Time and again, my clients express irritation with their marketing automation platforms. Bulky, complicated, and far from user-friendly, these platforms are often compromised by their complexity.
If that’s the daily reality of the enterprise marketer – who has significant budget and resources at hand – imagine the frustration of SMB marketers struggling to apply the technological advances of the last ten years to their marketing funnels.
Enter Bob Oord. As a content marketing consultant, author and entrepreneur, Bob has been a leader in setting up and executing advanced B2B content marketing programs. His recently released ebook, Implementing B2B Content Marketing: A Proven 7-Step Approach For Success, gives marketers at any level a practical roadmap forward.
Now with the approaching launch of Manceppo in Q4 2017, Bob offers an alternative to bulky (and expensive) marketing automation platforms with an integration agent that connects and manages tools most of us already know and use (such as WordPress, MailChimp, LinkedIn and Dynamics CRM).
I interviewed Bob in August to tap his perspectives on contemporary marketing and what it takes to succeed today.
What makes modern marketing different?
In the old marketing model, you put your product and proposition first. Now, the game is to connect to customers with content. It’s all about being relevant to your audience first, then letting the sales proposition follow naturally.
For example, if you’re a CRM company, don’t talk about your product’s functionality. Talk about how to better relate to your customers, how to be more customer-centric, about using more effective KPIs. Own the issues relevant to your market. Of course, to accomplish these objectives you need a good CRM system. Since you’re the company that demonstrates a deep understanding of the issues, you become a natural partner to work with.
You recently published Implementing B2B Content Marketing: A Proven 7-Step Approach For Success. Who is this ebook for?
Anyone who wants to structure their thoughts on content marketing. We have so many tools, so many approaches, that give us bits and pieces of information we could use. With this overflow, it’s handy to have a book that gives you the big picture, to see how content marketing can fit with your objectives, and help you plan your overall content marketing activities.
It’s not just for marketers, but entrepreneurs too. Maybe you started out blogging, but now you need more structure to help you grow. Implementing B2B Content Marketing guides you to an approach that leads to your ultimate goal, commercial success. And it gives you a framework to assess what you have – your topic areas, your coverage of the buyer’s journey, your matching of media to audience – to find the gaps: does your complete structure make sense?
How does B2B marketing differ from B2C?
The main difference is in the decision-making process. Most B2B decisions can’t be made overnight; contracting a new ERP could take two years. Marketers must be and stay relevant throughout the decision-making process, or even become the one that initiates it.
There’s also the issue of personas. In most B2C paths, you just deal with one. In B2B, multiple people are involved. You end up with a matrix of people and timeframes. It’s more complex, yet there is an upside: you can correct a mistake in one phase of the process in another phase.
You’ve trained, and collaborated with, a lot of companies. What’s your assessment of their general state of marketing maturity?
I see a lot of fragmented initiatives. Our typical client has a WordPress site, has been blogging for a while, and has gained some traction in search and social. Maybe they have a CRM, like Dynamics CRM, maybe a newsletter. But all of this stuff started more or less separately, as different tools for different objectives.
They’re all pretty good, but it’s too easy to lose sight of what you’re doing. You have some subscribers here, some downloads over there, some blog followers along the way. But you don’t know the overlaps; you don’t track the way individuals engage with you across your initiatives.
Now we have to ask, what’s our next step? How do we connect the dots? You need one central view of your content – whether in social, email or web – and one central view of your audience, their profiles and how they behave. Ideally, you want to match content, media type, and the next best step for each particular profile. Manceppo’s objective is to make all this much more accessible for small and medium-sized businesses in an easier way.
What makes Manceppo different from traditional marketing tools?
Look at the landscape of tools we use today: WordPress sites, MailChimp accounts, social media, a CRM like Microsoft Dynamics – they all cost next to nothing.
But if you want to take the next step into marketing automation, you’re looking at platforms that begin at around $500/month.
Here’s our proposition: Why not use the functionality you get for next to nothing, and integrate them in an intelligent way? All the work in which you’ve invested is preserved, and you don’t have to migrate anything. You can make logical connections into one nurture flow.
Example: When someone scores five stars on MailChimp, then looks at your product page, Manceppo can send an alert to your CRM system. Or you can take the blog posts you wrote over the last five years and schedule them as LinkedIn updates over the next six months. The possibilities are virtually endless. The point is, Manceppo connects your marketing pieces into a coherent, more centralized whole. And it does it inexpensively.
Can we see Manceppo in action?
Sure! We’re launching in the fourth quarter; anyone can register now to participate in the free beta trial. Just go to our home page and click on the register button.