Magical unicorns, bizarre job titles and late nights: How to nail your next customer demo

wonka memeYou’ve worked tirelessly for weeks and your demand generation and nurturing efforts have paid off.  You’ve finally built a relationship with a target customer, you’ve engaged a key sponsor and now he’s coordinating a wider meeting for you to demo your product to his peers and internal decision makers.

You can almost see the sales director updating the opportunity value in as you accept the meeting invite. It’s crunch time.

It’s not unusual for weeks (even months) of marketing effort to come down to this. Up until now the prospect’s understanding of your business, and your offer, has been limited to marketing collaterals. Now, you have 60 minutes to substantiate that marketing position, build new relationships with decision makers and convey your credibility.

Welcome to the live customer demo. You have only one chance.

Get it wrong and you’ve blown it. Your key sponsor won’t want to look bad in front of his peers. You’ll be toxic.

Anyone can talk you through do’s and don’ts of meeting etiquette, but here’s what years of actually participating in live customer demos has taught me.

1. Dealing with detractors

The larger your group, the more chance you’ll have of finding at least one detractor in the room.  Right on cue one of them will interrupt the demo to claim that you offer’s unique differentiator isn’t a differentiator at all. He’s seen dozens of demos in the last 12 months and all purportedly claimed the same functionality.

Even if you know better, this is your nightmare scenario. You may have a fact-based, credible rebuttal, but the damage has been done. He’s probably a great guy; but a late night and no time to grab a coffee before this meeting has soured his mood. He’s now publicly aired an ill-informed and perhaps even deliberately provocative opinion. Unfortunately, at this point in the nascent relationship, the rest of the people in the room are more likely to believe him than you.

If it happens to you, stay composed and ask to address his concerns at the end of the demo. You don’t want to derail the flow with a tit-for-tat game of one-upmanship. In many instances, the rest of the session will be compelling enough that the individual backs down from his position. If he doesn’t, don’t be defensive; but don’t drop your claims of differentiation. Suggest that your product management / marketing team would value his opinion on the competitive landscape and suggest scheduling a separate meeting.

2. Coordinate with the engineering team

The meeting is going well, introductions have been made and the attendees all seem attentive. The product manager fires up his laptop and launches the live demo. It hangs. The spinning wheel just keeps spinning. A nightmare scenario, you’ve lost the room and your credibility is in tatters.

If you’ve prepared, you’ve hopefully got a back-up option, but it’s not ideal and you have no idea why the demo didn’t work.

I’ll tell you why.

Because back at base your engineering team (unaware of your important client meeting) is running routine maintenance on the product or updating the demo version with new features. They scheduled it at midnight to minimize disruption, but they’re in Europe and it’s mid-afternoon where you are on the West Coast.

Trust me, if everything else is working (internet connectivity etc.) then this is the most likely reason for the demo failure. Be honest, it’s probably happened to you too at one point or another.

Make sure the engineering team are aware and publish a copy of the client demo schedule for the coming month. No excuses.

3. Round-Robin introductions are useless

Understand the roles of all participants in advance. Round-robin introductions at the start of a meeting are a waste of time. There, I said it.

In fact they’re nothing more than idle chit-chat, designed to break the ice.  Great, so now you know that Bob is the Chief Curator of Artisan Heat Sinks, but what are you going to do with that information? You have no time to adjust your messaging or prepare for questions from that job role. It’s futile. You’ll spend the next 30 minutes internally trying to fathom what a Chief Curator of Artisan Heat Sinks actually does.

There’s nothing wrong with asking your sponsor, or the coordinator of the session, to outline job descriptions and remits in advance. At least ensure you have everyone’s name; with this you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about the attendees just by trawling LinkedIn.

4. Group Size

On the face of it, it might seem beneficial to invite as many people as possible to the session. Logically you’ll be thinking about getting maximum exposure to as many decision makers and influencers as possible. However a large group can be become difficult to manage and it’s fraught with potential pitfalls.

