IntegratedB2B by cylindr https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com Thoughts about B2B marketing communication, strategy and practices Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:16:28 +0000 da-DK hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Honing creative skills in a multicultural environment https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/11/11/honing-creative-skills-in-a-multicultural-environment/ Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:16:25 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3337 What would you say if you were asked to learn from and party with the brightest minds in the global B2B marcomms industry while lodging in a castle located in German wine country? Well, I said, “Yes, please!” In October, I had the privilege to participate in the 2019 BBN Academy where I got the […]

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What would you say if you were asked to learn from and party with the brightest minds in the global B2B marcomms industry while lodging in a castle located in German wine country? Well, I said, “Yes, please!”

In October, I had the privilege to participate in the 2019 BBN Academy where I got the opportunity to meet and work with some of my BBN counterparts from around the world. We convened in the historically rich Châteauform’ Schloss Löwenstein, just an hour away by car from Frankfurt. This would be my first BBN Academy experience.

Ambitious academy agenda

The purpose of the BBN Academy is to get to know other agency members, learn about BBN’s tools and resources, and apply those learnings. The program offered a mix of lectures, workshops, and fun activities like wine tastings and treasure hunts.

The primary component of the academy was to put BBN’s methodologies to the test. To do that, Academy attendees were divided into three teams and provided identical real-world client briefs. Each team was then asked to develop and present a creative Big Long Idea with both content and contact strategies, as well as suggestions to measure the success of their campaign.

Teams organized themselves in various rooms in the castle to collaborate on ideas and strategy, and somehow put together a presentation within 24 hours. How can all of these tasks be accomplished so quickly?

Experiential learning

As the adage goes, learn by doing. One of the best ways I learn is through applying what I’ve learned immediately. BBN Academy is very much about experiential learning, no matter what role you play within your agency. As a copywriter, there were some tools and resources I naturally gravitated to more, like Brand Asset Management (BAM) in the BBN Navigator, the world’s only integrated B2B marketing toolset.

With the help and guidance of BBN legends, I was able to apply such tools directly to my team’s campaign. BBN’s tools helped my team test our Big Long Idea, provide guidance in creating strategies, and made us ask ourselves the hard questions. With these powerful tools in our arsenal, my team completed the tasks on time.

On the final day of the Academy, each team presented their campaigns in an intense pitch-to-win scenario. The winning team would have their pitch delivered to the client after the Academy is complete. Though all the teams worked hard and presented compelling pitches, only one team walked away with the trophy at the end.

Awesome award night

All Academy participants attended the annual BBN Golden Bee Awards on the last night. The Golden Bee Awards, the social event of the year for BBN, recognizes the outstanding achievements of global agency partners in various categories. Everyone dressed to the nines and sipped local, sparkling wine while celebrating the agencies’ tremendous work throughout the year.

Peer recognition

As if attending the Academy or a swanky award party in a castle in Germany wasn’t enough of an amazing experience, my team won the pitch! All our combined effort and creativity somehow pushed us ahead of the powerful competition.

Though winning the pitch was quite a surprise, the next award announcement was even more unexpected. With great humbleness, I was shocked to hear my BBN Agency in Copenhagen had won the Agency Partner of the Year award!

The Agency Partner of the Year award recognizes outstanding commitment and contribution to the international B2B marcomms agency BBN. Accepting this award on behalf of my agency gave me such a tremendous sense of pride for my colleagues.

Multicultural and marketing exchange

Though winning was awesome, it isn’t everything. My absolute favorite parts of the BBN Academy were the multicultural exchanges. There were over 40 people from almost as many countries, all of which had different communications backgrounds and experiences. Every personality type and nearly every content was represented. The BBN Academy felt more like a cultural and educational melting pot than anything else. We were all coming from different journeys in life and played different roles within our selected teams.

For my team, it seemed no matter what role you played within your agency, there was something valuable you could add to our campaign project. We all had strengths and we all came prepared with different resources, but what filled my heart was how willing we all were to share those strengths and knowledge sets with other team members. Everyone was so supportive of one another.

This is the attitude I found with all of BBN’s members—a love for learning, an appreciation for those who are curious, and an endless appetite to improve communication.

Find out about our storytelling and creative services at cylindr, Copenhagen.

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What do gates have to do with content? A guide to paid, earned, owned and shared media https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/11/07/a-guide-to-paid-owned-and-earned-media/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 10:51:17 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3289 Promoting your B2B brand, its products and services is an essential part of successfully marketing yourself. But it can be tricky to navigate the multiple media types and with a lot of marketing jargon flying around. What is the difference between paid, earned, owned, shared media? And what is gated and non-gated content? Here is […]

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Promoting your B2B brand, its products and services is an essential part of successfully marketing yourself. But it can be tricky to navigate the multiple media types and with a lot of marketing jargon flying around.

What is the difference between paid, earned, owned, shared media? And what is gated and non-gated content? Here is a quick overview of how you can use these four media types to enhance your content marketing strategy.

Start strong

Before you embark on a marketing campaign, you need to understand your personas as well as their pain points to then develop content that empowers them in their decision-making. This curated content should clearly express your unique selling points and needs to be distributed via multiple channels such as your website, social media accounts, third-party sites, newsletters and blogs, to name a few.

On your quest for a successful content marketing strategy to raise brand awareness, it is considered best practice to employ all of the media types for a better outcome: Paid media, earned media, owned media and shared media.

Paid media

Basically, you pay to get your brand message out there, usually through a third-party agent. While you may not want to part ways with a lump of your marketing budget, paid media is an essential channel and offers the chance for you to promote yourself and expand the reach of your content.

Some examples of paid media include banner ads, radio ads and LinkedIn ads. LinkedIn is honing its advertising capabilities – the world’s most up-to-date database allows you to personalize and target your campaign efforts.

Something to keep in mind is if you go down the path of using paid media, you’ll need high-quality, engaging content. This content is usually published on your owned media and is an opportunity to forge strong relationships and increase brand loyalty.

Earned media

Earned media is when others talk about your brand, its products or services, off their own back such as in news coverage and online reviews. It’s basically word of mouth. When customers are satisfied with a product or service and share it on social media, this is possibly the best kind of promotion because it’s free and viewed by others as objective.

This media type requires a lot of work though, as the layperson often doesn’t have as much pulling power needed to make an impact on your sales. Influencers like popular bloggers and Instagrammers are ideally the ones you want hashtagging and blogging about you. It’s getting them to do that, which requires a lot of work. A major drawback of earned media is the loss of control of the messaging – it really does rely on someone else’s opinion being positive.

Owned media

Essentially, owned media is any channel that you have complete control over, for example, your website or blog. The wonderful thing about owned media is that you can do whatever the heck you want. It is the space where you can freely express yourself, publish whatever and whenever you like (business etiquette and good conduct considered). You get full control over how your content is distributed.

To remain credible, however, keep the sales talk to a minimum and share knowledge and ideas instead. This is thought leadership and is what helps build meaningful relationships with customers. To keep your audience engaged, they need to see the value in you, but not in an overly promotional way. No one really likes it when you only talk about yourself.

