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What B2B marketers can look forward to in 2021

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“For me, this is the best time to be a B2B marketer. It’s not only B2B marketing’s opportunity, but it’s B2B marketing’s responsibility to take back control of the buying cycle.” Forceful words from Nick Heys, CEO of Jabmo, a global ABM platform serving industrial and manufacturing businesses, bio-sciences and healthcare.

The opportunity described by Heys has been created against the backdrop of a pandemic — and an associated economic crisis — which has forced businesses across the full spectrum of digital maturity, to double down on digital marketing and sales strategies. To gauge the extent and significance of this transformation, we spoke not only to Heys, but to Stacy Greiner, an IBM and Cisco veteran who joined Dun & Bradstreet, the global business intelligence vendor, as CMO in March 2020, just as the pandemic tightened its grip.

Sales and marketing in alignment

Budgetary pressures, and the continuing trend towards ABM, is making upfront alignment with sales a necessity for B2B marketers. “We’ve seen that partnership become critical, and in 2021 is only going to continue to be even more critical: one go-to-market motion,” said Greiner.

“Before the pandemic,” Heys told us, “there were two big trends in our customers’ space. One was that the buying groups were getting bigger. We’ve had customers telling us that, ten years ago, they were selling million dollar deals to two or three people after playing golf; now they’re talking twenty, thirty, forty people involved in a buying decision. That was already a big trend, leading to a demand for account-based marketing. The other trend was buyers doing their own research anonymously, without filling in the web forms.” These trends have been apparent in technology purchasing space for several years; it’s significant that they’re now being seen in traditionally less digitally mature industries like manufacturing.

“It’s been several years now that B2B buyers have been doing the majority of their purchase decision-making online,” Greiner concurred. “Also, over the last few years, you’ve seen marketing be the stronger decision-makers in the overall martech-salestech stack itself; so even if they don’t own the overall budget for sales technology, I’ve seen them be the decision-makers over what that end-to-end stack looks like – because it needs to all integrate together.”

“Sales and marketing have long worked together on [in-person] events,” said Greiner. “Often an event is thought of as not necessarily lead generation but lead progression, and an opportunity to connect with your customers in person.” This year, she has observed much more collaboration on virtual events like webinars, which were more driven by product and marketing in the past. “What we’re seeing now is more an upfront collaboration with sales – let’s build this webinar together to help sales have more opportunities to interact in real time with prospects and customers.”

Digital laggards

Heys created Jabmo explicitly to offer the technology which supports ABM to businesses outside of the technology space. “When I founded this company, I noticed that most of our competitors were focused on the tech space – tech selling to tech,” he said. “I decided to focus the business on the manufacturing space, and in particular life sciences. That alone made us unique, because their requirements are quite different from tech. Tech tends to be very much focused on organic growth, driven by winning new names.”

Larger, well-established manufacturing companies expand in a different way, Heys explained. “They know who their target accounts are. They will typically expand, either by acquiring another company, or through research and development. This arms them with new products for their sales team to sell — to the known accounts, but often to different buyers within those accountsThey need to reach these new buyers, and that’s where we come in. We help complex sales organizations of larger, more mature companies, accelerate account expansion.”

There are other differences, of course, between manufacturing and technology. “In the manufacturing space, yes, they are what we would call ‘digital laggards,’ and very much reliant on trade shows, events and in-person meetings. Even marketing automation hadn’t taken off in that space a lot, because the pitch of ‘more leads’ didn’t really resonate with that audience. We’re really happy that there’s been a big change over the last six months, mainly because they didn’t have a choice. Manufacturers were forced to do something they probably were going to do over the next two to three years, over the last six months. This pandemic has been a great accelerator in digital marketing transformation for manufacturers.”

Greiner, too, has seen an accelerated drive towards digital transformation among businesses which, prior to 2020, were far from digital-first. “As organizations that have been less digitally savvy are coming up the curve,” she said, “they’re also looking for platforms that make it easy. If you look at the martech landscape, it’s hyper-fragmented, with best-of-breed tools to do every little niche of marketing that you can imagine. That’s a steep curve for companies that are trying to accelerate into digital transformation of marketing.”

Nevertheless, Greiner anticipates a trend of bringing as much of the digital journey as possible in-house. “For organizations that have not been embracing digital as fast as others, they relied a lot on out-sourcing to agencies: paid search to this agency, programmatic display to another agency, even out-sourcing SDRs, tele-sales, or even email. One of the opportunities digital gives you, because there’s so much data if you can harness it, is this ability to create a picture across this entire journey; and when you’re out-sourcing it to third-party players, not only is the message getting lost as it’s translated by people who aren’t living and breathing in the digital halls of your company – but also that journey is getting broken, because the hand-offs aren’t as clean.”

This opportunity is not just available to large business that are attemtping to accelerate digital maturity, but to small businesses too. “You can see small companies that have the ability to appear as nationwide, or even global organizations, just because they’re operating in that digital space. In a lot of ways, digital transformation has really leveled the playing field, assuming that your product or service can meet the need you generate online.”

A seat at the table in 2021

In 2021, said Heys, marketers are going to get a seat at the table. “They’re going to move from the back seat to being co-pilots with the sales organization – I think that’s new. They’re taking responsibility now for what the sales people can’t do, and that’s digital selling. ABM is all about digital selling: doing what sales people used to do on the golf course, in face-to-face meetings, and trade shows, is now being done through highly personalized, sequenced messaging.”

Heys predicted another trend, which he described as “dear to my heart as a marketer. “More and more responsibility for the marketing people to drive growth. Our customers’ space is typically very sales heavy; marketing has traditionally been there to do the trade shows and make the website look nice, but it’s never been a growth driver in the business.”

Greiner, based on conversations with her peers, believes that changes she instituted in the marketing organization at Dun & Bradstreet reflect a larger trend. “Historically, marketing has often been organized into functions – your email marketing team, your paid media team, your event team, your web team, etc,” she said. “One of the things we did early on was recognize that all those pieces are part of this journey, so we brought those skills together to bring one conversation to their prospects. That’s a trend I saw start this year, and I think that will continue to accelerate into 2021, because it brings the subject matter expertise and the agility into the teams that are carrying this conversation digitally to the people you’re trying to reach.”

If vaccination allows the re-opening of trade shows, and the general resumption of in-person contact, does that mean B2B marketers will simply revert to the strategies which served them in the past. Greiner doesn’t think so.

“I’m sure there’ll be some nostalgia, but I think we’ve figured out some creative and new ways of doing things.” One element Greiner highlights is a shift from B2B to B2P – business-to-person. “I think that’s something digital transformation has unlocked and continues to unlock. The tactics we have historically relied on have been more general, more account-level. We’re already on a trend toward the consumerization of the B2B buyer; the digital transformation in 2020 moved us further along that curve, towards where we’re really understanding, not just the businesses we want to do business with, but the specific people within those businesses. You need personal data in addition to business data. While those capabilities might have existed prior to 2020, I don’t think we really tapped into them.

This article first appeared on MarTech Today.


Author:
Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.



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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 

Meaning… 

DXP 

Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 

Welcome 

Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 

DAM 

Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 

PIM 

Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 

Web 

Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 

Personalization 

Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 

ODP 

Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 

 

So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 

 

Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | www.optimizely.com 

 

Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  


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