Advocacy Advantage: Palo Alto

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Hello Palo Alto!#

Jim WilliamsVP Marketing, Influitive@jimcwilliams#

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Disappearing opportunities fix your leakyYou arent going to win 75%+ of dealsBut instead of fixing the 4 out of 5 who leaveWe always refill the funnel funnel#

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Why are they disappearing? Why do these opportunities vanish? We can talk a little bit about that. As marketers, and many of us in the room her are marketers, what do we do about this problem? Well, what we do is we look for a technological solution. We look to fill up that pipeline with another five opportunities. Another 10 opportunities knowing that only two of them will close, and perhaps eight will disappear. And the way we fill that pipeline today is by building this martec stack. That we can use to fill up people's inboxes at an unprecedented scale with our messaging, our content, our offers, our CTAs. Our promises, our slogans, our taglines. That's what we do. It started with marketing automation. And believe me, I was there at the beginning of this, and has grown exponentially to encompass 4,000 different types of asset we can use to better personalize, better target, better acquire data. Uh, do better predictive lead scoring. Uh, you know, all types of applications we can use as part of the ... The ... The stack that we built to reach buyers and try and keep that funnel filled, knowing that 80% of it will disappear. But with each new technology layer we add on, we seem to abstract away a key thing that's critical in the marketing process, and I'm going to talk about that. We are so found of the stack that we've built that today there are actually awards for it. People are actually submitting nominations to the Stackeys that they can go and ... And celebrate this beautiful architecture, this ... This machine.

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But with every new layer we add on to it again, we're not getting necessarily better at marketing. We're just creating the rise of the machine. This machine that has separated us further and further from the emotions of the buyer. The kind of humanity. We're so focused on the data, and the volume, and the reach, and the conversion rate, that as marketers, I think we've gotten away from the true art of marketing, the psychology of marketing. Which is understanding what it is your buyer is trying to accomplish with your product or service.

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The internet and social Web have made it possible for any voice to be heard, but to be truly heard you have to be authentic. If not, you will be discovered, you will be exposed, and youll be derided.

And what we're really missing, I think is said best by Hank Barnes at Gartner Group. If you don't read Hank Barnes stuff, you should. Authenticity. The more we rely on the machine, the less authentic we are, or the less human we appear to our buyer. And coincidentally, the rise of the social web. The ability for people to make connections with one another, with any other person, through LinkedIn, or Twitter, or communities online, means that authenticity has become even more of a factor than ever before. Combined with the the rise of the machine the constant flow of marketing pitches into inboxes has increased the need to to connect with someone in a more human way, a more personal way, to forge peer connections. It's almost like a lifeline that you're seeking in order to, you know, escape from the inbox, from the marketing machine.

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71% of buyers who see a personal value in a B2B purchase will end up buying.

Personal value had 2X the impact over business impact.

And why do we crave authenticity? Why is it so important? It's because we talk about the changing purchase process. You know, the buyers journey has changed so much, but one thing hasn't changed at all, and that is literally the emotional side of buying. When I got into B2B marketing, you know, uh, my assumption was that B2B is a very rational purchase. It's, "I'm going to buy based on evidence, based on data, based on integrations, based on, um, you know, how this product fits into my architecture. How long does it keep me to get a return? What kind of results am I going to see Etc. Rational reasons for buying. But that's not in fact how we buy, and if anything in B2B, the opposite is true, emotion is even more important than rational. And why is it? It's because it's how the brain is architected. All thoughts make their way through the lymbic system, which governs your emotions before it can arrive at the rational part of the brain. We purchase based on emotion and we justify based on rational. Now, it was a really interesting study done by corporate executive board and I was just there last week at their annual conference. Check out CEB if you're not familiar with them. They published this report, actually, a couple of years ago that suggests that personal value is so important that in a B2B purchase that 71% of buyers who see the personal value will end up buying. That means, what does it mean for them? Their career? These personal factors are twice as impactful as business impact.

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Consumers trust people the mostSource: North American Consumer Technographics Online Benchmark Survey (Part 1), 2014

To what extent do you trust each of the following types of promotion?(Answered 4 or 5 on scale of 5, where 5 = trust completely, 1 = Do not trust at all)

2016 Forrester Research, Inc. Reproduction Prohibited#

Now, heres the thing. When we make an purchase as individuals, we rely on peer feedback. We do it every day. We do it when we hire in Uber. We look at what the ratings are. We do it when we make dinner reservations on Yelp. We do it when we make our vacation plans, trip advisor. We do it by word of mouth all the time. And now, again, with the rise of social communities and review sites, we do it for business decisions. This is a Forrester report that suggests that, again, buyers first look for opinions from friends and family. People they know. Then to written reviews online. Written reviews from people just like them. Further down at the bottom list is what I read on websites from vendors and brands.

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Theres a Silent Killerin your Sales Pipeline

Of buying happens belowthe surface75%

So, why is this pipeline disappearing? What is the silent killer in the pipeline? Its below the surface somewhere in the 75% of the buying process that sales & marketing isnt a part of. At that stage, people are looking for validation from their peers. They are searching the social web to justify an emotional decision.

And when you seek validation for your purchase, whats the worst possible thing you find? #

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Silence. The scariest sound to your buyer is no sound at all. No reviews, no recommendations, no buzz, no chatter. Nobody is speaking at events about a product or service that you're curious about. No personal recommendations from friends. Silence itself is the thing that contributes to fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

If nobody is talking about this product, am I really going to put my reputation on the line and purchase it myself? Am I going to be the pioneer here? Very few people want to be the pioneer when testing out some product or service. Even in the B2B space. Because it hurts their professional reputation if they make a mistake.

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Self-ish MarketingCompany talking about itselfPushing productsHandful of go-to referencesCompanies control brandsNoiseAdvocate Marketing Customers raving in publicBuilding lifetime relationships Army of advocates Brands built by customersCut through the noiseThe winners embrace a new model #

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So, what we're talking about here today at the advocacy advantage roadshow is how, um, companies are recognizing this and filling the void. Filling the silence space, not with more marketing content, more e-mails, more branded stuff, more e-books, et cetera, but with the voice of their passionate customers. Voices that can be found in that 75% of the buying processes where sales and marketing cant influence. It means you had better get your best customers out there talking about their experiences with you. You had better managed this transition from selfish marketing, which is all the marketing we've learned about. Talking about your brand, pushing your products, relying on a handful of curated references, your go-to-market 12 customers that always say the things you want them to say. You know, controlling your brand, developing it meticulously with some ... A very expensive agency. You know, cranking up the noise, cranking up the machine to this new area that we call the error of advocacy, an advocate market centric approach. Companies that embrace this know that a handful of handpicked reference accounts is not going to get it done. They create an army, an army of advocates that are raving in public. They know that in order to develop this army, they need to build not a transactional relationship of their buyer, but a lifetime relationship. They know that those customers need to feel like they're a part of the brand itself. They have a stake in the success of the company. They need to feel a sense of belonging. The brand itself is built by customers, it's like Bezos says, "Your brand is what customers say about when you're not in the room." Well, they cultivate that conversation because they know they're not going to be in the room. This is the era of advocate marketing that you're going to hear about today.

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AccessPower#StatusBelongingSocial triggers that drive advocacy

Why do your customers advocate for you? Why are they going to help you build your brand? Because you're seeking some personal value. Remember, we're emotional people. We make decisions based on our emotions. The emotions that drive advoca