At our June FINITE Forum, FINITE members across the globe came together virtually to chat about B2B tech marketing.
FINITE Forums are a monthly meet up where 10 or so members get to know each other and gain career support from peers in a relaxed setting. The conversation is led by FINITE Founder Alex Price, who ensures everyone gets a chance to talk about their current challenges in the quick hour we’ve scheduled. All feedback and solutions come from FINITE members, as well as all challenges raised.
We started off the FINITE Forum with a short introduction of the members who joined. Everyone gave a brief outline of themselves, their roles and touched on their current challenges. Of the introductions was Satin, Alex’s cat, who contributed her adorable meows.
Virtual vs physical events
The introductions got exciting when two polar views arose on the effectiveness of in person events. One member thought face to face could be replaced by Zoom, whereas another member was an event marketing lead and couldn’t disagree more.
The true ROI of in person events was questioned, as they’ve proven very costly but not as effective as hoped. However, some members thought events don’t have to cost as much as you’d think. Especially when you can organise your own to bring down costs as you’re less reliant on event vendors.
If you have a limited budget, fewer events can have just as big an impact if you do them well and ensure the follow up afterwards is seamless. The consensus was that organising your own events is better. Even if they’re smaller, they’ll allow you to build deeper connections.
Events in the US are huge. How can you gain as much value as possible out of these? Make connections in advance, organise a satellite event and involve all your key stakeholders.
SDRs and MDRs
SDRs in experience have neglected marketing leads as they prioritise their own outbound efforts.
The conversation turned to the Marketing Development Rep (MDR) role to tackle this challenge. It’s a role specifically designed to deal with marketing qualified leads, so that MQLs are prioritised.
Another way to tackle this challenge is to implement marketing automation. If a tool can automate the follow up process for any marketing qualified lead, it determines if a lead is warm or cold depending on whether they engage with the automated message. This decreases the amount of time SDRs have to dedicate to an influx of marketing leads, as they can prioritise the warm ones.
Recommended tools for marketing automation are HubSpot and Outreach. Outreach was a favoured tool for integrations and automation. HubSpot doesn’t seem to have great reporting, but it’s great to use for MQL follow up.
Reachdesk was highly recommended and popular amongst the group for direct mail and prospect gifting. They have a growing marketplace for many different gifts and they avoid GDPR issues by keeping addresses private.
However, Reachdesk isn’t so useful for attributing ROI and tracking how many leads you generate from sending gifts. To save costs and wasted mail, you could send an email with options of gifts so that they’re engaged and the gifts are wanted. One FINITE member was successful in increasing their show rates for virtual events when a gift was sent to leads beforehand.
The conversation then turned to influencer marketing, which can be tricky in B2B especially when anyone can call themselves an influencer. But buyers know that brands sell, so they’re listening to people and professionals who are human, trusted and personal.
Sometimes you don’t have to pay influencers if they gain more of a profile from working with you. This means influencer marketing can be a cost effective strategy if you offer the right platform for the influencer to leverage.
Working with influencers at the start of their career means you can build loyalty. When they’re big and great, they’ll be associated with your brand. One example is Nike, who sponsors young athletes throughout their career to get their name at the Olympics.
You can identify influencers by working with an agency like Onalytica or SparkToro. They have a marketplace of influencers and tools you can use to find influencers who are most well known against associated keywords.
Finally, the conversation turned to ABM. It was noted that ABM isn’t just a standalone campaign, it’s a go to market strategy.
One member has a blend of approaches, not just one to one or one to many. There should be a few strategic accounts that occupy the most resources. KPIs for this member are no longer focused on the pipeline, they are based around engagement. ABM is great for sales team buy-in, because once they see engagement they’re eager to follow up.
If you’re a B2B marketer in tech and would like to join our next FINITE Forum, apply for a free membership and join our community!