1st party data has been hot in 2022 for B2B media & events. In 2023 it will be even hotter…

1st party data has been one of the hottest topics of 2022 – coming up in almost every conversation we’ve had with an MPG client, prospect, or partner. In 2023, this seam of precious stuff that runs through every B2B media and events business is going to be even more important.

Why? Because the captive audiences and communities of B2B information and networking-based brands produce 1st party data that will be more valuable than ever, as:

  • A high degree of relevance within a good customer journey becomes essential to engage and monetise customers, and
  • Google Chrome is phasing out 3rd party cookies. With 65% of the world using Chrome as their main browser, and considering Apple’s Safari and Mozilla Firefox have already phased out 3rd party cookies, this will have a big impact.

Arguably the most valuable asset a B2B media or events brand could own is a targeted and growing customer data set that is compliant, well structured and well maintained, while being enriched by every engagement with an audience member and fed into well-designed intelligence reports.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s make sure we’ve got the basics covered…

What is 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data?

  • 1st party data = any customer data you collect directly and store in your own database. It can be collected from websites, apps, social media, surveys, and more. You can track this data in analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, and you should ideally store it all in one place – i.e. a CRM system such as Hubspot, Salesforce, etc.
  • 2nd party data = 1st party data from a known and trusted source (e.g. names, company names and job titles collected from social media profiles or surveys).
  • 3rd party data = collected, stored, and deployed to ‘resell’ someone else’s audience to multiple sellers of products and services e.g. Google in-market audiences.

Why is it important for you to collect 1st party data, and manage it well?

Despite the fact that having more data can bring more opportunities, there are certain risks in gaining and using data from 2nd or 3rd parties, because collection methods and compliance can be unknown. Additionally, advertising providers relying on 3rd party cookies to collect their data are finding it harder to accurately target the right people.

1st party data, when well-managed, can be very accurately profiled and targeted. This will enable you to promote the right product, to the right person, with the right message, for strong engagement and ROI. Tracking user interest and interactions of your own audience gives you a goldmine of opportunity around monetising your audience.

How is cookie data collection relevant?

A cookie is a file from a website that is stored within a browser, which the same website, or any other website, can retrieve at a later point. Cookies hold the information so servers know which users have visited which websites or specific web pages.

When you drop a cookie on your own website and can see a user completing a certain set of actions across multiple visits to your website, this is classed as 1st party data. Service providers (e.g. Hubspot) can also drop cookies on your behalf, and these are classed as 1st party cookies because they are used to collect information on your behalf to store in your own database.

Larger digital companies that sell advertising based on data, e.g. Google and Facebook, currently also drop cookies on other people’s websites that allow them to track users across a variety of websites. These are called 3rd party cookies.

Where are the emerging opportunities?

Most businesses will have built up a database of 1st party data of their past and present customers. Going forward, there should be a growing demand for access to a targeted audience, enabled by 1st party data.

B2B information businesses that track what their audience members are engaging with on their websites and at their events will be able to put targeted, relevant messages in front of their audience to better monetise their content, community interactions, and audience members – directly (e.g. by selling delegate places) and indirectly (e.g. by selling advertising).

Advertising sold by companies like Google and Facebook that rely on 3rd party content and cookies are likely to become less targeted and less effective. We predict that more advertisers will be willing to pay a higher sum to B2B media and events businesses to more directly and accurately reach relevant target customers more effectively and efficiently.

This is a great opportunity for businesses in the media/events industry to grow their revenues from advertising, sponsorship, and exhibitions – especially if their products are highly relevant and valuable for quite a niche audience.

What should you do about all of this?

The top priorities for any B2B media or events business (or any business for that matter!) should be to:

  1. Ensure your content is unique, valuable, and engaging – so that you can continually attract relevant visitors to your website and events.
  2. Ensure your combined digital, martech, salestech, and data ‘infrastructure’ i.e. integrated systems and processes are well set up to collect, structure, store, maintain, and manage 1st party data.
  3. Ensure you have Google Analytics 4 – or another ‘future-proof’ analytics tool – well set up on your website in a way that allows you to track user behaviours.
  4. Ensure you have dashboards or reports set up that give you strong and real-time visibility of your audience(s) and how they’re engaging with your products and content.

