Content Marketing

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Value of Measuring Marketing ROI

Using facts and data, researching the brand and a detailed action plan are among the ways to convince stakeholders to spend more on marketing. These approaches were identified by several experts in the field as ways that are effective in increasing stakeholder spending.

Facts and data

Most professionals provide stakeholder with facts surrounding the features and benefits of the product or solution they are marketing. It is therefore encouraged to use data to support a case or claims to stakeholders. Most professionals provide stakeholder (for example the decision makers) with facts surrounding what are the features and benefits of the solutions being marketed. This inevitably leads to better buy-in which results in the spending of more money. Netflix is a big brand that uses data analytics for targeted advertising. With over 100 million stakeholders, the company collects huge data, which is the key to achieving the industry status boost which they have seen in recent times.

Competitive Research

Companies have noticed that research is a valued currency to stakeholders. Therefore, market research on their own firm and clients is considered a high-level standard. It is also effective when cited to effect change on spending more on new marketing strategies. They have stated that nothing is more relevant or persuasive than what your client has to say about your product or brand. Companies have stated that valuable information comes from market research. They have indicated that this is because the brand has taken the time to gauge responses to their products and get customer feedback on what needs to change. They believe that this is a great way to keep evolving. Companies listed this as a key way to changing the minds of stakeholders in regard to the ROI on marketing.

a Detailed Plan of action

In addition to highlighting the facts, and using research, companies have indicated that showing the stakeholders a detailed plan of action with timelines and milestones on how the benefits will be realized is key when trying to convince stakeholder to spend more money. Companies have stated that developing an action plan can help change makers turn their visions into reality. They stated that an action plan describes the way your organization will meet its objectives through detailed action steps that describe how and when these steps will be taken. The plan should be complete, clear and current. It is believed that since some stakeholders do not believe that marketing can make a difference, that is, they do not have confidence that marketing can actually improve growth or profitability. They fear to spend money and time, only to have nothing change. In some cases, they may even question the competence of their marketing team. However, having a detailed plan of action can persuade stakeholders to spend more.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, we have presented three ways to convince stakeholders to spend more on marketing. These include using facts and data, conducting research on the brand and preparing a detailed action plan.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Stengthening Marketing Teams

After thorough and exhaustive research on credible avenues of information, we could triangulate/guesstimate five insights that would prove to be important ways to strengthen the marketing team in a sales-based organization. Having a service level agreement (SLA) within an organization, distinctly defining the roles and responsibilities of marketing and sales teams, capitalizing or making the most out of smarketing (sales and marketing) alignment meetings, asking for referrals from satisfied customers, and identifying buyer personas or ideal customer profile (ICP) for generating high-quality leads are some ways to strengthen the marketing department in a sales-based organization.

methodology

We commenced our research by scouring advertising and marketing magazines and websites including AdAge, AdWeek, eMarketer for a list of ways to strengthen the marketing department in a sales-based organization. Unfortunately, this research strategy proved futile as it did not yield the required outcome. These avenues rather provided information on marketing campaigns of various organizations.

We decided to broaden our search from advertising and marketing magazines and websites to websites of business magazines such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Though this research strategy was not successful in terms of providing us with a list of ways of strengthening the marketing department in a sales-based organization, we were able to locate that sales and marketing alignment is a major pain-point for most of B2B companies. This finding proved instrumental for our research team to strategize the research path further.

The above-mentioned finding formed the basis of our next step in the research path. We broadened our search to unearth major pain-points of the marketing departments with the hope of arriving at the ways to address the pain-points. This research approach would indirectly provide us with an answer to the question. We proceeded with this research strategy with an educated assumption that the ways to address the pain-points of a marketing team would also strengthen the team.

Taking a cue from the above two strategies, we referred to blogs and other publications by companies such as Marketo that provides marketing automation software. Fortunately, we were able to locate some ways to strengthen the overall marketing and sales partnership in an organization. We dug deeper into the research criteria and ventured into searching for ways of effectively running a marketing and sales meeting, marketing or promoting a business with a limited budget, and generating higher-quality leads to the sales team. We also looked for questions to ask the sales team regarding leads. For this, we combed through the 2018 State of Inbound Report by one of the leading providers of inbound marketing software and tools, HubSpot. Lastly, we referred to articles published on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn by marketers working with leading sales-based organizations.

Insight 1: having a sla (service level agreement) is very important to strengthen the marketing department in a sales-based organization

According to the HubSpot's 2018 State of Inbound Report, marketers with service level agreements (SLAs) say they provide high-quality leads to sales. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents with SLAs said inbound practices provide the highest-quality leads for their sales team. In addition to this, salespeople with SLAs call out marketing as the top generator of leads. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents with SLAs said leads from marketing are the top source of leads for their sales organization. Furthermore, teams with SLAs see higher ROI from inbound marketing. Sixty-five percent of the respondents with SLAs said Inbound marketing gives them higher ROI. Additionally, SLAs means growth: Sales teams more likely to grow when there’s an SLA. Seventy percent of the respondents with SLAs said that they are increasing the size of the sales team as compared to the previous year. In addition, from a marketing perspective, SLAs means growth: Marketing teams with SLAs are more likely to get increased budgets. Fifty-two percent of the respondents with SLAs said they have a higher marketing budget as compared to the previous year.

Lastly, marketers have increased the quality of their leads to the sales department. Sixty percent of the respondents of the survey conducted by HubSpot said inbound practices (e.g. SEO, referrals, social media, content/blog, hyper-targeted display/social ads) provided the highest-quality leads for their sales team.

