It’s all a Game of Thrones: Dominating the World of Complex Solution Selling

 

dominating-woman

To find a real Challenger Sales Rep, I thought I needed to look for a typical kind of personality, a certain level of strangeness and awkwardness, for someone who would never agree, but still be able to sell somehow, as mentioned from our previous blog post. I thought that’s what it meant for someone to be able to do Challenger Sales. Boy was I wrong.

When I read “the Challenger Sales” book again, I realized that being a sales rep can mean both having a job extremely hard to get right, as well as being rather easy when you have a few steps to follow.

What does a salesperson do? And is it any different in a Complex Solution Selling environment?

Many sales reps will pick up the phone and try to make as many calls as possible and simply try to book meetings with potential customers, travel here and there, conduct meetings, send proposals and negotiate deals with the occasional follow-up after delivery to primarily get even more sales.

Then two questions trigger me just like the Challenger Sales authors: Why will some Sales reps do really well and what set them apart in a competitive environment?

When working in a B2B Company and/or with a complex product; sales reps need to develop a rather deep level of knowledge of the company he/she is working at and a continuous self-education of the solution they are selling or services they are providing and the whole market around it. It is important for a sales rep to know a lot about the type of people who would be interested in his/ her product, innovating and measuring what works and what doesn’t. This means, being just good at the phone or creating relationships with customers won’t be enough.

Can we know that this is then true?

As mentioned in the book “the Challenger Sale”, research results showed that 40% of high sales performers primarily used a Challenger style – as opposed to one of the other four sales styles the book identified. Out of the other four, the Relationship  Builder seems weaker than ever as a sales trait and the least effective when it comes to the sales processes which may be counter-intuitive to what those recruiting sales people normally think, and value most. To take time to nurture and grow strong with prospects or even try to mirror and match based on the concept that people like others who are similar to themselves provides only poor sales results. Actually, it is a disruptive finding because most companies believe that a relationship builder will entertain prospects the best, and strangely enough, much of sales training and sales teams are geared towards this trait and reinforce the use of it as well.

So what about the other side of the coin? I mean why are Challenger Sales the perfect match?  Prospects are at once risk-averse and want to cut costs, increase revenue and mitigate risk. This is not strange because you want to reach this yourself!  Prospects don’t want to spend time helping a rep finding out what they are struggling with. That is why, when sales complexity increases, so does the success rate of the challenger approach. Having a challenger ensures having unique perspectives on the market, providing valuable consultation and educating prospects when facing new issues or outcomes to avoid pitfalls.

As we have seen from our previous post a challenger rep has a different view of the world, loves debating, pushes customers out of their comfort zones and has a strong understanding of the customers’ business even without too many open-ended questions. That is exactly what the book recommends “instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products”. What it does recommend is for salespeople to only “tailor their sales message to the customer’s specific needs and objectives.”

What to do differently in complex solution selling?

Authors of “The Challenger Sale” discovered that Challenger sales reps do completely different things to become top performers. They simply teach, tailor and take control. These three Ts do wonder; they may sound easy but that is not the case. To be able to nail these skills, you need time to reach a high level of performance, willingness to learn continuously and have an inner drive to lead to innovative and effective ways and solutions to move complex sales forward. We shouldn’t forget that time and attention in the B2B sales is a luxury! And here is where the challenger’s tailoring part does magic. The key certainly is to do it with control, diplomacy and compassion.

Here below is how a challenger could hold a meeting: He would present to his prospects a compelling story where he will give them a scenario that resembles their own situation through the 3 Ts as explained below

Challenger Traits Explanation
Teach (two way communication process)
  • Proactively teach prospects something new about their business
  • Increase expertise and knowledge about their business and market.
  • Teach them new perspectives in a compelling and assertive manner to drive actions
  • Buyers are highly dependent on reps insights to make the right choice
  • Provide services that prospects wouldn’t know about (commercial teaching)
  • Be relevant, it is no need to talk about yourself but only to address their problems
Tailor
  • …their pitch to resonate with customers’ concerns.
  • Assert your understanding by visuals and materials
  • Increase their curiosity by building suspense and make them feel they need to learn more
  • Think of data, information that would reframe the way they think and how they would compete.
  • Interactively configure your product so your prospects realize they can’t get it anywhere else
  • Prepare a good ROI where you focus on solving what you taught them rather than the ROI on buying your solution
  • Visualize data
  • Hold off: Don’t promote your service at this stage even if you feel that prospects are released

 

Take control
  • …of the sales process while focusing on customer value.
  • Increase curiosity by building suspense
  • push the customer out of their comfort zone
  • Gain buyers commitment
  • Collaborate towards same goals
  • Develop best solution and drive the momentum into a deal
  • Hear the expression: “that’s how we should be doing”

 

While you are performing the three Ts, relate always to the prospects pain and squeeze it even more because the emotional impact comes from your story and the link you make to their pain and how you can relieve it. Once you’ve changed the way they look at matters and they have agreed to take your own path, then they are ready to embrace your offer no matter what

In 2014 Rain Group’s Mike Schultz and John Doerr, argued that relationships are everything but dead.  In “the Challenger Sales”, the authors mentioned themselves that the Challenger rep isn’t born this way, he/she is made by learning these skills. So, Sales reps’ ability to build personal connection while also building inspiration and trust is the nitty-gritty details to win sales and constant awareness of the customers’ needs.

What do you think? Does this make sense? What about prospects that expect a transactional relationship? What would work best, one type of sales rep or have you seen a mix of traits from all the five types in action, and if so, when was what trait used? Share with us your thoughts and reflection!

