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1Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide.
TODD EBERT
501
QUESTIONS
EVERY
B2B
CMO
TO ASK
NEEDS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Purpose ...........................................................................03
Corporate Strategy...
3Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide.
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK ?
As a marketer who has joined several ne...
4Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide.
It is important to note that my diagram is simply intended to show the ke...
5Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide.
If you’re like me, you asked a ton of questions when interviewing with th...
6Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide.
The first two questions are probably the simplest yet the most important:...
7Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide.
Vision / Core Purpose / Mission
yy Can I get a copy of the official writt...
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ƒƒ What portion/segment of the market are we going for?
yy For each major...
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The B2B Buying Journey Is Not Linear
Mobile Web Company website Events Sa...
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o	 Do they do a competitive bake-off?
o	 Do they issue an RFP?
yy How do...
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MARKETING TEAM
Good marketing makes the company look smart.
Great market...
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o	 Marketing technology competence level?
o	 Product marketing competenc...
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of everything on the marketing roadmap and to collaborate with key
teamm...
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BRAND
Our job is to connect to people, to
interact with them in a way th...
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I believe that what separates the winners from the losers in today’s
hyp...
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Brand Development Framework
Brand Foundation
yy What is the company bran...
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yy How would you describe the company’s personality? [often this insight...
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yy Does the brand story/promise ring true in every aspect? Does it reson...
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CUSTOMER DATA
Those with the best data
on their customers win!
It’s not ...
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yy What is his/her strategy for making it the one source of truth for ev...
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yy How do we mine and include data from all the various systems that the...
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CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX/UX)
You’ve got to start with the customer
experi...
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So, given the importance of this, here are some questions you can use to...
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yy How do we as a company step back and understand the journey from
thei...
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o	 What is the experience during solution delivery, on-boarding, attendi...
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80% of B2B buyers found the vendor,
not the other way around.
iii iiiiii...
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So, given these facts, your company’s web presence is the critical make ...
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yy What do people [prospects, media, analysts, customers, potential
empl...
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yy Could you share the list of ALL our “claimed” pages on the web:
o	 so...
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yy Is the blog part of the main website or separate? Why?
o	 What traffi...
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o	 SEO for pages and content pieces?
o	 Publishing new content types?
o	...
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CONTENT
Content brands build relationships.
Relationships build trust. T...
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There are many examples of consumer brands that have figured this out, l...
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Here are some good questions to get you started on determining the healt...
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o	 How do they use those content pieces in their marketing programs and
...
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o	 How many interactive content pieces have we created?
o	 How do we use...
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o	 For example, do we put our presentations and whitepapers on
SlideShar...
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MARTECH
Instead of using technology to automate
processes, think about u...
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yy What is included in our mar-tech stack…all the technologies, systems ...
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Engagio, Terminus, LeanData, Kapta, KickFire
Google Adsense, Adroll, Dem...
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Cvent, Bizzabo, EventBrite, EventPro
Box, DropBox, GoogleDocs, Microsoft...
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PRODUCT MARKETING
The product is the marketing and
the marketing is the ...
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yy How do product managers / product marketers understand the
customer’s...
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ƒƒ Positioning and messaging
ƒƒ Branding and naming
ƒƒ Marketing strateg...
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yy Who owns completing the product positioning and messaging doc
[PMD]? ...
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o	 Launch timeline – lay out the detailed launch schedule with dates
for...
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o	 What market research and modelling do we do to support and
validate p...
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SALES ENABLEMENT
As marketers, we should be
changing the mantra from alw...
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yy reworked our customer personas
yy mapped the customer need states alo...
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Customer Buying Journey & Sales Flow
yy Who are all the people involved ...
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o	 How does a typical prospecting call unfold?
o	 What does a typical em...
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o	 website & blog content
o	 infographics & newsletters
o	 solution vide...
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o	 What are the ramifications of not meeting the SLAs?
Dashboard
yy What...
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DEMAND GENERATION
Demand generation means different things to different ...
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The ultimate goal is to create a consistent, high performance, continuou...
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ƒƒ For example, on a post about landing pages offer a one page
guide wit...
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o	 How do we know when a lead is ready to be passed on to the sales
team...
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o	 How do we drive awareness and traffic to our site?
ƒƒ What is the mix...
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Landing Pages
yy How many landing pages are we currently using?
yy How d...
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask
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501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask

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Taking the reins as a new CMO can be daunting.  You need learn all about the company, strategies, markets, products, customers, personas, buying journeys, competitors, processes, technologies, etc. -- not to mention all the myriad details about the marketing team, brands, plans and budgets. What does the marketing team do well? What do they not do well? What do they not do at all?  

You've got just a few months to gather all the information, analyze it, identify gaps, develop your plan and present it to the CEO and Board.  

Having gone through this process several times, I created an Evernote list with questions to ask in order to be thorough in gathering all the information. Over the years that simple list grew unwieldy with hundreds of questions so I dumped it into a Word doc and then got the bright idea to turn it into an ebook for B2B CMOs -- the only one of it's kind.

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501 Questions Every B2B CMO Needs To Ask

  1. 1. 1Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. TODD EBERT 501 QUESTIONS EVERY B2B CMO TO ASK NEEDS
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS Purpose ...........................................................................03 Corporate Strategy........................................................05 Marketing Team ............................................................11 Brand ..............................................................................14 Customer Data ..............................................................19 Customer Experience....................................................22 Web Presence ...............................................................26 Content ..........................................................................32 MarTech .........................................................................38 Product Marketing ........................................................42 Sales Enablement .........................................................48 Demand Generation ....................................................54 Brand / Reputation Building .........................................64 About Me .......................................................................71 Appendices ...................................................................72
  3. 3. 3Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK ? As a marketer who has joined several new companies over my career I’ve tak- en over new teams and had to quickly learn everything they do, identify gaps, and develop a plan to deliver more value to the company. I must admit it’s a daunting task to meet dozens and dozens of people and get a clear picture of all the roles, processes and technologies plus the interrelations with the other teams in Product, Sales and Service. What does the team do well? What do they not do well? What do they not do at all? Its damn hard to be systematic and thorough in capturing all the information needed so I started an Evernote with my list of questions and just kept adding more and more over time. This eb- ook is the product of that list which became too long to manage in Evernote. • Market & Customer Analysis • Go-To-Market Process • Launch Strategy & Planning • Positioning & Messaging • Sales Training & Demos • Sales Tools & Content • PR & Analyst Briefings • Pricing, Bundles & Offers • Product Evangelism • Search Engine Marketing & Retargeting • Integrated Acquisition Campaigns • Inbound Marketing • Lead Nurturing & Drip Email Campaigns • Trade Shows • Webinars • Seminar Series & Workshops • Customer Renewal, Upsell & Winback • Analytics & ROI Dashboard • Data Cleansing & Enhancement • Lead Scoring • Lead Management • Collateral & Tools • Presentations • Sales Portal & Communications • Channel Partner Marketing • Contest Support • Event Support • Social Selling Tools • Display Campaigns [Persona, Behavioral, etc.] • Search Engine Optimization [SEO & ORM] • Content Marketing [ebooks, infographics, etc.] • Blog & Social Media • Customer Reviews & Advocacy • Employee Reviews & Advocacy • Employee Social Sharing • Media & Analyst Relations • Speaking Opportunities DEMAND GENERATION BRAND / REPUTATION BUILDING BRAND Position Message Identity Creative WEB PRESENCE CX/UX CONTENT MARTECH DATA PRODUCT MARKETING SALES ENABLEMENT But, before I jump into the list of questions let me explain the structure of the document. It largely follows what I call the B2B Marketing Flywheel [diagram above] with my POV on the key components of the marketing organization. Naturally the brand is at the nucleus of the organization as it powers everything in marketing, and the whole company for that matter. Surrounding the brand nucleus are the five essential elements for executing proper marketing. And, like the definition of a flywheel, this hub “stores kinetic energy and smooths the operation of the engine” while providing power and speed to all marketing efforts including the four functions on the outer ring of the diagram.
  4. 4. 4Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. It is important to note that my diagram is simply intended to show the key attributes required to build a high-performance marketing team and is NOT intended to be an org chart or to show the many interrelations between all the functions. There are many ways to structure a marketing team and yours may be totally different, but no matter, you must have these elements in order to succeed. So regardless of how your team is structured this ebook provides the questions you’ll want answers to in order to identify strengths and weaknesses, gaps and opportunities. It seems common sense to start the fact-finding mission by interviewing the C-suite to learn about the corporate strategy and to assess the Marketing team’s structure, roles, competencies, projects and budgets. During those sessions with execs and the marketing team I also do a deep dive into the brand since it is the nucleus of everything the company does. Why? Because if you don’t get the brand right then nothing else matters. Once I have a firm foundation in the brand, I move outwards on the diagram to evaluate all the other key aspects including the web presence, customer experience, technology stack and so on and so on. Honestly every time I do this the order of questions changes as I follow the path that presents itself during the interviews with key executives and stakeholders. And to be clear, I’ve included many more questions than you would typically ask during an interview. It’s up to you to choose the ones that work best for what you are trying to learn.
