Mi6 Round Up | September 2020

Mi6 Round Up

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.

Making the Case for Co-Marketing in 2020

By: Lisa Denis, Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

Strategic partnerships became a bit of a craze in the 90’s with upper management, for just about every department, but they proved difficult to maintain and the value exchange was generally tilted in one way or the other.  For marketing, however, the value of strategic partnerships with coordinating brands or organizations can have a measurable impact.  Hubspot provides some interesting statistics around the benefits of co-marketing including:

  • 54% of companies claimed that partnerships drove more than 20% of total company revenue in 2018
  • 34% of marketers say that co-marketing or brand partnerships are the most effective ways to increase their email subscriber lists
  • Brand partnerships leveraging digital channel realize 4X the pipeline of a non-digital partnership

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

Co-marketing can be a critical option in the COVID era, especially for consumer brands and businesses, but also in the B2B space.  Purchasing behaviours have changed and continue to evolve, placing those who are offering non-essential products and services under strain.  Finding a way to co-market your wares with businesses who are considered more essential can be a lifeline.  If you can get creative in the exploration of value exchange in a co-marketing campaign and think like your customers are thinking today, you can achieve enhanced benefits, and in some cases, maybe even save your business.

What Advice Can I Offer?

Two things to consider when looking at co-marketing possibilities:

  1. Be open to partnering!  Too often overly conservative management strategies and unreasonable protectionism (yes, I am talking to you Canadian technology companies) can get in the way of progress.   Don’t let it.  Always be looking for ways to expand and improve your client’s experience.
  2. Broaden your understanding of value.  It’s not simply time and money that can be exchanged – don’t overlook the cultural and social value a good partnership can provide.  Will you gain or can you provide expertise or knowledge, resources or referrals?  This is where a true partnership thrives.

How Many Target Accounts Do Reps Handle in ABM Programs?

By: Chris Herbert, Managing Partner, Mi6 Agency

The Gist

What’s the ideal number of accounts a rep should have under an account based marketing (ABM) program? According to a recent study by Demandbase it’s between 11 and 50. These companies are experiencing greater ROI (2x and higher) than companies whose reps are managing under 10 target accounts. It’s not clear though, what the optimal amount of accounts an entire team needs to be managing in order to optimize success.

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

As I mentioned in our June roundup, B2B marketers and sales professionals are confident that ABM is a good strategy but they’re challenged when it comes to executing one at scale. 

There are underlying systemic issues in many B2B focused companies as to why an ABM program will fail. In fact it’s the same reason why sales reps (or worse prospects) complain about marketing creating “fluff content” and generating “bad leads”. Or when marketing complains about sales reps not following up and through on leads. 

The underlying issue is alignment and the structure on how the team works together. But, the optimist in me says dig into the DemandBase study and learn how 850 professionals are successfully implementing an ABM program. You could hire us too by the way! Book a meeting with me and we can explore our working together.

What Advice Can I Offer?

In addition to the advice I provide in the June roundup I’d suggest this. If you don’t have an ABM program learn more about it. In fact you might already have one in your organization but it’s called something different and run outside of the marketing department. It’s possible that your sales rep(s) and customer support teams have a list of accounts they are responsible for developing and supporting respectively. 

If you do have a formal ABM program I’d recommend using the DemandBase research as a baseline to compare against how your organization is doing in comparison. 

Last but not least you may want to think about whether you need one altogether though. In my experience an ABM program is most suited for B2B companies that market, sell and implement complicated solutions and services. In this scenario marketing and sales need to inform, educate and build lasting relationships with clients. While a commercial transaction takes place the ongoing health and wellbeing of the account depends on developing new and existing relationships within each account pre/post sale. 

How to Build Community-Centric Virtual Events

By: Karen Kelly, Managing Partner, K2 Performance Consulting

The Gist

Early 2020 many companies were at a crossroads, do we cancel our events or host them online? With limited information on fully online events, this choice adds a high degree of risk.

Christina Mautz, CMO of Moz, shares their journey on how companies can successfully build an online, impactful conference.

Christina shares her tips:

  • Re-create the online event, don’t retrofit, start new. They had to adopt this approach to ensure they would provide their attendees with the great experience, content and value they were accustomed to.
  • Pre-record sessions, allow for closed captions options, have a moderator present to facilitate questions
  • Seek support from sponsors / partners
  • Include live breakout sessions, allow audience to engage with each other and the speakers
  • Leverage social media before during and after your event.

Why Is This an Important Article Now?

7 months in to the pandemic, we are still in uncertain territory. Online virtual conferences are  the “new norm”. There is still skepticism, however, most companies are experiencing higher attendance, improved ratings and in some cases higher profits as a result of running events on line. The initial doubt that online events will lack community, collaboration and engagement are quickly being debunked by success stories like Mozcon.

The process, technology and people may be new, but collaborating as a team, iterating your process and practicing are not.

Avoid being reactive, get in front of the change.

What Advice Can I Offer?

Whether you are planning an online webinar or a large scale on line event, my advice, work backwards from your audience’s’ perspective. What type of experience are you looking to create? what do they expect from you? how can you be different and better from previous years?

Once you have the end in mind, reverse engineer what you need to do to achieve this. What departments need to be involved, what technology needs to be added to the mix. At each state in the process, revisit your ultimately goal of audience experience. Evaluate each activity, does this  bring you closer or further from it? This will be your barometer of what to do and what not to do.

Lastly ensure a seamless execution, practice, test and practice some more, plan for the unexpected as in most cases it does happen.

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.