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Will ChatGPT Spell the End of Search Engines?

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Will ChatGPT Spell the End of Search Engines?

Over the past several months, ChatGPT has been earning enough headline mentions that it’s becoming a bit of a celebrity in its own right. And as for the sentiment of those headlines and supporting articles, many fall into one of two buckets:

  • ChatGPT is so exciting—look at all the fun stuff it can do and time it can save!
  •  

  • ChatGPT is the end of the internet, our jobs, and life as we know it—the time is nigh to prepare for the robot revolution!

At Tinuiti, we’re largely members of the first camp. We recognize that ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is likely to change how we use the internet—particularly when looking at the functionality and UI of search engines specifically—but where others see a threat, we see a valuable tool.

ChatGPT doesn’t need to be a replacement for anything to be revolutionary; it can be a pivotal cog in the wheels that help improve the search experience for marketers and users alike. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the biggest ways we expect ChatGPT might reshape search (no robot overlords required), and how it can make your life easier.

 

What is ChatGPT & How Does It Work?

 
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence and research company perhaps best known for their DALL-E and DALL-E 2 deep learning models. ChatGPT was launched in November 2022, and is currently free to use, having earned more than 100 million users by January 2023. For context, it took TikTok nine months to reach that number of users after its successful launch.

Similar to search engines, ChatGPT is designed to help you find the information you’re looking for online. Rather than simply eliciting responses or a list of links to choose from, ChatGPT enables users to engage in a form of conversation.

Users are even able to build on previous questions they have asked in a ChatGPT session, helping them get closer to the results they were looking for, much like refining a search query. These questions can also be driven by the user’s learnings from previous responses, making it easier to explore all those tangents in your mind without opening 100 tabs.

ChatGPT can even deliver an essay-length response given the right prompt, which naturally has many teachers and writers alike concerned. It has even tried its hand at penning a State of the Union speech, in the writing styles of William Shakespeare, Martin Luther King Jr., and other notable historical figures.

As shared by OpenAI:

“The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. ChatGPT is a sibling model to InstructGPT, which is trained to follow an instruction in a prompt and provide a detailed response.”

In order to deliver the information users are looking for, ChatGPT had to have a lot of training. OpenAI shared that the current model of ChatGPT was trained using Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF), with human AI trainers being instrumental in helping GPT determine whether a provided response was high quality.

To accomplish this, OpenAI had human AI trainers lead both sides of the conversation—a bit like talking to yourself. Trainers were provided with “model-written suggestions to help them compose their responses.” OpenAI then “mixed this new dialogue dataset with the InstructGPT dataset,” transforming that into dialogue format. Comparison data was then collected so they could compare the responses and assess their quality.
 

ChatGPT Considerations

While ChatGPT does function similarly to a search engine in that it can be used to find answers to queries, it’s important to remember that just like search results themselves, not all of those answers are going to be accurate. To make matters worse, ChatGPT is exceptionally adept at making inaccurate answers sound quite plausible thanks to its language capabilities. If you’re asking it a question about something you know little about, these wrong answers can be tough to spot.

Tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, covered below, are fundamentally “asking” users to add conversation-based behavior to their existing query-based behavior. At least for now, it doesn’t look like they’re planning to have one replace the other.

Additionally, based on how ChatGPT functions today, it is also likely to be more useful for looking for answers than looking for things to purchase.

“For those who are using Google Search for educational or research purposes, I think the potential value-add of an AI-powered chatbot is obvious. But for direct-response or shopping-related behaviors, I think the use cases are a bit more nuanced. I think there are ways to use AI, and LLMs (large language models) particularly, to help make Google Search a more refined product, and to give people better results than what they’re getting today for a lot of searches. But I don’t view ChatGPT as a direct threat to Google’s search business.”

Josh O’Donnell, Sr. Strategist, Paid Search at Tinuiti

 

Is ChatGPT a Threat to Google?

 

If Google didn’t make any changes to adapt to the post-ChatGPT landscape, it could be seen as a threat to how many people would continue to use Google as their primary search engine. But simply put, that isn’t happening.

