<![CDATA[Double Haul Strategies - Blog]]>Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:33:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Marketers in Tech: A Data Driven Approach to Finding a Great Job at an Amazing Company]]>Tue, 26 Jan 2016 18:26:36 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/marketers-in-tech-a-data-driven-approach-to-finding-a-great-job-at-an-amazing-company
Please check out my new post on LinkedIn: 
<![CDATA[Is Your Marketing Beat Dropping...In a Bad Way? Try These Musically Inspired Campaign Ideas to Rock 2016]]>Wed, 20 Jan 2016 21:26:37 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/is-your-marketing-beat-droppingin-a-bad-way-try-these-musically-inspired-campaign-ideas-to-rock-2016
Check out my post on this topic on LinkedIn:



<![CDATA[´╗┐How to Run a Marketing Operations Team]]>Tue, 19 Jan 2016 21:26:13 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/how-to-run-a-marketing-operations-team
Check out my post on this topic on LinkedIn:


<![CDATA[Marketers: Stop Whipping Your SDR Team For Being a SDR Team]]>Thu, 23 Apr 2015 19:56:32 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/marketers-stop-whipping-your-sdr-team-for-being-an-sdr-teamI love sales development reps.  Why?  A good sales development team can make an average marketing team look great.  They also have the power to help an account executive obliterate their quota.  Unfortunately, SDRs seem to be the perennial whipping boy of both sales and marketing.  Not only is this unfair, but it’s also counterproductive to effective revenue generation. 
This is not a helpful attitude.

Marketers, here’s my guide to improving your relationship with your SDR team:
  • Recognize that sales development is the worst job in marketing and sales.  I am not saying the Sales Development function isn’t valuable - in fact its invaluable - but SDRs are in a near impossible position.  Why?
    • SDRs are stuck between marketing and sales, so when pipeline issues arise it is too easy for marketing and sales to point the finger at the guy in the middle.
    • The average SDR is green.  They are hired right out of school or with 1-2 years of previous experience and usually only stay an SDR for 1-2 years.  Even with good training programs, the average SDR (23 years old with 1-2 years of total sales experience) is too green to master sales skills like articulating value, adaptive messaging, objection handling, and goal setting. Of course a VP of sales with a 20 year sales career is going to think they stink on the phone!  He’s not wrong, but he is being unreasonable by holding them to too high of a standard.
    • SDR managers are in a perpetual state of Groundhog Day.  Because of the short lifecycle and high turnover of SDRs, SDR managers’ lives take a predictable pattern: hire, train, get resource somewhat proficient, then immediately lose resource into a junior account executive role.  If an SDR manager is able to get SDRs to profient more quickly, she will have them poached away more quickly too.  It’s pretty hard to get ahead in that type of scenario.   
    • How a SDR actually spends their time is never inline with the perception of how they should be spending their time.  How often have you seen this: a marketing or sales exec steps on to the SDR floor and says “Why is it so quiet in here?! You all should be on the phones!”  What they fail to understand is that SDRs do a lot more than calling. When a hot new inbound lead hits their call queue, they can’t call it right away.  They need to do a dozen things before and then another dozen things after the call:
      • Check CRM for duplicates
      • Check if another SDR has spoken to that company in the last 30 days
      • Check if there is an open opp for that company
      • Check if they are a target account
      • Check the person’s LinkedIn profile
      • Look at the company’s website
      • Check if the prospect uses a competitor
      • Check if they use a complimentary product or service
      • Updates 9 different CRM fields with detailed notes
      • Send a follow up email
      • Schedule a follow up meeting
      • etc…

                 As you can see, this will add up to a lot of time not on the phones!  Marketers need to be in touch with the reality of sales development, and recognize that despite these challenges, most SDRs want to do a good job and will thrive if given encouragement and direction.  Buy them beer and cupcakes, stand up for them in the next marketing and sales meeting, take time to listen and answer questions, tell them how much you appreciate how hard they are working.  In short, be their biggest advocate and best friend!

