May B2B Round-up – Marking True Influence’s British Expansion
While the debut of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may have been the lead story for most companies during May, True Influence was celebrating its expansion abroad with the opening of a new office in London.
Peter Larkin was appointed True Influence Vice President, International and Channel, and will head the new office.
“We are delighted to have Peter join our team at this exciting time,” said CEO Brian Giese in a May 8 press release. “We look forward to leveraging his impressive and lengthy experience in business-to-business sales, channel and management to help lead True Influence, as we continue our rapid growth. Our new office in London is just the first step in our company growth plan.”
The office put True Influence near the front lines – or just over the English Channel from – the other news-making event of the month, the GDPR, a long-planned set of regulations addressing the protection surrounding the processing of personal information gathered from residents of the EU.
Companies were required to be GDPR compliant by May 24, when the regulations went into effect, and Gannett-owned newspaper USA Today limited access to EU readers while Tronc-owned media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun went dark entirely to those readers to avoid potential fines for non-compliance.
In addition to the news of our expansion, we wrapped a five-part series on GDPR regulations on May 4, and also wrote the following blogs, each designed to help improve marketing strategies and boost business growth:
On May 2, RK Maniyani, CTO of True Influence, wrote this information-packed blog post as a reminder to companies to treat their databases of painstakingly gathered opted-in business contacts like the treasured assets that they are.
That means not bombarding contacts with emails that could turn them away.
While the data regarding email fatigue varies from study to study, one thing we know is that reader fatigue is real, and it can cost you. You can pay the price not only due to the wasted expense of marketing to potential prospects who unsubscribe, but also because of the loss of potential revenue.
So, what’s best?
Email is not “hated” as a marketing strategy, say 91 percent of email recipients. The majority of respondents in a marketing study said that an email once a month would be okay, while just 15 percent said an email per day would be acceptable.
“Ultimately, the right answer on how often you should mail to your contact database will be unique to your organization and depends on ongoing analysis of response to your campaigns,” we wrote.
Finding the sweet spot, the number that will retain interest in your company and its products or services without turning off a potential prospect, is important, because those who unsubscribe to opt-in emails do so because of a glut of email, according to Hubspot.
Regularly sending fresh, interesting content that is appealing to subscribers will keep them on your email roles and will treat them with the respect they deserve.
True Influence COO Craig Weiss explored the potential benefits of intent signal monitoring in boosting a company’s ability to secure a wider customer base in this May 9 blog post.
By properly tracking the internet activity of potential prospects, businesses are able to target the right people at the right time to deliver a highly personalized message that is not only eye-catching, but also informative. Personalized marketing helps boost email click-through rates and sales qualified leads, but also generates a shorter sales cycle and increased website traffic.
In this May 16 post, True Influence CRO Ken Stout addresses another real-world benefit of intent signal monitoring; it allows members of the sales team to get to know clients on a more intimate level while developing a deeper knowledge about the product or service, both of which help establish a sense of trust.
“There’s always going to be a natural friction in sales,” writes Stout. “Your customers are taking a gamble on your product or service to fuel their business, and that level of risk is going to create some trepidation. And Sales no longer controls the conversation… These prospects know their stuff. If you go into a Sales call without a clear picture of what’s really driving change in the prospect’s market, you have no chance of closing a deal. You must establish your credibility before you can hope to win trust.”
Analytics are changing the marketing industry, because they allow creatives to determine whether their campaigns are successful or not based on more than simply long-term growth, according to this May 21 post.
Marketing analytics allows marking pros to assess their own performances, down to even the smallest detail, making it easy to address problems or concerns in a timely manner.
Analytics are great because:
• They focus on people. Contemporary marketing platforms can determine where consumers are finding you and which marketing strategies are most effective, so more focus can be placed on those successful strategies.
• They make the most of a marketing budget. Measuring data helps erase hidden costs because it allows for more tailored marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate.
• They bring sales and marketing together. Account-based marketing requires sales and marketing teams to align, and data analysis makes that happen.
• They enable experimentation. The success of a social media experiment or another marketing test run can be measured quickly, so it is not necessary to invest a great deal of money on a tactic that may or may not be successful.
It’s all in the personalization, according to this May 23 blog post from True Influence CMO Janet Rubio.