Insight 2: Clear Definition of the Roles of sales and Marketing in addition to How They function Together is another very important way of strengthening marketing teams in the long run

To improve productivity, it is important for the marketing team to familiarize the sales team with the different responsibilities and roles of the marketing department and vice versa. For example, it is a best practice to distinctly define the responsibilities and goals of various marketing teams such as content marketing, demand generation, product marketing, marketing operations, and customer marketing to the sales team and vice versa.

Insight 3: making the most out of smarketing (sales and marketing) alignment meetings

"Smarketing" alignment meetings, which is a combined meeting of sales and marketing teams, provide an opportunity for marketing teams to share new content such as collateral that could be of great value for the sales department to utilize during their lead nurturing process. It could be a TOFU (top-of-the-funnel) or “how to” blog that the sales team can share with their contacts or it could also be an educational webinar that is BOFU (bottom of the funnel). The objective of the marketing team should be to make the sales team aware of the available marketing tools that they can use during the lead nurturing process.

Insight 4: leveraging existing satisfied customers and asking for referrals could be one of the best tactics for marketers with limited budget

Marketers can request their current customers or clients who are satisfied with their products and services to recommend them to others. This is one of the best ways to strengthen a marketing team because it increases their exposure to prospective customers since personal recommendations are considered highly trustworthy in the industry.

Insight 5: identifying "icp" or ideal customer profile is a key to marketing and lead generation success

The first step to generating high-quality leads is developing a ULD or universal lead definition followed by using effective lead management practices. Since lead generation is an iterative process, it requires closed-loop feedback consistently in addition to connecting the "smarketing" (sales and marketing) data into CRM systems.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

B2B Marketing Case Studies

After thorough and exhaustive research on credible avenues of information, we could not provide detailed case studies showing how B2B businesses improve their marketing departments within the organization. However, we were able to locate some key findings pertaining to how the organization structure of Slack's marketing team was changed from silo functional teams to the program-based team by the current CMO, Kelly Watkins. In addition to this, we also discovered that the majority of B2B businesses outsource some part of their marketing operations. Our research team has presented the success metrics of such partnerships of B2B companies with marketing agencies in the additional findings section.

Research Strategy 1:

We commenced our research by scouring advertising and marketing magazines and websites including AdAge, AdWeek, eMarketer for the requested information on case studies showing how B2B companies are improving their marketing department within the organization. Unfortunately, this research strategy proved futile as it did not yield the required outcome. These avenues rather provided information on B2B marketing campaigns.

Research Strategy 2:

As an alternative research approach, we referred to the blogs and other publications by digital marketing agencies including Boston Interactive. This is where our research team located an article titled "5 B2B Companies That Are Doing Marketing Right". According to this article, Slack, FedEx, MailChimp, LinkedIn, and Tate & Lyle Sugar are some B2B companies who are adopting top-notch marketing strategies. The findings of this article formed the next step of our research path.

Research strategy 3:

We decided to broaden our research criteria and individually search for case studies pertaining to the success of these five brands' marketing teams and what they did to become successful. For this, we searched for the head of the marketing department of each of these five companies followed by trying to find information on what initiatives they took to build, structure, manage their teams.

Research strategy 4:

As the next step in our research path, we needed to confirm if these companies had in-house marketing teams or they outsourced all or some part of their marketing activities to agencies. In order to check this, we searched LinkedIn for information on the existence of the marketing professionals in these companies. We did locate profiles of key marketing executives at all the five above mentioned B2B companies. This was an indication that all the five companies namely Slack, FedEx, MailChimp, LinkedIn, and Tate & Lyle Sugar had in-house marketing teams.

To name the head of marketing at some of these companies, Kelly Watkins is the CMO or the Chief Marketing Officer at Slack, Tom Klein is the CMO of MailChimp, Brie Carere is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at FedEx while Shannon Brayton is the CMO of LinkedIn.

Research strategy 5:

Next, we combed through interviews of the above-mentioned executives with the hope to find the requested information. We did locate an interview with Kelly Watkins wherein she mentioned about re-structuring the market team at Slack. However, this strategy was not completely successful as it did not provide a detailed overview of what exact initiatives Kelly Watkins took to improve the marketing department at Slack. We have captured this bit of information in our findings section.

Similarly, we located interviews with Tom Klein of MailChimp but it did not prove useful as it did not provide any information on how he built/improved his marketing team rather talked mostly about ad campaigns of the company. We also unearthed an interview with Brie Carere of FedEx but there was no information pertaining to how she improved the marketing team rather includes information on how she is using her position to promote diversity and inclusion at FedEx. Lastly, we searched for interviews with Shannon Brayton of LinkedIn. unfortunately, we found none. However, we did come across a source whose last paragraph featured her take on the importance of internal communications in a very brief way.

Research strategy 6:

We quickly switched gears and began searching for the requested information on industry reports by leading providers of inbound marketing software and tools including HubSpot. It was during this research method that our team came across a 2018 HubSpot report which stated that around 67% of businesses outsource their marketing. According to the report, a vast majority of B2B companies/brands outsource at least some marketing operations. Around a fifth of these companies/brands grant complete management of their marketing program to an agency. Furthermore, this report also mentioned that the companies that utilize the marketing capability of an agency often witness better results than when managed in-house.

Research strategy 7:

We referred to the findings of the latest CMO Spend Survey by Gartner and discovered that the average marketing spend on labor in 2018 has decreased to 24% from 27% in 2017. In addition to this, the survey also reported that the average marketing spend on martech (marketing technology) has increased from 22% in 2017 to 29% in 2018 indicating that CMOs are investing less on human capital and more on marketing tools and technology.

Research strategy 8:

Lastly, on the basis of our findings during the research, we decided to capture case studies from B2B Marketing that discuss how B2B companies have derived top-notch results by outsourcing some of their advertising campaigns to marketing agencies. We have included the campaign objectives and the results or success metrics in our additional findings.

