Hana Abaza, the VP of Marketing at Uberflip, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share her insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode, we discuss the importance of interactive content, B2B vs. B2C, and understanding your target audience.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice: What are some big challenges right now in content marketing?
Hana Abaza: One of the biggest challenges is not having the infrastructure to control the content of marketing experience and the marketing campaign execution. Also not understanding what’s working.
Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released their annual report earlier this year. A big part of that was really highlighting that one of the priorities for a lot of content marketers is going to be understanding their ROI. It also highlighted that only 21 percent of content marketers surveyed could actually define and understand whether or not their content was successful.
So those are two of the main challenges.
What we are trying to do at Uberflip is put that control back in the marketers’ hands. We want to give you the tools to control the experience and execute campaigns, as well as the ability to integrate with your marketing automation platforms. One thing we see a lot is companies with content teams and demand generation teams — and they’re often very siloed.
But if you’re trying to create content for lead generation, how can you not be talking to your demand gen team? By having that marketing automation integration between Uberflip and Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, etc., it actually helps streamline the process better. It gives visibility into the metrics — how people are consuming your content — and helps pass leads over to your marketing automation in a much more seamless way.
Not only are customers getting a better content experience that you can control as a marketer, but you’re also simplifying the process for your demand gen person.
TA: What’s one tip you’d give to someone who’s just starting to integrate something like Uberflip with their marketing automation? What specifically do you think a company should be looking for?
Abaza: It ultimately comes down to the people. Companies implement not just Uberflip, but also implement marketing automation tools for the first time. Any time you look at upgrading your marketing stack and implementing a new element to it, it’s really about people, process, and tools — in that order. So you need the right people in place to actually execute this. You can’t just do it as a content team, you have to pull in your marketing automation, and maybe even an IT person if you need them to help you get things set up and implemented, and then you’re up and running on your own. So that’s the people side of it.
Then you need to establish the process as separate parts. First, get your process, and then figure out how to layer on the tools. That has to be the thought process there. Otherwise, you’re going to end up implementing a tool that you’re not really sure you know how to use — and nobody is actually taking ownership. So that’s a problem with a lot of organizations.
TA: How can teams ensure content will ultimately benefit the sales team?
Abaza: I actually have a presentation that I have been giving more often called “Content is for Closers,” and I think that says it all. So we try to make sure our content team — and our marketing in general — and our sales team work really closely together. It’s really easy to see how they could start to diverge and go down different paths.
What’s incredibly important, if we’re talking specifically around content, is to communicate and meet regularly with your sales team. If you’re the content marketer, your sales team is one of the best sources for new content ideas because they’re talking to people on a regular basis.
And then on the flip side, content is so incredibly effective at helping push people a little bit further down the funnel, accelerating that sales process. It helps convince people, educate people, clarify your value propositions. So as a salesperson, you don’t want to fall into that old mentality of “establish whether or not it’s the right fit of the company, and then see if they have pain points.”
If you’re doing content marketing right, you should already know the pain points, and then it’s just a matter of seeing what the fit is. And if you know the pain points, you want to take the approach of not necessarily “always be closing,” but as Mark Roberge — the Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot — would say, “Always be helping.” And content is a really great way to do that. You need to get both of those people talking and working together.