Mary Lou Joseph, Director of Content Marketing for Verint chats about the evolution of content marketing and what it takes for brand marketers to drive marketing ROI with improved content marketing tactics:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Mary Lou, tell us about yourself and how you forayed into content marketing?
I’ve been doing what we now call content marketing since the beginning of my marketing career back in 2005. At the time, I was managing marketing for a small, 30-person consulting and software firm and handled everything marketing related, including content creation. When I joined Verint in 2007, I was managing marketing for two niche buyers: back-office and branch operations. Over the years I crafted the campaigns for these buyers as well as the content needed to support the campaigns. Recently, our growth in these two segments supported the hiring of a marketing manager to handle these buyer campaigns. I now focus solely on content creation.
Marketing Technology News:MarTech Interview with Rachel Meranus, CMO at Transfix
What are some top content marketing best practices and trends that you feel marketers and B2B brands need to be focusing on more of today?
Personalization is the name of the game today. B2B buyers expect the same level of personalization they receive from the likes of Amazon and Google. The challenge is translating the firmographic, demographic, and intent data signals into a personalized content journey. This is a huge undertaking and few marketing organizations have the resources to craft content for all the industries and the personas they serve, and problems they solve.
Each organization needs to determine the level of personalization they are willing to commit to. For example, you can decide to:
- Create industry-specific content, so a visitor to your website can say, “Ah, they get my business.”
- Dedicate resources, or the budget for outside writers, to craft content by persona, so they can say: “Ah, they get me.”
- Invest in intent, and craft content by problem so they can say “Ah, they can help me.”
Verint recently commissioned a study from Forrester Consulting on Verint’s deployment cost savings and business benefits among users – we’d love some key highlights.
We had recently spun off Cognyte Software, our cyber intelligence business unit, to become The Customer Engagement Company™. Verint helps iconic brands close The Engagement Capacity Gap™ – the gap created when an organization lacks the resources required to deliver the desired customer engagement. We commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct The Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of Verint to examine the benefits and ROI of our customer engagement suite of solutions.
We confirmed what we already knew, which is you need to listen to your customers, both actively and passively, to improve customer experience as well as operational efficiencies and employee engagement. The study found that customers leverage speech and text analytics, in combination with their workforce engagement solutions, to:
- Increase revenue from cross-selling by up to 50%
- Deflect voice calls to less expensive channels by up to 45%
- Improve contact center efficiency by 44%
- Increase in CSAT scores by 2 to 3 points annually
Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Jason McClelland, CMO at Algolia
How in your view can B2B brands enable better customer engagement using content marketing tactics: a few top tips?
Similar to our TEI findings, you need to start by listening to your customers. Write content that answers the questions they are asking. For example, a top question back-office executives ask is: “How can I speed turnaround times and improve SLAs (service level achievement)?” In response to this need, I wrote an SEO power page called, “5 Amazing Back-Office Examples of Improved SLAs/Turnaround Times.”
I’m a big believer in “how-to”, and “5 steps to…”, and more in-depth content that may be delivered as a whitepaper, eBook or an SEO power page. These approaches are supported with actual customer success stories. Instead of a case study that is prescriptive: problem, solution, results; it’s important to humanize the story by creating a persona and how the solution helped make that person’s life easier.
Long form is a bit contrary to the current trend to provide everything in snack-able sound bites. You need to provide a balance. The snack-able infographics, quote graphics, and teaser videos are needed to build awareness. But once interest is piqued, you need to give them more in-depth content with details on how to solve their problem and why your company/product/solution is the best way to do so.
We’d love to dive deeper into your content marketing initiatives at Verint: tell us about it, what are the fundamentals that have been the pillars of your content strategies through the years?
Content Marketing at Verint has focused on three main areas: (1) marketing assets to support our lead gen campaigns across the entire sales cycle; (2) content to empower sales to educate, cultivate and build enduring relationships with current and future customers; and (3) our website, evolving it into a robust resource for visitors to learn about Verint offerings and innovations.
In recent years, we’ve focused on aligning sales and marketing by creating global campaigns and content that targets our messaging on outcome-based stories that addresses our customers’ challenges. We’ve also been working hard to evolve our website, making it more readable, navigable, and designed to provide binge-able content that educates and engages visitors as well as generates leads.
A few thoughts on content marketing in 2022 and beyond and a few top martech and content marketing platforms that come to mind that you’d suggest B2B teams consider deploying?
I think a necessary evil in the martech stack is a project management/workflow solution like Wrike, Monday.com, and others. Ensuring everyone is working as efficiently as possible across teams is critical. So much of what we do is dependent on others, that a central place that tracks all the tasks and responsibilities is needed.
Another core piece of a martech ecosystem is SEO tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and BuzzSumo. These solutions help content marketers integrate SEO into their writing. Creating great content isn’t enough. You have to make sure your content is relevant to your audience and can be found.
I would also advocate for an experiential content creation solution like Ceros, Pathfactory, Turtl and the like. Creating content that is interactive and engages multiple senses makes your content more memorable. We are all overwhelmed with messages and content – experiential content will help you stand out from the crowd.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Martin Wilson, Co-founder and Director at Bright
Verint, helps the world’s most iconic brands – including over 85% of the Fortune 100 companies – build enduring customer relationships by connecting work, data and experiences across the enterprise. With this approach, brands can adapt to the future of work, eliminate the inefficiencies created by organizational and data silos, and consistently deliver differentiated experiences at scale across every interaction.
Mary Lou Joseph is Director of Content Marketing with over 15 years’ experience in developing marketing and sales enablement content for Verint® software solutions. Mary Lou has focused most of her career on back-office operations, helping organizations gain operational visibility, efficiencies, and performance improvements with Verint’s Back-Office Workforce Management™ suite of solutions.
Episode 106: The Need for Predictive Systems in B2B: with Viral Bajaria, CTO and Co-Founder, 6sense
Episode 105: Biggest Sales Enablement Trends and Challenges with Mert Yentur, CEO and Founder at Pitcher AG
Episode 104: CMO Best Practices with Kevin Tate, Chief Marketing Officer at Clearbit