How to Market Your Webinar After It’s Finished

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Let’s say you just ran a webinar, and it was great. Your speakers knocked it out of the park, the discussion was lively and informative, and your audience asked some inspired questions. What now? Do you just shelve the project and move on? After all that work?

The lifecycle of a webinar doesn’t have to end with its broadcast date. In this post, we’ll suggest scrappy ways of extending the life of your latest webinar by six months and beyond by making it into an on-demand webinar.

Up to 48 hours

After the stream is stopped, the panel has been thanked, and the mics are packed away, the first thing you need to do is send out a link to the recording of the webinar – not just to those who attended, but to anyone who registered who may not have shown.

Don’t worry about those streaming your webinar having a lesser experience – most interactive tools, such as chat, polls and CTAs – will still work on an on-demand webinar. Your on-demand viewers will still get answers to their questions, they just won’t be in real time.

One week

Even though the webinar is over, it’s important to keep promoting it, and social is a great way to keep the momentum going. Post links to your webinar with the call to action ‘Watch now’ along with some eye-catching imagery on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s fine to keep it informal – that’s what we expect on social media.

Change up the message by drawing out different topics of the webinar and giving these their own social campaigns – say, SEO this week, paid search next week – so it doesn’t go stale, and that you can capture different audiences.

Six months… and beyond

Even when the webinar is well and truly in its long tail stage of popularity, you can continue to put it to work by making sure it’s always on. In fact, you can continue to promote the webinar by creating the following pieces of content that can point back to the on-demand webinar. Some ideas include:

  • Tweets: Was there an interesting poll result during the webinar? Tweet it out with a link to the webinar page.
  • Blogs: Write a blog post, perhaps a round-up of what was discussed in the webinar, or a series of blogs, each based around one of the webinar’s themes. Drop a link to the webinar in the sidebar.
  • Slides: If you have permission, post the webinar slides on SlideShare to reach a larger audience.
  • White paper: A longer piece of content, this could draw and expand on the themes raised in the webinar. Keep it relatively short.
  • Infographic: This could sum up everything that the webinar covered on a single screen. If you don’t have a design team, hire a freelancer to create this for you.
  • Put it in other webinars: Use the resources section of your webinar platform to link back to previous sessions. By doing so, you can encourage the type of ‘webinar bingeing’ that makes it easier for your audience to further their buyer journey.
  • Syndicate on other sites: To get new leads from a new audience, try syndicating your webinars on third-party sites and publishers. One bonus is that if you’re using a performance-based model for syndication, you’ll only pay for the leads that sign up.

Finally, as the original air date of the webinar draws further away, you might start to consider running it again as a simulive event, say, after about six months. This will allow you to reach a different audience and build on the insights offered by the webinar on its first airing.

To find out more about how you can make your webinars deliver results for longer, check out our guide on the Keys to Building an On-Demand Webinar Strategy.

How To Build an Improvised Webinar Studio

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Webinars can be run using potentially very little equipment, potentially with no more than a computer with a microphone or even just a phone dial-in for guests.

If you’re new to using webinars, there’s plenty of information on how to host webinars on our Webinar Best Practices series which will help you get started.

But if you’re looking to ramp up the number of webinars you hold, want to lift the experience for attendees, or want to save yourself time when it comes to setting them up, building an improvised webinar studio can help you become more effective even with a scrappy marketing budget.

Such an approach has been taken by car sales site AutoTrader, as the team looked to replace in-person meetings with live webinars. As described by AutoTrader’s insight director (which you can hear about on-demand), their path to running webinars took an incremental approach, starting by adding just a cheap webcam to their sessions, before eventually investing in a dedicated studio with top-notch hardware.

So what are the steps to help putting a basic studio in place? Below are a few suggestions that you can action.

Find a quiet room to commandeer

To help set up an improvised studio, look around to see if there is a spare room you can set up to help run these sessions. This will allow you to leave any decorations or equipment you have in one place, saving you valuable time as you prepare each session. For wherever you choose, make sure it’s quiet enough that your attendees won’t have to hear any background noise.

If you can’t get exclusive use of such a room, look at ways you can store any hardware or decorations in there. Get a small cabinet (ideally with a lock and key) so you can quickly bring out what you need.

Get a wired connection in place

In busy offices, wifi can frequently drop out, leaving your audience with a potentially sub-par experience.

Look to ensure there is a wired connection available in any room you choose. If there are any ports free on the wall, check that they work, as you may have to ask IT or building services to activate them.

A wired connection will give you the fastest and most stable speeds, minimizing the risk of any mishaps that could happen during a session.

Make a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign

Whether or not you’ve repurposed a room, you don’t want anyone walking in while you’re running a session.

Make sure you have a sign that you can put on the front of your door to make sure no one walks in unannounced. It doesn’t need to be fancy – even a simple piece of paper will do the job.

Get a dedicated camera – or at least raise your laptop

The latest Webinar Benchmarks Report showed that the use of video is up among marketers. It’s proven to increase engagement and help you form a stronger connection with your audience.

Getting a separate camera can help you deliver video that is better than that of a laptop’s webcam. Even with a cheap model, a camera can be set at a level that means you’re not hunched over and looking down at a screen, which might be the case if you’re relying on a laptop.

If you can’t get a webcam, try putting the laptop you’re using on a stand to bring it closer to eye level. At the very least, it will avoid the likelihood of making it look like you have a double chin.

Decorate on the cheap

If you’re going to appear on camera, it makes sense for where you present to look as good as it can. But it doesn’t need to be expensive.

If you have any pop-up banners that you use at tradeshows, these can act as a good looking backdrop to any session. Likewise, any other subtle decorations such as pot plants or side tables can liven up what otherwise might be meeting room that isn’t the most photogenic.

If you have a television screen on the wall, this can also help improve visuals. You don’t even need to put any slides on it – just a logo might help lift the visuals in your session.

Improve the lighting

Once you’ve got a basic set up in place, you may wish to improve the lighting to further lift the quality of your sessions.

There are a wide range of lighting solutions now available that are surprisingly low cost. LEDs and softboxes range from the basic to professional levels.

If you are looking for an even scrappier approach, try adding greaseproof paper to desklamps to add diffuse lighting.