Findings

  • When Kelly Watkins became the CMO of Slack, the organization chart was structured around functional teams and it decided how individuals worked within the company.
  • She transformed the work of the marketing team from the age-old functional silos to program-based teams with a common goal.
  • To quote Kelly Watkins, "Today the marketing organization at Slack aligns their work around core programs that have a shared goal, clear audience, and an understood customer journey. Tactics are part of the program effort and are led by individuals who work as part of the program team."
  • Slack's marketing team had an ambitious goal for 2018 to grow teir business globally
  • According to Rachel Hepworth who started the growth marketing team at Slack, the company has a sophisticated performance marketing team in comparison to its peers. The performace marketing team at Slack uses multi-touch attribution system wherein everything including impressions, clicks, actual conversions are tracked.

Additional findings

  • Tate & Lyle Sugar, one of the five B2B companies identified in research strategy #2 has outsourced a marketing campaign to an agency and has obtained greater results.
  • The results or the success metrics of the campaign are as follows
  • The sales team of Tate & Lyle Sugar have converted 65 of the 106 targeted businesses which translates to 61%. This is double the 30% target.
  • The current ROI of the campaignis 183%.
  • Similarly, another B2B company called O2 outsourced a marketing campaign to an agency and obtained top-notch results such as 325% of target businesses were won.


Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Marketing Trends

The trends provided by this research are not specific to companies whose revenue ranges between $50-$100 million. This research was unable to identify trends specific to this bracket. For this reason, the scope has been broadened to address trends that have been corroborrated by various sources. These trends are deploying tech, social media marketing, mobile marketing, marketer skills, and digital marketing,

Methodology

We began our research by searching through various studies and surveys in sources such as Entrepreneur, CMO, HubSpot, Smart Insights, and Digital Marketing Insights. The articles, studies, and surveys acquired mentioned trends, but none were specific to companies in the $50-$100M revenue bracket.

Our second strategy was to identify companies in the revenue bracket and identify their marketing strategy. We searched through media houses such as Forbes and Inc. Once we identified some of these companies, we searched through their sites and press releases. We could identify some tools they use but could not conclude that these tools are a trend. 

Our third strategy was to search for publications in the marketing industry from sites such as Ramped Up, Clutch, Convince and Convert, and Buffer. The articles acquired were addressing marketing from a general perspective, or for companies with a $1 billion revenue and over. 

As a final strategy, we chose to broaden our scope and identify trends that are implemented by companies of all sizes. These trends have been observed across various sources.

current marketing trends

DEPLOYING TECH

13.1% of marketers believe that having the right technology is most important for driving future organic growth of the company. Statistics show that around 46% of marketers plan to test ABM tools to generate the right contacts at target accounts. This ensures a focus on lead quality over quantity and to improve marketing and sales alignment. 38% of marketers plan to test or deploy multichannel lead nurturing tools, while 37% of marketers will implement marketing automation in 2019. Companies are buying subscription-based technology such as Microsoft Office, Amazon Web Services, and SaaS business apps.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

73% of companies believe that social media marketing has been effective for their businesses. Spending on social media marketing is expected to increase over the next five years by 66% as 64% of businesses plan to spend more time and money on social media marketing.

Gametime has an annual revenue of $97.2M and credits its success to social media marketing. It executes its marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. To maximize reach and ROI, it measures each ad’s success against a three-second view percentage, click-through rate, install rate, and the number of installs per 1,000 impressions.

MOBILE MARKETING

Another marketing strategy that is growing in popularity is mobile marketing whereby 40% of businesses plan to invest more in mobile apps as a digital marketing channel. Statistics show that in the last three years, the mobile marketing budget has increased from 7% to 9.4% of the total marketing budget. They project this trend to reach 19% over the next three years.

Marketer skills

While 92% of companies find it difficult to hire good marketers, 61% claim marketing analytics is the skill set that is most difficult to fill. Whenever companies recruit in the marketing department, the skills that are critical are, ranging from the most important, creativity, natural leadership, and Martech platform experience. Furthermore, 69% of companies rely on in-house employees, 59% rely on software, 50% rely on digital marketing agency, and 32% rely on a freelancer or consultant for marketing resources.

DIGITAL MARKETING

For 62% of companies, IT has been the focus of digital transformation efforts. Although digital marketing has been growing slowly, in the next five years, spending is expected to increase from 44% to 54% of the total marketing budget. 32% of businesses intend to outsource their digital marketing efforts as of 2019. Firms that earn a revenue between $50-$100 million invest roughly evenly between all digital channels such as Search Engine Optimization, online advertising, and email marketing.


Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Increasing Marketing Efforts with Sales Data

B2B companies increase their marketing efforts by utilizing their sales data to understand customer personas and generate account-based marketing, to increase quality of sales leads, and to provide a smoother customer journey for their customers. Although there was limited research available specific to B2B companies ($50-100M), all studies that we used included participants from this group. Our research team believes that the reason for the overlap is because technology advances in predictive analytics and big data are now more affordable and therefore, are also used by small-to-mid size companies, instead of just larger ones. Below you will find a deep dive of our results.

B2b companies use sales data to Understanding Customer Personas AND GENERATE ACCOUNT BASED MARKETING

According to the 6th Annual B2B Data Marketing Report, 38% of B2B companies use ABM (account-based marketing) as their go-to marketing strategy. AMB marketing has been proven the most successful, but requires strong demographic and firmographic data to identify key targets and accounts, reach prospects across numerous sales channels, and deliver relevant content to increase sales potential. It requires a transition from marketing qualified leads (MGL) and can significantly reduce the teams' pipeline

ABM marketing is a form of marketing that uses hyper-targeted, "personalized campaigns to win over particular accounts, rather than relying on blanket campaigns that are meant to appeal to an entire market." Data is the key driver of AMB marketing and requires segmentation. This includes sales data, industry type, revenue, company size, number of employees and annual spend. Sales intelligence can identify a prospect’s readiness and sales data can be used to seek out prospects’ characteristics exhibited by a company's best customers.

