What B2B Marketing And Golf Have in Common?

So, I’m not much of a golfer, although I love it.  The one thing I share with people when they invite me to golf with them is that I guarantee I will make them look good!

There are several parallels with golf that seem to happen quite often when it comes to B2B marketing.  I’m going to mention two of them here in hopes that it may give you a different perspective on your approach to B2B marketing.

THE SHINY TOY SYNDROME

I am the first to acknowledge I am guilty of this.  When I pull out my driver on a par 5, I always seem to take a much bigger swing than my talent should allow.  When the ball slices, as I know it will, I am just certain there is something wrong with my driver.  

Off to the golf store I go looking for that silver bullet, that shiny toy that’s going to convert my drive into a PGA-looking effort.  The truth is, my current driver is just fine. I should have taken that money and spent it on lessons, not a new driver. 

At MarketSense, we see the same thing happen all the time.  A prospect will contact us thinking their marketing isn’t working because they don’t have the right tools.  They need that shiny new toy.

In many cases, what they already have has the ability to produce great results.  They just aren’t putting the effort into making their resources work.

Let’s take Marketing Automation Platforms as an example.  To start off with, the name itself is disingenuous. There is almost nothing about marketing automation that is actually automated.

Don’t get me wrong, we couldn’t produce the results we do for our B2B clients without them, but most people are only using 10%-15% of the power of the Marketing Automation Platform they already have.

It is the same with SEO, PPC, or most any other tools you use for B2B marketing.  Even the very cost-effective ones are actually quite powerful. You just have to know how to get the most out of them.  

ANGRY GOLFER SYNDROME

We’ve all been out on the course with that person who gets super angry with any bad shot.  They curse like a sailor, and throw their clubs as if they just cannot understand how the shot went so wrong.

But, they only golf three times a year and never hit the driving range.

For the most part, I’m not that guy.  I simply like being out on the course enjoying a beautiful environment with friends.  In fact, if the ball does actually go where I wanted it to, I’m quietly amazed.

So, what does this have to do with B2B marketing?  If you think you can simply launch a digital marketing campaign and business will start rolling in the door, you are likely in for a surprise.

The competition is brutal.  What’s more, digital marketing is a constant exercise in testing, optimizing and re-testing.  Just as the golfer that never practices, B2B marketing will underwhelm you every time if you use a “set and forget” strategy.

We live and breathe B2B marketing.  We’ve spent millions of dollars perfecting our skills.  We pay for ongoing education for every team member every quarter.  

Nevertheless, the more we learn, the more we realize we need to know to keep our clients on the leading edge with strong marketing ROI’s.

THE TAKEAWAY

We have people that come to MarketSense with the idea that digital marketing just doesn’t work for their company.  For a few, they are right. 

For the majority, it is about understanding how to get the most out of your marketing stack (the technology) and continuing to optimize and push the envelope.

So, before you buy any shiny new toys or start to throw your B2B clubs around, ask yourself if you are truly committed to growth.  If you are, the opportunity is real.

Thanks,

Tom Poole CEO, MarketSense

P.S. Seriously, if you want to feel good about your game, let’s hit the links.  I’ll make you feel like a pro. Have a great day!

How Does The Recent Facebook Scandal Affect Marketers?

Pointer hovering over Facebook logo on a computerscreen

Undoubtedly, you have heard of  Facebook’s recent scandal. Cambridge Analytica is a political data firm hired by the 2016 Donald Trump election campaign. Their job was to identify personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. The tools offered by the firm accessed the private information of over 50 million Facebook users, including identities, friends, networks, and more. This information was used to target audiences with digital ads to influence the election.

Facebook has seen a 24% decrease in the average time users are spending on their platform. However, even with the call to #DeleteFacebook, most users likely won’t go through with it, at least not permanently. Social Media has become such an integrated part of consumers’ lives that many of them are, quite simply, addicted to it.

So, what is the best way to ensure your Facebook practices don’t fall flat?

You will almost definitely need an ad budget to stay at the top of your marketing game. However, if you have an excellent strategy in place, you could minimize your budget. Many companies realize this and have an ad budget in their marketing plan. In fact, even with the recent scandals, ad spend on Facebook has increased by about 62% in Q1 2018. This shows us that pay-to-play is still an ever-present method of getting your information in front of your audience.

Start A Conversation

The growing interest in messaging apps, such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Snapchat, indicate what users are craving more of: conversation. Networks such as Facebook have started to lose their appeal to typical users, whereas messaging apps are steadily increasing their daily usage rates.

Focusing heavily on interaction with followers can help to increase engagement and interest in your company. Chatbots, for example, are becoming widely popular as companies realize the importance of offering timely responses. Utilizing bots and Messenger to connect one-on-one with your audience should be at the top of your marketing strategy.

Likewise, using the proper networks will help minimize time and money spent on misplaced advertising. Rather than creating accounts on every social network, spend time analyzing your target demographic and which platforms they use. Visual companies do great on Instagram, whereas companies aimed at the 50+ crowd are more successful on Facebook.

As far as Facebook is concerned, creating a more personable and engaging experience the way to go for just about any brand. Invite your audience to answer questions, caption behind-the-scenes photos, or share their experiences. Creating a welcoming and engaging page will help to keep your audience coming back for more.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, marketers must have a well-structured marketing strategy to keep their Facebook engagements up. This strategy should include at least a minimal ad budget. However, despite algorithm changes and scandals, Facebook will likely continue to be a heavy player in the social networking game.

4 Steps to Make Online Video and YouTube Part of Your 2017 B2B Marketing Strategy

What are you watching these days?

Better yet, where are you watching it? I could throw some facts and figures at you about online trends, and I will, but we both know the answer to those questions. Regardless of whether you clicked on a cat video link or a competitor’s ad campaign, if you were watching a video online it was probably on YouTube.

Did you know:

  • Youtube reaches more US adults between 18-35 than any cable
  • YouTube is the No.2 Search Engine in the
  • 6 billion hours of videos are watched on the platform every month. (com)

Five Ways Data Will Change Your Marketing Forever

 Use Data-Driven Marketing to Quickly Increase Performance – Here’s How!

So, what has changed about data that will change the way smart companies approach sales and marketing?  The simple answer is almost everything.  Not only the sheer amount of data, but the relative ease in which we can put it to work for us.

Essentially, if you have a sales and marketing department and aren’t seriously using data to your advantage there are problems on the horizon.  One of the biggest reasons for this is data-driven marketing is not just for the big boys anymore.  Even the smallest companies now have access to data and BI (business intelligence) tools that were once reserved for the Fortune 500.

Let’s take a quick look at the five ways data will change your marketing and then we will break each one down and explain how to put these initiatives to work for your organization.

  1. Relevant Content
  2. Segmented Messaging
  3. Retargeting
  4. Optimized ROI
  5. Tracking
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