By Brenna Lofquist, Senior Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
I had the pleasure of attending my first Marketing Profs B2B Forum several weeks ago outside of Washington D.C. It was a great conference with lots of great sessions packed with learnings, ideas, and conversations. I was excited when I saw the agenda because I felt there was plenty of variety around the topics and sessions. There was always at least one session (or more) I was interested in attending during each time slot.
While I learned a great amount, I thought I’d share my top three takeaways. I found these to be the most applicable to the work I do at Heinz Marketing and ones I could use/implement.
- Develop an Account Journey
- Session: Account-Based Marketing: New Insights and Best Practices for 2020
- Speaker: Jon Miller, CEO at Engagio
Jon’s session was filled with tons of great information on ABM from selecting accounts to creating engagement, marketing alignment, and measurement. What stood out to me that seemed like a no brainer was his idea to develop an account journey, like a buying journey but specific to an account not a contact. More importantly for ABM, the account journey can be used to measure the success of your program.
Within your account journey you should define each stage. What is an account doing at each stage? Is there engagement? For certain stages, include the number of people who have individually reached an engagement threshold. This can be used as criteria to determine if the account is ready to move to the next stage.
An account journey also provides a guide to measure results and success of the program, as mentioned earlier. I find this part to be very helpful, especially if you don’t have an ABM tool/platform like Engagio. If that’s you, you’re likely having to come up with workarounds or manually pulling reports and compiling data to get the answers you’re looking for. Sometimes we can’t avoid workarounds or manual processes, but an account journey would provide a framework that you can work from.
- Magnify Your Conversation – Create a Community Around the Content
- Session: Leveraging Social Media: Three Essentials to Drive Business Through Digital Marketing
- Speaker: Zontee Hou, President & Chief Strategist at Media Volery
Leveraging social media is a simple, and most often free tool, to promote content and generate engagement or interest. However, why is it people are still under utilizing it? I know I am guilty of this. The main topic in Zontee’s session that stood out to me was around magnifying your conversation and creating a community around the content. In other words, getting the most out of your content.
Here’s four tips I took from Zontee’s session on getting the most out of your content:
- Atomize your content. Take one asset and create additional content such as social posts, blog posts, etc. In my notes I jotted down “Set a goal or requirement that X number of social posts or additional content pieces must be generated from an asset.” You already have the content so why not create more?
- Update top-performing content. When you can, update top-performing content with refreshed data points, examples, customer stories/quotes, etc. Without recreating/rewriting the whole piece, you’ll have an updated asset that can continue to perform.
- Republish content on a rolling basis. Amplify content through extended networks such as SMEs, fans, contributors, etc.
- Turbo charge your community. Audit your sales rep’s social media accounts. Are they using key terms and words consistent with the business? Are cover images similar for brand consistency? When they are sharing and posting content, you want to make sure there is consistency with the business/brand to make them more trustworthy.
- Contact Acquisition
- Session: Fuel Your Company’s Growth with Contact Acquisition
- Speaker: Tish Millsap, CEO & Sr. Strategist of Revenate Marketing
Contact acquisition is vital for marketers—how are you going to market to people if you don’t have contacts? Tish went through a very helpful exercise on how to evaluate your database looking at things like expected degradation and how that impacts the number of contacts you need to acquire while factoring in attrition rates.
The most important thing to me she discussed was mistakes to avoid when acquiring contacts—the main one being not warming cold contacts. This might seem obvious to some, but I can guarantee we are all guilty of acquiring new contacts and immediately throwing them into a program highly targeted to their persona/role containing specific messaging and curated content. This isn’t the best approach because it’s highly likely they’ve never heard of your company before and won’t engage with your content or they will unsubscribe.
Tish recommended all new contacts go through a program to warm them up. It doesn’t have to be complex or a program that is months long. Hit them with 3-4 touches that provide very top-funnel, educational, thought leadership content that can get them familiar with your company. Then you can through them into a more targeted program.
My coworker, Lauren Dichter, wrote a post on her takeaways too – check it out! If you attended MarketingProfs B2B Forum, what were your favorite sessions and why?