  5. 5. 5Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. If you’re like me, you asked a ton of questions when interviewing with the executives for the CMO role at your new company. While you’ve probably already asked the questions I list below I’ve included them here in the interest of thoroughness. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask these same questions of everyone on the extended management team to make sure they are aligned and identify any gaps. If the management team is not aligned on the core vision, strategy, and value proposition then you’ve got a lot of work to do before crafting your new marketing plan. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Peter Drucker Martin Luther King did not say ‘I have a mission statement.’ Simon Sinek CORPORATE STRATEGY Source: The Strategic Sweet Spot Harvard Business Review CONTEXT (technologies, industries, regulations, etc.) COMPETITOR OFFERINGS CUSTOMER NEEDS COMPANY CAPABILITIES SWEET SPOT
  6. 6. 6Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. The first two questions are probably the simplest yet the most important: yy Why do we win? yy Why do we lose? You can knock yourself out with all the follow-ups to the responses to those two questions. But if you want to get answers to specific areas of the strategy then move onto the following. Strategy and Business Model yy Who are the 20 people in the company that I should meet over the next two weeks to get a full understanding of how we do business here, along with our strengths, opportunities and challenges? These need not be executives but the indispensable people who are at the backbone of running the company. yy What is the company’s business model? o Do you believe in it? Is it still viable? o Where is the market, and more specifically the company, in it’s life cycle? o Is it maturing and needs to be repositioned or are we a new entrant needing to create awareness that we exist? Or is it somewhere in between? Describe. o Do consumers ask, "Who are you and what do you do?" Or do they ask, "Why should I buy from you versus all the choices available?" yy What’s our strategic battleground? Which of the three choices below are we best at? You can only be truly excellent at one of the three. yy How does our strategy compare to competitors? Product Leadership Operational Excellence Customer Intimacy Threshol d value Operational Competence Customer Responsive Product Differentiation Leadership value Source: The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema
  7. 7. 7Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Vision / Core Purpose / Mission yy Can I get a copy of the official written corporate brand and messaging document that everyone uses to inform all internal and external communications? The doc should contain the following: o Vision, mission, company values, company purpose, company story, pillars that define the brand, key message themes, etc. yy What does our brand name stand for? [I’ll do a deeper dive on the brand questions in the Brand section] yy What is the company’s overriding vision and core purpose? o What is our raison d’etre? Why do we exist? o What big problem do we want to solve for the world? o What is our big hairy audacious goal [BHAG]? yy What is the company’s mission for the next 3 years? o This is not the vision – this is the mission we actually want to accomplish and it dictates the marketing plan [i.e. which markets and products to focus on that are growth drivers, etc.] yy What two or three words would you personally use to describe the company culture? Why? yy What are the company’s core values? i.e. 3-5 words and descriptions that describe the company’s approach to doing business and it’s culture. yy How/why are these different from the couple words you used in the question above? yy What are the businesses’ core skills and assets that help us do stuff better than everyone else? i.e. What is the company’s definitive competitive advantage? yy What is the single biggest obstacle in the way of hitting it big? Others? yy What is the company’s TOP objective for next 6-12 months? yy What is your top personal objective for next 6-12 months? yy What obstacles stand in your way? yy What “words of advice” do you have for the executive team? Target Markets & Customers yy What are our lines of business? o Describe each LOB in detail, markets/customers served, products, revenues, market share, etc. o Are we entering new LOBs in the near future that impact the brand and marketing strategy? o What is the total addressable market [TAM] for each LOB?
  8. 8. 8Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. ƒƒ What portion/segment of the market are we going for? yy For each major market/segment we serve how would you describe our current customers? [in detail] o Firmographics: industry segments, geographic regions, revenue size range, employee size range, etc. o Technographics: systems used that indicate they are a good prospect – software, hardware, etc. o Economics: average initial deal size, retention, lifetime value, cost to acquire, etc. o Motivations and need states yy Who is our ideal target customer? [of the ones you described above] o What are the aspects of the companies/people that are best suited to need what we have? o Ideal means that they need what we have, they spend a lot, they retain and loves us and eventually become an advocate [if multiple segments define the ideal persona for each] ƒƒ How many of these ideal customers are there? Numbers are key here – are they in our database or do we have to develop the market? yy Are current customers and ideal customers the same or different -- why? yy What critical / important problem do we solve for them? o Do they know they have the problem? o Have they budgeted for solving it? yy What research/input do we have on how prospects feel about us? o Perceptions – good and bad? o By current customers? o By prospects who didn’t buy from us [lost deal analysis]? Customer Personas & Buying Journey yy Who are the people in the decision-making unit [DMU] at the types of customers we want to target? o Describe all the key people and draw a map/org chart of how they fit together in the buying journey: functional buyer, economic buyer, approver, users, influencers, etc. o Obviously this differs greatly by market segment/tier so what are the key differences in your main lines of business? o What are the written “personas” for each of the key people involved in the decision?
  9. 9. 9Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. The B2B Buying Journey Is Not Linear Mobile Web Company website Events Sales Peers Social Email Print Discover Hear Share Share Share Peer review Decide ResearchResearch Compare Leam Advocate Trust Browse Explore Buy Engage Use Ask yy What does the customer buying journey look like? [for each business unit or market segment] See the appendix for my chart with the high-level stages of the buying journey. o Has it been officially mapped and documented by those in Sales/ Marketing with significant enough experience working with customers? o If not, when can we get the right people in a room and draw the detailed journey stages on a whiteboard so we can then document it and vet it? o How long is the journey? Who from the decision-making unit is involved at each stage? o Where do the people in the decision-making unit go to research issues, solutions and vendors? ƒƒ What are their “go to” sources of information they use regularly? ƒƒ Which industry gurus, trade associations, publications, websites and blogs? yy How many vendors do they consider? o Which ones are always in the mix? o How do they go about comparing them? Source: Forrester Research. This version of the buying journey shows the non-linear complexity of the B2B buying journey. Given that buyers conduct a large portion of the journey online before contacting ven- dors, it’s critical to have a strong web presence [see that section for more detail].
  10. 10. 10Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o Do they do a competitive bake-off? o Do they issue an RFP? yy How do we win? yy Why do we lose? Check out my ebook, The B2B Buying Journey that you can yy What is the unique value proposition we provide? o What would you tell a friend if they asked you? i.e. your elevator pitch. o Is it impactful enough to get them intrigued in 30 seconds so they have a 3 min conversation with you and then agree to a 30 minute meeting? o What is the compelling reason why they should believe in us? yy If prospects don’t choose our solution then… o Who do they buy from instead? o Why do those companies win and not us? Dashboards & Internal Communications yy Who keeps the executive calendar with the key dates for leadership meetings, board meetings, all-hands meetings, company outings, etc.? yy What are the key executive comms and internal comms that I should receive? yy What are the executive dashboards and reports I need to receive? yy What are the dashboards and reports that I need to deliver to the exec team? yy What are the marketing comms that have been delivered in the past to the sales force and the entire company? o Are they useful and well received? Should I continue them? yy What else do I need to know that I might have missed? o Company traditions? o Culture? o Company events? o Etc. Check out my ebook, The B2B Buying Journey Download
  11. 11. 11Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. MARKETING TEAM Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart. This section is pretty self-explanatory. Upon joining your new company you’ll certainly want to learn everything about the marketing team and what they do. The questions below will help you evaluate gaps, build out the team, and deliver more value to the broader organization. Our Mission is Simple - Help Sales Grow Revenue Joe Chernov yy How is the Marketing team currently structured? o Org chart with roles and locations? o Strengths and weaknesses? o Gaps that need to be filled? yy How would you describe the people on the team? o Where did they come from – inside the company, outside? o What are their backgrounds? [marketing, sales, comms, etc.] o Data analytics competence level? o Content creation competence level? o Demand gen competence level?
  12. 12. 12Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o Marketing technology competence level? o Product marketing competence level? yy How well does the team function? o High, low or average performance level? o Why and how could it be improved? o Any issues between people? yy On a 7 point scale with 1 being very low and 7 being very high, how would you rate the level of respect that marketing has within the organization? Explain the rationale behind your rating. yy What are the team’s objectives? o Are they documented in a formal plan? o How do you measure success? o What dashboard/reports do you deliver to show the value the team delivers? How often? yy What stands in your way of success and achieving the goals? o people, process, technology, budget, etc. yy What projects are on the marketing roadmap? o How are projects selected and prioritized? o What collaboration and project management tools do you use? [e.g. Slack, Basecamp, etc.] o How are projects measured and optimized in order to hit dates? o How is project status communicated to stakeholders? yy What is the marketing team’s operating model? o How do you prioritize projects? o How do you allocate resources? o How do you go about getting projects done rapidly, checking results, and then optimizing to get better results on the next project? o Do you use a traditional approach with a series of sequential steps or do you use an agile approach with small sprints and adjustments along the way as described by McKinsey Consulting in this video and this article. o How do you get feedback? o How do you gather and analyze data? o How do you use all that to make decisions? yy What project management/work flow tool do you use to keep track
  13. 13. 13Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. of everything on the marketing roadmap and to collaborate with key teammates and outside resources? o E.g. shared google doc or a SaaS like Slack, Trello, Basecamp or Redbooth? o How often do you report to management on the marketing roadmap, resource allocation and projects completed? yy How well are you aligned with the Product/Tech team? o What is their current opinion on the value of marketing? o What would they want changed? yy How well are you aligned with Sales? o What is their current opinion on the value of marketing? o What would they want changed? yy What else should I know about the team? o Team traditions? o Team outings? yy What is the budget for the year and the past three years? o Have the team been on budget, below or above? Why? o How does the budget align with the objectives? yy How is the budget broken down by… o People costs? o Program costs? o Technology costs? yy If you got a 50% increase in budget tomorrow where would you invest it? Why there? yy What communications has the team received in the past from the CMO? yy Are they useful? Do people read them? Should I continue with something similar? yy What are the communications the team/CMO sends to the rest of the company? o Communications to Sales about new tools or programs? o Communications to the entire company about new content/ advertising? o Are these communications well received? Should we continue doing something similar?
