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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A guide to advocacy and referral marketing

In a recent MPG blog, we covered why advocacy and referral marketing is so powerful, and how having an amplification strategy can help your business be more resilient and grow.

Team MPG have helped many clients efficiently and effectively accelerate growth by tapping into their strongest brand advocates and most loyal customers for referrals. Here we outline the 5 things you need to keep top of mind when creating and executing an advocacy and referral marketing strategy:

#1 Find the right people to help you ‘activate and amplify’

To identify the people or organisations most likely to be good advocates for your brand and/or products, carefully consider the value exchange: what is in it for them to refer you to one of their colleagues or respected peers? Think about what you can do to make it worth their while. 

Usually, the following types of advocates have something to gain by sharing your marketing messages and collateral with their relevant networks, thus advocating for you. Always remember: these advocates will help you reach large groups of relevant people who are not all on your database for emailing, or could be hard for you to reach and engage with by other means.

  • Media/association partners: research and identify the key publications, digital platforms and associations with subscribers, members, readers or communities that best fit the target audience you want to reach. Then, consider what you can offer to make it worth their while to advocate for you, e.g. a discount for readers, subscribers or members; or special access to additional value like an exclusive networking part of an event, or other high-value elements of your product. For example, you could offer a ‘premium’ product for the same price as a ‘standard’ product as a benefit for their own customers.
  • Advisory board members: if you don’t already have an advisory board, you should consider forming one! Individuals suitable for your advisory board should be carefully selected by you to provide valuable input on your overall strategy and value proposition. They would also typically have excellent and highly relevant ‘little black books’. By being an advisory board member, an individual should gain credibility and even stronger networks – so make sure you give your advisory board members these types of opportunities they would most value. In exchange, you should be able to tap into their growing and engaged professional networks.
  • Content contributors and event speakers: individuals who are respected in their industry as thought leaders are often keen to keep building their profiles and further strengthen their reputations by agreeing to speak at events, contribute to reports, and write articles and blogs for you. These individuals are likely to be some of your very best advocates. They are likely to actively promote to their networks the event or content they’re contributing to in order to raise their own profiles – and in so doing they provide powerful advocacy for your brand or product.
  • Sponsors/exhibitors: companies investing in your events and marketing solutions will probably be open to raising awareness of your brand/product to make the most of their sponsorship/exhibitor status. Your potential reach via their own customers and prospects is great! So work closely with them to help them see the value of advocating for you, and then leveraging their advocacy well.
  • Customers: people who have chosen to already spend money with you, register for your event, subscribe for your content, or give you their time and attention in some way, are probably your best salespeople! MPG has partnered with Ingo to help our clients create a powerful, automated referral engine via customers. To find out more about this – please get in touch.

When you successfully activate any of the above types of advocates, you are activating the most powerful marketing approach of all: WOM (word of mouth). And WOM in the digital and social age is more powerful, scalable, and important than ever!

 

#2 Help the messenger – make advocating easy

The easier you make it for your brand advocates to share their support for your brand/product, the more likely they are to do it! 

For advocates, create partner packs with ready-made assets such as web banners, images, video content, email copy/HTML or infographics, that are easy to access and share. The easier you make this for them, the more likely they are to advocate for you.

Consider using an automated referral marketing tool. This will enable very efficient and strong amplification of your messages, to very large audiences – so it is worth the investment (as long as the tools are deployed in the right way!). Get in touch to find out how MPG can help you do this.

 

#3 Quality over quantity

A common mistake is to sign up too many advocates to manage effectively. Putting the effort into developing a strong and mutually beneficial relationship takes time and effort. Make sure this is closely managed!

 

#4 Have clear agreements in place

This is most relevant for media or association partners, although you may consider including some advocacy or promotional activity into your speaker or sponsorship contracts, e.g. obliging them to share your content via social media. 

Once you’ve found the right partners and come to a mutually beneficial arrangement, make sure you both have a copy of a written agreement that clearly articulates the deliverables for both parties.

 

#5 Monitor effectiveness

As with all marketing channels, you should closely monitor the effectiveness of your advocacy and referral marketing efforts throughout the campaign. The relative performance of every advocate will help you determine which partnerships you want to renew and further invest in. There will be some that just don’t work at all, so make sure you know which ones they are, so you don’t keep pursuing them!

Understanding which of your supporters are generating the most leads or customers will also enable you to reward the most loyal and effective advocates, further enhancing their trust in your brand, and increasing the likelihood they will continue to advocate for you within their valuable network.


DOWNLOAD MPG’S ADVOCACY MARKETING PROCESS & KPIS

If activating advocacy and referral marketing is a strategic priority for business resilience and growth, get in touch. Team MPG’s marketers can help you attract and convert more of the right customers with a robust advocacy and referral marketing strategy, and followed by rigorous execution.