Get better sound with dedicated microphones

Almost any microphone – even those on most laptops – will sound better than using a low bitrate phone line. But if you’re not very close, it can pay dividends to get a dedicated microphone.

Many types are available at a wide range of price points. From USB microphones used for podcasting, to lavalier mics that you can wear, to boom mics that are either standalone or attached to a camera, all can help improve the sound quality and lead to a more engaging session.

Experiment and improve

Whatever you start with when building an improvised webinar studio, don’t worry about starting small. Running webinars frequently will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t, and allow you to make gradual improvements that lead to becoming a webimaster.

For more ideas, check out our on-demand session on How to Engage Your Webinars With Video.

4 Quick and Easy Webinar Formats You Can Use Right Now

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

The webinar’s primary purpose is to convey useful information to the viewer. If done well, it’s a format that can do wonders for engaging customers, but stick with the same formula and you run the risk of switching them off completely.

However, some types of webinar can take a lot of time to produce – particularly if you’re still learning the best practices. But if you’re looking to take a scrappy approach to your marketing, you want to drive results quickly. So what formats work well and require less effort than others?

Here are four webinar formats you can quickly pull together to start getting results quickly.

Run a panel discussion

What it is: A discussion among about three subject experts, moderated by the presenter.

How to do it: Find a few favorite contacts who are reliable, knowledgeable and great at communicating. They might be clients of the company or industry experts. The presenter, although moderating the discussion, should also be well-versed in discussion topics so that they can guide discussion, and think of different angles on the fly.

The discussion will be more lively and could yield more interesting insights, including offering several different approaches to a single problem, if the panelists have differing opinions. A diverse panel will make for a greater depth of discussion and have broader appeal.

Before going live, create a list of discussion topics to keep things moving and on track. Let the panel know in advance so they can prepare for the questions you’ll be asking.

For more information, read our tips for running better panel webinars.

Schedule a product demo

What it is: A look at how certain features of your product work, presented by an expert.

If your customers have a common problem that can be solved by your product, a product demo could show them how to solve that problem, while showcasing your product to a clutch of new potential customers.

How to do it: Base the webinar around a particular, concrete, problem that the solution can help users solve, rather than giving a whistlestop tour of the product, which might come off as a pitch. This approach will also help the webinar sell itself, as offer of how to solve a problem is a far more compelling proposition than a generic tour. The approach may also alert potential customers to problems they might not even know they had.

Find someone on your team who knows the product back to front, can clearly communicate complicated concepts and who won’t be thrown by unexpected questions from the audience.

ON24’s Mark Bornstein terms these sessions ‘The Deminar‘. Taking this approach allows you to have a conversation as you present, and therefore act as great bottom-of-funnel webinars.

Webinars like these have great simulive potential – that is, you can run them again and again as live ensuring that new customers also get to see them. And by putting your sales team on Q&A duty, you can have them engage in real-time even when you aren’t actually presenting. For accounting firm Sage, their daily “Coffee Break Demo” sees more than 20 sign-ups a day on average – meaning they generate as many opportunities from this automated session as all their other webinars combined.

Interview Your Boss, a Co-Worker or a Client

What it is: A chat with one of the company’s highest-ranking personnel, such as the CEO or Chief Product Officer, or with one of the company’s clients. Remember, this can be recorded in advance.

How to do it: Recruit a member of your team who is comfortable in front of the camera and may have some interviewing experience.

Draft a set of about 10 questions to put to your interviewee – you won’t need to ask all of these, in fact, you’ll probably only have time to ask more than in 45 minutes, but 10 gives you some room for maneuver. You might talk to a client about how they’ve used your product or service, or a member of your C-suite about upcoming opportunities, threats and trends in the industry. Make sure to engage the audience too, and field their questions as much as possible.

Share these with the interviewee in advance so that they can prepare, and make any suggestions – as they’re experts, they may have great ideas for discussion you may have missed. Read our article on interview webinar tips for more guidance.

Do a Content recap / revisit

What it is: A new look at an old subject which may have been rendered relevant with recent events, such as a change in legislation.

How to do it: Bring together all the material from the old webinar, including slides, audience data and ad creative. Update anything that has gone out of date.

You’ve got a headstart on promotion here – target all those who watched the webinar last time, and refresh the ad creative that worked best if you decide to take the paid social route.

Our webinar on “Bring Your Webinars Back From The Dead” provides more guidance on how to do this effectively.

Build Webinars with Clients in Mind

This post was originally published on which-50.com.

Schneider Electric builds its webinars based on partners or end-users and then pulls together content accordingly, according to Chris Quinn, its VP of Marketing.

Quinn said from that stage the company may involve multiple of its own teams to bring content together.

“For example, a seminar targeting water and waste water end-user customers included three of our businesses plus a customer who talked to a case study implementation.

“The webinar enabled us to attract people from right around the country in a cost-effective way compared to an on-ground or physical event approach — and also shows respect for customer time constraints. We reached 120 customers, which was above target.”

Quinn said Schneider Electric is a broad business covering many market segments and the company’s customers know it for a particular aspect of what it does.

“So a challenge for the company is to find practical ways to help them understand the broader problem-solving capability and solutions that we can bring to help them,” he said.

Extracting Value From Customers

When designing a program that focuses on extracting more value from existing customers, Quinn said it has to start with the customer first, then the company collaborating across teams to pull together the right content and style.

“Having a customer talk to their experience is always valuable and we generally include plenty of time for Q&A.

“We have successfully applied live polling on a few occasions to drive engagement. Most of the effort is required in the planning phase and it depends on strong collaboration, including external participation,” he said.

Types Of Webinars

There are various types of webinars and all have a specific role to play.

As one example, Quinn cites the waste water webinar as one designed to engage customers and help them understand the broader role the company can play.

As another example, Quinn said, the company had recently hosted on “targeting specifiers (electrical consultants) on the topic of digitised electrical distribution — an emerging space where we have leadership credibility.

“We did two webinars in this space — one was thought leadership/vision and the other was a technical presentation that went into the practicalities of how to get involved in this emerging space.”

Schneider’s most recent webinar was on smart grid for utility customers, targeting technical people from electrical utilities all around Australia. Smart grid, according to Quinn, is also described as “pipeline acceleration”.

He said the company did this webinar based on the opportunities it observed in the past through various tactics, and found that movement in the sector is very slow.