  • Set necessary conditions for the marketing/SDR relationship.  Your sales development manager will probably assume that its marketing job to provide them with quality leads, but don’t let entitlement creep into the relationship.  Make it clear that:
    • Marketing spends a lot of the company’s money to generate leads. When leads aren’t followed up on in an appropriate and timely manner company money is wasted.  
    • If SDRs believe lead quality is below where it should be, you expect to hear about it immediately so you can address it immediately.
    • You will help with sales enablement, but only so much.  For example, you can help craft training materials and templates, but you have a lot of programs to run too.  SDR training can’t be solely marketing’s job.
    • Define the vocabulary you will use to speak to one another.  For example, define what a Marketing Qualified Lead should be, goals of the qualification process and create a prospect profile together.  You will find a common language is critical to efficiency and solving issues as they arise.

  • Understand that unless the SDR team rolls up to marketing, managing them is not your job.  Even if there are legitimate issues with how an SDR team is operating, solving their issues shouldn’t be your number one priority.  The best way a marketer can help a underperforming SDR team is by delivering more, higher quality leads.  Prioritize that above all else.   

  • Sit with the SDR team for at least an hour or two a week.  The next time you have 30 minutes to answer email, squat at an open desk on the SDR floor.  You can listen to calls, get a sense for how they are spending their time off the phones, and answer questions that come up.  You will become more in touch with the sales development team, and also get a much better understanding of your pipeline, programs and prospects.  

  • Be active in helping craft call scripts, objection handling, and email templates.  Marketers are good at creating content.

  • Understand the power of public praise to a sales person. Sales is filled with extroverts who thrive on public recognition.  A nice job email to an SDR will not have near the impact as public praise in the next team meeting.  

  • Stop scheduling meetings with SDRs during prime calling hours or at the end of the month.  It’s inconsiderate and unprofessional.  

  • Take low lead flow issues seriously. When an SDR team complains about low lead flow this quarter, if left unresolved, you can bet there is a good chance your VP of sales is going to miss their number next quarter.  Get in front of that fiasco by nipping the problem in the bud.

  • Discuss SDR territory setting strategy with the SDR manager.  While it may seem intrusive to ask to discuss this, marketers have unique perspective on marketing coverage of geographic regions, products, and verticals.  This insight can help an SDR manager use territories to set up their people for success rather than failure.  For marketers, investing time in this up front will solve future headaches by preventing last minute scrambling to launch territory specific programs when lead flow is uneven across poorly drawn SDR territories.

Maybe I am an SDR apologist, but I love those little guys and gals!  Hopefully, you can use some of the ideas above to improve your relationship with your sales development team and make it easier for both parties to crush their numbers.

<![CDATA[2 Campaign Tactics You're Not Using (Enough)]]>Fri, 03 Apr 2015 20:03:42 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/2-campaign-tactics-youre-not-using-enoughPicture
I believe in science, do you?   I feel like you have ask that these days.  The Freakonomics podcast episode “When Willpower Isn’t Enough” articulates the science behind two successful tactics that marketers have used for a long time, but IMO don't leverage enough.

1)   Temptation Bundling – this is the idea that people will do things they don’t want to do, if its paired with a reward.  For example, someone might only allow themselves to order dessert on days they exercised.  Or someone might not allow themselves to watch the newest Game of Thrones episode unless they clean the house first.  Makes sense, right?

Temptation bundling is especially powerful in b2b marketing since jobs are work and most people don’t like to do work.  Marketers frequently incent prospects with temptation bundling at tradeshows. Giving away USB chargers in exchange for a scan, or watch a demo and get entered in a chance to win an Ipad is temptation bundling. It is not as common in other b2b marketing channels, but it should be!

At Marketo, we ran a successful and repeatable email campaign that was classic temptation bundling.   First, we would segment our database to find prospects that were extremely qualified, but had not reached MQL status.  Next, we would then send an email offering them a $100 Amazon gift card if they sat through a personalized sales demo.  Not only did the campaign always have a great response rate, but it also was fantastic at generating new customers.  Why? Temptation bundling pushed prospects to do a thing they knew they should do (evaluate marketing automation), but were not motivated to do right now, that is until we provided a personal incentive ( an Amazon gift card).  

