Sales and Marketing Performance Blog

Using Brand Positioning and Content Creation to move into New Markets

Posted by Mark Gibson on Thu, Mar 07, 2013

This week I met with the marketing leadership team of a successful and fast growing B2B technology company with a disruptive innovation.
The purpose of the meeting was to understand their marketing goals and to explain our process for brand positioning and method for connecting website message, brand message and sales-ready messaging to the core value proposition.  

It was a very interesting meeting. The company leadership recognized they are not addressing the need for mind-share development to enable them to move into new markets with their existing product suite.

"Why Me?" Messaging

In other words, they are doing a great job messaging to their existing markets with “Why Me?” product messaging and content and are effectively taking a larger share of the pie.
However, they recognize they are largely invisible on the Internet to a new digital, enterprise buyers who are focused on a higher-order set of problems and who use a different vocabulary to that of current users.  

"Why Change?" Messaging

This is where a “Why Change?" message, coupled with opportunity and attuned to the buyer’s strategic imperative for change is required, to get visionaries and early adopters to pay attention and to grow the pie.

The opportunity to move into enterprise markets will enable the company to sell order of magnitude larger deals to customers looking to create competitive flexibility vs. fulfilling the need for a single unit of their solution into a department that has identified the need.  

Positioning

According to Wikipedia, “ positioning" is the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.”
Further down on the same Wikipedia page is this statement, “An important component of hi-tech marketing in the age of the world wide web is positioning in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, which can be accomplished through Search Engine Optimization”.  

The marketers I met with are 4-year veterans of marketing automation platforms HubSpot and Marketo and mature in their understanding of demand generation and marketing automation and the direct link between quality content creation attuned to the buyers needs and goals and higher search engine rankings.

Mind-share is Linked to Search Engine Positioning

They understand that in order to achieve positioning in the mind of the buyer, they first need to achieve page 1 search engine positioning for the key-phrases their new audience is likely to be using… and this means generating quality content attuned to buyers needs and goals.  

I didn’t need to sell them on the need for a structured approach to marketing messaging or the need for a messaging architecture to enable content creation across the company that resonates with what buyers are trying to achieve, -they are actively seeking it.  

Product Training isn't Enough

Similarly they recognize that their direct sales team is well equipped with product knowledge to respond reactively to growing demand, where the salesperson responds to an RFP, configures the solution, submits a pricing proposal and processes the order…. hopefully.

They admit their salespeople are poorly equipped to have proactive “why change” conversations with enterprise buyers however.
They recognize the need to equip the sales team with tools, training and a "Point of View" and stories to enable them to engage executives in "why change" as well as getting better at their "why me" conversations.  

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

There are many who might say that there is nothing wrong with focusing on their existing market and full speed ahead with sales and marketing. However with a disruptive innovation, the creation of mind-share in new markets is a marketing imperative in addition to those they plan to dominate.

Kodak is an excellent example of the “innovators dilemma” – they grew to dominate every segment of their highly profitable silver-halide film processing market and nearly went under because they failed to adapt their business to digital image processing.
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Topics: inbound marketing, marketing automation, brand positioning, b2b marketing, demand generation

HubSpot3 Review at #Inbound12 - Time to get Inbound Marketing

Posted by Mark Gibson on Thu, Aug 30, 2012

#Inbound12

I’m here in Boston for #Inbound12, with 2800 HubSpotters, customers and partners at the World’s largest gathering of Inbound Marketers, for 3 days of meetings, presentations, tutorials and networking with the HubSpot community.

View from my hotel of the Charles River and Cambridge


Keynotes from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of HubSpot on Wednesday highlighted the momentum that HubSpot is building in the market and the increasing velocity of the Inbound Marketing movement.  

Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah took the stage for 90 minutes to announce HubSpot3 and demonstrate the new product capabilities that will enable marketers to easily create marketing that people will love.

The First 6 Years

HubSpot is just 6 years old and has been the leader and visionary in the movement to transform marketing from the traditional interrupt-driven marketing forms of direct mail, advertising, email marketing and telephone solicitation to opt-in, individual inbound engagement.  

