Nowhere have the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic been felt more than in events and field marketing. From the onset of the pandemic to the present, the scope and reach of events have changed dramatically in the past few years.
Now that we seem to have reached a “new normal,” what should event and field marketers consider as they look to the future? In this blog, we’ll break down the realities of hybrid work, how the events landscape has changed, and what innovations are needed to be successful going forward.
The Reality of Hybrid Work
One lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace is the staying power of hybrid work. Although most organizations were forced to adopt remote and hybrid models at first (a mere 32% of employees were hybrid in 2019), a Gallup poll found that 53% of workers work in a hybrid environment today.
Even more workers want a hybrid environment than the current number, with 59% preferring it to fully on-site or exclusively remote options. Indeed, avoiding commutes and increased flexibility for family needs combined with collaborating in-person is an attractive point for hybrid work.
However, the ways in which hybrid work is being implemented are still a bit all over the place. Gallup’s survey found that 6 in 10 workers want a coordinated effort on how to regulate hybrid environments, but couldn’t agree on how to do that. This confusion and varied policies between organizations have led to a confusing environment for field and event marketers to navigate.
How Is Hybrid Work Affecting Events?
There’s little doubt that hybrid work is affecting how field and event marketers operate. For one thing, virtual and hybrid events are here to stay.
Statista data indicates that 40% of marketers will hold virtual events in 2022, with 35% operating on a hybrid approach and an equal 35% holding events in person. Interestingly, virtual events in 2022 were up 5% from 2020 data, where only 35% of marketers reported hosting virtual events.
Clearly, something has shifted. While all three models are in play, the cost savings associated with virtual events is hard for businesses to ignore. For example, a Deloitte survey found that 60% of businesses expect to spend less on attending trade shows and conferences in 2022 compared to 2019.
That doesn’t mean in-person and virtual events aren’t effective or worth doing. However, it does mean that marketers need to become more savvy about their approach to event and field marketing to succeed in the new environment.
How Can Events & Field Marketing Go Forward?
Hybrid and virtual events have brought on a new slew of challenges. Managing video fatigue, creating digital content that engages both an in-person and digital audience, and providing networking opportunities virtually can all be tough to balance. What’s the best way for field and event marketers to go forward? Keep your audience in mind.
A 2021 survey of B2B marketers found that 57% prefer attending a hybrid event in-person over attending virtually, while 33% prefer virtual events. Your audience will also have preferences about what events they prefer. The key is finding it out and then providing bespoke experiences to cater to their exact needs.
Depending on what your audience prefers, here are a few ideas for field and event marketing in 2022:
- Build on hybrid events with virtual communities. One of the biggest challenges for virtual events is that they don’t allow as much time for networking. By using a hybrid or virtual event to kick off building an online community (in say, a social media group or other online platform), you’ll provide ample time for attendees to network beyond the event itself to keep the conversation going.
- Co-sponsor in-person events. To boost attendance and your audience, try co-hosting an event with another like-minded business either in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid model.
- Provide virtual content deep dives. Creating engaging content that educates as well as intrigues is a challenge for hybrid and virtual events. Providing a deep dive into your content through additional resources can boost engagement.
Inverta’s field and event marketing specialists can help you strike the right balance between larger, in-person events and smaller, bespoke events. By diving into your audience, your goals, and your go-to-market strategy, we’ll help you achieve results despite changing consumer expectations. Learn more about how we do it here.
It’s no secret that we’re in an economic downturn. Inflation hit a record high in June 2022 at 9.1%, and economic growth is slowing worldwide.
As economic volatility continues, how can marketing leaders prepare for the headwinds to come? Inverta brought together four marketing leaders in a recent webinar to share their wisdom on the topic. The executive panel discussion included:
- Kathy Macchi, VP of Innovation at Inverta
- Deborah Wolf, CMO at Integrate
- Jennifer Dimas, CMO at Telarus
- Steve Hardy, CMO at Prophix
- Allison Breeding, CMO at Apptio
In this blog we’ll recap how marketing leaders can refocus their priorities, address budget concerns, and follow best practices for times of economic uncertainty.
Focus on Impact to Drive Results
Times of uncertainty are great opportunities to reassess your current approach to find out what’s moving the needle and what isn’t. For example, asking questions that refocus priorities on impact-driving areas can actually refine your focus and improve overall outcomes (rather than cutting off areas of impact due to limited resources).
