Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius reflect on 2023 and discuss what has happened with Filament as a B2B tech marketing agency.

The conversation highlights various projects and achievements from the past year, including working with a Singapore-based client entering the Australian market, winning best content marketing in Australia, and providing go-to-market services for tech vendors. The importance of developing a strong value proposition and focusing on solving problems rather than selling products is emphasized. The conversation concludes with the key learning of being a partner to the businesses you work with.

Key takeaways include:

  • Develop a strong value proposition that guides all messaging and ensures consistency.
  • Focus on solving problems and providing solutions rather than just selling products.
  • Be a partner to the businesses you work with, offering valuable advice and support.
  • Continuously learn and adapt to stay ahead in the industry.
  • And so much more!

Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.

Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on "2023 End of Year Reflections"

Jeremy Balius: you wanna kick off with a highlight from the past year that you were thinking about?

Nick Horton: Yes. Okay. I’ll just take the first one on my list.

Okay. Cool. The first highlight I wanted to talk about this year Was a Singapore-based client. They’re launching into the Australian market, and they came to us looking for a partner that can help them create the right sort of content, both from a content marketing and bound marketing perspective, but also from an SEO perspective.

And so we’ve been working with them now for just over four months. So far we’ve published a white paper landing page ten blog posts twelve social cards. Those emails gone out to a database which we help them develop for their market entry. And the feedback’s been really positive. They’re a a security vendor.

As I say, they’re international. The office is based in Singapore. They’re really using this as an to start to build some awareness for their brand, start to get some activity happening, and obviously generate some lead flow. And they’ve been really happy with the results so far. So that’s been a great highlight for me to be able to, work with a large international company that’s wanting to come into the Australian market, that’s looking for a partner that understands not only the dynamics of the b two b technology market, but also can produce the right sort of content for SEO and for inbound That’s gonna generate the results that they’re looking for.

So that’s been a great project to work on and looking forward to continuing the success into twenty twenty four with them.

Jeremy Balius: I think what’s really cool about that particular market entry into Australia, we’re so accustomed to working with vendors and larger channel programs where there’s an existing presence, but they’re looking to try to figure out how do they scale up locally, how do they enable their partners in region, and how do they go beyond having sales enablement or marketing enablement content that’s produced in the states, and how do they make it locally relevant. So I think the work that’s happening with the Singapore-based client is really cool as it’s effectively a fresh brand entry and, really trying to generate demand locally.

It’s awesome.

Nick Horton: Yeah. No. Yeah. It’s been a fun project to work on.

And the type of software that they that they produce is pretty heavy duty security software based around I did identity zero trust as a key component of that. It’s been I could tell that when we first started working together, they, we’re testing us out in terms of our ability to create content that works to those more hardcore topics, let’s say. These are the sort of Topics which are gonna appeal to a CISO to a security operations center type profile.

But we’ve I think with, the process that we go through with our writers and our briefing processes, actually, we’ve been really nailing it. And the Feedback that we’re getting back on the content that we produce is really quite minimal. And so it’s been a great process to go through that together. I think from a Filament perspective, increase our capabilities, increase the knowledge of our team and our writers, and Give them the opportunity to work on some different topics as well. So it’s been a really great project all around.

Jeremy Balius: I think you’ve highlighted another point for me that has really become prominent this year in that our larger clients as they first start getting to know us. So we’re pretty concerned that we’re not a large advertising agency, and they’re concerned around our capacity and capability. And when they then start working with us and realize the speed to market that we’re producing content, it’s pretty eye-opening for them. And I feel like that’s happen with that particular client as well as a range of other multinationals and other vendors where the team’s just able to start sprinting immediately and produce content, compelling, meaningful content in a way that and at a pace that they’ve not seen elsewhere.

Nick Horton: Yeah.

Yeah. And I think that’s the way that we work. That’s the way that we like to interact with our clients. But I think also, from the Filament perspective, I think we’ve been very purposeful in making sure that we’ve set up the Systems and processes and the resources in terms of the people that are that are operating those processes That’s really set up for that we wanna be responsive, that we want to be exceeding expectations rather than disappointing them. That’s I think part of our DNA as an agency and the real value that we provide.

Jeremy Balius: Speaking of the value. One of the one of the things that I think has been fantastic in this past year is very early on in the year we found out or maybe use the back end of twenty twenty two. I can’t remember the exact date. But when we found out that we one best content marketing in Australia for Yeah. The go to market we did with VMware and AUCloud launching effectively the company deeper down into their infrastructure as a service and their data sovereignty and a whole bunch of other stuff, Workspace ONE.

Coming off the back of that award. We’ve just been levelling up time and time again just in terms of the size of business we’re working with, the size of the Go-to-Market and the types of projects that we’re owning and delivering, and it’s been really rewarding to reflect back on. Yeah.

Nick Horton: I think so. And it’s also interesting, that campaign that we that we won the award for, the same rush award for.

That was a go-to-market campaign. And one of the things that you and I have really focused on, I think, this year and, even more focused probably looking forward into 2024 is ‘how we build out our capability?’ Because we think that’s a really unique part of our offering in terms of offering a go to market service for tech vendors and tech brands that are looking to go into a new market as I Talked about with the Singapore client that we’ve been working with. We’ll launch a new product or service, and you’ve got a great example of something that you’ve been working on. And actually, even extending into that joint go-to-market where there’s a number of different either vendor brands or vendor or channel partner brands working together to jointly go to market.

And I’m really excited to see the opportunities that’s gonna open up for us. I think it’s as I said, an area where there’s maybe not the same focus or the same capability as we think that we’re developing. But I’d love to hear, Jeremy, your sort of thoughts about how you see our go-to-market proposition evolving and maturing through 2024.

Jeremy Balius: Yeah. So we’ve really been reflecting on this quite a bit, haven’t we?

It’s it’s a frame and it’s a lens of work that we’ve been doing since founding the company, and in fact, prior to this iteration of the company. Where we’ve already been doing this. We’ve been enabling business leaders to be very effective and efficient in how they’re launching new services or taking new products to market. A lot of times, that’s in the context of their partner vendor or multiple vendors. And, I think a real game changer for us as a company this year was the project that you led where we effectively were the backbone to Veeam and AWS’s alliance in the APAC region, enabling partners to take data protection services to market or to expand their footprint but doing that from the context of having multiple brand stories to tell Mhmm.

And weaving that into a story that makes sense for the partner’s brand. That. That takes magic and, real mouse and know how to understand how to do that. And because we did that at scale for a large number of partners across multiple regions, you’ll have to remind me. Was it six, seven territories.

It was Yep. Pretty widespread. Yep. Multilingual, in fact. So that was another thing we leveled up on in our content, now that we’re publishing multiple languages.

Yeah. You have to remind me. I think the Bahasa And Thai. Thai. Yeah.

And there was a third, I think. Was there? Yeah. I can’t

Nick Horton: No. No. Just those two. Just those two.

But yeah. Look and you know what you’re talking about, we’re Taking a service to market with Veeam and AWS in Thailand with a Thai partner, all of the material produced in Thai. That was a lot of work and a lot of effort to get it all lined up, but ultimately really successful.

Ultimately we’re creating bringing together the two propositions, creating a unique message around the partner’s data protection capability, And doing it for their market in the, in the language that works for that market. Yeah, that was quite something to work on.

Jeremy Balius: And, what was really rewarding is for us to recently get feedback from alliance directors and sales teams that the project was so successful and efficient. And when are we gonna it again, and we’re saying, tell us when we’re ready to go. And but that was really rewarding.

And just going back to your question, that was a real level up because of how challenging telling that partner marketing story with so many brands involved in the same story. Most business leaders aren’t thinking about the sheer amount of red tape that has to go through from a compliance and and legal perspective from a brand sign off perspective and dealing with multiple layers of the marketing organization within multiple organizations. tHat was a real level up, and I’m really looking forward to continuing that as we move forward into this go to market space.

Nick Horton: Yep. Agree.

Agree. I also touched on there and, what I’ve just been talking about as an example of going to market with two brands and a partner, And you’ve been through something very similar, probably maybe even more intense, one go to market, but a lot more moving parts. What would be maybe just tell us a little bit about that, but also, could you pull out kinda the key learning for you as you went through that process?

Jeremy Balius: Yeah. And I think we can speak quite openly about this.

This was this is a go-to-market for Probax, which is VCSP in the the Veeam ecosystem. They pivoted this year when they sold off their services side of the business to ThinkOn out of Canada. Can ThinkOn’s now got an Australian presence, which is super cool as they’re entering the region. Probax is pivoting to a SaaS-only business. They are deep in with Veeam, and they were utilizing Veeam’s launch of their v12 and more recently honed in there 12.1 around direct-to-object storage capability.

And so Wasabi is the third partner in that piece having the ability to have affordable storage on the back end to store Microsoft data or any other backups from end user businesses. So so that’s that. That’s been really rewarding over the recent couple of months building out that go-to-market framework, getting sales teams and executives at every level of all of those organizations involved, channel executives, channel sales, channel marketing engineers and many others are involved. So so that’s now launched. It’s launched in in, Australia, New Zealand, and is about to launch even further in the US as distribution goes live.

I think that sort of reflects and really solidifies where we’ve been moving as a company to be able to be the the point person on that from right across all of those teams ensuring that everybody’s on the same page, that value propositions are tightly defined, and, that’s a piece of work that you’ve really been owning with a lot of our clients as well around how you’re differentiating meaningfully in a way that can be understood by prospective buyers and seeing that right through all of the go to market collateral and then being able to deliver and implement on that as well. We’re able to bring that full end to end, which is a little bit different. And this is another success that we found out this year. But it’s a little bit different when we launched the Cirrus backup brand a couple of years ago, and you ran that one. That was too successful, and then they backed away from us because they didn’t need us anymore which I laughingly celebrate as well because of course, we would have liked to have worked with them ongoing.

But if they don’t need us, that’s great. But then to find out that Veeam had acquired Cirrus this year and which is hilarious because we also do a lot of work with Veeam, and it all just stays within the family as I jokingly laugh mentioned. But yeah, the have it having the ability to implement on an ongoing basis with this current project is is going to be really exciting. And I think that’s, we’re really setting up the next twelve, twenty four months of a scale up for this go to market. And

Nick Horton: with the and with that go to market, with that launch, I guess you are bringing together, three different, company messaging.

From the Veeam perspective it’s all about the, their superior technology and their ability to know, offer data protection at scale from a Wasabi perspective. It’s presumably about the, the quality of their storage and the fact that it can become immutable. And then from the ProBaks perspective, they’re looking at we’re really innovating around the availability of those services and bringing them together. So three quite different complementary but different sets of messaging. How did you get, all of the cats to kinda play nicely together?

Jeremy Balius: Yeah, there’s some herding of the cats that takes place. Yep. And I think it’s it gets complicated because businesses aren’t accustomed to that level of rigor or detail of planning, potentially. Mhmm. And so there’s a journey involved to understand how are we negotiating this, but I really feel that we as an agency and the IP that we have been developing and are owning can help smooth in that process by by just our volume of experience and expertise that we’ve gained to figure out how do we massage and weave these things together in a way that is compelling.

I think we’re in a space where this is so far beyond just a simple checklist, and the level of strategy required to get people on side and to agree even down to the individual wording on a media release. iT just takes effort. And maybe now that I’m reflecting on it as well while we’re talking, also a real sense of the unified team. I think it’s as long there’s a point where people can come together and really see that there’s a collective vision. And when people are collaborating truly and not necessarily just trying to fight to win something, but understanding that the mutual benefit is going to be far greater than anyone on their own. You can arrive at something that’s going to make sense for everyone. Yeah. Yeah.

Nick Horton: Oh, fantastic. Fantastic. It’s just as you’re talking, a key part of, I think, what you’re describing, what you went through is Developing out that value proposition. And in that instance, it’s really the value proposition that’s bringing together almost three different value propositions. And I think that’s I think that’s one thing that as a agency, we do particularly well.

I was With a client a couple of months ago and had been asked to come in for a workshop basically to help them define the value proposition for their go to market. So they’re Australian based business that helps manage complex technical integrations for managed service providers. So that they’ll provide a capability that managed service providers don’t have If they want to offer particular types of services to their clients. And so went into this workshop. There was a couple people there, importantly, the MD of the business.

And, I kinda went through the process that I go through in these situations, and I could tell from his body language and his feedback that he was I’m not gonna say resistant, but he was almost like a why am I here? Why am I bothering with this? But Preston, As we got to the end of the part of the workshop, we were really defining the value proposition. That’s something that we just do collaboratively in the workshop. It was almost like a light bulb went off for him, and he leaned forward and he said, Nick, I have to tell you that I’ve sat in about three or four of these types of meetings over the last, year or a couple of years, and all of them have been a waste of time.

And I just thought, oh, no. Here we go. It comes. Yep. I’ll get ready to leave now.

But then he said, no. No. No. But hold on. My real problem is none of my engineers, and they really pride themselves in this business on their technical capability, None of my engineers can actually say exactly what it is we do.

But what we’ve just done together, I can now hand to each of our technical teams And so read that and you will understand what we do. And that was just so gratifying to get that feedback because, we’ve designed this process around looking at how do we describe what we do, why we do it, and how we do it better than anyone else, and just turning that into a relatively pithy statement or value proposition. And by going through that process, it was like, As I say, the light went on for him and he was like, because of this process, I’ve now got this great clear messaging about how we can actually as a business, be much clearer about what we’re trying to achieve. And that’s something that I hadn’t thought about necessarily Before with regard to value propositions, maybe I’m too focused on a in terms of a marketing or a go to market perspective, and that’s gonna be what drives all of the messaging that we Use externally, but actually, what the MD pointed out is that messaging is just as valuable internally because it really helps to helps to describe in pretty clear and ambiguous terms, what it is you’re all there to do, why you turn up in the morning, why you keep taking the salary from them and not going to someone else.

That was a great learning that I had just on the value of the value proposition as a true unlock across the business.

Jeremy Balius: I think what’s really powerful about what you’re describing is the ability to refine how to even talk about the purpose of the business. We work with in the space that we’re we sit, a lot of the businesses that we’re exposed to are IT services types and system integrators and value added resellers. And a lot of these are pretty mature businesses. They, they’ve been around ten, twenty years.

They’re doing really well from a revenue perspective. They’d like to do better, of course, but, they’ve grown this off the back of delivering good services. They’ve never really needed to think about what is it that we’re actually solving for people in a it’s usually reflected in just doing the implementation of the service, keeping the lights on and keeping things secure, but it’s never really the business value. And that’s been an interesting shift in conversation as the leaders that we’re exposed to are recognizing the value of that team.

Nick Horton: Yep.

Yeah. And I think as well, there’s an interesting inflection point that businesses, as they scale, will inevitably go through, and especially in people centered businesses, but not just that. It’s that you can have, the founder or the MD and then the Let’s call them the head of sales or the chief commercial person, whatever their title is. You can grow the business a long way based on their networks, on their outreach, on their activity. But There comes a point where that just doesn’t scale.

You can add more salespeople, but they’re not gonna have as good a network Or they’re not gonna be as they’re not gonna have that ability to actually work their network to create the opportunities for themselves, And that’s the situation with the client that I was just talking about but also something that we’ve come across even in, as you say, mature businesses, There comes a point where if you really wanna keep growing, you need to be doing far more of that heavy lifting on a digital perspective, which I think really is where, our some of our value proposition and other services come into play because that gives you a language That is common, consistent, understood that really recognizes the value that you as a business bring That you’re able to communicate at much greater scale through digital means. That’s one of the one of the other unlocks, for that whole value proposition process. Yeah.

Jeremy Balius: Yeah.

It’s been a good year.

Nick Horton: It has. It has. I was thinking as well, sometimes just about another client, New Zealand-based client. And sometimes You’re bought into an opportunity to do one thing, but by going through the process, you recognize that actually to really Help the client, you’d need to be doing something else.

So just to describe large technology firm in New Zealand, one of the leading, couple of players in their category. Again, they have literally been around for twenty plus years the twentieth anniversary is next month. And they they had implemented HubSpot that had an agency that had come in and helped them do the implementation. They’ve been through the onboarding process with them, but they basically were paying, Several thousand dollars a year for a tool that didn’t really work for them. No one owned, and they didn’t really understand how to Get the value out of.

So through an introduction through one of our partners in New Zealand, we were introduced into this business and, started the process, the journey with them by doing an audit on their HubSpot installation. They had both marketing and sales professional subscriptions. And so we went through the process with them of doing that audit, understanding were there any gaps in the setup, and, yes, there were some technical capabilities that were not Implemented correctly, there were some let’s call it branding related items that were implemented correctly. But most importantly and, I think one of the Biggest unlocks of something like HubSpot when we talk about scaling is that it gives you that ability to categorize your database, categorize leads into different groups depending on their where they are in terms of their relationship with you or where they are in the sales and marketing funnel if we wanna be technical about it. And this business hadn’t implemented that.

And so by going through and, understanding that they hadn’t done that and then working with them to see how we could implement that and understand when, someone goes from a prospect to a lead to a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead. Actually, what we uncovered was that there was a a disconnect, let’s call it, between the marketing lead processes and the sales lead processes. The sales team were actually probably pretty happy with how they were using using the software, but it really didn’t connect up with what the marketing team were trying to achieve, And there wasn’t that overlap. So there was no elegant hand off between marketing to say, here’s a lead that we’ve qualified as far as we can. We think they’re a great opportunity.

Now you, sales team. You go and run with it. And so by going through the audit process and then looking at what we needed to do to rectify the issues that were uncovered, there was, of course, all of the technical level things, but most importantly for the business, it was this recognition of the needed to be a far better process To manage a lead from beginning, from a stranger through to a sale. How can we support, given our knowledge on what’s gonna work well from the marketing perspective, from the marketing side of the funnel, and then really tying that up with the sales side of the funnel. And It was that was, of course, not what we were contracted to do at all but that’s what we ended up spending a lot of time with because, And really recognizing that was where the greatest unlock was gonna be for the business.

It’s not about the tool. It’s about how people work together. It’s about having the processes To make sure that together the sales and marketing teams can be really successful.

Jeremy Balius: Yeah. I think that was an amazing learning, particularly as we are expanding out how and where we deploy support around marketing automation and centralizing information and helping businesses scale up their marketing efforts when they generally have pretty small marketing teams or even just a single individual.

So that piece right there was an awesome unlock for the business itself and also gave us a better understanding of the meaningful value of what we’re doing, bringing that end to end visibility from stranger through to close deal. Mhmm. Yeah.

Nick Horton: Yeah. Fantastic.

I also just finally from me, thought about three great learnings that I’ve had this year. I just wanted to share them with you, get your reaction because, One of the things that I love about doing what we do is I’m learning all the time. That’s really important. It keeps me Kinda young despite the gray in the beard and so I thought of the I thought as I’ve been reflecting on this year and the things that have really stood out for me, I thought there’s three that I’d feedback to. First of all start with the value proposition.

We’ve talked about this already, but You really can’t do anything consistently without that value proposition that guides all of your messaging. That means that you’re consistent. That means that, everyone has the same features, benefits, and differentiation to be talking about. The second thing is, Especially in the technology space, but broadly, I think in b two b, no one ever buys a product. They buy a solution to a problem or they buy a solution to a job that they have to do.

Let’s continue to switch that around And talk about what’s the problem first, and then we can talk about the product because that’s how the buying process works. And then the third thing, and this has been Been something that maybe has been reflected through in our discussion from Filament perspective, from a agency perspective. Don’t be a supplier. Be a partner. I’ve had a number of instances where if I was a supplier, I’d just shut up And wouldn’t say anything, but because I see myself as a partner to the businesses that we work with, I’ve said things which main you know, maybe not that popular, but as the advice that I believe that that we should be giving because it’s gonna help, our partners get the best out of the opportunities that they’ve got.

So they’re my three big learnings. Start with the value proposition, Not about the product and be a partner for the businesses that you work with.

Jeremy Balius: Awesome.

The technology industry encompasses a wide range of ecosystems, business models and types of tech companies. From hardware retailers to managed service providers and system integrators, simply using the term “tech company” to describe an organization in this massive industry just doesn’t cut it.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of technology companies.

What Is a Tech Company?

A tech company is any organization that designs or sells technology-intensive products, such as software solutions, computer hardware, consumer electronics, and modern telecommunication systems, in addition to internet-based services like cloud storage, online marketplaces, customer experience portals, and SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions.

What Does a Technology Company Do?

A technology company may be involved in one or more of the following business activities:

  1. Develops tech products
  2. Sells tech products and services to companies, consumers, or both
  3. Provides online services like marketplaces and search engines.

The Different Types of Tech Companies

The tech industry is huge. Because of that, there are lots of technology companies that do different things. Now, let’s take a look at the types of tech companies.

Value-Added Reseller (VAR)

Value-added resellers resell products from other vendors and add extra services to the package, such as consulting, implementation, and support.

For example, computer retailers sell computer hardware with additional services like extended warranties, software programs, training, and customization.

Managed Service Provider (MSP)

A managed service provider offers IT services for companies that don’t want to rely on on-premises solutions. Managed service providers enable organizations to use their products without having to deal with on-going maintenance, upgrades, security risks, and overall management.

Since many companies have limited resources, overloading their software developers and IT teams with managing and maintaining complex IT infrastructure and systems will distract them and make them less productive. Eventually, the company will have no choice but to hire more staff and bear additional monthly expenses.

According to recent research, 45% out of 451 large businesses surveyed are planning to partner with a managed services provider, and up to 59% of IT services have shifted from a break-fix model to a managed service contract model.

Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP)

A Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) is a company that specializes in delivering and implementing cloud services. These include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), backup and recovery, and others.

Usually, cloud solutions providers offer multiple deployment options for their customers, like on-premises, public, or hybrid clouds.

One example of CSPs is Veeam. Veeam’s product portfolio includes Veeam Backup and Replication for hybrid and multi cloud deployments , and managed services (BaaS and DRaaS), as well as standalone modules for Microsoft 365, Azure, AWS, and more.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The Software as a Service (SaaS) model enables companies to license software products on a subscription basis. The subscription is usually monthly or annual, and the license expires if the company decides not to renew its subscription.

SaaS companies provide software solutions for companies in a wide range of industries, such as banking, healthcare, IT, and marketing. Unlike on-premises software solutions, SaaS products are fully hosted, maintained, managed, and upgraded by the provider, making them a less costly choice for many organizations.

With hybrid and remote work environments becoming the norm after the 2020 pandemic, the SaaS industry has grown exponentially over the past few years. Companies need flexible software solutions that can be used anywhere without the headache and costs associated with on-premises solutions.

According to research by SkyQuest Technology, the SaaS market value is expected to reach USD 720.44 Billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 25.89% in the period from 2022 to 2028.

Independent Software Vendor (ISV)

An independent software vendor designs and sells software solutions capable of running on different hardware devices, platforms or operating systems.

One example of an independent software vendor is Adobe Systems. The company develops creative software products such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and AfterAffects. These products can be used on desktop computers and mobile devices. They also run on most popular platforms, including Windows, MacOS, Linux/Ubuntu, Android, and iOS.

Another example is Oracle. The company provides integrated cloud infrastructure and cloud-based applications.

Systems Integrator (SI)

Systems integrators integrate complex IT products from one or more vendors into a single cohesive system that provides customers with the functionalities they need in one package. It’s like creating a Swiss Army knife out of various tools and pocket knives.

Systems integrators provide customers with more value for their money by letting them use and pay for only one customized software solution that meets their very specific requirements.

An example of an SI company is PWC, a leading global systems integrator that provides integrated enterprise solutions in cybersecurity, financial statement audits, and assurance. Some of the company’s most prominent partner ISVs include Oracle and Microsoft.

Data Center (DC)

A data center is a remote building that hosts IT systems and applications used to perform certain functions, such as data storage and networking. A data center consists of networked computers, computing infrastructure, and storage systems.

Organizations that build and operate data centers are also known as colocation service providers. They collaborate with companies in a wide range of industries to make their products available to customers with their data centers.

For instance, Equinix, a digital infrastructure company, offers data center and colocation solutions that enable businesses to manage distributed IT environments and store company data with a digital-first approach.

Cybersecurity Provider

A cybersecurity provider is a software company that provides security products and services for organizations to protect their critical data and minimize downtime. Some of the services that cybersecurity providers offer include incident response, cybersecurity audits, and network security.

One notable cybersecurity provider is Gen Digital Inc (formerly Symantec). The company has a diverse portfolio of popular cybersecurity solutions such as AVG, Avast, Norton, and Avira.

Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)

A managed security service provider is a type of MSPs that specializes in security services like incident response and network security.

Unlike cybersecurity providers, MSSPs don’t just offer the product; they also take care of the initial setup process, maintenance, monitoring, support, and updates. companies can use the services provided by the MSSP with a subscription-based model.

FireEye can be classified as an MSSP. It offers a fully managed, cloud-based XDR platform that incorporates advanced detection and response technologies to protect their customers’ data.


A distributor simply resells products that they buy from multiple vendors. For tech vendors, mass distributing their products can be costly, and that’s where distributors come in. They buy the vendor’s products in large quantities and take care of warehousing and logistics. Some distributors also offer additional services like extended warranties, custom packaging, and support.

One example is TD Synnex, a company that distributes software and hardware products from major tech vendors like Google, VMWare, Sony, and Lenovo.


An aggregator is a type of tech company that combines data from various sources into a single dashboard to streamline workflows. Aggregator companies include hotel booking websites, news platforms, and social media management platforms.

An example of that is HootSuite, a company that provides social media management software. The platform enables marketers to post on multiple social media platforms and view combined feeds, respond to customers through a unified inbox, and access relevant analytics.

Telecommunications Providers (Telco)

Telecommunications providers offer a broad range of communication services such as TV, internet, and telephone. The company may either build their own infrastructure or rent existing infrastructure from other providers. One familiar example is AT&T, a Telco provider that provides landline telephones, mobile telephones, internet services, and fixed-line telephones.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) designs tech components and products that other tech companies use in their own portfolio of products. For example, a computer hardware company may source the motherboards from a specialized OEM.

Some OEMs, like Foxconn, manufacture entire products for other companies, like the Apple iPhone.

Consultancy and Developer Agencies

Consultancy and developer agencies develop and maintain digital products for their clients. They also offer consultancy services for companies that only need guidance in their existing in-house development processes.

Companies like Wipro and ThoughtWorks collaborate with clients to design customized digital products for their use cases.

Hardware Retailers

Hardware retailers sell physical tech products like smartphones, tablets, cameras, and computers. Many hardware retailers also offer value added services like maintenance and customer support. Some well-known hardware retailers include Best Buy and Newegg.

What Is an Information System Business?

In simple terms, an information system is a set of components that handle information collection, processing, and dissemination.

Examples of information systems include transaction processing systems, decision support systems, and management information systems. An information system business provides these systems for customers and maintains and manages them.

What Businesses Use Information Systems?

Businesses use information systems in a wide array of industries to streamline their operations and maximize efficiency and ROI. Below are some of the most common use cases for information systems in different industries:

  • Healthcare: Policy decision support, medical imaging, and medical healthcare record systems
  • Finance and fintech: financial transaction, risk management, and accounting information systems
  • Retail: inventory management, supply chain management, and customer relationship management information systems
  • Legal: case management, document management, E-discovery, and legal research systems
  • Software development: Software development lifecycle (SDLC) management, testing and quality assurance and project management systems
  • Marketing: automation, research, customer relationship management, and analytics systems.
  • Telecommunications: network management, billing, and customer management systems
  • Education: student record keeping and learning management systems.

What Are the Top 5 Major Tech Companies Called?

The five dominant tech companies in the information technology industry are often referred to as Tech Giants, “Big Tech”, and “Big Five.

They include:

Alphabet Inc (Google)

Alphabet, or commonly known as Google, is known for its search engine that’s used by hundreds of millions of people everyday. The search giant also offers a range of hardware and SaaS solutions, which are:

  • ChromeOS, a linux-based desktop operating system
  • Android, a mobile operating system
  • Google Ads, an online advertisement platform
  • The Nexus lineup of Android smartphones
  • Google Maps, a web mapping platform
  • Google Workspace (includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Docs Editor, and other products)


Amazon is a tech company that’s widely known for, an online marketplace that sells virtually everything. It’s the largest e-commerce store in the world.

However, Amazon’s portfolio isn’t limited to its e-commerce activity; the company offers other products and solutions that include:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): On-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs
  • Alexa, a voice-activated personal assistant
  • Amazon Music, a music-streaming service
  • Amazon Prime, a video-streaming service


Apple is the most valuable tech company in the world. The Cupertino-based tech giant is largely known for the following hardware products:

  • The iPhone lineup of touchscreen smartphones
  • The iPad lineup of tablet computers
  • The iMac family of all-in-one desktop computers
  • The AirPods line of wireless headphones
  • The Apple Watch lineup of wearable smartwatches

Apple also has a broad portfolio of service-based and digital content products that include Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple TV+, iTunes Store, and Apple Books.

Meta (Facebook)

Meta (formerly Facebook) is a tech company that’s known for, the social media platform that almost everyone uses to communicate with other people and stay updated on things that interest them.

Over the years, Meta has acquired other social media platforms, including Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat. Meta also owns PayPal, a fintech company that offers an online payments system.


Microsoft’s product portfolio encompasses a wide range of software and hardware products. Some of its most popular products and services include:

  • Windows line of operating systems
  • Microsoft 365 Office Suite
  • The Microsoft Surface lineup of personal computers
  • The Xbox line of gaming consoles
  • Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers

Grow Your Tech Company With the Right Digital Marketing Partner

Regardless of the business model your tech company operates on, we can tailor a digital marketing strategy that’ll help you generate demand, gain more customers and maximize your return on investment.

Having worked with a wide variety of tech vendors and partners, we know what it takes to craft a marketing strategy that keeps the customers coming.

Reach out to us now to discuss your marketing strategy!

Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius, discussing the question “Where does a B2B tech company start with content marketing?”

Topics covered include:

  • Content enables having different conversations with different prospects at different phases of their buying journey
  • Using content to uncover whether a prospect is researching solutions to a business challenge versus actively looking to purchase
  • Identifying a prospect’s buying process
  • How to gather data when search volumes are lower
  • The need for content and sales to be people-centred
  • The power of a comprehensive content plan
  • Account-based marketing and content
  • A successful content marketing campaign in action
  • How SEO content can deliver outsized outcomes
  • And so much more!

Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.

Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on "Where does a B2B tech company start with content marketing?"

Jeremy: Hey, Nick. We’re continually talking to business leaders about content, they’re looking at their content marketing. They know that they need to be putting more content to market, that is valuable, that’s attracting prospects. That’s nurturing them and qualifying leads and potentially enabling their sales process.

But what we are often seeing is that they just don’t know where to start. What are your thoughts on this? Where do we start?

Nick: Before I answer that, it would be good just to set the scene in terms of what do we mean by content for the, for this discussion and for the engagements that we have with our our clients and prospects and what we’re talking about is the creation of.

Written material, it might be a blog post that might be an infographic. It might be a white paper or a case study, but any sort of material that seeks to provide more information to a prospect about our our clients or our partners, capabilities, their solutions, anytime that someone wants to a business is looking.

To engage with another business, that’ll be because they have a business challenge or a problem that they need to solve. And then they go out and they look for potential partners who can or potential solutions. And then they think about who are the partners that can provide that solution. And then they focus in on The ability to implement the pricing, the support etc.

And so what content gives us the ability to do is start a lot of different conversations with different prospects at different phases of their buying journey. So if prospect has decided that they need to implement an ERP system because their current system is not in the cloud or is not scaling with their business needs.

The first thing I want to do is go out and look at what are the options that are available. What are, do I need to go with a traditional vendor? Are there some new vendors? What are the difference between cloud based and on premises options? And when you first start that journey, you’re just looking for the options that are out there.

And so the type of content that’s going to appeal in that scenario might be a thought leadership blog post, which talks about, how the market or the landscape’s changing and here are the new options or comparison pages where we say here’s this solution compared to that solution or infographics, which might look at how do you drive more efficiency from, five ways to drive more efficiency from your ERP system.

Then as you decide on the type of solution that you want to that you want to acquire to solve your business challenge, then you’re going to be looking at who are the partners or the vendors that are out there that you can transact with that’s going to provide a good solution. And so then the content need changes, the types of conversations you want to have change.

