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STEAL: Up to 70% Off Sale Styles at Nordstrom

We’re not going to pretend that the world has completely returned to normal because that’s still a ways out, but we’re trying to add a sense of normalcy back into our daily lives by dressing…

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Maserati MC20

The V12-powered Maserati MC12 supercar from 2004 became one of the finest supercar legends based on its performance and its very limited run of 62 cars (50 road-going versions, and 12 Corsa racing versions). Now,…

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Oculus Introduces Quest 2 VR Headset

The Oculus Quest VR headset just got even better. The all-new Quest 2 is a serious upgrade from the original & that’s impressive. First, the 2 boasts twice the resolution of its predecessor, now with 2K per eye for life-like visuals. There’s a new faster processor that’s also 10% lighter, and this model is considerably less expensive. Choose from a 64GB or 256GB model. Drops Oct. 13.

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They Make Great Pets: Own Your Own T-Rex

You’ll need high ceilings for this. The skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex is up for auction at Christie’s. Yes, the actual full-size, 67 million year-old skeleton of nature’s fiercest prehistoric predator. Normally reserved for museums and university collections, this specimen will give private owners the chance to own one of the rarest pieces in the world. Recovered in the 1980s by an amateur paleontologist, the T-Rex is named “Stan” in honor of the man who discovered it. Stan will be auctioned off October 6.

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GoPro Steps Up To 5K with HERO9 Black

With an upgrade to stunning 5K clarity and dual-screen design, the latest & greatest from GoPro is the HERO9 Black. It delivers 5K UHD resolution at 30fps, boasts 8X slo-mo, & HyperSmooth 3.0 image stabilization for steady, cinematic shots. In addition to its 2.27-inch rear LCD, the 9 also has a 1.4-inch front-facing LCD, enabling vloggers and content creators to compose their shots before filming. Voice control is another new feature, & this camera will livestream at 1080p.

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How to influence C-level decision makers in B2B marketing?

30-second summary:

  • Multi-dimensional plans offer a higher chance of bringing you to the forefront of the businesses you intend to pitch to.
  • Offer additional insights as part of your marketing strategy. You need to prove your determination to see your potential clients grow.
  • Position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Be an influencer yourself before you compel others to be invested in what you sell.
  • Marketing to another business requires additional effort than a B2C marketing plan. Here, the C-level decision makers know exactly what they need and are more perceptive of your approach.

Being in the B2B marketing world, are you still wondering how to influence the C-level decision makers? If you’ve landed this page searching ways and tips to influence the C-level executives, you’re in the right place.

C-level executives are deemed as the most important and influential group of individuals in a company. It generally includes Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO)  among other positions having a prefix Chief.

In B2B marketing and sales, you may sometimes have to deal directly with these influential groups of individuals in the company.

While dealing with them, you certainly will not follow the typical approach that you have been following while dealing with mid-level executives or managers.

Your approach to C-level executives must be specific with more targeted strategy so as to influence them and make them interested in your product.

Now the question is what makes your approach and strategy more targeted and influential. Stop worrying and start reading to get an insight of it.

Ways to influence C-level decision makers in B2B marketing

A multi-dimensional B2B marketing plan

Pitching to another business, especially the C-level decision makers as a marketing firm is more than just finding ways to influence them through your marketing strategy. You will be influencing the decision-makers through your conduct.

A multidimensional plan would involve your efforts in finding ways to create a strong bond with the decision-makers on one hand while impressing them with your thorough research and marketing plans on the other.

You have more of a chance of being embedded in their minds by making a strong impression on both fronts. So, when the time comes for them to make a decision, you would certainly be a strong contender.

Conduct a thorough research

There is no better way to impress or influence decision-makers of companies than to be thorough in your research. Needless to say, the entire marketing plan you pitch to said executives will be based on what you unearth through your research.

The right understanding of both the industry and the brand can help you convey the whats, the whys, and the hows of your strategy, and the outcome of going ahead with the plan you pitch.

Develop a positioning statement

Your positioning statement is the way you perceive a particular matter, in this case, the company. With the research you conduct, you are in a better position to develop a positioning statement for the company you are planning to pitch to.

Starting off your pitch with this statement will give the C-level decision-makers the confidence that you have taken the time to study the industry and their company, and delivered your view-point as precisely as possible.

Get referrals

A great way to set up meetings and make your mark on C-level decision makers is by getting referrals from people you already know. An increased network of people can help you get in touch with the right connections to pitch your marketing strategies.

Most marketing firms have loyal clients who have been brought on-board by connections they already had. Use this to your advantage.

However, referrals do not mean you slack off in your research or marketing plans. Dedicate as much time you would on an unknown client.

Improve your B2B marketing strategy

If you haven’t been able to impress every C-level decision-maker you have pitched to in the past, your strategy needs improvement. It is not only what you pitch that makes a difference, but also how you pitch.