 

How to do Challenger Sales: Stop the brown-nosing! And the big role of Marketing

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The first time I heard about Challenger Sales, I intuitively felt it explained some of the successful sales cases I had experienced myself, but I thought it described even more a personality and the way in which I saw some successful sales representative being able to consistently outsell the rest of us. When hiring new sales guys, I thought I needed to look for a typical kind of personality, a certain level of strangeness and awkwardness, for someone who would never agree, but still be able to sell somehow. I thought that’s what it meant for someone to be able to do Challenger Sales. Boy, was I wrong.

The name Challenger Sales itself comes from the book with the same name written by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon.

How to do Challenger Sales: Is it just about personality type?

I early on read a brief synopsis in which I learnt how the five (5) personality types described seemed to make perfect sense to me, and I thought I had seen them all in different sales representatives with different levels of success around me. The personality types described in the book are:

  • Relationship Builders. They focus on developing strong personal and professional relationships and advocates across the customer organization. They’re generous with their time and tend to acquiesce to what the customer wants, always looking to resolve tensions in the commercial relationship.
  • Hard Workers. As their name implies, they show up early, stay late, and always go the extra mile. They’ll make more calls in an hour and conduct more visits in a week than just about anyone else on the team.
  • Lone Wolves. These reps are the rule-breaking cowboys of the sales force who do things their way or not at all. They don’t put notes in the CRM system, don’t follow your sales process, build their own collateral, etc.
  • Problem Solver: This person is almost a customer service rep in sales rep’s clothing. They tend to focus more on getting the last deal implemented than getting the next deal signed.
  • Challengers: They’re the debaters on the team. They’re defined by their tendency to push the customer’s thinking. They aren’t afraid to share controversial views and are assertive, not just in terms of their ideas, but also when it comes to the commercial details of the sale.

Ok, so if how to do challenger sales is not about an inherited personality type, then what is it?

I actually had to read the whole book to start to realize that it was not just about this inherited personality type, but it was rather a method that all of us could learn to use. And I was even more happy to discover what a big role Marketing will play in making it work, because this means it can be made to work for so many more, and ultimately to go beyond personal sales also into the world of online interaction.

The whole idea about Challenger Sales is not so much in a particular way a person is, but rather the way they handle the whole process with a prospective client. In the book, Brent and Matthew talk about the three Ts (3 Ts):

  • Teach The Challenger will be making sure their customers reach an epiphany, or an aha-moment, in which they actually get the feeling they spent their time wisely listening to the Challenger.
  • Tailor The Challenger make sure the client will realize it will be made exactly to fit the customer.
  • Take control of the sale. The Challenger will absolutely propose the exact process in which the closure is included.

In addition, Brent and Matthew says the Challenger will do one more thing:

  • Build constructive tension. I interpret it in the way I’ve seen the best reps both ask for more money with poker face on. Levels of which I, myself, may not have dared go to. And they have definitely not been the ones breaking silence after having pushed over a suggested contract for the client to sign.

I believe we all can learn a great deal from the best here, but I find it interesting many parts can be not only learnt, but even prepared in advance.

So, what’s Marketing’s role when it comes to do Challenger Sales?

When you think about it, I’m sure you’ll have a couple of areas within your expertise within which your potential clients will always start to ponderously nod their heads in agreeance. Things they haven’t thought of before. These are obviously areas that should for sure be used within Sales to make sure you’ll provide the “Teaching” part above.

Then, even if what you provide is a black box that only comes in that one color, the way it can be pitched to a client is certainly that everything around it may be pitched to be totally customizeable to fit the need of this particular client in front of you, be that how quickly they can have it, its environmental packaging, or it’s phenomenal after-sales service. If it even for the simplest of products can be added more around it to become the “total product” for the user. For sure, you will be able to customize any products or service more for your client when you think about their whole usage experience in which your product or service will likely just be a small part anyway, right?

Now, finally, the taking control might feel like something rather pushy, but remember that all you ever want to do is to be of service, and you do best service by finding out the truth about whether there will be a good fit between you and the client or not, which both of you will benefit from, so it will ultimately be the better buying experience for the client, too.

For marketing, there is obviously a possibility to collect all ways in which you can teach, and in which you can tailor your product, so everyone will be able to use it.

 

Will Challenger Sales be applicable also on-line?

We’ve given this a  lot of thought and even if something like the “teaching” part is rather obvious, we believe also the “tailoring” part is possible: One of the things we’ve been doing e.g. in our own on-line 2-min-test (you can try it here: https://www.sonician.com/survey/2mintest/) is e.g. to make sure that an as adapted solution to the exact need of a client can be made, and something similar might possibly be useful for you, too.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on who also “taking control” and “building constructive tension” could be done in an on-line world?

 

How to Re-Engage your Inactive Email Marketing Subscribers

inactive subscribers

Whenever an email subscriber became less engaged or unsubscribed from your emailing list, it was always a good idea to try and win them back with a Re-Engagement strategy. But now as the GDPR looms over our heads, all businesses need to ensure they have a re-engagement strategy in place. Because once the GDPR kicks in (May 2018), inactive email subscribers may be lost and you may lose the right to continue contacting them for good.

This is why throughout 2017, you should be in FULL REENGAGEMENT MODE!

Doing what you can to provide loyalty driving content to your customer database. Not only is it cheaper to try and win back a previous customer than win a new one, it will help with boosting customer engagement, augment cross- and up-selling, increase brand loyalty & establish your customer database under the GDPR legislation.

So how do you go about creating a customer re-engagement strategy?

(When going through these steps, keep your own business in mind, your customer life cycle, sales process, etc. Because every business is unique.)

Step 1. Find your Inactive Email Marketing subscribers

Step 1 is to identify your inactive subscribers. Obviously, how you define an inactive subscriber may differ from business to business. A general rule of thumb would be defining your inactive subscribers as the ones that haven’t opened an email or visited your blog in 3-6 months. You may also choose to use clicks as a metric for inactivity, it is up to you. But ensure you have a clear definition of what makes a contact inactive and sort contacts into the ‘inactive’ list whenever they do become inactive.

