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Tinuiti Takes Stages at Cannes to Talk AI and Employee Well-being

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Tinuiti Takes Stages at Cannes to Talk AI and Employee Well-being

Last week, leaders from Tinuiti spoke on different stages at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France. The festival is the largest annual event where nearly 15,000 professionals from the creative marketing industry worldwide come together. 

As the leading independent performance marketing agency and most recently named Microsoft Global Client Partner of the Year, Tinuiti joined top brands and partners to discuss performance marketing and the major industry shifts leading into 2024. 

Tinuiti’s President Jeremy Cornfeldt and Chief Marketing Officer Dalton Dorné, were asked to weigh in on the most pressing topics facing the industry today. Their talks covered how to use AI to achieve business success, avoiding employee burnout, and CMO trends.

If you weren’t able to attend, check out our full recap of the event including top takeaways from our own experts at Cannes below!
 

 

Tinuiti Explores the Era of Innovation and the Significance of Agencies Embracing Generative AI

 
Generative AI is quickly becoming an essential tool for companies to innovate, increase efficiency, and drive creativity. The big questions are: How can independent agencies lean into this new technology, what advantages does it bring, and what will it mean for new and future talent?

On Tuesday, June 20th, Cornfeldt spoke at the Microsoft Agency Disrupter Series on “The age of Innovation and the Implications of Agencies” held at the Microsoft Beach House.
 

Jeremy Cornfeldt, President at Tinuiti spoke at the Microsoft Agency Disrupter Series on “The age of Innovation and the Implications of Agencies” held at the Microsoft Beach House.

“Imagine an office packed full of summer interns – really good summer interns. That’s a good way to think about where Generative AI is at right now,” Cornfeldt said.

“It’s nice to have the extra support, but it doesn’t know enough yet to replace us. But if we start to embed elements of it in our everyday work, we won’t get caught on the back foot as it evolves because we’ll be evolving along with it. We must already be embedding elements of it in our everyday work. This way when those interns have finally graduated and are fully qualified, we’ll be able to put them to work for us in ways that will make our work (and our lives) better.”

The panel, including experts Shannon Pruitt, Global Chief Content and Partnership Innovation Officer at Stagwell, and Price Glomsk, SVP Global Media and Partnerships at PMG, discussed a variety of AI-related topics such as:

  • What do you see as the short-term opportunities from this technology?
  • Independent Agencies have a reputation of adopting technology quickly, are you running or walking in view of Generative AI?
  • We have heard that there are differences in how agencies and brands are reacting to and adopting Gen AI – brands seem to be more cautious – does that statement hold true and what are you doing to educate them?

According to Cornfeldt, over the next five years, company success will be defined by how effectively agencies and brands can use generative AI and automation technologies to reimagine their work processes, eliminate mundane tasks, and unleash human creativity and strategic thinking.

“We’ve embraced JOMO (The Joy of Missing Out) philosophy with an objective to delegate routine, mundane tasks to machines, thereby enabling our team to focus on more engaging, valuable work for our clients. We recognize that the future of work is increasingly automated and there’s minimal satisfaction in performing repetitive, low-skill tasks. As we continue to evolve, the focus shifts away from hands-on-keyboard tasks and moves towards using our cognitive abilities to deliver unprecedented value for our clients and stakeholders,” he says.

 
“In essence, our success will hinge on more than our capacity to incorporate new technologies. It will be determined by our ability to transform our operations, empower our employees, and enhance the value delivered to our clients. The true measure of our progress will be in the symphony created by humans and machines working together, each amplifying the other’s strengths, to deliver unprecedented outcomes.”
 

Tinuiti’s Insights on Retaining Top Talent: A Focus on Empowering Women

 
The need for creative women and diverse talent in the workforce has reached unprecedented levels. Unfortunately, at the same time, employee burnout is also surging to new heights. According to recent reports, more than half of working women say their stress levels are higher than they were a year ago.

Dorné joined a panel discussion  for an honest conversation on employee burnout (specifically for women) and “How Companies Can and Should Retain Their Best Talent.”
 

 
During the event, moderators posed an important question to the panel members: How can companies prevent employee burnout in a post-Covid environment? According to Dorné, Tinuiti’s recent launch of “Project Connection” has been instrumental in maintaining valuable friendships that stretch far beyond the walls of an office boardroom. 

