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Virtual selling: How to create a video for sales strategy

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Guess who’s back? Back again? Liz is back. Tell a friend. 🎶

That’s right, folks. I am back in your feed with yet another exciting announcement about how all of you home-bound digital sales and marketing rockstars can develop in your careers and revolutionize the way you hit your traffic, leads, and sales goals from the comfort of your couch.

Or your bed or desk or kitchen table or splayed dramatically across some sort of chaise. I don’t know. I’m not here to judge where and how you get your work done. 

In case you missed it, so far I’ve shared the following courses:

Today, we’re talking about video for sales. 

I love this topic so much, because we have been preaching the gospel of how using video throughout the sales process is guaranteed to yield happier, more educated prospects, a shorter sales cycle, and more closed won deals. 

But not all of you believed us!

(Or maybe you did, and you thought, “Eh, we’ll get around to it!”)

It wasn’t until coronavirus (COVID-19) smacked us all in the face, however, that the vast majority of sales teams were forced to take their once face-to-face sales processes virtual.

And that, of course, includes embracing video. Freaking finally! 

Get caught up with some related resources

These resources are pretty amazing — and you should 100% consume them immediately. However, what I am going to share with you now is going to knock your “always be closing” socks off.

Introducing our video selling strategy course

Now, as part of your pro membership for IMPACT+ ($39), you have access to a brand spankin’ new online course dedicated specifically to building your own video for sales strategy, so you can immediately start closing more deals faster.

Check this bad boy out

Myriah Anderson is your fearless professor in this course, and trust me when I say you’re in good hands. She not only wrote the book on video for sales (literally), she is sharing all of her top secret tips, tricks, and hacks she’s developed while using video to facilitate thousands of sales calls over the past two years. 

Bottom line, there is no one else I believe more qualified to talk about video selling strategies than Myriah. Hands down, she has the best approach you’re going to want to copy and start using right away to start increasing your close rates. 

What you’ll learn through the video selling strategy course in IMPACT+

  • How to leverage personalized, one-to-one video at every stage in the sales process (from connect and discovery, to proposal and sales-to-service hand-off), so you can stand out from your competitors and win more deals. 
  • Myriah’s top tips and secret hacks for being an absolute video selling rockstar in a way that’s easy, makes you likable, and helps you prevent fewer lost or stalled deals and excite your prospects.
  • The exact tools and tech you need to immediately start implementing her video selling strategy. (I’m not kidding, there is no real on-ramp here. You can start implementing these tactics immediately.)
  • And, finally, how to measure the success of your video selling strategy, so you know what’s working, what’s not working, and how to quickly make changes that have a positive impact on your close rates.

Now, go forth, create your pro IMPACT+ account, and watch Myriah’s course. Trust me, I’d wager it’s the most impactful (ha!) things you can do right now to not only survive, but thrive in this uncertain economic climate.





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Marketing Strategies

How These 7 Companies Thrived During the Recession

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In 2008, the Great Recession was all over the news. At 14, I didn’t exactly know what that meant. However, I understood that my parents were struggling financially.

While it was the first economic crisis I was old enough to remember, it isn’t the only economic downturn we’ve seen, nationally or internationally.

In 1997, there was the Asian financial crisis. After 9/11, the New York Stock Exchange closed for four days, the first time that had happened since World War I.

The world has faced uncertain times before, and I’m sure it will again. But, how do companies thrive during financially rough times?

In this post, we’ll review seven companies that grew during the recession and see how they succeeded during economic uncertainty.

1. TeamLogic IT

TeamLogic IT provides IT solutions and consulting services for small businesses. Interestingly, IT has been a growing industry during times of uncertainty, including the 2008 recession.

Since consumers are becoming more and more dependent on newer technologies, this industry usually does well during economic recessions. Technology impacts almost every area of our life from our security to our entertainment.

In fact, sales for technology increased during the 2008 recession.

Because of this trend, TeamLogic IT weathered the storm of 2008 well.

