B2B Plan for GDPR: 97% DON’T have a Plan, Do YOU?

 B2B Plan for GDPR to Comply with the Norms and Regulations

It’s a ticking clock for B2B to comply with the GDPR regulations and norms. Soon your business needs to follow up and set a plan on how to proceed with this new law.

It has always been that B2B marketers have some advantages over their B2C cousins. But here, consent for B2B marketing will come more in line with B2C marketing.

Almost 6 months left until the enforcement deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The responsibility lies not only on marketers but also on every member of a company.

Let us be Concrete…

In a study of more than 800 IT and business professionals that are responsible for data privacy at companies with European customers, Dell and Dimension Research found that 80% of businesses know few details or nothing about GDPR just a year ago. Hopefully, that’s much better now, but with many employees who might be communicating with the market, it may still not be the case.

What are the Costs associated with GDPR?

Research by Veritas Technologies suggests that companies:

  1. Will spend an average of €1.3 million ($1.4 million) on systems and staff-training to comply with the GDPR.
  2. Companies could face fines of up to 4% of the revenue or max 20M€ if they don’t comply with the GDPR.
  3. 65% of companies are seeking external help to comply with the regulation, which certainly comes with its own price tag.

If you aren’t ready by the 25th of May 2018, then:

1. Any organisation that is found to be using inaccurate or non-permissioned customer data will have to pay a highly costing fine of up to 4% of your global turnover up to 20 million EUR!
2. There is an additional threat of consumer litigation which means that if the consumer thinks you have misused his data, she can sue you.

How can GDPR affect your Business?

We have heard quite much about confining to the new rules, respecting the customers privacy, auditing data! Where are you in all of this?
And what have you reached? Have you got your customer data in order? Are your marketing directors and sales managers ready to deal with GDPR?

What businesses should focus on instead with these new regulations is to make the whole selling operations more efficient and cost-effective. You can read more on our page on concrete action planning for GDPR.

Because…
When the proposals stated in the GDPR will come into effect, it will have a negative effect on the economy of the whole EU. And that includes your business as well.

Will GDPR apply to B2B Marketers?

Some marketers are confident about how to approach and work with GDPR while others claim to manage it even if they haven’t a concrete strategy.

The survey results from Data & Marketing Association (DMA) shows serious results:

4 in 10 marketers believe their ability to meet consumers’ demands will improve after the GDPR and 65% of respondents to the survey said the privacy law will hinder their marketing.

What Research from Royal Mail Data Services (RMDS) came across?

1. Over 60% of companies have no formal processes in place to cleanse data or are unclear on how they keep their customer data clean and up to date.
2. Less than one in five firms addresses the issue of data quality with daily or continuous data cleansing.
3. The average cost of poor-quality customer data to businesses is now running at 5.9% of annual revenue.
4. Nearly half of all firms (48%) either have no plans to or do not know whether they will seek new permission from their customers.
5. Nearly half (49%) of businesses now rely only on customer data they have captured themselves compared to 39% from 2014.

GDPR: A Creative Opportunity Think some Marketers

Here comes the serious things. This is what marketers answered to the question on whether GDPR would trigger more creative output:

Source: Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

But the results show clearly that is not the case if only 25% of marketers think that there is a good chance and opportunity to increase and acquire prospects.

Marketing Q&A:

Q: What are the biggest barriers to GDPR compliance?
A: Legal complexity and budget.

As the chart shows, US companies seem to be much more ahead and ready to conform to the regulations than European companies.

Source: International Association of Privacy Professionals and TrustArc

Q: Do Businesses, Prospects and consumers even know about this personal data stuff?
A: They do, and many of them would request companies to hand over their data. Simply put, regardless of your domain, a business needs to comply to the rules of the GDPR.

These items imply that businesses have to comply to GDPR and be Data safe users.

Wake up Marketers! Wake up CEOs! And everybody else!

You should obviously keep up with your own customers.
It sounds easy, but it is a process and procedure that you need to follow hand in hand with the new regulation of the GDPR.

