Is your email worth more or less than $50?

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Letter Carrier Delivering Mail

The email address is the holy grail of B2B digital marketing…

When you boil down what we do in B2B digital marketing, a lot of our work is coming up with new ways to capture the email address of prospects that are visiting your website. And like most good things in life, you have to give value if you want to get value.

So if you want to capture an email address of a prospect, the question that I’m thinking about is how much value do you need to give?

In other words, how much value does someone visiting your website need to perceive, in a dollar sense, to give you their email?

I’m going to put a rough stake in the ground and say that for me, it’s equivalent to a decent sized book. Which I’d put at about $50. So if I think giving you my email address will deliver me more than $50 in value, you’ll get my email… otherwise I’ll keep browsing.

From a marketing perspective, this has great implications for your website. Do you offer $50 worth of value? How much value does your website offer right now?

Your personal email may or may not be worth $50. But it’s still worth something significant. The #1 job of your website is to persuade visitors just how valuable handing over that email address will be (in a very credible, professional, and non scammy way).

Thinking about this in a pure dollar sense can help a lot in terms of clarity of your value proposition.

The marketing arms race (for board directors)

By | Content marketing, Marketing strategy, Thought leadership, Uncategorized | No Comments

There’s a bunch of analogies between non-executive directors and venture capital firms. But the most important one is for a long time they’ve both succeeded on a “rich get richer” model.

The ‘rich’ get ‘richer’ in both venture capital and board directorships

Ben Horowitz is a founder of Andreessen Horowitz (US venture capital firm). He’s also broadly recognised as one of the most influential people in technology right now.

In 2015 Horowitz gave an influential lecture at the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. In the lecture Horowitz talks about this idea that for a very long time in venture capital there were five leading firms. And those five firms got richer and richer by the year. Because the more deals they were involved in, the more deals came to them.

Like venture capital, the way you get elected to a board hasn't changed for a long time. A rich get richer effect means the more prestigious boards you currently sit on, the more attractive you are as a candidate

Like venture capital, the way you get elected to a board hasn’t changed for a long time. A rich get richer effect means the more prestigious boards you currently sit on, the more attractive you are as a candidate

The analogy to non-executive directors is pretty clear. For a director, the more prestigious boards you sit on, the more attractive you are as a board member. So the ‘rich’ get richer and secure the most exclusive non-executive director jobs.

That’s all very interesting, not entirely unexpected and completely unhelpful. What is very interesting and helpful is how Andreessen Horowitz broke this model and built the most influential venture firm in less than 5 years.

Andreessen Horowitz broke the rich-get-richer model in venture capital with a marketing ‘arms race’

As a venture firm, Andreessen Horowitz did something that no-one else had ever done in venture capital. They started marketing. And in a market where nobody has ever done marketing, that gets amazing cut through.

This strategy wouldn’t work today, because it’s now the default that every venture capital firm markets as aggressively as Andreessen Horowitz. So the strategy took them to the top of the market, and then closed up behind them.

It was basically the great marketing arms race in venture capital. Hear Ben Horowitz describe what happened at 33:15 of this lecture. 

My analogy to non-executive directors is pretty clear. If you want to get on boards, there’s a real opportunity to get cut through by marketing your opinions, your skills, your thought leadership. Almost nobody is doing this today. This will be hugely effective whilst there’s hardly anyone doing it, moderately effective when a few people start doing it actively, and then will be required ‘price of entry’.

As a non-executive director, you can either choose to lead or follow into the marketing ‘arms race’

As a potential non-executive director, you get to choose if you lead or follow into the marketing arms race. If you lead, you will get disproportionate rewards – in a similar way to Andreessen Horowitz in venture capital.

There is real first mover advantage in play with non-executive director marketing. As more and more NEDs start copying, the likelihood of your opinions standing out decreases. It’s your choice when to start – but have no doubt that In 5 years time all NEDs will be actively marketing what makes them different, unique and expert.

Why the best content is getting shorter and longer (at the same time)

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Tug of war

The best opinion articles are getting shorter.

If you’ve got an opinion – there’s an expectation that you need to be able to fit the opinion into a pithy quote.

Seth Godin is a great example of this end of the spectrum.

At the same time, the best resource articles are getting longer.

A great resource article now pushes 4-5k words, with up to 30+ links, pictures, graphs, embeds etc.

The QuickSprout blog by Neil Patel is a great example at this long end of the spectrum

Why is content getting longer and shorter at the same time?

The best explanation is the 10x content idea originally pushed by Rand Fishkin at Moz and is also very well explained in this Thoughtworks blog).

The idea: Good content is no longer enough. To succeed, your content must be extraordinary (10x better than the competition).

Opinions are better and more memorable when they’re more concise. So the best opinions are the shortest opinions. But resources are better when they’re longer. So the best resources are growing longer.