  14. 14. 14Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. BRAND Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, and more able to get where they’d like to go. I’ve spent my entire 25-year career in technology industries marketing to business buyers. And during that time, I’ve also been married to a consumer marketer who’s run some of the most iconic brands in the country at General Mills, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper. So, both at work and at home, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about brands and how important they are to attract and keep the best employees, partners and, most importantly, customers. While consumer marketers have known for a long time that great brands are essential to success, the B2B market has just recently caught on to the power of a differentiated brand that achieves a unique position in the mind of customers. There are four ways to build a brand position, but by far the most powerful is purpose. Check out Simon Sinek’s video “Start with Why” to see the power of purpose. It’s rare to find a strong brand built on what benefits the company provides or the way they go about their business [i.e. their craft] since those are easily copied by competitors. Create a Differentiated & Meaningful Position PURPOSE – Why are we in business? Social Issue| Category Problem | Brand Values IDENTITY – Who are we? Aspirational | Personality | Affiliation BENEFITS – What do we offer? Performance | Experience | Occasion CRAFT – How do we do it? People | Process| Technology Seth Godin
  15. 15. 15Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. I believe that what separates the winners from the losers in today’s hypercompetitive markets is great marketing and that starts with a great brand foundation. Many B2B execs that I’ve worked with have not invested in building a great brand because they thought that having the best technology was the key to success. Maybe that was true 30 years ago but it’s certainly not true today when almost every market has parity of products and price. Another mistake I’ve seen is when people think that branding is just about the logo design or the look of the latest advertising. I’ve addressed that issue head on by asking them a simple question – “If you were planning to open a new restaurant would you work on the decorations for the walls or the ad for the grand opening before you completed the blueprint with the architect, poured the foundation, and put up the walls?” It’s the same in brand building, you don’t rush into designing your identity/logo before you've put down the building blocks of your brand foundation – your core purpose, positioning, value proposition and differentiated messaging. Here’s my diagram of the approach I follow to develop a new brand or tackle a rebranding project.
  16. 16. 16Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Brand Development Framework Brand Foundation yy What is the company brand? What does it stand for? yy Would you say that the prospects we are currently targeting/selling to: o know the company? o like the company? o trust the company? o If not, why? Check out my ebook, Rebranding, A 4-Step Plan for B2B Marketers Download
  17. 17. 17Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy How would you describe the company’s personality? [often this insight on culture informs how the brand really is versus how it aspires to be] yy What other companies/brands do you admire? Why? [this can be any company, not just those in your industry] yy Would you say the company has an aspirational vision/purpose? o Why? Why not? o What big problem are we solving for the industry/world? yy What is the company’s raison d’etre? Purpose? BHAG? [big hairy audacious goal] o How do we make a difference – to our customers, employees, the community? o Why do we exist? What value do we bring to the world? [It must be authentic and real not just a slogan] o Why should/do people care about the company? yy In an ideal world, where money, time and competitors are not a factor, what would you say is the perfect brand position in the market? o What is our current brand position? o Be brutally honest on where we stand now relative to where we want to be. You can’t make a plan to improve if you don’t know where you’re starting from. yy What is the market perception of the brand of each of our competitors? o How do we stack up against them in terms of the key customer values in our industry, for example: product line breadth/depth, quality, technology, innovation, service excellence, price value, etc.? yy How have we validated our position through primary research with people outside the company – our prospects and customers, industry analysts and media? You cannot trust internal stakeholders who typically are biased. yy What are three story headlines you’d love to see 5 years from now in a leading publication covering a major impact the company has made? [see exercises listed in the appendix] yy Are we as a company ready, willing and able to pursue the vision? [i.e. vision and beliefs are hollow without people who have the will to execute on them] yy How do we want customers to feel when they buy from us, employees when they come to work, etc.? What’s stopping us from delivering that experience/feeling? yy If you drew the company’s story as a comic book who would be the hero in your story? The products? The results/ROI? The technology? The customer? yy If you could only use one word to describe the company’s essence what would it be? [e.g. Subway’s one word is FRESH] yy What are the 3 brand pillars you use to describe the company? o Unique strengths that distinguish the company in the eyes of the customer.
  18. 18. 18Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy Does the brand story/promise ring true in every aspect? Does it resonate with customers and employees who know us best? Does it meet a rigorous test for being: relevant to the market, compelling, valuable, believable, and sustainable. yy What do we do really well but have not communicated clearly to the market? yy How do we make people care about the company/product? [Rule #1 of marketing is “make me care”] Brand Essence yy When is the last time that we updated or changed the logo and look/style of the brand? yy Are you personally happy with the look and feel of our current brand identity? Why? o How do customers and employees feel about it? o How does it compare to our competitors? o Does it represent and support our vision and business aspirations? yy Which brands use a look/style that you like? Why? [any brand not just ones in our industry] yy What is our brand archetype? [see chart in appendix for various archetypes] o Why did we land on that as our archetype? o How does it compare to competitors? o How do we support it and build it with our messaging and communications? yy What tone of voice do we use in our website, marketing and communications? o Formal versus casual? Enterprise versus personal? Why? o Does it resonate with our target customers? o What tone of voice do competitors use? Establishes Credibility Differentiates from Competition Creates Emotional Connection Conveys Quality & Value Motivates Action Encourages Loyalty What A Strong Brand Does For You
  19. 19. 19Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. CUSTOMER DATA Those with the best data on their customers win! It’s not hyperbole to say that the success or failure of your marketing is determined by your data. You must continuously capture and enhance the data on your target customers in order to market/sell to the right people with the right content at the right time. A database with deep customer data and insights creates a big competitive advantage. So, you need to make it a strategic priority to capture all the data you can on customers and constantly clean and enhance that data every day. Failing to do so means it will degrade quickly and thereby reduce the effectiveness, efficiency and profitability of all your sales and marketing efforts. On the flip side, constantly feeding the data set on your target customers helps you perfect your lead scoring methodology and improve your predictive model showing the best accounts to pursue based on their potential value and likelihood to buy. Jay Baer Track Behaviors & Intent Signals know what they read & add to lead score Add Firmographics & Technographics get details on every aspect of the company and the systems they use Add DMU Contacts build total picture of everyone in the decision making unit Clean Everything constantly check and update all records yy What is the company/team strategy for gaining deep customer intelligence? yy Who “owns” the CRM and the health and accuracy of the data in it? o Who is responsible for cleaning, deduping and updating it? o What are the rules for reps regarding hoarding contacts outside of the database? o Who is responsible for managing, cleaning and enriching all the data? Build A Customer Intelligence Database
  20. 20. 20Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy What is his/her strategy for making it the one source of truth for everything about our prospects and customers? o Firmographics – location, revenue, employees, industries served, etc. o Demographics – gender, age, location, education, title, etc. o Psychographics – goals, frustrations, challenges, interests, etc. o Technographics – systems used, competitor products used, etc. o Behaviors – emails opened, website pages viewed, content downloaded, etc. yy What is the plan for the next 12 months? o Objectives and key projects? o What are the key issues or barriers to the health and success of the database? yy What do the sales reps think about the quality of the data? o How would they grade it? o What issues do they complain about? o How well do they adhere to the rules about data input? yy What is our [sales & marketing] definition of the ideal customer profile? o What all is included in it – what fields of info? yy How many records are in the database? o How many would you say fit the ideal customer profile? o How many new records do you add each month? yy What are all the sources of data you mine to build robust profiles on each prospect/customer? [see vendor list under MarTech section] o Primary sources? e.g. data.com, Hoovers, Dunn & Bradstreet, etc. o Enrichment sources? yy When is the last time the database was cleaned and de-duped? o How frequently is that done? [data decay is a huge issue] yy What data sources are used for enriching each account and building intelligence that can be used to segment and target the best prospects? o industry vertical and sub vertical [SIC / NAICS] o revenue and employee size o geographic locations o website URL and social profiles o technologies used o association memberships o other key attributes important in your industry
  21. 21. 21Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy How do we mine and include data from all the various systems that the marketing, sales and service teams use to interact with prospects and customers? o Engagement with marketing content [website, marketing automation system, etc.]? o Interactions with sales on the phone, email, demo portals, etc? o Interactions with service on the phone, customer web portal, ticketing system, etc. yy How have we used the data to segment prospects and customers? o By industry vertical, size, location, technology used, etc.? yy Have we created a predictive model using the data to score and rank the accounts on their: o Spending potential [value]? o Purchase probability? yy What do the sales reps think about the accuracy of the scoring model? yy What data analysis do you do to validate the accuracy of the scoring model? o How often do we make adjustments to that model? yy How do we get the contacts for the decision-making unit at each prospect? o Which data sources do we use? o How do we “house-hold” all contacts from the org into one account record [so you can understand the full decision-making unit] o How often do we clean and update the contact information [title, email, phone numbers, etc.]? o Have we included social media accounts [LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.] for each contact in order to support social selling? yy How many contacts [and % total] have given opt-in permission? o Are they the right ones we want to get deals from? o When is the last time we validated contact email addresses and deleted the undeliverables? o How many opt-outs do we process each month and what is the process to ensure they are removed from all lists? yy What does your dashboard look like? o What KPIs do we measure? o How often do we send the dashboard to key stakeholders? o What gaps are we working on? yy How is the data dashboard used by sales and marketing to make adjustments in their programs and tactics?
  22. 22. 22Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX/UX) You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around. Steve Jobs Customer experience is the new competitive battleground. It’s where business is going to be won or lost. Tom Knighton The buying journey includes everything that happens before, during and after the customer actually buys and uses your solution. The journey stretches across many channels and touchpoints over weeks or months. The consequences of both good or bad experiences are serious, impacting customer satisfaction, support calls, delivery cost, customer retention and employee morale. And beyond the benefits I just covered, the ultimate value is in differentiating yourself in a crowded market and propelling your brand into a sustained leadership position. So, given that fact, why do many B2B companies still not focus on their customer experience? The problem is articulated well in this article by McKinsey, “Companies need to recognize and address the fact that—at least, in most cases—they are simply not wired to naturally think about the journeys their customers take. They are wired to maximize productivity and scale economies through functional units. They are wired for transactions, not journeys.” Hence many companies measure customer satisfaction at operational touch points like after they order or place a support call. And they think they’ve done a great job of taking care of the customer, but miss the bigger picture that despite the customer rating the support call highly they were totally underwhelmed by the entire end-to-end buying journey. So, the key is to design and track the customer’s cumulative experience across the whole journey not just one or two touchpoints. And taking it a step further, how you deliver for customers is as important as what you deliver. This is especially true given the sky-high expectations people have developed as a result of great consumer experiences they’ve had. They’ve been “Amazonified” [my term] and expect every company they deal with [including B2B vendors] to provide great marketing, wide selection, deep information, low prices, easy ordering, same-day delivery, no-hassle free returns and instant live service 24/7. Consumers are “always-on” and share their experiences online in an instant – both good and bad -- across their entire social networks and beyond. For example, as I write this United Airlines is dealing with the fall-out from videos showing them forcibly removing of a doctor from their plane. The resulting media firestorm is taking its toll on their reputation not to mention impacting their stock.