So then you’re looking at. White papers where you’re able to demonstrate that you have a great depth of knowledge about a topic or a or the solution that you’re offering, you might look at case studies where you say, here’s how we’ve solved a similar problem for someone in for someone else in your industry or webinars where you’re publishing you’re publishing content through that means so.

Content just gives us the ability or the way that I like to think about it is the ability to start lots of different conversations with buyers at different phases of their journey. And so if you’re a new client and you haven’t really had a content strategy, then where I tend to start is. Try to understand better what is the buyer journey that they’re seeing?

How quickly do we get from someone realizing that they have a business challenge that they need to have solved to actually purchasing? What are the types of questions that they’re asking salespeople when they interact with them? Because that gives them a good, that gives us a good insight into the, the types of conversations that we want to have digitally through.

Through content. And do they have a pipeline process or a a stage process where they’re able to identify the different needs of prospects at different stages. And so we baseline against that, what’s working for you at the moment. And then we start to. Build content or start, give us the ability to start conversations to replace some of those sales conversations with digital conversations.

So typically where we start is at the top of the funnel because we need to be always attracting more prospects. So what are the content, what is the types of content that we can start to publish that’s going to just start to engage prospects, get them to visit our website, get them to come and learn more about.

Our solutions that we offer or learn more about our ability to offer solutions. And so that’ll be typically how I’ll map out a content plan. Let’s start at the top of funnel. Let’s start to get some leads coming in. Then let’s focus on the middle of the funnel. Once we understand more about those leads.

What are the. How are they what are the needs that they have when they’re looking to choose a supplier and then develop content that gives us the ability to have conversations around that. And then finally, looking at the bottom of the funnel, when someone is ready to buy, what other information do they need?

Do they need to have information about implementation? Do they need to have information about the the support that we offer or the pricing options that are available to us or how the ROI return that they should expect to see from the purchase. And so the contents needs change during the funnel and we try and make sure that we’re addressing the needs of.

Buyers all the way through that journey. Sorry, a long winded answer, but it’s very much about, let’s start at the top of the funnel. Let’s start to attract people. And then let’s work on the content needs as we progress leads through that process.

Jeremy: That all makes sense to me. Where within that process are we understanding how to then define what that journey is.

It’s one thing to start at the top of funnel and to say, how are your prospects researching Against their problems or pain points and that’s often that alone is often not understood in B to B that there are actual humans out there trying to find solutions in some way, whether they’re searching online or whether they’re going out and looking for recommendations or whether they’re looking at a comparison type pages to understand what to do.

What’s available to them, or there’s just a wider brand awareness that proceeds where they know that there’s a particular brand that dominates the market, that they need something like that. But then when they go to research, they’re also looking for alternative solutions. There is that process of how are we going to present ourselves to even attract those Searchers.?

What happens next? How are we then trying to elicit or or, I love how you put it, how are we trying to use content to create conversations? Content as a conversation I think is such an elegant phrase, but can we unpack that a little bit more? In terms of relationship building or brand awareness raising.

What does that mean?

Nick: I think if we’re, again, just assuming we’re looking at a blank slate scenario, then to me, there’s two approaches that we take. We take a qualitative approach and a quantitative approach. And so with the quantitative approach, what we, what data do we have available?

What is the analytics that’s operating on your website tell you about the journey that. Website visitors are making at the moment as they try and gather information from your website. What do we see about when we first get someone that fills in a lead form on your website, we gather their details what is, what.

The interactions that we have with them before they’re ready to sign. So what does the data tell us? And obviously as we start to publish more content and start to be more systematic about the about qualifying and nurturing leads through this process, we gather more data and we can use that to make more decisions.

But regardless of that, at the start, there will always be data points that we can look at that is going to help us build out that content plan. Then on the qualitative side that’s about understanding from salespeople or even new customers. If you can if you can get in touch with them, what are, when a salesperson someone fills it fills in the lead form and an SDR or a salesperson.

Calls up that lead straight away. What is the conversation they have with them? Then what insights are we getting from those first contacts? How many meetings does it take for the salesperson to have with the prospect before they’re willing to sign or before they’re willing to receive a you go into a proof of concept or receive a formal proposal because there’s.

There’s going to be a lot of data that’s in the sales person’s mind or in the sales team’s institutional memory that we can really tap into to understand the buying process. And, all content is giving us the ability to do is really amplify that buying process digitally so that we can scale it up more so that we can be producing more and better quality leads to the sales team.

And so understanding the sales conversations that we’re having that are happening already is a great source of data. And then again, as I say, if it’s possible having conversations with recently signed customers to say, what was the problem you were trying to solve? What were the other solutions that you looked at?

What else what else was a factor in your decision making? Why did you choose? Our client as opposed to the other options that are available. And so there’s great sources of data there. The other thing that and Jeremy, I credit you with this. This is something that we’ve started doing ourselves and we’re really encouraging all of our clients to do.

Is when we have a form on the website, actually have a Either a free form field or a drop down box just that says something like, how did you hear about us? Because the actual, the traditional attribution is becoming more and more difficult. And also, if someone comes to you from a brand name search on a search engine that may not necessarily be because they.

They just know about you as a company and know about all your capabilities. It might be because they saw an ad on a social media network or someone spoke to them, a colleague or friend spoke to them about how our client had solved a similar problem. By gathering that data. Oh, it was a personal referral.

Oh, I saw a social ad. Oh, I went to a conference and you were presenting by gathering that data, which we don’t get from purely digital attribution. That also helps inform where leads are coming from. And what are the, what is the journey that they have before they are willing to give us their, provide us with their details.

So that, that would be, that’s very much the approach that, we typically take a look at the qualitative data and look at the quantitative data. But one thing that you started to touch on that I’m really interested to explore more, Jeremy, is just thinking about what, when we’re talking about content and when we’re starting conversations how do we know what to talk about?

How do we so the process that I’ve been talking about gives us some of the answers, but I think there’s also some other data sources and some other research that we can do that will help inform that and might be for SEO purposes, but it might also be for general content purposes. So it’d be great if you could, share some insights about keyword research and the role that plays and how to do that most effectively when you’re thinking about the creation of a content plan.

Jeremy: The point that I wanted to pull out from what you were just talking about first is, and I’m glad you raised this sort of experiential point of view in being based in Australia and being focused on B2B technology. The data sets tend to be pretty small oftentimes, where it comparatively to our North American clients or comparatively to, to B2C type scenarios or SAS scenarios the actual pool of prospects isn’t even that that large.

And so looking at a website to glean, lead source attribution gives us some point of reference, but often statistically it’s too small to definitively say, this is what’s happening. And and I think that’s where we need to rely on these other. Sources of information or insight to help craft.

How are we going to build these journeys? I’m thinking about clients who are focused on selling technology solutions or cloud solutions into government. Or into critical industries that tends to be a really popular one this year. There are only certain amounts of people that are within the prospect businesses who are the decision makers or who are the internal influencers or internal champions.

We can count them. There’s on a, the spreadsheet of the total amount in Australia is not big. And so your decision making process has to rely on a whole range of other influences. And you were talking about a self attribution, which I think is becoming increasingly powerful.

There’s obvious issues with that. And I take. I can’t take credit for that. That comes from people I follow online. But there’s recency bias. People are thinking about the most recent way that they’ve heard about you. There’s problems with scaling it because if you’re attracting a decent amount of inflow there you might need to rely on AI to sift through the types of responses that you’re getting because you can’t manually anymore.

But to take that one step further and where you were leading me with the answer is going and looking at based on how you are presenting yourself to market and the particular organizational priorities you have, the products or services that you’re

Simply take to market looking to understand how are people online searching for these solutions may not necessarily be the way that you are talking about yourself or presenting yourself. And looking at, keywords, which is the the normal term for this or the most common term, I should say.

And the phrases that are used to answer questions or ask questions gives you some insight of the the types of search volumes that exist in your territory or your region or your country or your state, or even right down to your zip code. And using that to base. Your decisions around your content strategy it might be the types of content that you want to push to market in order to attract searchers or in order to elicit responses from.

From prospects that are already within your awareness or your CRM or net new whom you just want to attract in some way there’s data sets around that and what we’re starting to really get get our clients excited about is trying to understand how do they compete in that space. If they’re engaging us for wider.

SEO comprehensive SEO services, then there’s a whole range of tactics and strategies that we deployed to support that. But if it’s content only, we need to then look at topical authority and content clusters and how do we group. Keywords together that attract enough search volume to warrant your investment and your effort to to reach prospects and attract them.

And a lot of times that. Decision making process is so different to how they’ve thought about content in the past, because as you’ll know, everyone’s used to, we need a solutions page. We need a brochure, we need an announcement EDM and we need a media release. That’s their go to market. But the taking this sort of data led, content led approach means that we need to look further and wider across the content solutions available to you and address these wider keywords, whether inclusive of long tail keywords, which might be more specific questions that we can.

We can cover off and compete on because they might have a lower difficulty. The the types of content and the types of questions we want to answer are radically different to where tech marketers or business leaders thought the content would go. But you’ve been at the coalface and you’re the one having these actual conversations with with our clients.

What is that process? What is that aha moment as you’re presenting the data, as you’re talking to them through the approach that we want to take with them, what happens in their thinking that makes them realize we need to invest in this because this is the real deal.

Nick: Yeah, I think it’s there’s always a couple of factors there, but first of all is really starting, just thinking about putting the conversation in terms of that by journey and, emphasizing that what we’re trying to do is simply scale up the process that’s working well for them.

But it’s people centered and we want to not replace that people centered process. We want to enhance that people center process by allowing it to scale through a digital means, which means the creation of content. So moving the conversations away from a salesperson conversation to a digital conversation through a blog or through a infographic or a checklist or a white paper, whatever it may be.

And so having that discussion about we’re trying to. Enhance your existing go to market process that we’re looking at ways that we can drive more efficiency from your go to market or your commercial spend and that the net result will be more leads going to the sales team and better quality leads going to the sales team then.

That tends to be the light bulb moment. And also one thing, and because I see this often as this can be quite an adversarial attitude or a lack of respect, if you like, between sales and marketing on the B2B side. And so I’m always really careful to emphasize that this is a team effort, that we’re all working to the same goal.

But we have different roles to play in achieving that goal. And if we’re clear about What those roles are and who has responsibility for those roles. Then we can see how we work together to create a great buyer’s journey, which is going to result in more sales. But it was also going to mean that we’re going to need to invest more and.

Probably in the marketing side, especially in the creation of content and thinking about what those nurture journeys or nurture sequences are going to be like as we move people through the process and so it is going to take the investment, but that’s going to drive efficiency for that business, more success for the sales team.

And hopefully as well, and this is a longer term outcome, but as we learn from the sales team about what are the. Best types of leads, then we can build our process around trying to attract more of those types of leads. So that’s going to mean your deal size is increasing or your time to sign is decreasing.

And there’s a lot of positives that come out of the process. So yeah, so that’s typically how I tend to have that conversation. I’m really interested to understand more about the different types of content and By that, I don’t mean a, a case study versus a blog post, but we do develop content for different purposes, don’t we?

So we might have SEO content, we might have a lead generation or nurture content. We might have content for an ABM campaign. And so we’re looking at, we do have different. Kind of categories of content, is maybe the best way to think about it. What are those categories and how are they different?

Jeremy: So all content needs purpose. None of no marketing activity should happen for its own sake or because it’s on a checklist, we’re, we’ve always been adamant that anything that is done needs to be fulfilling a role in a larger machine or a larger process. And so anything that is published should be done.

With a, with a goal of achieving something at a different stage in that and that buyers journey or that sales cycle as you were pointing out. You were talking about top of funnel content earlier and how that tends to be addressing early stage questions that people are researching online or gathering material about.

Thanks a lot. Different types of content that fulfils a function at mid funnel where they are already starting to compile the actual solutions that they might wait against each other or to look to understand what integrates better into their existing tech stack and then bottom of the funnel where they’re looking for the actual conversations with with individual reps or they’re looking for case studies that relate to their industry or their company type.

So there’s that categorization of content against the different stages within that funnel. But as we know, with wider demand generation and the way that people are researching online it’s no longer a clean binary linear. Funnel as such and people are coming in and out at different stages wherever they are.

And content needs to be readily available at any point that to fill, to fulfill whatever is being searched on. But there’s a shift that I’ve been going on in my own thinking and that we are going on as a company is that we’re also evolving the content to address what the search intent is as well by the searchers prospects.

Target audiences and in what ways is their search informational and they’re just looking for information versus commercial or transactional where they’re looking to actually arrive at a a solutions page and. And we can craft the content and be hyper specific around the keyword usage and the structure and and the layout of the content so as to better address the actual intent of the searchers.

And I think that’s pretty powerful to to build out in a wider content plan, because it means that we are utilizing readily available data to address. The framework and the thrust of the content that we are putting out there. And we’re not just publishing content because we’re trying to just vocalize the key differentiators and be done with it, but it’s actually, competing online as well as addressing the intent of the searcher so as to better appeal to them and therefore be better awarded by search engines as well. Is that making sense? We’re still on this journey of getting our clients to think about it in this way. But I think this is the framework that we’re heading in.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. No, that’s interesting. And Yeah. As you were talking about that as well, I was thinking about, this whole concept of inbound marketing, which is based really around content and has been championed by a number of different platforms. And it’s interesting how that’s evolved because I think that tended to ignore organic and focus too much on what you’re able to control.

So it’s really interesting to hear, what, content can evolve so that we’re actually able to maybe address Both or serve both an inbound strategy, which is, all about publishing lots of interesting information on your website and people will come and find it and then want to engage with you as well as integrating an organic or intent led aspect to the content so that we’re really understanding the questions that people are asking the search engines.

And then we’ve got that engaging content to really serve out the the inbound side of the business or the inbound side of the strategy. I think it’s really interesting as well. And another another topic or another marketing. Strategy that we see clients wanting to adopt, especially in the, the top end of the B2B space is this whole concept of account based marketing and that then has a different impact on content because rather than trying to address questions that are being asked or start conversations, you’re looking at within a target account, there’s going to be lots of different people within that account who are going to have some form of influence On the purchase, it might be a direct influence.

And in our market, it might be an I. T. Director or CIO, CTO, a technical decision maker. Who’s looking for a technology solution, but it might also equally be a finance person who’s looking to understand and the economic return or the efficiency gains out of the solution or a procurement person who’s trying to understand, is this a company that we want to do business with from a terms perspective from a support perspective or from a ESG perspective, which we’re hearing about as well.

Or it might be an executive that has an influence in this, the decision making it might be the marketing team that is looking to create opportunities to promote joint activities with the vendor, there’s a whole range of different decision makers or different influences within the process as well as the decision maker.

And so we need to be creating content For all of those audiences as well, don’t we? So how do you go about that? How do you start to do you create individual content for each? Do you adapt a core piece of content to start to work on different touch points? What would be your approach in a IBM scenario for a content plan or a content strategy?

Jeremy: I think it would depend on where a company is at on in its own ABM journey. We’re often talking to sales leaders who would love to adopt a ABM strategy, but in reality, they’re still just calling whomever at SDR side. Or this is a topic that’s being introduced by marketing as a valuable strategy.

But it’s potentially not necessarily well understood and many companies are possibly even doing ABM without maybe perhaps having formalized it. Or they’re not necessarily tracking it. And, I’m thinking of our clients or of companies that we’re aware of where they’re tracking their deals at company level and within their CRM, they might have some contacts against that but really they’re thinking about their sale as with.

The organization and they might have a particular decision maker that they try to identify and then go all in on just that person or within the formal or possibly informal buying committee that they identify. So depending on where they’re at, I think would inform. The answer about how do we start?

I think everybody understands the concept that each role within a committee or within a decision making group, each role has its own pain points and has. Their own concerns. And they’re also motivated by different things. Their KPIs look very different. The on a, personal level, the amount of stress that they carry probably looks different.

Their day to day looks different. So I think everyone understands that. But then when we start looking at can content talk to them individually? The answer is yes. The hard part is we’ve never done this, on the, on, on. On the company side. So it would then be about at what point would we then take our solutions or the gen general or generic demand gen type content that we’ve been publishing and personalize it on mass for roles that are in finance or that are within it or potentially even below decision making level because The CIO is not the one who’s actually searching.

They’ve got that delegated to somebody else to go compile the best practice solutions in the market and to come back with all of the information that they’ve requested. And so how do you address that internal influencer type?

Nick: It’s possible because that person’s going to look like the CEO, aren’t they?

They’re gathering the information for the CEO’s decision making process. And to you, they’re going to look like the CIO because they’re asking the same questions that the CIO would ask.

Jeremy: Yeah, exactly. And and with that then comes oftentimes concerns about how much is required to do anything about this.

And I think there’s often a misunderstanding about how one can leverage content or core content and leverage it out into multiple different to address different end users or different audiences. Repositioned the core of it in a way that addresses those individuals in a more personal or personable way.

So I guess depending on how many people are involved and in addition to that also, How long a usual decision process might take, we’re often in scenarios where the sales cycle can be 12 plus months. Up to 24 months. And is it worthwhile then having content that is drip fit out over time to stay front of mind?

Because three plus months might elapse between contact points between sales and then there is there are opportunities to, to address the different roles within that committee. In that time period to continually either be front of mine or to cement a brand presence or to continue your differentiation messaging over that time, but it’s so different because we are accustomed to the traditional marketing does something upfront and we don’t know what that is, but they’re doing something.

And then we just get these leads that we follow up divorced from that. And ABM is that flipped, it’s the, here is every company. In this country or in this vertical that we would like to work with because they match all of these different qualification criteria. Great. You can get an analyst to compile that, but then identifying who are the individuals within that individual company.

And then how are we getting on the radar of them? And how are we using then content to elicit some form of interest or intent to build trust such that A salesperson or multiple salespeople are forming different relationships or multiple relationships with multiple people within the company. It’s such a different approach from what they’re used to.

I think the starting point would be to unpack those sales cycles, those timeframes, the rhythms, the types of people, and then. And then coming up with the ideas around the different pain points and potentially even going out and talking to existing clients about why did they sign with you in the first place and what was that process and and using customer quality customer data to then inform your decision making as well.

That’s probably where I’d start. It’s a long, it’s a, there’s a lot of steps in there, but it’s such a broad topic that you have to unpack the meaning as you have been as well to understand what do you mean by ABM and where are you at and how can we achieve meaningful metrics and build upon that over time.

Nick: Yeah. And I think sometimes as well, there’s a tendency to think that you need to create the perfect strategy, but actually what you need to do often is just start publishing content. Just put that first blog post up, see what the interactions are like run that first white paper. And sometimes just taking the first step is the hardest point.

And once you’ve started doing that, then it becomes easier and easier. Building that out over time. I’d really be interested in, to close this off. Just think about some of the successes we’ve seen around a content and straight lead strategy. And I’m thinking in particular of a white paper that you work with a client on that was really pitched at addressing the needs of Boards and so like you, if you don’t mind just to, to talk a bit about how that came about and what the results were, because that was a super impressive campaign.

Jeremy: Thank you. This is an interesting one because it I think even changed our own thinking as well in, in terms of how we can come up with compelling concepts that are meaningful and relevant.

In B2B and at the same time exciting and that’s uncommon. People are unused to B2B marketing, let alone B2B tech marketing as having this type of influence. And so when we were brought in to come up with, A campaign strategy to take a particular solution to market.

We were thinking really hard about the perspective and users and the company types and really what it came down to as. Security legislation was changing at that time in Australia. The risk that was being vocalized in the market really had to do with the risk that individual board members were taking on.

as a result of being directors within a company. And I think this is a really important topic that every business, let alone every technology business should take very seriously. In how they are talking to their prospects and clients, because that’s a real risk. Something happening in your business as a director.

Potentially puts your house on the line. Let’s get brutally pragmatic about this. Your house could be at risk as a result of something happening in this business. And and I’m obviously talking generally, but the campaign that we came up with as a result was. How do you, as a board member, mitigate the various security risks that you might be facing?

And how do you, as a board, as a collective board, then take your compliance frameworks and structures? And push them down through your leadership team into the business to infuse a DNA within your culture that is security minded. And that is ensuring that best practice is taking place and that the various checklists and guidelines that were being published by the federal government were being adopted into policy frameworks and one step further being And implemented and embedded into process that idea alone wound up not only being successful in the campaign itself.

The campaign did really well. But what we found even more fascinating is that it. It shifted the mindset within the client company as well to the point where six, 12 months down the track, we are still hearing from them that campaign shifted their target audience mindset or their prospect mindset that, you know what, actually we’ve only ever been.

Talking to the I. T. Manager before when in reality we want to be having the strategic conversation at board level and be trusted by the board directors as understanding their risk and therefore our relationship deepens with this company and therefore. Pragmatically, the client lifetime value would ostensibly increase because it means that you’re going to be engaged for longer periods of time as a result of those the board buy in and not just a IT manager buy in.

So it was fascinating to watch that take place because as we were just trying to make. Good decisions at the time of the campaign thinking in ways that would make sense. That would be compelling. And little did we know that we were transforming this cloud company from the core.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah.

Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. That’s such a great example. I, That particular content campaign, I always refer back to because it was just such a great way to show how content can really lead that commercial process and start a completely different type of conversation and do that successfully reflecting for myself.

We the content campaign that I’ve worked on personally that I always think about is with a cloud solution provider partner and they were launching a new vendor service around managing remote workforces and providing tools and capabilities for that. And as part of the launch planning.

There was a whole lot of launch activities that we were supporting on, but content was a key part of that. And we proposed a content cluster approach. And what we meant by that was that we would set up a pillar page that really contained. Everything that you’d need to know about the two solutions that were being that were being launched.

Everything you’d need to know about those solutions in a very long form page. And then we’d support those by individual blog posts that would take different aspects of the solution or of the use of the solution or the pricing or the, the ROI or the the support, whatever it may be.

And also actually including some different different audience groups in there as well and publish that as a whole. And so the idea was that we were using the pillar page to to target the main keyword to demonstrate our absolute authority around that particular solution around that topic.

And then using the whole, the rest of the cluster to show that we’re able to go after those longer tail keywords and show that we’ve got a complete solution that we’ve thought about all aspects of it, that we’re really able to provide that. And the client trusted us to implement that approach.

We published two pillar pages, and I think. Six or eight support blogs for each each content cluster. So there was a significant amount of content that needed to be created and published, but the end results was stupendous. The, first of all, the launch campaign was recognized. Within the vendor as being the best in class.

And this is the the gold standard approach to take when launching these solutions to market. Additionally our client was went from basically nowhere in search to very rapidly getting on the front page. So the first 10 search listings and was actually competing against the vendor around those couple of core keyword terms are related to the two solutions that we launched.

And so that I really love that example because it shows that a content strategy can be a core part of not only an ongoing demand generation or go to market, but, or but actually be a key part of a product launch of a product go to market and can produce fantastic results.

Obviously, with that. With the impact of all of the launch activity, plus the organic rankings that we’re able to get the lead flow that was generated for those two solutions into the client was phenomenal. And then they were super impressed where she entered it into an award from same Russian and won an award for that as best content campaign as well.

But I think the results for the client was what. Was the best part of that campaign because it really demonstrated, as I say, that a content lead campaign can be such a key part of a launch or as a go to market,

Jeremy: People are often mortified by the volume that was published in that.

Do you remember the actual word count across that campaign?

Nick: Look, it was five figures. It was over 10, 000 words.

Jeremy: It was way more than that. It was 50, 000.

Nick: Yeah. 50, 000. Yeah. Yeah. Well done. You remember that better than I did, but yeah, that was, it was a lot of work and a lot of heavy lifting.

But yeah, as you say, I mean that, that really produced the results.

Jeremy: The concept of topical authority is so important. I think what you were really highlighting in that story is that this was more than just a go to market to, as I was pointing out earlier, Putting a media release together and having a solutions page.

This is, this was about taking the comprehensive approach across all of the different lead sources and acquisition channels that you might gain prospects from and addressing all of those at the same time. And so this sort of comprehensive content approach is very different to how people are thinking or have been thinking And in the way that you were highlighting that the content was able to compete against vendors, let’s call a spade that is so hard because these vendors are sitting on multinational levels of content.

They’re sitting on domain authorities that’s higher than what any. Medium, mid tier size business could ever achieve there’s sitting on probably a nearly a decade of content that’s been hitting search engines over time is so radically difficult to compete and to have achieved that within the timeframe of that campaign is is phenomenally challenging.

Thank you. Assuring that these are strategies that deliver results that can achieve that can achieve outcomes that are technically speaking out of reach because because you are competing directly with your vendor. itself. And and so I think, the merit of having gone to those lengths in that campaign and that’s not even touching on all the other aspects of the campaign that you didn’t cover off, the volume of video content that came with it and the EDM nurture streams and everything else that happened.

The results do speak for themselves but it is so new that it does require. People to invest and not just invest the budget, but invest from a commitment perspective and say, I’m in, let’s do this. I’m going to watch this unfold because I’m going to trust this process. And and thankfully we have clients that have trusted us and the results did speak for themselves.

So well done to you on leading that.

Nick: Yep. And you can check out the case study on our website, of course.

Jeremy: That’s right. This has all been fascinating. I think this is a great topic. Let’s come back and talk about authority in the future. Whether it’s topical authority, whether it’s domain authority and how that influences online.

But today’s just been such a great snapshot and talking about how do we think about content? How do we start with content? How do we structure content? That’s taken us down a couple of different rabbit holes. But I think all in all, that’s given us a lot of clarity around how can we shift our thinking around the importance of content and what it can do for us.

Nick: Yeah. Thank you very much. It’s been an excellent conversation.

If you’re in B2B sales or marketing, you know how hard it can be to get your teams on the same page. Sales and marketing alignment ensures that both teams have the same goals. In addition, when the teams align, they can work together better and faster.

However, how do you get your sales and marketing teams aligned? The secret is lead scoring.

Lead scoring ranks and sorts your leads based on how well they match your ideal customer profile, how much and in what ways they have engaged with your content and whether they have indicated some form of interest or intent in your products or services. It helps sales and marketing teams determine which prospects are ready and which need more attention.

This guide will discuss lead scoring, why you need it, how to do it, and how to improve it.

What Is Lead Scoring? 

Lead scoring is a strategy used by marketing and sales teams to find out if their leads are showing form of interest or intent, and whether they are ready to have a direct conversation.

A lead’s “score” is made up of points sales and marketers assign to information collected about them in relation to how well they fit your buyer persona or Ideal Customer Profile, as well different actions they might take such as engaging with content. 

The idea is that as a lead’s score increases, it helps marketing and sales teams understand where prospects are in the sales funnel. 

What are the Benefits of Lead Scoring for B2B?

There are several benefits that B2B companies can get from lead scoring, including:

Market and sales team alignment

With agreed upon and tightly defined lead scoring, both sales and marketing teams understand who qualifies as a prospect. After that, collaboration gets better and lowers disagreements.

Boost productivity and sales

Accessing right-fit prospects who have shown interest and intent are the main focus of the sales team. Lead scoring can help boost productivity. 

Shorter sales cycles

With lead scoring, the sales and marketing teams can deliver customized or personalized content which provides value and helps to shorten sales cycles.

What are the Components of an Effective Lead Scoring Model?

There are two main elements of a lead scoring framework:

1. Explicit Scoring Criteria

Think of explicit scoring criteria as the measure of data a prospect provides, such as where they live or their designated job. The benefit of this measure is that you can work out if the prospect suits your buyer persona.

For example, if you sell a SaaS product to startups, you can allocate extra points to prospects who fit these criteria.

2. Implicit Scoring Criteria or Behavioral Scoring Criteria

Implicit scoring criteria measure the data you collect from your prospects regarding their online activities like browser in use or IP address. Behavioral scoring criteria measures the actions that prospects take, like the number of emails they have or pages they open on your site. The benefit of this measure is that you find out how attached a prospect is to your business.

An example is if a prospect requests a trial period for a product, you can award them extra points than a lead who only checks your homepage.

You can set up an accurate and in-depth lead scoring model by working with explicit, implicit, and behavioral elements in your business. Hubspot or Salesforce are some of the tools you can leverage to optimize and automate the whole process.

How to Create a Lead Scoring System

There are many ways you can use to identify the ideal lead, but nothing comes close to lead scoring. Let’s look at how you can accomplish that in six easy steps.

1. Set an Ideal Customer Profile

Begin by creating a customer profile with traits matching your brand and its offerings. Think of it as a prospect’s characteristics that they must have to qualify as a buyer. 

An example is your business profile, where you can describe your customer, maybe in a specific region or demographic.

2. Outline a Customer Journey

The next step is planning the buyer journey through your funnel. You can create a lead magnet that prompts prospects to sign up for a newsletter. Next, you can request them to attend an event or webinar after signing up. If they attend, you know they’re engaged with your brand, and chances are they can request a product trial or demo. After which, they can buy the offerings from your business.

Understanding this buyer journey is crucial because you can find out how close a prospect is to purchasing your offerings. From there, this data can help you allocate points to the prospect at each funnel stage.

3. Award Points to Each Action

After mapping out and clarifying the buyer journey, you can allocate points to your prospects depending on their actions. Award a high score to lead actions that show high interest and intent to make a purchase.

4. Set a Threshold for Qualification

Here set the bare minimum points a prospect needs to qualify for a sale. You can use the steps outlined in step two to calculate a lead’s score points.

5. Use a Tool to Automate Lead Scoring

There are tools that can help to automate the lead scoring process since tracking it manually can be complex. For example, you can use a CRM like Hubspot or check if the tools you use can help capture lead action scores.

6. Evaluate and Improve Your Scores

Customer behavior changes all the time, so it’s essential that you tweak your lead scoring methods to match these changes. Try to check your system regularly and optimize it as you see fit.

How to Use Lead Scoring to Align Sales and Marketing

You need to determine if a prospect is ready for contact from the sales rep. The lead qualification measure helps to filter prospects and weed out the ones with low potential. So, how do you do it?

Developing a lead scoring framework needs you to establish lead qualification criteria. Lead qualification criteria are the standards that determine whether a lead is ready for contact by a sales rep or not. They help you filter out unqualified or uninterested leads and focus on the ones with the highest potential.

1. Defining Lead Qualification Stages

Outlining the stages a prospect needs to undergo to qualify is crucial because you can validate the lead qualification criteria. These stages are the “ milestones” a prospect goes through in the sales funnel from bottom to top, and they are:

  • Prospect: It is someone showing interest in your brand and they have provided their info through a lead magnet.
  • Lead: It is a potential client expressing commitment to your business where they take action, such as opening weekly emails.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): They’re leads displaying readiness to accept marketing reports from your business. They qualify either because of their behavior, location, or demography.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): They are an MQL with extra qualifications showing readiness to get contact from the sales reps. They qualify either because of their urgency, interest level, or budget.
  • Ecosystem Qualified Lead (EQL): EQLs are new leads and potential customers that have been identified through an ecosystem marketing strategy and come from ecosystem partners.

2. Determining Criteria for Each Stage

The next step is establishing the criteria for each lead qualification stage. Here you can allot scores to your leads depending on their customer profile and their level of interest in your products and business.

Some of the common ways you can achieve that are through:

  • Sales funnel: It can help you map out the customer journey, what stage they are in, and their behavior.
  • Buyer persona: It can help you spot a prospect’s traits that align with your target customer.
  • Historical data: Analyze your collected data and determine which behaviors have a high chance of conversion.

Implementing Lead Scoring Techniques

Implementing lead scoring techniques is not a one-time activity but a varied process. So, what approaches can you take?

Integration With Automation Platforms and CRM

Integrating an automation platform or CRM with your lead scoring is crucial, and here is why. A CRM system works by managing and storing data about your customer and leads. 

On the other hand, a marketing automation platform works by automating all your marketing strategies. Not only that, but these systems also oversee and keep a record of all the interactions your prospects make with your offers and content.

Here are some benefits of integrating your marketing automation platforms and CRM with your lead scoring:

  • You can target leads depending on their points and then segment them
  • You can create workflows that have triggers that depend on a lead score, such as notifications or alerts
  • You can update or allot points depending on lead actions

Aligning Marketing and Sales Teams

Aligning your sales and marketing teams with your lead scoring strategy is another crucial step. It ensures your sales and marketing teams have a fundamental understanding of the processes and objectives of the strategy.