Shared media

Shared media refers to the interface between your content marketing strategy and social media. Examples include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and others. The point is that shared media is different from earned media. It can be a direct share, retweet or comments of your “owned media” – the content you have created. This channel is technically open to your brand and its customers. In that way, no party has complete control over it – it is shared.

Here is a nice diagram that sums the media types up very nicely, courtesy of scitent.com.

Now that we have covered those four bases, what does it mean when content is gated or non-gated?

Gated content

Gated content is when visitors to your website or blog need to sign up, log in or enter their personal details to gain access to your content. This is a nice way to build your sales CRM and gain insight into who is accessing your content. This qualitative information is valuable because it enables you to refine your target audience and tailor your content to suit their needs.

What about writing for search engine optimization (SEO), so that your content appears at the top of the search results list? The drawback with gated content is that search engine algorithms do not take gated content into account. So, if you know in advance that you are going to gate the content, don’t waste your time focusing on SEO.

The floodgates are open

Non-gated content is when there are no strings attached and content is freely available for everyone to access. For user experience, I find this very appealing, but if you want it bad enough (the content, that is), then filling in a little form doesn’t hurt. It’s nice to let your guard down once in a while. Brené Brown has based her entire career on being vulnerable and making a lot of money out of it, too.

We launched our first account-based marketing ebook last month. It’s non-gated. Click here to get it.

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BBN Annual Report: Global B2B agency grows 12 percent https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/11/01/bbn-annual-report-2018-2019/ Fri, 01 Nov 2019 11:03:59 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3318 International B2B marcomms agency BBN, represented by cylindr in Denmark, has released its annual report for 2018/2019. BBN’s position as the number one international business-to-business agency has been reinforced by growth across all key figures. cylindr, the Copenhagen office of global marcomms agency BBN, has announced the release of BBN’s 2018/19 annual report. The past […]

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International B2B marcomms agency BBN, represented by cylindr in Denmark, has released its annual report for 2018/2019. BBN’s position as the number one international business-to-business agency has been reinforced by growth across all key figures.

cylindr, the Copenhagen office of global marcomms agency BBN, has announced the release of BBN’s 2018/19 annual report. The past year saw growth across all key figures, reinforcing BBN’s position as the number one international business-to-business agency.  

Total sales across the BBN group increased by 12 percent from the previous year, hitting a record USD 172 million. EBITDA also increased by 11 percent to more than USD 7 million. BBN has also increased its number of member agencies and is now represented in 30 countries.

The annual report is available on BBN’s website.

Creativity is still the key

In the annual report, Clif Collier, BBN Executive Chairman, highlights the combination of creativity and technology as being the key to BBN’s continued growth.

He writes:

“In the past 15 years, our industry has changed beyond all recognition, and the pace of that change has dramatically accelerated. Martech has transformed the way we communicate with clients entirely. However, it is still that spark of creative inspiration that makes or breaks a campaign. There is still an element of ‘magic’ – that thing that really speaks to the target audiences’ hearts and minds, that resonates with them, that touches them emotionally in this oh-so-rational B2B decision-making process.”

B2B fuels global business

The annual report contains a commentary about the size and impact of the B2B market, which typically flies under the radar in global business.

David Hoskin, Managing Partner of cylindr, BBN’s Danish office and 2019 winner of Agency Partner of the Year, believes that this annual report demonstrates a remarkable achievement by the agency in a fast-changing international commercial environment:

“Many industrial and technology companies are being hit with increasing competition, not just from new entrants to the market, but also by the changing geo-political landscape. This makes it even more critical to be visible to the audiences that count, especially in local markets.

“The numbers speak for themselves. At BBN, we have a unique proposition in that we are able to work directly with our customers in their home markets, while also being able to work with local teams in foreign markets targeting very specific audiences. With more than 300 customers in 23 B2B sectors, it’s clear that our unique offering is appreciated by customers in Denmark and around the world.”

International diversity

In the BBN annual report 2018/19, you can see details about BBN’s executive board and its financial performance, as well as details of BBN’s diversity program, which is just one of the initiatives launched within the global agency.

BBN’s talent pool across the group has grown by 197 new full-time employees in the past year. With 45 different nationalities spanning 35 different languages, these new additions have resulted in even more diversity in the agency. 

The annual report also contains examples of the international marketing strategy and communications work being done by BBN partners – from product marketing and brand strategy to demand generation and personalised account-based marketing campaigns.

The annual report is available on BBN’s website.

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cylindr wins BBN Agency Partner of the Year 2019 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/10/25/cylindr-wins-bbn-agency-partner-of-the-year-2019/ Fri, 25 Oct 2019 09:57:40 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3296 The Agency Partner of the Year award recognizes outstanding commitment and contribution to the international B2B marcomms agency BBN. Along with representatives from many of the 30 BBN agencies from around the globe, we attended the annual BBN Golden Bee Awards earlier this month, held at Schloss Löwenstein, Kleinheubach, near Frankfurt, Germany. The hotly contested […]

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The Agency Partner of the Year award recognizes outstanding commitment and contribution to the international B2B marcomms agency BBN.

Along with representatives from many of the 30 BBN agencies from around the globe, we attended the annual BBN Golden Bee Awards earlier this month, held at Schloss Löwenstein, Kleinheubach, near Frankfurt, Germany.

The hotly contested awards are presented during a glamorous evening event – the social highlight of BBN’s year – recognizing outstanding achievements in various categories. With agencies in 43 locations and 29 countries across the globe, the Golden Bee Awards celebrate the best in B2B marketing excellence.

With that in mind, we are thrilled to announce that cylindr was awarded Agency Partner of the Year 2019, acknowledging cylindr’s commitment and efforts towards BBN, ranked by B2B Marketing as the No. 1 international marcomms agency.

Handing over the BBN Agency Partner of the Year award to Mercedes Beaudoin, Senior Copywriter at cylindr, Clif Collier, Executive Chairman of BBN, said:

“You deserve this award on every count; cylindr is an example to all partners. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with you.”

David Hoskin, cylindr’s Managing Partner, says:

“This is an award recognizing the efforts of everyone at the Copenhagen office, and I’m very proud to be acknowledged in this way by our colleagues at BBN. Given the breadth of talent and experience within BBN across every facet of B2B marketing and strategy, we are inspired by this achievement.

“Being part of the BBN global agency gives us an almost unlimited pool of resources to call upon when we need it. But we also need to be familiar with the latest tools and processes, as well as know how and when to apply them.

“Commitment to learning and development is key to success as an agency. This is an award criteria, and I’m pleased to be acknowledged for our efforts in adopting BBN tools and models, which are designed to help clients achieve meaningful results from their marketing spend.”

Read more about BBN – The World’s B2B Agency.

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A good brief goes a long way https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/09/25/a-good-brief-goes-a-long-way/ Wed, 25 Sep 2019 14:59:23 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3244 If saving time and money is high on your agenda, then giving your agency a good briefing is essential. With everyone pressed for time, it’s something we are all getting poorer at. It’s time to rein it in, though. Why should you invest time in getting the brief right? Just to be clear, I’m not […]

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If saving time and money is high on your agenda, then giving your agency a good briefing is essential. With everyone pressed for time, it’s something we are all getting poorer at. It’s time to rein it in, though. Why should you invest time in getting the brief right?

