Jack’s Hacks: Partner Marketing Webinars

One of the most common questions we get at ON24 is how webinar producers can generate registration and attendance. Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult things to do and there’s no guaranteed method to generate attendance. But there are some helpful tricks you can deploy. Partner marketing webinars are one trick you can deploy. Let’s get into it now.

A partner marketing webinar is a simple concept. All it requires is you and a partner organization teaming up to host a webinar on a shared topic of interest. We do these all the time and they’re a great way to introduce a new audience to your company and expand your email list.

Why You’d Want to Participate in a Partner Marketing Webinar

Okay, so there are a few reasons why you’d want to get into a partner webinar in the first place. First, a partner webinar helps establish your brand as a thought leader. Doing so associates your brand with forward-thinking perspectives — an increasingly vital association to have in today’s knowledge-based economy. This type of association also helps you to retain a loyal following, boost your brand and opens your organization up to future partnership opportunities down the road. Partnerships are extremely beneficial in the long run, especially if your organization is growing.

Another reason why partner marketing webinars are great is because you can access someone else’s database. Now, I’m not saying you’ll have access to the whole database (especially as strict privacy laws come into effect), but  — depending on how many people your organization registers — you should have shared access to interested leads. It’s a great opportunity to expand your contacts and, typically, is a win-win for everyone involved.

Finally, hosting multiple people, companies and perspectives makes for more interesting, and more engaging, events. Engaging events are critical for identifying qualified leads as these leads tend to interact more with conversations that resonate with their needs. An interesting webinar also reinforces our first reason why you’d want to do this: interesting webinars show that your organization is on the cutting edge of discussion in your sector and tightens your brand’s association with thought leadership.

There are a few things you should know if you decide to host a partner webinar. You’ll need to be organized with UTM codes, social media kits and a few policies that define who gets entry to a shared database and why. So let’s get into that now.

How to Organize a Partner Webinar

I mentioned earlier that one of the best reasons to participate/host in a partner marketing-based webinar is that you get access to a database filled with new potential leads and contacts.

While that’s true, you’ll first need to establish and agree on any requirements for your event, how you’ll track success and ensure everyone’s committed to the success of the program. This will require some communication with partners.

While we have tracking in mind, you’re going to need a way to trace who registered who. For this, we recommend a relatively straightforward setup.

First, create one landing page and one landing page only. This makes it easier to keep track of sign-ups through Marketo or your Marketing Automation Platform of choice.

Second, craft some UTMs unique to each partner. This way, attribution is simplified. And that’s it, really.

Finally, it’s time for execution. If you’re hosting the event, you’re going to want to make it as easy as possible for your partners to participate. Typically, this means you ought to provide images and assets that partners can use over social media. If you provide sample posts to share, even better.

For example, we’ve partnered with PathFactory and LookBookHQ over the years to discuss subjects relevant to marketers (i.e., a debate over page gates and A/B testing). To help us get the message out about the event, PathFactory provided us with images for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter along with GIFs, sample messages and tracking URLs complete with UTM codes.

The result of PathFactory’s effort wasn’t only a very well-attended webinar, but also fast and accurate attribution.

Partner marketing webinars are a great way to boost the number of contacts in your database. You get a lot of benefits from them — from thought leadership to new contacts. All you have to do is stay organized and communicate with partners. Good luck!

How SAS Got Scrappy With Its Webinar Marketing Plan

When it comes to crafting the right webinar marketing plan, there are a lot of ways to find success. The best way we’ve found, though, is by getting scrappy and experimenting with your program.

That’s exactly what SAS’ Erin Hathaway and her team of #webinerds did. They piloted, templatized and scaled their webinars. Now, the crew is getting scrappy and experimenting with their program.

We asked Erin a few questions about SAS is experimenting with its webinar marketing plan. Here’s what she had to say:

Okay, what kind of experiments have you been running?

First up, we’re experimenting with using ungated webinars to reach out to newer, top of funnel audiences. We’re trying an experiment to pair two webinars together – the first as a high-level overview of our offerings, the second as a gated, deeper dive immediately following the overview. We think the first will enable us to reach broader audiences and use it as an introduction to who our company is.

While we anticipate the leads we’ll gather from the second section will be lower than our traditional webinars, we think they’ll be way more invested in our company. As for folks who leave after the first ungated section, we were able to give them a high-level introduction to who we are without any form-fill anxiety. We came up with this idea from ON24 after I attended Webinar World. Stay tuned to see how it plays out.

Alright, we’ll keep an eye out. Can you tell us about a time you got “scrappy” to boost your webinar program?

I was part of our small implementation team in kicking off ON24 with our company. While we now have 40 producers worldwide, our US team of five people were the guinea pigs and kicked off our program. I love templates (and not having to reinvent the wheel every time) and communicating with internal stakeholders in our company can get time-consuming. So, we’ve set up a Microsoft Teams site with a webinar schedule, a wiki (which maps out our internal time tables for webinars) and a repository of host scripts, communication templates and ON24 templates that we can all share and easily disseminate to other producers in our organization.

Do you have any future scrappy webinar experiments that you’re thinking about?

We’re also experimenting with trying a more binge-able model of webinar series with pre-recording eight 15-minute webinar “episodes” to see how those play with our audiences. We’re also in the very early stages of looking into recurring webinars on a set schedule and trying to see how we can streamline the experience for the audience with having one registration for multiple webinars (with a recurring “Add to Calendar” option).

