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What Marketers Need to Know About Web 3.0

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What Marketers Need to Know About Web 3.0

Whether you realize it or not, you’re familiar with Web 2.0 already.

You navigated to our website, clicked on this article, and you’re now reading it. Consider yourself a Web 2.0 aficionado. 

Web 2.0 is the web you’ve grown to know over the past 15-ish years. It’s the web that marketers have learned to use to help customers in need, social media exists…and the reason data privacy is a regular conversation in Congress these days.

Web 3.0 is the next version of the web. 

It seems overwhelming because it involves a lot of new worlds that you’re not familiar with, like cryptocurrency and blockchains. But, you don’t need to understand every detail of crypto or blockchains to know what Web 3.0 is.

You don’t understand exactly how the current web (Web 2.0) works, do you? Nope. Yet you’re navigating it with ease, marketing, buying products, and connecting with your network daily.

Let’s go over what you need to know about Web 3.0 to understand where you fit into it with your digital marketing expertise. 

What is Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 is an updated version of the current web. Just like you create a beta product, turn it into an official product, and optimize and improve that product as time goes on—the web follows the same process.

What Marketers Need to Know About Web 30

We’ve used 3 versions of the web, Web 1.0, Web 2.0 (your current web experience), and Web 3.0. 

Web 1.0 (1991-2004)

Web 1.0 was a simple time. There was no such thing as a login button, commenting, or sharing. Every page was static, which means it was the digital version of a newspaper. You could read it all you wanted, but there wasn’t anything else to do on that page.

For almost a decade, you didn’t have anything to distract you from the content you were reading. This will go down in history as the “quietest” time on the internet. People using the Internet weren’t looked at as consumers of ad campaigns the way they are now.

They were simply consumers of the information on the websites they visited. And those websites were complicated, hard to navigate, and slightly overwhelming to our Web 2.0 adjusted eyes. Here’s what CNN’s website looked like in 2000:

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Then Google ads launched (that same year). This would mark the Internet’s shift from people using the Internet as an informational product to becoming the product themselves.

Web 2.0 (2004-Present)

Web 2.0 is almost old enough to drink in the U.S., where the legal age is 21. It’s been with us for some time now and has become the web experience we’re used to. We’ve forgotten about the Web 1.0 days, including the plethora of blue hyperlinks and lack of ads and data collection.

In Web 1.0, people used the web to get information from its pages. Today, the web uses its pages to get information from people.

  • What product are you shopping for, and how likely are you to buy in the next few days?
  • Did you forget something in your cart?
  • Here’s a discount code to help you finally click the buy button.

This data collection has become the backbone of digital marketing. We use Google and social media ad platforms to target our ideal customers—down to the detail. Before data regulations and privacy concerns started catching momentum, marketers had a seemingly endless stream of information about their customers thanks to these ad platforms. 

This is the defining factor of Web 2.0: Companies collect user data and sell it to advertisers. 

And it’s led to a lack of privacy for users. Even as laws are enacted to attempt to salvage consumer data, navigating which cookies you want enabled, GDPR, and how to stop the spam emails bombarding your inbox isn’t entirely clear.

We don’t even know what web experience other people are having. Every newsfeed is personalized to that user’s interests, showing differing content even if we follow the exact same people. 

As Web 2.0 has matured, so have web users. More people realize they don’t want to be the product, especially if they’re not getting paid for their contribution to mega-companies profits.

And that’s led to the rise of Web 3.0, a web where we’re the owners of our content.


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Web 3.0 (Present)

Web 3.0 is considered the next evolution of the Internet. It’s built on blockchain technology because the major sticking point of Web 3.0 is that it’s decentralized.

Blockchain technology is a well-kept record of public transactions. This differs from the transactions you’re used to (that aren’t on the blockchain). These transactions are maintained across several computers in a network and are accessible by anybody interested. People like blockchain technology because it’s less susceptible to hacking and public transactions create transparency that hasn’t been available before.

They also love it because it’s decentralized. Instead of having one company or person in charge (centralized), blockchains create a decentralized web experience. For example, Mark Zuckerberg has control over what Facebook does (and, of course, has lots of help and insight from his team). As users of Facebook, we didn’t get to vote on the company’s recent name change to Meta because we don’t own the company. 

We’re users of Facebook and we ride the wave wherever the platform chooses to go…and take our content.

In Web 3.0, the idea is to give the web back to the user. There are two main ways this is done:

  1. Instead of having a centralized leader, Web 3.0 is run by decentralized autonomous organizations, DAOs, where the people with the most tokens in that organization get to vote on how the company changes. Without a controlling authority, it can’t be shut down, and content essentially can’t be censored (which is also an argument against Web 3.0).
  2. Our digital identities don’t become tied to our real identities, which is how Web 2.0 is set up. When you look at a product on a Shopify ecommerce store, that product pops up in your Facebook newsfeed and YouTube ads. In Web 3.0, you can view pages, products, and make purchases without it becoming a part of your feeds and online experience.

Just like Web 2.0 started once Google Ads got momentum, Web 3.0 got its momentum as blockchains and cryptocurrency become popular with more people. And as marketers, we have a golden rule: advertise where the attention is.

