If you don’t integrate marketing & sales – you can’t grow

Scale requires well integrated sales and marketing.

‘Sales and marketing integration’ feels like one of these jargonny terms that we’ve all started screening out.

It’s over-used in the content marketing pushed out by martech and salestech providers who promise the world – and frustratingly often seem to underdeliver.

Why is that?

Because, the people and process piece is MUCH harder than the tech piece.

While the tech companies are delivering the tools, the ‘people and process’ piece on how best to use them is failing. The teams in the businesses buying and using the tech are not developing and following the strategies and processes needed to make the tech work. One might argue it’s the responsibility of the tech vendors to offer more support on the ‘people and process’ piece. But, regardless of who will do it – it needs to be done!

Since 2014, MPG has been working with business leaders to grow their B2B brands – enabled by marketing strategy, analytics, tech, data and digital. The sales and marketing alignment piece is usually a problem when companies approach us to help them achieve better outcomes from their marketing. And this is what we have witnessed in the most dysfunctional businesses:

  • Sales people are determined to defend their turf – wanting to claim revenue as ‘sales revenue’, even when marketing makes a significant contribution. Why would marketers want to work hard to support sales if they don’t get at least some of the credit (or the commission)?
  • At the same time, marketers are still not being held accountable for commercial results, often hiding behind ‘tech and data jargon’. They’re usually very, very busy, but are not taking responsibility for the outcomes of their spend on tech, data and all those very busy marketing people.
  • Senior executives – including Sales Leaders and Heads of Marketing – are not taking real responsibility for the close collaboration, joined up processes and combined KPI’s that the integrated marketing and sales funnel should deliver.

This is all very dangerous, because how B2B customers buy has changed in a BIG way.

Customers are buying very differently now to how they were 2 years ago, and if Sales and Marketing Leaders don’t get their heads together and work out how to optimise the full customer experience, their businesses will:

  1. Lose customers
  2. Be less efficient
  3. Be less profitable
  4. Struggle to scale

It is incredibly important for your marketing and sales teams to be integrated if you want to grow your business. If you support sales effectiveness and efficiency by ensuring marketing is well set up with the right strategy, processes, tools and resources, you will be able to:

  1. Reach and engage with a larger number of potential customers
  2. Qualify and nurture leads better to achieve higher conversion rates, higher average order values and shorter sales cycles.
  3. Measure important KPIs critical to achieving growth.

 

To learn more about how you achieve faster and more profitable growth by integrating your sales and marketing function better, thereby ensuring the whole, combined funnel is fully optimised, download the MPG’s guide here.

 

This resource walks you through the following 3 stages of the sales and marketing funnel:

 

#1 Awareness (top of funnel)

  • In this stage, prospects are indicating there is a problem or opportunity that they may be able to address by investing in your product.
  • Prospects are starting to educate themselves, conducting research to understand, frame, and give a name to the problem or opportunity they are facing.
  • This is where you should focus marketing efforts on building brand awareness, interest and an audience of relevant prospects through inbound marketing and data acquisition. Email marketing targeting relevant people should also be used at this stage of the funnel, especially for very time-sensitive campaigns, such as those that support B2B events.
  • Here your aim is to draw in as many of the right people as possible – with the overall goal of pushing them to your website.

 

#2 Engagement (middle of funnel)

  • In this second stage of the funnel, the prospect has defined their issue or opportunity, and they want to do more in-depth research to understand all the available approaches or methods for addressing a challenge or making the most of an opportunity.
  • Due to widespread, rapid adoption by consumers of more digital behaviours, and preferences for more control of their own buying journey, marketing needs to play an important role here in terms of serving up content-led and product-led messages across multiple channels and tactics – all working together with joined up messaging.
  • At this stage of the funnel, marketing needs to grow engagement and convert people who pay attention to their marketing into qualified leads – giving them ways to signal their intent and readiness to buy – before they are contacted by a salesperson.

 

#3 Conversion (bottom of funnel)

  • This third stage is where sales people need to get involved – and as part of a joined up process with marketing, ensure they call the right people (i.e. those people marketers have identified as relevant and ready to buy) at the right time (i.e. soon after they have indicated intent – because at this time they’re probably also talking to your competitors).
  • Marketing still needs to play a part here in terms of further nurturing your leads until sales people get the opportunity to speak to the prospect. It can often be quite difficult for a salesperson to pin down a prospect for a call or meeting, and in that time they can go cold or pay more attention to competitors. So marketing needs to play it’s part here by continuing to engage and persuade this lead with strong content and collateral – where the USPs and benefits of your product come through loud and clear in regular reminders to your lead that they should be picking up the phone when your salesperson calls.

Unfortunately, what often still happens, is that both marketing and sales work on the awareness stage, but only sales focuses on the engagement and conversion stages. This means that sales people have less time to spend on selling, and they are trying to sell to people who are not yet ready to buy. This has a negative impact on sales cycle length, average order value, conversion rates, the number of sales made and amount of revenue one sales person can generate.

What should happen is that marketers take full responsibility for the first two stages of the funnel (awareness and engagement), and be held accountable for the quality, quantity and sales-readiness of leads being delivered to sales. This then means that the sales team can spend more time focusing on conversions i.e. doing the actual selling that they’re so good at.

 

You need to get your funnel working in a way that enables more scalable digital marketing to reach and engage more people in the top two thirds of the funnel, and therefore have your sales team focused on conversions at the bottom of the funnel. Once you have achieved this, you would have unlocked profitable, sustainable growth with economies of scale baked in to your business in way that will generate higher profits and add significant value to your business.

 

To learn more about how to manage your scalable, profitable integrated sales and marketing funnel download MPG’s guide to B2B Sales & Marketing integration.

Do you need your marketing team to deliver more leads for your sales team?

Team MPG can help you attract new clients with targeted, lead generating marketing campaigns. We can also help create marketing and sales performance dashboards so that you can measure your joined up marketing and sales KPIs and ROI.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

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Google Analytics is changing – in a big way. GA4 is coming and you need to pay attention

By this time next year, you won’t be able to collect any more tracking data via your Google Analytics account – unless you have implemented GA4. On 1st July, 2023 Google Analytics will only process new data via their GA4 (Google Analytics 4) properties – meaning you can no longer track any new data via UA. Google Analytics 360 properties will receive a one-time processing extension ending on 1st October 2023, instead of 1st June 2023.

Because GA4 is VERY different to UA, it is very important you pay attention to this change now and start putting GA4 in place as a matter of urgency. If you assume you can just ‘switch’ or ‘upgrade’ with a click of a button, – you’re wrong. If you want to continue tracking, you will need to set up GA4 from scratch, including new filters, conversions, ecommerce tracking etc. Because GA4 data is structured differently to UA, depending on your set up, this may require custom development to ensure everything is tracked according to your business needs.

After 1st July, 2023, you will still be able to access your previously processed data in your UA property for at least 6 months – during which time Google suggests you export your historical data. Eventually, they will stop giving you access to your UA reports in the analytics interface or access to your UA data via the API. This is a big change, so make sure you have an analytics expert – with specific training/know-how in GA4 working on this for you – asap.

The 3 most important things to be aware of:

#1GA4 is a brand new system

GA4 is a brand new system and has to be set up from scratch (you can’t just ‘migrate’ or ‘upgrade’ your current GA set up). It will also take time to get it properly set up and optimised for your business to give you the data you need.

#2No historical data from UA will be available within GA4

No historical data from UA will be available within GA4. So if you require easy year-on-year comparisons, you need GA4 at least activated at a basic level now to start capturing data.