Google is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs and demands of users and advertisers, with advances in AI and machine learning fueling many of those updates. Among the most foundational ways they evolve is through Google algorithm updates. In addition to the nuanced changes Google is making to their algorithms every day, they also make significant adjustments as necessary to improve user experience and search result quality.

It’s also important to consider that like all new things, the lasting power of the thrill is yet to be seen. Will this simply be a fun new techy thing users experiment with for a few weeks, and quickly forget? Or will this be something that some of us consider a crucial tool in our daily lives, while others simply don’t latch onto the trend at all?

Josh O’Donnell, Sr. Strategist, Paid Search at Tinuiti, notes that ChatGPT may have a similar path of adoption as voice assistants…

“If we think back to when home voice assistants like Amazon Alexa first launched, it suddenly seemed like everyone had one, and many thought that search would be drastically changed as a result. But today—while voice assistants are inarguably very popular—the core search experience has persisted, with added functionality for voice-enabled searches. I think we will see a fairly similar path for AI-powered chat tech. The search experience will evolve to incorporate the new technology, augmenting the search product and powering better search experiences, but the core concept of what a search engine is and what a search engine does will continue to persist.”

 

How ChatGPT Will Likely Change Google Search

 

Google is already heavily invested in the AI space, and has a history of adapting to changing needs and technologies. Google recently announced their own conversational AI technology—Bard A.I., powered by LaMDA—noting that it will roll out to “trusted testers” before a public release in coming weeks.

Google announced LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) in May 2021, sharing at the time that they had “invented machine learning techniques that help us better grasp the intent of Search queries.” They also shared that “LaMDA’s conversational skills have been years in the making,” and the language model was built on Transformer, the “neural network architecture that Google Research invented and open-sourced in 2017.” Other recent language models built on Transformer are Google’s own BERT, and GPT-3.

This is all to say that the idea of AI isn’t new to Google, and their own research and technology have helped pave the way for ChatGPT. That said, with great power comes equally great responsibility, and Google has not only power but a reputation to protect. When you’re the world’s largest search engine, the bulk of your work comes in maintaining your position, while others in your space can afford to act more quickly in the name of hoping to secure some of your users.

While Microsoft has plans to integrate GPT into Office products and Bing search by March of this year, and is heavily invested in OpenAI, we expect to see any major changes from Google to be carefully experimented with before widespread release.

Below are two ways we expect the widespread adoption of ChatGPT might change the Google experience:
 

Option 1: AI-Powered Enhancements to SERPs

In this scenario, the Google search experience as we know it today would remain largely unchanged, but would be updated with some minor AI-powered enhancements to better help users cut through the noise and clutter that SERPs sometimes provide.
 

Option 2: Refining Searches with AI-Powered Chat

In this scenario, Google would adapt to a new AI-powered chat + search experience, which would present a more refined way to search for things. However, it’s yet to be seen whether the preference for a chat-powered search interface is truly something that will stick with consumers beyond the “aha” moment we currently find ourselves in.

For a preview of what Option 2 might look like on Google and Bing, check out You.com.

search results for "best laptops" in YouChat on You.com

Source: You.com

The end-user preference between these two options will be largely dictated by the nature of the search query. For example, simple Q&A searches are going to be better suited to the Q&A format that an AI-powered chatbot can provide. However, for most queries, we still believe search engines will be the preferred route for users.

Sample Scenario:

Let’s consider a searcher is looking to buy a new pair of running shoes. Are they more likely to find value in a list of results along with images of different shoes and customer reviews to help them evaluate which shoe is right for them—like they do today—or would they rather have ChatGPT just tell them what shoe to buy without considering any other sources of information?

For these purchase-related searches—the vast majority of searches that fuel Google’s ad revenue—the traditional search design still seems to make the most sense.

The value of search is that you get multiple options and perspectives from a variety of sources all centrally displayed on one page. GPT-3 and other LLMs will help augment this design to make it more relevant and useful, but we don’t see it fully replacing search as a tool, at least not anytime soon.

