Podcast Power: The Risks & Rewards of Using an Ungated Channel

Podcast Power: The Risks & Rewards of Using an Ungated Channel

Have you dismissed podcasts as a lead generation opportunity? Think again. It’s true. You can’t ask people to fill out a form in order to listen to a podcast. So why would this be helpful to an overall demand generation strategy? The #1 reason is this: With a podcast you can engage with customers and prospects on the go, on their terms, and push new content straight to their mobile device anytime, anywhere. In an effort to engage and or/reengage with our target audience this year, we developed the Raise+Engage podcast – a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals that aims to create a place for honest conversations about the reality of being a nonprofit. A Guest Post by Clare Corriveau and Emily Popson of Blackbaud We said goodbye to webinars and white papers – tried and true lead generation assets ­– and took a risk with a tactic that can’t actually generate leads. Weird, right? But what we’ve seen so far is incredible. Within six weeks, we received over 2,000 downloads of our podcast series, were featured as new and noteworthy on iTunes, and secured close to 7,000 unique visits to our accompanying virtual content hub, which houses all of our podcast episodes. This content hub also hosts a slew of content marketing goodness – including snackable items such as tip sheets, webinars, calendars, and blog posts – gated behind form asking for contact information. All of these entry points are connected to our lead scoring program and nurture email campaigns for our products. The podcast allows us to connect with our community and provoke interest with no commitment or...
Getting Demand Generation Right: 5 Things You Need to Change

Getting Demand Generation Right: 5 Things You Need to Change

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a friend of mine who is considering a career change. He has an MBA in journalism, and is currently a teacher, but was thinking he should take his skills and talents and get into marketing. During the conversation we discussed the ways that B2B marketing has changed due to the new approach buyers take to purchasing. When I mentioned this, he quickly agreed and then said, “But you go to some of these websites and it’s like they are marketing like it was 10 to 15 years ago!” Unfortunately, my friend is right. While the way B2B buyers buy has changed significantly, many marketing and sales departments are struggling to keep up. As I have said before: B2B marketing organizations have to stop doing different things, and truly do things differently. Guest Post by Carlos Hidalgo, CEO and Principal at ANNUITAS Here are 5 things that B2B Marketing and Sales teams need to do differently in order to meet the needs of today’s modern buyer: 1. Change the Culture of the Organization I have the good fortune of getting to speak to many B2B marketers both at events and in the course of my job. One of the things I hear from marketers most often is exasperation: There is too much to do; they feel like they are not gaining ground; and, overall, they seem defeated. If marketing organizations are truly going to set a new course and do things differently, there needs to be a shift in the organizational culture. Marketing leaders need to enable, train, and give their teams permission to be bold in driving strategic initiatives....
Is Your Real-Time Email Marketing Really Real-Time?

Is Your Real-Time Email Marketing Really Real-Time?

Every marketer needs to ask this question: “Is my real-time email marketing really real-time?” If you haven’t started asking this question, you will soon. Email marketing has emerged front and center as a prime real-time marketing tool, but many marketers are surprised to find that what they call “real-time” is not so real-time after all. While real-time marketing is most closely associated with brands sending timely messages to a mass audience, the next frontier of real-time marketing is sending personalized messages to individuals. In fact, 96 percent of organizations believe that email personalization can improve email marketing performance, according to the Aberdeen Group’s research report, Email Marketing: Get Personal with Your Customers. However, more personalization usually means more delays. The key to all real-time marketing is speed, but the very infrastructure of email marketing is based on a series of time-consuming tasks, such as list creation, data syncing, and batch delays. Each activity introduces another delay, any of which can quickly turn a real-time marketing opportunity into a real missed opportunity. Guest Post by Taylor Jones, Co-Founder & Principal Engineer of MessageGears Most delays arise from how data is managed and stored, and many delays are not necessary. Fortunately, there are a number of ways marketers can reduce or eliminate delays by consolidating data into a centralized database. Below are three signs that you have unnecessary delays impeding your real-time marketing efforts. Insights into data management practices that can help reduce or eliminate these delays are also presented, so that your real-time email marketing will truly be real-time. Does your data have to be synced or uploaded? One of the challenges...
Can the CMO Drive Growth?

Can the CMO Drive Growth?

Every aspiring VP of Marketing or CMO wants one thing: to demonstrate and maintain a track record of growth. In fact, the closer you are to the start-up world, the more important it is that your top marketing priority is increasing revenue. So, how do you do that? You focus on three things. 1. The Numbers The days of marketing leaders distinguishing themselves primarily as brand stewards are over.  Instead, if you really want to stand out, you need to show that your investments in marketing are paying off by driving growth in revenue and profitability. This means, first and foremost, setting the right goals (Seismic’s VP of Marketing, Daniel Rodriguez, believes that goal should be, simply stated, “new revenue”) and focusing on the right metrics.  Of course, the metrics that matter most in your business are those tightly tied to revenue, and thus may have more to do with creating qualified pipeline than with PR mentions or site traffic (unless you have the data to show how PR and brand impressions drive growth). Nevertheless, as critical as the right metrics may be (and they will vary based on business model), a recent article in the Harvard Business Review pointed out that the simple fact of systematically using customer analytics to improve performance was itself correlated with growth in profits.  Unfortunately, many marketers do not feel that they have the numbers-driven insights they need to drive growth. If that’s your situation, you need to fix it…and fast! 2. Collaboration Marketing has long tended to have an indirect impact on sales. Whether one focuses, as one might in the consumer world,...
Widen Top of Funnel Marketing and Generate More MQLs

Widen Top of Funnel Marketing and Generate More MQLs

As marketers, we are in constant pursuit of an increase in the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs). We understand that it starts with a strong top of funnel. The programs we initiate need to produce leads from an audience that can be nurtured into a pool of viable MQLs. If not, conversion rates suffer and, more importantly, we waste resources on misguided opportunities.  In response, we have embraced account-based marketing (ABM) as a means to ensure investments are aligned to the optimal audience. The account-based model is focused on simply generating leads and revenue from a pre-defined company list. Like most, you’re working with limited budget, so what can you do to widen the funnel to capture more leads?  I’d like to share five tips that, in combination, will help establish sustainable marketing-attributed revenue. Expand Your Audience Definition The audience definition serves as the blueprint for your account-based marketing.  Where it sometimes goes awry is when the definition is designed to be too restrictive.  This narrows the top of funnel and suffocates lead flow. Let’s examine the composition of the audience definition and provide suggestions to negate this risk. The first part of the definition aligns to the company characteristics, such as company size and industry.  This is the standard approach, but keep in mind that firmographic data is sometimes incomplete or inaccurate, especially among private companies.  Another means to identify named accounts is with predictive analytics.  In this case, multiple internal and external data points are analyzed and accounts are scored and ranked/ordered.  Whether you use one or both approaches in tandem, there is a tendency to...
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