GDPR: One Year Later, How Has It Changed How We Market?

Last week, ON24 ran its latest Insight50 session on how GDPR has made us better marketers – where we provide fellow Webinerds with 50 minutes of expert insight and answer the questions that are important to you.

Below is just a brief wrap up of insight from Hellen Beveridge at Data Oversight, Sean Donnelly at Econsultancy, James McLeod at Leadscale – and of course, you the viewers! If you didn’t manage to see it, watch it on-demand here.

Last year, at this time, GDPR was on everybody’s lips with companies wondering if their practices were compliant with these stricter regulations and marketers wondering what stricter data would mean to how they did their jobs.

It has now been a full year since GDPR came into force. What impact has it had on the way we do marketing? Below are a few insights from the webinar.

Have data regulations made us better marketers?

While more than half (58%) of webinar attendees said that GDPR has somewhat improved their organisation’s marketing performance and practices, another one-quarter (25%) say that there hasn’t been a change at all. Luckily, only 17% report that their marketing performance has suffered a decline since GDPR went into effect.

Although the jury is still out for James McLeod as to whether GDPR has made us better marketers, he does think it has made marketers more cautious. On the other hand, Hellen Beveridge, who consults on data protection practices, has a positive view of what stricter data has done for marketers.

“I actually think that data protection has made marketers clever and more thoughtful because they have to look at everything they do through the lens of lawfulness, fairness and transparency. So, I’m firmly on the side of yes, this has been a really good thing.”

Sean Donnelly has also seen indications that GDPR has had a positive effect on businesses in general:

“Of the companies that we surveyed (about 12,000), all those marketers that identify their companies as being mature with regards to customer centricity indicated that GDPR has been more of an opportunity for them than anything else.”

What Best Practices Can Marketers Put Into Place?

The majority (60%) of webinar attendees reported that one of the benefits to stricter data regulations has been a shift from quantity to quality. However, 43% also said that their lack of knowledge of how to market in a GDPR world has proven to be a challenge for them.

So, what practices can marketers put into place to ease this challenge? James shared several best practice tips:

“I think [when it comes to acquiring new data] number one is transparency. You need to know where your data is coming from and what it is. Number two is to maintain brand safety… Then be on the lookout for any of those fraudulent activities that unfortunately do mire the B2B landscape… Everyone is talking about compliance, but I think it’s also very important that we talk about accuracy when we’re talking about best practice.”

Hellen is in agreement with the importance of data accuracy and elaborates on the fact that part of what causes data inaccuracy is that marketers are asking for too much information at one time and the data is unstructured. To alleviate this problem, she strongly advises investing in a single customer view.

“If you have a single customer view, where all your marketing is going after one fact, as a living piece of data, and constantly adding more and more information to this single customer view, it’s accurate, and it’s alive, and it’s useful. Then, by default, it will become compliant.”

What Are Some Top Tips For Marketing With Stricter Data?

As a closing to the webinar, the panel was asked to give one top tip as a takeaway.

First off, Hellen advises that having a good relationship with your data protection officer (DPO) has its advantages:

“Do involve them at an early stage. A knowledgeable data protection officer will save you from the really boring bits. You don’t have to know about all the article compliance; we can do that. We can summarize it and make it look pretty. Remember that at the end of the day, what you want is fit data and not fat data and the DPO can make your data fit.”

While Sean agrees with Hellen’s advice, he also adds that knowing the language of data protection can be beneficial:

“Equip yourself with some of the vocabulary around the operational aspects of data. Because, if you can do that, then you can understand some of the different use cases and you will be better able to collaborate with your DPO.”

And lastly, James reiterated the importance of data accuracy:

“Make sure that all the data you’ve got coming into your business and your funnel through all of your different channels is accurate and usable.”

Hear more on our Insight50 session

The quotes above are just a small sample of what was discussed and answered on May’s Insight50 session. Make sure to register to watch on-demand and find out how stricter data can work in your favour.