Step 2. Determine a Re-Engagement Strategy

A great re-engagement strategy revolves around your brand, industry and your buyer personas. Sending applicable and engaging content, that is tailored towards the customer is the best way to drive engagement back towards your brand. 

Step 3. Choose your Re-Engagement Method

There are many formats in which you may want to present your re-engagement email. It is advisable to use one of the below methods:

Polls or Surveys – Asking the person directly what they think about the content you have been sending them is a fantastic way to receive direct feedback on your blog and email marketing content. Try to make sure they are as honest as possible and then make sure you reply to them with more engaging and tailored content.

Discounts/Giveaway – Many e-commerce and retail outlets can look towards using some sort of coupon code/discount to boost customer loyalty. Adding a message for them to visit your site to use the coupon code or visit the store closest to them (you can always get them to update their information, if that store turns out to not be the closest to them).

Play towards Emotions – Let the contact know that you miss them and are eagerly awaiting their return. This may not always work, but on occassion playing towards emotions can strike a chord with your contacts.

Step 4.  Create You Email & Set-it for Sending

Once you have determined the best content and strategy moving forward, the next step is to write out the email itself and set it for sending.

Step 5. Track & Monitor your Results

See how many of your inactive list have now been re-activated. Check that the number of your inactive list has decreased (the general rule is that about 10% of inactive subscibers will re-activate).
To ensure getting the best results we recommend creating a number of re-engagement campaigns, for a number of different segments within your inactive list. For example, sales managers may need a different re-engagement email when compared to content marketers. But most importantly of all ensure that the strategy is relevant to the contacts that you are speaking to.

If following this process you don’t quite get the results you are looking for that is fine. It only means you are going to have to continue adjusting your re-engagement strategies. You can send a re-engagement email per contact every 1-2 months and you can adjust the strategy and content for these every time.

We suggest that if you are concerned about losing the ability to contact customers you worked so hard to gain once the GDPR comes in, than implementing a re-engagement strategy is exactly what should be using to ensure that not all of these inactive subscribers go to waste.

Join us for a 1-1 Meeting to help you with your Customer Re-Engagement Strategy

Because you don’t want to have poor customer experiences.

www.sonician.com/survey/2mintest/

6 Ways to improve Your Online Lead Generation

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Over the past few weeks we have been discussing and pointing out the upcoming GDPR and it’s impact on businesses throughout the EU and abroad. (If you missed our previous article on what the GDPR is and why you need to care, you can reach it here.)

One of the key strategies that we have been trying to express to our readers is that, your contact database, CRM, contact list…..whatever you want to call it, will now be highly regulated by the EU to give private consumers more power over their data (which is great for all of us). But, as businesses or holders of a contact database, this is going to create a few complications.

Whose data you can keep is going to become a lot stricter and how you can communicate your sales or marketing messages to these people is also going to change.
Also, for those that were hoping to grow their contact database substantially or have possibly only just started their business, growing your contact database will become slightly more difficult.

Because of this I am going to outline 6 easy to implement tips to help you improve and optimise your website lead generation. Now these 6 tips will all be compliant when the GDPR kicks in and will help you to get to improve your online lead generation.

So let’s get started!

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1. Analyse How you Gather Leads Today!

The first step whenever changing anything to do with your marketing strategies is to analyse what your doing today. So this means look at how you gather leads online. Begin with the lead process, see every step along the way the contact details go. Maybe you have no idea, where you leads from your website end up, if that’s the case test the form yourself. Maybe they go to your sales manager when they should be coming to you first?
Have a look at on average how many leads you have gotten per week or per month over the most recent 12 months. Once you have this number begin looking at how much you would like to increase this by.
For example:

You may have had 50 leads in total across the past 12 months which adds up to 4.16 per month and just under 1 per week. So you set your goal at increasing this to 6 leads per month, for a total of 72 per year, which is a 44% increase. Then outline what you need to do weekly, daily to reach this number.

DON’T FORGET TO SET REALISTIC GOALS, IF YOU SET YOUR GOALS TOO HIGH, THAN ONCE YOU FALL BEHIND YOU WON’T HAVE THE MOTIVATION TO CATCH UP AGAIN!

2. Put your CTA’s (Call-To-Action) how people normally read a website

This is more important than the majority of marketers realise, but placing your CTA in the path of how a website visitor views your website is extremely important. I have worked with too many organisations that always, ALWAYS, place their forms at the bottom of the page.
First of all, when I ask these companies how often someone actually scrolls down to the bottom of the page, they have no idea. So make sure you are tracking how far down a page people actually scroll, because the statistics tend to explain that website visitors don’t scroll too often.

As ayou can see below they have placed a CTA in the top right hand corner and then once again along the left hand side. Statistics show that these are the most popular places for website visitors to click.

content2

 

Download our guide to re-engaging your customer database to learn how to wake up your inactive contacts before GDPR!

 

3. Clarity! Make sure your CTA’s are clear

Once again, this may seem obvious but too many times websites get confused with what they are trying to offer people. A website visitor isn’t going to go through CTA or fill out a form if they DON’T understand what they are going to get out of it or what they are doing. So make sure your CTA’s are clear and concise. As an example if it’s a whitepaper that your CTA is designed around than use “Download our whitepaper on ……..” rather than just using “Download Now” or “Get Your Free Copy Here”.
Be clear!

 

4. Post Forms or CTA’s on every single page!

There are too many websites out there that don’t realise how many clicks it takes for a website visitor to fill out a form or contact you. If you are unsure, stop reading and go and test your website right now! But having easy access and to completing a CTA can have a huge winfall on your lead generation and this is an easy fix. However, i’m not talking about spamming your website visitors on every page, but having subtle easy to reach contact forms or downloads on each page can create more accessibility for the website visitor.