Even if 3rd party cookies weren’t being phased out, 1st party data can be a huge asset to your business – if you make the investment needed to manage and monetise it well.


Do you need help with your 1st party data?

Find out more about MPG’s 1st party data services on this webpage, and please get in touch today if you’d like to have a chat with one of our friendly team members about how to get your 1st party data in good order.

Get in touch today

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Top 5 marketing investments for sustainable growth

The world has changed so much in the past 8 years, and so has B2B marketing! Since MPG was launched in early 2014, we’ve had a privileged ‘insiders view’ of the marketing approach of a large number – and great variety – of organisations.

It has been fascinating to witness the continued evolution of B2B publishers – where the most successful organisations have developed ‘brand platforms’, serving up intelligence and connections to their ever more niche audiences.

A customer-first approach has meant the leading organisations – large and small – are ruthlessly focused on delivering what their customers need, how they need it, and when they need it. They know that to engage, monetise and scale, they need the right blend of digital and in-person experiences, with a strong brand at the centre of everything.

In this article we explore the six areas that need ongoing marketing investment – especially at times of uncertainty (including economic downturns).

#1 Brand trust

Building a strong, trusted brand should always be the top priority for every marketer. This requires a strategic investment in developing clear brand positioning and strong brand identity, and then ensuring that every place where a customer engages with your brand has a particular ‘look and feel’ that is recognisable, unique and reassuring.

The cost of engaging a top creative agency can be prohibitive, especially for a niche B2B brand. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to undergo a costly and time consuming ‘rebranding’ exercise to achieve brand trust.

The very nature of ‘trust’ is that it is based on something genuine. It’s about ‘substance’ more than ‘style’.

If you know what really matters to your customers, and what they genuinely value about what you deliver for them, make sure this is:

  1. Evident in your messaging across all your marketing channels
  2. Well understood by every member of your team, and embedded in mindsets and behaviours

Being a steadfast presence for your customers, and coming across as genuine and reliable at all times, will win you a great deal of brand trust.

It is also very important to ensure your brand design is of a good standard, and that your visual branding is consistent everywhere, including fonts, colours and design devices. A good graphic designer should be able to make this all work well for you.

And if you can afford to bring on board a good agency to help you develop stronger branding than you have now, then do it! It will be worth the investment.

#2 Martech

Martech is no longer an optional investment, and it isn’t an area where you can afford to buy the cheapest solution. The technical debt you will incur by trying to cut corners in how you approach your martech stack is almost guaranteed to hold your business back.

You simply cannot grow your customer base or your revenue above a certain level without good martech tools in place, well integrated for data flows, and with the right processes in place to ensure they do what they’re meant to do. You cannot scale without good tech.

Don’t ignore this area of your marketing because you don’t know how to invest well in it. You may not be able to expertly analyse or optimise your tech stack yourself, but you’ll have a good sense of what is and is not working, and where the biggest issues are that are holding you back from growth.

If this is a weak spot in your marketing, get it seen to as soon as you possibly can. Investing well in the right tech stack for your marketing will make a world of difference in how you can serve your customers – and build your brand.

 

As partners to HubSpot, Marketo, Ingo, Guild and Saltbox, and having set up, optimised and worked in many other platforms such as Mailchimp, Adestra, Sailthru, Zapier, Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365 over the past 8+ years, Team MPG has a strong track record in enabling B2B marketers with the right tools. Get in touch to find out more.

#3 Website

For every B2B brand, your website is by far your most important marketing channel. The perception your customers will have of your brand will first and foremost be based on your website, and nothing will damage brand trust more than a poor website user journey.

Therefore, as with martech, choosing the cheapest solution for a website will almost always cost you dearly in the long run – both in terms of real spend (having to redo your website), and opportunity cost.