#3You should set up GA4 now

You should set up GA4 now so it starts capturing data straight away, so on 1st July, 2023 you have historical data to use in the reports. We recommend running GA4 alongside UA for a while so you can use UA for your existing reporting while you fine-tune your GA4 set up.


Do you need help putting GA4 in place and optimising it to capture the data you need to run your business well?

MPG’s web analytics experts are trained and experienced in GA4 set up and optimisation, so we’re a safe pair of hands to help you make this critical transition well.

Please get in touch with Team MPG.

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6 practical marketing considerations when expanding into new markets

Renewd recently hosted a Renewd International Virtual Roundtable discussion, where a group of senior executives from B2B media and events businesses came together to discuss practical considerations when expanding internationally.

To receive Renewd’s next newsletter, which includes the key takeaways from this event, please join Renewd here – membership is free.

The Virtual Roundtable discussion was led by Frances Rose, Founder & CEO, The Share Theory. The attendees discussed what they have learnt from expanding, including cultural differences to take into consideration, and how to hire and effectively manage people in foreign countries.

Based on this discussion, Team MPG’s marketing strategists have been considering six important marketing elements to consider when seeking international growth:

#1Be clear about your specific goals when expanding into new markets

In order to grow and develop your customer base in a new market, you should define what the role of marketing is in this growth plan, and specific marketing communications objectives. These objectives should form part of a comprehensive marketing plan, to ensure your marketing activities show visible and strong ROI against your objectives.

#2Understand your target audience very well – your messaging may need to be adjusted for a new market

Before you write a single word of copy or design any marketing materials, you need to gain a good understanding of your audience in the new market you are targeting. MPG recommends using our community mapping approach. This is a useful tool to understand the composition of your end-user target market, which will be useful when building the right kind of monetisation model to generate revenue in your new market. You need to consider cultural differences, so that from day 1 you’re building brand trust.

Once you have completed your community map, and take into account culture in your new market, you should develop a buyer persona in order to define USPs and benefits for your key market segments. These USPs will help you differentiate your product from the competition – which may look different in your new market compared to where you have previously operated.

You can then move on to building impactful messaging by:

  • Defining the tone of voice you want to deploy
  • Creating a messaging strategy that will inform the core copy you repeatedly use. This should include a strap-line that incorporates your USP, and a series of succinct bullet points focused on your benefits
  • Execute this messaging down the whole marketing funnel. As your prospects become more engaged, ensure your messaging becomes more detailed and persuasive – this creates the ‘desire and action’ which makes them want to enquire or buy your product

#3Build the right brand advocates to help grow your business

To effectively attract and engage the right kinds of customers in your new market, it is helpful to have local team members and advocates who know the cultural differences. You need to find the right people who can help you ‘activate and amplify’.

These early community members are needed to bring others to come on board. If they believe in your brand and your purpose, they will be valuable advocates. Build on the momentum gained from these early adopters by holding open events and running community gatherings to gain more insight and build your followers.

It is also important to accept that starting and building good relationships take time. Therefore, you need to focus on this area well in advance – if you leave it too late, it could mean you have less leverage in terms of value exchange. This could lead to reduced advocacy and campaign effectiveness.

#4Data management and the importance of knowing GDPR and other country-specific data privacy and direct marketing rules and regulations

In order to expand, you will need to build a strong database of contacts by following the relevant data rules. Having a well-organised database will allow you to grow multiple revenue streams, drive higher, more consistent engagement, and make smarter investments.

When expanding into new markets, you need to take into account their various rules and regulations around data privacy, data protection and how data can be used in direct marketing. There are quite big differences between jurisdictions – e.g. the state of California has different rules compared to other US states. What counts here is where the data subject (customer or prospect) is based – not where your company is based.

It is important to do the thorough research and planning for the jurisdictions you want to expand into, because how data can be used will determine the marketing tactics allowed; as well as how your products, systems and processes are set up to be compliant.

#5Investing in the right marketing technologies to enable expansion

To scale effectively and efficiently (and follow data privacy rules), you need the right marketing tech stack.

Having a strong martech stack:

  • Improves customer experience, and allows for a smoother transition between each stage of the customer lifecycle
  • Allows you to track your customers’ progression in the customer journey
  • Helps you make impactful investments, which will mean you can monetise and scale your audiences well, in a more digital world

The right marketing technology is critical for any business expansion, including entering and growing in new markets.

#6Develop marketing dashboards to monitor expansion progress and ROI

To be able to measure the success of your marketing activities when expanding into new markets, you need visibility of your marketing metrics. The best way to get this visibility is to build dashboards that ideally pull data automatically from systems and show you key marketing metrics in real time.

To have fully optimised marketing dashboards, you need to have the right marketing analytics in place to measure the success. A marketing analysis and reporting process is useful to gain insight on how your customers, prospects, and leads interact with your marketing channels. Having your website analytics set up in the right way (with GA4) is critical for understanding how they interact with your site, and can help you create remarketing and retargeting campaigns to build your customer database.

If you’re aiming to enter or grow in new markets, then considering these six marketing elements will help you well on your way!


MPG supports Renewd in building an open network community of specialised subscription, membership, and event professionals. We help organise and participate in roundtables and other community events, such as networking dinners.
To receive Renewd’s newsletters, you can subscribe here for free.


Do you want to grow your business in new markets?

Team MPG’s marketing experts can help you develop the best marketing strategy to grow your customer base and revenue.

Get in touch today to discuss your marketing opportunities, challenges and requirements.

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MPG Newsletter | Spring 2022

Newsletter • Spring 2022

Marketing analytics • Marketing technology • Data • Marketing strategy

In a world where almost every organisation faces extreme uncertainty on a daily basis, it is important to consider how adding more ‘science’ to your marketing can make your organisation more resilient.

What do we mean by ‘marketing science’? Analysis, data, metrics – enabled by the martech and digital tools.

Without these ‘science’ elements, the ‘art’ you put into your marketing won’t hit the mark. With the right level of science applied, your creative and messages will reach the right people, at the right time.

This newsletter focuses on why the science elements of your marketing are essential to survival and important for long term success; and how to invest strategically in marketing strategy, analytics, data, as well as the right martech and digital tools for a strong ROI.

 

You are not currently a subscriber to MPG Insights, but we want to make sure you received this newsletter anyway as it addresses some of the most urgent marketing issues many organisations are grappling with at this time. To become a subscriber (it’s free) – please sign up here.

#1 Marketing analytics and intelligence for evidence-based decision-making

To invest blindly in marketing without a strong understanding of what channels and tactics are delivering the best return can be detrimental to your business. 

The best marketers, those who understand that marketing is both an art and a science, know that they need to have analytics tools and reporting dashboards set up and integrated into their marketing process for evidence-based decision-making.

This marketing intelligence provides the kinds of insights that should feed in to your marketing planning.

 

“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes

 

MPG believes the best way for marketers to get the required level of science into their marketing is by building and regularly reviewing dashboards – combining the most important marketing metrics for digital marketers with website analytics that should be at the heart of marketing decision-making.

In a recent MPG Insights resource, we shared our tried and tested website analytics process that helps our clients become sustainable, growing businesses.

DOWNLOAD YOUR PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WEBSITE ANALYTICS


#2 Optimised martech for valuable insights

Many organisations have martech challenges – having either the wrong tech or tools in place, the right tools but poorly implemented or poorly adopted, or missing data flows and integrations. As marketing scientists, finding the right compound, or mix of systems and processes, when it comes to your marketing technology stack is vital for creating long-term, sustainable growth.

Good marketers understand that having an optimised martech stack, will provide you with analytics and behavioural data that should give you valuable customer insight as you see how customers are engaging with your products. If your marketing tech stack is not well set up and fully integrated, then your sales and marketing efforts will be negatively impacted.