Without accurate information on your prospects or the people who buy your products and services, how can your company hope to develop meaningful relationships with them?

According to a recent research from Royal Mail Data Services (RMDS), to get customer data in order is a challenge in itself:

1. 87% of organisations use websites as their primary channels for customer data collection,
2. But only 44% automatically validate it at the point of online entry.
3. 7 out of 10 marketers complain that the main reason for not being able to do their jobs properly is due to:
a. Poor quality data,
b. Incomplete data,
c. Out of date or duplicate records on customers.

 

Focus on the Endgame, Not simply Compliance with GDPR:

With the exposure to massive fines for non-compliance, it is in your interest to involve all the relevant people in your business. Get up to speed with new laws to obtain consent from your customers, understand your data subject rights as well as reinforce your customers’ relation:

  1. An opportunity to reinforce the strategic importance of building strong, sustainable relationships
    with customers.
  2. Bare in mind: Customer relationships is based on the notion of customers opting-in to the marketing process.
  3. You may potentially face lower volumes of customer data;
  4. Information will be of better quality and lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.

How can you make your customers feel valued if you haven’t spelled their names correctly?
How can you anticipate your customers’ needs if you have no insight into the major events in their lives?

What is Next?

If you are willing to lift your business to the next level and grasp the GDPR , there is a huge opportunity to use it to drive growth and revenue through enhanced customer data management.

Stay tuned to get more explanation on the finer nuts and bolts of the new GDPR law and join us to our step by step free webinars on GDPR and your business.

 

Customer Experience: What Do your Customers Say Behind your Back?

Growing seeds showing how customer experience should be

Great Customer Experience Drives Growth in B2B Organizations from Money Pit to Money Profit

Negative reviews and complaints when it comes to customer experience can feel very SCARY. You have a support system, but that doesn’t let you know what your customers say behind your back.

Have you heard from any of your customers complaining about their experience with your company?

Are they happy, unhappy with what they purchased? Are they even planning to exchange you with a competitor and terminate their contract? Unfortunately, customers DO seem to switch brands when they feel they aren’t getting the level of service they desire.

Well, if just one unhappy customer criticize you or talk negatively about you it feels like a death sentence. It may take seconds to spread it allover but it takes ages to rebuild your reputation.

What does Research say about Customer Experience and Loyalty?

Based on an over two years  research conducted by Avanade on customers’ experience and loyalty from December 2014 to November 2016. It was gathered from over 13.5k companies representing 22 industry areas and based on 24 billion website visits, 235.7 million chats and 11.1 million tickets. The results showed the following:

  • Cost is not the top issue for customers.
  • They prioritize the customer experience over the price of a product or service when weighing a purchase decision.
  • Almost 80% of B2B marketers rate themselves as “ok” at delivering a good customer experience while only 12% claim to be “very effective” at delivering a great customer experience.
  • Overall, only 14% of customer experience decision makers feel they are keeping a step ahead of changing customer expectations.

Here is the thing:

 

What are your greatest barriers to success? 49% say Inefficient Internal Processes and 42% Tracking and reporting the right metrics
Excerpt from the report on Customer Experience from 2016

Your mission in succeeding with getting positive customer experience is:

  1. Know and to tell a loyal from an unhappy or even happy customers.
  2. Measure how prone your customers are to recommend you, track it and report it.
  3. NOT to just assume that most of your customers are satisfied.
  4. Not postpone taking the right measures to know where you are and how customers look at you. You need to stop procrastinating and get on with it. You don’t want to be chocked by unpleasant truths which could be in contrast with your perception and expectations.

Having  a loyal customer is a powerful asset and you want to have as many of these as possible. But converting them to this status demands efforts, knowing your metrics and engagement.

And here comes the question:

How can I tell about my Customers Loyalty and where is it going to lead me?

Now, it’s the time to run your Net Promoter score (NPS) and ask the Ultimate Question “Would you recommend us to a friend or a colleague?”

Infographic about Net Promoter Score a metric for Customer Experience

Now, keep YOUR EYES on the Prize

NPS is not only an anchor to know your customers experience, NPS helps you consider current attitudes, and most importantly PREDICT customers’ behavior and attitudes.

