In a world where diversity and inclusivity are becoming increasingly central to business values, B2B marketers are facing the challenge of integrating those principles into their marketing strategy.
In this episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show, featured guest Sydni Craig-Hart, CEO of Smart Simple Marketing, shared her insights on inclusive B2B marketing techniques that are essential for today's businesses.
Starting with Conversations
Sydni emphasized the importance of conversation with customers as the starting point for inclusive marketing: "If we are going to own this responsibility and learn from it and grow with it and enjoy it, we actually need to be having conversations with the people that we are claiming that we want to serve."
Taking that approach not only fosters inclusivity but also aligns marketing efforts with the real needs and preferences of diverse customer bases.
The LISTEN Framework
Craig-Hart has developed a framework for inclusive marketing called LISTEN, which underscores the significance of connecting with customers:
By engaging in regular dialogue with a variety of customers, marketers can naturally begin to view their strategies through a more inclusive lens.
The Vital Role of Inclusive Marketing
Sydni explains why inclusive marketing is not just a moral imperative but also a business necessity in today's marketing landscape. It's about understanding and serving the market in its entirety, which in turn can lead to better customer relationships and business outcomes.
Inclusive marketing is not an insurmountable climb but a journey that begins with a simple, yet profound step: talking to your customers.
By embracing the insights that Sydni shared and using the resources provided in this episode, B2B marketers can start to implement techniques that will not only resonate with a diverse audience but also drive meaningful engagement and growth for their brands.
With each episode of the Marketing Smarts Live Show, we're reminded that the heart of marketing lies in the connections we make and the conversations we foster, paving the way for a more inclusive and successful future in business.
Episode Details, Guest Information, and Referenced Links
Episode No. 31
- Live date: March 20, 2023
- Episode link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPBPlP5Quxs
- Original podcast episode: Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford to Ignore: Sydni Craig-Hart on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
Guest's social media profiles:
MarketingProfs resources referenced in the show:
"In B2B News" article referenced in the show:
"From the #mpb2b Community" links referenced in the show:
Transcript: Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford: Sydni Craig-Hart
A lot of people, marketers included, hear the words "inclusive" and "diversity" and immediately feel intimidated, as if getting there is an insurmountable climb. Where do you even start?
If you ask Sydni Craig-Hart of Smart Simple Marketing, she gives an appropriately simple answer: Talk to your customers. "If we are going to own this responsibility and learn from it and grow with it and enjoy it, we actually need to be having conversations with the people that we are claiming that we want to serve,"
This and more is what we are going to talk about this week on the Marketing Smarts Live show.
Hello to all my Marketing Smarts Live viewers today. I'm super excited to bring you EPISODE 31 of the Marketing Smarts Live show.
This week's topic is all about Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford to Ignore. If you're ready to get your learn on, buckle up and let's get ready to rock and roll.
Hey, I'm your boy George B. Thomas speaker, trainer, catalyst, and host of this hear show, the Marketing Smarts Live show as well as the Marketing Smarts podcast found on your favorite podcast app.
Our guest clips today are brought to you by none other than Sydni Craig-Hart.
Sydni Craig-Hart, CEO and a co-Founder of Smart Simple Marketing and a fourth generation entrepreneur.
She is one of the marketing leaders who helped grow Semrush from 300K users in 2013 to the 6 million the company has today.
She speaks at major marketing conferences, and she is the Head Judge at Content and Social Media Awards across USA and Europe.
Now, remember, the clips of Sydni Craig-Hart today are pulled from the full marketing smarts podcast episode and, if you want to listen to the full interview with Sydni Craig-Hart and myself, make sure to tune into the Marketing Smarts podcast, link to the full show will be in the description below after the live show ends.
Now, in this episode, again, I'm talking with Sydni Craig-Hart about Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford to Ignore.
We as marketers have a responsibility! That's all I'm going to say because Sydni has a ton of great nuggets to share with you about said responsibility we all have.
Sydni: We as marketers have this incredible responsibility to open doors and break down barriers, to create communities and bring people together and help them learn and help them grow, and we don't do right by that. We get very caught up in our KPIs, what management said, what the C-suite is demanding, what our competitors are doing, and we forget about our customers. We like to toss around, "We're customer-centric, we always put the customer first," but from a marketing perspective, I don't really think that we do that great of a job at that. I am on a mission to help our community of marketers be more effective in that regard and really own that responsibility, learn from that responsibility, and enjoy that responsibility.
Did you hear that?
Is it all about what the C-suite said, what are our competitors are doing?
Do we pay all the time thinking about KPIs and goals?
Or, are we leaving time and also focusing on opening doors and breaking down barriers and enjoying the responsibility we have as marketers?
Are you breaking down barriers and opening doors with your marketing efforts?
Put the answer to that in the chat pane or, let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #mpb2b and of course, tag me using @georgebthomas.
We'll get back to Sydni Craig-Hart and her thoughts on Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford to Ignore But first, I have to ask...
