Leave ’em Laughing

Most of us have heard the phrase “Laughter is the best medicine,” and there’s some truth behind the saying … even if a good orthopedic surgeon does come in handy every so often.

But humor can also be used to help an organization connect with an audience in a busy media environment. This can be seen in national advertising campaigns from Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” to the anthropomorphic M&M’s characters and many more.

However, humor can also be used to to draw attention to smaller campaigns. Pathfinder Films in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a small video production company founded in 2015 that specializes in video production for small companies and nonprofits.

“One area that we’ve grown in [is the] area of doing comedic pieces,” Pathfinder founder and CEO Leif Ramsey said in an interview with Nooga.com. “That was definitely pretty new for us and definitely an area we wanted to get into.”

Pathfinder brought their comedic sense to an area not known for using comedy: the often-bland chamber of commerce video. Ramsey and his team developed a concept for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce to take a chance on using humor to sell the midsize Southeastern city to businesses looking to relocate.

To establish a unique marketing position for Chattanooga, the Pathfinder team highlighted the area’s outdoor scenery and its unique distinction as the city with the fastest internet speeds in the United States thanks to the fiber optics system owned and operated by municipal utility EPB.

The result was the “Chattanooga, Literally Perfect” campaign featuring clueless announcer Mr. Perfect telling humorous stories of (made-up) entrepreneurs making the move to Chattanooga and loving it.

“What I love about this is that the Chamber and Pathfinder are essentially making fun of the city and its residents while promoting it at the same time,” Nooga.com business reporter Chloé Morrison said. “The Literally Perfect videos capitalize on a truth, which is that business and government leaders love to highlight all the ways Chattanooga is better than other cities.

“People here, including myself, genuinely love the city and often can’t stop talking about it, especially to newcomers. This campaign captures that perfectly. It’s self-deprecating but does its job too.”

The unique take on the chamber of commerce PSA worked, attracting viewer engagement online and stories in local and national news media. Pathfinder followed the initial campaign by inserting the memorable Mr. Perfect character in a musical spoof of the hit film “La La Land” called, you guessed it, “Cha Cha Land.”

The result of taking a chance and using humor was a big success that helped Chattanooga differentiate itself from bigger cities and culminated with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce being named 2017 Chamber of the Year and winning a Grand Award for Communications Excellence from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

When developing a creative strategy for your client, don’t forget that comedy can help your brand stand out in the crowd. A little humor, when used strategically, can go a long way.

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Mc Donald’s Launches Apparel Line “The McDelivery Collection”

In celebration of Global Delivery Day on July 26, Mc Donald’s launched a new apparel and goods line called the “McDelivery Collection”. The limited edition collection, which was available via the UberEATS app in select countries – includes long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, slide slippers, pillows and more.Oh, and did we mention that its also free?

“At McDonald’s, we continue to raise the bar for our customers—with new recipes, a fresher look, and now new levels of convenience through McDelivery with UberEATS,” McDonald’s spokesperson Lauren Altmin tells AdFreak.

“To celebrate, we created the McDelivery Collection, a fun line of items designed to help people savor the delivery experience, whether they’re craving a Big Mac snuggled up on their couch or sharing some fries with friends in the park.”

Although this promotion only lasted one day, Mc Donald’s received a good amount of publicity with the help of celebrity endorsements on social media.

Want a Burger? Eat a Burger! 🍔 thx @mcdonalds #mcdelivery

A post shared by lancegross (@lancegross) on Jul 20, 2017 at 8:07pm PDT

Mc Donald’s might not be the healthiest, but it’s trying to be the trendiest, are you feeling it?

References:

Ellis, S. (2017, July 22). McDonald’s Apparel And Accessories Hit The Market. Retrieved from https://www.vibe.com/2017/07/mcdonalds-apparel-collection/

Natividad, A. (2017, July 20). McDonald’s Apparel Is Here, So Make Room in Your Closet Next to Your KFC and Pizza Hut Swag – Adweek. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/creativity/mcdonalds-apparel-is-here-so-make-room-in-your-closet-next-to-your-kfc-and-pizza-hut-swag/

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Xennials: The Answer to My Prayers???

At BBQs and family gatherings, in class discussions and conversations with friends or even colleagues at work, I’ve had many conversations about this grey area that some of us feel when it comes to generational labels like Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, Millennial, etc.  I’ve personally always been intrigued by who or what entity gets to officially decide what characteristics define a generation, the name of the generation and the cut off years for each generation.  In the case of Millennials, the term was apparently coined by historian Neil Howe who first made mention of the term in a 1991 book called Generations which he co-wrote with William Strauss (Raphelson, 2014).  

