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Five Reasons Good Sales & Marketing Messages Fail

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Jan 12, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Five Reasons Good Sales & Marketing Messages FailMessaging gets a lot - A LOT - of attention from both marketers and sales executives. For good reason too. An effective message is like a large lever (give me a lever long enough and I can move the world). Conversely a poor message will thrust you into a thorny patch of commoditization and irrelevance.

As you’d expect with something as important as a company’s messaging, significant time and money is spent on the effort. But stop for a moment and do the following:

  • Look at your website
  • Review your sales and marketing collateral
  • Think about how sales conversations are started with prospects

Now, ask yourself, “what is the message we’re conveying?” Are you happy with it? Does it stand out and resonate with customers and prospects? Is it a competitive advantage?

I know the answer for most of you is, “no!” I know this because in workshops I conduct across the country when I ask executives, marketers or salespeople to share their message, almost all of them start off stuttering and blathering about themselves. I can also look at the results of marketing and sales efforts and see that the message isn’t working.

Having been directly involved with the assessment and development of hundreds of companies’ messages, I’ve learned five key reasons that good messages fail.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

How to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Sales & Marketing Content

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Dec 16, 2016 3:00:00 PM

assess-content-effectiveness.jpgSales and marketing organizations create a tremendous amount of content, virtually everyday. In addition those items like website, blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc. that we consider “content marketing,” emails are being constantly written, brochures and sales collateral are being created, proposals are developed and delivered and more. Yet despite the time and money expended, for decades there were no means to be able to assess the real effectiveness of the content.

You were left to debate what was or wasn’t working based upon feelings and beliefs. Of course, one of the biggest problems with this approach is that what sellers see as important is often quite different from what the buyers perceive as important.

The good news is that today there are many tools that you can use to assess how your visitors, leads and prospects are engaging with a variety of your content. In addition to tracking key performance indicators, it’s important you pay attention to more qualitative items as well.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Performance

4 Ways to Inspire B2B User-Generated Content

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Dec 8, 2016 2:00:00 PM

b2b-user-generated-content.jpgWe recently returned from a family vacation in Orlando, Florida. Like everyone else who goes on vacation, I spent lots of time online researching what to do, where to stay, where to eat, etc.

Of course, the big attractions all do a pretty good job with inbound marketing. There is a lot of content available on their sites to help potential visitors do a large part of the planning and booking.

However, what I found most valuable when planning the vacation and again while we were there was not content from the companies themselves. The most useful content was user-generated.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

5 Key Takeaways from Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 23, 2016 1:30:00 PM

Inbound2016-cropped.jpgAnother year, another Inbound conference. This year’s gathering of inbound marketers and salespeople topped the 18,000- person mark, making it clearly the largest marketing conference in the world. Once again HubSpot did a great job of putting on a show, building the community and enabling great conversation to occur.

In an earlier post, I shared the product announcements HubSpot made. Today, now that I’ve had some time to ponder the event, I’d like to share my key takeaways from Inbound 2016. Overall, I was struck by the growing maturity of inbound marketing and how fresh and new it remains at the same time.

It is increasingly clear that inbound marketing and demand generation are becoming core disciplines to the modern growth playbook. While the importance is clear, the success formulas are still being created.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

5 Reasons for B2B Marketers to be Thankful

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 18, 2016 11:00:00 AM

B2B-marketers-thankful.jpgThanksgiving is next week. It brings a day of food, family, football and friends. It also is a time to reflect on things that we are grateful to have or experience.

At our house, we create a thankful tree. It is simply a few branches stuck into a jar with some small rocks to hold them in place. Beside the tree is a stack of leaves made out of cardstock. As guests arrive, they write things on their leaf that they are thankful for and hang it on the branches.

I’m assigned to cutting out the leaves this year and I was working on it, I started to think about what the leaves on a marketing-focused thankful tree would say.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is Broken

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 15, 2016 2:00:00 PM

The Traditional Revenue Growth Playbook is BrokenIf you’re a reader of this blog I’m going to assume that revenue growth is important to your company. Stop for a moment and consider the investment of energy and money your company has made in these efforts. Now consider this question, “How well is it working?”

  • Is revenue growth predictable for you?
  • Are the costs required to sustain decreasing?
  • Are more of your salespeople beating their number (quota) consistently?

According to the research that’s out there, less than 10% of companies can say “yes” to all three questions, and the vast majority of companies would respond “no” to at least two of these questions.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sales Strategy

The Big News at Inbound 2016

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Inbound_2016.jpgSo I just saw my fourth keynote from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founders of HubSpot, at this year’s Inbound conference. Listening to Brian and Dharmesh is always a bit like looking into a crystal ball on the History Channel. You get a tremendous viewpoint of what’s going to happen, all within the context of what has happened.

It’s also an opportunity to hear about the big product updates that HubSpot is rolling out. While I’ve never been to an Apple product launch event, I like to think of Inbound as a slightly less popular version.

This year two things were different. Where it’s typically Brian and Dharmesh that share the product announcements as a part of the keynote, their Inbound 2016 keynote did not have any product announcements. Instead they made the product announcements a breakout session where their Products VP, Chris O’Donell, announced the news. And the big news is...well there wasn’t any really. And, while I like the excitement of major product announcements, I think the lack of them is good news and an important lesson for marketers, demand generators and sales executives.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

5 Tips for Attending a Conference Alone

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM

tips-for-attending-conference-alone.jpgThis week, I’ll be in Boston for HubSpot’s Inbound 2016 Conference. I’m really looking forward to it. Inbound provides a great opportunity for learning, inspiration and fun. It also gives me an opportunity to get out of my home office and see my co-workers and other smart sales and marketing people in real life.

While this year I am joining my teammates in Boston that was not the case two years ago when I attended for the first time. That year, I was on my own. And that can be an intimidating place to be at any conference.

B2B marketers for small to mid-size companies probably find themselves in this position on a regular basis. If you have a small marketing team, the likelihood you’ll be attending events on your own are pretty high but it doesn’t have to be scary.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

7 Ways to Use Video in B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Nov 1, 2016 1:00:00 PM

add-video-email-marketing-campaigns.jpgEarlier this year I wrote a post about why B2B marketers should be using video as part of their overall strategy. In that post, I talked about the versatility of video and how it can be used in a variety of ways. One of those ways is email.

Email remains one of the most effective channels available to B2B marketers. Did you know that the number of email users worldwide is currently 2.6 billion and is expected to grow to over 2.9 billion by 2019? That is nearly three times as many user accounts as Facebook and Twitter combined.

To support adding video to your email marketing strategy, consider this: according to the email marketing company Emma, adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rates by 300%. That sounds significant enough to give it a try, right?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Lead Nurturing

6 Ways You're Scaring Your B2B Leads Away

Posted by Stacy Bouchard

Oct 25, 2016 3:00:00 PM

scare-away-your-leads.jpgEverywhere you look these days, there’s something that’s been designed to give you a chill. From spooky jack-o-lanterns to ghosts and witches to creepy clowns, it’s the scaring season.

In less than a week, kids will be dressed up and invading neighborhoods across the country in search of treats. Where I live, we don’t get many trick-or-treaters. Those who do stop by get a friendly greeting – nothing too scary – and take home a big handful of treats.

In some ways, trick-or-treaters are a lot like B2B leads. Depending on how you present your company and what you offer, they may be scared away before they ever ring the doorbell.

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Topics: Lead Generation, Inbound Marketing