The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Professional Services

There’s no denying that digital technologies have driven fundamental changes in every single industry, with companies of all sizes swiftly changing the way they do business to maintain their competitive edge. In the face of disruption, organizations in the professional services industry had to adapt their offerings accordingly, assisting clients on their own digital transformation journey.

The professional services sector is diverse, with players ranging from global behemoths providing the full breadth of services in every corner of the globe, to boutique firms with a very specialized offering. It is estimated to be the second-largest employment sector in the US, after healthcare, and is expected to grow to approximately 22.3 million jobs by 2026. It accounts for 11% of the UK’s gross value added and 13% of its employment.

The industry is experiencing rapid change due to the disruptive impact of digital technologies, and companies need to transform their operations and service execution models to adapt to this new reality.

The Pressure of Change in Professional Services

However, change is not a foreign concept as the sector has been in flux for the last three decades. Since the 1980s, management consulting has gradually shifted from offering bespoke expert services to delivering more standardized, technology-enabled services. The boundaries between strategic and technology consulting have blurred significantly. Similarly, leaders in the accounting sector (the Big Four) have been increasingly operating at the intersection of accounting, consulting and even law.

But this industry-wide transition is not without challenges. Client expectations are increasing, competition from digital disruptors is ramping up and margins are tightening. Professional services firms need to find innovative ways to create value and deliver the best possible outcomes to their clients. The time and materials model, where companies charged for the expertise they provided on an effort basis, proved to be highly profitable but is no longer sustainable.

Professional Services Turns to Tech for Help

In the everything-as-a-service economy (XaaS), it has become increasingly difficult for professional services companies to compete. Affordability, timeliness and demonstrable value are among the most pressing client concerns, and there’s evidence that the industry is struggling to meet those demands. Revenue growth has fallen below 10% for the past three years and reported billable utilization dipped to a new low of under 70% in 2018.

Heightened client expectations have led high performers to shift their client engagement models from traditional time and materials or effort-based engagements to delivering services on a performance or outcome basis. These companies have turned to digital technologies to provide innovative services and support more predictable revenue streams. This extends beyond just addressing the disconnect between the front and back office (a problem that has traditionally plagued the industry), allowing them to unbundle offerings and foster engagement outside the project-based model, sometimes even without the need for in-person interactions.

In an attempt to stay ahead of the curve, top management consulting firms opted to develop the technology in-house to augment their services. Deloitte’s Emerging Technology Partner, Marc Verdonk, highlighted the rationale behind doing so: “The client is happy because using the tech means ultimately they often pay less, and we can be more efficient, which allows us to continue investing in innovation, and everybody benefits.”

Professional Services Still Needs To Catch Up

In the legal sector, lawtech (often heralded as ‘the new fintech’) has continued to rise in prominence as clients demand more transparency and accountability, and push companies to provide more than just traditional legal services.

However, the vast majority of professional services companies are still playing catch-up. Only a fifth (20%) of IT leaders in this sector claim their organizations have been ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ effective at using digital technologies to advance their business strategy. Most of their technology investment focuses on alleviating legacy pain points rather than transforming how professional services are delivered or how the client relationship is managed.

Data and technology are the cornerstones of digital transformation, and the professional services sector is no exception. The convergence of the two is set to shape the evolution of the industry in the years to come, and companies need to keep pace with the change if they are to succeed.

Coming Up on WBPS: Keys to Driving Webinar Registration and Attendance

There’s a lot that goes into a webinar. Video, for example, take a camera and a confident speaker. Then there’s the audio, the slides (if you use them) the topic, the resources for download and engagement tools. But the most important webinar element is also the hardest: driving webinar registration and attendance.

Next week, our own Chief Webinerd, Mark Bornstein, will explain how you can drive registration and attendance to your next webinar with a few key tips. It’s called “Keys to Driving webinar Registration and Attendance” and it takes place on Wednesday, August 7, at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT).

So what will Mark discuss? Well, during this interactive webinar, he’ll cover:

  • How you can optimize email invitations
  • Strategies for A/B testing promotions
  • How you can craft the perfect subject lines and titles
  • The basics of building a long-term audience

Can’t wait for next week? Well, you’re in luck. We have a few tips and tricks you can deploy right now to boost your registration and attendance. Let’s take a look:

Four Tips To Driving Webinar Registration and Attendance

  1. Know When to Send Your Emails

A lot of marketing today depends on emails. So, it’s worthwhile to perfect your emails when promoting your event. And, usually, timing is the most critical factor.

Take the time to understand the best time of day and which day out of the week are best for your target audience (we cover a few of these elements in our ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report for 2019).

You’ll also want to extend your promotional period for your emails. A significant portion of registrants sign up for a webinar more than seven days before an event. So, plan on promoting your webinars at least two weeks before they take place.

  1. Revisit Your Landing Page

Landing pages are a critical, but often forgotten, part of the webinar experience. But how does one make a webinar landing page stand out? Easy: keep it simple.

When it comes to landing pages, you’ll want to highlight three things: what your webinar is about, when it’ll be held and where it’ll take place (online, obviously). A brief synopsis helps but so does good visual content. A short video, like the one here, can make your event more compelling and your audience more willing to fill out a form.