Personalized content teamed with data that offers insight into the place potential prospects are in their buying journey are “irresistible marketing” opportunities that are more likely to connect, Rubio said.
“If you shoot blind, you’re just an intrusion,” Rubio wrote.
Companies such as the Austin-based marketing company Bulldog have seen success with personalized video, using the medium to market its services using innovative creative in moves that merge art and science.
By adding inserts to existing content, such as a recipient’s name, photo, company logo and other information, videos along with accompanying email campaigns were personalized in a way that got the company noticed.
“The results? Bulldog saw e-mail click-through rates jump between 300 percent to an eye-popping 1000 percent across the various campaigns it tracked,” Rubio wrote. “That’s irresistible.”
For its campaigns, Bulldog included a photo culled from recipients’ LinkedIn profiles to further augment the carefully-choreographed personalization.
Because Bulldog was able to monitor signals and track spikes in activity surrounding certain keywords, they were able to determine what marketing strategies were attracting the most attention and where potential prospects were more likely to be found.
Video content was shown to be effective not only as part of initial contacts but also throughout other stages of the sales funnel as a more cutting-edge approach to capturing attention.
“Personalized video has almost limitless potential. Any piece of data you know about a contact can be used to create a compelling experience, at any point in your relationship. Adidas grabbed headlines recently for an elaborate project that created personal highlight videos for more than 30,000 runners in the Boston Marathon,” wrote Rubio. “It’s a tremendous payoff for a smart investment.”
In this May 25 blog post we looked at the continuing power of email marketing, which maintains a high return and steady growth.
(Remember, on May 2 we learned that email isn’t hated; subscribers just want companies to remember the value of their inbox and not take advantage of the opportunity to connect.)
The most effective email campaigns are ones that offer benefits to the prospects in some way, including educational information.
Some tips for crafting successful campaigns include:
• Create Irresistible Lead Magnets. Offer something of interest to your targets and your targets are more likely to respond.
• Offer Content “Upgrades.” These offers are ideal for enticing someone who has engaged with your company in some way, either by reading a blog or downloading a white paper.
• Optimize Your Landing Pages. Clean, easy-to-read landing pages are more likely to retain prospects.
• Keep Opt-In Forms Short. Visitors won’t stick around if you attempt to gather too much information, so keep opt-in forms short and sweet.
• Onboard New Subscribers.
• Test, Test, Test. Each business is different, and so are their successful marketing strategies. Test what you’re doing regularly to make sure that it’s working. If something doesn’t have the numbers, switch it up.
“For B2B marketers, good online marketing practices can generate healthy traffic numbers, low bounce rates, and a high percentage of returning visitors — all worthy accomplishments, but they only tell part of the story. To get the most out of your blog and other on-site resources, it’s vital to convert those readers into engaged, invested email subscribers,” we wrote.
Marketers are not taking long to understand the benefits of intent signal monitoring, according True Influence CRO Ken Stout in this May 30 blog post.
“When we launched our InsightBASE account acceleration platform back in January 2016, we were a little ahead of the curve in recognizing the impact third-party intent data signal monitoring would have on B2B sales and marketing,” Stout wrote. “But if attendee interest at the recent SiriusDecisions 2018 Summit is any indication, the industry is catching up, and quickly.”
The show, held in April in Las Vegas, drew interest from conferencegoers who instead of seeing intent as a buzzword recognize that data monitoring can serve as the groundwork for successful account-based marketing campaigns.
At the event, True Influence customer Imprivata, a healthcare data security firm, took home the 2018 Return on Integration Award for demand creation and lead management. Imprivata pointed to InsightBASE and a new account-based marketing focus that allowed the firm to boost profit margins.
Still, the market is wide open. Only 25 percent of B2B businesses are currently using intent signal data, according to surveys, although 25 percent expect to have a plan in place within the next year.
The benefits can be high, especially for companies that haven’t considered marketing to certain industries that would be a good fit, based on intent signal data.
Intent also helps bring sales and marketing teams together – one of the most effective ways to boost business – because both teams can and do benefit, helps improve personalized content and messaging and helps determine which accounts should be contacted based on intent activity or a lack thereof.
“After a couple years of talking about the potential of intent data to transform B2B sales and marketing, it’s gratifying to see mature intent-based ABM programs paying off in a big way. And I expect more compelling case studies in the months to come,” Stout wrote.