There are several benefits to aligning your teams, including:

  • Effective lead conversion and management.
  • Better collaboration and strategy execution
  • Creation of fundamental criteria and description of a lead
  • Efficient insight and feedback communication on lead quality and execution

Defining Lead Handoff and Nurturing Processes

Describing your lead handoff and nurturing processes is the last crucial step, and here is why. First, depending on lead points, lead handoff moves them from marketing to sales. On the other hand, lead nurturing works by using offers and content to engage leads to make a purchase.

The benefits of defining a lead handoff and the nurturing process are:

  • You boost your rate of conversion and sales
  • You provide custom content and experiences consistently to your leads
  • Your teams contact the right prospect at the right time in their buyer journey

Best Practices and Challenges for Successful Lead Scoring

When you think about it, lead scoring is an effective strategy to categorize and rank leads that match your customer profile. However, many obstacles can impact lead scoring and render it ineffective. On the other hand, there are some practices you can adopt to improve your lead scoring strategy. 

Common Challenges

Marketing and sales team go through many obstacles when implementing a lead scoring strategy, and they are:

1. Poor Data Quality

It can impact your lead scoring strategy accuracy and it’s trustworthiness. For example, an error in a lead score or inconsistency in the data entered. So, how can you avoid poor data quality issues that can impact your lead conversion?

  • Get your data from your automation system or CRM because they are accurate and dependable.
  • Keep updating your data and correcting inaccurate entries
  • Use third-party tools to enrich your data with new data

2. Lack of Structure Between Your Teams

The last thing you want your teams to have is a lack of structure. It creates confusion and leads to missed opportunities. So, here is how you can create a structure for your teams:

  • Keep track and manage your strategies using a shared platform
  • Set fundamental principles that guide both teams on lead scoring objectives
  • Create a system that shares insights and feedback on goals met

Best Practices for Lead Scoring

There are some practices that your teams can employ to achieve success in lead scoring. Here are the best ones:

1. Better Collaboration Between the Teams

It is one essential practice that can help your teams achieve success. The marketing and sales team must develop a model that describes their lead qualification strategy. For example, they can both create and define a customer profile. Some of the ways you can promote team collaboration are through:

  • Creation and management of lead scoring strategy using a shared tool
  • Plan and execute your strategies while involving the marketing and sales team
  • Organize meetings that help assess the effective strategies and improve on those that aren’t performing

2. Regular Evaluation and Adjustment of Scoring Models

Regular evaluation and adjustment of lead scoring models are necessary to keep your model up-to-date and relevant. As your market conditions, customer preferences, or business goals change, you may need to update your lead-scoring model accordingly. 

You may also need to fine-tune or optimize your lead scoring model based on the feedback or results you get from your leads. To conduct regular evaluation and adjustment of your lead scoring models, you need to:

  • Define and track metrics such as lead volume, lead quality, conversion rates, revenue, customer lifetime value
  • Test and refine your lead scoring models based on data and feedback
  • Use automation or AI tools to simplify or enhance your lead-scoring process

A lead scoring system is valuable and can help you improve your sales and marketing performance.

Real-World Examples of Successful Lead Scoring Implementations

There are several examples of successful lead scoring implementations from varied industries, including:

1. Hubspot

Hubspot is a SaaS company that provides tools for inbound marketing, among other things. They faced the challenge of scaling their lead generation and qualification process across different regions, languages, and products. 

They also wanted to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by delivering value-added content and services. They used their own CRM and marketing automation platform to implement lead scoring. 

They assigned lead scores based on their explicit data (such as industry and company size) and implicit data (such as resource downloads and demo requests). They also used machine learning algorithms to automate and optimize their lead-scoring process based on feedback and results.

As a result of lead scoring, they could increase their lead volume by 50%, boost their conversion rate by 30%, and grow their revenue by 40%. They also improved customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing tailored content and services based on their scores.

2. Wistia

Wistia is a software company that provides video hosting and marketing solutions for businesses. They faced the challenge of generating and qualifying leads from their large and diverse audience of website visitors. They also wanted to increase their free trial conversions and reduce their churn rate.

They used HubSpot’s CRM and marketing automation platform to implement lead scoring. They assigned score leads based on their detailed data (such as industry and role) and implicit data (such as website visits and video views). They also used negative scoring to deduct points from low-interest or qualified leads (such as unsubscribing from emails or visiting competitor pages).

As a result of lead scoring, they increased their free trial conversions by 15%, reduced their churn rate by 10%, and grew their revenue by 20%. They also improved customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing relevant and helpful content and support based on their scores.

3. Zapier

Zapier is a SaaS company that offers connection and automation of different web apps. They faced the challenge of scaling their lead generation and qualification process across thousands of integrations and millions of users. 

They also wanted to improve user retention and engagement by delivering personalized, timely messages and offers. To implement lead scoring, they used their platform in combination with Intercom’s CRM and messaging system. 

They assigned a lead score based on their detailed data (such as industry and job title) and implicit data (such as app usage). They also used predictive lead scoring to identify patterns and trends in their data and to assign scores based on the likelihood of retention.

As a result of scoring leads, they increased their user retention by 25%, improved user engagement by 30%, and grew revenue by 40%. They also enhanced their user experience and satisfaction by providing customized and relevant messages and offers based on their data points.

Ready to discover how lead scoring can align your sales and marketing efforts?

Lead scoring is a powerful technique to rank and prioritize leads based on their fit and interest. It helps sales and marketing teams to collaborate effectively and efficiently on lead management and conversion. 

You can achieve your sales and marketing goals by integrating lead scoring with your CRM and marketing automation platforms and aligning your sales and marketing teams. Start implementing lead scoring today and see the results for yourself.

Ready to get started? Contact us today!

With the drastic change in marketing systems, businesses constantly seek new and innovative ways to reach target audiences and drive conversions. Unfortunately, most traditional marketing strategies have failed, thus the need for updated methods.

Intent-based marketing is one of the marketing strategies that has gained a lot of traction over the years and has proven successful. Its success is attributed to the fact that it helps reach the target audience at the right time and place.

So, what exactly is intent-based marketing, and how can this marketing strategy help you achieve your marketing and business goals? Continue reading to dive into the concept and see how it can bring significant benefits to your marketing strategy.

What is Intent-Based Marketing?

Intent-based marketing is a data-driven approach that uses the customer’s intent data to predict and personalize their marketing experience. It involves marketing a product or service based on the online actions of the target customer, which show their purchase intentions.

Through intent marketing, the company develops a specific marketing method based on the customer’s needs and behavior. When the company understands what their target audience is looking for, they can create campaigns tailored to their needs and interests. This makes the marketing experience more genuine and appealing to the target prospects.

What are the two types of buyer intent?

Intent-based marketing considers two types of buyer intent.

1) Active buyer intent

Active intent is when a prospective customer is online to research and learn more about a certain product or service. This shows a strong willingness and a high chance to purchase. Active intent is also called transactional intent.

2) Passive buyer intent

On the other hand, passive intent is when the customer is still in the information-gathering stage, maybe researching for better options for an already unsatisfying product or service. Although this also shows that the customer intends to use a product or service, it shows they are not under pressure. Passive intent is also called informational intent and can be considered in a research phase of a buying lifecycle.

The Difference Between Intent-based Marketing and Other Types of Marketing

Intent marketing is different from other types of marketing in that it focuses on giving a service or product to customers who are already interested in what you are offering. For instance, if the intent data shows that a customer is looking for outdoor gear, your campaigns are tailored towards camping tips.

This is different from other types of marketing strategies, like interest strategies, as these focus on creating interest in potential customers who may not need the service or product at hand.

Other types of marketing, like brand awareness marketing, create a positive association of the brand in the customer’s minds. So that when they need what the brand offers, they will convert.

While this marketing strategy is important to have as part of any marketing strategy, it is more challenging to identify intent and purchase signals with brand awareness raising activities.

What are the Benefits of Intent-based Marketing?

Here are the benefits of intent-based marketing:

You Target the Right Buyers

Intent data saves you the trouble of making your company known to people who don’t need it either now or in the future. Instead, it helps you focus on the relevant buyers and get them when they are most interested in what you are offering. You can tell that a customer is ready for what you offer if you know the web pages they often visit or what they are actively searching online. This way, you will concentrate on providing solutions and answers to their concerns.

Discover Hidden Opportunities

When starting your campaigns and marketing strategy, you probably have a list of target accounts you hope to reach out to. Intent data will help you realize some target accounts that you could have missed. The monitoring tools used in intent marketing expose you to potential customers who could need what you offer.

Introduce Yourself Early in the Buyer’s Journey

Successful intent-based marketing enables you to know when your prospective buyers are researching the solution you offer. This way, you can reach them through social media ads or even inviting them for an in-store visit. This gives you an advantage over your competitors as your customers will likely trust you in their purchase decision as you have been with them throughout the journey.

Save Money

It is unfortunate that 37% of the money budgeted for marketing goes to waste in most businesses. Why is this so?

The waste of money through marketing often results from poor data collection, thus, wrong marketing targets. With inaccurate data, you will have the wrong marketing content, which may even drive leads away. With intent data, getting the wrong buying intent is almost impossible. When a company utilizes intent data, they develop intent targeting, which results in more qualified leads. With this, every dollar accounted for in the marketing budget is put into proper use.

What are Different Types of Intent Signals and Data

Intent-based targeting uses different sources to get intent signals. These sources provide data that gives an idea of a customer’s behavior, allowing the business to target them better. They include:

Search Intent

Search Intent is also known as third-party intent marketing. It is acquired when a prospective customer searches a keyword on their search engine or from their website visits. Using this keyword search, the company can then determine the type of concerns with their target customers and respond accordingly.

Engagement Intent

Engagement intent data is information gathered from a prospective customer’s engagement level with certain content. This engagement is collected through social media, blogs, and email marketing platforms. To leverage intent data using engagement data, you can use social media to run targeted ads for people who have engaged with your content in the past.

Firmographic Intent

This data focuses on details about a certain company, such as its size, location, revenue, and industry. This information is then combined with account-based marketing and later directed to customers likely to convert through firmographics. Using firmographic intent marketing, you can use business directories to investigate businesses operating in your desired market.

Technographic Intent

This intent focuses on the technology part of the company, like its software, hardware, and other technology infrastructure. This data is gathered through questionnaires and surveys. It helps identify customers with the technical capabilities and needs related to what you offer.

Examples of Intent-based Marketing Campaigns

The most common intent-based marketing campaigns are:

  • Facebook Advertising: Through Facebook, you can target ads to users based on customers’ behavior and interest to learn the buyer intent.
  • Twitter Advertising: On Twitter, you can target ads to users based on their followers and the content they like to determine their purchase intent.
  • Google Ads: When a customer searches for a keyword on Google, Google displays ads related to the keyword. Google also uses past searches, current activities, and recurring search engine queries to determine user intent and acquire leads.

3 Key Benefits of Intent-based Marketing

With intent-based marketing, you and your marketing teams enjoy perks like offering better customer experience, increased engagement, and better conversion rates.

Here are other key benefits you enjoy when you implement the intent marketing strategy:

1) Personalized and Targeted Marketing Campaigns

Intent marketing data sources allow you to make more targeted and personalized marketing efforts. With some traditional marketing methods, the campaigns are done randomly, hoping the message will get to those who need it.

However, with intent marketing, your customers’ online behavior will help you know when the need for your services is at its peak. This information helps you create nurturing campaigns and enable the sales teams to prove to customers that you are the solution to their needs.

2) Improved Conversion Rates and ROI

Your conversion rates can remain poor even with continued marketing if you target the wrong customers. Thanks to intent marketing data, you can focus on the right customers. The data received from an intent data provider will enable you and your sales and marketing teams to develop targeted ads and outreach campaigns that respond to the customers’ questions. This results in improved conversion rates and ROI.

3) Enhancing customer experience and satisfaction

Intend data enables your sales team to understand the exact problems a customer faces. This is possible to tell through their online behavior. With this information, you have the upper hand as you tailor your campaigns and also your products and services to ensure that they meet the needs and requirements of your target customers.

The intent indicators can also help improve product and service development and delivery to meet customer expectations. This enhances customer experience and satisfaction. With such customer satisfaction, you have a competitive edge against other businesses.

How to Implement Intent-based Marketing for Your Business

Having understood what is intent marketing and how it can benefit you, here are some of the ways you can implement it in your business:

Paid Search and SEO Optimization

Paid search and SEO optimization are ideal methods of gathering customer intent data through searches. Through SEO optimization, your business website will appear on top of search engine results when certain keyword searches are made. On the other hand, paid search marketing enables target keyword campaigns that are concerned with customer searches.

Behavioral Retargeting and Personalized Recommendations

Intent marketing promotes personalized recommendations and behavioral retargeting. Behavioral retargeting and personalized recommendations are important in delivering timely and relevant content. It also helps target customers who are interested in your products and services. You can achieve this through content like whitepapers, webinars, case studies, and blogs. Such content also increases conversions and nurtures leads to your business.

Account-Based marketing (ABM) and Intent Data

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a marketing system that enables companies to focus on the accounts of customers who are most likely to buy from them. From these accounts, you access intent data that helps you know the concerns you should address. Account-based marketing also helps you personalize your messages in marketing based on the existing data from intent data sources.

Overcoming Challenges in Intent-based Marketing

While it’s true intent marketing works, like with every other business strategy, it also faces its set of challenges. Luckily, these challenges are only tricky to navigate but not impossible. Here are some of the tips that help you overcome the complexity involved in intent marketing:

Data Protection Considerations

Intent marketing greatly relies on customer data. Unfortunately, this puts a risk on customer data privacy concerns. Data protection bodies like CCPA and GDPR are also in place to restrict how much customer data you can collect and utilize in your business.

For you to safely use this data without getting at loggerheads with the data protection authorities, you need to obtain consent. You also need to ensure that you are respecting user rights. Additionally, use privacy policies, cookie banners, and data protection officers to help you keep up with data protection regulations.

Interpretation and Accuracy of Intent Data

Acquiring intent data is one thing, and interpretation and accurate use of the data is another. Unfortunately, interpreting intent signals is easier said than done, as it requires sophisticated analysis to make the most out of this data.

To cope with this, invest in advanced expertise and analytics tools so that you can accurately interpret intent signals and make the right campaign moves.

The Rise of ‘Dark Social’

Dark Social is the sharing of information through channels that are supposed to be private. These are channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Emails, among others. Sharing such information with unexpected sources will make customers lose trust in the brand. Working with referral programs and encouraging sharable data is the best way to help overcome the rise of ‘Dark Social.’

Future Trends and Innovations in Intent-based Marketing

Intent-based marketing is here to stay, and it is expected to continue expanding even in the future. Below are some future trends and innovations coming up in intent-based marketing strategies.

AI Integration and Predictive Analytics, and Personalizing Experiences

AI integration has changed many sectors, and intent marketing is no exemption. You can implement analytics AI tools like NLP (Natural Language Processing) chatbots and image recognition to better customer engagement.

Additionally, you can use predictive analytics tools like churn prediction, customer lifetime value, and lead scoring to help predict customer behaviors and actions. This helps offer them solutions that solve their problems.

Embracing Demand Generation as a Strategy

Demand generation strategy is a type of strategy that offers a product or service after identifying customers’ pain points. You then find a perfect way of making the product you are offering known to the target customer and making them understand how it solves their problem.

This is a type of inbound marketing that greatly generates interest towards your product or service. It also makes you part of the customer buyer journey, starting from when they develop an interest in what you are offering to generate leads.

Want to transform your demand generation with intent-based marketing?

There is no doubt that intent marketing is the future and is the new marketing gold. Through it, you develop an incredible opportunity to advance your marketing strategy. Additionally, it keeps you on the front line when converting more leads and locking them for you.

Start your journey towards acquiring intent data and maximize your marketing budget.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you take a data-led, insights-based approach to your demand generation.

Cyber security has been one of the Australian Government’s priorities in the past few years, and businesses across the country are increasingly raising their guard in anticipation of possible cyber security incidents.

Businesses have become more reliant on cloud computing environments than ever, which has significantly increased the attack surface for cybercriminals.

The Essential Eight Cyber Security Guidelines, initially developed by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), offer a comprehensive framework for businesses to strengthen their defenses against cyber threats.

In this article, we explore the controls of the Essential Eight and how cyber security and IT companies can use their knowledge of them when marketing their solutions to prospective customers and partners.

What is the Australian Cyber Security Centre Essential Eight Assessment?

The Essential Eight Assessment was created to improve security in Australian governmental agencies, local councils, and other governmental entities.

Due to its success, The Essential Eight has expanded well beyond the public sector. Lots of private companies across Australia now see The Essential Eight as a standardised methodology for setting and maintaining security controls.

Currently, The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is responsible for developing and assessing The Essential Eight.

The Essential Eight comprises eight important cyber attack mitigation strategies that provide organisations with a comprehensive checklist that can help prevent or mitigate cyber security incidents. It includes controls for prevention, limitation, and recovery, which are:

  1. Application control
  2. Patch applications
  3. Configure Microsoft Office macro settings
  4. User application hardening
  5. Restrict administrative privileges
  6. Patch operating systems
  7. Multi-factor authentication
  8. Regular backups

Is the Essential Eight Mandatory?

The Essential Eight has become mandatory for all non-corporate Commonwealth entities (NCCEs). Previously, only the first four security controls of the Essential Eight were mandatory. However, entities are now expected to comply with all eight essential mitigation strategies.

The federal government will assess whether an entity is compliant or not with a mandatory audit every 5 years. This is to make sure that all security controls are consistently implemented and maintained.

The Essential Eight Maturity Model

The Essential Eight Model breaks down the controls into maturity levels. Every level requires more advanced implementation methodologies for each of the eight controls, starting from maturity level 0 all the way up to maturity level 4.

Organisations embarking on the implementation of the Essential Eight must strategize for an appropriate maturity level tailored to their specific requirements and resources. It’s vital for organisations to gradually adopt and integrate each maturity level until the desired target is attained.

Considering that the mitigation strategies comprising the Essential Eight are implemented collectively, they can safeguard organisations against a multitude of cyber threats. Therefore, organisations should gradually plan their implementation to ensure uniform maturity across all eight controls before advancing to higher maturity levels.

Difference Between Application Whitelisting and Application Blacklisting

The primary difference between application whitelisting and blacklisting is that whitelisting allows applications on the list to be executed while blacklisting blocks the listed applications from running.

Nevertheless, both application whitelisting and blacklisting are designed for the same purpose, which is to control application execution. Some may argue that whitelisting is more secure as the process is more complex than blacklisting. Since malware can find its way to your systems and install and run itself, blacklisting is often not recommended.

Implementing Essential Eight Controls

The Essential Eight mitigation strategies encompass the following eight security controls:

1. Application Control

Application control involves verifying applications based on a whitelist or blacklist of applications. The goal here is to prevent unauthorised applications from running. This helps combat malware and prevents it from accessing or encrypting sensitive data.

A good practice here is to create a whitelist of the apps that you consider safe to run.

2. Patch Applications

Patch applications comprise vulnerability scanning, asset discovery, updates, and removal of security products that vendors no longer support.

First, you need to set up a vulnerability scanner with a continuously updated database. The scanner should be utilised at least once every day to detect missing updates related to internet services.

Vulnerability scanners should also be used a couple of times per month to identify patches and updates for MS products, PDF software, email clients, and other software.

It’s also crucial that you implement some form of asset discovery automation to detect assets needed for vulnerability scanning. Asset discovery should be performed at least twice a month.

Moreover, you must remove any products that are no longer supported by their respective vendors, including security products, Office products, internet-facing services, and email clients.

3. Configure Microsoft Office Macro Settings

If you don’t have a demonstrated business requirement, Microsoft Office macros will be inaccessible to you. In addition, if the macros are sourced online, they’ll be blocked.

It’s also important to enable real-time MS Office macro antivirus scanning to detect threats as quickly as possible. Another important control is to revoke access to security settings to normal users.

4. User Application Hardening

User application hardening aims to protect applications against cyber attacks by applying more rigorous security settings to make it harder for attackers to download malware and minimise potential vulnerabilities. This is especially important for web browsers and email clients as these applications are the most susceptible to these types of attacks.

By default, lots of applications aren’t configured in the most secure way, which can leave organisations more vulnerable to attacks.

5. Restrict Administrative Privileges

Restricting administrative privileges is crucial to prevent authorised users from exploiting their position to launch or aid cyber attacks, compromise systems and data compromisation. This control comprises implementing various measures, which are:

  • Validating privileged access requests: Access requests must be validated to ensure that the user actually needs those access privileges. This step controls access to sensitive data and prevents unauthorised users from deleting or corrupting data.
  • Internet, email, and web restrictions for privileged accounts: Privileged accounts, except for privileged service accounts, often can’t access Internet and email services to prevent them from being hacked.
  • Separation of privileged and unprivileged operating environments: Privileged users must have a separate operating environment to perform their privileged tasks, while unprivileged accounts should be restricted from accessing these environments. Creating this gap improves incident response planning and prevents unauthorised user access.

6. Patch Operating Systems

This control focuses on keeping operating systems updated with the most recent patches and version releases. It’s vital to eliminate known OS vulnerabilities and provide protection against malware.

Ideally, operating systems should be checked for patches and updates at least once every couple of days for internet-facing applications.

Keeping your operating system unpatched puts you at increased risk of successful cyber attacks that aim to assume control of your systems or encrypt data.

7. Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra login security step to authenticate users and reduce security vulnerabilities. Typically, when a user enters their login information, they’re prompted to enter another code that’s sent to their phone number or work email. In some systems, biometric data may also be used.

The purpose of multi-factor authentication is to prevent malicious users who managed to steal login credentials from accessing restricted data.

8. Regular Backups

This control involves creating backups for mission-critical data and software. Depending on an organisation’s mission-critical requirements and budget, the backup frequency and retention timeframe are decided.

Ideally, backups of settings, apps, and data should be synced to allow for fast and successful restoration to a single point in time. They should also be retained with a minimum level of resilience to ensure backup integrity.

Nevertheless, restoration must be tested as part of a broader disaster recovery plan. By ensuring the validity and security of the backups, restoring data in case of disasters will be easier.

Moreover, modifying, deleting, and accessing backups from unprivileged accounts should be restricted.

Are Australian Businesses Required to Report Data Breaches?

In accordance with the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme (NDB), all Australian businesses in the public and private sectors with an annual turnover of $3 million are mandated to report data breaches within a maximum of 72 hours. The reporting must be directed to both the affected customers and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

This is irrespective of the business’s compliance with The Essential Eight framework. Attacks that have a high chance of causing serious consequences for customers must be reported as quickly as possible.

Many businesses fail to estimate the severity of the attacks, so it’d be best to report all breaches to be on the safe side.

Complying with this regulatory requirement is mandatory for these industries: healthcare, credit reporting offices, Tax File Number (TFN) recipients, and credit providers that conduct credit checks.

How to Leverage the Essential Eight Cyber Security Guidelines in Your Brand Marketing

As a cyber security or IT company in Australia, you can leverage the Australian Cyber Security Centre Essential Eight Cyber Security Guidelines to establish your organisation as a reliable and trustworthy partner in the industry.

Here are some strategies that you can utilise to position your brand as a leader in this space:

  • Demonstrate expertise in implementing the Essential Eight guidelines, emphasising team qualifications and experience.
  • Show how your Essential Eight strategies have protected against cyber threats and security vulnerabilities.
  • Produce thought leadership content like blog posts, white papers, and webinars to educate and establish authority in implementing security controls.
  • Highlight partnerships and certifications with recognised cyber security organisations or government agencies to enhance credibility.
  • Feature client testimonials that showcase the benefits of implementing the Essential Eight strategies and the Essential Eight guidelines you advised them on.
  • Provide positive outcome case studies that demonstrate how your company helps clients achieve compliance with regulatory standards by implementing the Essential Eight guidelines.
  • Explain the value of the security features your products or services offer in accordance with the Essential Eight guidelines.
  • Communicate marketing messages that address target audience concerns about cyber security and the Essential Eight controls to position your company as a reliable solution provider.
  • Offer training programs or workshops on implementing the Essential Eight guidelines to establish your company as a leader in security awareness.
  • Engage with the cyber security community through conferences and industry events to gain visibility and boost your reputation.

Want to Generate Demand for Your Cyber Security and IT Services in Australia?

At Filament, we enable cyber security and IT companies to generate demand and increase revenue with case-specific marketing strategies.

Having worked with lots of partners, vendors, and entities across various technology industries in Australia, we’re experts when it comes to creating effective marketing strategies that actually secure clients.

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you leverage the Essential Eight guidelines in your brand marketing.

Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius, discussing the question “Where do B2B leads for tech companies come from?”

Topics covered include:

  • What are some examples of B2B lead sources?
  • How to discuss investing now vs investing for future
  • Working out where to drive efficiencies
  • How to get started with lead acquisition channel focus
  • Your website is the most important marketing asset
  • The importance of live events and webinars
  • The process of lead source measurement
  • Partner generated lead sources
  • The need for experimenting with lead sources
  • Vendor directories as lead source
  • And so much more!

Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.

Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on "Where do B2B leads for tech companies come from?"

Jeremy: Hey Nick. We hear from a lot of business leaders that when they’re ready to start generating demand or pursued lead generation, that leads just need to start flowing. But the reality is that there’s only a few specific sources that leads can come from. Let’s unpack what those sources are.

What are some of the most common lead sources in B2B tech space that you see?

Nick: Yeah. Great. Thanks, Jeremy. This is such an interesting topic because as you say quite often the message from sales or leadership to marketing is, Hey, just get us some leads. And there’s no magic to it.

It’s a science. And there’s only a certain number of ways that we can actually find those leads. Some of the top ones that we typically see from your own database. It’s usually a great source of leads or a great source of prospects that you can turn into leads. Then we’ve got your website.

Your website should be attracting visitors from a whole range of areas. We can get into that. And then you can. I’ve turned them into a lead by getting them to fill in a form or doing some other action on your site. So your website’s also a great form of leads. Then moving out from there we can be spending some money.

We can be looking at, do we want to be attending events? Do we wanna be sponsoring events, getting a booth that gives us the opportunity to talk one-on-one with leads in person. Do we wanna spend money on advertising? Is that Display advertising, digital advertising via LinkedIn or Google or even Bing nowadays or more traditional advertising through tv, through billboards, et cetera, et cetera.

So they’re the main areas that we see. And then there’s the sort of the human generated activities. So your salespeople networking, talking to Finding linkages, getting introduced into prospects that they’d like to speak with. And then also the digital networking that you can do through a platform like LinkedIn.

So there’s, there’s only a set number of sources that leads can come from. And I think the interesting part about this, and what I’d love to understand more from you, Jeremy, is you know, now that we. Have identified what those lead sources are. How do we build plans to make sure that we’re getting value from all of those sources?

Jeremy: Yeah. It’s so interesting to unpack this because there’s only specific ways that prospects can find you or for your teams to go and source prospects and leads, and yet there just seems to be this disparity within companies that they are doing everything possible. You just need to go.

Get us leads, go find us leads. And there isn’t really a thought process that connects that need with where they specifically can come from. Yeah. In addition to all those sources that you said, there’s there’s also partner referrals, there’s ecosystem referrals, there’s vendor referrals.

Ideally that’s what every partner wishes they could get more of. Yeah. But. For some reason there’s this, Hey, just go get us leads mentality. Yeah. Yeah. And and so I love this conversation around There are only specific sources that they can come from and how are we going to invest our time and budget into any one of those.

Nick: And I think that, when there’s that, hey, just go and get leads. There’s also a parallel track there that it’s actually like a free activity. It shouldn’t really cost too much because obviously, you can spend time studying on LinkedIn. Find people on LinkedIn, send them a message or an email or connection request, or you can register to go to trade shows or you can be asked to be introduced to people.

So there is always an aspect of free leads, although is your people’s time free? Probably not. But I think the what would some, sometimes the struggle. Not the struggle, but the harder conversations that you have to have are we’ve got a limited budget and we’ve only got a set number of lead sources, so what do we invest where?

And we also know that some leads take longer than others, or some activities take longer than others to start generating leads. How do you have that conversation about balancing that invest for now, invest for later? How do you get that balance?

Jeremy: Yeah, that’s so good because the, where do we start question is so common particularly when lead sources predominantly tend to be some form of outbound.

There’s cold calling happening on the SDR side. Yeah. Perhaps there’s cold outreach happening from a email marketer or from an agency that’s brought in. But that tends to be the total amount of sources and everything else doesn’t really have the attribution within a company.

Or they don’t have the capability or the the knowledge to understand how to structure attributing where these are all coming from. Yeah. So the question where do we start is really challenging because all of the sources are great. Lead sources, but what do we invest in? And as you rightfully pointed out, each of those takes time.

So if we’re gonna invest in the website to garner more organic inbound prospects over time, that’s not gonna unlock leads by tomorrow. No. Whereas other activities do. So that becomes a negotiation structure around how are they going to invest now for the future versus what activities can take place that will have a time to impact, to start delivering results in a more shorter term.

Nick: Yeah. And you have to do I was gonna say both, but you have to do more than one, don’t you? Because ultimately you want to be working out what’s going to be the best lead source in terms of an ROI or the salespeople’s ability to turn that into a prospect and then turn that into a sale and.

You need to be therefore pulling multiple levers to be able to work. To be able to have a comparison is a organic lead. Delivering a greater ROI than a paid lead is a event lead converting more quickly than inbound website visitor. So you need to be doing more than one activity to start to get some comparisons and work out where you can drive your efficiencies.

Should you always be able to attribute a lead to a lead source?

Jeremy: That is such a good question because it is…

Nick: That’s why I asked it of you rather than trying to answer it myself.

Jeremy: Yes and no. On the one hand we. We definitely see an obsession of wanting to be so granular on every prospect and lead in the first instance, because it might be the first time an organization’s investing demonstrably into their marketing or their demand gen, and so they’re going to keep that budget accountable to a degree that is beyond anything else that’s managed in the business.

Yeah. And it’s. And there’s a desire to have a direct correlation between any dollar that’s spent and the return that’s that’s coming back into the business without any consideration around longer term impact without any consideration on investment in brand and and expansion of awareness and overall reach and how that takes a much longer time to come back into the business.

But includes a return of shorter sales cycles. Yeah. Or a trust. A trust is elicited much quicker as a result of there already being knowledge around the solutions and the pain points. Having already completed research online. On your offer upfront. But at the same time, there are ways to get some attribution in in some sources.

But as we’re starting to get a better understanding of the way that B2B buyers are researching the attribution links break because people are converting on an ad, on a LinkedIn ad on their phone, but they’re actually then signing up on their desktop. Yeah. And immediately the app attribution breaks.

They might be listening to your podcast or watching an on demand webinar. That’s ungated. This trust and all this engagement with your content is happening over time by the time they reach out. They’re ready to buy, they’re ready to have a conversation. But you can’t link that back to all those investments.

So yeah, it’s a hard conversation in 2023.

Nick: I guess you ultimately, you just have to look at the top line, don’t you? How many. How many leads did we get? How well did we convert them? What was the ROI on the total activity? And and focus on that. Although of course there is some activities like a ad campaign that you can probably more directly attribute value to.

But yeah, as you say, someone watches an on-demand webinar because they saw an ad that you ran on LinkedIn that they didn’t click on. And someone mentioned, or shared a video clip with them or whatever it may be. It’s really hard to do that. Is that where dark social comes in?

How does that work?

Jeremy: Yeah. Dark social is the term that encapsulate or now encapsulates prospects or individuals understanding or coming to find your brand and engaging with your content in ways that just can’t be linked anymore. It’s, yeah. It’s much broader than what some people are calling digital.

Word of mouth. Yeah. It’s bigger, it, there’s more more content that is accessible. I think dark social is a buzz phrase right now, but it, I think it it’s aptly used in the context of demand generation as, as organizations are getting a better understanding of how how well demand gen contributes to their sales cycles.

Nick: Yeah, and I guess it’s, and I dunno whether this is where the term came from, but it’s in Planetary physics, they talk about dark matter. There’s something that that cause of the impact that it’s having on other bodies or other matter, they can, they know, that there’s something there but you can’t see it.

You can’t measure it. But it seems like there is something there. And I guess dark socials the same. We are getting positive results from our activity whatever it may be. We feel that there’s something that’s driving that, but we can’t exactly measure what it is. It’s something dark.