Speaking of forms. If you’re marketing your webinar to a returning audience, consider the one-button registration. You can learn more about that here.

  1. Engage with Partners, Sales and Social

Here’s one really well-kept secret to driving registration: get someone else to help you. Your sales team, for example, is an excellent resource you can turn to for support. Partners or like-minded organizations are another great opportunity to take advantage of as well.

Another angle to consider is partnering up with a like-minded organization. Promoting with partners provides a variety of benefits, such as sharing databases (or a portion), expanding the addressable market for a webinar and — provided they’re on the webinar with you — an engaging event that provides a variety of perspectives.

If you go the partner route, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes.” Provide then with a “social package” to use. These can include social images, messaging and hashtags to use. Whatever you do, don’t forget to include a special UTM URL for your partner to use.

  1. Send Reminders!

Right. So you’ve sent your emails, refined your landing page and, if appropriate, involved partners and sales. All that’s left is to run the webinar.

Except it isn’t. You need to send a reminder email to your registrants! Today, it’s very easy for professionals to forget about a digital event – especially webinars. Sending a reminder email the day of your event keeps your webinar top-of-mind for registrants and boosts attendance.

You should also segment a portion of your database to connect with curious, would-be attendees who haven’t registered yet. A friendly reminder the morning of an event can get someone to sign up in no time flat.

Coming Up On The #Webinerd Channel: Amadeus and the Delight of Data

Marketers crave good, accurate data. Why? Because the more targeted you are, the better results you’re going to see. We know this because Ilina Petkova, Senior Marketing Automations Specialist at Amadeus, deploys this philosophy each and every day.

That’s one reason why we’re inviting Ilina to an upcoming EMEA edition of The #Webinerd Channel. Another reason? Because, using the ON24 Platform, Ilina revamped Amadeus’ webinar program a year ago when she joined the organization.

Join Ilina on August 7 at 3 p.m. BST (4 p.m. CEST) as she discusses her webinar strategy with Amadeus, and how she plans to implement global usage across the board. During “From Demographic Data to Delighted Delegate“, you’ll learn:

  • How to rebuild a webinar program from the ground up with the right data
  • How to keep on top of your martech stack updates and developments
  • What ON24 Elite’s data can do to help you engage with potential clients.

Can’t wait until August 7? No worries. Discover what your data can do for you with these ON24 resources.

Three Resources for Doing More With Your Data

It’s Time to Wake Up Your Data

What, exactly, can your webinar data achieve? Quite a bit. Learn how to wake up your data and engage your prospects in this blog post.

How to Use Customer Data for Quick Campaign Ideas

Need a quick and dirty campaign idea? Simple: turn to your customers. Discover how customer data can help inspire scrappy marketing campaign ideas and generate real results.

Using Engagement Data to Delight Your Audience

The number one rule about content? It’s all about the audience. Give your fans what they deserve when you learn how to activate your biggest advocates with your webinar engagement data.

CMO Confessions Ep. 26: Jaime Romero of MRP

Hello again and welcome to another edition of CMO Confessions, a bi-weekly B2B sales and marketing podcast that examines what real leadership looks like in organizations today.

This week we have Jaime Romero, the Global Head of Marketing and Customer Delivery at MRP. MRP, for those of you who don’t know, is a predictive account-based marketing solution crafted for enterprise organizations.

In this episode, Jaime and I discuss, obviously, ABM and the importance of targeted marketing today. We also go over the elements of internal alignment with sales, why companies need to focus on who they ought to reach and why enterprises are in such a difficult spot today. It’s a great episode that, honestly, could’ve gone on for hours. I hope you enjoy it.

As always, we provide an edited transcript for you to scan below.

Check out what else Jaime has to say on his Twitter profile here and on his LinkedIn profile here.

If you’re interested in listening to our growing podcast series, you can find all of our episodes right here in podbean. Alternatively, you can also find us on both iTunes and Google Play stores.

Without further ado, welcome to CMO Confessions. Let’s chat.

Table of Contents:

Jaime Romero’s Take On What’s Cool and Unique About ABM
How To Align Sales And Marketing Around What Matters Most
Aligning Sales and Marketing On Execution
The Challenge Around Enterprise According To Jaime
Enormous Markets vs Targeted Markets
What Drives Jaime Romero Bonkers
Where Should Marketing’s Role Start and End with Experience?

Transcript

Joe Hyland:

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of CMO Confessions, a B2B sales and marketing podcast where we explore what it really means to be a marketing leader in today’s business world. I’m Joe Hyland, CMO here at ON24 and joining me this week is Jaime Romero, a vice president of ABM and global head of marketing and delivery for MRP. Jaime, how are you doing?

Jaime Romero:

Good, how are you? Thanks for having me.

JAIME ROMERO’S TAKE ON WHAT’S COOL AND UNIQUE ABOUT ABM

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I’m psyched that you’re on today. All right, let’s dig into something that I think most marketers are fascinated by and probably also sick of hearing that this is the newest, latest, greatest thing in marketing, which is account-based marketing.

So much of this is just good marketing, right? Delivering a pretty tailored specific message to your given audience, in this case, an account. But I, I’d love to hear from you on one, how you view ABM, what’s cool about it and maybe what’s unique about your approach.

