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The Best Super Bowl Ads of All Time



The Best Super Bowl Ads of All Time

The next Super Bowl is coming. And as we get closer to the big game, Americans aren’t just looking forward to the football — they’re also excited to see what the nation’s big-budget brands will come up with for this year’s ads.

While much is still unknown about 2022’s Super Bowl commercials, a few leaked ads hint that a lot of content will err on the relatable and comedic side, while still giving viewers the high-budget excitement the Super Bowl ads we know and love.

Here’s just one example of a commercial we can expect on Super Bowl Sunday from Budweiser. The ad, directed by Academy Award winner Chloé Zhao, features a Clydesdale horse that overcomes a significant debilitating injury, which is meant to symbolize the resilience people have shown time and time again during the continued COVID-19 pandemic. 

But leaked ads aren’t the only thing we can watch to prepare for the marketing marvels we might see on Sunday.

To amp you up for this year’s “Ad Bowl,” I’ve collected some the best ads from the last decade and before.

Be sure to check back each year, as we’ll continue to add to this list as new teasers are released.

Without further ado, please enjoy these attention grabbing, emotion-inducing, and sometimes award-winning ads.

The Best Super Bowl Ads from the Past Decade

1. “Wow wow no Cow” — Oatly (2021)

Oatly’s Super Bowl ad features the company’s CEO Toni Petersson in the middle of a field singing a song with the lyrics “Tastes like milk but made for humans, wow wow no Cow.” For 30 seconds, viewers watched him sing and struggled to find a point to the advertisement. 


Many took to social media to say that it was the worst Super Bowl commercial, yet it achieved exactly what every business wants from their ads — buzz. Everyone was talking about how weird the ad was, generating brand exposure and continuous conversation. Oatly even followed up the ad by selling shirts on their website that said “I totally hated that Oatly commercial.” Many brands and businesses want to leave a mark and make an impression, and Oatly certainly did.

2. “Loretta” – Google (2020)

Google’s Super Bowl ad tells the story of a man who doesn’t want to forget the memories he had with his wife. To the sounds of FUN’s “Say Something,” the man types “how to not forget” into Google and sees search results about how to improve memory. He then uses voice search to say, “Hey Google. Show me photos of me an Loretta.”

As he clicks through photos, he explains some of the fond memories he had with his wife. For example, at one point he laughs and tells the Google Assistant, “Remember. Loretta hated my mustache.” Then text from the Assistant says “Ok. I’ll remember that.”

As the man Google’s things related to his life and marriage, viewers get a glimpse of the precious moments that made up his life. 

At the end of the ad, after viewers have felt a wide range of emotions, Google promises to provide users, “A little help with the little things.”

While many Super Bowl ads focus on throwing viewers into the action, highlighting celebrities, or comedy, Google took a more emotional approach to remind viewers how its products can help people at different points in their lives. While search helped the man learn tips for remembering things, Drive and Assistant were able to help him relive memories related to his marriage.

3. “Joust” – HBO and Budweiser (2019)

Prior to the 2019 Super Bowl, Budweiser launched a funny series of ads that followed a medieval kingdom where the king and townspeople would cheer, “Dilly Dilly!” when offered the beer. The series also featured a hero called the Bud Knight. In some advertisements, he would ride in on his horse and fight in battles clad in armor covered in Budweiser logos. 

At the beginning of Budweiser’s 2019 Super Bowl ad, you see a handful of happy medieval characters waiting excitedly for the Bud Knight to arrive at a jousting match

As the Bud Knight heroically rides his horse on screen, the audience cheers, “Dilly Dilly!” as the competition begins.

But. things get grim quickly. Shocking, the Bud Knight loses and is knocked off his horse by the opponent. As the tall, masked opponent walks up to the knight, most Game of Thrones fans will begin to recognize him Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. “The Mountain” — one of the show’s most monstrous villains.

As Clegane towers over the Bud Knight, it becomes apparent — especially to GoT fans — that the ad is mimicking a dramatic death scene from the HBO series where The Mountain physically squished another heroic figure with his bare hands.

Clegane dramatically, but comedically, reaches down to grab the Knight with both hands. As townspeople react over-dramatically to what’s going on, it’s apparent that Clegane’s killed yet another knight by squishing him off screen.

Suddenly, the Game of Thrones theme music begins to play as a dragon flies over Clegane and takes him down with a blow of fire. As the dragon escapes into clouds and smoke, the music gets louder as the show’s logo and air date appears instead of a Budweiser logo. In a sense, Game of Thrones and HBO hijacked and destroyed the Budweiser ad series. 

This ad is hilarious as it comedically mimics an incredibly intense and notable scene from Game of Thrones. More interestingly, it surprises audiences who are just expecting it to be a standard Budweiser ad. This is a great example of how one ad combined cross promotion with a memorable storyline.

The ad, produced by Droga5 and Wieden+Kennedy, was so humorous and clever that it even won the 2019 Super Clio, a Clio Award for Super Bowl ad participants. 

4. “We All Win” – Microsoft (2019)

After it came to Microsoft’s attention that people with missing limbs or limited mobility were having trouble holding and pressing buttons on video game controllers, the tech company developed an adaptive controller with touch pads rather than buttons.

