May-July Product Update


Dynamic Audiences

Dynamic Audiences is here! Now you can build your target account-based audiences using Salesforce View and Report, and it will update dynamically for LinkedIn.

Native Targeting on LinkedIn

Target your account list directly on LinkedIn and use its vast network of 610 Million users to build your audiences. Upload list .csv, or build via Salesforce List and Accounts.

Account List Reports

Easily monitor how your uploaded account lists are performing by navigating to our Account List reports. Here you’ll find the number of Reached, Engaged, Converted, Qualified and Influenced accounts from your uploaded list.

Enhanced Performance by Channels Report

We have enhanced the visualization of performance by channel reports to give you a clear idea of how your ads are performing with respect to each channel.

LinkedIn Views and Clicks by Accounts

We are excited to announce that we’re the first demand generation platform to offer a feature like this: now you can view Views and clicks by Accounts for your LinkedIn campaigns directly through Metadata.

LinkedIn – Custom Disclaimer for Lead-Gen Forms

Specify a Custom Disclaimer for LinkedIn users who will be filling in Lead Generation forms. You also have an option to add the Consent checkbox and make it required or optional.

Ability to Edit UTMs

Update your UTMs anytime after launching campaigns if your campaign contains only LeadGen offers. Not enabled for ad channel Landing Page offers.

Multi-Level Spacing in Ads

Add multi-level spacing in Ad Texts to make your text more informative and descriptive.

Ad Management Updates

We made it easier to manage Ads. You can now duplicate Ads in the library and use multi-select to add dozens of Ads to the campaign in one click.

20+ New Features and Fixes

  • New UI for selecting Custom Audiences

  • New UI for Campaign Wizard that consolidated settings in one section.

  • Updated Revenue and employee ranges for Company Firmographic

  • Unique urls for active campaigns

What Is a Demand Generation Platform and How Does It Differ From ABM?

As we talked about in the last post, I’m proposing a new way to think about account-based marketing (ABM) and how it relates to Demand Generation for 2020.

It’s not one or the other. It’s both.

By now, most B2B marketers have made the transition from traditional campaigns to an ABM approach, leveraging technology from vendors who have defined ABM in a vacuum and have built their platforms around those definitions.

Unfortunately for us marketers, most of the original ABM platforms determined the focus should be account engagement.

They built platforms to deliver and report on engagement and other vanity metrics, with the assumption that engagement ultimately led to closed/won deals.

Most marketers using these platforms are now realizing that account engagement doesn’t always have a direct line to revenue, and are still looking for the answers to help them build pipeline and close deals.

The traditional ABM platform focus on account engagement is missing a huge part of the puzzle – there’s no attribution to the results marketers care about the most.

And of course, serving more ads to generate more engagement keeps money flowing into the platforms and ad network – it’s in their best interest to make engagement look impactful.

You Need Engagement AND Demand

Marketers are still left with a problem.

Even if you are executing ABM campaigns (i.e., buying and joining B2B targeting data, onboarding audiences, testing campaigns, enriching leads), you have no sense of how to optimize that target account engagement across channels to drive demand and pipeline.

You have no clear way to see the insights and impact on revenue and ROI from each program.

Mike Smith quote

So, if an end-to-end ABM platform can’t get me there, how do I fill the gap?

You need programs and technology focused on the demand generation side of your funnel. But what are the differences between an ABM platform and a Demand Generation platform?

The standout features of a Demand Generation platform are:

  1. Focuses on generating high-quality leads from target accounts that turn into triggered and influenced pipeline, not just engagement.
  2. Combines business and personal data (intent, firmographic, technographic, demographic) to build incredibly accurate audiences in marketplaces with high match rates.
  3. Automatically runs self-optimizing campaigns at scale that engage the right target accounts at the right time, and turns that into demand for your product.
  4. Fully enriches all inbound leads with company and professional information, using multiple data sources.
  5. Provides reporting focused on the return on investment of your marketing campaigns: showing the total amount of spend, and the total amount of resulting pipeline and revenue.

Real-World Example

Let’s say you’re running an ABM campaign with the goal of driving opportunities and pipeline. You launch the campaign using the two ad examples below and want to optimize.

Which Ad Won 1

If we judge the performance of this campaign from a traditional ABM-engagement standpoint, we’d be stoked with the performance of the ad on the left and likely optimize out of the ad on the right.

However, now let’s look at deeper, demand generation KPIs for this same campaign and see which ad would win.