Engage a good agency with a strong reputation (make sure you get at least two references), and make sure they follow the step-by-step process laid out in this MPG Insights resource.

When considering the development framework, for smaller companies with relatively simple sites, a good option for a purpose-built site is usually WordPress. For larger projects, we recommend Headless CMS, alongside Laravel to build the backend, and Vue JS to build the frontend (mainly for good loading speed). This combo is more expensive and takes longer to build, but is much more robust and secure.

#4 Analytics

Without analytics set up well across all your marketing channels, starting with your website, you won’t have the intelligence you need to really understand what your customers care about, and to make good marketing decisions.

As business leaders start becoming more focused on marketing ROI, Team MPG is seeing a surge in demand by B2B brands for real-time dashboards and reports that give their marketers and senior executives strong visibility of important marketing metrics.

There is also a stronger appetite for measurement against ‘joined up’ marketing and sales KPIs. This MPG Insights article shares a useful guide on how to achieve strong sales and marketing integration – which is more important than ever.

We’re also seeing B2B brand leaders asking for customer insight reports to deliver intelligence into their content/editorial teams, showing levels of engagement with certain content themes, and often specific pieces of content.

MPG’s experience in building and deploying these kinds of reports are highly valuable for a content-led B2B brand, as long as they are:

  1. Kept relatively simple
  2. Focused on key data points presented with good data visualisation techniques
  3. Easily accessible
  4. Updated in real time

 

Team MPG can help you make better business and marketing decisions by setting up your website and marketing analytics tools in the right way, and building custom dashboards to deliver valuable intelligence to your team. Get in touch to find out more.

#5 Database

Every week we have at least one conversation with a business leader who is immensely frustrated with the state of their customer and/or prospect database!

This foundational part of your 1st party data simply cannot be ignored as you cannot effectively or efficiently communicate with all your existing customers, or find new customers, if your database is not well organised, up to date, and populated with the right data.

This is an essential area for ongoing investment, with the following two key areas needing particular attention if you want to grow your business:

  1. Targeted research to constantly clean, append and grow your target audience data sets – so your marketing can reach all members of decision-making units, not only the main buyer.
  2. Tracking of engagement, at contact level, with your marketing and sales efforts.

Without these two essential pieces in place, your database isn’t the kind of asset you need for business success.

Your database is an asset that needs ongoing investment, delivering a direct, strong and measurable return.

 

Team MPG can help you get your current database into good shape, and we can help you continually grow your data sets to become valuable business assets that consistently deliver a strong return. Get in touch to find out more.

The world and marketing may be changing constantly. But don’t let constant change derail your long term, strategic focus.

By investing in the five areas explored above, you cannot go wrong – as long as you do so in a measured, focused and deliberate manner.

Knee-jerk reactions, looking for the cheapest marketing solutions, focusing too much on ‘quick wins’, and insisting on unreasonably high returns in the short term will set you back.

Play the long game, as the world’s most successful and valuable B2B brands always do.

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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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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.
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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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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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Topics:

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

Topics:

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


Topics:

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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Building a high-performance website for a resilient marketing function: a practical guide

In the last MPG Insights article, we covered the role your marketing website plays in ensuring you have a resilient marketing function – and therefore a resilient business. This week, we’re sharing a practical guide to building a high-performance website.

Helen Coetzee Quote

Here are our recommendations for following a common-sense, practical and systematic approach to building and maintaining a website that will deliver strong marketing results, and strengthen your business:

#1 Process, process, process

We can’t emphasise enough how important process is – in every area of marketing. If you follow the right process, you’ll get good results.

Mapping and following processes can sometimes feel tedious, but creating a step-by-step approach to building, maintaining and enhancing your website, and then following through consistently with rigour and attention to detail, is what will get you where you need to be.

Like so many necessary things, having a high-performance website is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration!

Here we share MPG’s step-by-step processes focused on ensuring you get the right website built in the first place, with a downloadable resource of the processes that Team MPG has used time and time again, for consistently good results.

