Managing By Walking Around

Are You Managing By Walking Around?

I remember an old phrase from the 1980’s called “MBWA”, Managing By Walking Around.

The premise was that managers needed to get out of their office and walk around the office to check with employees on the status of their work and the status of the company in general.

It led me to think about professional development and that we need to get out of the office more to learn and engage with others.

Which brings me to Bizo’s B2B Funnelmentals Tour 2014 and the purpose of this post. I attended the San Francisco event yesterday. This post is a recap of that event. It is also an opportunity for me to share with you what I learned.

I enjoy attending events because it is a great way to refresh your knowledge and learn new things. This conference was all about B2B.

Bizo COO Brian Burdick discussed the five unstoppable marketing trends:

#1 Marketers are overfishing in the bottom of the funnel.

Buyers have done 90% of their research before contacting you. So, marketers must invest more in the upper funnel.

67% of marketers say they feel their marketing program mix is not meeting the demands of the sales pipeline.

The top of the funnel is typically defined as the awareness stage and where we push people to the landing page and then from there, push them to the website. Make sure to make landing pages as simple as possible. Mid-funnel is where education occurs. So possible activities might be to increase engagement via social channels and provide call to action’s (CTA’s) through an educational white paper, e-book or blog. The bottom of the funnel is further promotion of CTA’s and the place to drive conversions such as offering a free trial, discounts or analyst report/white paper/case study about the company’s solution.

#2 Attribution is everything. Use your metrics wisely.

#3 The campaign is dead. It’s an always-on, multichannel world.

Because you never know when a prospect might be listening, marketers must be on top of their game 24/7.

#4 Modern marketers cannot scale without an integrated marketing stack.

Gartner projects that by 2017, the CMO will spend more than the CIO.

#5 Data is king.

IBM says that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created on a daily basis. That means 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years.

Next, I found David Karel’s (Bizo CMO) presentation very enlightening. He discussed taking a full-funnel approach to designing your marketing mix. The mix should be based on persona development and where people are spending their time. Ultimately, what the marketing mix looks like is based on buyer behavior research. He suggested to make this quarter’s investment decisions based on where next quarter’s opportunities are right now in their purchase process. He noted that every program/channel has its part to play. He mentioned that display and social channels are uniquely versatile – the key is to design your program for impact. Success is hard to find if you’re not sure what it looks like.

Andrea Ward’s (VP of Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud) presentation was a content marketing eye-opener for me. She provided a lot of stats related to content marketing and observations she is seeing of the impact content marketing is having in the marketplace.

She started with the fact that in B2B, it is key that marketers have strong relationships with Sales and IT.

She noted that 60% of the customer relationship is happening online.

Customers continue to want 1:1 personal contact.

Then, she got down to the nitty-gritty of content marketing…

To be successful, marketers must have a massive amount of content. As marketers, we should be creating content for specific personas (she noted that most companies have, on average, at least 5 personas). So, doing the math, we have 30 topics x 5 personas = 150 pieces of content!

If we take that to the next level, and cater to each stage of the buying cycle,
we have 150 x 5 = 750 pieces of content!!

Of course, content does not have to be these amazing works of art, but it does have to be compelling.

There are three types of content:

High Effort (Traditional blog and paid content like white papers and e-books). She noted stats resulting from this type of content, on average, yield 3.8% of visitors that become leads and 3.65% of leads that convert to customers.

Medium Effort (content like Q&A’s, How-To’s, etc.). She noted that, on average, 11.4% of visitors become leads and 5.62% of leads convert to customers.

Low Effort (content generated by employees or customers). She noted that, on average, 9.1% of visitors become leads and 13.5% of leads convert to customers.

This proves that anyone can be a content creator and less time-consuming content yields better results. She offered that marketers consider high-effort content like analyst reports near the decision-making process (bottom of the funnel) vs. at the top of the funnel.

Andrea was surprised to find that 30% of content is being driven by social. Social can have a significant impact on conversions!

Her comments on content strategy included:

-Deliver a personalized, relevant experience that leads to higher level of engagement and response.
-Anyone can be a content creator (consider adding Sales and customer-generated content to your content inventory).
-Add powerful data around every piece of content (persona, funnel stage, topic, SKU, etc.). She noted that marketers need to start thinking of content in terms of data and tag it on persona and stage of customer life cycle.

Rachel Rickles’ (Client Services, Bizo) presentation on re-targeting was very enlightening, as well. Marketers forget about retargeting – re-messaging an audience that has already been to your site. She suggested seven optimization tips for retargeting:

1. Align Goals, Strategies and Metrics
2. Customize Retargeting Ad Creative
3. Incorporate New Bidding Strategies
4. Optimize Creative
5. Understand and Optimize High-Performing Segments
6. Explore Retargeting on Facebook
7. Incorporate Personalized Nurturing Through Retargeting

Last, in the marketing panel, the subject of content marketing for retention came up. It was suggested that a second (perhaps, reverse) funnel be created to nurture customers to become life-time customers and brand advocates.

Bizo’s B2B Funnelmentals Tour will also be in NYC on March 19th and Chicago on May 7th.

How are you managing by walking around? Let us know in the comments.

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