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Take a deep breath in and lift your head to the sky… breathe out… do you feel that? Birds chirping, blue skies, fresh air – the first signs of spring are finally here! After what seemed like a never-ending winter, the temperature is rising and buds are beginning to blossom. As the end of Q1 draws near, how do you feel?

Take another deep breath and listen to this Pearl Jam song with me as we see what the experts are saying this week.

Benchmark Data, Closed Deals & Sales Activity

The latest HubSpot data gives us a good sense of the industry’s activity for Q1. And it looks pretty good. Is this the usual Q1 ramp, or are we seeing a larger trend? Quick snapshot:

Deals Closed rose to 24% over benchmark in February vs. 20% in January

Sales Emails & Sales Calls continued to increase

Sales Conversations showed a healthy increase to 53% over benchmark

Contact Growth dropped vs. January, but still 30% over benchmark

Are you seeing the same signs of optimism in your business? As more and more businesses re-open their offices, will the spending increase with it? How about marketing spend – have marketing mixes changed or started to shift?

Oh, if I knew where it was I would take you there…

Live Music, John Oliver, and Ticketmaster

Remember when Pearl Jam took on Ticketmaster? At the time, they were one of the biggest bands in the world, and they still hit roadblocks trying to avoid Ticketmaster’s hold on the live music industry. As a content producer, how careful do you need to be about your partners and your distributors?

John Oliver provided one of the best explanations of the current live music environment, and how Ticketmaster manipulates and benefits from the current supply chain in live entertainment. The layers upon layers of fees and reaching hands out grabbing things is mind-boggling!

According to Bob Lefsetz, we can’t blame Ticketmaster solely. You can’t trust the man behind the curtain, but you can’t trust those on stage either! The industry won’t change because everybody in the food chain likes it this way – entirely opaque, with Ticketmaster taking the heat instead of the acts. Yes, the acts, the promoters, the buildings, and Ticketmaster – they’re all making money, and Live Nation’s stock keeps going up.

As B2B marketers, how closely do we follow the business model of our distribution channels? Are we like these artists that feign ignorance as the system generates revenue for them – day in, day out accumulating?

I suggest you step out on your porch, see the world, and understand how your partners and distributors sell and engage YOUR audience and customers. If you’re ok with it, embrace it, be transparent. Otherwise – make a choice and a change.

As always, 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