B2B Marketing News: Demand Gen Adapts, B2B Buyers Taking Longer, Microsoft Digital Marketing Center Beta

Gartner Hype Cycle AI

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2020 – Chatbots are projected to see over a 100% increase in their adoption rates in the next two to five years and are the leading AI use cases in enterprises today. Forbes

Bing is now Microsoft Bing as the search engine gets a rebrand – Microsoft doesn’t go into detail about why it added the company’s name to the Bing brand, other than it reflecting “the continued integration of our search experiences across the Microsoft family. The Verge

68% of B2B buyers say the length of their purchase cycles has increased over last year – The COVID-19 pandemic has led many B2B firms to lengthen their purchase cycles and to expect more personalized attention from vendors, according to recent research from Demand Gen Report. MarketingProfs

How B2B Demand Generation Has Adapted. Despite the impact of COVID-19, budgets for demand generation are holding up more than B2B marketing as a whole. Fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) B2B marketers say that they expect their budgets for demand generation to decrease, whereas 3 in 10 (31%) say their overall marketing budgets will fall. MarketingCharts

2021 B2B Content Marketing: What Now? [New Research] – Find out what content marketers are thinking, doing, and not doing when it comes to content creation and distribution, metrics and goals, team structure and outsourcing, budgets and spending. Content Marketing Institute

Study: Comparing the data from 8 SEO tools – The numbers you’ll find don’t match up. SEO metric tools are for general trend analysis and competitor benchmarking, not on specific numbers. Search Engine Land

Snapchat is pitching high-frequency, high-reach ‘Platform Burst’ ad campaigns – The new offer is a media buy advertisers can use to ensure their campaigns reach a certain amount of people in the app frequently over three or five days, according to three agency execs who are considering it. Digiday

Always On Influencer Marketing Statistic

Nearly half of consumers will try new brands if the ad is relevant – Consumers are spending more time at home with online content, especially connected TV (CTV) and social media. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the average time interacting with online content has doubled globally. Marketing Dive

Video ads drive a 48% higher sales rate than static ads, study says – WARC forecasting an 18.3% global increase for e-commerce ads this year even as overall ad spending drops 8.1% Mobile Marketer

Facebook Announces Integration of Messenger and Instagram Direct, Adds New Messaging Features. When complete, WhatsApp will also join Facebook’s messaging integration upgrade. Social Media Today

Google, The Trade Desk, MediaMath, Amobee, Adobe and Adform Lead The Pack In Gartner’s 2020 Ad Tech Magic Quadrant – New entrants include Beeswax, Centro, Mediaocean and Zeta Global.  Ad Exchanger

Microsoft Digital Marketing Center is now available in open beta in the U.S Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Center for search and social management adds features, opens beta. The free platform is now open to U.S. small businesses. Search Engine Land

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Psychographics
“In trying to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, it’s important for marketers to draw a line between cool and creepy.” by Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Home Depot’s Sold-Out Giant Halloween Skeletons Creep Into Brand’ Social Feeds – Budweiser, Slim Jim, Natty Light and others are getting into the Halloween spirit—but might just turn people green with envy. AdAge

TOPRANK MARKETING IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Getting Better All the Time — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden – The Norse God, Lee Odden on Fitness and B2B Influencer Marketing – CoronaRadio 8.18
  • Lee Odden – 365 Marketing Quotes to Keep You Fired Up All Year – Skyword

Have you found your own top marketing stories from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us for the weekly B2B marketing news, and we hope you’ll return again next Friday for another look at the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

B2B Marketing News: Demand Gen Adapts, B2B Buyers Taking Longer, Microsoft Digital Marketing Center Beta

Gartner Hype Cycle AI

Gartner Hype Cycle AI

The Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2020 – Chatbots are projected to see over a 100% increase in their adoption rates in the next two to five years and are the leading AI use cases in enterprises today. Forbes

Bing is now Microsoft Bing as the search engine gets a rebrand – Microsoft doesn’t go into detail about why it added the company’s name to the Bing brand, other than it reflecting “the continued integration of our search experiences across the Microsoft family. The Verge

68% of B2B buyers say the length of their purchase cycles has increased over last year – The COVID-19 pandemic has led many B2B firms to lengthen their purchase cycles and to expect more personalized attention from vendors, according to recent research from Demand Gen Report. MarketingProfs

How B2B Demand Generation Has Adapted. Despite the impact of COVID-19, budgets for demand generation are holding up more than B2B marketing as a whole. Fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) B2B marketers say that they expect their budgets for demand generation to decrease, whereas 3 in 10 (31%) say their overall marketing budgets will fall. MarketingCharts

2021 B2B Content Marketing: What Now? [New Research] – Find out what content marketers are thinking, doing, and not doing when it comes to content creation and distribution, metrics and goals, team structure and outsourcing, budgets and spending. Content Marketing Institute

Study: Comparing the data from 8 SEO tools – The numbers you’ll find don’t match up. SEO metric tools are for general trend analysis and competitor benchmarking, not on specific numbers. Search Engine Land

Snapchat is pitching high-frequency, high-reach ‘Platform Burst’ ad campaigns – The new offer is a media buy advertisers can use to ensure their campaigns reach a certain amount of people in the app frequently over three or five days, according to three agency execs who are considering it. Digiday

Always On Influencer Marketing Statistic

Nearly half of consumers will try new brands if the ad is relevant – Consumers are spending more time at home with online content, especially connected TV (CTV) and social media. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the average time interacting with online content has doubled globally. Marketing Dive

Video ads drive a 48% higher sales rate than static ads, study says – WARC forecasting an 18.3% global increase for e-commerce ads this year even as overall ad spending drops 8.1% Mobile Marketer

Facebook Announces Integration of Messenger and Instagram Direct, Adds New Messaging Features. When complete, WhatsApp will also join Facebook’s messaging integration upgrade. Social Media Today

Google, The Trade Desk, MediaMath, Amobee, Adobe and Adform Lead The Pack In Gartner’s 2020 Ad Tech Magic Quadrant – New entrants include Beeswax, Centro, Mediaocean and Zeta Global.  Ad Exchanger

Microsoft Digital Marketing Center is now available in open beta in the U.S Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Center for search and social management adds features, opens beta. The free platform is now open to U.S. small businesses. Search Engine Land

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Psychographics
“In trying to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, it’s important for marketers to draw a line between cool and creepy.” by Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Home Depot’s Sold-Out Giant Halloween Skeletons Creep Into Brand’ Social Feeds – Budweiser, Slim Jim, Natty Light and others are getting into the Halloween spirit—but might just turn people green with envy. AdAge

TOPRANK MARKETING IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden — What’s Trending: Getting Better All the Time — LinkedIn (client)
  • Lee Odden – The Norse God, Lee Odden on Fitness and B2B Influencer Marketing – CoronaRadio 8.18
  • Lee Odden – 365 Marketing Quotes to Keep You Fired Up All Year – Skyword

Have you found your own top marketing stories from the past week of industry news? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking the time to join us for the weekly B2B marketing news, and we hope you’ll return again next Friday for another look at the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news.

The post B2B Marketing News: Demand Gen Adapts, B2B Buyers Taking Longer, Microsoft Digital Marketing Center Beta appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

4 Marketing Productivity Tips from Workfront’s Mike Riding #DSMPLS

Mike Riding of Workfront at Digital Summit Minneapolis

Mike Riding of Workfront at Digital Summit Minneapolis

Does work follow you home?  When was the last time you had a work week that was actually 40 hours? 

Marketers often feel pressed for time and overworked. In fact, according to recent Workfront research:

  • 64% say they’re being asked to come up with new ways of working
  • 58% are so swamped, they don’t have time to think beyond their daily tasks
  • 56% they’re completely overwhelmed. 

Mike Riding, Workfront’s Director of Digital Marketing, came to Digital Summit Minneapolis with the sole goal of helping marketers get more work done. While organizations typically turn to technology to solve the productivity problem, Mike offered four actionable, process-driven ways marketers can modernize their work and become more productive. 

Read on to discover Mike’s work world where marketers don’t just put out fires and juggle last minute tasks. Sounds pretty great, right?

4 Fast, Easy Ways to Boost Marketing Productivity

1. Provide the Right Structure 

According to Mike, there are two schools of thought when it comes to structure and process. You either think:

  1. Process kills creativity and innovation.
  2. A lack of process kills creativity and innovation.

Which school of thought do you fall into?

Do you think processes complicate work, create too many steps, and are irrelevant to the task at-hand? Or, do you think a lack of process leads to juggling whatever is thrown your way and leaves you wondering what the next step is?

If you picked one over the other, you’re in the wrong camp. Mike explained: “You need to have a balance between the two. Too much process and too little process are both problematic. Just enough process unlocks creativity and innovation.”

[bctt tweet=”Too much process and too little process are both problematic. Just enough process unlocks creativity and innovation. @Michael_Riding #DSMPLS” username=”toprank”]

To see how many processes your own organization leverages, Mike suggests carefully examining your workflow, understanding it, and slowly improving it over time. This step should also include documentation. “You’ll only get to this point if you have the discipline to sit down and write your processes out,” he said.

With documented processes, you can easily template them and make small, iterative changes that significantly improve how you work.

2. Make Collaboration Easier

“Why do we have meetings?” was a question Mike posed half-way through his presentation.

“To crush our souls!” one enthusiastic attendee shouted back. 

In reality, meetings exist for five reasons:

  1. Give information
  2. Get information 
  3. Develop ideas
  4. Make decisions
  5. Create warm, magical human contact

Marketing isn’t a one-person job. Even if you’re the sole marketer in your organization, you still need to work closely with sales, service, and other teams across the organization to do quality work, on time. These relationships within your own department, and with others, need to have easy collaboration between them. And meetings are a great way of bringing those parties together for sharing, brainstorming, alignment, and more. 

But 62% of workers say meetings are the No. 1 thing that gets in the way of work. We aren’t making use of our time together. 

To make meetings count, Mike suggests making objectives and agendas clear and upfront in the meeting invite itself. He also asks marketers to be better about not meeting. Shave your meeting times from 60 minutes to 30 minutes. Decline invited for meetings that don’t have an agenda. Stack your meetings back-to-back so there aren’t odd, unproductive gaps between them. And, lastly, block out time for real work:

“I love teams that say, ‘Every Thursday we’re going to be at home,’” he shared. “It’s hands-off time so they can get important work done and not be disturbed.”

3. Streamline Review and Approvals

If there was one point in Mike’s talk that had me shouting “Hallelujah!”, it was when he proclaimed: “Trim the approval chain!”

As Mike pointed out from Workfront’s State of Work Report:

  • 60% of marketers go through 5 or more rounds of review
  • 14% of marketers endure 10 or more rounds

That’s an insane number of revisions and a massive time suck. There’s a reason why he chose the word “endure”: over 10 rounds of edits is torture.

“What this tells me is that ‘We don’t have the structure to give the stamp of approval.’” he said. “It’s a Merry-Go-Round effect.”

How do you get off the Merry-Go-Round ride? 

“Proof in one place and document the process. It creates an audit chain where you can see where the product has been and how it got into the state it’s in now,” Mike suggested. 

With a clear audit chain and proof history, you can see where common bottlenecks are and where optimizations can be made. 

4. Measure What Matters

Just like measurement is important for your campaigns, it’s equally as important for your work. But how do you measure something as broad and all-encompassing as work? 

Luckily, Mike shared five Work Performance Indicators (WPIs) that will help you get started: 

  1. Mix
  2. Capacity
  3. Velocity
  4. Quality
  5. Engagement

Mix is the type of work that you’re doing. Are you doing maintenance work that keeps the engine running? Or, are you doing growth work that creates new opportunities? Know your current mix and your ideal mix so you can make room for the type of work you want to focus on.

Capacity is the amount of work your team can perform. Are you operating over capacity or under? Knowing this measurement will help you determine if you can take on more work and when.

Velocity is the speed at which you can complete the work. This measurement is extremely helpful for anticipating the time needed to complete projects. 

Quality is how you (and others) feel about the work that is being completed. Are your clients happy with the finished product? Is the team proud of what they’ve accomplished?

Engagement is a measurement of how engaged your employees are with the work. People do their best work then they understand their role, believe their role matters, and are proud of what they do. To make sure your team wants to get the work done, you need to measure their level of engagement in the work that they do.

With these five WPIs tracked, you’ll get better insight into what you can do and how you can do it better.

Workin’ 9 to 5

Preach, Dolly. And with Mike’s tips from the floors of Digital Summit Minneapolis, maybe we’re not so far off from that 9 to 5 dream. It just takes the right amount of process, easier collaboration, streamlined approvals, and measurement to get there. 

For more marketing tricks and tips, stay tuned here for updates from Digital Summit Minneapolis (#DSMPLS). For real-time insights, follow @annieleuman, @azeckman, @dfriez, and @ElizabethW1057 on Twitter.

The post 4 Marketing Productivity Tips from Workfront’s Mike Riding #DSMPLS appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog

Dave Gerhardt of Drift Outlines the 10 Commandments of Modern Marketing

Drift is widely regarded as a pioneer in modern marketing, and their Vice President of Marketing Dave Gerhardt has been instrumental in establishing this reputation. 

Taking on his first role as a marketing leader, he helped grow the chatbot platform from a startup with no market recognition to a $10 million company in less than two years. He also co-authored the book Conversational Marketing along with Drift’s founder David Cancel

While his company has experienced powerful growth and attained status as a leading innovator, the journey hasn’t always been smooth and seamless. Dave says there are a number of things he wishes he would’ve known before getting started, and he shared them on Tuesday at B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange in Boston, dubbing them his “10 Commandments for Modern Marketing” (with a stated emphasis on the word modern).

The 10 Commandments of Modern Marketing

1. It’s never too early to start marketing, ever.

Ever see a construction site for a residence that won’t be finished for four more years? Did you notice the sign advertising the future apartments or condos? Dave references this as an example of getting out front with generating awareness. 

“There’s too much noise and competition,” he argues. “You can’t think you’re just gonna show up and think people are gonna buy. Start as soon as you can.”

My advice for you is: start marketing yesterday. @davegerhardt #B2BSMX Click To Tweet

2. You must build an audience. 

And you should do it in a way that has nothing to do with your product or service. This is a fundamental aspect of content marketing that unfortunately tends to get overlooked. People don’t want to subscribe to a podcast or YouTube channel that’s just trying to sell them something. Create things for people who are at least somewhat related to your business, and make sure it provides them with real value. 

3. You have to use social proof anytime you do anything in marketing. 

Customers are growing more skeptical and leery of brand promotions all the time. Even case studies don’t have the impact they once did, because – as Dave puts it – “they know a marketer wrote it, and then got approval from a customer.” Today’s audience wants to see what people are buying and using, so leverage your customers’ own words in the form of screenshots from review sites such as G2 Crowd, or posts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Drift’s social proof repository exemplifies this approach. 

4. Copywriting is everything. 

Dave, you’re a man after my own heart. As an avid proponent of the written word and its enduring value, it was nice to hear such adamance of Mr. Gerhardt on the matter. If you haven’t, he suggests picking up a copy of Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins. It was originally published in 1923, but remains entirely relevant today. Why? Because it’s about writing influentially for human readers.

Copywriting is so powerful because it gives you the ability to sell without ever having to pick up the phone. @davegerhardt #B2BSMX Click To Tweet

5. There’s a story behind everything. 

“There’s no boring products,” Dave opines. “There’s only boring marketers.” We as people are wired to engage with and remember stories. Not only is this format highly compelling, but as I’ve written before, storytelling also builds trust.

6. It won’t stick unless you name it. 

Even the most interesting concept or idea will likely fail to gain traction if you don’t give it a name that people can associate with it. This is especially critical to creating a category. Dave emphasizes that you shouldn’t get too caught up on what the name will be – just make sure you have one. For instance, he says his team went back and forth endlessly on what to call “conversational marketing,” until they finally settled on the simple and straightforward eventual choice, which has since become an integral part of Drift’s brand. 

7. You have to stand for something as a brand today. 

The safe, conservative route of leaning toward neutrality and avoiding controversy no longer flies. In some cases, your brand’s stance can tie to more serious societal and political issues; Salesforce announced earlier this year that it would no longer do business with retailers selling semi-automatic weapons. But it can also be something less touchy, and more directly pertinent to your industry. Drift famously took a stand against lead forms and gated content, which were viewed at the time (and still are viewed by many) as mandatory elements of a results-oriented content strategy.

8. Creativity is a competitive advantage. 

The rush amongst marketers to develop the most proficiency with tools and the biggest tech stack is misguided. “Marketing technology is table stakes,” Dave says. “Creativity is the variable for success today.” He adds that while many functions of these technologies will become automated, if they haven’t already, AI and machines will never replace creativity.

Your differentiator isn’t your tech stack. It’s creativity. @davegerhardt #B2BSMX Click To Tweet

9. Personal brand is the new company brand. 

This makes some executives uncomfortable. There’s a prevalent concern that encouraging employees to develop their personal brands will make them more likely to get noticed and poached by competitors, or that these employees will say something that doesn’t jibe with the brand positioning. But Dave believes these are the necessary risks a modern marketing operation needs to run. “We all want to work with real people, we don’t want to work with logos.” Effectively engaging your team will make them more likely to be aligned with your company’s voice, and less likely to leave.

10. When they go left, you have to go right. 

Or zig when they zag, if you will. Constantly trying to outdo or outspend your competitors in the same channels and tactics is a losing strategy, Dave says. “The best way you can compete in marketing is to stack the deck. Find the gaps. Go to where people are not today.” 

Heed this Marketer’s Creed and Prosper

I’ve had the privilege of sitting in on many informative, eye-opening sessions at B2BSMX, but I think Dave’s will go down as my favorite. From the moment he took the stage, informing his audience that he didn’t have any slides and would be reading off a piece of paper because he had a baby eight weeks ago and has barely had a free moment since, the Drift marketer oozed genuine authenticity, and every one of his commandments resonated with me personally. 

More objectively, given what he and his team have accomplished, it’s tough to argue with this set of guiding principles for the new age.  

If you enjoyed this recap, make sure to check out the rest of our coverage from B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange 2019: 

Sales & Marketing Alignment: Shahid Javed Shares How to Go from Hate to Love in 60 Days

It’s a tale as old as time. The marketing team is hyper-focused on awareness campaigns, events, and driving more leads to fill the funnel. Meanwhile, the sales team is hyper-focused on meeting sales and revenue goals, and nurturing relationships to empty the funnel.

These two teams occupy two very different functional areas within a company. They’re moving at completely different speeds. They’re operating under their own rules. And as a result, there’s tension, misunderstanding, and even … hate.

But according to Shahid Javed, Director of Enterprise Marketing for Hughes Network Systems, B2B marketers can be change agents here. They can give and get love from their sales teams. And they can do it in as little as 60 days.

How? Shahid says you need a short- and long-term strategy to foster the collaboration, love, and alignment needed to drive results. In his session at B2B Marketing Exhange in Scottsdale, AZ, he focused on the short-term strategy to help marketers understand where they can start and get some immediate traction. Let’s dive in.

The Three Phases of Overcoming Sales & Marketing Beefs

In 2016, Shahid joined the Hughes Network Systems, which is a broadband network provider, team on the enterprise marketing side. When he arrived at the first meeting ahead of a massive annual tradeshow event, he found tension and chaos between the marketing and sales leaders. And he vowed to change it.

“We had 23 different sales decks,” he shared. “Now we have two. We also had 500 dashboards in Salesforce—we deleted nearly all of them.”

To make change, Shahid leveraged a three-part framework:

Phase 1: Listening & Information Gathering

According to Shahid, the first phase is all about listening.