Webinar World London: A Q&A with SiriusDecisions’ Isabel Montesdeoca

What makes for a good marketer? How can the industry adapt to a post-GDPR world? Isabel Montesdeoca, Director of EMEA Research at SiriusDecisions, will answer these questions and many, many more at Webinar World London 2018 this coming September. To get a sample of what she’ll discuss as Webinar World London’s keynote speaker, we sat down with Isabel to discuss today’s marketing environment. Here’s what she had to say:

What are you speaking on at Webinar World London, and what are you most excited about this summit of marketing leaders? 

I’m going to be speaking about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, buyer-centricity. As marketers, we’ve come such a long way since the early days of digital marketing where the focus was 100% on increasing the range of digital tactics we could support in order to reach more people. Today, we recognise that in order for marketing to deliver results, we also have to deliver value in every one of those interactions. Achieving that is a tall order because what buyers perceive as valuable changes over time. To meet our goal of 100% value, 100% of the time, marketers need to develop a systematic process for listening to buyers and acting on that information. At SiriusDecisions, we love helping marketers get started down this path and one of the ways we do that is by sharing the insights we gain through our SiriusDecisions Buying Insights study. That’s what I’ll be covering at Webinar World London.

How do you think B2B marketers can better leverage webinars in order to increase engagement and drive revenue? 

The data from our SiriusDecisions Buying Insights study shows that in the Education phase of the buyer’s journey, live vendor-hosted webinars are the second most consumed tactic in Europe. Furthermore, European buyer’s rated live vendor-hosted webinars as the most impactful provider-led interaction they had at that early stage. That finding proves that webinars have the power to deliver real value to buyers when and where they need it most. In order to capitalise on that opportunity, marketers need to ensure they think through and personalise every aspect of their webinar experience.

It all starts by selecting webinar topics that are relevant to specific segments of your target audience. The more you sub-segment the audience, the more you can tailor your message making attendees feel as if you are answering their questions before they’ve even asked them. During the webinar itself, marketers should focus just as much on driving interaction as they do on delivering content. This can be done in a variety of ways including video, polls, quizzes, and always including time for Q&A. At the end of the webinar, link to a survey that offers attendees a choice of additional resources to support further exploration – extending the value of attending and giving you another opportunity to request opt-in consent. All of these are ways in which marketers can make every webinar feel relevant and personal to buyers.

What are some of the trends in marketing today that excite you most?

One of the trends I am most excited about is bringing together of multiple data sources – market data, persona profile data, first and third-party behavioural data, performance data, customer data, and more – to help us model and analyse more accurate views of our buyers. To really deliver value, we have to take the time to learn about our buyers more fully and use those insights to drive real-time programmatic actions. Today’s customer data platforms are starting down that path and I can’t wait to see how these will evolve and be leveraged to drive better and more relevant engagement.

What about GDPR might marketers have overlooked or need to watch for? Is there a silver lining? 

While companies have done a great job getting ready for GDPR, many have treated it like a race to the finish line on May 25, 2018. The truth is that May 25th was just the beginning. Waiting in the wings is the e-Privacy Regulation (currently going through the trilogue process) which will provide more specificity around electronic communications. And beyond that, we can be sure that data authorities around the world will continue to review and strengthen data privacy legislation.

The truth is that compliance is not a one-time clean up job and it’s not something we can edict within our organizations. Long-term sustainable compliance requires marketers, tele and sales reps alike to understand the intent behind the need to protect personal data and their role in safeguarding that data. Without that understanding, employees will always regard compliance as something that stands in the way of them doing business rather than realising that embracing consent practices actually allows us to identify who is really interested and most willing to engage. That’s the silver lining!

Beyond GDPR, what are the marketing challenges of the EMEA region? 