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Leveraging the power of advocacy to make your business more resilient

There has never been a fiercer battle for the time and attention of B2B audiences. As B2B offerings become ever-more digital, and B2B customers become smarter and more discerning in how they find the information they need, as well as peer networks they tap into to inform their decision-making, getting and holding the attention of your precious audience is not as simple as it used to be!

As the battle gets hotter, the noise grows – and so does the scepticism of the B2B buyers and their decision-making unit members, all of whom you’re trying to influence with your (expensive) marketing efforts.

So, how do you get ‘cut through’? How do you get on to the list of ‘daily reads’ and ‘must attends’? Just because you tell your audience that event is the largest and best, it doesn’t mean they will all believe you, especially if they have never attended your event before or never heard of you.

Human beings, especially with their professional hats on (i.e. in B2B settings) are a cynical species! And as brand trust becomes more important than ever, they look hard for reasons to trust you before they’re willing to get involved with your brand.

The viewpoints and actions of trusted colleagues, peers and community thought leaders have a huge influence on purchasing decisions. The individuals you are hoping to attract as customers will be watching and listening, to see what others they relate to and respect are doing and thinking.

Someone who is respected in their professional life, and who buys your subscription or registers for your event – and is seen to do so – immediately becomes an ‘advocate’ for you. Your very best salespeople are those who actively share their decision to become or remain your customer, or deliberately recommend your product to their network. They are also probably your cheapest sales people to ‘employ’ and motivate! (That’s not to say you shouldn’t also have salespeople – you just want to make their lives easier, and help them make more money for you, by getting others to warm up their targets first!)

Advocacy marketing, sometimes called referral marketing, is incredibly powerful. But, sadly, it is often not recognised and usually under-valued. Every marketer should have it as part of their toolkit!

Here are some specific ways in which advocacy marketing can help your business be more resilient at the very least – and at best, grow fast and far:

 

#1 Advocates extend your brand reach and build more brand awareness

LinkedIn alone has over 800 million users, with an average user having at least a few hundred connections. These connections are usually highly relevant, meaning anyone advocating for your brand via LinkedIn is reaching 100’s of people who could be your customers.

Other community platforms and social channels such as Guild, Twitter, and Facebook also give your advocates a platform to spread their views – and often these views will be about a specific brand or product/service.

Advocates also spread the word via email by forwarding on the best stuff you send them – so make sure you create emails people want to forward on!

 

#2 Activating advocates is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to find new customers

Your speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and repeat customers have already bought into your brand and value proposition. You have a direct line to these people, so why not use it? With a bit of extra effort and very little financial cost, you can successfully encourage these people to spread the word.

 

#3 Advocacy increases loyalty with existing customers

Recommending a product to a friend reinforces the buying decision of the advocate, making the referrer think more about why they bought the product in the first place and how it’s adding value to their lives.

Where referral marketing programmes offer rewards and incentives that customers truly value, they also grow the trust the customer continues to place on their brand.

 

#4 You can semi-automate your advocacy efforts, so your reach via advocates can be huge at minimal effort and cost

In our next MPG Insights resource, we will be providing a practical guide to the methodology and tools to put into action to get great results from advocacy marketing. This will include some top tips about marketing automation tools that Team MPG deploys on behalf of our clients – to great effect.



So, make sure you subscribe to MPG Insights so that you get the next resource (and every resource after that!) as soon as it is released. 

And in the meantime, if you’d like to speak to MPG about how to tap into your valuable marketing resource of brand advocates to drive long-term, sustainable growth, please get in touch.

 


 

MPG’s marketing strategists provided us with clear direction on how to establish strong brand positioning. Having MPG as collaborative and creative marketing partners, who focused on delivering marketing assets that we could immediately put into action and gain ROI from, really helped us move forward as a business.

Alex Ayad, Managing Director & Founder, Outsmart Insight


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Building a resilient marketing function: do it with data

In our most recent MPG Insights article, we covered why having a high-performance marketing website is so essential to success when it comes to building resilience into your marketing function.

Driving traffic to your website, and engaging your potential customers to ‘pay you with their data’ and make purchases online is just the first step. If you want to be a resilient and growing business, a well structured database that is diligently maintained, and continually growing with relevant contacts is vital to success. 

Your database should be part of a finely tuned ecosystem, integrating with your website and other systems where data is collected, to allow data to flow automatically, and be stored in a way that makes it easy to use in impactful marketing. 

One of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to data, is having lots of the wrong data. The quality of the contact data you collect and store is as important, if not more important, than the volume. 