If you goal is to build relationships, limit the group to six. More than this and it becomes almost impossible to have a dialogue; instead you’ll find yourself talking to (not with) the group in something more akin to a seminar. Also, the larger the group the more chance you have of meeting a detractor (see above).

5. Our magical unicorns are the best: Demonstrate expertise, don’t assert it

Guess what? Everyone’s a world-leader with built-in redundancy, scalable architecture and a button that produces magical unicorns out of shattered dreams. Chances are, your prospect has heard it all before. It’s hyperbole.

Instead look at how you can weave in credibility claims through experience. Perhaps cite a recent deployment where your great new product feature overcame an unknown challenge. It’s more engaging and credible.

6. Keep the corporate background until the end

If you spend the first 15 minutes of the session presenting your company background you might as well just hand over a Xanax with your business card. If you are large, household brand then the attendees will already know who you are. If you aren’t then they probably don’t care about your CSR policies and annual donation of profits to the Amazon rainforest. They’re here to see your product.

Let the technology do the talking while you have everyone’s attention. Keep the corporate information until the end and use it to support your earlier messaging; “That product roadmap we spoke about earlier…well, it’s supported by a 100-strong engineering team split between the US and London and with a new round of investment from our parent company.”  


There’s plenty more do’s and don’ts out there, and plenty of resources available online to help you get the most out of your client meetings. However, consider these factors in your next live client demo and your demand generation team will cheer you home.

Five things that B2B marketers need to be thinking about in 2015

top.5What should B2B marketers be thinking about in 2015? here’s my Top Five.

1. Hire marketing technologists now!

Marketing automation gathered serious pace in 2014. Indeed technology continues to play an increasingly important part in our day-to-day lives; so much so that Gartner predicts CMOs will soon be the single largest budget holders for IT by 2017.

However, the technology itself represents only one piece of the puzzle. As the demand for marketing automation grows so too will the demand for an entirely new set of skills. The availability of quality marketing technologists remains limited and this skills-crunch will really start to expose itself in 2015.

Over time, the necessary skills will become second nature to anyone entering the profession (remember the days when we had to employ webmasters to write / launch a webpage?!). However for the next couple of years marketers with a deep understanding of marketing technology, and how to leverage these technologies for maximum impact, will become highly sought after and key hires for many companies.

Budget for this headcount now.

2. Facebook loses its shine for B2B marketers

Three years ago it was [almost] forgivable to measure your social media success using metrics such as Facebook likes. But it’s 2015 people; we know better, right?

Let’s face it, we’ve spent time and effort exploring just about every social media platform in existence. Now, I’m not going to deny that there are some B2B outliers that see measurable results on platforms such as Facebook and Pintrest, but for the majority it’s time to focus attention on what really matters and what really drives engagement. Did you know that Forrester Research recently claimed that Facebook posts only reach around 2% of “fans” and less than 0.1% actually engage.

The death knell came in November 2014 when Facebook finally announced the end of organic social marketing. What does that mean? Well, essentially starting January 2015 users will be exposed to less and less promotional (organic) content through their news feeds. Your news feed already has controls for paid advertising, but promotional content from Liked pages hasn’t (until now) been monitored.  Facebook has acknowledged that posts designed to solely push people to buy a product or enter promotions is disruptive to the user experience, and it’s acted.

In 2015 it’s time to focus your social activity. Stop throwing content blindly at Facebook thinking you are having a relevant conversation with your audience. You probably aren’t and it’s unlikely to even work anymore.  Understand your audience and the platforms that drive true engagement among your target audience.

3. Don’t forget long form 

Those who have been in the marketing industry for more than ten years will remember that once upon a time, the majority of content produced was long form. Lengthy whitepapers, detailed case studies and coveted word by-lined articles. These were the norm. However, over the last few years, as the idea of “content marketing” began to explode, the art of long form content started to be lost. Gone were the in-depth pieces that conveyed deep domain expertise, making way for short, bite-sized content assets designed for lead generation.