Other ideas for b2b marketing campaigns which use temptation bundling:
  • Get flowers sent to your significant other if you speak with one of our sales reps
  • Meet with us at tradeshow X and we will pick up your uber bill for the week
  • Give an Apple watch to a webinar attendee that asks a question on your next webinar
  • Win a month of personal trainer use over the holidays if you complete a free trial
  • Win chocolate for everyone in your department if you complete an ROI calculator
  • Apply for our customer awards and have a famous comedian tweet a joke about you
  • Win a chance to VIP your trip to this tradeshow
  • Purchase our product this month and get a puppy takeover of your office
  • Etc…

2)   Fresh Start Effect – why do people set New Years resolutions?  Because of the “Fresh Start Effect”!  People are more likely to turn “I should do this” into “I am doing this and I am starting today” on dates that begin a time period, i.e. the first day of the year, first day of the month, their birthdays, etc… 

Just like New Years resolutions, this effect wears off over time, but it can be a great b2b marketing tactic to use to get people to take a first step.  Still, when it comes to creating a marketing calendar, most marketers are more focused on time of day, day of week, and monthly or quarterly quotas .   Why not add a couple of fresh start effect campaigns in the mix?

Dates that could be fresh starts effect opportunities for b2b marketers:
  • The first day of the month
  • The first day of the quarter
  • The first day of the fiscal or calendar year
  • Prospect’s birthdays
  • Prospect’s payday
  • Company's birthday
  • Budget planning periods
  • Prospect’s First day at new job
  • Day after major industry events
  • Day after your user conference
  • Day after tax day
  • Day after a customer's renewal
  • Day after the SuperBowl or World Cup
  • Etc...

The easiest channel to harness the fresh start effect is email, since campaigns can be scheduled for specific days.  But webinars, adwords, and any other digital marketing channel could just as easily be run to harness the fresh start effect or to use content that speaks to it. 

I love finding inspiration for creative campaigns IRL.  And I bet you can find some interesting ways to add both of these tactics to your marketing calendar.  

<![CDATA[Changing the Culture of Marketing...What's the point?]]>Mon, 16 Jun 2014 22:06:57 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/changing-the-culture-of-marketingwhats-the-pointPicture
I am of the opinion that one of the most significant factors that contributed to the rise of the American empire was the United States’ relatively limited cultural baggage.  Knocking down barriers to unification of purpose and effectiveness is a lot easier when your country’s cultural identity doesn’t bring with it thousands of years of bad blood, sectarian divisions, and poor government.  This viewpoint, that culture is a key factor in determining success or failure, isn’t just relevant to geopolitics, but also to marketing automation.  

Unfortunately, many marketing automation customers have a culture of perceiving marketing and all of its parts as a cost rather than as a revenue driver.  And organizations that see marketing as a cost of doing business, can manage it in one of only two ways: either arbitrarily or by continually working to lower the cost of marketing.   When presented with the two options, the arbitrary method may seem better, but it’s really not.  Who wants to work in a role where the value of that role isn’t tied to reality?  Where budgets could swell or shrink on whims or perception?  

A better way, is to create a culture (both inside and outside marketing) of viewing marketing spend as a key driver of revenue growth.   But just as a person suddenly standing up one day and telling the people around him to view him differently is unlikely to change how he is viewed (at least not in the way he intended), marketers need to change not just what they say, but also how they act.   

For example:
  • Does your team have a marketing model that maps out monthly MQL, opp, bookings and cost per MQL/Opps? 
  • Does your entire team know what marketing goals have been set for this month?
  • Does your team meet weekly to review monthly goal attainment?  
  • When it comes to marketing automation, have you set clear expectations on how many MQLs/opps/new customers you plan on getting out of nurturing and other database marketing programs?
  • Do you separate brand promotion program spend from demand generation program spend so as not to muddy the effectiveness of your demand generation spend ROI measurement?
  • When you make new marketing budget requests, do you include models showing how much new business it will generate for the company?

Many companies unfortunately still don’t do these things, but many of the successful ones do and they have a big impact on creating a culture of performance in marketing.  

If your company is one of the ones still working to make this cultural shift, don’t feel too bad.  Look at this quote from Raghu Raghavan, CEO of Act-On Software, a company which offers a very popular and successful marketing automation platform.  When being interviewed back in April about his plans for a recently secured $44m round of funding, Mr. Raghavan said...

“...Act-On’s growth was only limited by ‘how much money I have to hire salespeople’...”

What a strange statement by a marketing automation executive.  Does marketing spend not also drive growth at Act-on?  If not, how is marketing viewed at Act-On?  Even for a company that primarily differentiates on the lower cost of it’s solution, that would be a peculiar reality considering the idea that marketing and marketing automation can drive growth and create ROI is presumably a key slide in their sales pitches.  Given Mr. Raghavan’s impressive credentials and modern marketing chops, hopefully this quote is out of context.  