How to Market in Web 3.0

How to Market in Web 3.0

We have some relieving news: marketing in Web 3.0 is the same as marketing in Web 2.0. The marketing foundations can’t change because the platform changed. You use the same copy strategies in newspapers as you use on Facebook ads. The only difference is the platform (and some updated imagery).

Take a look at this 1978 gin ad with the cheeky copy, “You’ll enjoy this Christmas tree even more after you take it down.”

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Image from Marketing Brew

It’s not much different than Bombay Sapphire’s Instagram post with the caption, “Guaranteed not to be re-gifted.” The only two differences are the updated, clearer photograph and the platform (in-person versus Instagram).

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See how the same rules of marketing applied BEFORE Web 1.0 and in Web 2.0? Marketing in Web 3.0 will follow the same marketing foundations, with one additional step. 

Step #1: Who’s Your Customer Avatar

The first step in marketing any product on every version of the web is knowing who your customer avatar is. Without this step, you can’t write copy, create the right messaging that sells your product, or know WHO to market it to.

The Customer Avatar Worksheet shows you who your customer is, on a deeper level than where they live and how old they are. Using the Customer Avatar Worksheet, you’ll figure out:

  • What your customer avatar’s goals are related to (and not related to) your products: Do they want to spend more time with their family, and your productivity platform helps them get back 1 hour per day?)
  • The values your customer avatar has for their career and life: Do they value the environment and reducing their fossil fuel emissions and your e-bike helps them stay aligned with that value?
  • The challenges they have creating friction and pain: Is finding a dropshipping company to sell their merch through costing them hundreds of dollars in samples and your product connects them with vetted merchandise dropshipping factories?
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You’ll also figure out what books and blogs they’re reading, who they look up to in their industry, and where they spend their offline time networking with like-minded people. This makes your content (and brand) relate to them in a way that a company that hasn’t done this work can’t possibly.

Step #2: What After State Does Your Product Create For Them?

The After State your product creates for your customer avatar is their end goal. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel they’ve been yearning for, and your product gets them. We break this up into the Before State (what are they experiencing now?) and the After State (what do they want to experience from relieving their pain points and challenges?).

The Before and After Grid asks 5 questions per “state”:

  • What does your customer avatar HAVE in the “Before” state? What does your customer avatar HAVE in the “After” state?
  • How does your customer avatar FEEL in the “Before” state? How does your customer avatar FEEL in the “After” state?
  • What is an AVERAGE DAY like for your customer avatar in the “Before” state? What is an AVERAGE DAY like for your customer avatar in the “After” state?
  • What is your customer avatar’s STATUS in the “Before” state? What is your customer avatar’s STATUS in the “After” state?
  • What is an EVIL plaguing your customer avatar in the “Before” state? How does your customer avatar conquer it and bring more GOOD to the world in the “After” state?
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Between your Customer Avatar Worksheet and your Before and After Grid—you have the exact messaging you need to market your products and services to your customer avatars. Your copy is practically written for you already, and now it’s all about overcoming their hesitations and making sure they’re 100% clear about the product/service.

Step #3: What Do They Need to Know About the Product in Web 3.0?

If you’re not marketing on Web 3, you’re still answering a similar question. If you’re selling a coaching program, your prospects need to know what to expect inside the program. The same applies to Web 3.0. Your customers need to know what to expect from the product, and in terms of Web 3.0—what benefits they get from choosing this web experience. 

This is why filling out the Customer Avatar Worksheet and Before and After Grid is so important. If your customer avatar is tired of Facebook selling their data and stalking their every move across the Internet, you have your selling point as to why this customer wants to buy your product/service and experience it on Web 3.0 versus Web 2.0

Before State: Has anger towards their newsfeed showing them products they searched on another platform and feels like their every move is tracked by massive corporations. 

After State: Has the freedom to navigate the web without centralized corporations collecting and selling their information and feels free in their Internet experience.

Or, if your customer avatar wants to move off of platforms that have centralized authority (like Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, etc.) and towards platforms that are decentralized and give their users ownership over their content—that’s the messaging in your marketing.

Before State: Has a negative bias towards centralized authority on platforms deleting content for violating terms and conditions without being clear about why and feels like their platform isn’t a reliable place to grow an audience anymore.

After State: Has removed the worry of a platform accidentally deleting their content or profile despite not posting content that violates terms and feels safe growing their audience on a platform they can take with them throughout Web 3.0.

Welcome to Web 3.0

Welcome to Web 3.0

Web 3.0 isn’t as overwhelming as it may have seemed. If you’re ever feeling like it’s going above your head—remember that you don’t need to understand every detail of cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and decentralization to use these platforms. You need to know the idea, not every detail of the complex systems that manifest them into reality.

You’ve used the same mindset in Web 2.0. You don’t need to know how the Internet cables connected around the world are transmitting the world wide web from New York City to Tokyo. You just need to know the basics to understand what the web is and how to use it.

As Web 3.0 becomes a bigger part of the Internet experience, marketers need one reminder: marketing on Web 3.0 follows the same rules of marketing in newspapers to billboards to websites:

  • Know your customer avatar.
  • Figure out the After State to write compelling messaging.
  • Remove their hesitations by explaining exactly what the product is (ex. what Web 3.0 benefits they’re getting from it).

Isn’t it nice to have a skill set that transfers through the different variations of the web?


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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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