The research results from the Report on the Marketing Driven Customer Experience also revealed how focus on customer experience can pay off: Of the companies that invested in customer experience and loyalty within the last 12 months saw:

  1. More than 58% increased customer satisfaction,
  2. 45 % higher customer loyalty through reduced churn, and
  3. A similar proportion enjoyed increased customer acquisition through word-of-mouth.

You get Financial Benefits, too:

  1. Revenue and profitability were boosted by customer experience investment.
  2. A healthy return on investment, with the research finding that the average return for every $1 spent on customer experience was $3, a figure that rose to $5 in the financial services sector.
  3. Focus on content marketing because it is considered the top lead generation and revenue ROI by marketers and ranked as the top marketing priorities.

Customers Negative experiences are a good mechanism for identifying what needs to be improved. But putting resources into it will help you adjust to the ever changing demands of customers and beat your competitors. Don’t just treat it as ticking a box but delight YOUR OWN CUSTOMERS AND TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL!

It’s true how Charles Dickens, from “Great Expectations” put it :

“…The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.”

Want to learn more about the type of your customers, check our previous blog on NPS. With the right metrics, measurement, follow ups, plans, engagement and a well established service minded policy, you can easily turn bad reviews, negative bad mouthing into opportunities to keep your customers and turn them to lifelong ones.

Don’t hesitate to share your experience with us! Leave you feedback.

(In Swedish: Vill du läsa mer om hur du kommer igång med NPS på svenska, så kan du ladda ned den här PDF:en
https://www.sonician.info/p/get-started-with-nps-pdf)

 

The Challenger Sale is a Break-through in Commercial Teaching

“The Challenger Sale isn’t so much a “selling system,” as it is a way to think differently about how to approach customer interactions.”

                    — Brent Adamson

You want so badly to win every booked meeting with your customer and you don’t want to struggle with the way you will approach them:  Why not opt for the Challenger Sale’s technique “Commercial Teaching”? A break-through in the world of sales in a more planned and organized way.

You simply want to win your prospects’ hearts and minds. Using the right elements and strategy to deliver your potential skills is worth trying since it adds another level of persuasiveness and memorable presentations during your meetings.

Think of the whole situation as when you ask a student what makes him or her successful in solving a problem or understanding a class. You probably won’t hear about some fantastic course books or video lecture series. Most likely you will hear something like:

“It was all about my teacher Mr. Jones. He just never gave up on me, he did his best to support us and provide us with the right material and assistance.”

Think of another scenario, you are sitting and watching a dance performance and it ended like the above framed picture. Watching it would certainly provide pleasure as well as a memorable experience. This is exactly what you should be leaving when holding your meeting with your prospects.

….You Listen to your prospects’ needs and pains, then your turn comes to relieve it, you are the “Perfomer”. But what you aim at is that your “performance” will provide a sense of quality and leave an appreciable effect in your customers. Your performance will help narrow down the gap of skepticism and second thought.

In any performance: The combination of movement, gesture, costume, set design, music and lighting all work together to take you on a journey. The adventure begins the moment you sit down in the theatre and the lights begin to dim.

That is exactly what it is about with your own prospect: You start your journey with them, you set up a meeting and make sure to drag everyone on board, to follow you and to listen to you attentively. Being clear in mind, doing your homework properly and having a well-prepared presentation will make you certain of high interest and ultimately more won deals.

As you might have read from our previous blog, a sales rep is a challenger and that means he/she needs to nail your meeting or “performance” making sure you follow the Three Ts that we spoke about in our earlier post (teach, tailor and take control).

Holding a Meeting Performance through Commercial Teaching?

Well, the objective behind being a teacher is not to teach your customer something from scratch but rather to be your constructive self, organized in how you begin your meeting and close it. It is also for the sake of identifying a core practice that you would perform during your meeting with your potential clients.

What does a teacher do?

