At the upcoming CMAb2b Morning Event, learn how to align sales and marketing to boost ROI and out-innovate the competition.
Stacey Cummings, Marketing Director, yconic, spoke to keynote Michelle Cody, Senior Director, Marketing Planning and Operations, Rogers Communications, about the challenges facing B2B marketers, the complexities of understanding the customer and the journey to integration.
Over the past two years, what were some of the biggest challenges in B2B marketing?
Though social media is a recognized tool in the B2C marketers’ arsenal, it has also become crucial for B2B marketing. The biggest challenge is convincing senior leaders and sometimes other team members that B2B marketers need to invest in social. The benefits extend well beyond awareness, social media can also be a lead generation tool that delivers paying customers. It allows you to target specifically the audience you want to reach.
“Social media is the gift that never stops giving” – Michelle Cody
They key to building your case for testing is threefold:
- Engage contacts at popular platforms (LinkedIn and Facebook predominantly) to help advocate for B2B testing and provide case studies and proof points to support your case.
- Do your research and identify where business professionals are soliciting peers during the decision making phase of their buyers journey. There are examples of this in both platforms. Demonstrate that these conversations happen on social and how you can play a role brining answers to facilitate discussions.
- Propose a small test that is measureable and that you can provide quantifiable results. Once you have proven your ability to generate results, resources will follow.
What tactics do you use to get to understand your customers’ needs to create an effective integrated strategy?
Rogers uses a very methodical approach to gaining insights into customer’s needs. The Unison launch in particular, the focus of the May 18 presentation discussion, required Rogers to create a marketing plan for a new target audience – small business owners.
There were several steps involved in this. First evaluate secondary research – key trends, and what analysts are saying to get an understanding of the audience overall. Next we run this by our sales organization for feedback. This is a crucial step that helps to create a set of behavioural assumptions. We then perform qualitative research with the assumptions and finally quantitative research after that.
Once the customer problems are clearly identified, they are shared broadly with everyone involved in the strategy creation. These problem statements inform content strategy, the brief for creative, sales enablement material, website copy and email, etc. This becomes the way we talk about helping customers internally.
What advice do you have for organizations just starting their journey into creating integrated marketing strategies?
Start with a project the whole company is interested in getting behind, a strategic initiative for the organization. This product launch was held up by the company CEO who encouraged people to think differently. There needs to be internal alignment between teams that everyone should do something different, which often means many people will stretch within their traditional roles. Everyone needs to be on board. Rogers reached out to outside organizations to see how best in class marketing teams were organized and how they work best together. Once we were able to demonstrate how other teams were having success it made the journey easier.
What do you have in store for those who will attend the CMAb2b Morning Event?
I will take people through the journey of Rogers integrated approach to the Unison launch and outline our 6 main challenges, including branching into a new space and creating awareness as well as leads. This includes the celebrations and pain points of an internal marketing team and how we learned to work together differently. I’m proud to say this campaign is up for an award at the CEB conference in early May.
Attend the May 18th CMAb2b Morning Event to learn about the journey to integration for Rogers and find out if they have won!