The term Millennial appears to be a nod to the generation who came of age during the turn of the century AND the turn of the millennium.  “They would be the first to graduate high school in the year 2000, so the name millennial instantly came to mind” Howe says (Raphelson, 2014).  I, who would graduate a year later from high school, remember hoping that every computer and electronic device in my home, school and America wouldn’t crash and the entire world would not end once the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000.  As we all know, nothing major happened.  

Back to this grey area: when I google Millennial, almost every website, blog and official source gives a different age range which makes the generation somewhat difficult to define by year.  In most instances, the first few years of the generation land between 1980 – 1982 and ends around 2000.  A recent Huffington Post article gives 2004 as a cutoff for Millennials (D’Souza, 2017) which in my opinion is indeed a stretch.  In most cases, Gen X is defined by people born between 1965 – 1979.  Generation X spans about 15 years, but the generations before and after span 20 years or more.  

Technically, by date of birth, I am an older Millennial (year 1 or 2 of the cohort depending on who is writing the article that day).  Both of my parents were born in the middle of the Baby Boom and they raised me with many of the old school values from their upbringing.  These are the nuances I believe marketers often fail to realize when targeting audiences and why relying too heavily on these generational labels and stereotypes can be misguided.  When I read articles by Forbes or longitudinal studies/reports by Deloitte about Millennials this, Millennials that, shopping habits, voting tendencies, positions on social issues, retirement planning, job hopping every 18 months, only uses Instagram and Snapchat and have abandoned Facebook (which has been debunked by market research), etc. I often cannot relate to these conclusions.  Many of the reports that I read tend to reflect the 18 – 24 year old segment of the cohort and not the mid-30 year old segment where I reside.

As someone who often feels in a generational Twilight Zone, the idea of microgenerations (D’Souza, 2017) is music to my ears.  So apparently for folks like me who firmly identify with some of the stereotypical characteristics of Generation X and Millennial [folks born somewhere between 1977 – 1983 (D’Souza, 2017)], there is a microgeneration called Xennials.  Xennials or the so-called “Oregon Trail Generation” (Stankorb and Wudel, 2017) is honestly a great start for a happy-medium classification for folks like me whose early childhood was steeped in the analog era.  

For Xennials, even though our parents may have still had turntables, LPs and 45s laying around when we were growing up and not just for nostalgia’s sake, we grew up with cassette tapes, then CDs and MP3 players, word processors, then Macintosh and IBM.  Then we transitioned from no internet to Prodigy, then AOL, to pay phones, land lines to pagers to cell phones, VHS to DVD, then TiVo, the list goes on.  We basically grew up during a fast wave of technological advances that didn’t happen at this pace for previous generations.  By the time younger Millennials were born, many of these technological advances (internet, cell phones, etc.) were commonplace.  

This is precisely why advertisers who want to be smarter about connecting with their intended audiences need to be more targeted about the demographics of focus for advertising spending.  They should pay particular attention to the concept of microgenerations for media planning.  What appeals to Millennials born in 2000 will not always appeal to those born in 1982.

References

D’Souza, J. (2017, June 28). Xennials, The Microgeneration Between Gen X And Millennials. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/06/28/xennials_a_23006562/

Raphelson, S. (2014, October 6). From GIs to Gen Z (or is it iGen?): How generations get nicknames. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2014/10/06/349316543/don-t-label-me-origins-of-generational-names-and-why-we-use-them

Stankorb, S., & Wudel, K. (2017, July 1). The person who came up with ‘Xennials’ has the definitive quiz to help you figure out if you are one. Good. Retrieved from https://www.good.is/articles/quiz-xennial-gen-x-millennial-do-you-know-if-you-qualify

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Chatbots and How They’re Working for Businesses

I really received superior service the other day. I was trying to find something online on a website when I was asked if I needed help, I was a little confused because the question came from my Facebook Messenger. I responded and actually got the answer that I sought. I placed the order and was pretty satisfied with my purchase. I really thought that I had been speaking to someone when I realized what time it was. I soon realized it must have been a Chatbot.