Which Ad Won 2

We now see that the second ad outperformed the first ad by a relatively large margin when you analyze past general engagement metrics like cost per click and cost per lead.

Have your cake and eat it too

You need to show ROI and engagement now – there is no excuse. Especially today – every dollar matters.

CMO’s know it’s possible and are expecting it more frequently. You need different methods to deliver and measure the two sides of your funnel: the account engagement/influence side (which can be served well via traditional ABM platforms), as well as the demand generation side.

If you’re only doing account engagement and influence, and don’t have a clear way of showing how that approach leads to revenue, it’s time to rethink your strategy and include a new focus on demand generation.

The table below shows some of the main differences between a traditional ABM platform, and a Demand Generation platform. Start by ensuring you have technologies or processes that support the demand generation side of your funnel.

Feature Diff Between ABM and Demand Gen Platforms

How to do Account-Based Marketing for Demand Generation in 2020

Both demand generation and account-based marketing (ABM) are as old as marketing itself: after all, somewhere around 90 percent of marketing is generating demand. However, while demand generation has been knitted into MarTech for years now, ABM software, as a category, is newer to the scene. It’s only over the last several years that software vendors have tried building platforms to help marketers deliver an end-to-end ABM program. Thanks to these vendors, and increased targeting capabilities across platforms, most B2B companies have made the transition from traditional campaigns to an account-based marketing (ABM) approach, with varying degrees of success. But, have traditional ABM platforms delivered on their promise? And what is the best way to execute ABM for demand generation in 2020?

Let’s explore.

To level-set, we define demand generation as a specific marketing function dedicated to identifying, creating, and nurturing demand for your product or service. Demand generation is not one particular activity or kind of program, but instead an umbrella term that many of your existing marketing tactics, programs, and strategies fall within.

ABM, on the other hand, is a tactic that, when executed properly, can feed your demand generation engine. If you think of demand generation as basically everything you have to do, ABM is one vital component on that list. It’s a specific lifecycle and account-based approach within the broader, ever-churning cycle of demand. As a refresher, that cycle looks like:

Creating Demand

There are some businesses — your potential customers — that have already identified their challenges and are doing something about them (maybe with a competitor). You want to get your product in front of them so they know you also have something that can solve their problem. Additionally, there are other businesses that are having the challenges your product can solve — but they don’t even know they’re having those problems yet! Figuring out how to get these businesses to identify the challenge will ensure you’re top of mind for a solution: that’s creating demand.

Identifying Demand

There are also businesses that are struggling through challenges that your product solves — and are actively searching for something to help them with these challenges. This component of the cycle is about finding those people where they’re looking and bringing them into a funnel.

Nurturing Demand

Demand generation isn’t an on or off switch. Nurturing demand is about taking the initial demand and increasing the pull toward your solution. It’s your job as a marketer to make sure your would-be customer has the exact information they need, when they need it, so that they can feel empowered in choosing your product over others (or over doing nothing). Nurturing demand also includes supporting the brand and customer growth.

Within this broader cycle, you can zero in on account-based marketing techniques. You can think of demand generation in a grid. On one axis, there are the tracks and programs that always need to be running in marketing. On the other axis are the activities and tools that a marketer has to work with to apply to those tracks and programs. 

That toolkit is vast, and includes: analyst relations and public relations, your website, executive outreach, paid display, paid social, paid search, organic search, content creation (everything from static blog posts to on-demand videos), content syndication, organic social, target account lists, intent data, technographic data, outbound techniques, social proof (via G2 or customer advocates), email, and events, whether in-person or virtual.

You can combine any number of tools together to create a marketing program that fulfills a portion of the demand generation cycle. Examples below.

For example, say you’re Slack, and you want to identify existing demand for enterprise collaboration software. You could run paid social to target ideal customers in market via a demo campaign, which would involve using the target account list, LinkedIn, and Facebook tools from your toolkit.

In another example, your goal is to create demand. You decide to run a cold outbound campaign to prospects who are already using a competitor’s product, using technographic data, outbound techniques, email, and maybe a few other things from your toolkit to execute. 

How ABM fits into this

ABM is one of the ways you can use the tools at your disposal toward the aim of demand generation. Think of it as a lifecycle within your broader demand generation engine. In marketing, we’re always trying to drive demand for a product or service. ABM is one of ways we drive demand: First, you partner with sales to determine your target accounts within your ideal customer profile (ICP), then you figure out who at those target accounts to go after, where they hang out — which is where you want to put your marketing — plus what message and offer will be compelling to them based on what kind of pain they’re having. Finally, you decide what tactics you’re going to employ, from digital, social, direct mail, to email, to get that perfectly crafted message in front of that target account.