“Coming out of the pandemic, sixty percent of our workforce was remote – before it was only thirty. So, one of the things we did at Tinuiti was we closed most of our offices where that population had shrunk. We kept New York and San Diego open but we reinvested the money from those offices into an initiative called ‘Project Connection,’, Dorné said. Project Connection was mentioned as one of the factors in Inc. Best Workplaces award to Tinuiti in 2023, the sixth year Tinuiti has been named. 
 

“What you really miss from work is the relationships and the personal time and that overall connection. It’s not just about being at a desk or a conference room. At Tinuiti, we have Friendship Funds…. If you live in the same city as someone, even if you’re not part of the same team — you can still get together! All you have to do is take a selfie of your get together and we’ll expense it to the company.” 

 
Tinuiti also has funds available for team off-sites, on-sites, and other variations that bring people together in real life. As a result, 75% of employees used the program within the first three months of launching it this year, Dorné said. “Those friendships you form at work are so important in your adult life and we’re hoping to re-establish that,” Dorné said.
 

Dorné speaking at a Cannes panel discussion for an open conversation on employee burnout.

In addition to questions the post-COVID working environment, the panel also discussed:

  • Creative strategies to keep retention high and maintain employee engagement with their work
  • The role employee recognition and support play in preventing burnout, and how can companies incorporate these practices into their culture
  • How work burnout impact different demographics of women 
  • How can leaders take care of themselves, recognizing you can’t pour from an empty cup

Want to learn more about how to empower your employees and combat burnout? 

Watch the livestream as Dorné takes part in a candid conversation with other industry leaders at the #EqualityLounge in Cannes session hosted by The Female Quotient.
 

Creative Thinking Skills in Your Business: A Dialogue at LinkedIn Collective Studio

 
Dorné also spoke at the Cannes Lions LinkedIn Session Outline held at the LinkedIn Collective Studio.

A B2B Marketing Benchmark report from LinkedIn recently revealed a growing need for CMOs to add creative skills to their repertoire. Given the entire  Cannes festival is centered on creativity, Dorné was asked how she’s working to add or incorporate these skills into her day-to-day work at Tinuiti.

According to Dorné, by integrating creative thinking skills, CMOs can maximize the impact of every dollar spent, driving both brand awareness and bottom-line performance simultaneously. 

“For example, to grow our own business, two years ago we launched our first ever brand campaign called Rethink. Performance. Following the brand name change to ‘Tinuiti,’ we knew obtaining name recognition and brand awareness in the marketplace was key. We launched a provocative omnichannel campaign that ran across streaming TV, social, display, online video, mobile, and audio streaming. The campaign challenged CMOs to shift their perspectives around some of the industry’s most hot-button issues, from data privacy to navigating the walled gardens. As a result, we saw a 50 percent increase in press mentions, 40 percent increase in site traffic and 70 percent increase in enterprise write-ins.” 

 

Radiating positivity, Dorné and Kory Marchisotto, CMO of e.l.f. Beauty & President Keys Soulcare, wore beaming smiles as they participated in several panels at Cannes. During her discussion on “Why Women CMOs Are the Best Candidates for the Highest C-Suite Role,” Marchisotto responded to the fact that for the first time in history women outnumber men in the CMO role (51% of CMOs are now women) and that “progress over perfection” is critical to recognize.

 

How Tinuiti and e.l.f. Beauty partnered for the 2023 halftime campaign.

 

3 Top Takeaways From Cannes 2023

 
Q. Coming off of your attendance at the world’s largest festival on creativity in advertising, what does the word “creativity” mean to a performance marketer?  
 

“In today’s world where all marketing is digital and therefore measurable, the lanes of “performance” and “brand” marketing are arbitrary. Creativity is as important as accountability and they go hand-in-hand. Cannes is no longer just an opportunity to celebrate the best creative work, it’s a hub of conversations that accelerate innovation.”

Dalton Dorné, Chief Marketing Officer at Tinuiti

 


 
Q. Why do performance marketers need to be at Cannes?
 

“It’s an idea factory. You can see and hear approaches, techniques, and technologies in a few days that you’d otherwise need a year to fit in.”

Sean Odlum, Chief Product Officer at Tinuiti
 

 
Q. What’s the one piece of advice as a performance marketer you feel like everyone at Cannes needs to hear?

“Our number one threat is complacency and Cannes is one of those events that forces everyone to challenge the status quo, push beyond what we think is possible and take tangible steps to continue to push the envelope. Regardless of the hot topic of the moment, you can always count on the brilliant people at Cannes to provide perspective and context on what the road ahead will look like.”

Jeremy Cornfeldt, President at Tinuiti

 

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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.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • 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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