According to an Ascend2 and ReachForce B2B, internal marketing programs, internal sales and customer service, and third-party information vendors are the most effective sources of marketing data. Sales data was ranked as the second most effective, with 52% used in marketing efforts. New customers can be hyper-profiled from previous sales patterns and by analyzing customer personas.

B2b companies use sales data to Increased Quality Sales LeadS

According to the 6th Annual B2B Data Marketing Report companies are increasing their marketing efforts by increasing the number of quality sales leads. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed believe data quality drives marketing campaigns and B2B sales. Quality can be increased through predictive analytics, which use previous sales data to create new customer profiles.

B2B companies use predictive analytics and big data to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. Sales data and predictive analytics play "a dominant role in the modern B2B sales by delivering significant reforms in the accelerated IT landscape and providing a massive scale for growth, efficiency, and targeted online marketing." Predictive analytics in B2B sales focus on the "past behavior of customers and leads in order to discover patterns that suggest whether they can be considered prospects."

Predictive analytics can can help a company focus on their sales initiatives by allowing them to automate market responses specific to certain types of customer scenarios based upon patterns found in previous sales data. Sales data can be analyzed and profiled to determine what a customer is likely to do in a given scenario. This allows the company to locate prospect customers, and increase the volume and quality of their sales leads.

B2b companies use sales data to PROVIDE A Smoother CUSTOMER JOURNEY

Sales data can also be used in marketing to existing customers. Predictive analytics can determine use the dates of previous sales and product life expectancy to determine when these customers will need a new product. It also uses previous sales data to determine what style of product the customer will most likely be interested in. This helps create a smoother customer journey.

Analyzing previous sales data allows a company to profile user behavior, which helps them to understand how their customers travel through the sales process from start to finish. It is also the foundation for customer journey analytics, which allow a B2B company the ability to understand and engage with their customers on a personal level.

Customer journey analytics analyze millions of data points in real-time, allowing a business to learn what steps lead to a sale or to losing a specific sale. Sales data allows a company to personalize the sales journey, at scale. If a B2B company knows what their customers like and dislike, it makes the sales process run more smoothly and effectively and increases overall customer satisfaction.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Outsourcing Research

Outsourcing is less expensive than in house, small to mid-size companies can gain deeper B2B experince, and increased consistency and flexibility are reasons why B2B companies outsource their marketing. Our research team has provided detailed insights on why B2B companies ($50-100M) outsource their marketing. Although we do not typically deem blogs as credible sources, our team has included a publication by Mike Sweeney due to his expertise and experience in the industry. Mike has over 15 years of experience in marketing. He is currently the CEO of Right Source Marketing, a company that B2B companies prove marketing ROI, thus our team deem his blog to be credible.

OUTSOURCING IS LESS EXPENSIVE THAN IN-HOUSE

According to HubSpot, over 66% of all B2B companies outsource their marketing. This is because budgets are changing and it is typically less expensive to outsource. According to a recent report from Gartner, marketing leaders are shifting their budgets as their priorities change. Marketing technology is now the largest share of B2B companies marketing budgets, at 29%. This increases the demand for specialists.

Marketing specialists can give a company a competitive advantage, but the cost of a specialist remains high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics a B2B company can save approximately $282,640 a year, in benefit costs alone, if they were to outsource a complete team of specialists. This includes savings of $95,392 for a CMO; $30,170 for a content marketing manager; $43,402 for a marketing technology manager; $38,913 for a marketing director; $29, 849 for a digital marketing manager; $24,946 for a marketing analyst; and $19,969 for a graphic designer. Companies with revenues in the $50-100M range are more likely to outsource than larger B2B companies like Amazon, Google, or Apple since they have smaller overall and recruiting budgets.

SMALL TO MID SIZE COMPANIES GAIN DEEPER B2B EXPERTISE

Companies with revenues ranging from $50-100M are typically small to mid-size companies. By outsourcing their marketing, they can gain the B2B experience of an entire company along with all of its experience and skill levels of the entire staff. This can be equivalent to working with "hundreds of companies and decades of knowledge." This allows the company access to a team of people who collectively have experience in multiple marketing tactics. It also helps reduce the learning curve and "risk of execution failure."

Companies with higher levels of expertise will be able to make better choices regarding the necessary marketing tactics and tools necessary for success. Outsourcing allows these companies to gain "proven experience about which marketing methods will deliver the best results based on their objectives." It also allows them to stay up-to-date on the most innovative marketing tools.

OUTSOURCING HELPS THEM TO ACHIEVING CONSISTENCY AND FLEXIBILITY

Small to mid-size B2B companies tend to have higher turnover rates withing their marketing personnel than larger or more established companies. High turnover rates can lead to "gaps in marketing execution from one marketer to the next." These gaps can cause a lack of productivity, time, money, and ineffectiveness in a company's marketing. In a recent survey, 79% of respondents reported that email creation, tracking, and sending is a huge commitment.

By outsourcing marketing, a B2B company does not have to worry about retraining or retaining employees. This is all handled externally, thus saving key stake holders time and increases the leadership teams' overall performance. This gives executives more flexibility to "scale up and down the intensity of their business as marketing objectives change" and the ability to access the skill levels that for their marketing objectives without HR considerations and costs.
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Psychology of Marketing

The three detailed insights that we found about the psychology behind changing outdated attitudes involve why change is difficult, the step-by-step process for how people actually make decisions, and factors that can actually change people's attitudes/perceptions. As is explained below, the process that people implement when making decisions consists of seven steps. Below are our research findings about this subject.