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the underwear kind. I’m talking about the bee’s knees of getting anything started on the right foot in the agency world – a good brief. Whether it be a simple blog post, press release or magazine article, or a complex account-based marketing (ABM) project spanning six months, take it from me – a good brief goes a long way in saving you time and money (and headaches).

At a time when businesses are focused on increasing efficiency and productivity to keep operating costs down, a good brief, actually an excellent brief is needed more than ever. But I get why this step gets little attention or sometimes missed altogether!

Busy bees

Today, time is such a valuable commodity. We are rushing all. the. time – rushing to meet our friends for coffee, rushing to drop the children off at school, rushing to get to work on time – does this sound like you?

Recently, I feel like the jobs I’m given are doing the same thing. Rushing. It’s not uncommon for me to receive a frantic email with a couple of lines and an attachment asking, “Can you do this by the end of the week?” or a half-assed brief that optimistically declares the project will be finished before the start of the (Danish) summer.

Energy in, energy out

Putting in the time at the start means you will reap the benefits later. With a concise brief, things are clearer, there is no back and forth, frustrating emails and phone calls, and no time wasted on working on something that completely misses the mark. “I was thinking that it could be a bit more personal, like Tony himself was saying it.” Umm – maybe you should have mentioned that in the brief!?

Not only is this a waste of time and brainpower, it means that creatives, including your favorite copywriters, end up banging their heads against the agency office wall, dropping to our knees and asking, “Why??!!” (maybe I should’ve written screenplays?).

Not mind readers

I wish I could read minds – the world would be such an interesting place and people watching would take on a whole new angle. I’d call it “people mind-reading”. My dear boyfriend wouldn’t have to put up with me asking him to talk about his feelings, either! What I’m trying to say is if you have a genius (or not) idea, direction or angle on the project or task at hand, please communicate it in the brief. I can’t read your mind.

Don’t worry, I’m not perfect either. This morning, I realized I made an ass out of u and me (sorry, Andrea!). That’s right – I assumed something. That my colleague would know to send the article to me before sending it to the researcher she interviewed. What happened? I got busy, I was rushing and then I simply forgot. If only I had prepared a good, sorry, excellent brief!

Co-dependent relationships

There are times where a project or task is relying on something or someone completing another piece of work, delaying projects for days, weeks or even months. So it’s understandable that at the time of briefing – you simply just don’t know what you want. That’s fine. It’s just a matter of being a crystal-clear communicator and staying connected.

A brief offers good support

An excellent brief covers the following things:

  • What
  • When
  • Scope
  • Why/Background
  • Where
  • How
  • Who
  • Examples of similar project/task and learnings
  • Other important bits and pieces

It’s good business practice to have a process and template in place to cover these bases every time you embark on a new project. And it’s also a great idea that you sign off on the agency brief, essentially agreeing that you have done your best to communicate what you want. There are free templates available online and you can adapt them to suit your projects and company branding.

Running out of time

I know what you’re thinking (because I’m a mind reader). You’re thinking, “I don’t have time to fill out templates for each and every task I send to my agency!” and perhaps, “Getting lost in processes and templates takes away from the task at hand and stops us from being agile!” Think again.

For someone who likes structure and processes, working at an agency has made me many things – and agile is one of them. Things move fast, clients change their minds, I change my mind, but in the end, we get it done. Good briefs don’t stop you from being agile. Yet instead of spending 15 hours on the project, you end up spending just five. It’s a no-brainer – really.

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Strengthening sales and marketing for the next financial crisis https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/09/13/strengthening-sales-and-marketing-for-the-next-financial-crisis/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 12:18:37 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3233 [READ IN DANISH] B2B companies are rushing to transform their current sales and marketing approach to an Account-based Marketing (ABM) approach before the next financial crisis. Learn what ABM is, how it can boost your chances in a tough marketplace and where to get started. It’s hard not to notice that the financial markets are […]

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[READ IN DANISH]

B2B companies are rushing to transform their current sales and marketing approach to an Account-based Marketing (ABM) approach before the next financial crisis. Learn what ABM is, how it can boost your chances in a tough marketplace and where to get started.

It’s hard not to notice that the financial markets are in turmoil these days, bringing back some nasty memories from a decade or so ago. And with a hard Brexit looking likely in Europe, we all need to take significant steps to prepare for the worst.

Perhaps, in fact, by the time you read this blog post the next market crash will already have happened. In any case, it seems inevitable that a crisis will occur sooner rather than later. So, what can you do right now to strengthen your revenue-generating machine before all hell breaks loose?

Invest now to weather the storm

One strategy to mitigate the effects on your company is to invest in some changes before the usual cost-cutting rounds begin – i.e., while funding for a revenue machine transformation are still available.

The best-performing, most revenue-focused companies have already made wide-reaching changes that every mid-sized or large B2B company will eventually have to make. They’ve invested in a relatively new, but fundamentally customer-centric approach to sales and marketing: Account-based Marketing (ABM). So, their revenue-generating machines are in great shape – and ready to grab even more market share from competitors who have been slower to prepare for tough times.

Briefly defined, ABM is a strategy in which the marketing and sales teams work closely together to focus on a list of specified customers and prospects. As ABM platform developer Engagio’s CEO, Jon Miller, puts it, it’s similar to the difference between fishing with a net (you’re never sure what you’ll catch and most of it is undesirable) and fishing with a spear (you know which accounts are best for your business and you are focused on winning them).

ABM has been shown to deliver significantly higher return on investment for every dollar spent on sales and marketing, making it a must-have for winning in highly competitive marketplaces like the IT industry. Now, ABM is being adopted more widely with, perhaps not surprisingly, US-based B2B companies leading the way.

Apple, Oracle and Fujitsu, for example, are some of these first-movers. While many companies are only now discovering Account-based Marketing, these companies have been moving along the ABM track for a few years.

Have you heard about ABM?

If you haven’t heard of ABM before or don’t know much about it, you’re definitely not alone. Most B2B marketers have been too busy working to build their strategies around an earlier approach, “inbound marketing”, to focus on what is coming next.

However, because so many companies have been pouring resources and attention into inbound marketing activities, there’s now a huge amount of noise out there. All of those messages are fighting a sea of content for the fleeting attention of largely millennial influencers and decision-makers.

If you continue down this path, your company will not be in a strong position for success when the going gets tough.

Is inbound marketing on its last legs?

Dead end sign to signify that the usefulness of inbound marketing is coming to an end

The reality of inbound marketing is that only around 1 in every 100 leads actually turns into business. There are all sorts of reasons for this, which will be dissected in a later post, but the bottom line is that a lot of resources are being wasted on marketing efforts to attain leads that deliver little or no value to the company!

You see, inbound marketing approaches usually reflect the short-sighted principle that Marketing’s job is well done when a marketing-qualified lead has been passed to the sales team.