However, while short, pithy blog posts, visually exciting, shareable infographics are all wonderful tools to drive traffic to web sites, grow attention and capture a lead, they are something of a blunt implement when looking to convert those leads later down the funnel. It’s at this point in the cycle, as leads start to evaluate prospective vendors, that the need to demonstrate credibility and domain expertise becomes paramount. The in-depth case study displays credibility, the detailed white-paper a sense of thought-leadership; quality long form content inspires the confidence that prospects are looking for before they commit to more meaningful vendor conversations.

2015 is the year for long form to make its comeback; factor it into your content plans now!

4. Build a team fit for the 21st Century

Despite the rapid changes in our industry, the structure of many marketing teams hasn’t changed in decades. Functional silos, with duplicate teams sat across multiple business lines and brands are difficult to manage coherently. We’ve matured many of our functional competencies, but now we need better orchestration between them.

Think about how the team maps to the buying cycle; how is product marketing feeding your content machine, how is that content machine connected to SEO, and how are SEO metrics (and other data points) being feed back into product marketing?

Every stage in the buying cycle and every marketing discipline is now a data point; but data points need analysis to drive insight. Consider how a segment / category manager can be empowered to coordinate marketing efforts based on this data across multiple marketing channels and along the entire buyer journey. For these orchestrators, functional expertise is largely irrelevant. Instead it’s about building the skills and processes to connect the marketer’s growing toolkit.

5. Don’t forget the craft of copywriting

There’s a lot of noise out there and making sure you’re being heard is becoming increasingly challenging. That’s why, in 2015, it’s time to ditch your bland content and look to create content that provokes a response beyond the “share” button.

Of course the sheer volume of content that the average brand now produces can’t all be serviced by professional copywriters. Likewise the immediacy of many digital channels requires very different skills. Don’t think that hiring an ex-journalist will be the answer to everything; authoring a headline for social in a way that drives traffic, or is optimised for search, is not an innate skill for many journalists or traditional copywriters. So, use your resources wisely and acknowledge that a Tweet, a blog post, a print advertisment, a long form paper etc. are very different animals. Sure, editorial savvy is a prerequisite regardless of the content but your Tweets can probably be serviced by your web team. Should you be saying the same about your high-value long-form content?

Think carefully about  the robotic nature that pervades much of today’s content. Is that how you want your brand represented? Unfortunately, the craft of copywriting has become something of a dying art form. Let’s bring it back.


Do you have other key issues that B2B marketers should be considering in 2015? Use the comments to let me know.

Crisis Comms: Why Sony can’t play the victim over “The Interview”

theinterviewIt’s crisis management time for Sony. Forget the celebrity-endorsed concerns over censorship, or the politically-charged debate over bowing to terrorist threats, there are a growing number of observers that are questioning Sony’s judgement in green lighting the film at all.

When Sony Pictures pulled the release of The Interview – a comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – the flood gates opened and the internet did what it did best; it judged.

From a communications perspective, the problem facing Sony right now is that there are just too many strings to this crisis; from leaked emails containing incendiary comments about Hollywood’s elite and personnel records, to accusations that it’s set a dangerous precedent against freedom of speech.

It can’t have been a decision that was made lightly. In fact Sony only announced the decision after several major US cinema chains pulled the film from their schedules over security fears. Threats purported to have been made by the hackers who infiltrated Sony’s networks last month, suggested audiences at theatres would face a “bitter fate”.

Financially that’s a $44m investment down the pan; but the PR damage will almost certainly push this figure higher.

Sony can’t play the victim

The fundamental problem is that despite being illegally hacked and forced into a corner by one of the last great communist regimes, Sony isn’t able to play the victim. Leaked, and inflammatory emails first saw to that; and now some are questioning whether Sony made a grave error [in artistic judgement] by even approving the project.

Even The LA Times and The Washington Post concede that North Korea has every right to be upset about the film.