Chatbots are considered applications but they do not have User Interface (Roggio, 2017). There are two types of Chatbots, a rule-based Chatbot can respond to specific commands and then there are artificial intelligence Chatbots that respond to natural language. An example of a rule based Chatbot would be when you see an advertisement telling you to text to a particular number to receive a coupon to your phone. That’s a specific command Chatbot. I interacted with an Artificial intelligence Chatbot that responded to my actual questions (Roggio, 2017). More and more companies are using Chatbots as they help improve customer service and sales (Hintz, 2017). Chatbots use messaging platform like Facebook Messenger, Slack or WhatsApp (Hintz, 2017)

I thought about how many brands are using this type of technology and if it works. I recognized that I really felt as if I had received good service and was very satisfied, I’m sure many others feel the same way, which means this type of technology is working. It keeps customers engaged and made to feel important. It felt really good to get an answer to my question. It was helpful and the sale was made. Companies are using this type of technology to maintain customer service to keep an open conversation with consumers, the bots can also get data and help businesses know what consumers are asking and looking at on their sites (Hintz, 2017). These are just a few examples and they’re all valid points of why a business would utilize this technology. Many companies and brands are using bots, even the NBA, almost 49% of marketers and digital business executives say they are already using are testing or planning to begin to use bots (Hintz, 2017). I really wasn’t aware of the technology but am glad to know and I also am a satisfied consumer who utilized it and can understand why such a high amount of businesses are also using it.

 

 

Reference

Hintz,E. (2017) Thinking about chatbots, consider this. Forbes retrieved from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/06/27/thinking-about-chatbots-for-marketing-consider-this/#ed60b72718e0

 

Roggio, A. (2017) What are chatbots and how do they work, Practical Ecommerce retrieved from http://www.practicalecommerce.com/What-Are-Chatbots-and-How-Do-They-Work

 

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Pump up the Volume…

I first got introduced to the world of podcast while commuting from Santa Monica to Orange County, a drive that takes approximately 2 hours during rush hour on a good day.  To kill time and keep my brain from falling asleep, I began tuning into podcasts.  Most will immediately think of Ted Talks or the Nerdist (Dockterman, 2017).  However, brands are starting to realize that podcast may be the new outlet to reach consumers and break through the other thousands of messages consumers receive every day (Medal, 2017).

According to Medal (2017), internet audiences have less patience when consuming media that is not interactive, engaging, and immersive.  This has caused for an increase in podcast consumption and subscribers (Medal, 2017).  Researchers have found that approximately 67 million people have tuned into a podcast within the last month. Medal (2017) argues that this increase in saturation within the market will cause for brands to organizations to ensure that they are not sending out mindless podcasts and strategically utilize this new platform.  Some of the brand leaders entering the podcast market are eBay with their “Open for Business” podcast and GE’s “The Message” podcast (Medal, 2017).  However, the success for both these brands has been the hiring of expert bloggers and pod-casters to run their podcast to ensure the content that consumers can relate to and rich for consumers (Willins, 2017).

Experts expect the branded sponsored podcast market will more than double in 2017 and consumers can expect to see more podcast brought to you by their favorite brands and sponsors (Willins, 2017).  However, because of the demand and excitement surrounding the new market, experts estimate podcast sponsorship ranges within the mid-six figures range (Willins, 2017).  Brands and organizations need to determine if the cost is worth the exposure and will it increase brand awareness and equity?  Some brands will find sponsorship more fitting than others.  For example, some brands may find it harder to create content consumers can relate to and that is less invasive than traditional sponsorship and advertising on these podcast shows.  The art and skill is creating shows that relate to the brand and products without being overly invasive and obvious to the consumer.

While this may be a new area for consumers to explore and brands to find new ways of communicating with their target audience, I believe this area still has a long way to go before it sees profits and revenue that is remotely close to traditional forms of advertising and even social media.  However, this is a great opportunity for brands to communicate with potential buyers that are less familiar with the brand and younger consumers that have not experienced the brand or products.  Another concern is the culture pod-casters and their listeners embrace in this market.  Authenticity and pushing the boundaries tend to be characteristics of podcasts, and listeners may find it hard to tune into a show that is sponsored by Colgate or Home Depot.

Understanding the audience and created content that consumers can relate to, will determine if a brand can successfully tap into their consumers podcast world and interact and extend communication with its consumers.

 

Dockterman, E. (2017, March 30). Best Podcasts 2017: Serial, S-Town, True Crime And More. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from http://time.com/4709592/best-podcasts-2017/

Medal, A. (2017, July 28). The Rise (and Rise) of Branded Podcasts. Retrieved July 30, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297617

Willens, M. (2017, January 27). Why branded podcasting could more than double in 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017, from https://digiday.com/media/branded-podcasting-double-2017/

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Fidget spinners? What do you think about today’s latest trend?

