Not all of us have millions in funding, or large armies of marketers. Some of us, just have to do it all on our own. Marketers in B2B startups need to consider This “Atmanirbhar” — the self-reliant — approach now more than ever.
For two reasons -
- Isolated marketing function is low in impact and high in friction and loss
- It can get too slow while waiting for other teams to help
Ankit Chaturvedi, AVP & Head of Corporate Marketing at RateGain was live at HelloMeets earlier this month, with his meetup on B2B marketing at a tight budget.
And building a team of Atmanirbhar marketers is at the heart of it all.
This blog has the best approaches to sustainable & resourceful B2B marketing, without wasting too many resources.
How would you define an “Atmanirbhar Marketer”?
Someone who is a fullstack marketer.
They are generalists who have above-average knowledge of specific functions too. They need to be able to understand the product & engineering, backend, sales, customer success, design and a little bit more.
A team of full-stack marketers can become the drivers of growth at any startup. As they can do the following:
- Give insights to engineering for building competitive features that surpass others
- Advice HR what to say on social media and the stories to tell
- Inform Finance team on allocating the right budget for campaigns
- Help PMs about competitors and user trends
- Help in positioning and selling to empower the sales team
- Advice Customer Success teams with brand-building scripts
They can save a huge amount of time in decision making with data driven conversations with each of the above functions too.
How to become an Atmanirbhar marketer?
- Be Code friendly: You should know SQL, or any basic coding language. Marketers should understand how to code, especially if they want to market a SaaS product.
- Be able to write stories: Have very functional understanding of the product your marketing, this will allow you write scripts very fast.
- Be an SEO ninja : Understand SEO and have an applicable knowledge on this
- Breathe digital: Have very good understanding of digital platforms - paid ads, SEO, email marketing. Know operational skills for this. It will also help you with campaigns and predicting interactions that it will drive. How fast the lead be generated, etc.
- Have a design mindset: You should be able to work with UX for website, ads, etc.
- Be analytical: You should love analytics [be comfortable with large sets of data]
How should your marketing team think
- Keep looking out for opportunities to use any piece of content and marketing channels that you can leverage to have an impact.
- Keep experimenting. Build three to four approaches to a campaign and collaterals. Keep experimenting: The times of day of posting, content and picture placement.
- Keep focusing on ROI. Look at marketing as a growth function rather than a cost function. Are you getting brand visibility, leads, contacts, impressions, subscribers - measure these for any campaign and marketing spend. This will also help you plan the next year's campaigns better.
- Always be ready to accept failure. Be humble.
- Ship fast. Do not wait for perfection. Ensure that you make the most of the moments that can carry your marketing campaign to more and more target audience.
A legendary full-stack move, RateGain’s campaign example
RateGain's marketing team built a report on "Car Rental Markets that have crashed" (The only report of its kind in the world). They hypothesized the research focus, guided the data science team for data, structured the findings for presentation and physically went to different cities in the US to find out what led to the market crash.
Once they published this report, RateGain got 400+ leads, got $70000 in opportunities and it is still getting quoted by the world’s leading travel magazines.
The Tight budgeting, how to do it right?
- Invest in tools that let you create content fast. Scale your content creation.
- Each product and market is different. Create a budge that favors a planned penetration in markets. Will you use paid media, alliances, thought leaderships, or partnerships? All that depend on the situation and the market you are tapping into. Use Thought leadership for entering a totally new market.
- Build to reuse. Templatize everything that you are making. Ensure that you invest in tools that everyone can use in your company. Poster templates, ppt templates, brochure templates — have a central repository of all of these resources.
- Grade your vendors. Filter vendors that have the highest impact on your business. This will allow you to manage resources better when there is a harsher crunch on the budget.
- Start. Stop. Continue. - Communicate what is working and what's not with the team, rethink immediately when a channel is not giving the expected ROI.
How to tell stories that make you grow
Focus on the benefit and align that benefit with the act of buying your product.
What to focus on in your stories? Depends on the type of your business.
For B2C - focus on how consuming your product can directly benefit users.
For B2B - You need to create connections that see your product as valuable and buy it.
For B2B2C - The context setting is the most important to get noticed in a way that lead to sales.
Why so much focus on stories?
Storytelling is older than an industry. You can't change the way humans process stories and how they get inspired.
Stories hence, become the best carriers of your brand's message, connection and the context.
How to figure out messaging for a campaign?
- Define this: Why should your consumer should buy your product?
It will give you the core of your message for a campaign. Ankit gave RateGain’s example - "Tracking for a better tomorrow" campaign. Launched during the height of COVID-19 pandemic.
- Take Action: Then, every tactic, content, analysis, announcement of that campaign should support your 'why' and the 'message'.
- Help the sale team: Make sales your brand ambassadors, and help them build their personal brand. Enable them the most to carry your messaging and story of your brand everywhere. Make your sales guys into thought leaders.
- Repeat your message everyday
Ankit’s example: RateGain started creating trends around data of recovery in bookings, markets, etc. during the Covid crisis and pushed those towards journalists who were looking for news and data-based stories. — the "Tracking for a better tomorrow" campaign.
How to do PR?
- There should be an existing problem in the organisation - like credibility, or product image, brand trust - which PR will solve.
- Define that problem first, then approach a PR agency.
- Find the PR agency that fits with your culture. Meet the team in person. Ask who's going to take care of your account, verify that person's credentials.
- Don't hunt for too big an agency or too small an agency.
Make sure your leadership is constantly in touch with that PR team. Keep letting them know about what's going on in the company. Have a personal rapport with the journalist that you're working with through the PR agency. Keep bouncing off ideas, stories, text them, share knowledge.
Though this blog doesn’t totally do justice to Ankit’s live session (you missed the jokes, great experiences & live Q&A), it is a summary on the subject that is fast becoming real growth booster for startups.
The age of full-stack marketers is here, and HelloMeets is bringing new live meetups with experts each month to help you do just that. Check out what else we have in store for you marketers here - www.hub.hellomeets.com