“We pulled the report and invited customers with the help of the sales team.

“The content for this webinar was real examples directly from one of the customers and partners using the solution,” he said

The result from that was 212 people registered, and 142 people attended.

He explained, “From the sales cycle point of view, it’s hard to comment at this stage. However, the engagement level was very high. We provided five different resources (224 downloads) and three videos (64 views).” The Q&A portion yielded 25 questions or interactions.

Want to learn more about how webinars work in APAC? Check out Webinar World Sydney right here.

Binge-Worthy Webinars Are Easy to Build

This post was originally published on which-50.com.  

The widespread consensus that we are in the midst of a new golden age of television is predicated on the combination of sophisticated storytelling and distribution platforms that put the power in the hands of the audience.

Indeed, it has given rise to a new term — ‘binge-watching’ — meaning to watch a large number of television programmes, usually from a single series, in succession.

So Maryel Roman-Price, Field Marketing Manager at Magento, an Adobe company, asks: why not adapt that ideology to webinar creation?

Webinars can be powerful tools to generate demand and diversify your channel offering —particularly when combined with a story that brings value to your audience.

“It’s cheaper than physical events, it can be wide-cast or as targeted as you want it to be. But a lot of marketers do it, so you have to stand out somehow, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money or do something out of this world [to achieve that],” Roman-Price says.

The secret is in the planning, and in listening to your audience and adapting accordingly. Look at all possible data points, Roman-Price says, and if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it up.

When it comes to the development of creative content, Roman-Price says your own experience is a good starting point. What works for you probably works for the majority, she says.

“Start with that, then tweak it according to your target audience’s preferences. Look at what’s working for others — you don’t really have to re-invent the wheel, just make it better and your own. Sometimes, an idea just pops out of nowhere. You just need to expose yourself out there by reading, networking, watching, and, of course by listening to your own audience — they are always more than happy to propose ideas.”

Having a level of input can also help organisations foster audience loyalty, because it shows you value your audience’s opinions and listen to what they have to say.

“Give them air time by answering their questions and being readily available should they have more questions,” Roman-Price advises. “Make it easy for them to follow your series — have a great UX [user experience] on your webinar platform, have it available on-demand, and offer resources and not just sell to them. They sign-up and watch to learn, so give them that and entertain them at the same time.”

The elements often missing from a webinar ‘series’ are consistency and a continuous narrative. It is easy to deviate as webinar ‘episodes’ evolve. That is why having a plan that plots the narrative can be so helpful — as long as you are prepared to adapt accordingly should it fail to resonate with your audience.

Above all, never underestimate the power of being fun.

“To be ‘binge-worthy’, [a webinar] has to be addictive and likable,” Roman-Price says. “If you make it fun, then it’ll be enjoyable both for your team and the people watching it.”

Maryel Roman-Price is a presenter and panelist at Webinar World in Sydney on Thursday 2 May. To learn more about Webinar World Sydney, click here 

Three Content Delivery Tips That’ll Make Your Customers Feel Happy

When evaluating brands, studies have shown that emotions drive buying decisions. So, every marketing strategy should aim to invoke emotion on a personal level. It’s a difficult task, but marketers need to focus on how their target audiences feel.

Here are three ways ON24 can help give your target audience that special feeling.

Engagement Should Be Personal

What does your audience want? Prospects and customers want to feel special and not just “one of many.” They crave content, but they only want content that pertains to them and helps them in their journey.

A recent Gartner survey found companies risk losing 38 percent of customers with poor personalization. The problem: while personalization is important, it’s also difficult. That’s why ON24 Webcast Elite and  ON24 Target makes building personalized content experiences based on accounts, personas or industry, easy.

With robust content insights on viewing time, comments and more, ON24 allows you to track content performance to ensure you choose the right content for each target audience. Coupled with high-touch, customizable CTAs, you can provide personalized content journeys and engagement points with your brand.

Mix Up the Content Delivery

Content is more than static words or images. To bring your stat static content to life by mixing up the  experience’s delivery! Webcast Elite enables you to dynamically engage with audiences through live or recorded video streaming and tools like Q&A and group chat.

Providing various types of multimedia assets keeps your audience engaged with your brand for longer. ON24 Engagement Hub provides an always-on resource that delivers content how your audience wants it (à la Netflix binging), it also doesn’t limit you to one type of content.

Having a mix of webinars, videos and case studies available in your Hub lets prospects better engage with your content. By putting your best content all in one location, you create your own mini-Netflix experience, putting audience members in control.

Listen

It’s that simple. People want to be heard. However you’re communicating with your audience, you need to create a connection. ON24 products offer interactivity tools—such as polls, surveys, an ideation tool to encourage group engagement and ratings and comments — all to engage with your audience in unique ways. Give your audience the opportunity to be more engaged and create more of a conversation.

Remembering “the feels” will help improve your interaction with prospects and customers, no matter the communication method you use. See how ON24 helps you create engagement that matters.

CMO Confessions EP. 19: Vonage’s Rishi Dave

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of CMO Confessions, a bi-weekly podcast series that discusses the secret side of marketing and sales in the B2B arena. In this week’s episode, I talk shop with Rishi Dave, CMO of Vonage.

Vonage, for those of you who don’t know, is a software-as-a-service specializing in cloud communications for business. The company got its start with voice of internet protocol, or VoIP. It’s been on a bit of a buying spree since then, acquiring several companies over the years to transform into a business cloud communications leader.

Vonage’s marketing efforts are headed up by Rishi Dave. Rishi has an extensive background in the technology field, starting with Trilogy Software, Dell and Dunn & Bradstreet before moving to Vonage. Rishi has some fantastic insights on what’s required of a CMO today — many of which you can find on his blog, Chief Madness Officer here.

In this episode, Rishi and I discuss the dangers of relying on one-size-fits-all playbooks, how complex and difficult being a CMO can actually be and how the presumptions a lot of us marketers have about industry standards (i.e., events and analysts) can actually be damaging.