Many people with children probably know about this year’s latest trend, fidget spinners. Fidget spinners are toys with two or three blades that are attached to a central core that allows the blades to spin once squeezed (Best, 2017). A picture of a fidget spinner can be found below for those who don’t know what it is.

There are over 8,000 fidget spinner retailers on Amazon, which explains why fidget spinners are within the top 20 best selling items on Amazon (Best, 2017; Gonzales, n.d.). Some love fidget spinners while others despise this latest toy trend. There has been a lot of controversy around these toys as adults don’t seem to understand why children are so attracted to fidget spinners. There have been arguments that they distract students and hinders their learning as they produce a whizzing sound when they spin while others say that it helps students with special needs focus their attention (Best, 2017).

It seems like these toys became the latest fad overnight as I have seen fidget spinners sold wherever I go, even in places that don’t specialize in children’s toys. For example, I see fidget spinners in office supply stores like Office Depot or grocery stores like Safeway. This might be because fidget spinner retailers are trying to market this product to adults as well as children. Some retailers have been known to market fidget spinners to adults with claims around health benefits of using fidget spinners (i.e. easing stress, PTSD, or anxiety to name a few).

In actuality, the benefits of fidget spinners are still unclear because of the sudden popularity, so there aren’t any scientific studies that back up any specific health claims (Lee, 2017). One thing is certain, toy fads are present in every generation, which lead to childhood memories that adults reminisce on later in life. How long fidget spinners will last remains to be unseen, but everyone knows how long last summer’s Pokemon Go fad lasted.

References:

Best, J. (2017, May 22). The fidget spinner fad: Adults don’t get it, and that’s the point. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/health/fidget-spinner-fad-partner/index.html

Gonzalez, G. (n.d.). The inside story behind the rapid rise of the fidget spinner trend. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/guadalupe-gonzalez/who-created-fidget-spinners-catherine-hettinger-scott-mccoskery.html

Lee, B. (2017, May 19). Here’s the science behind the fidget spinner craze. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/05/19/heres-the-science-behind-the-fidget-spinner-craze/

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The Power of ‘Influencer Marketing’

Anyone who has an active Instagram account, can concur the new rage of product mentioning and the power of influencer marketing. In these cases, celebrities or social media influencers post about specific products on their account that is shared with all their followers. One of the most popular products on the market right now are Fitness Teas and Hair Growth Supplements.

Through these types of marketing portals, the marketing is powered by the person posting the product and the interaction it sparks amongst consumers. Below are some examples of how celebrities endorse products in a subtle yet effective manner. The exposure it has in such instant speed is what makes this type of marketing so remarkable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think will be the future of marketing?

 

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Loyalty Programs. Are They ACTUALLY Effective?

The loyalty reward program is EVERYWHERE. From credit cards to restaurant chains, companies left and right have adopted the idea that providing customers with an incentive with every purchase is guaranteed to make a repeat customer. How true is that exactly? With the ability to make collecting points as easy as a scan of a telephone, customers can collect points for each purchase to use towards something else in the future.

One of the best examples of a loyalty rewards program is Starbucks, with transactions exceeding 26 million a year as of 2011 (www.starbucks.com). Another newer example could be El Pollo Loco’s Rewards program and application, introduced earlier this year with a free meal once customers registered for the program. The difference between the two? Starbucks sells coffee and teas, a commodity that people purchase almost weekly…if not daily. Starbucks also has little competition since Coffee Bean (one of its competitors) released an app only a few weeks ago. El Pollo Loco sells chicken, salads, tacos, burritos, etc., which are all items readily available at other concepts like Taco Bell or eternal rival KFC (both owned by YUM Brands by the way).

However…are loyalty programs REALLY that effective? Companies spend time testing and implementing these programs not to mention the cost of programming involved just to bring back customers..and then the TRAINING involved (which from experience does not go smoothly by any means).

HERE is my reasoning behind why companies should not rely on these programs. In-N-Out has been around since 1948 with the only menu change (and quite frankly the only major change) being the addition of three combos to their menu for ease of ordering. Besides that, the brand has done little major promotion as most of the brand’s value comes from word of mouth. Every store (Almost) provides the same quality experience and food that creates loyal customers…no loyalty program required.