At that point, Sales is expected to get out there and try to turn that lead into a deal. Marketing then sits back, pleased with the number of clicks and views amassed in their back-office systems.

That’s not a fair statement, of course, as Marketing often goes a step or two further, but it does reflect what we often hear from salespeople. With Sales having greater power than Marketing in most B2B companies, the opinions of salespeople are not to be taken lightly!

“Don’t count the people you reach. Reach the people that count.”

Legendary ad man, David Ogilvy

So unfortunately, inbound marketing is limping toward the end of its reign as the best way to conduct modern marketing. It still has a place in the marketing mix, but it can no longer claim to be the answer to the question of how best to support the company’s revenue goals.

In short, it is an outdated strategy that won’t let you beat your competitors or even keep up with them.

Much more than marketing

To tell it like it is, ABM is the compelling next wave to ride. It’s a fundamental business transformation you will have to make. But what is it that makes it so compelling?

Despite its name, ABM isn’t really a marketing-only initiative. Instead, it’s a results-focused strategy that brings Sales and Marketing together as a team to focus on the same goals, the real goals, like making sales efforts more efficient, speeding up sales cycles, increasing deal sizes and boosting buyers’ propensity to buy. And it requires a business decision to re-focus efforts on a targeted list of highly desirable accounts that would be or already are a great fit for your company.

Beyond saving your company effort and resources, ABM provides a core of benefits dubbed the “3 R’s” by B2B research and best practices firm ITSMA:

  • Reputation: Brand perception, awareness and knowledge of your company’s brand will increase among targeted accounts. So, you are more likely to be on the short list of your targeted accounts when it’s time to make an investment in your category.
  • Relationships: The number and quality of relationships your company has across accounts will increase tremendously, making your company the one everyone agrees is a good choice. It’s a customer lifetime value perspective.
  • Revenue: When your efforts are focused on the accounts that really matter, the deals are bigger and the customer is more likely to buy again.

I could keep explaining many more interesting things about ABM (it’s a big topic!), but for now, let me make a simple statement: If you’re a B2B company that sells high-value products or services with a long sales cycle involving more than four influencers or decision-makers in each account, you will have to make a transition to ABM.

When you do it, of course, is up to you – but the sooner you start, the better you will be able to handle the crisis we all know will eventually arrive.

Where to start

If you’re interested in staying ahead of the game, but don’t know how to start, don’t start like this: You hear about ABM, read some online content about the topic, get some internal buy-in, install some ABM software tools and try to get things going.

That is, quite frankly, a recipe for disaster. An ABM transformation is exactly that, a transformation. It is a process that requires careful, informed planning – preferably facilitated by someone who has done it before and whose competencies span both sales and marketing.

Consider it an insurance policy – after all, this is one of the most significant changes you’ll make to the business and its performance potential over the next few years!

Every pilot needs a co-pilot

a pilot and his co-pilot to depict how you need both to fly a plane

Once the planning is done and management, sales and marketing have truly aligned around a clear ABM strategy, you should get started by running an ABM pilot program in a smaller part of your business – a region, a specific vertical or simply an isolated group of high-priority accounts.

Communications agencies like cylindr BBN are excellent co-pilots to help you conduct the planning and alignment phases and to set up your ABM pilot program.

Such teams specialize in tailoring ABM strategies that align with your company’s goals, and they can help you set up the necessary mechanics and metrics, too.

All aboard the ABM train

Tough times may be ahead, but that doesn’t mean your company’s long-term goals need to suffer. Thinking and acting strategically now is a sound investment that not only helps when the next financial crisis hits, but which strengthens your business foundation for the long run, too.

Now it’s up to you: When are you ready for your ABM transformation? If you’d like one of our ABM experts to help you get your head around the topic, just reach out – we’re always happy to educate and guide B2B companies to the next level!

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Sådan ruster du salg og marketing til den næste finanskrise https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/09/13/sadan-ruster-du-salg-og-marketing-til-den-naeste-finanskrise/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 11:27:46 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3199 [DANISH LANGUAGE] B2B-virksomheder har i øjeblikket lynende travlt med at omstille deres salg- og marketingafdelinger til account-based marketing (ABM), inden den næste finanskrise sætter ind. Bliv klogere på, hvad ABM er, hvordan det kan øge dine chancer i et vanskeligt marked, og hvordan du kommer i gang. Det er svært ikke at lægge mærke til […]

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[DANISH LANGUAGE]

B2B-virksomheder har i øjeblikket lynende travlt med at omstille deres salg- og marketingafdelinger til account-based marketing (ABM), inden den næste finanskrise sætter ind. Bliv klogere på, hvad ABM er, hvordan det kan øge dine chancer i et vanskeligt marked, og hvordan du kommer i gang.


Det er svært ikke at lægge mærke til den aktuelle turbulens på finansmarkederne, og det vækker grimme minder om finanskrisen for cirka 10 år siden. Og i et Europa, hvor der lurer en hård Brexit lige om hjørnet, er man nødt til at træffe væsentlige foranstaltninger for at forberede sig på det værste.

Faktisk kan det næste marked allerede være brudt sammen, når du læser dette blogindlæg. Under alle omstændigheder synes det uundgåeligt, at der indtræffer en krise i nær fremtid. Så hvad kan du gøre her og nu for at styrke din indtægtsskabende maskine, før helvede bryder løs?

Invester nu, og rid krisestormen af

En strategi, der kan afbøde følgerne for din virksomhed, er at investere i forandringer, inden de sædvanlige sparerunder sætter ind – dvs. mens der stadig er midler til rådighed til en omstilling af indtægtsmaskinen.

De mest effektive og indtægtsfokuserede virksomheder har allerede indført de vidtrækkende forandringer, som alle mellemstore og store B2B-virksomheder før eller siden bliver nødt til at foretage. De har investeret i en forholdsvis ny, men helt igennem kundecentreret tilgang til salg og marketing – account-based marketing (ABM). Derfor er deres indtægtsskabende maskine i topform og klar til at vinde endnu flere markedsandele fra de konkurrenter, der har været længere om at ruste sig til vanskelige tider.

Kort fortalt er ABM en strategi, hvor marketing- og salgsafdelingen arbejder tæt sammen og fokuserer på en liste over specifikke kunder og kundeemner. John Miller, som er direktør for virksomheden Engagio, der udvikler ABM-platforme, beskriver det som forskellen på at fiske med net (hvor man aldrig helt ved, hvad man fanger, og hvor det meste er bifangst) og at fiske med spyd (hvor du ved, hvilke kunder der er bedst for din virksomhed, og fokuserer på at vinde lige netop dem).

ABM har vist sig at give en væsentligt højere afkastningsgrad for hver krone, der bruges på salg og marketing, og er derfor et must, når man vil have succes på et stærkt konkurrencepræget marked som f.eks. IT-branchen. I dag vinder ABM stigende udbredelse, ikke overraskende ført an af USA-baserede B2B-virksomheder.