If you’re interested in diving into Rishi’s career you can find his LinkedIn profile here. You can also follow his marketing insights and quips on Twitter 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

How Rishi Got to Where He Is

The Dangers of One-Size-Fits-All Playbooks

How Marketers Drive Top-Line Growth

CMO Expectations and the Problem of Complexity

On Events and Analysts

What Rishi Loves About Marketing and Working as a CMO

Where Tech Marketing Is and Where It’s Headed

Transcript:

Joe Hyland:

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of CMO Confessions, a weekly 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 today, joining me from the East Coast is Rishi Dave, CMO of Vonage. Rishi, How you doing?

Rishi Dave:

I’m great. How are you?

Joe Hyland:

I am fantastic. Where on the East Coast are you? Are you in New York?

Rishi Dave:        

I’m in New Jersey, actually. So, we’re not too far from the city, but we’re actually headquartered in Homedale, New Jersey on the Jersey Shore.

Joe Hyland:

Okay. There you go. Squeezed in between the Jersey shore in New York City.

Rishi Dave:

Pretty much, yeah. But we have, but you know, just to get cool points, we have a pretty significant presence in San Francisco, so it’s almost like a second headquarters.

Joe Hyland:

There we go. Okay You’ve climbed off a few notches again. Okay, cool. Tell our audience what you’re doing over at Vonage and you joined somewhat recently, right? So I think people would love to hear how the ride has begun.

How Rishi Got to Where He Is

Rishi Dave:

Yeah, it’s been a blast. So I joined Vonage five months ago and Vonage is in just a hypergrowth mode. I’m in an industry that’s in hypergrowth mode, which is basically cloud-based communications and cloud and communications APIs. And so it’s been really exciting. You know, Vonage was known a while back what it was founded on, which is a residential VOIP company.

But about four years ago, we signed a major transformation through both acquisitions as well as organic growth. And now the company is very much squarely focused in a SaaS communications applications and Communication APIs. And so it’s a super exciting space that’s in hypergrowth. And so, as a CMO, being in an industry that’s still early that’s blowing pretty significantly is really exciting.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. But there’s some brand equity right in the heritage of as you just discussed, kind of were Vonage has evolved from. So how much of that heritage plays a role in your current brand strategy, if any, or if at all?

Rishi Dave:        

Oh, it definitely does. We’re thinking a lot about not just the Vonage brand itself and kind of where it was founded in how people think about it. But, well, thinking about a whole portfolio of brands with the Vonage brand. On the one hand people kind of think of it as what we used to do in residential VOIP, although that’s changing, but it also has incredible top of mind recall that’s very positive. So people kind of know the name and they have a positive association. It’s always been an innovator. And so, after we have to weigh those things also, as I mentioned, we’ve done a lot of transformation to acquisition, really very successfully. What we also have are a lot of brands that we’ve acquired. And so we’re thinking a lot about how do we bring this portfolio together, of brands, and really drive the strategy forward in terms of what we do.

The Dangers of One-Size-Fits-All Playbooks

Joe Hyland:

Okay. Very exciting. So, I’m curious to get your take on this particularly given your experience.

Rishi Dave:

Okay.

Joe Hyland:

So you were just at D&B and I think had quite a successful run there — and we come back to that in a moment — and now have shifted gears and, and are doing exciting things at Vonage. I talk to a lot of marketers who feel they have a pretty solid playbook and sometimes that’s nice to have, a recipe and a certain approach that has worked well in the past, but you need to be cautious and ensure that you don’t apply a one size fits all approach to a pretty different segment with different challenges, different competition, et cetera. How would you respond to too many marketers talking about this overly simplified, one size fits all. Like, “Here’s my approach to a market regardless of the market.” It doesn’t matter, B2B, B2C old, new, nascent, established, um, et cetera?

Rishi Dave:

It’s a great question. I think that it’s not an either or, so it’s not a black and white where I either do a playbook or I kind of create some new approach from scratch. It’s actually both. And so what I try to do when as I came into Vonage is — of course I had a perspective based on my experience on running marketing organizations are on what works and what doesn’t work and how to approach marketing issues and problems — but I almost try to erase that from my head initially and try to really understand first and foremost the customers that we’re going after and then really think about the customer journey and what the pain points are on what the pain points are.

Rishi Dave:

And then, secondly, think about what are our current marketing capabilities. What do we do well? What do we don’t do well? What can we improve? What’s holding us back? And so I’d like to do all of that initially to really, before I started to formulate a hypothesis on what my strategy in playbook would be. And, as you can guess, it’s not exactly the same playbook that I had as CMO of Dun & Bradstreet. Nor is it the same playbook I had when I was a senior marketer that Dell, but it does draw on things that worked in the past in terms of when I’m implementing. And then secondly, you can draw on that base of experience to help assess how the current state of marketing because of I that those are valuable benchmarks to pull on. And then we see things that are different than you know that they’re different and you can start to look at why they’re different.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. I think that’s a great answer. Perhaps my question was a little leading indicating I didn’t think there was a one size fits all approach, but there’s not, right? I mean there were, there are certain fundamentals that very much hold true from industry to industry. But they’re wildly different scenarios, right? You might follow a certain formula to assess a problem and form your solution, but your solution will be wildly different depending on the problem.

Rishi Dave: 

Yeah, we will. But also at the same time, you don’t want to not leverage your entire base of experience. So that base of experience helps you identify gaps, right? So for example, you know what you’ve done something that’s been at a previous role. You look at the current situation, you see a gap. Now that you may say that gap is a bad thing. You may say that gap is exactly what makes sense. But at least you know, there’s a gap when you identify how to address it. But you’re right. End of the day, I look back on a number of marketing rules I’ve had the actual implementation was vastly different and the initial implementation changed a whole bunch as well as the market changed and the dynamics change. So, there is no playbook. I wish it was that stable.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I wish it was that easy and that’s a great point. Even though it’s not just from company to company, even within the same role, market dynamics can shift in your initial hypothesis has to get adjusted. Right?

Rishi Dave:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

How Marketers Drive Top-Line Growth

Joe Hyland:

All right. I’m curious to get your take on marketers driving top-line growth because I think this is a wildly exciting time to be in marketing. I remember my first marketing role was basically ensuring that collateral was prepared for sales reps for trade shows and handwriting notes for sales reps and signing their names. And that was my way of impacting revenue. Many more marketing organizations are a little more strategic these days. But I’d love to hear from your perspective either your experience in driving top-line growth or your views on the role marketing should play.