Basically, you can give customers as many points as you want, but if the service or quality is bad, they WON’T be coming back. In fact, reports suggest that loyalty programs do not attract many new customers since the individuals actually using these programs are existing customers frequenting the businesses prior to registering (Meyer-Waarden, et al. 2008).

Understanding what drives a customer to make a purchase is key when speaking of marketing. Loyalty programs are not much different in that sense. The greatest technological benefit of such applications and programs is the ability to measure customer purchase habits. This data contributes greatly to the way companies sell products. The problem is getting customers to actually utilize the programs, which is difficult when only about 50% of registered loyalty program members are actively utilizing the perks associated with programs (A. Rodriguez, 2015).

Given these facts, the idea of the perfect loyalty program is not impossible, but definitely difficult. A mix of promotion, quality, and brand equity coupled with loyalty programs is almost a given. For a brand to assume programs are the magic fix is unrealistic. Therefore, while an appropriate addition to a brand, it should not be the only tool utilized to bring customers back. Traditional “good service and quality” are still the most important factors in any business.

References:

Meyer-Waarden, L., & Benavent, C. (2008, September 22). Business Insight (A Special Report); Marketing: Rewards That Reward; Most customer-loyalty programs don’t boost market share; Here’s how to improve the odds. Wall Street Journal, p. R.5.

Thelen, Mason. (2010). Loyalty programs: A thing of the past? Traditionally, top-tier buyers reap the rewards, a strategy that just won’t fly in the digital age.(OPINION). Brandweek, 51(40), 13.

Ashley Rodriguez. (2015). HOW TO CREATE A REWARDS PROGRAM THAT REALLY WORKS; Americans are only active in half of the loyalty programs they join. Advertising Age, 86(13), 0042.

Starbucks Mobile Transactions Exceed 26 Million Within First Year (https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-mobile-transactions-exceed-26-million-within-first-year)

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Whitewashing Movies Taking Over at a Theater near You

Let’s face it – the act of “white washing” Hollywood movies isn’t new. It started since the beginning of movies, but recently, movie-goers as well as several actors and actresses are speaking up. The movie industry is receiving back lash for their actor role selection for movie characters that were clearly meant for different ethnicities. The ticket sales for several of these movies are evidence that Hollywood needs to rethink their selection process. Some of the worst examples of whitewashing in movies include:

  • Aloha w/Emma Stone playing a mixed-race character who is Chinese & Hawaiian descent
  • Dragonball: Evolution w/ Justin Chatwin playing a Japanese anime character, Goku
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time w/Jake Gyllenhaal playing a Persian prince
  • The Last Airbender w/white actors playing Katara, Aang, Zuko & Soka (Asian characters)
  • Ghost in the Shell w/Scarlett Johansson playing a Japanese anime series character

There was a PSA video about whitewashing on the Ghost in the Shell movie.

When Asian actress Constance Wu (from Fresh Off the Boat) spoke up about this controversy, there were claims from Paramount & Dreamworks to put visual effects to make Johansson appear more Asian on screen. This type of whitewashing are problematic because it reduces the Asian race and ethnicity to mere physical appearance when race and culture are much deeper than looks. There is even a petition, Care2 petition, that is called “DreamWorks: Stop Whitewashing Asian Characters!” which currently has over 96,000 signatures. Asian actors & actresses are continuing to fight against the problematic whitewashing, claiming, “it will continue if Hollywood think it’s OK.”

Although this is a continuous problem in Hollywood films, it is great to see that there are people speaking up about this topic. Hopefully their voices are heard, and we’ll see a change in the next diverse Hollywood film.

References:
Ledbetter, C. (2016). Asian-American Actresses Speak Out Against ‘Ghost In The Shell’ Casting. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/asian-american-actresses-speak-out-against-scarlett-johanssons-ghost-in-the-shell-casting_us_5717a698e4b0018f9cbbd121
Ruimy, J. (2015). 11 Worst Examples of Whitewashing in Movies. Retrieved from http://screenrant.com/worst-examples-whitewashing-movies/
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Account-Based Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

Account-based marketing (ABM) is designed to unify the customer experience at an account level so that all key contacts within a target account have a shared, consistent experience with the brand. Building an integrated marketing strategy using an account-based method is a very targeted approach. And in today’s over-communicated world, its popularity amongst marketers is on the rise.

account-based marketing

History of Google search trend for “account-based marketing”.

At its core, ABM is focused on personally connecting with your target buyers. Having a deeper understanding of your buyers’ goals and objectives, and how your product or service can make a difference could help you win more business for your organization. Here is how you create an ABM strategy in five simple steps.