  23. 23. 23Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. So, given the importance of this, here are some questions you can use to understand your company’s commitment to delivering a great customer experience. yy What is the customer experience vision and strategy for the company? o Is there a shared conviction and aspiration from the C-Suite to deliver a great experience? Is it one of the major corporate goals? o What is the company’s appetite for change in the near term? I.e. are we looking for improvements or a major transformation of the experience? o What is our overarching aspiration for customer experience? E.g. are we aiming for best-in-class Ritz Carlton experience or something less intensive? o How are the CX goals mapped to strategy and business goals? o How can we use customer experience to gain an advantage over competitors? o Who owns customer experience for the company? And, who are all the people/functions involved in shaping it? [cross-functional team] o What are the specific goals this year and projects to achieve them? o Are all functions and leaders unified trying to achieve the plan? o Do we have the resources and staff capabilities to deliver the experience that everyone envisions? Map The Customer Experience Journey
  24. 24. 24Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy How do we as a company step back and understand the journey from their point of view not ours? What primary research do we do with customers to understand their fundamental needs/wants? o How do we determine customers’ motivations, needs, desires and expectations as they buy products from us or our competitors? o How do those needs and expectations change at each stage of their buying journey? o How do we determine customers’ feelings about us and their experience with us [satisfaction] relative to their needs/wants in order to identify issues and gaps? o How do we measure the mind-set of the front-line employees who are the ones delivering the experience? ƒƒ How do we learn about their challenges and roadblocks to delivering on the CX vision? ƒƒ How do we get their ideas and help in solving problems that they identify? ƒƒ How do we measure their active engagement with the plan and the customers? yy How do we gather, store, integrate and share data to ensure a single accurate and unified view of the customer? ƒƒ Data gathered from surveys - NPS, CSAT, exit surveys, etc. ƒƒ Data gathered from focus groups ƒƒ Data gathered from ongoing interactions with the product [web, mobile app, reports, etc.] ƒƒ Data in marketing, sales and service systems ƒƒ Data gathered from interactions with sales and service people yy Have we mapped each and every touch-point that the customer has with us over the entire buying journey from initial research through onboarding and ongoing use of the product? Which points along the experience are the most important to concentrate on for maximum impact? At the same time, how do we ensure we improve the customer’s overall end- to-end experience since fixing a touchpoint or two could still leave them unsatisfied overall? o What do they experience when researching us and seeing our web presence, marketing materials, emails, social posts, webinars and other content? o What do they experience when registering for one of our offers/CTAs or evaluating a free trial of our product? o What is their experience when interacting with a lead development rep, during sales pitches, when receiving proposals and negotiating pricing/contract terms?
  25. 25. 25Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o What is the experience during solution delivery, on-boarding, attending training [web and in person]? o What is their experience when calling the service or support team to ask questions and get help with a problem? o What is their experience with the product/service interfaces such as mobile apps, customer portals and emailed reports? o What is their experience with finance for billing and invoicing? o What is their continuing experience with our loyalty program and with their account manager or sales person for upgrades, renewals and additional purchases? yy What are the elements at each touchpoint of our experience map [per above] that we have consciously planned/executed to improve their experience? o What analytics do we study to understand customer actions at each stage? yy What is our customer complaint process? o Who owns it? o How do we know when someone lodges a complaint? [beyond directly calling you…e.g. posts comment on social media, writes negative review, files BBB complaint, etc.? o What other teams are involved in the process? o What are the escalation procedures when resolution becomes contentious? yy Do we have a customer advocacy and reference program? o How many do we have of reviews, testimonials and case studies? On which sites? o Who owns the process for getting more? o What is the monthly goal? o Could you share the questionnaire you use with customers during testimonial video shoots and case study interviews? o What do we do with new ones when we get them? E.g. our website, 3rd party review sites, YouTube, social media, sales portal, etc. o Do we have a formal program for customers to do referrals? Who owns it? o Do we have a process for customers to become advocates and share our content? Who owns it? What software do we use to power that program?
  26. 26. 26Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. 80% of B2B buyers found the vendor, not the other way around. iii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii WEB PRESENCE Just like consumers, when B2B buyers need something they start their journey by searching the web for information on the issue/problem they are trying to solve. And further, they complete 70% of the buying journey via self-directed research online before engaging a few vendors to talk with their sales reps. We live in a Match.com world; many buyers and sellers “meet” for the first time online. In fact, the entire purchase process may start and end without a single face-to-face interaction. Unaware [Passive] Exploring [Interest] Researching [Consideration Evaluating [Intent] Validating Purchasing Marketing Marketing Sales Sales SalesandMarketing.com Lisa Carr You Must Be Present To Win
  27. 27. 27Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. So, given these facts, your company’s web presence is the critical make or break first exposure to your brand. [that’s why I put this section here right after the brand questions] Mind you, it’s not just your website that conveys your brand but anything and everything that people find when they search for your types of solutions including product review sites, analyst sites, social media sites, articles in the press, blog posts, white paper sites, YouTube videos, and sadly the reviews on awful sites like RipOffReport. My former product marketing director said, it’s pretty simple… “You must be present to win!” This means that you need to publish a lot of really good content all over the web so that when potential customers do their research they find you. If you’re not there then you can be that your competitors are. And you need to make sure that your content addresses the needs that customers have at each stage of their buying journey as depicted below. Be unaware of problem Identify problem Research causes & solutions Assess value & cost of solving Install solution Receive onboarding Use soluition Ask for service & support Assess results Research potential solutions Develop business case Define needs & requirements Research vendors Contact vendors for information Narrow list for RFP Evaluate proposals Negotiate & purchase EXPLOREDISCOVER ENGAGE PURCHASE Things get even more hairy when buyers become interested in your solutions and start researching your company and product by name. What they find on the first page or two of the search engine results page [SERP] can mean a big boost or big dent in your brand reputation. So, you need to actively manage and optimize your online reputation by publishing customer reviews pages on your website, employee reviews on GlassDoor, testimonial videos on YouTube, product reviews on Google, G2Crowd and TrustRadius, and by working with a PR agency to get covered in leading business and industry sites. I’ll cover reputation optimization later in the brand/reputation building section of this document so here are some questions to get you started in understanding the health of your web presence. Buyer Needs Vary Across The Journey
  28. 28. 28Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy What do people [prospects, media, analysts, customers, potential employees] find when they search the web for information on our types of products and services? o What keywords do they search? o Do they find content about us or our competitors? ƒƒ If they find our content, is it from our website or a non-owned site like LinkedIn or YouTube, etc.? o What is our page rank for the top relevant keywords prospects search? o Do we do a good job of publishing our content on relevant sites all over the web? i.e. How would you rate the breadth of our web presence compared to everyone else in the industry? yy Could you share the list of ALL our “owned” external-facing web properties: o websites o blogs o microsites o landing pages o customer-portals o partner portals Your Web Presence Is So Much More Than Your Website
  29. 29. 29Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy Could you share the list of ALL our “claimed” pages on the web: o social media sites o video sites o directory sites o industry association sites o review sites o product reviews sites o employee review sites yy How many shares, mentions, questions and complaints did we get on social media last month? o Who monitors those and responds? yy For our non-owned web properties: o When was the last time each was updated with our brand content? o How often do you post/update each? o Who has the list of all the passwords? o Who is in charge of posting on them? o Who is in charge of monitoring them and responding to comments? yy For our primary company website: o How old is it? Last refresh? o What CMS is it built on? E.g. WordPress, Drupal, etc. o Is the site mobile optimized? o Who “owns” the website and ensuring its success? o What is the monthly traffic in unique visitors and page views? How is that trending? o What are the primary sources of traffic to the site? o What are the most popular pages? o What are the most popular pieces of content? E.g. ebook, whitepaper, etc. o What is the average time on site and how has that changed over time? o Are happy with the performance of the website? Why? o How does it compare to competitor sites? o How do we test everything on site and continuously optimize it?
  30. 30. 30Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy Is the blog part of the main website or separate? Why? o What traffic does the blog get in unique visitors and page views? How is that trending? o Is the blog mobile optimized? o What are the primary sources of traffic to the blog? o How many people subscribe to get new blog posts by email? o What are the most popular blog posts in terms of traffic and engagement? o How many leads do we get from the blog each month? o How many shares of blog stories do we get each month? o Who “owns” the blog for the company? i.e. responsible for its success o What is his/her content strategy for the blog? o Who are all the various subject matter experts we leverage to write posts? o How often do we publish new blog posts? o How do we optimize the blog/posts for search engines? o How do we use the blog to feed marketing and sales emails? o How do we leverage the blog for lead gen campaigns? o How do we measure effectiveness? yy How does our website quickly and easily convey that we solve the target audience’s problem? o Is it written about the customer and their needs -- not about us and what we do? o Does it have a video commercial with an overview of our vision, value prop and differentiation? o Does it have video explainers for our solutions -- features and benefits customer receive? o Does it have graphics with proof points of differentiated results we’ve delivered to customers? o Does it have lots of customer case studies testimonial videos talking about the results they got? o Does it have visual stimulating collateral packed with customer benefits? yy How does the sales team use the website and blog to aid their selling? yy How are we optimizing everything on the site and blog to improve discovery in search and the resultant traffic?