Rishi Dave:        

Marketing is absolutely focused on top-line growth especially in, I can only speak to B2B, but it’s absolutely focused on top-line growth. I think that the entire purpose of marketing ultimately is to drive top-line growth both short, medium and long term. The reason why I say short, medium and long term is that as a CMO what gets a disproportionate amount of mindshare and discussion share is the brand stuff because it’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s things people don’t understand, et cetera. But you know what, that’s a minor part of the strategy that for the mid and long term it’s highly important. But if you look at the portfolio of things that a CMR focuses on, brand is a component, but there’s a whole host of other things that are really focused on driving top-line revenue of which brand is a portion of it. And so I absolutely agree and that has so many components from a component of analytics, demand gen, account-based marketing relationship with sales, measurement in analytics — I mean, there’s so many components of a driving top-line revenue that we have to think about.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think that’s brilliant. And you touched upon this a few minutes ago when you were talking about understanding your customer, understand the pain points. Marketing is — I mean, this is such a pivotal time for marketers and we’re really at the tip of the spear, so to speak and the advice I’d give to marketers, and particularly those early in their careers know, your market inside and out, know the competition, know your customer, know your customer, know your customer — if you do those three things, you’re going to be in a position where you can help the strategy of an organization and can help drive revenue. And that’s how you become strategic.

The Politics of Marketing

Rishi Dave:

Absolutely. One thing I would add to that too is that you have to have — so you referred to marketers early in their career — the advice I also think a lot about is you have to have a lot of fortitude in grit. This podcast is called CMO Confessions, right? So, one thing that I find is, being a CMO or being in marketing — and I am biased — but it’s one of the hardest jobs in the B2B enterprise.

And the reason why is that you’re at the nexus of everything. You’re working with every organization. You don’t always get the glory, right? When things go well. But you definitely get the blame when things don’t go well. Many times. And so much of it is not just driving the numbers, driving the demand gen, driving the brand metrics, but also driving significant relationships across the company. And that’s a lot of complexity that you have to deal with. And so it’s a very complicated, difficult job. And it becomes more difficult as you move up in the ranks.

Joe Hyland:        

Yeah. That was quite well said.

Marketing is amazing, the amount of touch points you have to have within an organization to really do it well. And you’re right, it’s like being careful what you wish for. I think every marketer’s dream, particularly ambitious marketers is to have more of an impact on the organization. Well, when you get a seat at the table, the real table, you deal with the adult problems of the organization and they’re not easy to solve. And you’re right at, at bigger — and this is something, I don’t talk about much with many marketers, this is actually all size organizations — but as you rise up the ranks at larger and larger companies, it is amazing how imperative relationships are. Because you can’t get it all done yourself. You just can’t do it.

Rishi Dave:

You cannot, you cannot. Which you can at other organizations. So, if you’re a great salesperson, you can crank and you can get sales done and you can blow away your quota and you become a rockstar — if you’re a great salesperson. I mean, that’s a hard job, but that’s a different kind of job. And you know, other groups are similar — not true with marketing. I mean, you cannot succeed unless you in a highly specialized technical role, as a marketer without having a whole set of relationships within the company who you work with and who you bring along.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. And we even find that — so we don’t an enormous team. We have about 25 or 30 marketers on our team. So medium-sized marketing team. And even within our marketing team, relationships are so important because our demand gen team is pretty reliant on our content team to ensure that they have the materials they need to set up programs and campaigns and likewise through different responsibilities. And yeah, those relationships across the organization become more and more important. Right? So and we’re a 400-person organization, company-wide, not 4,000. So I think it just becomes more important the larger you get.

CMO Expectations and the Problem of Complexity

Joe Hyland:

Okay. So, speaking of CMO Confessions, let’s talk about things. Let’s go to the love-hate portion of the discussion. I want to hear about things that drive you crazy. It can be in marketing today, it can be in your role, but what just keeps you up at night or annoys the hell out of you?

Rishi Dave:

So, what annoys me or drives me crazy is the overly, like how people assume that the CMO primary job is brand, right? Yeah. And everything else is secondary. That’s what you get a disproportionate set of questions on.

I think that that’s challenging because in reality, as we talked about before, you’re driving top-line revenue, you’re driving growth and brand is one of the many tools you have in your quiver as they say to drive that result. And, and so that kind of drives me crazy because it just gets a disproportionate amount of mind share. And people interpret it all different ways and everyone has an opinion, right? That drives me crazy.

Rishi Dave:

So that of things that drives me crazy. The things that I find really difficult is complexity comes in really easily in marketing. And so you have to constantly beat down complexity and simplify. And then as soon as you simplify, complexity starts creeping in again. Because it’s just the nature of marketing, right? It’s like all the technology we have, all the campaigns we run, all the requests we get from all our partners with whom we want to have good relationships with. It comes in and it comes in extremely slowly, like a slow-moving glacier you don’t see coming. And I think that’s one of the most difficult jobs of the CMO is to keep that complexity at bay and then really simplify, simplify, simplify what we do. I think that’s the hardest thing.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. I agree. I think one thing that’s interesting, what you were talking about, is there’s lots of opinions towards marketing. Like everyone out there has an opinion on advertising strategy and you’re right, it’s always on the easy thing easy. It’s always on the visible things. It’s always on the brand or their website or someone, one of our, I won’t name any names, someone recently sent me a picture of the bins at security at TSA in airports — and there was some advertising and they said we should do this. And I was like, well yes, we could do that. I’m not sure if that’s actually going to, for us, we’re very, very growth-oriented organization, I’m not really sure what the metrics would be on how that’s going to drive us forward. But everyone has an opinion whereas you and I are not walking up to a full stack engineer and having ideas on the next sprint.

Rishi Dave:        

That’s right. Another great example is, “Oh, our competitor’s doing ‘X’.” And it’s like, we have a different playbook than the competitor. If we had the same plans will be a lot harder. But you know, I can’t tell you, like I mentioned when a hyper-growth environment, we actually have, you know, strong competition. But it’s also, of course, to what you said earlier, your customer, know your competitors, know your market. And so, we know our competitors, but how many times around the company, do I hear, “This competitor did ‘X,’ we should do ‘X’. This competitor did ‘Y.” Why are we falling behind?” We’ll, we’re not falling behind or ahead — it was us choosing not to do those things. So, that also drives me crazy as well. Big time.