Answering the following questions can provide direction on where to focus:
- What should I continue?
- What should I stop?
- What should continue to evolve?
When you double-click on every growth tactic to examine what’s working and what’s not, you’re free to focus on the activities that produce results. Imagine getting a 10% increase on each of those activities rather than implementing new strategies — that’s where the magic can happen, even in times of uncertainty.
After all, the needs of your customers haven’t disappeared. Your team’s goal should be to work horizontally in service of the buyer rather than vertically in service of each approach that reaches the buyer. Refining your messaging and prioritizing methods that share your messaging more efficiently is a great way to reach your customers, cut costs, and still hit growth goals.
Advocate for Your Budget By Proving Every Dollar
In times of volatility, sales cycles slow down and budget cuts seem almost inevitable. How can you ensure your team’s vital resources aren’t on the chopping block? By knowing your value.
Firstly, measure, measure, measure! Gone are the days when marketers had to estimate their value. In today’s climate, proving value for every dollar spent is a vital skill every marketing leader should develop.
Consider these tips when it comes to budgeting conversations and proving your value:
- Show what outcomes every dollar invested can provide. Conversely, have honest dialogue about what results will NOT be provided with budget cuts.
- Share your impact with the sales team and others so they can advocate for you. For example, if sales leaders understand how marketing budget impacts their goals, they’ll be more likely to defend what you both need to succeed.
4 Marketing Best Practices for Economic Uncertainty
Sometimes some sage words of wisdom can help steer you in the right direction. At the end of our webinar, we asked the four CMOs to impart their best advice for other marketing leaders going forward.
Consider these four takeaways:
- Be buyer-centric. B2B buyers are becoming more like B2C buyers every day. The ways they get information, interact with your brand, and want you to recognize who they are aligns with the path for B2C customers. Stay ultra-focused on the buyer beyond identifying personas. Talk to buyers and, most importantly, get your team attached to serving your buyer as part of a broader effort rather than an individual one.
- Focus on areas of impact. Marketing has so many opportunities to spread out, but don’t lose sight of what’s working. Do less of what isn’t important and more of what is going to make real change.
- Hone your value message. Continuously plan so that your message is received by the right audiences.
- Understand what works, and do more of it. Understand what doesn’t work, and do less of it.
At Inverta, we help marketing leaders bridge the gap between strategy and activation. During times of economic volatility, having a partner in your corner who helps you bring down costs, go farther with your current efforts, and stay focused can unlock your marketing team’s potential. Learn more about how we help with strategy and planning here.
The leaves are changing, winter is coming, Q4 has begun …
You’ve guessed it — annual planning season has arrived.
While annual planning includes poring over KPIs and new growth targets, more importantly, it means getting aligned with your broader organization about long-term objectives and goals. Ultimately, your organization’s annual plan is the north star your marketing strategy needs to chart its course — 80% of planned marketing efforts should be in support of an organization’s strategic goals.
That begs the question: Do you really know what the strategic goals of your organization are? In this blog we’ll break down why it’s so important for marketing leaders to build an effective annual plan that serves their function and the broader organization.
1) Avoid Siloing Business Functions By Getting Clear on Expectations
The broader purpose behind annual planning is to coalesce an executive team around your organization’s strategic initiatives. Without an annual plan, a business can end up with different functions (marketing, sales, development, etc.) pursuing their own siloed objectives over time.
While that might sound rather obvious, silos happen more often than you think. Gartner’s CMO report on budget and strategy found that in order to achieve their long-term vision, a staggering 71% of CMOs agree that they need to reconsider the role of marketing to get there.
In other words, current marketing approaches aren’t serving the long-term objectives of nearly three-fourths of businesses. Yikes.
How can you avoid this? By clearly defining the broader, long-term objectives of your organization in order to clearly define what role marketing will play to achieve them.
2) Define Marketing Goals Based on Your Annual Goals
An effective annual plan eliminates the guesswork over what goals you should set for your marketing organization. When all of your goals are in service of the broader “why” rather than in service of your “marketing why,” it becomes easier to eliminate areas that you no longer need and continue doing what will produce actual results instead.
