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Questioning Your Way to Clarity

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Questioning Your Way to Clarity

[This post was authored by Shannon Mullery and Emily Sullivan, Content Specialists at Tinuiti.]

Tinuiti’s CEO, Zach Morrison, and CMO, Dalton Dorné, kicked off Tinuiti Live 2023 on May 4th at Ease 605 in NYC. Morrison opened by thanking virtual and in-person attendees, our clients, and our partners for their help and support, including the engaging content that many brought to the Tinuiti Live stage later that day.

Morrison then jumped into what he called a theme for the day ahead: “The future is here; it’s just not widely distributed.”

He went on to explain…

“What got us here won’t get us there, and we have to keep questioning that and keep moving forward, especially in today’s world where innovation is moving fast—and maybe even faster than it ever has—especially in our industry. And that’s why I can assure you that it’s here—it’s in parts, it’s in different pockets—but it’s just not widely distributed. And that’s what our goal of today really is.”

After explaining how Tinuiti’s strategy fuels our clients’ growth, Morrison passed the mic to Dorné, who unpacked some of the headwinds we’ve all been facing as people and marketers in the past year+, noting: “It is never going to get easier; it is always going to be more complex.”

Some of those complexities include…

  • What is AI going to mean for our businesses?
  • How are we going to measure in the future?
  • Are we ready for changes with GA4 and cookie deprecation?
  • What will come of the TikTok hearings?

Dorné noted that when deciding the theme for Tinuiti Live 2023, they realized the greatest gift a marketer can give to another marketer is clarity.

“Clarity gives you confidence to stand in front of your board, your CFO, your stakeholders, and say, “This is the bold marketing decision that we’re going to make, and this is the impact it’s going to have on our business.” Clarity does not come easy, and it is not easy to get to. And it really starts with asking the right questions to get the right answers.”

Dorné then walked attendees through the agenda for the day, noting that it was designed with answering the right questions in mind.

Presentations from clients and partners included:

  • e.l.f. Beauty
  • KIND Snacks
  • Pair Eyewear
  • Ancestry
  • Olly
  • Wild Planet Foods
  • Sony

 

Are You Asking Enough Questions?

Leslie K. John at Tinuiti Live 2023

Leslie K. John, a James E. Burke Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, kicked off Tinuiti Live’s first keynote session by challenging marketers to think about the questions they ask on a daily basis. Are we asking enough questions? Are we asking the right questions? Asking the right questions can unlock value both in marketing and in life.

“The power of asking questions is vastly underrated.”

Leslie K. John, James E. Burke Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

John highlighted how we are often advised to be careful with the question we ask and in actuality many of us err on the side of under-asking. She covered a variety of studies including a recorded speed dating study where researchers coded different types of questions.

Types of questions:

  • Follow up: A specific question directly related to the topic at hand
  •  

  • Full switch: A question that fully changes the topic
  •  

  • Partial switch: A question that is on topic, but changes the conversation direction
  •  

  • Mirror: Following up with the same question
  •  

  • Introductory: “Hi, how are you?”
  •  

  • Rhetorical: A question that doesn’t require an answer

Are all of these types of questions created equal? John covered how researchers found that the positive effect of asking questions (on getting more dates) was actually driven by one type of question: the follow up question. This type of question signals that you’re truly listening and helps the asker get better information.

In her session, John also noted how it’s important to recognize that we have entered a new era of marketing…

“Understanding our customers is more important than ever before. But yet, we’re finding that some of these tools like third-party cookies that have been so helpful are no longer available to us. It’s becoming increasingly important to directly ask customers to learn from them.”

Leslie K. John, James E. Burke Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

Be sure to check out more of Leslie K. John’s thought provoking keynote when our on-demand sessions go live.

 

Proving that Anything is e.l.f.ing Possible

Kory Marchisotto at Tinuiti Live 2023

e.l.f. Beauty’s energetic CMO, Kory Marchisotto, shared some of the monumental successes the brand has recently been enjoying. These include launching their first Prime Time TV ad during the big game, featuring Jennifer Coolidge, that helped lead them to the spot of having the #1 SKU in Mass Cosmetics—and the many other steps and moments that helped them unlock these achievements, making the impossible possible.

“We don’t see limits. We see data points as barriers that we can break through, as ceilings that we can shatter.”

Kory Marchisotto, CMO, e.l.f. Beauty, President, Keys Soulcare

Kory Marchisotto from elf Beauty on stage at Tinuiti Live 2023

 

The Power of Accretion

Marchisotto walked attendees through the power of accretion—the things that need to happen over time to make something possible. She outlined a formula of 4 repeatable steps that brands should follow to build their own success:

  • Tune In: Learn more about what your audience is most interested in right now, and use that to inform you how you make your content relevant for them
  •  

  • Dream It: “Put your head in the stars, and look for the stars that are shining the brightest. And don’t stop looking until you make a constellation.”
  •  

  • Do It: Once you make a constellation, actually make it all happen
  •  

  • e.l.f. Speed: Act fast, moving at the speed of culture

 

Online Video & Streaming Ads Offer Measurable Performance

Grant Goldman at Tinuiti Live 2023

Tinuiti’s VP of Client Strategy & Analytics, Ella Toselli, sat down for a Q&A with Pair Eyewear’s VP of Marketing, Grant Goldman, discussing the success Pair Eyewear has realized through online video and streaming advertising.