1. WHY CHANGE IS difficult

There are seven main reasons why change can be so difficult to achieve. The psychology article we consulted provided eight reasons, but two of those reasons overlap so we included both together for simplicity. Those reasons are listed individually below.

A. Negative emotions want to drive the process

People are "motivated by negative emotions" and often want to/or actually do use them as the impetus for making a change. However, deciding to make a change based on negative emotions usually doesn't end up working out. Instead, it's a positive desire for making a change that provides a sustainable basis upon which to achieve lasting change.

B. "all-or-nothing" thinking

The tendency to think that making a change requires an "all-or-nothing" approach is a recipe for failure because in some way, the vast majority of people will fail to some degree along the way as part of the process to achieve change. A good example of the "all-or-nothing" approach is the infamous New Year's resolution to exercise more, which creates an uptick in gym memberships at the start of the new year, but the gyms don't stay quite so crowded a few months later.

C. Resources are needed

Change is also difficult to implement/achieve because it requires people to have resources at their disposal. To make a change, people need plans/tools/information to guide and support their efforts in making changes. That in and of itself requires effort right from the start.

D. Too much change is sought

The approach of trying to change multiple things at the same time is regarded as doomed from the start. That's because unrealistic expectations are placed on the matter due to the reality that people are very human and won't always have the requisite motivation or attention required to always do what's required to make those changes. Thus, it's recommended that one change be focused on at a given time.

D. numerous steps are involved

Change requires a gradual, comprehensive, step-by-step process. One article explained that point very well in stating: "Change is never just one thing; it’s a lot of connected things, and sustained change doesn’t happen without a process that considers all of the pieces." When people set out to make changes, those goals they set for that are the end goals. However, to achieve those changes requires defining and achieving sub-goals along the way. To be successful in making a change, a person needs to be specific about what the sub-goals are in the process so they can track their progress.

F. Reluctance to fail

Failing is part of the change process, not a sign that the efforts aren't working. However, people don't tend to think of it that way, but probably should. Many psychology models that explain the process for change include failure as step in the change process, thus showing that it's going to happen regardless. Nonetheless, people tend to think that failing shows they can't achieve that change/reach that goal.

G. lack of commitment

Simply put, change requires commitment. As such, to make a change requires people to determine what they want to do plus create the plan for how they are going to do so. Without the commitment step, achieving lasting change likely can't/won't happen.

2. HOW PEOPLE MAKE DECISIONS

The process of making a decision consists of seven steps. As simple as it sounds, the first step is figuring out what the decision that needs to be made actually is. People know they need to decide something, but clearly defining that decision is really important. Step two involves collecting information that's relevant to and needed for making the decision. That information-gathering process consists of both external and internal information. External information involves consulting outside resources, such as articles, while internal information involves self-assessment.

The third step in the decision-making process is to identify what the alternatives are for the matter. Some alternatives come to light as part of the external and internal information-gathering processes, while others are created by a person as new ideas when considering the situation. Step four in the process involves evaluating the information that has been compiled. This step involves analyzing what would or wouldn't happen if decision A or B is made. It's through this step that people start to rank the choices in terms of what seems better than the others. The fifth step is actually making the decision. Step six in the process involves implementing action steps in order to fulfill that decision. Lastly, the seventh step in the decision-making process involves evaluating the decision that was made and whether it achieved the goals one sought to accomplish through it.

3. factors that CHANGE ATTITUDES/perceptions

Exposure to something (whether it be a person, song, concept, etc., it's called a stimulus) is a key driver in changing a person's attitude toward that stimulus. In the psychology world, that simple principle has its own name: The Mere Exposure Effect. The essence of the principle is simple: The more often something is heard or seen, the more someone likes it. The reason for that is due to people's affinity for familiarity.

This principle was tested by social psychologists who had four ladies attend lectures in the same college class. Each woman attended a different number of times. One lady never went to a lecture, one went to 10 lectures, one went to five lectures, and one went to fifteen lectures. None of the ladies talked with any of the other students at those lectures. However, at the semester's conclusion, the students in that class saw pictures of each lady and were asked to rate the ladies based on a number of criteria. The results showed that the woman who attended the most lectures (15) was "rated much more positively."

That study provides a clear demonstration that increased exposure to a stimulus changes attitudes positively. It's worth noting that studies of The Mere Exposure Effect have further "showed that repeated exposure tends to be more effective when there is a delay between seeing the word or picture [stimulus] and the ratings of them [the stimuli], which means it helps to give the multiple exposures time to settle in." In addition to the above, The Mere Exposure Effect becomes further strengthened "when the words or pictures are repeatedly presented subliminally." Thus, the key principle is that when stimuli are exposed to people subconsciously, people tend to like the stimuli more. This premise is referred to as "subliminal exposure."
Part
08
of eight
Part
08

Hiring a Marketing Agency

Some questions to ask of a prospective marketing agency before hiring them should be regarding their previous experience in the industry, in-house expertise vs. outsourcing, the metrics of success, the processes of getting things up to speed and the scope of the contract (services and deliverables). Additional details, including information on why these questions are important can be found below.

1. What is your previous experience in this industry?

The answer to this question might or might not be a deal-breaker. That depends upon the hiring company. The preferred answer is obvious, and hiring an agency that has a lot of previous experience within the same industry has significant perks. Some of them include understanding the market/specific niche of the company and knowing the key competitors, which grants higher competitiveness, as well as more efficiency in achieving results. In case the agency does not have previous experience in the industry, a good follow-up question would be how they plan to achieve results in the industry they've never worked in. This question is ultimately important because previous experience can often be a good indicator of future results.