A database consisting of exactly the right contacts, organised well, allows you to target the right people, at the right time, with the right message. The following basic demographic data and enrichment data needs to be held with each contact record for this to work: 

  • Basic demographic data – this includes data points that you would find on a company website or on LinkedIn such as name, job title, company name, sector, company size (revenue and/or headcount) and company location (country, and also state if in US at a minimum to be compliant with data privacy/protection laws, if nothing else).
  • Enrichment data – this is the data that is going to allow for smart segmentation and includes advanced demographics such as job function (this is different to job title, and is especially important where job titles don’t provide you with a true understanding of the ‘jobs to be done’ by that person), as well as behavioural data points that indicate interest (e.g. attending a webinar, downloading a particular piece of content, visiting a certain web page etc)

So, how does having a strong database help you have a more resilient business? A strong, well organised, database allows you to: 

#1 Grow multiple revenue streams

By being able to identify and target specific market segments, you can quickly create and successfully take to market new products such as webinars, round-tables, memberships, reports and digital products.

#2 Drive higher, more consistent engagement

With a well-segmented database, you can ensure that your marketing communications are highly relevant to the people receiving them, and therefore have maximum impact. High relevance = stronger and more consistent engagement over time. 

#3 Make smarter investments when growing your database

A well-structured database, with robust processes in place, helps provide a clear picture of which potential customers you already have for the target segments you can reach. This means you can quickly and efficiently identify where the gaps are – so that you can take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

If your database doesn’t have enough relevant contacts, and if it isn’t continually being monitored, updated and refreshed, your data will quickly become fatigued, and your marketing won’t have the impact that a growing business needs.

 


 

Next week we’ll share a practical guide to structuring, growing, and maintaining a database that delivers consistent revenue and drive growth for your business. Subscribe to MPG Insights to get notified when the next article is published. 

And in the meantime, if you’d like to speak to MPG about how to optimise or strategically grow your database, please get in touch. Team MPG includes database and martech specialists who have a deep understanding of B2B media/events business models and marketing, and can help you acquire the right quality and volumes of data to achieve your commercial objectives. Read more about MPG’s database development and optimisation services.

 


 

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 (acquired by Adweek)

 


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What’s going on with email marketing?

Email is a challenging area for B2B media and events businesses right now. Several companies have recently told us they are struggling to maintain strong levels of engagement and good enough results from their email campaigns – especially where email marketing had been a strong channel for them until relatively recently.

When investigating this email marketing challenge for a range of clients, we are finding that declining email performance is due to a similar set of issues, all of which have similar solutions, regardless of the market or product in focus.

In this post, we share MPG’s five key recommendations for fixing an email marketing performance problem:

#1 Database development

  • There are 4 things to get right with your database to achieve strong engagement and conversions:
    (1) relevance
    (2) currency
    (3) size/number of contacts you can email
    (4) how your contacts are tagged, or organised.
    Simply put, you need a database of enough of the right kinds of contacts (those who will find your value proposition relevant and valuable), that are up to date and correct, in order to achieve engagement and conversions at the required level.
  • To understand how much room there is for growth in your database, you must understand your total addressable market (TAM).
  • Lead generation tactics such as downloadable content pieces, powered by inbound marketing, are a very important way to constantly and reliably grow your database with relevant, interested, and engaged contacts, all year-round.
  • Additionally, dedicated, targeted database research is a very effective way of filling key gaps with relevant (high quality) contacts. Get in touch with MPG to find out how we can help you invest well in this kind of research – to achieve a strong return on investment, short term and longer term.

Find out more about MPG’s Database Development & Optimisation services

#2 Segment and target

Segmentation and targeting well have always proved – in MPG’s projects – to almost instantly improve email performance. The main purpose of segmentation and targeting is to make sure the content of the email as relevant as possible to the person receiving it.

Firmographic, behaviour-based, and demographic segmentation are the three methods we recommend – often to be used concurrently. The exact segmentation method chosen should always be based on the desired outcome of improving relevance to the audience. More relevance = more engagement, which usually = more conversions, which usually = more revenue.

To enable segmentation, ensure your lead generation (data capture) and data research efforts include the categorisation needed to organise your contacts well to enable segmentation and targeting.

Emails targeted as specific segments should be used to present the most valuable and compelling benefits and features from the perspective of the email recipient. As with all marketing, measure to understand results and improve as you go along.

#3 Get and use a messaging strategy

To make sure your email copy is highly relevant, and to ensure the relevant messaging is consistent and reinforced at every stage of the customer journey, you need a dedicated messaging strategy.

As part of this, it is important to consider which stage your customer is currently navigating in their journey in purchasing from you. Using progressively more product-focused, persuasive language as customers become more engaged will support your conversions.

#4 Make your website work well

As the end destination of all your emails, your website is a key component in the success of email marketing as a channel.