Jaime Romero:

Yeah, absolutely. So I agree with you 100%, ABM or account-based marketing is just marketing. You know, we’ve spoken to our analysts at Forrester, I’ve spoken to a dozen customers and prospects and they all say the same thing; account-based marketing is just good marketing. And you know, we think about, I talk to Kevin, our CEO often, he’s like, “MRP has been doing account-based marketing for 17 years. This is not a new thing.”

And when you think about it, you’re right we focus on our target account list or ideal customer profile and then you market against it using information that you have to align your messaging and your creative.

I think the big thing today though with account-based marketing and why it’s such a talked about topic is because of technology. And I think technology allows us to scale account-based marketing; AI and machine learning help us scale human decisions that we would make in a microcosm and really look at that at a broader scale, and make decisions faster, almost in real-time. And then I think what ABM does today, alongside the technology, is the sales and marketing alignment component of it.

I think the more advanced companies doing ABM today are going beyond just measuring MQLs and SQLs into a funnel and they’re thinking about holistically, here are the accounts that we’re looking to market to; what are the real metrics that we have to measure to measure the impact marketing and sales are having together?

HOW TO ALIGN SALES AND MARKETING AROUND WHAT MATTERS MOST

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, well, first of all, I could talk for an hour on everything you just said. One, I think focus is a beautiful thing in life, but in business and work as well. So what I love about an account-specific approach for go to market is, is it allows sales and marketing to really align around what matters most and it works particularly well if you’re selling within the enterprise. And it’s interesting, I think, so that’s the first part.

Joe Hyland:

The second part is if you don’t have like if sales and marketing aren’t looking at the same success metrics, they get in trouble and it happens so fast. And for me, this happens a lot around the MQL just because it’s a natural success metric for marketing to look at. And most heads of sales or sales reps couldn’t give two shits about an MQL.

It doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in a qualified name, they very much are. But if they’re having pipeline struggles and marketing says back to them, “Oh, we’re hitting our MQL targets,” I feel like a massive divide is about to occur and maybe you’ll never rebound from it. So how do you look at the success metrics for an ABM program? So it doesn’t become a, he said, she said, like, “I’m-doing-my-job-no-you’re-not” battle.

Jaime Romero:

So I’ll say two things to that. Firstly, if sales and marketing are aligned on the accounts, you don’t send bad leads. Right? I’ve sent leads to marketing and admittedly so and yeah, sorry, I send leads to sales and they get back to me and say, “You know, these are terrible leads.” And I look at them and I’m like, “Hey, you know, some of these aren’t really terrible leads.”

But if I had an agreement with sales and like, here’s the thousand 5,000, 10,000 accounts that we all agree on, then any lead that comes in from that account is a good lead. But that’s where your measurements go. You don’t start, you stop measuring MQL’s at that point you start saying you measure engagement and activity.

Which, on a side note, you want to be careful with because I don’t want to go to my CEO and be like, hey, look at all these website visits we got and look at all these click-through rate that we got. And he’s going to be like, okay, thanks, let me start talking to the big boys now and then call sales back in the room.

So you’ve got to be careful. And that’s why, at MRP, we’re starting to think about things like how do we measure and report on pipeline and pipeline conversion in the context of your target account list. I think that’s really important.

And then back to your original point in terms of how we roll this out into sales orgs and how you get that alignment going. I could talk to two customer examples that we’ve had. Number one, in a bad way, there was a constant battle between sales and marketing in terms of taking credit for leads coming in. Marketing would send leads and sales would basically copy those leads over into the CRM as a new lead and take credit for them.

And it’d be this black hole of marketing pouring things over a fence and it just disappears. Sales is working them and they’re getting real value, but because they structured that organization in the context of who’s driving revenue sales or marketing it was not productive.

On the other side, another one of our clients, I love this case study because we generated $9 million of revenue for them. It was “I’m marketing, I’m sales, here are the accounts that we’re focused on.” I think it was 5,000 accounts that they both agreed on. They were accounts that had stalled in the pipeline and we put together a full end-to-end program to say “Here’s the activity we’re noticing from prolitics, here’s the insight that we’re getting and here’s the marketing activity that’s going to happen based on that insight.”

Marketing and sales are both aligned and agreed on the actions that were taken — and Forrester talks about this a lot, which is the buyer journey going from sales to marketing back to sales — back to marketing. So we integrated these automated sales touchpoints as part of the journey. And man, the two outcomes were, A, they generated $9 million in real revenue, and, B, a lot of accounts that they wanted to sell into closed out and they got rid of a ton of junk that was in their pipeline. So it really cleaned up the entire sales and marketing view of their accounts.

Joe Hyland:

You said something really important there, is you added in sales touches as part of the flow, right? I see so many companies and organizations where they have these siloed approaches to ABM and to them means it hiring a whole bunch of SDRs and having them blitz away accounts and, oh, by the way, marketing is then doing something else that has absolutely nothing to do with what the SDR team is doing or the sales development team.

I’d love to get your take on how do you go about having that integrated approach. Because you’re right if you think about it from the target accounts side, if you actually walk a mile in their shoes, what a frustrating experience that is to have one part of an organization calling me up — it’s probably some 23-year-old kid who doesn’t have much experience — telling me why I need their solution. And then I’m getting all these emails from the marketing department about, probably pretty hopefully, a similar message. But it’s like, come on, get your act together, or like, what is the reason why I should listen to you guys when you can’t even align internally on how to communicate to me.