Martech is constantly evolving, so systems and the tech stacks within which they operate need to be reviewed regularly. Your martech stack will also need ongoing maintenance to ensure all integrations are functioning as they should.

 


#3 Data

These uncertain times have also brought with them exciting opportunities for innovation, and many business leaders have embraced the changes brought about in their businesses. They understand that they need to invest in their marketing databases to build more resilience into their business, launch new revenue streams, or drive higher engagement with their existing customers.

 

“Data!data!data! I can’t make bricks without clay.”
Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes

 

Marketing leaders know that to acquire the right quality and volumes of data to achieve commercial objectives, you need a fine-tuned approach to building, maintaining, and enhancing your database.

The gold standard is a growing database that is filled with the right contacts, integrated with your website and other systems where data is collected, and where data flows automatically so that you can target the right people, at the right time, with the right message.

Using MPG’s extensive experience in optimising and strategically growing B2B databases, we’ve created a robust process for structuring, growing, and maintaining a database that delivers consistent revenue and drives growth. Here is your practical guide for database development and optimisation:

YOUR STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR DATABASE OPTIMISATION


#4 A strategic, hybrid approach to marketing

As uncertainty continues, business and marketing leaders should be asking themselves the following question: “How can we build a high performance marketing function that is also agile, flexible and cost-effective?”

MPG believes that in most cases, the most effective way to build this kind of marketing function is by using a strategic, hybrid approach.

Finding the right balance, with an integrated internal marketing function that works in collaboration with 3rd party support, is key. MPG recommends that the first step towards this agility in your marketing function is to assess what skills you already have in your inhouse marketing team, and then identify where the gaps are that can be filled by a trusted and external partner.

DISCOVER THE OPTIMAL MIX FOR HIGH-PERFORMANCE MARKETING

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Building a resilient marketing function: putting website analytics at the heart of marketing decision-making

In a recent MPG Insights article, we covered why having a high-performance marketing website is essential to success when it comes to building a resilient marketing function. 

If your business has a well-designed website, with well thought-through and carefully mapped out customer journeys, as well as efficient back end/CMS functionality – you’ll be in a good place when it comes to building resilience into your marketing function.

An important aspect that should not be neglected, is how you evaluate the performance of your website – and thereby also your marketing.

Website analytics reports are critical for understanding your customers, and how they interact with your site, as well as your other marketing channels. This is the #1 marketing priority, as stated by MPG Founder & CEO Helen Coetzee in her blog from 1st January 2022 – In 2022, the most resilient organisations will have relevant and resilient marketing”.

Having a website analytics tool and a reporting dashboard set up and integrated into your marketing process is the only way to make evidence-based decisions to feed into marketing planning and overall business strategy.

Getting value from your website analytics requires going beyond basic stats from your Google Analytics report. Analytics dashboards should be set up for a deeper dive into what you need to know about your website visitors – going well beyond just the number of visitors, pages per session, bounce rate etc.

You need to use the right tools to collect and analyse the data available, so you can understand how your audience is engaging with specific pages on your site, as well as the marketing channels, campaigns, and tactics that brought them to your website in the first place. 

Getting the right setup and process in place for your website analytics helps build a resilient, growing business in 7 ways:

  1. Allows you to see what is driving people to your website.
  2. Enables a good overall customer experience when they get to your website.
  3. Allows you to create personalised customer journeys that deliver the most relevant, compelling, and engaging content to your customers.
  4. Delivers more conversions at an optimal conversion rate – so more web visitors do what you want them to do when they are on your website.
  5. Helps you identify the website content your customers most value, and therefore build strategies and operational plans to create more of the most valued and engaging content.
  6. Means you can leverage your best advocates and create a strong referral engine.
  7. Gives you visibility of which marketing approaches, channels, tactics, and specific campaigns are working best, in terms of driving high numbers of relevant people to your website; and then the specific ROI of each of these, based on website conversions and ultimate revenue these conversions deliver.

Quite simply: if you don’t have website analytics set up in the right way, you can’t know how any of your marketing initiatives are working, what return your marketing investment is delivering, how to improve the return, or how to invest more for growth.

So, if you’re unsure of whether your website analytics is set up correctly and you’re not seeing marketing reports based on these, we recommend you focus on this as your next area of marketing investment. Investing much more in marketing campaigns before their performance is visible to you is not a smart move.

In our next MPG Insights resource, we will be providing a practical guide on which metrics and KPIs you should be monitoring via our website analytics. Subscribe to MPG Insights to make sure you don’t miss out on the next resource, and future useful resources after that…

And in the meantime, if you’d like to speak to MPG about how to get your website analytics properly set up to help your business grow, please get in touch. Team MPG includes website and analytics specialists who can help you get great visibility of your marketing performance and ROI.

GET IN TOUCH WITH MPG TO FIND OUT MORE


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Building a winning B2B membership model: where your marketing should start

When the B2B media and events world was first plunged into the unknown at the start of the global pandemic, many ‘pivots to digital’ focused on creating or strengthening a membership proposition, typically something ‘high value’ (£500+ per user per annum). 

This was a perfectly logical move to make considering the more stable, predictable, recurring revenues that memberships promise. 

And we all know that this is the holy grail of business valuations: 3+ years of healthy, consistently growing membership revenues – fed by both retention (and ideally annual upsell in volume of users and average order value), and a steady stream of newly acquired, good quality members. This is what gets the investors lining up and paying handsomely.  

At this moment in time, we believe it’s important to take a very sober look at what has really happened over the last 18 months or so. Since January/February 2020, business owners faced the catastrophe of live event revenues falling away – knowing full well that digital alternatives were likely to generate a fraction of the revenue. 

Generally speaking, those with relatively established membership products and/or digital subscriptions already in the market saw higher demand for these services. As live events weren’t running (and it took a while for digital events to emerge as reasonable alternatives), their members/subscribers started looking to these offerings to meet their knowledge and networking needs. 

And many that did not already have a membership proposition started working hard and fast to create one. 

But, as organisations in both of these situations will know, creating and establishing a successful membership model requires significant investment and takes time. A reasonable payoff is often only realised 5+ years after the first version of the membership offering was launched. 

And what most successful, profitable membership service owners will know, is that a smart, strategic marketing effort, fully integrated with leading and supporting the sales function, is essential.  

In the early stages, many put most of their marketing dollars into a shiny new piece of martech, seeing this as a ‘silver bullet’ solution to make their membership marketing somehow magically work well with limited marketing resources. This is one of the biggest, most costly mistakes we see made – again, and again. 

What should come first is a robust and well thought through marketing strategy. This should be aligned with and built to fully support your business, product development and sales strategies.

So, where should the marketing strategy start? It should always start with the ‘Control’ part of the SOSTACⓇ model that MPG recommends marketing leaders follow when building a marketing strategy. SOSTACⓇ stands for:

S = Situational Analysis
O = Objectives
S = Strategy
T = Tactics
A = Action (operational plan)
C = Control 

Even though C is the last letter in the SOSTAC acronym, it should come first in your process when developing and implementing a winning membership marketing strategy. Why? Because you need to know how you’re going to measure success, and how your marketing investments are going to help you achieve this success.

If you don’t have the right KPIs, people, systems and processes in place to measure your growth – and where this growth is coming from – how will you be able to prove to your potential investors that you have a strong, predictable and growing membership revenue stream?

Put this measurement system in place at the start of your membership journey, and you will have all the analytics you need to tell your growth story for investors in 3 years time.

This data is what gives you strong visibility of how your membership is actually performing, what is holding you back, and what is driving growth. It’s essential for making good decisions that will enable you to make the right investments and build that ‘holy grail’ membership proposition that will make your business so attractive to investors. 

