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Modern Marketing Engine podcast hosted by Bernie Borges
19 minutes | May 27, 2021
My B2B Podcasting Strategy
Social audio has become very popular recently with the advent of Clubhouse. According to Edison Research 15% of social media users 18+ say they have used Clubhouse. Podcasting is a form of social audio. And, it continues to grow as a content channel. According to Edison Research’s Share of Ear study, which began tracking audio consumption in 2014, podcasting’s share of all audio listening is now 6% of consumption. This level marks an all-time high for podcasting, up from 2% in 2014. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have launched or plan to launch social audio functionalities. I’ve had a love affair with podcasting for nearly 10 years. In fact, I listen to many podcasts. MME is my second podcast. My first podcast ran for 49 episodes. I co-hosted it with a buddy of mine. We bantered about digital marketing topics. The big difference between my first podcast and my second podcast is that I didn’t have a strategy with my first podcast. I had fun recording them. But, there was no strategy. We just horsed around, recorded them and published them hoping something good would come of them. In truth, some good did come from the first podcast. But, we all know that hope is not a strategy, right? So, what is my B2B podcast strategy? My strategy is relationship building. I set out to build relationships with marketing executives working at B2B brands. The method is simple: I provide a platform to feature marketing executives. I interview each guest and share their experience and wisdom with my audience. This relationship-building strategy in podcasting has a business benefit. First, it starts with a human connection. I genuinely try to connect with each of the guests I’ve had on the podcast. I don’t mean just connect on LinkedIn. I mean, I want to make an authentic human connection with each guest. So, what’s the benefit of this relationship building? Life is all about relationships. People do business with people they know, like and trust and that is relationship-based. Some have become friends. And, some of my guests have become clients of Vengreso. And, in some cases I was able to offer something of value to my guest in the relationship whether it’s an introduction to someone or an endorsement or whatever. The purpose of the MME podcast is for me to build relationships with marketing executives at B2B brands – it’s that simple. And, if you’re thinking this strategy is over simplified, you’re right because it doesn’t need to be more complicated than building authentic relationships with no more agenda than that. However, there is something I do behind the scenes that works really well for this relationship-building strategy. Be sure to listen to the whole episode to learn what it is. An Important Announcement This episode is the last one of the MME podcast. The reason is that I’ve accepted a new opportunity at a different company and the Vengreso leadership team has decided to sunset the MME podcast. Vengreso has a sales-centric podcast called the Modern Selling Podcast, hosted by Vengreso’s founder and CEO, MMJr. He’s published more than 175 episodes at the time of this recording. It’s a wildly popular podcast and you and or your sales leader at your company should definitely check it out. Additionally, Vengreso has a live show called the Modern Sales Mastery show, which is broadcast live every Friday at 11:30 am ET. I tell all about my journey at Vengreso and my next steps in a blog post here. Finally, I want to thank you, for listening to the MME podcast. I TRULY hope I’ve delivered value to you through the modern marketers I’ve interviewed on this show. It has been a privilege.
34 minutes | May 19, 2021
B2B Influencer Marketing for the Entire Customer Journey
B2B influencer marketing is not the same as it is in B2C, where you have celebrities like top athletes and Hollywood actors endorse a brand and post on Instagram about it. B2B marketing leaders can leverage industry influencers in their marketing efforts with a solid plan. That is the topic of conversation with my guest in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine, Amisha Gandhi, SVP of Marketing at Tipalti. Amisha is a groundbreaking B2B innovator with deep marketing and communications expertise across multiple industries and geos. She was recognized in PR Week’s Women to Watch 2020, Top 50 Influence Marketer by Talking Influence and Top Digital Marketer on LinkedIn. Amisha is also an accomplished speaker at multiple industry conferences including Content Marketing World, MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, and many others. Listen to our conversation to learn how to find and work with B2B influencers. What is a B2B Influencer? Influencer marketing is the practice of engaging internal influencers at your company or industry who are experts, analysts, bloggers or public speakers who have active networks of influence. They can influence their audiences to help you achieve your business goals. “It's about people,” Amisha says, “it's about community. B2B influencers aren't celebrities, but they could be celebrities in the business world. They've written books, some of them are even academics.” Start by asking yourself: Whose audience do you want to reach? Why do you want to reach them? What are you trying to convey and what is the outcome that you hope to achieve by working with influencers? How to Find B2B Influencers Amisha says there is definitely a process to identifying and selecting influencers. There are specific tools you can use, but you can start by using Google and search for the top influencers in your industry. Then use LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Clubhouse. “It just depends who you're trying to reach and how you would like to relate to your audience.” Amisha says. “You have to find out where your audience is and who they're listening to and who they’re influenced by. Look at the conferences, third-party associations and other places where people are speaking, you'll start seeing some names popping up.” Then you have to look deeper at the content these people are sharing and the level of engagement their content has. Once you have a list of potential influencers, you should assess which ones can help you achieve your goals in a mutually beneficial relationship. Amisha says you should look at influencer marketing as a holistic practice that you can apply across the entire customer journey. For example, can you get some good top funnel content? Can you create some demand? Can you create a community of advocates? “Once you find folks that are really influencing your audience, reach out to a couple of influencers, start talking to them, see if they’d like to work with you. Say, ‘we're thinking about doing this upcoming campaign, what do you think?’ And have a conversation, because they may tell you, ‘I don't think that's going to work for my audience.’ That will help you frame up your campaign and make it even better than what it is.” Start with top of the funnel activities, like a podcast, to create awareness with their audience. Then you can go into demand generation content like co-authored ebooks or a webinar series where people are willing to give you their information. “There are some influencers who are very speaker heavy and they don't do long form content. They are thought leaders and they do more podcasts. That's why you have a group of influencers. You're going to have some people that are going to do top funnel and events and some people who are great speakers and great on video. There are some people who are great only in voice and folks that do longer form content.” Over time some influencers can become advocates. This happens when they keep talking about your brand even when not taking part in your marketing campaign, because they consider your content to be of value to their audience. Listen to episode 299 for specific ideas of what you can do when working with an influencer and some of the pillars and best practices for co-creating content and sponsored content. Finally, Amisha reminds us that customers can be our best influencers, so we should take care of them.
40 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
How Internal Communication Drives Marketing ROI
Most CMOs favor external communications (demand generation, content marketing, etc.) over internal communications. Why? Because these external activities seem to create more measurable ROI. However, with the modern workforce internal communications are now more important than ever to motivate and activate people within the organization to be a channel of communication. My guest in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, Mark Derks, has great insights about how much effort marketing should put into internal communications. Mark is the CMO at BlueGrace Logistics. Founded in 2009, BlueGrace Logistics is one of the fastest growing leaders of transportation management services in North America. As a full service third party logistics provider (3PL), BlueGrace helps businesses manage their freight spend through industry-leading technology, high-level freight carrier relationships and overall understanding of the complex $750 Billion U.S. freight industry. Listen to our conversation to learn the pros and cons of allocating resources to internal communications versus external communications. Five Pillars to Develop a Profitable Internal Communications Strategy 1. Develop your strategy/goals. Any successful program must identify the goals it is trying to achieve and the strategy and tactics to get there. Ask yourself these questions about your internal communications: Is it going to be multi-touch? How frequently will I communicate to the organization? At what velocity will information be shared? Some examples of goals are: Having 100% of your internal resources know and being able to recite your mission, vision and values. Having your internal resources know your company revenue projections and targets and your gross profit targets. “I think that our own internal resources and our own people are a marketing channel for the company,” Mark says. “You should build a strategy around and goals around things that bring strong results. So there has to be a metric if you're going to engage in a robust internal comms plan. What are the key factors to success and what are the metrics that you as an organization are going to agree on that you can either identify as a success or identify those gaps where you need to continue to refine and improve.” 2. Mission/Vision/Values Mark says that case studies have shown, organizations who have stated missions, visions and that drive stated values are higher performing than businesses that do not, because they build a strong culture around those pillars. “We're empowering our employees to share public information that they've learned through internal communications to our external customers,” Mark says. “And to be really successful, you have to make it easily accessible to all employees. We need to make it available in multiple places, on our website, in our hallways and on the signage and our offices.” 3. “How does my job contribute to the company’s success?” “We have to look at our organizations where every employee adds value and it's our job through internal communications to tell them how they do that, to make sure that they know how their specific job leads to company growth.” Highly engaged employees are those that understand how their contributions help the company grow. And when they know that, they become more creative, more productive, more innovative, and they're more successful in their own professional goals and what they're trying to do. 4. Content Content is at the intersection of external communications and internal comms, sharing content between teams and channels. Not all internal communications can go externally, but almost all external communications can be shared internally. You can take the content that you share with your customers, partners, suppliers and share it with your internal teams through an employee advocacy program. Mark says that will make them better service providers, better salespeople, better marketers. Listen to the whole episode to learn some great ideas on how to repurpose marketing content for internal comms. 5. How does the CMO lead the internal communication strategy? “Make sure you have a solid strategy and stated goals that you're pursuing and that everybody knows,” Mark says. “So when we measure our efforts we can clearly come back and see if we've been meeting our goals. So be a leader of strategy, focus on what's important, communicate that strategy, clearly measure the impact and ROI.” As the CMO you don't do this by yourself. “You're a leader, but you have teams, so consider allocating head count as a resource to internal communications. Consider adding resources around culture and standing up things like diversity, equity and inclusion programs within your company. Make sure that you're communicating critical attributes of your ideal customer profile.” Your employees are one of our best external marketing channels, but they're only good if they have internal comms that have educated them on messaging, target customer profile, new products, new customers, changes within the organization, mission, vision, and values. Don’t miss this episode to learn more about finding a balance between external and internal communications and how to develop a profitable strategy.