Headline from the LA Times

Headline from the LA Times (17th Dec 2014)

Regardless of the politics (I assume the majority are in agreement that living in North Korean is no picnic), let’s not forget that this is a film about the assassination of a living head of state. Reverse the roles and imagine a glossy film, produced in the Middle East, with leading actors and a $44m budget, about the assassination of President Obama or David Cameron; and for good measure throw in a few racial or religious stereotypes.

The Washington Post (16th Dec 2014)

The Washington Post (16th Dec 2014)

Was Sony Pictures a little reckless in pushing this project through?

History is littered with examples of films that lambast foreign leaders – typically those considered enemies of the state. Bin Laden, Hitler, Hussein. They’ve all been targets. Yet, the films that portray their ultimate demise have historically been released after their deaths.  I can’t think of another film that adds a comedic touch to the assassination of a living leader.

Ok, so it’s difficult to feel sorry for Kim Jong-un, but you can kind of see their point.

The North Koreans have made their position clear for several months. A state sponsored media report from June 2014 called the movie an “act of war”. Was it right for hackers to infiltrate Sony’s network, or to make threats against members of the public? Of course not, but Sony Pictures must have known it was treading a fine line when the project was given the green light. Leaked emails from director Seth Rogen even describe the need to make Kim Jong-un’s death “less gory”.

“There are currently four burn marks on his face. We will take out three of them, leaving only one. We reduce the flaming hair by 50%… The head explosion can’t be more obscured than it is because we honestly feel that if it’s any more obscured you won’t be able to tell it’s exploding and the joke won’t work. Do you think this will help?”

Read that again and tell me that this isn’t a little troubling. Yes, we have freedom of speech, but Sony also has a collective moral compass – and let’s not forget that its compass typically points to Japan, a traditionally conservative culture.

Listen, I don’t imagine for one second that this turn of events is going to sway public opinion and open mass sympathy for one of the world’s few remaining dictators. However, Sony Pictures – like any corporation – has a duty of care towards its shareholders. The green light on this film was a risky decision from day one. Studio co-chair Amy Pascal is already in hot water after hacked emails were released and, despite Sony Pictures contributing only 10% to Sony’s revenues, the events of the last few months have undoubtedly hit the company’s share price (which has fallen 5% since the hack was revealed).

Sony Pictures’ PR machine is no doubt working at full-pelt with damage limitation front of mind. It engaged Rubenstein Communications shortly after the hacking scandal to manage the fall-out that undoubtedly follows the release of private emails, salary details and more. It also has to respond customers, politicians and media who will accuse Sony of backing down to terrorists.

If that’s not bad enough the internal battles will also be raging. I’m almost positive the US teams will be battling the Sony Corporate team in Japan – a country where crisis communications means staying tight-lipped.

Crisis recommendations

Firstly, what the team shouldn’t do is focus its strategy around the “freedom of speech” angle. I worry that this is already what it’s doing. Another PR specialist linked to Sony Pictures, Matthew Hiltzik, already tweeted on the subject and tried to instil some FUD by suggesting that journalistic integrity would be next to fall under the hammer of censorship.

Are Sony's PR advisors are exploiting FUD?

Are Sony’s PR advisors are exploiting FUD?

It’s difficult to play the victim-card and cite freedom of speech if you are also being scrutinized for an error in artistic judgement. Freedom of speech is one thing but cultural sensibilities and the question of what’s in good taste is another. This was an error of judgement, plain and simple, and I’d personally be advising them to take that line.

We may live in a word where an email conversation about flaming hair, exploding heads and the acceptable number of burns marks to show on a face is perfectly normal, but there’s still a place for humility.

Free underwear and the art of marketing through LinkedIn

Linkedin has made real progress over the last 24 months. By putting greater focus on content it’s been moving solidly towards improved user engagement; and in return saw its advertising revenue grow 45% in Q3 over the same period last year. However, it’s still not seen as a hotbed for marketing creativity. Brands have typically favoured FaceBook and Twitter as a vehicle for audience engagement and I could probably count the number of great marketing campaigns that use Linkedin on one hand.