  31. 31. 31Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o SEO for pages and content pieces? o Publishing new content types? o Getting offsite links? yy Does the website have clearly defined lead conversion flows and compelling offers [CTAs] for pulling leads? [I cover the various types of offers in depth in the Demand Generation section] o Do we have multiple contact methods including tracking phone numbers and web forms on every page? o Do we use Live Chat? Who monitors/manages it? What hours? How much do they qualify the lead? o What are our incredible offers [CTAs] that a prospect can’t resist [lead magnets]? Are they prominent on every page of the site? ƒƒ “You have to give value to get value” – in other words, no one wants to fill out our form unless we give them something awesome ƒƒ One test of our offer is whether or not it is something people might actually pay for versus just another collateral piece. ƒƒ Are the offers super easy to get without hassle? i.e. people click away in 2 seconds so make it super easy – fewer form fields the better yy How do we A/B test all our content and offers on the site and blog in order to improve our conversion rates? yy What is our process for handling inbound leads from the website? o Who owns it? Are their incentives tied to KPIs for lead quantity, quality, conversion? o How many inbound leads [calls, emails, forms] do we get per month? o Have we defined every step in the process for handling the leads – e.g. who answers the phone and asks qualification questions, who checks the inbox and how fast do they call the lead back, how do they get the lead to the sales person or to the marketing team for nurturing, what is the SLA for sales to respond? yy How do we track each lead by channel and program? yy What measures do we have in place to track sales progress with each lead and deliver marketing content to help accelerate down the funnel? yy How do we track and report on the conversion of leads into revenue and attribute to the marketing spend in order to determine ROI? yy How do we nurture the leads once they become a lead? [I dive into deeper questions about lead nurturing and lead management in the Demand Generation section] yy Do we have a marketing automation SaaS? o If yes, who runs it and what is their level of certification? o Is it integrated into our CRM? o How many workflows and emails are we leveraging? yy How do sales reps know when a contact has engaged with the content and increased in lead score?
  32. 32. 32Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. CONTENT Content brands build relationships. Relationships build trust. Trust drives revenue. Andrew Davis Give value to get value. Todd Ebert Relevancy magically creates time and attention [by the audience]! Jay Baer Content is the very nucleus of literally everything we do in marketing: website, ad campaigns, social media, email, lead nurturing, organic search, webinars and trade shows. Not to mention it’s the essential ingredient Sales reps use in their emails to prospects and their social selling activities on LinkedIn and Twitter. But let’s be super clear on the key to success --- it’s got to be great content that’s all about helping the customer, not telling them about your company. They don’t care about you [yet] and too many marketers miss that basic truth. My teams get tired of me saying “you have to give value to get value,” meaning that our content needs to be so good that the reader wants more. It may sound corny but we want to create a relationship with the customer through our content, and then hopefully if we do our job right they want to learn about one of our solutions. Over time if we continue to provide great content and are careful to not overpromise we will gain their trust. Once analyst at Aberdeen Consulting created a formula for building trust where: [ Credibility + Reliability + Transparency ] / Self-Interest = Trust The first parts are self-explanatory but I thought the self-interest part was an interesting twist since clearly the audience is judging whether you are truly trying to help them or if you’re only doing it to get the sale. If they judge your self-interest as high then the trust is eroded.
  33. 33. 33Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. There are many examples of consumer brands that have figured this out, like the Lauren Luke makeup videos my daughters watch where a young woman started doing unscripted YouTube make-up tutorials and turned it into a $100 million business. Of course, HubSpot practically invented the concept and has done a super job of providing content to help marketers regardless of whether you use their software or not. What do those two very different businesses have in common? They’re both providing valuable [non-salesy] help to people. Consider the stats below showing how pervasive the online buying journey is. And it’s as true for a manufacturing VP looking for a $500,000 industrial laser cutting machine as it is for your daughter shopping for make-up. yy 93% of B2B purchases start with an Internet search yy 84% of buyers engage in online information consumption and self-education yy By a factor of 3 to 1, B2B buyers say that gathering information on their own is superior to interacting with sales rep yy 74% of sales go to the first company that was helpful So, ask yourself, how helpful are we? Do we provide a lot of truly helpful and valuable content that makes our customers’ lives easier, teaches them a valuable skill or helps them solve their business problems? Because, as the stat shows, that is exactly what customers want and they will reward the company that gives it to them. In addition to creating great, helpful content you’ve got to make sure you provide the right pieces at the right stage of the customer’s buying journey. There is a lot of overlap across stages but here is a directionally correct idea for where each content piece fits best. • Educational videos • Infographics - interactive • Blog posts - industry issues • Industry news / POV • Tools/apps - interactive • Product trials [free] • Ebooks – provocative research • Assessments - interactive • Industry survey results • Webinars • Tips & Tricks articles • Curated lists • Industry analyst reports • Whitepapers - technical leadership • Executive briefing papers - thought leadership • Solution “tour” on website • Recorded demo / video • Best practice guide • How to videos • Use case examples • Customer testimonials • Expert webinar • About Us video • Solution finder tool • Custom proposal • Live solution demo via webinar • Product collateral • Product “explainer” videos • Competitive comparisons • Total cost of ownership calculator • ROI case study • User group insights • FAQs document • Industry analyst competitive comparisons • Customer referrals • Customer reviews • Product manager discussion • Product roadmap • Detailed case studies • Pricing / ROI tool • Deck & business case for champion to provide to bosses • What to expect next document • Onboarding introductions and processes • How to videos [e.g. understanding your reports] • Product guides • Customer webinars • User groups • Customer newsletters • Resource centers • Blog posts on key issues • Ebooks – advanced topics Marketing must capture attention and make a great first impression that you are a market leader & can solve their problem Marketing must create wow moments that get them to think highly of your brand and take the next step Marketing must keep you top-of-mind & show the value prop that differentiates you from the other choices Marketing must provide validation that you are best option and enable the champion to convince senior decision-makers [justification Marketing must build trust through great onboarding experience, and showcase the great value you are providing Exploring Researching Evaluating Validating Purchasing
  34. 34. 34Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Here are some good questions to get you started on determining the health of your content creation and marketing strategy. yy Do we treat our content like an investment in an asset [customer benefit] or an expense [sales tool]? yy Of all our content pieces how many [what percent] are aimed at helping the customer versus selling our company/products? yy How does our content help customers? List all the ways. Here are some examples of helpful content. Do we offer anything like this? o Educational material on an important industry issue - e.g. detailed explanation of the HIPAA regulation and its impact on our industry o “How-to” guide or video on an aspect of their function - e.g. 7 tips for making the world’s best customer testimonial video o Best-practice template or spreadsheet for a function they need to perform - e.g. Excel template for creating a monthly demand generation dashboard report to management o Compilation of interviews with industry experts on a relevant subject – e.g. ebook with tips on how to grow your blog by 5 leading business bloggers o Free training lessons on a relevant topic - e.g. the first 2 training videos on how to optimize your website for search engines o Free industry analyst report relevant to their function – e.g. Forrester report on the future of digital marketing o Lists. Either a list of great tools for a certain function or a checklist of things to look for when tackling a specific role or problem – e.g. 10 best tools for monitoring and repairing your online reputation yy How many people subscribe to get our content updates via email? yy How many of those subscribers eventually become customers? [what percent] yy What research have we done with Sales and Service to determine the questions that customers have at each stage of their buying journey? o Have we done a gap analysis to make sure we have great content assets for those most frequently asked questions? That way we can be the helpful company that enables them to move to the next step of the journey. o Have we used that information to guide our content creation schedule? yy What good, helpful, interesting content do our top competitors have on their websites? o What are the keywords for those content pieces [using a tool like SpyFu]? o How do we match up against them in providing content for the top keywords customers are searching online?
  35. 35. 35Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o How do they use those content pieces in their marketing programs and across the web to drive awareness, traffic and engagement? yy How have we tailored our content strategy to each customer persona and their buying journey [and our equivalent sales cycles]? yy What is our quality control process for checking all content to make sure it is written specifically to one of our customer personas, addresses one of their needs/pain points, provides valuable/helpful information, etc. See the Content Checklist in the Appendix. yy What research have we done with our prospects and customers to find out what they think about our content? i.e. do they know about it, care about it, like it, etc. yy Who owns developing content assets for the company? o How does he/she determine which content pieces to create? o What research is done with Customers and Prospects to know what content they would like? o What research is done with Sales and Service to know what content pieces they need? yy Who are the key people on our list of subject matter experts and thought leaders? o Are they active contributors? o If not, how can we recruit them and make it easy for them to create more? yy What is your aspiration for the value of the content we create? o How can we make it super cool/interesting/useful stuff that people look forward to getting? o How does our content create moments of inspiration/action for the reader? o How do we tailor the content to our different customer personas? o How do we develop appropriate content pieces for each buying stage? o How do we know whether the readers like our content pieces? i.e. how do we measure if they are successful or not? yy Can I review the list of all our content assets? o When is the last time we did a content audit? o What are all the content types we create? Ebooks, Infographics, Buyers Guides, Presentations, Explainer Videos, Whiteboard Videos, Meme Images, etc. o How can I tell the age of each of the pieces to determine current relevance? o How do we know if each content piece was successful or not?
  36. 36. 36Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o How many interactive content pieces have we created? o How do we use video as part of our content strategy? yy How many content pieces do we create per month? o What is the content roadmap and editorial calendar? o How do we prioritize all the ideas and requests? o Who decides which of all the pieces goes on the calendar? o How far out does the calendar go? yy What is our strategy for videos and interactive content? [proven to have 3X the impact on visitor engagement] o Engaging company overview video -- our powerful brand commercial that makes people take notice o Product and technology explainer videos [see article] that make it super easy to understand how it works and the value it provides o Expert videos in interview format or whiteboard format that provide education and insight while building our brand as innovators and thought leaders o Customer videos that provide proof points for our value prop o Interactive tools and calculators that provide valuable help to the customer yy What is our strategy for user-generated content? o Would our customers shoot quick videos on their mobile phones about how they use the product and/or what they like about it? o Would they write an article about their lessons learned during installation/use that we could post on the blog and/or turn into a collateral piece? o What other easy but relevant content would they be willing to create? yy How do we sync the content roadmap to the marketing plan and product launches? o How do we create major content themes that support the plan? o What tools and systems do we use to create and manage all the content? [see MarTech section] yy How do we merchandize our content assets on our website? o Do we feature key content pieces on the homepage and other relevant pages? o Do we have a content hub or resources page where we host all content and make it easy to find? Are their filters to make it easier for users to find the topic they are looking for? yy How do we spread or “atomize” our content assets across the web where people are more likely to find it?