It’s something that isn’t a form fill. Download a white paper, attend a webinar sale type process.

Jeremy: Totally. Yeah. And it’s a journey to get to that point. Definitely not something that we would want to introduce or even talk about with organizations that are still trying to get a structured go to market in place and Yeah.

Are communicating in a in a rhythmic way to their chosen audiences. So yeah, dark social is something that we would want to introduce at a much later time. And so

Nick: I guess, and just unpacking that, I guess what you’re saying is there’s, depending on the, I don’t know whether we wanna say maturity, but let’s say the marketing stance or posture of of the company, it that will then depend on where they make their investments.

Won’t it. If you’re getting started, you’re probably wanting to be focusing on activities that are going to. Give you some results, but also start giving you some data. Whereas as you become more experienced and run more campaigns, you’re going to want to understand the full range of levers to pull.

Getting started, okay, let’s run some digital ads. Let’s see what happens when those v when those the people that interact with the ad hit our website or interact with some of our content. What happens next? And keep it quite simple, gather some data. Okay? Then maybe let’s try a different digital ad channel so that we can compare.

Whereas more mature organizations are really gonna be wanting to, okay, we’re gonna invest longer term in organic traffic. We’re gonna make sure that we are optimizing journeys on our website. We’re gonna be we’re gonna use digital advertising, but just for when we can see, Troughs, let’s say in our in our pipeline coming through.

And so you get that kind of balance. And I guess that’s the stage where you really start thinking about, okay, let’s start doing activities that we know are not gonna drive a specific lead outcome, but are going to create that dark impact that’s gonna contribute to the success of all of our programs.

Jeremy: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s so important though within all of this to recognize that the most critical investment out of all is your own website. And the website needs to be the core hub that all of these fringe activities to go out and reach and find prospects and to bring them back somewhere.

Yeah. The website is the most critical hub to bring them back to because it’s a year owned. Platform. It’s where you are able to attract and convert. Yeah. It’s where you are in control of your value proposition and all of your differentiation messaging. It’s where you are displaying your content and are able to track activities in a way that you.

Oftentimes can’t elsewhere. So that unfortunately unpacks a whole range of other issues because then you’re getting into technical components. Yeah. You’re getting into seo, you’re getting into other advertisings sources and channels to bring people to your site. But you’re often telling me in the campaigns that you’re leading with partner marketing programs that live activities tend to produce incredible lead results.

Tell me a little bit more about that.

Nick: Yeah, I think, and when you say live activities, I presume you’re talking about events and in person webinars Yeah. And webinars. Yeah. It’s really interesting. I think. It’s, you need to be careful about thinking about what phase of the, the demand generation process we’re focusing on.

And to me, a webinar or a face-to-face meeting should be at the lower point in the funnel. Obviously people can come straight in. But we definitely find, especially if someone has has got a good database that they’ve been. Managing and maintaining or regularly communicating with, then you are gonna get great conversions off a webinar.

It gives you the ability to for you to put a face to your business. It gives you the ability to put some really targeted messaging around your capability to deliver A reliable solution that solves the business challenge that the that the prospect has. So we find that webinar leads convert really well, but I think it would, I think you wouldn’t want to be having your demand generation just dependent on webinars.

They definitely have a role. But, they’re definitely for, to me for bottom of the funnel. It depends. Oh, sorry. I was gonna say it, depends on the instance as well. One of the I mean there’s, I think over the past sort of three or four years, everyone’s got webinar fatigue a little bit.

So there’s some things you can do, like shorter webinars, which can be more digestible and therefore can be higher up the funnel. I think which won’t convert as well as that live in person event where, people can interact through q and As and things like that. But we’ve also seen turning webinars evergreen.

Taking a recording of them and then just having them as part of your demand generation funnels is really effective as well. It does, there is, there’s something about just being able to sit down with some headphones in giving the screen some attention. That automatically I think, puts the participants in a space where they’re.

They’ve made the commitment to attend and so they’re really gonna be much more receptive to the information as opposed to seeing a, a glimpsed article on your website or scrolled through a, an ad or some other communication on LinkedIn. You just have to, that has to be operating at a much greater scale.

And yeah. And then obviously The other part of live is actually in person, whether that be through events or seminars or, lunch and learns and that sort of interaction. They are great. They’re a great source of leads. Again, I. You’ll tend to find, I think that even if you haven’t been nurturing the lead, if you’re gonna get some details through one of those interactions, they’re probably gonna be on their own buyer’s journey.

Fairly well progressed. But I think it’s really important that with those leads that you generate through the in-person events, you don’t just grab a business card and put it in the back pocket. Ideally be communicating with them straight away, have your have an email set up that just says, Hey, it was great to meet with you today.

Just to confirm, here are my contact details. Really love to book on that coffee. That can be direct from the salesperson or the person. At the event. Or it can be something you can automate through like a HubSpot Sales Pro license to build a sequence around it, for instance.

Those events those lead sources are great as well, but you need to be jumping on them straight away. And they are, they’re ready to go ready for a conversation. So you need to make it easy for that to happen as soon as possible. Anyway, sorry. I’ve been going on a bit much about that.

The other thing that I wanted to ask about is, and we touched on it before, is how do you advise clients to balance their marketing investment over the different lead sources?

Jeremy: That is a great question and it’s down to process. First off, it’s about understanding what’s been happening before.

Yeah. The usual request is bring us net new leads. That’s all we want. Yeah. Yeah. As we unpack lead sources in the context of a marketing and sales process within a business, something we often find is that there’s untapped lead sources already in the business. Something that I think is incorrectly attributed is that marketing’s entire focus is on net new.

Yeah. And what. Is often missed within organizations is that the process of engaging lead sources already in the business either hasn’t been done in a a constructed way that is repeatable or sustainable. Often it’s been a one-off type communications or it’s been various individuals salespeople or SDRs in the business, just going into a database and cherry picking and hunting.

Yeah. But there hasn’t been this sustained process of ongoing engagement and therefore the the prospects within a database might be just as cold as strangers out there in the ether. Yeah. And understanding what’s been happening in the first instance and then looking to build out if the database is a actionable, valuable tool for leads.

We need to invest in a better way to engage. Them. Yeah. And to understand where they might potentially be in understanding of their own pain points and understanding of solutions in the market that are available to them. Understanding whether they’re already doing research about solving those pain points and Yeah.

And because they’ve already had some form of awareness and they must have come from somewhere to enter the database. The then that the the action then would be looking to implement a way to engage them again or in a m in a more structured way to nurture them. So even with what you were just talking about, what I really picked up.

That I thought was so valuable is how critical the database is Yeah. In those scenarios of webinars or live events and how impactful it can be. Yeah. To encourage the the attendance to these events. And that tends to be under-resourced or undervalued in businesses and, yeah. We recently spoke about the value of databases, and we’ll link to that video in the description to this video.

But We find that in building process there are untapped opportunities within database where there just wasn’t awareness. And because of the lack of awareness, it’s just seen as the the priorities seen as we need to go out and and find net new prospects.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it.

Quite often when I get introduced to new clients, I’ll ask about Do they have a database? Yeah, we’ve got a great database. Yeah. Yeah. We’ve definitely got a database. So I was like, last, when was the last time you communicated with them? We used to run a newsletter, keeping the database fresh is definitely a key part of it.

The other thing that, that I find is that the database just , tends to be seen as this big amorphous mass of undiscovered value, if you like. And it’s actually. I think a lot of the value really just comes from classifying the database, how did people get into your database in the first place?

Did you meet in an event did they subscribe to did they fill out a form on your website? Did they consume some content for, from that you published? Did they fill in a form on LinkedIn, for instance, if you’re running a campaign like that did they come in for a referral, whatever it may be?

Even the sources of leads should have different journeys and we’ll probably be looking for different communications from you. And so actually being able to do some classification on your database is a great way to start to unlock some value. The other thing and I just mentioned it there, which we haven’t talked about so far, is referrals.

That can be an amazing source of leads. It can also be a. A source that gets invested in a lot but doesn’t actually deliver the results all the time. I know that you’ve had some experience of actually helping to set up referral programs. What are some, I don’t know, best practices or great ways to make sure that they are delivering good quality leads?

Jeremy: Referral programs can be the best source of leads depends on the type of referral program. The partner programs that we work in that are either in a channel or in an ecosystem. There’s this There’s this belief that by being a participant in the channel or by aligning oneself with a vendor or within other partner ecosystems, that the leads will just flow and there’s dismay when they don’t, and.

And then also for businesses that are looking to build referral programs with like-minded business leaders who are non-competitive, but who might be in a tech stack and you might co-deliver or co-sell, you’re looking for opportunities to, to co-market or or get referrals. The most common scenario is let’s invest all this time to agree on the relationship that we’re going to refer.

Yeah. And then that’s it. Yeah. Yeah. And it, that doesn’t work. Yeah. And it’s pretty widely known that it doesn’t, and yet it continues to occur. So the partners who want leads from their vendors will never get them. Yeah. And the partners in a more informal sense, who might be in an ecosystem or because they’ve got an integration or something like that, they’re not getting referrals either because it’s in no one’s interest to refer onwards.

And we see businesses or partner teams look to structure some type of commission structure or some kind of referral agreement. Even that tends to not. Deliver or have the cogency to get them to act on it because they’re on the other side controlled by their own KPIs and their own pressures.

And the why would you refer onwards unless you’re in a structure where you’re just advising and you’re Part of a technology consulting firm or something like that. Yeah. That would make total sense. Or

Nick: I was gonna say, or I guess where you are completely partner focused that your sales only come through the partners.

Otherwise and we see this a lot with some of the vendors that we work with. They’re in this coating position where they’re like hey, we wanna create an ecosystem where you’re gonna be successful. But we are still gonna sell directly to your prospects. Balancing that out is really tough.

I think it’s also interesting to think about for referrals that they shouldn’t. I don’t think they should necessarily be an enduring part of a channel just talking about channel relationship, about a channel relationship for, let’s call it aligned industries or markets. Yet then they can definitely be a longer term part of it, but for a vendor that wants to maybe go into a new market or is launching a new product or service.

Then for them to be able to do the demand generation on the behalf of partners, I think it’s really important because it means that then the partners are gonna be focusing on implementation. They’re gonna be focusing on understanding why the product is gonna be successful, getting their confidence up with the ability of that product to be part of their portfolio and not really worry about.

Demand generation or the more top of the funnel messaging. I think that’s really important for that kind of new entry situation. But actually as you mature, you really want the partners themselves to be picking up that responsibility to be doing that heavy lifting themselves. Yes. That’s when you should transfer your investment as a vendor from.

To my generation to providing marketing development funds or market development funds. Whether that be, for whatever activities the partner wants to run. But I think it’s important to think about referrals in terms of that, just that market context. What are you trying to achieve in the market?

Are you trying to, prime the pump or. Is the market is the channel partnership operating well? Partners understand your product, then they’re really ready to take on that lead responsibility themselves because ultimately it’s a relationship that they will want to nurture with the prospect and with the customer.

Jeremy: That relationship is. Hard work. Yeah. And that is not often invested in. I love how you positioned the concept of vendors needing initially as part of a market entry or an expansion to be the provider of leads into the partner base. And Yeah, that’s really powerful. There’s nothing more powerful than having business come to you.

Yeah. From your vendor partner. With leads that are already qualified. Yeah. Already ready to buy. They just need the integrator, the partner to To make it live for them. Yeah. To integrate to build

Nick: process, offer the service and support and have the right pricing

Jeremy: structure, the networking and everything else.

That’s really powerful. And I love also the transition of as you are expanding within a market to then shift focus to the MDF investment. Yeah. And it would be, Even more powerful if that MDF investment came with delivery of all the doing as well. Yeah. Yeah. And rather than just handing over funds and letting them figure out how are they now going to be resourceful and self-sufficient and action, but have those funds come with the ability to, we are going to co-market, we are going to do X, y, Z over the coming quarter, couple of quarters.

Full financial year. This is how we’re going to grow together and ultimately be better together. Yeah. That then sets the scenario of, okay, we are going to shift more across to you as the partner gets better and more self-sufficient over time. Yeah. It’s pretty rare for that to

Nick: be the case. I agree. I agree.

And not to chi the vendors too much, but often there’s just a real lack of communication around. The, that there is gonna be, that transition, why that transition should take place and how the, how that support’s gonna happen. So I’ve heard a couple of times working with partners that they, they’re complaining about a vendor saying they used to provide us with leads and now we have to do it on ourselves.

And I’m like I’m sympathetic to that because obviously if someone’s giving me leads and I just need to get on the phone and book an appointment for my salesperson, that is an ideal situation. But at the same time as a as a channel partner, you, you are not just dependent on that one vendor.

You want to be providing a range of solutions to your customers. And in order to provide, in order to successfully get your customers to consume a range of solutions, you need to have the relationship with them. You don’t want the. Customer or client thinking I know I’ve got the relationship with the vendor and you just send me the bill.

You want to own that relationship. And it’s really by developing the demand yourself, by controlling those conversations, by leading the interaction with the prospects as they convert into customers. And then they consume more from you, that you’re actually gonna be really driving value out of that out of that activity.

Anyway. That’s a, that’s an interesting one. I think for channel partners to think about and for vendors to think about just how they structure that interaction and be consistent in their communication about what it means to do business with you. And that that there will be transitions, that depending on your maturity, things will change.

Jeremy: I wanna take us back to the topic that we were discussing previously around the lead sources in the context of B2B sales cycles being really long in the technology ecosystems that we’re in. Yeah. How important is the original lead source? The original source of where that prospect entered your sphere of knowledge, whether it’s your database or otherwise.

How critical actually is that when ultimately the buying cycle, sales cycles going to be 18, 24 months? And there’s gonna be multiple. Points of impact across that and ultimately once they’ve signed, there should be a defined process thereafter of the ongoing cross-sell upsell. Does the original lead source matter as much as people think it does?

Nick: I think, the answer to that is there’s no answer to that. It depends on your situation, and that’s why you need to. Experiment with lots of different lead source channels and get the data and be able to make the make the judgements based on, the information that you can derive from that.

But I think intuitively when we should be thinking about the concept of agency, if I’m. If I’m a business person and I have a a, a problem that I want to solve, or I’ve got a business challenge, or I’ve got a new target or a new customer group that I want to reach, and I need to get a solution to help do that, then I want to be in control of understanding.

The options. I want to be in control of assessing the criteria that are important for me and my business to be able to choose a solution provider. And so this idea of agency, of taking control of the buying journey yourself as a buyer, I think is important. And so to me, Leads that you get through organic are gonna be more are more valuable in that instance because they’re representative of someone doing research effectively.

Someone has gone to a search engine to ask a question whether that might be, what are the players in this market, or how do I do this? Or who are the competitors to this firm, whatever that might be going to a search engine. Asking a question, doing some research to me says that as a buyer, you are, you’ve got agency.

You’re not reacting to an ad or a direct communication. They’re important as well, but you are you are in control of that journey. And just instinctively and this is not based on science. As I say, everyone’s situation’s different, but I think instinctively it’s really worth thinking about keeping the buyer.

Feeling like they’re in control of that of that interaction of that relationship. Ultimately, they’re the ones that are gonna be opening their wallet and paying for the service. And so they want to, you want to. Let them feel like they’re, that they’re in charge. And that’s why I think organic leads are best.

But look, this is just that’s very much my opinion. That’s not based on science. I don’t know what do you think, Jeremy?

Jeremy: I love organic leads because my favorite message to get from clients is when. Demos just appeared in sales teams’ calendars, and they had no awareness of these companies whatsoever.

And knowing what would’ve taken place prior to that in terms of the amount of content that was engaged with the amount of trust that it was already built and elicited over time for them to just organically book a demo Yeah. Is so powerful because it required no physical resource other than the smarts of developing the content in a way that was structured.

Yeah. For it to do this. But from the sales side, they’re showing up to present a demo. They’ve got data on. The prospect already via their marketing automation system or their crm. They’re ready to talk. They’re ready to go straight into value proposition and differentiation points without the whole introductory, without the whole positioning.

It shortens that cycle so radically. And that’s why I love organic too.

Nick: Yeah. And I think, it’s really important as well, like if. If you are, if you’re searching for, A product or a solution through a search engine, by its very nature, you are gonna be com you are gonna be presented with competitor offerings and you’ve probably included going to the competitor websites or reading an article about them as part of the process that you’re going through.

So if you are coming to my website and then as you say, converting into a demo or registering for a webinar, whatever it may be That is the pro, that is the end result of a process that’s probably involved a bit of time and it could be a lot of time actually understanding the dynamics of the market that you are operating in and the other options that are available in the market.

The leads that come through that source are qualifying themselves in a way.

Jeremy: Yeah. As well as being qualified by a structured demand gen process of content delivery. Yeah. It’s a beautiful thing when it works well.

Nick: Yeah. No, ab absolutely. Just thinking about thinking about websites obviously organic is the.

The, a great type of lead that you can get through your website. You can also have inbound leads that, come from content that you’re publishing and other activities. Or you can be bringing leads to your website. Do you think there should be different journeys on your website depending on the lead source?

Jeremy: Yes, there should. And your website needs to cater for the type of journey that they are likely to have been on prior to coming to your website. Yeah. It tends to be an over investment into your service or product pages. And those are critically important, but they aren’t always the first introduction into a site.

No. Same goes for the homepage. Homepage tends to be powerful because it’s the first instance that people might see if they’re coming from a social media company page or if they are clicking on a link from a press release that’s in a in a a publication or a trade media. But if they’re searching already, they’re generally.

Finding your site through other avenues. Yeah. And depending on the type of service or products that you’re selling you will be looking to add value to their journeys in different ways. Whether it’s by way of value adding contents that’s answering questions or you are delivering content based on search intents that prospects are already utilizing to find information and search engines and then having them arrive to the side either by way of pro Blog posts or by way of competitor comparison pages or other seo pillar pages or different types of content clusters that’s developed authority over time in search engines.

They need to be taken on a journey that’s eliciting trust, that’s answering questions. But yeah, ideally over time, getting some form of registration of interest or intent from them and recognizing that doesn’t happen immediately. Yeah. Someone might need to interact with your content.

Eight. 10, 12 times before they’re ready to even download something. And that download might not even mean that they’re a lead either. It’s just a informational report or or some form of middle funnel template or calculator or something like that you’ve provided. This con, this constant rush to just book meetings straight away, I think needs to dissipate.

Yeah. And allow them to come on a journey. Recognizing that where they came from means that they’re on different types of journeys. Yeah,

Nick: and I think that one of the things that I often see overlooked at, thinking about journeys on the website is if you’re getting referrals from vendor or from somewhere else, you almost want to have a a joined up journey that.

Yeah. And the classic example is all the vendors that we work with have on their website. Here are all the partners in your region or that support this solution from us or whatever it may be. And they’ll typically have a link to the website. To me, that is such a wasted opportunity because usually the link is just to the homepage.

Now, the homepage is meant to be for everybody for every site visit. You’re gonna be wanting to use the homepage to talk about who you are and. How you operate and what your values are and how you’re different. But, and there will be a journey aspect of the homepage, but if I’m coming from a vendor site, I’m looking I’ve visited the vendor site because I want to, purchase a solution that they sell and then they say you need to work with a partner, and here are the list of partners.

So go and find a partner. Having that landing page that’s specific to each vendor. I think is such a missed opportunity because it gives you the a great opportunity to say, you trust this vendor cause we know cuz you came from their website and we’ve won these awards from this vendor, or we’ve got these certifications from this vendor, or we’ve done this amount of training with this vendor, or we’ve, there’s a case study of a client that’s using this vendor’s software to to be more successful or to be more efficient, whatever it may be.

And see the landing page gives you a great opportunity to take a lot of value from all of the vendors brand investments and actually bring that benefit to yourself rather than going to the homepage, which is just all about you straightaway. And to me that’s a huge missed opportunity and it makes me wonder whether like you should have a landing page for every type of lead source should you be taking that mentality of how do we.

Bring people into our environment, into our website, through specific landing pages. Should you have a landing page every time you run a an email campaign that’s going out. Should you bring people into a landing page every time you run a digital ad campaign? Should that traffic be coming to a landing page rather than, oh, here’s our solution page, or here’s our homepage.

Jeremy: This is so awesome because what you’re really getting at here is looking to understand how do we go further in personalizing our content for the audience, and in what ways are we communicating our differentiation and value that we can offer as a result of having. Partnered with a particular vendor or, yeah.

As a result of specializing in a particular niche industry or vertical. The savvy marketers are already attaching a UTM code to fire an event in Google Analytics, so they’re understanding how many clicks that, or how many visitors to their website they’re getting from those sources. Yep. And I guess, From a lead source perspective, we would consider the vendor directory, the partner directory of the lead source at that point, even though technically speaking, the lead source would be some other type of search intent online and that they’re looking for a particular partner, but you’re totally right when the prospect has decided to out of all of the options in the directory to.

Visit your website, sending them to a page that is dedicated to specifically what makes your partnership with that vendor so valuable and powerful, that they cannot select anyone but you is a missed opportunity every time.

Nick: Yeah. So it’s, one of my p peeves, even a lot of partners that we see that have vendor pages, it’s just information about the vendor.

Yes. Now, someone’s already found out about the vendor by visiting the vendor’s website. When they’re coming to your website and looking at the vendor page, they wanna know about your relationship with the vendor. What are the products and services of theirs that you support, and why do you do it better than.

Anyone else in the partner directory. So yeah, that’s definitely a pet peeve of mine, that people think they’re doing the right thing, but they’re only going. So far, they’re not really going far enough to be able to really make the that opportunity more impactful or more successful as a lead source.

Do you

Jeremy: think it’s a lack of awareness? What do you think the lack of thought process around even having those dedicated pages, why is this missed so often?

Nick: I don’t know. I get the sense that sometimes the vendor will fund a page or even provide, effectively here’s HTML file, you can publish it on your website.

And vendors love talking about themselves and love talking about their products. And so that will typically be the content that they’ll provide for the page. And so I, I don’t, E everyone’s different, but sometimes it seems oh Cisco and VMware have provided us with content for partner pages from them, so we should probably do that with all of our vendors or the classic, Hey, we’ve got all of these rows of logos on our website.

What would happen if someone clicked on the logo? What should they do next? Should they just go straight to the vendor’s website? Maybe we don’t want. So lose that traffic. We don’t want them to leave our website yet, so let’s just put a page there so they can find out more about the vendor.

And so yeah, that’s I don’t know, again, not wanting to be critical. This is part of marketers evolution, I think as they think about the possibilities. But yeah, there’s a couple of sort of traps I think that people can fall into. They think they’re doing the right thing and they are to an extent.

The more content you publish, I think the more valuable your site will be. But just really thinking about the purpose of each. Page or bit of content that you publish is really important. The other thing is, I think sometimes there’s a perception that publishing landing pages is difficult, but certainly in our experience obviously you could do it in WordPress, but using a tool like a HubSpot or an active campaign which have great resources, as part of their as part of their solution to host landing pages to be able to.

Build journeys or automations around the traffic that you get from those landing pages means that it’s actually pretty straightforward. As you go through the setup of those tools to set in place a templates it can be a matter of 10 minutes to publish a landing page. It doesn’t need to be a long involved process.

I think that’s the other thing, tangential to this is if you choose the right tools, then you can actually make that activity. Pretty straightforward in terms of having it as part of something that a marketing manager or a digital marketing manager can easily manage

Jeremy: themselves.

B2B lead sources, there’s no magical source out there. There’s specific channels that prospects and leads can come to you, but recommending the best to invest is dependent on where business leaders are at. Where the focus has been, what can they track and what have they been doing so far, would you say?

Nick: Yeah, look, I think that if we’re gonna talk in terms of magic, then organic leads to me are magical. The no one knows how it happens. Ultimately, the goo Google’s algorithm or Bing’s algorithm or whoever is proprietary to them. There is a bit of magic and mystery about it.

But essentially they are such powerful leads for the reasons that we’ve talked about. They’re intent driven. Someone has a problem and they’ve gone to a search engine to try and find an answer to that problem. And they’re doing research, they’re finding out about competitors or other options that are out there.

And to me, organic leads are magical leads. But, a, anything that you do to, to garner leads the, there’s no magic in that. They’re just gonna appear. You need to be thoughtful. You need to make some investments. You need to be prepared to run some experiments and try different things out.

And then hopefully that’s when the magic will happen and you’ll look at your, Google analytics or look a studio report and go, wow, look at all those leads that are starting to come in. I wonder how that happened.

Jeremy: This is such a good conversation.

I think B2B lead sources is so important to openly talk about because it’s not happening, it’s not prevalent, and yet we’re having these conversations privately with sales directors and CEOs all the time. Talking about them openly is awesome.

Nick: Great conversation. Thanks very much.

Jeremy: Okay. Thanks Nick. See ya. Cheers.

With cyber-attacks becoming more dangerous and frequent, securing critical infrastructure is vital.

As a result, cyber security and IT services companies need to adapt their marketing strategies to cater to this sector.

Understanding the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act for 2018 and its reforms, and using it in increasing awareness and demonstrating how your services are capable of addressing CI leaders’ pain points can help you secure more CI clients.

In this guide, we will discuss how security and IT service organisations can market to CI companies more effectively.

What Is Critical Infrastructure?

Critical infrastructure refers to the systems, assets, and networks that are fundamental for the functioning of a society, economy, or country. They’re essential for maintaining public safety, national security, and the overall well-being of a population.

The critical infrastructure sector is very important and its failure can lead to catastrophic circumstances, which makes it more vulnerable to cyber attacks than other industries.

Some examples of critical infrastructure include energy, communication networks, transportation, financial systems, and defence.

Protecting critical infrastructure is a top priority for the Australian government, and many of the security measures that were amended in recent years are specifically created for CI protection and improving its resilience.

The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018: Explained

The Security of Critical Infrastructure Act (SCIA) 2018 aims to enhance the security and resilience of critical infrastructure assets. It focuses on protecting critical infrastructure from potential security threats and risks like ransomware.

Key provisions of the act encompass:

  • Critical Infrastructure Assets: Concerned with defining CI sectors and assets.
  • Enhanced Cyber Security Obligations: The act imposes security obligations on companies with critical infrastructure assets. These obligations implementing appropriate security measures, conducting risk assessments, and developing incident response plans.
  • Sector-specific Regulations: Explains additional security measures, guidelines and regulations that are specific to particular sectors.
  • Security Risk Assessments: Provides a framework for conducting security risk assessments of important critical infrastructure assets to spot potential threats and set the necessary protective measures.

Which Sectors Are Affected?

The Australian legislation now classifies 30% of Australian industries as critical infrastructure. These include:

  • Water and Sewerage
  • Energy
  • Communications
  • Food and Grocery
  • Data Storage or Processing
  • Defence
  • Transport
  • Financial Services and Markets
  • Healthcare and Medical
  • Space
  • Higher Education and Research

How Will This Impact Critical Infrastructure Companies?

The reforms introduced by the SOCI Act in Australia have significant implications for businesses, particularly those in critical infrastructure sectors.

The act relies on principle-based rules and regulations. This provides flexibility, but at the same time, it creates uncertainty for CI organisations, which can lead to poor decision-making subject to human judgment.

What’s more, complying with the new regulations will result in significant costs for businesses. The draft Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) announced that the average one-time cost per entity to implement a written Risk Management Program rules is a whopping $9 million, in addition to an average ongoing cost of $3.7 million per year to maintain compliance.

A significant portion of these costs primarily falls on the organisations, but indirect costs are likely to pass on to customers.

Another requirement is a timely notification of cyber security incidents. Businesses are required to report critical incidents within a maximum of 12 hours of knowing about their existence. Reporting other incidents, on the other hand, can be delayed by up to 72 hours.

The 2021 and 2022 Amendments: Enhancing Critical Infrastructure Resilience

The Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Act 2021 and the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Act 2022 were introduced in two stages to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure.

These critical infrastructure reforms have expanded the scope of the Act, raising the number of critical infrastructure (CI) sectors from 4 to 11, and incorporating 22 categories of critical infrastructure assets.

These acts have also extended the government’s power for gathering information, issuing directives, and intervening as a last resort across the 11 critical infrastructure sectors, with certain safeguards in place.

The positive security obligation entails providing ownership and operational details to the Register of Critical Infrastructure Assets, mandatory reporting of cyber incidents within specified timeframes, and the development, adoption, and maintenance of a Risk Management Program that encompasses cyber security, personnel security, physical security, and supply chain disruption threats.

Reporting requirements and positive security obligations are either currently in effect or will be enacted once the implementing regulations take effect, targeting anything that may be considered as a critical infrastructure asset.

Certain systems of national significance may also be subject to higher level cyber security obligations, such as incident response planning, vulnerability assessment, and the provision of system information.

Many participants in the supply chain, such as responsible entities, direct interest holders, reporting entities, managed service providers, and operators, are directly affected by these obligations.

How Cyber Security and IT Services Companies Can Market to Critical Infrastructure More Effectively

Cyber Security and IT services can utilise the following tactics to explain the value of their offerings to potential critical infrastructure clients:

Explain the Current Security Landscape and How Critical Infrastructure Is Under Threat

After the COVID-19 pandemic, many business models were disrupted, along with supply chains across the world. This has led to an increased risk of security attacks, especially with a huge percentage of the workforce working remotely leading to a larger attack surface.

Add to that the insufficient risk management practices, resilience and accountability, and we’re basically dealing with a recipe for disaster. Further, the growing interdependence across organisations in Australia has increased the chance of successful cyber attacks, especially with these attacks becoming more frequent and advanced.

Explaining these concerns for CI organisations is vital to raise awareness of the looming danger of sophisticated cyber attacks.

Address the Primary Pain Points for Critical Infrastructure Business Leaders

C-Level Pain Points

For C-level executives, the primary challenge is providing the required resources needed to comply with the new CI reforms. C-levels are also expected to lead the decision-making process throughout the organisation in response to the reforms.

Board Pain Points

CI board members must be aware of all the cyber security risks that could damage their organisations. They need to lead the implementation of a robust cyber attack response strategy that enables them to restore their business operations back to normal with minimal losses.

Moreover, board executives need to be aware of their new obligations, which most importantly include signing the new Risk Management Program (RMP). They also need to govern CI entities with utmost care and responsibility.

IT Management Pain Points

IT managers need to support risk management by helping identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities that may lead to catastrophic consequences for the organisation. They also lead the implementation of new cyber security and data protection measures that ensure compliance with the SCIA requirements and obligations.

Risk Management Pain Points

Since new reforms for the CI Security Act require implementing a Risk Management Program (RMP), risk management executives must ensure that their operations and processes are in line with the newly-introduced regulations. This can be achieved by re-assessing the processes.

Articulate Your Competitive Differentiation in the Context of Critical Infrastructure

Demonstrating what sets you apart from the competition is vital when marketing your services to CI companies with SEO or other marketing channels. Here’s what you need to communicate in your competitive differentiation:


Cyber security and IT companies can emphasise their expertise in identifying and mitigating potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities within critical infrastructure systems. Depending on the company’s domain, this may include implementing robust security measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption protocols to safeguard sensitive data and prevent unauthorised access.


Critical infrastructure companies require resilient systems that can withstand and recover from disruptions like cyber attacks, natural disasters, or even human error. Cyber security and IT services companies should demonstrate how their solutions can improve the resilience of critical infrastructure systems.

This may include implementing backup and recovery strategies, disaster recovery plans, and redundancy measures to reduce downtime and ensure uninterrupted business operations.


Compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards is essential for critical infrastructure companies, particularly in highly regulated sectors such as energy, telecommunications, and transportation

Cyber security and IT services companies can demonstrate their solutions’ significance by explaining how they can assist critical infrastructure companies in achieving and maintaining compliance.

They can highlight their knowledge of relevant regulations and standards, such as the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, the Australian Government Information Security Manual (ISM) and industry-specific guidelines, and how their solutions align with these requirements.

By ensuring that critical infrastructure companies meet compliance obligations, IT companies can demonstrate the value of their services in avoiding penalties, reputational damage, and potential service disruptions.

Business Continuity

Cyber security and IT services companies can showcase their solutions’ importance for critical infrastructure companies by communicating how they can ensure uninterrupted business operations.

They can highlight how their solutions support business continuity by implementing measures such as robust data backups, redundant systems, and disaster recovery plans.