After the controller’s launch, Microsoft highlighted this story of how they solved for the customer in a 2019 Super Bowl ad titled, “We All Win.”

n the Gold Clio-winning campaign, Microsoft interviewed children with mobility issues and missing limbs about why they loved video games, but how they still faced difficulties with game controllers due to their disabilities.

Many of the children and parents featured in the ad explain that gaming helps them connect with friends in ways that they might not be able to otherwise. However, because of the current line of controllers, they have difficulty playing or competing in many games.

“I never thought it was unfair. I just thought ‘Hey, this is the way it is and it’s not going to change,” says one boy.

After demonstrating the problem with game controllers, the ad shows the children using Microsoft’s new adaptive video game controller as they explain how it makes gaming easier and more accessible for them.

For example, one girl excitedly says, “I can hit the buttons just as fast as they can,” while a boy exclaims, “Now everyone can play!”

“‘We All Win’ hit all the marks in terms of emotion, starting a dialogue, and fun. It wasn’t an ad about disabilities, it was about kids wanting to play video games,” says Dmitry Shamis, Senior Director of Creative. “I loved it back in February and still love it now.”

Not only does “We All Win” tug on your heartstrings, but it also encourages solving for the customer and accessibility by explaining how Microsoft took the time to develop a product that fixed a major problem faced by a unique group of customers. This ad makes you believe that Microsoft genuinely cares about its customers and will make extra efforts to ensure that everyone has a great experience with its products.

You can read more about this particular campaign and get inspired by a few more empowering ads in this blog post on inclusive marketing.

5. “It’s a Tide Ad” – Tide (2018)

Another Super Clio winner was, “It’s a Tide Ad,” created by the clothing detergent company, Tide, as well as the agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York.

In 2017 and 2018, Tide released a number of commercials with storylines that had nothing to do with Tide, except for the actors’ noticeably clean clothes. When viewers were at the edge of their seats, someone in the ad would say, “It’s just another Tide ad.” Then, they’d see the Tide logo and text that said, “If it’s clean, it’s Tide.”

This campaign started with a long Super Bowl ad, which also received an Emmy nomination. In the ad, Stranger Things’ David Harbour shows up in several common ad scenes, including in the bathroom with a buff deodorant model, driving a sports car, and laughing on the couch with a fake family.

As he appears into each commercial, he explains that all of them have one thing in common: clean clothes that were washed by Tide detergent. In the end, he says, “So, does this make every Super Bowl commercial a Tide ad? I think it does.”

Since Tide has one job of keeping clothes clean, they show off the brand’s strength in multiple versatile and silly scenarios. Humor like this can also be a great way to make a simple product more memorable. If you go to the store to get detergent shortly after seeing this commercial, Tide might be the first thing to pop into your head because of the ridiculous ads.

6. “Band of Brands” – Newcastle (2015)

What do you do when you can’t afford a Super Bowl ad? Cross-promote with other brands who will pay for it.  That’s what Newcastle, a popular beer company, did back in 2015.

Prior to the 2015 Super Bowl, Newcastle launched a call to action video where Parks and Recreation actress Aubrey Plaza encouraged brands to pool their money for one big ad. Because Super Bowl ads that year were well over $4.7 million — not including production — a number of big and small brands reached out to Newcastle to join in for a chance to be featured — even for just a few seconds — in the ad

The one-minute ad is filled with product placements as it tells the story of a couple that’s sharing Newcastle beers together to celebrate moving into a new home. As they walk through their new house, you can see brand logos hung on the walls like paintings, family photos, or decorations.

As they unpack the boxes, they not-so-subtly talk about all the appliances they have while holding them up to the camera. Aside from the obvious visual product placements, they also work brands into their conversations. For example, at one point, the man tells his girlfriend that he can’t believe they’re moving in together after “meeting on”

Although the ad starts off with more clever obvious product placements, it gets funnier as the couple starts pointing out every single product they have in their house as quickly as possible.

This ad is an incredibly clever example of a brand that took product placement and co-marketing to the extreme, while benefiting from a virtually free Super Bowl commercial. 

7. “Keep Your Hands Off My Doritos” – Doritos (2010)

“Keep Your Hands Off My Doritos” hilariously tells the story of an overconfident man meeting his love interests son for the first time. In the ad, the man walks into his date’s home with flowers and sits with her child as the mother gets ready. When she leaves the living room, the man is seen noticeably checking her out.

He sits down with swag as he starts talking to her infant son. Without thinking to ask the child if he can have one of his Doritos, he grabs a chip. The boy immediately and loudly slaps him, stares him down in the most intimidating way a child can, and angrily exclaims, “Keep your hands off of my momma. Keep your hands off of my Doritos!”

The overconfident boyfriend ends the commercial cowering in fear as the screen fades. As the logo appears, you hear the boy’s mother ask, “Are you playing nice?”

This ad was so funny that it’s still seared into many of our minds. Even though it launched nearly a decade ago, I still tell friends to “keep their hands off my Doritos” when they grab one of mine without asking.