Focusing on measuring membership marketing success from the very beginning will also ensure your marketing and sales are integrated from the start. Marketing and sales KPIs need to be completely joined up. 

MPG has been working with B2B membership-focused organisations since we launched in 2014, and in all that time the following KPIs have proven to be invaluable in how businesses build a strong marketing and sales function, and how this translates into business value. 

Member acquisition – strategic KPIs for membership marketing & sales

Your key metrics should be focused around:

  • Database
  • Sales & Marketing Qualified Leads
  • Sales & Sales Cycle
  • Revenue
  • Yield

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE FULL STRATEGIC KPIS

Member retention – strategic KPIs for membership marketing & sales

Your key metrics should be focused around:

  • Onboarding
  • Engagement Scoring
  • Sales
  • Renewal cycle

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE FULL STRATEGIC KPIS

If you already have a membership model in play, it’s not too late to add these KPIs to your existing workflow and business reporting!

Nailing down KPIs and knowing how you will measure and analyse these regularly for good decision making is just the starting point. 

In the coming weeks, we will be publishing a series of blogs about:

  • The ideal member retention process: how to retain members before you start acquiring them – your retention efforts must start the day they sign up for membership. 
  • The ideal member acquisition process: how to build a marketing and sales funnel that becomes a powerful feeder of new business to achieve strong membership growth over an extended period of time. 
  • The best way to build events (in all forms) into your membership offering: to achieve strong member retention rates and to act as a growth engine for membership acquisitions. 

If you’re aiming to build a strong membership offering and you have not already signed up to MPG Insights – now is a good time! Subscribe here to get an email in your inbox every time we publish a new blog like this one, or create another resource (e.g. webinar or report) that you will benefit from. 

 


Is growing membership revenue a strategic focus for your business? 

Team MPG creates and executes on robust membership marketing strategies that support both acquisition and retention growth. Find out more about our approach – get in touch

 


MPG delivered a great series of tailored marketing workshops for the team at China Britain Business Council. This training helped us formulate our membership growth strategy and gave us some very useful, practical guidance on improving our digital marketing and sales tactics.”

Claire Urry, Executive Director, China-Britain Business Council

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The 15 metrics that really matter in digital marketing for B2B

To be truly agile and perform well, marketers need to embrace the power of analytics. This is often easier said than done, especially for inbound marketing initiatives such as website optimisation, social media and PPC (pay-per-click).

You may have previously tried to track and analyse too many metrics and ended up wasting valuable time with little show for it. This can create ‘analysis paralysis’, where analysis takes endless hours and decision making is paralysed because of the sheer volume of data available.

To be effective, marketing performance measurement and analysis must be a constant and ongoing process so that you can back your winners and stop wasting time and money on things that are just not working. The longer you wait to find out what is and isn’t working, the more you’ll not only be throwing good money after bad, but underinvesting in areas that will give your business a boost.

Below are the 15 key marketing performance metrics MPG recommends every marketer should measure and analyse. We do not suggest these are the only metrics you track and analyse, but if you have limited time and want to get a high-level view, these are the ones that matter most and should definitely be scrutinised closely on a regular basis – at least weekly.

To determine how well your digital marketing is doing, MPG advises that for all these metrics, you use internal benchmarks based on relevant, historic performance, and where possible, also relevant external benchmarks (to find out what ‘good’ looks like in terms of digital marketing benchmarks for your organisation, please get in touch with MPG via the form on our website) or email info@mpg.biz.

 

15 key digital marketing metrics:

Website performance – engagement and conversions

Your website is your most important marketing channel – by a long way! The ultimate purpose of all other marketing channels and activities is to drive potential customers to your website, and it is on your website where you will properly engage them and convert them to become leads and customers.

Key metrics:

  1. Conversion rate (%) = number of web visitors that fill in a form or ‘sign up’ to become a lead or subscriber, or complete a purchase on your website and become a customer. A higher percentage indicates a more effective website, but if it is too high it means you’re not driving enough traffic to your site.
  2. Sessions (#) = your session count indicates number of visitors and engagement, and should increase or at least remain steady over time. If you’re looking for overall growth in engagement, customers and revenue, then an increase in # sessions is definitely needed, roughly in line with the growth you’re looking for.
  3. Bounce rate (%) = the percentage of people who ‘bounce’ (leave without clicking anything) off your website. A lower figure indicates more engagement with your website as they’re visiting two or more pages after arriving on your website. However, if bounce rate is too low it may indicate you’re not attracting enough visitors to your site in the first place.

 

Website performance– SEO (search engine optimisation)

The higher your website ranking is in search engines, the more traffic you will get to your website. And this isn’t about paid for rankings with Paid Search in Google. It’s about getting your website to rank well organically. It’s very important to monitor your ranking as this will also inform and help you determine the impact of future improvements you choose to make to your website.

Key metrics:

  1. Organic search (#) = the number of people coming to your website from search engines. A steady increase indicates effective SEO implementation, especially an increase in new visitors via organic search.
  2. Bounce rate (%) = definition as above. The reason this is important for SEO is that Google favours a lower bounce rate when ranking sites.

 

Email marketing performance

Email is your most important outbound channel and is essential to proactively drive the people with the right ‘profile’ to your website. This ‘profile’ should be based on their demographics indicating they are a good match for your value proposition, and also ideally behaviours that indicate they are engaged with your brand and interested in your product. It is essential to closely monitor your email performance as this can tell you a lot about how positive your target market is about your brand and product.

Key metrics:

  1. Deliverability (%) = the percentage of people you have sent the email who have received it. A low and/or falling deliverability is cause of concern and indicates your database needs cleaning.
  2. Unsubscribe rate (%) = the percentage of people receiving your emails who are unsubscribing. A high or increasing rate of unsubscribes means your audience is not only become less engaged, but they’re telling you quite explicitly they are not interested in your brand or products and don’t want to hear from you anymore (or they’re telling you that your emails are annoying and/or not adding any value to their lives).
  3. Open rate (%) = percentage of people opening your email. This typically indicates the overall level of engagement with your brand and quality of your email list and also how well your audience is responding to your subject line, sender name and pre-header text – usually a combination of all three.
  4. Click to open rate/CTOR (%) = percentage of people who open your email and then also click on it. This is a more important metric than the more basic ‘click through rate’ (CTR) as it is tells you how relevant your messaging is to your engaged audience.

 

PPC performance

Often broadly called ‘digital advertising’ or sometimes even ‘performance marketing’, PPC (pay per click) allows you to pay only for every click on your online advert. If you are not closely monitoring, analysing and benchmarking the metrics below, do not spend any money on PPC or it will be wasted.

Key metrics:

  1. Conversion rate (%) = the rate at which people who click on or see your ad convert to a lead, subscriber or registrant by completing a form or purchase on your website. It is essential to have the full tracking set up all the way through to conversions to understand how your PPC is performing. Don’t let your PPC agency tell you otherwise!
  2. Influenced conversions (#) = PPC is just one touchpoint. This metric helps you understand how often PPC influences conversions that happen via other channels e.g. email or social media. A ‘must measure’ data point to ensure you understand the full ROI on your PPC spend.
  3. Click-through-rate/CTR (%) = the percentage of people who see your ads and then go on to click them. A higher CTR typically indicates a strong ad and/or good targeting.