Why is it so important to set marketing goals that serve your organization rather than marketing alone? So you can prove that marketing is effective, not just that marketing is happening.
For example, one survey found that 48% of businesses who are doing digital marketing have no defined strategy. Another survey discovered that 30% of marketers are seeing average-to-no returns on their digital marketing investments.
Unsurprisingly, marketing efforts yield few returns when the purpose behind those efforts is simply to do marketing for the sake of marketing. The only way forward is to create a rigorous annual planning process that will define what success looks like for marketing, yes, and also for the organization as a whole.
3) Create an Annual Planning Discipline
Finally, building rigor around annual planning ensures that the productivity of the executive team is greater than the sum of its parts. Without some kind of discipline surrounding your planning process, it’s unlikely that you’ll see the best outcomes for marketing and beyond.
In order to improve your annual planning process, Forrester research recommends this 7-step process:
- Determine business objectives.
- Decide the marketing intent behind each objective.
- Set marketing priorities based on your broader objectives.
- Define goals and metrics to measure performance.
- Review and propose what actions and marketing initiatives will execute the plan.
- Consider dependencies and risks that could derail or affect the plan.
- Establish governance procedures to audit the plan performance and make changes as needed.
As you can see, going into annual planning with intention and rigor will improve the likelihood that your marketing goals succeed by serving the broader organization. Without proper attention and strategy behind the planning process, you might find your team in a silo that works to serve its own goals and objectives rather than company-wide ones.
At Inverta, we provide the resources your team needs for strategic initiative planning, from the right frameworks and processes to get aligned on how your annual marketing plan fits inside overall business goals. Our expertise can eliminate areas of confusion and inefficiencies, leading your team into the best outcomes possible.
Just as a chef is dependent on the quality of their ingredients to make a delicious dish, so too are marketers dependent on their tools and marketing technology stack to make their strategy effective.
This is especially true when it comes to program strategy. A killer master plan to segment, target, and convert your customers with ABM, for example, is only as effective as the tools that make that strategy a reality. One unintegrated tool can throw the whole process out of whack, resulting in a chaotic and difficult-to-measure end result.
Unfortunately, making the most out of a martech stack to serve your strategy is a challenge for most marketers. A Gartner survey found that only 42% of marketers say they use the full breadth of their martech stack’s capabilities in 2021 — a figure down from 58% in 2020.
Why? It’s a toxic cocktail of technology overlap, not being able to hire the right talent to own adoption and utilization, and the simple fact that tools are complex and difficult to nail down into a single ecosystem.
If that sounds like your marketing program, you’re not alone. We’ll review two areas where your technology might be under-serving your strategy and one solution for getting your strategy and martech to work together.
The Right Tools Drive the Right Customers to Campaigns
There’s no denying the importance of segmentation when it comes to marketing — at least 65% of your campaign strategy comes from having the right audience in mind. Having the right tools and techniques in place to drive more relevant customer segments to a corresponding message makes all the difference in the world when it comes to achieving your desired outcome.
Plus, it’s just what customers expect. An impressive 71% of customers expect personalized marketing messages from businesses, and 76% are disappointed when they receive generic messages instead.
The catch is that there are as many ways to segment your customers as there are segmentation tools (which is, ahem, a lot). For example, you could segment your customers by:
- Buying stage
- Purchase history
When the possibilities seem endless, that’s where it’s key to understand what strategies your tools and your tech can actually serve, and vice versa. Otherwise, you might spin in circles buying new tools for capabilities you don’t even need.
Without Data, You Can’t Pivot As Easily
Of course, perhaps the most important way that your martech stack should serve your program strategy is with insights and data. Without insights to lead you at every step along the way (pre-campaign, during the campaign, and post-campaign), you run the risk of making decisions steeped in bias, not cold, hard facts.
For example, you might use your martech tools to build segments or provide a window into the impact of the campaign, rather than creating segments by yourself or relying on a siloed view of metrics to determine your campaign effectiveness.
A good indicator that you’re doing it right? Ask yourself these questions:
- Pre-campaign: “Can I roll up my intelligence gathering (intent, engagement, etc.) into something that provides insights into what to do differently or how to structure my outreach?”
- Post-campaign: “Can I aggregate results to either make a course correction or a strategic recommendation on my planned course of action?”
