B2B Marketers are expected to seek more information about artificial intelligence, data privacy and how to prove their worth in 2018, so we’ve curated clips from seven Rethink Marketing Podcast episodes that will continue to bring you value in the coming year.
We release podcast episodes each Thursday. We’ve had some great guests on the show this year, including Ann Handley, Robert Rose, Scott Brinker and more. You can subscribe to listen to new episodes on your favorite device.
As producer, I listen to a lot of podcasts. That begins with researching the topics prior to the guest interview, recording the interview, editing the show and preparing it for release. And to make sure my vote is counted, I listen to the show again each Thursday morning after its released. I also listen to many marketing-related podcasts, such as The Bean Cast or Yeah, It’s Probably an Ad; as my wife says when she walks into a room where I am working, “Not another @#$% marketing podcast!”
Ep. 56 | How AI and Machine Learning Will Impact B2B Marketing
There is a popular sports cliché from hockey in which Wayne Gretzky – among the best players of all time – was asked how he was so successful scoring goals. He responded with the advice he received from his father, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”
Everyone from Steve Jobs to that goofy guy over in accounting have quoted it ad nauseam since. And I am doing so, too. For me, it’s a reminder to be aware of where markets and market conditions are headed. You don’t want to be the guy that invests in buggy whips the day after Ford introduces the assembly line.
In this case, marketers – if not everyone – need to track the advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning and so forth. For this episode, we interview Paul Roetzer, who in 2016 launched the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute that is tracking AI and machine learning.
“Despite the dystopian views that are out there and the things you see in Hollywood, at the end of the day AI is really there now and for the foreseeable future to enhance what you do as a marketer,” Roetzer said. “And the sooner you embrace that, and seek ways to have it help what you’re doing, and make things more efficient, and more personalized, you’re actually going to get ahead of everyone else. Because most marketers just hear it a couple times and then they just turn away. They don’t bother trying to dive deeper into it. And to me that’s the opportunity for marketers.”
In addition to AI, marketers are going to be adopting more and more personalization in their marketing. Two additional podcasts worth listening to include Ep. 39 | Putting the Person in Personalization and Ep. 41 | Using Conversation Intelligence to Close More Sales.
Ep. 30 | Understanding GDPR Implications for Your Business
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, becomes effective on May 25, 2018.
We’ve been periodically interviewing David Fowler, Act-On’s head of privacy, compliance and deliverability, about the regulation, which he describes as the biggest change to EU data protection law in a generation. It applies to the EU’s 510+ million citizens, as well as any business doing business with them, regardless of where they are based. If you are a marketer doing business in Europe, or any of your customers are EU citizens, then GDPR applies to you.
Episode 30 was our first conversation with David about GDPR and offers a good introduction.
“What I would be doing now as a marketer in your preparation efforts (when this thing goes live in May of next year, there’s going to be no grace period). So, every piece of data you have on your file come May of 2018 will have to be compliant the day it goes live,” David said. “You should start thinking about how you either re-permission or get to the point where you start to disclose different things about the individuals as you get ready for the GDPR implementation. So, re-permission your lists, get your consent in order, start talking about disclosures, and that kind of thing. And so that’s what you should start to be sort of embracing today.”
You can also listen to Ep. 54 | What You Need to Know About GDPR’s Data Protection Officer, too, or visit our GDPR hub to learn more.
Ep. 11 | Creating a Profit-Center Marketing Department with Matt Heinz
As Matt says, you can’t buy a beer with an MQL, but you can with a closed deal.
We interviewed Matt in early 2017, but the message of moving toward a profit-centered marketing organization still resonates.
“You have to understand that your job in marketing is the same as the sales team,” Matt said. “The sales team may be sitting at the table when the prospect signs on the line that is dotted. But marketing needs to be responsible for the same metrics. And when you can align and prioritize what you’re doing based on the right outcome, it starts to align the metrics you’re focused on and need to be focused on as well. There’s a big difference between your operational metrics and your business metrics.”
Other great interviews touched on the need for better alignment between sales and marketing. Check out Ep. 13 | What It Means To Become An Advocate Marketer with Jill Rowley; and Ep. 57 | How Artificial Intelligence Helps Sales Teams Become More Empathetic.