38 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Planning the Marketing Strategy for a Global Brand
How would you plan the marketing strategy for a new brand? What are some factors that marketing leaders should take into consideration when rolling out a new product? That is the topic of conversation of this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, with my guest Armen Najarian. Armen is the CMO at RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence, which is part of the larger RSA Security, a 38-year old global brand. As his division expanded and with more revenue and customers around the globe, they decided to transform the Fraud & Risk Intelligence division into a stand-alone business. As the CMO, Armen was responsible for creating and implementing the marketing strategy for this new business unit. Listen to the episode to learn how he did it and some key lessons you can implement in your own organization. Creating a Marketing Strategy 1. Assemble a Team “I'm spending a lot of time on organizational design,” Armen says. “I'm working very closely with the HR leader for this business and really plotting up the next three years and the type of organization I need to assemble.” What are the roles you need and what is the hiring priority? Listen to find out. 2. Develop the brand “Second, I'm spending a lot of time thinking about the brand, knowing that we are moving from a product portfolio within the broader RFA family into a more independent business with its own identity. How we describe that business, what we call it, how the product is positioned.” Armen and his team decided to create a new name while taking advantage of the history of its parent company. However, the buyer persona of the new company is different from the persona of RSA Security, which created new challenges. To navigate the complexities of rebranding a global company, Armen hired an external agency to help create a new website and sales collateral pieces. 3. Content Strategy “We have a product called Fraud Action, and that is our risk intelligence team,” he says. “So this is actually the team that investigates the dark web, goes deep undercover and understands the organized crime organizations around the world, uncovering very important and interesting insights. So we take those insights and we actually package those up as services.” This primary research is the fuel for great thought leadership, so they publish Quarterly Trends Reports from the insights, blog posts and a podcast. “Every CMO should have a content strategy. We have 3 or 4 anchor pieces that are evergreen, that we are always refreshing, always publishing, and our Director of Content Strategy is largely accountable and responsible for keeping that pipeline of great content flowing.” Listen to the whole episode to learn about the challenges Armen has faced during this transformation, including organizationals challenges, managing finite resources, prioritizing areas of focus and issues with having a global presence (language and privacy issues).
39 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
Why Analytics is a Must in Account-Based Marketing
How do you formulate an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy? How do you decide which accounts to target? And what is the role of analytics in ABM planning? That is the topic of this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast with my guest, Chris Rack, President at PureB2B. PureB2B leverages a database of B2B decision-makers in combination with their predictive analytics technology, to provide a full suite of solutions that help their clients meet their specific B2B demand generation sales and marketing revenue goals. Listen to this episode to learn how to plan a successful ABM strategy. Building Your ABM List Who is responsible for creating the ABM list? Marketing or sales? Chris says it should be a very collaborative approach, “taking a data approach and combining thought and feedback from both leaders, frontline sellers, sales leaders and front line marketers to come up with a real collaborative list.” Marketing must go through a process of digital marketing transformation to rely on data and analytics to build a list of target accounts. Instead of just going for the larger enterprise clients out there, marketers should start by looking at their CRM data to see: Who is buying with the highest frequency Who are the prospects answering sales calls Who is engaging with your website Who is engaging with your emails Which gates have the highest conversions on your website Once you have that list, start filtering them by: Job title Company size Geo Industry Buyer personas Roles Level Influencers Buying history Public/private All of the above are analytics that marketers can use to determine which accounts to target using internal data. Using Analytics Data Now, there are also external analytics or predictive indicators marketers can use, with some tech tools available. However, Chris says, the intent signals from these tools are not designed to identify when people are ready to buy. “Only Google knows that,” Chris says. External analytics can identify when a buyer has a problem they need to solve, based on their content consumption triggers as well as public data such as job board postings. For example, certain tools can identify companies who are consuming content across topics that are related to the solutions you offer, either content on your own website or other websites. If you want to know when a customer is “in market,” your first task is to know the ICP and then partner with analytics providers to acquire intent data. Chris says that companies of all sizes have access to these analytics tools, but large companies have more data to process from their CRM and many more products to sell requiring more analytics to uncover intent signals compared to smaller companies. There are also many analytics companies as a service who can help smaller companies analyze data to identify buyer intent. Chris says that in a startup scenario his first hire would be a Rev Ops person to understand their buyers and to select the tools needed to create a successful ABM target list. Listen to the whole episode to learn more about using analytics and sales tools in your account-based marketing plan.
43 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Marketing’s Role in the Modern Sales Experience
B2B buyers have changed dramatically, especially during COVID. Consider these three recent trends, for example: B2B buyers are looking critically at any opportunity that comes to them, whether it comes from marketing content or from a sales conversation. B2B buyers are giving less access to sales people and traditional conversations. In fact, 83% of the buyer journey does not include a sales rep. B2B buyers place a greater priority on perspective and recommendations from people who aren't sales people, from their peers and from subject matter experts via content marketing. So, as marketers, how do we approach the modern buyer? That is the topic of conversation in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine with my guest, Spencer Wixom, Sr. VP Marketing at Challenger. Listen as Spencer unpacks marketing’s role in the modern sales experience. The 3 Pillars of the Modern Sales Experience 1. Role of messaging to the buyer “I think it's really critical for B2B marketers to think about how we are interacting with today's buyer,” Spencer says, “who is putting more scrutiny on their decisions, who's giving less access to traditional channels for education and who is listening to so many other sources.” Spencer believes that B2B marketers should use the three-act structure of classic playwriting to engage with buyers. Act one is about introducing and building the understanding of the various characters, and introducing the problem those characters are going to face. “In act one of the messages we create, we need to establish our credibility, why we have a perspective or a point of view about that customer’s business and we need to introduce a problem in their business that we're going to have a perspective or point of view on.” Act two is the journey or the struggle. In act two of the marketing message, we have to introduce the status quo or the current actions that the customer is taking. “Those actions are costing them something in rational and emotional ways, and we need to explore that to build some motivation.” And act three is the solution. We must suggest the next steps they need to take and connect that to our differentiators or our solution. So, what is marketing’s role in developing this narrative? Spencer says marketing should not create this message by itself. “It really is a cross-functional group that needs to come together to develop that narrative and we'd recommend marketing play a key role in that. But you also need to get the feedback of sales people who will ultimately be delivering that narrative as part of a conversation. You need to make sure that product is involved in representing the end part of that narrative where you do talk about the solution.” Think about the story you want to tell to the market and then “atomize” it. That means telling the story in bite-size content throughout your website, social media posts, sales conversations, pitch books and other channels. Listen to the whole episode to learn the three types of content you must use: Spark, Introduce, and Confront. 2. Foundational skills for sales to deliver the message Research reveals that buyers are not satisfied with the experience that sellers create in the remote selling environment. Spencer says that it is on the shoulders of salespeople to improve that experience, to get better at presenting information, listening, using silence to build constructive tension more effectively, and having more engaging virtual experiences with customers. However, marketing must look at the narrative and give sellers compelling content to bring to the conversation. In essence, sellers need to: Address the unique perspective they have of the customer’s business Express what that perspective means to their business And marketers can help with more confront tools, with bite-size content for natural conversation and making it easy for sellers to create conversation. “If you can build a confront tool that can get that buyer or that buying group to really evaluate themselves and capture that data and you put that in the hands of your sales people, then they're not having to do that confront exercise on their own. They can take the output of that exercise and have a powerful conversation with the buyer around that output.” Don’t miss this episode to learn more about creating great sales messaging for sellers. 3. Arming sellers with the right content for the right time Buyers trust others in their network more than sellers. In fact, only 12% of buyers rank sellers as top trusted resources. That’s why modern sales must be done through advocates of mobilizers. Marketers have to build content not only for their sellers to use, but that B2B customers can understand and then use within their organizations to build consensus. “It has to be clear,” Spencer says. “It has to be defensible. So when they get those questions and objections, they can easily handle those because they have the resources and the information they need to be able to defend the narrative, the concept, the insight that you've presented to them.” Sellers need to identify those individuals and pass that content to them at the right moments so they can use it in consensus-building. Sales enablement tools will help teams to know what information and when it should be used to interact with customers. Listen to our conversation to learn how to measure the efficacy of your marketing content in sales conversations.
36 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
The Importance of Customer Data Marketing for Modern Marketers
Marketing professionals need to have a strong grip on data. These uncertain times have inspired marketers to rely less on qualitative insights and more on data-driven insights. This is what my guest realized during 2020. Paul Cowan, CMO at FreshBooks, joins me in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast to talk about why they are doubling down on customer data marketing in 2021. FreshBooks serves mainly the small business owner segment with easy-to-use accounting software. As many organizations, the pandemic affected their business initially but it then bounced back and they started to experience growth in 2020. So, they decided to invest in a direct sales force, target international markets and focus on demand generation to accelerate growth. Join our conversation to discover how you can use customer data in your own marketing organization. Leveraging Customer Data Marketing Paul says that after 15 years of operations, FreshBooks realized they were sitting on a lot of data they had not previously leveraged. For instance, they had a tremendous amount of invoice and expense data within the SMB universe ― 15 years of historical data on how small businesses have either created revenue or spent their money. For example, looking at the data, they discovered some interesting trends and published a report on the impact that Covid had on women business owners and how it took them longer to recover than their male counterparts in many different industries. “When we talk about the opportunity in data marketing,” Paul says, “we're sitting on this huge resource to be able to turn that to our customers or to prospects in the industry in general and say hey, here's how your business should be performing, here are all the historical norms that you should be expecting your business to do.” Besides reports on specific trends, FreshBooks has created gated microsites with specific information related to particular verticals and industries. “People can go through and see how their vertical looks, how it has changed and be able to drive insights into their business so it helps them with their planning and then eventually, we all assume that it's going to then help drive activity back to us and convert through the funnel.” This focus on content marketing using data has been driving leads for FreshBooks. Furthermore, data on their engagement with the content brings even more insights on their customers that then they can use to improve their marketing efforts. “The cool thing is that it's like this virtuous data circle where it all started with knowing something about our customer and then bringing other people in and then progressively knowing more about them because they engage with customer data. We'll bring them all through and then at the end of it all it helps us improve our overall funnel efficacy and in our conversion rates overall.” We also discussed the dynamics of the current marketing team and why it is important for marketers to understand data analytics and the sales process. Listen to this episode to learn more about how FreshBooks is using customer data to improve marketing and how they incorporate the feedback from their sales teams.