Additionally, you can inventory your martech stack by examining your functionality needs and goals, and then mapping your data flows and integrations.
Tools Provide Concrete Data Rather Than Best Guesses
When it comes to marketing program strategy, if you don’t have tools for customer segmentation and data analysis, you might as well be throwing darts in the dark. You might hit your target occasionally, but you’ll be unable to see how well you’re executing your strategy or what’s going wrong whenever you miss.
Translated into real-life marketing speak? Without the right martech tools and strategy in place, you might experience one of these consequences:
- Redundant and siloed technologies
- Lost credibility with senior leaders when marketing strategy fails
- Underutilization of tools’ breadth and capabilities
It’s no secret that marketing teams need help when it comes to martech. A Gartner survey found that only 16% of marketing leaders say their digital transformation initiatives are “fully implemented.”
Enter Inverta. Our experienced team of marketing technology veterans can help you navigate the complexities of martech strategy and implementation. We help companies maximize their investment by customizing the experience and getting rid of redundancies. Learn more about our solutions here.
Unless you haven’t logged onto LinkedIn at all during the last three years, you’re probably aware that the world is in the midst of a hiring kerfuffle. Recruiting and retaining top talent has never been so challenging — or important.
Already high resignation rates skyrocketed in the wake of the global pandemic and forced remote work–challenged companies to adopt flex work environments. In short, employees’ notions of work-life balance have been forever altered.
In this blog we’ll break down the current climate for marketing recruiting and retention and provide some recommendations for adapting your hiring strategy.
The Current Climate for Marketing Recruiting & Retention
If we had to sum up the recruiting and retention climate in one word, it would be challenging.
For employees, finding the right fit post-pandemic can be confusing and overwhelming. Indeed, 41% of employees are considering resigning their current role, and 36% of those who resign do so without having their next job lined up.
In addition, remote and hybrid work isn’t going anywhere, and companies have had to find the right mix for their organization when it comes to satisfying employees’ needs and their business interests.
Finally, the question of compensation is key. Despite the labor shortage, hourly wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, with consumer prices increasing 7.5% year over year but hourly wages only increasing 4.7%.
This presents the question: How can employers find the right employees in the first place and then encourage them to stay? The answer is to find the right mix of meeting employees in the middle.
A 2021 report by the Achievers Workforce Institute found that the top reasons employees stay in their job are:
- Work-life balance (23%)
- Recognition (21%)
- Compensation (19%)
- Satisfactory manager relationship (19%)
TLDR: workers everywhere are reassessing what’s important to them. Likewise, corporations have had to do the same. In order to meet employees in the middle, employers need to consider the new balance of priorities for candidates to be competitive.
What to Know About Talent Recruiting
A whopping 76% of hiring managers say recruiting the right job candidates is their top challenge. There’s no question that there are many talented folks looking for jobs right now, but how do you attract the right ones to your organization?
The answer is both more simple and more complex than you might think. Like many things in marketing, it comes down to successful planning and strategy. Just like an annual plan points the marketing department in the right direction, a talent strategy that outlines processes and priorities is key for letting the right people sort through it.
Having a talent strategy also allows you to build in the human processes behind hiring. After all, employees want to:
- Feel valued
- Have a sense of belonging with caring colleagues they trust
- See their growth potential
- Have flexibility with work/life balance
If you’re serious about attracting the right marketers, your talent strategy should include (but not be limited to) the following:
- Avoid cookie cutter approaches and instead decide on your branded, specific approach.
- Be strategic from day one of the recruiting process through onboarding and beyond.
- Have interview processes that are successful in affirming candidates have the right experience, setting clear expectations, and uncovering any hidden information (both to the candidate about the company and about the candidate to your company).
- Establish a culture that helps employees feel heard (their manager has time for them), provides room to grow, and is clear about expectations and culture.
Ultimately, your employees are your greatest resource when it comes to recruiting. If your people are happy, thriving, and have room for growth, then you’ll be able to put your money where your mouth is (metaphorically) when attracting new talent.
How to Retain Top Talent
When remote workers can take a recruiter call from their home office at the drop of a hat, what will make your top employees decide to stay — despite outreach from other companies who might entice them elsewhere?
