At the end of 2022 more than 300 marketing professionals from across the globe descended on Austin for the annual CXL Live conference. They came to learn, debate, discuss, commiserate, and connect - all in the name of marketing! The conference consisted of two full days of making connections and sharing thoughts on marketing growth and experiments.
The event was attended by top world-class marketers with up-standing reputations in the marketing community who shared their own ideas and what they believe will be the upcoming and current prospects for the digital marketing world.
We’ve done a round up of the main takeaways for you to draw inspiration on for your brand or business.
“How to Win” by Peep Leja
Peep Leja the founder of CXL addressed the group with a talk about “How to Win” among an abundance of competitors and brands.
“There have never been as many brands as there are today. Although more and more companies are joining the game, the stability of market positions is astonishing. Salesforce, for example, increased its revenue market share to 18.4% in the past years, according to research by IDC.” Leja said. Most of those positions aren’t likely to change. You can’t beat category kings, and the only exception for this is through tech disruption.
The reason for that could be what can be considered as “double jeopardy law” . It explains the larger the market share, the more user base and loyalty a brand will have. Smaller brands have fewer users, but they are also less loyal. They don’t usually fit within the consideration set where only category kings go. Your job as a marketer is to get inside it and analyze your targeted audience in a better way.
Other factors in favor of category kings are quality control, after-sale service and support, and lots of reviews by customers built over time. Which smaller brands struggle with.
However Leja mentioned three ways for smaller brands to get inside the limited consideration set:
Leja also offered up three very clear ways to better your positioning.
The final takeaway from Leja was this: In a world where there is very little differentiation in marketing copy - Your copy now is one of the most important influences for your visitors to convert.
“Testing to Win” by Ben Labay
Testing plays a very important part in your brand and using the insights on growth delivers. As it is if you want to grow beyond, the way to do it is through the strategic and most guided parts of your business. Ben Labay used some of Daniel Layfield’s work in Codecademy as a case study for experimentation systems.
Being clear about what you want to test is crucial and Speedo’s experimentation strategy for Codecademy can be summed up in these three questions.
What to test?
Defines what to test by adapting to customers' priorities. Show them what they need to be shown, not what you want to show.
You can then divide your plan into three phases:
Aim at improving your visitors' journey to the end, content clarity, navigation on website experiences, and use of useful KPIs.
“Lessons I wish I knew as a first-time B2B marketing leader” by Dave Gerhardt
With ample experience as a marketing manager first and a CMO now, Dave Gerhardt knows that being a marketing leader requires both marketing expertise and a set of marketing skills.
He suggests the 70-30 rule when allocating resources on time and growth. Spend 70% of your time on current aspects; what works right now and 30% on what could work in the future.
Gerhardt said “As a marketing leader, you should become comfortable making bets without perfect data, because they will rarely have it. Marketing should collaborate as a business function with sales, finance and ops, but you shouldn’t replace any of their tasks as a manager.”
Marketing needs to focus on making your products your main marketing channel for customer acquisition gaining momentum through feature launches, content campaigns, product launches, and announcements.
This means deeply understanding the audience or customer base you will sell to and aligning your whole company on these things.
“Grow with messaging” by Emma Stratton
“ Your strategy will either drive or slow growth,” said Stratton. Messaging can make or break your product or service. Weak messaging is hard to sell, if you don’t provide any value to people interested in your products then competition will take it from you.
Strong messaging can help you differentiate yourself from the rest of the herd. It can help you grow and sell more. If done right your strategy will drive growth, otherwise will slow it. It can help bridge the gap between people and tech or close it.
Takeaways from Stratton on messaging:
And finally -Make it crystal clear, don’t beat around the bush just tell them what you are providing them and what they need to hear. Avoid using any jargon words, keep it simple.
“Outdated vs Modern B2B” by Gaetano DiNardi
DiNardi shared his insights on indicators to use for your demand gen program. Lead gen uses a short-term, sales-focused strategy whereas on the other hand, demand gen focuses on a long-term, awareness-focused strategy.
Demand gen: Its effectiveness is usually indicated by engagements that show how the customers are interacting with your business and their behavior, how much time they are spending on your page or branded search volume growth. This can only happen when customers are provided with what they want.
Demand capturing: To target demand capture you need to focus on intent channels that include pain points or solutions for their problems. It has higher close rates and shorter sale cycles, which can be done through conversion-oriented landing pages for PPC. Depends on the value you are providing with your product or service.
Modern B2B is not just about sales anymore, it is also about educating, building community, product marketing, and working toward customers' success by addressing their concerns.
“Every failing B2B marketing program is driven by the misalignment of people, process and strategy. This may occur when wrong players are playing in the wrong positions on the field, wrong strategies are being deployed to the wrong channels, or wrong channels are being measured with the wrong metrics.” he said.
“The secret growth ingredient most people ignore” by Casandra Campbell
Campbells framework is for an experimentation program. She believes one of the most ignored things in marketing is experimentation, which allows you to establish assumptions based on evidence i.e past data and insights. This in turn is very important to achieve steady and sustainable growth.
Strong assumptions are a must for decision-making but with evidence and prediction based on past results. One should start by analyzing past results and data and research external factors such as competition and niche.
Try to get the input of others or experts in the niche, and ask for feedback from peers and customers alike which will help solidify your assumptions with evidence. And don’t just run these assumptions as your final trial, try to run some experiments before finalizing your strategy to give more depth to your planning.
The final stage of Casandra’s experimentation framework is the one where you present your results with the gathered evidence. You should expose assumptions in your work once you’ve established them after proper testing.
The main takeaways from the experts are that you should first get to know your business and your audience better. It is very important to get an understanding of the value you are proving to your customers.
Smaller brands should focus on building customer relationships and loyalty apart from just working towards generating revenue. Yes, it is important but loyal customers will help you to sustain your growth in the long run.
Testing and experimentation is important to address what is the demand of your customers and to address their pain points.
At last research and analysis of all internal and external factors to help you devise the best strategy for growth and sustainability.