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESSES

Once you have the right website, built in the right way, including the customer journeys and functionality your customers and your team needs, frequent website reviews and ongoing optimisation should be baked into your ongoing marketing performance review and marketing channel optimisation procedures.

This will rely on
(1) Google Analytics, or a similar tool – set up in the right way
(2) A marketing performance dashboard – which we recommend you build in Google Data Studio

 

#2 Optimising for conversions

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) isn’t only needed on your web pages focused on registrations, subscriptions and lead capture. Here are the four main areas of your website where CRO plays a very important role:

(1) Your homepage

This is where you make your first impression with many of your visitors and should clearly articulate your value proposition. Your unique selling point (USP) and value-focused benefits for your customers need to be very clearly and simply laid out high up on this page.

Your homepage should also include clear signposting to further content and information to keep your web visitors clicking deeper into your site, including prominent CTAs pointing to conversion-focused pages e.g. Subscribe Today, Book Now, Download Brochure etc.

(2) Content pages

Content pages should also be focused on conversions by pointing visitors to:
(a) Lead generation forms for downloadable sales materials e.g. Download Marketing Solutions Prospectus
(b) Lead generation forms to access premium, gated content e.g. Request a Demo
(c) Subscriber acquisition forms (free subscriptions) – where your audience can volunteer their data to have free or sample content emailed to them via a newsletter, or other types of email updates.

(3) Pages displaying your ‘packages and pricing’

Focus on simplifying the process for your user to understand what’s on offer and choose the best option for them. You need to make it easy for them to buy from you!

If there are different categories of purchasers with different prices e.g. for events you may charge vendors more to attend events, make sure you display the prices clearly.

And remember to signpost web visitors from this page to the landing pages dedicated to conversions and including forms…see next point.

(4) Landing pages dedicated to conversions i.e. with forms

These are the pages that need the most attention for CRO and where you should focus your testing efforts. Include eye catching, brand-enhancing visuals and engaging copy that compels the user to complete the form, highlighting the benefits to them of taking the time to complete the form and giving you their data (What’s in it for them to complete the form? What will they get?).

Avoid lengthy forms that request unnecessary information, or requesting the same information multiple times.

 

#3 Helping potential customers find your website

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an ongoing process to ensure your site is always ranking well for the keywords that are most relevant to your audience and product.

SEO is influenced by a number of factors like content, time on site, pages visited and device optimisation. Generally speaking, a good website means good SEO.  Here are some of the key components of the ‘good website’ as far as Google is concerned.

(1) Content, and UX around your content

The accuracy and relevance of your content, frequency of updates, how well your content is tagged, and how seamlessly it aligns to what a visitor is expecting to see (i.e. customer experience), all impact your SEO.

When producing content for your audience, you should always have top of mind both the customer needs and the objective of the content. And then you need to ensure that your marketing campaigns make the most of the content and the overall customer journey you have built.

(2) Technical set up and performance

You need to continually review the technical performance of your site. There are many tools out there, such as Lighthouse, which are an easy way to assess this aspect of your site.

Here are some of the key things to look out for that will impact technical performance:

  • Images and videos: search engines can’t ‘see’ what an image contains, so make sure that all images on your site contain alt text and captions. It is important to bear in mind that images and videos can sometimes have a negative effect on your SEO – especially when video and image files are large and take a long time to load, or when they are low quality.
  • Mobile responsiveness: if your websites are difficult to read and use on a mobile phone, your SEO will definitely be badly affected. Always consider all elements as they appear on a mobile, such as navigation, size of font, length of text, and usability of forms. Getting this right is a combination of good digital design, good functionality and good front end development.
  • Navigation: specifically for SEO, you need to consider how search engines’ bots crawling your website to create their rankings ‘understand’ what your site is all about. To make this work well, include keywords in your navigation elements such a URLs for specific pages, menu items, CTAs and headings.

SEO covers a lot more than what we have shared here, but what we’ve covered should help you get the most important ‘fundamentals’ on place!