Either way, this quote must have had Act-On’s customers shaking their heads and the CRM sales rep that manages Act-On's account window shopping Ferraris.  What would that CRM rep’s commission be on licenses for $44 million worth of sales people?  Sadly, the way housing prices are right now here in San Francisco, probably still not enough to buy a house.  :(

Happy Marketing, 


Author: Chris Russell

<![CDATA[Get More Out of Your Blog: Lessons From A Data Analysis of the Marketo Blog]]>Sun, 13 Apr 2014 00:08:10 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/get-more-out-of-your-blog-lessons-from-a-data-analysis-of-the-marketo-blogPicture
***This week's post is not based on any knowledge gained during my previous employment at Marketo.  Instead, I used an awesome data collection tool called import.io to harvest the information publically available on the Marketo blog for posts published from 2011-2014.  I then sliced and diced in Excel and drew my own conclusions***

Wouldn't it be great to create a vibrant corporate blog capable of driving meaningful social engagement with your prospects?  Marketo has done a fantastic job of this, so I decided to jump in and see what lessons can be learned from their success.  

1.  Marketo Hired Pros - Their Posts Did Best

Turns out professional content marketers are pretty good at content marketing.  At Marketo, team members whose job it was to think about content marketing all day had the highest average number of shares per post of any Marketo employees, over 42% higher than the next internal group of authors.

2. Posts by Junior Team Members Achieved 51% More Avg. Shares than Those Authored by Marketo Executives

Finding the time to publish a new blog post every week can be a difficult, which is why many corporate blog managers begrudgingly allow the occasional post by a junior or off-message team member to slip through.  Marketo takes a different policy though.  Only ~50% of posts were published by FTE content marketers or executives.  The other 50% came from team members across the company or from external thought leaders and partners.

Perhaps the biggest gem in this analysis is that, at least at Marketo, the posts authored by junior team members had the highest number of average shares of any internal group!  They were able to capture 51% more shares than posts by Marketo executives!  Why? Well, it may be reasonable to assume that it is harder for a junior team member to get a post approved (they published less posts overall) so their posts might have to meet a higher standard to get published. But I also believe that under the right circumstances, the energy and creativity a junior team member can bring can often overcome a lack of depth of experience.  

3. Of the Top 4 Author Types By Avg. Shares, 3 Were Partners or External Thought Leaders

At Marketo, only 1% of posts came from external thought leaders, but posts by this group were the most shared on average.  The success of posts by this groups probably isn't much of a surprise.  Every company would like the best minds in the business to post on their blog, but this can be difficult to achieve due to cost and a lack of existing relationships.  It should be reassuring then to see that Marketo seems to struggle with this as well, as is evidenced by the low number of overall posts by external thought leaders.

4. Posts by Partners Who Sell Products Achieved 36% More Reach than Those Authored by Partners who Sell Services

Regardless of if a partner sells products or services, both groups drove higher than average shares: both made the top 4 list of average shares by author types. Partners and external thought leaders can be great blog contributors because their posts bring together two networks, yours and theirs. This can pull in more readers to your blog than you would be able to engage alone.  It was interesting however to see that Marketo partners that sell products outperformed partners that sell services by 36%. Do product companies have more interesting things to say than services companies?  

5. Infographic Blog Posts Captured 317% More Shares than Other Types of Posts

My personal feelings about infographics aside, people love them.  When it comes to sharing success, there were really only two types of posts by Marketo, blog posts that shared infographics and those that didn't get many shares.  And when you look at the Marketo posts that went Viral, almost all were infographics.  The only possible conclusion here is that if your company doesn't publish regular, rich, compelling infographics, you're doing social media marketing wrong.