ALIGNING SALES AND MARKETING ON EXECUTION

Jaime Romero:

So, there are a few things there. In terms of the sales and marketing alignment on the execution side, that’s really difficult. I’m not sure if anybody’s really figured that out yet. But I like to believe we do a good job of it with our customers. But, it’s the personalization layer I think is key there. I am marketed to as the head of marketing for MRP, from a lot of different companies and I see companies do it really well and I see companies do it really poorly. Email is an easy one to flag to be able to subscribe link in the bottom, but some companies, even with that, some companies do a really good job of understanding what my pain points are and really focusing the messaging around that. And then bringing it back to ABM, seeing the email and seeing a bunch of advertising online that aligned to that messaging, seeing some Linkedin messaging, downloads, getting a piece of direct mail, all of that stuff together, it really pushes it.

I think the key, and I’ll give a shout out to G2 Crowd, [which] really looked at my profile, looked at the stuff I was writing about, and then sent me direct mail that was hyper-relevant to where I was at that moment. And I was blown away by it and called her right away. And I was like, hey, you know, what’s going on? Or how can we work together? So I was really impressed with that.

Joe Hyland:

Oh yeah, G2 Crowd is doing some cool things in their marketing. So it’s an  interesting shout out.

THE CHALLENGE AROUND ENTERPRISE ACCORDING TO JAIME

Jaime Romero:

Yeah, definitely shout out to G2 marketing, and their sales team, I’m really digging what they’re doing there. But, the other thing you talk about is, what we define as the challenges around the enterprise. We look at enterprise, and I don’t mean enterprise like $5 billion in revenue and above, I mean enterprise companies that have multiple product lines, that are trying to align, I mean, enterprise that you’re selling the same things. It’s a different geographies, right?

And you said it exactly right; you have these four or five different groups that are selling into the same account and it’s impossible for them to coordinate internally because they’re probably using different marketing automation platforms. They’re using different tools for everything. So there’s not a unified view of that account.

Jaime Romero:

And I think what the scale of ABM today using tools like prolitics or anything else, but the power is that you can align that research. So for that one example, I told you about earlier with the $9 million, that was a pure, we had six, seven different groups targeting the same account. We use prolitics to say everyone, “Stop, you go first because we saw signals that’s saying they’re interested in what you have to sell and not everyone else. So you go first, we’re going to do our thing there. And once that’s done, then we’re going to turn your other guys on, right?”

And then we’re work[ing] down the chain and we’ll see which ones can work concurrently or not. But that’s the key. And I think it’s really important for enterprise companies to start seriously thinking about breaking down those silos and orchestrating marketing activities that align to an account’s needs at that point.

ENORMOUS MARKETS VS TARGETED MARKETS

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think that’s well said, to your point earlier, executing on it is where the magic happens, right? But you’ve got to have the right strategy to start.

You referenced an ideal customer profile earlier and I’d love to get your take on having an enormous total addressable market. So, having hundreds of thousands of accounts that you can sell to versus being more targeted and saying, “No, no, no, like, you want to whittle that down and you want to have, you know, a strategy to the few not the many.”

Jaime Romero:

So, I’ve come from both sides of the fence. When I was doing local marketing I worked for a software company, I ran marketing for them and they targeted small and medium-sized businesses as well as any business that has a local presence. So it was local marketing. So it’d be like Macy’s and they’d have, you know, hundreds of locations or thousands. And that was an environment where we had hundreds of thousands of total addressable market.

And then, here at MRP, our total addressable market — I don’t have a hard number — but I know it’s not hundreds of thousands. It’s larger marketing organizations using marketing automation and a more advanced view on marketing.

And I think the larger your ideal customer profile, I think the harder it is to implement an ABM strategy because especially because your sales cycles are probably a lot shorter. So you’re talking quick sales cycle length. So you’re really focused on either e-commerce or an inbound strategy that’s going to automate a lot of your sales or you have a really big sales force that’s doing this stuff locally.

Whereas in MRP side we have a smaller total addressable market than hundreds of thousands but we have a much more sophisticated sales cycle and rely heavily on content and thought leadership to educate our customers on how to roll out ABM strategies. More importantly, we work with them; we have a whole team of people who are assigned to our customers and basically talk to them, if not daily, once a week, at most.

Joe Hyland:

Got It. I think it’s interesting and those are like totally different business challenges, right? I think it’s cool when you see companies that can theoretically sell to hundreds of thousands but when on the sales and marketing side, they choose to put more wood behind select arrows and there’s something alluring about having hundreds of thousands of companies you can sell to. But as a marketer it gets a little dangerous.

Jaime Romero:

You know, it’s interesting. Sorry to interrupt there. I just read, not just read, but recently read Seth Godin’s book, “This is Marketing”, I think it was called, but he talked about smallest viable audience, minimum viable promotion or minimum viable audience. And he talked about, he had a great example about an election, where, you know, this person wanted to get elected in some town, I forget if it was mayor or congressman or something, but they started with, “Yeah, we have hundreds of thousands of residents that we need to market to, to win this election.”

But he’s like, “Well, hold on one second. You have, you know, you split that into two groups. You have the people who are never gonna vote for you and the people who already going to definitely vote for you. So take those out of the equation and then you keep whittling it down and they boil down to like, here’s 5,000 people we actually need to convince to vote for me, not the hundreds of thousands.”