52 | 6 Things Marketers Underestimate when Targeting B2B Buyers
Back in November, Act-On CMO Michelle Huff interviewed Kari Seas from Seas Marketing. They reviewed some of the ways marketers fall short when targeting B2B buyers. Kari is an expert at working with sales and marketing teams on defining their buyer personas, stages in the sales funnel and more.
“One of the other ways that B2B marketers can fall down or really struggle is they don’t recognize that content relevance is everything. Or maybe they recognize it, but they just feel like they got to keep making the donuts,” Seas said. “If you’re talking about B2B technology that you’re selling, it’s about the quality of the conversions, not how many people visit your website. You absolutely need people to visit your website. You need SEO. You need all those great things. But you really need to optimize all of those strategies for conversions, not volume.”
Many marketers think they understand their lead scoring, sales cycles and so forth. But ask them to explain it to you and they fall short. Harvard business professor Raffaella Sadun surveyed thousands of organizations across the world and found that operational excellence was so rate that it can be a strategic advantage.
So, in 2018, bunker down with your entire marketing team and review your operational basics and make sure they are aligned with your business goals. Update them if necessary, but even more important, make sure everyone is on the same page with what you’re trying to do, and how you’re going to do it. This includes reviewing your tech stack and eliminating redundancies or stuff you’re just not using. Or it could include investing time in learning how to maximize the tools you have (check out Act-On University and our public Knowledge Base
Ep. 27 | How to Create Content Unicorns and Ignore the Donkeys
You can never get enough unicorns from Larry Kim. We’ll be bringing back Larry to the podcast in January, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it. In this interview, Larry talked about challenging the normal assumptions about creating content just to create content (we’re all guilty of this, BTW).
Instead, he suggests we identify our best performing content and double down.
“You’re getting bigger winners and fewer of them. It’s like the difference between playing scratch tickets and Powerball. Fewer winners, but bigger jackpots,” he said. “What I’m saying is, you really need to stop wasting your time pushing donkeys. Donkeys are the opposite of a unicorn. Unicorn are these great mythical – your top 1 percent, your outliers. And the donkeys are basically everything else.
“If you have a unicorn, what are you going to do with it? Are you just going to play it once and then move on to the next donkey? No. What you need to do is you need to go all in on it and make unicorn babies. You’ve got this one outlier piece of content. What you should do is you should spend all of your quarter’s budget on promoting that one piece in paid social. You should cancel all the webinars that you have planned for this month and just do this one topic.”
Ep. 45 | Create a More Engaging Website That Converts Traffic
If you can listen to Andy Crestodina speak at an event or webinar, you should. He has the gift of being a good teacher, at least that was my impression after our podcast interview with him when he successfully explained how to create a specific Google Analytics report via a conference call.
One of the top predictions by marketers in 2018 was to continue investing in producing engaging content. But that content needs to help your prospective buyers to take action and buy your product or service. Andy, who is co-founder of Orbit Media, has recognized
“A great page is both the cheese and the mousetrap,” he said. “It’s a search optimized page to rank for the phrase and attract the visitor, that’s cheese. And it’s a conversion optimized page to trigger action to get the visitor to convert and become a lead or subscribe, and that’s the mousetrap.
Ep. 29 | Building a Marketing Revenue Attribution Eight Ball
Showing the value of your marketing is expected in today’s modern marketing world. But how do you do that? Last spring, we interviewed Aaron Bird, CEO of Bizible, and asked him how marketers can get started measuring the marketing impact on revenue.
“Ideally you go to revenue. But if not, then back up the funnel. If you have an 18-month sales cycle, maybe the opportunity is created within four months,” Aaron said. “And then it’s 14 months of the field sales team going out. So then measure opportunities at least. Or measure pipeline. Or pick a stage of opportunity that’s relevant; that if you get into the negotiation state or something like that, that once you get there you have a 90 percent win rate or something. Look at your funnel from top of the funnel awareness all the way down to closed-won deals, and pick something where you want measure to.
“Obviously, revenue is the best, but sometimes you have to go a little further up the funnel. And you can make assumptions. If your average win rate is 15 percent and your deal size is $100,000, then an opportunity is worth X amount of money to you. You should be able to spend Y amount of money to get it.”