6. Marketo Kept It Early Stage

Below is a Wordle image which shows the categories in which Marketo published the most posts (the words which are the largest had the most posts categorized under them).  This visualization makes it clear: Marketo executed a broad and bold blog strategy focused on early stage best practices and thought leadership. They published very few posts which they classified as "Product and Industry" focused, "Marketing Automation" focused, or even feature focused, such as "Lead Nurturing" or "Lead Scoring".  In fact it will probably be difficult for you to find some of these categories below--thats how infrequently Marketo focused on mid to late stage content on their blog.  
Created With Wordle.net

7.  A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships and Blog Posts

While Marketo's blog shares per post were gaining impressive momentum throughout the entire time studied, things really got crazy when Marketo announced they would IPO.  Suddenly, Marketo's brand was all over the press and blogger-sphere.  While I don't have access to Marketo's web traffic stats, I am willing to bet their blog shares and visitor numbers are congruent.  Which is an important point: having a blog doesn't drive engagement with prospects.  Your blog is exactly like any other type of content: it needs to be promoted and be easy to find organically.  Marketo does a nice job of both, and reaped the benefits when they stepped into a bigger spotlight.  
Pretty interesting, huh?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Author: Chris Russell
<![CDATA[The Opportunity That Microsoft Missed]]>Thu, 06 Feb 2014 18:29:07 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/the-opportunity-that-microsoft-missedPicture
It’s been much discussed for the past several years and while the outcome in the end wasn’t necessarily surprising, what was surprising was that when the announcement was made, a huge opportunity was missed.  I am of course talking about Microsoft corporation’s appointment of Satya Nadella as their CEO, but what was the huge opportunity missed?

In today’s digital world, people turn to LinkedIn to learn about a person’s professional background and they turn to Twitter to learn what that person has to say.  In both social media platforms (approximately a quarter billion and a billion users respectively), Mr. Nadella's profiles are embarrassingly weak and for a major technology company that critics claim has lost touch with modern users, this represents an unfortunate and huge missed opportunity to engage and impress.  

This is Mr. Nadella’s public LinkedIn profile (2 days following the announcement):

It says CEO of Microsoft is his first gig (!) and he only has 384 professional connections.  If potential customers, or worse: stockholders, were searching for reassurance that Microsoft’s technology portfolio and $300b market cap was in good hands with an experienced veteran who lives in our modern, socially driven world, they didn’t find it on LinkedIn.

In addition to professional credentials, it’s logical to be interested in what Mr. Nadella has to say.  Is he engaging, insightful, intelligent?  Does he have a vision for the future?  Unfortunately, Twitter, the most popular direct communication platform in the world, also gets the same treatment as LinkedIn from Mr. Nadella and his marketing team.  His last tweet, @satyanadella, before the two since he has become CEO is three years old.  And while Mr. Nadella deserves kudos for giving Twitter a second chance since his appointment, the paraphrased version of last and only two tweets since being named CEO are (and again I am paraphrasing) A) “I promise to tweet more, just not right now” and “Look, I live in Seattle and am on the Seattle Seahawks Bandwagon”.  Even going back to 2010, there is an uncomfortable lean towards corporate schilling rather than intimacy.  Great twitter accounts, such as @benioff or @richardbranson, are full of windows into their owner's character and vision, Mr. Nadella's tweets offer us only banalities.  

Still, none of this is irreparable.  The beauty of social media is that it is about the moment, so Mr. Nadella and his marketing team have countless opportunities moving forward to take full advantage of these platforms and to better instill trust by showing the world that Mircosoft gets the modern technology user and has some of its best years ahead.  

Or...they could take the Larry Ellison (@larryellison) approach to social media: no LinkedIn profile (at least that I could find) and a Twitter account with 44,500 followers and exactly one tweet.  One snarky, hyper competitive, sales thirsty tweet:

Larry Ellison, like a boss.  :)



Author: Chris Russell
<![CDATA[Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing: Which Model can drive Growth the Fastest for your B2B Company?]]>Wed, 05 Feb 2014 23:48:01 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/inbound-vs-outbound-marketing-which-model-can-drive-growth-the-fastest-for-your-companyPicture
It can be difficult for B2B companies to know whether a traditional outbound marketing model (tradeshows, field marketing, sales prospecting, list purchases, cold mass emailing, etc...) or the more trendy inbound marketing model (SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, etc…) will be more productive.  