Your website is where customers should end up when they click on an email, so it is essential the journey from email to landing page is logical and seamless. For example, if an email recipient clicks on a Download Brochure CTA, they should be directed straight to a page where this is possible – not a website homepage where they then need to hunt for the thing they’re looking for. 

As the purpose of email marketing is to drive traffic to your website, it is essential your website is easy to navigate and presents the most relevant information to the email recipient. 

Your website is also essential for strong lead generation, so having your website properly optimised will both increase your pool of contacts for future email campaigns, and improve the lead conversion you get from existing contacts.

Find out about MPG’s Optimised Website Services

#5 Get a good mix of content-led, product-led, and offer-led emails

Having a variety of content-led, product-led, and offer-led emails ensures dynamic and engaging messaging and CTAs, which in turn improves email performance. 

Avoid fatigue and messaging stagnation by using a good mix of email content. For event marketing in particular, plan well ahead with a marketing timeline where emails tell a story well based on how your product is developing. For subscriptions and membership marketing, map dynamic and relevant content in to an automated workflow. This will keep your content fresh and engaging for your audience.

And of course, before drafting an email, you should have a good idea of what your objective(s) are, e.g. pushing downloads of a new brochure, or registering interest. This will ensure focus on a core message, and make measurement of success more valid and viable.


There is a lot more to be said about how to make email marketing work well – it is a formidable topic! Considering the above 5 recommendations as a first step will ensure you have are covering all your bases. A comprehensive guide on email content best practices could populate several blogs! For now, here are the key points to keep in mind:

1) Test & learn
When it comes to email, small changes can make a big difference, so it’s important to test and learn from your emails about what drives the best engagement.

Areas for testing include:

  • Subject lines – your subject line will indicate straight away whether your email is relevant and interesting to the recipient. Using an open ended question is a great way to capture people’s attention, and you can then go on to answer the question within the body of the email. The best way to to approach this will depend on the email content and audience. Try different approaches and measure results to identify the optimal one.
  • Sender names – in the same way that you A/B test your subject lines, monitor your open rates to see which “from” name leads to the best results. Depending on the focus of the email, you may find your recipients prefer to open emails from your event director or sales reps/account managers (e.g. for offer led emails, or spex campaigns). We usually find with B2B emails that include the sender’s full name alongside the company’s name work well, e.g. “Full name @ MPG”
  • Call-to-action variations – test a variety of CTAs to see what makes your audience click e.g. ‘View full agenda’ vs ‘Discover key themes’. See more on CTAs below.
  • Format – experiment with different combinations of plain text/designed, brand sender/personal sender info, and short/long content. Run A/B split tests constantly and track results (focus on click through rate) to identify the content style the audience prefers for the different types of comms.

Don’t forget: when doing email tests, you should always only test one variable at a time.

2) Clear call-to-actions (CTAs)
Limit yourself to two, max. three, CTAs in each email, thinking about the action you want your audience to take, and prioritising that. Your CTAs should always contain a verb and it’s a good idea to vary the terms you use. For example, rather than saying ‘Book now’ for every purchase CTA, you could use ‘Secure your place’, or ‘Register today to claim your discount’.

Ensure that the landing pages you are driving traffic to are optimised for a smooth and consistent user journey between channels. Start and finish with the primary action you want the reader to take so that there is an obvious next step when reading (or skimming!) the email.

3) Use personalisation
Short, plain-text emails from a personal sender name tend to work best for ‘personal’ reminders to leads and other warm contacts, e.g ‘I want to make sure you don’t miss the early bird’ or ‘I’m the Sponsorship Manager at x, I thought you’d find this useful…’ Combine personal sender names with personal subjects lines, e.g. ‘Will I see you there?’

4) Sender email
Email marketing requires trust between the sender and the recipient. Using ‘noreply’ email addresses can erode this trust, and can harm your deliverability if noreply email addresses are automatically filtered to spam folders. Using a reply email that appears to be a personal email will build trust and will provide an open channel of communication between your organisation and your customers. The email can direct people to a shared inbox which can be monitored for genuine responses from your customers.

In this article we have presented a set of strategic and holistic suggestions, alongside practical and actionable tips. This holistic approach is important because all elements of your marketing are interrelated. You cannot view a particular marketing challenge or opportunity in a simplistic, one-dimensional way. All digital marketing channels are dynamic and connected, so a dynamic and connected view and solution is also needed for your email marketing!


Do you need to improve the performance of your email marketing?

Team MPG includes email marketing experts who can help you create, refine, and execute on an Email Marketing Strategy. Or we can create an Email Marketing Playbook for your team, with a set of guidelines, examples, and templates that will drive stronger engagement, and growth-driving results.
Please get in touch to find out more. 


The work MPG has done with my team has been really valuable. Their strong strategic and operational marketing expertise, and the way they have shared it with us, has been highly relevant for our business – helping us address multiple challenges and opportunities we face.

