Mi6 Round Up | November 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.

How to Convince Your Company’s Brain Trust to Collaborate on Content 

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

In this article from the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers and branding specialists outline some tips and techniques for enticing leadership into the content marketing process.  At the core, making a business case that is measurable and includes reported metrics related to a business need is the key.  No one in leadership wants to be tapped to assist with a marketing project, or to be expected to possess the ability to write well-crafted content that speaks to the target audience.  Nor should they – that is the job of the marketer – but, having their unique insights captured correctly is important to any marketing plan and vastly improves the trust perception of the business (The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reports 68% view company experts as the most credible source of information).

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

Here in the new normal, access to leadership has become much more challenging, and so a marketers tactics for involving the brain trust in content marketing initiatives needs to adapt to streamline the process as much as possible.  The business case needs to be much tighter as well as the execution.  Add to that the rapid changes that are occurring with your client base which makes it more imperative to get new content out much more quickly to meet changing needs.

What Advice Can I Offer?

In addition to the ideas provided in the article, at this point in time, building and maintaining trust as an organization is much more important than it has ever been, and it is tied to other larger strategies.  Corporate social responsibility for one.  Access to the thoughts and opinions of your organization’s brain trust is a step toward the kind of transparency that is in demand.  Include this in your business case.

And, one additional tip – don’t be afraid to be provocative in your request.  Your thought leaders are people, and people can have strong reactions to perceived injustices that they must share.  If a competitor or other nay-sayer is putting out content that directly opposes your organization’s position, it could provide the impetus you need to get your brain trust to want to respond to your request for new content.

6 SEO KPIs Every Search Marketer Should Know

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

I’m going to quibble a bit with the title of this article but the substance of what it covers is what made me pick it for my contribution to this month’s Mi6 Round Up. 

As is the case with many professions and industries, terms and jargon can get confusing especially when you find more than one definition. Just do a search for goals and objectives and you’ll find multiple definitions! 

SEO means “search engine optimization” which for me is the organic side of “search engine marketing (SEM)”. Pay per click, or PPC, is the paid side of SEM. My quibble with the title of this article is that the key performance indicators (KPIs) are for SEO and PPC. Here’s my mental math: Search Engine Optimization + Pay Per Click = Search Engine Marketing or SEO + PPC = SEM. Clear as mud? =)

But, like I said earlier, it’s a good article to get you thinking about measuring performance of your website. 

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

Over 100 years ago John Wanamaker knew that marketing was working … well at least half of it was. He just didn’t know what half!  

Even today measuring marketing ROI continues to be a challenge! In Wanamaker’s case he didn’t know what impact marketing had on generating revenue and to be clear he was talking about advertising. Most likely print, radio and television would be my guess. 

Today, however, there is no excuse in demonstrating the value, or lack of, in marketing both quantitatively and qualitatively. It depends on what you want to know, learn and measure. And what you want to learn, know and measure needs to be tied to your company’s goals and objectives. 

B2B marketers need to have in place a framework to measure the ROI of their marketing activities and investments. And they need to measure value through two lenses: outcomes and outputs. 

What Advice Can I Offer?

In my experience, leadership teams, regardless of the size of the company, must establish and agree to a clear set of outcomes. Outcomes are the goals and objectives that a marketing program will be measured against. But to start, they need to agree on the definition of a goal and objectives. Here’s how we define the two for ourselves and our clients:

Goal: general guidelines that explain what you want to achieve in your venture. They are usually long-term and represent global visions. Think in terms of a 3 year timeframe. What’s your vision for success?

Objectives: define strategies or implementation steps to attain the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable, and have a defined completion date. They are more specific and outline the “who, what, when, where, and how” of reaching the goals. 

We recommend that your marketing program have no more than three goals. One that is revenue related, one non-revenue related but strategic to the business and the last being tied to the improvement of the marketing team. 

Once your goals and objectives are set then you can discuss, negotiate and decide with the leadership team what key performance indicators will be put in place to monitor and manage the success of your marketing program. 

These Eight Charts Show How COVID-19 Has Changed B2B Sales Forever

By: Karen Kelly, Managing Partner, K2 Performance Consulting

The Gist

Early March as we entered the lockdown, B2B sales leaders and their teams were forced to digitize their business. Overnight they were required to support existing clients and attract new clients remotely.  “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable” couldn’t hold more weight than in 2020.  

McKinsey’s research illustrates that both buyers and sellers prefer the new digital reality.   Buyers enjoy the self-service environment, they have more access to information and quicker response times from sales professionals, making it easier for them to buy. This remote buying trend is not solely focused on small ticket items, it extends to larger spends as well.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, video is the runner up to F2F, it is no surprise video and live chat combined account for 43% of all B2B revenue. Get comfortable being on camera, it’s not going anywhere.               

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

As we think about entering 2021, I encourage you to reflect on 2020. Celebrate our level of resiliency and adaptiveness. Our ability to pivot, adjust and continue to meet our customers where they are. That being said, we have more predictive intelligence going into 2021. Leverage it, build off what you are currently doing. Consider the trial and errors you experienced in 2020, focus on what has worked and what hasn’t. Are you able to pinpoint what it was, where in the process it occurred, who you were dealing with etc. Get clear and granular as to what is contributing to both your successes and challenges, so you can either repeat or avoid them.

With this comes an increased level of certainty and confidence. Buyers want to feel they are in good hands, what better way to reduce risk and demonstrate your capability.

What Advice Can I Offer?

My advice to you, we know buyers enjoy the remote experience, being in control, more convenient, operating on their terms. Remote selling is not going anywhere. Knowing that, how can you support them, facilitate the buying decision in a collaborative way that still adds value in a virtual environment?

Continue to develop yourself, regardless of the medium, more than 50% of the reason for purchase is the sales person themselves.

Look at the level of video technology you are using, is it quality, are you comfortable with it?

Do you subscribe to a video platform? Does it provide analytics?

Are you able to track open rates? Monitoring what messages are resonating and what aren’t. 2021 is about continuing to be agile, iterative and customer focused.  Evaluate the activities within your sales process, know when to double down, modify or abandon based on customer response.

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.