The Intersection Point: Where Content, Social and Sales Collide

24 Apr The Intersection Point: Where Content, Social and Sales Collide

My first session of the day is one that I was greatly looking forward to – The Intersection Point: Where Content, Social and Sales Collide.

This is always a hot topic so I’m excited to bring you some takeaways from our panelists:

Moderator: Mark Hausman, President and CEO, Strategic Communications Group

Helena Brito, Social Media Manager, FireEye, Inc.

Stacey Piper, VP, Federal Marketing, ICF International

Kate Slonaker, Vice President, Marketing, Privia Health

Juli Zeffert, VP, Marketing & Communications, Iron Bow Technologies

Marc’s intro gave some good tips and tricks:

  • Marc is planning 35 stand-up comedy shows this year! Creating corporate content is a lot like creating a stand-up act – you need to create stories that are compelling where the points build on each other.
  • Today’s marketers are responsible for driving the sales pipeline in a meaningful and measurable way. This is currently being influenced by two big trends:
    1. Buyers are conducting research on their own and cutting out the salesperson until they are ready to talk about price.
    2. There has been a huge change in where people find trusted content due to the shift to online content.
  • Marc’s five best practices for effective content marketing:
    1. Think like a publisher
    2. Promote content through multiple channels (including sales reps)
    3. Collaborate with sales
    4. Study the analytics
    5. Turn analytics into actual sales intelligence
    • BONUS TIP: Keep it real – cover real issues, put yourself out there, have an opinion.

Here’s some highlights from the Q&A with the panel:

The world for marketers is changing very fast, how do you constantly go though the process of assessing marketing trends and applying them?

Kate: it all comes back to the value of the content, it’s about finding your channels and how your users prefer to use them. From there you can take it a step further and decide how to leverage content on each channel, then test small campaigns and use analytics to gauge success before moving forward. We do lots of experimentation.

How do you mature the marketing of a large organization to accept social media activities and emerging technologies?

Stacey: My motto is, be evolutionary not revolutionary. I try to employ three tactics: 1. Translate what’s happening in B2C to B2B and use lay terms. 2. Customize techniques for audiences 3. Use pilot programs with leaders in the company to reference early wins to drive adoption within the C-suite.

As a marketer how have you gone through the process of working with the CEO to keep him tuned in?

Juli: On the heels of our first successes we were able to approach our CEO with a plan that we could gradually roll out so as to not overwhelm him. The fact that we were able to slow roll the implementation coupled with the trust that our CEO has in our team was enough to cushion his leap of faith.

In an industry where there is a lot of content and thought leaders, how do you organize your content and break through the noise?

Helena: Being a social media manager is so much more than tweeting once an hour. Connecting social with sales is the key. Everybody thinks their blog post is the next biggest thing and is excited to see it go live, but take the time to work with sales and let them know what’s going on. Equip them with information so they can make the most of the content being posted. Without communicating back to sales, your messages can fall flat with the people that matter most for ROI – the prospects in the sales pipeline. We created a type of internal editorial calendar to focus on different topics for certain periods of time, and we stick to it. People can create content on any topic but we slate it for publication within the right timeframe. Also, we look for guest bloggers that can write about the trends they are seeing in their industry. These tactics can greatly increase traffic around solutions and arm the sales team with the information they need to close deals.

Fill in the bank: Today’s successful marketer is successful at _____.

K: Integration

S: Making it easier for sellers to sell

J: A well honed ability to tap into their intuitive skills

H: Storytelling

We’ll be live blogging from MAM Summit all day today so check back for more updates.

Ali Robinson
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