If you want to start a business, it’s important to consider whether that industry has done well during times of economic unrest. Industries such as tech, discount stores, accounting, grocery, healthcare, and DIY/repairs do well.

2. Netflix

You might be thinking, “Of course Netflix survived the 2008 recession, it’s a huge company.”

However, in 2008, Netflix wasn’t yet the media giant it is today.

In fact, Netflix introduced a new product (the streaming service), around the time of the Great Recession as a response to dying video rental stores.

Then, during 2008 and 2009, the company continued to work on partnerships with organizations like Xbox so people could stream through those devices.

It was these innovations that allowed the company to continue to grow during the economic downturn. In fact, they were increasing memberships and subscriptions during the 2008 recession while other companies were struggling to maintain revenue.

Additionally, 2008 wasn’t the only time this company has faced a recession. Netflix was founded before the dot-com bubble and had to weather that storm in the early 2000s.

It was during these times that the brand innovated ways to continue to appeal to their audience, whether that meant introducing new products or expanding its products with partnerships and collaborations.

3. Citigroup

Every year, the Federal Reserve conducts stress tests to see how much capital banks would have if they were subjected to hefty losses.

Interestingly, in 2014, Citigroup had grown in assets, making it one of the only banks to have grown since the 2008 recession.

This bank grew in the aftermath of economic distress while others didn’t because they worked on branding and offering quality services. Citigroup started supporting certain community services which helped with their brand story.

In fact, marketing played a large role in Citigroup’s ability to grow after the 2008 recession.

4. Lego

Lego is an interesting case study because you might think that toys and amusement parks or play centers are unessential, so the industry would be impacted by an economic crisis.

However, during the 2008 recession, Lego decided to expand into a global market.

The company concentrated its efforts on building revenue in Europe and Asia while the U.S. faced economic distress.

By doing this, the company reached an all-time high profitability during a recession. This company expertly knew to expand to global markets when its main market was facing an economic downturn.

5. Groupon

Groupon is another company that you might think, “Of course they survived an economic downturn.”

However, Groupon was just a startup in 2008. In fact, the company launched in the middle of the Great Recession. How can this happen?

Well, surprisingly, startups tend to do well during recessions because they usually fill a need and are able to spend less money because of discount prices.

With Groupon specifically, the site did well because it was offering discounts.

Discounts are in extreme demand during recessions because consumers are trying to cut costs wherever they can. Discounts actually offer consumers a way to survive a recession, which is why discount stores tend to do well during economic instability.

6. Mailchimp

Mailchimp has been around for almost 20 years and has survived several economic uncertainties. The company weathered the economic downturn in 2001 (in fact, that’s when it was founded), and the 2008 recession.

So, how did the brand survive and thrive during a recession? Well, the company was founded during the 2001 crisis and was able to do well because of it.

In 2008, the company survived because they changed their entire business model. They became a freemium business, and their revenue soared after that.

Many customers wanted to use Mailchimp during an economic crisis because it was free. By adjusting to the times and offering a free product, the brand was able to grow and they’ve maintained that business model ever since.

7. Warby Parker

Warby Parker is another example of a brand that was founded during the Great Recession. The reason they were able to succeed during this time? They filled an enormous gap in the marketplace.

While you might think that you shouldn’t start a business during an economic crisis, it’s actually a good time to notice gaps and pain points in the marketplace and fill the need.

Warby Parker did that when they realized it was hard to purchase an affordable pair of fashionable glasses online.

They filled a need and customers showed up even though they weren’t spending a lot of money. The company was marketed as affordable (which was necessary during a recession) and customers needed an affordable glassware solution.

Even if your company isn’t as big as these examples, remember that a lot of enterprise companies today started during a recession.

As another example, Microsoft started after the recession in the 70s. Apple transformed its brand after the 9/11 economic downturn by introducing new products and investments.

The global economy is resilient and uncertainty has always passed. The economy will recover, but it’s important for your company to be prepared for when a financial crisis happens.