Are you part of the MarketingProfs community? If not, become part of the MarketingProfs community by heading over to mprofs.com/mptoday - That's mprofs.com/mptoday.
Now, it's time for one of my favorite sections …
In The B2B News - Where we talk about breaking B2B news or really important tips we find on the google news tab related to you and your B2B business. This week, the title is...
What Do Your B2B Customers Really Want? by Ron Friedman
B2B sellers often think of customers as rational decision-makers who seek to maximize value, reduce costs, and save time. But a study of 2,128 office workers across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy found that B2B customers prefer interactions that fuel their psychological needs—even if they require more time or cost more money.
Viewing customer service through the prism of the three core psychological needs—autonomy, relatedness, and mastery—opens up a wealth of opportunities for elevating service.
There is a bunch in this article for you to think about as a B2B marketer so, to read this article, check out the link below when the live show is over.
So let's get back to Sydni Craig-Hart and her Marketing Smarts podcast episode.
I wanted to ask Sydni what might seems like a simple questions to some but complex potentially to others. So, I asked her why is now a great time for marketers to pay attention to this conversation now. What has changed?
Here's what she had to share.
Sydni: The first thing I'll say is because we have all been dramatically impacted by the events of the last two years. Why now? Because everything has changed. I am not the same person I was in 2019. I'd venture to say you're not either. I don't really know anyone who is.
We have been forced to examine what is important to us. We have been forced to really look at our priorities and the way we do everything. We talk a lot about pivoting in business, but we've had to pivot in everything. When the pandemic started, we had to pivot how we bought groceries. We were all trying to get on Instacart to get our groceries delivered.
Everything has changed. Whether you are marketing B2B, which I know is the primary focus of this audience, or you may have a dual of B2C also, your audience is demanding that you put them first and that you show them how you align with their values, and that you show them that you're really interested in them and that you get them.
Also, your audience is more diverse than it has ever been. We are seeing dramatic changes right now in the corporate landscape in terms of where people are working and the roles people are taking and executing every day, people are losing jobs, people are getting new jobs. The whole landscape is shifting, so you can't assume that the same people you were selling to a couple years ago are the same people that you're selling to now. They may be of a different ethnic background. They may speak different languages. They may be new to their role, having transferred from a different industry.
It's really important that we think about inclusive marketing now and we embrace this because this is the way it should be done, this is the way effective marketing is done. Our audience is demanding it, they are spending money in alignment with their values. We can't afford to just keep doing what we always did and go back to "normal," because everything in the world has changed, so this is another area that we need to pivot in.
Are you aligned with Sydni and her thoughts?
Have you been focused on pivoting or have you been trying to go back to normal? So many good things to pay attention to in that last clip and actions we can take moving forward.
We'll get back to Sydni Craig-Hart in a few minutes but first it's time for some...
Dope B2B Learnings From The Vault of MarketingProfs Articles
That's right, It's time to dig into the treasure trove of valuable information and pull out two pieces of gold to help you be a better B2B marketer.
Article one this week is: Company Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: How to Overcome Challenges and Drive True Change by Jennifer Ortiz
If the events since the COVID pandemic have taught us anything, it's that businesses must stop playing lip service to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It's no longer enough to sound authentic on social media without following through.
Promises demand the muscle to change business practices.
Change won't happen by wishing. Businesses need actionable plans to make headway.
Here are some solid ideas for how we as marketers can help drive DEI-related change.
Article two this week is: How to Achieve Business Agility: These Four Shifts in Mindset Are a Must by Jim Ewel
Business agility is all the rage these days. Management consultants peddle Agile methodology as a tonic to fend off nimble challengers, a vaccine to quell the disruptions of COVID-19, or just a panacea for whatever ails your company.
But achieving business agility is more difficult than training a few of your staff members as Agile scrum masters and implementing daily standups. It requires that all levels of your organization—workers, middle management, and, perhaps especially, the C-suite—shift their beliefs and behaviors in four fundamental ways:
Want to keep learning more? If so, check the links in the description below after the live show to get access to both amazing MarketingProfs articles.
OK, back to Sydni Craig-Hart... Let's dive back into this conversation of Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford to Ignore
I wanted to know some pitfalls people might fall into. So, I asked Sydni that exact question.
Sydni: The first one I would say is to watch your own fear. I see a lot of people who when it's time to take action on the things we're discussing, they're scared. They're scared of making a mistake or of offending or botching it up. It's OK to be scared. It's hard work to do. I get that fear, but you can't let that fear hold you back.
You can't let fear of making a mistake hold you back. You may make some mistakes along the way and you may unintentionally offend someone. When you create this as a culture and a habit, your audience will see that. We're much more forgiving of a mistake when we see genuineness behind it and when we see transparency and people are very honest about whatever the situation be.
Focus on being of service. Focus on giving. Focus on creating an inclusive community instead of how you personally feel.