 

5. Use Testimonials!

Using testimonials is a great way to creating authority and trust with your website visitor. Making sure you add images of the people that make the testimonial is also key to creating trust with your website visitors. These images and testimonials used in combination act as a powerful tool in giving your website visitors that slight push towards becoming a lead.

 

6. Start at the end.

When your designing your new online lead generation campaign begin with the end. By that I mean begin with defining what the lead will be getting from you, and what a new lead means to your organisation. By beginning with what your lead may mean to your or what they are looking for will help you provide clarity in your message and what actions will define them as a lead. For your organisation is a lead someone that asks for pricing? Downloads your whitepaper? Having this defined will make every other step along the way so much easier.

 

So when setting out to design your best ever GDPR compliant online lead generation campaign keep these tips in mind. These will not only hopefully boost your leads generated but also make it easier to process and segment them through the sales process.

How to increase inclusion of refugees

All over the world, there were 65,6 Million people forcibly displaced and over 22,5 Million Refugees. For anyone arriving into a new society there are both individual, humanitarian and societal gains to make newly arrived feel more included, so the inclusion of refugees is very important. Here is a video (transcript below) in which Henrik Rudberg of Sonician is interviewed by representatives from the city of Gothenburg about the Integra-system that Sonician built on top of Otto for the city. Gothenburg itself is a city in which more than 25% are not born there, and 1 in 10 has arrived as a refugee.

Transcript of the video:

Interviewer: Cajsa Malmström (CM), City of Gothenburg, Interviewee: Henrik Rudberg (HR), Sonician
CM: You and your colleague have been here today to present the new computer system for “Refugee Guide/Language Friend”.

Can you tell us a little bit more about that and present yourself?

HR: Yes, thanks, my name is Henrik Rudberg, from Sonician. This computer system, we call it Integra, we have a demo up at integra.zone (sorry, Swedish only), so almost like integration, but in Italian, in that case.

We developed it together with the Center for Integration at the City of Gothenburg.

To make it easier to match people, where we can imagine more established Swedes and newly arrived, so we can facilitate a meeting in what in Gothenburg, it’s called Language Friend/Refugee Guide, and in other places perhaps have different names.

CM: And I understood this development of the system has been in cooperation with the Center of Integration

HR: Yes, exactly. When you’ve been working with something like this for 14 years like Lahdo Bulun and the others, then you have a lot of experience how this should work in the best possible way.

This has made it easier for us, and we have just been able to act as more of a grease to build the complete solution, so all these a bit more boring tasks that need to be done which are more of an administrative character that they’re either done completely automatically, or at least a lot easier, or many at a time so the administrators can spend time on what is really important, in the social  meeting between people,
and that it’s important to do something more fun, and that it’s important for a good meeting with an exchange at many different levels rather than having to spend time on administrative question on where, when and how to meet etcetera.

CM: So now, all of us at the Center of Integration are very happy, and we hope everything will work even smoother with this new computer system, and above all, faster, because we’ve had so many applicants who’ve applied to become Language Guides for the last year. It shows a great engagement level from many in the Swedish society. But they’ve had to wait for some time as we haven’t been able to keep up doing these matches.

But now it’s going to be much easier, right?

HR: Yes, that’s absolutely the objective to considerably shorten the time to perform a matching. Both to shorten the time from application to actually having entered the matching process and to get a matching proposal directly.

Furthermore, it will be so much easier to see where there are groups or where there are groups missing of established or newly arrived, which will also make it easier to see where more marketing may be needed to reach out to those who are lacking.

CM: And who knows, there may be others around the country because as Lahdo Bulun said before, there are similar activities in very many of the municipalities around Sweden, now.

Perhaps they’ll also be able to enjoy this system now, or?

HR: Yes, just during this conference today, we’ve been able to talk to a number of them and the interest have been very high. Obviously, we’d very much enjoy if others will start to use it.

In the end, it’s a societal issue, to make sure that as many as possible will have inclusive and joint meetings all over. It’s clear that integration and inclusion of newly arrived and refugees will be so much faster and as Hans Abrahamsson said here earlier, it’s not as much to stop an exclusion, but also to tear down the walls around the inclusion because I think there are very many – and unfortunately as we’ve heard it may be an innate part of too many – native Swedes to be a bit reserved. So making sure that more will be meeting with others. I think it’s very beneficial for all parties.

CM: I hope so, too. Thank you so much.

HR: Thanks, you, too!

Where to put your Marketing Money when on Summer Holiday? Social Media Marketing Budget Spend and Results

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The Summer holiday season is well and truly on its way. Within the next few weeks the majority of small businesses would have shut their doors and exchanged their early morning alarms for relaxing days in the sun.

But for entrepreneurs, CEO’s & management teams the idea of achieving results away from the office is at the top of the mind when the summer season begins.

The question

“How can I achieve results while I am out of the office?”

Is one that all owners and CEO’s find asking themselves as they begin to wrap up their final 1-2 weeks at work. The difficulty in knowing where to put your resources to achieve the most efficient result is difficult to determine.

So us here at Sonician decided to conduct a little paid digital marketing experiment and publish the results for you, our readers!

If you hadn’t heard we are currently in our second round of funding and we have launched an equity crowd funding campaign through FundedByMe (you can find it here). Now obviously when launching an equity crowdfunding campaign there is alot to think about and possibly most important of all is how to communicate your campaign to the right people.

So this led us to conducting this experiment.

Our experiment topic was:

Which form of paid digital marketing budget spend actually delivers the best return on investment?

Now to successfully conduct an experiment, the first thing we needed to do was to isolate our variables, which means, outline what factors we were experimenting with. In marketing terms, which forms of paid digital marketing were we going to experiment with?

