May 14, 2021
How different is B2B Marketing to B2C? Should you use the main channels differently? How can you be creative in a business landscape? Host Will Francis chats with Linda Mullen, a veteran of B2B Marketing and Global Director of Digital and Partner Marketing at fintech company Fenergo about marketing in regulatory industries, and how, at the end of the day, talking to other businesses means talking to other people.
Will: Welcome to "Ahead of the Game," a podcast brought to you by the Digital Marketing Institute. This episode is a big Q&A, where we explore an area of marketing through a leading industry expert. I'm your host Will Francis, and today, I'll be talking to Linda Mullen about B2B marketing. We'll talk about how the various channels, email, social media, search, content play out very differently when talking to other businesses in those channels. We'll talk about working with regulated industries too because that's something that Linda knows plenty about, but we'll discuss how to remain creative with B2B, respecting the fact that after all, there's still just humans on the other end of that message. Linda is a seasoned B2B marketing professional with over 20 years international experience in industries, ranging from technology to pharmaceutical. She currently leads the digital and partner marketing teams for Dublin-based global FinTech company, Fenergo. Passionate about social media, social selling, and the power of communications, Linda serves as an active advocate and mentor within her industry for emerging talent and is also co-chair to Fenergo's women in RegTech Group. Outside of her professional career, she's a basketball coach to a local club, an active campaigner for Breast Cancer Ireland, and mother to her son and their new puppy, Kaylee. Linda, welcome to the podcast.
Linda: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.
Will: It's great to have you on. How's Kaylee settling in?
Linda: I think it's like having a newborn. You forget, and I'm hoping that I forget all the pain when she's just a little bit older. But she's a great addition to the family.
Will: Is always a good addition to the family. I think helps everyone keep happy and healthy, especially in these times. So yeah, you know, you've got this long-running career in B2B. And I'd love to, kind of, really dig into that and mine all the information in your head about it. And I think before I, kind of, get into the real details of that, I'd love to, kind of. set the scene a bit for our listeners. You know, how have you seen B2B marketing change over the course of your career? And where are we now? Where has it kind of arrived in 2021 do you think?
Linda: Well, I think first of all B2B, which is business to business marketing, similar to B2C, which is business to consumer, we're targeting the business customer. So, whether its customers are using search engine, reading a publication, responding to, like, nurturing messages, email campaigns, a variety of resources, our job is to make sure that we're giving them the answers to their business problems. We help them do their job better. And that's how traditional and today's business marketing should be. However, the avenues that we use today are very, very different. So, obviously, when I kind of first started out, you know, internet, you know, was a brand new fangled, kind of, you know, thing. Email was not used the way it's used today for the campaigns, LinkedIn didn't exist. So, the way we go to market today is very different. I mean, I remember a time where we were stuffing invitations into envelopes and sending them out, and you'd have paper cuts all over your hands. So that's the evolution today, even for, like, the events that you know, B2B marketing would have.
Will: Yeah, that's interesting. And do you think the B2B marketing sector, was that, sort of, slower to adopt digital channels?
Linda: I can't say that it was slower. I think it's been... I think, like, everybody else nowadays, I mean, do you remember when you first started using a computer and then do you remember when you first started using a computer for work? It's been a natural progression in the way that technology has integrated itself into our lives. So the evolution, I think, has been, I'd say in the last seven years really has blown up as marketing automation has taken fold, and you have players on the market such as Pardot, Salesforce. You know, we use Marketo, which is a marketing automation system, that we're all driven by data nowadays. And as we're becoming more data consumable, the more the evolution seems to be in the marketplace for how to enable to get that data and then target your audience as you wish.
Will: Yes, that's really interesting and you've given me a little bit that I need to unpack there, right? So, yes, you're right, marketing automation. I mean, that's the same in B2C marketing, but it's I think happened more in B2B because it's so CRM-focused, isn't it? And CRM, which is essentially your list of customers, your database of customers or prospects or leads, essentially, works really well at the core of an automated system, doesn't it?
Linda: Yes, it can do. So, I mean, we work off... and what I try to say nowadays to people when they're coming into this, kind of, industry into B2B marketing is, you are a type of salesperson that you need to look at what the pain points of your clients actually is and address those pain points. You're not here to sell the company. You're actually here to address a business concern. And that's how you sell the company solution. So it's always putting the customers first. Everything the current company that I'm with does is very client-centric, putting the customer first. What is their pain point? How are they researching us? How are they looking to find a solution? And trying with our content to make sure that it's addressing those concerns, those pain points, and then giving, like, a real-life case study of how a similar type of problem with somebody else within the industry has come on board with Fenergo and seeing results.