Halligan stated that the first 6 years of HubSpot were all about building a software platform for inbound marketing that would pull people into the sales funnel with great content. In just 6 years HubSpot has created a customer base of nearly 8,000 customers, a partner and services market-place that is now selling and supporting 25% of the HubSpot revenue stream and through the API, delivering nearly 80 value-added applications and completing more than 5,000 service projects.  

The Future  

In the next 6 years, HubSpot is focusing on how to use context to pull people through the funnel and create marketing that people love, - in the same way that Amazon does… relevant messaging at the right time. Amazon achieves this through the integration of front and back-end processes and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars building the capability.

Halligan highlighted the problem in the marketing software industry and the reason why marketers were still using old methods and it's because the software required for doing this is not connected and runs on different systems and it’s just too damn hard to make it work. Then he announced the fruit of the past 12 months of development effort, HubSpot3 and handed the stage to co-founder Dharmesh Shah.

HubSpot3 Highlights

Shah likens Hubspot3 to an iPhone for marketers , everything you need, beautifully integrated at your fingertips, (he also announced HubSpot for the iPhone and demonstrated 3 of the most important HubSpot applications).

HubSpot3 boasts 100 new capabilities, some of which were demonstrated in the 6 new applications that form part of HubSpot3. The central capability being a single new contacts database that captures everything about a contact. I have been using a number of the these new capabilities for the past several months as part of the HubSpot Beta program and I love the elegance, ease of use and integration of HubSpot3.
My message to marketers who are on undecided as whether to jump into the inbound marketing water is, now is the time and HubSpot is the platform.
Core applications in HubSpot3 are; 

Contacts Database

Capabilities from basic information, CRM and importing data, custom fields, drag and drop, visitor tracking, a Facebook inspired timeline, email and social interactions.  

Social Publishing

New capabilities include bookmarklets, ability to publish from multiple accounts to multiple networks, suggested times to publish and schedule posts, social analytics, social contacts, retweets, likes and the ability to see who in your customer base is interacting.

 

Landing Pages

The Landing pages module is elegant and creating new landing pages takes minutes, with pre-populated, beautifully designed templates or the ability to import your own, require no coding, are optimized for conversion and development is drag and drop with live preview. Smart forms that remember if you have completed a field in the past and remove it from the conversion form, enabling a visitor to get your offer with just their email address.

 

Calls to Action Buttons

I have been using the new CTA module and it is really easy to create or import CTA’s that look professional. CTA's are located in a central dashboard, with A/B testing that’s super easy to build, along with click and lead tracking analytics. A neat feature if you discover from testing that one CTA converts much better than another is the ability to change out all of the CTA’s you have developed that could be resident on dozens of pages from the dashboard with one click.

 

Email

The email tool is completely new and better than any of the competitive toolsI have used recently. No more exporting lists to run in someone else’s email tool. The email tool comes with dozens of beautifully designed templates, it’s designer friendly, and features a single page view and floating live preview,  it enables easy personalization, uses the same Calls to Action buttons and makes social sharing easy.  

Workflows

The new workflow module is a killer-app that will really appeal to users of the traditional marketing automation platforms. Users want marketing programmed email and offers that are relevant, insightful and that create value, - they are receptive to the right offer at the right time. While traditional marketing automation platforms have promised this, they are too hard to use and customers have typically spent in excess of $50K on consulting to try and make them work. The new workflow module enables, development of workflows based on behavior from simple form submissions, email interactions, social engagement, offline engagement and will enable you to update the CRM, update a lead score, set a lifecycle stage, or change a call to action.

Conclusion

There are plenty of competitors to HubSpot that mimic HubSpot’s language and do pieces of the inbound marketing puzzle - and you can get the job done by cobbling all of them together. But it takes time, effort, coding, developers and I don’t care how much money you pour into your old marketing automation platform, it’s not going to give you what HubSpot does today.

Bottom line, HubSpot enables marketers to get more done in less time, with less effort and lowers the cost per lead.

HubSpot is innovating faster behind a powerful vision – “create marketing people love” and delivering software with the power that you need and the ease of use to make it easy. Time to get on board.

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Topics: inbound marketing, marketing automation, hubspot3

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