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Issue #31
March 30, 2022

My take on the intersection of marketing + life

Hi , 👋

Back in 2004, when I left the world of trade journalism to freelance, there were no stats on marketing ROI. I mean zero.

I had to convince B2Bs to create content for their business because they weren’t sure how it benefited them. And, without stats, I couldn’t prove it either.

Oh, how we’ve come a long way, baby.

In the 2020s, marketing ROI stats are aplenty. And they’re even reliable. How do I know? The results of most 'Q1 2022 marketing studies are variations of the same storyline — budgets are growing, social media channels are great for distribution and brand trust is gold.

Here are my 3 take-aways from the 2022 B2B Marketing Mix Report by Sagefrog Marketing Group, but swap in your favorite report from this quarter, I bet it echoes the same sentiments.

1.     Increasing brand trust is a top priority for 2022. Previously, SQL and MQL generation were the endgame, now it’s something much harder to quantify – brand trust. How exactly do you do that? It’s a long process that can be simplified into 3 steps over time (HINT: It takes years to develop brand trust - start now!):

·         STEP I: Brand awareness. You can’t trust what you don’t know. First, teach us what your business does, and most importantly why you do it. Do this on your website, via social media and email marketing.

·         STEP II: Your competitive advantage. What makes your business an expert on this topic and why should I listen to you? Do this in your short and long form content wherever you distribute them. Think: social media, your blog, trade publications, email campaigns, etc.

·         STEP III: Public opinion. After reading about your business, experiencing your expertise and seeing social proof that you are the real deal — i.e. likes and shares on social media and elsewhere, maybe a verbal recommendation or two, expert quotes in trade media and authored content in channels I already trust — I come to trust your brand too. 🏆

2.     LinkedIn works for B2Bs. As social media use surges, LinkedIn emerges as the #1 platform for B2Bs.

Here’s the stat: Fully 43% of sales/marketing leads come from social media, just under referrals (54%). That’s not surprising because leads that come from social media are in essence digital referrals!

Think about it: You clicked on a blog or ad because someone in your network (that you trust!) liked it, shared it or commented on it. That’s most likely how it showed up in your feed in the first place.
3.      Marketing budgets are growing. As many as 58% of respondents (for Seafrog, the vast majority are C-suite execs, VPs or managers/directors) said their marketing budget grew this year; 38% say it stayed the same and for just 4%, it decreased. That’s a major change from just a few pre-pandemic years ago when most marketers, regardless of industry, spent their days trying to figure out how to do more with less year over year.

This increased budget, of course, often comes with mandates for allocation. When it doesn’t, it’s up to your team to create a cross-channel strategy. Think: your website, PR, social, advertising, email campaigns and more. How are you making a difference with your increased marketing budget in 2022?
Cheers to stats that give us insight into how and why our industry performs the way it does. They provide knowledge where once there was only guesstimating! 

All the best,

Stuff worth reading

B2B: How to effectively market B2B SaaS: 8 practices for successful marketing strategy

CM: 5 evergreen content tips for a Year-Round Marketing Strategy

Forbes: The key to B2B marketing is capturing and conveying emotion

MarketingProfs: Three ways to build customer trust in an increasingly out-of-control world

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