Interview [Video]: Oktopost Talks to SuccessFlow About How They Approach B2B Marketing Strategies
Oktopost had its first Oktocast!
We interviewed SuccessFlow's Managing Director, Mark Donkin, and Digital Campaign Manager, Kethan Parmar, about their B2B marketing strategies.
Check it out and leave us a comment below this blog post to tell us what tips you may add to the list!
If you have your own in-house marketing team, be sure that you do not neglect any of the steps that they mention.
5 Basic Steps to Execute for Proper B2B Marketing Strategies:
Step #1: Analyze your current situation and future goals, then put a solid project plan in place according to an appropriate framework.
Step #2: Find your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), whether they are views, growth of social reach, leads, or conversions.
Step #3: Determine and capitalize on your company's strengths.
Step #4: Automate everything!
Step #5: Evolve. Regularly review, modify and update your strategy, because digital marketing is constantly changing.
Below is a summary of some of the things mentioned video…
Could first quickly tell us a little bit about yourselves, and what you guys do at SuccessFlow?
We work with B2B brands across UK and Europe. We help them with their digital marketing and digital transformation program. In other words, we help them plan a marketing strategy, while making sure that we fit them into the right framework.
We then build up the necessary content in a digital world, since content is key and then we have those clients turn that content into new leads and customers.
We do that using a number of channels:
- Social Media Networks
- Marketing Automation
Automating the entire process is the biggest part of what we do. We use a powerful marketing automation technology, to really build out well-structured, automated programs that really align between marketing and sales. We are also very heavily involved with sales and working with companies like sales, as a part of those that we can integrate all of that intelligence, all that marketing insights, back into the sales team fundamentally to generate more new business, and better customer engagement.
This is due to aligning marketing with sales, generating as much leads and new business for the company itself and that’s through either social, web, email and content marketing, mostly webinars. Yes, so we’re going to go through the framework and the strategy which you’ll get a better understanding of and how we do it, who we do it for.
What would be your first tip for any kind of B2B marketer, or even B2C?
We find that a lot of our clients who we start to engage with are using marketing automation and CRM systems but they are ill-conceived in terms of how and why the investment is being made. In addition, they are producing so much random content but it is not really followed through in terms of any kind of framework. So…
Tip #1: Find your benchmark to start from so that you can do proper planning and build that into an appropriate framework. So, you know our key tips there would be is to work within a framework, whatever that may be. We use a combination of two, one of them being the SOSTAC framework, where we look at the situation to understand where is the client now? Look at the older objectives and where do they want to go? What is their purpose? And then look at their strategy.
Tip #2: Everything needs to be done properly. Whether that be with a marketing agency or not is one thing, but certainly in B2B, you must have a sales team to follow through on all of the marketing efforts, because ultimately they are selling products and services.
Tip #3: Identify what are the individual steps and milestones, and how you're going to reach them. Once you have that done, you obviously then need to take action. Hence…
Tip #4: Have a task list.
Tip #5: Have good control over your tasks so that you can evolve with the changes. Make sure that you are monitoring each step and know exactly what is happening so that you can analyzing it and learn from it so that you can then making the necessary changes. Make sure you have a documented scope, that everybody has signed off, with our clear KPIs, with a clear project management, and then have regular reviews, either weekly, monthly and quarterly. in terms of kind of tactical strategic type reviews to make sure you are constantly evolving the program, because, as we all know, the digital world is changing and it’s important that we keep ahead of the game.
What tools do you use for analysis and what are the KPIs that you’re looking for? In other words, what are the KPIs that you feel are most important to focus on, and what do you find customers think are important, but probably aren’t? What are your tips for that?
From our experience, from an analysis point of view, the answer can vary. As an agency, going from client to client, they each have unique requirements in terms of what they want to see on a campaign level, or an insights level. How we get to that data can be challenging.
For example, Oktopost has got great analysis for social media, especially for B2B social conversion and social media data analytics. We also use a marketing automation tool for handling email, Google Analytics for web analytics, and our CRM to start looking at their revenue analytics. We pull all of these systems together into our own dashboard, so that we can then present back to the client in one place.
And in terms of KPIs to look for:
- Any increase in reach and from where?
- What does our reach look like in social media?
- Is it growing?
- Is that content getting us more followers?
- As we’re building our database, are we getting more traffic to our website and then conversions?
- Who are our leads?
Conversions in B2B means leads. Hence, use compelling, leadership type content, that is going to be really engaging and interesting to your audience, that is going to convert.
Fundamentally, we are in marketing, but we are in marketing to sales. What we see, that leads going through the sales early stage. How many actually are getting through the sales? How many have been accepted by sales? And then how many are converting? And that is a challenge, two reasons – One is tracking that whole journey into it, as I’ve said, but also a lot of clients we work with have very long sales cycle. So it’s kind of starting to see that through picture, can take some time and that’s why we think that is important to start measuring at the very much at the top of the funnel, because that will impact, as you can see that right the way through.
For internal analysis it’s important to have that benchmark to start with, because otherwise you’re starting from zero. When you start, if you’re going to implement correctly through a framework on a true digital marketing and a bit of analyze what’s going on there, if you have no idea where you are today, you know it’s good to have some kind of a benchmark that you can work from.
Have you been able to see any kind of difference from say, when you first take a client on and then once you start work with them, they have such a long sale cycle, probably over a certain amount of time, I don’t know tell me – 6 months, a year; do you notice a change with the work that you do with them once you put them through that whole system of marketing strategies?
Well, definitely. For example, a large B2B organization we’ve recently got involved with have fantastic content. They really knew their marketplace, they were market leaders in their field, they had a marketing automation put into place, and they even had a sales floccule. However, nothing was connected. So, there was no analysis of the content they were pushing out. The content they were pushing out was navigated, and it was just really available, but it was of such high value, they were really going down on inbound approach. So they were just pushing out, waiting for the phone to ring. So, we really did all that thinking, we always try to do that – Where are you today? What are the objectives? And the key objectives there were – we need to get more leads through our sales team, we are not feeding the funnel, okay? So actually not a scenario. When we actually connected everything up for them and we then build out the landing pages, for the example on the emails and the social, we were doing it all, got a huge following by the way from people on social, for they weren’t capitalizing on that, they weren’t pushing out that type of content through that social channels. And the KPI, as we said to the start with generate leads, and we’ve set up a KPI; we ended up beating Tenfold, we did in a first 3 months. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean we do magic on the content of the marketing, and that brand has also has to do with just having a solid strategy doing all that thinking and then been out to build the platform, build the process and then deliver the objectives that we’ve set out.