Will: And it's a lot about timeliness, isn't it? I think that modern B2B marketing and social selling succeeds because it can land at the right time for people.
Linda: I think it depends. I think that's the difference with B2C and B2B. You know, I think B2C, it's a very quick sell. The sales cycle is very, very short. Whereas B2B, depending on, you know, and I've worked in various industries, you could have a two-year sales cycle because you're targeting the buyer circle. And it's really important to identify your personas, you know, within companies, you can have very different types of personas. Those are the people that are looking to buy your business clients. So, say, for the company that I'm with at the moment, we have four different personas that we look at. Technology because that's, you know, within the companies, the banking industry, they would have their tech experts. You have people who would consume the data, who are looking at the data. You have, you know, your regulatory compliance people. All of these people have different pain points and different business concerns. So when you're doing your content, your email, your social, you have to take in consideration your various different personas, whereas usually B2C is you're selling a product, and the product is a general audience. So their pain point is, kind of, similar. Whereas I think B2B is a little bit different in the sense of, we have to understand our buyer circle.
Will: Yes, well, that's a very good point. I mean, in my experience working for a very different kind of company, running a marketing agency, a digital ad agency, it's very much about having those different personas and marketing to their circle. So you're not always marketing to the client, the marketing director or the head of marketing, you're also marketing to influencers within the company, quite junior people often, but people who will put in a good word for you ultimately because they've seen your content and they believe in the quality of your work because of what they've seen out there in the world. Right? So it's about not just reaching the obvious prospects but about reaching the people around them that will influence their decision. Right?
Linda: Well, it's also interesting from that because sometimes, actually, this is outsourced to agencies, such as PwC, EY to actually do the research. So they sometimes are looking for, say, a regulatory technology, which is what Fenergo deliver. And they would outsource that kind of research to go and find who's the best in the market or analysts. They would rely heavily on the analysts. So we're also targeting analysts within our space to say, "Look, this is what we do." So it's kind of you have a various different amount of audience, which keeps it really entertaining and fun. I dare say fun.
Will: No, it is.
Linda: It can be a spider's web.
Will: Yeah, no, it's kind of fun. There's lots of...it's like a big puzzle, you know, in a lot of ways. Okay. So, we've talked about personas and, you know, just for anyone who doesn't know that's listening, personas are these kind of typical customer archetypes. They're like a fictitious ideal customer and we flesh out who they are. We even give them names and, like, you know, photos. And we really try and bring them to life. And this is our typical client of this type. This is our typical client of this type, etc. So, that is I think you're right core to B2B marketing, just like it is with B2C. What do you think of the other kind of key comparisons to be made between B2B and B2C marketing?
Linda: I think we use similar channels, where a lot of B2C nowadays would be looking at Instagram, they would be looking at Facebook. We would still use that, we use that as an employer branding, kind of, perspective. It still does reach our target audience but we look at it from a recruitment perspective, you know, showing how fun and energetic the company is, what we do on a daily basis, as well as some of our contents, whereas B2C would use it more from an influencing type space. We're not photo-driven. I think nowadays, you know, I believe it's like you have to have a 30-second video. It can't be longer than two because we don't have the attention span anymore. And whereas B2B, you know, our main source of drive for social channels is primarily LinkedIn, where you're looking at your videos within LinkedIn. Your, you know, advertising for webinars is a massive channel for lead generation for a lot of B2B customers, where you get them into an hour's sit down to talk about pain points, solution, case studies, possibly bringing a client on board. And it's a very strategic way of getting the potential customer in to see what you can do or what has been offered and open that dialogue, which is really essential.
Will: Yeah. And in what you do, are you marketing, kind of, throughout the funnel? Are you doing top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel marketing simultaneously?
Linda: Yeah, and I think that's really important for anybody who's going into B2B marketing, your job is an avenue of sales. So what you're there to do is open the pathway, get the knowledge out there about what the company does so that you could then hand it over to sales when you get a lead. So, what we call an AQL, and acquired qualified lead. When you have a lead who seems very interested, maybe is asking for a demo, in our case, generally, that's the hand raiser, and say, "We want a demo," that's when we hand over to sales and that's kind of our job done. And it's up to jet sales then and the rest of the team to help bring the customer along to a journey where they're ready to buy.