2. Do you opt for In-house or outsourced expertise?

While some marketing agencies prefer outsourcing most of their creative work, there are companies that prefer an in-house team. Finally, a lot of agencies combine the two types of expertise. All approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, if the agency works mostly with freelancers, the hiring company should feel comfortable with the level of expertise of the freelancers. The same goes for in-house staff, but there are other concerns too — what is the number of in-house specialists against the number of clients/workload, will an intern execute their marketing efforts, etc. The bottom line is that the hiring company should feel comfortable with the level of expertise that the marketing agency is offering.

3. How do you measure success?

Metrics of success are another important topic to be tackled before opting for a marketing agency. In order for the hiring company to know if they've made the right choice by hiring a concrete marketing agency, the agency should be able to present the hiring company with some tangible metrics of success. The metric should be quantifiable, like website traffic or social media following. However, top marketing agencies are also able to present how their services impact the company's revenue and the number of leads. This question is important because agencies that have quantifiable metrics of success can be held accountable for not meeting those metrics. The agencies know this, which is why they will work hard to deliver on metrics that can be easily quantified.

4. How do you get things up to speed?

The hiring company should be particularly interested in how the marketing agency will get things up to speed. They should investigate the agency's on-boarding procedures, but should also inspect if the agency has processes in place to ensure the smooth transition towards a new marketing approach. Since nobody wants to wait months until the new marketing initiative is launched, it is critical to establish if the aforementioned procedures and plans are in place.