33 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Mission-Driven Marketing and Sales
The pandemic hit just about every industry hard and many companies are still trying to recover. That’s why stories of B2B companies helping out others around them are so encouraging. And I’m excited to bring you one such story in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast. My guest is Kathie Johnson, CMO at Talkdesk, a cloud-based contact center, unified communications and artificial intelligence software provider. Customers use their contact center software to scale and improve their customer support experience. Traditionally, customer support was limited to call centers, which involved agents receiving phone calls. But today they're really contact centers because when people reach out for service or support or to even purchase online, they use many different channels, not just the phone. “We like to say we're the best solution for those companies who are customer-obsessed,” says Kathie. Listen to this episode to discover how Talkdesk became a mission-driven organization during the Covid crisis. Mission Driven Marketing in Response to Crisis At the start of 2020, Talkdesk had plans to launch 20 new products. But then, Covid happened. “It was a fun marketing campaign idea,” Kathie says. “But the world had shifted, what was important to people had really shifted. So we pulled together a group of people across the company to say, what can we do to help? You know, we said we're customer obsessed, so we want to figure out, what can we do to help our customers, other companies and the community at large?” As a result, Talkdesk revisited their 20 in 2020, and launched a program called Business Continuity, with 12 of the original 20 offers. Pre-Covid, 5% of the workforce in the US worked in a contact center, and 85% of them worked on-premises. That meant that many organizations would face a challenge to get their employees remote and safe. “In a contact center, they're sitting three feet apart,” Kathie says. “There are hundreds or thousands of people in a room making calls or answering emails. So this was a pretty big issue for companies. How do I get my employees out of the building? And how do I still maintain productivity for my business?” They rolled out their strategy in the following three phases. Phase 1: Get Remote The first challenge was to get employees remote and fast. They launched this offer on March 4th, helping clients get remote in only 24 hours, and offered the service for free to industries like travel and hospitality. Not only that, but they launched Mobile, to allow employees to connect from their phones. Phase 2 : Get Productive By March 21, Talkdesk began phase 2, to get employees productive and leverage AI and training to help not only their clients, but people in the community. In this phase, Talkdesk launched a new gig economy platform, called CX Talent, which trained people to become certified agents or supervisors in a matter of hours and then paired them with companies looking for agents. “This was one way we could really help not only our customers who needed to hire agents quickly in remote locations who are trained, but also to help people out in the world who all of a sudden were displaced and didn't have a form of income.” Phase 3: Permanent Remote In the summer, Talkdesk began thinking about the future of their clients, anticipating there would be a new normal, where remote working could be permanent. So on July 1st, they launched phase 3 with remote management solutions and solutions against fraud and for authentication. This is now a reality, where remote selling is the norm and our customers are working from home. “We're still in Phase 3,” Kathie says. “Companies today are still making the decision on what their contact centers will look like in the future. I believe most will be hybrid. But some people are going back into offices and we'll have people working in buildings again.” The Impact on Marketing and Sales The marketing team at Talkdesk was doing full-throttle marketing at this time, educating analysts, sending out press releases, raising awareness through thought leadership and blogs. “There was no playbook for Covid for any marketer,” Kathie says. “But we really found that people had a huge appetite for content. So we spent a lot of time writing content to help companies and people understand what's happening, the impact on the business and how we could help them continue to survive and hopefully thrive in this environment. So full-funnel marketing across every offer is we brought to market.” Kathie says that the sales team at Talkdesk really embraced the challenge of offering free services and giving back to the community. “This is why I talk about this as being mission-driven,” she says, “the way that we could help people, the way that we could help the community, the way that we could help companies. I think everyone at Talkdesk rallied behind that.” Listen to this episode to learn more about what Talkdesk is continuing to do in phase 3 and innovating in driven-mission marketing.
38 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
The Future of B2B Buying and Selling
What is the future of buying and selling? How do marketing and sales approach digital native decision-makers? That is the topic of this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine with my guest, Dave Boyce. Dave is the Chief Strategy Officer, XANT, where he divides his time between corporate development, corporate strategy, and operational strategy. He is also a board member of Forrester Research Inc. since 2017. This episode was inspired by two articles that Dave published on LinkedIn: The Future of Buying The Future of Sales Join us in this conversation to learn why marketers must understand the modern buyer. The Journey of the Modern Buyer Both marketers and sellers must be aware of the changes to their buyer personas in the past year. Today, our buyers are sitting in their living room, the people who are signing purchase orders are at home, almost nobody is at an office. That means that almost everyone involved in the decision process is using digital channels to research potential suppliers. Dave says the modern buyer is a digital native. That means that: They will do independent research online about our products and our competitors They don’t like to fill out forms so they will rely on ungated content They trust their network and will ask other people for recommendations and experiences After the steps described above, the buyer is now 60% to 70% of their way towards understanding their options. “The remaining amount of her journey,” Dave says, “she's going to have to do collaboratively with the sales team. But her silent partner during that 70% of her journey was our marketing team. Not that they were talking to her, but they were publishing and orchestrating and curating a learning journey that was either easy to use and therefore she really leaned into it or is less easy to use and therefore she learned from our competitor.” Marketing needs to focus on providing a great experience during the modern buyer’s journey, even if it means ungating content. Dave says that instead of collecting information through forms, marketers can use technology like intent signals. This technology tracks searches from domains to know when people from certain companies are searching for specific terms related to your solutions. Then it can flag your CRM so you can do outreach to existing contacts from those companies. The Modern Seller In the US, 56% of the B2B sales force were field sellers. But with now remote selling being the norm, those sellers are either out of a job or doing something different. And the truth is that buyers like the new normal and don’t want to go back to the old field sales model. “The buyer doesn't want protracted exchanges with the salesperson,” Dave says. “They don't want to retreat again from acquiring information digitally. They don't want us to force them into the conference room to have a stakeholder meeting with a white board. They actually like the way it's working right now and it's better for everybody. If we're honest with ourselves as salespeople, we're more efficient. If we're not spending our time navigating airports and trains and cabs and Ubers and instead we're on the job of selling most of our time. So it's not going back. We have to figure out how to lean into the future and do it faster than our competition.” Sales leaders must now focus on modernizing their sales teams with the five modern seller attributes: Fast (answering to their messages quickly) Always-online (engage the buyer when they want to engage) Customer-centric (being empathetic, sympathetic and helpful) Content-rich (adding value with information that is helpful to the buyer) Technology-enabled (it's not just Zoom and LinkedIn but the entire marketing and tech stack, including a CRM and sales prospecting tools) “It's all about being where the buyer is and being a resource to the buyer,” Dave says. Don’t miss this episode to hear some great insights from Dave about the role of the modern seller.
34 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Shifting the Conversation of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
This is a different, but very special, episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast. My guest is Hang Black, VP, Revenue Enablement, Juniper Networks and I invited her to talk about her new book, Embrace Your Edge: Pave Your Own Path as an Immigrant Woman in the Workplace. This book has the potential to be life-changing for some. Hang says the idea for this book was in her head for a decade. It not only describes Hang’s experience as a Vietnamese immigrant to the United States, but also deals with important issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. So don’t miss our fascinating conversation about inclusion, diversity and access from a perspective you haven’t seen before. Tokenism Although Hang was raised in a diverse culture, she really never felt included or excluded. As an Asian, she wasn’t shunned from the black community when growing up, but neither was she fully embraced -- and the same thing happened within the white community. “One of the reasons I wrote the book was there's a lot of conversation about diversity and inclusion,” Hang says, “but it's an incomplete conversation without a discussion about access.” Whether it’s women or ethnic minorities, more and more people are gaining access to leadership roles in the workplace. Nonetheless, they may still be a minority. Hang explains that minorities are the smaller population in the room. However, when there is only one person of a minority group at the table, that person may feel that she got a token seat and will try to hold onto that position at all costs --unintentionally excluding others. This is known as the Queen Bee syndrome. Hang thinks this needs to change. “I never ever proposed a revolution,” she says. “I prefer Evolution. And that's where I'm trying to have these very frank conversations because the most heartbreaking thing for me is to see minorities who bemoan injustice, turn around and do the same to other minorities behind them.” Building Access The reality is that sometimes a person from a minority is invited to the table because there was a diversity initiative. “So the question is,” Hang says, “once you get to the table, do you have a voice? Do you have your role? Do you know what your goal is at the table? Are you sitting, are you serving or are you speaking? They’re all very different things.” Access is not just about getting to the table, but once you get there, how much voice are you allowed to have? And if you don't have a voice, how do you gain that voice? Hang’s experience is that there will always come a point in a person’s career where they will need to find a person who will give them access to opportunities where meritocracy is not enough. “Meritocracy works for a while, it works through the individual contributor ranks. But as you move up, you need to find a person who will show you the secret door and give you the secret code. That's what access is.” The people who will help others move along the journey to the top are a combination of mentors, sponsors and allies. Be sure to listen to the whole episode to learn the difference and how to identify them. Intentional Evolution Hang says that there needs to be an intentional evolution in the conversation about diversity and inclusion. That means we need to get to a point where it is not an issue, but it just happens. And it all begins with leadership. “It's so important to ensure that leaders not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk,” Hang says. “Every executive has about three to five people in their closest circle. In that circle, do they have any one that represents diversity? Even if it's just one. There are many categories of diversity: age, tenure, religion, gender, all of that stuff. And if they don't, my challenge to leaders is: are you willing to find someone, even if it's uncomfortable, even if it goes into a little bit of a lower rank than you're used to, because there have not been enough women and minorities promoted?” Embrace Your Edge Hang wrote Embrace Your Edge for the next generation, those who are exhausted, for people who don’t have access and for people in power to understand this population. This book is written for those who did not inherit access, but who have clawed their way to earn every step forward. It is written for those with will and grit, who are searching for guidance to build their own powerful networks and to shape their own destinies. This book is dedicated to those who are highly capable but may be exhausted or stuck. This book is also written for those in power who want to attract these scrappy ones, the often diverse talent pool who possess an innate entrepreneurial spirit. And for this audience, the book is written without anger or accusation, but with a simple mission to seek mutual understanding and support. Listen to the entire episode to discover more on this important topic from Hang Black.