  37. 37. 37Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o For example, do we put our presentations and whitepapers on SlideShare? o Do we put our infographics on Pinterest? o Do we put all our product explainer videos and expert interview videos on YouTube or Vimeo? o Do we post product graphics / infographics to Instagram or Flickr? o Do we put our whitepapers on a key industry association website or technology website? [often free to do but sometimes requires a paid sponsorship] yy How do we gain awareness for our content assets? i.e. How do we market our content? o What is our strategy for putting our content on-domain versus off- domain? ƒƒ For example, for every major onsite piece how do we use several bite sized pieces to drive awareness and interest for that major piece? o Do we have an internal employee advocacy program that prompts them to share our best content pieces every week? o What external influencers do we work with to promote our content? ƒƒ Influential customers? ƒƒ Industry analysts? ƒƒ Reporters? ƒƒ Key partners? o What is our social media strategy for getting the word out about each piece? o How do we use advertising and sponsored posts to amplify our reach? yy What is standing in the way of having the best-in-class content in our industry? yy What else should I know about our content marketing efforts?
  38. 38. 38Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. MARTECH Instead of using technology to automate processes, think about using technology to enhance human interaction. Tony Zambito Marketing technology is essential in order to create a high-performing team that builds brand awareness, captures and nurtures leads and drives revenue. But the proliferation of tools has often resulted in a patchwork approach where nothing ties together and results/ROI are far less than promised. According to Chiefmartec.com there are over 4,000 marketing technology companies today. The odds are that your team uses dozens of different systems, software and services every day. Hence you need to get your arms around all of them to see what is working and where you have gaps. The best way to do this is to create a map of the stack like these examples and the ones below from the “Stackies” awards at chiefmartec.com. You can start by asking your team to list which vendors they use for each major category and then to diagram the flow of how they all fit together.
  39. 39. 39Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy What is included in our mar-tech stack…all the technologies, systems and vendors? [I’ve listed some vendors in each category but there are many more] yy When is the last time we did an audit of all the various systems used across the company? yy How do all the systems fit together? What does our “stack” map look like? yy Who owns mar-tech for the organization/company? Is it a formal position? yy How does it support our team and business objectives? yy What are our objectives for leveraging the stack? o Business objectives? o Customer experience objectives? yy How did we choose each of the vendors? How do you rate the effectiveness of each? yy How do you continue to learn about new technologies and innovate the stack? yy What martech obstacles or issues are getting in the way of success? yy What else am I missing about our martech?
  40. 40. 40Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Engagio, Terminus, LeanData, Kapta, KickFire Google Adsense, Adroll, DemandBase, RocketFuel, MadisonLogic, TradeDesk, MultiView, LinkedIn, Facebook Google Adwords, YouTube, Bing, Marin, WordStream Google, Adobe, Omniture, Bizible, BrightFunnel, Tableau LiveChat, FreshDesk, LiveAgent, Intercom SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics, ACT, ZoHo Chatter, Yammer, Slack, Trello, RedBooth, Basecamp, Evernote Drupal, Wordpress, Pantheon, BlueHost Sprinklr/GetSatisfaction, SalesForce, ZenDesk, Lithium Scripted, Asana, BuzzSumo, CopyBlogger, Kapost, Acrolinx, Curata, LookbookHQ // Copy Testing - Wistia, Buffer, MadMimi UberFlip, TinderBox, HubSpot, HootSuite, GrowSumo G2 Crowd, Gainsight, TechValidate, TrustRadius, Captera, GrowSumo, Influitive, Ambassador Dunn & Bradstreet, Hoovers, SalesLoft, LinkedIn Navigator, RingLead, Infer, Informatica, LeanData, InsideView, KickFire, Bombora, Lead411, ZoomInfo, Datanyze, Avention, VisiStat Camtasia, home grown via login to your platform SocialChorus, Bambu, Smarp, LinkedIn Elevate MailChimp, SilverPop, SendMail / Rep focused systems – YesWare, Reply.io Account Based Marketing Ad Platforms for Display Ad Platforms for Search Analytics / Tracking / Attribution Chat CRM Collaboration / Project Mgt. CMS / Hosting Community Management Content Creation Content Distribution Customer Advocacy / Reviews / Product Ratings Data / Enrichment Demos Employee Advocacy Email MarTech Categories Potential Vendors
  41. 41. 41Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Cvent, Bizzabo, EventBrite, EventPro Box, DropBox, GoogleDocs, Microsoft Sharepoint GrowSumo, SocialChorus, BuzzSumo LeadPages, InstaPage, Unbounce, GetResponse Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot [SFDC], Act-On, InfusionSoft, Hubspot, SilverPop Webex, Go-to-Meeting, Join.me SiteCore, Vidyard, Marketo, Evergage, Tribilio, Captora Cision, Prezly, Presspage HighSpot, Clearslide, Savo, Docurated, BuzzBoard and your own home grown sales intranet portal Google Webmaster, MOZ, SEMRush, RankingCoach, SpyFu Hootsuite, Radian6, TweetDeck, Sprinklr, SproutSocial Stock, Adobe, Shutterstock, Getty Images SurveyMonkey, SnapSurveys, TypeForm, SurveyGizmo Optimizely, CrazyEgg, Zarget, Kissmetrics, VWO, TrackMaven YouTube, Vimeo, Vidyard, Wistia, Viddyoze VisualVisitor, LeadForensics, Loopfuse, MultiView ON24, ReadyTalk, WebEx, GoToWebinar Event Management File Sharing / Asset Mgt. Influencer Marketing Landing Pages Marketing Automation Online Meetings / Presentations Personalization PR Sales Enablement SEM / SEO Tools Social Media Monitoring/Posting Stock Photography Surveys Testing / Optimization Video Web Visitor Reverse IP Lookup Webinars
  42. 42. 42Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. PRODUCT MARKETING The product is the marketing and the marketing is the product. Todd Ebert Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm and ideas about how to solve that problem. Laura Fitton The term product marketing can mean different things in different organizations. Often there is no formal product marketing function and the responsibilities fall to the product manager. But in my experience product managers typically have a technical or engineering background and are light on formal marketing education or training. Hence, I believe it is best to have a separate and dedicated product marketing function tasked with the commercialization of new products and market success of a product portfolio from cradle to grave. At the highest level, Product Marketing deals with outward / customer-facing tasks; marketing the product to analysts, media, partners, prospects, and customers leveraging a multi-channel approach. Often the product marketer leads the go-to-market team coordinating the launch across all teams including, training, sales, service and marcom. Build deep knowledge of the market & customers that guides positioning and marketing strategy Communicate market position in a way that is differentiated & monetizable Equip Training & Sales with the knowledge & tools they need to be successful Ensure the market success of the product portfolio from cradle to grave The Charter of Product Marketing
  43. 43. 43Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy How do product managers / product marketers understand the customer’s world? o How often do they get out with reps on sales calls? o How often do they meet with industry analysts? o How often do they work at conferences and trade shows? o How often do they do primary customer research? yy How is product marketing handled at the company? o Is there a formal/official product marketing function? o If yes, what is included in the scope of the role? o If there is no official function then who is responsible for the market success of the product? o How are the following responsibilities accomplished? Product Management & Marketing Framework Product Management Product Management Product Marketing Field Marketing / Marcom The market-driven model for managing & marketing technology products EXECUTION STRATEGY
  44. 44. 44Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. ƒƒ Positioning and messaging ƒƒ Branding and naming ƒƒ Marketing strategy ƒƒ Pricing and bundling ƒƒ Launch strategy, timing and execution ƒƒ Sales enablement and tool kit ƒƒ Customer win/loss analysis ƒƒ Customer testimonials and case studies ƒƒ Thought leadership content ƒƒ Analyst and media briefings ƒƒ Internal and external evangelism yy What is the product development process? o Who owns it? o What are the stages/gates? o Are there regularly scheduled meetings with all functions involved? o How are all the concepts/products vetted and prioritized? o How and when is marketing involved in those decisions? What stage? yy How are detailed customer personas developed including the following? What approach is used [outsider or customer input?]? How are they validated? See example in the appendix. o Demographics and psychographics o Responsibilities o Challenges o Business problems / pain points o Need states o How they personally benefit from solving problems yy Who owns completing the product/market situation analysis? See example template in the appendix? What is included in the doc? o market and target customer description o product description o competitive landscape o pricing o beta test analysis o launch schedule o impact on internal systems and process
  45. 45. 45Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy Who owns completing the product positioning and messaging doc [PMD]? See example template in the appendix. What is included in the doc? o customer pain points/needs we solve [based on customer research and data not just gut feel] o features / benefits o differentiation from competitors [again need real data proof points to support any claims] o value proposition / unique selling proposition [USP] o proof points – stats & facts, customer research, analyst research yy How is the PMD vetted and agreed on by the key stakeholders in Sales and Product? And then by senior management? yy How is the initial draft of the sales story created? o What is the form of the output document? [story boards, slide deck, etc.] o Who all is involved in building the story, getting input and polishing it? o How is it validated? Is it actually tested in the field? o What other items do you build as part of the sales kit? yy How are new products launched when ready? Is there a formal/official Go-To-Market [GTM] process as part of the product development process? What is covered? o Steering committee and executive sponsor o Market situation and competitive landscape – provide the detailed competitive analysis of technologies, features, benefits, price, etc. o Buyer personas – create detailed descriptions of who we are selling to, insights from “voice of customer” research, etc. o Positioning and messaging document [PMD] – complete the document for vetting across the team [see template in appendix] o Naming and branding – provide concepts for the name and logo design, work with legal to vet names and get trademark protection, etc. o Pricing strategy – define the prices, volume discounts, bundles, trial offers, special promotions, etc. o Test strategy – provide the detailed plan with dates for Alpha/Beta/UAT tests to gather feedback and initial testimonials o Channel strategy – define the channels we will sell through: online, field sales, inside sales, distributors, etc. and the detailed training/roll-out schedule o Customer strategy – define how the launch will impact current customers including considerations for: early purchase option, ability to upgrade, price discounts, trade-ins, etc.