Will: Yeah. I mean, that is one of the unique elements of B2B. I mean, you do get into some B2C, but yeah, there is this handoff to sales, isn't there? And that you... I mean, to me, it's quite interesting how that's different to how we used to do business. You know, in 20, 30 years ago, the salesperson took people through the whole funnel. You would, you know, make cold calls, introduce your business, they'd never heard of you. So they're top of funnel and you would, you know, be their, kind of, guide through the whole funnel. Whereas now, where our marketing is taking people through most of the funnel, I think by some measures, 80% or 90% of the funnel, and then it's kind of really towards the closing stage that the actual sales representative steps in.
Linda: Yeah, and I think I always say when we're recruiting, it's one of the first questions I would ask, what do you think marketing is when they're coming into a company like ours? Because if they don't understand that there's a lead generation and lead generation is there in order to assist a sale, then they don't understand what we do. So it's very important that you understand that that's...you know, any type of marketing is, what is your end goal? What are you looking to achieve here? You know, you don't do things willy-nilly. You do things to achieve something, whether it's to achieve a certain amount of people within your lead generation program, whether it's to create a sale or with, like, B2C, it's to create the sale or to have the sale, but it's a much quicker sales cycle in B2C.
Will: So, in your line of work currently, are you measured on just leads and sales or are some of those softer marketing metrics taking into account their, like, engagement and reach and things like that?
Linda: I think today's B2B person has to... I have a cartoon that I always use, like, I'm spinning plates. If I'm not spinning plates on my hands and my toes in my head, I'm not doing my job. So, it is multifaceted. And, you know, I remember one job that I had previous was one guy's like, "All you do a day is just sit on Facebook all day." That's not the case. Everything from email campaigns, lead generation, social media reach, influencers, assisting the PR channels, helping sales, understanding the actual product and how the product is going to launch, and looking at various campaigns throughout the year that we work in synergy with our product delivery, as well as our sales team. So, it's quite fascinating because you do see an evolution of the product in the industry, as well as writing about it. Sometimes you could be writing, you know, we have content writers on our team are fantastic, who write these amazing white papers. We digest that and then we put it into social media tidbits so that we're addressing a certain audience to sell the white paper to the clients going forward or the customers going forward.
Will: I get that. I just wanna go back to that automation bit that you talked about. I mean, are you able to give me or sort of illustrate a real-world example of how a lead gets acquired, and that triggers a series of automated events through their, like, journey as a customer? How would that typically happen?
Linda: I think in today's B2B marketing with marketing automation and campaigns, you're looking to drive the lead through the door and make sure that they're interested. Generally, a good rule of thumb is, you know, if they ask for a demonstration, yes, then you pass that over. That's your job done. However, some people need to be nurtured along the journey. Perhaps they're not ready to buy, perhaps they're just investigating. And usually, they're investigating for from the demands, from other departments.
Will: So maybe they downloaded a white paper and they put their email address into download. It's not a very highly qualified lead...
Will: ...but it's a lead. So what might happen to that person?
Linda: Well, I think anybody who's good at what they're doing has a lead score. All of your paraphernalia, all of your marketing collateral you would actually give a score to. So if it's a video and they've watched a video, we would use technology called Wistia, where we're able to track them on their journey when they're watching the video, how many times they've viewed it, how long they viewed it. And that would give it a score. A white paper versus a blog, a white paper would obviously have a higher score than a blog. Once they reach a certain score, they're MQ out, they're marketing qualified lead. We would then, kind of, pass that on to our BDR team, business development reps. And they would qualify and reach out to them say, "Look, I've seen that you've downloaded a white paper, saw a video, and you've attended a webinar. You might be interested in learning more about our company, we'd be happy to assist you." So, depending on the company that generally generates what kind of lead score you would give to the different assets. You know, if somebody has come on our website, we can see that through Google Analytics. But then if they download something or if they've come back on a week later, they've attended a webinar. We're pretty secure that there's some interest there that might warrant some more personal one-to-one. And that's the other thing with marketing. It's not all about the technology and the automation. You do have to have that one-to-one experience because at the end of the day, and I think all sales is like this, you buy from the person, you don't actually sometimes buy from the product. You know, I know that I think there's an adage out there saying, "You know within five seconds if you're gonna buy something off somebody."