On Events and Analysts

Joe Hyland:

One of the first things I struggled with in marketing — this was maybe 15 years ago — the first time I heard this was on trade shows. And if we don’t go to this trade show, people will think we’ve gone out of business. All of our competitors are there. It’s like what? That is not justification for us to attend and spend 50 or $75,000.

Rishi Dave:

Well, it’s funny you say that about events. So I know we’re getting in and talking B2B, but that’s a complex issue. I find, as a CMO, because you can justify at the event. You can justify going to every event, you can also justify not going to every event. And there’s a lot of science and all that, but end of the day, a subset of apps and do an event strategy, some of it’s mathematical, some of it’s emotional, some of it is “the competition is there.” I think that’s another thing that drives me crazy is that an events strategy is one where every single person in the company has an opinion.

Sales teams want to go to every single event. You can always justify the ROI of an event. “Oh, we paid whatever, this much to go to the event. And we sold one deal and huge ROI. By the way, we probably would’ve sold them anyways.” Right? So, there’s so many reasons to go to an event and it’s hard not to go to an event. And that’s another one where complexity creeps in and you wake up one day and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, we’re going to this huge amount of events. Is that the right strategy?” And so that’s another one that I think is drives me crazy.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, an adjacent one for me in a category that you get a lot of opinions on if you should be involved where it’s pretty difficult to measure the impact and the value is analysts. I’m curious to get your take on this. Because I’ve been at companies where we have great analysts coverage and analysts really can be strategic partners that can also be a black hole. And those analyst fees can start adding up and have pretty questionable return.

Rishi Dave:

Yes. Well, we’ve had a good experience with analysts. Yeah. So, we spend a lot of time with analysts and we have good analysts, but you’re right. With analysts it’s not always measurable, but you have analysts who are — when you have analysts who are covering you and understand what you do at a kind of a visceral level and can repeat it and talk about it and can also be your partner when you have challenging problems. Sometimes you get wrapped up and your inside culture and a good analyst will kind of help you and provide you with an outside-in opinion without having to talk to thousands of customers. And those cases, but you’re right — the fundamental thing here is that they have to be a good analyst. That’s the thing: there are a lot that are not good.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. And you’re right, they can be incredibly powerful if you find yourself in a bit of an echo chamber at work where perhaps you can’t get out to talk to enough customers which is a different problem. You really need to hear some difficult truths that you’re not getting internally, right?

Rishi Dave:

You know what’s funny about what we’re talking about? So, I was just thinking about what we just talked about, which is what drives us crazy. Like you would think that we would say something like, “You know what? Data. Clean data drives me crazy. Or, like, managing a marketing technology stack.” You know, that is hard and challenging, but it doesn’t drive me crazy. But it’s hard. What drives me crazy, if you think about what we just talked about, it’s the stuff that has that human emotional irrational component to it. That’s the stuff that I think drives CMOs crazy versus just difficult problems to solve. All the things we talked about, the relationships, the events, the opinion on the brand, all that. Those are all human, emotional elements. Which marketing has a lot of it.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. I think that’s interesting. And it kind of, for me, gets into what I love is problem-solving. And so I think at its core that’s what we’re doing, right? You’re right, you need to take in your sets of experience and hopefully hundreds of data points on things that have worked and things that haven’t. But ultimately just because your competitors showing up doesn’t mean you should because they have a different strategy. They’re trying to solve a different problem. You’re trying to solve something pretty different at Vonage than you did at Dun and Bradstreet. And Dell was in a completely different situation. My last company was in early-stage startup and we were trying to create a new category. Now I’m at ON24 and webinars are more of a legacy category and we’re trying to make them more relevant and exciting and it was just wildly different scenarios, but ultimately it’s problem-solving.

Rishi Dave:

Absolutely. I totally agree.

What Rishi Loves About Marketing and Working as a CMO

Joe Hyland:        

Okay. Let’s dig into some of the things we went, we went through the hate or the frustrations. Let’s lean into some of the things you just love either about the current role or just the state of B2B marketing today.

Rishi Dave:        

Yeah. What I love about B2B marketing is the combination of left-brain, right-brain. So I love the fact that it’s highly technical, highly analytical, highly mathematical. You get to work with technology and determine technology strategy. At the same time, it’s extremely creative in terms of the content you create, the emotions that you elicit from the messaging, the actual creative itself. And so I love — that’s what ultimately love: marketing’s combination of that technical left brain and that creative right brain and bring it together in service of a customer. I just love that. That’s ultimately what I love about marketing. What I love about this current role is. The hypergrowth markets that we’re in. And the excitement that associates with that because we’re defining new things that don’t exist constantly every day. And that’s really fun for me. But it’s also challenging. High growth environment is also challenging, but it’s also exciting.

Joe Hyland:

Yes. Growth and scale. I love growth and scale and I tend to like things that are intellectually stimulating but are hard. Wouldn’t it just be easy, if you could flip a few buttons or turn a few dials and massively see the growth you’re looking for? It’s just not that simple, right? Scale is hard. A growing, growing at a rapid pace is not easy. If it were, more organizations would be doing so.

Rishi Dave:

Yup. Well, yeah. And the last thing I would say is you have to be in a space that excites you, right? For me it’s the space we’re in terms of the one space we’re in is communication APIs. Which is really about all these developers who are out there, who are kind of creating new applications, new mobile apps, new website experiences, new SaaS apps who need the embed communications into their apps. Are kind of leveraging our APIs. And the kind of apps we have for voice, video all that stuff. It’s just a really forward-looking, right? And really changing the nature of how companies communicate. That’s exciting for me. Because you think about the amount of apps that are being created and technologists being created, it’s just really exciting and you feel like you’re on this hypergrowth space.

Where Tech Marketing has been and Where It’s Headed

Rishi Dave:

We have a whole SaaS business, a SaaS app business around communications. The whole movement of the whole world into a SaaS model on AWS and all of that it’s super exciting. And we get to be part of that. And we don’t know what direction we’re going to go in three, four years from now. It’s really exciting. It’s exhausting, but it’s exciting. Back to kind of advice for younger marketers, it’s like you got to love the space.