David Laird, President & CEO, Strategy Institute

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B2B marketing is broken. To grow, we need to fix it.

Have you built some great new products over the past 18 months? Are you monetising them as fast as you would like to? If not, what are the blockers? I expect one of them may be marketing.

Like a lot of things in this world right now, marketing in many organisations is broken – or at least, it’s not fit for purpose, and marketers know it. Harvard Business Review conducted a survey in late 2020 where only 20% of marketing managers said they were satisfied with the effectiveness of their departments.

This is a very negative viewpoint, and we try to avoid too much negativity in the content we create for our community. After all, we’re all about working on marketing projects where there is positive investment in marketing to drive revenue and unlock growth. We don’t usually spend a lot of time dwelling on ‘the brokenness of marketing’.

But, in too many organisations, the lack of marketing capability is currently a pressing issue. It is crucial to acknowledge and tackle ‘the marketing problem’ in order to fix it. Simply put, marketing needs fixing if you want your business to survive, let alone grow.

In a pertinent article from HBR, one of the ‘new truths’ about marketing after the pandemic is that marketing is at the center of the growth agenda for the full C-Suite. To quote a key part of this article:

during the pandemic, marketing has been elevated within the C-suite as a driver of digital transformation, a key leader of the customer journey, and the voice of the consumer — all of which are of paramount importance to other functional leaders. Without understanding the zeitgeist of the marketplace, in good times and bad, the C-suite cannot adjust to the threats and opportunities at hand and successfully navigate the future.


Strong marketing starts with strong marketers

To attract and retain good marketers, you’re going to have to think hard about the function that marketing serves in your business. 

If you want the best marketers in your team – whether they are in-house, freelance, or if you’re partnering with an agency/consultancy like MPG, you need to give them the opportunity to make a real impact on your revenue and growth. 

The question we always ask ourselves when deciding to work with a potential new client is: do the senior executives in this business see marketing as a key driver of revenue and growth? Or, do they simply see their marketing team as the people who ‘update the website and send out emails’?

The best marketers know that marketing is a revenue and growth driver, and want to be strategic in their approach. 

In May 2021, Mark Ritson wrote an excellent article for Marketing Week about how marketing tactics without marketing strategy is dumbing down the discipline. Not only is this damaging to marketers’ careers, but it is a serious threat to businesses in general, as strong marketing is essential for survival and growth, now more than ever. 


Fixing marketing starts with a strategic approach

A good marketer will become demotivated very quickly if forced to spend all their time delivering tactical marketing activity without a proper marketing strategy in place, with no sight of marketing strategy development being supported by the business. 

There is nothing more soul destroying for a good marketer than having to send out email campaign after email campaign, knowing they’re are not reaching the right people, with the right message, at the right time; knowing that content marketing and inbound channels are being neglected; knowing this is resulting in disengaged audiences; knowing that not only are they being ineffective, but that they are also being hugely inefficient due to a lack of investment in marketing automation, data and analytics. 

A good marketer will want to fix marketing, and fixing marketing needs to start with strategy. As Mark Ritson says in his aforementioned article, “we need an urgent re-centering of marketing back towards strategic fundamentals.”

But, a marketer (even a good one!) cannot fix marketing without executive support. Fixing marketing starts at the very top of the organisation, with initially acknowledging that a more strategic approach to marketing is needed to monetise products and ensure strong, sustainable revenue growth. Having a great sales team is always a key revenue driver (of course!), but investing in sales alone (or mostly) is very short sighted. Strong, robustly delivered, and consistently strategy-led marketing is essential for success. 


What does ‘strategic marketing’ look like?

There are eight areas of marketing that are typically neglected by a highly tactical organisation. They don’t get attention, they don’t get investment, and very often, they’re not even understood. 

These areas form the basis of strategic, growth-focused marketing. As you read about these eight things, be sure to make an honest assessment of whether these get enough attention, or are even properly understood, by the senior executives in your business.

To be a strategic, growing business you need to: 

1. Understand your total addressable market (TAM)

Know how much of your TAM you currently serve; how you want to grow your presence in your TAM (especially in your ‘core’ TAM); and what headroom remains for future growth.

Here is a helpful resource from HubSpot on what TAM is and how to calculate it.

2. Set SMARTER marketing objectives

Pin down what success looks like. Make this specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound, evaluate, and re-evaluate.

See SmartInsights’ Dave Chaffey’s article about how to set marketing objectives.

3. Have a differentiated, clear and compelling position in your TAM

Understand your full competitive landscape, and define what makes your value proposition unique in a valuable way to your core TAM.

Forbes recently published a great piece about the practical process to follow for effective brand positioning.