  46. 46. 46Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o Launch timeline – lay out the detailed launch schedule with dates for testing [alpha, beta, UAT] and completion of the PMD, demo, screen shots and sales story, along with dates for sale training, general availability, launch event, launch communications, etc. o Customer experience plan – define the experience we want customers to have from initial sales engagement, through onboarding and ongoing touches by sales and service, etc. o Goals and objectives – define the goals for success: ƒƒ Marketing – market awareness, offer uptake, leads, etc. ƒƒ Sales - base penetration, new customer acquisition, average deal size, revenue, retention, etc. ƒƒ Service goals – volume and frequency of customer issues, support load, average resolution time, etc. o International plan – define which regions will sell the product and the training/roll-out schedule o Services plan – define how we will service the product including: SMEs, front-line team, tech/tools required, training, onboarding process, differences between current and new customers, anticipated questions [FAQ doc], anticipated support issues, ticket process, etc. o Marketing plan – layout the integrated plan for creating the: website, content assets, sales presentation & tools, advertising, demand generation programs, PR & social media, email campaigns, reviews/ testimonials/case studies, employee advocacy, etc. o Sales training plan – layout the plan for getting the team up to speed and ready to sell: target customer definition and personas, product technology, features/benefits, pitch/demo, sales tools/collateral, objection handling, pricing, order entry processes, differences between current and new customers, compensation, incentives/spiffs, sales contests, etc. o IT / Operations plan – define the systems required, systems changes needed, process flows and integration with other systems, etc. o Buzz / excitement plan – set the dates and tactics for the both the internal and external launch events and associated communications to employees, partners, press, analysts and customers o Risks and mitigations – define the potential obstacles and risks to a successful launch and what steps are being taken to avoid them o Win/loss analysis – define who and how you will track all sales won and lost during the initial launch period along with the rapid feedback loop to the team yy How is pricing and merchandising handled at the company? o Who “owns” pricing – product, marketing, finance, other? o How do we tier pricing – by volume / strategic national accounts / etc.
  47. 47. 47Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o What market research and modelling do we do to support and validate pricing decisions? i.e. How do we predict the impact on demand, revenue, profit? o What is our discounting strategy? o How do we bundle and package products together? o How do we come up with introductory offers and promotional pricing? o How much discretion does Sales have in discounting or changing the price? o What is the management review and approval process for price changes/exceptions? o Who is responsible for the ongoing marketing of the product portfolio to ensure success and achievement of revenue goals? o Conducting market and competitive analysis in order to recommend changes to features, positioning, marketing and pricing o Evaluating and recommending changes to merchandising strategy including price changes, bundles, offers, promotions o Monitoring the customer experience and recommending improvements o Soliciting customer feedback and feeding it to the product management team, while also creating testimonials and case studies o Getting feedback from Sales and channel partners and working with them to modify selling stories and create new tools o Determining if the pricing and bundling are appropriate and making changes as needed o Working with field marketing and marketing communications on demand generation campaigns o Evangelizing the product internally and externally through webinars, thought leadership content, analyst briefings, press pitches and speaking opportunities o Partnering with product management to launch new versions of the product and line extensions yy How do you manage the product marketing roadmap with all the projects for version updates, new features and major new product launches? o Could I get a copy of your roadmap so I can see all the projects and dates? o What tool do you use to track and manage everything? E.g. Google spreadsheet or project management software?
  48. 48. 48Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. SALES ENABLEMENT As marketers, we should be changing the mantra from always be closing to always be helping. Jonathan Lister Many people think of sales enablement as including three things: 1. content- based enablement, 2. technology-based enablement, 3. training-based enablement. I definitely agree that all three of those are needed, but I’ve seen many instances where the tools or training were ignored and not used by the Sales reps. Why? Because they were created in a vacuum by marketing or sales operations and there was no skin in the game by the reps. There’s a much better way to do it. Several years ago I went to our Chief Revenue Officer and proposed that we create a joint “smarketing” team with dedicated members from Marketing, Sales Operations and Sales [you could add training too if that makes sense]. This integrated team was tasked with [and rewarded for] identifying and executing high impact projects that would increase lead flow, boost sales productivity and improve close rates….and therefore lift revenue. Build A “Smarketing” Team The “smarketing” team helped us break the typical us versus them mentality and set the standard and example for the rest of the marketing and sales professionals. It wasn’t just a loose partnership, but a truly integrated team that:
  49. 49. 49Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. yy reworked our customer personas yy mapped the customer need states along the buying journey yy positioned our products based on real world customer experiences yy identified the ideal prospects in our database and created ranked lists yy enriched the customer data records with unique insights that fueled sales conversations yy developed the campaigns to influence, engage and nurture prospects yy built the content customers wanted and sales tools reps needed to have high-value selling conversations The “smarketing” team changed what was a disjointed and often uninformed process into an integrated series of touches on the customer that included the appropriate advertising, content pieces and sales tools for each stage of the journey. While you may not be ready to create a single “smarketing” team at the very least you need to deeply understand every aspect of the sales function and align resources from the marketing team to help them drive more revenue. After all, that is the ultimate goal of both teams. Here are some of the key questions to start learning about your Sales organization. Sales Goals yy What are the specific goals for the next 12 months? And why? o Number of high-value selling conversations [meetings]? o Total revenue? By region? Segment? Product? o New acquisition and retention? o Cross-sell / upsell? o Net promoter score [NPS]? Sales Structure yy How is the sales team structured? o Self-service online/ecommerce sales o Inside sales o Channel/partner sales o Field sales yy What percent of revenue comes from each of those? yy How many reps are allocated to serve each of those? yy How are reps allocated by geographic regions? yy How reps allocated by industry segments? yy How are reps allocated by account segments [small vs. large national accounts]
  50. 50. 50Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Customer Buying Journey & Sales Flow yy Who are all the people involved in the buying process at a typical target customer? o Define and map the typical decision-making unit of main point of contact, users, influencers, functional approvers, economic approvers, etc. yy What does their buying journey look like? What are the common customer expectations, questions and objections at each stage of their journey? Have we mapped all the sales and marketing touches at each stage in order to proactively educate and address the common questions/issues/objections in order to help them choose our solution? What are the differences by segment and persona? o Exploring – identifying potential solutions to their issue/pain o Researching – checking out potential vendors o Evaluating - comparing a select group of vendors o Validating – vetting the chosen vendor and gaining internal approval o Purchasing – negotiating the contract and lining up payment o Onboarding – learning and implementing the solution o Using – using the solution, troubleshooting and seeking service o Renewing – going through all the stages all again yy Which sales methodology do the reps use? E.g. Challenger, Miller Heiman SPIN, etc. o How is the methodology trained and reinforced? o How is it audited? o Is it working? Are there any changes planned? yy Describe the elements of the Sales playbook and the various types of sales plays you use throughout the sales cycle. yy What is the typical [average] sales cycle from initial prospecting call or lead to meeting[s] to proposal to close? o How does it stack up to the recent past? o How does it stack up to the competition? o What are the key levers to accelerating the cycle? yy What are the differences between how you sell to low dollar customers from high dollar customers? o Do we practice Account Based Marketing with personalized communications to our top prospects? yy How does a typical sales person spend their time? o How do they develop their pipeline and get appointments?
  51. 51. 51Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o How does a typical prospecting call unfold? o What does a typical email look like? [see some strong templates here] o How does a typical meeting unfold? o How many meetings does it take to get to a close? o What goals are set for them in terms of productivity? yy What does a typical “pitch” look like? o Is there a standard PowerPoint deck or does each rep create their own? o Or does the rep pitch from the website and online demos? o How is the pitch tailored to the sales methodology? o Is it customized to the prospect’s unique needs? o How often do you listen to live or recorded calls and provide input to the rep? yy How do reps win deals? o What are the keys to success? o What is the opportunity to close ratio? o What would make a significant impact on close rates? yy What is the win/loss evaluation process? o Who is involved? o How often is it performed and reported? yy What is the process for Sales, Account Management or Service to renew customers? o How is marketing involved in that process? yy How do you approach upselling and cross-selling to current customers? o How is marketing involved in that process? Collateral and Tools yy How do reps learn about new tools and content created by marketing? yy Where do they go to get the tools? E.g. sales intranet or a SaaS portal like HighSpot yy What is the consensus opinion about the tools? Which ones are most effective? Least effective? yy What tools do the reps ask for that would truly make an impact if they had them? yy Please share how you’ve mapped all the tools at your disposal to each of the stage of the sales cycle.
  52. 52. 52Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o website & blog content o infographics & newsletters o solution videos & how-to videos o presentations & collateral o whitepapers & ebooks o online product tours & online demos o customer case studies & testimonial videos o assessment tools & price calculators Training yy Who leads training and what training does a rep get each year in: o customer pain points solved with our products? o product features/benefits/technology versus competitors? o selling skills? [aka prospecting and the pitch] o time management? o personal brand building? Lead Management yy How clean and accurate is the data in the CRM? [minor vs. major issue?] yy What data is missing from a typical account record that would help the reps be more effective in their prospecting and selling? yy What are the key factors that go into the lead scoring methodology? o How accurate/predictive is the lead scoring methodology? o What changes are needed to make it better? yy How do you measure the quality of leads reps receive? o What are the feedback loops to marketing for both good and bad leads? yy How do you measure the responsiveness and effectiveness of how reps handle the leads they receive? o What is the average time it takes reps to call new lead they receive? o What percent of MQLs are not able to be contacted? o What is the average number of attempts they make to reach a lead before recycling it back into the CRM as not able to be contacted? o What SLAs are in place to measure these and other lead metrics, and how often do you track them?