 

Social media performance

Almost 4 billion people worldwide use social media and more than 4 in 10 consumers use social media to research new brands and products. To understand which of your social media platforms is performing best and which ones are a waste of time (and money) – make sure you track – even at a basic level – the following metrics:

Key metrics:

  1. Social traffic (%) = the percentage of total web sessions that are generated by social media. If this is growing in line with an overall increase in web traffic, it means you have a strong marketing engine working well across your whole funnel.
  2. Engagement (#) = the number of clicks, likes, shares and comments your social posts are achieving. Steady growth over time is only a good thing!
  3. Follower growth (%) = percentage growth of followers of your social accounts. This should see consistent growth over time, before hopefully kicking in to an exponential growth curve when your social media hits the tipping point of becoming amplified and achieving growth via followers themselves doing most of the sharing of your content (as opposed to you having to do most of the sharing…).

 

We’d love to hear from you about your digital marketing performance measurement achievements and challenges. MPG has developed a dashboard that means we track all these metrics (and more) for our clients on a weekly basis – comparing to internal and external benchmarks. If you’d like to find out more please get in touch via our website or email info@mpg.biz.

 

The in-house training, consultancy and outsourced marketing MPG has delivered for Bauer over the past few years has been brilliant. We’ve enjoyed working with various MPG marketers and specialists – they’ve become part of our team!

Chris Lester, Event Director, Bauer Media Group

 


Bespoke In-House Training

Are you running an event soon? Does your team need training on how to measure digital marketing performance and how to achieve consistently strong results? Take advantage of the bespoke, in-house training MPG Academy offers.

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Topics:

What marketing skills do you need in your business?

We predict that marketing will be more important than ever in 2021. Many organisations will rely on digital marketing to drive their businesses forward, and the rise of digital events and community-oriented models will favour those with skilled and flexible marketing.

Over the past 3 months, I’ve had numerous conversations with business leaders who considered my first article on the topic a watershed moment for how they view and invest in marketing skills. Product and sales are usually the focus areas of senior decision makers, with marketing often not receiving enough attention or investment to ensure the investments being made in product and sales will pay off. Organisations cannot afford this approach anymore.

In a past blog, we’ve spoken about the hidden costs of an internal marketing function, how outsourcing marketing can work well for your business and how a hybrid approach (combining internal and external resources) can also be a great solution – if approached in the right way.

This post focuses on the key people – with specific skill sets – that you need in your marketing function, regardless of whether our marketing is in-house, external or hybrid.

Here’s what I believe to be the optimal mix – based on how we’ve built MPG’s high-performance marketing team that works with a range of clients globally to grow their B2B revenues:

Type 1 – The Marketing Generalist

This person is strong on marketing strategy, project and stakeholder management, messaging, content creation and partner/advocate activation strategy and execution.

Another key responsibility of The Marketing Generalist is ensuring the marketing team delivers an engaging customer journey across all touchpoints. Their unique high-level view of marketing efforts makes them ultimately responsible for ensuring your customers are delighted.

As project manager and the link between other areas of the business and important external partners, they also need to be adept at reading and understanding marketing performance data – not only so that they can provide actionable direction for improving marketing performance, but also to share valuable marketing intelligence with all key stakeholders.

Type 2 – The Data, Tech & Analytics Specialist

This person’s focus is on martech, database and data flow setup and optimisation. They know how to source and integrate the most appropriate systems and work with internal and external stakeholders to build a ‘fit for purpose’ tech stack and also put in place the processes to make tech and people work well together.

In short: this role is about ensuring all elements of marketing technology are fully integrated and automated as much as possible. For virtual events, this can mean automated data flows from the event platform directly to your database, which are then fed appropriate emails and other comms – all without the need for manual marketing activity.

The Data, Tech & Analytics Specialist also needs excellent project management ability and strong communication skills to ensure all tech and data flows are well implemented, understood and embedded.

Type 3 – The Digital Marketer

The Digital Marketer is focused on getting the most out of a range of digital marketing tools. They should be familiar with email and email automation platforms; social media platforms and scheduling tools; design tools like Canva or Adobe CC; and website platforms like WordPress.

The Digital Marketer supports The Marketing Generalist in executing the marketing plan. They should follow a messaging strategy created by the marketing generalist to create emails, social posts and other comms. Updating website content and supporting on advocacy marketing can also be part of their day-to-day activities.

The Digital Marketer needs to adaptable, efficient and good at technical problem solving and creative thinking to get the most out of each digital channel.

Type 4 – The PPC Expert

PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising is growing in importance for B2B. The technical nature of this channel – as well as the ever-changing functionality and techniques – makes a dedicated resource essential. The PPC Expert should be well versed in Google Ads, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and understand how to achieve marketing objectives with these platforms.

PPC is much more than fire and forget: PPC experts must frequently monitor and optimise campaigns to deliver the best ROI.

Specialists in this role should be committed to self-learning, be data and results driven and be able to think creatively to achieve marketing goals.

Type 5 – The Designer

The volume and level of quality needed in design work is often beyond the scope of The Digital Marketer. That’s where internal or external design expertise comes in. The Designer is a resource you can draw on for heavy duty pieces like brochures or website re-designs.

Their expertise is often overkill for day-to-day activity like social images – so it’s better to leave these with The Digital Marketer. You should, however, employ a designer for template and asset creation, allowing digital marketers to work from a framework and with assets provided by an expert designer.

This full skillset within your marketing team should be enabled with a strong project management tool, well mapped-out processes and a disciplined team culture to tie everything together. It’s important you foster collaboration and a results-driven outlook. A team that works together will deliver better results and progress faster than one that operates in silos. This very important area of skills development and team culture is covered in one of our most read past blogs.


Fill your skill gaps with expert outsourced support

MPG also offers direct marketing support and consultancy to fill your skills gaps. Work with a team who have helped some of the world’s leading brands improve their marketing and grow their businesses.

“I cannot recommend MPG highly enough. Their commitment and unique expertise in data-driven, digital and integrated marketing has been very valuable to Social Media Week. They’ve been instrumental in helping us build our brand and community online and offline, and their product marketing performance has also been very strong. We’re delighted MPG has been on our team!”

Toby Daniels, Co-Founder & CEO, Crowdcentric Media

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The Marketing Mix | September Newsletter

Newsletter • September 2020

Database top tips • Next MPG webinar • Most read MPG insights

The experts warned that coming out of lockdown would take much longer than going in. Anyone with a logical mindset could understand more or less what was meant by this.

But I don’t think anyone was prepared for the ‘intensity of uncertainty’ we’re all living with right now. Trying to make good decisions and create solid business plans with so many unknowns pressing down on us is incredibly difficult.

So, this month’s newsletter is focused on the ‘knowns’, most notably:

  • The importance of having a strong marketing database
  • How to proactively grow revenue from sponsors and clients – with marketing lead generation programmes producing visible and strong returns

Let’s get going!

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VOICES

“We’ve worked with MPG since early 2019 and I cannot recommend them highly enough. The MPG team’s commitment and unique expertise in data-driven, digital and integrated marketing has been a key success factor for our business – across various products and facing a range of challenges and opportunities. We’re delighted to have MPG as part of the SMW team”

Toby Daniels, Co-founder & CEO, Crowdcentric Media, Founder & Executive Director, Social Media Week

Toby Daniels


INSIGHTS

What has been keeping your peers awake at night?

At times like this, we’d all love to have a strongly retained, high value subscriber base. This is a worthy end-goal to strive for and one that every brand should be taking very seriously.

But, there is still a great need and important place for events – whether digital, hybrid or in-person. Most organisations that have traditionally had events as a strong and growing revenue stream continue to invest in their events through these tricky times.

So, it is not surprising that MPG’s second most popular insights article this year is all about how to make sure registrants tune in to your digital event. This was published in early May and, as we head into a very busy and crowded events calendar in September, it is more relevant than ever.