38 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
Digital Selling Tips for the Modern Seller
What drives the success of a sales team today? Knowing how to engage the digitally savvy modern buyer. And modern buyers need modern sellers. While digital marketing is a mature ecosystem with proven processes and practices, digital selling is still evolving. Many sales organizations were reluctant to implement a digital sales transformation until COVID-19 came and forced everyone into remote selling. Today, digital selling is more important than ever. In this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine, I talked with Ed Terpening, Industry Analyst at Altimeter Group, who recently released the 2020 State of Digital Selling research report. This survey sought to understand the capabilities and key success factors enabling the digital transformation of selling among B2B businesses. It was based on a survey of 506 sales professionals across North America, Europe, and China, and it offers a comprehensive view of how B2B sales teams are leveraging digital in their sales processes. Listen to this episode to learn about the key findings of this report and how you can apply that knowledge to your organization. The State of Digital Selling Ed provided some great insights on the key findings from the report. Here they are: 1. Now, more than ever, selling is a team sport. The customer is the center of experience in any business. Marketing is the front end of customer experience. They then go through sales and then they go through service and customer success. So it's really important to connect all of those dots between those organizations and think not just about digital marketing but also digital selling and how they work together and then customer success and service. “All of the teams that touch the customer must have a consistent view,” Ed says. They have to understand what white papers the customers are reading from marketing, what service problems they're having, what kind of value propositions work in the sales process.” Their research found that those selling teams that had a well aligned Marketing, Sales and Service teams always did better than others that didn't. 2. Sales teams need to make the digital mindset shift. According to the report, a sales team with a strong digital culture will accomplish its objectives and perform better, as sellers trust the value of data and the tech tools they use. “The technology industry really outperformed other industries when it came to digital selling,” Ed says, “because they have a digital culture, they're in this business and they're actually much more effective in this world and achieve higher results. Making that culture mindset shift is so important.” The seller's mindset needs to really shift and think about engaging digitally through value. 3. High-touch, high-value cross-functional selling outperforms automated high-volume selling. Automation in sales has been rapidly growing in the past few years, but Altimeter Group’s research found that it underperforms when compared to other high-touch approaches, such as Account-Based Marketing and Account-Based Selling, which are more customer-centric. Cross-functional teams that partner on key accounts are more effective in achieving revenue and customer success goals than sellers who rely on automation. “This reinforces the fact that it's not just digital, it’s people teaming together and getting the highest results,” Ed says. Listen to the episode to learn about the three models of selling they tested and which one performs better. 4. Top performers focus on the customer through customer-focused metrics, cross-functional teaming, and selling by vertical industry. The fourth key finding was that top sales organizations prioritized customer satisfaction above metrics such as sales quota achievement, recognized and addressed the diversity of B2B buying committees and customized sales approaches by industry vertical. “Successful companies are focused on the customer,” Ed says. “Digital sellers that were not as mature were focused on things like revenue growth, rather than leveraging existing customers and really optimizing the value from those customers. Instead, they tended to seek out new customers.” Part of having the right focus is knowing that the modern B2B buyer expects sellers to understand their industry to the point that they become a trusted partner in their own success. 5. As teams build digital excellence, boundaries are likely to blur between sales and marketing teams. Digital marketing automation is a mature practice, while sales automation is evolving. Ed provided the analogy of left brain versus right brain to talk about this difference between digital marketing and digital selling. “Marketing is sort of the left brain, very analytical, very focused on data to make decisions,” Ed says. “Versus the sales team that might be more about the gut feeling, more relationship-based. They're complimentary, of course, but as sales teams become more digitally mature, they rely more on data analytics technology and AI to guide their next moves.” Sales must undergo a cultural shift to develop trust in sales automation and data, using sales prospecting tools and sales forecasting software, for example. 6. Digitally mature sellers are outperforming less mature teams through the COVID-19 pandemic. Altimeter found there was a very strong correlation between mature digital sellers and less mature sellers regarding their success during the pandemic. Digitally mature teams have the enablement tools, the digital culture, the data, and the leadership alignment to succeed in a remote selling environment. The pandemic has laid bare the challenges businesses face as they transition, such as finding cross-functional alignment to achieve seamless customer experience, made possible through leadership alignment. Ed’s advice to marketing leaders is to get ready to help your sales teams succeed in embracing digital. Marketers should see themselves as partners of the sales team. Don’t miss my conversation with Ed and don’t forget to download The 2020 State of Digital Selling.
34 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
How Showing that you Care Can Start Sales Conversations
The year 2020 has brought a lot of pain and confusion due to the pandemic, but also many opportunities for companies to show compassion and generosity. And that willingness to help others can sometimes reap rewards in the marketplace. That’s exactly the story my guest in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine, Adriel Sanchez, CMO at Newsela shares. Newsela provides instructional content to K-12 schools in the United States, serving 35 million children. What do they do exactly? They take content from reliable sources around the web and incorporate changes to make it ready for the classroom. First, they rewrite every piece of content at 5 different reading levels, so in a single class every student can access the content at their own reading level. Then, they surround content with instructional support for teachers, so it would be easy for them to embed the content into their lessons. And finally, Newsela attaches the content to individual grade standards by state (over 130K in the US), through machine learning, algorithms and human intervention. Newsela is both business-driven (they are a for-profit company) and mission-driven (making education better for as many teachers and students as possible). This podcast is brought to you by Postal.io. A Sales and marketing engagement platform that generates leads increases sales and improves customer retention. Request a demo to learn how to integrate direct mail and gift into your existing strategy by visiting Postal.io. Doing What is Right for Your Customer Newsela went from one to four products in January, 2020, with great plans of expansion. Then the pandemic hit in mid-March and education was one of the hardest-hit sectors. Most schools around the US closed. Many teachers and students were unprepared for the shift to remote learning, with some school districts panicking over what to do, as they lacked the resources to implement remote education. Although Newsela has four stakeholders (Education Administrators, Students and Teachers, Investors, and Newsela employees), they could not serve the immediate interests of all four at the same time during the COVID lockdowns. Adriel says they decided to do the right thing for the schools above the business needs. So they provided their entire product portfolio for free to students and teachers. No conditions, no questions asked. All schools had to do was ask for it. How did they implement the plan? They came up with three phases to their response to the crisis. Provide the product for free and get the word out. This phase included a message from the CEO and social media outreach. Word got out quickly and in the first 7 days 15,000 schools signed up. At the end of the program, two thirds of US schools (about 90,000) had signed up for some component of Newsela. Make sure the product was adopted. Adriel says that it wasn’t enough to give away the product. They needed to make sure people were using the platform and getting value. During March and April of 2020, virtual classes were new to teachers. So Newsela deployed training 7 days a week and had 1 to 1 coaching for teachers and administrators. A lot of people were exposed to Newsela’s team and people really appreciated the support they provided. If they provided that kind of support for non paying customers, how would it be if they paid? This focus on customer service paved the way for future sales conversations. Start sales conversations. By June 2020, Newsela was preparing to turn some of those free users into paid subscribers. The fact that they had given the product for free, no matter if the schools were open or closed, gave them trust and credibility with their customer base. People really felt supported. “Timing was very important,” Adriel says. “Start too early and you could be perceived as exploitive. Start too late and you could miss out on budget allocations elsewhere, competitors and other priorities.” Sellers had to be situationally aware when they started those sales conversations. So the marketing team at Newsela identified 10 criteria to start sales conversations, analyzing macro and micro leading indicators, state by state. Here are some examples of the indicators they used. Macro leading indicators Had states released a budget? Were schools closed or still open for in-person sessions? How much did states receive from the Federal education budget? Micro leading indicators Had administrators asked about pricing after June 30th when the free period was over? Was there a renewal scenario? All the information was tracked in the system for sales. Sellers were able to track it state by state and account by account, looking for patterns on a weekly basis. Adriel says the effort was a collaboration between marketing, sales and product. “It was a Marketing-led initiative, who owned market intelligence (stimulus funding, budgets, etc.). But sales ops helped to rollout, track, and adjust as they learned things in the field.” The CRM tracked two basic metrics: Rate of account contact (were schools taking the calls from the sellers?) All Systems Go metric (was the account ready for a sales conversation based on the macro and micro criteria?) Sellers would look for patterns by state in the CRM to see if they were open and ready, so they could be more upfront with their sales conversations. Reaping the Rewards Although 70% of education companies offered something free during the first few months of the pandemic, only 25% saw an increase in paid subscribers. Newsela was part of that 25% and growth surpassed their expectations, reaching their 2020 revenue goal in August 2020. They started with the idea of what is the right thing to do for their customers and the hypothesis that the marketplace would reward them for that, was validated. They now have sales conversations with entire states and school districts that they never had in the past. Listen to this episode to hear more about Newsela’s story and how showing that you care can result in increased revenue.
35 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
The Sales Messaging Playbook that Converts Prospects to Conversations with Mario Martinez Jr.