4. Divide your TAM into meaningful market segments

Prioritise these segments for targeted messaging, and have the marketing tech, digital and data infrastructure in place to track and analyse engagement and conversions for key segments.

5. Create and deploy targeted, relevant messaging

Know what jobs your customers need to get done, what their personal work goals are, and what is holding them back from getting these jobs done and achieving these goals. Create well crafted, benefit-led marketing messaging that specifically addresses these pain points, and deploy this consistently throughout all your marketing channels and campaigns.

See MPG’s step-by-step guide to building a winning messaging strategy.

6. Optimise ALL your channels

Deploy a multi-channel approach to generate brand awareness, brand understanding, engagement, and conversions.

Invest in every part of the funnel in the right way, making sure every social post, every email and every landing page is a compelling touchpoint that your customers just can’t ignore, guiding them on a journey they find informative and interesting.

7. Measure it to manage it

Define metrics that will help you track your progress against your marketing objectives. Set up your martech and digital marketing to measure how every part of your marketing is working.

Constantly use these metrics to make evidence-based, data led decisions about where to invest for growth.

See MPG’s blog: How to get more intelligence into your marketing for a stronger ROI.


Get marketing engineers to build a sustainable marketing function for sustainable growth

In so many areas of business right now, ‘sustainability’ seems to equate with ‘hybrid’. Marketing is no different. 

These days, I find myself saying (many times) to senior executives:
Marketing is now big, and deep, and wide. You need a hybrid marketing function that includes marketing generalists and marketing specialists. You therefore need a combination of internal and external resources (also a hybrid approach), or at least a dedicated team of marketing operations and digital specialists within your business to support your generalist marketers.  

Generalist marketers are essential for strategy development and overall management of marketing activity. 

But, there are definite marketing specialisms that require dedicated expertise and resources to enable marketing activity that engages and converts. These specialisms cover data, martech, analytics and digital channel optimisation – usually in 3 or 4 different expert individuals. These are your ‘marketing scientists’ if you like, the highly logical, analytical and technical gurus – the ‘engineers’ in your marketing team. Without these engineers your marketing will break, and no one will be able to fix it.

See MPG Insights article about creating a robust, sustainable marketing function: a strategic, hybrid approach.


Marketing strategy + marketing engineers = long term revenue and growth

To wrap up, here is my plea…

Take the right steps in your business, right now. Invest deliberately and effectively in marketing for the long term. Marketing, utilised properly, is an investment with measurable ROI. 

Get skilled, strategically minded marketers on board, no matter if they’re inhouse or external. Or, at least hire someone with the potential to become a great marketer, and invest in their training and development. Avoid, at all costs, hiring a lacklustre marketer with a very tactical mindset, just because you’re desperate. You will be taking your business backwards, and you will regret it. 

Motivate your marketers by making marketing important in your business. 

If you don’t invest in marketing strategy and a scientific approach to your marketing over the long term, you will stay in the frustrating hamster wheel. 

Marketing, done well, unlocks growth. Please believe in it, and support it.


Working closely with our internal team, MPG developed a strong marketing strategy focused on achieving revenue growth for a key product in our portfolio – including recommendations for a virtual offering. We were impressed by the science and rigour they put into the process. I would recommend MPG as a good strategic marketing partner for a B2B brand.

Anna Knight, VP Licensing, Informa Markets

MPG have been a valuable marketing strategy partner to Kademy’s leadership team. They have helped us decide how best to invest in marketing based on the stage we’re at with our business, and have also given us very practical advice on various marketing initiatives around ABM, content marketing, social media, PPC and website optimisation. Having MPG’s marketing expertise plugged i to our business gives me confidence we’re moving our marketing function forward in the right way.

Alex Hentschel, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Kademy


Do you need help honing your marketing strategy?

MPG’s team of experienced and skilled marketing strategists can provide your business with specialist advice on how to boost your marketing ROI. Get in touch to find out how we can help you get ahead.

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Growing revenue by acquiring new subscribers: here’s how the experts do it

The world has seen a significant increase in demand for valuable business information and intelligence in all sectors as senior executives face new challenges and opportunities arising from Covid-19’s impact.

In our recent webinar, Expert Panel Discussion: Marketing to Accelerate Acquisition of New Subscribers, Carolyn Morgan of Speciall Media chaired a discussion between Jonathan Perry, Global Marketing Director at PEI Media, Olivia Jones, Head of Membership Marketing at Procurement Leaders, and MPG’s own Helen Coetzee.

WATCH REPLAYGET WEBINAR INSIGHTS

Attendees gained practical advice on developing and growing a subscriptions service via PEI Media and Procurement Leaders’ real-world experience in developing high-performance subscriptions and membership products.