We selected:

  • A Facebook “Learn More Promotion”
  • A Facebook Page Promotion
  • A Facebook Boosted Post
  • A Twitter Promoted Tweet
  • A LinkedIn Sponsored Content
  • A Google Display Ad

Now, to ensure that we received similar results with each, we outlined somewhat similar budgets and audiences. Now to ensure that all of the advertisements were as similar in results as possible they all used very similar content and images and all had the same link or Call to Action, which was to our Crowd Funding campaign (except the Facebook Page Promotion, which had to promote the actual Facebook page, but instead, we made that actual Facebook Page market the same link, to also achieve such results).

I will outline the success of each campaign individually below. The way that we will out-line the results is through 13 separate statistics which we have gone through and broken down for each of the advertisements.

These include:

  • Cost
  • Total Reach
  • Engagements
  • Facebook Page Likes, Twitter Followers, Linkedin Likes (not applicable for Google Display Ads)
  • Link Clicks according to the Social Media
  • Link Clicks according to Google Analytics (so the actual people that came to the page)
  • Cost per “real” (Google Analytics verified) user
  • Cost per page like or follow (where applicable)
  • Conversion Rate of reach to action
  • Truthfulness (link clicks according to the network vs Google Analytics true link click statistics)
  • Bounce Rate of Traffic
  • Engaged Visitors (Total Clicks – Bounce Rate)
  • Cost Per Engaged Visit

 

The Facebook Learn More Promotion

A Facebook Learn More promotion’s purpose is to help encourage the viewers of the advertisement to click through and “Learn More” about your call to action. This provides a link, the ability to “like” the advertisement and also a button to “Like” your page.

Results:

BUDGET: $392
TOTAL REACH: 37 760
ENGAGEMENTS: 1 305
PAGE LIKES: 28
LINK CLICKS: 776
LINK CLICKS ACCORDING TO GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 61
COST PER “REAL” (GA-Verified) USER: $6.43
COST PER PAGE LIKE: $14.00
CONVERSION RATE OF REACH TO ACTION: 0.2%
TRUTHFULNESS: 7.9%
BOUNCE RATE: 89.9%
ENGAGED CLICKS (TOTAL CLICKS – BOUNCE RATE): 6
COST PER ENGAGED VIST: $65.00

 

The Facebook Page Promotion

A Facebook Page Promotion is focused entirely on delivering more page likes to your companies Facebook page. It does also have an opportunity to place a link and some content but the sole purpose is to boost the number of page likes. From this perspective it’s a little the odd one out in this comparison, as the most important metric here should be to build your audience at the most effective way. This promotion also has the ability to “like” the advertisement and click the link in the content.

Results:

BUDGET: $198
TOTAL REACH: 15 271
ENGAGEMENTS: 618
PAGE LIKES: 618
LINK CLICKS: 22
LINK CLICKS ACCORDING TO GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 2
COST PER “REAL” (GA-Verified) USER: $99.00
COST PER PAGE LIKE: $0.32
CONVERSION RATE OF REACH TO ACTION: 4.0%
TRUTHFULNESS: 9.1%
BOUNCE RATE: 89.9%
ENGAGED CLICKS (TOTAL CLICKS – BOUNCE RATE): 0
COST PER ENGAGED VIST: N/A

 

The Facebook Boost Post

A Facebook boosted post is a way of pushing and advertising a past post to reach more people. This post includes the content in  the post, in this case a link to the crowd funding campaign and a “Like” page button.

Results:

BUDGET: $200
TOTAL REACH: 7 690
ENGAGEMENTS: 2 342
PAGE LIKES: 29
LINK CLICKS: 42
LINK CLICKS ACCORDING TO GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 11
COST PER “REAL” (GA-Verified) USER: $18.18
COST PER PAGE LIKE: $6.90
CONVERSION RATE OF REACH TO ACTION: 0.1%
TRUTHFULNESS: 26.2%
BOUNCE RATE: 89.9%
ENGAGED CLICKS (TOTAL CLICKS – BOUNCE RATE): 1
COST PER ENGAGED VIST: $200.00

 

The Twitter Promoted Tweet

The Twitter advertisement allows us to promote one of our Tweets. This gives the viewer the ability to “Follow” our page on twitter, click the link, re-tweet or like our tweet.

Results:

BUDGET: $270
TOTAL REACH: 91 240
ENGAGEMENTS: 123
NEW FOLLOWERS: 12
LINK CLICKS: 123
LINK CLICKS ACCORDING TO GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 4
COST PER “REAL” (GA-Verified) USER: $67.50
COST PER PAGE LIKE: $22.50
CONVERSION RATE OF REACH TO ACTION: 0.0%
TRUTHFULNESS: 3.3%
BOUNCE RATE: 80.0%
ENGAGED CLICKS (TOTAL CLICKS – BOUNCE RATE): 0
COST PER ENGAGED VIST: N/A

 

The LinkedIn Sponsored Content

The LinkedIn sponsored content advertisement had the exact same content as the Facebook promotions focusing on driving clicks and traffic to the crowd funding page. The viewers also had the opportunity to like the LinkedIn post and Follow our organisation page on LinkedIn.

Results:

BUDGET: $317
TOTAL REACH: 40 052
ENGAGEMENTS: 120
NEW FOLLOWERS: 20
LINK CLICKS: 120
LINK CLICKS ACCORDING TO GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 37
COST PER “REAL” (GA-Verified) USER: $8.57
COST PER PAGE LIKE: $15.85
CONVERSION RATE OF REACH TO ACTION: 0.1%
TRUTHFULNESS: 30.8%
BOUNCE RATE: 73.1%
ENGAGED CLICKS (TOTAL CLICKS – BOUNCE RATE): 9
COST PER ENGAGED VIST: $35.00

 

The Google Display Ad

The Google Display Ad is set up through Google Adwords and we used the exact same content and images as the other advertisements. However, the only option is to click through to the crowd funding page and similar to Adwords Search ads, we only pay for each click. In this case, there is no “like” of a Google+ page or similar, but just actual link clicks to follow-through.

