A better way to do marketing & sales (πŸ“ˆ MTN #16)

Author's avatar Move The Needle UPDATED Feb 20, 2024 PUBLISHED Aug 3, 2023 7 minutes read

Table of contents

    Peter Caputa

    To see what Databox can do for you, including how it helps you track and visualize your performance data in real-time, check out our home page. Click here.

    In this edition

    • πŸ“Š Benchmarks for top performers in HubSpot
    • πŸ’‘ A better way to do marketing & sales
    • πŸ“ˆ Lessons from Databox’s $7m content strategy

    πŸ“Š Featured Benchmark Data (from Benchmark Groups)

    HubSpot benchmarks for top performers (w/Β SmartBug)

    Median performance in June 2023:

    • Sessions: 17.5k
    • Avg session length: 1m 28s
    • Landing page submissions: 45
    • Deals created: 254
    • Deals closed won: 22

    Join this group to see more insights, where you’re ahead, and where you can improve.

    πŸ’‘ Trends & Insights (from Reports & Surveys)

    A better way to do marketing and sales

    According to a survey we ran with Karl Sakasonly 30% of marketing agencies think their marketing is better than their competitors 🀯.

    By their own admission, most agencies aren’t great at marketing themselves. And I can empathize. 

    Most feel they’re too busy marketing their customers. Many of their deals are coming from referrals, and it’s working. At least for now. And even if they wanted to invest more in their own marketing, where should they start?

    It’s harder to rank than ever. Outbound is landing in the SPAM folder or trash. Social platforms have (for the most part) throttled companies’ organic reach.

    There’s got to be a better way. And Pete Caputa (former VP of Sales at HubSpot, and CEO of Databox) has an idea of what that might be.

    He calls it, “Collaborative Growth”. Here’s how it works:

    Step 1: Pick a market

    Pick a niche market you can serve (e.g. marketing agencies, B2B SaaS, manufacturing).

    Step 2: Identity burning questions and valuable topics

    Identify a set of topics your audience would find incredibly valuable.

    Usually, these are burning questions they want answered in order to grow their business or their careers.

    β€œWhat paid channel yields the best ROI for our industry?’

    β€œHow do companies in our market take steps to reduce their time to close?”

    β€œHow are our clients using AI to solve XYZ problem right now?”

    Step 3: Host a conversation around it, and ask prospects to contribute

    This is one of the key tenants: lifting up other subject matter experts’ voices, not just your own.

    In essence, you’re inviting guests, and hosting the conversation in the form of a:

    – Webinar
    – Podcast interview
    – Survey of the market
    – Social conversation thread or conversation

    … whatever medium works best for ou.

    Step 4: Compile all the insights

    Gather all the insights from your contributors, and create one flagship piece of content that compiles them all together. It might be an article, a newsletter issue, or a podcast episode.

    This serves as a single source where all the insights, from all the voices who contributed, can be found and referenced.

    This piece of content will likely attract the most views, shares, and links.

    Step 5: Distribute the insights on all your channels while promoting the companies who contributed

    Pick out the best insights and share them on the other marketing channels you’re investing in.

    If your flagship piece of content is an article, you might feature the best insights and quotes in a series of posts on LinkedIn. Or you might produce a video summarizing it all, and share it on YouTube.

    Wherever you repurpose it, it’s crucial to promote your partners (the subject matter experts who contributed). Put them, and their companies, in the spotlight. Link to them, tag them, and reference them.

    Done right, Pete believes this will help agencies:

    • Create better, more unique, proprietary content
    • Craft a more helpful outbound approach
    • Build their brand and drive leads

    In our latest article, we share this framework in detail, along with examples of other agencies that are doing it well.

    πŸ“ˆ Drive Predictable Performance (from Metrics & Chill)

    Lessons from Databox’s $7m content strategy

    Content has been the primary marketing strategy that helped Databox scale to over $7m ARR.

    In our latest episode, Pete Caputa (Databox CEO) shared the backstory most don’t know: that this content strategy was born out of sheer necessity.

    I thought I’d share that story and lessons learned from it, which you can apply in your own marketing and sales strategy.

    Overcoming a marketing challenge

    A few years ago, our marketing team faced a unique challenge. They wanted to invest in content, but couldn’t possibly serve as the subject matter experts for it. Not because we didn’t have resident experts, but because the scope of our product was so broad.

    If you’re not familiar, Databox helps you centralize your company’s data, so you can track, share, forecast, and improve it – all from one place. We integrate with 80+ tools, serve a variety of markets, and are used by thousands of companies.

    This presents a significant marketing challenge. We have a broad audience, with a wide variety of use cases, who need to improve performance across dozens of tools.

    We couldn’t possibly be the experts on improving your performance in HubSpot, Google Analytics (RIP), social, and everything else our target customers wanted to learn.

    So we turned to our target customers for help. For each topic we wanted to cover, we’d reach out to resident experts to get quantitative and qualitative insights. And in exchange, we’d promote them in our articles. We created content with our audience, not just for them.

    From tactic, to philosophy

    Fast forward to today, and we’re still creating content with our customers. Our flow is just a lot more robust. 

    We’ve even built a product around this philosophy, where we create a private “benchmark group” for partners, and co-host a survey they can use to help them create valuable marketing content.

    For Pete, what started as a solution to a problem grew into a deep-seated philosophy: that companies should market collaboratively with their customers, and grow together.

    Here are a few lessons Pete shared that stem from that philosophy:

    Lesson 1: You need your own POV, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you publish

    Your company needs to have a point of view on your market. You need in-house, subject matter experts. But your voice shouldn’t be the only one your audience hears. Your target customers have great insights too.

    You should crowdsource and compile their insights, then layer your point of view on top of that. It makes for more interesting and diverse content, and you’ll get network benefits from promoting content with your customers.

    Lesson 2: Your outbound needs to be more value-oriented

    Inviting prospects to collaborate with you, by sharing their knowledge and insights, will help you build your network and establish relationships.

    The recipient gets to share their expertise, put their company in the spotlight, and through that interaction, learn about your company. In many cases, it’ll be more effective than sending unsolicited cold pitches about your product.

    Lesson 3: You need truly unique content to stand out

    Increasingly, your target audience will use language learning models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, to get immediate answers. On top of that, all your competitors will easily be able to produce high volumes of content around a variety of topics, all much faster than before.

    In that world, the only kind of content that stands out – that gets attention, links, and shares – will be content that offers proprietary, valuable information that readers can’t find anywhere else. Creating content with your prospects is an effective method to help you make that kind of content.

    Lesson 4: Partners help you break through the noise

    It’s hard to start a podcast or newsletter from scratch or grow your blog and social following. There are more companies competing for your customer’s attention than ever before. More podcasts, social posts, YouTube channels β€” there’s noise everywhere.

    By creating content with companies in your market, you have at least a small network of people who will help share and amplify your content. It’ll have a much higher chance of being seen and standing out.

    This isn’t the same as engagement circles, which are just an agreement to promote each other’s stuff. This is creating something that everyone has a vested interest in sharing, because they all had a hand in making it.

    Listen to the full episode

    If you want to hear the full story of how Databox used their content program to grow to $7m+ ARR, and how they’re using it now, give the full episode a listen.

    Drive predictable growth

    Join “Move The Needle” and get issues like this delivered to your inbox. Each issue we share tactics, strategies and ideas from B2B leaders on how to drive consistent, predictable growth at your company.

    Author's avatar
    Article by
    Jeremiah Rizzo

    More from this author

    Get practical strategies that drive consistent growth

    Read some