Although it’s only 30 seconds, the ad is hilarious, relatable, a little bit shocking, and heartwarming, which makes it so memorable.

The Best Super Bowl Ads Before 2010

8. “Wassup” – Budweiser (1999)

If you grew up in the late ’90s or early 2000s, you might have a memory of kids at your school yelling the word “WASSUP?” to each other. I know I do.

If not, you’ve probably seen the Budweiser ad that the now outdated greeting comes from:

In the ad, a man answers the phone while watching a big game. His friend on the other line asks, “Wassup?” The man on the couch says, “Nothing. Just watchin’ the game and drinkin’ a Bud.” The conversation escalates when the man’s roommate unexpectedly walks in and yells, “WASSSSUPPPPP?!”

In true 1990s fashion, the roommate rushes to pick up the other house phone to join the conversation. The three men then just start yelling, “Wassup!” in louder and more bizarre ways until they suddenly get quiet. One of the friends then asks, “So, wassup?” The two others on the phone again say, “Nothing. Just watchin’ the game and drinkin’ a Bud.” Then, everyone says, “True.” 

This video might seem like a waste of millions of dollars on a Super Bowl slot, but it definitely wasn’t. As a viewer and consumer, all you need to know when watching is that the three friends are all watching the game and drinking Budweiser. The “Wassup?” marathon was essentially a tool meant to make the commercial funny and memorable. Based on the fact that, “Wassup” was still getting referenced in the second half of the 2010s, it’s easy to see that this ad was a success.

9. “Your Cheatin’ Heart” – Pepsi (1996)

This old Pepsi commercial highlights the consequences of what could happen if you “cheat” on your company’s brand.

The short and sweet ad simply shows fake security footage of a Coca-Cola delivery employee placing Coca-Cola cans in a store refrigerator to the Hank Williams Sr. song, Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Things get interesting when the delivery man looks to make sure no one’s watching and then opens the fridge with Pepsi in it.

Suddenly, the shelves in the fridge collapse as all of the Pepsi cans noticeably barrel out of the fridge and on to the floor. The ad makes a short and simple point: Even Coca-Cola employees love Pepsi:

10. “1984” – Apple (1984)

At the dawn of 1984, Apple leveraged the George Orwell classic,“1984,” in an award-winning Super Bowl campaign.

The 1948 George Orwell novel, followed a 1984 dystopian society where everyone dressed the same and conformed to the same leader, views, and ideologies.

As an innovative company, Apple has always tried to be “different” from competitors. The tech giant’s approach to Super Bowl advertising stood by this same mission even back in 1983.

The Super Bowl ad brings the conformist community in 1984 to life as you see men marching in straight lines towards a room where their leader is on a giant screen, telling them, “We are one people, with one whim, one resolve, and one cause.”

At the climax of the commercial, a woman with a hammer and colorful clothing starts running towards the screen. She launches her hammer into the screen as it explodes. 


A narrator concludes, “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce the Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like 1984.”

Not only did the ad, directed by Ridley Scott, highlight a well-known book. But it was boldly symbolic of early tensions and monopolies in Silicon Valley. At the time, Apple was considered a young, disruptive company while IBM was the only tech giant in the PC industry. Tech journalists and innovators in Silicon Valley often thought about IBM as a soulless corporation.

In this ad, Apple explains why innovation, disruption, and tech unique tech underdogs would destroy monopolies of the future. It also reiterated and enforced the brand’s positioning as a company that wanted to make products that would allow people to embrace their unique qualities and skills. This is a strategy that they’ve continued to use in their campaigns today.

11. “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” – Coca-Cola (1971)

On the hills of Italy in 1970, Coca-Cola pulled together a group of young adults from a number of countries and filmed them sing a jingle called, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

This resulted in one of the most notable ads from Coca-Cola, let alone a popular ad from the 1971 Super Bowl:

This commercial is a great form of early inclusive marketing as it shows that everyone has something in common, despite the fact that we all come from different or diverse backgrounds.

In particular, this ad shows that millions of people from all around the world can agree on the fact that they enjoy Coca-Cola. Not only does it embrace the beauty of diversity and world peace, but it also highlights the international popularity of the soda beverage.

Super Bowl Ad Takeaways

Even if you’re a small business marketer. you can learn from these ads for your own video or content marketing strategies. Here are a few things that many of these ads have in common.

  • Emotion: Whether they leave you feeling happy, sad, or optimistic, most of these ads drew your attention with a topic and storyline that built emotion.
  • Pop Culture: As you saw with Budweiser, HBO, Newcastle, and Apple, some of the most memorable ads acknowledged notable pop culture or literature and weaved a memorable story around them.
  • Relatability: Emotional ads don’t often work without relatability. Many of these ads do an excellent job of putting you into their protagonist’s shoes. Whether you’re seeing children able to access gaming in a Microsoft ad, or laughing at the child who’s protective of his mother in the Doritos ad, you identify with the characters or people featured on a deeper level.

For more examples of big brand ads you can learn from, check out these rosters of Emmy nominees, Clio Award winners, and our marketers favorite campaigns of 2019.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in January 2015. It was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in 2021.

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



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

Amazon pillows.


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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots



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)



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.



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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