GrowthFit Interview series
Episode #2

Crafting a success story in B2B marketing

Aparna Kulkarni is an Independent B2B Technology marketer who worked with some of the emerging product startups in India. She drives 360-degree marketing for her clients and focuses on many aspects at once. While she said, “Kudos to the marketing initiative at GrowthFit.”, there is a lot more to hear from her.

Here’s what to look forward to in this conversation with Aparna Kulkarni.

  • Importance of Content in engaging with customers
  • Why should you begin with ‘understanding your audience’?
  • What has changed about marketing during the pandemic?
  • Why is it important to stick to dynamic and conversational customer interactions in the digital age?

Don’t take anything for granted.

What is your marketing philosophy?

Don't take anything for granted with marketing. It is a very exciting and dynamic field. Everyday, marketing changes, brimming with creativity, while you keep your spirit of learning alive.

Your marketing metric

What is your favorite marketing metric?

Churn rate is my favorite because as much as customer acquisition is important, customer retention is also important. Retaining customers after having spent so much on acquiring is extremely difficult and hence also important

Account-Based Marketing always existed

What is your most successful and failed campaign so far?

Email marketing has been a wary area and a constant point of concern because it requires high level attention to detail and intent for perfection. This is a place where I often see tough experiments.

My most successful campaign was with account based marketing. This required creativity, with a combination of Linkedin conversations, emails, display ads where they are there, we created a list of 12 touchpoints - we exceeded the benchmark and we realized that we did it way before ABM as a terminology emerged.

Challenges during the pandemic for the marketer

I have a few things to say.

  1. Be considerate to what is happening when you are marketing during the pandemic.
  2. Zoom fatigue needs to be moderated. Everyone is digital and the clutter to be online has increased. The point for the marketer is to work through this clutter.

How would you deal with this situation?

As much as you have KRAs to fulfill, in the B2B business, your customer also has KRAs to fulfill. Deal with the clutter by understanding your customer and how your product is going to help their KRA. Without understanding what your customer wants, why would the customer be interested in hearing you which means your social posts, emails, etc. Be like a person at a party who is willing to listen and not constantly bragging about themselves.

Major source of lead generation.

It's Email marketing and Linkedin. For B2B, lead generation always begins with a basic foundation of great content. Content helps your customers stay educated about the underlying principles of your product and the value proposition. Drift is always a great example for this in the space of conversational AI. Great content puts your sales on auto-pilot.

What tools do you recommend?

There are many. Drip, Hubspot, Terminus are some that I have found helpful. It also depends on your stage of business and what you want to achieve.

Most effective way of increasing a brand’s online presence.

Social media is a very useful source. For B2B, Linkedin and Twitter are top of the list where customer’s problems should be addressed and talk about how someone else got rid of this problem. Keep it interactive and engaging.

How do you personalize the content on the website while differentiating their needs?

Two parts - understand different types of audience and what they want. It could be system integrators or consultants and create content for both these personas. Clear and action-driven content. Before you employ any conversion optimization tool, build your foundation of content that would attract your audience.

                                      “Have user-generated content with the right call-to-actions.”

Why should we not have the same static page?

You should not have the same page for every customer. Customization and personalization is the key. You need to apply your analysis by implementing conversational AI and creating unique content for your customers.

Email marketing - its role in lead generation

It is very much alive. And don’t send those bulky html generic emails. This needs to be personalized for sure. ROI on marketing campaigns is optimal.

How to ensure ROI on email marketing is optimal?

Data, data and data. Decide the funnel that is working for you. I would be interested more in the SQLs than MQLs because that’s what ties up to marketing ROI more than the random leads that keep coming. Now, the line between sales and marketing is getting bleak. Marketing is gaining new importance in an organization.

Mantra to become a successful marketer.

Learning should be your top priority. Marketing can be happiness.

Your advice to a new marketing entrant.

If you have to choose between - Startup or a big brand. Work for a startup.
You will learn the 'art of doing many things in a limited budget’. Learning should be your constant mantra.

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