Will: Yeah, absolutely. And is that scoring is done automatically in a central CRM system or something like Marketo? Like, where does that scoring happen?
Linda: I don't think that scoring should ever sit...it is within the program. However, it's up to the marketing departments to put the value of their collateral. So, we would actually sit down and go, "Okay, white paper gets 20 points. A webinar gets 50 points."
Will: Yeah, I get that. But I suppose what I'm asking is that, you know, the actual score, I mean, yes, a human decides the weighting but there's an automated system that allocates when someone doesn't actually allocate certain points, essentially, to that lead. And when that lead goes over a threshold, ping, an email goes into a salesperson's inbox, "There's a new marketing qualified lead. They've just, you know, gone over the threshold." And this is what they did, you know.
Linda: So many marketing automation systems today are actually linked to certain CRMs, such as Salesforce, that would automatically send the ping and we would download the reports from that, and then send it off to the appropriate parties within the firm to follow up with. But it's great. It's amazing the technology... I mean, like I said before, data is key to everything and analyzing the data, you know, performance measurements, tracking, and then being able to evaluate the customer journey and when we think that they're ready to buy.
Will: Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting that you say that you, kind of, have a presence in consumer channels, you know, outside of the obvious one, which is LinkedIn, and also email, but, you know, you're present in Instagram and Facebook sometimes as well. How do you reconcile those two phases of a business? Are they two completely different phases or are they integrated in some way?
Linda: Well, I think they are because people are still consuming data on those channels. You know, Twitter's very influential for news, for journalists, for key analysts, as well as you'll find actually a lot of C-suite people still use Twitter to devour their news. So if there's key, kind of, news articles that are out about your company, it's really important that you're engaging on Twitter. It's also a valuable place to find information. So we're in the regulatory technology space, which is global. And it's amazing to see what's going off in certain regulatory environments such as Fatav, and it's being released. Will you engage with that and will increase your audience, as well as develop relationships? I think the key to social media and I think people always forget this is about being social. It's about starting a conversation, having a conversation. The various channels of social media warrant a different voice, a different tone. So it's important that you incorporate that within that you can't just cut and paste. You know, you can't take your LinkedIn post, cut and paste it, put it into Twitter. It doesn't resonate. Like today, you know, we made sure like we had a great announcement. We went RedTech of the year. But we said on our social media channels for Facebook and Instagram is, like, you know, we have a reason to have a happy Friday, it's we won an award. We wouldn't really use that tone on LinkedIn. You know, it's a little bit more professional. So you have to remember your tone. But our employees are following us on Facebook and on Instagram. So there's a sense of pride there. And it helps with recruitment. It helps with retention. And most importantly, you know, pride in the company.
Will: Hello, a quick reminder from me that if you're enjoying our podcast series, why not become a member of the DMI so that you can enjoy loads more content, from webinars and case studies to toolkits and more real-life insights from the world of digital marketing. Head to digitalmarketinginstitute.com/aheadofthegame. Sign up for free. Now back to the podcast. How does LinkedIn best deliver value, you know, in your marketing? Like, where does this real power lie for you? Is it through, you know, premium accounts, so the sales stuff? Is it the ads? Is it the content in the feed? Like, where do you think it really moves the needle?
Linda: I think it's a combination of everything, depending on what you're doing. You know, in a regulatory environment that we operate in, it's been very useful for us. And so, far as we're able to target based on the personas, titles, you know, industry, banking, and really hone in our advertising drive that way. So, say if you take the difference between advertising in the "Wall Street Journal" and, say, your daily newspaper. And that's how you would look at it. And however, we're able to really filter down to the persona. If we've got a webinar that we're looking to advertise, a white paper, and we're looking to target those key personas, it allows us that avenue to do it. A really interesting statistic is, I think people are 90% more inclined to open up an inmail from LinkedIn than they are from an actual email, which is really good for salespeople and it's a different way to actually get to your target audience. I don't know why I am, I'll answer an email on LinkedIn I and I find myself doing it more readily than I would on a general email campaign. So it's an interesting statistic for that. So, you have the pay to play, but you also have your organic, which is when you put something up and then you're able to reach from there. We found it very useful using digital, using video. And I think that's key as well going forward. Ironically enough, people just don't have the time to read. And we remember images a lot more. A recent statistic said that we're actually being pummeled with over 10,000 advertisements a day. So, you kind of when you take that into consideration, you're like, "Oh my gosh." And that's why I think LinkedIn can be so useful because you can use both your digital as well as, like, a little tidbit about what's the company? And hopefully, they click through.