And I was like, you know what, that’s a really great way to look at, you know, shift shaping your ideal customer profile or at least at least building out your target market. It was, I thought it was really relevant to what I was doing at the time.

Joe Hyland:

That’s interesting. I think that’s a great analogy too. I think a lot of a lot of marketing is, can be found through looking at kind of political messaging strategies and you look at the electoral college at least here in the U.S. and it’s like, well, unfortunately, what happens is there’s like five states that end up mattering and to your point there, right? And it’s about Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, you name it. I just think it can provide a level of clarity that can be lost when kind of anything is possible and you have an enormous addressable market. So, I like that minimal viable audience.

Jaime Romero:

Yeah. And I’m doing things now with our targeting to try and to really think about what are the signals that are driving the right customers. Even looking at stock prices or their revenue for the last three years; if their revenue as an organization for the last three years is going down, are they more likely or less likely to renew?

So, starting to pull in all of this data because now you have this ability to pull in big data analytics and say, “You know what, here’s some signals that are really pointing to a win or a loss.” And even, “What are my hypotheses around the revenue growth or percentage of spend on marketing and whether or not we went in too high on a proposal.” And just kind guide sales around those kinds of data points.

Joe Hyland:

That’s interesting too. Are there goals and challenges around revenue generation cost savings, right? So yeah, I think there’s a lot of strategies that can be deployed in a world where you’re not necessarily focusing on hundreds of thousands of people.

Jaime Romero:

Exactly.

WHAT DRIVES JAIME ROMERO BONKERS

Joe Hyland:        

I’m curious to get your take on what drives you crazy about marketing today. You and I are both in the martech world for better or worse; what drives you bonkers? Like what do you see on a day-to-day basis and you say, “That makes no sense and I wish people would stop it.”?

Jaime Romero:        

I hate bad experiences. I mean really hate bad experiences. I hate when I go on a website and they’ve got a straight chat, everything is all nice and I start chatting and nobody shows up. I was like, “Hello?” Or it’s like 10 minutes later like, “Oh, did you need that?” Hell no, I needed it … I wanted to know right now, I’m a consumer at this point.

And you get these emails that are … I think, there’s no excuse for a poorly designed email today. I mean, every email platform has beautiful templates you can use. Yet I still see bad profiles, bad personalization, lowercase first name, no name at all. Just these little things that I feel like, at least for me, marketing should have figured out and there are enough tools out there to make sure that that stuff doesn’t happen anymore.

I think also as we move into consumerization of B2B marketing where you’re starting to expect a B2C experience. Like we as B2B marketers don’t have that latitude to make mistakes as we used to, right? Like, we just got to get so much better at the little details.

Joe Hyland:

I totally agree with you. It’s interesting and if you see this explosion in martech over the last 10 years is it enables us to scale like never before, which is amazing, right? Like, it makes our jobs much easier. I think there’s tremendous gains have been made, unfortunately, it’s a bit of a quantity versus quality effect that we’ve seen. And you have things like what you just said, it’s a shitty experience for someone it just says “Hi Name, comma,” first name is lowercase because in marketing automation it’s lowercase, right?

I feel like the experience has suffered as we’ve just tried to scale like never before. And, one, that drives me crazy, but, two, I don’t know if there’s an end in sight on that. Unfortunately, I think that scale is pretty, pretty cost-effective. And it’s easy with a click of a button that you can reach millions of people and so how do marketers kind of focus a little more on experience and quality and less on scale.

Jaime Romero:

Yeah, I mean, I do think it’ll get worse before it gets better, but I also think technology today is going to help it get better. In particular, a lot of AI implementation into a lot of these tools. Email platforms should recognize a name and be like, either stop, this is a name and it’s lowercase, just FYI or just fix it, like not even worry about it. Kind of like auto-correct on an email. I mean my email, my outlook fixes it, Gmail fixes it, I’m sure any email marketing platform can fix it.

I think AI is going to help with a lot of that scaling, and decisions that marketers do. But I agree. I think the problem will get worse, but I think companies will figure out how to fix it and I think they’ll fix it pretty quickly too. Cause I think some of this stuff is — the experiences are really important. And I think when you look at just even aligning messaging on different platforms and you have an ad that says one thing, an email that says another, direct mail that says another and then you have a completely different website.

I think those experiences are going to all start bringing it together and AI is going to help you do that. Because there’s no way I’m going to create like we have a thousand prospects I’m not gonna be able to create a thousand experiences. So the technology has to be able to do that for you.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. that’s a good point by the way, in the lower case, the first letter of a name; I’ve never even thought if within marketing automation whether it’s AI or just a simple formula for if you see Jaime with a lowercase “j” switch it to upper case. I’m going to look into that, I’m just curious.

Jaime Romero:

Well, we’re going to all start emailing Pardot and Marketo and Eloqua and be like, hey guys.

WHERE SHOULD MARKETING’S ROLE START AND END WITH EXPERIENCE?