  • Literally, a teacher’s mission is to be crystal clear in what he/she teaches and make sure that no one is missed out or no one is left behind.
  • You need to find a method and a structure where you highlight all your prospects’ pains and lay them on the table.
  • You need to teach them something new that they haven’t thought about from before.
  • You are the one to bring new materials and solutions to take them out from the deep shit.
  • You illustrate with data.

Proceeding in your Meeting: the beginning of Commercial Teaching

Above all, doing research on your customers is a smart move. You won’t attend your booked meeting without having a single idea on what your clients work with. This means having a simple agenda for a successful productive meeting with a specific outcomes sought to be achieved. During your meeting, it is needless and ineffective to ask to simple questions to your prospect for the sake of getting deeper into their business issue. This is because such questions imply that you know so little about your prospect’s issues that you can’t figure out the real problem.

TAKE A LOOK A THIS EXAMPLE:

You are in a meeting with a new prospect and you ask them these questions:

“What are some of your issues in your business?”

“What have you been experiencing as challenges in your business lately?”

“Have you done something about this X issue lately?”

Unquestionably, your questions convey that you as a sales rep know less about your prospect, their industry, their issues and you leave room for doubt when it comes to hiring you and your services.

The trick is not to make it about you but rather to show your prospect you have the upper hand on matters. Make sure not to book any single meeting nor to pick up the phone and call them until you have a message tailored to their case and issues.

That is how you build the link between what is suggested in “the Challenger Sale’s” book and what is referred to as “commercial teaching” and the purpose behind it is to build credibility and proficiency.

Let the Journey Begin: Techniques of Commercial Teaching

The day arrives and you are sitting face to face with your prospects. Certainly, you did a research, planned and prepared all your questions and you looked upon the issues your customer is facing. All you now need is to aim higher!

Well, start your meeting by breaking the ice which leaves a positive impression in your customer. Don’t spend half an hour presenting yourself and what you are working with. You are in a meeting where the focal is your prospect. This is exactly the idea behind the use of commercial teaching in the Challenger Sale book.

Think of your meeting as a choreographed dance that is coherently and cohesively designed. That each element in that dance lead the flow come to the next move and you are the only performer on the platform who is supposed to perform each move without flaw.

To succeed in your meeting, you need to follow these sex elements, worth bearing in mind while meeting your prospects.

 1.The Warmer

At your meeting, fully engaged and well prepared.  The teaching phase has already started when you stepped in from the door. You are supposed to teach them new perspectives in a compelling and assertive manner to drive actions. The purpose in this phase is to gain credibility and to show professionalism on one side and clarity of mind and aim for closing the deal with your own conditions on the other.

As a Warmer:

The most critical phase where you need to build and gain trust as quickly as possible through proving your understanding of the issue behind because this stage is followed by “the Reframe” one where you represent or re-describe the prospect’s problems and how they have been thinking about them in your “own words”.

So, make sure that your Warmer statement will include the following elements:

  1. Establish correlation and association to their business: Show prospects that you have worked with businesses like theirs and that you have a full grasp of their issue. It will be appreciated!
  2. Mastering your cunning and profession: Being able to convey to your customer what they are dealing with in a professional but simple visualized way will make them listen and follow you. Mentioning two or three common issues will make them just happy.
  3. Raise your customer’s curiosity: You want to involve your customers through-out the meeting, so keep your content sparse (don’t give too much solutions) and build suspense.
  4. Interact and communicate with your prospect: Your meeting’s success depends on a clear two-way interaction supported by visuals to reinforce credibility.
  5. The more your customers communicate their “pain” the more trust you gain.

Be a Good LISTENER – means a Good Teacher but a Sharp sales rep

To build a sturdy relationship with your prospective buyer, you always need to start listening to your prospect. Take your time to engage with them and gain a deep understanding of how your prospect’s business works and what issues are specific to them. Since you have a constrained time to talk to them, make sure you use it properly to show them your extensive knowledge and how you can challenge their outlook of how to get results in their business. Therefore, listen, increase your attention span, stay alert and connect with your prospect.