Sales messaging is a vital part of a sales reps’ daily work. It’s how they engage with prospects and it can make a big difference in their results. While the perfect sales message will connect and engage the buyer (eventually leading to a sale), a weak sales message will just be ignored, or worse, will damage the reputation of your company. In this article and episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, my guest, Mario Martinez Jr., CEO and Founder at Vengreso, discusses what marketing and sales leaders need to know about sales messaging and some actionable tips you can start implementing today. Plus, he announced a new tool Vengreso created to help your sales team deploy a consistent message throughout your sales organization. Now, it is self-evident that sales messaging is crucial for sellers, but why is sales messaging important for marketers? Mario says that marketers should be supporting the sales team with all of the right messaging, from the Go-To-Market messaging to the messaging to engage with buyers, including messages for social media and sales enablement content such as playbooks, sales cadences, case studies, ebooks, blogs and the like. At the end of the day, there is just one type of messaging: messaging designed to attract your buyer, not sales or marketing messaging. Today, the modern marketer is more integrated in the sales ecosystem than EVER before, so it’s imperative that marketers have a defined sales messaging strategy. Things Every Sales Messaging Strategy Needs Automation in sales and B2B marketing has made life easier for our teams in many regards. But it also has reduced a lot of the personal touch we used to have in sales messaging. That’s why at Vengreso, we teach our sellers to leverage personalization and hyper personalization in all their sales messages. In fact, we created a sales methodology with the foundation of hyper-personalization. It’s called the PVC method, which stands for Personalization, Value, and Call to Action. The PVC Sales Methodology focuses on prospecting, from the “pre-hello” to the “hello.” The purpose of this methodology is to help salespeople who are having a hard time connecting with potential customers, create more conversations with their targeted buyers. And the best thing is that the PVC sales methodology can be used in inbound or outbound sales, when writing an email, a text message, a LinkedIn message, or making a phone call or video conference via Zoom. No matter the medium, every effective sales messaging strategy needs to be personalized, valuable and contain the appropriate call to action for the situation. “Sales messaging should be structured around PVC to attract our buyers, not detract or distract them,” Mario says. “Never before has the buyer been so digitally connected, socially engaged, mobile-attached, and video hungry. And salespeople must be as well, becoming video producers to create engaging video messages.” Mario says that in the new normal, sellers will be remote 60% of the time. In fact, according to Gartner’s Future of Sales research, by 2025 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. Why? Because 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience (44% for millennials). There is no going back to a sales rep that is 100% of the time in the field. That’s why we must teach sellers social selling skills, including how to personalize their messaging, bring value and add the right CTAs to their sales messages. At Vengreso, we offer virtual sales training programs in modern selling skills, such as Selling with Video, Selling with LinkedIn and more. Now, let’s look at the PVC components in more detail. Components that Every Sales Messaging Framework Should Have Let’s talk about each of the components of your sales messaging framework: P – Personalization V – Value C – Call-to-Action Personalization is more than just using the prospect’s first name. If possible, sellers should take the time to research the prospect’s social networks and find shared experiences or recent events or news related to the prospect’s company that they can mention in the sales prospecting message. When creating a sales messaging strategy (whether cold calling scripts or video messages) make sure the sales message brings value to the conversation. Adding value may sound like a cliche, but we must realize that each buyer has an individual business pain, and if our messaging speaks to that particular pain, we’ll have a greater chance of getting through. So, how do you bring value? With content that helps solve their problems, especially related to the solution you are selling. It can be a webinar, a report or a relevant blog article. Provide value instead of just asking for a meeting. Instead of asking for a meeting, add a call to action that keeps the sales conversation going, such as asking a question for them to respond or inviting them to an event. Sales-Ready Messaging vs. Marketing Messaging What’s the difference between a sales-ready message and a marketing message? Marketing messaging is generally one-to-many. For example, marketing will create an email drip campaign to take leads, convert them to MQLs, then to SQLs and finally hand them over to the sales organization. Sellers do the same thing but instead of one-to-many, they do it one-to-one. That is why sellers have to deliver hyper-personalized messages. Marketing can’t create messages the same way. Marketing messaging is focused on the buyer persona, trying to hit the pains of that persona. In sales-ready messaging this can also be the case if the seller doesn’t have enough information to personalize the messages, as in a cold email or cold call. But the ideal sales-ready message is hyper-personalized to the individual, not the buyer persona. The seller must be able to find out details about the prospect, such as interests, particular needs, and other background information. For example, when Vengreso sellers reach out to sales leaders, they do it through video, holding a whiteboard and writing the prospect’s name on the board. They find bits of information to use in their sales-ready messages such as an interesting LinkedIn post or a recent promotion. That way, they can personalize their messages with phrases like “I saw that you posted….” or “Congratulations on your recent promotion to…” Now, who’s responsible for writing these sales messages? Marketers usually cringe at the idea of a seller writing a message. And, in general, you don’t want salespeople writing messages if they are not writers, as it would take them too long to write and may not be as good as the text from a trained copywriter. Mario says that the responsibility for writing these messages falls on the shoulders of the Sales Enablement team -- or if you don't have one, the marketing team. “But the marketing team must be in tune with what is happening in the field before writing. We have our marketing team listen to sales calls weekly so they can structure sales messaging. They must understand the sales process in order to create messaging that attracts buyers and sells more.” What is a Sales Message vs. a Product Message? Another important distinction we must make is between a sales message and a product message. In short, while a sales message includes the PVC components discussed above, a product message centers around features and functions. Product messaging should always reside inside of marketing. The idea is to take the features and what the products do and translate them into benefits, into how they solve real-world problems. Sellers are usually trained on products to attract a potential customer, but they are sometimes not trained in communicating how the product solves actual problems. From our experience, if you were to ask 100 sales reps at a company to tell in one sentence what business problem they solve for their customer (the value proposition), 80% would not be able to answer consistently. Marketing must be able to articulate in one sentence the business problem that the company solves and sales leaders should make sure their sellers know it well so that they are all communicating the same message. For example, at Vengreso we know that VPs of Sales have two common problems: a) they want to increase the number of sales conversations that their sellers are having and b) increase their sales pipeline. So, a message to that buyer persona (if the seller doesn’t have details to personalize the messaging to the individual) would start by asking if they have one of those two problems. If the answer is “no,” they would just stop reading. If the answer is “yes,” they’ll continue reading. In that case, the sales-ready message should provide value before introducing the solution. For example, the sales-ready message could say: If you have any of those two problems, here are two resources that can help you out: I encourage you to watch this webinar [ADD LINK] with your team in your next one-hour call. It will take you through two things your sellers can do right now to create more sales conversations on LinkedIn. Read this blog article [ADD LINK], which tells you five things you can do to improve your sales video messages. Do you see what we are doing here? We are providing value, which is what a good sales message will do. Once a conversation is started with the prospect, product messaging comes in. That’s when the seller goes deep to explain the product features and translate those features into business benefits. How to Develop Sales Messaging The PVC method will help you develop your sales messaging with the right elements. But how do you deploy those messages so your team can use them? Usually, the marketing team would create a “42-page document” with the messaging, upload it to a local server or the internet and send the link to the sales team for them to use. The reality is that most sellers will not use that document. That is why we created a sales productivity and sales messaging tool called FlyMSG. FlyMSG is a text expander tool under the sales prospecting tools category. This Chrome extension helps marketers and sellers improve their productivity and efficiency by letting them expand pre-written communication templates and messages for use in their daily digital communication. Or as we like to say it: “Type less. Sell more." FlyMSG solves these three real-life problems: Allows sales and marketing professionals to write complete messages, emails, LinkedIn connection requests and more using only a short and simple shortcut (FlyCut), leaving more time to focus on the needs of the customer. Increases the reach of sellers in their pipeline, allowing them to focus more on selling and less on administrative tasks. Uses a centralized repository of each user’s best, templatized messages (FlyPlates), creating unity in each user’s overall messaging. A large portion of our PVC Sales Methodology templates are inside of FlyMSG for free to download. FlyMSG is the only text expander tool that allows you to add images, video, rich text format, hyperlinks, as well as categorize your templates. Mario says that with a corporate account, a marketing team can own the creation and distribution of a company’s sales messaging. “Marketing can write the messages, add the templates to FlyMSG and make them available to all sellers,” Marios says. “Then, all sellers have to do is type the shortcut (FlyCut) and the message will automatically expand, ensuring usage, adoption and consistency in all sales messaging across the sales organization.” Mario gives the example of a FlyCut he created called -bookameeting which he created to expand automatically to a pre-written sentence inviting someone to book a meeting with him with his calendar link included. It's a huge time saver since he uses it often.
37 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
3 Pillars of Digital Marketing Transformation for Sustained Resilience and Growth
In recent history, there have been three important events that have led marketing teams to shift their focus and embrace digital marketing transformation. The first event was 9/11 in 2001 and how fear and uncertainty gripped the U.S. (and others) which hindered planned marketing activities including travel and events where thousands of people congregated. The second event was the economic crisis of 2008 which had both businesses and consumers concerned about the repercussions that came out of every dollar spent. Third, is how COVID has affected many lives and how we conduct business. March 2020 provided the world with a new chapter. Those who accepted and embraced the changes with compassion for each other have figured out ways to conduct business, despite the challenges many businesses have faced. My guest this week on the Modern Marketing Engine podcast is Sara Larsen. Sara’s experience and “marketing scars” come from years of marketing leadership roles at organizations such as IBM, SAP, and Dassault Systems. Most recently, Sara was the CMO at Brightcove, the leading online video streaming platform. Sara and I spoke about what she describes as the three digital marketing transformation pillars every organization needs in order to become successful in the face of significant change. Marketing Transformation Pivot Before I reveal Sara’s three pillars, the word pivot warrants attention. This word is likely on the list of words that marketers didn’t anticipate we would use so much in 2020. The word is commonly used to define a slight change that ensures short term survival. This is exactly what many marketers thought 2020 needed, a slight change in the way we market our businesses. But as the events of 2020 unfolded, we continued to see no indications that things would return back to its pre-COVID state. So, the word pivot was not only used to describe short term survival, instead, it was used to describe long term resilience and growth. Most organizations have already gone through the first part which is ensuring short-term survival. For example, some businesses in B2C have adjusted for the short term such as bakeries pivoting to sell kits to bake at home and alcohol distilleries pivoting to make hand-sanitizers. However, these adjustments or pivots aren’t necessarily sustainable and we now need to think about how we pivot towards long-term resilience and growth. Pillar #1 - How Relevant are you during this Marketing Transformation? Many organizations began to experience the reality that some customers didn’t view them as necessary or relevant in the “new normal.” As marketers, we need to understand that buyer’s needs have changed, and we must ask ourselves, is what we’re selling still relevant? This is where marketers need to be aligned not just with sales but also with your product strategy. Sales can tell you what conversations they’re having with buyers. What are they looking for now? What are their highest priorities and where in their organization does your product fit in? This will help define how imminent a pivot will