Again, the answer is more about intentionally creating a meaningful work environment than implementing tips and tricks (like just increasing compensation). Rather, it’s a mix of many things. For example, a well-designed onboarding process alone can increase new-hire retention by 50%.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to retention:
- Make work fulfilling by ensuring it’s challenging enough, clear, and works for a greater purpose (even if that’s just executing a successful marketing campaign).
- Provide training and development resources so employees can continue to grow.
- Be transparent about compensation and discuss it often.
Ultimately, people want to be in an environment where they can learn, make an impact or contribution, and also earn their fair share of wages. The right retention strategy holds all of those things in a balance.
At Inverta, we have some of the best talent in the business so we can better serve our clients. Learn more about what we do here.
It’s difficult to see your own blindspots when it comes to marketing strategy and expertise. After all, oftentimes, you don’t even know what you’re missing until it’s been pointed out to you, and making time to examine where you can improve on your own is the last item on the agenda when you’ve got a marketing program to run.
However, without constant pressure and outside perspectives that proactively look for blindspots, it’s likely you’ll end up finding them at the worst time possible rather than preemptively dealing with them.
An example: high-performing athletes may be the ones playing in the arena, but they wouldn’t get very far without their coaches’ objective insights, experience, and expertise to guide them. The last place you want to be deciding your team strategy is during half-time when you’re down 20 points.
The same is true for marketing teams. In this blog, we’ll discuss enemies to innovation, how to break the cycle of stagnation, and when a third-party consultancy is the right answer.
The 4 Horsemen of Innovation Stagnation
The biggest enemy to innovation is being stuck in the cycle of “This is the way we’ve always done it.” This attitude can be a result of individual pride (it’s my way or the highway!), fear of risk (we can’t afford to try something new), or a simple lack of structure and direction (we’re making it up as we go).
Some additional enemies to innovation include:
- Lack of clarity about goals
- Lack of urgency for change
- Focusing on technology over outcomes
- Top-down approaches that limit team autonomy and flexibility
If you recognize your marketing organization in any of these enemies, now might be the time to focus on breaking the cycle of stagnation.
How to Break the Cycle & Drive Innovation
As the old adage goes, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Breaking the cycle of non-innovation is easier said than done. While it can be done internally, sometimes it takes an unbiased third-party partner to fast-track real change.
One of the ways to stop the cycle is to enlist what the Harvard Business Review calls a “counterweight.” For individual leadership, this can take the form of a specific person to provide needed balance. For organizations, this can take the form of an outside consultancy to help you evaluate things on a broader scale.
The right third-party partner can help you go from stagnation to radical innovation for quick results. (Which, in the post-COVID world, is more of a necessity than many marketers might think.)
3 Indicators That It’s Time to Get Outside Help
How can you know whether or not you need a third-party partner to “rock the boat” and spur innovation in your marketing organization? A good indicator is to examine how change occurs now.
If your organization is having trouble with any of these three areas of change, it might be time to consider working with a third-party consultancy to get the results you need:
- Proposed change either doesn’t occur, or there is no “why” behind proposed changes.
- Your team has difficulty embracing the “mindset shift” because the change vision isn’t clear to them.
- You never fully implement changes because of the aforementioned problems.
A third-party partner is one of the easiest ways to pursue change because it doesn’t involve all of the political implications of assigning an internal resource. This factor alone is a highly valuable tool when it comes to driving change.
Of course, we may be a little biased on this front, but we know from experience (and our clients do, too) how influential a little outside help can be. If you’re interested in learning how Inverta can help you drive innovation and change, learn more about what we do here.
While you’ll most often hear the importance of brand loyalty and influence touted in the context of B2C marketing, it’s important that B2B marketers recognize that brand loyalty is essential in B2B marketing as well. After all, humans are at the other end of all marketing funnels, whether they’re making the purchase for themselves or for their business.
Building an influential brand is directly tied to marketing efforts. To that end, here are five simple techniques that B2B marketers can employ to build brand loyalty and influence.
1. Extend Your Reach Through Partner Marketing
If you’ve never tried partner marketing before, now’s the time to give it a chance. Co-marketing partnerships serve to extend the reach of your brand, build key networking relationships, and even increase your funnel size.
A few quick strategies you can try:
- Identify strategic partners whose audiences align with yours, but aren’t competitors.
- Contribute guest content to blogs or appear on a podcast episode.
