Mi6 Round Up | October 2020

Mi6 Round Up Oct 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.

Why Circular Thinking Works Better in Content Marketing

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Effective content marketing remains a bit of a mystery for a lot of marketers.  And the rules around the benefits of content, from an SEO standpoint, have shifted away from the idea of content for content’s sake, and content that is relevant to your user.  How that content is measured in terms of effectiveness often misses the mark if the expected outcomes are pinned only to the action of creating the content.  Outcomes have more to do with where your customers are in their needs, in the sales cycle, and in their own belief system.  If you do not understand and address their needs, your content will fail to provide the personalized, unified experience you are looking for.

Content needs to be created and presented in a way that allows your customer or prospect to easily find what they are looking for, and easily navigate to deeper intelligence. “Think less about the action and more about the perspective and assumption that led to the action.”

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

The times are changing.  And those changes are significantly affecting your buyer – how they perceive things, what they believe, and how they are buying.  Content that has been provided to guide them, may no longer be relevant, or may lack the synergies now needed to help your customers and prospects to an outcome.  How they do their job may have fundamentally changed along with the time and effort they are willing to give to research and make buying recommendations or decisions.  They don’t want to be presented with too many choices – they want an easy road to finding answers to their questions.  Your content should meet them where they are.

What Advice Can I Offer?

Though this article focuses on the delivery of content, circular thinking also applies to how your content is created and your overall marketing strategy.  Content should never be a one and done creation process.  In addition to providing your prospects with multiple pathways to the content they need at any given stage, provide them with multiple options for consuming the content, and weave high-performing content into your outreach and promotions, via email, social media, or third-party publishing platforms.  And keep listening to your customers so you can continue to streamline your message.

The 4 Key Signs Your Marketing and Sales Teams Aren’t Aligned

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

In Hubspot’s “The 4 Signs Your Marketing and Sales Teams Aren’t Aligned” the author uses a buddy cop movie scenario to illustrate the importance of working together and getting along. It’s a good analogy in that marketing and sales do need to work together with various factors allowing that to happen. Chemistry, mutual respect, communication and a willingness to look at things from the other’s point of view is important. 

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

As I covered in June’s round up Account Based Marketing (ABM) many B2B marketers and sales professionals are confident that it’s the right strategy for their business. Many have or are implementing ABM but there are cracks showing already. And, in July’s round up, I asserted that the 5 obstacles encountered by B2B content marketers is caused by one fundamental challenge: a lack of alignment with key people within their companies

This Hubspot article outlines key signs that may be causing misalignment with three ways to fix it. 

What Advice Can I Offer?

In addition to reading the article and these round ups (thanks!) B2B marketing and sales leaders need to have a conversation about working together in 2021. Use the pandemic as a backdrop on exploring new and better ways to work together. 

Explore ways to ensure that customers and prospects are at the centre of your marketing program using the most up to date data, information, research and insights (external and internal) on how buyers and customers want to be informed, educated and engage. 

Look for tools to help you plan, execute and measure a joint marketing and business development plan that focuses on mutual goals. If you’d like to explore with us how we do this for our clients and ourselves feel free to book some time with me

What’s Up in 2021 for Content Marketing?

By: Karen Kelly, Managing Partner, K2 Performance Consulting

The Gist

2020 caught us by surprise, we adjusted, we pivoted as best we could and have tried to normalize our current working environment. To ensure success in 2021, we must develop a strategic marketing plan.

Consider your marketing strategies of 2020, what worked, what didn’t and as always follow the needs of your consumer. A consumer centric approach is not specific to the pandemic; however, their unique needs and immediacy of resolution are.

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

As businesses are preparing to close off 2020, they are also finalizing budgets, business plans and strategies for 2021. To continue to meet the unique needs of your clients, updating your sales process and playbook with marketing initiatives that work is critical. Getting a head start with planning your activities, cadences, timing etc. is what will make the difference.

The openness around topics such as inequality, diversity and inclusion are gaining attention and providing an avenue for content marketing to tailor content to these important topics.

Transparency, value and purpose are what consumers are looking for when partnering with a brand. Their “why” has become more attractive in building solid relations.

What Advice Can I Offer?

Having experienced a year of uncertainty, agility and leading with empathy, we have a better understanding of the “next norm”. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable would be a common theme for 2020. I would encourage you to look at the experience you have created for your buyer in 2020, how can you make it more authentic, transparent and easy to buy from you?

Look at your sales process, what changes can you incorporate to reflect the buyer’s journey. Update your playbook, what activities are now remote, how have you incorporated video into your marketing sequences. Consumers are craving connection; video is the runner up to face to face.

Finally, what content are you creating that is engaging your prospect, is it timely, relevant and does it help them solve a problem or achieve a goal. Sprinkle video into your content as well as colourful visuals to get their attention.

One thing that has become very apparent is our level of resiliency. When backed into a corner, we come out with innovative, creative and in some cases better ways of doing what we have done for many years.

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.