These companies succeeded because they looked for new opportunities, expanded into new markets, adjusted their offers, developed new products, and gave folks a cost-efficient alternative. Innovation and creativity can help you succeed in the next economic downturn.

Want to learn more about business growth? Check out our ultimate guide.





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Marketing Strategies

Now Is The Time To Find And Correct Your Digital Strategy Pitfalls

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/

/Every brand or enterprise is crafting and refining their digital strategy on a daily basis. However, especially in the world of B2B, companies fall into many of the same mistakes. 

According to a 2019 Forrester report, “44% of B2B buyers expect to do more than half of their work-related purchasing online in the next three years.” In the wake of COVID-19, that figure is probably even higher. It is crucial that marketers create engaging digital content, leveraging every digital touchpoint as an opportunity to build trust and strengthen relationships.

Marketers have access to more target audience research and data than ever before, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to avoid pitfalls. Let’s consider the consequential B2B marketing mistakes that companies are making, and demonstrate why a digital strategy audit is the solution.

Your Content Shouldn’t Reflect Your Organization Chart

 Too often, companies — particularly B2B enterprises — build their websites and digital assets around their internal organization structure rather than a customer’s needs. As an example, imagine you are a customer looking for a mop. You surf to a company’s website to buy a complete cleaning solution, but they have separate pages for mop handles and mop heads because they operate as separate divisions. Now you have to research the parts separately, figure out what you need and ensure they are compatible with one another. That’s not a huge ask for a mop, but imagine you are purchasing a complicated business system with hardware, software and a consultative service component.

Your Messaging Should Focus On The Customer, Not The Product

Companies often lead with the news of the capability or product they just launched, but prospects don’t come to your website for product announcements. They visit because they have a question or a problem. Your messaging should show people you understand that problem. This is a best practice for all marketers, but it is especially true for those marketing to developers, engineers and the C-suite. These audiences are highly skeptical of “marketing speak” and an overly product-forward content strategy will turn them off. Plus, leading with product makes your company seem uninterested in building strong audience bonds.

Don’t Overload One Area Of The Buyer Journey With Content But Neglect Others

Another mistake that is easy to overlook when you are inside the organization is creating content around some areas of the buyer journey, but not others. If your organization doesn’t have a healthy mix of content formats, you may be making this error. For example, you might have multiple white papers and blog articles that are relevant to a prospect comparing competitive solutions, but no video to share on social media to create brand awareness.

It is also common to create content for one audience segment but forget about other personas, or simply run out of time and resources. B2B purchasing decisions involve multiple decision-makers with different priorities and needs. A complete digital strategy needs to encompass all of them, which is part of what makes B2B marketing so challenging.

Don’t Overuse Jargon

Your existing customers know your lingo, but new ones may not. It is important that your messaging and content use natural language, rather than jargon, so it resonates with your audience. This may sound like a simple one, but it can be hard to catch yourself because you are accustomed to the company’s lexicon.

Why Now Is The Time For A Digital Assessment

The first step in fixing mistakes is finding them. Your company may have slowed or even stopped marketing initiatives in response to COVID-19, so use this time to audit your digital strategy.

There isn’t an industry on the planet that hasn’t been upended by the pandemic. Buying processes have changed overnight, so even if your company has managed to avoid these marketing traps, you still need to audit your strategy and update it to reflect the new normal.

A comprehensive review should include:

  • A content audit and effectiveness assessment;
  • A website CX health assessment;
  • A channel audit and effectiveness assessment;
  • A brand message assessment; and
  • An event strategy assessment.

The good news is an audit will likely uncover low-hanging fruit — low-effort/high-impact actions you can take to drive fast results for your company. Next, you can devise a plan for tackling the bigger initiatives.

Remember, as a B2B marketer, your goal is to build relationships with prospects and to lead them through their consideration journey, fostering trust every step of the way. The missteps above compromise your ability to do so. An audit kicks off the process of doing this right.