By ensuring that critical infrastructure systems can continue functioning during and after disruptions, these companies contribute to minimising downtime, reducing financial losses, and maintaining the delivery of essential services.

Want to Market Your Cyber Security and IT Services to Generate Demand Within Critical Infrastructure Sectors?

At Filament, we help cyber security and IT organisations generate demand and drive better results with case-specific marketing strategies.

Having worked with a wide range of partners, vendors, and organisations across various technology industries, we know the ins and outs of launching and maintaining robust marketing strategies that work.

Reach out to us now to discuss how we can help you reach and acquire more CI clients.

Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius, discussing the question “What is the value of a contact database?”

Topics covered include:

  • The need for engaging a contact database
  • How do you start sorting through a contact database?
  • Focusing only on bottom-of-funnel means missed opportunities
  • Marketing and sales unified by database
  • The handover process between marketing and sales
  • The need for a Go-to-Market Team mindset for ABM
  • How much communication is needed for ABM
  • And so much more!

Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.

Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on "What is the value of a contact database?"

Jeremy: Hey, Nick. One of the things that we see a lot of is that business leaders have a high degree of value that they place in a contact database that they’ve ostensibly built out over longer periods of time. They’ve not been doing anything by way of communication or nurturing or interacting with any prospects or leads in this database.

It’s just this giant list that they attribute value to. If they were to only start communicating to them, they would unlock lead flows beyond their wildest dreams. And yet on the other side, we see business leaders who don’t understand the time it takes to nurture in an appropriate way and become frustrated or disgruntled at how slowly to their minds sales flow enters the business as a result of communicating with the database.

I’d love to get your insight on unpacking those two opposing views and maybe we can converse from there.

Nick: Great. That sounds good. Thanks Jeremy. Yeah. Okay. So it’s a fascinating topic and we’ve, as you’ve acknowledged, heard both opinions from various business leaders and clients that we’ve encountered and I think, leaving aside the whole question of permissioning and opt-in and so forth, and, I don’t think we’re gonna cover that in this discussion. That’s a topic for a different day.

To me, there are two factors that are most important when we think about databases as a whole, and that’s recency and frequency. Data ages, it gets stale.

So a lot of the time we hear, oh yeah, we’ve got, 10,000. 15,000 contacts in our database. But when did you collect those? When did you collect those details? How old are those contacts in your database? We know that as a rule of thumb probably about 20 to 25% of people leave their job every year.

Extrapolating that out. After four years, probably the majority of your database has moved into a different role. Their work email has changed. And so looking at making sure that you’ve got a database that is up to date, that is being communicated with regularly, not just having, seeing it as an asset that’s just sitting there waiting to be exploited is important.

So that’s the, that’s the recency factor. Then the frequency and again, this varies by different industry and different contact type, but you need to be communicating with your database on a regular basis. That means that you are keeping the database updated because you’re gonna get those hard and soft bounces.

You’re gonna get some unsubscribes. So you are keeping your database fresh, but you are also keeping your brand in front of those prospects that you’re, you are communicating with and you are reminding them that you have an offering that they may not be interested in at the moment, but at some point in the future they may be.

And it gives you the opportunity to introduce new products and services and new features as you launch them. So for both sides, just as a starting point, I think it’s always important to remember recency and frequency. How old is the data in the database, and how often are you communicating with the database?

So that’s the starting point for those clients or those business leaders that we talk to that say, Hey, I’ve just got this pot of gold that’s waiting to be uncovered in the database. Maybe they have, but by not doing anything about it it, it degrades in value over time.

And so typically in those situations the first step that we need to look at is how do we start to. To bring, to freshen up that database. What are the first couple of communications that we can put out to the database as a whole? That just gives us the opportunity to clean out some of the old data through the hard bouncers and so forth.

But also introduce the concept to the prospects in that database that to me as a brand is gonna be starting to communicate you with you more regularly when you see communications from us. This is the sort of information you could expect. And from there and, we’ll get into this, then you can start to uncover some uncover the real value in the database.

So that’s on, on that side. Then on the other side, and again, we can expand on this, but just because you’ve got a, a prospect in a database doesn’t mean that they’re gonna be ready to buy next week. Now again, this depends on industry and buying cycles and and so forth. And we know that as we get into selling into larger and larger businesses, the purchasing cycles typically become longer the number of voices that have to be included in the purchase decision becomes greater.

And so for there, we are moving into the account-based marketing territory, but just to stick with the database topic at the moment, we need to understand what the velocity is for a prospect in your database to have a business problem that you can resolve, that you are gonna make them aware of the fact that you have a solution.

You are going to give them some proof points that demonstrate that your solution is one that they should prefer. And then obviously you’re gonna need to have a discussion around that you can that you have the right price, that you can provide the right support that you’ve got a roadmap of products and service enhancements in the future that are gonna serve them.

So there’s a lot of different communications that have to take place.

For someone in your database to go from, okay, I’m aware of your brand, but that’s about it to I’m ready to purchase from you. So where we are in the situation where, you know, especially, a sales leader or a commercial leader is coming to us and saying, Hey look, we just need to start sending emails out and we are gonna get leads out of the database.

That’s when we start to have that conversation where we say, we break down the process. And I find it works well to be quite empathetic and say, Know if you or your team meet someone at a trade show, how long, how many conversations, how many cups of coffee or meetings or whatever rule of thumb that we want to use, does it take before they’re ready to receive a proposal from you?

And we need to think about that in the digital perspective as well, which is, how we would nurture a database Bit of, a bit of a high level. But for both of those scenarios there are good discussions to be had and there’s obviously truth in, in both viewpoints.

But we need to have a structure to engage with your database, the right tools a good sense of having the right programs and processes in place.

And then, something that I’m sure we’ll get into starting to separate the database into different categories, whether we call that lead qualification categories or could be geographic or industry segmentation or whatever.

It doesn’t really matter, but how do we start to go the next step to uncover value?

Jeremy: I think that’s so fascinating and so true for a whole range of businesses. And I think what’s pretty clear here is this issue that majority of businesses face regardless of size and sector or company type.

Would love to drill down into a couple of things you mentioned around the unsegmented database, this black hole of contacts that have been aggregated over time from who knows where, it’s usually not tracked at all.

They’ve just been added to the pile of contacts. Yeah. Yeah. So there, there is that component. It is likely that sales teams are utilizing it to some degree in terms of where they’ve gone through to prospect and they’ve cherry-picked out whom they wanna pursue on a one-to-one basis.

But to what degree? Is the process component that you were talking about unlocking potentially missed opportunity?

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So I think the place to start off with is in any data or any client that’s using some sort of CRM to manage their database. There’ll typically be information in there and there might be things like someone that you’ve been pitching for a deal and you didn’t, you weren’t successful for that deal.

And they’ve been put in a category. So you’ve got leads that have been well qualified. That are just then being ignored because they didn’t purchase in that instance.

So there’s a pool of value or a pool of potential there. There are probably leads or prospects in your database that have maybe visited your website on multiple occasions or have interacted with some content.

So again, there are signals or information that you are that you’re gonna be capturing in your CRM.

Anyway, and so you can start off a process, I think by just from. What is this? Let’s call it the static data that we’ve got, that we can start to look at some initial categories that we can put prospects into, and that will be different depending on your database and on the data that you’ve collected.

You might say, Hey as a starting point, We will divide the database up geographically or because we’ve got company name and the email address, we can group prospects together in either ABM type lists. So based on the company that they work for or category or industry type lists.

And then that’s at a base level, but then you can start to bring in some of those other factors in terms of how they’ve interacted with you in the past.

A prospect that has been through the sales process, even if you weren’t ultimately successful, is gonna be more valuable and is more likely to purchase from you in the future than a business card that you’ve picked up at a trade show.

So how do you then, Go that next level and start to attach a relative weighting to the information that you’ve got in the database. Now we work with clients a lot on the, that use HubSpot. That’s what we use ourselves internally. And HubSpot has a great lead-scoring system. This is not unique to them.

Most of the marketing automation platforms operate there. We find that the HubSpot lead scoring system works really well, but effectively what that means is that you are just assigning a value to each interaction. So a business card collected at an event that’s a low value interaction, so we’ll give it a low score.

Someone that’s maybe downloaded a white paper, that’s a higher value interaction. They’re really keen to understand more about your solution through their actions. And so we’ll assign at a higher score. So by looking at the data that we’ve got in the database, we can start to categorize into groups that are relevant.

We can start to attach some value to the interactions that they’ve had through some sort of lead scoring. And from there, then we need to really start experimenting.

Let’s start being proactive in communications.

Let’s start sending some offers, content offers newsletters, whatever it may be, out to the database, and see the interactions that we get from the prospects that have got the different lead scores and what, informational inference.

Can we draw from their behaviour? And Even within the basic data that we’ve collected within our CRM, there’s a lot of value that we can be starting to uncover that can then start to drive some behaviours.

Jeremy: I wanna stay on this topic, but I wanna come at it from another angle. There is this obsession with only focusing on what we would call bottom of funnel leads.

Yeah. Where, yeah. They’ve already completed their research. They have a known pain point that they are trying to resolve. They are already assessing the market for providers. There is an obsession with only wanting to find these types to book meetings. And we see ad investments only targeting those types.

We see content developed against that. We’ve got SDRs deployed to only call and book meetings with people who are ready to talk to us now. Yeah. But it sounds to me, based on what you’re saying, that the missed opportunity is everything else that happens before that is being ignored.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the best way to think about this is we have a process, we might call it a marketing funnel or a qualification process or whatever.

That’s designed to digitally get prospects to that point where they attend a webinar about how easy it is to implement your solution, the salesperson’s on the phone to them the next day, and suddenly they’re putting a proposal in front of them or they’re responding to an RFP.

The digital process that we have, the marketing automation process that we have is really complimentary, not supplementary to that bottom of funnel activity.

It’s complimentary because it will help us scale our qualifications so that the people that register for the webinar or, download the implementation guide or whatever that bottom of funnel signal is, has been through the process of understanding more about your business.

Understanding your capability to resolve their business problem have some indication in terms of case studies or other customer proof that you are a reliable provider of solutions and maybe they understand your pricing or how your pricing compares to that to your competitors, and then they’re ready to buy it.

So the way that I think about it is you can have a salesperson. Or a group of SDRs, cold calling your database and they will. By volume of activity striking those prospects that are, that are in the market for a solution.

All a database focused digital marketing, marketing automation program aims to do is do all of that activity, all of that calling and initial conversations digitally.

That allows you to scale. That means that rather than a team of SDRs, contacting a hundred leads a week or whatever it might be, we are able to interact with 10,000 leads every week.

Be delivering them different messaging that is suitable to where they are in that, in their decision-making cycle or in their purchase process.

And also start to start to qualify out those that. Aren’t, aren’t ready to buy or we keep nurturing them, but we deliver to, at the end of that process, we deliver to the sales team, to the SDR team, to the BDM team, whoever it may be, leads that have got, got that qualification that are ready to have a good conversation with the salesperson.

Yeah, again, it’s a compliment to a sales process rather than a design to supplement a sales process.

Jeremy: One of the themes that I see emerging here about, as we’re talking about databases, is the tracking of the entire life cycle of a sale essentially from, to use HubSpot’s language, stranger to customer, to refer since it’s across the lifecycle.

Why do you think that traditionally there’s been this disparity between marketing and sales and as you are describing it a complimentary process where the sales conversations are actually becoming better or higher quality as a result of these marketing activities? Yeah. What has driven a wedge between that?

Is it because there just hasn’t been a rigorous or rigid process around the demand gen? Is it because the database hasn’t been used in the way that you’re describing? What are some of those inhibitors?

Nick: Yeah. To me, I see two main reasons for that. The first is the silo mentality that sales and marketing are different teams that are focused on different outputs or different outcomes for the business.

To me that that may apply in the, in fact, that never applies, but especially in the, in, in B2B, they are part of the same process where it works best. Where I’ve seen it work best is where sales and marketing are in a commercial team or a Go to Market team, whatever you want to call it, that are aligned against the same goals.

The goal ultimately is to sign new business or retain business for your brand, for your company. And each team has a role to play and. No, we’re not gonna get into customer success, but they have a role to play as well. But each team has a role to play in that process, and it’s simple.

So if you can look at it from a commercial, go-to-market perspective and understand the value that the marketing team play the role that the marketing team plays, the value that they bring, the role that the sales team plays and the value that they bring, then you can start to get that alignment.

The other big factor that I see is a short term versus long term sales teams are. Rightly or wrongly, probably rightly incentivised on short-term behaviours. How many sales did you get this week, this month, this quarter, this year?

Marketing activities in that B2B demand generation process are by necessity, longer term. It may take a year to nurture a lead who has visited your site and signed up to your mailing list.

It may take them a year before a salesperson can have a conversation. There probably needs to be a lot of activity that happens in that year. We know that whenever we are working with clients on, organic lead generation or SEO programs, that definitely takes time.

It takes time to be ranking for the right keywords. It takes time for those rankings to rise so that you’re actually driving the right type of organic traffic to your website. They are likely to be higher-value leads. They’re intent-driven, but it does take time Sales teams are by necessity focused on short-term objectives.

Marketing teams need to be focused on longer-term objectives and sometimes, and often that does cause friction because sales will be in a whole and they’re like what is all of this money we’re spending on marketing generating for us if we are not being able, if we are not able to meet our targets?

Conversely, marketing might be saying, look, we are producing, we’re spending all of this time and all of these tools and resources to produce these great quality leads. Why are you converting more of them?

And so that’s where I think, and this applies to both. It’s that coming together recognizing that you are aligned against the same goal, but more importantly, there are points of friction or interaction where you need to understand.

The expectations on either side. So sales need to be saying to marketing, if you tell me this is a SQL sales qualified lead, it needs to have the following criteria. It needs to be not this. And I need to be able to have this sort of conversation with that person.

By the same token, marketing needs to understand or marketing needs to be saying to sales here are all the leads that we are developing that you told us are qualified.

What is stopping you from being successful, converting more of them? Is there more information or qualification that we need to be doing digitally through our tools through the activities that we’re, we are doing with the database to be able to produce that, that best quality lead for you, that buy-ready lead.

And so at that point of friction, being clear about. Where the responsibility lies and what is going to be that handover point between the marketing team and the sales team.

Jeremy: When we build this process, the funniest response to my mind when talking about what those criteria should comprise is only send me leads that are ready to buy from us now.

Having to unpack, actually guys, we need to build a process here. Could we look at what that would mean for a database? How would that, what you’re just describing that handover process, the who owns what does that mean to the structure or segmentation of a database?

Nick: Yeah. No, that’s a great question and I think, that’s the, that’s gotta be the starting point. We need to understand from a marketing perspective, what is that buy-ready lead and not just it’s a buy-ready lead.

How do we qualify that? Is it that they have attended, a webinar and a implementation video session?

Or have they downloaded the price guide and used an online calculator, what, whatever it may be.

But, we need to be able to define what that is. And then from there we build up, and this is where we look at behaviours of prospects that have successfully gone through the process in the past, or prospects that have been unsuccessful in, in terms of our ability to convert them into a sale through the past.

What are the steps of learning, of information, of awareness, of consideration that they’ve been through? So we, starting from. What are sales expectations? Working up understanding how do we take someone that’s a stranger to our brand, maybe to be getting them ready to that point.

So by starting from there, we can start to build out, and this will happen from experimentation within the database.

And Lots of communication and understanding behaviours, but how do we get, how do we build out, okay, if we, first of all get someone to join our mailing list and they get a regular newsletter and then they interact with a blog, and then they download a case study and then they attend a webinar.

That is gonna be a good journey for a lead to go through, to be ready to purchase this type of product, to have that sales ready conversation. So how do we start to build out those patterns of behavior, which tell us that.

This is the journey that we want prospects to take, but also what are journeys that don’t end up in a sale?

What are the steps that someone might go through that we think means that they’re qualified, but actually means that they’re not being successful? And so that, that will be how I build that up.

Typically, the situation that we encounter is there’s a database. There’s been lots of activity happening.

There’s been sales happening, but there’s no overall picture of how that looks. And so that’s where, there’ll be a, there’ll be, as we were talking about before, there’ll be a lot of value that we can get out of the database so we can start to put some categorization or some lead scoring around the prospects that are in the database and to start to build that picture.

The other thing that, that we so often see and is symptomatic of maybe the short-term and long-term view is we’ll talk to a client and the sales team will have great dashboards.

They’ll have, here are all my prospects, here are the conversations that I’m having. Here are the proposals that I’ve sent out, or the RFPs that I’ve responded to.

Here’s my closed one, here’s my closed last et cetera, et cetera. When we talk to the marketing team, they just don’t have that, but they need to have that visibility in of reporting to be able to produce the right quality results.

And the marketing reporting shouldn’t be about lists of leads because that sales responsibility, the marketing reporting should be structured around.

What is the qualification steps that we need to take a lead through to turn them into an SQL or a sales accepted lead, if that’s the terminology that the company uses.

And that will typically be, buckets of the strangers, prospects, MQL, SAL, SQL, whatever it may be, but, by putting the prospects or the leads into those buckets, we can do two things.

We can look at how long it takes someone to go through the process, and then what is the efficiency of the process. So how many how many leads do we lose when we go from MQL to SQL?

And then that gives us points of focus where we can say, okay, we are losing a lot of MQLs when they go to SQL because we send them this communication and then they don’t convert.

Or we invite them to this webinar and they never attend. Or we have this face-to-face event, whatever it may be. So how do we be more efficient at taking prospects through that funnel and delivering more of those great sales-ready leads to the sales team.

Jeremy: Yeah, that’s great. How do we make sense of this in the context of account-based marketing where we have a either a list or a we’re very decisive of the types of companies we wanna work with.

There may be a whole range of individuals we need to be interacting with within that organization, either because it’s a formal buying committee or because there’s a number of stakeholders or influencers involved in a process. How do we make sense of that in the context of ABM?

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. And I think ABM account-based marketing is a, only works when you have that commercial go-to market team mindset where the sales team and the marketing team are really aligned on committing to.

An ABM marketing approach, it does not work if it’s only something that’s done by marketing, so at a base level, there needs to be a commitment from both sides that, okay, this is the, our main go to market is gonna be through looking at an account-based marketing approach, because, What, the companies that we target the companies in the sectors that we target needs to be informed by sales, and then the insight from sales needs to drive the A B M activity.

Jeremy, you’ve rightly pointed out that there are buying committees or there are different influences on decision-making process.

It may be finance, it may be procurement, it may be risk management, legal, other teams that we would normally not have anything to do with. So again, that sales insight needs to inform the ABM activities that we do.

So from there, when we think talking about this in a database perspective, then we can obviously from the database extract, extract lists of contacts that we’ve got. In each in each target company, in each target account.

But then we also need to be looking at, okay, what are the gaps? If we’ve got the, let’s say we’ve got the IT manager and the CIO, but we know that the buying committee also includes the finance director and the head of legal.

Then we need, by having that insight from sales, we need to be proactively addressing those gaps in our database so that we are So that we’ve got, all of the right personalities engaged.

What we find often going beyond the database or taking extracts from your database, loading them into something like LinkedIn, where we can tell LinkedIn, okay, here are the accounts that we want to target from our database or from who sales have told us are relevant.

And now I want you to look for these types of job titles, or job function or skillset in those target accounts.

And then we can use them to try and then we can use a platform like LinkedIn to try and engage with those personalities, first of all, and then take them off the LinkedIn platform onto our website and start gathering information about them and start nurturing them.

So that’s the first step. Then the second step is really to think about the different types of conversations that you need to be having with those different groups within each account to be able to at the point where the, the salesperson is talking to the CTO and the CTO’s ready to buy.

All of the other decision makers or influences within that account are ready to support the CTO’s decision. So we need to be segmenting the communications that we have based on the information that we’ve got in the database to those different personalities. To be very simplistic, a risk a legal or risk person is gonna wanna understand our quality systems, our ability to comply with local legislations, et cetera.

Finance department is gonna wanna understand what’s the roi? How does this mean that I’m able to reduce my op? My CapEx and spend more Opex or whatever it may be. As well as your technology teams who are gonna wanna understand, how do I implement the solution?

How does it work with other solutions that I already operating within my environment.

What is the user what is the user experience outcome gonna be, which is increasingly important for technology teams. So different communications are gonna be required for different stakeholder roles within each account. That means that we’re able to deliver that great buy-ready lead.

That’s not just about, okay, we’ve convinced the CTO, it’s the whole team’s ready to sign.

Jeremy: It’s so easy to forget that these are real-life people on the other end. Yeah. Yeah. When you’re staring at. Contact records in a CRM or number volumes against lifecycle stages. But each of these different roles have unique experiences in their day-to-day lives.

They’ve got their own individual issues. They’ve got their own KPIs. They’re as busy as everybody else. Yes. Stressed out potentially. Why are business leaders so surprised to have this logical view taken across all of these roles within an organization, but then be surprised by the volume of communication required?

To get their attention in the first instance, and not just once, but repeatedly. Yeah. And then to be able to have a digital conversation, or at least have messaging in front of them over time. Why is that such a surprise?

Nick: Yeah, that’s a great question because if you ask a salesperson, it won’t be a surprise for them.

They know that they’re gonna have to have a different type of conversation with a technology person as opposed to a finance person as opposed to the CEO, for instance.

Each will be looking for different outcomes. Or from the one solution. So a salesperson won’t be surprised about that.

And all we’re doing on the marketing side really is using tools and personas which we can talk about in a minute to try and replicate at scale again, at scale.

Those conversations that the salesperson will have. A salesperson might visit a prospect for the day and they’ll spend most of their time with the technology team, but the. The, head of IT operations will introduce them to the finance manager because the finance manager has to prepare the business case.

And so the salesperson will have a different conversation with the finance manager than they’ve been having with the head of IT operations, for instance.

And all we’re trying to do on a marketing side is replicate that at scale and we replicate that at scale through the use of personas.

So we say this is what a finance person will look like in a insurance company. This is what a, a risk team member will look like in an insurance company, and this is what a technology leader will look like in an insurance company, acknowledging very much the points that you are talking about, Jeremy, which is they have different perspectives.

They’re coming from a different place. When it comes to technology, the technology team is looking for a. A business outcome that may be around ease of user interaction or make your tools easier for your staff to use. A finance manager will be looking at how does this help me run my, run the business more efficiently?

How does this help me reduce costs? Maybe have resources that can be deployed to different areas. We use personas to try and identify the motivations and drivers for those different groups. And then by using those personas, we can start to address the communication to them specifically.

So when we encounter as you talked about in your question, business leaders that are surprised by that, I find it’s always really useful to take it back to these are the conversations that your salespeople will have. And what we are trying to do digitally through the use of personas and database marketing is.

Take those conversations and make them happen at scale. So that we’re able to deliver again that that buy ready lead to the salesperson.

Jeremy: One of the trends that we’re really trying to champion as a, as an organization is the level of involvement or influence marketing has on revenue.

And having the ability to understand across the organization, marketing, sales, customer success how this is all connected into revenue. Yeah. As we start looking at these trends of connecting it to revenue, we’re also starting to see that the concept of adversarial marketing-originated revenue is starting to ebb and the focus is becoming more on marketing-influenced revenue.

Yeah. Particularly for B2B companies where the sales cycle can be 12, 18, 24 months. The interactions between sales and a prospect or lead might be months apart. The role of marketing within that is highly influential. Be keen to hear your take on this situation.

Nick: Yeah, and look, I think that this is an area where sometimes marketing doesn’t help itself.

And, marketing needs to, when I started my career a long time ago we knew that half of what we spent drove results. We just didn’t know which half.

But the use of digital tools means that’s no longer the case. And so marketing needs to be upfront and be asking for and engaging with what are they gonna be, the relevant targets for me and my team and my part in the process that is going to indicate how we’re helping support the overall outcome.

And the targets need to be and, influence revenue is a great one. Because that then, by its definition means that what we’re doing is driving revenue, but it’s not the only thing that’s driving revenue.

Marketing does not have the sales, on B2B side marketing primarily is not having the conversations which convert into a sale.

That’s the salespeople’s role. Obviously on the SaaS side, then that, that can be different. Let’s not worry about that. Let’s talk a traditional marketing and sales type type situation.

And so by talking about something like marketing influence revenue we’re acknowledging that we are not responsible for the revenue that’s the sales team’s job, but that we’re responsible for delivering those right prospects to the sales team for them to for them to generate the revenue.

There’s also a danger, I think, that marketing focuses on. The wrong metrics. What I like to think of as vanity metrics, which sound amazing, but may not have an influence on that. Marketing influence, revenue. And we all know them. We ran a social media campaign and it garnered 10,000 impressions.

That’s great. But did any of those impressions turn into an interaction or did any of those impressions turn into a site visitor or a company page follow, or whatever it may be? So some of these big, big numbers can be a bit more vanity than reality. It may be that 10,000 impressions leads to a hundred site visitors, which leads eventually to, three sales-qualified leads, in which case let’s get a hundred thousand impressions because suddenly we’ve delivered 30 leads.

But looking at those large numbers, those vanity metrics, because marketing’s operating at scale they need to be put in context of is this the right metric to focus on?

To deliver the right lead to deliver that right marketing influenced revenue. So I think. Marketing needs to own up to, yes, we want to targets, and those targets need to be meaningful for the business.

We are not responsible for the revenue target, that’s the sales team’s job, but we are responsible for influencing the revenue which they eventually sign. And these are the metrics that we have or the KPIs that we have that are relevant for delivering against that. And that’s hard.

And we’ve talked before about having the right level of reporting and dashboards, and they’re gonna help build out that picture and really demonstrate that you are focused from a marketing perspective on driving the right outcomes.

That you understand the role that you play and the role that your, that the interactions that you drive at scale play in terms of delivering the result for the business.

Jeremy: With your database being the vehicle to the driver. Yeah. Manage this.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. Look, and I think that’s a great point. The and Jeremy you often say this and I love saying it as well, your website is your number one marketing asset, your number one brand asset really in many instances.

And how do you start to measure the interactions from your. Website, it’s the information that you capture and you put into your CRM that you put into your database that you can then use for the next conversation with that prospect. So yeah, a hundred percent.

Jeremy: Fantastic insight. There’s lots to think about here. Lots to consider. Appreciate your thoughts, Nick.

Nick: Okay, great, lovely conversation. Thanks very much, Jeremy.

Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius, discussing the question “Why did my B2B tech marketing campaign fail?”

Topics covered include:

  • Why didn’t previous campaigns work?
  • The importance of allowing enough time for B2B campaigns
  • BDR teams have a different role and time to impact than marketers
  • Expectation setting in the context of marketing investment
  • Lengthy campaign planning increases risk
  • Comparing limited marketing investment with actively limiting SDR capacity
  • The challenge of starting a small advertising campaign to see how it goes
  • Why does so much MDF go unspent?
  • The challenge Channel Partners face balancing MDF across vendor partners
  • The internal challenges B2B tech marketers face
  • The need for role definitions between sales and marketing
  • The need for lead definitions across buyer lifecycle stages
  • And so much more!

Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.

Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on "Why Did My B2B Tech Marketing Campaign Fail?"

Nick: Why didn’t my campaign work? It’s something that we hear sometimes from new clients who’ve said, oh yeah, we’ve worked with agencies before and my campaign never worked, or, we didn’t feel we got the best value for the investment.

So we thought it’d be great just to take the opportunity to unpack that topic a little bit. We think there’s two aspects or two perspectives that we can look at this topic.

The first is for clients maybe that have worked with an agency before, they’ve been spending their own marketing funds or some MDF funds, and they really didn’t get the results that they were expecting. So we’ll go into that first of all. And then secondly, we’ll look at it from the perspective of a client that’s maybe more experienced but is facing challenges internally, getting pushback from different parts of the business, getting pressure from their sales teams to deliver more leads or whatever it may be.

That’s the other aspect or the other perspective that we want to investigate today anyway. But let’s start, first of all by looking at that that client that says, Jeremy, Nick, I used to work with this agency and our campaigns didn’t work. We invested, what we thought were what was good investments into the campaign, and we just didn’t get the results that we’re looking for.

Jeremy, what’s usually behind that sentiment or what’s usually happened when you hear someone say something like that?

Jeremy: It’s a really interesting topic, Nick, because the exposure that businesses have had to marketing support is important to look at, to understand.

In what ways has that swayed their decision making sense Then, And so when they talk to us about how their previous campaigns didn’t work, or marketing doesn’t work for them, it’s really important to unpack. What is behind that and what actually happened, and to what degree did they have support and what Budget was allocated and how much time was given to those activities.

So if we look at any of those specific areas, what we see was that an agency was engaged that generally didn’t have experience in the technology sector, much less even in the B2B tech sector. And the advice tends to have been what normal marketing campaigns. R, which is to run paid search to run LinkedIn ads, perhaps to send emails via an email marketing campaign.

But generally speaking, it is the. Type of marketing that you would see in any business. And as we know, B2B tech is so specific and unique, and the sales cycles are so long across so many decision makers in a buying committee type scenario, that generally speaking, the type of agency that was engaged probably wasn’t the right fit for them.

So that would be the first aspect. And is that something that you’ve seen?

Nick: Yeah, no, I think that’s really interesting because you are right about the specificity of the industry of the sector and as you say, those buying committees or even if it’s not a formal buying committee, there’s usually a number of different influences on any decision.

I think what we’ve found to go into how we start to address that is by looking at account-based marketing campaigns that gives us the ability to say what’s the, what, what are the firms in the sector that you’re interested in? And what are the types of roles that you want to be speaking to that you want to get a message in front of?

And then building campaigns around trying to have impact across multiple roles or multiple identities within the the target clients that you identify. So I think that’s one of the things that I think we find successful that maybe. It’s clearly becoming more common but maybe it’s not as widespread in its use in other sectors.

Jeremy: Totally. And another factor that we see driving this disgruntlement with previous marketing exercises has been the aspect of time. We talk a lot about time to impact and how much time is required to even get someone’s attention.

Yeah. Then eliciting trust over time, ensuring that this person on the other end has some form of known pain point, that you have a solution for that pain point, that they recognize that you have the solution and they understand that when they go to research that you should be one of the considerations.

Yeah, that takes time. Yeah. Yeah. Meanwhile what we find is we unpack the disgruntlement is that time wasn’t allowed for or given to a campaign. Yeah. The, there is a pressure to drive revenue. As fast as possible. Yeah. These listed companies need to drive revenue on a quarterly basis as they’re publicly reporting or private companies need to drive outcomes immediately as part of their internal cycles.

It has to happen fast, and yeah. Yeah. The approach that gets taken is what is gonna make an impact right now they. They know that digital marketing can do something for them, or they want it to do something for them, but they’re applying the time. The rapidity of what can happen when you’re picking up the phone and calling in a BDR team to Find people who already are searching for solutions to their problems that you can book meetings straight away.

That happens instantly. Yeah. They’re trying to replicate that in digital marketing. Yeah. And so when results aren’t achieved within weeks or the first few months, there is an immediate internal psychological switch off that this campaign has failed. Yeah. Yeah. Because the right success metrics and the right expectations haven’t been set as to what’s even possible.

Nick: And I think that’s really interesting, the point you raise about looking at the results from a, for a BDR team versus looking at the results from a marketing campaign. And to me, the. I guess the binary nature of how you’ve presented that and how that’s been reflected to us is part of the issue because both sides have an important role to play.

A BDR team should not be calling a completely cold list of prospects. They will be far more successful if they’re calling a list of prospects. It’s been exposed to a number of different messages from your brand that have expressed an interest through some sort of. Maybe a content download or attending a webinar or a, or another event.

So they’re warmed up. And that’s really the role of the, the marketing demand generation to get those warmed up leads to the BDRs. Conversely we would not want marketing We would not wanna be spending marketing demand generation money on warmed up leads.

That’s not our role. Once a lead has been qualified from the marketing perspective, that needs to go to the sales team, they need to then kick into gear and complete their actions, have the conversations, close the clients. Marketing’s role must be for the colder leads. Further up the funnel where we’re starting to introduce the brand, starting to introduce the solutions as a a way to solve the problem that the business has and starting to talk about why you are the best provider of that service warming that lead up.

Then handing it over to the BDR team. Anyway, I’m digressing a little bit there, but I just think it’s really interesting, that it’s seen as an either/or, whereas to me it must be a. Together are both if possible is the best way, is the best way to run it. I think the other thing that I think is really interesting, and I’d love your opinion on this is, we talk to clients and prospects about search engine optimization, SEO, creating organic leads to your website.