Here is a quick quiz to help you ask the right questions about your business as well as suggested marketing plans based on your answers:

Demand Generation Quiz: Which Model is right for your B2B Company

  1.  How big is your potential market?
    A) Every company in the world could buy from us
    B) More than ten thousand, but not unlimited
    C) We can name every potential customer

  2.  How expensive is your product?
    A) less than a couple of thousands
    B) Tens of thousands
    C) 7 figures plus

  3.  Do your potential customers know of you and know generally what you do? 
    A) Mostly, yes
    B) ~10%-50% probably do
    C) Nope, we need to work on that

  4.  Are your potential customers actively looking for solutions like yours?
    A) Yes, the market is generally aware that companies provide solutions like ours
    B) Mixed
    C) No, we are creating a new market space

  5. How many non-independently branded product families do you sell? (for example: Proctor & Gamble sells hundreds (thousands?) of products, but nearly all under a independently branded name brand.  While Oracle also sells hundreds of products, but most are sold under the Oracle brand).
    A) <5
    B) 5-10
    C) >10

  6. Is your primary offering consulting services?
    A) No
    B) We sell services, but as an add on
    C) Yes

  7. How open minded are your potential customers to new ideas and technology?
    A) Very open minded and are actively seeking emerging ideas and technology
    B) Mixed
    C) Our potential customers are risk adverse and/or traditionalist

  8.  How long is your total marketing to sales cycle?
    A) Days
    B) Months
    C) Years


Results: How Did You Answer?

***Mostly A’s - A marketing led, sales assisted/closed approach is best

You have described a market in which a marketing driven, low touch, high velocity model will likely work best.  Companies with attributes such as offering low cost, well known products to educated prospects who are actively seeking solutions, are well advised to focus resources on receiving and converting inbound interest, rather than less productive cold calling and outbound prospecting.  

Creating an impactful and engaging prospect web experience is also considerably easier when companies have shorter sales cycles and can focus inbound marketing messaging around less than five products or services, rather than dozens or hundreds.

Recommended Channel Strategies For Your Market

  • Organic Inbound Marketing
    • Website - companies with few products, inexpensive products, and/or short sales cycles should create a conversion focused (obsessed!) website whose main goal is to drive visitors to clear call to actions (CTAs) with unconfusing messaging firmly rooted in the current nomenclature of the market.  Brand positioning and artistic design is still important, but both should be seen as subservient to demand generation.
    • SEO - while the core site should be optimized for the most important keywords, creating unique pages for the long tail is also important because as  industries mature and grow, solutions for more specific use cases become key differentiators.  The publishing of unique pages discussing specific use cases including verticals, features,and region-centric topics will be indexed by search engines and allow prospects to find your products via a broad range of relevant search terms.
    • Social Media Discussions - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are all omnipresent in today’s digital world.   Companies are well advised to participate both as a brand and, for key thought leaders, as brand spokesmen, in conversations about their products and industry.  Like any other organic channel however,  prolonged and consistent investment and attention is necessary to produce demand generation results.
  • Paid Inbound Marketing
    • SEM - for companies in markets where prospects are actively seeking solutions like ones your company sells, a comprehensive SEM campaign portfolio covering topics from the early, mid and late stages of the buyer cycle often proves an effect method of capturing demand.  It should be noted however, that SEM campaigns need to be actively managed to achieve ROI and continued success.  If you do not have in house expertise in this area, consider contracting one of the many SEM consulting companies to manage your campaigns.
    • Re-Targeting - when prospects don’t convert after the first visit, re-targeting can offer the opportunity to keep your brand front of mind, even if you don’t have an extensive sales team to do follow up calls.
    • Social Media Campaigning - companies targeting an expansive market made up of technically savvy prospects should work to develop effective social media campaigns and offers which drive awareness and engagement with prospects.  When it comes to achieving ROI in this channel, targeting is especially important and platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have new features that allow companies to target via demographic, firmographic, by account, or by individual.  
  • Outbound Marketing Strategy
    • Tradeshows - the traditional approach to tradeshows, i.e. booth sponsorships, are typically not effective from a demand generation prospective.  To get around this, be creative with event sponsorships and related programs.  Consider pre-event promotions (i.e.: VIP your trip) to learn who is planning on attending, obtaining speaking sessions so you can present your story uninterrupted, hosting parties nearby the show,  subletting other company’s sponsorships, and co-sponsoring with other companies.
    • Email Marketing - outbound emailing purchased lists is relatively unproductive at scale due to the diminishing returns caused by spam filters, so instead companies with huge potential markets should focus on creating compelling cross channel marketing experiences for prospects that use email marketing as a personalized follow on tactic for programs driven by web, event and other marketing channels.  Also, companies with less than 5 products will find it much easier to create engaging, targeted nurturing tracks, with a relatively limited time investment.
  • Pipeline Acceleration Marketing
    • Content Marketing - if you are in an established market where people are actively searching an answer to a problem they are having and your solutions solves that problem, creating content that supplies the information those prospects are looking for is critical for SEO, social, and SEM success.  As such, create a content portfolio that is directly aligned with your prospects interests and search terms.
    • Webinars - unlike in person events or 1:1 sales calls, webinars have the ability to scale to a nearly unlimited number of prospects. Because of this, companies with low cost products, a geographically distributed prospect base, and/or active and educated buyers should hold a series of regular webinars that focus on both early stage topics (to capture interest) and product demos (to accelerate buying cycles).