With strategies based on research and data, you are more likely to miss out due to factors other than your marketing pitch. One way to make sure you are at the top of your game is to improve your overall strategy.

To help you out, we’ve listed down a few tips that can help you begin.

A guide to improve your marketing strategy

Improving the marketing strategy involves more than what you’ve collated in your presentation. It encompasses how you approach the decision-makers and how you present the data you have.

Here’s a guide to help you improve your marketing strategy significantly.

Approach through multi-channels

Many businesses tend to send out emails to another business in the hopes that their email would one day be read and acknowledged. By doing this, you could be wasting precious time.

A different approach using multiple channels can help you catch their attention quicker. Rather than just sending them an email, make sure you try to reach out through other channels, such as through LinkedIn, and follow it up by using your email.

Be a marketing storyteller

Once you’ve caught the attention of C-level executives in a marketing pitch, you have more of a chance making the deal. The crucial part is getting their attention piqued.

One way is using an interesting story as a marketing tactic. Remember that every other business vying for their attention is bound to use the same old tactic of telling them why they’re the best. Being different in your approach can help you be a business that makes a mark in their sights.

You can use your positioning statement as a base to narrate your story. Rather than treating the C-level executives as potential sales, make sure you consider them as people while you converse with them, and be as conversational as you can.

Offer unique information

Businesses are often too shrewd in accepting marketing plans at face value. If you’ve noticed what your competitors are up to, you would see a constant string or repetitive information that offers no new information or insight.

You can fill in the gap by offering information that is not readily available or shared by other marketers, with data and other valuable information backing up your claims.

Make a valuable offer

More often than not, C-level decision makers do not respond to your offer if they find the offer to be an unworthy one. As marketers, giving them something additional along with your usual marketing strategy can help win them over and let them know that you are looking for ways to help them reach a higher potential.

Establish a relationship

A B2B marketing plan is more than pitching for a chance to manage a company’s marketing plans. It is also a chance to establish a relationship with the C-level decision-makers and letting them see how determined you are in helping them increase their potential day by day.

So, while you’re pitching to influence them in order to choose your marketing firm, remember to use the time to form a strong bond that compels them to choose you. The better the rapport you create in that short span of time, the stronger your impact is on their minds.

Position yourselves as thought leaders

Before you sell your marketing plan, you need to prove your worth as leaders. Any business or C-level decision maker you approach will have their first impression of your company through you.

Coming across as someone with adequate knowledge and a deep understanding of their industry and the market will give them the push to consider what you offer.

Common B2B marketing mistakes you need to avoid

You may do everything right but you should also know what you could be doing wrong. While balance is good, here’s where you may stay behind because of the potential mistakes you could be making.

We’ve listed down common mistakes that you need to avoid as a marketer while you pitch to a C-level decision maker.

Pitching generic marketing strategies

If you’re pitching the same thing you pitch to every other client, you are in for a big NO!

C-level decision makers prefer it when you analyse their market industry and alter the strategy by personalizing it for them. When pitching to such executives, your greatest asset would be how well you adapt your plans to their requirements and point out all of the places that you can improve in the shortest time.

So, when you are being compared to the other marketing companies pitching to them, you will have proven to be a better asset to them.

Lack of data

Every idea you present should be based on valid data acquired after a thorough research. Numbers help make most decisions when it comes to businesses. It indicates that you have analysed the market enough to know where the company you are pitching to stands and what their potential could be.

In the case of C-level decision makers, numbers can help sway their decision quicker than most strategies you’ve pitched.

Highlighting your features more than the output

Businesses do not care what your USP is. Every marketing company is bound to offer the same thing. However, what they are more focused on is results.

A result-oriented strategy is more likely to impress them than a presentation that talks about what makes you better than your competitors. While a competition analysis will help you in some way, find out ways in which you can help increase their sales to present to them.

As marketers, it is vital that you take into account every possible scenario. From the way you perceive the decision makers to the way you project your company to be, every aspect can help you influence them in your favor.

Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies, A Mobile App Development Company. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.

The post How to influence C-level decision makers in B2B marketing? appeared first on ClickZ.

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Leveraging the authority of LinkedIn influencers for B2B

30-second summary:

  • Influencers can generally be classified into three categorical buckets: aspirational, authoritative, and peer.
  • Avoid fixating on sales when it comes to influencer KPIs, consider other levels of the sales funnel that create the compulsion to purchase.
  • Leverage influencers within the entire LinkedIn ecosystem from groups to Sales Navigator campaigns.
  • Consider social shares and other amplification tactics to maximize budget.

Most B2B marketers immediately dismiss influencer marketing as a vacuous activity only undertaken by their B2C counterparts to sell pretty packaging through anxiety-riddled models in between a morning green tea cleanse product post and a beach sunset photo.

It is far more complex and nuanced of a subject.