Results:

BUDGET: $571
TOTAL REACH: 585 102
ENGAGEMENTS: 5 827
NEW FOLLOWERS: N/A
LINK CLICKS: 5 827
LINK CLICKS ACCORDING TO GOOGLE ANALYTICS: 1 266
COST PER “REAL” (GA-Verified) USER: $0.45
COST PER PAGE LIKE: N/A
CONVERSION RATE OF REACH TO ACTION: 0.2%
TRUTHFULNESS: 21.7%
BOUNCE RATE: 93.1%
ENGAGED CLICKS (TOTAL CLICKS – BOUNCE RATE): 87
COST PER ENGAGED VIST: $7.00

Conclusion, which Social Media Marketing Budget Spend and Results can you expect?

When looking at which platform performed the best it is obvious that to just attract engaged website traffic, the Adwords Display network was by far the best, coming out on top with a cost of only $7.00 per engaged visit. The next closest being the LinkedIn sponsored content which had a cost of $35.00 per engaged visit followed by Facebook “Learn More” at $65.

It was interesting while conducting this experiment to note what we deemed the “Truthfulness” of each platform. When compared to our Google Analytics we noticed that every advertising platform (including the Google Display Network) over-exaggerated their total number of clicks.

This was most obvious with Twitter, with only 3.3% of Twitter’s total clicks being verified with our Google Analytics. Meaning of the 123 link clicks Twitter told us we received, only 4 visitors were actually tracked as coming from Twitter in our Google Analytics.

To give the benefit of a doubt, the social media networks likely included more actions in a “link click”, e.g. ones on the post, the profile, etc, however, they seem to offer little value compared to an actual engaged page visit or possibly at least a Facebook page “like”, a Twitter “Follow”, etc. Notably, also Google Adwords Display network that offers no other “distractive” click option also registered about five times more clicks than were actually seen on the page, so likely there is a lot of “clicking” occurring that is simply made by mistake, or people leave extremely quickly if e.g. load times are too long, etc.

Assessing this from the point of which can provide you the most value and return on investment it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

If while you are on holiday and you want to attract more engaged website visitors, then the Google Display Network is the clear winner and LinkedIn coming in second place.
However, if you are looking at boosting your social media presence, and building an audience while also gathering web traffic, using a Facebook Learn more promotion while you’re relaxing on the beach would be the way to go. It still gathered a competitive reach of 37 760 and a cost of $6.43 for every Google Analytics verified website visitor while also only costing $14.00 per Facebook page like.

If your organisation is more focused on the B2B sector then you should go with the LinkedIn sponsored content. LinkedIn was in my opinion the surprise performer in all of these platforms. It produced LinkedIn followers at a cost of $15.85 per follow while also providing a cost of only $35 per engaged website visitor (second only to the Display Network) and it had the lowest bounce rate of all advertisements at 73.1%, and the highest truthfulness in providing the most real web-site visitors compared to what they claimed.

So when you’re frantically preparing to pack your bags and head off on your Summer vacation, list what is most important for you to achieve and select the right digital marketing channel for you. If you ask us, we would suggest either the Google Display Network or the LinkedIn sponsored content.

Have A Nice Summer!

Here is the whole table:

Reach Engagements Type Page likes (FB/LN) or Retweet / Follows (TW) Link clicks according to FB/TW/ LN Cost Link clicks according to Google Analytics Cost per “real” (GA-verified) user Cost per page like or follow Conversion reach to action Truthfulness (Link clicks correct vs GA-true) Bounce rate Engaged clicks (no bounce) Cost per engaged visit
Facebook “Learn More” Promotion 37760 1305 Button clicks 28 776 $392 61 $6,43 $14,00 0,2% 7,9% 89,9% 6 $65
Facebook Page Promotion 15271 618 Page likes 618 22 $198 2 $99,00 $0,32 4,0% 9,1% 89,9% 0 N/A
Facebook Boosted Post 7690 2342 Post likes 29 42 $200 11 $18,18 $6,90 0,1% 26,2% 89,9% 1 $200
Twitter promoted Tweet 91240 123 Link clicks 12 123 $270 4 $67,50 $22,50 0,0% 3,3% 80,0% 0 N/A
LinkedIn sponsored content 40052 120 Link clicks 20 120 $317 37 $8,57 $15,85 0,1% 30,8% 73,1% 9 $35,22
Google Display Ad 585102 5827 Link clicks N/A 5827 $571 1266 $0,45 N/A 0,2% 21,7% 93,1% 87 $6,56

Achieving goals: Why haven’t I done it yet?

We’re in for a treat. We’ve got these words from the top sales and leadership guru in the world, Brian Tracy. True, we can publish them if we’ll also tell you he’s coming to Stockholm, October 6-7, 2017, but that just makes us excited as we’ll absolutely go ourselves, so hope to meet you there, too!

Listen to what he has to say about why you haven’t achieved all goals yet:

Simply put, successful people are goal-setters. Goal-setting applies to every area of our lives. We set goals for our careers, relationships, families, finances, etc. Our ultimate goals, however, set the course for our lives. The ultimate goals define the direction that we go in.

Unfortunately, some people never get to their ultimate goals in life. They limit their self-confidence and they limit themselves to achieving goals they truly want.

Identify Your Limiting Step

One of the most valuable exercises you can engage in when setting long-term goals is to ask yourself, “What is my limiting step?”

What is the one factor that determines the speed at which I achieve my goal? Or can I achieve it at all throughout my personal development?
The ability to identify your limiting step is one of the best demonstrations of your intelligence. It is a huge step towards building self-confidence.

Your capacity to eliminate this limiting step is one of the best demonstrations of your overall competence. You can achieve anything you want.

