Expert Q&A: How to Effectively Market to Marketers
As part of our recent report How EMEA Marketers Are Researching Online, we spoke with Steve Masters, Services Director at Vertical Leap, to get his insights on the top tactics and biggest challenges when it comes to reaching and influencing marketing buyers.
Steve offered his expertise on what it takes to successfully connect with these professionals, including what to avoid, how to keep ahead of the curve, and more. Read his answers below and register for next week’s live webinar for more on this topic.
What are some of the biggest challenges in marketing to the marketer?
I think the biggest challenge is the changing nature of marketing and dissecting the plethora of data sources. Media outlets have changed rapidly over the past ten years, and technology has evolved so much that the cost of targeting individuals has exploded with more refined ways to target.
Marketers now have access to so much data from digital activities that they have a new problem – how to make sense of it all. We no longer need to spend a fortune broadcasting adverts to all – we can pick our audience and times of day. However, you need to be able to identify what that data should actually look like.
No person can analyze the surplus of data. We need algorithms to make sense of it all.
What are the most pressing issues facing marketers in 2016? How are you keeping your team ahead of the curve?
I think keeping up with technological change is a big issue. Marketing managers can’t be experts on all the channels, or be fully conversant with which channels are going to work for them. There are so many companies offering their channels and their technologies, a marketer can struggle to evaluate them all.
Another issue is the changing behavior of the audience. Social media brought about a massive change in how brands communicate with consumers. With social media you need to be where the audience is rather than trying to tell that audience to listen to what you have to say. Many companies have been slow to realize this – the consumer is in charge of whether your campaign works or not.
How does your team generate better pipeline through videos and webinars? What processes have you optimized to see the most success?
I am a big fan of the mixed media approach to marketing. In order to build authority, you need to be heard in lots of places, so the more you can do to widen your reach, the better.
We attend trade shows and give talks in seminars, webinars, and other events. These help to build authority – I believe consistency is key here. One-off events don’t work as well as the momentum you build up through repetition and frequency.
How do you create a two-way dialogue with your prospects? How do you make sure your audience is having a positive experience with your brand?
This almost feels like a cliché now, but you have to listen first. See what people are saying, what they post about, what they like. You can do some qualitative research using social media or a focus group, but now with big data you can also do quantitative research.
Social media is the new CRM. You still need to use phones and email to have a one-to-one relationship with a customer, but social media is public. This will allow you to be responsive to your audience on their preferred channel while still having more personable relationships.
What are the top three things marketers should avoid when marketing to marketers?
If you are going to start an email by saying, “Sorry to bother you…” you shouldn’t send it. I get a lot of auto-messages on Twitter when I follow people, and I always ignore them because I know that person hasn’t actually chosen to talk to me. If you want to send me an email soliciting my interest, fine, but don’t start by apologizing for doing it and then still send it. If you have to apologize, you already know you shouldn’t be sending it.
The second thing I would say when it comes to marketers is to find out how they operate and what their pain points are. Everyone I work with and every customer I work with never has enough time to get everything done. If you are asking someone to take time out of their day to read your solicitation email, or to meet you for a chat about “how we can work together,” don’t be surprised when they file your email in the bin. I get emails all the time from salespeople asking if we can meet up. I’m extremely busy and need to understand the value of the meeting before I’ll agree to it.
The third problem is an old-fashioned one relating to email – when you send an email to a list of people from your inbox, don’t breach the Data Protection Act by including all your recipients in the CC field so that everyone can see everyone else’s address. Understand your tools before you try to use them.
For more tips and insights like these, don’t forget to save your spot for our webinar on Thursday, July 21, where we will discuss how to acquire and inspire the EMEA marketing buyer.