People I think intellectually understand. Why you want to do that, why it makes sense, but are often hesitant to invest cause of maybe some of the time factors that you’re talking about. How do you have that conversation?

Jeremy: It’s a really interesting one, particularly as we segue out of the discussion of, I need leads now.

Optimizing your website being your most critical and important marketing asset out of all of your marketing collateral or strategies or tactics. And there’s. Plenty research out there to say that the website is this most critical. It’s not up for debate anymore, that your website is your core to everything that you’re doing.

The optimization component and the need for medium to long-term outcomes is the result of the volume of competition. In search. Why would we want to compete in search? It’s because we want to be found. And I think this is a really important conversation to have with business leaders who potentially don’t have marketing background or are, haven’t been exposed to this concept because it can seem like dark arts to them.

But when you unpack rationally what it means, To be found over time and what that can result what that can impact your your sales cycles internally by having having your solutions. Found by people who already have known pain points and are already searching for solutions to those and have used your collateral and your content online to enable them to move along a buyer life cycle.

Moving from research to decision making. Having that happen without a discussion from your BDR or sales team, and have it happen entirely digitally. Yeah. Is the benefits, the compound, the you have shorter sales cycles As a result you have an increase in lead influx as a result of not having a direct correlation between your advertising spend and your lead pipeline.

The benefits are there. The I think the blocker is the amount of time it takes to compete with those who have already been investing in this over time. Yeah. In some cases for years or over decades. But understanding that it’s an incremental investment and looking for strategic investments within it to potentially outperform where competitors have either underperformed or not invested.

Can lead to more short-term benefits but it is a bigger picture, long-term investment that drives results over time.

Nick: Cool. No, thank you. And speaking of investments when we think about the budget that gets allocated to marketing campaigns or to demand generation activities more generally one of the things that I find is that there is a.

A mismatch or a maybe a conceptual gap between what your investments should be expected to achieve. And, when we are talking about demand generation, should your investment drive leads straightaway, should your investment be measured on something else? How you know? When I’m having that discussion, I’m focusing on what are you trying to achieve?

If you’re trying to achieve X number of leads, then let’s do the maths backwards from there and work out, How many visitors you need to have to your website? How many people need to in interact with a certain p piece of contact content? How many people need to attend a webinar or watch a training video or some similar resource like that?

Before and by, by doing that maths back then you can actually start to say what is the budget that we need to invest to. Get that throughput through your funnel. Is that something that, that you find as well? How do you have those conversations?

There is a disparity amongst those who have not invested proactively into marketing between what they expect their outcome can be and their actual investment.

There is something that happens within people where the amount of time it takes to make a decision to invest in marketing, be it content creation, be it overhauling their website to optimize it, be it. Digital advertising to reach new net new prospects and pull them into a funnel. The amount of time it takes them to make the decision to invest is so long that they need outcomes immediately.

And it tends to be by way of investments that are unrealistic to achieve those expectations. Yeah. There is either not enough education in the marketplace either. There’s not enough education within businesses or enough exposure to have an understanding that it’s expensive to reach people’s attention to get on their radar because you’re competing with everyone else.

And in B2B tech, it’s again removed because you’re trying to get attention In the first instance for a sales cycle that might be 12, 18, 24 months. And so it needs to be a sustained attention grab over time again, which requires investment. I think we’re on a mission to dispel the myth that there is a magical source of leads.

That the, that with the right strategy, a minuscule budget can achieve outside, unlocked, proportional lead flows. It’s But this belief exists and is widespread that if we just had the the secret unlock that we could achieve our marketing goals by under investing in it

Generally speaking, those who have not invested in marketing before tend to not want to start. Or when they do, they want to trial and tiptoe into it. Yeah. Whereas they wouldn’t do so with sales placements. So it’s continued education required.

Nick: Yeah. And because let’s face it, there is a minimum that you’re gonna need to spend to actually have any impact at all.

I think we see that on digital advertising. We see that on content creation campaigns. We see that across anything. It would be, to, again, to use the SD R example that you brought up. Having an S D R who can only call for half an hour a day. They are by definition you are inhibiting their ability to be successful.

You need to have someone calling for the whole day or half a day in doing, lead generation or some other activity the other half day, whatever it may be. But it’s their idea that, oh, let’s just start a LinkedIn campaign spending, I don’t know, $50 a day and we’ll see how that goes.

And then if it’s working, they’ll spend more money. It’s never gonna work, is it?

Jeremy: Not only is it never going to work, it’s not even, if we pull that thought process apart. Tiptoeing into it to understand the results. Even if there were results, those results will never be large enough for a business leader to then say, we should double, triple, quadruple our investment.

To get that much more leads. It’s implausible and impossible. Yeah. Therefore, the campaign will fail. Regardless. Yeah. Because expectations cannot be met.

Nick: Yeah. You’re setting yourself up for failure straight away. The other thing that I find interesting about this before you close off the section is the idea of coming back to that point you were making before about the slowness of decision making and maybe the reluctance to actually make an investment, is that we’ve seen we’ve seen partners and clients who are actually.

Not spending kind of the free money that’s been given to ’em, that they’ve been allocated some money through a marketing development fund program and for whatever reason, whether that’s their own internal unease at investing in marketing or just their inability to make a decision, they actually leave.

Tens of thousands of dollars on the table. What can we do about that? How can we help those clients actually spend that money and build those successful campaigns?

Jeremy: There’s some very clear inhibitors that prevent people. And I think some of them are psychological. Yeah.

And some of them are just being unaware of how much is being left on the table. The, in, in the first component, I think they’re the, some of these inhibitions revolve around the particular vendor who might have MDF available most. Tech businesses that we work with or that are in the B2B tech ecosystem have somewhere in the range of eight to 12 vendor partners.

Yeah. On average. And I, if any one of those vendors is unlocking, offering, enabling access to MDF support, it immediately triggers a crisis within the business. Because if they are. Going to market favouring a vendor. There is there’s a deer in the headlights paralysis of, are we only going to be known for this?

And it prevents them from doing anything because they haven’t been and cannot, therefore, because there’s a belief that suddenly that they they only offer. Pen testing. Yeah. Or cloud computing or some type of security offer. And their service catalog is broad and ultimately they want, if it’s an msp, they want to handle everything for their end user clients.

And they don’t want to be known for any one thing. So it prevents, at the end of the day, it’s a blocker.

Nick: Yeah. But at the end of the day, you can start with one service and then expand within the client when you show that you’re doing a great job. I would’ve thought.

Jeremy: That is, that’s the rational answer.

But there’s a belief because they have not been communicating, there’s almost a belief that if we start communicating that our reputation will instantly be only that. And there’s a misunderstanding that no one is out there waiting to hear from you. Yeah. Yeah. Which is also really hard for them to, to take on board.

Nick: But I guess that’s, that sort of comes back to the point you were making earlier as well, is if you were to only invest your marketing funds against a single vendor for two years, then probably you would be known as the, the pen testing M or whatever it may be.

But actually, If you’re doing a campaign for a quarter, that’s not gonna happen. And, in the same way you were talking about the demand generation activity takes time to have an impact. It’s exactly the same thing, isn’t it? So they’re almost hamstringing themselves through an over lia on a certain way of thinking, which is, if I spend money, things must happen straight away.

And actually they’re really defeating the purpose of investing in demand generation

Jeremy: A hundred per cent. There’s another challenge here in that they have a suite of vendor partners or alliances, but they as a result of not having grown marketing talent in-house or having access to it externally by way of an agency.

They are unable to understand how they can apply MDF support and resources available to them from different vendors in a way that satisfies vendor MDF Acquittals. Yeah. Or their partner program tiering systems, but at the same time is structured in a way where they have their their own unique.

Brand with their own values and principles that is going to market in a structured and sustained way, bringing services and products to market, reflecting their own brand powered by these vendors, but not leading with products and services, but coming from a point of view of being trusted advisor and and enabling and unlocking resolutions to end user pain points.

They don’t have that internal advice to be able to structure that. Yeah. Which blocks them again, because the paralysis sets in of. We’re only going to be known for one or two things and therefore we should do nothing. Yeah.

Nick: Because there is a great credibility isn’t there, from co-branding your marketing activity with a vendor partner.

They inevitably will be a significantly more recognizable brand than you will be. And you are getting credibility, you’re getting gravitas from from that association it says to prospects. If, if vendor X trusts us, then maybe you should as well. So I think that’s something that’s maybe overlooked and when that paralysis sets in.

Jeremy: It’s a such a good point. And at the same time, we need to be Empathetic or even empathic towards partners because there is also a fear that the the vendor brand will either out outshine or that they are somehow beholden to the vendor in a way that they don’t want to be. And this is where I. Deeply appreciate the work that you’re doing with our clients and vendors is getting the balance right, of leading with partner brand.

And and displaying their value proposition in a way that is. Supported by the vendor and leads to outcomes that satisfy the vendor, whether it’s increase of consumption or sales of more widgets or Yeah, or increase of lead pipeline. That can be satisfied, but it needs to be from the point of view of partner brand because that needs to.

That needs to be the leader in the story because ultimately they’re the ones that are going to be trusted on the end user side to, to have whatever best practice and best in market solutions regardless of what the vendor brands are. And once there’s an understanding on the partner side that this is possible and achievable in partnership with their technology alliances without it being detrimental to their own brand and their own sales motions. Yeah, they can radically compound over time. And that’s where I think the true unlock is for partners.

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. No, great. Thank you. And thank you for the complimentary words as well. I think it’ll be great now to look at the second aspect of this.

Why did my campaign not work, which is about. More of an internal thing within the client, that alignment between marketing and sales. So as I was reflecting on this topic I really thought that it would be interesting to examine it. Examine the, why don’t my campaign work not work from this perspective?

Because this is something that we know that our clients, the marketing manager, the marketing director, hears from their sales team, their management, their leadership, and I thought it’d be great if we could just unpack. A couple of topics here. Maybe one around expectation management. Maybe one around clear allocation of responsibilities and maybe one just at more base, at a more base level at understanding.

You know how that lead generation, that demand generation process fits together? How do marketing and and sales work together? Because in my experience the most successful sales teams are the ones that are integrated most tightly or efficiently, if you like, with the marketing teams.

Conversely, the most successful B2B marketing teams are the ones that understand that the output of their actions is creating. Great leads for their sales team to chase up great opportunities for their sales team to chase down. So that’s, I think that’s we all know that’s the goal, but often sometimes it breaks down.

For instance, when does a lead pass from marketing to sales? This is something that I think if we asked our clients, we’d get, 20 different answers as to, to that question. And of course there’s always gonna be different processes at work within different different organizations. But fundamentally, I don’t think that’s something that’s well understood or maybe well communicated.

Within a lot of within a lot of commercial teams go to market teams within businesses. Where do you think that line or that, that transition should be, and you know how. How does it work? When it really works well,

Jeremy: There are a number of scenarios that we come across. One of the most common, I believe, has two core aspects lacking within an organization, and it is a concise definition around what is the role of marketing and what is the role of sales?

Those concise definitions. Or the lack thereof generally means that there’s an adversarial culture. Yeah. And there’s been a lot of finger pointing over years and it means that they’ve gone their separate paths and are working in silos within a company.

And this is really common. This isn’t criticism at all. It’s something that we need to be understanding of, and. And aware of how this has occurred over time to find a pathway out of this. It usually means that the sales teams have not had what they thought was the support that they should have had.

And therefore are doing their own thing. And whether it’s the usage of MarTech tools for sales functions now, or taking control of their own campaigns or doing their own outbound prospecting. That’s all fine.

And then marketing tends to have a a traditionally have KPI set on it that a certain number of qualified leads needs to be generated on a monthly or quarterly basis.

That KPI there drives decision making that tends to not be to the best interest of the company because it lowers the bar on what is a marketing qualified lead. What most often occurs is that a single action. From a prospect, some form of recognition or registration of interest or intent immediately signals that this is an MQ l ready to buy sq.

We had 50 downloads of our white paper. Yeah, K P I met. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And. If the white paper was written in such a way to be compelling and addressing pain points that doesn’t register anything other than someone possibly thinking about something or being interested in something.

But because it’s been so driven in the way that it has been, the, they then think that person should be called. Yeah. And so that person gets a call nowhere near ready. To engage in any way because they’ve just downloaded something and, yeah. Yeah. And therefore, disgruntlement increases and you get the adversarial “marketing doesn’t do anything for us because we get all these junk leads because they’re not ready to talk to us or they’re not ready to meet”, the disparity increases, the gulf between marketing and sales increases.

Nick: I love your point about the sales teams actually operating the MarTech tools, operating the marketing CRM. We had a client who we’ve worked with them on a new service launch. And as part of that we’d done the launch activity and then we’d started to look at some demand generations.

So building some demand generation funnels within their tool. Scripting out emails, creating content that would be to be interacted in with and obviously progress the prospect through the funnel. Gave that all over to the client. They had the tool, they were implementing it.

About a month later, they came to back to me and said, Nick, my campaign’s not working. And I was like, oh, what do you mean it’s not working? W where, what, where are the gaps? What’s going wrong? Oh no one’s really responding to the emails that we are sending out. And I was like, oh, that’s strange because, we, we have pretty well established Metrics in terms of open rates and click rates and things like that.

And they just weren’t hitting any of those at all. And so I had access to that tool, went into the tool, and what I observed was that they hadn’t used any of the emails that we’d developed. The sales team had gone in and written emails and had just been sending them out to the database. And of course the sales team, when they write an email, first of all, there were some grammar issues which kind of makes you look unprofessional and makes you question whether you actually wanted to be interacting with this company.

But more than that, the sales team there focus in the email. Don’t forget, this is a cold outreach email to a database. The first email was click here to book some time in my diary.

It was straight from the top of the funnel. You’ve never heard of me and you dunno who I am to. Okay let’s sit down and chat and I can take you through our offer, all them on email.

And they’re surprised that’s not working. I don’t think I was surprised that it’s not working because there should be a lot more of a process that happens in between the, you’ve never heard of me and let’s sit down and chat.

I think that’s a great example of where it’s, and it’s probably come from sales thinking they’re doing the right thing. They’ve got this great new tool, why don’t we utilize it? But maybe also a bit of frustration with the marketing team that marketing is saying, okay, we need time to build the demand generation and then you’ll get your leads.

The expectation management, I think is another theme that we see popping up quite often. Is that something that you’ve had experience dealing with and how do you manage that?

Jeremy: It leads into the second most common scenario in that. There aren’t lead definitions agreed on by everyone.

And so the mismanagement of expectations generally comes from the inability to define what even is a lead and how do we categorize that and how do we understand. Using data to show us that this is a lead at a particular stage in what we would call a buyer life cycle.

So if we’re thinking about strangers out, out there, Finding us and or us finding them and they become prospects or subscribers or they somehow come into the database. Yeah. And over time they transition to leads and somehow they’re qualified by marketing.

They become marketing qualified leads and in time, then sales qualified leads to become opportunities, and then they close to customers.

That whole life cycle generally isn’t tightly defined. And so the expectation we most commonly see is that it’s not that sales want more leads to qualify and nurture sales wants marketing to deliver “buy-ready leads” who are ready to close and have conversations now. And that’s not anyone’s fault, that’s just a belief that occurs.

And so in a process of defining those lead stages, what is absolutely fascinating is you get agreement on that. And then you deploy marketing to deliver that against those tightly defined lead stages.

Once you are delivering from a marketing perspective, delivering on what you agree on, and have metrics around the marketing qualified sales, qualified leads that are in the system and how they’re flowing in through different campaign motions.

Then what it opens up is. We’re getting all these leads, why aren’t we closing them? Yeah. Yeah. That starts a different conversation. Okay. Yeah. It, the first instance that we see is it’s a lash out against marketing. Yeah. And that’s fine. We just have to take it. Marketing gets blamed for most things in companies.

But, the reality then tends to be is our guys aren’t used to nurturing. Yeah. Or they’re not used to chasing, they’re unused to having probing conversations to lead people down. A process of qualifying them on the sales side because there had been, to date, a belief that I walk in.

They already have a known issue. They already know what we need, how much is …

Nick: gonna cost, how long to implement.

Jeremy: I’m just gonna, here’s the menu of everything that we offer. And what do you need? It’s normal. It’s common. But once, once you have the definitions then you can start having the harder conversations, which get more esoteric and qualitative because, they’re not the right kind of leads.

They fit all the metrics, but they’re not the right one. You can have all those challenges, but at least there’s data then. And you can have leadership teams or even managing directors or CEOs then step in and make a call as to what’s gonna be going forward.

Those tend to be the two major issues. You’ve got the lack of definition around leads across all stages, and the lack of definition around the roles across the teams who are all working to support the same mission in a company. Yeah.

Nick: Awesome. Thank you. So that’s been a great discussion on why didn’t my campaign work.

Jeremy, I really enjoyed our conversation. Thank you very much for that. I guess just one message to leave everyone with is, maybe we are looking at this the wrong way. Maybe “why didn’t my campaign work” is actually a success factor.

We only learn by making mistakes. We only get better by trying things that don’t work, so that we know that when we try something that does work, we’ve got something to compare it against.

So maybe we need to be looking at my, why didn’t my campaign work? That one didn’t work, but probably the next one will cause we’re gonna learn what happened.

Here are Filament founders Nick Horton and Jeremy Balius, discussing all things Go-to-Market for B2B tech companies.

Topics covered include:

  • Common challenges and pitfalls Go-To-Market teams face
  • Timeframes of Go-To-Market motions
  • How to talk to non-marketing business leaders about demand generation
  • The critical importance of a value proposition
  • The challenge of expectations in B2B marketing
  • Taking a multi-horizon approach to Go-To-Market motions
  • And so much more!

A key takeaway phrase from this conversation is to “always be going to market” in your B2B technology business.

Click play to watch the discussion or read the transcript below.

Transcript of Nick & Jeremy's discussion on Go-To-Market Strategies for B2B Tech Companies

Jeremy: Hey, Nick, what are some of the common challenges that B2B tech companies are facing as they’re taking products and services to market?

Nick: Yeah. Hey, thanks Jeremy.

It’s a great question and something that we get often from our clients.

I think the first thing that we see quite often is that there’s a mismatch between what the local go-to-market team wants to do and what the overall organization is asking them to do.

We know in Southeast Asian markets, for instance, that Chinese New Year is two weeks where no one’s working. I’ve worked in businesses where we’ve launched products in Chinese New Year and it doesn’t work. Cause you are selling into a market that’s just not buying at that time.

And that’s a real common pitfall, actually getting that alignment. Another example was when I was working for a handset manufacturer in Europe. One of our clients one of our big telco clients in Europe. They had a very structured buying cycle. The key. Selling period at for them was in the lead up to Christmas.

So basically from the end of October through to the middle of December. So their whole process was about selecting the products that they wanted to launch in that timeframe, making sure that the marketing and go to market was lined up against that. And that process actually started in about February.

The, 10 months ahead of when the activity was actually gonna happen. And a lot of my job was actually working with our head office teams to help them understand that dynamic, help them understand that we will be extremely successful if we are able to deliver and our planning and our go-to market and our marketing lines up with.

The key buying windows effectively that our clients had. So solving that mismatch or finding a way through that mismatch is one of the key things that you can do to ensure success of your go-to-market launch. But also, it’s one of the failures that we see too often happening.

Jeremy: Yeah and I think the mismatch there is a really critical word, particularly when we are considering the messaging and the communication strategy being developed very late in the piece. Yep. W. What kind of timeframes do you see? Commonly as we are brought in to support businesses or what we see businesses do as they’re preparing or taking products to market whether the product or the service has already been developed.

And then they’re trying to develop messaging almost as the final phase in the final lead up.

Nick: Yeah. And look, I think this is a the, this timing challenge is something that all of our clients will be familiar with. We know in the B2C world you launched a new product, you put it on the supermarket shelves, it’s gonna start selling straight away.

But in the B2B world, we have to be building demand for the product with service way ahead of actually the sale taking place. So obviously, you know that timing depends. And so where we’re where we find the pressure really goes on is a new product for service comes to market. W we work with our client to make sure that there’s a good period of demand generation that we’re building up demand, that we’re really starting to position the product as a way to solve that key business challenge for for the prospective customer.

But does that constant pressure to. Give me leads straightaway. Give me appointments straightaway. Give me sales straightaway. And Being able to come in early, be involved in the planning process, being considered about the, when we expect results to happen, that there will need to be a period of demand generation.

It could be a month, it could be six months, depending on the product or service and depending on the sales cycle that we’re selling into, just. Making sure that’s really built into the into the planning process so that’s gonna really guarantee the success that we’re following a very thoughtful and planned out approach around the timing of the launch.

Jeremy: What you’re saying is no publishing a press release and sales flowing in the same day.

Nick: Yeah. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? The reality and, our experience tells us that it does take a little bit longer. We see a lot of business leaders who are running awesome tech businesses.

Jeremy: The, let’s say a layer down from what you were just describing previously, turnover is 50 to a hundred mil. They’ve got fantastic cloud computing services or security offerings. These businesses often only have a single marketer or a small team. They are launching a new service and are relying on a couple of individuals to take that to market and are expecting immediate outcomes.

How do we talk to these business leaders about demand in the first instance?

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, a situation that we often find ourselves in.

By working with them as part of a team, we’re really able to identify, what is that go-to-market journey what is that buying journey for a client that they need to go through. And, typically it’ll be a client will or a prospect will, will understand that they have a business challenge.

They start looking for partners that can help solve that challenge. They start to eliminate Suppliers or vendors that for one of, for whatever reason, don’t provide a great challenge. Then they go into an evaluation phase and then they really start to gather information around, what’s it gonna be like to deploy?

What’s the pricing gonna be, what’s the support gonna be? All of those questions that you need to have ticked off before you before you buy. And then probably at that stage will be when the prospect actually wants to start talking to a salesperson. So sometimes we see a real pressure for as soon as someone fills in a form on a website as an example, or responds to a LinkedIn campaign.

The sales team wanna get on the phone with that person straight away, or they wanna send an appointment with that prospect straight away. And so it’s really helping as part of that combined team define, who does what. And the marketer’s role is to take all of those. People that are filled in a form and really nurture them so that when the sales team speaks to that prospect, they’re really in a position to, to buy and hammer out the deal or hammer out the terms of what they want to and the basis on which they want to engage.

That’s really a lot of the support that we provide for that. Solo marketer, if you like, is really helping define that framework. Looking at how the demand generation process feeds into a lead generation process, feeds into a sale and being very considerate about the role of the different communications within that process.

Jeremy: Let’s say I’m the Chief Revenue Officer of a infrastructure as a service provider. We’ve got all our kit sitting on VMware. We also hook in Cisco and Dell and a few other vendors.

We are launching a desktop as a service into market. Or some kind of virtual desktop service. Where do I start? I don’t feel like my database has prospects because I feel like I’ve been caning that with EDMs all along anyways. I don’t know how to get this message to market. We have a service page. We’ve got an inquiry form. My marketers are publishing content to social media. I’ve got a speaking engagement coming up at an event. What am I doing wrong?

Nick: Yeah. I guess the, oftentimes you’re probably not doing anything wrong. Your tactics are probably correct.

You probably know from previous product launches that going to events is a great way to speak to decision makers quickly. Having advertising campaigns or having direct email campaigns are a good way to keep a audience warmed up or start to build a demand within an audience.

If that message is not getting cut through, then I think probably what you need to be doing is looking more fundamentally at what your value proposition is. How do you match up what your or. What you’re selling or how you talk about what you’re selling with, what your clients are actually asking for.

And if you can go through an exercise and it doesn’t need to be, a long drawn out strategic consulting type engagement but go through the exercise of just. Reevaluating your value proposition or even maybe developing a value proposition if you haven’t had one to really understand, first of all, what is the problem you’re trying to solve?

How does your product solve that problem? From a, let’s call it a functional perspective, why would someone want to buy your product? So that’s more from. An emotional perspective or less of a functional basis. And then why does your product solve their problem better than the competitors? And if you can, define that for your product and service and use that to influence all of your communications, your speech at the event, the content of your emails, maybe reordering the information on your service page.

Cause the information’s probably all still there. All there. You probably, maybe just need to produce it or display it in a different way. Then you should start to see the results, because then your value proposition is giving you that ability to provide the interface between your capability and the demand that your prospects have for a product or service like your your desktop as a service solution.

Jeremy: There’s a couple of points you made that I want to continue to discuss. It sounds to me like one of the challenges here is a challenge of expectations. I think it from what you’re saying, it really sounds like I as a business leader of a tech company expect immediate return. Is that viable?

Nick: Maybe in some instances it is in our experience and with the clients that we are working with in the B2B technology space, I don’t think that’s realistic. You. In order to be able to get immediate success, you are gonna have to be making a lot of noise, garnering a lot of attention.

There needs to be a realism about the impact that your communication is gonna have and the fact that it’s a, it’s an ongoing investment with a consistent strategy and a consistent proposition that you’re taking to market that’s ultimately gonna be successful.

And I think also, By going through that process. What that also means is that as you as your customers, now, customers deploy the solution. They’re going to discover that yes, you are actually solving the problem or the business challenge that they have. Therefore, they’re more likely to stay with you for longer.

Your retention rate’s gonna be higher, your tune’s gonna be lower. So having that consistency of approach and being realistic about the expectations for the launch. Are all, what in the long term’s gonna be successful in the short term though? It would be, and this is again where it’s about the commercial team, the go-to market team, i e sales and marketing and customer success, actually working together as a team and finding that friendly customer to start a trial that you can announce from the launch or.

Upgrading an existing customer onto the new capability. So again, they can be part of your launch communications, part of the media or PR releases that you’re putting out saying, Hey, we are deploying to this client. Or CIO at this company says this product with service solves our problem by doing that.

So you can get the impact of those quick sales, by creating those situations, which then also helps your your demand generation because they’re the case studies or the proof points that your potential prospects or customers are gonna be looking at as they go through the buying process with you.

Jeremy: I think the concept of time is a really fascinating one because it sounds to me like you are talking about go to market being more than just the horizon of the launch. That there’s a, yeah. Multi horizon approach here to sustain a go to market. Can you talk a little bit more about what that means?

Nick: Yeah, and that, that’s an excellent point. And I think it’s really important just to remind ourselves that go to market is not the launch event. Go to market. The launch event of course, is a really important part of the go-to market. That’s probably the opportunity to, get a bit of media coverage or get some write-ups, invite your existing customers or prospects to come along and be part of an experience which is going to help create demand for the product or service going forward.

But yeah, to me, a go to market is about all three of the commercial parts of the business being engaged in terms of the marketing, who are gonna be responsible for the demand generation, the sales who obviously are gonna be responsible for signing up those prospects and turning them into customers.

And then the customer success who really take over once the sale has happened and ensure that the implementation and the ongoing use of the. Product or service is successful. So yeah, the go to market really is about that whole process. How do you build demand generation? Demand generation should start before a product launch.

So your go to market process actually starts with the demand generation before the product launch. But it’s that continuous process, I would say in reality. Most B2B technology businesses, although maybe they don’t think about the, think about it this way, are just constantly going to market.

It’s not just about a product launch. It’s about what is our strategy to make this product or service line successful over the long term? What can we learn as we go along? I think probably in this conversation we’ll get into it a bit more about. How do you make a product launch replicable or the success of a product launch replicable?

But, having that mindset that we’re always going to market. That that the process to take a product or service to market is not just about a day or an event or a series of events. It’s a team effort over a longer period of time.

As with many other business marketing processes, your sales and marketing effort needs to take your potential customer on a journey that builds trust and brand loyalty. Lead nurturing is a technique that drives that objective. It is a vital component in any successful email campaign strategy. From the initial lead magnet to the final sale, continuous message reinforcement ensures your prospects keep a positive momentum down your sales funnel.

What Is an Email Nurture Sequence?

An email nurture sequence is a queued set of engaging emails that are sent to a prospect or lead from a marketing automation platform or auto-responder over a scheduled period of time after they take some form of action that triggers the start of the sequence. The purpose can vary and can include educating, inspiring, qualifying, building credibility and eliciting trust.

Triggers can include any form of action that can be registered and can include subscribing to a blog, activating a free trial, downloading a content offer, completing a form, interacting via web chat and many others. Email nurture sequences tend to be conversational in tone and are scheduled according to a rhythm deemed best for a particular target audience. The marketing automation enables qualifying and personalized nurturing at scale.

Email nurture sequences are also known as an email nurture series, a drip campaign, a sales cadence and sometimes more broadly as an email nurture campaign.

What Are The Different Types Of Email Sequences?

There are several types of email sequences, and each one nurtures leads by delivering content relevant to a particular use case or lead at lifecycle stage they are, such as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) or Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs). Depending on the prospective customer requirements, their mindset, and where the lead came from, each campaign must tailor its approach to achieve the objective of nurturing a lead into a sale.

1) Lead nurturing email sequence

The purpose of this email sequence is to establish a lasting relationship between your brand and your target audience. Its goal is to build trust with appropriate content along the user journey. Ideally, your automated messaging campaign will enrich the customer’s experience through each sales funnel stage. A successful lead nurturing email sequence provides tailored content that drives a sale by reinforcing a personalised, relevant experience enhancing the trust in your brand.

Common email sequence triggers

The following examples illustrate the typical kickoff points for a successful lead nurturing email sequence.

  • Gated content downloads with a lead magnet such as a free ebook or trial software
  • Webinars and events
  • Newsletter subscription

2) Customer welcome and onboarding email sequence

A welcome email sequence is a series of emails you automatically send to someone after they subscribe to your email list. Its purpose is to introduce your product or service, get the new subscriber excited about your offering, and ultimately make a sale. Historically, welcome emails have higher open rates than any other email marketing campaign. Considering this fact, they provide you with the best opportunity to make an impression while your prospect is still a hot lead.

Common email sequence triggers

Common email sequence triggers for customer welcome and onboarding include:

  • Signing up for a regular Newsletter
  • Registering for a new service
  • New follow on your Social Media accounts

3) Review, testimonial or referral request email sequence

Having a trusted online presence is vital in an economy where almost every commercial transaction starts with an online search. Leveraging your existing customers to provide your business with glowing reviews and referrals helps strengthen the trustworthiness of your brand. Since reading your reviews is the first thing most people do after finding your site, you need to proactively harness the potential of this digital word of mouth channel. A review, testimonial, or referral request email sequence is a tool that can automate this crucial process for you.

Common email sequence triggers

Below are a few common email sequence triggers for this type of lead nurturing:

  • After a customer has had a positive interaction with your support service
  • When subscribers renew their paid subscription
  • At a set interval, e.g. after the client has actively used your product or service for six months

4) Upsell email sequence

A well-known fact in sales and marketing is that selling to an existing customer has a greater chance of success than closing a deal with a new prospect. Upselling allows you to leverage the current relationship and trust you enjoy with an existing client by selling them a more expensive product or service. Introducing an automated upsell email sequence is particularly beneficial if you offer higher-priced subscriptions or provide a wide range of products and services.

Common email sequence triggers

For this type of nurturing campaign, you could use the following sequence triggers

  • Sufficient time has elapsed to derive value from a recent purchase
  • The customer attempted to complete an activity that a license tier didn’t include
  • Product protection by offering a complementary service

5) Free trial expiry email sequence

The core purpose of a free trial expiry email sequence is to convert trial users into paying customers. Ideally, this campaign should reinforce the value derived from using your trial software. However, convincing a trial prospect to take up a paid subscription often takes more than one email. The free trial expiry email sequence is an automated campaign that nurtures leads, converting them into confirmed customers.

Common email sequence triggers

You should trigger your automated email campaign when the user’s trial is set to expire. However, you need to ensure you provide sufficient time to allow the user to subscribe before the trial ends.

6) Re-engagement email sequence

The purpose of a re-engagement email sequence is to win back lost subscribers. The focus of this marketing campaign should not only be on people that have unsubscribed. Those who remain subscribed, but have stopped interacting with your brand, also require re-engagement. Focussing on inactive subscribers that have engaged with you is a proven lead nurturing method as these organisations or individuals were past customers. Since they already know your brand and have used your products and services, the resources needed to educate them are far less than those required to nurture new prospects.