Joe Hyland:

Exactly. That was either the most brilliant idea ever or people will mock us ’cause that’s been around for a decade and we’re too up in the sky with big ideas. I think you’re onto something with the experience. I think you’re right. I’m curious to get your take on how far that should go. Meaning, so a lot of marketers say, oh yeah, absolutely Jaime, love what you said. I agree. You know, we need to own experience on the front end, right? So advertising our email communications, whatever, everything to get a prospect or a potential customer to become a customer. But once they’re a customer, we’ve got other parts of the organization and they’ll handle that — we don’t need to worry about it. Do you see marketing stepping further and further into the customer experience side where today, of course, that’s handled by either some part of the sales team or the services organization, like where should marketing’s role start and end with experience?

Jaime Romero:

Yeah. I think marketing ultimately will own all of that end-to-end. I mean, I forget the number off the top of my head, but it’s obviously significantly more cost-effective to keep a customer than to sell a new one. And I think if I had to, I think as marketing and sales get closer together, you start working towards a unified revenue goal.

You don’t see it today because I’ve got my budget and I’ve got to hit my MQL goal. But if marketing and sales are working towards the same goal, I can say, here’s my budget and you know, 30% of our revenue is going to come from these renewals, let me invest some money into that. Or even not just renewals but growth on your existing customers. Now I’m going to invest some of my money into that.

And that’s where I see frankly a lot of companies implementing these ABM pilots happening. Because we’re looking at companies coming to us and saying, “I’m going to implement ABM.” That’s a big ask if you want to restructure your entire marketing org, if you’re not set up for that. But, all right, well, where are the use cases? Right? Do you want to implement an ABM strategy around pipeline or stalled pipeline or are some reactivation campaign or existing customers?

We had a client that used us for existing customers. It was a year-long contract, big contracts too, multimillion-dollar deals and they would use our platform to monitor those accounts and see, you know, three, six months before renewal they started doing research on competitors. And that’s a signal we’re going to save that one because it’s way easier to save a million-dollar deal than it is to sell a new million dollar deal.

So I think more and more we’re going to start seeing marketers go into that and be much more involved just like we do with product, you know, years ago marketers started getting involved in product marketing and really understanding the power of selling features and getting customers on board in the right way. I think that’s just as important. I think definitely we’ll see more of that and more marketing investment in that.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I agree with you. And I think it’s an exciting part of marketing and I think [if] you look at marketing 10 years ago versus now, so many more marketers and marketing orgs own either pipeline or at least have a seat at the table when it comes to revenue and the experience of your customers having marketing either again own that or have a major say in that it just speaks to how strategic marketing has become.

We’re no longer the “chotchkies make-it-look-pretty department,” right? Like this is when done right this is a strategic driver that can help an organization grow. And ultimately very much impact valuations. We recently kind of bumped into this data around retention information for our client base as it relates to engaging with our content. So are they into something we weren’t necessarily measuring? We were looking at how happy are the customers were, how often they were using our products, the right things.

But we ran a different cut of the data which viewed it through the lens of are they coming to our webinars, are they reading our white papers, are they coming to our conferences? And the numbers were astonishing. And in hindsight, it’s kind of obvious, but what we found is an engaged customer is a customer who sticks around for a really, really, really long time and it’s not necessarily about how they’re using our product. And I think it just, it speaks to the notion that you referred to earlier on in a marketer’s owning the entire experience and having a more holistic view.

Jaime Romero:

And again, just bringing technology back into it, this is why we’re talking about ABM today — it’s that scale and we’re finding a lot of the same things because now we have all this data we can analyze. And we’re seeing the same thing you engage with certain content or certain marketing channels. The impact that has on your email click-through rates is 10x or your response rate on a direct mail program is five times higher because, you know, read this white paper. So I think those are really powerful and I guess you could have done it with excel a long time ago, but they didn’t. At the scale at least.

Joe Hyland:

Exactly. It’s kind of like finding a needle in the haystack. Okay, listen, Jaime, this was fantastic. I again, appreciate you taking the time and coming on the show and thank you for your insights.

Jaime Romero:

Absolutely, I appreciate you having me. And it’s good to connect with you in virtual person.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, we’re almost in person and we’re getting there. All right, thanks, man.

Jaime Romero:

We will. All right.

How FinServ Can Keep the Human Touch with Tech

Leading finance firms are starting to reap the rewards of their early investment in emerging technology, such as chatbots used to deliver automated advice that is impartial and fully customized. A renewed focus on improving the customer experience is now turning their attention to distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing (or DARQ, as Accenture calls this technology quartet). Obviously, the FinServ digital experience is a topic on the industry’s mind.

The vast majority (96%) of banking executives said that new technologies have accelerated their pace of innovation over the past three years. Encouragingly, nine in ten banks are already experimenting with one of more DARQ technologies. Artificial intelligence (AI) is leading with 43% adoption, slightly lower than the 48% in insurance. This is not surprising when factoring in the 20-25 % cost savings banks can expect from augmenting their operations with AI.

How Finance Views Tech Today

However, the technology wave sweeping through the finance industry is seen as both an opportunity and a threat. Nearly a third (32 %) of financial services CEOs regard ‘speed of technological change’ as a top threat to their organizations, compared to 28% across all industries.

Competitive forces continue to intensify, which puts further pressure on finance organizations to elevate the services they provide with the help of technology. After disrupting the traditional advisory services space with passive asset management and low minimums, the robo-advisory sector is expanding into deposit banking with cash management programs and high-yield savings accounts. According to The Robo Report, “the expansion from digital investment advice to cash management and banking is well underway. These attractive offers from fintech companies will continue to ramp up competition amongst traditional financial advice firms and banks.”