What that means is that when a clever campaign is launched it does get attention.

Free underwear & the innate rules of LinkedIn

More so than any other social platform, editorial control across LinkedIn content remains largely self-regulated. Driven by its use as a tool for recruiters (and therefore potential future employers), there’s an unwritten, almost innate rule among LinkedIn users that content should be relevant and professional. The same applies to campaigns, and for me the best campaigns play to this innate understanding.

There are few better examples of this than Fruit of the Loom’s 2013 “Fresh Gigs” campaign. During the five week effort, users who updated their employment status to reflect a new job were contacted through LinkedIn by Fruit of the Loom and offered complimentary, gift-wrapped underwear, because “great-fitting underwear can help you start your workday in a great mood.”


Fruit of the Loom’s Fresh Gig campaign


Yes, it was quirky and part of a wider advertising campaign, but it was a subtle use of an inherent LinkedIn action; notifying your community of a new job. Because of that it was immediately on-target, relevant and didn’t seem overly interruptive.

Leverage native LinkedIn actions

The latest example of a campaign that leverages a native LinkedIn action is equally enjoyable. Launched this week, this time it’s for the movie Taken 3. Playing to the action of “LinkedIn Endorsements” (endorsing one’s connections for their skills), the campaign features Liam Neeson’s character Brian Mills. Fans of the movie franchise will be familiar with the now infamous (and meme-inspiring) scene in the first movie where Neeson’s character explains to his daughter’s kidnappers that he has his own “particular set of skills” that will aid him in his mission to rescue her.

Now, Neeson’s character is ready to endorse your skills with a personal video endorsement. Pretty neat. Who wouldn’t want to win a LinkedIn endorsement from the man himself?

The campaign is being seeded through a tongue-in-cheek video from Neeson where he recites his own business skills; contract negotiations, international relations, transportation logistics, all intercut with scenes from the movie franchise.

The campaign’s LinkedIn page features content from the movie and invites users to follow the page to enter the competition.

I like its simplicity. It’s relevant, it echoes a known LinkedIn action (endorsements) and is integrated with your network so you can see how else in your groups has entered.

LinkedIn isn’t the place for Farmville invites or cat videos, but if you understand the unwritten rules of LinkedIn, the very fact that so few campaigns surface on the network means that brands can cut through the noise inherent across other social channels very quickly.


Applying the 70:20:10 innovation rule to your marketing

702010The 70:20:10 rule is frequently cited as a useful formula for delivering an optimally blended mix of marketing content. For those not familiar with it, it suggests:

  • 70% of your content should be low risk; it talks to the fundaments of your proposition and you know it works. It’s the stuff that keeps the lights on and the furnaces burning.
  • 20% should innovate off of your 70%. It’s a little edgier and might go deeper into the core proposition. It might be used to pull targets further down the sales funnel, perhaps leveraging long-form, niche content.
  • 10% is your room for risk. This is where content teams can experiment and explore new ideas . Some of it will fail, but some of it will become the next 70%.

It’s a useful formula and whether you consciously consider it in your planning or not, chances are most good marketing teams will find their content plans map to this ratio anyway. However if you apply this only to your content marketing efforts you’re missing an opportunity to cultivate a more innovative and agile marketing function altogether.

Cultivate marketing innovation

The 70:20:10 model actually dates back to the 1960’s but gained renewed fame when Eric Schmidt applied it as a business resource management model to cultivate innovation within Google:

  • 70% of time should be dedicated to core business tasks.
  • 20% of time should be dedicated to projects related to the core business.
  • 10% of time should be dedicated to projects unrelated to the core business.

Let’s think about how we might apply that logic to the wider marketing function.

70% (NOW):Your core marketing tasks; the effort / resource that is required to ensure the function works to expectations. This applies to your media, analyst and investor relations and it should guide your demand generation initiatives across content and advertising. There is little room for risk; there may be governance codes and stock market regulations so established processes safeguard the integrity of your efforts.

