The Monthly B2B Marketing Stats Meeting: A Template Agenda
The backbones of every productive and efficient marketing department, are teamwork and collaboration. According to a report by Marketing Profs and Content Marketing Institute, 54% of B2B marketers note that team meetings are valuable to content marketing effectiveness. While the most successful content marketers place “meeting with their content teams frequently” among the top 4 pieces of their content strategy.
Marketers that hold regular meetings to review the success of the content and social media marketing initiatives will see improved ROI over time. The problem is that many marketing departments aren’t having monthly marketing stats review meetings. And among the companies that hold them, the meetings are often unfocused and ineffective. In the U.S. alone, $37 billion is lost every year to unproductive meetings, and it’s incumbent on B2B marketers to make sure they’re not contributing to that trend.
A monthly B2B marketing stats review, as simple as it sounds, should be a driving force behind the growth of your company. In it, the marketing staff gets to review campaigns in detail, digging into what worked over the past month and what hasn’t. All marketing activities, such as content distribution, social media outreach, and advertising can be seen at a glance for their effectiveness in boosting KPIs, spreading brand recognition, and helping achieve organizational goals.
Such a productive stats review can only happen, of course, if it’s planned properly from the start. Meeting structures range from formal to informal and vary widely across businesses, but following a template ‘stats review’ agenda, complete with suggested times for each part, will help you make a 60-90 minute monthly B2b marketing stats meeting as valuable and useful as it should be.
Header and Objectives (5 min.)
Depending on the culture and convention of your company, your first slide or the top of your handout might contain “header” info, such as time, place, minutes, and all parties involved. The overall “objective” can simply be what you hope to accomplish with the meeting: “Discuss metrics related to the performance of content and social media campaigns, and action steps to improve KPIs.”
Schedule (45-75 min.)
The schedule is the substance of your meeting. In this part of your agenda, you’ll address the status and goals of your marketing initiatives in full detail. For the purposes of a monthly stats review, the following three items, at a minimum, should be built into the schedule.
Review of the current campaign (10-15 min.)
Before you look at specific metrics, it makes sense to consider the broader context—namely, your current campaign.
At this beginning stage of the meeting, you’ll want to take stock of your current marketing activities. By doing this, you’ll have a broad overview of what’s been done so far, and you’ll be prepared to look at how every action taken since the past month is affecting your KPIs.
The following questions can help you and your team list the details of your current marketing strategy for review and discussion:
- What buyer personas are you targeting? Any serious B2B marketing plan targets well-defined buyer personas, so that’s a good place to start. Review the characteristics of the audiences you’re trying to reach through your chosen tactics. Also note whether any changes in the industry, perhaps gleaned from news outlets and popular blogs, are prompting you to make any adjustments to previously-defined buyer personas or to construct new ones.
- What social channels are being employed? Chances are a broad-based B2B marketing strategy that implements content creation for the “big four” social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Depending on the field you’re in and your market segment, you might also benefit from less “mainstream” social channels, such as the Q&A-based sites Quora and StackExchange or industry-specific forums.
- What types of content marketing and social posts have you used? Take account of all the content marketing collateral you’ve used in the past month—blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, customer testimonials, webinars, and any other tactic you’ve used to pique the interest of prospects. As far as social posts are concerned, break down the content you’ve employed by type (for example, text-based, image, video, and links).
- What features of those social channels are you using? If you’ve utilized special features or offerings of particular social channels to extend your reach, such as LinkedIn Showcase Pages or Facebook Groups, be sure to list those as well.
- Are you supporting “inbound” tactics with advertisements? Any use of paid advertising, such as native social media ads or PPC campaigns, should be noted.
Detailed status report (15 -25 min.)
Here is where all the statistics you’ve gained are carefully analyzed and reviewed by the whole team. This could be a list of metrics in plain text, but visuals will help cement the performance of each initiative in the minds of the whole team. Visuals also clearly show how well campaigns work overtime and can reveal stark downward trends that require corrective action. A capable social media management tool that provides proper social analytics overviews will serve enlightening graphical reports for you.
Some of the simplest metrics you should be tracking lend themselves well to bar graphs, and will ideally show an upward trajectory. These include, but are not limited to, the following: impressions, engagements, leads, qualified leads, conversions and website traffic.
Of course, you shouldn’t stop there. A breakdown of these items is necessary to see which combination of tactics and channels are performing the best. You might represent the following with stacked bar graphs or pie charts, to give a sense of how each part contributes to the whole:
- Reach, leads, engagements, and conversion rate by channel. All of these show how well a particular channel is performing in boosting a specific KPI. For example, in your social outreach efforts, you might discover you have more successful engagements on Facebook than on LinkedIn.
- Marketing qualified leads by channel. Once you’ve defined a marketing qualified lead—that is, a lead that is ready to be shared with sales for further outreach—you can see which channels yield the best leads and might directly yield the best overall ROI.
- Call-to-action (CTA) click through rate. This will show you how much CTAs garner a response, and is critical for refining your social copy. A breakdown by social channel for this metric can be even more useful.
- Lead-to-customer conversion rate. Knowing the number of leads that eventually become customers is indispensable to your campaign. Look at this metric for each social outlet for insights on where to spend optimization efforts.
All in all, the status report will reveal clear points at which action can be taken, whether it means tweaking a strategy or revamping an entire campaign, to improve ROI.
Discussion and action items (20-35 min)
After gaining a clear view of how your marketing activities are working, it’s time to discuss what actions to take:
- Talk about standout items in the status report. If there are any particular areas of concern—such as too much past focus, on an underperforming social channel, or a metric that unexpectedly fell short of projections—the staff should recognize them at this point.
- Hold a brainstorming session. This will give the staff opportunities to offer ideas that may turn into solutions. If the campaign has led to enhanced marketing ROI, everyone involved might easily agree it makes sense to continue the same tactics. If not, you might explore options such as making a foray into new social channels, experimenting with branding and tone of content, or developing new buyer personas. These options should be broken down further into actionable steps—for example, if new content types are warranted, you might define new categories such as “thought-leadership,” “snackable” content, and/or “viral” content, and assign staff members to the creation of each content type based on talent and experience.
- Consider what’s working on the outside. The discussion can also include general trends in B2B marketing, as well as what other companies in your specific industry are doing to engage with prospects and create relationships.
Closing (10 min.)
At the end of the meeting, everyone should be on the same page. Concisely restate everything that was discussed, and ensure that everyone present knows precisely how the team will move forward, and why.
There should be a brief Q&A session at the very end to clarify any aspects of action steps and allow staff to introduce thoughts that did not neatly fit in before. This way, everyone involved can be confident that his or her voice is important and is heard—setting the stage for a happier, more productive team—and you’ll reduce the chance that any potentially important points about your initiatives will be missed.
The monthly stats review meeting is critical to the refinement of a B2B marketing game plan, so it’s important to make sure you can execute one properly. In doing so, you’ll emerge with a clearer vision of the steps you can take towards your company’s market success.