Self-Confidence is the Critical Factor

In studying everything that has been written or said about personal development and success, I’ve come to a conclusion. Your level of self-confidence is the critical factor in everything you accomplish. When you have enough self-confidence, you will try almost anything.

Because success is largely a matter of averages or probabilities, the more things you try, the more likely it is that you will achieve them.

The same is true for you. By setting goals, trying more things, and exploring more opportunities, your probabilities of success increase dramatically. The only real limiting step to success that you might have is your level of self-confidence.

When you reach the point at which you believe in yourself fully, the barriers that exist in your external world will not stop you.

Build Your Self-Confidence

The major obstacles to success always lie within the mind of the individual.

They are not contained in external circumstances, situations or people. By building self-confidence, you win the inner battle. The outer battle seems to take care of itself.

I have learned three important ideas for building self-confidence. First, accept complete responsibility for everything that you are and ever will be.

Second, accept that you can change your situation only by working on yourself. Learn what it takes to be better. Third, set goals with timelines for the things you want. Then, work every day to bring those goals into reality.

Practice Persistently

Our natural tendency is to work hard until we find a method or technique that works for us. Whether that be in life, work, or relationships. Then, for some perverse reason, we promptly abandon the technique and go back to behaving in our old ways.

Setting goals and thinking positively act as a mental program for our personal development. Just like an exercise program works on our physical development.

If you expect it to work for you, you have to practice it persistently and keep at it indefinitely.

Apply the Success Principles to Your Own Life

When I began to apply these proven success principles to my life, I was able to bring about almost miraculous changes in every area of my life.

Every successful man or woman that I have ever talked to or read about has come to pretty much the same conclusion. By every measure, you have more talent and ability than you could use in 100 lifetimes.

You, too, can step on the accelerator of your own potential and begin moving forward at a speed that will amaze you by setting goals.

What is one goal that you have always wanted to achieve, but been too afraid to go after?

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian’s goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

Meet him in person and listen to him when he comes to Stockholm, October 6-7, 2017.

8 Questions About the GDPR You Need to Ask Yourself

The GDPR is only a few months away and if you haven’t begun questioning your organisation’s data handling methods, it’s time to begin. If you’re unsure of What GDPR is, then see our recent blog post about it here.

8_Questions_About_the_GDPR_you_have_to_ask

 

 

 

The GDPR isn’t far away and a number of organisations need to ask themselves serious questions about their data and their customer acquisition strategies. The below questions would be a good place to start.

1. When is the GDPR Coming Into Effect?

The GDPR has already been approved and will move into legislation in May, 2018. Meaning, following this date your organisation can (and more than likely will) be fined for not following the new rules.

2. Whom does the GDPR Affect?

The GDPR applies to organisations within the EU, and organisations outside the EU if they offer products  or services within EU borders. It applies to all companies processing & holding the personal data of ‘data subjects’ residing within the EU.

3. What is Personal Data?

Any information related to a natural person, also referred to as a ‘data subject’, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It ranges from a name, photo, email address, bank details, social network posts, medical information or an IP address.

4. What type of consent do you have?

Ensuring you have the right consent from your ‘data subjects’ is a key change within the GDPR. From May, 2018, organisations must have unambiguous consent from their ‘data subjects’. This is key if you are sending marketing or sales material which will be to a great extent outlawed without unambiguous consent.

5. Do I Need A Data Protection Officer

A Data Protection Officer or ‘DPO’ MUST be appointed if you are in public office. The likeliness that SME’s will need to appoint a DPO are high. If your organisation handles/manages more than 5,000 personal data records per year, you will need to appoint a DPO.

6. What are the Penalties?

Companies can be fined up to 4% of annual GLOBAL turnover or a total of 20 Million Euro’s.

7. Are there any circumstances in which the GDPR doesn’t apply?

There are circumstances the GDPR does not apply. These are only in extreme cases such as protecting national security, criminal investigations and public health matters.

8. HOW CAN I MINIMISE RISK & PROTECT MY BUSINESS?

Manage how you collect data and ensure you have ‘unambiguous’ consent from the the data subjects in your database. Make sure the email marketing & marketing automation platforms you are using are either EU based or following the GDPR tightly, otherwise you will pay the non-compliance fine.

What is GDPR & Why should you Care?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has finally been passed by the EU parliament in April 2016 and it will become enforceable on the 25th of May, 2018.

That’s all well and good, but what is it and how is it going to affect how you do business?

What is GDPR?

The GDPR is a new legislation passed by the EU Parliament and replaces the Data Protection Directive of 1995 of EU, and national privacy protection acts (like e.g. Personuppgiftslagen, PUL, in Sweden). The purpose of this is to help synchronize varying data protection laws across Europe with the ultimate aim to protect the integrity of the individual, and provide a more competitive environment.

The hopes of doing this will allow EU citizens to have better control over their personal data and provide greater direction to organisations on how they can use that data.

This is a HUGE DEAL!

For an individual or if you are in a business where you want to compete with others who lock the data of their end-users in. However, it’s also becoming a board-level question as the level of risk for any company NOT complying with the new law will go up significantly: Infringement of the GDPR from May next year will set you back up to 4% of your annual global turnover or max €20 million euro’s. These are huge penalties for any organisation.

Does your organisation have a CRM?

Possibly, a database of customers that your sales team turn to everyday? A system of excel files where you store the same type of data?

If you do, then the passing of the GDPR is relevant to you, yes, you. 

Do you use survey tools? An ERP-system? E-mail tools? Marketing Automation tools?

Yes, then it’s applicable to you, too.

So any non-compliance by your organisation needs to be fixed before the legislation kicks in. So how can you prepare for the GDPR? Well, first you actually have to know some background about what will be applicable to you:

Do you store data in the cloud?