- Co-host an event (in-person or digital) to grow and engage both audiences.
We’re so passionate about this topic, we wrote a whole blog on it. Read more about effective partner marketing on our blog here.
2. Create Criteria to Find the Best Influencers
When trying to build your brand and influence, it’s key to have agreed-upon criteria to determine your best clients and influencers.
It’s important to note here that an influencer may or may not refer to an actual “influencer” as we know it (AKA, social media influencer). Instead, think of an influencer as someone who can be the best “influence” for building brand awareness — maybe a key client with extended reach or, yes, a traditional influencer on social platforms with an audience.
When deciding criteria for how to choose an influencer to represent your brand, it’s helpful to start with the following questions:
- What are your campaign goals and requirements?
- Who are the influencers that align with your goals?
- What are the ideal engagement rates and outcomes you want to measure?
- What is the influencer’s relevance to your brand?
- What common values do you and the influencer have in common?
3. Invest in Your Influencers & Partnerships
One of the best ways to ensure brand reach and loyalty is by investing in your investments. In other words, make your marketing partners, influencers, and customers feel like royalty whenever they interact with your brand.
This can mean offering exclusive deals, hosting private events for them, or finding speaking opportunities. While these may not benefit your brand directly in the short term, building trusted relationships with key partners can pay dividends down the road. Never forget the human behind the partnership!
4. Create a Referral Rewards Program
Don’t underestimate the power of referral marketing. After all, 84% of B2B decision makers say that the B2B buying process starts with a referral. Not only that, but 78% of B2B marketers believe that customer referral programs create high-quality leads.
In short? If you want more high-quality leads, look no further than referral marketing. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Offer direct cash incentives (if you refer someone, you get $$).
- Send swag to key B2B customers to incentivize them to give a referral.
- If you sell SaaS, offer upgraded features or product discounts for a referral.
- Offer free passes to content, events, or courses in exchange for a referral.
5. Focus on Customer Success
Finally, it should come as no surprise that sharing customer success stories is a huge driver of brand loyalty and influence. Creating, distributing, and re-using customer success stories can be a win for all those involved. After all, customers love talking about their own success!
Here are just a few benefits of focusing on customer success:
- Customer retention: Interviewing existing customers about their wins can increase customer retention by reminding them how much they love your product.
- Upsell opportunities: Get the conversation going again after making a case study.
- Customer support: Learn your customers’ challenges and prove to them why you deserve their loyalty.
At Inverta, we’re experts at building brands that last. Our marketing expertise helps brands make small changes with big results. If you could benefit from an expert partner, learn more here.
The Great Resignation — or more recently, the Great Reshuffle — is here, with no end in sight. If you think your marketing team will be untouched by this ongoing phenomenon, think again. According to PwC’s new global survey, one in five employees say they’re likely to switch roles in the next year.
It’s a question of when, not if, your marketing team will lose talent. This raises the question: when a marketer leaves, will your systems, processes, and culture be able to handle it? Will one employee’s sudden departure throw a wrench in your marketing outcomes, or have you built a resilient system to weather the storm?
In this blog, we discuss why the Great Resignation is happening, how it’s affecting marketing teams, and why using a third-party now is a good idea to help you mitigate issues that unexpected understaffing can create.
The Great Resignation
Since early 2021, the Great Resignation has been making headlines as a record number of workers have quit their jobs for better pay, more flexibility, and improved work-life balance. In fact, last November the United State’s “quit rate” reached a 20-year high. There’s nothing quite like a global pandemic to make you reconsider your priorities in life.
Why are employees leaving, you ask? A 2022 Pew Research Center survey found that the top reasons Americans quit their jobs in 2021 were:
- Low pay
- Lack of advancement opportunities
- Feeling disrespected at work
Other common reasons included child care issues, not enough flexibility, and working too many hours. As Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington put it, employees are changing the narrative around what it takes to succeed in today’s world.
“People aren’t just quitting their jobs, they’re rejecting the idea that burnout is the price they have to pay for success,” Huffington said.
Even if your company has the best benefits and pay in the world, it’s unlikely that your marketing team won’t be affected by the Great Resignation in some way or other. As we’ll discuss below, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How a Sudden Resignation Affects Marketing
When a team member suddenly resigns, the effects ripple throughout the whole marketing team. Sudden resignations can lead to volatility in staffing, management upheaval, and, in some cases, the loss of legacy knowledge surrounding key processes and systems that directly impact business outcomes.