For more information about Google’s work on similar projects, check out a few additional developments they have announced in recent years, including:

Graph showing PaLm language model ability growing over time, exceeding the average human’s language ability

Scaling behavior of PaLM on a subset of 58 BIG-bench tasks

Source: https://ai.googleblog.com/2022/04/pathways-language-model-palm-scaling-to.html

 

Additional Expert Takeaways on ChatGPT

 

“Technology is not going to replace all that we do. But here is one thing it is going to reduce the use of — our fingers. So that instead of merely typing, we can increase the use of our brains & our voices, not to mention our creativity & analytical thinking/problem-solving. Today, we can’t imagine a world of work without email or Slack. But email & Slack didn’t replace humans talking to each other. They just made it faster & more efficient than picking up the phone or faxing. Same for ChatGPT and all the others that will come in its wake.”

Portrait of Zach Morrison

Zach Morrison, CEO of Tinuiti

“I like to think of innovations in AI similar to what we experienced with graphic design. Before Photoshop, digital images were expensive, and not something you could do in-house—and forget about editing or enhancing photos yourself. Photoshop brought all the power to your desktop. We went from thinking Photoshopped images were unbelievable to being weary and in disbelief (that’s Photoshopped!). Today, thanks to Apple and Google, and their AI solutions, our camera phone photos are unbelievable (that came from a phone?!). Then there are those that take those filters and enhancements too far (looking at you, r/instagramreality).
 
So now we have tools like DALL E and ChatGPT in our hands; if we do this right, we’ll get some unbelievable results, enhancing human creativity and capability. Abuse it? Well, we’ve been here before. We won’t believe what we’re seeing, hearing, or reading.”

Portrait of Nirish Parsad

Nirish Parsad, Practice Lead, Emerging Tech at Tinuiti

“Once I have the idea, the slowest part of my working process is starting. It is much easier for me to provide feedback than to start. ChatGPT has been great at starting for me, which allows me to [heavily] edit, finesse, and finish, accelerating the whole process. With the extra time comes more ideas.”

Portrait of Jesse Math

Jesse Math, VP, Integrated Solutions at Tinuiti

 

Closing Thoughts

 
GPT-related tech will undoubtedly disrupt the industry, but it’s hardly the first disruption, and it’s unlikely to threaten Google’s existence, power, and purpose. And—in the right hands, given the right prompts—it can function as an important time-saving tool for searchers and marketers.

Bear in mind that we don’t miss the irony of writing about something that many writers feel will render their jobs obsolete; if that’s the case, it’s a bit like training the person who will replace you. But that’s where it’s important to consider that ChatGPT is drawing its answers and conclusions not from things it has written, but human-provided and uploaded information. It is “intelligently” analyzing that information to determine the best answer to provide, but the information itself did not originate outside the human mind.

Additionally, while ChatGPT has an abundance of information to work with in generating a response, that response will always be based on things that have already been written. If we over-relied on AI-generated content for gathering and generating information, the internet would start to look like a slightly nuanced piece of rehashed duplicate content. Google already knows we don’t want that.

It’s also worth considering that those full-bodied answers ChatGPT often generates when answering a question are exactly the kind of content that professional writers strive to create.

When Google has determined that a resource is a relevant answer for a given query, that landing page is typically rewarded with a higher ranking for related searches in the organic SERPs. In that sense, ChatGPT—which would be drawing its information from what it deemed to be the most credible sources on the internet—can be thought of more as an efficient aggregator. And that is one of the many ways our teams are using it at Tinuiti—as a thought-starter that gets some initial ideas down and flowing.

So in what specific ways can marketers make the best use of this tool to improve their efficiency, and free up more time for strategy and execution? Check back soon for an upcoming blog post providing actionable tips for how PPC marketers can start using the GPT tech that’s available today to make their day-to-day activities easier, or contact us today to chat with a (human!) expert.
 

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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.

​​

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.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

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.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

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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