Forrester recently claimed that we are reaching a “post-digital” world where traditional and digital are blurring the edges and creating a world where both are tools in the arsenal of the marketer. One of the challenges that we see is that as both digital and creative domains blur, CMOs will have a harder time choosing metrics, messages, and medium!
The problem with metrics
As digital marketers – we tend to become enamored by the data we can generate to justify our impact and results. Lots of these statistics and measurements are channel statistics that the channel lead should be using to improve performance, however in our tendency to showcase value – we share metrics that are really not important. Why should the client care if my CTR went up – when what she cares about is leads! Worse, campaigns get optimized by interim criteria like likes, follows, CTR … and not by the end result – net new sales!
The problem with creative/content
Pre-digital marketers on the other hand are wowed by creative (for b2b replace creative with content)! In many a conversation with a traditional advertising agency – I have seen “creative” types ooh-aahing about something that left the engineer in me cold! For b2b marketing especially – content alone cannot be the king!
Media choices compound, social media compounds exponentially!
The proliferation of offline and online media compounds the problem –
- You can get lost in the myriad of options present. E.g. How do you choose between getting a booth at a tradeshow vs. spending on a ppc campaign?
- Should you choose twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn – and should you regurgitate the same content on each channel?
- You can amplify really useless content many times over
- Tracking metrics especially online ones that may have no significance to the end goal e.g. What is the value of a like or follow?
While using a framework of paid, earned and owned media helps in structuring the media buying decision – unfortunately, budgets predominate the media mix discussion especially when traditional marketers are involved.
What is the solution?
The answer lies somewhere in the insights from Patrick Kenner and Mary Meeker. We are living in a world where everyone wants stuff to take less money, less time, and less space! Which explains why cloud applications like Salesforce are so important (One of the reasons we are great votaries for service/sales/marketing cloud.)
We think the answer is looking at b2b marketing from a Value for Attention prism. Every communication has to answer the question for a prospect-
Are you giving me enough Value for the Attention I am giving your message?
If you do it right – then you don’t have to worry about the virality of your message or whether you need paid/owned/earned media – you will get the attention in proportion to the value you provide – if you get both message and media right within a proportion of time that the prospect reviews your message – they will feel obligated enough to spread the message!
We think this is the next step for marketers up from permission marketing. Permission marketing recommends you ask customers before you market to them! Value for Attention marketing focuses on ensuring that the prospect is enthused by their interaction with your message since they feel they got something out of the interaction.
If you want attention for a few seconds – for example – use twitter – but whittle your message to the 140 character medium well enough! If you want a minute – think about video, and then push the right buttons on the video, if you want a few minutes – then the choices are more – and the media more varied.
B2B marketing – deliver Value for Attention at each interaction and across the engagement!
If you want to sell a complex technology product – then you may want to provide information to educate, tools to evaluate, communities to engage/share – and then spread the message using media where someone is going to be looking for that value e.g. search, or knowledge authorities. A super bowl ad may not be the best place to spread the message!
If the sale requires multiple transactions to establish trust – then ensure each interaction drives the prospect to thank you for the value you provide her in that interaction. Setting the stage for a sales person can take the meeting forward to its logical conclusion.
Do not be constrained by anything but the Value for Attention
Too often marketers are constrained by budget, channel, and capabilities – that they do not examine the attention they are forcing the prospect to give up in return for questionable value. E.g. a 6 page whitepaper rather than a 1 minute video.
photo credit: Joshua Bell plays at the Washington DC Metro incognito
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