In Driving ROI Across B2B Marketing Strategies at SES New York yesterday, Maura Ginty from Autodesk aimed to teach marketers the context of B2B digital, alongside the principles of B2B marketing. In sharing her A to Z tips on B2B ROI improvements, Ginty gave marketers 26 great takeaways to help prove and build the value of their digital marketing strategy.
With host Laura Roth, Senior Conference Manager, SES Conference & Expo on hand to guide the conversation and Lauren Vaccarello, Senior Director of Online Marketing, Salesforce.com at our digital disposal (she was tweeting in to the session), there was a lot to be learned from these experienced marketers.
A- Audience. You have to be able to reach the right audience members with the right message, at the right time.
B- Brand. Consumers want to make the safe choice, especially for bigger purchases. People want to go with the most trusted version, though the economy has opened the doors wider for competition on price. You want to be there when consumers go in search of information; building brand awareness is critical.
C- Content. Look for different ROI in different areas; tailor your content to the right person in the right place. Don’t make the mistake of thinking content is something fluffy or ineffective; test conversion using different content and landing pages, even edited content and not, and you’ll see a difference that translates directly to ROI.
D- Data and CRM. We live in a Big Data world, but what are we going to do with any of it? We have lots of numbers at our disposal, but we’re looking at all these numbers we’re not going to do anything with. B2B marketers need to set value goals for each action and know what to measure in order to achieve those goals. The first thing you should be doing as B2B marketers is integrating analytics with your CRM so you know how to approach your account holistically.
E- Enablement. Your job as a marketer is to make sure your consumer has the right content in the right context. You need to know where the responsibility lies for drops in revenue, whether marketing or sales are dropping the ball and how to identify and correct the issue.
F- Forecasting. You aren’t going to do anyone any favors by aiming too low or high, so forecasting must be realistic. We have access to tools and data in digital marketing that make this far easier.
G- Goals. You can’t discuss ROI with executives if you aren’t looking at the same goals. If you don’t know what your goals are, you have even bigger problems! Goals must be manageable, specific and measurable, then align with your data.
H- Hippo. How do you deal with someone who wants ROI but is still disruptive? Put tests together to show based on fact and not opinion the course of action. Numbers don’t lie.
I- Innovation. Mobile is one of the leading innovations in digital marketing. Stay ahead of innovations and trends and always be testing to find opportunities to improve ROI.
J- Justification. We’re all trying to defend our budgets, constantly. Marketers need to understand how to prove their justification over time and also at any given point in time.
K- Know Your Customers. We can get incredibly specific now, whether we’re targeting by geography, profession, behavior or some other signal.
L- Lead Automation & Nurturing. This is important from the data side, but also in terms of segmentation and content. Who are these people and what are they thinking? How do we know whether they’re hot, medium or cold leads? You need to know their propensity to purchase to keep your CRM clean, then construct different ways of reaching out to them and using content to meet their needs.
M- Multi-touch Marketing. There may be quite a few factors contributing to a purchasing decision. How do budget cuts impact revenue downstream, or revenue from other channels? Marketers need to understand the influence of each channel and tactic as part of their consumer’s decision-making process.
N- No. Learn how to say it! You can’t be everything to everyone, and marketers need to know how to justify not taking certain directions when they can prove their position on the issue.
O- Organic. How do you treat your copy and construct your links? How is your site architecture? You need that current stable underneath to navigate the choppy waters of the online marketing world.
P- Paid. Whenever you can show an increase in conversion, you’ve shown an increase in ROI. Paid complements your organic strategies and allows for retargeting.
Q- Questions. Ginty encouraged the audience to ask questions, not only here but in their day to day work. Seek out answers. Try to find alternate perspectives and see if this can help you develop new tactics to improve your ROI and better meet your goals.
R- Retargeting. It has a bit of a bad rap, but the good thing about retargeting is that you can cap it and control how aggressively you pursue and target your audience. Retargeting is one of the best ROI tools Ginty has seen in a long time, she noted, with up to 19 to 1 ROI.
S- Social. Social advertising, monitoring, content and analytics are all critical components of a social media marketing campaign designed for lead gen or sales. Consider location and context when promoting content through social – or creating content for social. Use tools to help you identify where the conversations you need to be a part of are happening in order to reduce the workload and improve your ROI.
T- Trust and Loyalty. The number one thing you have to do is maintain trust. It’s so easy to break customer trust and takes time to rebuild. Checklists are a great way to ensure that you are executing your strategy flawlessly, to ensure a great experience for every customer.
U- Unaided and aided awareness. You can present unaided and aided awareness tests in paid search and organic search very easily. How does each perform against the other?
V- Video. It’s become the unexpected hero of the mobile universe, but video is also making email marketing more engaging and effective. Anytime you can assist a consumer in learning what they want or need to know faster and more easily, you win. Video still needs to be optimized and quality is going to become more and more important.
W- Web optimization. You can test just about anything in the design phase, but need to think seriously about how you’re constructing your tests and accounting for variables. If you don’t have a hypothesis, go back and start over.
X- Xena. Be strong and powerful – this was the best Ginty (and I) could do with the letter X. She asked us to try, giving us only Xena as the theme. We say, go forth strong and proud into the world, young marketer. That’s all I’ve got.
Y- You. Understand the choices you can make, and those you have no control over. Know your limits, skill set, opportunities, tools, budget, etc and this will point you to new opportunities to improve your ROI.
Z- Zimbabwe. Reward yourself by sharing your knowledge. Write a book. Start a blog. Make videos. These are all personal brand building opportunities that can also be monetized; your own experience may become part of your ROI. Once your systems and checks and balances are in place, you can reward yourself with trips to cool places like Zimbabwe (as Ginty has done) or whatever else it is you love outside of marketing.
B2B is a very different animal; the time to purchase can range over quite a long period of time. Use these tips from Maura Ginty and stay tuned to Online Marketing Blog and the TopRank Twitter channel for more great online marketing insights from SES New York and beyond.