be from what you were doing before to what you need to be offering now. We’ve always seen alignment as important but in the face of digital marketing transformation we see that it is more important than ever. Business continuity is also at an all-time high. For example, video messaging can sometimes substitute for those virtual meetings that your buyers may no longer consider as high-priority. Pillar #2 - The Marketing Mix Has Fundamentally Change Interestingly, many of us can tell you the exact day, hour, and even minute when we realized back in March that our plans for the year were going to be turned upside down. When the COVID-19 outbreak has deemed a pandemic everything changed. The most notable marketing pivot in 2020 centered around events and event planning. Most events have either been canceled or have gone entirely virtual. These new events have given organizations the need to step up their innovation to keep attendees engaged. Though Sara estimates that in-person events are likely to resume after Q2 of 2021, the results from virtual events have been mostly positive. At in-person events, it was tough to keep an attendee engaged for over 20 minutes, but virtual events allow organizations to showcase technology and this is all thanks to video best practices. Social content, podcasts, video content, these are all great platforms for brands to showcase their assets. We referenced both 9/11 and the 2008 economic crisis earlier in this post. In 2008, similar to this year, everyone was saying that things would resume in 2009, and for the most part, things did. But how are things different this year? For starters, people’s lives are in play by contrast to 2008, which was an economic-only event. Today, the technology is more advanced, and with so much invested in digital marketing transformation and content marketing, marketers have the ability to pivot to this new normal. Sure, events will come back eventually but we might be looking at hybrid events. Being Helpful can Benefit you in the Long Run Sara’s team at Brightcove began to offer free live-streaming video to organizations who could use it to support their community. They offered this service to schools and churches and community theatres. They offered up to 50 free hours and this was not only rewarding but was also a very helpful research opportunity. With the information gathered, they began to see what problems organizations were facing during the pandemic in the midst of their digital marketing transformation. It was a good way to learn what problems most organizations were facing and what solutions they needed. Pillar #3 - Evolving Talent Needs in the Midst of Digital Marketing Transformation Marketers often raise the question, what do I need to learn next? Marketing leaders and their teams need to continually keep up with the latest trends to stay competitive. But this year things have been different. It used to be, what would I need to know next year? Today it’s what do I need to know for next week? Trends are changing at an alarming rate. Selling with video and selling with social media used to be a suggestion, today it’s a necessity to stay relevant. Sara says that as marketing leaders, we need to know where the world is headed. What does the buyer care about? How do we speak to buyers on their preferred digital channels? The conventional wisdom that in order to close bigger deals, customers need to meet with salespeople face-to-face is no longer true…That big sales aren’t likely to happen virtually. Sara highlights a recent study conducted by McKinsey that says, over 70% of B2B buyers are open to self-service models of up to $50k. Over 27% said they’d spend over $500k. What does this mean? That your buyers understand that the world has gone virtual so you need to adapt as well. A study conducted by Gartner in 2020 states that the modern B2B buying committee only spends 17% of its time in their customer journey, talking to suppliers. The rest of the time is spent defining their requirements, looking up websites, competitors, and watching videos and reading reviews. That means, instead of worrying about how much time you spend speaking to prospective buyers, you need to be thinking about what content will appeal to your buyer to be included in their research. This includes all forms of content including video, podcasts and social media posts. Many executives are reluctant to invest in online training or peer mentoring because they would rather wait until “things get back to normal.” Sara is an advocate of staying current by keeping talent up to speed on the trends that are needed today. She says that current talent demands include event planning, putting on digital experiences, investing in digital training, and lastly, research. You need to determine whether or not your buyer type is the same or if your product or service is best suited for a different buyer persona. Shifting Towards Digital Marketing Transformation I thoroughly enjoy speaking with marketing visionaries who are constantly looking to better themselves and those around them. Sara says that digital marketing transformation isn’t always planned and this year is a clear example of it. We ended the episode on a high note with Sara emphasizing the importance of having empathy for your team, clients, and colleagues while driving our businesses forward. This change has affected everyone so as we move out of this pivot and into the long-term resilience and growth, empathy will carry us through and into our next chapter. Outline of this Digital Transformation Episode [2:40] Sara Larsen Bio and Introduction [3:50] 3 digital transformation pillars she wants to talk about [4:00] Importance of Pivoting towards short term change and long term resilience and growth [4:30] First Pillar: Are you Relevant? Will your traditional marketing strategies be enough? [11:00] Second Pillar: The Digital Marketing Mix has Fundamentally Changed [12:30] When are events coming back? Importance of Digital technology. [15:45] The difference between this market change and the change in the 2008 economic recession. [20:30] Third Pillar: Evolving Talent Needs [25:40] Invest in Online Training and Peer Mentoring [27:00] Marketing evolution and continuous need to reassess
37 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
How This Omnichannel Marketing Strategy Enabled Success in 2020
What is the most effective way to attract and retain customers if you sell to consumers through distributors? According to Paul Ackah-Sanzah, it’s an Omnichannel marketing strategy. Paul is VP of Marketing at Phantom Screens and a 20-year marketing veteran. Paul has an impressive career journey at Phantom Screens, starting out as their retail sales manager, moving to brand marketing manager, and has been their VP of marketing for two years. In this episode of The Modern Marketing Engine podcast, I dive into what a B2B to C organization does when their target market is both distributors and consumers and how this affects the customer experience. Listen to this episode to learn about Omnichannel marketing, B2B to C marketing, and how to ensure quality when selling through a wide array of distributors. Who is Phantom Screens? Phantom Screens manufactures and sells retractable screens which are installed in residential homes as patios, porches and lanai screens. They offer many useful features including ventilation without the pests and can be rolled into a canister when they’re not in use. These screens allow homeowners to add an accessory to their home that won’t sacrifice the decor and can be added or removed in minutes. Phantom Screens has been in business for nearly 30 years and my guest, Paul has been part of their marketing team for two decades. The company is in what is known as a B2B to C market which means they sell through a network of over 150 distributors (B2B) and those distributors sell to consumers (B2C) and install the product in the consumer’s home. Phantom Screens follows a do-it-for-me mantra which means that with every purchase, consumers are provided with the installation by the distributor from whom they purchased. Omnichannel Marketing to Consumers Instead of marketing solely to distributors or to the general public (as many organizations do), Phantom Screens has adopted an Omnichannel marketing strategy to get their name out there with both audiences. Given that they aim to be known by the distributors who sell and install the product and the homeowner that ultimately makes the purchase and uses it in their home, the company’s marketing approach is designed to reach both target audiences. During 2020, Phantom Screens recognized huge potential to communicate the benefits of their product to the homeowner who found themselves spending more time at home due to the pandemic. However, this opportunity didn’t come without its challenges. With their do-it-for-me philosophy, homeowners understandably expressed concern about installers showing up at their home and interacting with them and their families. This created an interesting challenge for Paul and his team of marketers. Phantom Screens deployed their Omnichannel marketing plan to reach consumers with videos featured in social media platforms on how installations were being performed and how their engagement with installers was safe. Their CEO, C. Esther D. Wolde was front and center speaking to the end consumer thus impacting the overall customer experience. They also created videos on the precautions taken by the distributors responsible for installing the screens. Today’s modern buyer wants videos that show authority on a subject matter and don’t want to be restricted to 2,000-word articles describing the precautions taken and the equipment used in their homes with each installation. They want to see (literally) what measures Phantom Screens and their distributors have taken to keep consumers safe and this is best done through video. Marketing Strategy for Distributors Although it is important for Phantom Screens to build awareness with consumers directly, as described earlier the purchase and installation is completed through their network of 180 distributors. Since distributors sell and install Phantom Screens’ products this raises an even bigger question. How does the company ensure that distributors are following brand guidelines when performing installations? The answer is trust. Phantom Screens has been in the market for nearly three decades and they view every distributor as a partner. They are teams that need training to provide the best possible customer support. They are the customer-facing ones who ultimately are the brand ambassadors for Phantom Screens. Paul and his team are in constant communication with their distributors to ensure that their values are aligned. They provide resources and offer product, corporate sales training and an onboarding process for every new distributor. It’s difficult enough to market to two different groups (consumers and distributors) but the challenge Paul faces is to make sure the training they provide to their distributors is aligned with the brand messaging provided to the end consumer. Relationships with distributors include the same consumer-centric messaging being provided to their consumers. This podcast is brought to you by Postal.io. A Sales and marketing engagement platform that generates leads increases sales and improves customer retention. Request a demo to learn how to integrate direct mail and gift into your existing strategy by visiting Postal.io. Embracing Omnichannel Marketing It was back in 2017 when Vengreso’s Founder and CEO, Mario Martinez Jr. said that it would take five years for the sales profession to go all-in on digital engagement. That sales would embrace social media as an engagement vehicle and that Omnichannel marketing would prevail. Fast forward only three years and Covid 19 has accelerated Mario’s original timeline. I spoke to Paul about the type of marketing that appeals to the modern buyer and what businesses need to do in order to remain competitive. To which Paul replied, “marketing and sales are more aligned than ever before and to ensure your organization is on the right track, sellers need to think like marketers. They need to know where your target audience digitally "hangs-out" and engage with them on their preferred channels.” Ultimately, Paul ends this episode by saying “if you want to achieve success in your market, instead of considering pivoting from one vehicle to another, it’s important to look at an Omnichannel marketing strategy.” Outline of this Omnichannel Marketing Strategy Episode [2:25] What are retractable screens? [4:37] Shifting roles after years working for the same organization [6:09] B2B to C model marketing [12:20] Phantom Screens Marketing Strategy [16:30] The marketing impact of 2020 [21:48] 2020 success stories [26:30] Omnichannel Marketing Strategy [27:40] Summary
35 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
How to Use a Marketing and Sales Funnel for Better Prospecting
