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5 Reminders About Creativity From The Beatles: Get Back

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5 Reminders About Creativity From The Beatles: Get Back


Like millions of people, I sat glued to my screen for Peter Jackson’s nearly nine-hour, three-part documentary, The Beatles: Get Back. The series comes from more than 60 hours of video and 156 hours of audio recordings originally captured by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg.

The team behind the Disney+ show spent years editing the original archival footage to create the 2021 version of the film, which Jackson deemed a “documentary about a documentary.” For a Beatles fan – or any fan of the creative process – Hogg captured creative gold.

I grew up with The Beatles. I started listening to my pop’s collection of records on my “The Fonz” record player in elementary school. Eventually, The Beatles catalog became the songbook of my life, even during my rebellious, long-haired, first-tattoo, grunge-rock years. I stood in line at my college record store to buy Pearl Jam Vitalogy and The Beatles Live at the BBC at the same time.

For me, watching the documentary felt like a gift. I’d like to give you a few creative takeaways that occurred to me while watching. Whether you’re a long-time Beatles fan, a casual listener, or simply someone curious about the creative process, you’ll find something to apply to your own endeavors.

Watching The Beatles: Get Back from @DisneyStudios felt like a gift for @JKKalinowski. He’s giving back five creativity takeaways for all #content creators (via @CMIcontent). Click To Tweet

I, me, mine doesn’t work for collaboration

The John Lennon and Paul McCartney partnership earned most of the songwriting credits in The Beatles’ catalog. And the documentary shows the duo’s creative dominance for better – you see the affection and connection fueling their collaboration – and for worse – you see them ignore or downplay George Harrison’s suggestions and songs (including, initially, I Me Mine).

 

What The Beatles did: The group wildly underestimated George as a songwriter and producer. His creative frustration led to his departure from the band during the sessions. When he returned, he played an early version of his song All Things Must Pass for John and Paul. They passed on it. George later released the song on his solo triple album All Things Must Pass, which met critical acclaim and sold millions of copies.

What you can do: Don’t underestimate the people on your team. Encourage creative ideas from everyone regardless of role or title. Anyone can come up with ideas that deserve consideration (even Ringo Starr, who gets help from George on Octopus’s Garden during the documentary.)

Don’t be like McCartney and Lennon. Give your George Harrison a chance to contribute great ideas to your #ContentMarketing, says @JKKalinowski (via @CMIcontent) Click To Tweet

When you’ve got a feeling, pay attention (it usually won’t let you down)

While rehearsing for their upcoming recording, the band members agreed something was missing in many of the songs, but they couldn’t put their finger on what. They bickered about the compositions and played the music over and over, but they couldn’t fix the problem.

One day, renowned session keyboardist Billy Preston stopped by Apple Studios to say hello. The artists knew each other from time spent in Hamburg earlier in their careers. (The Beatles opened for Little Richard’s touring band in which Billy played.)

 

What The Beatles did: The lads from Liverpool invited Billy to sit in with them – and found their missing piece. Billy’s contributions on the electric organ served as the catalyst that fired up the process and helped The Beatles finish the compositions. Billy is listed as a featured performer on the Get Back single, marking the only time another artist was credited as a co-performer on a Beatles song.

What you can do: Sometimes, fresh voices can breathe new life and energy into an idea. When you’re stuck, bring someone new – a colleague from another department or a member of your audience – into the process. A new ingredient can change the whole flavor of your project.

Get back to old ideas

The documentary shows Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison giving a fresh spin to songs they had written years before. For example, the song One After 909 was written as early as 1957 but wasn’t recorded until 1969.

What The Beatles did: Throughout the series, Paul sings bits of songs that never made it onto the group’s albums. But he kept working on them, and they eventually made their way onto his post-Beatles solo albums. John demoed a song he called Child of Nature, which ultimately became his hit Jealous Guy on Imagine.

What you can do: Never throw your ideas away – just put them on a figurative shelf. If you have an idea that just doesn’t work today, put it away and come back to it later.