Joe Hyland:        

Yeah. For everyone listening, Rishi and I first talked in 2012 and I had just taken over for a SaaS startup here in San Francisco running their marketing and Rishi was still at Dell. And what I loved about you then, Rishi and I love just now as you were talking, is the passion that you have. So when we talked back then it was on scaling digital marketing and you had some recommendations for me. And now it’s on APIs in the communications space. I mean, I just went back seven years in my mind. But I think that’s really important. To excel at something you need to love what you do because you need to immerse yourself in it. You need to throw yourself into your work. And if you don’t enjoy it, you probably won’t do that great of a job.

Rishi Dave:        

Absolutely. You know, it’s funny you talked about 2012, like, I just think about what we were talking about back then. That’s a great example of being in an exciting space. You know, if we had recorded those conversations and played them back now, we would be laughing our heads off. Because all the junk we had about B2B digital, like we will say things like, “Oh, you know, content marketing could really help us drive XYZ” and all of which are completely accepted now. But that’s, then they were like innovative and taking big risks and it’s just like, that just shows how rapidly these things change.

Joe Hyland:        

Yeah. I mean at the time I was standing up HubSpot and we were literally just turning on email automation and doing some pretty basic content. And now, seven years later, and it feels like 70 years later in terms of technology that we have at our fingertips. But, you know, it’s interesting. So from a technology standpoint, things are very different in just seven years. In terms of what we talked about at the start of the conversation, the core challenge I had back then was understanding inside and out, the challenges of the audience we were serving, the persona that we were trying to market to. And it’s a different persona that I serve today, but, ultimately, it’s that same process.

Rishi Dave:

Definitely. Yeah. It’s interesting. The fundamentals are the same. The execution is different. I mean, that’ll never change. Knowing the persona you’re targeting, knowing their pain points, knowing how to address them — that’s been happening since the 50s. It’s the execution that’s become, that changes every single day. But you’re right: the fundamentals never change.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. And it’s not that the strategy is ever easy. So I in no way want to trivialize that. It very much starts there. But the road, particularly out in the Bay Area, is littered with people who have come into organizations and made pretty bold promises and can’t deliver because it is, in fact, the details, the operations, the how you plan on getting something done that is what delivers the results. It’s not necessarily just the exciting whiteboard and then you drop the mic and walk out it, I wish it were that simple. It’s, it’s certainly is not.

Rishi Dave:

The funny thing about what you said is I agree with you and that’s why it’s important, as a CMO, when you’re giving your vision or the goals for the organization, they have to be as simple as possible. And I challenge myself on that. I’m still not good at it, but you want to lay out as simple goals as possible. Now, the execution will be incredibly hard because if it was easy, then you wouldn’t be there. But if even the goals that you set and the vision you set is complex, then it’s only getting more complex. It’s like you have to start with a simple kind of simple goals that you want to go after, that everyone understands that straight forward, that puts calm in people, and then the execution becomes complex. And so I always, I try to challenge myself to actually get to the essence of what we’re trying to do as an organization so that we’re all kind of pointed to the same thing and we all understand it and then we know how to execute against it.

Joe Hyland:        

Yeah. It’s amazing. And by the way, that’s great marketing, right? I mean, it is part of what we need to do is take a really complex subject matter and boil it down to such a simple talking point that anyone can get it. And yeah, I agree. In terms of great leadership and great communication. Regardless of political slants, look at how, how some of our political leaders are just masterminds in terms of the simplicity in which they can communicate a message. When you’re right, the underlying solution is as far from simple. So, well, listen, Rishi, this has been wonderful. Thank you. Thank you again and I really appreciate your time today.

Rishi Dave:

Thank you. Great to chat again.

Insight50 On: Simplifying International Marketing

Our upcoming Insight50 session will explore how to simplify international marketing. Sign up for the session and have your questions answered.

Your domestic campaign is flawless — it’s engaging, measurable and drives results. It’s time to broaden its reach and expand into foreign markets. But can your campaign translate and produce the same results? Marketers today don’t see success in foreign markets by simply implementing a “cut and paste” strategy.

The “clone and go” mindset isn’t living up to expectations. Pipeline is low in APAC, cultural references are missed in France and the German team just won’t buy in.

It’s time to figure out what’s going on. Tune into this month’s Insight50, taking place this tomorrow, April 25 at 3:00 p.m. BST | 4:00 p.m. CEST (10:00 a.m. EDT) as our panel of marketers discuss what’s worked for them when it comes to global campaigns and what to avoid.

Our panel includes:

  • Michael Meinhardt: CEO at Cloudwords
  • Peter Bell: Marketing Director at Marketo
  • Paula Morris: Founder at Pi Marketing

Join us for insight into:

  • The key steps to successful local translations
  • How to segment and target your database
  • How to test and adapt campaigns for new markets
  • Best practices for benchmarking regional performance
  • Tips for aligning with local teams

Register your place today and unite your international team!

Curious about how ON24 tackles its international efforts? The ON24 team shares how they make it work:

The Ultimate Content Marketing Brainstorming Session Checklist

This post is the latest in our series on scrappy marketing – an approach can help you achieve better results in less time.

Previously on the ON24 blog we’ve explored ideas on the theme of scrappy marketing, specifically:

So what should you do next after reading this all? If you’re lucky, this information might have provided the ‘lightbulb moment’ that has allowed you to identify the content and the steps needed for your next campaign – if so, great! You should get started and not waste any more time than is necessary.

That being said, you might feel you need more structure to bring these ideas together into a tangible plan of action. If so, running a brainstorming session that has a clear objective at the end of it can help you get to that position.

That being said, make sure you prioritize speed over rigidly following a process. The faster you can pull a campaign together, the quicker you will see results and be able to iterate accordingly.

How can brainstorming help with scrappy marketing?

On its own, a brainstorming session can offer the following benefits:

  • It can help bring your team together and energize them for further action. As such, you’ll be able to inspire your co-workers to drive results quickly.
  • If you need more ideas, brainstorming allows for divergent thinking – taking the information you have and thinking of the possible ways you can generate results.
  • For those who want a concrete plan, brainstorming can also assist with convergent thinking – taking all the threads you have and choosing a plan of action. It’s this final step of convergent thinking that will help turn a laundry list of ideas into a concrete series of next steps.

Our checklist below aims to cover all of these.

