Online Marketing Wisdom, Sales Funnel Sagacity and Lead Generation Genius from The @Funnelholic


The Funnelholic urges you to mind the funnel

Introduction

Craig Rosenberg, The Funnelholic, has been publishing a series of “madlibs” with marketing thought leaders. Here’s a set of the madlibs published to date (there are more to come):

  1. Steve Gershik
  2. Ardath Albee
  3. Michael Brenner
  4. Gary Hart
  5. Dave Brock
  6. Carlos Hidalgo
  7. Jill Konrath
  8. Your’s truly, Dennis Shiao

I love reading these madlibs. The only problem? We don’t get to hear from Craig himself. So I decided to come up with a set of questions and asked Craig to answer them. Here’s the Q&A.

Lead Generation

Q: Aside from folks like Marketo and HubSpot, what B2B marketer is doing lead gen really well?

A: Tough question. Kissmetrics is a model for online marketing but I’ll give you a surprise one: Sales Benchmark Index. They are a services company and these types of companies typically struggle with demand generation — they have built a content marketing, lead generation machine.  They post every day, create an ebook/month and do a webinar. Their content is specific and comprehensive. They offer templates for download.  They are an impressive use-case for content marketing.

Q: For lead gen, what’s one social network no one is talking about?

A: YOUTUBE. It’s the second most popular search engine and no one in b2b has it figured out.  There are about to be some amazing stories of b2b success on youtube.

Q: If you could select just one metric, what should B2B demand gen folks be measured by?

A: Influence on pipeline. In b2b, 9-25 touches take place before a buyer buys. Why aren’t we tracking every touch and attributing that to marketing success?

Q: Peanut butter is to jelly like marketing automation is to?

A: Demand generation success. Strategy, process, people, and then marketing automation/software. You don’t sell without CRM anymore, you shouldn’t digitally market without a platform. (Craig note: I added “/software” to marketing automation in order to include Hubspot who does not like the term marketing automation).

Q: Retargeted display ads to drive anonymous web site visitors back to your lead capture pages. Yes, no, maybe so?

A: Yes. I recommend retargeting. I don’t just worry about lead capture, I feel like retargeting is highly effective from just a pure branding perspective. I personally don’t click on display but when I get retargeted, I notice and remember the company. It’s like “everywhere I turn, I see you.” I know we are all metrics focused, but there is something to be said about the overall branding aspect to retargeting. You may even consider it another from of nurturing to go with a company’s frequent emails.

Selling and The Sales Funnel

Photo source: Carla Gates on flickr. Follow here here on Twitter: @CarlaGates247

“Cold calling doesn’t have to be cold any more.”

Q: What’s the number one thing to keep in mind when cold calling?

A: That cold calling does not have to be “cold” any more. There is so much information on social networks and the internet about your prospect that you can turn what was formerly known as a cold call into a warm call.

Q: Sales development reps are often disconnected from prospects’ activities in social. How can marketers fix that?  

A: The problem with social and sales isn’t the ability to get information, it’s teaching them to know what to do with it. There are a number of tools: LinkedIN Sales Navigator, Hootsuite, InsideView, for enterprise. Radius Intelligence for SMB that can give a rep social visibility. It doesn’t matter what you provide them if they don’t know what to do with the information. You have to coach reps on how to weave that information into your communications.

Event marketers: create video, white papers and webinars from your event content.

Q: With regard to the sales funnel, what’s the biggest opportunity that event marketers are NOT doing?

A: Here is my view on event marketing: they need to take a step back and try to understand what the buyer journey is today and how live events can fit in. Then they need to look at the vendors and understand how they are selling, and try to tie that back to live events.

What is going to add the most value to the buyers and sellers at my event? That may be too general, but I have a long list of things that I’d like event marketers to do besides re-think the overall structure. Content still has to improve to meet the standard set on the overall internet, one-to-many content (they are SO focused on the live event but they should be creating video, whitepapers, webinars, etc. from the event content), more digital interactivity during the event and after.

Miscellaneous

Q: It’s been said that Google tested 40 shades of blue to determine the right color for links. Email marketers talk a lot about A/B testing. What about A/B/C…N testing. Your thoughts on testing numerous flavors?

A: Let’s discuss pros and cons.

Pro: My belief is that is the consumer internet guys are typically the best at on-site conversion, etc. so copy them. If Google A-N tested to find the best conversion, b2b marketers should learn from that. Today’s agile marketer views the world as “stand it up, then test, test, test.” B2B marketers tend to focus on really big problems which is fine, but to really online market,  you want to optimize every conversion point.

Con: You need to have a big enough sample to even A/B test. When do you have enough data to make a good decision?

Q: I just graduated from college and started a career in B2B marketing. Besides subscribing to the Funnelholic RSS feed, what’s the first thing I should focus on?

A: Well you completed step one. When young people ask me about getting into marketing, I tell them: get a job in marketing anywhere, anyhow.

The problem with b2b marketing is there isn’t enough education on the discipline. You will not learn it in school. So get a job, then soak it in. Then educate yourself: build your feedly with 15-20 b2b marketing sites — but my favorite starter sites are Neil Patel’s QuickSprout and Kissmetrics blogs. My brother wanted to get up-to-speed on internet marketing: he started reading Neil’s stuff and is now pretty much up-to-speed.

“Set aside 1 hour to learn every day.”

The marketing software vendors have GREAT blogs like Marketo, Hubspot, Act-On. Set aside 1 hour to learn every day. The other thing is to find mentors and ask them everything you can. Also, network, network, network — I tell young people, network with peers and ask them everything. I still do that every day. I learn a little here and there from my friends.

Finding The Funnelholic

The Funnelholic is here to help

Q: You’re now providing consulting services for organizations’ sales and marketing teams. Tell us about your services and where can folks contact you for more information?

A: I am a consultant again! And I am having the time of my life. I forgot what it is like to work with amazing people on the complex challenges they face in today’s rapidly changing sales and marketing environment.

The supply chain of business has repeatable, metrics driven processes that deliver/over-deliver products. We help organizations design, build, and/or optimize their Revenue Chain to predictably deliver/over-deliver revenue. We create actionable, specific playbooks in the following areas: content strategy, social strategy, demand generation, lead management, marketing technology, lead qualification, inside sales, sales technology, and sales process.

People can find me on www.funnelholic.com.

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