Common email sequence triggers

Triggers that typically kick off this email series include:

  • Lead with no interaction
  • Last three newsletters not opened
  • User in the process of unsubscribing

The Importance Of Marketing Automation Platforms

Nurturing leads with an email campaign requires automation. Manually sending emails to different target groups at specific time intervals is not feasible. In fact, it would be impossible if you have a list with thousands of subscribers, each at distinct points in their buying journey.

Many automated solutions help you create, implement, and monitor marketing email campaigns. However, sending and managing email is only a tiny part of the entire marketing process. The real benefit comes from aligning your campaign strategy with your audience segments and segmenting between MQLs and SQLs. Some may have different pain points, while others are at various points in the buying cycle. Managing the entire lifecycle requires a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution.

There are a variety of email marketing platforms as well as CRMs with email nurture sequence capabilities that enable you to deploy an automated solution. These include:

  • Hubspot
  • Salesforce and Pardot
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Marketo
  • Act-On
  • SugarCRM
  • Drip
  • Mailshake
  • Leadboxer
  • Salesloft
  • Nutshell
  • Sharpspring
  • Keap
  • Autopilot
  • And many, many others.

How To Write The Perfect Email Nurture Sequence That Converts In 14 Easy Steps

A list of contacts and an automated lead nurturing solution are only two parts when you investigate how to create email nurture sequence. The third component needed to drive your strategy is content. The words, images, and even videos you share represent the voice of your organisation as you engage with your prospects.

However, simply writing a boilerplate template for every campaign is not feasible. Poorly written or unconvincing content can harm your brand, especially if you do not personalise it or ensure it forms part of your broader marketing identity. Similarly, you need to tailor your content to speak to the various personas interacting with your brand.

1) Define the objective

Creating the perfect sequence starts with defining your objective. Although converting prospects to customers is the apparent goal, you also need to set targets to ascertain the success of your email campaigns. Defining success metrics helps you measure the effectiveness of your email nurturing sequence against these objectives. It can also serve as a benchmark that you can use to continuously refine your target audience, send intervals, and email content.

2) Understand the audience

Understanding the audience of your nurturing campaign is a core component in determining its ultimate success. As with anything else in marketing, delivering the right content, at the perfect time, to the correct target is the primary goal.

The key here is relevance. With everyone’s inboxes inundated with daily emails, you need to ensure your campaign captures the reader’s attention. By personalising the email, drawing the reader’s attention with a meaningful subject line, and delivering it at the right time, your sequence stands a greater chance of success. Understanding how to build a buyer persona can help here.

Furthermore, segmenting your target audience is vital. Since prospects have different requirements and are at various places in their user journey, aligning your strategy with these factors can also drive a higher conversion rate.

3) Plan and map the sequence journey

Once you have defined your objective and segmented your audience, you need to plan and map your sequence journey. During this phase, you need to determine if your email sequences follow a logical workflow to help you achieve your stated goals and objectives.

For instance, does each step move your potential subscribers through their buyer’s journey? Will the content and timing ultimately achieve more sales? The outcome should be a plan that details at which stage you will send each email. Ideally, each email should have some form of a call to action. Using this mechanism helps you track the progress of your prospect down the sales funnel.

You should also set metrics such as open rate and click-through, which you can measure with your integrated CRM email automation solution. Finally, you should determine the type of email sequence you need to create for each objective. For instance, a time-based series may be more effective in some scenarios than one that operates on triggers alone.

4) Ensure value, rather than sales pitches

As mentioned earlier, in addition to segmenting your audience and building automation into your solution, your email content must be relevant and convincing. Firstly, you may want to address any frequently asked questions to minimise friction and expected replies that you would need to manage. It would help if you also addressed any known objections.

For instance, if the price is a buyer roadblock, this is the perfect time to show the value of your solution and build trust. By preempting general questions and objections, you not only reduce friction but also enhance trust. Finally, the content needs to be engaging. If possible, try and tell a story with a common thread through each email you send. As humans, we are wired to listen to stories that grab our attention, maintain it, and lead us to a conclusion. The conclusion, in this instance, is the action to make a purchase or subscribe.

5) Understand how to measure success

You cannot manage what you cannot measure and with a lead nurture sequence, measuring success at each stage is crucial. The ultimate goal of any email marketing campaign may be to convert leads into customers. However, this measure alone is not enough.

Ideally, it would help to calculate and analyse key metrics at each sequence stage. Understanding where leads fall off in the email series is vital if you are not achieving your conversion rate. For instance, your initial email may be a choke point that talks to a content issue or missing call to action. Alternatively, if they engage throughout the sequence but fail to take the final step and purchase, the problem may be price or an onerous buying process. The point being, you cannot unpack underlying issues with your lead nurturing sequence unless you obtain meaningful metrics during each phase.

6) Decide sequence triggers

The next step in the process is to determine your sequence triggers. For example, you could wait for the user to perform a specific action in email 1 before sending email 2 and email 3. Alternatively, you could send your emails in a time-based sequence. A hybrid strategy may be needed in particular use cases where you send email 2 or email 3 if the prospect hasn’t triggered the next action.

The trigger sequence you choose depends on the email campaign type. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You will need to align your series with your particular circumstances and refine your strategy as you implement subsequent campaigns.

7) Write the first email

The subject line of your first email is probably the most essential piece of content you will write for your email nurture sequence. It must be compelling and intriguing to ensure the subscribers open the email. As mentioned, people like to read stories, so write your email using a story-telling format where possible. This opportunity is also the best moment in the campaign to ask the reader to link to your social media accounts.

Another great technique to grab a reader’s attention is breaking a long piece of copy with a relevant quote or use case. Something that is not too long but compelling enough to get the reader engaged with the rest of the text. Where possible, keep the email as short as possible. Your copy needs to get the readers interested, drive home your product and service benefits, and conclude with a call to action.

8) Write an email for each stage of the sequence journey

Once you have completed the draft copy of your opening email, you need to write the content that you will put in the subsequent lead nurturing emails. Again, keep the copy as short as possible in this follow up email list and hook the reader with a quote, statistic, anecdote, or case study.

Using images is another tool you could use to grab attention. However, you need to optimise these for email delivery. Email clients, like Microsoft Outlook, may not download the image as a security precaution, so make sure your copy can stand alone.

The core purpose of any follow up email is to build your story and guide the user along the buyer journey. You, therefore, need to write with your final goal in mind. For example, address your prospect’s pain points and illustrate how your product or service addresses these.

9) Edit / review

With your draft copy complete, it is time for editing and reviewing. Run it through a spell and grammar check to make sure you eliminate any glaring errors and align to writing best practices. It also helps to get someone else to read it and provide feedback. When writing copy, you often overlook mistakes as you are so entrenched in your words. During this phase, you can also benefit from reviewing your sentence and paragraph structure and other elements such as font and colour.

10) Implement in marketing automation platform

Once you have completed reviewing and editing your automated series of emails, your solution is ready to implement. Upload it to your chosen marketing automation platform and review and edit your copy again. As some platforms apply formatting to the text, your email may need some readjustment. Many platforms also offer a test feature that allows you to send the email and check that everything looks and works as expected. You could have these delivered to your mailbox for a final internal review before user testing.

11) Test

Selecting a small percentage of your customers during this phase and initiating the marketing campaign to test your solution is the prudent next step and in line with deployment best practices. Taking this cautious approach will help you identify any significant problems that internal testing did not uncover. Since you are only deploying your lead nurturing solution to a limited set of prospects, you reduce your risk significantly. In addition to the risk mitigation advantage of following this route, you can also use any feedback or gathered metrics to refine your email marketing campaign.

12) Deploy to live

Once you have tested your solution on a subset of your prospects, you are ready to deploy the solution to live. Needless to say that you need to refine your solution with any insights you gained from the test phase. Depending on the type of campaign, the go-live may differ slightly. For example, if you implement a lead nurturing campaign, you can set the launch date to align with other components in your marketing strategy. However, if you are kicking off a trial expiry campaign, the trigger event needs to align with the trial expiry date of each potential subscriber.

13) Track metrics to measure success

As mentioned, you need to track metrics to measure the success of your lead nurturing emails. The test phase is ideal for setting a baseline to ascertain the expected outcome you anticipate. For instance, if you get a conversion rate of 15% during test but have a stated objective of 30%, you can track the effectiveness of the refinements your made post-test. Additionally, keeping track of email open and click-through rates can help you determine if your lead nurture sequence requires some adjustment. For example, if you see good metrics for email 1 and a significant drop off after that, the issue could lie in your first email’s call to action. Alternatively, your content may be lacking the substance that sets the audience up for the following email.

14) Review and edit content based on data

Once you have completed your first production run, you can take the metrics and lessons learned and refine your campaign further. The key to success is constant readjustment and alignment until your lead nurture sequence achieves the goals and objectives you set. Ultimately, your campaign must deliver the business result of transforming leads into customers.

Want To Nurture and Convert Your Leads At Scale With Email Nurture Sequences?

Contact us to identify how email nurture sequences can transform your lead nurturing and conversions.

For a comprehensive overview of how email marketing functions as part of your content marketing, visit Digital Marketing for Technology Companies: An Introduction.

Business leaders look to marketing and sales teams to generate, qualify and nurture leads without necessarily considering how or where to find leads. But these leads don’t just come from anywhere random. The reality is that there are specific lead sources, sometimes called acquisition channels, where leads can come from.

The best lead sources are obviously those that provide targeted opportunities that match a buyer persona to engage with qualified leads and customers to convert more sales for your company. Identifying which lead sources perform best for your company can be challenging though and requires the right marketing tools, data analysis and insight.

It’s important to know which lead source channels perform best for your business so that you can focus your lead generation efforts and budget towards finding and nurturing quality leads with a higher propensity to convert customers for a product or service in a shorter period of time.

Here are 10 most common lead source channels for your business.

Your Database

Your existing database may represent a significant lead source for you initially, particularly if you haven’t engaged with your database in some time.

Even if you don’t have a large database of leads, or aren’t actively capturing them at the moment, your company likely still has hundreds of contacts spread across applications or locations, e.g. in email accounts or business cards collected. These people or prospects are still potential customers, so engage with them to identify any potential opportunities.

Tracking and nurturing leads is where a CRM plays a crucial role. With the right CRM software, you’ll be able to manage every lead from initial contact to close. When a database has become a large unsegmented list of contact details over time, investing effort in segmenting and lead tracking will deliver significant returns.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads in your database or CRM include:

  • Database development
  • Email marketing
  • Social media advertising (Paid social)
  • Lead scoring

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • CRM

Your Website

Your website represents the most significant marketing asset of your business. It’s where the value proposition and differentiation of your business is articulated.

Your website also represents the key hub of your marketing and demand generation. It is where you funnel most of your prospects and opt of funnel leads to. Many of your other lead source channels will point to your website to give you the opportunity to capture interest or intent from your prospects and leads.

Organic search, or people finding your website by searching topics or researching answers to their questions online, represents a significant source of attracting prospects and leads to your website.

When your website is integrated with your CRM or marketing automation platform, you’ll be able to capture prospect details and track how they interact with your content. With lead scoring in place, you’ll be able to identify Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) for your sales team to engage with.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads from your website include:

  • Content campaigns
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Landing pages
  • Content offers and lead magnets
  • Forms, pop ups and calls to action (CTA)
  • Video marketing
  • Case studies
  • Marketing automation software

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • SEO tools (Ahrefs, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, SurferSEO)
  • Performance tracking for any third party tools (video hosting, pop up forms)

Social Media

Social media can represent a great source for generating new leads by providing an opportunity to engage with net new prospects and transition them with content to your website.

While it would be your website and other channels that then converts and qualifies the lead, from an attribution perspective the original source would have been social media.

It’s important to recognise that generating organic leads from social media requires an ongoing investment and has a medium to longer term time to impact. This is because it takes a longer time to reach and build up social audiences.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads from social media include:

  • Social media marketing

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • Social media platforms (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
  • Social media marketing tools (e.g. Hubspot, SproutSocial, Buffer)
  • Google Analytics

Digital Advertising

If reaching net new leads organically takes time, digital advertising represents a lead source that enables you to attract attention and put content in front of prospective leads at scale.

Digital advertising is used here as a catch all to encompass pay-per-click ads on search engines, paid ads or lead gen forms on social media platforms, and placing display ads or sponsoring content with media or trade publishers.

A major benefit of digital advertising is you get all the metrics you need to monitor, optimise campaigns and measure ROI.

It’s important to remember that digital advertising requires an appropriate investment over dedicated periods of time. Short bursts of activity with limited investments may not deliver the results a business is looking for when first starting out. If there is already a history of digital advertising, shorter-term or targeted campaigns can make a more rapid impact.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads with digital advertising include:

  • Digital ads
  • Social media ads (Paid Social)
  • Search engine marketing (SEM, Paid Search)
  • Sponsored content
  • Sponsored EDMs

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • Digital advertising platforms (e.g. programmatic platforms, display ads, Quora for Business, Reddit Ads)
  • Social media advertising platforms (e.g. LinkedIn Campaign Manager, Facebook Business Manager)
  • Search engine advertising platforms (e.g. Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising)
  • Google Analytics

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising such as outdoor or print advertising can represent a lead source for a B2B business, though is more difficult to track and quantify results.

One tactic that technically falls into traditional advertising or traditional marketing that is important to consider is telemarketing and appointment setting. Phone-based outreach represents a significant opportunity to reach leads fast through cold calling, lead nurture and setting appointments for the sales team to qualify and convert.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads with traditional advertising include:

  • Outdoor advertising
  • Print advertising (magazines, newspapers)
  • Direct mail
  • Telemarketing and appointment setting

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • Cloud-based VOIP to measure call outreach (e.g. CallHippo, RingCentral, Aircall and many others)


Word-of-mouth referrals from existing or previous customers, as well as from strategic partners, is one of the most ideal lead source channels for your business. This is because the lead has already identified a need or pain point, has discussed this with a contact, and that contact was provided a warm referral or introduction to you business. Organic referrals are the direct result of customer service and product excellence.

Creating scenarios to ask for elicit referrals contributes to this lead source channel.

Partnering with businesses that deliver tangential services or products to the same buyer persona or operate in the same channel ecosystem and don’t directly compete with your business may be a good source of referrals. Developing a referral partner program to formalise and structure these referral relationships adds trust, ensures mutual value and may increase the lead referral volumes as a result.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads with referrals include:

  • Word-of-mouth
  • Referral partner program

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • CRM

Events and Sponsorships

Events such as webinars, presentations and ‘lunch ‘n learns’ represent a great source of leads when executed as part of campaigns. They enable you to immediately register some form of interest or intent and provide your sales team with qualified leads to engage and nurture.

If you’re participating in events such as conferences or trade exhibitions where prospects or decision makers in your target market are likely to be, then sponsoring these events can be a great source of new leads. It’s important to remember that there are many other brands sponsoring these as well, so achieving cut-through and gaining attention will require clever planning.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads with events and sponsorships include:

  • Webinar
  • Event or conference sponsorship packages
  • Strategic sponsorships (sports teams, venues, associations, NFPs

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • CRM


Meeting people is a great way for your business to generate leads. Networking events are perfect for making new contacts, so you can follow up with them later on when they’re in need of your services.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads by networking include:

  • Networking events
  • Social media networking
  • Volunteering (NFP boards, committees)

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • CRM


Prospecting is the process of finding good-fit prospects or target accounts that match a specific set of qualification criteria.

Prospecting involves searching and sourcing these good-fit prospects either manually or by other digital means to target with marketing activities. This is often the first step in an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) program.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads by prospecting include:

  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
  • Database development
  • Sales prospecting tools and software (LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoominfo, and many others)

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • CRM

Your Sales Team

Each sales team member you hire will bring their ‘black book’ of contacts with them. These contacts could be some of your best leads. As sales leaders will know, this source of leads is limited and the sales person will need to have impactful prospecting and other forms of sales development activities in their repertoire to hit their sales targets.

Common lead generation tactics for this lead source

Marketing tactics to uncover, qualify and nurture leads from your sales team include:

  • Telesales

Common tools to use for measuring this lead source

Marketing and sales tools to measure lead performance include:

  • CRM

Want To Identify Which Lead Sources Are Performing Best For Your Marketing and Sales?

Every company always wants more leads, but you have to consider what kind of leads you’re getting and from which lead sources.

Contact us to identify which lead sources are performing best for your business and how to focus your marketing efforts.

Lead definitions and qualification criteria need to be agreed on by Marketing and Sales to clearly define the right leads. This is a crucial part of the lead management process to ensure leads progress through different buyer’s journey lead stages toward sales conversions. 

When it comes to sales, one of the relevant lead stages is Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).

What is a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)?

Sales Qualified Leads are leads who have been qualified to a point where the Sales team can work with these leads directly by nurturing them into Opportunities, and then converting those Opportunities into sales. 

An SQL has already expressed interest or intent as a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), and also meets additional lead qualification criteria relevant to Sales. 

Sales Qualified Leads represent an important stage of a lead lifecycle. The SQL stage generally comes after the MQL and before the Opportunity stage.

What Is The Purpose Of an SQL?

The purpose of SQLs is to enable focus for your Sales team. 

Effective qualification based on criteria relevant to your business means that a Sales team can focus their attention on the right leads to determine the likelihood of converting to an Opportunity or likelihood to buy.

Correctly qualified SQLs should shorten the sales cycle in time. Tracking MQL > SQL > Opportunity conversions will deliver insight into target prospects, buyer personas, lead qualification criteria effectiveness. Understanding the quality of conversations Sales are having with SQLs delivers insights to Marketing to continuously improve prospecting and MQL qualification.

What an SQL Is Not

There are common misconceptions about SQLs. 

1. SQLs aren’t automatically sales

SQLs represent a lead stage in a funnel and do not guarantee sales outcomes automatically. It is the responsibility of the Sales team to identify Opportunities and nurture those Opportunities into Sales. Determining lead velocity between the stages can provide a clarity.

2. SQLs aren’t automatically Opportunities

An SQL is still considered a lead or prospect. While they are strong candidates for sales opportunities, it is the responsibility of the Sales team to uncover those opportunities. 

3. SQLs are not SQLs forever

Lead cannot stay in SQL stage indefinitely. Having displayed some form of interest or intent at MQL stage, and having met additional criteria to enter SQL stage, it is important to have a system in place for these leads to be interacted with by Sales in a timely manner. 

How To Qualify MQLs To Identify SQLs

The strongest indicator of an SQL is still their willingness or likelihood to buy. There has to be an identified set of qualities to know their purchase intent.

In qualifying leads, here are some attributes to help determine where the qualified leads are:

  • They have identified their needs. They perceive the business as a solution to their problem.
  • They are the decision-makers, that is, the ones in authority buy or commit. 
  • There is a clear sense of urgency to make a decision. 
  • They have established trust with the business.
  • They are invested in listening to an actual pitch from sales managers.

How To Track Sales Qualified Leads Using a CRM and Lead Scoring

Identifying lead activities is one thing, but tracking leads shouldn’t just end in MQLs. The most important strategic goal of a business in tracking SQLs is to amplify its marketing automation strategy, which increases lead nurturing and ultimately sales revenue. 

A CRM will unlock the ability to determine key metrics, such as lead conversion rates and lead velocity.

Mapping out a lead scoring strategy and assigning points depending on the leads’ stage can further narrow down the sales qualified leads and determine their readiness to buy. 

Using your marketing automation platform and CRM, prospects increase in lead score progressively as they take action on your website, interact with content and interact with your people. Setting lead scoring thresholds means that once a lead passes a score, they advance in lead lifecycle, for example transition from SQL to Opportunity.

How To Define an SQL In Your Business 

SQLs, like any other lead, need a clear definition for the business that is agreed on by both Sales and Marketing teams.

Here are some ways to get started:  

  1. Set up a point system and criteria within your marketing automation platform. Assign specific points on the platform so that the contacts get automatically scored based on the criteria set through the level of interaction. 
  2. Set up an automation rule to push SQLs into automated lead nurture to scale up Sales team interactions. The automation rule can help avoid oversight of contacts to move toward the sales pipeline and reduces friction. 
  3. Consider the BANT (budget, authority, need, and time) technique to qualify sales leads. Ask questions using this framework to gauge their level of commitment to purchase. 
  4. Be open to changes — revisit the SQL definition regularly.

Don’t forget that it is crucial to complete multiple follow-ups with SQLs, with each interaction representing an opportunity for more information to be gathered or more qualification to occur. When nurturing leads, reaching out to them will help further segment the level of purchase intent of the SQLs. This discovery call aims to understand their interest about the products and provide a window to ask all the questions to know if they are sales lead material. 

Remember that SQLs are halfway through the sales funnel. They need to pass through the sales opportunity before they can be converted to an actual customer. 

How Many MQLs Do I Need To Find To Uncover an SQL?

There isn’t an exact figure to determine the number of MQLs you need to find an SQL. Every business is unique and setting your targets is pertinent to reaching a definite number of SQLs. 

With the right strategies and tools in place that are relevant to your sales cycle, investing in identifying and tracking SQLs to achieve highly qualified leads, shorter sales cycles, and more closed deals is well worth the investment.

Want To Discuss How SQLs Can Help Your Sales?

Contact us to discuss how we can help you take a strategic approach.

Attracting, qualifying and converting leads is essential to driving business growth, but understanding the difference between MQLs vs SQLs is commonly not well defined.  Each lead will have their buyer’s journey or buying process. Aligning your sales funnel and lead lifecycle stages with the buyer’s journey enables you to streamline your lead nurturing process and drives conversions.

Common lead lifecycle stages consist of:

  1. Lead
  2. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
  3. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
  4. Opportunity
  5. Customer

Prospects should undergo a rigorous qualification process to produce high-quality leads. This process usually starts with marketing team and transitions over to sales. Not defining this process can lead to confusion and frustration, and inhibits clear metrics.

This article focuses on MQLs and SQLs, clarifies their differences and includes several reasons why marketing and sales departments should be in agreement and working together.

MQLs vs SQLs: The Importance Of Defining Leads

Before discussing MQL vs. SQL, it’s paramount to understand the importance of defining leads and why sales and marketing should be on the same page.

Studies show that 73% of leads are not sales-ready. Establishing the definition between MQL vs. SQL will create a solid foundation for the handoff process of leads. In fact, 1 in 4 companies that aligned marketing and sales achieved faster growth rates.

It’s important to keep sight of the end goal for both marketing and sales is to increase revenue. There is obviously a broader mix of responsibilities, but put simply, the fundamental purpose of marketing and sales is to grow the business.

When marketing understands how SQLs deliver results for sales, and when sales understands how MQLs function for marketing, agreement on lead definitions is achievable.

Why Are MQLs and SQLs Different?

MQLs and SQLs tend to be considered part of a Consideration Stage in a buyer’s journey, but they are entirely different lead stages.

MQLs are those people who have shown interest in a business and are more likely to be converted to customers. MQLs are based on lead intelligence, backed by closed-loop reports and analytics. They are not yet in the buying stage, but their level of engagement with the brand, such as website visits, email sign-ups, or content offer downloads, are strong indicators that they have the potential to be.

SQLs on the other hand, are those leads who have either shown clear intent to buy or are seen to be have the right potential and the right fit for the target market profile of the business. SQLs are nurtured by the sales team to identify Opportunities and then convert those into Customers.

To summarise, the difference between MQL and SQL is in the lead stage; MQLs are hand-raisers, while SQLs are ready for or are already in the buying cycle.

How Does an MQL Become an SQL?

MQLs need to convert SQLs in order for sales to pursue, nurture and convert.

When MQLs and SQLs are both clearly defined, an MQL becomes an SQL when the lead meets the criteria set out in the definition.

This transition can either occur automatically where a CRM with lead scoring and marketing automation is in place, or the transition is done manually by marketing to transfer the SQL to sales.

How Many MQLs Are Needed To Find One SQL?

Every business is different and you will need to identify or reverse-engineer how many MQLs on average are needed in your sales funnel in order to produce an SQL.

A key metric that adds value is lead conversion rate.

The MQL to SQL conversion rate is about identifying the percentage of MQLs that transition to SQLs.

This metric is used to determine the marketing activities, investment, analytics and tools that the marketing team uses to find net new leads and qualify them. Achieving accurate numbers also help maintain the efficiency of the sales pipeline for the sales team.

A basic formula to get the conversation rate of MQL and SQL is:

MQL to SQL conversion rate = MQLs/SQLs x 100

Through historical data, getting the conversion rate can determine realistic targets to set for both lead types. It could also help give an accurate representation of the entirety of leads in the pipeline.

By following lead nurture best practices, you can produce 50% more sales-ready leads at a third of the usual cost.

It only makes sense that both teams should employ respective nurturing strategies because whether that’s an MQL or SQL, it’s still a lead. It has a long way to go before it becomes an actual buyer.

The Importance Of Tracking MQLs and SQLs With a CRM

Using marketing automation tools such as HubSpot CRM will ease the burden of tracking your MQLs. In fact, 80% of marketers believe that marketing automation will help them get more leads (and conversions).

With automation tools, there is less manual preparation for sales calls and personalised emails and give more opportunities to scale up practical strategies.

Tracking your MQLs and SQLs should come after setting qualification criteria. This way, you will be able to maximise channels that drive revenue more than just leads.

A CRM will unlock the ability to determine key metrics, including:

  • Close rate- comparison of closed deals vs. total number of leads
  • Upsell rate- for example, for every 1 out of every five customers to upgrade their purchase, the upsell rate is 20%.
  • Length of each sales pipeline stage – helps gauge the average lead time in each stage
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC) – the total sales and marketing spend required to seal the deal
  • Revenue generated by the campaign – the bottom line of the sales funnel

Want To Discuss How Tracking MQLs and SQLs Can Accelerate Your Sales?

Contact us to discuss how we can help you take a strategic approach.

When you understand your buyer’s journey, you will be able to determine what your next course of action should be. It starts with vast marketing efforts that can be funneled in with a set of criteria. 

Creating a systematised marketing lead qualification process will help you properly pin down your audience and help you figure out if pursuing a lead can result in a sale. 

These leads are called Marketing Qualified Leads.

What is a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)? 

Marketing Qualified Leads or MQLs are those leads who have taken some form of action or combination of actions with marketing activities that indicates interest or intent

Their activities and level of engagement, like website visits, email sign-ups, or content offer downloads, show that they have the potential to become prospective sales opportunities according to marketing

Marketing Qualified Leads represent an important stage of a lead lifecycle. The MQL stage generally comes after the unqualified subscriber and general lead stages, and comes before Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and Opportunities stages.

What Is the Purpose of Marketing Qualified Leads?

MQLs are great investments for a business to achieve potential growth. Because MQLs have made initial contact and taken the first steps to learn more about what you’re offering, they are promising leads and more likely to become a paying customer than a cold lead. 

MQLs are acquired through the right nurturing and retargeting strategies, and doing so can help them transition from MQL to SQL.

What an MQL Is Not

Keep in mind that MQLs work best to a certain extent but: 

1. MQLs aren’t automatically sales 

Although MQL shows a clear interest in your efforts, there are considerations before they move down the sales funnel and be a full-fledged customer. It takes time to nurture MQLs, and knowing that they are not in the buying stage yet can help you approach these leads accordingly. 

2. MQLs aren’t Target Accounts

A marketing qualified lead is better than a regular lead because that there is more engagement for your business based on their behaviour. For example, a regular lead would probably scroll past a social media post online, but MQLs are invested in knowing more about a product’s feature which is shown on their site activities and engagements. 

3. MQLs are no better than SQLs (and vice versa)

All leads play a role in growing a business. Regardless of the type, the goal for sales and marketing should be to acquire high-quality leads. Once you hand over MQLs to become Sales Qualified Leads or SQLs, converting will be more seamless. When marketing has a system to qualify leads, it can help sales do what they do best: winning deals and earning revenue.

How To Qualify Leads To Identify MQLs

Establishing qualification criteria will determine how to effectively qualify MQLs.

Marketing tactics are needed to attract and monitor the level of engagement of these leads. This is usually achieved by registering some form of interest or intent from your target audiences and prospects. Interest or intent is commonly recognised by actions taken by your audiences.

Examples of actions that display interest or intent in the qualification process 

The ideal actions taken by target audiences need to be recognisable by your marketing systems.

  • Signed up on your lead form for a discounted product offer
  • Engaged with your ad that directs them to your site
  • Watched a demo video of your product
  • Downloaded a free ebook or product trial
  • Signed up for your regular newsletter 
  • Spent ample time to visit your site and navigated through multiple pages
  • Clicked through your CTA to find out more information 
  • Interacted with a chat representative 

Identifying the specific user activities is vital in order to categorise the efforts that work and analyse each activity’s performance. 

Generally taking a single action doesn’t mean a prospect is qualified as a Marketing Qualified Lead. You will need to determine what combination of actions need to occur for your business to qualify an MQL.

How To Keep Track Of MQLs Using a CRM and Lead Scoring

Using marketing automation tools such as HubSpot CRM will ease the burden of tracking your MQLs. In fact, 80% of marketers believe that marketing automation will help them get more leads (and conversions). 

With automation tools, there is less manual preparation for sales calls and personalised emails and give more opportunities to scale up practical strategies. 

Tracking your MQLs should come after setting qualification criteria. This way, you will be able to maximise channels that drive revenue more than just leads. 

A buyer’s journey progresses from one stage to another. You may be able to develop metrics for your MQLs like: 

  • Tracking conversion rate from MQLs to SQLs. Determine how much of your MQLs have become SQLs. 
  • Determining sales opportunities for your MQLs. SQLs become sales opportunities when the sales team gauges the lead to an actual prospect to nurture. 
  • Converting MQLs to your work-in-progress pipeline. Once it’s identified that the sales opportunity is highly likely to buy through any form of commitment from the potential buyer, it moves to the work-in-progress pipeline. 
  • Turning MQLs into closed/won. Closing deals is the main goal of the business. Leads are moved here when they make the payment. 
  • Specific marketing channels where the closed deals come from. Monitoring the channels that get the highest conversion is vital to leverage your strategy on those.

Another way to best track your marketing effectiveness is through lead scoring. Lead scoring will help you identify how you can shift your MQLs to SQLs. 

Using your marketing automation platform and CRM, prospects increase in lead score progressively as they take action on your website, interact with content and interact with your people. Setting lead scoring thresholds means that once a lead passes a score, they advance in lead lifecycle, for example transition from MQL to SQL.

Determine implicit and explicit lead scoring strategies to narrow down the scoring process. Implicit lead scoring could go as far as the lead’s IP address and location to help you gather more information before making them an explicit lead. With explicit scoring, it’s a straightforward approach and can proceed to sign-up forms where you get their data for your marketing efforts.

How To Define an MQL For Your Business 

There are different definitions of MQLs depending on the nature of the business and you will need to consider what criteria constitute an MQL for your business. 

Define an MQL for your business by taking the following steps: 

  1. Sales and marketing should agree and work together on a clear definition of MQL
  2. Go back to your buyer persona to build your audience profile and buying cycle
  3. Align with the sales team and determine what a qualified lead is for them
  4. Identify the key factors like demographics and psychographics on a qualification basis
  5. Be open to changes — revisit the MQL definition regularly 

What Do You Do With MQLs?

Whether it’s a content strategy, social media, or any type of ad, marketing is always the initial stage to establish your target audience, prospects and leads.

Engagement is the ROI for marketing so it’s imperative to filter prospects and determine the highest-quality leads based on the criteria that were set for the business. 

Once the marketing team gathers MQLs, they can now devise a handoff process with the sales team. Sales will then do their qualification standards and pick out the top-tier prospects from the pool of MQLs and assign SQLs.

Through MQLs, the sales team can work hand in hand with the marketing team in qualifying leads.

Don’t forget that aside from this, MQLs will also identify what type of marketing content helps bring the right prospects for your business.

How Many Prospects Or Leads Do I Need To Find To Uncover an MQL?

There isn’t an exact figure to determine the number of prospects to lead you to an MQL. Setting your targets is pertinent to reaching a definite number of leads. 

For example, if the goal of a business is to reach X new customers each month, what needs to be done is to factor in specific variables of the sales process, and relate them with each other. The specific and accurate percentages can be calculated through historical data using CRM tools. In addition, using a lead calculator to get a specific number will give more direction to your lead’s buyer journey. 