Eksempler på disse pionervirksomheder er Apple, Oracle og Fujitsu. Hvor mange virksomheder først er ved at få øjnene op for account-based marketing, har disse virksomheder arbejdet med ABM i årevis.

Har du hørt om ABM?

Hvis du aldrig tidligere har hørt om ABM eller ikke ved særlig meget om det, så er du bestemt ikke den eneste. De fleste B2B-virksomheder har været for optagede af arbejdet med at opbygge deres strategi omkring en tidligere tilgang, “inbound marketing”, til at kunne fokusere på det, der kommer bagefter. Og fordi så mange virksomheder har brugt en masse ressourcer og opmærksomhed på inbound marketing, er markedet nu præget af en voldsom støj. De mange budskaber drukner i et hav af indhold i kampen om et øjebliks opmærksomhed fra influencere i millenial-generationen og beslutningstagere. Hvis du fortsætter i denne retning, står din virksomhed ikke særlig stærkt i vanskelige tider.

Synger inbound marketing på sidste vers?

singer on stage singing the end of a song to represent inbound marketing being near its end

Realiteten, når det gælder inbound marketing, er, at det kun er ca. 1 ud af 100 leads, der rent faktisk bliver konverteret til en kunde. Det er der mange forskellige grunde til, som jeg vil komme nærmere ind på i et andet blogindlæg – men hovedsagen er, at der spildes masser af ressourcer på markedsføringstiltag, som har til formål at opnå kundeemner, der kun tilfører virksomheden meget ringe eller slet ingen værdi.

En inbound marketing-tilgang afspejler nemlig som regel det kortsigtede princip, at marketingafdelingen har løst deres opgave godt, når de har videregivet et marketing-qualified lead til salgsafdelingen. Her forventes det, at salgsafdelingen går ud og forsøger at få en aftale i hus med det pågældende lead. Imens læner marketingafdelingen sig tilbage og fryder sig over de mange klik og visninger, der hober sig op i deres backofficesystemer. Det er selvfølgelig ikke en helt retvisende beskrivelse, da marketingafdelingen ofte går et par skridt videre – men det afspejler det, vi ofte hører fra sælgerne. Og da salgsafdelingen i de fleste B2B-virksomheder har større gennemslagskraft end marketing, er sælgernes opfattelse ikke noget, der bør tages let på!

“Tæl ikke de kunder, du når ud til. Nå ud til de kunder, der tæller.”

David Ogilvy, legendarisk reklamemand

Derfor nærmer inbound marketing sig desværre afslutningen på sin storhedstid som den bedste måde at drive moderne markedsføring på. Inbound marketing har stadig en plads i marketingmixet, men kan ikke længere betragtes som svaret på spørgsmålet om, hvordan man bedst understøtter virksomhedens indtjeningsmål. Det er kort sagt en utidssvarende strategi, der ikke sætter virksomheder i stand til at overhale konkurrenterne eller sågar holde trit med dem.

Meget mere end marketing

ABM er, for at sige det ligeud, den næste afgørende bølge, man bør ride med på. Det er en grundlæggende forretningsomstilling, som du bliver nødt til at foretage. Men hvorfor er det så afgørende?

Trods navnet er ABM i virkeligheden ikke kun et markedsføringstiltag. Det er snarere en resultatorienteret strategi, der bringer salg- og marketingafdelingen sammen som et team med fokus på de samme mål – de virkelige mål, som f.eks. at effektivisere salgsarbejdet, fremskynde salgscyklusserne, få større aftaler i hus og booste kundeemnernes tilbøjelighed til køb. Og det kræver en forretningsbeslutning at omstille virksomhedens fokus til at arbejde med en målrettet liste over særdeles eftertragtede accounts, som vil passe eller allerede passer rigtig godt til din virksomhed.

Ud over at ABM sparer din virksomhed for en masse arbejde og ressourcer, giver det også en række fordele, som analyse- og best practice-virksomheden ITSMA kalder “de 3 R’er”:

  • Reputation (omdømme): Opfattelsen af, bevidstheden om og kendskabet til din virksomheds brand vil stige blandt dine target accounts. Det øger sandsynligheden for, at din virksomhed figurerer på listen over de bedste kandidater hos dine target accounts, når de skal foretage en investering inden for din kategori.
  • Relationships (relationer): Antallet og kvaliteten af de relationer, din virksomhed har på tværs af accounts, vil blive øget markant, så din virksomhed bliver en, alle opfatter som et godt valg. Det handler om kundelivstidsværdi.
  • Revenue (indtægter): Når dit arbejde er koncentreret om de emner, der virkelig betyder noget, får du større aftaler i hus, og der er større sandsynlighed for, at kunderne vender tilbage efter mere.

Jeg kunne blive ved med at fortælle interessante ting om ABM (det er et stort emne!), men jeg vil indtil videre nøjes med dette enkle udsagn: Hvis du har en B2B-virksomhed, der sælger produkter eller ydelser af høj værdi med en lang salgscyklus, som involverer mere end fire influencere eller beslutningstagere hos hver account, så bliver du nødt til at omstille virksomheden til ABM. Hvornår du vil gøre det, er naturligvis op til dig – men jo før du kommer i gang, jo bedre vil du være rustet til at håndtere den krise, vi alle sammen ved vil ramme os en dag.

Hvordan kommer du i gang?

Hvis du gerne vil være på forkant, men ikke ved, hvor du skal starte, så lad være med at starte sådan her: Du hører om ABM, læser noget onlineindhold om emnet, opnår internt engagement, installerer noget ABM-software og prøver at sætte hjulene i gang. Det er, for at sige det ligeud, den sikre vej til en katastrofe. En omstilling til ABM er en omstillingsproces, der kræver nøje planlægning på et informeret grundlag – helst med hjælp fra nogen, der har prøvet det før, og som har kompetencer inden for både salg og marketing. Betragt det som en forsikringspolice. Det er trods alt en af de væsentligste forandringer, du kommer til at indføre for din forretning og dens resultatpotentiale inden for de næste par år!

Alle har brug for en andenpilot

a pilot and his co-pilot to depict how you need both to fly a plane

Når først planlægningen er på plads, og ledelse, salg og marketing har fundet fælles fodslag omkring en klar ABM-strategi, bør du gå i gang ved at gennemføre et ABM-pilotprojekt i en mindre del af virksomheden – f.eks. en region, et specifikt vertikalt marked eller ganske enkelt en isoleret gruppe accounts med høj prioritet. Kommunikationsbureauer som cylindr BBN er fremragende andenpiloter, der kan hjælpe dig med at gennemføre planlægningsfasen, skabe fælles fodslag og tilrettelægge dit ABM-pilotprojekt. Vores teams er specialiserede i at skræddersy ABM-strategier, der er tilpasset din virksomheds mål, og de kan også hjælpe dig med at tilrettelægge de nødvendige mekanismer og måleparametre.

Tog til ABM klar til afgang!