1) Define Your Ideal Company Profile

Envision the ideal company profile and use that to create a “dream 100” list—companies that would be an ideal fit for what you sell. It’s easy to name big industry players or the hottest new companies that would look good in your portfolio, but if they aren’t a good fit for what you sell, it is detrimental in the long run.

It’s best to start with the pains you solve. Define those, and then move on to identify the verticals or types of companies that experience these pains. From there, you can connect the dots to specific companies within those groups that you want to target. Be sure to clearly define “why” these pains need solving.

As part of this framework, it’s time to literally define what your ideal company profile looks like. Get granular with details like industry, region or geographic characteristics, annual or monthly revenue, technologies used, and number of employees. It might be helpful to look at your current client list to identify the key characteristics that make for an ideal company profile.

account-based marketing

Create profiles for each ideal customer

2) Define Your Ideal Buyer Personas

The goal of answering this is to be able to anticipate next steps and move opportunities through the funnel in a timely manner. Know what process your target customers go through when they make a purchase decision. Be sure to identify who is involved and key factors they will likely need to consider. Take into account that goals and objectives may vary between each buyer persona involved in the decision making process.

There are three parts to understanding how customers buy:

Current status: Understand how buyers are getting by without your offering today. What is their status quo? They may not even be aware that the pain points or challenges they are experiencing can be solved with your offering. Educate buyers so that they are aware of options for resolution.

Similar scenarios: Once a problem has been identified and the buyer is aware of the problem, it’s time to understand how they are solving similar problems. What is the process for evaluating a solution like yours? Identify any documentation or security requirements that might be necessary for them to continue considering your offering.

Vendor comparisons: With insight into challenges they are experiencing, buyers are ready to explore and compare solutions. Anticipate some of the more common questions around pricing, implementation resources, and ROI (return on investment) timeline. Customer service really starts in sales, so be honest and set realistic expectations.

3) Build Process Aligned to Buyer Journey

Similar to building the ideal customer profile, it’s important to get granular here too. Map out the buyer journey and align it to the stages in your sales process. Define the primary actions for your sales team at each stage and include stage goal qualifiers that signal the buyer is ready to move onto the next stage. Identify potential content that would help a deal progress. As you’ll notice in the image below, content earlier in the funnel should be more educational. As the buyer moves towards evaluation and final decision, content tends to emphasize product or solution value and benefits.

It might help to keep an eye out for how buyers are interacting with your existing content on your website. Any interaction with blog posts, videos, eBooks, or product pages can be indicators of topics that are relevant to buyers. Not only can your sales team have a better understanding of where the buyer is during their journey, this insight can help your marketing team craft more insightful content to build into future account-based marketing plays.

account-based marketing

Example of how to map buyer journey.

4) Align Content to Key Personas and Stage

An effective account-based marketing strategy is all about full funnel alignment. From marketing to sales, align content to buyers’ needs at any given time. All the personas identified in your ideal customer profile won’t necessarily be involved at each stage of the buyers’ journey. Identify who is and which stages they are involved in.

Building off the buyer journey table above, focus on the buyer stage and content rows. Plot personas accordingly and use that insight to build relevant marketing content. At the awareness and education stage, personas to consider might include users, leaders, and decision makers. Leverage the pain points of these personas to develop helpful and meaningful content.

account-based marketing

Align personas to buyer stage to create more effective content.

5) Measure, Learn, Optimize

Without data, you’re just shooting in the dark. Crafting an effective account-based marketing strategy takes a lot of effort. Ensure this effort doesn’t go to waste by setting up measurements for success.

There are a plethora of tools that support account-based marketing efforts, but it’s critical to align with sales so that reps can be guided through a sequence of activities. Aberdeen Group reported that companies with guided sellers have a greater total company revenue, higher average deal size, and shorter sales cycle. The power of repetition is the ability to measure and improve.

account-based marketing

References

Aberdeen Group (2015). Follow the path toward better sales results: guided selling makes the grade. Retrieved from https://accent-technologies.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Aberdeen-SB-sales-acceleration-through-guided-selling-platforms.pdf

Hedges, N. (2017). Why a customer-first approach is essential for company growth. Retrieved from https://velocify.com/blog/customer-first-approach-for-company-growth/

Velocify (2016). 5 Easy steps for creating an account-based marketing strategy. Retrieved from http://pages.velocify.com/5-Easy-Steps-ABM_On-Demand.html

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