Interestingly, MPG’s #1 most read insights article in 2020 was published in April and is focused on our advice and predictions for overcoming the crisis and winning in the new world. The guidance we gave five months ago still stands, with the following 6 points being critically important to any B2B community-focused organisation:

  1. Make understanding the shape, size and needs of your community your #1 priority.
  2. Don’t think about your events just as events. ‘Events’ are just a format. Think about what goes into your events and what makes them valuable.
  3. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Keep your valuable content and networking opportunities you can facilitate, in-person or online, front and centre.
  4. Only choose your tech once you’ve worked out what your new value proposition needs to be, based on what your community needs.
  5. Double-down on marketing. Invest in the skills you need to make content marketing, marketing data and marketing technology work in the way you need it to.
  6. Help your clients – sponsors and exhibitors – understand and realise the value of digital event formats.
  7. See the full article here.

READ MORE MPG INSIGHTS


WEBINAR

Marketing to Grow Revenue from Sponsors and Clients – MPG’s Top 10 Tips

Marketing to Grow Revenue from Sponsors and Clients – MPG’s Top 10 Tips


MPG Founder and CEO Helen Coetzee shared how marketing can (and should!) support revenue growth by:

  • Identifying and reaching out to potential new sponsors and clients who will gain value from sponsoring your events and/or content packages
  • Effectively communicating the value and ROI you can deliver for them
  • Persuade prospective sponsors and clients to qualify themselves as leads for your sales team
  • Increase the volume and quality of these leads over time to feed a strong sales pipeline
  • Efficiently nurture and manage leads so that marketing and sales are ‘joined up’ in driving revenue growth

SUBSCRIBE FOR WEBINAR FINDINGS

 


SPOTLIGHT

Virtual events: common mistakes to avoid when preparing your database

Virtual events: common mistakes to avoid when preparing your database

It’s easy to focus on ‘shiny new things’ when planning for your virtual events: the clever tech platforms, exciting new formats for delivering content, unique networking opportunities – to name a few.

Some of the underlying fundamentals, however, can be pretty mundane – in the same way they always have been. The most important of these less-exciting areas is your database: the structured data you hold on existing and prospective delegates and sponsors that enables you to select the right audience to reach out to – and then reach out to them, usually with an email address.

We’re seeing many virtual events falling short due to mistakes being made in this most fundamental of things. Your database is the life blood of your marketing – especially for virtual events. Here are the mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: You’re not reaching enough relevant people in your target audience

Typically, in-person events that charge an attendance fee would see an 85%+ conversion rate from registrants to attendees, with free-to-attend events achieving anything between 40% and 70%.

For virtual events, this conversion rate is a LOT lower. With some exceptions, stats we’re seeing tell us that you can expect 30% – 50% of payers to show up and 20% – 30% of non-payers to tune in when virtual events run.

And on top of this, virtual event organisers are typically promising sponsors a much higher registrant and attendance rate than their in-person events achieved.

What is this telling us? It’s simple maths. You need MANY MORE relevant contacts in your database to make this work. By our calculations, your database needs to be at least 4 times bigger for a virtual event.

If your database is not big enough, your virtual event will struggle to hit its numbers. The only antidote here is a huge effort and investment going into inbound marketing, including a combination of content marketing, leveraging advocates, pay-per-click advertising and social media.

We recommend growing your database as fast as you can via a combination of inbound marketing and data acquisition – always making sure your targeting is very strong to reach only relevant contacts.

Mistake #2: You’re not taking full advantage of your global audience

The need to expand your database can seem daunting at first, until you realise there is now a literal world of potential contacts waiting for you. Going virtual opens your event up to an international audience in a way your in-person event did not. Targeted data build and PPC are just two ways you can capitalise on this to quickly increase the size of your database on a global scale.

Mistake #3: You’re too focused on outbound marketing (mainly email)

Outbound is generally more effective and efficient in generating high volumes of registrants fast, but outbound activity only reaches contacts you already have on your database. Incorporating inbound marketing techniques, such as content marketing, social, PPC and advocacy, will enable you to reach new, relevant contacts and convert interested leads through the marketing and sales funnel.

Mistake #4: You’re not introducing newly acquired contacts to your event in the right way

If using research agencies or bulk data purchases to increase the size of your database, you’ll be contacting people for the first time who may have never heard about your brand or event. Slotting them into the existing email schedule will leave them confused, frustrated and looking for the unsubscribe button. It’s also illegal in most countries to do this.

Make sure you have an email campaign built specifically for new contacts, ideally incorporated into a wider automation campaign, introducing them to your brand and your event, explaining why it’s relevant to them and what they need to do to get involved. Make sure you also invite them to unsubscribe at any time.

Also, make sure you don’t add people to your database who are based in countries where data protection and direct marketing rules do not permit this. Here are two useful references for country-specific rules: one which neatly splits by B2B and B2C, and another which covers more countries.


Managing and growing your database in the right way, day in and day out, may not be as exciting as some of the other aspects of digital events, but it is essential. If you don’t invest enough attention, time and money into your database then your virtual event won’t achieve its potential and may even be at risk of failing. So don’t let the shiny new things distract you too much. Ignore your database at your peril!

MPG’s team of data specialists have carefully crafted a host of data management and development strategies for some of the largest B2B media and events businesses globally. To find out how we can help perfect your database so it’s ‘virtual event’ ready, get in touch.


MPG Services

GENERATE A STRONGER ROI FROM MARKETING

No matter your marketing needs, MPG can support you in improving marketing performance. Whether you require a revenue-driving marketing strategy, full-service campaign delivery, marketing operations optimisation or skills training; our team of seasoned B2B marketers are at your disposal. Get in touch to discuss how we can support you.

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MPG Academy

UPSKILL YOUR MARKETING TEAM

MPG Academy offers B2B community-focused organisations the opportunity to invest smartly in their marketing function, upskilling marketers who are taking on new challenges in a new world.
Through skills training and team development, we can help you build a stronger marketing function that consistently delivers high performance marketing.

FIND OUT MORE


Times are tough for many. Now, more than ever, we need to keep moving forward positively and with purpose.

In October we will publish MPG’s ‘secrets of success’ in project management – that all-important but often overlooked element in delivering successful marketing programmes.

As always, please get in touch via helen@mpg.biz if you think we can help you move forward in the right way.

Topics:

The Marketing Mix | Monthly Newsletter

Newsletter • June 2020

#SMWONE Case Study • Subscriptions Marketing • ROI Measurement

In these tumultuous times, we’ve been heeding the very same advice we give to our clients: listen to your community.

Every industry, and every business, is bearing the brunt of their own unique set of challenges right now. Those that see the other side of Covid-19 will have faced these head on and embraced change and new opportunities – taking on short term financial pain, or making previously unplanned investments in the process.

MPG has been no exception. We are investing in transforming and upgrading our value proposition to meet our customers’ new needs in a new way. In today and tomorrow’s world, having a relevant value proposition is essential, and having an essential value proposition is the ultimate goal!

This monthly newsletter is one of our new initiatives – to share with our community a digest of the most recent and relevant case studies, insights and product updates. MPG Academy and MPG’s Analytics & Intelligence Dashboards are two new offerings we’re excited to share – both designed to help you drive more revenue with smart marketing investments.

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INSIGHTS

A smart strategic play: growing subs revenue

It’s been a fascinating time for the MPG Insights team as we’ve worked with marketing practitioners to get to grips with how marketing can make the best impact in these times. In May’s expert-led webinar we focused on marketing to grow revenue by acquiring new subscribers. About 25% of organisations that tuned in don’t currently have a subscriptions product but are looking to create a subscriptions model for their digital events.