Here are 5 key learnings from the webinar:

1. Free trials can have a negative effect

Procurement Leaders’ experiment with free trials for their membership resulted in an increase in lost opportunities. The issue? The structure of PL’s service meant free access to the website alone did not showcase the full range of benefits the membership offers. Careful analysis of the marketing and sales data meant Procurement Leaders were able to rapidly move on to more effective promotional methods, where they discovered…


2. Events are excellent platforms for promoting subs products

Offering prospects free passes to their customer events proved successful for Procurement Leaders. Visitors were able to network with existing members, providing powerful and authentic word of mouth accounts on the benefits of the product.

Events can also act as a showcase for subscriptions and membership products, providing a sample of the valuable intelligence, data and connections the service provides year-round.


3. Automation is key

Both PEI Media and Procurement Leaders find value in marketing automation for their subscriptions and memberships. From automated lead-scoring (based on level of engagement) to enable highly-targeted and relevant comms, to a series of automations that convert leads from cold to hot, both companies understand the near limitless potential of marketing automation.


4. Lead nurturing is a calculated process

Procurement Leaders’ point-based lead scoring model enables real-time reporting and analysis and a deeper understanding of their audience. The two bases of scoring, demographic and behaviour, ensure only the most relevant and interested parties are targeted with comms. Mapping the score model against the sales funnel allows rapid identification of any dips or spikes. This process means leads are nurtured effectively and sales teams are fed the optimal number of hot leads.


5. Business growth requires marketing growth

PEI Media found their strategy of spreading marketers across their events, subs and other products was not feasible as their business grew. The specific requirements and complexities of each format meant specialised teams had to be formed.

Increased digitisation created further demand for specialist skills. A dedicated operations team was given responsibility for martech and automations, while a team of product marketers were tasked with handling brands, customers and lead and sales targets.

Procurement Leaders found giving the same marketers responsibility for both subscriber acquisition and retention led to better outcomes, as marketers were able to develop a deeper understanding of their customers.


WATCH REPLAYGET WEBINAR INSIGHTS

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our latest webinar, and those catching up on the valuable insights now.

If you need support in marketing your subscriptions or membership, make sure you contact MPG to hear how we help the world’s leading B2B community brands grow their subscribers, audiences, businesses and revenue.

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Postponed your event? Here’s 10 things your marketing team needs to do NOW

In the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, many event organisers are choosing to postpone their events. We gathered the MPG and AGNC teams to discuss the immediate steps marketing teams should take in the wake of a delayed event.

You’ve made the decision. A new date is set, the venue is secured. Assuming you’ve already done the following, you may feel you have all bases covered:

  1. Key internal and external stakeholders informed
  2. Event suppliers updated
  3. Event budgets adjusted and confirmed
  4. Existing software contracts extended (e.g. event apps)
  5. Reservations moved (speaker and sponsor dinners, VIP parties)

But don’t underestimate the responsibilities your marketing function has to ensure the success of your revised event plans. The strategic and tactical steps needed extend far beyond updating the dates on the website and sending out more emails.

The below checklist covers the essentials your marketing team need to action to secure the success of not only your next event, but your brand as a whole. Forward it to your marketing manager to ensure they’re considering everything, at what must be a stressful time.

 

Your marketing team’s postponement response checklist

1 – Review price points and targets

With an extended campaign timeline and the prospect of booked delegates dropping out, revisiting the core objectives of the marketing function should be priority number 1 on any marketing manager’s list.

  • Conduct an assessment on the impact of the postponement on revenue and attendee targets and set new objectives with a clear strategy of how your team will achieve them.
  • Investigate whether your pricing strategy is still fit for purpose. Be wary of running another early-bird to spark bookings – you could irritate delegates who just paid full price! Similarly, increasing the final rate to add an early-bird could be perceived as taking advantage of the situation.
  • Ensure you’ve secured the marketing investment needed to achieve new commercial targets.

2 – Conduct internal briefings to get everyone on the same page

With revised targets, an updated strategy and a very unfamiliar set of circumstances – ensuring everyone is kept up to date is essential.

  • To avoid confusion internally – and mixed messages being delivered externally – ensure your teams are fully briefed on the revised date (and the reasons for it), as well as the policies surrounding delegate ticket/sponsorship cancellations. They will need to know the answers to questions such as:
    • I can’t make the new date, can I use my ticket to attend next year instead?
    • Can I transfer my ticket to someone else?
    • We no longer wish to sponsor – can we get a refund?
    • I have already made financial commitments (such as a hotel booking) to attend – will I be reimbursed?

3 – Publish your statement

Once everything is sorted internally, it’s time to inform your community of your decision in a clear and confident manner.

