Mi6 Round Up | June 2020


What Is a Round Up?

Every month we pick articles from our B2B Sales and Marketing Digest and drill further down for you. We’ll give you a quick summary of the article – The Gist, give you our thoughts on why it’s important at this point in time and some advice. 

It’s our way of helping you further sift through the firehose of content we experience daily! Enjoy! Oh, and by the way… comments are welcomed. Also, if you’d like to be a contributor to an upcoming round up just pick an article from our digest and let Chris know.

No Need to Survey, You Already Have Data for Great Storytelling

By: Karen Kelly, Managing Partner, K2 Performance Consulting

The Gist

If we look at the role a “survey” plays when it comes to collecting external data, the article “No Need to Survey, You Already Have Data for Great Storytelling” illustrates there are more meaningful and economical options available.  We see that data driven content marketing increases personalized engagement, relevance through storytelling and brand awareness with content creation and sharing.

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

Working remotely through a pandemic has resulted in a significant increase of available information shared across social platforms. With 65% of people identifying as “visual learner” painting a picture through storytelling allows us to connect with our audience and bring our data to life. Piquing their interest, curiosity and appealing to them enough to engage with you.

The need for insights, data and stats to inform and ultimately make a purchasing decision is required. The caveat is, we buy based on emotion and justify with logic. Our brain looks for a message that is easy to process.

Story telling is easy to process. It elicits emotion and differentiates you in unpredictable  times where authenticity and vulnerability are needed to build trust. Sharing your own story or leveraging third party stories to share your point of view allows you to expand your lens and highlight the bigger picture. 

What Advice Can I Offer?

My advice is to take the first step and start. Whether you are starting your career, new to social media or feel you have nothing to add- shift your mindset, you do.

You can share someone’s content/ post with your point of view interpretation and relevance through data driven storytelling. This establishes credibility, allows your audience to connect with you and gets your brand out there.

Building on that, start  creating your own content, add videos that invite storytelling to increase visibility, emotion and relevance that appeals to your target audience.

Marketers and Salespeople Confident in ABM As the Right Strategy, but Struggle to Execute Programs at Scale

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Account Based Marketing (ABM) might be the new sales and marketing shiny object. At least it is for close to 70% of 270 sales and marketing professionals in a recent report on ABM.

In fact, marketers and salespeople are confident in ABM as the right strategy but they are having trouble executing one at scale. 

The hindrances causing this inability to scale include: campaign tracking, the inability to personalize an “experience”, bad account and contacts data and not involving the account owner (sales).

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

The inability for the marketing and sales team to execute an ABM strategy is cause for concern. But some of the hindrances I believe are excuses and don’t hold water.

The gravest concern is the reality that sales and marketing continue to be from different planets. They’ve not evolved, grown together or stayed up to date with the B2B buyer.

The buyer is now in control of gathering information throughout the sales cycle. In the past vendors were the keepers of information but now Google is.

But, the pendulum has swung too far to the self serve side and buyers are overwhelmed with too much information, in other words they need guidance and specific types of information or content.

What Advice Can I Offer?

ABM is a customer development and retention strategy that transcends across the marketing, business development and sales functional areas. So, at the very least key leaders from these areas must cooperate, collaborate and participate in the development, execution and monitoring of an ABM initiative. 

They need to decide what key accounts and key contacts will fall under the ABM program.

Will they be existing customers or prospects?

Will an ABM program be piloted first in a safe sandbox? If so, who from marketing, business development and sales will work together?

Are there informal ABM activities already taking place?  An ABM program doesn’t exist “out of the box” it needs to be designed and three places you can start:

  • Net new accounts – potentially in a new market
  • Existing accounts – as part of a formal reference program, and
  • Net new sales reps – who need marketing and sales support as they get winds in their sales.

The Next Phase of Partner Marketing

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

In this blog post, Cisco speaks to their partner network about how their messaging, storytelling, resources and sales support are adapting to the next normal. 

Though no one is entirely certain what ’normal’ will look like, being able to evolve and adapt during these unpredictable times is the biggest challenge facing sales and marketing teams everywhere.

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

Though companies like Cisco rely on certified reseller partners to move their product and uphold their mission, it’s no different for companies who do not have this type of structure in place. 

Your network of past customers, prospects, partners, vendors and even loose competitors can also support your sales and marketing efforts. 

And this network is more important now than ever before to validate that you are trustworthy and capable to your customers.

In addition, the relationship between marketers and the sales team holds much more power in a COVID climate. 

How to sell, who to sell to and when to sell to them may have shifted significantly for your pool of prospects and your sales team has the intelligence you need as a marketer to be able to message effectively, offer the right solution at the right time, create mutual success and provide valuable resources.

What Advice Can I Offer?

Listen.  To your market, your competitors, your prospects and your established customers.  This article was posted only a month ago and already the landscape is shifting. 

Messaging that is empathetic and understanding is still important, but COVID fatigue and the overuse of ‘we are all in this together’ messaging may cause your prospects to tune out. 

Now, messaging must also encourage them to envision a brighter future and your essential role in that vision.  So, listen and be ready to evolve your process over again at each stage of the next normal.

What Do You Think?

B2B sales and marketing professionals around the world are seeking to learn and get better. So are we! Our hope is that you refer to these monthly round ups to help you do just that. If you’d like to be contributor to an upcoming round up just let Chris know.