Month In Review: True Influence’s Top Picks
As winter’s snow begins to melt away and shamrocks make way for Easter eggs, spring’s rebirth is the perfect opportunity to dust off the gray of winter and use the season of renewal as a springboard to consider new technology like the ever-growing artificial intelligence such as Intent Monitoring which uses data to help you get to know you potential prospects and current customers better, so you can ultimately be a better business.
To help you get started, we’ve gathered together some of our favorite posts from March to inspire you to make big moves that have the potential to change your company’s future for the better.
Our best posts from February:
At True Influence®, these are the blog posts that offered the most useful information or attracted the most attention in March:
While account based marketing is becoming more popular for B2B businesses because it allows them to create the intimate, one-on-one marketing experiences of a bygone era , CEOs are still a bit in the dark regarding ABM, so we crushed some myths with this enlightening post. ABM is more than a marketing tool, it is a strategy that brings marketing and sales teams together to create personalized campaigns that have proven to be more effective than traditional marketing methods. Uncovering the facts beneath the myths reveals why ABM is a smart move that CEOs should get behind.
While big data – gleaned from Intent Signals® your target businesses leave on the internet – allows access to a wealth of information about the companies with which you do business as well as those on your wish-list roster, it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story.
Taking advantage of that information helps get you close to creating your ultimate client list, but using small data – specific but real-time information gathered from big data analysis that tells you what a potential prospect is doing right now – has the potential to get you closer.
Big data tracks trends while small data targets actions. A mix of both will get you the results you’re looking for, helping your business grow thanks to technology.
Speaking of technology (which will always be one step ahead of us, no matter how cutting-edge we thing we are), True Influence CEO Brian Giese was interviewed in a Huffington Post article that addressed technology’s impact on the create side of marking. According to Giese, technology hasn’t erased creativity, it has simple changed the way marketers work by putting more information at their fingertips, so they can focus energy on creating dynamic marketing campaigns and materials, already knowing what potential clients want or need.
We noticed that the community has been talking about:
We’ve tracked what’s trending along with the latest expert advice so you can spend more time putting that information to use for better, more targeted marketing.
Interesting Trends in B2B
4 Ways to Use Audio in B2B Marketing
With radio consumption going up by 35 percent over the past 12 years, we haven’t lost our love of listening. Podcasts are popular entertainment, and NPR’s “This American Life” remains one of the most popular shows on the radio.
And here’s what’s cool about that. When people listen, they hear with a higher level of understanding and better recall because they’re not distracted by video, making audio a smart marketing tool, especially for B2B businesses, writes Amanda Wentel-Weiner in this post on Hubspot.
“Companies – especially B2B companies – have such a hard time telling their organization’s story,” says Kierran Petersen, associated producer of “The Growth Show,” a business-centric podcast. “Creating a branded podcast is the perfect opportunity to do that. It’s such a personal way to give people insight into what you do, by showing your audience who you actually are.”
Other innovative ways to use audio as a marketing tool include audiograms, which link snippets of audio with an eye-catching image, as part of a social media campaign using tools like Facebook’s under-the-radar Live Audio or through spoken content, such as offering eBooks, blogs and whitepapers in an audio format to engage listeners in a unique, memorable way.
Understanding the opportunities the Internet of Things presents B2B marketers
As tech becomes more advanced and the Internet of Things stages a takeover through connected devices, B2B businesses are going to have to be on board or risk falling behind their competitors, according to a post on Linked In from market researcher Steven Van Belegham.
Unlike big data, the information collected through connected devices is more intimate, opening the door to marketing that’s more individualized than ever before.
The information collected by connected devices will not only offer insight into consumer satisfaction, it will also reveal how consumers use a product, allowing manufacturers to make improvements based on specific needs, ultimately providing more elevated customer service and a better product or service.
The 5 Forces of Artificial Intelligence in B2B Sales
While the latest opinion pieces ominously suggest that artificial intelligence will essentially take the place of many creative positions in the near future, it is more likely to help drastically improve the sales experience, according to this post that erases the fear and embraces the potential benefits of AI.
“AI helps to clear the muddy waters of client and prospect relationships, providing sales professionals with the ammo they need to accurately understand the behaviors, motivations and hesitations of both their existing and target accounts,” writes Sam Hurley on the B2B-focused website Sparklane.
While sales departments face stiffer competition and increasing noise that can drown out their message, AI can help them find a new, more successful path to increased sales.
(AI may soon be writing press releases based on algorithms, however, said one advertising expert recently, so we creatives may not be able to relax completely, no matter how the exuberance of Hurley’s post.)
