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Do you ever feel like you’re on a different planet? Walking through the Virtual Causeway offices lately, it feels like I’m walking on the moon – with everyone working from home, it’s eerily quiet and peaceful. Except our workload is heavier now than it has been in 20 years! Give this song by The Police a listen while you read on with me…

Here are some takeaways from the past week:

HubSpot Data – Final 2020 Results

Here we are in mid-January. It’s always tough to predict how quickly engagement with your customers and prospects will increase… and in today’s uncertain business climate – who knows? Our client projects have been trending positively in these first weeks of 2021, with prospect engagement (via human and digital touches) markedly improving over December 2020. What are you seeing at your organization?

As I like to do, I went to the source, and checked with HubSpot’s data. Looking at their data up to the end of 2020, we can examine how sales and marketing engagement trends rounded out the year. Some quick notes and observations:

  • Deals Created were 14% over pre-COVID benchmarks while Deals Closed were actually 1% below the benchmark. This might be typical end-of-year behaviour – it will be interesting to see how January 2021 shakes out.
  • Sales Calls were 14% above benchmark in December, but trending below November’s numbers. This is most likely due to holidays impacting the last half of the month.
  • Sales Conversations continued to trend at 13% above benchmark. In spite of the holiday season, there’s a visible uptick, which indicates good levels of engagement.
  • Marketing Email Sends continue to trend well above benchmark at 36% with high open rates of 11%!

I sincerely hope HubSpot continues to publish this data in 2021, as I find it valuable and use these as benchmarks for our projects all the time. Do you use benchmarks like this to track and manage the activity levels of your sales and marketing organizations? Are there other sources that you find useful? Let me know!

The Medium is Affecting the Message

According to this article, pop songs will get SHORTER in the future because the attention span of young people has dropped by 33% since 2000. I would argue that attention spans have dropped for all ages! As an artist, you’ve got eight seconds to hook the listener as opposed to twelve – twenty years ago. And services like Spotify only pay if a song is listened to for thirty seconds – so you need to hook the listener immediately, and make sure they continue to listen!

Wow – gone are the days of appreciating artists’ albums and 10 minute songs that take 3 or 4 minutes to ‘build’ (“Stairway to Heaven,” anyone?) This seems like a losing proposition for many artists, but some have figured it out – almost 200 artists have been streamed in excess of 100 million times!

According to Bob Lefsetz, this is an example of the medium affecting the message. And I see this being just as relevant in B2B marketing and sales – our collective attention spans have decreased and there is so much noise in the marketplace that it’s tough to ‘hook’ someone quickly. But if you don’t do it, you won’t get them to continue and engage. And since you have such a small window of opportunity, you can’t waste it with poor quality marketing or incorrect messaging!

So how do we do this? We need to resonate immediately with prospects – with a combination of Extreme Value Messaging and mapping your content and engagement with the Buyer’s Journey. Providing the right content and engagement channel to the right prospect at the right time will ensure that you get their attention and build trust.

Sound simple? It’s not – as marketers we’re constantly under pressure to get it right quickly and succinctly! But having a strong understanding of your Ideal Customer Profile and the Buyer’s Journey will help you map out the relevant digital and human touch points along the way. As Sting sings, “Keep it up” – it’s hard work, but it will pay off in the end!

As always, if I can help you out, let me know! Don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello.

Looking forward,

Rick Endrulat, President | ricke@v-causeway.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat