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Is It Time for Content Marketers To Care About Web3? 20+ Experts Weigh In

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Every year, the CMI editorial team asks six to eight questions of the experts speaking at Content Marketing World for this blog series.

Some are easier to answer than others (jargon, anyone?). But this question didn’t fall into the easy category: What should content marketers do about Web3?

Web3 describes a new and unfamiliar world. Is content marketing ready for it? The range of replies offered is as vast as Web3 itself.

Here’s what they suggest.

Don’t get too distracted

Learn, observe, and don’t get too distracted by that yet. Too many marketers get obsessed with the next big thing trying to get on wave early on while neglecting their current focus on the business and marketing strategy they are responsible for today. My advice is: Stay on strategy, focus on execution, and learn about the trends. This knowledge may come in handy in the future. – Igor Bielobradek, digital marketing senior manager, Deloitte

When it comes to #Web3 for #ContentMarketing, stay on strategy, focus on execution, and learn about the trends, says @igorbielo via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Don’t buy the hype, but learn all you can

Learn everything you can about it, including how it fits into the broader context of Web 1 and Web 2, where the potential opportunities lie, and what its pitfalls could be. Don’t get caught up in the hype, but don’t discount it, either. – Michael Bordieri, senior content solutions consultant, LinkedIn

Don’t get caught up in the #Web3 hype, but don’t discount it, either, says Michael Bordieri via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Get ahead of the learning curve

At a minimum, content marketers should be learning about Web3. What is it? How can it be harnessed? Where does it make sense to engage or experiment? It’s still the early days for Web3, but just like the internet in the 1990s, those curious enough to learn about it profited as it matured. The same principle applies to Web3. – Bernie Borges, vice president global content marketing, iQor

At a minimum, content marketers should be learning about Web3. What is it? How can it be harnessed? @bernieborges via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Keep standing out

Don’t get caught up in the hype. Everything evolves. Technology happens. As always, stay informed and vigilant. When it comes to content marketing, there’s only one thing that’s always paramount – stand out. Set the bar higher, make them lean in, zag where others zig. Remember: Communications is an emotional game. If you want to win, you have to move the brand aside and start putting a human out front – not the clip-art version but the warts-and-all version. Warning … some cojones are required. – Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO, Lately

When it comes to #ContentMarketing and Web3, only one thing is always paramount – stand out. Set the bar higher, says @LatelyAIKately via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Be optimistic and cautious

I think they should be looking for shiny objects and committing tons of budget to them blindly. Oh, no. Maybe that’s the exact opposite of what they should do. I’ve been speaking about blockchain for years to audiences across Europe and the USA. I genuinely think the mindset we all need as content marketers is one of optimistic observation and careful action.

As it’s tempting to go all in with NFTs and creator coins, and we can show you great examples like my friend Mark Schaefer’s RISE coin, the industry is still in early adopter mode. So, brands with big budgets should dip their toes in and have someone on their team watching it weekly and reporting back to the team about what the next course of action is. – Jon Burkhart, founder, TBC Global Limited

As it’s tempting to go all, #ContentMarketing is still in early adopter mode when it comes to #Web3, says @jonburkhart via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Appreciate the win-win opportunities

For marketers, Web3 should be an opportunity to learn and experiment. Web3 marketing is all about building relationships and partnering up so everyone wins. Businesses need to stop thinking of customers as metrics but rather about how to build shared outcomes with customers. It is going to be a shift in mindset as well as technology.

Build a community around your purpose, then align your growth strategy and community incentives for that go-to-market community. I love the way this has been explained in several marketing blogs: Web 1.0 marketing helped customers find something better. Web 2.0 marketing helped customers experience something better. The promise of Web 3.0 marketing is to help customers create something better. As marketers, we need to learn more about the tools to help us get there together. – Jacquie Chakirelis, chief digital strategy officer, Quest Digital/ Great Lakes Publishing

The #Web3 promise is to help customers create something better. Content marketers need to learn more about tools to help us get there, says @jacquiechak via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Join us at Content Marketing World 2022 for new ideas to drive your business, fuel your inspiration, and speed up your career. Register today and use promo code BLOG100 to save $100.

Just don’t

Nothing.

Meg Coffey, managing director, Coffey & Tea

What should content marketers do about #Web3? Nothing, says @TexanMeg via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Do nothing now

Most content marketers should do nothing for now. Until Web3 is better defined and taking shape, it is a distraction. – Wendy Covey, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing

Until #Web3 is better defined and taking shape, it is a distraction for #content marketers, says @wendycovey via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Evaluate the impact

Content leaders should understand if your business is directly impacted and begin thought leadership campaigns. If the business is not directly impacted, you should aim to understand possible future scenarios that may and begin a content strategy to support it. One example could be how a decline in advertising revenue via traditional ads through all channels would impact your organization. – Jeff Coyle, co-founder, CSO, MarketMuse 

If your business isn’t directly impacted by #Web3, aim to understand future scenarios and begin a #ContentStrategy to support it, says @jeffrey_coyle via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Take a breath

Number one: Don’t panic about Web3. You’re not missing out on anything yet. Web3, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and NFTs are all in their gestation phase. That means we know the technology might provide value in the future; we’re just unsure exactly how it will reliably provide value to us as marketers. And that’s OK. Right now, most marketers shouldn’t spend more than 5% of their time, energy, and budget on all the stuff in the Web3 world. It’s good to keep your eye on it but let go of your FOMO. – Andrew Davis, author and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Most marketers shouldn’t spend more than 5% of their time and budget on #Web3. Keep an eye on it, but let go of FOMO, says @DrewDavisHere via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Slow your roll

Learning as much as they can from credible sources but not steamrolling into the arena straightaway. There’s enough noise already. You want to become somebody’s favorite. – Chris Ducker, founder, Youpreneur.com

Learn as much as you can from credible #Web3 sources but don’t steamroll into the arena, says @ChrisDucker via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Reward engaged content consumption

[Pay attention to] currency exchanges based on Ethereum smart contracts, where qualified buyers are paid to engage with matched contact. – Justin Ethington, partner, TrendCandy

Pay attention to currency exchanges based on Ethereum smart contracts, where qualified buyers are paid to engage with matched contact, says Justin Ethington via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Think community and privacy compliance

Learn about it. Consider how a more community-based, privacy-compliant web experience will enable them to engage with, build trust, and develop ongoing relationships online. – Mark Emond, president, Demand Spring

Consider how a more community-based, privacy-compliant web experience will enable them to engage with, build trust, and develop ongoing relationships online, says @Mark_DSpring via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Recognize frivolity and proceed with caution

I’m not sold on Web3, crypto, NFTs, or the metaverse. None of them is producing a lasting positive impact on consumers. They don’t significantly change the way consumers buy, think, or act. While I do enjoy 360-degree video experiences on YouTube with my VR headset, the rest of it doesn’t seem to have a significant change in consumer behavior.

Until it does, Web3 is frivolous and reserved for the risk takers and those with disposable time and income. If that’s your audience, then, by all means, pay attention and explore. But for most of us, success there is nothing more than a PR stunt.

The barrier to entry is expensive and prohibitive for consumers. So only wealthier people are even able to participate. My best advice is to pay attention, don’t ignore, but proceed with caution. I just don’t see most of it having lasting meaning until the socio-economic gap is closed. – Jason Falls, senior influence strategist, Cornett

#Web3 is for risk takers and those with disposable time and income. For most #content marketers, Web3 success is just a PR stunt, says @JasonFalls via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

See the similarities

Web3 will have three similarities to Web 1 and 2: brand, trust, and community. Just like the previous iterations, content marketers will need to build a brand following, create trust around the brand, and engage a community of followers. Whether you’re experimenting with NFTs or thinking bigger, some of the basics of traditional marketing still apply.

Now is the time for marketers to start applying artificial intelligence to today’s marketing programs so that you’re ready for tomorrow’s Web3 projects. Also, watch the mistakes and challenges of the brands already in the Web3 world – learn from what the bigger players are doing. – Penny Gralewski, senior director, product and portfolio marketing, DataRobot

Start applying artificial intelligence to #ContentMarketing programs so you’re ready for Web3 projects, says @virtualpenny via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Immerse in knowledge-building

Start by reading everything you can about Web3 and join a community like the one Joe Pulizzi is building with his Tilt community. Then, pick one new area you want to explore and start there. Just as you can’t try to be amazing across every new social media platform, you shouldn’t try to do all the Web3 things at once, either. – Erika Heald, founder, lead consultant, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

You can’t try to be amazing across every new social media platform. Don’t try to do all the #Web3 things at once, either, says @SFErika via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Start a conversation

Exploratory. Talk about how it could affect your customers. Your company. Employees. So much of it is new. – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

Explore how #Web3 could affect your customers, company, and employees, says @kathyklotzguest via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Study the blockchain

At the minimum, content marketers need to learn about Web3. Even if you don’t understand NFTs and are disillusioned by the idea of overpriced JPGs, the blockchain technology that powers Web3 is going to change the way we connect with audiences, build communities, and use our content. The opportunities in Web3 are just beginning to be discovered. Start learning about different blockchain applications and pay attention to the implementations that work. Web3 will revolutionize content marketing. – Brian Piper, director of content strategy and assessment, University of Rochester

The blockchain tech that powers #Web3 is going to change the way we connect with audiences, build communities, and use #Content, says @brianwpiper via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Gain first-hand experience

Content marketers should be experimenting with Web3. Get involved in some token communities. Create a digital wallet. Buy an inexpensive NFT or two. Web3 is about community ownership. That comes with a lot of responsibility, but it’s difficult to see what’s possible if you don’t know how the basics work. – Joe Pulizzi, founder, The Tilt

#Web3 is about community ownership. It’s difficult to see what’s possible if you don’t know how the basics work, says @JoePulizzi via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Consider B2C and B2B possibilities

In the near term, I think Web3 is more applicable to B2C businesses than B2B. The loyalty programs that are a hallmark of B2C businesses have interesting analogies in the Web3 world. For both B2C and B2B, it’s important to understand what Web3 is. Observe the use cases that exist and understand the business results. For B2C, it might be time to experiment with a small initiative. For B2B, it’s best to sit back and continue watching but be ready to take action when the time is right. – Dennis Shiao, founder, Attention Retention

B2B #ContentMarketers can sit back and continue watching #Web3 use cases, but they need to be ready to take action when the time is right, says @dshiao via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Remember the humanity

I understand the power and intrigue of Web3. I was there when Web 2.0 was launched, and the whole idea of web interactivity was a cool new thing. And now, the idea of decentralization, token-based economy, the division of power, etc., is fascinating.

But as far as content marketing? I think we should continue to focus on the human, especially with the crazy developments in AI and AR. I hope H2H – human-to-human interaction – will never be considered old school. As our world becomes more and more technology-centric, the human connection is going to be even more important. – Viveka von Rosen, chief visibility officer, Vengreso

I understand the power and intrigue of #Web3. But for #ContentMarketing, focus on the human, says @LinkedInExpert via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Research before you speak of it

Learn more about it before talking/writing about it. Web3, while not complicated, is somewhat new, and the uses are not yet defined clearly, at least as far as my mind space goes. I have kept quiet so I do not sound … umm … dumb. – Michael Weiss, vice president of consulting services and solutions, Creative Circle

Learn more about #Web3 before talking or writing about it. The #ContentMarketing uses are not yet defined clearly, says @mikepweiss via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Sit back and learn

Just like the transition from Web 1 to Web 2, this next phase will be years in the making, and it’s still too early to really know where this is all going. Like most new technology, there’s a process and a period of adjustment. We are still really early in it for Web3. So, for now, I’d say don’t panic. Sit back, listen, and learn. – Inbar Yagur, vice president of marketing, GrowthSpace

Don’t panic about #Web3. Sit back, listen, and learn, says @content_fairy via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Let the audience lead

Stay focused on your audience and your potential customer. Understanding their needs and actions will tell you if you should be involved in Web3, TikTok, or anything else. – Andy Crestodina, co-founder and chief marketing officer, Orbit Media Studios

Understand your audience’s needs and actions. That will tell you if you should be involved in #Web3, TikTok, or anything else, says @Crestodina via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Andy makes a great point about Web3 strategy. No matter how technology and channels evolve, content marketers should always keep their eye on the audience.

What are you planning to do about Web3 (if anything)? Let us know in the comments.

MORE ADVICE FROM CMWORLD 2022 SPEAKERS:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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