You know what they say, you can’t spell Marketing without “Mark.”
Well actually, I don’t know if people say that, but today’s guest might.
I am STOKED for you to meet today’s guest, Mark Jung.
He is a marketing LEGEND.
Currently the VP of Marketing at Sales Impact Academy, Mark builds new age B2B SaaS brands that have their own media arm and content engines.
Mark dropped some GEMS for us on The Marketing Millennials Podcast, so grab your Diet Coke and learn how your B2B brand can stand out.
Here’s what he had to say, in his own liiightly edited words.
1. Channel inspiration from outside the realm you play in:
“One of the most common pitfalls of B2B SaaS companies is that they follow what has been rinsed and repeated for the past 10 years.
They say, hey, this is a formula for growth, so I’m gonna go and replicate it.
What comes of it is, you have all these companies that blend into the sea of SaaS.
Take any website, any brand, any messaging, and swap them out and you can’t even tell what brand it is.
They don’t stand out.
That’s why I’m a huge believer in finding a path to different, not better.
And pulling inspiration from B2C and areas that are outside the space that you play in.
I encourage you to take creative risks and have fun with it.
Don’t replicate the same playbook as everyone else. Otherwise you’re going to look and feel like everyone else.
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Then you can’t control the narrative and don’t have the ability to create a moat and differentiate yourself on that market.
2. How to stand out as a B2B brand:
There are two to three things that I always recommend to B2B companies
The first thing is creating a top of funnel video.
Focus on finding a way where you can connect to the social and emotional pains side of your audience.
There’s a massive opportunity to create really high quality, but low cost production that helps take the pain points your buyers feel and turn that into a top of funnel video.
One explainer video can be chopped up into seven 30 second clips that you can use across your entire funnel.
Leverage it with paid and organic to get your message across in a funny way that helps to tell your story.
The second thing that I always recommend is building a media arm.
Media is king, and there’s a reason why companies like HubSpot acquired the hustle.
Create a weekly virtual event, podcast, where you have a unique point of view. This is where you can start to create your narrative in the market
The third thing is what I like to call the risk gauntlet.
Too many companies when they’re planning 4 quarters out in advance, they don’t leave a lot of room to ideate.
Have a backlog of growth and demand ideas that you crowdsource internally from advisors and look at what other companies widely outside of B2B are doing.
Allocate about 20 to 30% of your budget to test those new ideas.
3. How to balance leadership’s need for revenue with building a brand
You have to focus on the long term.
A leadership team that has been underwhelmed by past marketing that didn’t drive immediate results, could have been a failure on the leadership team itself.
Building a brand is not something that you get results from on day one.
What you can start to do is look at some of your key revenue metrics and see what the influence looks like.
A really simple change that your business should make is having a required form field of your chat bot that says, “Where did you hear about us?”
You can start to bucket these answers from podcasts, newsletter, and other areas that typically have challenging attribution.
Really create visibility with leadership around those easy ways to get a sense of how you’re driving value.
The second most critical piece is investing in helping your leaders understand the long term play.
I give leaders an example of how they can start to model based on other success stories and what principles were the foundation of defining that white space in the market.
At the end of the day, it comes down to creativity, leadership buy-in, and showing some early wins to see those key metrics getting hit.
4. One of the most overlooked skills
Internal marketing is a key skill that is often overlooked.
If you can’t get the company excited about what you’re doing, how are you going to get the market excited?
One of the things that I’ve seen make great marketing leaders fail is not focusing enough time on educating the company on what they’re doing. The why behind their actions.
It doesn’t have to be a massive thing.
A 62 second video you can embed in Slack, a few bullet points, or even just having your end of week summary in Notion that you can share with the team makes a massive difference.
It doesn’t take a lot of time, but very few marketers actually do this well.
5. Why you need to unify your go-to-market team
There’s been a historical disconnect between all the entities within Go to Market.
Everyone’s heard about the tension between sales and marketing.
But a lot of really smart companies are working on an integration among their go to market teams.
Everything from marketing, sales operations, and CS working together with one revenue goal rather than disjointed fractional goals.
So historically when a marketing team had an MQL goal and they celebrated hitting that goal, but it didn’t translate into actual revenue, the sales team was pissed.
This cultivates a disjointed team.
A unification of the go to market unit under one roof, working together really tightly towards one goal is what separates the fastest performing companies from those who are still struggling today, especially in a down market.