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Ask me Anything with Ankush Garg, Marketing Director, Pentaur

Ankush Garg is a Marketing professional with 16+ years of experience in B2B & B2C Digital marketing. He is currently Director Marketing at Pentaur and leads a team of consultants for Marketing Operations, Sales Operations, Demand Gen, Customer Success & Consulting – for Marketo and other clients.

You can ask questions on:

  • Marketing Automation
  • B2B Marketing
  • Marketing Ops

You can ask questions till 29th, August and they will answered on 30th August. Please add your questions in the comment section below.

 

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32 Comments

  1. Can you advise the top 3 areas for in Sales and Marketing alignment in SME’s 

  2. What are the best channels for B2B demand generation along with top things to keep in mind while communicating through those channels? 

  3. Most of the small companies are using freelancing portals to acquire clients at their initial stage of business. What should be the sales strategy to grow sales even without using freelancing portals like Upwork or Freelancer?

    ‌ , ‌ 

  4. How to market consumer App nothin  and  by viral marketing.

  5. ‌ Can you please elaborate on your question? 

  6. What are all the best ways both in offline and online to do the viral marketing for a consumer mobile App?

    The mobile app is first ever location based emergency rescue system.

    Tks,

    Mohan

  7. Can you suggest an effective growth hacking strategy for a SaaS B2B retail product?     and whats your take on focusing 80% of the marketing effort on inbound marketing for such SaaS B2B product?

  8. It always difficult to sell the new solution to customer as they always look for existing users using the product. How do we convince the first customer ?

  9. What are the options to generate B2B leads looking at the current regularities like GDPR across the globe? Also please suggest the tools that we should use for Marketing Automation.

  10. We are into into B2B solutions in the automobile sector and we have created a customer base in India. We would now like to take our solutions global, but we do not know where to start. How do we market our solutions outside of India?  

  11. Can you specify how we can reach out more to US markets, We are an IoT company based in Kerala. We tried few US based keywords but of no avail. Also can you suggest good marketing automation tools?

  12. SAAS based products displays their customers as top brands in the world, SAAS products generally cost with the range of $10 to $500 depends on the product. It is really not possible that these saas companies went to those companies and had a contract with their higher or approval authorities. How these companies are placing those logos as their customers? Is it based on any valid email address with their company domain name or is there any terms and conditions etc? Can you clarify on this one?

  13. What are some lesser-known content marketing strategies which can be implemented by B2B companies? 

  14. We’re a Delhi/Noida based small IT company providing website and Mobile apps development. Our major interest is in Europe & US markets, however it’s very tricky to bring new customers on board as we do not have physical offices abroad and travelling again & again is very expensive stuff, thus we have to rely on other commonly used resorts like calling, emailing, which is used by other Indian agencies too, thus make things very complicated.

    Despite the fact that we have a very good delivery team we have been struggling to expand just because of our sales. Any advise what can be done for generating more leads for us? What sales strategies should we adopt to get more business?

  15. How can we generate leads from social media mainly LinkedIn. I can see that people post requirements on LinkedIn. However, many time people posting such requirements doesn’t even respond. How should one deal with them and what would be the closure rate?

  16. How to develop franchisee for IT products? Products related to payroll and HRIS on cloud or license mode.

  17. 1) Operations – When Marketing Ops and Sales Ops work together, it becomes easier for Marketing & Sales team to be aligned on goals, process, data.

    2) Integrated system – Marketing and Sales teams should be able to access same data for each prospect / customer.  Even if a SME does not have Robust CRM or MA system, they can use free tools or spread-sheets. (The key is that both teams should view same data.)  

    3) Process – Teams should have defined process and know how/where and what fields and data to track / record and analyse. 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  18.  The channels for DG campaigns can depend on:  product / service size, marketing budgets, /offline/hybrid, local/ global reach, support, and the Target Customers. 

    In most cases, I would recommend a mix of LinkedIn 50%, 20% FB and 30% AdWords. Constant A/B/n testing is a must across and within channels – to optimise CTR/CPA/conversion/engagement. The USP of product offering, pricing and features can be communicated using various ad copy and content pieces. The messaging should be targeted based on location, target customer and where the lead is in the buying journey.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  19. Offline will always be more expensive than  marketing. It is difficult to do viral marketing for an app used in an emergency. Depending on the type of rescue requested by users – Police, Fire, Medical, etc. – the local civic authority or local government body maybe required to intervene to help. If the app allows nominating friends or family as primary rescuer – then they (and the local bodies) maybe used in marketing the app . Start with FB – test creative/ ad copy and optimise for CTR/CPA/ conversion.   

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  20. 1) The first few customers / subscriptions are most critical. The product should add tremendous value to them (more than the price paid by them over time). The customers need to be extremely satisfied and then they are likely to act as advocate or promoter for your product. Another way is to identify influencer from your industry / domain and request them to try your product and then review it. Combine these with a small  campaign to kick-start your growth strategy. Do extensive A/B/n testing for all  campaigns. 

    2) Marketing should be split between inbound and outbound – from all channels – phone, web, email, chatbot, etc. 

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  21.  Pls try Freemium model – free to begin for a limited duration or basic features. Then pay per use or monthly / annual subscription – with ALL features. Another way is to add free services in beginning (on-boarding, setup, training, integration, etc.)

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  22. 1) Use content marketing with blogs/video/whitepapers, etc for lead-gen. Some content maybe free, others maybe gated with forms (opt-in). GDPR mandates many things but primarily it is about getting user opt-in for marketing messages and storage / usage/ access of user data.

    2) Depending on your use cases and budget, I can recommend a solution. Pls reach me via LinkedIn.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  23. 1) Start with a good web-site with details on all products/services with videos, contact us, etc. – good optimized SEO is required.

    2) Start small with Adwords – branded and non branded keywords. Test ad copy, location, etc and optimize for CTR, conversion over time.

    3) Visit events focused on auto sector in India and abroad. Follow up with leads by phone /email. 

    4) Check if existing customers can give testimonials and references on web-site.

    5) Depending on budget, use basic email automation.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  24. Visit events focused on IOT sector in India and abroad. Follow up with leads by phone /email. Depending on your use cases and budget, I can recommend a solution. Pls reach me via LinkedIn.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  25. In many cases, a sale agreement / contract includes a section that allows the service provider to use the customer name in marketing collateral / activities.  If the customer does not explicitly allow using thier brand name, then it cannot be done. This is legally required in developed countries like USA – not sure whether it is legally required (permission to use brand name) in India.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  26. A content marketing strategy depends on:

    1) Buyer personas – this allows content pieces to be customized & personalized as per persona / location/ industry, etc.

    2) Buyer journey / path  – who gets what content when / where / how and from what channel.

    3) Automation – Triggered vs non triggered content per user at scale can be done only by automation.

    4) Metrics – Define and measure the ROI for each content at each stage per channel.

    5) Marketing Campaign budget – Running campaigns / programs at each stage.

     

    A new uncommon way is use videos exclusively as content – and lead flows via videos to the CRM directly.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  27. When using Linkedin, the following steps help in lead -gen:

    1) Start with a good web-site and a content strategy.

    2) Then Optimize your personal & corporate profile (Name, Title, Picture & other details) for connecting right people – When you send request to connect in LN, people first look at your Name and Title first!
    3)
    Create your target list based on Title, Location, and Industry

    4) Always connect with a personalized note.

  28. This situation is very true for many SME / start-up IT or SaaS companies.

    1) Start with a good web-site and content.

    2) Then use Linkedin and create a optimised personal / corporate profile. Use this to connect to Target companies / users outside India with personal notes.

    3) Use testimonials and references.

    4) Start small targeted campaigns on LI.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ankushgarg/

  29. In my opinion, freelancing portals are not lead gen channels that allow pipeline growth or sales growth. ‌ can better answer this on Sales strategy without using Portals.

  30. An offline franchisee will have very slim margins – unless you have very high volumes. Most SaaS products can be purchased .(The purchase maybe one time or recurring.) For Payroll or HRMS products, Linkedin, Adwords and FB can be used – with correct targeted keywords and ad copy for HR teams.

  31. ‌ , can you please put more light on the reply

  32. Totally agree. To grow sales, there are no shortcuts. It is a hard grind.

    You really need to go to the basics like building the pipeline and focus on conversion rates. sales strategy should be developed depending on the growth stage of your company, the product maturity, and market readiness.

    If it is a very small company, the CEO is the best sales person. If you have multiple co-founders, one of them should take total responsibility and build from there. Understand the Total Addressable Market, Understand your Ideal Customer Profile. Then build your marketing strategy to generate leads and pipeline. Qualify your leads well, don’t simply give demo or pricing to everyone who says interested. Ask questions to determine whether there is a real need, whether they have budgets, whether the timing is right, whether decision maker/budget owner is aligned with the purchase. Focus on what problem the customer is trying to solve. Then give a demo and only then compare yourselves against competing solutions available to the customer. If there no compelling reason for them to buy, competition does not matter.

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