***Mostly B’s or an Even Mix of A’s, B’s, and Cs - Your firm is likely to find success by incorporating a mixed strategy.

Because your market is more multifaceted than some, your marketing approach will need to reflect that.  A pure inbound model is no more likely to work than a pure outbound model.  Due to your mixed portfolio of programs and channels, it will be especially important to find a common yardstick to measure program success to prevent spending valuable resources on an unproductive channel when others are performing well and could be ramped.  

Recommended Channel Strategies For Your Market
  • Peruse the plans outlined for both other models and choose channel strategies which most closely align with your market.

***Mostly C’s - A sales led, marketing assisted approach is needed

You have described a market in which your prospective customers will need a lot of hand holding by sales, so while marketing programs can still play a big part, they will likely perform better if done in support of outbound sales prospecting or sales pipeline acceleration activities.  This is due to the fact that potential customers who have characteristics such as being risk averse, are totally unaware of the value or existence of your solution, or are being asked to spend millions of dollars on your product or services require a guided, custom experience that pre-packaged marketing programs will struggle to provide without sales support.  

Also, companies who have extremely complex product SKU’s and numerous product families will struggle to provide one size fits all marketing messaging in many inbound channels, even with large marketing teams.  Plus companies who can name all or nearly all of their prospective customers are usually able to target prospects in a more cost effective manner if they focus on targeted outbound marketing and sales prospecting campaigns.

Recommended Channel Strategies For Your Market
  • Organic Inbound Marketing
    • Website - Create an informational website that is brand centric and allows engaged prospects to educate themselves and reinforce messaging they have received from sales.  Messaging can be high level, strategic, unspecific, and even ahead of the market, since positioning and education is the main goal of the site and salespeople will be on hand to guide prospects through the buying cycle.
    • SEO - if your company offers prospects dozens of diverse products and services, a key challenge is educating customers about lesser known services.  Outside of discussion with sales, investing in the development of a long tail of web pages, each featuring messaging, offers, and CTA’s specific to one product family, industry, use case and combinations (i.e., product X for industry A) can help potential customers discover your less known services via SEO.
  • Paid Inbound Marketing
    • SEM - Create hyper targeted SEM campaigns targeting searches for your company, your competitors, and late stage queries such as solution categories and product comparisons.
    • Re-Targeting - Consider using re-targeting to deliver brand impressions post engagement
  • Outbound Marketing
    • List Purchases - use vendors to create custom, highly demographically qualified and/or BANT accessed lists from sources such as LinkedIn, trade organizations, and online company profiles.
    • Email Marketing - cold emailing purchased lists is dangerous, at best it will annoy some of your potential future buyers and at worst you will find yourself out of compliance with your email marketing or marketing automation contract and your IP address blacklisted by spam filters.  Still, by working closely with list vendors and sales, marketers have the ability to build highly targeted and segmented lists of well qualified and untouched prospects and email marketing can be a very effective method of reaching these potential buyers.
    • Direct Mail - develop a series of high dollar value gift packages designed to be engaging and difficult to ignore.  Packages should be sent to sales identified, pre-qualified high value targets.
    • Tradeshows - “niche-y” industries with tight knit vendor/customer relationships will commonly have highly attended annual events.  However traditional booth sponsorships are typically not effective from a demand generation prospective.  To get around this, be creative with event sponsorships and related programs.  Consider pre-event promotions (i.e.: VIP your trip) to learn who is planning on attending, hosting parties, or subletting other company’s sponsorships or co-sponsoring to reduce costs.  
  • Pipeline Acceleration Marketing
    • Field Marketing - companies with many products, low tech buyers, or services businesses should focus on the creation of repeatable micro-event programs which can be locally run by salespeople in their region/territory and provide significant prospect facetime for sales and/or deliver a product/solution centric presentation which can be shaped for the audience in attendance.
    • Content Marketing - Companies with long sales cycles will find the most success with content marketing if the content topics and formats are in support of sales efforts.  A diverse and comprehensive portfolio of product marketing content and other late stage offers such as ROI calculators, analyst reports, and customer success stories, will allow sales to be armed with tools which will help them handle most objections.  

