Enterprise Marketer - Make Your Marketing Matter.

Quit freaking out!

That is the first takeaway I had from MarketingProfs' B2BForum, and now reflecting on the entire conference, I recall several other instances of that underline theme throughout the week.

Put in other words: your marketing needs focus.

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As usual, the infamous image that displays marketing technologies by Chiefmartec.com was projected on the screen during at least one breakout session to show everyone the competition and growth of marketing technologies in just a year.

No wonder we are all freaking out.

With social media and automation literally changing the world and how we communicate, we have been trained to look for the next big thing in technology because we are worried we won’t be able to keep up.

In times like these, it is hard not to get caught up in the hype of digital marketing. Data-driven marketing is a good practice to ensure you are being smart with your marketing efforts, but as Drew Davis said at Marketing Profs 2016 B2B Forum, don’t let the engagement spikes consume you.

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So if you find yourself freaking out, think about these basic tips that are inspired in part by the smart people who presented at #MPB2B.

  1. Don’t skip straight to the tactics.

    It seems like a no-brainer, but often times the “spikes” or other deterrents will pull marketing in different directions as a campaign or tactics are being executed. With a strategy and a plan, you can always point back to the original goals to help you stick to your guns. Without a strategy, you will look back on the past year trying to answer for the marketing dollars you spent and why you did it.

    Tip: The concept of developing a content mission statement was brought up several times throughout the conference. Marcus Sheridan, a.k.a. the Sales Lion, says

    "The future of sales and marketing depends on not only sales and marketing agreeing on a content mission statement, but the whole organization needs to buy into it."
  2. Know your audience.

    Your content isn’t for everyone; at least it shouldn’t be anyway. Often times companies get in the habit of marketing their services or products and forget to consider what their audience truly wants or needs. Just because you think you know you are selling what they need, doesn’t mean they see that way. Proper persona development will help you with this effort because you will start to write content that will appeal to them. This is a good exercise in training yourself to think of your audience differently – that they aren’t all necessarily the same or need the same things.

    Tip: You don’t necessarily need to create new content for each persona. Put in practice the Persona Pivot, dubbed by Ardath Albee where you keep the same content, but change the trigger pieces that attract the audience to begin with: the title, intro, conclusion, tags and keywords. This is the art of re-purposing content.

  3. Ask the right questions.

    Ask for sales to include you in calls or meetings with clients and if given the chance, ask the right questions.

    Tip: Here are a few questions that Matthew Grant and Andrew Moravick talked about in their session, How to Know What Your B2B Buyer is Really Thinking: What questions are customers asking? What problems are they mentioning? What is getting the way? How do they normally address their problems? Why do they go with competitors? How do they feel or what do they think when they hear your message?

  4. Relationships make sales.

    Marketing and sales should be operating together as a unit. Marketing is the outreach, and there to help fill the gaps. As the saying goes, people buy from people. Marketing automation and content marketing can help fill the gaps when a sales person can’t be there.

    Tip: Chris Moody from GE Digital said sales people should copy their marketing person on emails to clients when they are explaining a service or product. That's content you can use for marketing.

  5. In order to scale, focus on one thing at a time and dare to disrupt status quo.

    Don’t try several different tactics or campaigns. Focus on doing one campaign well, repeat and scale. Jay Acunzo said,

    "Creativity doesn’t have to be big. Sometimes a series of small efforts can produce big results."

    Another big takeaway from the event was disrupting status quo. Acunzo mentioned to get from conventional thinking to creativity you first need to question convention, then focus on the process, install constraints and finally build a body of work.

    Tip: Drew Davis said you can’t grow by reaching everyone at once. You need to build your audience first. People will find your content through your channels, so put your focus on how they consume content.

    So, if you are getting tired of changing the engagement spikes, it is time to take a step back and build something more stable.

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