Years ago I was in charge of marketing and demand generation for an online media company. We were publishers whose main product was leads. We would generate leads on our clients’ behalf via content syndication, webinars, etc. We had one client that bought as many leads as they could from us. They had metrics and conversion rates that they would present to us each quarter, a team of marketers working on demand generation and an agency, and an inside sales team dedicating to qualifying leads for sales. Their game was tight. We revered them. [Read more…]
Last month I was fortunate enough to sell the internet phone company I co-founded to Vonage. As Vocalocity rebrands itself as Vonage Small Business, Vonage will increasingly come to realize how it has acquired a sales machine.
Funnily enough though I do not attribute our success to developing fancy online phone technology (which we did) but instead from a very early stage we built a killer lead nurturing process and coupled it with a highly efficient inside sales process that closed business hand over fist. Major props must go to Mr @funnelholic, Craig Rosenberg, who helped us pull together our sales funnel from day-one.
So, what does all this have to do with the sometimes non-sexy subject of email marketing?
Well, having built something in Vocalocity where a core mantra was to sell-sell-close this has somewhat changed with my latest venture Flashissue. Instead, I find myself preaching an unlikely message: stop selling. In turn, I could have easily titled this post
“How to stop selling and still win business in 5 easy steps”
I wanted to do something very simple with Flashissue, make it mind blowingly easy and fast to create a sales email newsletter. My goal was to build it for me, the individual – aka the sales person – and not the full-time marketing manager. [Read more…]
Backstory: I asked Matt Heinz to write a post on lead nurturing. He told me to look at some posts on the Heinz Marketing blog and I found 10 steps to a terrible lead nurture campaign. I enjoyed it, it was funnelholic-esque but I didn’t want Matt or the author Nichole McIntyre to do any work. So, instead, I took my favorites from the post and added some commentary.
I am about to go on a content rush on lead nurturing. We are hosting a webinar on the topic on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids. Overall, I am glad we get to talk about lead nurturing again. When marketing automation first came to market, it was all any was talking about. Now, the amount of content created on the topic has dimmed a bit. That’s a mistake. Now is the best time to talk about the lead nurturing process. We have learned a ton over the last couple years about what works and doesn’t work, but more importantly, we have learned that when done right, it is a game-changer for demand generation ROI.
Before we move on to the content, please enjoy this picture from grahamc99 — I chose it in honor of Nichole’s original title: “10 steps to a terrible lead nurture campaign.” Whenever, I think terrible, I think of Terrible’s casino for some reason. Whatever.
Craig asked me to give him a post about ‘Getting Started with Content Marketing’ so immediately, I set about thinking about all of the steps necessary to begin creating great content: aligning it to the buyers needs, establishing trust through operationalized nurture and measuring those results. Then I trashed it. People don’t have a problem ‘starting’ anything – they have a problem finishing it – and content marketing is no different.
So then, what’s the key to actually hitting the ground with some good targeted content and diving into the deep end of this process that we call content marketing? Starting, and finishing, one thing at a time. That’s it. I prescribe heavily to a methodology that many, many people are familiar with, but few execute well – it’s called “Getting Things Done” or GTD. It started as a theory, resulting in a book and has materialized in hundreds of enablement tools from coaches to software to cheat sheets and, well, I guess this blog post. The book, Getting Things Done®by David Allen really did change my life – and I’m not even particularly good at it. I try to be. Let’s say it’s a work in progress – but so is Content Marketing and that’s the key here. [Read more…]
I went to Eloqua Experience last week (but missed Robin Thicke). I wanted to get Eloqua represented on Madlibs leading up the event but managed to send them the information two days before the event. (Nice one Craig!) But here they are! Today’s Madlibs contributor is Nick Bell who is Senior Director of Corporate Marketing and Modern Marketing Expert at Oracle Eloqua. His madlibs after this pretty cool drawing from Laura Dineen
Today’s Madlibs guest is Jay Hidalgo. First, a story: I knew Jay’s brother and business partner Carlos for years before I met Jay. The running joke between us was that Jay didn’t exist. For years I accused Carlos of fabricating his existence. Two things have happened since then: (1) I have met Jay and he is one of the greatest guys I know. (2) Since my brother Paul has been running the Funnelholic, Jay can now accuse me of creating a false persona. Ahh, the fun and games of those of us hanging out in the glorious world of b2b sales and marketing. Jay has started a new company, The Barzel Group, and he is coaching marketers to demand generation success. And he is PASSIONATE about what he is doing. It’s fun talking to him about it because he really loves it. Jay and I both love the show Psych so before moving to Madlibs, I thought I would include a Psych shout-out:
The man behind the scenes of the Funnelholic — Paul Rosenberg has crowd-sourced a really cool video featuring top b2b marketing thought leaders that will be featured in the upcoming virtual summit from Demandbase and Adobe: Marketing’s Next Move. I hope you get a chance to check it out!
He asked each thought leader the following question: How will B2B marketing innovation allow marketers to be more effective? You can see my answer below….you can see the rest of the answers here.