Will: Yeah, you're absolutely right. I mean, video, it just resonates. As humans, we're wired...when we see a human face in a video, that really kind of resonates with is far more than black text on a white background. And yeah, I see a lot more people using video on LinkedIn and I can see why. And I would guess that the algorithm rewards that as well because, you know, the algorithm rewards people who publish the most engaging content and content that drives dwell time on LinkedIn, right?
Linda: Yeah, I recently attended a LinkedIn summit and it was interesting to learn some of their key triggers. We currently use a software platform called Octopus for all of our social media content. You know, it helps to keep a calendar. It helps to, kind of, track and analyze, see where different leads come through our social media channels. But the speaker in LinkedIn was saying, "Actually, we prefer you to post it on our direct LinkedIn channels and you'll actually increase from the algorithm, your actually exposure rather than posting through Buffer or Octopus or those various channels." So I thought that was really interesting. It's a little bit labor-intensive to do, and excuse marketeers analytics, but it was just something that, you know, if you want something to really be seen a little bit more poignantly, the advice was to actually post direct to LinkedIn because obviously, they want that kind of feed.
Will: Yeah, they do. Now, of course, LinkedIn is the key channel there, I suppose, you know, in B2B, the one we typically think about. What are the other valuable digital channels that you use in your role?
Linda: We use a lot of digital advertising. So, looking at...and within regulatory technology, there's only a certain amount of publications. So we're very lucky in that circumstance. But where our clients would be looking to read their information, you know, your newspapers, so "American Banker," "Reg Asia." We would always do digital advertisements there. So that's one avenue that we would use. Email campaigns, I always say, you know, people say, "Oh, we get so many emails." I think it's today's modern-day advertisements, your TV ad, you see it in your inbox, you may engage, you may not. Generally, you know, it's not annoying, I guess if you are doing too much, then yes, you'll see the unsubscribe rates go through the roof but email is still very impactful. And then your content, your blogs, making sure, you know, we would advertise our blogs on likes of "American Banker" and "Reg Asia." But it's important, you know, I think no matter what content is key, I think going forward, it's going to be your digital video content will be key.
Will: Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, I'm a big fan of email and I'm a big fan of written content or video content, you know, content marketing, in general, because it's how you cut through by providing value, you know, and actually offering, like you said, at the beginning, not selling but offering people interesting, useful, insightful stuff of some sort that helps them be smarter, helps them do their job better. So yeah, I can see how those things work.
Linda: And I think an interesting channel has been, and obviously, I know, we're all zoomed out, and we're teamed out, and everything like that. Even before COVID happens, webinars are just a huge...it's an underrated I think form of marketing because you actually bring people to the table, that are industry experts in a very short time period that address a pain point for a potential client. And that we have seen, you know, huge success with our webinars.
Will: That's interesting. So, they're free webinars? They're open to the public?
Linda: They're open to the public. We would market them through LinkedIn, Twitter, various channels. And we make sure that it's addressing a pain point within the buyer's circle, whether it's, you know, we have compliance webinars or we have technology webinars. We are lucky enough to partner with Salesforce. So, we've done a few with Salesforce and AWS, which brings, you know, people are interested to hear what is going on within the industry. So, it's a valuable tool and then you can replay those webinars so that people can see them on their convenience or listen to them as well.
Will: Yes, and as we talked about, that's a way that you generate leads, you know, people sign up for a webinar, you have their email address and their name, and you can then score them based on the fact that they attended the webinar, and also based on the pain point that they came to hear about. You can deliver further content that helps them with that and also provide context for any sales approach that's gonna be pretty bespoke, feel very personal to them anyway. Right?
Linda: And I think that's the other thing with B2B marketing nowadays is you can be personal, you don't have to be business-like. You know, one of the pain points within our industry is the fact that there's still manual processes being completed and how we can address that. It's laborsome. It's tedious. And we say that within our marketing because we understand, that's part of the problem is that human aspect of doing a monotonous, tedious, rote, kind of, procedure. And that's part of what our solution helps to address.
Will: Yeah. Yeah. It's good that you acknowledge. It's a nice way to relate to the audience.