Goldman noted that they took a full-funnel approach to their Streaming campaign, launched in 2020—when they also aired on Shark Tank—and also needed a full-funnel approach to measurement.

Among the benefits Goldman discussed in regard to the ability to make data-driven marketing decisions in Streaming were:

  • Test quickly with velocity
  •  

  • Reach a large untapped audience
  •  

  • The time people spend on streaming is continuing to grow
  •  

  • Wanted to be where customers are finding their news, entertainment and sports
  •  

  • Full-funnel measurement with an ability to: hone in on new customer growth; test and optimize over time, making fast and flexible targeting and flighting adjustments as needed based on results and conditions; A/B test Creative
  •  

  • Data transparency with results that can be validated internally

“Not only were we able to measure from the great dashboards we have with Tinuiti, but also internally we were able to ingest that data and take unique identifiers that were passed along from publishers and networks and match that with our customer base who are making purchases, or even visiting the site, and be able to connect those two…Even though they didn’t click on an ad, we can see where they last clicked from because we have those unique identifiers and can match those together.”

Grant Goldman, VP of Marketing, Pair Eyewear

 

Authenticity and Openness Never Go Out of Style

Karamo Brown at Tinuiti Live 2023

Brian Norris, SVP of SMB Growth Advertising Sales & Partnerships at NBCUniversal sat down for a Q&A with Karamo Brown, host of the syndicated daytime talk show, “Karamo” to discuss the questions you need to ask to uncover your passions. Karamo has the unique ability to ask questions that help people uncover love for themselves – and for those different from them.

During their conversation, Brown highlighted how on his show, he tackles many difficult, hard-hitting topics. He covered how important it is to ask his guests questions with empathy and thoughtfulness.

“One of the things I try to teach people constantly is the idea of intention versus impact. It’s about considering what your intention is when you’re asking a question… and understanding it may impact someone differently than you anticipated. If you can understand that once you see the impact is not what you intended it to be, you must quickly pivot to something that’s going to make the person as if you hear them, see them, and support them.”

Karamo Brown, Host of the Syndicated Daytime Talk Show, “Karamo”

Karamo Brown and Brian Norris on stage at Tinuiti Live 2023

When Norris asked what were some of the tough questions that Brown has had to ask himself in order to unlock his own passions, he pointed out the value of happiness and checking in on your own happiness…

“I think we get into a routine of constantly saying ‘I’m okay…’ but being okay doesn’t define if you’re happy. I think when we are talking about living and growing and wanting to be around people, happiness should be on the top of that list. If you find yourself not being happy, you should evaluate why.”

Karamo Brown, Host of the Syndicated Daytime Talk Show, “Karamo”

When it comes to working with brands, Brown wrapped up his session covering how important it is to ensure that a brand aligns with his own values and personal identities. He noted that he wants to be truly seen by these brands in a deeper way, and if that occurs, he knows that the brand will treat their audience in the same way.

This inspirational session is a must watch. Check it out on-demand!

 

You Can Drive Social Growth in the Age of Signal Loss

Cameron House at Tinuiti Live 2023

Senior Director Cameron House and Director of Growth Emily Gates from Ampush—part of Tinuiti—took the stage to share how our unique approach enables us to drive social growth for our clients in the age of signal loss.

House and Gates presented a case study from Bonafide, a brand who was dealing with post-iOS14+ signal loss challenges, particularly on Meta.

“The reason that signal loss is impactful is that it’s not an incremental change to the business—it’s a step function change to the business. In Bonafide’s case, they no longer understood the customers that they were reaching on the Meta platform, and the ones that they were reaching, they didn’t have the right Creative or message to do so effectively.”

Cameron House, Senior Director

“We stopped optimizing ad performance in a silo; we stopped isolating metrics and trying to improve them, looking to maximize clickthrough rate and then conversion rate without thinking about how they impacted each other. The question became, “So how do we look at all of the places that we are reaching a customer and use that to make up for the targeting that we had previously built strategies around?” Here, we combined that pre- and post-click experience and looked at it through a lens of impression efficiency.”

Emily Gates, Director of Growth

Gates noted this analysis included looking at post-purchase surveys, Creative performance, site metrics, and LTV to determine how impactful each of these were toward APM (acquisitions per thousand impressions). Rather than focusing on overall ad engagement, with APM in mind, Gates’ team focused on ensuring Bonafide’s ads “engaged the right people and got them into a funnel that was designed to fit their needs.”

Their team helped get users through the funnel—from low familiarity to conversion—within a few sessions. The pre-click strategy included developing ad creative that “imbued credibility and trust” while “still being engaging enough to get users out of their feed and onto the site.”