20% (NEXT): Your team will have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Invest time and resource innovating around the areas of known success. This is likely to include more exploratory, long-form content or intricate campaigns rooted in your 70% efforts. It might be as simple as experimenting with more adventurous content headlines (try A/B testing to quantitify your ideas) or you might  look to explore how existing sponsorship or advertising properties can be leveraged in a more unique way, perhaps even stretching the brand into a sub-demographic.

However, don’t use this time only to innovate around your “outputs”; this time should also be used to evaluate how existing processes and tools can be optimized or how team structure can be realigned.

10% (HORIZON): This is where you can get [a little bit] crazy. Existing team KPIs should not apply to this work effort. You need the resource to experiment and explore. You may wish to split this effort between:

  • Marketing Technology: Trialing new tools, such as marketing automation and CRM platforms:
  • Brand: Exploring brand extension into new markets or categories, new ideas for brand activations across sponsorships.
  • Content & Campaigns: New content formats, brand voices and design styles.
  • Growth Hacking: Trialing new routes to market, referral marketing activities etc.

In practice

In practice there are no hard and fast rules, but a team that focuses 100% of its efforts on the “now” without a culture for the “tomorrow” will quickly find the rest of the market racing ahead.

Just by embedding the 70:20:10 model into team culture will go a long way in driving change. Consider how it can be woven into team and individual KPIs, planning meetings, resourcing plans and even agency briefs.

A “content marketing” definition for B2B marketers

tipsSomething of a debate has opened up at the office around the exact definition of content marketing. It’s a valid debate; marketers play loose and fast with the term and, technically, almost every marketing effort uses “content” of some description. However, it’s not that simple. The value of Content Marketing lies in its ability to affect a change in a highly non-interruptive way.

There is no hard and fast definition. In fact I have read several definitions and I disagree with elements of all of them. So here’s a personal attempt at defining content marketing for B2B marketers.

Let’s start with some of the common arguments and definitions.

1. Content marketing is non-interruptive: TRUE!

Interruptive marketing spans traditional advertising and promotions, through public relations and telemarketing. It’s generally seen by many as an annoyance with brands shouting for attention. Content marketing is a form of permission marketing designed to attract customers’ attention and establish trust first. You can only do this if your content is seen as delivering value that educates your customers (rather than directly sells to them).

2. If it’s paid media it’s not content marketing: FALSE!

There’s a lot of folks out there who will have you believe that the minute you sign a cheque it’s advertising. This is a sweeping generalization. OK, so the reality is that 99% of paid media today is traditional advertising but remember it’s all about the intent; paid media doesn’t have to be interruptive. If the content meets the goal of earning trust in a non-interruptive way then its content marketing and why not use paid-media to amplify the message. Here’s one of the best examples I have seen this year. 

3. All earned media is content marketing: FALSE!

This seems to be one of the biggest traps. There’s a huge difference between content marketing and an ad that’s gone viral over Facebook and YouTube. Yes, Old Spice have killed it with their ads; but while they are funny and highly shareable they are still ads. Their core remit is not to engage, educate or build trust; their product is front and center and each is a one-time campaign effort.

4. Content Marketing is only useful at the thick-end of the lead funnel: FALSE!

Great content marketing is designed to educate and engage prospects, pulling them into your lead funnel in a way that builds trust; so yes, efforts are largely focused on lead generation. However, there’s still value down the line. A good content marketing campaign will fuel your credibility as a thought-leader with leads nearing the point of conversion and even with existing clients (perhaps where you need to protect a price point).

 5. Your content has to tell a story: FALSE!

Everyone’s a storyteller these days. It’s de rigueur for brands and marketing teams to define themselves as storytellers. Get over it people, you are not J.K Rowling. Yes, your content is valuable but it’s unlikely to be consumed for pleasure. Yes you need a narrative (you might even need a protagonist) but you don’t need a story arc. So don’t obsess over being a storyteller; the job of good content marketing is to concisely influence an opinion or affect an action in as uninterruptive a way as possible. That means presenting information to your audience in a way that they value. This man says it in ways far better.