Linda: Yeah. We don't say Fenergo does everything, like, you know, our...any company that says, you know, no, you go like, "We understand your problem. We understand what the solution is and this is your business case."
Will: That's the way to do it for sure. But you know what? What I come across a lot with B2B marketing is that clearly a lot of people really struggle to avoid that all too common trap of producing essentially dry corporate and ultimately boring B2B content in marketing channels, particularly on LinkedIn. How could I avoid that? What tips would you have for me to avoid doing that?
Linda: I think, you know, one of the things you want to look at is, you know, what is the core crux of the problem? You know? And no, of course, you're not gonna be humorous or light about it because, you know, but you can be engaging. You don't have to be humorous but you can be engaging. It's telling people what they're gonna learn. What are you gonna learn when you read this? You know, an interesting, you know, topic for us is, within regulatory compliance within the banking industry is they have challenger banks nowadays. It's Monzo, it's Revolut. You know, we've used that in some of our campaigns because they know that that's a competitor. Oh, what's the competitor doing? Or within our industry is fines. You know, we couldn't find a repository where all of the actual regulatory fines were held. So we've developed a whole campaign around fines. Our team have just put together the AML Fines reports, which is a global report, which is a one-stop-shop that you can actually go to find where there was fines, what bank was fined? What regulatory fine? How much? Really interesting and engaging. Yeah. So it's taking something like that, which is fundamental but was nowhere to be found. It's not saying like, you know, the regulators are fining. Well, of course, we all know that. But, you know, human curiosity wants to know, how much did my neighbor get fined? You know, which country is really doing a poor job in regulation or, you know, who got fined? Again, unfortunately, now, you know, people are being responsible for the fines themselves within the industry. So it's changed the scope. So, no longer is it just the actual financial institution, it's the actual person will be liable. So, we've definitely seen an uptake in that report and that blog because it's human curiosity.
Will: Tha's right. And I think all good marketing appeals to our human side. We are humans. We only have one side, and it's human. We're not corporate entities, are we? And, you know, we will only be interested in content that fascinates us, or interests us, or entertains us in some way. You know, how far would you go in putting a very sort of human or emotive edge on B2B content? Did you think there's a line that you sort of stop short of there?
Linda: I think it really does depends. You know, our company is, you know, dealing with a very serious, massive issue globally, you know, financial crime. We wouldn't take that lightly and we wouldn't comment on it lightly. There's a severity to that, which we make sure that we have to have that kind of tone when we're going to market. Now, I worked for a long time in the construction industry, which was international construction for cleanrooms. You could put a bit of humor behind that. It's still B2B marketing but, you know, taking pictures of the guys on sites or wellness day or, you know, there's a way to be humorous within that industry, you know, still taking consideration health and safety and things like that. But it really depends on the industry that you're actually involved in.
Will: Yeah, I get that. I do understand that. I mean, that's one thing I really like about Monzo. I mean, of course, they're B2C. So this is totally incomparable to what you do, really. But I like how they broke the rules of how a bank should sound. And they are quite frivolous sometimes, quite cheeky, quite humorous, which a bank, you know...
Linda: I think they take their marketing from Ryanair or maybe Paddy Powers. But yes, I mean, their end goal is, you know, generation X, generation,
Will: But it feels like a bank run by people like me. And so, you know, I suppose the textbook idea was you must never sound like you're not taking this stuff seriously. This is people's money. This is people's life savings. You have to sound like you're taking this stuff seriously. And so it's all about trust. What Monzo realized the thing was that actually if you show the audience that you are basically like them and this company is run by, you know, people just like the audience, that there's trust in that too.
Linda: And even there's a really good wealth investment advisor, April Rodney [SP] on LinkedIn. And I would follow her. And she was even talking about people think today, you know, that the wealth aspect for investment banking is actually, you know, your older generation. And it's actually not. It's the younger generation. And that makes sure that you're targeting your marketing accordingly, that it's not actually the younger generation that is using technology in order to do their investments. People who are wealthy actually have the savvy to use technology and do use technology. So, ensure that you are addressing your audience appropriately and you've done your research appropriately, which I think is fundamental. We automatically classify people into certain personas based on what we think. However, you've gotta look at the basic evidence within the industry and use that in your marketeering.