2.The Re-frame:

“The Reframe is the central moment of the commercial teaching pitch, as the entire conversation pivots off what you’re about to do next.”

                                                       … from the Authors of “The Challenger Sale”

 

The critical moment has come…

This is the phase where you need to negotiate and manage your alignment with your customer in relation to their issue. You stand at the climax with your prospect with the decision of Buy vs NOT to buy. What your prospect tries to achieve is to create a “focus negotiation frame”, which means your prospect think twice on how to consider all potential gains and losses and available options for different situations. This is the thing, Here comes the right application of the two elements we mentioned in our previous blog: “Tailor and Take control of your meeting”.  If you cleverly play your role as a challenger sales rep, then you turn the ball cleverly into your hand and wittily moves the focus of the decision making away at this stage.

So, remember all you need to do is to sway the focus of your prospect from taking a decision of buying vs not buying.

Once you listened to your customer’s pain, do not respond by giving a solution but rather redefine their problems and explain that the solution they imagined won’t help them solve their issues. Instead, astonish them with a new point of view where you will bring up a new set of ILLUMINATION AND MAKE THEIR HEAD SPIN! This doesn’t mean you will confuse them, but just rephrase their issue differently.

 

3.Rational Drowning vs Emotional Impact

As we stated from before, to reach out to your customers and tell them a story to involve them and draw their attention to the core of their story because the deeper you draw them with you to the bottom of their things, the more uncomfortable they become.

According to a study done by the University of Texas (Metzger, 1997) a person will remember 20% of what they hear but up to 80% of what they do and say. By aiming for the uncomfortable center of their own story, this leaves an emotional impact and build emotional connection if it is authentic. You leave an impression and you create a strong association with your brand or solutions you are providing. Although they try to act rationally and detach themselves from what you say, you need to take control by driving them from their comfort zone.

That is why you need to gradually intensify the seriousness of the problem as it is all about hard data. This means you take them out of an emotional state to a rational one.

Use visual metaphors to represent information in a prominent way: Bring proofs, use numbers (statistics, case studies), present graphs to illustrate true facts to make customers squirm a bit but simultaneously keep it rational to build their trust. And remember at this level, your prospect tries to remain as rational as possible. They try to be outside the story and act as an observer and see things factually without being emotionally attached.

No matter what, don’t jump to your solution yet, because your prospect need to be prepped with what will resolve their issue.

Cutting the Challenger process will lead you to fail becoming a challenger. So:

  • don’t focus on yourself to build credibility
  • don’t try to focus

So, don’t repeat many sales rep’s mistakes: as they tend to focus on themselves to build credibility, trust and you progress prematurely to talk about solution and selling rather than challenging your prospects main problems and need.

Unfortunately, you as a sale do not want to end up leading with solution but rather build a strong case where you will lead to sturdy, effective and operational solutions.

Actually, what happens in most cases is that 2/3 of prospects remain with the status quo because they see no compelling reason for change while sales reps push faster towards the buying cycle without getting bogged down to the main root. 

4. A New Way and Your Solution:

Once you have taken control, you will feel a release of tension within your prospects. Your audience are convinced of “your story” or what you provided as proofs. All you need to do at this moment is:

  1. To be quite careful not to wrap up yet.
  2. You have provided them with an unhappy story, now it’s time to provide the other positive side of the story.
  3. Direct them into a better future if they decide to take action and go with your offer.
  4. Show them the other side of life if they opt for your own solution. You are still not selling them your solution, you are just laying it out!

Last, provide your solution with the fact that it provides the new way and the new future of the company. For consistently better and better outcome, think that you sell the prospect on solving the right problem. To succeed in it, you need to LEAD your prospect TO your solution and not just present it on a golden plate.

The purpose from your commercial teaching is you go in with your old experiences and future expectations: Make a differentiation, to think distinctively and to challenge the status quo.  Do offer your prospects new perspectives.

Insight is about teaching customers to think differently, challenging the status quo or the way it has always been done before. Challenger reps leverage the collective knowledge of their organizations so that they can offer customers new perspectives. These new perspectives are aligned with the customer’s financial success in a compelling, assertive manner that both resonates and is a catalyst for changing behavior.