Selv om der er hårde tider forude, behøver det ikke gå ud over din virksomheds langsigtede mål. Det er en sund investering at tænke og handle strategisk nu – og det hjælper dig ikke kun, når den næste finanskrise rammer, men styrker også dit forretningsgrundlag i det lange løb. Nu er det op til dig: Hvornår er du klar til din ABM-omstilling? Hvis du vil have en af vores ABM-eksperter til at hjælpe dig med at forstå emnet i dybden, er du velkomne til at kontakte os – vi står altid klar til at oplyse og guide B2B-virksomheder et skridt videre.

The post Sådan ruster du salg og marketing til den næste finanskrise appeared first on IntegratedB2B by cylindr.

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Moving to account-based marketing? Don’t screw these 5 points up! https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/09/12/moving-to-account-based-marketing-dont-screw-these-5-points-up/ https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/09/12/moving-to-account-based-marketing-dont-screw-these-5-points-up/#comments Thu, 12 Sep 2019 09:40:22 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3228 [READ IN DANISH] B2B marketers are facing the biggest driver of change since the arrival of inbound marketing: the transition toward Account-Based Marketing (ABM). For those who may not know the term, the general principle of ABM is, to loosely quote ad giant David Ogilvy, no longer counting the people you reach, but instead, reaching […]

The post Moving to account-based marketing? Don’t screw these 5 points up! appeared first on IntegratedB2B by cylindr.

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[READ IN DANISH]

B2B marketers are facing the biggest driver of change since the arrival of inbound marketing: the transition toward Account-Based Marketing (ABM). For those who may not know the term, the general principle of ABM is, to loosely quote ad giant David Ogilvy, no longer counting the people you reach, but instead, reaching the people who count.

Recently, we were approached by the CEO of a mid-sized company who was frustrated by the end-of-the-day outcome being generated by his marketing team: multiple sales leads. You see, the problem was that the sales force wasn’t picking up those leads and turning them into business (sound familiar?).

The CEO had realized that this leads-based focus was burning up precious resources with very little to show for it. So, he turned to us to transform the company’s sales and marketing approach into a much more focused and goal-oriented one that concentrated on converting a targeted list of clients and aligning Sales and Marketing to work in concert toward shared objectives.

In short, he was asking for ABM – and by working closely together with the company’s CMO, we’ve now kicked off a wide-reaching business transformation project to deliver exactly that.

As the six-month project begins, I thought I’d share some of the critical implementation challenges that are top of mind for an agency like ours when working with an ABM transformation.

Getting these points right won’t ensure success (there’s a lot more to the picture), but getting them wrong will almost guarantee failure. Let’s look at them one by one:

1) Get the sales force on board

The last thing you want to happen is for Sales to perceive ABM as a Marketing initiative. Instead, Sales should feel that this is something they pretty much own, and is simply facilitated by Marketing.

There are many ways to tackle this, one of which is to not call it ABM! Instead, take a leaf out of IT behemoth Oracle’s book. Oracle talks about “Account-based Strategy” or “Account-based” for short. Here at cylindr BBN, we like to use the term “Account-based Engagement” when speaking to internal audiences, focusing on the change in customer approach style that we’d like to see at the company.

Another valuable tip is to try and secure real buy-in from some of your company’s best and most influential salespeople before moving forward with a transition to ABM. This is best done via seminars and training sessions aimed at getting those salespeople to see the realizable benefits of an account-based approach and making their role in the new style clear and compelling.

2) Start small, scale up

Person walking upstairs to symbolize starting small and then scaling up

Trying to widely implement ABM in your company from the outset is a recipe for disaster. Rather, focus on a single geography or market vertical, work with one of your best sales teams rather than multiple teams, and maybe even, when it comes to the contacts in your targeted accounts, aim your personalized content at the “most likely buyer”.

That buyer could, for example, be the CIO – saving you the effort of creating and orchestrating customized buyer journeys for all the contacts in the account. As a starting point, this may not check all the boxes for a bona fide ABM campaign, but it will get you started and doubtless uncover a bunch of issues and considerations that will help you to refine your ideas before you start to scale up.

And if you’ve begun the effort while enlisting the help of the more visionary salespeople in the company, they’ll appreciate being able to be in on the ground floor, shaping the future of things with skin in the game.

3) Set clear expectations

While the CEO mentioned at the start of this blog post was keen to bring his marketing function up to the next level, he was also eager to understand what this extra investment was likely to return.

The best way to do this, we believe, is to break key buyer journeys into their phases, and then estimate the expected upside from ABM activities at each point along the journey.

In an awareness phase, for example, personalized email campaigns have been shown to out-perform standard email blasts by 5-10%, leading to higher engagement (one of the drivers of a customer or prospect’s propensity to buy).

Other ABM-style tactics that are designed to help push a deal through those feared “stuck” points have been shown to also significantly shorten the sales cycle. Through such systematic insights, the sum of the improvements likely to be delivered by ABM activities will usually turn out to vastly outweigh the required transformation investment.

So, it’s every bit as important to have your management as well as your Sales and Marketing teams understand the likely impact of ABM during the first year. And they shouldn’t expect miracles.

With new sales, if your sales cycle is long, you may not see results for the first year or so. That’s mostly because ABM is relationship-based, and relationships take time to build.

With existing customers, you may have earlier success. But one thing is for sure: ABM is a far better overall investment than continuing to generate leads as a starting point for deals that usually never even get off the ground. (In fact, research firm TOPO estimates that for every 100 Marketing Qualified Leads generated, only 10 are accepted by Sales and less than 1 in 100 becomes a deal).

Here’s what I recommend to our clients: Make sure your ABM success metrics reflect the target contact’s overall engagement with your company.

Show, for example, how that engagement has increased over time – more touches, minutes spent viewing your company’s content or time spent attending in-person events – and connect those engagement gains to a higher “propensity to buy” (I’ll explain more about this latter term in an upcoming blog post).

4) Get the target account list right

A desk with a notebook computer and coffee to represent working hard on to select the right target accounts

We hear this one again and again. Building a target account list (a process owned by Sales and facilitated by Marketing) isn’t a walk in the park. So, you need to take the time to discover the accounts that are a close fit with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and talk each one through with the account executive (AE) owners to be sure they’re well-suited to be on the list.

Often, an AE will try to get an account put on the list that doesn’t seem to be a great fit, starting off a discussion that can easily go off the rails if you’re not careful. Even more tricky, when you move from a leads-focused window on your world to an account-based viewpoint, those leads might be owned by multiple AEs, opening up a can of worms that only the sales manager might be able to close.

The key is to understand what you’re up against before the discussions begin. It often helps for Marketing to come up with the initial target list, set of ICP “rules” and work through this with individual AEs, rather than to start the entire process from scratch with Sales on board.

Our suggestion is that this sticky process is best performed with an external marketing and sales-savvy facilitator – a bilingual expert, you might say.

5) Don’t climb into the technology too early

It may be tempting to decide that your company is going to make the change to ABM, then rush out to invest in ABM platforms and bolt-on tools for your CRM. Don’t do it. Instead, if you can, start using spreadsheets to handle the processes and data around your ABM pilot projects.