8 Creative Ways to Use Live-Streaming for B2B Brands
Live steaming is all over Facebook as users of the social media site begin to take advantage of the technology and go live, but live streaming is just as effective as a marketing tool, whether for messaging to consumers, boosting sales or offering general information about a product or service that can introduce potential new consumers in a friendly, approachable way.
This informational blog post appearing on Social Media Today looks at eight different ways businesses can use live streaming as a marketing tool, whether to improve customer service, share new innovations with a customer base, take potential prospects on a behind-the-scenes tour of industry expos, conferences or other events, introducing them to what’s on trend so they feel like industry insiders – thanks to you – or to share content that helps consumers use your product and service more effectively, improving their own business success.
Use Cases and Experts in Account Based Marketing
Account-based marketing guru, Christopher Engman: “It’s all about closing mega deals”
Christopher Engman launched the account based marketing company Vendemore when he realized that a single sales exec or a sales team was facing a losing battle when attempting to sell a product or service to one person at a large-scale company, and sales and marketing working together (the core of ABM) made more sense.
“A lot of companies have, for instance, 17 accounts representing half of their total revenue and 2,000 accounts representing the other half. Despite this clear division of revenue, they still run the same kind of marketing campaigns, the same e-mail shots to all. They simply pay too little attention to their top accounts and too much attention to the long tail,” he said in this article appearing on Linked In.
Using ABM targets the right people at the right time – when they’re looking for your product or service, for example – so marketing becomes more likely to be successful and less like a waste of time.
How Account-Based Marketing and Selling via LinkedIn Can Drive Revenue
If you haven’t thought about the benefits of account based marketing – which allows marketers to narrow the field of prospective targets but makes them more likely to be hits – this practical post on Linked In showcases how ABM is a smarter marketing strategy, especially for B2Bs selling big-ticket items to a narrow clientele.
Most importantly, it works, according to 97 percent of marketers surveyed in an Alterra Group study.
Using ABM on Linked In by creating a profile that targets specific accounts by showcasing how your product or service can improve sales for companies like theirs, can make the social media platform more successful as well.
Offering content specific to those industries is a great lure, and is more likely to attract attention than generic profiles that are unfocused and target an audience that’s too wide to work effectively.
The latest books:
These new releases will help you be a better boss, a more intelligent thinker and a more inspiring person through compassion, finding your inner strength and following your true desires, passionately.
“Indispensable,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Happiness Project” about Scott’s book of tips, borne from working at Apple, Goggle and a variety of start-ups, that show readers how to be an inspiring boss by elevating employees to be their best by creating an environment that’s enriching for the entire team.
“The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone” by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach
This enlightening book celebrates human intelligence by reminding us that our intelligence hinges on how we use the world around us, and is more communal than individual.
Essentially, we are smart on our own, but we’re smarter when we take advantage of everyone’s knowledge, like a true think tank.
Lidsky, who has thrived despite learning that he was going blind at that age of 13, reveals how past experiences can create our own sense of blindness by negatively influencing how we view challenges. By using his own experiences, he offers tips on how to overcome those fears so they don’t hold us back from our dreams.
“Managing Oneself: The Key to Success” by Peter F. Drucker
Known as the father of modern management, Drucker brings together two articles from the Harvard Business Review, “Managing Oneself” and “What Makes an Effective Executive,” to offer tips on certain behaviors that will not only help you become a better leader, but also to have a better life.
“Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm” by Christian Madsbjerg
Christian Madsbjerg worked for several different companies including Ford, Adidas and Chanel, and during his years at these top businesses, realized that big data is taking the place of human intelligence, and as companies focus on the numbers, they lose sight of the needs of not only consumers, but also employees. He suggests that creating what customers want will be a more effective way to build real, sustainable growth.
“Having helped some of the world’s largest companies transition for the digital age, it’s clear to me that those best positioned to win in today’s marketplace possess a deep and human understanding of their customers. Companies must master not just big data, but thick data–insight into culture, history, and the social structures underlying human behavior. Sensemaking is the road map for how this works, and it is essential reading for anyone looking to thrive in a world of digital disruption,” said Francisco D’Souza, CEO of the software development company Cognizant.
“UNSTUCK: A Story About Gaining Perspective, Creating Traction, and Pursuing Your Passion,” by Dan Webster and Randy Gravitt
You might be living a life that followed what others see as the perfect path to success, but isn’t leaving you feeling fulfilled. Webster and Gravitt show you how to realistically determine what your dreams once were so you can rediscover your true calling and reignite you passion, finding success on a path that is genuinely satisfying.