(3) Back-links (or links from other websites to yours) are a sure-fire way of increasing your ranking – as long as they are linking from relevant sites. That’s because Google considers relevant back-links to be like positive recommendations to your website. Try to encourage advocates such as event speakers and sponsors, authors of articles you publish and partners to add links to your event on their websites, wherever appropriate.

 

#4 Creating a good customer experience on your website

User experience (UX) of your website will impact your marketing performance, and therefore your business resilience and performance.

The more favourable an interaction your potential user has with your site, the more likely they are to purchase from you and also refer your products to others. The key elements to be mindful of in creating a positive customer experience are:

  • Navigation: the age old adage, ‘don’t make me think’ is well known in the world of UX. Your website user should be able to very quickly and easily find exactly what they are looking for on your site, with minimal effort.
  • Design: when we talk about design, we are not just talking about having lovely imagery on your site. Good site design also includes fonts, colours and imagery that are consistent with your brand guidelines, are visually pleasing in how images are combined with text, and contribute to telling a story that will lead them down the path to conversion.
  • Customer journey: mapping out the customer journeys (the paths users take through your website content) is essential in creating a site that converts. Always consider how different entry points affect the experience. As other marketing channels are pushing users directly to specific pages on your website, it is important to consider the full customer journey including all their touch points with your brand, even before they hit your site.

If you get all of these things done consistently well, your marketing function – and your organisation – will be more resilient!


Do you need help optimising your existing website? Or maybe the time has come to build a brand new website?

MPG’s digital marketing experts and website team of web project managers, designers and developers know what it takes to create and optimise a website for high-performance marketing that converts. We also know how to optimise sites on an ongoing basis in a practical, systematic way that keeps your website in ship shape, and high up in search rankings.

Get in touch today to find out how MPG can help you attract and convert enough of the right customers to help your organisation grow and be more resilient.

FIND OUT MORE


MPG built a great marketing website for HBI that integrates our membership and flagship event. We’re very pleased with the design and functionality, the automated data flow between our website and other systems, and the user-friendly CMS. Team MPG has also set up analytics to give us good visibility of the performance of our website and our other marketing channels. A recommended solution for an B2B membership-led brand.

Julian Turner, Chief Executive, Healthcare Business International


Topics:

Build a resilient marketing function: start with your most important marketing channel

As the pandemic rages on, challenges and opportunities continue to emerge for B2B media and events businesses.

From Team MPG’s vantage point, it is clear that the most resilient businesses, and those that have started growing again, have certain characteristics – including: a belief in the strategic importance of marketing – shared by the whole senior leadership team; a strong understanding of what good marketing looks like and should be expected to achieve; and a commitment to invest well in marketing for sustainable growth. 

This was the focus of Helen Coetzee’s blog published on 1st January: In 2022, the most resilient organisations will have relevant and resilient marketing. In this article, Helen highlights specific areas that require focus and investment for building relevance and resilience into your marketing – and therefore into your whole organisation. 

One of these specific areas is your website, or more specifically, the website or web pages that serve the purpose of marketing your brand, value proposition and products.

The companies that have invested heavily in building high performance marketing websites, are standing out as resilient and winning organisations at this time. 

And by ‘high performance websites’, we’re not just referring to a beautifully designed ‘look and feel’ for your site – which is usually the calling card of slick creative and digital agencies very good at selling their sizzle (and making things look nice). A well designed, nice-to-look at website is an absolute must, but far too many organisations we talk to have fallen in to the trap of spending a fortune with a ‘shiny’ agency (confusing style with substance…) on a website that just looks lovely, but doesn’t actually work in terms of:

(1) Optimised customer journeys in the front end – to acquire more customers and generate more revenue, and
(2) Back-end/CMS functionality that makes the website practical and efficient (and viable!) for marketers to manage in the manner required for the website to work well within a content-led, integrated marcomms approach.

There is a very specific, specialised set of functionality requirements that B2B media/events businesses need built into their marketing websites that can be very poorly understood by many business leaders (and often their marketers too), and by the too many agencies trusted with this kind of work.

