B2B Marketing Strategy

4 Lessons Learned on Growth from Modern Day Marketing Leaders

Brett McGrath

Aug 25, 2022

4 Lessons Learned on Growth from Modern Day Marketing Leaders

Creating is everything. 

Creating is the way we cut through the noise and push our brand forward.. 

Creating is how we separate away from our competitors who continue to spew the same outdated B2B jargon to their audience.

Creating is our opportunity to collaborate with like-minded marketers in our industry and help elevate each other’s thoughts and ideas. 

Pushing your brand forward in start-up land involves the creation of a bunch of content. I’ve been creating something new almost every day for the past 18 months. It’s taught me how to ship, collaborate, and that it’s ok to make myself a little bit vulnerable. 

We’ve used The Slice to host pieces that share our point of view on the market, highlight why we think our product should be the next distribution channel you should consider, and share the voices of subject matter experts that we've collaborated with along the way. 

I spent some time discussing how we were rolling out new messaging and positioning with our team earlier this week. Dropping this episode caused me to reflect on some of the recent conversations that I’ve had on the podcast and map them back to the four pillars The Juice supports for modern day marketers.

The four pillars that we are supporting for our our customers are: 

The benefit of creating collaborations with modern day marketers who have a ton of experience is it’s like getting free consulting. It’s just silly not to take it into consideration when trying to grow professionally. 

I decided to dig back to some recent conversations and examine lessons I’ve learned around our four pillars that define success at The Juice. Need help leveling up your learning around brand awareness, audience growth, content distribution, or demand generation?

This is what I’m learning from some of the brightest marketing leaders in B2B. 

4 Lessons Learned on Growth from Modern Day Marketing Leaders  

🧃Lesson 1: Rebrands can be intimidating, but can help elevate your brand awareness when done right 

Sometimes you have to go through the rebranding process in order to start earning the right type of awareness for your brand. 

REBRAND. I know. I know.  

It’s a word that can send shivers down the spine of your team.

Whenever the rebranding process gets brought up it starts to get really uncomfortable. Rebranding signals change and there’s a certain level of uneasiness that goes along with anything new. 

There’s so many questions that we have to ask ourselves as marketers before we enter the rebranding process:

Why should we do it? 

Who should be involved? 

How long is it going to take?

How do we weigh internal feedback against external feedback? 

What are our goals? 

The process might be uncomfortable to some, but when done right it can change the trajectory of your business.

Eric Williamson is the Chief Marketing Officer at CallMiner and he’s got a lot to say on this topic. His team just went through the rebranding process and he’s full of actionable advice that we can all use if we are considering a rebrand.

Of course we always want to measure the effectiveness of a massive undertaking like a rebrand. I especially took this nugget to heart from our conversation: 

“Are you seeing the way people talk about you and ask questions about you to shift to the core keywords. If you are seeing that then you know it’s resonating with the market.” 

When your internal and external stakeholders start playing back your words then you know you are on the right track. 

🧃Lesson 2: Eliminate negative customer experiences if you want to increase audience growth efforts and start winning more 

So picture this...

A new Chief Marketing Officer is brought onboard to a new company.

The CMO does an evaluation of the current tech stack and makes a list of what the org needs based on stakeholder feedback.

The CMO reaches out to 8-10 vendors in a specific Martech category and says the following:

"I want a proposal for your product. I am buying it right now."

Seems like a slam dunk for the sales rep from those vendors, right?

It would be if they just listened...

Instead of delivering a proposal and doing discovery to win the business a majority of the brands decided to make the CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER start from the beginning of THEIR PROCESS.

The vendor who won was the vendor who listened and was mindful of the customer experience.

During a recent conversation with James Gilbert, Chief Marketing Officer at RedRoute he talked about audience growth and why it's critical that we need to invest in the customer experience even when it's difficult to track.

“There’s a small percentage that I work with finance on out of my overarching budget that I just say this is stuff that we are not going to measure. It is going to be related to pushing the brand and pushing the customer experience so that we can make sure it has bigger outcomes.”

Sometimes we need to take bigger swings in the areas that aren’t always quantifiable. It could be removing marketing forms from your site, sponsoring a Slack community where your future customers go to grow, or investing in creative campaigns. 

Take big swings with your brand. There will be a lot of whiffs in the batter’s box, but you increase the odds of turning something on that helps elevate your audience growth efforts. Start getting in the game of winning hearts and minds. Typically, the less we make it about the metrics the better we do. 

🧃Lesson 3: Your people are your most important content distribution channel and your leaders can supercharge these efforts 

People want to buy from people. 

The rise of the individual creator in B2B is a theme that should not only be noticed, but embraced by leadership. People are buying your product because they met someone from your team in a Slack community. Leaders should give their people the runway to make connections and jump into the mix themselves. 

There are so many different types of leaders.

Some like to be front and center giving a keynote at the next biggest Martech event.

Others prefer to orchestrate their magic behind the scenes.

Whatever type of leader runs your company they are a critical asset to the brand that you and your marketing team are building.

I've been hearing a lot of conversations about leadership's role in the content creation process so I decided to learn from one of the best.

Ali Schwanke is the founder and CEO at Simple Strat and is an expert on this topic. She's done an unbelievable job of building her company's brand by using video to create consistent, helpful content. She believes the CEO should be involved in content because it helps establish trust and personality.

Using your people for content distribution is a key way to differentiate yourself in a sea of commodities. 

“People are looking more and more for expert voices…seeing that demonstrated through content helps. There’s no outsourcing my face or personality. Podcast and videos are of the utmost importance for founders.”

🧃Lesson #4: Drop the “we need more leads” mindset and focus on demand generation efforts that produce higher quality conversations 

Your CEO, CFO, and revenue leaders don’t really mean it when they tell you that “we need more leads”. It’s easy to get frustrated, but also an opportunity to educate. 

There’s a perception that if marketing drives more traffic and gets more leads then you’ll close more business. I guess this can work at some level, but you're likely to get fired before the results show in a culture that demands immediate results. 

The old way is to start investing in high quantity and low quality marketing programs to hit some vanity metrics that your leadership thinks they need.

The modern way is to back yourself into a conversation around a qualified pipeline where your team isn’t talking about the volume of leads, but how to get the right kind. 

We all want more revenue and focusing on quality is the way to it. 

Eric Stockton, VP of Demand Generation at Constant Contact recently remarked on Modern Day Marketer:

“The way that I measure how we are going to get the pipeline that the sales team needs is based on what are the tactics that we can employ that actually creates those higher intent, hand raising opportunities.” 

Focusing on quantity will only get you so far. Be a student. Find time to study intent data for your brand. You'll begin to supercharge your growth efforts when you can play it back to your sales team.

Want to learn how The Juice can help supercharge your content program? Search for your brand page to claim and we’ll be in touch. 🧃

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