5. What services and deliverables are included in the contract?

Finally, the terms of reference should be as clear to both parties as possible, in order to avoid misunderstandings and potential disputes. If both parties are well aware of the key aspects of the contract they're signing, particularly the part regarding the scope, i.e. services and deliverables, chances are there'll be less (if any) unpleasant surprises down the road. A follow-up question might be regarding how the agency tackles out-of-scope work.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "Reward the Team That Wasn’t (Directly) Involved"
  • "Keep the Customer at the Core of Your Efforts"
  • "Understand When to Butt in—and When to Buzz Off "
  • "Clearly Define the Roles of Marketing and Sales and How They Work Together"
  • "Operate Under Shared Metrics of Success"
Quotes
  • ""Problem: There is no set lead movement strategy between sales and marketing" "Solution: Create a specialized strategy to finalize B2B sales Start by defining what a “lead” is to marketing and what it is to sales. Then, clearly define the process from the moment the lead enters your system, through handoff to sales and sales acceptance" "Problem: Not every lead is quality Solution: Automate and filter" "Problem: Purchasing cycles are changing" "Solution: Constant communication is key An ongoing dialogue between the marketing and sales teams is vital to success in maintaining lead generation and finalizing sales. If the frontline sales staff can reflect and report on where they start to lose client interest, the marketing team can develop a strategy to overcome that obstacle and vice versa. Additionally, matching content to where a potential client is in the buying process can greatly increase the "stickiness" of your brand. Provide value at every step so that when they’re ready to buy, you’re ready to help. Alignment between sales and marketing teams in B2B companies is a continuous process of growth, communication, and commitment to practicing the strategies that will generate high-quality leads and sales.""
Quotes
  • "What is a Sales and Marketing Meeting? This is a periodic meeting between sales and marketing aimed at ensuring initial and ongoing alignment between the two groups. The goal is to arrive at a common understanding of and agreement around goals, tactics, expectations, strategy, and performance. The initial marketing and sales alignment meeting typically involves leaders from each group. In some cases, this is the department head, e.g., the CMO or Director of Marketing and VP or Director of Sales. However, some organizations choose to assign an alignment leader from each department, say a Marketing Manager and an Account Executive. These two department representatives become accountable for ensuring their respective teams are sticking to the alignment plan and executing as necessary. The initial meeting between the team leads is focused on defining the goals and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for the alignment initiative, as well as the agenda for the other key meeting, which is between the combined marketing and sales teams."
  • "Defining Goals for Your Sales and Marketing Meeting Marketing and sales leadership should define the overarching goals for the alignment efforts. Part of this is creating the SLA mentioned above. The SLA is essentially a commitment between marketing and sales, defining the goals and performance expectations for both teams as they work toward a common goal. It helps if marketing and sales have already met to develop strategies for building a stronger pipeline. Topics should cover everything from defining the ideal customer, identifying target accounts and contacts, and outlining a content marketing strategy to determining processes for engaging and nurturing prospects and validating leads."
  • "Tips for Effective Sales and Marketing Meetings Scheduling a recurring meeting for every week or two is a smart way to get started with alignment meetings. Over time, you may find that it’s suitable to meet less often, such as once per month. Beyond that, you can increase the likelihood of productive meetings by following these tips. Schedule Different Meetings for Different Attendees Designate Spokespeople from Each Team Encourage Friendly Interactions Keep Things Moving with Daily Stand-Ups Creating Your Sales and Marketing Meeting Agenda"
  • "Tip 1: Set a Clear Agenda You’ll take a different approach with the agenda for your stand-ups, with a focus on understanding three key things: What has been accomplished in the last few days? What are you working on now? Is there anything blocking you from what you’re working toward?"
  • "Tip 2: Keep SLAs on the Agenda Tip 3: Share the Agenda Before Meetings Tip 4: Close Each Meeting with a To-Do List"
Quotes
  • "It is best to designate one team member from each department (one from sales and one from marketing) to be the department spokesperson and collaboratively lead the alignment initiative. This role can be assigned to either the head of each department or a member of each department. Both individuals should have the same authority within the organization to avoid one overruling the other. It is best to choose an individual that has exceptional communication skills, can provide an objective viewpoint, and has the ability to negotiate. Assigning one person from each department holds that person accountable for achieving the sales and marketing alignment goals for their department and executing assignments outlined in the service level agreement (SLA)."
  • "Creating an SLA for the two departments and setting clear SMART goals will provide the basis for aligning the sales and marketing teams. The SLA should outline both the marketing strategy and goals for the year, along with the sales and marketing teams’ action items for helping achieve the overall revenue goals for the company. The SLA is a commitment between both departments and should be agreed upon prior to the first sales and marketing meeting."
  • "Once the SLA is finalized, bring the printed document to each sales and marketing alignment meeting. It is best practice to set a recurring meeting on the calendar that both teams can commit to. It may be best to start by meeting every two weeks and decide later if you only need to meet once a month. Either way, setting up regular meetings will help with ongoing communication and will help your team monitor the progress toward achieving the goals outlined in the SLA."
  • "Each meeting should have a clear agenda set before it happens. This could be a list of talking points and action items, as well as designated time to report challenges and progress from each department. The agenda should be sent to those attending the sales and marketing alignment meeting at least a few days prior to the meeting. From there, each designated team member will have time to gain collective feedback and prepare any documents needed for the meeting."
  • "During the meeting, each department should share both their challenges and successes that have occurred since the previous sales and marketing alignment meeting. The meetings may be held in person or through video conferencing. It is best to incorporate face-to-face interaction to achieve better communication. Each team should be given an equal amount of time to outline their needs for achieving the goals outlined in the SLA. Referencing the SLA keeps the conversation on track to identify clear action items for both teams to help them achieve the specific goals."
  • "This is also a great time for marketing to share any new content that would be valuable for the sales team to use during their nurturing process. Whether it’s a new top-of-the-funnel “how to” blog that sales can share with their contacts or an upcoming educational webinar that’s further down the funnel, it’s important for both teams to be aware of the tools available. In addition, marketing can provide insight into the particular collateral that is converting well and can be used by sales to continue nurturing contacts. To close the loop, sales should let marketing know which pieces of content have received good feedback from their contacts and helped close a sale. At the end of the meeting, work together to outline clear action items for each department. The designated team member is responsible for executing or delegating the tasks agreed upon during the sales and marketing alignment meeting. In addition to outlining the tasks, a detailed timeline to complete each task should be agreed upon. It may be best to utilize a project management tool with a project specifically set up for sales and marketing alignment. This will help keep everyone organized with assigning tasks in a specific timeline and gaining specific approvals to complete the tasks."
Quotes
  • "Marketers with SLAs say they provide high quality leads to sales. Which source provides the highest-quality leads for your sales team? 69% of the respondents with SLAs said Inbound practices provide the highest-quality leads for our sales team."
  • "Salespeople with SLAs call out marketing as the top generator of leads. Which is the top source of leads for your sales organization? 39% of the respondents with SLAs said leads from marketing are the top source of leads for our sales organization."
  • "Teams with SLAs see higher ROI from inbound marketing. In your opinion, which marketing approach has given your organization higher ROI? 65% of the respondents with SLAs said Inbound marketing gives us higher ROI. "
  • "SLAs means growth: Sales teams more likely to grow when there’s an SLA. Is your sales team increasing or decreasing size next year? 70% of the respondents with SLAs said increasing the size of the sales team."
  • "SLAs means growth: Marketing teams with SLAs are more likely to get increased budgets. How does your company’s current budget for inbound marketing compare to last year’s? 52% of the respondents with SLAs said higher."
