FEBRUARY 24, 2016 BY QWARDO MARKETING

2016 B2B Marketing Advice from Wasim Ahmad, Head of Marketing RebelMouse

Wasim Ahmad - Head of Marketing, RebelMouse and Startup Advisor | Qwardo

Learning from experts is always beneficial and there is no better moment in a marketer’s life than sitting down with an accomplished marketing expert and chat about their learnings and expert advice for future. In an effort to unearth some of the secrets to their success, we sat down with 7 experts and compiled the gist to our eBook – “7 Marketing Experts on Life, Lessons Learned in 2015 and their Top 7 Strategies for B2B Mastery.”  It is available for download and your reading pleasure here.

As part of this series, we are publishing the complete interview with each of the seven experts and we are excited to present Wasim Ahmad, Head of Marketing, RebelMouse and Startup Advisor.
We have the interview in two parts – lessons learned in 2015 and the the plans and advice for 2016 B2B marketing.

Wrapping up 2015

What were some cool things you have done in 2015?

I think something that really come to the forefront for brands as well as media companies in 2015 was the certainty that the “home page’ is dead. And that goes for blog sites too. The notion that people will somehow come to your web page of their own volition…we’re seeing content driving traffic through the side door – this has huge implications if you are not distributing your content afr and wide, AND if you are not making sure that once people find your content that they have more content to engage with.

So based on this re-formatting blogs and web pages to be driven through distributed content and architecting the landing pages for enhanced engagement really made a difference not only to our own sites but those of our customers.

What channels have been most effective for you in 2015?

Following on the same theme – distributed content – but in viral formats made the difference – we saw the same piece of content being put out there in different ways – specifically using girl formats. So thinking about a piece of content not as the be all and end all – but as a seed of an idea – and then crafting different story formats to spread that ide — what I mean is  – long format articles (distributed where people read long format stories – Wattpad, Medium), List posts – using animated gifs or cinemagraphs , quizzes – and other types of micro-content – short videos with subtitles (look at what NowThisNews is doing) – so many ways to put your ideas out there and back up with stories in different mediums.

One thing I get asked a lot is – but surely all that viral stuff means I have use cat photos – well any well written visualized/constructed piece of content can go viral – it’s about knowing the audience – we did a great webinar last year that covered this in detail  (Elise Siegel)

What challenges you faced in 2015? 

Part of creating a startup involves holding two impossible ideas in your head at the same time. Which is great, except at some point you have to start scaling functions whether its engineering, sales or marketing – scaling requires a foundation, clarity and a clear trajectory: Basically ruthless priorities. many companies trip on this, leading to bumpy take-offs.

Scrappy techniques for acquiring leads and customers need to scale up to entire teams being hired who can execute on those same processes and often require new tools to achieve the efficiencies. I’ve found there’s a whole new sales and marketing platform of sales-marketing-hacking tools needed as you go from experimentation to execution (subject of a future blog post)  — salesforce.com and Pardot will NEVER become the tools for accelerating growth – a new set is required everything from intercom.io to interface.io to Datanyze.

What were somethings you wished you completed in 2015?

Personally I would liked to have pulled off live casting our industry conference – we pulled off an amazing industry insiders summit, and created some really compelling video content with a little post-production editing — but the real-time aspect of the conversations was lost because the video content surfaced weeks/months after – I would like to be able to live cast the whole thing and I think there’s some new tools out there to try like Facebook Live and Persicope.

Looking forward to 2016

What are you planning to add that were not there before?

Short-form video is exploding – as a way to spread ideas – look at what NowThisNews is doing with short, relevant, captioned video. Yes you can do this on an iPhone, you don’t need a studio.

What changes are you anticipating in your process and metrics to continue the sales and marketing alignment?

Let’s face it metrics around how many people viewed a piece of content do little to understand how much an idea was internalized. Need a metric that focuses on attention. How many people read the entire story. This is what Chartbeat is laser focused on — and just like a business being focused on profit, strategizing based on audience attention will sort the chaff from the wheat. And hopefully raising the quality and compelling nature of content.

Are you going to send more emails, less emails and same as before? Any changes in your email marketing?

Email marketing works – but moving will emphasize sales hacking emails more than glossy marketing emails. Sales people need a set of new tools to help them interact with prospects – salesforce/Pardot/… don’t have the tools necessary – you have to look at products like Sales Loft, Datanyze to find the right people etc…

Can you comment on your data? Is your data up-to-the-level of quality and completion you like it to be? What are some plans around data?

Data is constantly changing – the traditional sources of data like Dunn & Brandstreet often don’t make sense – you have to know your audience to make this determination – need to resort to sales hacking techniques to get unto date data — find out where your audience goes, use import.io to scrape that data, use sellback.com to get the contact info. Or use products like Datanyze to connect with prospects using linkedin.

What pipeline acceleration strategies and metrics you are considering?

Continuing to look at MQLs and SQLs

Finally, everyone is talking about data science, machine learning and big data. What are your plans in bringing / improving marketing analytics strategies?

Sales & Marketing platforms are very late to the game in this respect – look forward to seeing true data driven platforms emerge in the future…. from a prospecting standpoint I want my sales/marketing platforms to be built on top of LinkedIn and understand the relationships between people, company and interests.

About Wasim Ahmad

Wasim Ahmad - Head of Marketing, RebelMouse and Startup Advisor | QwardoGrowth. Growth Growth and Growth. High-impact, results-oriented chief marketing and technology officer with 19+ years of experience in marketing, strategic planning and product management/marketing. Working in the digital marketing/advertising/ecommerce space helping companies (ASOS, Burberry, EA, Pandora, Reuters, Sony Music, Time Inc., The Weather Company, 24/7, Xaxis, Group M, WPP…), with innovative ways to engage consumers using state-of-the art technology.

Currently @RebelMouse revolutionizing how brands and publishers use the power of distributed content to change attitudes and inspire action, prior was at a WPP Digital company, working with the largest brands in the world to help brands grow customers by understanding who they are and optimizing marketing efforts.

Previous experience includes marketing innovations in crypto, payments and security.

blog: reimaginestrategy.com

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