That will give you and your teams a chance to figure out which activities and processes are relevant – and doable. Then, once you’re a little clearer on this, you can start to bring in basic ABM technologies to scale each part of the process and move to more advanced capabilities as your experience base grows.

You’ll find it helpful to build an ABM maturation model to guide this path – a standard piece of the puzzle whenever cylindr BBN is undertaking an ABM transformation project.

That’s it for now: Five points that don’t cover the full spectrum of ABM transformation, but which will certainly help you to achieve the success you’re hoping for. For additional hints and tips – or to discuss detailed parts of such projects, don’t hesitate to reach out to our ABM team!

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Kom hurtigt i gang med ABM https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/09/06/hurtigt-i-gang-med-account-based-marketing/ Fri, 06 Sep 2019 14:00:22 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3184 [DANISH LANGUAGE] Klar til at gå over til account-based marketing? Her er 5 aspekter, som ikke må slå fejl! B2B-virksomheder står i øjeblikket over for den største drivkraft for forandring siden inbound marketing – omstillingen til account-based marketing (ABM). For dem, der ikke kender begrebet, er det overordnede princip bag ABM (for løst at citere […]

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[DANISH LANGUAGE]

Klar til at gå over til account-based marketing? Her er 5 aspekter, som ikke må slå fejl!

B2B-virksomheder står i øjeblikket over for den største drivkraft for forandring siden inbound marketing – omstillingen til account-based marketing (ABM).

For dem, der ikke kender begrebet, er det overordnede princip bag ABM (for løst at citere reklameguruen David Ogilvy), at man ikke længere tæller de kunder, man når ud til, men i stedet når ud til de kunder, der tæller.

Vi blev for nylig kontaktet af direktøren for en mellemstor virksomhed, som var frustreret over det resultat, der i sidste ende blev genereret af hans marketingafdeling – et stort antal salgsleads.

Problemet var nemlig, at salgsafdelingen ikke formåede at udnytte disse leads og konvertere dem til kunder. Lyder det bekendt?

Direktøren havde indset, at dette lead-baserede fokus brændte værdifulde ressourcer af uden at give det store udbytte. Derfor henvendte han sig til os for at få omstillet virksomhedens salgs- og markedsføringstilgang til en langt mere fokuseret og målorienteret strategi – en strategi, der skulle handle om at konvertere en målrettet liste over potentielle kunder og om at skabe fælles fodslag i salgs- og marketingafdelingen, så de kunne arbejde i samme retning mod en række fælles mål.

Han efterspurgte med andre ord ABM – og for at levere dette har vi nu i tæt samarbejde med virksomhedens marketingdirektør iværksat et omfattende omstillingsprojekt i virksomheden.

Nu hvor det seks måneder lange projekt er skudt i gang, har jeg lyst til at fortælle om nogle af de kritiske implementeringsudfordringer, der har førsteprioritet for et bureau som vores, når vi arbejder med en ABM-omstilling.

Hvis du rammer rigtigt på disse faktorer, er du ikke garanteret succes (for der er mange flere faktorer i spil), men hvis du rammer forkert, kan du være næsten sikre på fiasko.

Lad os tage dem en ad gangen:

1) Få salgsstyrken med om bord

Det sidste, du skal ønske dig, er, at salgsafdelingen opfatter ABM som et markedsføringstiltag. I stedet skal sælgerne føle, at det mere eller mindre er deres projekt, som blot faciliteres af marketing.

Det kan du gribe an på flere måder – f.eks. ved ikke at kalde det ABM! Du kan i stedet tage ved lære af IT-giganten Oracles bog, hvor de omtaler det som “account-based strategy” eller blot “account-based”. 

Her hos cylindr BBN plejer vi at bruge betegnelsen “account-based engagement”, når vi kommunikerer til interne målgrupper, for at fokusere på den forandring i tilgangen til kunderne, vi gerne vil se i virksomheden.

Et andet værdifuldt tip er at prøve at sikre et højt engagement hos nogle af virksomhedens bedste og mest indflydelsesrige sælgere, inden du arbejder videre med en omstilling til ABM.

Det gøres bedst ved at afholde seminarer og træningssessioner, som har til formål at få de pågældende sælgere til at se de realiserbare fordele ved en kontobaseret tilgang og gøre deres rolle i den nye tilgang tydelig og overbevisende.

2) Start i det små, og trap gradvist op

At starte med at prøve at indføre ABM generelt i hele virksomheden er den sikre vej til en katastrofe. Fokuser i stedet på et enkelt vertikalt marked eller geografisk område, arbejd med et af virksomhedens bedste salgsteams i stedet for flere teams ad gangen, og ret måske endda dit personligt tilpassede indhold til den “mest sandsynlige køber” blandt kontaktpersonerne hos dine target accounts.

Denne køber kunne f.eks. være IT-chefen – så du slipper for besværet med at udarbejde og iværksætte skræddersyede kunderejser for alle kontaktpersoner hos den pågældende virksomhed.

Som udgangspunkt opfylder dette måske ikke alle kriterierne for en reel ABM-kampagne, men det får dig i gang – og det vil uden tvivl afdække en masse problemstillinger og overvejelser, som hjælper dig til at finpudse dine ideer, før du begynder at optrappe indsatsen.

Og hvis du har indledt projektet med hjælp fra virksomhedens mere visionære salgsfolk, vil de sætte stor pris på at være med på første parket og bidrage til at forme en fremtid, hvor de også selv har noget på spil.

3) Opstil klare forventninger

Selv om direktøren, som jeg tidligere har omtalt, var opsat på at give sin marketingfunktion et løft, var han også ivrig efter at vide, hvor stort et afkast denne ekstra investering ville kunne give.

Denne viden opnår man i vores øjne bedst ved at opdele sine key accounts’ kunderejser i faser og derefter estimere ABM-aktiviteternes forventede positive effekt på hvert enkelt stop på rejsen.

I en opmærksomhedsskabende fase har personligt tilpassede e-mailkampagner f.eks. vist sig at være 5-10% mere effektive end almindelige masse-e-mails og kan dermed føre til et større engagement (en af drivkræfterne bag en kundes/et kundeemnes tilbøjelighed til køb).

Andre ABM-taktikker, som har til formål at få en aftale presset igennem de frygtede flaskehalse, har også vist sig at forkorte salgscyklussen betydeligt. En sådan systematisk oversigt vil som regel vise, at summen af de forbedringer, som ABM-aktiviteterne sandsynligvis vil medføre, langt vil opveje den påkrævede omstillingsinvestering.

Derfor er det mindst lige så vigtigt at få din ledelse samt salgs- og marketingafdeling til at forstå de potentielle virkninger af ABM i det første år. Og de må ikke forvente mirakler.

Når det gælder nysalg, vil du måske ikke se resultater i det første års tid, hvis du har en lang salgscyklus. Det skyldes først og fremmest, at ABM er en relationsbaseret tilgang, og det tager tid at opbygge relationer.

