In an interview with Demand Gen Report, TimeTrade CMO Lauren Mead discussed how her team utilizes webinars within their marketing mix to engage target accounts throughout the funnel. She also shared insights into how her team creates webinar content and how engagement compares with other content formats.
As digital marketing continues to evolve and change, the need to engage customers in unique ways becomes even more vital. While new tools and technology emerge seemingly every day, two trends are commanding the B2B world’s attention: augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). In fact, according to a report from Statista, the economic impact of AR and VR is forecast to amount to $29.5 billion in 2020.
We’ve all seen the buzzwords in recent years. Big Data. Artificial Intelligence. Smart everything, from toilets to thermostats. Companies rush to keep up with the next fad without really understanding what the true advantages of this new technology are and how it can impact their business. The actual technology becomes overshadowed by the hype, unable to deliver on the many promises that businesses rush to peddle.
“But how do you know it’s working? Show me a dashboard.”
You’ve been there. I’ve been there. Whether it’s your CMO, head of sales, CEO, or just that curious little reporting angel on your shoulder — we all want proof that our marketing is having an impact.
Here’s the problem: you know there are dozens of touch points between your marketing campaigns and every buying center that ultimately closes business with your company. Sometimes hundreds. But between click-through rates, opens, web visits and a whole mysterious black box of offline stuff, it’s still a struggle for us to communicate the value of our marketing programs on pipeline and revenue.
And most of the tools we use today — from marketing automation to custom dashboards — are all focused on minute interactions with individual people (inherited from the lead-based attribution that relies on a cookied form fill and known contacts, and the B2C bias that runs through most digital marketing tools).
But using tactical micro-metrics like cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) and click-through rate (CTR), and on-page optimizations is like looking at a Seurat painting up close.
You can count the dots, but it won’t help you see the whole picture.
Too often, B2B marketers end up in this scenario: you’ve measured everything. Your UTM hygiene is pristine. You track CTR, CPC and CPL on every permutation of channel and content or ad creative. And you optimize constantly, culling out underperformers and iterating on your superstar content.
But no matter what you do, your tiny tweaks never quite seem to add up to a more efficient funnel (and no one beyond the digital marketing team really thinks they matter). Somehow, you always seesaw between quality and quantity, and those optimizations don’t shake out downstream as better opportunities, faster sales cycles, or any improvement in opportunity-to-close numbers.
So, let’s start by admitting it’s not just you. Actually, it’s very possibly a problem with the way you’re measuring success — by hyper-focusing on the small stuff, you may be inadvertently losing resolution on the bigger picture.
If you’re measuring minutia, you’re going to be focused on minute optimizations. That’s fine if you’re selling high velocity, ecommerce or consumer, but that’s not B2B.
B2B buyers are signing up with you for the long haul. Their livelihoods depend on your product working, so they need to trust you deeply. This applies to your expertise, ability to deliver and ethics.
The account-centric measurement mentality is designed to pull you out of the weeds, so you can understand the impact of complete, coherent, cross-channel programs, not individual ads and campaigns. This is accomplished in two ways:
By using newly-available, account-level web traffic data in this funnel, you’re able to focus in on exactly the metrics that mean something:
We all know leads can be a little wishy-washy. But one thing that doesn’t lie is cold hard cash — that’s real revenue. And if there’s one thing revenue wins lead to, it’s confidence.
When you’re confident in your reporting, and know it represents what’s really going on with your programs, you can commit to bold ideas and big bets.
And ultimately, that’s my brightest vision for B2B marketers — a future where more of us can make bigger bets on memorable experiences, and easily understand the payoff of those bets so we can iterate and make more. But in order to get there, we need to use our data points to create the full, big picture first.
Janet Polyakov is the VP of Product Marketing at Terminus, where she runs sales enablement, digital marketing, content strategy and more. She has also served as the Director of Global Growth Marketing and Senior Manager of Acquisition and Retention at Matterport.
SmartSeeds from Return Path is a deliverability data platform powered by artificial intelligence that aims to provide insights into email program performance. It is positioned to generate a deeper level of deliverability monitoring along with additional intelligent insights, such as subscriber engagement and engagement-based filtering.
Webinars continue to be a staple in many B2B demand gen strategies, with studies show that webinars are one of the most useful content formats for generating positive engagement with prospective customers. Findings from Demand Gen Report’s annual Content Preferences Survey show that close to half (47%) of respondents find webinars valuable at the early and mid-stage of their buying process. Also, close to two-thirds (64%) of B2B buyers are willing to spend 20 to 60 minutes watching a webinar — more than any other content format.
The central tenet of ABM is that you choose your customers. It’s the flip side of inbound marketing where clients find and select you, drawn to your business by insightful, relevant content. While inbound marketing casts a wide net, catching everything that swims by, ABM is like spearfishing — you only aim at the fish you want.
Your SKO (sales kickoff) is no ordinary sales meeting; it’s the time to communicate your goals for the year ahead and reinvigorate reps to continue putting their best foot forward. However, it can be difficult garnering and holding your sellers’ attention enough for them to retain what they learn and leverage that knowledge throughout the year.