Case in point? Let’s say Susan is the resident expert on your ABM-enabling technology tool. Well, Susan just found a job out of San Francisco that pays 30% more and is fully remote. If she leaves without training anyone else on your expensive and precious ABM tool, your ABM strategy (and budget) goes kaboom in a matter of two weeks. Yikes!
The Great Resignation is showcasing just how dangerous it is for marketing leaders to rely on one or only a few employees as knowledge depositories. After all, when any employee could leave at any moment, putting all your eggs in one basket is the worst strategy to adopt.
How to Build a Resilient Marketing Organization
How can marketing leaders avoid the potential calamity or losing top talent and important legacy knowledge along with them? The simple answer is to prepare for the inevitable by re-examining what’s under your control and what needs to change.
Now more than ever, marketing leaders need to lead the charge of prioritizing effective data management through more strategic and organized approaches. Here are three ways to mitigate issues when a marketing team member resigns:
- Bring in an unbiased third party to audit your existing marketing operational structure.
- Avoid data silos by re-organizing your existing martech and processes.
- Conduct a data “exit interview” with former employees to ensure nothing gets lost in the mix.
At Inverta, we offer marketing consulting help to B2B marketing leaders to help solve challenges like understaffing, organizational problems, and martech nightmares. We offer operational consulting, strategy and planning, and campaign management. Learn more about our services here.
One of the most valuable assets a brand can have is a captive audience. Engaged audiences lead to higher conversion rates and retention rates and greater brand satisfaction.
However, building and engaging a broad audience takes time — especially when starting from scratch. A great solution to this problem is a co-marketing partnership to expand reach and credibility.
In a co-marketing partnership, both companies promote a piece of content or product, and share the results of that promotion. By levering the relationship and reach of a partner, co-marketing campaigns are designed to deliver more leads, buzz, and awareness, with less work.
Here are three ways to start implementing co-marketing so you can quickly grow an engaged audience.
1. Look for Co-Marketing Partners That Are a Good Fit
The first step of starting any co-marketing program is to find partners who are a good fit. This means finding brands that offer services complementary to your own (you don’t want to promote competitors!) and then building a mutually beneficial relationship from there.
Just as you’d conduct research to find the best customers in your strategic ABM program, you should do some background research to find out which marketing partners would make the most sense. Make sure to set criteria about what you’re looking for, considering things like their audience, reach, and whether you want to work with them long-term.
If no brands come to mind immediately, here are a few ideas of where to start finding co-marketing partners:
- Reach out to niche bloggers in your industry
- Search social media groups and online forums
- Create a designated co-marketing landing page to attract potential partners to you
- Identify industry influencers or experts
Pro tip: If you reach out to a brand and they decline a partnership, ask them if they know of anyone else who has a partnership program and is open to collaborating. Co-marketing, meet referral marketing!
2. Start Contributing Guest Content at Least Once a Quarter
Contributing guest content through guest blogging is one of the best ways to get the most out of your marketing partnership. Plus, some partners even pay guest contributors to write for their blog.
Guest blogging adds value to both parties. The blog needs additional content to build up their website’s credibility. And the contributor extends the reach of their brand, builds relationships with a broader community of marketers/organizations, and even builds their own website’s SEO by adding backlinks to their brand.
Pro tip: In order to see the best results, be consistent. Contributing at least once a quarter (or even more frequently if possible), is a great way to get your brand out in front of a new audience with regularity. The benefits will build over time as you identify great topics that resonate with the audience.
3. Use Events to Extend Your Marketing Reach & Build Partnerships
Another great way to build a marketing partnership is to co-host or co-sponsor events together. Some examples of great affiliate events include webinars, virtual events, or industry functions held in person.
Unlike guest content, where the benefits typically manifest in the long-term, events engage live audiences immediately. Not to mention, they require a bit more collaboration between partners, which can lead to longer-lasting relationships.
Some of the benefits of hosting an co-marketing webinar include:
- Increasing the number of people attending the webinar
- Answering FAQ with your audience in real time
- Extending your reach
- Building brand loyalty and trust
Pro tip: Collaborate with your marketing partner on the content of the webinar or event, then rehearse what you’ll say beforehand. That way, attendees will know exactly how your brands fit together and why purchasing your product or service will help them solve a problem.