Achieving strong audience engagement – in a very crowded space

We’re heading into a time like no other: the world will be awash with virtual events. In Standing out from the virtual conference crowd: MPG’s top 10 tips we’ve shared our guide to achieving what is essential: getting a great audience for your events.

If you aren’t measuring it, you can’t improve it

You sprint towards your next virtual event. You breathe a sigh of relief when it’s done. But what have you learnt? Apart from how the tech worked, did you gather the data you needed to work out the marketing formula that will drive good attendance to your next virtual event? How to get more intelligence into your marketing for a stronger ROI is a must-read for every business leader.

One of MPG’s biggest investments over the years has been in developing a marketing measurement dashboard ‘like no other’. It draws together key data points and delivers the kinds of insights that these days you cannot do without when marketing events, subscriptions and delivering lead generation campaigns for clients. Read our blog to see why we’ve done this.


STORIES

MPG Stories will continue to share real-world marketing case studies in what seems to be an ever-popular webinar format. Our next big MPG Story will be livestreamed in July 2020 – stay tuned!

MPG Insights

SEE ALL EVENTS


CASE STUDY

Social Media Week’s Virtually Unstoppable

As you may know, MPG is the marketing partner for Social Media Week. As such, we worked with the Social Media Week team to develop the marketing strategy for their ground-breaking virtual event: #SMWONE. In executing this strategy together, we learnt some valuable lessons we’re happy to share here.

    • Content marketing was more important than ever. The audience needed familiarity with the new virtual format to truly understand its benefits. The #SMWONE Show achieved just that. Hosted weekly in the run up to the main event, the show helped the event community know what to expect. Previews of content via speaker interviews provided real value, and the show doubled as a chance for the Social Media Week team to iron out any technical kinks. The #SMWONE Show was a top generator of leads and proved that content really is king.
    • Ensuring a strong attendance relies on ‘heavy’ conversion marketing. The online nature of the event (which means no commitments like travel and accommodation) meant a big effort was needed to encourage registrants to attend. MPG focused on a dedicated conversion strategy, with a multi-armed approach that included email, social, PPC and SMS and various automated notifications (like session reminders). This activity ran throughout the event and was critical in keeping the audience engaged, the discussions energised – and sponsors happy!
    • Selling tickets during a virtual event delivers incremental revenue. The extended timeline of the event, and on-demand nature of the content, created the opportunity for ticket sales to continue far into – and even beyond – the event date. The price point was reduced at intervals throughout the event to encourage these late ticket sales, with dedicated email and PPC campaigns highlighting the chance to buy these tickets and the savings available. FOMO kicked in and the ticket revenue kept coming..
    • Marketing measurement is essential. The marketing approach was adjusted regularly based on learnings gathered from MPG’s data-rich marketing performance reports. Having a strong grip on this intelligence helped boost the tactics to achieve a successful outcome.

HEAR THE FULL STORY

We look forward to continuing our journey with the Social Media Week team and hope to share more of what we learn as we go along!

MPG Newsletter June 2020
MPG Newsletter June 2020

VOICES

MPG has done a great job introducing and embedding better digital and data-led marketing practices into our business, meaning we can now target and engage our audience much more effectively. We really like MPG’s transparent and ROI-focused approach. Their regular analysis and intelligence reporting on marketing activity and performance is quite unique and has delivered a lot of value to our business.”

Alex Williamson, Co-Founder & CEO, Bio Market Insights

BioMarketInsights


There is great hardship in the world today. We are in a unique time where revival, reconfiguration and reinvention of almost every industry and institution is underway.

The positivity, dedication, creativity and innovation MPG’s clients and wider community have demonstrated is truly inspiring.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Enjoy the sunny summer days. Remember to breathe – deeply. And let’s crack on!

Topics:

How to get more intelligence into your marketing for a stronger ROI

“I see investing in more and better marketing as the best way to gain a competitive advantage and proactively drive my business forward. But I need the marketing to be more accountable. We need marketing ROI to be better measured and more visible.” The words of a senior business leader in conversation with MPG’s CEO.

What’s missing in this business are the tools and processes needed for good, consistently delivered marketing measurement and reporting.

At MPG, from day 1, we have always put marketing intelligence at the heart of our business. We’ve just released the 4.0 version of MPG’s Analytics & Intelligence Dashboard – now covering virtual events, sponsor lead generation and subscriptions acquisitions.

If you don’t currently have marketing measurement and reporting in your business – here’s a guide on what it is, why it is important and how it’s done.


What is marketing reporting?

Marketing reporting is the process of recording and presenting marketing performance data in a dashboard.

This should cover the revenue or bookings being generated by marketing and sales, as well as the detail on channels and tactics, such as social media, email, PPC and website.

To ensure the focus is on the most strategically important metrics, we work closely with our clients to understand what’s important to them and tailor our reporting tool to give them the most valuable intelligence.

To make sure they have the right marketing reporting tools and processes in place, it’s important for senior decision makers to know what ‘good’ looks like when it comes to reporting formats and metrics to focus on. Armed with this knowledge, they know what to expect from marketing teams and how to ask the right questions about marketing ROI measurement.


The value unlocked by marketing analytics and intelligence reports

1. See how marketing is performing in achieving commercial goals

The simplest, but arguably most important, benefit is providing high-level insight of marketing’s performance overall. Tracking how many sales/bookings are being made and/or how much revenue is being generated compared to forecasts and the previous periods provides a high-level understanding of how marketing is driving results.

2. Understand how your audience is engaging with content and products

Marketing data can provide invaluable insight on how your customers are reacting to your products and content, revealing what is of most interest to them, what their concerns are and what else they may buy/engage with.

3. Understand the profile of your audience

Who is reading, registering, and buying? Where are they from? What company do they work for? What is their job function? These are all important questions that regular reporting can answer. Understanding the composition and behavior of your audience enables not only more effective marketing, but also more effective data-led decisions across business as a whole.

MPG Insights

4. Enable better marketing performance

Reporting provides regular, valuable insights on the marketing channels and tactics that are performing best.

This gives marketers ownership, showing tangible results for their efforts and providing context on how they are performing against targets. They will also feel more confident in making decisions, as they can base their thinking on data instead of a ‘feeling’.

Reporting also holds marketers to account, challenging them to explain how they are making decisions and how they plan to address challenges and make the most of any opportunities.

5. Highlight any potential issues, even outside of marketing

Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint issues or inefficiencies – things that are holding a business back from engaging with their audience and achieving more revenue.

Reporting should show all elements of the sales pipeline so you can find these issues. For example: low engagement across all marcomms could indicate the product not being right for the market, or you could find leads are dropping off when passed to the sales team because a key step in the lead management process is not working as it should. Identifying the problem is the first step towards fixing it.

MPG Insights


So, what does good marketing measurement and reporting look like?

Added insights and intelligence

A marketing report is of no use if it only consists of ‘a whole lotta numbers’. The stats on their own are not valuable. What makes a marketing report valuable is the insights you can pull from the numbers and the important actions you can take based on these insights.

So, before sharing a report with the business, a marketer should spend time analysing and interpreting the data, putting numbers into context and drawing out insights and recommended next steps. This is the ‘intelligence’ element that unlocks all the value and should therefore be on ‘page 1’ of every report.

Updated at least once a week (or even better, in real time)

Feeding intelligence into your marketing should be ongoing, so reports should be produced weekly, at a minimum. This consistency and frequency will allow you to react to opportunities and challenges as they arise and keep marketing ROI front of mind.

Simple integrations between your marketing dashboard and martech stack can enable real-time reporting and reduce manual updates.

It is also essential to have a weekly meeting – a firm commitment in the diary for all key stakeholders – to review key findings and agree on next steps. This keeps everyone aligned and committed to marketing ROI.