To learn how to perform according to the Challenger concept is not easy. Yet, trying, starting and aiming for a greater performance is certainly a worthwhile pick up!

It is not easy to think differently, challenging the status quo, respecting consensus and taking time to think and rethink the whole meeting. But, one thing you need to be sure of: Your prospects recognize their problem, they ask for “a solution”. But, this is not what they have to hear. They need to understand the consequences and that your solution is uniquely designed to solve their problem.

Remember:

Aim higher, to get higher!

Well, have you tried this method or coached your sales reps using this technique of commercial teaching? how hard or easy it is to perform this way? Could you keep yourself within the frame of your performance in your meetings or have you changed during your meeting? Share with us your thought and experience?!

 

No customer satisfaction driving growth? Then your business is a House of Cards with a Leaking Bucket

You invest quite a good amount to attract new customers, but how can you keep them, satisfy them and have them recommend their friends and colleagues to head over as well?

Are you asking yourself what makes your existing customer ever even consider to leave you?

Lost in the Highway

Relationships, good services, customer satisfaction and sales reps are the lifeblood of a small business. You need to do everything possible to protect and foster the relationship with your own customers and the relations your employees forge. Customers keep coming and going but there is always a reason behind them leaving:

  • If your customers have a good experience with you, they might tell 1, 2 or 3 other about you, but if they experience bad moments, then the whole world will know about it.
  • Between 5-10% of your customers will formally contact you to complain or ask for support or help. The rest believe that it is too hard to contact you.
  • Very poor response to customers who HAVE made an effort to contact you for help.
  • No follow up with your customers
  • Customers don’t sit and logically compare two businesses or products and make a logic decision about where they want to do business. Your advertisement, business appearance and information you provide will make the customer choose you, stay with you or just leave you.
  • There are tons of reasons that could lead to your customers irritation. It could be your support system, your website layout, your online purchases or even the system you are selling.

Let’s Talk Figures…

Here is an example to think through the impact of any client cutting ties with you or your company during a given time:

Let’s say that today you have a monthly revenue of 75,000, and every month you add another 10.000 to that. However, you have noticed you got a churn rate of 3%. If all of that persists for the next five years, you will end up generating 13,4 million. Not bad at all.

However, let’s say you’re able to decrease the amount of customers who leaves you by 10%, to a churn-rate of 2.7%. That gives you almost 2/3 of an extra Million in revenue. If you’re able to reduce your churn by 30%, that’s even better. Your revenue would go up to 15,5 million or a total of 16% higher! So reducing your rate of lost customers dramatically accelerates your revenue growth. This is not bad at all, and it doesn’t even account for the fact that happier clients likely also will help you get more happy clients. But how do you do it?

Tracking the churn is tantamount to success. And your success is contingent upon your customers’ satisfaction and attitude.

That is why it becomes critical to know exactly what your customers think about you. What are their plans when it comes to your products and services? Do they want to stay with you, or is there anything that may make them want to terminate their contracts ? Such questions are easy to neglect, but they matter way more than you think.

How to Collect your Customers’ Feedback?

For instance, what does the average customer think about your prices? Would they rate them too high? suitable? Or just right? Another example is how is your staff doing on customer service? Are they picking up all the calls? Are they following up with all the e-mails? Are they helpful enough?

That is why at least starting by asking the “Would you recommend”-question to find out your Net Promoter Score (NPS) would be your ultimate metric, and it’s not strange it should be one of your top 3 KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) together with your profitability and client acquisition cost. It gives you an insight on what you need to do as improvements within your business; Then customer satisfaction driving growth is really within your grasp.

How to Run an NPS Survey:

First of all, you need to just find out who are your biggest critics, and who are your greatest ambassadors (or as it’s called in NPS lingo: Detractors for Critics and Promoters for Ambassadors).