Though there are important parts of demand generation that are not inbound marketing — sales enablement, customer referrals, or PR, for example — one steadily successful demand generation tactic, inbound marketing, can help lay the foundation for a strong ABM strategy. ABM builds off of inbound tactics by allowing for efficient, targeted resource allocation for high-value accounts. But if we look more closely at the traditional account-based marketing cycle, we’ll find a hole at the end of it. 

Here’s the traditional ABM cycle:

  1. Identify your ICP and ensure you understand your total addressable market (TAM)

  2. Develop a target account list that includes companies within your ICP, that have some other attributes that makes them more likely to buy (e.g. they already use your competitor’s product)

  3. Prioritize and tier the target account list into cohorts for which you can personalize experiences

  4. Develop the unique content and experiences to pull each cohort through the buyer’s journey

  5. Leverage multiple channels to deliver the personalized experiences (e.g. digital, email, events) and engage target accounts

  6. Test, learn and optimize toward what works

So what’s missing? Step 5 gets you to account engagement, but then all too often step 6 optimizes that engagement to vanity metrics (i.e. impressions, view time, CTR, CPC and CPL). But what about opportunities, pipeline, and ROI? This is exactly where traditional ABM platforms are missing half of the picture — there’s engagement, but no direct-tie to the results we all care the most about.

That’s why if you really want to do account-based marketing for demand generation in 2020, you can’t stop at engagement. You have to instead deploy programs and tools that actually allow you to tie and optimize your marketing efforts to the pipeline and revenue they generate, so that you can determine the ROI of your efforts. You have to have a foundation in testing and experimentation at scale to truly understand the specific aspects that lead to revenue. Engagement is a signal, but it isn’t going to necessarily make your company any money or bring in a set number of new logos. If you stop at engagement, you’ll have a harder time explaining to your boss how you made a difference in your marketing efforts. ABM software stops being a luxury product and becomes a necessary one only when and if you can tie ABM efforts to pipeline, new logos, and revenue – and show a positive ROI.

July Highlights, Tips and Tools from metadata.io

Welcome to our newsletter! I’d like to share with you some of our favorite stories and tips from the past month.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Monthly Customer Spotlight: Eightfold.ai
  • Which Ad Performed Better?
  • ABM on Facebook
  • Using Metadata Audiences for Conversational Ads

Customer Spotlight: Eightfold.ai

Eightfold.ai® delivers the Talent Intelligence Platform™, the most effective way for companies to retain top performers, upskill and reskill the workforce, recruit top talent efficiently, and reach diversity goals. Eightfold’s deep learning artificial intelligence platform empowers enterprises to turn talent management into a competitive advantage.

Eightfold primarily targets human resources professionals and talent acquisition specialists on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Programmatic. Since being a Metadata customer for over a year provides endless insights and optimizations, Eightfold has zoned in what ad works best for not only lead generation but also MQL and Opportunity conversion.

Below is the ad in reference and its results for the past 6 months:

CTR: 0.53%

Leads: 337

CPL: $170.55

MQLs: 216

Lead → MQL Rate: 64%

FCR: 14%

Influenced Opportunities: 114

What made the ad successful? 

  • Broad topic, yet targeted to a specific HR-focused audience
    • The key to a successful top-funnel ad is finding your key demographic and crafting a message that resonates with most people within that demographic. If you have a very large, uninterested audience, you will waste money on impressions and “fat finger” clicks that never result in leads.
  • Diversity of audiences
    • Target account lists, retargeting site visitors, & firmographic profiles
    • Using multiple, periodically updated audiences ensures you don’t run into audience fatigue. There are only so many times you can show ads to the same group of people before you have to admit it’s you not them.
  • Strong use of buzzwords like “Diverse”, “AI”, & “Ultimate Guide”
    • Any sort of guide or checklist will perform well, pending the copy and creative is palatable. People want valuable secrets of topical material in digestible chunks. If that’s what they want, just give it to them!
  • Consistent Messaging
    • If something has a title, stick to it. Don’t refer to something as an ebook in the text and then call it a guide in the image, then use whitepaper in the CTA. These may seem trivial semantics but verbal and visual consistency instills confidence in prospects that they’re not being tricked into submitting their information. After all, you want the prospect to want your content. Misleading people will only backfire as you try to reach out.