For B2B enterprises, the decision to employ influencer marketing comes down to a few key questions:

  1. Which influencer type is ideal?
  2. What KPI is the influencer being measured against?
  3. Which channel makes the most sense for this campaign?
  4. How does an enterprise go about creating and managing an effective influencer campaign based on the above?

To keep this discussion brief, influencers can generally be classified into three categorical buckets: aspirational, authoritative, and peer. As a definition, the aspirational influencer is a celebrity type, often with a large following, aspirational influencers are what most think of when visualizing what an influencer might look like.

The peer influencer, by contrast, is the everyday dad stopping at the grocery store on the way home from the office, your fishing enthusiast uncle on Facebook, or you to your next-door neighbor.

The authoritative influencer is the perceived topical expert on a subject. For the purposes of B2B influencer marketing, in this use case, we want to appeal to authority.

Content created in partnership with Intellifluence.

How to find authoritative LinkedIn influencers

Having determined that authoritative influencers as arbiters of expertise are the appropriate influencer type to focus on for the B2B campaign, what KPI should they be held accountable towards?

This can be a difficult question unless the influencer is somehow tightly engrained within the sales and marketing teams, it is somewhat unreasonable to expect the influencer will be responsible for sales. This is doubly true for high priced and complicated purchases which may demand multiple meetings to collect requirements and receive buy-in from multiple stakeholders. If not sales, then what level of the sales process?

Lead generation? Perhaps, especially if what is being recommended is a single visit-to-conversion product.

Moving up in the funnel, how about attention and desire? This makes much more sense. Getting your product or service in the hands of an industry expert who can stoke the flames of want and need is precisely the use case authoritative influencers are perfect for.

Now having selected the type of influencer and the probable KPI to focus on when including influencers in B2B, which channel makes the most sense for your campaign? As an intelligent reader, you naturally understand that we will be using LinkedIn for this exercise. However, this is not the only channel capable of satisfying the requirements: notably YouTube and Twitter come to mind as well in terms of being able to supply ample interest from an expertise vector. That said, LinkedIn, being the professionals’ network, is an easy place to start with LinkedIn influencers.

What is the best B2B campaign type to run at LinkedIn?

Within the LinkedIn ecosystem, one has several ways to leverage these influencers from using groups and events to livestream video and Sales Navigator specific campaigns, though generally with influencers there are two primary methods: primary and secondary campaigns.

If your influencer choice will be receiving a hands-on review, a great way to engage their audience is by the use of an in-depth article as a primary campaign. Not only are these articles excellent ways to provide a review for the immediate viewing audience, but they are far more evergreen than a simple post and can be used for brand reputation purposes within search.

LinkedIn influencers - Spotlight post

Amplify your efforts to force compulsion

Should the cost to create such a review prove to be prohibitive, another option would be for a thought leader within your own organization to create material designed to be shared, which leads to our second favorite use of LinkedIn amongst B2B marketers: like, comment, and share.

These activities are part of a secondary campaign process, amplifying previous efforts. As a concept, it is extremely easy for influencers to undertake, and as such usually comes with a considerably lower price tag. By liking the in-depth article posted by your organization, commenting with a relevant message that indicates the article was read, and sharing it with their core audience (with a personalized message), you can still leverage the authority possessed by the influencer.

As a final step, consider taking the audiences you just reached out to with an interest campaign by your LinkedIn influencers and start retargeting them with a deeper funnel advertising campaign. You have already established attention and possible interest, so it is time to move the reader closer to purchase.

Use the larger audience authoritative influencers for the creation of think pieces and in-depth reviews, followed up by peer influencers to your chosen buyer persona that can like, comment, and share. Cap it off with a strong retargeting campaign to force the compulsion to purchase and you are well on your way to leveraging the authority of LinkedIn influencers.

The post Leveraging the authority of LinkedIn influencers for B2B appeared first on ClickZ.

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Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense

Not For You is the first full-length biography of America’s foremost rock band, Pearl Jam. Covering the entire timeline from Ten to Gigaton, the book explores the band’s origins and evolution over thirty years of evolving American culture. The band’s obsessive fan-base will find much to pore over—from untold tales to thoughtful critical analysis—within its densely-packed 440 pages.

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Maserati Rolls Out 200MPH+ MC20

The launch of the Maserati MC20 marks a new era in the legacy of the iconic Italian carmaker. The mid-engine, 610-horsepower coupe is a track-inspired supercar taking direct aim at McLaren & Lamborghini. Its tech-driven interior, with dual 10-inch displays & full-time Maserati Connect wi-fi & navigation, does a great job of hiding just how viciously fast this thing is.

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GoPro delivers a deluge of features with the 5K HERO9 Black

GoPro brings its most versatile action camera yet with the new HERO9 Black. The camera packs 5K video capability, 20MP photos, HyperSmooth 3.0 video stabilization, a 1.4″ front-facing display, a larger 2.27″ rear display, and 30% more battery life into its incredibly compact form factor. It also …

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