Many of our European clients struggle with the cost and effort of localising their marketing programs across the range of countries and languages they support. True localisation, not just translation, can be a daunting task when you have 20+ countries to cover. Once again, this is where understanding what your buyer wants and needs can help. Data from studies like the SiriusDecisions Buying Insights study can help marketers identify and prioritise localisation of the tactics buyers are actually consuming. Further upstream, it also helps content teams prioritise their content creation to ensure every asset created is activated. In a recent SiriusDecisions study, almost half (47%) of respondents told us that their organizations activate 50% or less of the content they create.

What’s your one prediction about how marketing will fundamentally change in the next decade? 

I don’t have a crystal ball handy but I think as our data insights and instincts improve, a number of things will happen. First, we will be able to identify a more granular cohort of characteristics (beyond industry, size and revenue) that uniquely define our target customers, allowing us to better map and find opportunities to engage with them. Within those organizations, we will stop hunting for single leads and start identifying group buying behaviour as an indicator of an emerging need for our services. Finally, rather than designing long and complex program flows that try to cover all the bases, we will use fully dynamic logic to select the optimal next step based on the actions of the buyer group and guided once again by insights.

What’s one piece of advice you’d provide for a young person who wants to pursue a career in marketing? 

Buyer data is important but it’s nothing without someone to interpret it. For anyone wanting to go into a career in marketing, I would strongly recommend getting comfortable with data modelling and learning how to interrogate that data. Equally, I would tell them not to hide behind the data. Grab every opportunity to talk to and understand buyers to help you interpret what you see in the data. The best marketers I know are the ones who stay curious and stay sharp throughout their career. The tools they use may change but their mindset does not.

What’s the most important change you’ve seen in the marketing industry in the past five years?

Easy! It’s the shift from product to audience centricity. In the last five years, companies around the world finally started to acknowledge how much buyer behaviour has changed. While digital marketing, social media and millennial trends had been grabbing headlines long before that, it wasn’t until B-to-B companies realised these trends heralded a much deeper change in how buying decisions are made that they understood they needed to change or risk losing ground to newer and more nimble competitors. That shift in attitude paved the way for investment in B-to-B persona profiling, the growth of B-to-B content marketing, and the development of more sophisticated engagement technology, just to name a few things. Change was coming fast and furious and it hasn’t stopped since.

ServiceNow’s Approach to Webinar Program Innovation (Part I)

This is part one in a two-part series on how organizations can extract more results from their ServiceNow webinar programs. You can read part two here

Digital Transformation of the marketing function is rapidly changing how we invest, measure and manage work. As marketers, we are on a journey towards agile, data-driven, value-based demand generation.

In this 2-part series, I review our webinar program to demonstrate the impact of change and share some of the best practices ServiceNow’s EMEA Marketing team has generated since the webinar program’s inception in 2012.

For starters, here’s the list of KPI’s we track for our webinar program, with YoY trending:

                                                                                                            18H1 vs 17H1            

·      Number of webinars                                                              +22%

·      Number of registrations:                                                        +66%

·     Number of attendees:                                                            +52%

·     Number of on-demand attendees:                                        +62%

·     Pipeline influenced                                                                 +144%

As a result of ServiceNow’s focus on webinar excellence, the webinar program’s pipeline influence in 18H1 was 538 percent higher than the next most effective campaign type.

A well-run webinar program does a number of things for enterprise marketing teams. It will:

1. Drive quality audience engagement at low cost

At ServiceNow in EMEA, we host about 40 webinars per quarter, at an infrastructure cost of $20 – so about $500 per webinar, which is low in comparison to other activity types, like seminars, event sponsorships, and even paid media. CPC leads may be cheaper, but usually produce significantly lower conversation rates. Needless to say, it takes time from well-paid experts to deliver a good webinar – but that’s true for most other activities, too.

Figure 1 –ServiceNow-branded ON24 console

2. Create premium assets for content marketing programs

We run webinars in English, German, French, and from time to time in Spanish, Italian and Dutch. The content of the webinars is tightly aligned to our demand generation programs, including digital display, outbound email, roadshows, telemarketing et cetera. We use our best speakers, often have customers join to share their best practices, and spend ample time on quality presentation slides, technology demonstrations and pre-recorded videos.