This ad has been Eightfold’s longest running and most valuable experiment to date. Over a year ago, the talent intelligence platform began running ad variations for this ebook using a variety of copy and images. Through time, both the Metadata and Eightfold teams understood this ad was a winner not only because it predictably generated leads for months at a time but because those leads converted through the top-of-funnel all the way into Closed Won Opportunities. 

Below are a couple examples of ads that underperformed.  

 

Why this ad didn’t work? The text above the image does not address a specific pain point or goal that relates to their audience. It also refers to the asset as the “2020 Buyer’s Guide” while the button on the image calls it the “Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Talent Management in the Age of AI”. Prospects don’t quite understand what exactly is being advertised.

 

Why didn’t this ad work? Minimal use of relevant buzzwords and vague persona referencing. While “AI” always seems to generate some interest, this ad fails to tie it to a specific pain point or goal. Additionally, someone reading this might think it is for a recruiter, which doesn’t necessarily coincide with HR professionals, which made up the bulk of the audience.

 

Interested in learning more about Eighfold.ai? Click here to schedule a demo.

ABM on Facebook

“We’ve never seen quality leads come from Facebook” is a phrase we often hear when we onboard a new customer. Historically, they are correct. Facebook does not produce high quality leads when you try to build audiences and ad campaigns natively in its platform. 

The reason for this is simple: marketers must use Facebook’s data when running ads. Oftentimes, this data is completely false or at best out-of-date. Therein lies the dilemma — we know millions of the right people are on Facebook yet B2B companies steer clear of this channel because they don’t have the right tools to find their audience. Rather than discover methods of cracking the Facebook code, most B2B marketers choose to ignore it as a lead generation tool and focus strictly on LinkedIn.

As a result, these thousands of B2B companies have made LinkedIn a very expensive and competitive advertising tool all while ignoring the bountiful potential of Facebook. Below are a couple high-level snapshots of Metadata’s performance on the two channels:

Not only were we able to generate more leads while spending fewer dollars on Facebook, we also delivered three times as many impressions which plays a significant role in driving search traffic as people research topics themselves without necessarily converting on a social ad. This higher volume of leads eventually led to 17 triggered opportunities on Facebook and 13 on LinkedIn. Not too shabby for a channel most kick to the curb.

When exploring new campaigns, keep in mind that success stories from LinkedIn might perform differently on Facebook. Continue to experiment wherever you can and optimize based on CPL, CPMQL, and CPO.

Already ecstatic about your Facebook performance with Metadata? Let your CSM know so you can be featured in Metadata’s next Customer Spotlight.

Using Metadata Audiences for Conversational Ads

Conversational Ads are all the rage on LinkedIn right now. As cold calling and email marketing seem to have hit a ceiling in terms of conversion rates, this new tool is giving BDRs and AEs more chances to book meetings with prospects. 

You may be asking yourself — how can I take advantage of this new tool using the best demand generation platform in the game? While Metadata does not yet have a direct integration with this new tool, you can use the same audiences that consume your content on a daily basis and enroll them in Conversational Ads. Not only are those people seeing the content on Facebook and LinkedIn, but they’re now talking to a representative where they feel most comfortable — online and on their own time. 

If you’ve converted enough leads on a particular asset, you can actually download them from Metadata and create a very specific, already familiar audience. Since moving people down the funnel from lead to opportunity matters to most marketers and sales professionals, consider exploring this new ad strategy as a way of generating pipeline. Once Conversational Ads graduate out of beta within LinkedIn, Metadata plans to build an integration, further consolidating your paid social network.

We would never recommend using a new tool without testing it ourselves. If you’d like to read about how Jason Widup, VP of Marketing at Metadata, delivered a 230% lift in demo conversions with 60% budget….during a pandemic, click here.

Interested in exploring Conversational Ads? Ask your CSM about which audiences and what type of messaging would work best.

And Finally: Which Ad Performed Better?

 

 

Leads: 7

CPL: $275.59

Form Conversion Rate: 2.01%

MQLs: 2

 

 

Leads: 16

CPL: $174.73

Form Conversion Rate: 4.48%

MQLs: 5

The key to this ad is the headline declaring exactly what the asset is — [CASE STUDY]. Since many digital audiences are familiar with trading personal information for a case study, we saw Form Conversion Rates jump, reducing the average cost per lead.

 

Thanks for sticking through to the end; hopefully you’ve learned some useful tips! If you have any stories you’d like to see featured, email me at kevin.joyce@metadata.io. I hope that you’re taking care!

Sincerely,

Kevin Joyce @ metadata.io