“I met with everyone—the head of east coast sales, the head of west coast sales, the head of marketing, executive leadership,” he shared. “I wanted perspectives. I wanted to know what everyone was thinking and how they saw their roles.”

During those meetings he had some core questions that he asked every stakeholder:

  • What were your objectives, roles, and responsibilities in the last year?
  • What are some of your top highlights from the past year?
  • What are some of the misses you experienced this past year?
  • What are your goals for this year?
  • What do you need from marketing to reach your goals?

It seems simple, but the act of listening is a critical first step. Why? As Bill Gates once said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

“Marketing is a service provider to sales—sales is our customer,” Shahid said. “We need to be able to empower them and enable them to solve problems. We need to make them the hero in the buyer’s eyes.”

[bctt tweet=”#Marketing is a service provider to #sales—sales is our customer. We need to be able to empower them and enable them to solve problems. We need to make them the hero. @shahidj” username=”toprank”]

Phase 2: Finding the Sweet Spot

Once you’ve collected all the data, it’s time to analyze and normalize that data so you can create a plan that management and leadership will buy into.

“This is where you look for common goals between leadership, sales, and marketing,” Shahid said. “It’s all about finding that sweet spot—and making sure everyone is in agreement on where things fall. You cannot do it on your own because sales and marketing leaders have to be able to sell your end-plan to their managers and teams.”

Once the common goals are agreed upon, you can create a plan that helps you hit that sweet spot and sell it to the C-suite. And there are four key steps that Shahid outlined:

  • Define and agree on objectives and roles. Who’s doing what and how does that support the overall business goals?
  • Identify short- and long-term goals. If you only think long-term, you’ll never get anything accomplished because everyone is so busy. You need a short-term plan to get traction.
  • Outline the tactics and strategies you’re going to use to reach those goals. And marketers, be honest about what you can and cannot do. Some things you may not be capable of doing yet, and that’s OK. Your sales team just needs to know.
  • Document plans and actions. These are the marching order for each team.

And a bonus piece of advice to work into this phase: Make sure you have agreement on what qualifies as an MQL or SQL—and really, you should let the sales team define that.

“The biggest nightmare for us was the MQL and the SQL,” Shahid said with a laugh. “We let sales define it and come up with the scoring. We knew that if we defined these and delivered leads under that scoring, sales would never take them. They needed to define it.”

Phase 3: Empowering Execution

Now it’s time to profess your love to sales by making it easy for them to become that hero for the customer.

For Shahid’s team, that meant making it easy for the sales teams to access and internalize marketing materials and messaging. Here’s just a sampling of what that looked like:

  • Leveraging Dropbox, Shahid’s team created and shared templates, style guides, brand guides, and more with the sales team.
  • The team used Salesforce Chatter, a communications tool, to collaborate and share information.
  • They created social messaging and visual assets that sales reps and sales leaders could leverage on their personal social media platforms.

“Most buyers have already made up their mind on the kind of solution they need,” Shahid said. “When it comes time for the sales person to come in, buyers need to know that they’re the problem solver. So we need to help the sales person come in as the superhero.”

Love Has Its Benefits

The collaborative approach to fostering sales and marketing love didn’t just lead to alignment and trust for Hughes Network Systems. It led to big, beautiful business results. In the last year, the sales and marketing teams have seen:

  • 120% boost in web engagements
  • 118& increase in email engagements
  • 108% rise in tradeshow engagements
  • 62% lift in social engagements
  • 22% jump in win rates

“Twenty years ago, it was an actual best practice for sales and marketing to work in silos,” Shahid said. “But alignment has become absolutely critical now. The expectations are too high, [internally and externally].”

So, B2B marketers: Are you ready to give and get love from your sales team? Now is the time.

For more updates and insights form the conference, you can follow @toprank, @leeodden, @azeckman, and @CaitlinMBurgess on Twitter. Stay tuned for more by following the blog here.

The post Sales & Marketing Alignment: Shahid Javed Shares How to Go from Hate to Love in 60 Days appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Source: SEO blog