This is what happens to Cross-Border Data Transfers

When the GDPR comes into place, cross-border data transfers will be permitted, however the country that the data is transferred to must be compliant with GDPR regulation. So for example if your data is stored in the USA or you are using an email marketing/survey/CRM/marketing automation system which host their data servers in the U.S. then your data will not “legally” be allowed to transfered to that country unless the cloud service you’re using is registered under a particular Privacy Shield framework.

Even when you are just crossing a border, even within EU, you are most likely submitting your data to the scrutiny of national and possibly other intelligence agencies, whether legally sanctioned as FRA of Sweden or FISA of the USA, or as simply run by most if not all national intelligence bodies.

This is making more organisations who store data in the cloud need to take action.

The Right to Know and Right to Be Forgotten

Under the GDPR, private individuals will now have the right to know the data stored about them, and they have the right to be forgotten by organisations. This means that people can not only request to be “unsubscribed” from your mailing list, they now have the right to be totally forgotten within your database (ie: deleted). If the reason for your collection of the data will have an end-date (such as it’s only applicable to store certain information during a campaign run under a particular time, or during the start-up of something), then all systems will need to have the possibility to auto-clear the data.

The Right to Port Data

A user will have the new right to port all data about him or her from one organisation to another. What does data porting mean? It means you could more easily transfer data including e.g. historical activity from Facebook to Google+, or from one electricity provider to another. The purpose is to make it easier to compete.

The need to report incidents

Previously, you could have a data-breach and even if you likely try to do all you can to remedy it, from the onset of the GDPR, you have the obligation to report it to your national Data Protection Authority within 72 hours.

The New One Stop Shop

The GDPR will now be the only place for businesses to turn to in regards to data. This hopefully will make things cheaper to work within the EU, as you will no longer need to comply with all 28 individual EU states.

As time marches on towards May 25th, 2018, it really is time to begin your organisational preparations towards becoming GDPR compliant. Whether that is changing the location of your database servers, ensuring you have email consent from your contact database, or building/increasing your contact database in preparation of the incoming legislation.

Over the next next few weeks we will be writing a lot on how you can best prepare your organisation for the GDPR, as it has to be both an opportunity, and an area of actions for you and your organisation, make sure you stay tuned!

What Sonician Learnt at the B2B Marketing Expo in London!

B2B Expo Design 1

 

This week, members of the Sonician team headed over to London to exhibit at the annual B2B Marketing Expo, at the Excel in London.

Once we heard about this event we thought it was an unmissable opportunity for us to go and show off Otto & Volley Marketing as well as bring back some of the exciting developments in the B2B marketing world. What we really were looking to accomplish was to find UK partners as we are looking to launch both Otto & Volley Marketing in the UK in June, 2017. Looking back at the experience, we definitely didn’t believe that we would be able to come away with meeting so many great people and learning about a lot of fantastic new products, technologies and services.

The event was bursting with some extremely interesting keynote speakers and with very insightful seminars on a wide range of topics. All three of us really tried to get around the expo and see as much as we could! But of course, with such a big expo and so many great exhibitors, visitors and speakers, it was difficult to accomplish.

The organisers of the event also requested us to hold a 30 minute seminar on Business Intelligence and how that can improve your Customer Acquisition Cost. This was definitely one of the highlights for Sonician being able to help executives, marketing managers and small business owners get a grip of the possibilities of business intelligence to improve their customer acquisition costs.

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To say that we had fun would be an understatement!

There were a few big changes we noticed within the B2B Marketing field, but one everyone seemed to fall back on was successful online conversion. We met many SME’s which are well aware of the impact digital transformation is having on how customers make purchases. This seemed to be causing much stress & uncertainty for marketing managers to keep up with the evolving sales process.

The major concern was that their marketing activities, up until this point, are not being tracked. So either their executives were demanding more metrics to prove the success (or failure) of their marketing activities or they realised themselves that they were possibly wasting money. This seemed to be driving a lot of the discussions throughout the seminar and within our own stand.

 

commander

Our Commander in Chief, Henrik Rudberg, returning from a succesful day 1 at the expo!

 

Another point that really stuck out over the two days in London was how the customer sales process has fundamentally changed.

While this may seem obvious with the development of mobile technology and the internet, we talked with many visitors and exhibitors that were concerned about this.

In particular, this seemed to hit suppliers very hard. There were many suppliers there, looking for options to get ahead of their competitors. Many of the suppliers had stated that their own customer retention rates were quite poor because of the easy access to other solutions. The ability for the customer to do their own supplier research was making it increasingly difficult for these suppliers to find a way to add value onto their orders.

We were able to relate to many of the challenges these marketing managers and suppliers saw since this is what we often hear from clients, colleagues and friends.

At the same time, we believe it is a true fundamental change that should not be seen as something negative from a supplier’s perspective, but rather evidence of turning tides that need to be embraced:

It is no long possible for anyone to rest on their laurels, but everyone has to make sure to convey a proper and transparent image, and make sure to not fall behind its competitors, and it will ultimately be to the advantage of the client. Having said that, it also obviously makes it more difficult to compete with local, high-level services, much as the construction of big malls in the outskirts of cities will also drain city centers of specialized smaller local stores. It does mean everyone will need to develop a strategy to be able to handle it.

It wasn’t all doom & gloom while at the expo, one of the biggest upcoming trends was content. Adapting a content marketing strategy seemed to be one of the biggest trends for reaching out to potential customers.

Many of the speakers spoke about using content to reach out directly to their customers and communicating your value.

A highlight for some of us was the seminar held by Jason Miller, the Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, he provided a very insightful seminar on how consumers are consuming content in a distraction filled world.

All in all we had a fantastic experience at the B2B Marketing Expo. Over the next few weeks we will provide in depth outlines of how the preparation to the event was and provide some case studies inspired from the event.