Greg Harbinson is the Senior Strategy Director at Centerline Digital, where he focuses his time on helping companies create messaging and experiences to better communicate with their customers. His work includes building messaging frameworks, defining the information architecture for websites, designing customer experience programs and helping companies understand the best ways to solve communication problems.



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Marketing Strategies

Why brands need to take a strategic approach to personalization

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30-second summary:

  • Whilst personalization can be complex, consumers respond positively to it. Recent global research found that 73% of consumers said they expect a personalized journey when they interact with brands digitally and 80% expect personalized emails.
  • Effective personalization doesn’t necessarily require huge amounts of identifiable information to operate successfully. We have seen that algorithms can be trained to reliably predict after just 2,500 conversions.
  • Digital marketers need to focus on their aims from personalization and use this to create a well-argued, measurable business case. Be clear on your objectives but also understand that personalization tools alone don’t deliver ROI.
  • According to Accenture, as much as 83% of consumers are ‘willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience as long as businesses are transparent about how they are going to use it and that customers have control over it.’
  • For marketers that do want to combine existing cold data (such as from CRM systems), within their personalization platforms, it is vital to work with a supplier that understands all forms of relevant legislation and can ensure brands remain compliant.
  • Deploying tools which can use cross-domain local storage (for instance) can help retain information which can be used to power ongoing personalization for site visitors.
  • Delivering real-time personalization successfully, at scale, is complicated and requires a robust technical architecture that is designed for real-time and AI that can learn to predict conversion intent, based on analysis of real-time behavioral data.

Research earlier this year from Gartner claimed that by 2025 some 80% of marketers who have invested in personalization will abandon their efforts.

The report cited lack of ROI, the perils of customer data management or both as key issues. Over a quarter of the global marketers questioned stated that data is the key obstacle to personalization and highlighted weaknesses in data collection, integration, and protection.

These statistics reflect that many brands are either at an early stage in their personalization journey or are taking a tactical approach.

Last year, a report from Boston Consulting Group stated that ‘most retailers are nowhere close to delivering the personalized experiences that their customers expect’ and that ‘the vast majority have not even taken the essential first step of defining what personalization means to their customers and businesses’.

The same study did identify that whilst currently, retailers are investing, on average, 0.7% of their revenues in personalization, those that are deemed to be ‘best-in-class’ are investing 1.3x more (around 0.9%, on average).

Nearly two thirds of consumers expect personalization

Whilst personalization can be complex, consumers respond positively to it. Recent global research found that 73% of consumers said they expect a personalized journey when they interact with brands digitally and 80% expect personalized emails.

And the Boston Consulting Group survey also found that consumers are 110% more likely to add additional items to their baskets and 40% more likely to spend more than they had planned when personalization is used.

So, how might the main areas of concern highlighted within the Gartner report be addressed?

The perils and difficulty of managing customer data

Brands face a privacy paradox – consumers want greater personalization, but also want greater privacy. At the same time brands have access to ever-greater volumes of transactional data on consumers, potentially making it difficult to focus on what is important.

But effective personalization doesn’t necessarily require huge amounts of identifiable information to operate successfully. We have seen that algorithms can be trained to reliably predict after just 2,500 conversions.

When it comes to customer information, brands have access to both ‘cold’ data (where for example customers have registered and their previous spending patterns) and ‘hot’ data which is essentially, behavioral information, generated by visitors when they are on a site and captures everything that the visitor does while browsing.

While it can be an advantage to combine both, however, in the real world it isn’t normally possible to identify the majority of people visiting a site since 98% of visitors are either not customers or have not signed in.

Additionally, storing and using cold data can require customer permission under privacy legislation.

Used properly, hot data can deliver real-time results, while avoiding any potential issues around privacy. Tests show that AI-based technology can predict the conversion intent of completely new visitors within 15 seconds of them arriving on a website.

It doesn’t rely on them being existing or identifiable customers but uses a trained algorithm to compare actions with those that have previously converted to deliver a conversion score that is accurate solely using behavioral data.

