Last updated 23 September, 2022.
At Advance B2B, we start all our cooperations with a strategy phase. The idea is to dig deep into the customer’s business, their customers’ pain points and motivations, as well as their growth bottlenecks — and anything else that might come up.
The strategy phase consists of a kick-off meeting, a data deep-dive, an ideal customer profile workshop, customer research interviews, compiling the interview data into an understandable format, and different audits (like content, SEO, advertising, and tech stack audits.)
The ultimate goal is to know as much as we can in order to be able to formulate a growth marketing playbook to follow. This document then guides us in our day-to-day activities.
In this blog post, our customer Miira Leinonen from TalentAdore will go through the strategy and data deep-dive from her point of view. Read on to find out what went well and what could be improved in our process! 👇
Beginnings & setting the scene 🎬
We started our cooperation with Advance B2B in September 2021, and as seems to be the tradition, we started with research and strategy work.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the strategy phase. The most important things are the customer research findings we got (more on that later!) as well as the great quality of the work.
I’ve also really enjoyed working with the Advance B2B team. I can always trust that they’re professionals and do whatever has been agreed upon without an issue.
When I first heard about the strategy phase in the initial sales meeting, I can admit I had my doubts.
This is because we had already done a lot of background strategy work at TalentAdore, including things like competitor analysis, a brand book, and so on. I wasn’t sure if this was something we should focus on at this point.
However, in the end, we decided to do a slightly lighter version of the strategy phase, with more focus on customer research. That was something we hadn’t done before.
🔥 How does Advance B2B do their customer research? Find out here.
What did the Growth Marketing Strategy include in our case?
Before getting into the customer research, we went through a lot of background information in the form of discussions and workshops.
We discussed the hypotheses of our ideal customer profiles, as well as other potential target groups. Advance B2B also did a HubSpot audit to check how everything was set up there — and it was in super good shape according to the audit!
In the audit, it came up that we have some duplicate contacts in HubSpot, and those needed to be fixed. We also need to make sure that, in the future, if an existing contact enrolls in a workflow, a new duplicate contact will not be created.
We also discussed whether our blog could be moved to HubSpot, but this was not super crucial to consider right away.
We're launching a new website in January, so we already talked about key messages and other things related to that during the strategy phase. This was perfect timing because we were then able to use the knowledge we gained in our website copy.
Some things we looked at in the first kick-off meeting.
What went well & what could’ve gone better 🤓 ❤️
First of all, I really need to highlight the cooperation and communication with the Advance B2B team. I feel like they really understand us and our business and can really provide great insight into what we should work on in our marketing.
Also, the simple things make a difference: Like the fact that the Advance B2B team is always taking notes of everything and makes sure to send us those documents, too! This really emphasizes how the processes at Advance B2B are clear, concise, and practical.
The customer research and its findings were the biggest highlights ✅
There were really no big surprises in the findings themselves, but it was a great way to confirm our hypotheses about our customers and understand their motivations even better.
The Advance B2B team actually spoke on the phone with six of our ideal customers and asked them questions about the sales process and how our product helps them in their everyday work.
Advance B2B customer interview structure
They really dug deep with the questions and got into the real pain points instead of just scratching the surface.
Now we understand why our customers buy from us and were also able to use this information in our website renewal to be better able to speak to our customers and potential customers.
Maybe the biggest lightbulb moment for me was understanding that our customers’ number one priority is to save time and make their recruitment process efficient. Only after that are they able to focus on more strategic recruitment.
However, there are still some things to improve in the strategy phase 🖖
First of all, two months is a very long time. I was wondering if it can take that long, especially since after the strategy phase was already over, we were still working on things like advertising strategy and content marketing strategy.
These are, of course, important, but I was a bit confused as to why they weren’t included in the original strategy phase.
So, maybe it would be worth a try to make it a little faster, or possibly add some concrete deliverables to work on simultaneously?
This way, we could’ve started brainstorming for messaging and positioning ideas and kicking off advertising experiments already from the get-go.
All in all, I am super excited about our collaboration, and I can't wait for us to achieve great things together.
🔥 Why exactly does Advance B2B love experiments so much? Read more to find out.
We’ve just recently completed our first sprint together and are already starting with some advertising campaigns.
The Advance B2B team worked hard to audit everything there was to audit and created a comprehensive content and advertising strategy to help us guide our daily activities moving forward.
With the content, we're actually going for a hybrid approach of full funnel advertising and topic clusters, which basically means that we will build clusters that we can then use to provide as much useful information to our customers and prospects as we possibly can.
These content pieces will then be boosted with advertising campaigns that guide our users to the content pieces that are relevant to them at each different stage of the funnel.
We have not used this approach as comprehensively in the past, so it will definitely be super interesting to see what we can achieve with this.
Maybe one day, we can collaborate on a customer story where we will share our results and successes together. 🤞
Already looking forward to it!
Edit 23.9.2022: The customer story is out! Check it out here.
TalentAdore is a Finnish HR tech company on a mission to bring the human touch to recruitment.
Miira Leinonen is the Chief Marketing Officer at TalentAdore. She is a marketing enthusiast, people person, and creative mind. She loves writing and creating compelling stories, visuals, and brands.
Miira loves all sports and plays everything from floorball to badminton. Her other passion is ice cream, and she even writes ice cream reviews on Instagram and TikTok (@jaatelokesa) — go check it out!