These specific functionality requirements are focused on the extremely important role your website serves as the hub of all your marketing efforts. If you want to be a resilient and growing business, your website needs to do all the following – really well:

  1. Positioning: host impactful messaging – in words, pictures and sometimes video and/or audio – that positions your brand and value you deliver in exactly the right way. For this you need a strong messaging strategy.
    See: Build a winning messaging strategy: a step-by-step guide
  2. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO): have well structured navigation and CTAs that draw customers through your marketing funnel – getting them to share their data, become a customer, and also share your content.
    See: 4 Things you should do for a high performance website
  3. SEO: use relevant messaging, content and good UX to organically attract relevant people from search engines – to then become exposed to your positioning and converted to engaged prospects, customers and advocates.

A well-optimised site attracts the right visitors, in required and sustainable volumes, and clearly communicates your value proposition – which is more important now than ever to cut through all the noise on digital channels. 

Remember that your website is the hub of all your marketing activity. Every time you post on social media, run a PPC campaign, or send an email campaign – you should be pushing relevant people to your website so that they become visitors, engaged audience members prospects, and customers. 

If your website is not in the best shape possible, all of your other marketing channels will be much less effective than they should be. There is almost no point deploying any other marketing channels (especially PPC!) until you have a website in place that looks great, and works exactly as it should in terms of functionality needed to deliver customers and revenue to your business.

Next week we will share a practical guide to building a high performance website. Subscribe to MPG Insights to get notified when the next article is published.

And in the meantime, if you’d like to speak to an MPG website expert about how to optimise the site you have, or build a brand new, high performance website – please get in touch. Team MPG includes website designers, developers and website project managers who have a deep understanding of B2B media/events business models and marketing. We know how your website needs to work to grow your customer base and your revenues. Read more about MPG’s website design and development services.


MPG provided excellent design and functionality recommendations for our website – helping us immediately put into action initiatives that would help us gain more customers and move forward as a business.

Alex Ayad, Founder & CEO, Outsmart Insight


 

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Topics:

In 2022, the most resilient organisations will have relevant and resilient marketing

Along with the exciting opportunities for innovation and digital transformation that many leaders have successfully embraced, the pandemic continues to throw new challenges at B2B media and event businesses.

Once again, event organisers face issues around live events. Even those who have been able to very successfully grow their digital revenue streams over the past 18 months are immensely frustrated they cannot bring their customers together in-person. Those brave souls who have proceeded to safely host some face-to-face gatherings for their valued community members, in the midst of a pandemic, have found these ‘in real life’ experiences to be most powerful and energising.

To keep moving forward positively, senior executives should focus on building resilience into every part of their organisation.

From a marketing perspective, organisational resilience can be further strengthened by more relevance.

Marketing is all about getting close to your customers and successfully communicating to them the relevance of your value proposition. In the B2B world, this is about focusing – with precision – on the specific individuals within specific organisations who will find your value proposition highly relevant (This is of course assuming you have already achieved a strong enough product-market fit to make what you’re offering worth your target customers’ attention, time, and money. If you don’t have the product-market fit right yet, this should be your focus to strengthen organisational resilience – regardless of pandemics! No amount of marketing can successfully monetise the wrong product…).

Getting close to customers is first and foremost about listening. Listening to what they care about, what their pain points are, what motivates them, and what they need in order to get their jobs done well – right now, and in the near future. 

If you are listening properly to your customers, and responding to their needs with the most relevant products and the most relevant marketing, your organisation will be more resilient. Why? Because your customers will give you their attention and their time, again and again – no matter whether you are delivering your products online or in-person.

When you have your customers’ attention over an extended period of time – regardless of format – they should be engaged enough with your brand for you to monetise them well. And, if you can prove you can monetise your customers consistently, profitably and with economies of scale, you have a very good reason to pursue scale. Hence MPG’s mantra since the start of the pandemic: engage, monetise, scale. Building brands as community platforms is only possible if you follow this Engage – Monetise – Scale model.