There’s no impact on privacy, yet consumers get the personalized experience that they want quickly and simply.

Personalization’s lack of ROI

The other chief concern identified in the Gartner report was a lack of return on investment from personalization projects. Whilst it’s true that no project will continue if it doesn’t show a distinct return on investment, many goals aren’t adequately defined in the first place.

Digital marketers therefore need to focus on their aims from personalization and use this to create a well-argued, measurable business case. Be clear on your objectives but also understand that personalization tools alone don’t deliver ROI.

Brands need to have access to the right skills and culture to harness them effectively. This means embracing experimentation and a ‘test and learn’ methodology within the team, aided by vendors/external agency partners as required.

The decline of consumer trust

As every digital marketer knows, consumers are now much more conscious of the amount of data that they are sharing with brands. However, this doesn’t mean they are averse to sharing it – provided they perceive there to be a benefit and that it is protected.

Kameleoon research found that just 9% of US consumers said being tracked was the most important factor when embracing digital.

According to Accenture, as much as 83% of consumers are ‘willing to share their data to enable a personalized experience as long as businesses are transparent about how they are going to use it and that customers have control over it.’

Furthermore, most brands appear to be acting responsibly given that 73% of consumers in the same study also stated, ‘that a business has never communicated with them online in a way that felt too personalized or invasive.’

This appears to indicate therefore that most brands are getting it right.

Increased scrutiny by regulators

Just as we know consumers are more privacy aware, legislation has also stepped up with GDPR in Europe being joined by the California Consumer Protection Act, along with other legislation across the world. All of this has had a major impact on how brands use identifiable consumer data.

However, it’s important to note that GDPR only applies to information that identifies consumers. Using anonymized, behavioral data is not covered, meaning that relying on hot data has much less of a compliance overhead.

For marketers that do want to combine existing cold data (such as from CRM systems), within their personalization platforms, it is vital to work with a supplier that understands all forms of relevant legislation and can ensure brands remain compliant.

Tracking barriers erected by technology companies

Many technology companies have created obstacles that prevent tracking and cookies. The most prominent example is Apple, with its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology, which is now part of the Safari browser.

The latest update of ITP limits the storage of cookies within JavaScript to just seven days – making it much more difficult to track visitors over a period of time. At the start of the year Google has also announced that it will ‘phase out’ third party cookies in Chrome by 2022.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘end’ of cookie data which can power personalized experiences, but it does mean that brands might need to work with third parties more to help them overcome these barriers.

Deploying tools which can use cross-domain local storage (for instance) can help retain information which can be used to power ongoing personalization for site visitors.

Poor personalization technology

The personalization market is growing rapidly, but is not yet mature, meaning there are a large number of vendors all competing for attention and business.

Not all are created equal – and this perhaps explains the ROI concerns raised in the Gartner study. Those selecting a platform therefore need to plan carefully and scrutinize where it has been proven with similar brands and use cases.

The need for strong technology is particularly true when it comes to real-time personalization.

Delivering this successfully, at scale, is complicated and requires a robust technical architecture that is designed for real-time and AI that can learn to predict conversion intent, based on analysis of real-time behavioral data.

Need for a strategic approach to personalization

Companies must adopt a strategic approach to personalization that brings together real-time data, an experimentation culture and easy-to-use, focused AI-based technology.

Despite the many challenges with personalization it can be achieved today, and the technology is improving all the time. Talk of ‘abandoning’ personalization is therefore way off the mark, but it should act as a wake-up call for brands to be more strategic.

Using the right data, measuring efforts, and continually seeking to improve the experience is the key to a successful personalized future.

Jean-René Boidron is CEO of Kameleoon, a personalization technology platform for real time omnichannel optimization and conversion. Jean-René has over 20 years of international experience in the digital and software industries. In three years, he has turned Kameleoon – from a pioneer in online conversion optimization, into the European leader in personalization. 

The post Why brands need to take a strategic approach to personalization appeared first on ClickZ.



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