Topics: The fear of missing information, Forcing your customers to buy and Introducing our new Slack community

The Growth Report #62

Hey you fountain of youth,

Looking splendid as always!

Before we get into the weeds of today’s newsletter, I got a quick announcement to make…🥁🥁🥁

Our agency GrowthBay teamed up with the folks at Realgrowthhacking to bring you the Growth-Led Community. A Slack group with the brightest minds in European B2B marketing.

  • Tap into our network of local growth experts and startups

  • Get guaranteed answers to your questions directly from our teams

  • Find domain relevant talent and partners to boost your growth

    Request Access To Slack Community

If you’d like to join either click the button above, or shoot me a quick email and I’ll add you to the group.

Okay and with that out of the way, may I present….

...Today's topics

📈 Marketing Strategy:
Stop "forcing" your potential customers to buy from you

🧰 Tools of the Trade:
Articles, Tools and Inspiration for Marketers

⛑️ Reflections from the Trenches:
FOMI - Fear of Missing Information

📈 Marketing Strategy

Stop "forcing" potential customers to buy from you

I talked to dozens of CEOs and marketing leaders over the past two years.

And there is one fallacy that I encounter repeatedly.

Most organizations unconsciously set up their marketing operations as if everyone who is a potential customer is also ready to buy — if we only convince them enough.

Many B2B marketers seem to think that marketing works through persuasion, ‘pushing’ buyers down a funnel by explaining the product benefits.

But especially in B2B and for more expensive purchases in general, this is simply not the case.

For example: Alexandra, while a big Tesla fan, won't buy a Model S in the next couple of years because she bought herself a used Chevy just 18 months ago. She might one day, but not right now. No matter how much you try to persuade her.

Another example: Frank reads a ton of blog posts from HubSpot and totally buys into their inbound marketing philosophy. However, his company currently uses a different marketing automation software that over the years has been entangled into many other systems used by finance and sales. He might like to switch to HubSpot at some point, but that actual purchase is years out.

There are only so many people currently ready to buy

Across industries and depending on the study, only 3%, 5% or 8% of your total addressable market (TAM) is ready to buy from you at any given time.

Even if we are generous and say 15% of people are ready to buy from you right now or have the intent to do so in the next couple of months, it does not justify that 90% of your budget goes to performance marketing trying to convert strangers to customers.

But that is the reality in most marketing departments today. Performance marketing aka "online sales" rules the world, because you can directly attribute how much you spend to generate a certain amount of leads (even if those leads show no buying-intent for years to come). And those leads with no intent to buy anything from you will then be "nurtured" with annoying product messaging that has no relevancy to the situation they are in.

So what can we do instead?

What makes much more sense, is to set up a performance marketing system that captures the existing demand through paid search, review sites etc. and optimize the conversion rates on your websites that lead up to a purchase or sign-up.

Once that system is in place however, we switch gear and focus on the 95% of buyers that are out-of-market.

Effective marketing increases future sales in future buying situations. How? By increasing the probability that the brand comes to mind when the buyer goes in-market. Simply put, the brand that gets remembered is the brand that gets bought. You can’t push buyers down a funnel, but you can, to quote Professor Jenni Romaniuk, “catch buyers as they fall”.

This is similar to how Les Binet and Peter Field’s 60:40 rule states that the optimum marketing effectiveness is reached with a mix of 60% for brand building and 40% for activation of buyers. So to summarize these two trends, the marketing team should stop forcing all potential customers down a buyer-funnel and instead:

  • Expect sales results mostly in the long-term, not in the short-term.

  • Develop creative that will be remembered mostly by future buyers, not current buyers.

  • Maximize reach mostly against out-of-market buyers, not in-market buyers.

🧰 Tools of the Trade:

Articles, Tools and Inspiration for Marketers

💬 If You Want Help, Help Yourself First

“I used to have horrible cars, because I never had money, so I’d always end up broken down on the highway. When I stood there trying to flag someone down, nobody stopped. But when I pushed my own car, other drivers would get out and push with me. If you want help, help yourself — people like to see that” — Chris Rock

👨‍🎓 Marketing & Leadership Education

  • The Four Forces of Bad Content - An in-depth discussion of the four common mistakes haunting a lot of blog posts out there.

  • Why Most Analytics Efforts Fail - If you don't trust your data you will not use it for decision making. This article dives deep into the pitfalls of bad analytics and how to avoid them.

🤩 Brands and (digital) Products that caught my eye

  • Jitter - A drag-and-drop motion design tools for social GIFs or videos

  • FeedLetter - If you or your company got a newsletter, this is a nifty tool to get easy feedback from your readers.

  • Headline Studio - A sophisticated headline-analyzer that rates your headlines and gives you tips on how to improve them.

📚 Interesting reads

  • Early Work - What holds people back is the fear of making something lame. We need to shift our perception and judgement towards early drafts of our work to overcome that fear.

  • How to Think For Yourself - If you want to be an independent thinker, let curiosity guide what you do.

⛑️ Reflections From the Trenches

FOMI - Fear Of Missing Information

I don't know about you, but I increasingly feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of "useful information" that is thrown at us every day. No time in the world would suffice to ever read all the articles, books, and Twitter threads out there we deem interesting and worth reading. And what about those webinars, YouTube videos and podcast episodes?

A lot of friends and colleagues I talk to feel the same way. But while it's overwhelming, we still continue to consume more and more. But why?

Fear of Missing Information (FOMI)

FOMI is this constant, pervasive fear that there is something slipping through the cracks, something we are missing, some little tidbit of information, knowledge or data that we might have gained if we just read one more article, listened to one more podcast episode.

And this haunts us.

It haunts us with this feeling that there is something valuable in our digital lives we are missing out on. This one nugget that will make our job easier or bring about an epiphany for the upcoming storyline of our presentation.

What to do about it: Write down your favorite problems

I do not have a solution to this recent phenomenon. But what I can highly recommend (and what helped me tremendously), is to write down 10-12 questions or 'favorite problems' you are currently trying to answer or solve in your life. For example:

  • How can I make cooking a daily part of my life?

  • How can I learn to write more effective copy?

  • How do I scale my company without loosing our current creativity and freedom?

  • How can I support the education of the next generation of marketers?

  • ...

Now for the next 2-3 weeks try to only read, listen or view content related to answering those specific questions. Discard the rest. I found that this is a great filter for discriminating what information is useful right now and what information I can safely ignore without this nagging fear of missing something vital.

Do you know this problem in your own life? How do you determine what's important or worth spending time on?

That's it for this week.

Talk soon,