Move over once

The Beatles first planned to film the documentary about creating an album from scratch in 14 days at Twickenham Film Studios. But the set turned out to lack the appropriate acoustics, and the cold temperatures in the mostly empty space made the band miserable.

What The Beatles did: They changed locations. After George left the band, one condition of his return included a move away from Twickenham. Once the band settled into their more intimate (and purpose-built) space in Apple Studios, the energy among the four changed for the better.

What you can do: If you feel stifled by the parameters you’re working in, change them. If you can’t change them completely, toe the line of breaking away from them. (I think there’s a cliché about a box and thinking that applies).

Move over twice

The recording location change wasn’t the only (or biggest) adaption in the original vision. The original plan included The Beatles performing in front of a live audience, which they hadn’t done in years. But they hadn’t settled on a location.

 

What The Beatles did: Eventually, the band agreed to perform (and record some of the album’s songs) live on the roof of their studio building. It wasn’t the concert initially planned, but they got great performances (and great footage) from the switch.

What you can do: Stay open. When circumstances change, don’t immediately fight them. Let it be – and see if you can work with the new constraints or requirements. You might find it’s a breath of fresh air.

Be like The Beatles. No live concert or conference? Take a creative approach to work within your #ContentMarketing constraints (rooftop meeting, anyone?), says @JKKalinowski via @CMIcontent. Click To Tweet

Let your thoughts meander

The most important reminders I took from the hours I spent watching are:

  • Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open – creative ideas can come from anywhere and anyone.
  • Noodle on your ideas over time.
  • Let yourself have fun and enjoy the process.

Soon you’ll create something you’re proud to send out across the universe.

Did you watch The Beatles: Get Back? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it or about creativity. Leave me a note in the comments.

You see author Joseph “JK” Kalinowski’s art every day on the blog. You also can catch him on CMI’s The Creative Show with Buddy Scalera on YouTube.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute





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How to turn the great buyer resignation into B2B career opportunities

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Create a B2B GTM strategy that buyers, execs and revenue teams love


Marketers play a large, proactive role in the buying-selling process to generate revenue across the entire buyer lifecycle – from generating a new customer, to contract renewal, to solution expansion and cross-sell/upsell.

This is no small task, especially when B2B buyers, barraged by untimely automated messages, random cold calls and lackluster outreach from both sales and marketing, are opting out of vendor conversations. B2B marketing expert Tony Zambito calls this the “Great Buyer Resignation.” This phenomenon has progressively intensified over the last five years and is both a challenge and an opportunity for B2B marketers.

A reality check

Let’s tackle the B2B challenge first by capturing today’s reality. The B2B buying process has gone primarily digital; most B2B sellers and teams have not. Sales has limited access to prospects and customers. We know the facts. According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of the buying process is complete before buyers engage directly with a brand rep. Only 17% of the B2B buying process time is spent with a salesperson across all suppliers. And this scenario is only accelerating as digital native professionals become influencers and decision-makers.


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To contribute to revenue and customer generation, B2B marketers are cranking out “leads” to help sales generate revenue. Marketers are often using legacy marketing automation-centric practices developed during the first wave of marketing technology and lead generation. The teams are pushing out random campaigns in a world where prospects and buyers already know what’s coming when they download a white paper or attend a webinar. Cringe — here come the automated nurture and cadenced phone calls.

Compounding the challenge, prospect and customer outreach happens in silos via one-off campaigns, isolated channels and focused functional teams. And data is being used to justify spending rather than apply buyer and account intelligence to deliver more timely information, better buyer engagement experiences, and more creative outreach.

The change and challenge revenue teams face are real.

Marketing’s impact opportunity in the buyer and customer generation lifecycle

With change comes opportunities for B2B marketers who understand, embrace and develop a smarter approach to identify, engage and delight buyers. And it should be emphasized that B2B teams and marketers have begun their transformation as marketing works across their entire company to play a more proactive role in all revenue and customer generation aspects.

From talking with progressive B2B go-to-market (GTM) leaders, here are strategies to stop mass buyer resignation, advance your career and have a much more significant impact on revenue growth.