A marketing strategy that focuses on engagement – anchored in relevance – will make your marketing more resilient. This, in turn, will make your whole organisation more resilient.

Here are four things we believe are fundamental to building relevance and resilience into your marketing – and therefore into your whole organisation:

#1: Investment in customer insight: ongoing analysis on what your customers say and do. 

Via a set of dashboards, make sure your marketers are constantly monitoring how customers are engaging with your products and your marketing campaigns. Ask your marketers to look for and highlight trends in the data to spark questions to ask your customers about the content, networking opportunities, formats and experiences they find most relevant and valuable, and why. Data your marketers should be able to interrogate should also validate and enhance the answers your customers give you. 

If your marketers are focused on customer insight, your marketing – and your whole organisation – will be more relevant and more resilient.

#2: Specific, clearly defined marketing objectives – fully lined up behind your business goals.

Using evidence-based insight on your customers to guide you, insist on marketing objectives that are realistic, achievable, and – most importantly – focused on achieving your commercial goals. Make sure the decisions you make about marketing investments are based on these objectives, and that your marketers are tracking and sharing results and progress with your stakeholders, along with insights and plans to improve performance over time. 

If you keep your marketers focused on what is most important, your marketing – and your whole organisation – will be more relevant and more resilient.

#3: Smart, focused investment in your marketing website and your marketing database.

The website you use to attract and communicate with customers is by far your most important marketing tool. And the data you hold on your customers is by far your most important marketing asset. Sadly, these very often receive low levels of investment, or a great deal of money and time is wasted if they are mismanaged.

Decisions you make and actions you take to invest in your marketing website and your marketing database should be focused on achieving your marketing objectives (see #2 above) and your commercial goals (see #1 above).

Far too often, websites and databases are high-jacked or poorly led by a (usually well-meaning) senior executive with very little knowledge of marketing, or a mostly tactical inhouse marketing team, or – the worst scenario of all – a smooth talking agency with good sales people who are good at ‘selling the sizzle’, but who have no real regard for the success of your organisation, and therefore the ‘sizzle’ fails to deliver.

Your organisation will be more resilient if you have both a strong marketing website and good marketing database – led and managed by people who know what they’re doing, care about your organisation’s goals, and understand your marketing objectives.

#4: A flexible and agile marketing function with the right skills, strong leadership, good management, and the motivation to contribute to the success of your organisation.

With virtual working now the norm, the world is your oyster when it comes to finding the best marketing skills to form a resilient, flexible and agile marketing function. This can be achieved with a combination of inhouse resources, complimented with specialist, expert consultants and agencies – all well managed to collaborate, create powerful synergies and deliver great results.

Marketing requires a vast array of skills that can be brought together to deliver quite outstanding outcomes, as long as you’re willing to treat marketing as an investment and not a cost – and step away from a traditional and inflexible inhouse team, and/or a ‘known’ agency that may be consistently underperforming.

A resilient and relevant marketing function can be built if you are prepared to think differently, consider all your options, invest well, and set up, manage and continually support a highly collaborative, hybrid marketing team.

If you have highly skilled marketers working for you, no matter where they are based, and whether in-house or external (ideally a combination of both) – your marketing and your organisation will be more relevant and more resilient.

To achieve more resilience, keep an eye on MPG Insights over the coming weeks. We will be publishing a series of helpful guides on how to build a more relevant and resilient marketing function (and therefore a more resilient organisation!).

So, if you have not already signed up to MPG Insights – now is a good time! Subscribe here to get an email every time we publish a new blog or resource like this one.


MPG did a great job assessing our digital marketing and marketing operations requirements – considering our business goals. They developed a robust strategy, followed by a practical operational roadmap to help us further improve how we use technology to support marketing and sales performance. It has been a pleasure working with the MPG team!

Jonathan Perry, Global Marketing Director, PEI – Alternative Insight


 

Do you need a more resilient marketing function?

Get in touch to find out how MPG can help you build a more resilient marketing function, and therefore a more resilient business. 

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