A unified marketing and sales funnel is the solution to better prospecting in any organization. In this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, my guest, A. Lee Judge, Global Digital Marketing Director at Hexagon GeoSystems, discusses his approach to digital marketing and how it is contributing to sales prospecting with a focus on quantifiable attribution. B2B Marketing leaders are being held to a higher standard in 2020. CEOs and CROs want to see marketing drive activities that demonstrably help salespeople be more productive. Sales prospecting is one of the most undesirable activities in sales. Marketers are asked to deliver marketing programs that enable sales prospecting to be more productive. Listen to this episode to learn more about how marketing can help sales to prospect better. This podcast is brought to you by Postal.io. A Sales and marketing engagement platform that generates leads increases sales and improves customer retention. Request a demo to learn how to integrate direct mail and gift into your existing strategy by visiting Postal.io. How the Full Marketing and Sales Funnel Works Marketing must identify the buyer persona using feedback from the sales team. There must be a two-way communication between sales and marketing to clearly understand the changing needs of the customer. Data shows that prospects will self educate and conduct research before engaging with a sales rep, so marketing must get ahead of the competition and educate their prospects first. How? By understanding the prospect’s questions and pain points, which sales knows really well. Sales organizations should never hold back information from the marketing team, otherwise the competition may end up educating their prospective customers. Lee says that organizations must understand that it’s the customer’s journey not the sales journey. And it's not a linear journey that they can control. That means neither sales nor marketing own that journey. There shouldn’t be a wall between sales and marketing when optimizing for the prospect’s journey. Prospects will interact with sales and marketing on and off during their journey, talking to a sales rep, while reading the blog or social media posts, then going back to the sales rep and so on. According to Lee, there is just one funnel, the Sales and Marketing Funnel. In traditional sales funnels, marketing doesn’t know what is going on with the SQLs they handed over to the sales team, so if there is a roadblock or lack of information, then marketing can’t help. But when there is only one funnel, sales and marketing are in constant communication, collaborating to move leads through the funnel. Marketing can provide the content sales needs to help the prospect understand the solution and move through the funnel on their way to making a buying decision. In his role as Global Digital Marketing Manager at Hexagon GeoSystems, Lee supports hundreds of marketers in this process, helping them use technology and understand the business, so they can have a clear view of sales and marketing activities and create content that is enabled for sales. The Modern Marketer is Data Savvy Today’s modern marketer is not just a creative person who creates great content, but also a very data-savvy marketer. The modern marketer must understand data because data is what holds marketing and sales together. Data will help marketers understand where people came from, how they responded, as well as to segment people by campaigns. That data must be shared with sales so they know what the prospect’s needs are. Marketing should be able to show Sales a picture of the customer’s journey. For example, how many times the prospects visited the website and which pages, how many emails they received and opened, which webinars they attended and so on. The prospect’s digital journey provides very valuable information for the sales reps. That means marketing needs to collect that data and make it easily accessible to sales. “Marketing can’t qualify, Lee says, “but if sales lets marketing know who they are looking for and what they expect to know, then marketing should be able to set up the processes to deliver on that information.” How to measure attribution Lee tells the story of a company who made the decision to cut particular tradeshows from their budget based on the information the sales people put in the CRM. The sales reps were asked to identify which deals could be attributed to trade shows. The CEO didn’t cut the show which was attributed to deals, hence proving to deliver ROI, but cut the rest of the events from the budget. This story illustrates the importance of attribution data. The attribution dilemma stems from the difficulty of connecting an opportunity to a multi-touch sales cycle. Was it the first touch, the last touch, or several touches? Lee says there is no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on the length of the sales cycle, how in sync sales and marketing are, and the structure of the CRM and the tech stack. If there is a culture of documentation within a company, then attribution is easier. Such a culture states that “if it’s not in CRM, it didn’t happen.” When sellers take the time to document in the CRM what they did, not only do they help marketers know what is going on, but they can prove the ROI of their sales tools. Finally, Lee says that the bottom-line message for sales and marketing is to keep the one team mindset in mind, communicating with each other, knowing both have the same goal. Outline of this Episode [3:00] About Hexagon GeoSystems and A. Lee Judge [6:10] How Marketing Can Help Sales Target Prospects [11:05] The role of technology in the sales and marketing funnel [12:50] The characteristics of the modern marketer [20:01] Sales Prospecting Attribution [26:14] The one team mindset for sales and marketing Featured on this Episode Connect with A. Lee Judge on LinkedIn Follow A. Lee Judge on Twitter: @ALeeJudge Website Resources & People Mentioned The Modern Selling Podcast with Vengreso CEO, Mario Martinez, Jr. Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine https://www.Facebook.com/modernmarketingengine/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernieborges/ https://twitter.com/bernieborges https://instagram.com/bernieborges https://Twitter.com/MMEnginePodcast
28 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
Creating Sales Engagement Through Corporate Gifting
In 2020 with in-person conferences being redirected to online events, marketers are looking for alternative ways to continue to grow their demand generation efforts and ensure that they can drive quality leads into the sales funnel. One of those ways is gift marketing. Marketing teams are allocating budgets and efforts toward gifting, as opposed to sponsoring virtual events, as some marketers are not seeing the ROI from a $10k+ sponsorship. How can you use gift marketing in your company and what are some great use cases? That is the topic of this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast with my guest, Nick Grant, Head of Marketing at Postal.io. Postal.io is an integrated direct mail platform for sales and marketing teams that leverages machine learning to automate and optimize the creation, delivery, and reporting of personalized physical assets (a.k.a. gifts) in the sales process. The Postal.io platform integrates into HubSpot, Salesloft and Salesforce. Postal.io activities can be tracked in CRM, such as if the gift was received or denied, and reports on different metrics so marketers can know what works and doesn’t. It can also trigger other events to happen, like an email or call right after the gift was received. Listen to this episode to learn more about modern gift marketing. How Companies are Using Gift Marketing Almost every industry can use gifting to help with their marketing. One common way is to share knowledge by sending books. The book helps build rapport with customers and it can be about something that supports content your business writes about or contain content that your prospect will find relevant for their specific business. For example, Postal.io often uses Giftology: The Art & Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention, to educate their clients on how they can effectively use gifting in their marketing and sales process. Although some brands have their own books, most don’t. However, they can use books from recognized thought leaders in their industry. For example, agencies use books like This is Marketing by Seth Godin or Sales Engagement from the team at Outreach. These books not only educate their prospects, but also help position themselves as an expert in their space by providing these hand-picked resources. Most books cost around $20 and are a very cost-effective way to experiment with driving more engagement at the top of the funnel. Personalization in Gift Marketing Although it is difficult to automate and scale personalized gifts, Nick says that he has seen it often in the SaaS space. There is a lot of competition in the SaaS industry, so companies try to get in front of key prospects and get them into their sales funnel through personalized gifts. “This is where swag can come into play,” Nick says, “as you can do a bit of research on a prospect and often find out some info about things they’re passionate about, like where they went to college or a sports team that they support. Just find what they post about on Instagram and perhaps send them a Yeti Mug with their college logo on it, or a hat from their favorite sports team.” Another common example is companies sending gifts that relate to their client’s pets, like a box of cat toys. Such gifts help companies stand out amongst the competition. An added benefit is that people get excited when they receive the gifts and usually post their pictures with the gifts on social media, raving about the company. Nick talked about some interesting use cases for gift marketing in particular industries. Finance and Real Estate Nick says that clients in these industries are often introducing new services and they need a way to market them to their existing clients, so they can try to get them interested in learning more about their new offerings. “This is where we often see food-related items used to help get them into the funnel and engaged with the new offerings. Like sending a box of cookies or fruit basket with some information for them to review, which helps to make them more receptive to learn about the new offerings.” Veteran-Owned Organizations “We have a client who is a veteran and he owns a sales training company that works with a lot of other veteran-owned businesses,” Nick says. “He likes to leverage an American Flag as a gift to help drive leads into the top of the funnel. This was not something we originally had in our marketplace, but when he told us about his business we brainstormed and thought it would be the perfect item for him to use.” In gift marketing, every gift should be tailored to the company’s unique business needs to get the best possible results. Webinars and Virtual Events With in-person events went virtual, a lot of demand generation managers shifted their focus onto webinars as a way to drive leads at the top of the funnel. However, with so many webinars going on right now, it can be difficult to get people to sign up and attend. Nick says he has seen some really savvy SaaS companies using gift cards after a webinar registration occurs to help drive registrations AND attendance. “We see them use a mix of charity gift cards, where the recipient can pick from a variety of charities, often going with someone local they want to support. Or having it go to a Covid related charity. In addition we see food delivery or coffee gift cards used as well. Being able to have lunch while watching a webinar is a great pairing and all of these digital gifts help build rapport and trust, so that registrants want to attend and see what the webinar is all about.” Can Gift Marketing Contribute to Marketing and Sales Alignment? Nick says that they often see marketing partnering closely with sales to help send out gifts to secure meetings with their strategic accounts that hadn’t responded to outreach in the past. “This really boosts the ability for marketers to get these leads engaged and help sales to drive more meetings that they could with only relying on emails, texts, phone calls and Linkedin InMails.” Through Postal.io sales and marketing can see what types of gifts are effective to book meetings, fill the pipeline and close more sales. Don’t miss this episode to hear more about how you can use gift marketing in your marketing strategy. Featured on This Episode Connect with Nick on LinkedIn Follow Postal.io on Twitter and Instagram Postal.io website Outline of this Episode [1:50] About Postal.io [3:09] What is modern gift marketing [4:50] How are companies using gifting [7:20] Personalization with gifting [12:14] How does a marketer track the gift in the CRM [15:00] Webinars and gifting [17:24] Gifting and Marketing and Sales Alignment Resources & People Mentioned The Modern Selling Podcast with Vengreso CEO, Mario Martinez, Jr Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine https://www.Facebook.com/modernmarketingengine/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernieborges/ https://twitter.com/bernieborges https://instagram.com/bernieborges https://Twitter.com/MMEnginePodcast Subscribe to Modern Marketing Engine on your app of choice.
28 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
Building a B2B Podcast and Making it Work
Podcasts are becoming more popular each day (there are more than a million podcasts and more than 30 million episodes available). So it’s not surprising that marketers are deciding to create a B2B podcast as a strategy to reach their buyers. But how do you start a B2B podcast and how do you make it work? That is the topic on this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast with my guest Rachel Clapp Miller, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Engagement at Force Management. Force Management is a B2B sales effectiveness consulting firm that helps its clients define sales solutions and create management tools that produce measurable results. In her role, Rachel manages communication and content generation that drive leads and client engagement. She is also the host of The Audible Ready Podcast, a weekly show featuring B2B sales leaders and revenue-driving executives, who share their best insights on how a focus on sales effectiveness can help companies increase revenue, improve sales margins and gain market share. Listen to this episode as Rachel tells us how she started the podcast and those factors that have made it successful. The Evolution of a B2B Podcast The Audible Ready Podcast was born organically, almost by accident. Rachel was in charge of content marketing, blogging regularly, posting on social media and running demand generation activities. “I needed to get into the heads of the subject matter experts,” Rachel says. “So I started scheduling regular content chats with co-founder John Kaplan. We had conversations every other week about sales planning, pipeline, whatever it was we were producing content on.” Rachel decided to record these conversations so she could listen to them later, but soon realized that she had a B2B podcast on her hands. So she kept recording the interviews as a podcast without telling John that she planned to publish them… A risk that paid off! After producing and editing some of the interviews, however, Rachel asked for the official green light to make the interviews an actual podcast. Fortunately, she got the approval and the podcast launched in 2015 as The Force Management Podcast. Although people liked it, originally it was just a hobby and not a regular production of content. However, as the company was growing, the podcast evolved. Rachel evaluated the marketing tactics and realized the podcast was a low hanging fruit, an effective B2B marketing tool they could leverage. So she hired a writer for the marketing team to maximize resources and also contracted an outside company to edit and publish the podcast. Rachel realized that since 2015, B2B podcasts had grown exponentially and to compete, Force Management had to take their podcast to the next level. That’s why in 2020 they did a complete rebranding, changing the name to The Audible Ready Podcast. The Goals of a B2B Podcast As a B2B marketer, how do you measure the impact your podcast has on your business? The first thing is to set some goals, whether it is lead generation, sales enablement or branding. For Rachel and her team, the goal is to increase visibility and brand awareness. “There are many sales consulting firms, so we need to differentiate ourselves, and the podcast helps us do that,” Rachel says. “We sell to the C-suite and