Blending content, community, and commercial objectives in the right measure is a tricky task for marketers in Business Media but get it right and you can be rewarded with a deeply engaged professional audience, as delegates at PPA Business Class: The Marketing One found out.
Never has the marketer’s mantra of getting the right message to the right people at the right time been so fraught with complexity.
To achieve this holy trinity of engagement, publishers must master a delicate balance of components, including content, channels, and audience data. Behind all that, there’s a requirement for the right systems, processes, and people to all pull in the right direction, adding further layers to the challenge.
The flipside of this equation, however, is that the highly-prized goal of engagement has never been more achievable. A constant stream of feedback and analytics help sharpen the marketing message; the audience is defined by a wealth of data; and the expanding mix of content channels – both digital and offline - mean messages can be delivered at precisely the right time and in the ideal way.
At The Montcalm at The Brewery on October 21, delegates at PPA Business Class: The Marketing One heard how leading figures from the UK’s Business Media community are meeting these challenges. The half-day event, hosted by Centaur Media’s Content Director Ruth Mortimer, opened with a panel discussion exploring the skills required by modern B2B marketing teams.
Newer tech-driven approaches to marketing have introduced a broader range of specialisms in areas such as automation, content marketing, and social media. But whether you’re a specialist or generalist, marketers must have a strong understanding of their market, particularly when dealing with professional audiences, said Caroline Hird of the BMJ.
“Marketing automation is absolutely a skill we’re seeking more and more, but marketing automation with sensitivity. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when you’re talking niches and specialisms but you still need a personal understanding of consumer behaviour to quite a granular level.”
Kendall Mott, Group Head of Marketing at Procurement Leaders, said tech-driven approaches can bring real benefits if introduced intelligently as part of a process, rather than necessarily being perceived as an answer in itself. She cited the example of automating more ‘top of funnel’ interactions with potential customers and then introducing a more personalised approach as the relationship develops. “It’s a niche programme but you’re making it more programmatic,” she said.
The panellists agreed on the notion of centralisation to help bring greater collaboration across teams and to give a single view across marketing activity. As Ian McGowan of Merit said:“It’s getting all your marketing performance in one place so you can understand where it’s working or not working, and getting systems or specialists in place to help you do that.” Implementation is one part of the process, said McGowan, and must be followed up by reporting back to the business what you’ve achieved and how you can learn from it. Key performance indicators (KPIs), such as net promoter scores, can bring valuable measures of success.
Kendall Mott of Procurement Leaders underlined the importance of measurement. She advocated taking a strategic view of the metrics that are important to your business and employing a good analyst to track performance. Examples might include measuring the conversion rate from opportunities to leads or meetings, and also identifying the source of the opportunity in order to assess which is the most successful approach.
It may seem counterintuitive to seek out more data and insight in order to get a better handle on what is already a complex picture but, as Ian McGowan of Merit said, “without your data managed in one single place, it’s almost impossible”.
For full details of the PPA Business Class events visit www.ppa.co.uk/businessclass.