Når det gælder eksisterende kunder, får du måske succes tidligere i forløbet. Men en ting er helt sikker: ABM er en langt bedre overordnet investering end at fortsætte med at generere leads som udgangspunkt for aftaler, der som oftest aldrig kommer i hus (analysevirksomheden TOPO estimerer faktisk, at for hver 100 marketing-qualified leads der genereres, bliver kun de 10 accepteret af salgsafdelingen, og færre end 1 ud af 100 ender med en aftale).

Jeg anbefaler følgende:

Sørg for, at måleparametrene for ABM-projektets succes afspejler målpersonens samlede engagement i virksomheden. Påvis f.eks., hvordan dette engagement er vokset over tid – flere kontaktpunkter, flere minutter brugt på at se din virksomheds indhold eller mere tid brugt på at deltage personligt i arrangementer – og sammenkæd dette øgede engagement med en større “tilbøjelighed til køb” (en term, jeg vil komme nærmere ind på i et senere blogindlæg).

4) Udarbejd den rigtige liste over ‘target accounts’

Vi hører det igen og igen: Det er ikke nogen nem opgave at udarbejde en liste over target accounts (en proces, der hører under salg og faciliteres af marketing).

Tag dig derfor god tid til at identificere de accounts, der passer godt til den ideelle kundeprofil (ICP, ideal customer profile), og få snakket de enkelte virksomheder igennem med de ansvarlige account executives (AE’er), så du sikrer, at de pågældende virksomheder også egner sig til at stå på listen.

Ofte vil en AE forsøge at få en potential kunde sat på listen, som ikke synes at passe særlig godt til profilen. Det kan igangsætte en diskussion, som let kan køre af sporet, hvis du ikke passer på.

Eller endnu mere problematisk: Når I flytter jer fra et lead-fokuseret perspektiv til et kontobaseret, kan det ske, at enkelte leads hører under flere forskellige AE’ers ansvarsområde.

Det kan være som at åbne en Pandoras æske, som kun salgschefen vil kunne lukke igen. Løsningen er at vide, hvad du er oppe imod, før diskussionerne går i gang.

Det kan ofte være en god ide at lade marketing udarbejde den indledende liste over target accounts, fastlægge et ICP-“regelsæt” og arbejde sig igennem disse med de enkelte AE’er – i stedet for at starte hele processen fra bunden med salgsafdelingen om bord.

Vi foreslår, at denne lidt prekære proces udføres i samarbejde med en ekstern facilitator, der har forstand på både marketing og salg – en ekspert, der taler begge “sprog”.

5) Vent med at kaste dig over teknologien

Det kan være fristende at beslutte, at din virksomhed skal gå over til ABM, og herefter styrte ud og investere i ABM-platforme og udvidelsesmoduler til CRM-systemet.

Lad være med det. Start i stedet med at styre alle processer og data omkring jeres ABM-pilotprojekter ved hjælp af regneark.

Det giver dig og dine teams en chance for at finde ud af, hvilke aktiviteter og processer der er relevante – og realiserbare.

Når du først har opnået større klarhed på området, kan du begynde at indføre basal ABM-teknologi og herefter optrappe hver enkelt del af processen – og gå over til mere avanceret teknologi, efterhånden som erfaringsgrundlaget vokser.

Det vil være en hjælp at få opbygget en ABM-modningsmodel, som kan vise vejen – hvilket er en helt almindelig brik i puslespillet, når cylindr BBN udfører et ABM-omstillingsprojekt.

Så det var fem vigtige aspekter, der ganske vist ikke dækker hele ABM-omstillingsspektret, men som helt sikkert vil hjælpe dig til at opnå den succes, du håber på.  Hvis du vil have flere tips og ideer eller drøfte enkelte dele af et ABM-projekt, så kontakt vores ABM-team!

Læs mere om account-based marketing hos cylindr.

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Have you forgotten what thought leadership is truly about? https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/2019/08/30/have-you-forgotten-what-thought-leadership-is-truly-about/ Fri, 30 Aug 2019 08:24:49 +0000 https://integratedb2b.cylindr.com/?p=3174 Public service announcement: this serves as a gentle reminder for why you set about adopting thought leadership in the first place. If you work in a B2B company and haven’t yet implemented a content marketing strategy with a thought leadership undertone, then you are way behind. While not a novel concept (it came to a […]

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Public service announcement: this serves as a gentle reminder for why you set about adopting thought leadership in the first place.

If you work in a B2B company and haven’t yet implemented a content marketing strategy with a thought leadership undertone, then you are way behind. While not a novel concept (it came to a head around eight years ago), not all B2B companies have adopted the approach. On the other hand, some have been doing it for years.

For old time’s sake, let’s revisit the definition of thought leadership:

Thought leadership is a marketing technique that can be employed to position you as an industry expert. The point is not to create old-fashioned, “salesy” content, but to gain trust and credibility by being seen as the authority or expert on an industry-relevant topic.

Want more revision and explanation? The Three Voices Strategy™ sums it up pretty well.

Lead, don’t brag

It might seem silly to spend your resources on not promoting yourself at all – it’s still marketing after all! But the point is to lead the conversation. Be a trailblazer and not the salesperson. Talking about your products and services still has a place, yet the priority is to be perceived as an authority on the matter or topic being discussed.

Advertising overload

It can’t be stressed enough, the amount of advertising we’re subjected to daily – hundreds, if not thousands. Therefore, it is important to make your piece of content count. Make an impression – be different, stop selling. If you keep selling, it’ll just get diluted in an ocean of old-school marketing jargon: “latest technology”, “state-of-the-art”, “innovative”, “know-how”, “expertise”, etcetera. (These words should be banned from use by copywriters. Admittedly though, sometimes there is no better word to use!)

Brand promotion rears its head

I wrote an article recently that forms part of a thought leadership approach – a new (and possibly scary) direction for the B2B company. The article was based on an interview with a service partner, written from the service partner’s perspective. Collaboration projects were mentioned, although only briefly. The purpose was to shed light on one of the biggest issues facing the industry today and sharing how it can be overcome in the short and long term.

After several internal reviews, we were happy that it was a good example of thought leadership. However, the client (who would publish the article on its website) didn’t understand why the article didn’t promote the company or its services and wondered why it just promoted the service partner.

Stop talking about yourself

This is where the point was completely missed. Being a thought leader means being somewhat humble, serving a purpose (a willingness to help) and not being overly promotional. Would you want to hang out with someone who constantly talked about themselves? Personally, I’d run in the other direction. So, always come back to the definition of thought leadership, what purpose it serves you and your target audience.

Remember, when it comes to B2B marketing, thought leadership is a great way to:

  • Raise the profile of your brand
  • Educate your industry’s community about interesting topics and issues
  • Build trust and credibility
  • Create content opportunities
  • Form human connections

If you are already implementing thought leadership as part of your marketing strategy, here are some ways to propel your thought leadership efforts forward:

  • Use social media platforms to distribute your thought-leading content – Did you know that LinkedIn is the most up-to-date database in the world?
  • Don’t just publish on your own blog, be a guest blogger on other blogs and use other platforms like industry websites and magazines.
  • Consider other types of content than just blog posts. Videos are easily consumed and annual reports are a possibility as well.

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