IN THIS ISSUE
Today's Driven brings you a timely, in-depth article that's likely to challenge the way your company generates revenue today:
- Should you be capturing demand or creating it? There's a big difference between the strategies, tactics, and activities for each. Many companies focus on capturing current demand, even when they'd be better off investing to create more. What about your company?
In addition, you'll find these 2 short takes:
- How to keep pace with your buyers' changing expectations.
- Now that everyone's doing content marketing, you have to do it even better.
REVENUE | MARKETING | SALES & SELLING
How to keep pace with your buyers' expectations
There's good news here: Buyers see solution providers are being one of the most valuable sources of information.
"Buyers see solution providers doing a better job of providing them with more relevant and useful content. And buyers believe salespeople are listening to their needs, tailoring their advice, and educating them."
So keep that great content coming.
And if your content isn't so great, it's time to up your game. Because your competitors have probably improved theirs.
Advice for today?
"...get insight, but to use it to show that you truly understand the buyer’s business issues and can help them address those issues. Make sure your marketing is personalized—not by simply adding a person’s or a company’s name to a mass-generated email, but really demonstrate that you know what’s top of mind for buyers, you know what their business imperatives are, and you have the thought leadership, knowledge, and experience to help them look at their issues in a new light.
Collaborate and innovate with them. That’s how you’ll spark conversations, deepen relationships, and most importantly, build trust."
In your marketing communications, don't just focus your efforts on channels you can easily measure. Among executives, peers are one of the top sources of information (21% for business executives vs. 15% for IT executives.
"Buyer Behavior Has Changed. Marketers Need to Keep Up." Julie Schwartz. July 23, 2021. ITSMA. [Online article.]
Now that everyone's doing content marketing, you have to do it even better
It's been about 25 years since John Oppedahl coined the phrase content marketing among a group of journalists in 1996. And it's been 10 years since Joe Pulizzi launched the Content Marketing Institute.
Now, it appears, the idea is finally getting through to most business executives. Not that they understand it well.
Respondents to this year's annual survey about content marketing said that their business now views content as a core strategy (81% vs. 72% last year).
We have Covid-19 to thank for that recent bump in the adoption rate.
"Executives are more convinced than ever that content is a strategic function in business. But they don’t quite have a feel for how it all works yet."
The emphasis is mine.
That sentence makes me think, no wonder so much corporate content marketing is so bad.
There's so much crap out there, your content has to be really good to stand out. Please don't let yours be among the crap. Commit to create the best content in the industry segments you serve.
Content Management and Strategy Survey. Content Marketing Institute and Content Tech. 2021. [Downloadable PDF. 29 pages. No charge.]
New directions for Driven
With this 70'th issue of Driven, it's a good time to take stock. In the interest of transparency and mutual exchange of value, I'll share some important numbers with you.
Today Driven has about 50 subscribers. It started 2 years ago with about 12.
In nearly 2 years, only 2 people have unsubscribed.
As far as I can tell, Driven has gained less than 10 of its new subscribers through referrals.
How can it be worth my time and effort to write for such a small audience?
I've asked myself that a few times. But I'm patient. And I'm learning so much by writing this regularly.
For the effort it takes to prepare Driven, I'd like more subscribers.
Why? My business model is to create content so valuable that some subscribers will happily pay for it.
But don't worry. Your subscription to Driven will be free for as long as you want to receive it.
Someday, when I'm sure the content is valuable enough, I'll ask you to pay for upgrades.
Until now, I've done almost nothing to grow subscriptions. But I want 1,000 avid, engaged subscribers by the end of 2022.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that I can see who opens Driven and who clicks on which topics. If that unsettles you, please unsubscribe.
The average open rate for Driven is about 65%. That's extraordinary for emails of this kind. For most, the average is closer to 15% or less. Many publishers would be ecstatic with open rates of 20%.
Lately, click rates have been going up. The recent average about 16%.
I want open rate and click rates to be even higher. The feedback they provide makes it worth my time to keep writing for you.
I picture individual subscribers as I write. I often write articles aimed at one person. That's why it's valuable to all of us when you share problems or challenges you're facing.
You may have noticed that Driven now offers articles of more substance and more lasting value than earlier issues. These articles take much more time and effort to prepare.
I need your feedback to keep improving. It helps me create more content that's truly valuable to you.
Your engagement with Driven gives me the kind of feedback I need. I get none if you don't...
- Regularly open issues
- Click on links
- Respond to occasional surveys
- Email me with comments or questions
- Share issues
I understand. You have good reasons:
- You're busy. You feel you can't make time.
- You don't find Driven helpful or compelling.
Either way, Driven isn't for you.
That's OK. It's not for everyone.
I'd like to have 3,000 subscribers. But I'd rather have 5 avid ones than 5,000 who are indifferent.
I cut subscribers who haven't opened any of the prior 6 issues.
So if Driven isn't for you, please unsubscribe. Or I'll unsubscribe for you.
And if Driven is for you, please let me know by opening it regularly. Your feedback is the currency that pays me for your subscription. So click on links that interest you. Drop me an occasional email. Argue with me. Ask questions. Tell me how I can make it more valuable. Share it.
Recently I've added another good reason for you to click: The most substantial content I create will go away in 2 weeks. After that, you may be asked to pay for it. So if you think it might interest you, click while it's free.
Some of that content now appears in Google Docs. You can copy it, download it, comment on it, and ask questions.
Driven is a fortnightly digest for busy revenue leaders in business-to-business (B2B) SaaS.
It's likely to be most useful if your company sells higher-ticket products that require moderate to heavy involvement of professional sellers.
Driven is here to help you:
- Achieve your revenue goals
- Overcome your obstacles and challenges
- Fix expensive problems
- Be the best version of yourself.
You'll find an online archive of back issues 12 through 43 at this link.
About links, recommendations, and commissions
When I provide links to articles or reports from vendors, does it imply a recommendation or endorsement?
Not necessarily. I link to sources I think you'll find useful or interesting.
If you see variants of the words recommend or endorse, it's a different matter. Those things will usually cost you money. I recommend or endorse them only if I think they deliver good value. If I think they may not be a good fit for some Driven readers, I'll share caveats.
I may get a small commission if you eventually buy something I've recommended. It costs you no more. If your purchase will earn me a commission, I'll tell you.