While every B2B business is different, knowing the right questions to ask is important.  Hopefully this quiz and potential marketing plans help you find success in your market!

Best Wishes,


Author: Chris Russell
Photo Credit: Michelle Johson - http://www.flickr.com/photos/26176646@N04

<![CDATA[11 New Year's Resolutions to Make You More Amazing at Work]]>Thu, 02 Jan 2014 17:37:46 GMThttp://www.doublehaul.io/blog/11-new-years-resolutions-to-make-you-more-amazing-at-workPicture
Hoping to start 2014 with a bang?  Here are eleven resolutions to help you more amazing in your career.  

  • Aim for Excellence - Obvious, right? But 99% of people usually settle for good enough.  When was the last time you even saw top 1% excellence?  It’s difficult to achieve and requires a person to be fanatically focused on continual improvement, but when people see excellence, they vividly remember it and who was responsible for it.  By aiming for excellence, even if you fall a little short, you will still have achieved greatness.

  • Do Everything You Can to Make the People Around You Successful - The most annoying coworker is someone who is continually a bottleneck for other peoples’ success.  The best is one that you know is on your side and will back you up in a pinch.  

  • Work (Live) in the Present - The past is the past and no matter how frustrated you are by a change in strategy, new assignment, or missed promotion, you simply have to find a way to accept it and move on.  After which you will be amazed at the degree to which your mental health, reputation, and productivity soar.

  • 90% of Your Job is to Make Your Boss’s Life Easier - this isn’t to say you should become their personal slave, but the more you can help them with their priorities, provide them with what they need before they have to ask for it, and just generally get along with everyone else on the team, the better your next performance review is going to go. 

  • Never Dis the Product - You are much more influential than you think.  If you speak ill of the products, projects or campaigns you are working on, people will believe you and begin to question your value as well.  Portray your work as positively as possible, and save the criticism and tough questions for more private settings with your manager and immediate team.  I got this advice from a former boss, who hit the nail right on the head.

  • Don’t Find a Mentor, Find Seven - developing relationships with your peers is important, but so is finding more experienced co-workers who can impart hard won wisdoms and give sage advice.  The more mentors you have, the more likely it is that you will have someone to turn to who can help you overcome any challenge you may face down the road.

  • Attend Work Social Events - Sure, you would rather hang with your actual friends, but company social events are a fantastic way to both develop relationships with people in the company with which you don’t work directly and to relieve some of the stress that builds up with those co-workers with which you work all too closely.  

  • Set Goals With Your Manager, Write Them Down, and Follow Up - Aligning expectations in advance will help create a shared definition of success and allows you to work with the confidence of knowing exactly where you stand and where you need to go.  Plus, when it comes time to push for a promotion, it helps to be armed with clear examples of your over performance.  

  • Ask for a Comprehensive Performance Review at Least Once a Year - This is usually a given at larger companies, but they are often absent at smaller ones.  Piecemeal feedback throughout the year is important, but a structured, balanced and honest annual review will not only help you prioritize your self improvement efforts, but also help you celebrate improvement from year to year.  If you struggle to take constructive criticism unemotionally, promise yourself you will not discuss or debate what you hear while you are in the meeting.  Instead, take the report home with you, consider it, possibly run it by a couple of trusted confidants, and once you have had time to objectively process it, follow up with your manager about any questions or ideas for improvement.

  • Don’t email when you can call, don’t call when you can speak face to face - It is much harder to build alignment from a distance.  Not only doesn’t it take longer to answer nuanced or complex questions by email, but it is harder to say “no” to someone in person than it is to a faceless screen.

  • Use 100% of Your Vacation Time - Never feel guilty about taking PTO!  Recharging your emotional batteries is critical to long and short term success.  How critical?  NASA scientists determined vacation goers were 82% more productive post trip!

Good luck and happy New Year!!


Author: Chris Russell