both sides need each other – marketers require the customer feedback sales teams have to offer, while marketing can help respond to that intel with information that can make the buying process easier for a specific customer.
Some ways Golden suggests to better align on the marketing side:
- Use customer relationship management software to help track important data.
- Find out from prospects which marketing channels have been the most influential, information that can guide future marketing decisions.
- Coordinate sales efforts and marketing campaigns, so potential prospects will be contacted based on recent marketing efforts.
- Sales should alert marketing to pain points so they can help ease roadblocks and improve the possibility of sales.
- Marketing should know if the leads they are providing sales are worthwhile. Feedback from sales can help marketers improve campaigns.
Some tips on ways to align on the sales side:
- Because B2B success is measured in leads, marketing should focus on campaigns that reinforce sales, creating a strategy that complements sales messaging.
- Sales and marketing data should integrate in order to determine where to find the most qualified leads.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team. But there is an ‘I’ in marketing, and it stands for integration,” Golden wrote. “Digital makes it easier than ever for salespeople and marketers to integrate their efforts, their data and their goals. When they do, the success and corresponding rewards will lift brands and the individual team members to unbelievable levels of success.”
Driving More Value Into your Customer Relationships
This July 19 post from Ira Gleser of Amplify Marketing Communications LLC that appeared on the website Customer Think addressed how to establish more solid relationships with customers so that they are more likely to stay with your company the next time their business requires the product or service you sell.
That means providing something of value to customers, whether it is information that helps them improve their profits or establishing a relationship that also offers value, which gives customers a reason to do business with you.
Showcasing the ways in which not only your product or service, but also your business relationship, can help grow a client’s business establishes stewardship, which Gleser says is one of the most valuable assets in a B2B relationship.
Stewardship is essential, because it creates a symbiotic relationship that allows for a variety of different benefits, including allowing you to:
- Review strategies with customers to ensure that marketing campaigns are successful.
- Uncover potential problems before they become serious.
- Develop a better understanding of your client as well as the company’s goals and objectives.
- Establish a partnership with your client, one that ensures that your company is perceived as more than just a service provider.
- Identify mutually beneficial opportunities to grow the business.
Stewardship involves participation from every member of the marketing or sales team that is involved with the client, but the rewards can establish a business relationship that lasts for decades.
“Regardless of the size of your business or what business you’re in, any organization operating in the B2B space calling on clients and customers can benefit from the concept of stewardship,” Gleser wrote.
Clients who feel valued and value you will purchase from you again, hire you again, recommend you to other businesses and help your business grow as well.
CMOs, Take a Walk on the Sales Side
According to Barry Nolan, CMO of the mobile marketing automation platform Swrve, one of the best ways CMOs can help strengthen their marketing strategies and their marketing teams is by doing a pitch on their own, without sales, a move that will unite sales and marketing while giving CMOs better insight into customer needs.
In an interview with Drew Neisser, founder and CEO of the marketing agency Renegade, which appeared July 25 on the Ad Age website, Nolan makes the suggestion as a way to better understand customer needs, which can inform future marketing campaigns in a way that’s more effective because it gives the CEO a chance to develop a deeper knowledge of the company in order to make a more effective pitch.
“It crystallizes your narrative and everything you need in that process, not just in the initial pitch but in the subsequent closing,” Nolan told Neisser. “I think CMOs should do that. It’s an incredibly important part of the process. Very few do, which is very curious to me.”
Campaign Effectiveness Comes Down to Great Ads, Not Viewability
According to Paul Lowrey, head of marketing and strategy at TI Media, in an effort to ensure that marketing campaigns have a high viewability score, marketers are missing a pretty important message – creativity will drive engagement more.
You may be reaching the right person at the right time, Lowrey writes in a post that appeared July 25 on the industry website AdExchanger, but if the content misses the mark, the timeliness won’t matter.
So, while data and tech might ensure that you’re reaching the right audience, if your creativity is lacking, you won’t connect with that audience on a deep enough level.
“Placing an ad in front of the right person at the right time is only effective if the ad attracts the attention of the person viewing it,” Lowrey wrote.
And while creativity is vital, it must be creative that matches the brand’s message and provides information that ensures that potential prospects are truly informed about your company’s product or service.
By providing the right message, the right time will make more of a difference, ensuring that creative and tech become happier bedfellows.
OFF THE PRESS:
“The Expert’s B2B Revenue Growth Playbook: Actionable Strategies to Make Your Business Soar” by Christopher J. Ryan.
With decades of B2B marketing and sales under his belt, this Silicon Valley vet who has also worked at several Colorado companies offers tips on how to grow your business in a book that quickly became an Amazon favorite.
Ryan, who has clients around the globe, explores how creative marketing can lead to serious business growth, looking at marketing techniques such as data collection, branding, lead planning, revenue models, and sales strategies with fresh eyes.
“Chris has gathered fact-based and client-ready directives that you can truly use from day one. I can’t recommend this book more highly except to say – you’d better get it before your competitors do,” wrote one reviewer.
If you’re ready to learn more about the latest in B2B from our B2B July round-up, check out these other articles over the past month: