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Marketing Spark (The B2B SaaS Marketing Podcast)
32 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
Don't Let Content Collect Dust. Distribute & Repurpose: Ross Simmonds
Many marketers believe that when they hit "publish" on a piece of content, the job is done. But the reality is it's just beginning. Ross Simmonds says one of the keys to content marketing success is distribution. Without it, he says all you're doing is building a content library. In this episode of Marketing Spark, Ross talks about: - Why so many companies and marketers struggle with content distribution - How to kick-start a content distribution plan - How to repurpose content on multiple platforms - Why it's important to focus on quality, not quantity - How to create content that's valuable and SEO-friendly.
31 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
To Gate or Ungate Content, That is the [Marketing] Question
To gate or not to gate, that is the question. Should prospects cough up an email address to access content? It’s a question that I’ve asked many marketers in recent months. And most of them believe that gated content is disappearing. In theory, gated content is a great way to attract MQLs and justifying/quantifying marketing investments. In practice, however, getting email addresses is increasingly challenging. On the Marketing Spark podcast, Jonathan Bland suggests that marketers need to look at content differently. Rather than it being about email farming, the focus should be brand awareness and funnel development. “It’s about getting maximum reach,” Jonathan says. The decision to un-gate can be a difficult pill to swallow but the digital marketing landscape has changed. There’s so much good content that a company simply can’t afford to create a barrier or friction.
26 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
How Marketing Success is Ruined by a Rotten Foundation
When marketing fails to perform, a frenzy of fixes happens. It’s about tactical optimization and doing things differently. But often marketers are addressing symptoms, not root problems. Sometimes, bad marketing is caused by a rotten foundation. Marketing execution stumbles when it’s not underpinned properly. Michelle Tresemer describes this problem as “compounding defects”, a term that she borrowed from the construction industry. Compounding defects happen when there is no strategic vision or purpose. This leads to marketing that isn’t focused, structured, or aligned. Michelle says that “by the time you to tactics, there are no guardrails or no direction. Everyone is just doing what they think is best and it doesn't work”. In the physical world, compounding defects is what happens when a skyscraper’s foundations are slightly off. As the building is constructed the foundational flaws are magnified and exacerbated. In the marketing world, compounding defects can involve a lack of leads or sales, or content that a CMO finds difficult to approve because it’s somehow off the mark.
35 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
How to Create a Unified B2B Marketing & Sales Team
In many organizations, marketing and sales operate in silos. Sales complains that marketing delivers crappy leads while marketing claims sales can't close deals. In an ideal world, sales and marketing operate as a cohesive team that collaborates to effectively attract and engage prospects. On the Marketing Spark podcast, April Palmer provides insight into how startups and entrepreneurs can create powerful marketing and sales teams. As well, she talks about the mistakes that many companies make when hiring a sales leader, and how to build a sales organization in the right way. For companies looking for sales help, April has advice on how to hire a third-party sales organization.
30 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
How Agile Can Change How Marketers Think, Work, and Succeed
In the software world, agile has been around for many years. It's how software is developed more efficiently and iteratively. But agile is also being embraced by organizations looking to make their marketing more successful. Michael Seaton says agile fundamentally changes how marketer think and work. It's about making marketing more structured, focused and effective. It's about giving marketing teams the psychological safety to test and learn without getting sent to the penalty box if they make mistakes.
37 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
A Deep Dive into the World of B2B Content Production: Brad Smith
As more B2B brands embrace content marketing as the way to engage, educate, and connect with prospects and customers, it's becoming increasingly difficult to break through and stand out. In this episode of Marketing Spark, Brad Smith, CEO with Wordable, offers in-depth insight into: How companies should approach content marketing The importance of focusing on keywords that can be ranked for in the short term. How to build a content marketing team and how to assess its performance How to never run out of content ideas How to effectively distribution content once it's been published.
29 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
How a B2B Marketer Successfully Embraced TikTok
One of the most interesting parts of the B2B marketing landscape is watching marketers do their own marketing. I see a lot of it on LinkedIn – my social media platform of choice. There are marketers who create text posts, videos, carousels, and, of course, polls. But, believe it or not, there is life beyond LinkedIn for B2B marketers. And one of the more intriguing places is TikTok. Yeah, TikTok. It’s no longer just a social media platform for goofy videos but a place where B2B marketers can successfully leverage. A marketer who appears to have cracked TikTok is Stephen Pope, who runs SGP Labs in L.A. In this episode of Marketing Spark, Stephen talks about why he embraced TikTok and his tactical approach to making videos that attract prospects.
46 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
The Risks and Rewards of Being an Early Adopter
Being an early adopter is not easy. There is a risk to embrace a platform or product that isn't popular or perhaps not ready for prime time. In 2017, Michael David Chapman walked away from his job. With no backup plan, he started to post on LinkedIn - sometimes three or four times a day - about his personal and professional challenges. This is way before LinkedIn emerged as a vibrant content platform. As an early adopter, Michael capitalized on a huge opportunity by doing what other people weren't doing. His posts generated huge audiences and Michael has attracted 276,000 followers. In this episode of Marketing Spark, we talk about Michael's LinkedIn journey and how he sees the platform evolving. We also do a rapid-fire session on all things LinkedIn.
28 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
The marketing pendulum is swinging back to fundamentals: Zineb Layachi
Can you feel the marketing pendulum swinging back to the basics? For years, the focus has been data, KPIs, and quantifying anything under the sun. But marketing success happens in different and sometimes mysterious ways. Some of it is measured while other marketing isn’t directly attributable. Many marketers have embraced data because there are so many tools to access analytics and insights, scale, and automate processes. When technology makes it easy to reach a global audience, it’s easy to not spend as much time on fundamentals or first principles. But it appears like marketers are starting to focus more on fundamentals. In my business, I’m seeing more interest in positioning and messaging. Zineb Layachi said technology makes marketers forget about the reality they are trying to connect with people. While tools allow marketers to amplify their efforts, she says the marketing pillars are important. “How can you connect with target audiences and do marketing? What makes an impact? People are at the center of that. I keep talking about the fundamentals when you get the fundamentals right, you scale on solid foundations.”
26 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
Scaling Marketing at a Fast-Growing B2B SaaS Company: Ruth Zive
How do you scale a marketing team at a hyper-growth company? It’s definitely a nice problem to have. Who wouldn’t want to ride a rocket? Managing growth is a major challenge for Ruth Zive, who has led marketing at Ada for nearly three years. Earlier this year, the Toronto-based company raised $130 million. Ruth, who has headed up marketing at Ada for nearly three years, says momentum and capital have allowed her to take a different approach to marketing, “We have the wind in our sails and we are well-capitalized. So, now we can take a breath and be a lot more thoughtful and strategic about the future,” Ruth said on my podcast. “In the past, we would make decisions from month to month. Now, we very deliberately planning for one or two years out.”
30 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
The Keys to Really Knowing What Makes Your Customers Tick: Ryan Gibson
Sadly, most marketers don’t really know their customers. They have buyer personas and ideal customer profiles. But these tools barely scratch the surface. The only way to know your customers is to talk to them. Yet many marketers don’t do it because: - They claim to have no time - They have bigger priorities - They’re afraid doing hard work - They don’t get why it matters That’s not good enough. Ryan Gibson not only believes in the value of talking to customers, but he pivoted his consulting business to focus on “customer investigations”. It is insightful and often surprising, he says, what customers and prospects will tell you if you ask them questions.
29 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Who gives a crap about email marketing: Jules Dan
The “unsubscribe” notification is painful. Someone wants to end a relationship. They want you out of their lives. It’s not them, it’s you…and your newsletter. But is the unsubscribe really that bad? Should marketers, in fact, celebrate unsubscribes? When you step back, someone disconnecting from a newsletter means they’re not your target audience. The effort invested to create a newsletter isn’t resonating with them. So, it’s perfectly fine for both sides to move on. On the Marketing Side podcast, Jules Dan said it’s more important to focus on the people who want your email marketing. “I sometimes encourage people to unsubscribe.”
23 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
How to ensure that your B2B SaaS demos don't suck
Click on “Ask for a Demo’. It’s the CTA on every B2B SaaS website. But what happens after the click? How do companies educate, and delight prospects? In many ways, the demo is almost taken for granted within the marketing process. Marketers are focused on messaging, value propositions and content to attract and engage. The demo belongs to sales. But that’s the wrong approach. The demo should be a coordinated effort between sales and marketing. A demo is a golden opportunity to encourage, inspire and showcase your product in the right way. If marketing isn’t involved in this crucial process, that’s a mistake.
38 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
The "One Big Thing" Formula for B2B SaaS Marketing Success
The biggest marketing challenge for many companies simply getting started. There are so many options that it’s almost paralysis by analysis. In many cases, companies do too much. They believe that more channels or campaigns equal more success. It’s better to focus on doing a small number of things really well. Pick a channel and run hard with it. A key part of Jordan Behan ’s approach to getting started with marketing is: One Big Thing. Pick a marketing tactic like an eBook, Webinar, video, or course to stand out. I like the idea of One Big Thing because it establishes realistic expectations, structure, and focus.
25 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
How Field Marketing Can Align Marketing and Sales: Nick Bennett
In an ideal world, B2B SaaS marketing and sales teams move forward in lock-step. In reality, they often operate in silos. The result? Sales complain that marketing gives them crappy leads. Marketing counters that sales can’t close deals. How do you address this conundrum? The answer may be field marketing. While it may not be the best-known marketing term, field marketers quarterback sales and marketing activities. In this episode, Nick Bennett offers insight into field marketing; what it is, how it works, and why it is so effective.
33 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
The State of B2B SaaS Marketing with Chris Walker
Chris Walker’s on fire. He’s a high-profile B2B marketing thought leader. His LinkedIn posts generate huge engagement. His agency, Refine Labs, is red-hot. But here’s the interesting thing: Not that long ago, Chris wasn’t the belle of the B2B ball. Many of his ideas about B2B marketing were dismissed. Hard to believe, right? On the Marketing Spark podcast, Chris said: “For the first five to seven years of my career, everyone thought my marketing ideas were not smart, and they didn’t want me to do the things that I was doing like podcasts. They were heavily scrutinized at all the companies that I worked for.” Chris’ frustration and appetite to do the marketing he wanted led to the creation of Refine Labs.
32 minutes | May 28, 2021
How to Hire a B2B Saas Marketing Leader
Hiring a marketing leader is not just about someone's skills and experience but creating a partnership between the CEO and the head of marketing. Avoma CEO Aditya Kothadiya provides first-hand insight into the process that he recently took to hire a director of marketing. Aditya says one of the keys to success is hiring the right person based on a company's growth stage. Once a marketing leader comes on board, Aditya said it is important to align around expectations and goals so the rules of engagement are established.
13 minutes | May 24, 2021
Is Twitter & LinkedIn the One-Two for B2B Marketers?
As much as many people have seen significant ROI from LinkedIn (connections, conversations, and leads), I'm beginning to see some people explore other social media platforms. It could be that LinkedIn is getting busier and/or that people see potential to make connections on places like Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram. To get an insider's view of the landscape, I talked with Marcus Schaller, who recently shifted some of his social media time to Twitter. Most interesting is how Marcus is taking some of the key lessons from LinkedIn and applying them to Twitter.
30 minutes | May 19, 2021
How LinkedIn Can Get Bigger and Better: Charlie Whyman
"LinkedIn is way too slow, too reactive and not pro-active enough ." That's a blunt assessment from Charlie Whyman, a LinkedIn trainer and "marketing momentum builder". In this episode, Charlie and I explore some of the ways that LinkedIn evolved in 2020 and what she expects will happen in 2021. This includes: - Analytics for personal accounts; probably not going to happen. - More use of Stories as conferences and events come back to life. - Improve content discovery tools through the use of tags. - Better corporate pages Charlie also offers insight into automation tools (they're evil) and how marketers are ruining LinkedIn by using these tools to drive leads and Website traffic.
29 minutes | May 11, 2021
Time to End Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success Silos
Marketers love the thrill of the chase. We pursue prospects with reckless abandon. MQLs are B2B digital hunting trophies. But when marketers catch prospects, the game’s over. They quickly forget about these newly-minted customers….because prospects are sexier. It shouldn’t be this way. Prospects shouldn’t be engaged separately by sales, marketing, and customer success. The three groups should be working together to attract, capture, and serve customers. John McTigue argues that silos create friction, which drives customer unhappiness and churn. He believes a unified approach is a win for B2B companies and customers.
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