Many will just focus on the score itself, and of course this is very useful, too, as you need to devise a strategy for becoming better. Then you need to have a clear pitch, specific goals and a clear marketing strategy in order to know what your primary reason for the score is. Net Promoter Score is both a loyalty metric and a discipline for using customer feedback to fuel profitable growth. The purpose behind it is to track the three different types of  your customers (Promoters, Detractors and Passives). Customers are asked one key loyalty question: How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X or Brand X] to a friend or a colleague?

Individual responses to the question are captured and segmented based on the predefined criteria categorized below:


Source: Macquarie Telecom

Understanding your NPS Score:

As you can see below, the segmentation of the individual responses (Promoters, Detractors, Passives) leads us to the NPS score by subtracting the percentage of detractors from that of the promoters. The score eventually ranges from  -100 (which doesn’t sound too good) to +100 (means your customers are all brand promoters)

 


Source: Macquarie Telecom

BUT here is the Thing:

You should make sure that when getting your NPS score you need to do it in a way so you aren’t only getting the customers’ feedback, but you get even to know your customers’ pain points; the persons behind each answer; and you have a clearer image of  what type of product or service they purchased from you, what they have been complaining about recently so you can validate new feature requests and refine the product or service roadmap. Even without them knowing, you will be working on how to strengthen your weaknesses and reinforce your customers’ satisfaction.

Strategies Driving to Success Using NPS

NPS and your Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing, NPS will judge the potential for customers to recommend you to others. Let us put it differently, your marketing manager runs a campaign and he is aware of the client acquisition cost (CAC) and your customer life-time value (CLV). These two metrics are the key roles in calculating the profitability and return on ads spent on any marketing campaign. With NPS, it will be easier to measure the effectiveness of sales, marketing, short term-return and latest ad from your customers both during and after.  And so you will always have a finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction as well as produce lasting benefits for your employers.

NPS and your Sales Strategy

This is not all! The NPS score is also useful for your sales team since it gives you a clear insight and indication of what is sold most, what attracts new customers and drives repeated purchases. Over time, your sales rep need to focus on raising NPS because it is necessary to transform Detractors into Promoters. Remember, a detractor is passionate although being negative. Once a customer becomes a Promoter, they are most likely to introduce your sales rep to their social contacts or leave good reviews.

On the other hand, your sales rep need to be sharp in their mind, knowledgeable about the customers’ business and able to explain each product / service and the value it brings to your customer. In other words, your sales reps should act professionally and have to nail the three Ts as we mentioned in our previous blog post on challenger sales: teach, tailor and take control. You know very well the importance of word of mouth in business. This is how you can start to control it and by  focusing on turning what’s negative into positive, you’ll be definitely unlocking some pretty outstanding RoI.

Raising NPS score with better referrals (Would great online reviews, positive referrals and testimonials help your business?)

Many assume that a terrific customer service and great products will generate referrals by default. No not so!

When you go through your NPS results and filter your promoters, use survey logic to redirect  your promoters on a landing page where you will explain to them your referral program with simple words like: thanks for your rating, we would love for you to share your experience with us to your friends and the rest of the world. Give customers direct links and ask them to share their satisfaction on social media. All it takes is a simple follow-up to every promoter which can be easily automated. Your promoters will then generate positive word of mouth. You can even take it further and develop an in-depth customer success story and adapt it to a short text or video testimonial.

Moving Beyond NPS: Leading to your Customer Satisfaction

                           “

Once you run the net promoter score campaign, the collected data give you access to quickly react to any negative feedback. And the score from NPS will help you set up internal performance benchmarks as well as external benchmarks to compare your competitors in the market. Besides, the combination of NPS data with your tracking system (where it shows all your users demographics and behavioral data) give key insights into your target customer segment and you will easily detect why your customers love or hate you. You will also know who to target with what messages and incentives.

Repeat the survey periodically to see whether your scores move in the right direction, and be sure to capture the feedback from your detractors that will help you become better. When you use external benchmarks, you’ll set up smarter, more measurable goals.

Tracking your progress is important, and doing the test is not tough, but analyzing the data and devise your strategy to become better requires more time and effort.

 

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