Three Ways Financial Services Professionals Can Step Up Their Digital Game Today

Make engagement a strategic pillar, shaping everything you do

In the highly competitive finance world, companies that succeed will be the ones that build trust and foster ongoing engagement. Use an array of engagement strategies and tactics to stand out from the pack and meet your customers where they are.

Combine human interaction with technology to facilitate seamless interactions

The race to adopt new technology has inadvertently removed the personal touch. But human touch still has a place in this high-tech world, and future success will be very much dependent on the ability to combine the best aspects of technology with the human advice-driven model into one seamless customer experience.

Webinars help educate and inspire and make audiences feel more empowered.

Draw on your organization’s specific specialisms and offer a combination of data, research and evidence to showcase your expertise. Putting your audience’s needs first is key, and educational content is the best way to do that.

Tech Comes to The Rescue

Ironically, it is technology that will help finance organizations regain the customer intimacy of the past by uncovering interests, behaviors, likes and needs. Most banking executives believe that digital demographics will enable them to identify unmet customer needs and expand the way they deliver products and services.

As emerging technologies become the table stakes of the future, finance organizations can’t afford to be hesitant about the priorities they should pursue. Unlocking their full potential requires agility and commitment to innovation as well as getting the basics right: understanding what customers need and meeting those needs. And the end of the day, the FinServ digital experience is set to improve.

Discover how professionals in the financial services industry can provide a better digital experience with ON24’s Webinar Benchmarks Report: Financial Services Trends.

Meet the Professor: Steph Dang

Hello, my fellow Webinerds! I’m Steph Dang and I’m a Product Marketing Manager at ON24, responsible for product positioning and ensuring that the voices of the customer and market are heard. Webinars hold a special place in my heart and all my experiences and goals have led me to this (that may be a bit dramatic, but that’s how I feel).

I’ve previously managed and communicated best practice webinars for customers, so I fully understand what functionalities are necessary to not only engage audiences but also have efficient workflows.

I am excited about the ON24 Platform because each and every feature was built to ensure the best digital experiences. I’m super passionate about engagement and ensuring that ON24 delivers the tools that help you succeed.

I’ve been in your shoes so I’m pretty excited to share my favorite ON24 engagement tools and features that will make your experiences dynamic and your processes more efficient such as the CTA tool, multi-registration and ratings and comments. Join my Homeroom session, ON24 Features You Should DEFINITELY be using, to learn about ON24’s unique functionalities for interactive, data-rich webinars.

Webinar Best Practices Series: Before Your Webinar

Okay, so you have your fancy new webinar platform (hi, hopefully) and are ready and raring to put on your first event. Sloooow down.  First,  you need to get a few things in order. What, exactly? Here’s our (condensed) webinar best practices guide of what to do before your webinar.

INTEGRATE WITH YOUR MARKETING TOOLS

Your webinar is going to generate a wealth of data. Make sure you’re set up to quickly and easily spread those data-rich insights across your company by integrating your webinars with your marketing automation, CRM platform, social media channels and more. Direct access to your data will help you understand what your audience wants, so you can optimize future webinars.

How ON24 Drives Demand with Webinars

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes to make sure webinar data gets integrated across marketing operations… it gets messy fast. Our VP of DemandGen, Neal Amsden, gives an inside look at the nuts and bolts of our own webinar marketing operations, so you can get your own engine running fast.

DESIGN A PRESENTATION THAT RESONATES

We all know first impressions count—so don’t put your audience off with cluttered presentation slides filled to the brim with dull stock imagery and cheesy clip art. Keep your slides clean, with no more than three bullet points per slide. If you are going to use imagery, choose eye-catching photography that adds value to your talking points, and beware of low-res images that look grainy or pixelated.

How to Build the Perfect Webinar Presentation

What’s the first rule of a great webinar presentation? It’s not about YOU; it’s about your audience. Get the scoop on how to design your content around the people you’re trying to engage, and add interactivity throughout the entire experience.

EQUIP YOUR TEAM FOR SUCCESS

Nothing ruins a great webinar faster than lousy video or audio. Equip your team with the technology they need to create a captivating webinar. For audio-only webinars, invest in a good-quality headset and do your best to dial in from a landline or use the microphone on your computer. Even better, use your webcam to present by video during your webinars. A video presentation puts an energetic subject matter expert in front of your audience, humanizing your brand and making an emotional connection with your audience. Make sure you’re using a good quality camera with a built-in mic, and test it before you deliver a live event.

5 Ways to Integrate Video into Your Webinars

Death by PowerPoint or a live-streamed talk show? We agree, the latter! That means you’ll need to run a video webinar, which takes a little skill to master. Luckily, we have the Chief Webinerd himself sharing tips and tricks for adding video to your webinars.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

People are busy and getting busier every day. Asking someone to give up an hour of their time in the middle of a hectic workday can be a big ask. That’s why scheduling your webinar at a convenient time can make a big difference. Avoid times when your audience is likely to be away from their desks, such as commute times and the lunch hour. Don’t ask your audience to start their days early or stay late. Avoid weekends at all costs.

ON24 2019 Webinar Benchmarks Report

Take advantage of the lessons learned by the thousands of webinars running through the ON24 network every day and get a sense of optimal timing for your webinars.