1. Drive the shift from push to pull marketing

We often focus our effort on pushing email, cranking out business development representative calls, blasting ads and putting up forms to engage B2B pros. The breakthrough strategies are built around moving from pushing stuff at prospects and customers to pulling buyers through their process. Give them control. Provide options and let them guide their own journey, based on their needs, with value-added assistance. This is an art and science to master. This playbook and skill-set is, and will continue to be, highly coveted.

2. Focus on moments we create, not just those touchpoints we capture

Capture” is primarily what we do today in the form of paid media engagement to generate leads, drive web traffic and white paper downloads, and sponsor events to scan and swipe badges. The best marketers are flipping this model and asking, “How can we create moments for the buyer?”

Moment creation requires a proactive, experiential mindset putting ourselves in the shoes of our most coveted buyers and accounts. Breakthrough moments and experiences can be done through:

  • Product-led growth (PLG).
  • Interactive and self-guided applications and videos.
  • Personalized workshops for prospective buying teams at your target accounts.
  • Curated web pages that feature topical and popular content aligning with themes your buyer has been researching or engaging with over the last quarter.

It doesn’t have to be over complicated.

3. Master the full customer lifecycle

Today’s market realities and company growth mandates underline the need to build GTM models, strategies and resources around the entire customer lifecycle. With today’s prevailing Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud subscription customer financial models, 50 to 70% of the profit comes from existing customers.

For a deeper perspective, a five percent increase in retention results in an estimated 25 to 95% increase in revenue.

4. Embrace data intelligence and science

We will not be effective marketing leaders or pros without the ability to access, use and interpret data. At a minimum, we must be proactive in using data to understand markets, customers, accounts and market trends. The ideal case is to be confident in turning data into insights and actions and applying data science to help guide investments, programs and experiences. Data cannot be used simply to justify or defend marketing spend.

The most in-demand marketing skills in a B2B buyer-driven world

Let’s look at a few past examples of marketing career breakthroughs to plot the future. Ironically, the emergence and mastery of marketing automation tools, data and campaigns created a generation of what turned out to be the marketing operations (MOps) profession. It’s become a well-compensated, highly respected and in-demand role. In another example, the rise of account-based marketing (ABM) created a shift of sales support-focused field marketers to revenue generation-focused members of the GTM team.

Based on the Great Buyer Resignation reality and market shifts, here are a few high-impact career opportunities for talented pros who want to up-level their professional world while positively impacting their company’s growth. It is important to point out these re-imagined roles all focus across the customer lifecycle and obliterate internal silos whenever and wherever possible.

  • Growth marketing: This high-impact role is the next level of demand marketing, which today has largely been focused on digital and paid media spend to generate qualified leads or pipelines. Growth encompasses the full customer/buyer lifecycle of revenue generation in today’s Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription world. It also focuses on identifying and activating the markets, drivers and industries to grow revenue and expand the company’s total available market (TAM).
  • Journey architects: To align with best-fit buyers and accounts, this craft is an ability to use buyer and account intelligence to create experiences to more naturally pull a buyer or buying group through their journey. With a full view across buyer channels and company touchpoints, this role expands beyond marketing to ensure more timely information. For perspective, this is the buyer-driven outgrowth of what was integrated marketing.
  • Revenue ops: It is very difficult to identify and engage buyers and target accounts if your view is only on sales, marketing, customer success or finance. This progressive function demands a full view of buyer and customer lifecycles. It unifies and analyzes data to empower the rest of the front-line, customer-facing players to act on intelligence and insights.

The bottom line on what buyer resignation means for our marketing careers

Now is an opportunistic time to capitalize on market and marketing shifts and commit to buyer-centric GTM strategies and tactics. If you see a new role or transformation opportunity inside your organization or at a new company, raise your hand and dive in. These are the times when careers are made and energized.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Scott Vaughan is a B2B CMO and go-to-market leader. After several CMO and business leadership roles, Scott is now an active advisor and consultant working with CMO, CXOs, Founders, and investors on business, marketing, product, and GTM strategies. He thrives in the B2B SaaS, tech, marketing, and revenue world.

