Mi6 Round Up | Q1 2021

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.


Jan 2021

Removing Gatekeepers from Your Marketing

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Marketing teams, whether internal or external, are often stymied by a siloed approach to the management of the data and channels required to be truly effective.  In this article from the Hubspot team, they identify the three things that marketers need: the ability to access customer data, optimization through comprehensive reporting, and full access to the tools, talent and technologies being used to manage the customer relationship.

As an aside, we regularly encounter clients who have retained various parties to develop websites, branding and customer lists and who, at the end of their engagement, have no access or understanding of the tools and data created.  All digital and data assets of a company need to be fully owned by the company to avoid any break in service, sales and marketing.

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

There is an acceleration of change with your client base that is difficult to predict and being driven by external forces politically, socially and personally as the pandemic changes how, when and where people work.  With priorities shifting, marketers needs to have instant access to crucial customer data and make quick alterations to messaging and campaigns to meet the client’s needs.  That cannot happen if gatekeepers are preventing website updates, design work or CRM data access.  Marketing plans should be fully integrated into your company’s operations from sales through support.

What Advice Can I Offer?

A good marketing team is part of everyone’s team, ensuring continuity, getting timely feedback and providing market and key customer intelligence.  Without a big picture understanding of the business, the market, and the goals of the business, marketers can not be effective.  And with that big picture view, access to the right tools and the most recent data is imperative to create and maintain programs that seamlessly integrate into the overall business plan for your company.


B2B Marketers Claim Higher ROI from ABM

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is generating better results than traditional marketing according to Marketing Chart’s article: B2B Marketers Claim Higher ROI from ABM

Companies that are investing in ABM are allocating 27% of their marketing budgets to the tactic with 76% of them seeing better ROI than traditional marketing methods. But, there remain challenges among some companies in measuring ROI. Something that continues to plague marketers, company owners and senior executives. 

Why is This an Important Article Now?

If your company offers products, services and solutions that fall under what we call a “high consideration sale” then factoring ABM into your customer development strategy makes sense. There are technologies and tools that you can use in order to do that in partnership with your sales team. Customer relationship development should involve both marketing, sales and support and having an ABM strategy in place, if done properly, can be advantageous to company owners as well as team members. As an organization you need to scale your business and allow for seamless communication from one to many, one to few and one to one. A well designed ABM program leverages the strengths of digital marketing with those of key account development and management. ABM, can address some of the mis-alignment issues that marketing and sales teams face. 

What Advice Can I Offer?

Talk about it! Get together informally first with a colleague and talk about what account based marketing is, whether you’re doing it now or not and how you might test it. To some extent the size of your company and your role will influence and dictate the extent to which ABM can, should and will be socialized.


Feb 2021

How to Get Ranked and Read With a Topic Cluster Model

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Hubspot’s article: How to Get Ranked and Read with a Topic Cluster Model unpacks the topic cluster model used for search engine optimization (SEO). It includes a step by step breakdown as well. 

Why is This an Important Article Now?

Organic search has and will continue to be a source of traffic for B2B websites. In fact SEO in general should be an integral part of your marketing program. It’s table stakes in B2B marketing when it comes to content marketing and customer development. 

What Advice Can I Offer?

This article is best suited if you’ve decided that SEO is important in the content development planning process. It helps you think strategically on the topics you want to cover using an SEO mindset. 


The Science of Brand

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

A brand is a complex set of tangible and intangible attributes that provide a touchpoint of confidence for consumers in B2B and B2C.  When developing a brand, look at each asset – colours, fonts, shapes, characters, sounds, culture, tone, etc. – and determine uniqueness and recognizability.  A brand has value and should communicate as much as possible about your business, including who you are and what you do.  Half of brands today are mistaken for their competitors (Kleenex, anyone?) and marketers may inadvertently advertise their competitors.  Determining your brand and relentless sharing of that asset in all communications, including your posts, increases brand awareness, according to LinkedIn.

Why is This an Important Article Now?

A brand has never been more important than now, especially for those businesses that have been forced to change how they operate and interact with customers.  Digital selling is heavily dependent on a unique brand to differentiate your business from the global shopping options.  Those businesses who sell through storefronts or agents, must be especially diligent in branding correctly to attract sales.  And protection of your brand is more important than it was pre-pandemic.

What Advice Can I Offer?

It’s likely time for a re-think and possibly a re-brand.  If you believe it’s time to do so, keep some key things in mind.  All consumers have changed – not just in their buying habits, but in their thinking and awareness of social and political issues.  If your brand does not reflect your values as a company, or your values are not aligned with your customers, it is time to make a change.  And it is time to consider how to make that change systemic.  Ensuring that every interaction with your customer is on brand is critical to building trust and increasing your value for long term success.


March 2021

Look This Way: 9 Visual Content Options to Consider

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

The Content Marketing Institute reminds marketers that content can be shared in many different ways and that visually appealing content has been proven to create higher engagement on social channels.  This article offers nine options: Static visuals containing small amounts of text combined with a compelling image, Animated visuals using the scrolling feature in all browsers, Explainer videos that use visuals to tell deeper stories, Authentic pictures instead of stock photography, Retelling stories that were all text with imagery, Behind the scenes uncut video of your operation, Photo and video collages to communicate a lot with a little, Flat lays to show off products and themes and Stop-motion animation as a fresh alternative.

Why is This an Important Article Now?

Although this article is a little more focussed on B2C content for social, the B2B marketer needs to consider implementing a content strategy that takes advantage of the lessons learned.  Humans like visuals.  Visuals done well, can create an emotional attraction to the brand and the product or service being offered.  Variety in content delivery is a must, if you want your content to be seen and consumed, because there is a lot of competition for your buyers attention.  As long as the visuals are not gimmicky and used to further develop your overall brand positioning, including new ways to consume content is a benefit and allows marketers to get more mileage from each piece of content.  For example, a blog post with a good graphic and some call out graphics can be reimagined as an infographic, a video or an audio interview.

What Advice Can I Offer?

Take an inventory of current content, paying close attention to content that is already performing well and re-imagine it visually.  Ask 2 questions:  What can be added visually to enhance this content and how can improved visuals support the brand?  Test your ideas to see if you get and keep more eyes on the content.  Consider your audience, your content writers and your promotion channels.  It does not need to be flashy to be effective.  You may find that readers get to the point of the content much quicker if you can give them an easy visual pathway to follow.


Marketing Personas are Almost Always a Boondoggle (but they don’t have to be)

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Rand Fishkin, co-founder of Moz and CEO of Sparktoro provides his take on the good and not so good approaches to creating marketing personas. He provides an analysis of what personas often contain vs. what they should contain. 

Why is This an Important Article Now?

“Know your audience” and “know your customer” and personas are tools you can use to document what you know and what’s important for others to know too. And, there is no lack of advice, content and templates you can use to build them. Which ones are better, which ones suck .. so what should you do? 

What Advice Can I Offer?

As is the case with any advice I turn to people I trust. Trust is something that is earned and Rand is one of those that I turn to because he has, and continues to be, at the forefront of digital marketing especially in the areas of search engine marketing and audience analysis and development. Whether you’re using personas now, or thinking about it, give his article a read. You’ll find it valuable. 

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.