MPG Insights

Mapping against predictions, targets and benchmarks

It is essential to know what ‘good’ looks like when analysing and interpreting marketing reports. Without this important context, you can only guess at what the various data points really mean for your performance.

The following three data sets will help you add the all-important context:

Predictions/targets: tracking performance against targets is essential in understanding how likely you are to achieve your end goals.

Historical data: comparing against your past performance is also important – even if a lot has changed.

Benchmarks: comparing results to your relevant internal or external averages allows accurate performance ratings.

It is best to use as many of these points of comparison as possible as they can be tied together to reveal the full picture. For example, you may find your revenue generation is tracking below your target which prompts analysis of the individual channels via historical data/benchmarks. This could then reveal a specific channel, for example email, is under-performing. Deeper analysis may reveal that recipients are opening emails at a high rate, but not clicking anything. You now have a specific, actionable insight: we need to improve our email messaging and layout to encourage more clicks.

MPG Insights

Marketing intelligence reports are essential for understanding the performance of marketing and the ROI it is delivering. CEOs benefit from greater visibility, allowing them to make informed decisions on marketing investment, as well as to hold marketing accountable for ROI.

Marketers gain access to the stats that matter most and can respond practically and with a sense of confidence and ownership.

Marketing reporting and analysis has been at the heart of MPG’s philosophy and our core methodology since our inception. We are proud that our clients are able to hold us accountable for results and push us to continuously improve and innovate. Our data-led, scientific approach to marketing has revolutionised the marketing of many businesses. We look forward to continuing to help our clients make intelligent marketing investments in the months and years ahead.


MPG’s Analytics & Intelligence Reports are custom-built to meet your requirements. To learn more about how we can help you develop an intelligence-led approach to marketing to drive more growth and value for your business, get in touch.

Topics:

How do you get registrants to turn up to your virtual event?

For all the opportunities virtual events offer, one of the biggest challenges vs an in-person event is ensuring registrants follow through to becoming engaged attendees.

This is where conversion marketing, the practice of converting registered delegates (especially those who registered for free) into attendees via targeted comms, plays such an important role.

Achieving a strong conversion rate is essential. Just like in the real world, events live or die on their attendance rate. Too low and sponsors and exhibitors become frustrated at lack of lead opportunities; speakers will in future seek larger audiences elsewhere; and delegates will tune out as they’ll think their peers don’t value the event enough to attend, and will also recognize that without their peers, attending the event loses its value around opportunities for discussion/Q&A and networking.

An inherent benefit of in-person events is that their very nature encourages participation. Attendees often need to make prior travel and accommodation commitments that further tie them to attending, they clear their calendars and shift deadlines to commit to attendance and often also schedule face-to-face meetings with current and potential clients and partners.

The virtual world requires far less commitment. Attendees can be very focused on something else up to 5 minutes before the ‘doors’ open; with notifications, emails, to-do lists and their immediate surroundings fighting for their attention.

We’ve been working hard at MPG on our clients’ conversion campaigns – i.e. the very important marketing you need to do leading up to the event and during a multi-session event – to get attendees to turn up, get fully engaged and stay engaged. And we’re very pleased to be able to share some of these learnings with you now.


Six essential ingredients for a high performance conversion campaign

#1 Evaluate your audience’s needs and consider your event format

Every event and event audience is different.

If your event takes places over several days or even weeks, you will need to construct a plan that keeps delegates engaged throughout. Do not think that just because they attended the first few sessions that they will stick around.

If your audience demographic means they’re less keen on or comfortable with the digital event format, you will need to carefully construct comms that educate them on the benefits and process of attending to make them feel more confident they’ll have a good experience engaging with your virtual event.

If you’re offering free tickets, your conversion campaign is even more vital. These delegates may think they will lose nothing by not attending, so you need to convince them the event will deliver value in return for time and attention.


#2 Start early

Your conversion efforts should start as soon as your first registration comes in. While it can be tempting to focus email, social and other comms on getting people to book, neglecting the people who have already registered will probably mean you lose them.

Consider also how you can leverage conversion marketing to generate additional registrations – encouraging registrants to share information about your event with their network not only increases your reach, but people are more likely to attend if they can see the event is being supported by someone in their peer network.


#3 Get to grips with and leverage the capabilities of your virtual event system (+ the rest of your tech stack)

Many virtual event platforms have features baked in that can support your conversion efforts.

For example, Bizzabo features both push notifications and session summary emails, which can be sent to registrants a set time before a session to remind them to attend.

When marketing teams are likely already strained with running an effective acquisition campaign, these automations can save precious resources. Often they come pre-set with useful integrations like ‘Add to calendar’ links too!

Other elements of your tech stack are also important. For example, email providers like Mailchimp offer easy segmentation of data and PPC platforms like Google Ads let you build intelligent multi-touch campaigns based on past behaviour.


#4 Build a dedicated conversion marketing communications plan

Once you understand your audience, the implications of your event format and the capabilities of your digital platforms, it’s time to formulate a detailed and robust plan to execute the required marketing.

Map out what your registered delegates will be receiving and when; including emails, targeted PPC campaigns and automated messages and notifications. Consider all touch points, e.g. do they need an automated message that reminds them to save sessions to their agenda? And what social media announcements are needed just before the event to create a sufficient buzz and fear of missing out?

Email is your most important channel here, mostly focused on targeted, automated campaigns. Social media is also important and can be used to create discussion between delegates about what they’re looking forward to. PPC also has a part to play in creating highly targeted ‘micro touchpoints’. Think about how you can use chat platforms (like Slack) to provide a space for delegates to interact both in group and private channels.


#5 Ensure you have the right skills and resources in place

A vital piece of the puzzle is ensuring you’ve got enough knowledgeable people to plan and execute your conversion comms well. Ensuring your plan is achievable from a workload perspective – when you also need to put a huge marketing effort into generating registrants in the first place – could mean the difference between success and failure. If the volume is not feasible:

  1. Identify what can be automated or pre-scheduled to avoid crunch periods.
  2. Remove less critical elements to lighten the load.
  3. Consider engaging additional support to add some much needed marketing muscle.

#6 Track results and adapt

Measuring ROI on conversion campaigns is a bit trickier than measuring the performance of acquiring registrants. While data on the channels that influenced a sale should be quite easy to access and analyse, understanding how effective your conversion marketing is in getting someone to sign in on the day is less straightforward.

Generally, there is a direct correlation between how a person engages with conversion marketing and how likely they are to turn up – so make sure you measure this and analyse after your virtual event what behaviors lead to the best outcomes, so that you can predict for future events what is most likely to be effective and what results are likely to come through in terms of event attendance.

Getting in people’s diaries/calendars is a simple and highly effective way of encouraging attendance. Not only will it prevent them making other commitments, but most calendar apps will do a lot of the work for you – providing automated reminders of the upcoming event.

The usual suspects of reporting (interaction rates, open rates) are still useful indicators of performance, and tracking clicks on important CTAs like ‘Add to Calendar’ can help you understand how effective your comms are in achieving your objectives.

When you know your most effective channels and techniques, focus your efforts (and money) on them. Don’t be afraid to cut a channel if its performance isn’t up to scratch.

The data you gather from your first conversion campaign will also contain vital lessons for your next one, so spend time examining the data to understand what was effective.


The key to success in conversion marketing is to apply the main principles of successful B2B community marketing in the current age:

  • Be community-focused and ensure your creative approaches to messaging and visual branding hit the mark.
  • Automate as much as you can to enhance the customer experience and achieve scale and essential efficiencies.
  • Measure all you do and makes sure your decisions are data-led.

Get converting!

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