His passion is fueled by working in-market to create new levels of business and customer value for B2B organizations. His approach is influenced and driven by his diverse experience as a marketing leader, revenue driver, executive, market evangelist, speaker, and writer on all things marketing, technology, and business. He is drawn to disruptive solutions and to dynamic companies that need to transform.



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Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance

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Grow revenue streams through web accessibility and compliance


1 out of 4 people in the U.S. lives with some type of disability. Because consumers are online now more than in previous years, your clients’ websites must be accessible to everyone.

It’s not merely a matter of being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). It’s also good business—because web accessibility can deliver better results and enhance search engine optimization.

Join a panel of agency, compliance and disability leaders to hear more about how web accessibility can work for your agency and your clients.

Register today for “Agencies: Grow Revenue Streams Through Web Accessibility & Compliance,” presented by accessiBe.


About The Author

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries.



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Why Sales Teams Should Care about the Fake Web

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Why Sales Teams Should Care about the Fake Web


The issue of the Fake Web has been all over the news lately. Perhaps most notably, Elon Musk delayed his deal with Twitter until they agreed to further transparency around bots and fake users. Additionally, a viral tweet about the increase of fake internet traffic also attracted the attention of Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.

All of this is probably not a surprise to anyone on the pulse of technology news. But it is reasonable to wonder: What does this have to do with sales?

For starters, reports show that $115 billion is lost each year in sales labor costs due to bots and fake users.

To help connect the dots here, we’ve outlined a few specific ways these bad actors impact sales teams on every level and ultimately hurt businesses bottom line.

Sales teams end up wasting time on bad leads.

Time is critical in the sales cycle. Leads need to be acted on quickly before they lose interest or forget they requested to be contacted completely. For this reason, sales professionals put a lot of time and effort into crafting the perfect email sequences, following up with leads, and nurturing these leads until they are ready to buy.

But sometimes leads that were once considered “hot” go silent. This can be because they genuinely lost interest, their priorities changed, they realized they didn’t have budget for a specific line item, or they went with a competitor. Other times leads go cold because they were never really leads to begin with – they were bots and fake users.

When this is the case, it is not only frustrating and disappointing, but it also takes time away from real genuine leads who could have used more attention. Since time is money, this is also reducing the potential revenue a business could be bringing in.

Inventory numbers become inaccurate.

For companies that sell items of limited quantities (retail brands, ticketing services, tourism and travel companies, concerts and sporting events, etc.), it is important to keep track of how much inventory is available. They want to ensure that customers are able to purchase available items while not misleading anyone into thinking something is available if it is sold out in actuality.

Obviously, a bot can’t go to a concert or put on a pair of exclusive sneakers, but they skew inventory numbers through a variety of malicious practices.

This can take the form of scraping information and reselling at a lower price on other sites, which causes businesses to overstock and undersell. It can also come in the form of bad actors committing credit card fraud by using fake or expired cards, which causes the business to lose both the product and the revenue. Additionally, bots can be programmed to instantly buy thousands upon thousands of items before real users ever have the chance to purchase.

All of this throws off the sales cycle by making it impossible to determine how much genuine interest for certain goods and services there is in the market.

Trust is lost between sales and marketing.

Many sales cycles start with marketing. A future customer might first hear about a brand through social media. Or maybe they discovered a company in a search query. Perhaps they saw a few paid advertisements and decided to dive deeper. Marketing is a critical component of driving pipeline and ultimately revenue.

Sales teams know that when leads show up in their database, it didn’t come out of thin air – it was likely a result of marketing. But when there is a pattern of marketing leads having fake names or emails, or appearing promising but randomly going silent – sales teams start to question the legitimacy of all marketing leads.

If there are bots and fake users entering the funnel and being passed off to sales, it decreases the overall quality of marketing leads, and consequently decreases trust.

For all of these reasons and more, many teams are adopting Go-to-Market Security to ensure all the hard work sales and marketing teams put in each day isn’t hindered by the Fake Web.





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