By: Kimberly McCormick – Bayshore Solutions Corporate Marketing Team

I am attending the 2012 Marketing Sherpa/MecLabs B2B Marketing Summit this week in Orlando, Florida. In keeping with much of the content-marketing advice I am absorbing, I will “chunk”  my notes  and insights  into smaller sections, because knowing my audience (another key point of the learnings here) as busy  business professionals, you’re more likely to read a series of shorter posts over time than a seemingly endless novella of bullets all at once.

I am impressed with the key points that are being made in this conference – and how they solidly reinforce the foundations of Bayshore Solutions’ methodology – specifically the importance of having your “Envision” phase clearly understood and complete first.  This step is an absolute prerequisite to effectively executing any ongoing marketing efforts – including building your Web presence in the correct way to support your ongoing marketing needs.

Here are the highlights of B2B 2012 Marketing Summit Opening Session, led by Dr. Flint McLaughlin, Founder of MecLabs.

Key Point:  There are no expert marketers,  just experienced marketers  and expert “Testers”

  • Need to think about marketing from a different framework

The Web as a living laboratory

  • Can and should use your web presence to continually test and improve
  • Sustainable competitive advantage comes from knowing more about how your customers think than the competition
  • Must begin with the correct understanding  of the customer’s thought sequence

Key Point:  Asking ”How” leads to information,  asking “Why” leads to wisdom

  • Marketers are all  too busy asking “How”
  • Figure out why customer says “Yes”
  • Always begin with a “Which” questions – these lead to a “Why” , which then moves to a “What” = leads to wisdom
  • Used a different page to research the which’s to whys
    • Results changed the emphasis of the messaging
    • Then could apply the same lever to the Home page
    • Learning somewhere else allowed learning of the why in order to apply to the main pages for results

Key Point:  Sometimes we need to slow down in  order to go fast  

  • Action is overrated  – action without contemplation is dangerous
  • Action needs to be grounded in contemplation

Key Point:  A company’s Marketer needs to be the philosopher of the organization

  • The vigorous action of sales needs to be grounded in the rigorous contemplation of mktg.
  • Brands should create an expectation not a promise
  • Marketers need to help their prospective customers  draw their own conclusions
    • The Message is the essence
    • All Marketing has 4 key elements
      • Market
      • Marketer
      • Message
      • Means

Too many of us make decisions based on “Company logic”  – this is extremely dangerous

  • Need to use “Customer logic” – to see with their eyes
  • In today’s Digital marketing world, we have 4 inches & 7 seconds to answer:
    • “Where am I?”
    • “What can I do here?”
    • “Why should I do it?”
  • Optimization is not an event –it’s a process

The  Goal of every marketerr is to move customers down the funnel

  • Marketing  that doesn’t influence a decision is a waste – All marketing should influence a decision

More Effective way to look at marketing: Invert the funnel

  • People aren’t falling into your sales funnel – they’re falling OUT of it
    • Marketers need to keep attracting them “up” the funnel
  • We need to Map the customer’s thought sequence, and adjust their Web experience to this
  • Do not re-design a website:
    • Need to aggregate all the micro “Yes’s”  to get to the macro “Yes” (the Sale)
    • A single no along the way loses the prospect
  • Get people up the funnel through the sequence of micro-yes’s
  • View the web as a living laboratory
  • Understand the sequence of thought of your prospects & Tune your message (website pages) to that thought sequence
    • i.e. design email to produce a micro-yes ( to get the click to  to the web page – etc
    • i.e. pay attention to what your buttons say – “Get started” – are they really ready to based on a n email – probably not try “Find out more”…
    • Don’t confuse w too many objectives on a page.

The Value Proposition is the force that compels people up the funnel – this needs to be  is the essence of the marketing message message.
Your Value Proposition needs to answer:  If I am your ideal prospect – why should I buy from you?

  • There are 3 levels to this:
    • Prospect level
    • Process
    • Product
  • Your “Brand” is the aggregate experience of the Value Proposition

There is a framework for the Value Proposition – very few understand it functionally.

  • In answering “If I am your ideal prospect – why should I buy from you?
  • You need to parse this out to cover:
    • If I – using the first person must answer from the customers point of view
    • Your ideal prospect – Focuses on a specific customer segment – you can’t be all to everyone
    • Value Proposition is  an ultimate reason  – Why is the culmination of a careful argument

Value Proposition can be thought of on a fulcrum (see-saw)

  • Where Perceived Value is opposite Perceived Cost
  • the Value Proposition needs to be tilted to Value – at every micro-yes level, to win that micro-yes and proceed up to the next one
    • Perceived Value can be Measured  by 4 essential elements
      • Appeal – I want it
      • 3 intensifiers to appeal;
        • Relevancy
        • Importance
        • Urgency
      • Exclusivity – I can’t get it anywhere else
      • Clarity –  I understand it/you
        • Clarity trumps persuasion
      • Credibility – I believe in it/you

The Danger of Assumed “Value”

  • Need to make quantifiable statements  and use specificity
  • At each stage of micro-Yes’s:  PPC ad – Landing page – Conversion Form  –
  • Get people to say more Yes’s in more places throughout  the prospect’s journey UP the funnel
  • Tips on Headlines
    • Headlines need to be pick-up lines, not marriage proposals
    • Headlines should read like a sentence – sans the period – tailored to your prospect
  • When you make a claim – the prospect’s guard goes up, when you cause them to draw their own conclusion – you create a fan .
    • Clarity trumps persuasion
    • Then sales won’t have to claim –just close
  • Body copy: Weigh body copy message with more value in the description
  • Call to action buttons:  Give me a better reason to click the button  –
    • Don’t just say “download”  this is a means – use the end : “Access your e-book now”
  • Forms: Don’t stop presenting value within the form – keep up the velocity of micro-yesses.
    • Consider including a picture of the benefit (the eBook, etc) right on your form


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