Two things that helped in making this work were the data-backed audit that allows them to “rank [their] tests on priority order and projected impact,” and building a machine that enables them to do this at scale, “testing anywhere from 40 to 80 creatives a month until [they] find that winning one.”

Learn more about how they did it in the on-demand session!

 

Pasta Water: The Glue Holding Your Marketing Mix Together

Leah Lloyd at Tinuiti Live 2023

Leah Lloyd, VP of Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti started her session at Tinuiti Live with a powerful analogy. Have you ever cooked a recipe that encourages you to put a bit of pasta water to the side to complete the dish? Have you ever forgotten to save that important pasta water? We’ve all been there. Lloyd shared that If we look at our marketing mix as pasta, our lifecycle data should be treated as the “pasta water” that really makes things stick together. But how do you know if you’re wasting this critical “pasta water”? She encouraged marketers to ask the following three questions:

  • Do you have a real time data connection to your ESP to Google Ads and Meta?
  •  

  • Are you layering lifecycle audiences into your paid media strategy?
  •  

  • Are your paid media campaigns personalized by where they are in the customer journey?

During the session, Kellie Collins, Associate Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Tinuiti shared the importance of first-party data and how you can use event-based data from lifecycle marketing efforts to fuel your paid media campaigns in a post-cookie world.

To round out the session, Lloyd highlighted how marketers can make the most out of their pasta water with a three step process:

  • Collaborate with Your Counterparts: Make sure that connectivity is being driven between your two groups to ensure that you’re closing the loop
  •  

  • Layer in Your Audiences First: Get an understanding of how different audiences perform with your channel and use that data to create your long term strategy
  •  

  • Evolve and Update: Performance of individual audiences can shift based on products, inventory, macroeconomic conditions, etc. so ensure that you’re monitoring performance, implementing different strategies and pivoting if needed

 

You Can Create an Omnichannel Strategy Built for Today

Maya Wasserman at Tinuiti Live 2023

Tinuiti’s CCO Diana DiGuido led an information-packed Q&A with Maya Wasserman, Director of Marketing—Television and Video & Sound, Sony Electronics and Elan Lieber, Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Olly. They focused the discussion around the tactics and strategies used by high-growth brands Sony and Olly to create a unified, personalized audience journey.

The trio unpacked all the elements necessary to orchestrate an informed omnichannel strategy in today’s privacy-centric landscape, exploring the importance of collecting quality first-party data, how to segment and activate against that data, always-on testing, internal education, leveraging the right tech, finding what aligns with your business goals and audience, unified messaging across your own channels and third-party retailers for a consistent customer experience, how and when to test, and more.

Some of our favorite takeaways included:

“We do a quarterly culture tap meeting where we just share what’s trending, what’s happening, what platforms are people on, what kind of content is happening, what lingo are Gen Z using…so that when we come with ideas, it’s not out of left field.”

Maya Wasserman, Director of Marketing—Television and Video & Sound, Sony Electronics

“What we have found has been the most crucial point to that consistency across channel is really bringing Marketing Communications, Creative, and Sales really into that campaign development process, and our Creative Team really specifically—they’re part of the tactical planning really from the beginning with Marketing Communications, because they support so many different aspects of our product, our marketing, our campaigns, and so it allows us to have consistency across campaign and across offline in-store activations.”

Elan Lieber, Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Olly

Diana DiGuido, Maya Wasserman, and Elan Lieber on stage at Tinuiti Live 2023

Learn more about how they test, execute, monitor, analyze, and iterate for optimal performance in the on-demand session!

 

It’s Time to Address the Elephant in the Room: Generative AI

Nii Ahene at Tinuiti Live 2023

To round out an exciting day, Nii Ahene, Chief Strategy Officer and Jeremy Cornfeldt, President of Tinuiti took the stage to close out Tinuiti Live 2023. Throughout the day of jam-packed sessions, Cornfeldt noted that in the background of it all, there was an elephant in the room that needed to be addressed, and that elephant is Generative AI.

Ahene explained how things are still early in this space but it’s been very clear the application of this technology represents a true paradigm shift in not just computing – but entire industries, shifting winners and losers in a way that hasn’t been seen since the widespread adoption of the internet.

Ahene noted that ChatGPT is the app that most of us are aware of, but it’s important to understand these generative technologies are largely open-sourced. This means that anyone can use them to create new and novel applications and many of the companies and organizations that are pushing the technology do not have an incentive tied to the status quo. To end the day, he encouraged attendees to stop and spend some time to ask themselves how this technology will change the nature of what we do and how we do it.

“The pace of change is the slowest it’s going to be right now, the technology is the worst it’s going to be right now. Everything is only going to get better and everything is only going to get faster.”

Jeremy Cornfeldt, President of Tinuiti

This year’s Tinuiti Live was truly inspiring and has encouraged us all to question our way to clarity. If you couldn’t attend the in-person event or the livestream and want to learn more, check out the on-demand sessions.

Tinuiti Marketing Team members at Tinuiti Live 2023

If you’d like to chat with any of our team members about topics covered at Tinuiti Live, contact us today for more information. 

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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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