The second fall is related to a lack of humility. That is thinking that because you read a book or because you talked to a few people now you have all the answers and have this all figured out. Inclusivity is a skill, just like social media marketing and content marketing and all of the other things that we do as marketers, so it needs to be learned and developed. That's one of the reasons why we have developed training on this topic. We have a program called The Empathy Lab and we take it into organizations to teach marketing teams this skill and we give them frameworks and tools to be able to do this well. If you don't have this skill, if your team doesn't have this skill, if your management doesn't have this skill, then this is a place where you need to make that investment and build that skill. Just as if you needed to develop some other talent on your team. You wouldn't go grasping at straws to figure that out. You would get the resources you need to do that. Don't try to do it alone, support it.
Then the third pitfall that I often see is feeling like they don't have enough authority in the organization to do this well, so they use that as an excuse. It doesn't really matter what your title is or what your job description is or what expectations are of your role, you can lead from where you sit. You can always be a good example to your colleagues, you can always be an advocate for your customers, you can do well, even if you're the only one doing it. You don't have to cave to, "I'm low man on the totem pole." That's really an excuse. You as an individual have this responsibility and you have an opportunity to do right by your customers, so I encourage you to be a leader no matter what.
What happens when you are genuine and or transparent?
What happens when you focus on being of service.
So good! I love so much of that clip and you might want to hit the rewind button and give it a listen again and jot down some notes for your future action plans.
We're going to get some more nuggets of information from Sydni Craig-Hart here in a few minutes but right now it's time to turn the spotlight on you, the MarketingProfs community. Yep, time for...
From The #MPB2B Community
We searched far and wide in the #MPB2B universe to find amazing information and conversation to bring to the masses.
So, first, make sure you are using the hashtag, and second, make sure you have fun and add value to the community.
Then, we'll spotlight you or your crew on the show. This week, it's...
Well, it's me! Actually it's not about me but, I posted it this week.
Here's what I had to say after emceeing a webinar earlier this week for the MarketingProfs team.
Did I get out "superheroed"? OH MY!
Today's MarketingProfs webinar event with Carol Adkisson and Jennifer (Freedman) Blanco from Act-On Software, Inc. looks like it will be filled with surprises and super educational nuggets from start to finish!
Today's title: "How Marketing Teams Can Tap Into Their Superpowers."
I didn't receive the cape and mask memo!
Guess I'll just have to bring the superhero energy instead!
#mpb2b #b2bmarketing #marketing
But, you need to check out the click that link to check out the post for yourself!
Marketing Smarts viewer, I have to ask...are you going to be next to get the spotlight?
Remember community, use the hashtag #mpb2b on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and get the light shined on your awesomeness in the next episode or a future episode of the Marketing Smarts Live show!
Pro tip, it won't hurt if you tag me into your post as well I'm @georgebthomas on LinkedIn and Twitter.
OK, let's kick it back to Sydni Craig-Hart and some final thoughts around this topic of Inclusive B2B Marketing Techniques You Can't Afford to Ignore.
In this clip Sydni Craig-Hart shares what does success look like around the topic of Inclusive B2B Marketing
Sydni: That's a great question. First of all, the short answer is, it depends. It depends because everyone is at a different starting point. I would say the first way to identify what success is going to look like for you is to first identify where you are. When you're looking at your buyer personas, when you're looking at your audience personas, when you look at who you are typically featuring in your success stories and your case studies and your testimonials, when you are looking at doing focus groups in your organization and who you're pulling in, you want to be honest and take stock of where you're at. That's the first piece is to create a baseline.
Then what you're looking for in terms of success is that your customers are more successful. When you start sharing more of their stories, when you start seeing that you're getting more word of mouth referrals, especially from diverse audiences, when you are hearing stories of transformation in their life or their business and those transformation stories look different than what you've collected in the past or seen in the past, when you can look back over your own calendar after a year and say, "I had 12 conversations with customers this year. On average, once a month I sat down and talked with a customer, and I really used what I learned in my marketing and in my work," when you have invested in training those skills and you're honing those skills, those are all the things that you're looking for.
Yes, there are all of the typical marketing KPIs and that's going to depend on where you're at in your organization, but I want you looking for some of those more intangible things and starting to see a shift in your culture. When your team is talking about inclusivity and pulling in different people and you're pulling in diverse vendors to support projects, maybe videographers, or photographers, or writers, when inclusivity is becoming more of a culture, that's when you'll be able to say, "Wow, look at where we've come from. We've diversified our supply chain. We've diversified our workforce. We've diversified our success stories. We've diversified the types of businesses that we are targeting in terms of who we're supporting." You start seeing those, and that's what success in this space really looks like.
Do you know where you are so that you know where you need to go?
Do you know your personas? Do you know what they need to hear?
Are you customers successful? Are you getting referrals?
Are you hearing words of transformation?
All of these are some signs of success around today's topic!
Have you enjoyed today's journey? Let us know, use that hashtag #mpb2b on whatever platform you are joining us on.
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