So, if I’m going to attempt to sum the practice of B2B content marketing up into a single statement it would go something like this.

Content marketing is non-interruptive. It delivers something that your customers and prospects want to hear, not what you want to tell them. It allows you to be relevant in a way that educates and builds trust. If you do this consistently and honestly you’ll affect a positive customer action. 

Let me know what you think. Does this work for your B2B Content Marketing efforts?


Atomize your approach to content marketing

tipsHave you heard of “content atomization”?

Like so many other terms, it’s a slightly convoluted way of describing something that’s actually just good common [marketing] sense. Many of you will even be doing it already, but here’s a refresher and introduction to those looking to build a great content marketing practice in your organizations.

Atomizing content describes the processes of breaking down a core content asset or value proposition and tailoring it to suit a variety of audiences. That means not just recycling content, but reimagining it and building a new asset that meets the need of i) a certain target group or ii) a particular stage in the sales cycle / lead generation funnel.

Too often, a content marketing strategy is disjointed and resource intensive. Being able to atomize your content successfully should not only deliver greater engagement (different audiences will want different things from your content, and different ways of consuming it) but will also deliver a more efficient means of planning and producing content.

First, let’s look at how you might atomize a piece of long-form B2B marketing content. Perhaps an annual research report, case study or whitepaper.

Stage 1: Serialize

Identify how your long form content can be broken down into more digestible chunks that speak to one of your key customer segments. You are essentially breaking the piece into chapters; for example around research geographies, products or key findings. This not only ensures greater relevancy but, quite simply, it gives you more bait and makes you more discoverable by your audience. Understand and build out the message for each of these chapters, but ensure that the chapter can stand independently and tell its own story. You’ve now increased your potential calls-to-action exponentially.

2: Package

How will your audience want to consume this content? Create a content pack around each chapter; perhaps comprising multiple blog posts, Tweets, infographics, a press release, videos, direct mail, podcasts etc. But don’t just blindly populate links; pay attention to where in the lead generation funnel you need to make an impact and identify the right tool for the job.

For example, tweets help to spread your voice, building awareness and driving traffic back to a blog or other piece of downloadable content where leads can be captured and further nurtured. Press coverage enhances your credibility with leads a little further down the funnel, while richer more personalized assets such as a targeted mailer of your full paper gives leads greater confidence in your brand as a thought-leader (vital during vendor evaluation or contract renewals).

3: Schedule

There are two considerations here. Firstly you need to schedule your content packs; are they being launched simultaneously to different target groups / geographies or are you targeting a single audience and creating a longer calendar of sustained activity to fill the next two quarters?

You then need to look at scheduling the assets of each individual content pack; how many tweets do you need to drive traffic back to the website, validate a lead and nurture them through to the next piece of content? Do you want to secure press coverage in advance of a customer mailer to show third-party endorsement? The answers will depend on your own requirements, but schedule blog posts and tweets down to the day and hour if necessary.




Atomizing Content is good practice. Here’s the why.  

  • More chances: Reimagining your content and atomizing it gives you incrementally more calls-to-action. Serializing your long-form into five parts gives you five times as many opportunities to engage.
  • Greater consumption: Few leads at the thick end of the funnel will give your brand the time it needs to consume a 50-page research report (no matter how valuable you think it is). Do the work for them, serialize your content and break it down into discrete chapters that roll-up over time to tell the bigger picture.
  • Greater relevancy: Your targets in the US don’t (possibly) care about your research findings in Europe, and vice versa. Break your long form content down to be relevant to your audience.
  • Greater shareability: Attracting leads into the funnel requires your content to be shared as far and wide as possible, enable this through shareable assets such as videos or infographics.

Good luck, and remember to build this thinking and logic into your next content investment before you put to paper.