  53. 53. 53Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o What are the ramifications of not meeting the SLAs? Dashboard yy What does the Sales dashboard look like and how is it accessed? o What productivity measures do you track? o What are the SLAs for lead follow-up in terms of speed of response and number of attempts? Contests yy What contests and spiffs do we use to incentivize reps to hit goals? yy How often do we run contests? Spiffs? yy Is there a “presidents” club? How do reps make the cut? yy What role does marketing have [if any] in any of these? Tradeshows & Events yy Which shows/events are the most effective in generating qualified leads and ultimately customers, revenue and ROI? yy How do you decide which shows go on the annual plan? yy Who staffs the shows? yy How are leads handled at the show? yy What is the strategy and plan for company hosted events like seminars and customer workshops? Personal Brand Building & Social Selling yy How do reps build their personal brand and reputation as trusted advisors in the industry? yy What are the primary social channels that customers visit to get information? [e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, industry blogs, etc.] o What types of company content or industry content do reps they share on those channels? o How often? yy Do they practice social selling? i.e. mine information on prospects and reach out to them via social with great content pieces.
  54. 54. 54Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. DEMAND GENERATION Demand generation means different things to different people. I could easily argue that all marketing is demand generation. After all, isn’t the point of marketing to influence people into buying your products and services? But for thepurposeofthisdocument,I’mdefiningdemandgenerationasthemarketing activities specifically undertaken to capture leads, qualify them, nurture them, score them and help the Sales team close them. I’m also including customer marketing in this section. It’s a much-overlooked way to generate demand by increasing customer retention and selling them more products more often. Making your prospects feel like they have an exclusive membership in a club makes lead generation a positive customer experience. Eric Bower Approach demand gen as a game of inches. Todd Ebert DISPLAY EVENTS Alignsalesandmarketingtocreateaconsistent,highperformance,continuously optimized, predictable, lead-to-revenue [L2R] engine. Measure the cost of acquisition in order to focus on reducing it over time and simultaneously increasing retention and lifetime value. Build A Demand Gen Engine
  55. 55. 55Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. The ultimate goal is to create a consistent, high performance, continuously optimized, predictable, lead-to-revenue [L2R] engine that fuels the growth of the company. Moreover, by measuring the cost of acquisition you can focus on reducing it over time and simultaneously increasing customer retention and lifetime value. But, it’s easier said than done. The harsh reality is that it is extremely hard to generate leads that turn into customers. According to research by Sirius Decisions only 7 in 1,000 marketing inquiries become customers…that’s less than 1%. The absolute, number one, most essential thing for success is to have a truly great, authentic brand that separates you from everyone else in your market. The entire lead to revenue engine starts with your prospects being not only aware of your brand but also having a favorable impression of it. This is known as the “know-like-trust” cycle. Not only does your brand [products, services, employees] have to have a great reputation, but your marketing has got to be so useful, educational, entertaining and helpful that people actually look forward to receiving it. You want prospects to think of you in human terms as someone they like and count on to help them, not just another corporate vendor out to sell them stuff and disappear until renewal time. I’ve reviewed the essentials of a great brand foundation previously in this document and the next section covers the tactical aspects of brand building through paid, earned and owned media. Check out my presentation, The 10 Musts For Demand Gen Success Download Offers / Calls-to-Action yy How do we come up with compelling offers to use in advertising, emails, content marketing and the website? yy Would you say that our offers: o are unique? o provoke curiosity? o are valuable / desired? o cut through clutter? o drive action? yy How well have they performed? Would you call them lead magnets? yy What are the best performing offers that we’ve used? [i.e. lead magnets] yy What are some of our worst performing offers? Why? yy How do we assess the effectiveness of our offers? o How do we test and optimize offers to drive greater lead flow? yy How have we mapped offers to each stage of the buying journey? o Blog content upgrades – checklists, resource guides, worksheets, etc.
  56. 56. 56Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. ƒƒ For example, on a post about landing pages offer a one page guide with the 5 proven best practice landing page designs that will boost your conversion rate overnight o Educational content like analyst reports, ebooks, whitepapers and webinars? o Self-assessments, apps and diagnostic tools? o Expert consultations and assessments? o Product/technical demos? o Product configurators and price calculators? o Free product trials? o Discounted pricing or free add-on products? Lead Gen Plan yy What is our profile of an ideal customer? o What firmographic, technographic, and psychographic criteria do we use to describe that ideal customer? o Who are the key people we need to reach in the decision-making unit at that ideal customer? yy What is our definition of an ideal qualified lead? o How do we define a lead at each stage as it progresses through to a closed sale? ƒƒ Are our definitions of an ideal lead the same or different than the sales team definitions? Expertise Professional consultation and analysis of a key issue e.g. free website and SEO assessment & recommendations Content Educational materials with unique insights about a relevant topic / pain point e.g. marketing dashboard ebook + template Products Free trials / ”freemium” products enable the user to try before they buy. E.g. 14-day trial of Constant Contact email marketing software Apps & Utilities Diagnostic tools, assessments & calculators that help identify opportunities & solve problems. e.g. HubSpot Marketing Grader Create Compelling Offers That Are Lead Magnets Effort to Acquire Value
  57. 57. 57Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o How do we know when a lead is ready to be passed on to the sales team to work? yy How would you describe our partnership with Sales in terms of demand generation? o Do we have a formal plan and program built with the sales team? o Do we work closely with the sales team or is it more of a simple lead hand-off and they do the rest? o If I asked the sales reps how effective would they say the marketing team is at giving them qualified leads? yy How many qualified leads do we need to hit revenue targets? yy How many leads do we deliver to Sales in a typical month/quarter? o How many are net new leads sourced from marketing programs [“marketing sourced leads”]? o How many are leads already in the database that sales has engaged with [“marketing influenced leads”]? yy What percentage of company revenue does marketing contribute [per quarter or per year] from marketing leads? yy What is the company/division revenue target for the year? o What are the goals for new customer growth, retention, upsells, etc.? o What is the average sales cycle from lead to close? o What is the average new customer deal size and lifetime value [LTV]? o What is the cost to acquire a new customer [CAC]? o What is the number of closed deals needed to hit the revenue target? How does that number breakdown? ƒƒ Deals from current customers? [renewals, upsells] ƒƒ Deals from new customers? ƒƒ Deals brought in by channel partners? o Of those numbers how many is marketing responsible to deliver from marketing sourced leads? yy What are the demand gen goals for the quarter/year? o How do we set those goals? o What are the main barriers to achieving those goals? o How can I help remove those barriers? yy What is our marketing program plan for the year to deliver leads against the company and team objectives listed above? o What are the major themes we are building your programs around? e.g. big market/customer issues that you solve, new products you’re launching, etc.
  58. 58. 58Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. o How do we drive awareness and traffic to our site? ƒƒ What is the mix of advertising, email, social media, webinars, events and other tactics? o What does the detailed marketing schedule/roadmap look like? o Which channels have we tried as part of previous plans? Which ones are most effective in terms of ROI? yy What does the marketing/sales funnel look like? o Draw it on white board with current numbers at each stage and conversion rates [i.e. inquiries, MQLs, SALs, SQLs, Closed Deals] o Which channels perform the best in terms of inquiries, leads and closes? o Which offers perform the best in terms of bringing in inquiries, leads and closes? i.e. which offers or CTAs are your lead magnets? yy How do we build our opt-in subscriber list? o How many subscribers do we have? o How many do we add each month? How do we get them? o How many opt-out each month? Do we ask them why? o How do we measure the effectiveness of the content we send? yy How are we using lead scoring as part of our demand generation plan? o What are the key components of scores? Company firmographics, decision-maker authority, web pages visited, content consumed, etc. o How do we get feedback from sales on the accuracy of the scores? o How do we measure the effectiveness and predictive ability of our scoring system? Monthly Revenue Target - repeat “run-rate” base business - up-sells & cross-sells to base - channel partner contribution = Revenue Target for ”Smarketing” Team x % agreed from Marketing leads (a) = Marketing Contributed Revenue Target ÷ average deal size = # Closed Deals from Marketing Leads ÷ average lead to customer rate (b) = # Marketing Leads Requireda) set by “smarketing” team based on historical trend data plus a stretch goal associated with spend on marketing programs. b) takes into account the conversion rates all the way down the funnel Work Backwards to Set Your Lead Targets
  59. 59. 59Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved worldwide. Landing Pages yy How many landing pages are we currently using? yy How do we build them – internally or through a vendor like LeadPages? yy What is included on a typical landing page? o Strong value proposition o Proof of benefits o Money back guarantee o Prominent and specific call to action o Trust building content like video testimonials yy How are they performing in terms of conversion rate and leads? yy How do we test and optimize them? yy What do our follow-up campaigns look like when someone downloads a content piece or registers for a webinar? [3-4 email follow-up campaigns are a smaller version of nurture campaigns – see below] Lead Nurturing yy How many leads are being actively nurtured? yy How many different lead nurturing campaigns do we run? yy How have we mapped our content assets and offers across the nurture campaign work flow? i.e. which pieces and offers do we use when? yy How effective are our lead nurturing campaigns at creating customers? o How do we measure the effectiveness of each campaign? o How do we test and optimize all our nurture emails and content? yy What percentage of leads being nurtured eventually turn into customers? Lead Management The speed and manner with which you intake, respond and handle leads is critical to success, so even though some of this was addressed under the Sales Enablement topic I will cover it in detail here.

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