The Six-Step Checklist for a Content Marketing Brainstorm Session

We’ve broken up how you can run a brainstorming session that will provide you with a plan of action, based loosely on David Allen’s Natural Planning Model from the book Getting Things Done.

While the below is focused on running a session with a team, there’s no reason why you can’t adapt the steps as an individual.

1. Prepare the session

Preparing your brainstorming session in advance will help you to make sure it is a success. Follow the below steps to get things off on the right foot.

  • Choose a time and a place to bring people together. Setting a time in the calendar will help ensure that the right people come together. Make sure any place has enough space and ideally has a whiteboard (or at least a flipchart where the pieces of paper can be torn off and put on the wall).
  • Make sure your session is time-limited. Too many internal meetings and creative sessions can stretch beyond a useful period of time. By limiting the amount of time you spend – perhaps to no more than an hour – will place an emphasis on keeping energy levels high and getting to a plan of action, both of which are characteristics of a plan of action.
  • Share an agenda with a clear outcome. Sharing an agenda in advance will help to set structure for the session and make sure people come prepared. Your clear outcome should be to leave with a plan and the next actions that you can put in play.
  • Set the ground rule for deciding on the chosen plan. In a group activity, there is a chance that you won’t gain consensus on the right approach. To avoid this, set a ground rule for how you’ll decide. A suggestion included in this checklist is to have the group add a tally mark to any ideas but on the board.
  • Assemble your information and bring equipment for the session. Tell people to bring any insights that you may have gathered previously, whether from external sources or from your own customer insight. If you’re going to use a whiteboard (as suggested below), bring pens, Post-Its and any other material that will help to get ideas together.

2. Start the session by agreeing on a goal that your plan should achieve.

  • Restate the outcome. So everyone is clear, make sure you emphasize that the aim of the session is to come out with a plan.
  • List out your marketing priorities. While your objective for the session will be to come out with a plan of action, ultimately that’s not an end in itself. What’s the aim of your plan? Listing out your priorities will help you choose. They may include a number of marketing-qualified leads you have to generate, the number of opportunities for sales, or a number of conversations opened with target accounts.
  • Choose a SMART goal that meets at least one of those priorities. Setting a specific, measurable, and actionable goal to achieve by a particular time will help focus your ideas accordingly. Remember, part of a scrappy mentality is to deliver outsized results. As such, make sure not to limit yourself – but also, make sure that your goal can be quick enough to achieve that you will be able to get results sooner rather than later.

3. Set a loose structure for your plan

  • Differentiate between themes and tactics. Marketing campaigns can be looked at from two different angles – a creative or messaging angle (themes) and the approaches you’ll take to get there (tactics). Your brainstorm will produce both, but it’s important to distinguish between the two. To help with this, you might find it helpful to divide your whiteboard initially into these two blocks.
  • Identify what stages your campaign needs. Any quality marketing campaign doesn’t consist of just one touch. At its most basic level, you need to think of how you’ll acquire prospects, how they will engage, and what happens after that (often a conversion of some kind, but there may be a number of steps involved – particularly if you are looking to nurture prospects over a period of time). A very simple method might be to take one particular campaign and split it into three sections: beginning, middle and end. For a webinar, this will likely consist of how you’ll drive registrations, how you’ll engage them as they watch, and what the follow-up activity will be.
  • Draw out on a whiteboard (or a very large piece of paper) a column for each of these stages. If you’re in a meeting room with a whiteboard, break up the ‘tactics’ section into these sections. During the actual brainstorm part, you can then have your team add their ideas on Post-Its which you can then put into each part.

4. Start brainstorming for ideas

After you’ve run through the above steps, your whiteboard might look something like the below:

The next part is to start creating ideas that can fill this out into a plan of action. This part is the divergent element of the session.

  • Collate any information you’ve already been able to gather. Make sure all those ideas and data points that you’ve been able to gather prior to the session are laid out for people to see.
  • Get your team to write down as many theme ideas as they can. Set a timer, and let them loose on the kinds of messages and angles that might resonate with your target audience to reach your goal.
  • Get your team to write down any tactical ideas as they can. Set another timer, and get them to write down the tactics you might employ in line with any themes.
    Put these all on the whiteboard. So everyone can see the ideas, make sure they are visible for those looking.

5. Explain, assess and order the ideas

This part of the session is the convergent aspect – where ideas come together in an order that will help you take action.

  • Ask each person in turn to explain the ideas they’ve put on the whiteboard. A small Post-It might not describe the full context of what they’ve written down.
  • Choose which ones to move forward with. If you want your team to vote, an easy approach is to ask them to put a tally mark on their favorite ideas. Those with the most tally marks will be the ones you move forward with.
  • Confirm the plan. If you’ve taken the voting method, you’ll now have an idea of the themes you’ll cover and the tactics to be used. Congratulations! This is the foundation of your plan. Say this out loud so everyone is clear on the approach.
  • Save the other ideas. You will have spent a great deal of creative effort on getting these ideas together, so don’t waste them! Take a photograph or save the Post-Its to help with the next campaign going forward.

6. List the next actions

It’s now time to put the plan into action without delay.

  • Write down at least five next steps you’ll take to put this into play. You may be in a position to plan out all the actions required to bring your plan to fruition, but if not, make sure you list out at least five next steps you’ll need to take.
  • Assign these next steps to members of the team with a date for completion. Make sure each of the next steps has an owner and a deadline for completion.
  • Set a check-in date. While this doesn’t need to be a full meeting, you’ll want to ensure that any plan doesn’t get taken over by the other day-to-day demands placed on your team.
  • Optional – set a retrospective date. So you can learn moving forward, it can be helpful to review your plan to find out whether you achieved your goal, what worked well and what can be improved.

Final Takeaways

  • Be pragmatic. Run with what works. The above steps aren’t all mandatory – and following them rigidly can eat into the sense of agility that you should look to encourage in a team.
  • Make it fun! All too often, group sessions can leave people with lower energy than they started with. As such, make sure to frame it as a fun exercise. You may find it helpful asking someone with facilitation skills to help bring it together.
  • Keep in mind ‘always on’ marketing. Make sure you’re not creating one-hit wonders. From any plan you develop, you’ll want to use it as the foundation for continuous improvement. While this learning can help you re-run the plan, considering ‘always on’ approaches can help you create systems that continue to pay dividends long after they’ve been created.