  • "Marketers have increased the quality of their leads. Which source provides the highest-quality leads for your sales team? 60% of the respondents of the survey conducted by HubSpot said Inbound practices (e.g. SEO, referrals, social media, content/blog, hyper-targeted display/social ads) provided the highest -quality leads for their sales team."
Quotes
  • "1. Perfect your pitch. 2. Get involved with your community. 3. Ask for referrals. 4. Join face-to-face networking groups. 5. Participate in local business mixers/trade fairs. 6. Apply for business awards. 7. Target influencers. 8. Collaborate with other businesses. 9. Go cold calling/emailing. 10. Work with affiliates and resellers. 11. Offer to speak. 12. Host an event or class. 13. Publish top-notch content. 14. Write for industry publications. 15. Look for ad promo credits. 16. Re-purpose your content. 17. Offer coupons. 18. Run an online contest. 19. Give it away. 20. Check your online listings. 21. Collect email addresses and send out a newsletter. 22. Brand your vehicle. 23. Create awesome business cards. 24. Live stream workplace activities. 25. Start a podcast. 26. Make it personal. 27. Make the most of employee's email signatures. 28. Respond to queries. 29. Take advantage of Instagram and Pinterest. 30. Guerrilla marketing."
Quotes
  • "Marketing To Existing Customers Marketing to existing customers is a great way to improve your bottom line in business. You know these people will buy from you, so you just need to turn them into repeat customers."
  • "Local Media You might try getting your local media to cover your business. You can do this by sending out press releases and networking with local reporters."
  • "Vehicle Branding If you have a company vehicle that you regularly drive around, consider branding it with your company logo and information. A full paint job can be expensive, so you might opt for magnets that stick to the sides. Or, you can purchase window decals to put on the side and back windows."
  • "Business Partnerships Try teaming up with other local businesses. You can promote each other’s businesses. For example, you might give your customers a coupon to the other business, and vice versa. Or, you can promote each other to your email lists."
Quotes
  • "Publish engaging blog content. Leverage your social media connections. Look for opportunities to guest blog."
  • "Asking your current satisfied customers for referrals or a review is one of the best cheap marketing ideas because it can be used by companies from any industry."
Quotes
  • "What Makes a Lead a “Good” Lead?"
  • "Where Do a Majority of the Leads Come From?"
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "Brands in the B2B space, such as Slack, MailChimp, FedEx, Tate & Lyle Sugar, and LinkedIn have succeeded in piquing the interest of viewers and driving key stakeholders to their business solutions. "
Quotes
  • "Question: You’ve shifted the way the marketing team is organized and works today at Slack. What are some signs that tell marketing leaders that their org chart might not be working for them? How have you transitioned the work of the team from functional silos to program-based teams with a common goal? Kelly Watkins: When I took over the organization, not only was it structured around functional teams, but the org chart shaped how everyone worked. Each group had their own roadmaps and individual efforts, which meant that tactics and programs weren’t integrated or working together to have more impact.” I’ve talked to many leaders at other organizations who find themselves in this same situation where teams are only working along functional lines. In the past 15 months, we’ve experimented with a few different ways of organizing and have given everyone opportunities to try out new ways of working to learn how to do integrated campaign work. Today the marketing organization at Slack aligns their work around core programs that have a shared goal, clear audience, and an understood customer journey. Tactics are part of the program effort and are led by individuals who work as part of the program team."
  • "Question: How would you finish this sentence in the context of Slack’s marketing teams? “2018 is the year of ______” Kelly Watkins: Focus. Slack was the first in this space and it’s on us to win or lose. “This year as a marketing organization we have audacious goals for growing our business globally, but to hit those we’ll need to say yes to the right things and prioritize quality, high-impact efforts and fewer low-impact tactics.” -Kelly Watkins This year as a marketing organization we have audacious goals for growing our business globally, but to hit those we’ll need to say yes to the right things and prioritize quality, high-impact efforts and fewer low-impact tactics. We’ve spent the past six months experimenting with new efforts and tactics, and learning what works for us and the audience we are trying to reach. Now we need to take those learnings and build them into systems that can drive growth at scale."
Quotes
  • "What’s key about Slack’s performance marketing team is it’s very sophisticated compared to most. We use a multi-touch attribution system. There’s no first click, last click. We track everything, and we give credit for impressions, clicks, actual conversions, etc. We spent a lot of time and effort setting up that foundational system and making sure that our data was really good."
  • "A lot of folks outsource performance marketing to agencies, or use a simpler attribution system, which is fine and correct if your budget is smaller. For the amount of money Slack is spending, we needed to bring it in house. That was really heavy lifting, but the performance marketing team is now driving a fairly hefty chunk of team creation, so it’s been very successful. It’s what we spent most of 2017 building out."
  • "In 2018, we’re going to focus on the more typical demand gen functions. We have a lot of people going to slack.com, where it’s very simple to start a team. But for those who aren’t inclined to jump into those waters and try to convince their coworkers that there’s a new way to work, we need to do a little bit more in terms of holding their hand, showing them the value and giving them more information. Not just saying, “There’s a home page with an email enter field. Click here to get started,” which is what we’ve been relying on up until now."
  • "One of the biggest tracks of work has been building the infrastructure and tools – bringing on a lead scoring tool, bringing on the marketing automation tools, hooking up our product data to marketing data so that we’re even smarter about the marketing messages that we employ. "
Quotes
  • "Nearly two-thirds of businesses outsource their marketing A majority of B2B companies outsource at least some marketing, with about a fifth of these companies granting full management of their marketing program to an agency. Those that utilize the marketing capability and capacity of an agency often see greater results than when managed in-house."
  • "Professional marketing services combine specialized industry expertise with premium platforms, tools and tactics as well as dedicated skill in branding, copywriting, public relations, creative design and marketing planning and execution. The percentage of B2B companies that outsource has grown since last year, according to data from the 2017 Marketing Mix Report."
Quotes
  • "CMOs in North America and the UK now spend more on marketing technology than on any other resource area, declares Gartner in its latest annual CMO Spend Survey. This year, the more than 600 senior marketers surveyed estimated spending an average of 29% of their marketing expenses on marketing technology, up from 22% last year."
  • "That jump means that martech – which had been the smallest of the 4 people and program areas last year – is now the largest. By comparison, marketers allocate 24% share of their budget to labor (down from 27%), 23% to paid media (down from 25%), and 23% to agencies (also down from 25%)."
  • "The results are similar to a recent Warc survey, in which brands estimated allocating almost one-quarter of their budgets to martech, up from 16% last year. It’s also possible that some marketers underestimate what they will spend on these tools, as many marketers struggle to understand the external costs for marketing technology. Encouragingly, though, most brands across the world feel that they have all the tools they need now, even if they’re not necessarily fully utilizing them."
Quotes
  • "Objectives of the campaign T&L wanted a compelling lead generation and conversion campaign that targeted key decision-makers and delivered the following messages: T&L beverage syrups have a superior taste profile when compared with mainstream competitors. T&L is the only mainstream supplier of Fairtrade beverage syrups. T&L has historic expertise in syrup production as well as unique access to raw materials, allowing them to be incredibly competitive on price. The commercial objectives were as follows: Generate leads within 30% of the 106 targeted prospect customers. Increase monthly run rate by 240% by the end of September 2017."
  • "Results Of the 106 targeted business, T&L’s sales team are now in active conversion with 65 (61%) – double the 30% target. Projected monthly run rates show an uplift of +250% by September 2017 (exceeding the 240% target) and with a pipeline set for exponential growth. Campaign ROI is currently sitting at 183%. While a soft measure, the campaign received overwhelmingly positive feedback and proof that its impact forced recipients to pass onto their colleagues."
Quotes
  • "Campaign objectives The 40 target accounts launched to date, generate: Opportunities in 33% of target accounts Multiple millions in closed business. Target audience Private sector organisations with over 2000 UK-based employees Public sector organisations Existing customers and prospects CXOs, board members, senior leadership."
  • "Results 325% of target business won 118:1 total ROI (investment to written business) 313% of target pipeline 19 BANT c-level qualified leads 39 new c-level contacts 67.5% SQLsconversion rate."