The Death of Lazy Marketing – Report from B2B Insights Conference
Yesterday I had the good fortune of attending the B2B Insights conference organized by the MC Forum (site is in Hebrew). Besides the fantastic networking with marketing peers in other companies, and the cool givaways (my desk looks so much prettier with its new post-it flower…), the lectures were thought provoking as usual. In particular I wanted to highlight two presentations that I especially appreciated:
Michael Gally, a lecturer on B2B marketing at Tel Aviv University, set the tone for the event with his opening presentation on “The Death of Lazy Marketing.” I liked it so much that I even referred to it when I spoke on a panel discussion later that day, about what I wish I had known when I started out in marketing. His premise is that many marketers are too content to stay in their comfort zone, focusing on the beauty of their brochures and trade show booths (I am being extreme on purpose, as I believe he was), focusing on how much budget they have (or more likely don’t have) instead of on ROI, and promoting their products’ features instead of what their customers need. What they should be doing, however, is figuring out “why the f–k should our customers choose us, and not our competition?” This is actually multiple questions in one:
- who is our customer?
- understanding the competition and their value
- what value do we bring beyond what the competition can bring?
He even breaks down how a marketing team should be spending its time:
- 40% lead generation
- 40% creating marketing materials that lead prospects to action; creating different materials for different vertical industries and job titles, and for different points in the sales cycle
- 20% lead nurturing
He also told a wonderful story about a packaging company that was able to define its product-market fit so well that they could target particular types of agricultural companies that grow particular types of fruit in certain specific countries, and they knew this market so well that their messages were targeted exactly to the needs of these customers. The way they achieved this level of specificity and success was through a series of trials (and failures) over the course of several years. A true lean marketing case study.
The message I took away from this, which is one I firmly believe in, is that all the gorgeously designed and consistently branded materials in the world won’t help you sell your products if the product-market fit isn’t there.
The other lecture I want to highlight was presented by Assaf Trafikant, who besides having the best name ever (how perfect that someone who deals with Web traffic is named Trafikant!), showed us how we can gain better understanding of our marketing campaigns’ effectiveness through smart use of Google Analytics. Google is great at identifying traffic from search engines, organic and paid traffic, as well as from referral sites. However when it comes to links from social networks like Facebook or Twitter, or people who visit your site directly (for example by clicking the Web site link in your email signature), Google is at a loss for telling you where exactly they came from. It will lump all Facebook links under “Facebook” because a login is required, and all “direct traffic” under direct.
Assaf’s suggestion for how to get more exact insights into what is bringing more or better quality traffic to your site is by being vigilant in adding tracking parameters to every link you expose to the public. For example if you want to measure the effectiveness of Web links in each employees’ email signature, add a different tracking code to each. Same with each ones twitter accounts, various Facebook links, etc. He describes exactly how to do this in his blog post. The post itself is in Hebrew, but the video at the bottom is in English, and highly recommended. He shows off a very cool tool for creating tracking URLs with a Chrome browser plug in that he created.
Of course it’s not enough to just use the tracking parameters. When you analyze your Web traffic in Google Analytics, you should view a campaigns report, which will show your various traffic sources in a way that you can compare their effectiveness. By having access to this data, marketers can tweak their campaigns, identify better sources, poorer sources, and overall improve their online marketing.