high-level sales leaders on the go. We want to give them different avenues to find us, other than the newsletter.” The podcast also serves to remain top of mind with their target audience, in this case, sales reps, who are the users of their training programs. Furthermore, they have integrated the podcasts as added content to their training program, which not only increases the audience but serves as a tool to reinforce learning. We do the same with the Modern Marketing Engine podcast and our Modern Selling podcast, integrated into our Vengreso On Demand training portal. Where to Find Content for a B2B Podcast So far, Rachel’s guests have been Force Management executives with stellar sales backgrounds. “They are working with fast growing tech companies, so they have a boots-on-the-ground perspective,” Rachel says. However, she is planning to interview outside guests in the future. One thing that I loved about our conversation is that Rachel mentioned that the Force Management salespeople use the podcast to provide valuable information to their clients and even sometimes send her ideas for new episodes. In fact, she has on occasion bumped episodes to incorporate ideas from the sales team. That’s what I call real marketing and sales alignment! Measuring the Results of the Podcast In business and in marketing we are always measuring the results of our activities to know if it is worthwhile to continue with that activity. A podcast is no exception. Rachel says her primary metric for her podcast is the number of unique downloads. This metric has been increasing over time. “The longer the podcast is out, the more downloads it gets. The podcast is building positive brand awareness, and that is valuable.” Another way Rachel’s team measures the success of the podcast is by the feedback and engagement on LinkedIn. For instance, John Kaplan regularly gets comments on his LinkedIn posts from people who heard him on the podcast. Don’t miss this episode to learn more about how a B2B podcast can help you build brand awareness and stay top of mind with your customers. Featured on This Episode Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn The Audible Ready Podcast Force Management’s website Outline of this Episode [2:25] About Force Management [3:25] History of The Audible Ready Podcast [9:33] Goal setting when doing a B2B podcast [13:34] Who to invite as guests for your B2B podcast [14:45] How sellers can use podcasts in their selling activities [18:26] Measuring the results of a B2B podcast Resources & People Mentioned The Modern Selling Podcast with Vengreso CEO, Mario Martinez, Jr Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine https://www.Facebook.com/modernmarketingengine/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernieborges/ https://twitter.com/bernieborges https://instagram.com/bernieborges https://Twitter.com/MMEnginePodcast
30 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Why CMI is Breaking the Content Marketing Rules in 2020
Subscribe to Modern Marketing Engine on your app of choice. The year 2020 has seen many marketing events cancelled, postponed or gone virtual due to COVID-19. And Content Marketing World, the largest event for content marketers held in person each fall is going 100% virtual as well. My guest on this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine is Cathy McPhillips, VP of Marketing at the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the organizer of Content Marketing World, which is one of my favorite marketing events (I have never missed one since its inception), by the way. Cathy oversees all marketing efforts for CMI, their events, their Chief Content Officer magazine (now digital only), their research, CMI University and all other CMI properties and happenings. Her goal is to grow the CMI community and audience online and offline. Pre-CMI, Cathy has 20+ years experience in marketing, including agency life, B2C, national restaurant and nonprofit marketing, and her own marketing consulting business. She’s currently also a board member for The Orange Effect Foundation. Listen to my conversation with Cathy to learn about the exciting plans for this year’s Content Marketing World virtual event. Content Marketing World’s 10th Anniversary Content Marketing World is CMI’s flagship event and although many marketers like me were looking forward to attending the 10th anniversary event live and in person, we all understand the need for this year’s event to go virtual. However, this won’t be your typical online event. Cathy explains how the CMI team didn’t design a virtual version of the annual in-person Content Marketing World, because mimicking the live event is not feasible. Instead they are focusing on the tracks that make sense for virtual delivery and the speakers who embrace virtual speaking. This year’s theme is “Break the Rules.” As marketers we all have documented content strategies, such as frameworks, templates and calendars that we are following -- which are great of course. But, the CMI team asks, what if we step out of the comfort zone, be creative and break the rules to do something new? If we want to differentiate ourselves and our organizations, we must break the rules. That’s what the speakers at Content Marketing World will be talking about, bringing some great case studies. In fact, I have the privilege of delivering a session on Account Based Podcasting (ABP), a term I use for using podcast content for lead generation at target accounts. So, what’s different about this year’s event? Cathy says the CMI team wanted to create an epic experience for attendees but also avoid Zoom fatigue and the heavy load that comes from working from home and juggling a million things. So they reached out to their loyal community and asked them what they wanted for this virtual edition of Content Marketing World. Additionally, the CMI team studied hundreds of virtual events to see what they liked and disliked, not only in marketing but also in other industries to avoid limiting their creative thinking. Here’s a quick overview of what they came up with and what you can expect from the 10th Content Marketing World. Community activities before the event and sneak peeks of some talks to warm up the attendees. Extra sessions in November and December to follow up on what will be taught during the event in October. Access to speakers to ask questions. Online discussions within small groups before and after sessions. Events spread across several days. Workshops and forums available as video on demand. Main conference over four days - October 13 to 16, 2020 Live keynotes. Virtual happy hours and entertainment. Cathy says they have also created a strategy for attendees and sponsors to connect virtually. Registrants will answer a few questions about their company and their needs, and then will be matched with exhibitors who match their interests in the “Solutions Hub.” “I want attendees to know which sessions to attend and which sponsors to visit, craving time with sponsors,” Cathy says. The goal of the Content Marketing World team is that attendees leave with the ability to create epic content experiences for their customers and stakeholders. Speaking from personal experience, CMW has achieved this goal for nine consecutive years. I’m confident they’ll do it again in 2020. Don’t miss this episode to learn more about the most epic event for content marketers and why you must attend. Hope to see you there! You can save $100 when you register with the code: BORGES100 Featured on This Episode Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn Follow Cathy on Twitter: @cmcphillips CMI’s website Content Marketing World Outline of This Episode [2:10] About the Content Marketing Institute [4:21] Content Marketing World’s 10th Anniversary [11:30] Why this is NOT the virtual version of CMW [20:40] What CMI learned from studying other virtual events Resources & People Mentioned The Modern Selling Podcast with Vengreso CEO, Mario Martinez, Jr Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine https://www.Facebook.com/modernmarketingengine/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernieborges/ https://twitter.com/bernieborges https://instagram.com/bernieborges https://Twitter.com/MMEnginePodcast Subscribe to Modern Marketing Engine on your app of choice
27 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
A Successful Shift from an Outbound to an Inbound Marketing Strategy at NAWSP
Subscribe to Modern Marketing Engine on your app of choice. There’s a powerful analogy used to describe the difference between an outbound and an inbound marketing strategy: an outbound strategy is like chasing or hunting for leads, while an inbound strategy is like attracting or luring leads to you. And although both marketing strategies have their merits and their limitations, my guest in this episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, found great success for her organization when she shifted from an outbound to an inbound marketing strategy. Cynthia Barnes, Founder and CEO of National Association Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP) is a repeat guest here on my podcast. Cynthia is a LinkedIn Top Sales Influencer, highly sought-after keynote speaker, and Champion for Women in Sales, known for motivating others to feel confident, empowered, and brave. She founded the National Association of Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP) with one simple mission: to help women in sales reach the Top 1% and end gender inequality in sales. Women from around the globe have joined together to create a community of 15,000+ women in sales who band together for the support and professional development that only other women can provide. They want to level the playing field. They want to have conversations otherwise considered taboo and who want to hold leaders accountable and ask the hard questions. Listen to this episode to learn how Cynthia was able to grow NAWSP’s membership to more than 15,000 with a simple but well-thought of inbound marketing strategy. The story of NAWSP Cynthia recalls how a Facebook meme inspired her to start NAWSP. The meme said: “The true test of whether you are successful in life is not based on how well you do. It’s based on how many others you helped do well.” She realized she had been in the top 1% for many years and wondered how many women she could help reach that top 1% in sales. Women in sales have unique challenges that men don’t have, but also have innate strengths that they can tap into to get to that top 1% faster. Cynthia explains that women are often held back by the imposter syndrome or their inner critic and don’t know how to express themselves in the right way. NAWSP teaches women how to tap into their strengths such as relationship building and time management to overcome those challenges. And because 89% of sales leaders are male, when a woman wants to reach the top 1%, it benefits her to have a male sponsor. So, NAWSP has men who serve as allies, sponsors and mentors who help women in sales ascend the corporate ladder in their organizations. NAWSP’s Inbound Marketing Strategy At launch in 2016, NAWSP didn’t have a defined marketing strategy. In Cynthia’s words, it was a “cluster and haphazard at best,” doing Meet-ups and LinkedIn groups. But when they started identifying the demographics and psychographics of their ideal member, things began to change. There’s a marketing formula that NAWSP began to apply: M x M = R. That is: Message X Media = Result The first M is the message. What do you say to your target market to get them to stop scrolling? The second M is the media. Where do you put your message once it’s fine-tuned? Social media, radio, billboards? Result. In 2016, NAWSP didn’t have a clearly defined message nor a media platform to place that message, so their results were terrible. Once they identified how their ideal member thinks, her goals, her values, and her objections to the sale, they were able to create the right marketing message and found she was most likely to engage with them on LinkedIn and their results skyrocketed. In the early days, the focus was an outbound strategy, chasing potential members. But then they shifted their focus to attract members to what they had to offer. The current attraction content strategy includes blogs, webinars, events and the NAWSP community. They provide women with content that helps them become part of that top 1% in B2B sales organizations that are usually male-dominated. And once they have that, they want to be part of the community. NAWSP conducts polls about every 90 days to learn what their members want to achieve from the organization and to learn from a community of peers. This continuous conversation with the community, allows the organization to constantly nurture them with the content they want and need to reach their goals. An Inbound Marketing Success Story A marketing strategy that NAWSP uses is to take one piece of content and repurpose it many times. For example, they created a webinar for their members to uplevel their skills and knowledge and at the same time used the webinar to attract sponsors interested in hiring women. According to Cynthia, their webinar sponsors see a 64% increase in women in sales hires, thus reaching their diversity and inclusion goals. NAWSP only partners with companies with strong women in sales initiatives that seek to attract, hire, develop and retain female sellers. The success of NASWP lies in their ability to attract members with the right inbound marketing strategy but also in retaining them through initiatives like the NAWSP Tribe, an online community where women in sales can bring their challenges, celebrate their successes and discuss what it is like to be women in sales. Listen to this episode to learn more about the NAWSP Tribe and how to grow your organization’s women in sales marketing strategy. Featured on This Episode Connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn Follow Cynthia on Twitter: @CynthiaMBarnes NAWSP website NAWSP Tribe Outline of This Episode [2:04] What is NAWSP [2:57] The inspiration for starting NAWSP [4:47] The unique challenges that women in sales face [5:35] The marketing strategy at launch vs. today [10:50] NAWSP’s two member types [11:31] The role of men in NAWSP [13:22] A success story with sponsors [15:59] Member’s ideas and the challenge of focusing on the mission [17:21] NAWSP Tribes [18:38] The vision of NAWSP in 2020 Resources & People Mentioned The Modern Selling Podcast with Vengreso CEO, Mario Martinez, Jr. Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine https://www.Facebook.com/modernmarketingengine/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernieborges/ https://twitter.com/bernieborges https://instagram.com/bernieborges https://Twitter.com/MMEnginePodcast Subscribe to Modern Marketing Engine on your app of choice
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