By recording all broadcasts, we establish a library of on-demand webinars to go into local websites, online communities, as well as our outbound email and email nurturing programs.

At the end of 2017, we introduced the ON24 Content Gateway to better market on-demand webinars. Within the first 5 months of 2018 alone, on-demand webinar consumption went up 90 percent.

Figure 2 –  Long-tail engagement with our on-demand webinars

3. Support Account-Based Marketing initiatives

As an extension of the previous point, digital marketing and targeted marketing go hand-in-hand. The superior control of data and content that comes with a modern webinar program, allows marketers to tailor an engagement strategy into highly-targeted database segments based on industry, job level, or account grade or name. As part of an offline touch plan consisting of Direct Mail, Industry Events, Seminars and Outbound calling, the webinar program keeps the target audience engaged by offering relevant, highly-personalized content.

ServiceNow recently adopted ON24 Target, a way to populate a landing page with on-demand webinars and other video assets hosted on our content gateway, the digital asset management system at the heart of the ON24 platform. Although still early days, we have started experimenting with co-branded landing pages for target accounts in Financial Services – and first feedback and results are quite positive.

4. Provide strong behavioural analytics of the audience

The unique quality of webinars: they offer an extensive content experience and are digital from start to finish. Therefore, from the minute the target contact opens the email invite or engages a promotional tweet to the moment they download the slides from the follow-up message and all that’s in between; everything is recorded, tracked, scored, reported and followed up.

We integrated our webinar platform with our website – the ON24 content gateway displays in an iFrame, so that both upcoming and on-demand webinars automatically drive engagement online –, with our marketing automation platform (scoring, nurturing), which in turn is connected to our CRM platform, where marketing qualified leads are handed off to sales teams. So, any engagement with the webinar program, be it live or on-demand, via email, the website or forwarded by a colleague, we track in order to continually improve the program, tailor content to the audience’s expectations, and deliver ever better MQL’s to our outbound callers and sales teams.

Figure 3 – ON24 Engagement dashboard

5. Create an online platform for customer and ServiceNow speakers

Although not a primary goal of the webinar program, it did help establish a strong speaker pool for other ServiceNow events large and small. Because of the solid reputation and continuity of the program, our internal speakers are eager to contribute. It’s a high-quality podium on which to showcase their expertise. Customers usually join webinar panels before presenting at large ServiceNow events, like Now Forum or Knowledge.

In 2018, our webinar program is an indispensable part of ServiceNow’s growth engine and the single largest lead generating program in EMEA. In Part II, I will review our first experience adopting ON24’s Target module as part of our Account-Based Marketing Program.


Announcing Webinar World 2018 London

September is almost on us, which means it’s time for Webinar World London. The annual two-day conference, held from Sept. 11 to 12, is stuffed with the latest engagement-driving strategies and tactics sure to drive ROI — as well as some thorough discussions on GDPR and its continued impact on marketing.  

Taking place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, Webinar World London will bolster webinar practitioners with actionable insights from the world’s leading brands, ranging from AutoTrader and Oracle to Polycom and Ericsson and more.

The conference will feature Isabel Montesdeoca, Director of EMEA Research at SiriusDecisions, as the keynote speaker, where she will share her formula for a marketing mix that resonates with modern B2B buyers. Other tracks will highlight achieving ROI, how webinars enhance ABM programs how to realize pipeline heaven.

During this event, attendees can take advantage of:

  • Three learning tracks, including Webinar Best Practices, Webinar Execution and the Genius Theatre
  • Peer-to-peer networking with digital marketing leaders and webinar practitioners
  • Live case studies, sessions and panels from top brands

As the cap on 2018’s global Webinar World series, the London event will provide an excellent venue to bring 2018’s lessons into one place and prepare for the coming year. We can’t wait to see you there.

To learn more about Webinar World London, see the full agenda, and save your spot, please visit the Webinar World Site right here.