The hard part’s always at the beginning. But with the right strategies and tools, investing in identifying and tracking MQLs to achieve highly qualified leads, shorter sales cycles, and more closed deals is well worth the investment.

Want To Discuss How Qualifying Marketing Leads Can Help Your Sales?

Contact us to discuss how we can help you take a strategic approach to your tech marketing.

While other lead acquisition channels and lead generation activities, such as email, content marketing, SEO, conferences, and webinars, have their benefits, you cannot underestimate the value of human conversation.

This is especially true when factoring in the time to impact – calling prospects to qualify is an accelerated lead acquisition channel.

Research shows that cold calling is a valuable sales tool, especially when target buyer personas are made up of senior business leaders. However, as with any other business engagement, cold calling needs a strategy.

A successful campaign needs to be tailored to the needs of your prospective customer.

What Is a Cold Call?

Technically a cold call is considered an unsolicited phone call to a prospect in an attempt to sell a product or service.

However, that definition is often misquoted and misunderstood. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) a random event with the caller blindly calling down lists of numbers.

Instead, it’s a particular sales outreach where the sales team contact leads from their organisation’s database.

The prospective names in a cold calling list could come from multiple marketing sources. For example, someone may have completed a form on a website or attended a company webinar. The names on a list could also come from an industry or association database, desktop research or a social media site like LinkedIn.

The actual definition of a cold call should factor this in.

“A cold call is an attempt to contact a prospect or to identify who the right prospective decision maker is of a target account that may require your product or services.”

It’s too time consuming and too expensive to call down poorly constructed lists or random numbers. For this very reason, it’s vital that you qualify your prospect list with relevant leads as part of your cold calling strategy.

After all, the sole purpose of cold calling is to identify and qualify prospects to move any qualified leads to the next step in the buying process.

The Typical Structure Of a Cold Call Script

A typical cold call script follows a familiar format. Since you’re having a one-on-one conversation with a prospect, it needs to have a natural flow. However, many cold callers fail to follow this fundamental progression.


Many cold callers do not get to the point of their call fast enough.


Technology leaders are busy people, and calls are often unwelcome interruptions. Therefore, building rapport and getting to the matter as quickly as possible is vital.


Not only does this let the prospect know the purpose of the call, but it also helps you move through your cold calling list, weeding out inferior leads so that you can focus on real opportunities. 


The typical structure of a cold call script has four core components.

1) The Introduction

It’s good etiquette to let the person answering the call know who they are speaking to as soon as possible.


During the introduction, the cold caller should state their name and the company. For example, “Hello John, this is Alex from Real Technology Solutions” is a far better opening than “Hello, how are you today?”.


Next, ask them if they are busy or have a moment to chat. Using this technique illustrates that you value their time and also gives you permission if you need to schedule a follow-up call. 


2) Establishing rapport

The next step is to establish a rapport with your prospect. Using some background information on the potential customer is vital during this phase.


For instance, if they are the IT Manager, use an opening like “I see you are an experienced manager, and you have been in your role for three years. What do you see as the challenges for your department in the next 12 months?”.


This approach is far more personalised than “I want to tell you about the benefits of cloud computing”. Your prospect likely already knows the benefits of the cloud and will want to get off the call as they see it as a waste of time.


3) Positioning your offering

Once you have established rapport, you can then start talking about your offering. For instance, using the previous question as an example, should the prospect say replacing hardware is a strategy for the next 12 months, you could open with “Have you considered the benefits of leveraging a cloud platform instead of purchasing new hardware?”.


Similarly, if they say that decreasing costs is a focus, you could probe further and ask, “Would that be capital expenditure or monthly operational expenses?”.


4) Determine next steps


Always conclude the call with offering next steps. The ideal outcome is to book an appointment between the prospect and a member of your Sales team. Ideally you have access to a shared calendar. It’s far more effective to book the appointment while the prospect is still on the phone with you.

If the prospect wants more information first, make sure you verify their email address if it’s already in the CRM, or ask for their email address. Confirm that you will be sending them the information shortly. This information might be a capability deck, a data sheet, a relevant case study or all of these.

You’ll be calling the prospect back in a few days to follow up on the email you sent, so ensure all the necessary information was included to introduce your company, as well as service and/or product offering.

How To Develop a Cold Call Script

When developing a cold call script, it is vital that you keep it fluid enough so that you can have an effective conversation with your prospect.

A long monologue of text that you intend to read out in full is prone to reader error and can come across as impersonal to the listener.

The ideal cold calling script is one where the potential customer does the most talking. Therefore, when developing the cold calling template, ensure you ask the relevant probing questions early on so that the conversation can flow naturally.

Think of a cold call script as a dialogue.

1) Tailor your script to your audience

Ideally, you should tailor your cold calling script to prospect personas.

For instance, target different market segments such as IT managers in a particular city or region. Another way to segment your cold calling verticals is by industry, such as finance, retail, or education. By tailoring your script to your audience, you can target needs that are specific to a particular set of customers.

2) Identify your potential prospects

Once you have your script template ready, the next step is to personalise it for the prospects you will be calling. As mentioned previously, the ideal cold calling script is one where the potential lead does the most talking. By doing some research into your target audience, you can identify talking points that resonate with them.

For instance, if a pending piece of legislation will affect them, ask them what they think about it. Another angle could be something social. For example, if a particular city is part of an upcoming sporting festival, work it into the conversation.

3) Research each prospect and refine your script

If you have followed the two previous steps, you should have a tailored script that talks to prospects in a specific target demographic. However, as the primary goal of the cold call is to build rapport and get the potential customer talking about their requirements, researching each one can help you ask questions that provide that personal touch.

For instance, if you review their LinkedIn profile and see they went to a particular school or university, you can work that into your script. Likewise, if they have been recently promoted or moved to a new city, asking them or congratulating them on their recent achievements is another excellent way to break the ice.

Using Script Variations and Key Messaging to Make Cold Calls More Organic

Although the primary objective of a cold calling campaign is to close more sales, it is not the purpose of making a cold call. Instead, you should leverage a cold call to gather information and build a relationship with your potential customer.

Taking this longer-term view will help you tailor your sales message to their particular needs. Although you have tailored your cold call script to your specific prospect, it is vital that you build in some flexibility to allow for a natural conversation to progress.

Using script variations and key messaging is an excellent way to introduce this approach.

For instance, when you are building rapport and asking them about their city, a new position, and what they see as their challenges are in the next 12 months, allow the conversation to flow naturally.

If your prospect wants to talk about how great their sports team is doing this year, let the conversation flow in that direction. As mentioned, the more the potential customer talks, the better the chances of your success. You can always lead the conversation back to your product or service once you have let the prospect speak.

Who knows, they may have given away some helpful information you could use to tailor your sales approach. For example, if they said they would have loved to see their old school play in the regional finals but had to work that weekend, you could use that nugget to illustrate how your product or service can help them increase efficiency.

The Benefit Of a Call Flow Diagram

A call flow diagram is an excellent tool that can help you increase the effectiveness of your cold calling program. Although your script will help you get the conversation started, there is no way to predict how the conversation will flow. A call flow diagram provides a visual structure to your cold call.

Instead of the words of a script, it offers a general idea of how your call should go. It allows you to let the natural conversation flow while enabling you to control it so that it gets back to its original purpose.

In addition to providing a visual structure that allows you to control the flow of a conversation, call flow diagrams also help you tailor the best possible experience for your sales team and the prospect. It allows you to visualise the caller’s experience providing a flow for various scenarios.

This technique is instrumental when you are training a new Inside Sales team member or are outsourcing your cold calling. It helps each caller ask questions and guide the conversation based on the answers, resulting in an effective and productive call experience.

How To Review and Measure the Effectiveness Of a Cold Call Script

As with any other sales and marketing activity, continuously measuring the effectiveness of a cold call script is crucial to the campaign’s overall success.

Ideally, you should measure statistics like calls answered, calls that progressed to the ‘sales’ portion of the conversation, and calls that achieved their objective such as setting up a meeting.

Ideally, you should set a target for these statistics at the start of the campaign. For instance, you may have a target of 30%, 10%, and 5% for each relevant measure.

After setting these goals, testing your script with a subset of your prospect pool is the next logical step. If you do not achieve your set targets, you can then tweak your approach accordingly.

This approach can also help you identify indirect factors that may influence the effectiveness of your cold calling campaign. For instance, you may find that calling on a Tuesday has a higher call answer rate than calling on a Friday afternoon.

Using these statistics, you can hone your cold calling strategy, ensuring you select the best possible script and the ideal time and day to approach your prospects.

11 Cold Call Script Templates For Tech Companies and IT Service Providers

Template 1 – Cold call for general cloud migration


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. Our customers are typically looking to migrate services to the cloud and move off legacy hardware. Does that sound like you?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Our product can help you and your organisation achieve the costing savings and agility you need. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


TEMPLATE 2 – Cold call for general MSP services


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. Our customers are typically looking to increase the efficiency of their operations while saving costs. Does that sound like you?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Our services can help you resolve those issues. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 3 – Cold call for specific MSP services


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have successfully implemented our (specific product or service) at several customers that have found (customer success). Would you be interested in hearing about (product or service features)

<Prospect responds>

(Provide product or service description). Do you or your team experience any of the following (list problems that product or service feature resolves)?

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Our product can help you. We have seen many customers <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 4 – Cold call for a new product or service


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have launched (specific product or service) that has resulted in (cost savings, efficiencies) in our pilot customer group. Would you be interested in hearing about (product or service features)

<Prospect responds>

(Provide product or service description). Do you or your team experience any of the following (list problems that product or service feature resolves)?

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Good news! Our product is tailored to help you <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 5 – Cold call for particular SaaS product


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have built our (product) to address (market need). Does that sound like you?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Good news! Our product is tailored to help you <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 6 – Cold call for technical consulting


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have built a service that has helped many of our customers (consulting objective – cost-saving, efficiency etc.). Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

(Provide consulting service description). Do you or your team experience any of the following (list problems that consulting service resolves)?

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

Good news! Our consulting offering can help you <discuss how the product resolved the pain point>. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 7 – Cold call for resource augmentation


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We have built a service that places highly skilled technical resources on-site to help organisations free up their leadership to drive IT innovation. Does that sound like something you might need?

<Prospect responds>

Tell me more about that.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe we can help. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 8 – Cold call for business continuity and disaster recovery


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We offer products and professional services that protect organisations from ransomware, outages, and data loss incidents. Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

<Discuss the benefits and features of the offering. Ask the prospect if they have experienced any issues related to your product or service.>

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe the next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 9 – Cold call for cybersecurity services


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We offer products and professional services that protect organisations from ransomware, data breaches, and system compromise. Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

Discuss the benefits and features of the offering. Ask the prospect if they have experienced any issues related to your product or service.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe we can help. The next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 10 – Cold call for application development


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. We offer a custom development offering where we work with your team to develop business applications. Would you like to hear more?

<Prospect responds>

Discuss the benefits and features of the custom development offering. Ask the prospect if they have any business requirements that off the shelf software cannot meet.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe our application development service can help you. The next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our solution architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?


Sample 11 – Cold call for enterprise architecture


Hello, this is <YOUR NAME> from <YOUR COMPANY>.


Ask a question:


  • I see you went to <SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY>. Did you enjoy it?
  • Wow, you’ve been at <COMPANY> for <X> years. How did you get started there?
  • Congrats on your recent promotion. How is the new role?

<Wait for prospect’s response, reply and have a natural conversation>

Positioning statement:

The reason for my call today is that we work with <COMPANY TYPE> in <INDUSTRY>. Our enterprise architects help organisations map out their system flows and develop roadmaps that align the needs of your business with the best technology solutions. Would that be of interest to you or someone in your organisation?

<Prospect responds>

Discuss the benefits and features of the enterprise architecture offering. Ask the prospect if they have any misaligned business requirements that their current technology stack cannot meet.

<Prospect talks about their pain points>

So, what I’m hearing is … <repeat customer pain points in your own words>.

From what you have told me, I believe our enterprise architects can help you. The next step would be for you to have a chat with one of our experts. Can I

  • Schedule a call with one of our architects?
  • Send you some more information?
  • Set up a meeting with our team to discuss our offering?

25 Practical Cold Calling Tips

1) Cold calling is about learning more, not immediate sales. 

Do not try and sell during a cold call. Instead, try and get as much information as possible and move the prospect to the next sales cycle phase.

2) Don’t waste anybody’s time, including your own.

If the prospect is busy, try to reschedule another call. If they are not interested in what you are saying, thank them and move on to the next prospect.

3) Use your sales script but do not depend on it.

Your sales script is a tool to help you break the ice and have a conversation with your prospect. Do not follow it verbatim. Instead, let the natural conversation flow and build the relationship.

4) Find the proper calling schedule.

Find the best days and best time to call your prospects. Find the right rhythm for follow up calls. Businesses work in cycles so take advantage of the ebbs and flows.

5) Always end with the next steps.

Before you end your cold call, make sure you set the next steps. Follow this up with an email or subsequent call to confirm.

6) Practice, practice, practice.

Practice your script with colleagues and other team members. Using this approach will help you think on your feet when a prospect comes with a question or comment that is not in your script.

7) Ask open-ended questions.

During the sales phase of the call, ask open-ended questions. Asking questions with a yes or no answer will not provide the information you need.

8) Listen to understand, not to answer.

Listen to your prospect’s answers to gain information. The solution phase should not form part of the cold calling process.

9) Leave a voicemail or send an email.

Technology leaders are busy. If you cannot get them on the phone, leave a voicemail. If they do not have voicemail activated, send them a personalised email saying that you tried to call and pitch your offering using that medium.

10) QA your cold callers.

Monitor and review the calls your reps are making. It can help you pick out any issues and refine your script or approach.

11) Pay attention

Try not to multitask during a cold call. Instead, give your prospect your undivided attention.

12) Keep track of which techniques work.

Over time you will start to get a feel of what approach works best during a cold call. Refine your strategy and share it with the rest of your team.

13) Set goals and try and achieve them.

At the start of your campaign, set achievable goals and try and achieve them every day. It is easy to let other issues distract you, so set time aside to work on your cold calling campaign.

14) Leverage triggers and events.

Keep an eye on your prospects. If they make the news with a new appointment or product launch, use a congratulatory call as a foot in the door.

15) Watch your tone of voice.

A cold call is a personal one-on-one interaction. However, the prospect cannot see non-verbal cues such as your body language, so your tone of voice is vital.

16) Stay on track.

Even though the ideal cold call is a natural conversation, remember your end goal and guide the conversation towards it.

17) Use a headset.

First impressions count, so you must deliver a cold call with quality acoustics. Invest in a headset with noise-cancelling features. Not only will it provide crystal clear sound, but it will give the prospect the perception that you have their undivided attention.

18) Learn how to handle objections.

Use the objective handling technique of listen, ask, solve, confirm, and move on.

19) Don’t give up.

Cold calling is a numbers game. Don’t let rejections or hang-ups derail your strategy.

20) Be respectful.

Always respect your peers and competitors. You never know if your prospect has relationships that are not listed on their LinkedIn profile.

21) Try and offer some value.

Cold calls are unsolicited and often interrupt busy technology leaders. Try to soften the blow by offering something of value, such as the latest piece of industry news or an interesting statistic.

22) Be prepared.

Make sure you have as much information as possible at your fingertips. If the prospect is interested and wants more information, have it ready.

23) Don’t be afraid to try different strategies.

People are unique. Remember to tailor your script to your individual prospect. Try different techniques to see which offers the best results.

24) Take notes and capture data.

Remember to document everything your prospects says in your CRM. Your current product or service may not meet their current requirements, but you could have something else that you can offer.

25) Use a local number.

Where possible, call from a local number. Prospects and their gatekeepers are wary of answering 0800 or sharecall numbers.

Want To Access Better Cold Calling Outcomes?

Developing and implementing an effective cold calling strategy can be challenging. Cold calling is a numbers game and can take up vast quantities of your time. Furthermore, developing an effective campaign requires some insight and experience.


Get in touch.

Buyer personas can transform your digital marketing by guiding how you do marketing and in what context. Buyer personas also have the power to shape decision making across your business as leaders and managers are guided by what the customer wants.

The following article outlines what buyer personas are, what they are not, and how they are used. Most importantly, this article shows how to build buyer personas for your business.

Armed with this information, you’ll be enable you to target the right lead acquisition channels, discover Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), nurture Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and convert customers to support your growth strategy with targeted lead generation into the future.

What Is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional, generalised representations of your ideal customers.

They help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better, and make it easier for you to tailor content to the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of different groups. The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as on insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).

“Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users in order to help to guide decisions about a service, product or interaction space such as features, interactions, and visual design of a website.” (Source)

What is a bad fit persona?

Where a buyer persona is a representation of an ideal customer, a ‘bad fit’ persona is a representation of who you don’t want as a customer.

‘Bad fit’ personas could include, for example:

  • Students who are only engaging with your content for research/knowledge, or
  • Prospects who will be too expensive to acquire; or
  • Potential customers who will be too costly or time consuming to service effectively and efficiently.

How Should You Use a Buyer Persona?

At the most basic level, personas allow you to personalise or target your marketing for different segments of your audience. For example, instead of sending the same lead nurturing emails to everyone in your database, you can segment by buyer persona and tailor your messaging according to what you know about those different personas.

If you take the time to create ‘bad fit’ personas, you’ll have the added advantage of being able to segment out the “bad apples” from the rest of your contacts, which can help you achieve a lower Cost per Lead (CPL) and Cost per Sale (CPS) (and see higher sales productivity).

When combined with sales cycle stages, i.e. how far along someone is in your sales cycle, buyer personas also enable you to map out and create highly-targeted content.

Are buyer personas for marketing or for sales?

Your best leads are buyers that match your ideal buyer profile and are active in their buying journey. These prospects face similar challenges and have similar goals to your best customers, and are currently in the market for a solution. It’s far more efficient to reach out only to leads who fit your solution and want it.

That’s why inbound salespeople listen to the market to determine which prospects have recently visited the salesperson’s company website, filled out a form, or opened one of the salesperson’s emails. The ability to define the right business opportunities you’ll spend your time with is the difference between missing or exceeding your sales quota. It also helps you build a predictable, scalable sales funnel.

When you’re laser-focused on the right prospects, you stop wasting time with buyers who are simply poor fits or not yet ready to buy.

What’s the difference between an ideal account or ideal company and a buyer persona?

Ideal account or company buyer profiles define the different buying patterns of the companies and is particularly relevant when engaging in Account-Based Marketing and Sales. Buyer personas, on the other hand, are the fictional, generalised representations of the people in those companies you engage with.

For example, your ideal buyer profile may be health care companies with less than 10,000 employees. Within that ideal buyer profile, you probably engage with multiple buyer personas.

Various roles may be involved in the buying decision at those companies. Perhaps one buyer persona is a leader of the IT department and another is the head of operations. Differentiating between these buyer personas will help you formulate a message that resonates with the goals and challenges they are each uniquely facing.

How do you seamlessly integrate ideal accounts with buyer personas?

Here are six general questions you can ask yourself to identify your ideal buyer profile:

  1. Are there company sizes that are ideal or not ideal who would buy your product?
  2. Do you define size as employees, revenue, customers, or another metric?
  3. Are there industries or verticals that are ideal or not ideal?
  4. Are there geographic locations that are ideal or not ideal?
  5. Are B2B customers better than B2C?
  6. Are there other attributes of that make the buyer ideal or not ideal?

Should leadership teams be aware of a buyer persona?

While buyer personas help marketing shape content to add value to a specific type of customer, getting your leadership and management team involved can have tremendous benefits.

When buyer personas are clear and agreed upon across the management team, broader decision-making can be positively impacted. Business decisions which affect customers across multiple divisions or teams can be made with personas in mind, even if marketing is not immediately affected.

Asking how a persona would want a business outcome to be can provide tremendous guidance and clarity. Leaders can ask themselves how Persona 1 or Persona 2 may have different reactions to a particular customer service message.

Buyer personas can even be relevant at Board level, as broader awareness can strengthen an understanding of exactly whom a company exists for and sells to. Awareness at all levels ensures brand uniformity.

How Do You Build a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers, prospects, and those outside of your contact database who might align with your target audience.

Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:

  • Look through your contact database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
  • Ask the questions (We’ve included some prompts for you below) to formulate a detailed description of a realistic person when creating personas.
  • Interview customers either in person or over the phone to discover what they like about your product or service.
  • Take into consideration your sales team’s feedback on the leads they are interacting with most. What types of sales cycles does your sales team work with? What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?
  • Segment your CRM against any buyer personas. If your CRM has buyer persona tools built into the platform, ensure you structure your descriptions so that you can easily recognise any buyer persona prospects.
  • When creating forms to use on your website, use form fields that capture important persona information. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms. You could also gather information on what forms of social media your leads use by asking a question about social media accounts.
  • Create and organise persona data in a way that makes sense to non-marketers. This will unlock reporting capabilities.

What should I ask when building a buyer persona?

If the following questions are answered, a robust buyer persona will come to life.

What is the buyer persona’s role?

  • What is your job role? Your job title?
  • How is your job measured?
  • What is a typical day?
  • What skills are required?
  • What knowledge and tools do you use?
  • Who do you report to? Who reports to you?

What are their goals?

  • What are you responsible for?
  • What does it mean to be successful in your role?

What are their challenges?

  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • How do you overcome these challenges?

Where do they work?

  • What industry or industries does your company work in?
  • What is the size of your company (revenue, employees?)

How do they access information?

  • How do you learn about new information for your job?
  • What publications or blogs do you read?
  • What associations and social networks do you belong to?

What is their personal background?

  • Age
  • Family (single, married, children)
  • Education

What are their buying preferences?

  • How to you prefer to interact with vendors (email, phone, in person?)
  • Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information? What types of websites do you use?

What is your perception of our products and services?


Ready to get more targeted with your demand generation with a buyer persona?

If you’re ready to take a strategic approach with defined buyer personas which drive your strategic demand gen initiatives, then we need to talk.

When it comes to marketing, what does “measurable impact” mean?

Let’s dive in.

Whether success means growing shareholder value, financial efficiency, customer acquisition or retention, or diversifying revenue streams, knowing what success looks like is vital.

Without measurement, you cannot confirm that any deliberate strategic action achieved its stated objectives.

Measuring the impact of a particular marketing activity starts with setting realistic expectations to achieve intended outcomes. These are often referred to as SMART goals, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

How do you know if your insights and planned activities have had a measurable impact on your business? Put more practically, how do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing investment?

Defining Measurable

Every business engagement has a set of specific inputs that must produce the desired output. Typically, these inputs include time, money, and effort. When it comes to marketing, we expect these input factors to create or expand brand awareness, increase sales, and enhance customer engagement while protecting existing revenue. As organisations have limited resources, measuring their desired impact ultimately determines the success of a marketing plan or campaign’s effectiveness.

The vital ingredient needed to measure a particular initiative’s impact on your business is setting realistic, achievable goals, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Marketing’s role is to uncover prospects, generate demand, and qualify leads for a sales team to nurture and convert. Organisations can measure these metrics as they are quantifiable. However, other marketing metrics are intangible and difficult to calculate, such as improving or enhancing brand loyalty.

The critical factor to remember when measuring outcomes in marketing is time. Some activities produce results in shorter timeframes, while others take longer to manifest.

For example, a lead-generating campaign should produce measurable results for your sales teams in the short term. However, it also has an indirect impact on building brand awareness with potential prospects. Measuring this extended metric can only occur over some time.

Defining Impact

The impact of a marketing initiative is the desired outcome generated by an action. To put it another way, if there were no action, you would not see any difference in the measured result. That action may be a straightforward input, such as an email marketing campaign. That action can also be a more complex and collective set of inputs, such as taking an SEO-led approach to content marketing so that compelling messaging reaches target audiences while also optimised for search engines over the longer term.

Either way, an impact must make a noticeable difference to a pre-determined measure such as market share, brand awareness, or sales.

As stated, not all marketing activities create a noticeable direct impact in the short or even medium term. Organisations can measure some results, such as an increase in customer retention. However, in many instances, the effect is difficult to measure as the activities do not directly correlate with a stated outcome. Some marketing activities play a vital strategic role, but isolating their measurable impact for attribution is scientifically complex, and in some cases, near impossible.

Even so, organisations should be able to measure the macro effect of all their marketing activities over time.

Time to Impact – a Measurable Metric

One metric that provides a measurable marketing outcome is time to impact. This benchmark quantifies the length of time it takes for marketing activities to make a measurable impact on a business. Organisations can determine the number of leads, reach, engagement, and sales a particular initiative generated over a set period. Time to impact is an essential measure as it helps organisations understand how various activities deliver a measurable impact. It factors attribution, contribution, and investment in the context of a set timeline.

As mentioned, other outcomes may not be as transparent as the time to impact if one does not set a realistic measurement period. Some activities may only produce a measurable impact in the medium-to-long term, such as SEO. Optimising your digital content does not necessarily produce results right away. It can take longer periods as a result of compounding outcomes to have the desired effect.

This example illustrates why it is vital to set realistic expectations. Some activities may well have a direct, immediate impact, but others may only produce the expected results over time.

Determining a Measurable Impact

Measurable impact is the quantifiable outcome attributed to marketing and lead generation activities over a set period of time which contribute to achieving set strategic objectives.

Ideally, you should set quantifiable KPIs at the start of your marketing initiative and complement these with relevant time-based milestones. It can be challenging to quantify for some activities in isolation but setting realistic goals and a reasonable timeline can give you the metrics you need.

The type of marketing activity will also affect the timescales of your measurable impact. For example, you could measure your lead acceleration’s effectiveness in weeks, but others, such as SEO or brand marketing, will have a longer time to impact.

Want to Discuss How You Can Achieve a Measurable Impact fWith Your Marketing?

At Filament, we go beyond merely being an extension to your team – we are your team! Our whole focus is on your successful outcomes, which is why we place measurable impacts at the core of our marketing strategies.

Get in touch with us to discuss how we can make a measurable impact for your business and help you achieve quantifiable marketing success and business growth.

Before the global Covid-19 pandemic, the #1 priority for CEOs in 2020 was sustaining growth, according to Gartner research.

The Most Popular Solutions to Tackling Business Growth Challenges

The research showed that the most popular solutions for tackling growth challenges included:

  • To look in other geographic locations for growth opportunities, i.e. new market entries, and
  • To go-to-market with new products and revenue-producing services to diversify their offering.

Now that the landscape has fundamentally changed as a result of the pandemic, KPMG research shows a large majority of CEOs have accelerated their digital transformation both externally to customers as well as internally to operations, by multiple years in many cases. In light of this, there was only a slight reduction in confidence among both Australian and global CEOs in terms of the three-year growth outlook for their own company.

Business Leaders Continue Their Focus on Growth

When it comes to sparking that desired growth, it’s important to define the intentions and manage the scope and scale of the initiatives. From value proposition to go-to-market strategy, right through to the final execution, it’s critical to think about each move you make based on the extent of its reach and the time it takes to make a measurable impact for the business.

How Long Will It Take For Each Activity to Make an Impact?

As always, there are many variables involved in this. Different industries, economic cycles, contexts, activities to date, budget allocations, capacity and access to capability all play a role. The types of products and services you sell also affect how quickly you can make waves, as does existing turnover and brand recognition.

Time to Impact is about making sound growth decisions and setting realistic expectations to achieve intended outcomes.

What is Time to Impact?

Time to Impact is the length of time it takes for lead generation and marketing activities to make a measurable impact for a business.

If the role of marketing is to uncover prospects, generate demand and qualify leads for a Sales team to nurture and convert, then the Time to Impact is the length of time it takes for the specific initiative to deliver those qualified leads to the Sales Team.

Some activities deliver immediate results, others take longer.

Think of this measure as a way to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of a campaign in terms of actual time units. While measures such amounts of leads, reach, engagement, and ultimately sales define the end results, Time to Impact is about the relationship between effort expended and how long it takes to realise the value.

Time to Impact is not about comparing the effectiveness of specific tactics or messages. It is not intended to replace ROI as a primary indicator of overall campaign success.

Instead, it’s the length of time it takes for these tactics or messages to become effective and deliver results. This measure is important because it helps to define contribution in relation to efficiency and effectiveness.

Why Does Time to Impact Matter?

It’s important to understand the effect of how different lead generation and marketing activities will impact a business. This measure matters because it factors attribution, contribution and investment in the context of a period of time.

According to an ancient Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today.”

Using Time to Impact as a reference, marketing investment decisions can be made based on the tactical versus strategic business need. We can determine what activities can make an impact immediately or over coming periods, and plan more efficiently around what initiatives need to start now to make an impact over the medium or long-term.

What is Lead Response Time? Is This the Same Concept?

No, lead response times (LRT) is the average time it takes a Sales Development Representative (SDR) to follow up with a prospect once they are identified as being a sales qualified lead (SQL).  According to HubSpot, the quality of a lead negatively changes based on how much time has passed since an inquiry was received. Therefore, longer response times means lower SQL to Opportunity rates.

For our purposes, Time to Impact refers to the time it takes to attract and generate demand up to the point of a qualified lead reaching the Sales Team, either as a result of an inquiry or because they’re ready to be contacted and nurtured by the Sales Team.

Important to note here that weighing up lead generation activities is not a binary one-over-the-other decision. While the Time to Impact differs, each type of impact is different and has differing levels of wider benefits.

Faster lead acquisition activities produce immediate results, but are limited in reach and have a sharp drop off in engagement. Long-term lead acquisition activities take longer to ramp up, but can deliver outsized returns.

Impact Timelines

The time it takes for a marketing campaign to impact the market is liquid and highly variable. In order to maximise your return on investment, it’s important to streamline the message creation and delivery process based on the following timelines:

1) Accelerated time to impact (measured in days to weeks)

If you want to make an impact quickly, a direct approach is required. While long-term branding strategies demand the luxury of time, accelerated market impact demands speed and agility. Outreach tele-sales and appointment setting campaigns can be used to create immediate impact, especially if you have access to an existing customer base. For example, you can call a database directly or initiate a direct response email campaign to a targeted group. An integrated call to action (CTA) is an important component of every fast campaign.

Effective tactics:

  • Lead Acceleration

2) Short to medium-term time to impact (measured in weeks to months)

If the intention is to drive broader outcomes, such as taking a new product or service to market, short to medium-term campaigns can be highly effective. A number of standard marketing strategies fall into this category, including content marketing, sequenced email campaigns, and content offer campaigns. Organic marketing often takes time, however, which is why paid marketing strategies are often used to speed up the reach. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with Google and Facebook Ads offer a great way to reach out to a targeted buyer persona and drive specific actions. On-page and technical SEO can also be effective to optimise your website for search engines, especially where technical fixes can result in measurable gains in the short to medium term.

Effective tactics:

3) Medium to long-term time to impact (measured at 6-12+ months)

If you want to engage with your market on a long-term basis, it’s important to implement a strategic approach based around SEO. Ongoing organic SEO is an integral part of every medium to long-term strategy because it helps to cement your place in the industry and promote long-term branding and customer loyalty. Evergreen content, which remains relevant over time, is central to this approach. Evergreen content provides value to your customers and remains relevant to your business and industry sector. Inbound content and linking structures are also useful to create authority and context, and blog-style articles can be added to keep your website fresh in the eyes of the search engines.

Effective tactics:

  • Content-led campaigns
  • Go-to-Market and New Market Entry campaigns
  • Paid Search (Google Ads)
  • Social advertising (Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads)
  • Ongoing SEO

4) Long-term time to impact (measured at 2+ years)

Long-term marketing is a marathon and not a sprint, which means you need to think about the end-game. Long-term marketing strategies involve the promotion of your brand in addition to your products and services. While people engage with your business because you have something to offer, repeat business is often based on a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Branding is a promise you make to the market, and long-term campaigns provide consistent messaging and relevant value propositions. Risk mitigation strategies are also important on a long-term basis, including reputation management.

Effective tactics:

  • Value Proposition
  • Brand marketing

Ready to understand what Time to Impact can mean for your business?

In order to maximise the impact of your marketing, it’s important to create strong messaging and focus on efficient delivery.

Time to Impact is a great way to define and measure the temporal nature of the marketing process. Whether you want accelerated results or sustainable long-term gains, it’s important to think long and hard about the effort you expend and the time it takes to get results.

Get in touch with us to discuss your growth plans and to gain some clarity about the Time to Impact and what it means for your marketing activities.