Marketing partnerships have many untapped benefits. By finding the right partners, you can ensure your efforts will build your own audience. Contributing guest content through blogging will help build credibility and brand awareness. And finally, co-hosting webinars and events together will extend your reach and help you engage your audience in real time.
By executing an co-marketing strategy, you’ll strengthen your partnerships as well as earn your own engaged audience.
At Inverta, we help brands get to the next level through marketing agency services. Learn more here.
Marketing attribution was probably never meant to be the end-all, be-all focus of marketing measurement.
Having more data that directly ties marketing activities to sales outcomes should be a good thing for marketers, right? Right — when incorporated alongside marketing analytics tied directly to marketing strategy, not just sales outcomes.
Unfortunately, the reality of marketing attribution today is that it’s become more of a replacement than a supplement to traditional marketing analytics.
In a nutshell? Attribution has become the means to justify the expense of increasing marketing tech costs, rather than the method by which marketers understand their customers and make strategic decisions.
In this blog, we examine how we got here and what marketers should do moving forward in order to avoid the problems an attribution vs. analytics mindset can introduce.
Why Attribution Models Are Flawed
How did attribution become the hot-shot method for determining marketing effectiveness? Three words: return on investment. Attribution and tracking ROI are the biggest marketing challenges for B2B technology marketers today, worldwide.
Marketers know marketing provides value — 84% of marketers are confident that marketing impacts revenue and sales. But tying marketing value to, say, impressions or engagement metrics is harder to justify than tying those same marketing activities to specific dollar amounts, especially come budget discussion time. Only 60% of marketers are confident they are able to demonstrate ROI.
Ironically, rather than leading marketers to focus more on marketing activities that drive value, flawed attribution models often lead marketers to chase down data instead, manually populating spreadsheets in order to justify their existence (which becomes harder and harder as they have less and less time to actually market things). A whopping 70% of businesses struggle to act on the insights they gain from attribution.
Indeed, 53.3% of marketers say the main challenge to effective attribution is having minimal understanding and skills about it. (Which actually makes a lot of sense when you consider that most marketers were hired to market things, not analyze complicated data proving that they marketed things.)Given that 84.4% of US companies use digital attribution models of some kind, what’s to be done here?
Why a Focus on Analytics Over Attribution Is the Answer
The answer isn’t to stop tracking attribution altogether. Almost 60% of marketers agree that attribution’s main purpose is to align sales and marketing, which is important. Instead, rather than focusing entirely on attribution, marketers should shift their focus to analytics — specifically, analyzing leading indicators that bring relevant counter-measures to the surface as action items.
For example, analytics can tell you when a key account becomes unengaged. What marketing activities should the team respond with? Attribution models miss these important metrics altogether because they’re usually so focused on bottom-of-the-funnel outcomes instead of outcomes across the entire customer journey.
This shift of focus is especially important in the coming era of data privacy and cookie deprecation. Fewer consumers (less than half) will be willing to share their data for personalization when it comes to ads or brand experiences in general, even though personalized experiences are preferred.
By allowing marketing to focus more on, well, marketing, rather than attribution, there will be no need to prove marketing’s value, because the value will be self evident in the analytics. Not convinced quite yet?
Consider the emerging attention economy. All signs point to engagement metrics as the most important area of focus in 2022 and beyond when it comes to determining actual intent and consumer buy-in. These are areas marketers need to focus on, now more than ever.
Make Changes Now for More Effective Attribution & Analytics
In summary: Having an analytics-first focus enables marketers to create action-based insights from their data that helps them to focus on the future. Having an attribution-first focus leads marketing teams backward, as they retrospectively prove value in flawed models that may or may not accurately depict where marketing is working.
If that latter description sounds like you, a first step is to take inventory of your martech stack and analytics tools to see where your focus lies — is it on attribution or analytics? Then, decide how your marketing and sales strategy can align outside of attribution, and see how attribution can be simplified in order to give better action items to both marketing and sales.
At Inverta, we provide the missing link between marketing operations and sales outcomes. We can take your team to the next level by providing the strategy and expertise to make shifts from attribution to analytics. Learn more here.