  • Add a prominent statement to the homepage (and ideally also on a separate dedicated page) of your event website that clearly explains your decision and the reasons for it. Here’s a great example from a Summit in Singapore.
  • Make sure the statement is updated frequently to address any fresh challenges and include the date prominently to assure viewers they are reading an up to date announcement.

4 – Get the message out

Sharing the announcement on your website is not enough. To avoid frustration and confusion, all event stakeholders (including prospective attendees) must be informed.

  • As a priority – simultaneous to the statement being published – notify all delegates, sponsors, media partners, speakers and other event stakeholders via email and telephone of the new date.
  • Utilise email and social media to inform the wider market of the revised date. As on your website, make it clear why the decision has been made. Your event community wants to see that you are in control of the situation and acting in their best interests.

5 – Update your existing collateral

As soon as the announcement is out, focus on changing key information on your marketing collateral with new event dates and venue arrangements.

  • Review your existing collateral (brochures, agendas, interviews etc.) and update to reflect the revised date and venue (if applicable).
  • Consider how the change may affect the contents and structure of your collateral:
    • Was the venue a key selling point before, but now you’ve moved to a smaller site?
    • Does the collateral refer to the previous pricing strategy (early-birds) which may confuse people?

6 – Don’t forget your automated activity!

While dealing with ‘front-line’ activity, it’s all too easy to forget the systems you have running in the background. Take the time to re-group with your team on the automations in place and act swiftly to pause any activity that may conflict with your statement.

  • Check all your automated activity for outdated information or actions that may no longer be relevant. Here are some examples of what could trip you up:
    • Countdown ads in PPC campaigns that are due to start 1 week before the original event date
    • Autoresponder emails that are triggered by form completions on your event site
    • Pre-scheduled social media that still refers to the old event date
    • An event countdown widget on your website

7 – Re-focus your messaging

When getting back up to speed on your normal campaign activity, make sure you’re not just copy/pasting what came before.

  • In the short term – avoid copy and imagery that could invoke unease for prospective attendees. This could be:
    • Messaging around the size of the event (e.g. 500+ attendees) (also as your actual attendance numbers will be difficult to predict) and the ‘global’ nature of the event.
    • Images of large crowds in proximity, or of people shaking hands or interacting closely
  • Consider how the updated timelines and the Covid-19 impact may affect your event USPs and content.
    • Will you be adding any new digital elements to your event? e.g. livestreaming of certain sessions?
    • Will you be enhancing the app in any way or releasing it early so that delegates can get the most out of the networking opportunities your event presents?
    • Do you need to include a session dedicated to the impact of Covid-19? Substribe Summit has done this very well by adding a ‘breakfast session’ to the start of the day.
    • Is there a key piece of industry legislation that will now come into play before the event that will require you to adjust your program?
    • How else might the industry (and wider macro environment) change between now and the new date?
    • Can you try and secure new ‘big name’ speakers who maybe couldn’t attend the previous event? If you can have them join by video conference that may make it more likely they can speak at your event.

8 – Focus on lead gen

With hesitant prospective attendees, sponsors and exhibitors; collecting contact info to nurture and re-engage is more important than ever.

  • Make sure your ‘Register Your Interest/Subscribe for Updates’ forms are prominent on your website and in all comms.
  • Dial down the ‘Book Now’ messaging temporarily and focus on content-led comms and updates about how you’re enhancing the event (e.g. with digital add-ons) to build and maintain confidence in the event.

9 – Provide regular updates

With a rapidly evolving situation, your community will expect you to be vigilant and responsible.

  • Share what you (and the event venue) will do to ensure visitor safety. This could include increased frequency of cleaning and hand sanitizers.
  • Act on government and official advice and ensure your event attendees and stakeholders know you are heeding this guidance.

10 – Generate good content

To keep your audience engaged and further build confidence with all stakeholders that the event is still valuable and relevant, an increased focus on content production would be prudent.

  • Create and distribute high-value content (news updates, speaker interviews and collateral) that will keep both existing and prospective delegates invested until the new date
  • Consider creating content that directly addresses the effects of coronavirus on your industry. ‘Owning the conversation’ about the issue that is top of mind for everyone can be a powerful method of engaging your community and driving revenue, as well as ensuring your community is served with all the information they need.

Following these steps will help mitigate the short-term challenges an event postponement causes, for your marketing team and for your event’s health.

But the long-term symptoms of this outbreak will extend far beyond the pain caused by a single event’s postponement. The B2B events industry is about to undergo a period of intense self-reflection, and the outcomes of this could change the way we approach the medium for the next decade and beyond.

We’ll be diving deeper into the strategic implications of coronavirus on the world of B2B events in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. If you have any thoughts on how our industry should react, we would love to hear from you.

From all of us at MPG, we wish you and your business all the best.

MPG recently hosted a webinar focused on marketing considerations & tactics for postponed events. See the webinar outputs here.

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