Will: Yes, exactly. You know, we've talked about finance. That's a pretty regulated industry. And you've worked in actually other regulated industries. I know some of our listeners do as well. You know, what are some ways that you've worked without limitation in industries like pharmaceutical, finance, etc., but still produced effective B2B marketing or has it not been a big hindrance to you in your work?
Linda: I think, you know, firewalls are massive hindrance with email campaigns. And I think a lot of people within the industries do face that problem because we're conscious of spam. You know, I think more of a hindrance, and I don't wanna say hindrance but, you know, really changed the way we operate is GDPR. So, making sure that we're GDPR compliance is a huge issue that we take very seriously. But also, it's changed the way we market, as well as what's going on in America. You know, California passed a similar type GDPR and many of the states are going to follow suit. So it does change the way that you actually market going forward. And we always take that consciously into mind.
Will: Yes, but it doesn't need to stand in the way of good marketing, does it?
Linda: No, it doesn't. And that's also too is understanding the industry that you're playing in. So, within the banking industry, sometimes they have firewalls where they can't see videos. So, one of the ways we circumvent that is using Wistia. Wistia is a link that's trackable, and you can see where people is. It's not YouTube. So, a lot of the banks were putting firewalls up against YouTube videos, but they weren't against Wistia videos. So people could click on the Wistia videos. So, it's about finding ingenious ways within the marketplace that you can circumnavigate. The other part is understanding banks would...a lot of our lead gen was coming through Gmail or Yahoo. And the reason being is because there will be a block then if they've registered for a webinar on their work emails. So we've had to allow for that but generally, they fill out the information we generally know who they are, and then we can market to them accordingly.
Will: Okay. Well, I can see our time is running down. The last thing I really wanna kind of ask you is, and I always like to do this for our listeners, try and really, kind of, boil down what you know, no pressure, but if you just put 20 years of experience into about 3 minutes, that would be fantastic. But yeah, just I guess, boil down for our listeners. In your opinion, what are the key drivers of success in B2B in 2021, that our listeners should put first or they should really prioritize thinking about in terms of improving their B2B marketing?
Linda: I think number one is understanding your audience. And you understand your audience by talking to your sales teams, by talking to your customer success teams, by looking at RFPs. What are the clients saying back within the industry? Don't assume that you know, but try and get your information through those various channels. I think coming from a traditional marketeer, where I started was understanding the power of word, how to phrase words, how to use action verbs, not to use is. Those kind of simple techniques should be fundamental to anybody starting out in the industry. You have to know how to write, whether that be know how to write socially or know how to write a white paper. It's really, really important. I think marketeers nowadays have to wear many hats. We have to be socially media aware. We have to be, you know, lead gen aware. We have to be able to look at, you know, using Photoshop. There's many different technologies that you have to know and B2B marketing. So, being open to disseminate information really readily is I think paramount in this industry. And loving what you do, being with a team that, you know, excites you, that you can fall back on it. I think that's really key to kind of any...I think good marketeers, you know because you can tell by what the output is. And I think that's really key as well. We were very lucky that we just won a B2B Award from Adobe for best marketing automation campaigns. So, I think the proof is in the pudding from what we're producing that we have a great team that really loves what they do and is knowledgeable, and a constant yearn to learn.
Will: Yeah, no, I really, really agree with that. That really resonates with me. I really agree with how... I mean, copy, like, text. The written word is at the heart of everything we do as marketers, whether it's a blog post, a white paper, a Youtube description and video title, an Instagram post, you know, you need good copy everywhere. And if it's not good, it actually can really undermine what you're doing. So, I really, really agree with that. And also, yeah, this idea of being full-stack as some people call it or multidisciplinary, it is the reality of the modern world. And so, you do have to have that yearn to learn and be active in, you know, marketing communities, where people are sharing new tools and ways of working. And you can learn a lot from the marketing communities online, you know, and always trying to kind of up your game. Stay ahead of the game, as this podcast tries to help people do. Well, that's great advice. Linda, thanks so much. I really, really appreciate your time. Just one last thing, where can our listeners find you online?
Linda: I'm on LinkedIn, I'm Linda Marie Mullen. You can find me there.
Will: Perfect. Well, thanks very much. Like, again, I very much appreciate your time and your wisdom, and hope to talk to you again soon.
Linda: Thank you very much. I really enjoyed it.
Will: If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And for more information about transforming your marketing career through certified online training, head to digitalmarketinginstitute.com. Thanks for listening.