In this article, let’s discover how Arti Sharma from Measure Marketing helps bring the most value to her clients by providing full-service digital marketing.
- Q: Can you introduce yourself and talk about your inspiration? How did you get into digital and content marketing?
- Q: What are you doing with the clients to bring the most value to them?
- Q: What do you see your clients struggle with because of specific ads like webinars or blog posts? How do you educate them?
- Q: What are some of the steps you do to develop a buyer persona that your clients can benefit from and drive their strategy?
- Q: Sometimes, the sales team has different goals than the marketing team. How do you align them?
- Q: How do you make sure that every piece of content is quality content? What is your quality assurance process?
- Q: How do those inputs impact your writing and your content?
- Q: What do you see that some writers miss in the process that would make their content more effective?
- Q: You mentioned the importance of the checklist and the brief. What goes into a brief that you usually give to your writer?
- Q: If you are advising a startup about content marketing, what would be that advice?
Q: Can you introduce yourself and talk about your inspiration? How did you get into digital and content marketing?
My name is Arti Sharma, and I am the CEO and president of measure marketing. We are full-service digital marketing and digital advertising company. We work with progressive and growth-centered b2b, SAS, healthcare, tech, b2b manufacturing companies, and some b2c e-commerce companies.
We help them generate more demand for their products and services and brand themselves effectively. So essentially, our digital marketing services lie around demand generation, lead generation, and a lot of intent data to ensure our clients are going after the right fit.
We work with smaller and progressive clients on their search engine optimization (SEO service), conversion rate optimization, and HubSpot implementation. We’re a HubSpot and a Google partner.
The inspiration for this company is back in 2010 when I started the company; I was inspired to do digital marketing because many companies were claiming to be digital marketing companies, but they were not tracking a lot of data in their digital marketing campaigns.
There was a missing lot of analytics and measurement and the whole marketing strategies and campaigns they were structuring for organizations—That’s where the name Measure Marketing comes from.
We are a very data-driven analytical digital marketing service company. Of course, we don’t understand the ideal customer profile and the creative side of the campaigns. Still, we want to center it around the customer.
The data customers give us for our clients helps them reach those targeted customers and their ideal customers through those data-driven and creative approaches. But Data is the center of the idea.
So what inspired me to start the company and offer digital marketing agency services is that I never mentioned in either podcast that back in the day, HubSpot was emerging, and Dharmesh was their CEO and CTO at that time.
When Dharmesh was the CTO, there was a LinkedIn group on startups that he used to run, and one day I was sitting in and I was looking at this LinkedIn group. There was a post that said, “if you’ve been able to get one dollar from a client, you are in business,” and I was anyways running this business part-time, and I had already made six figures running part-time, and I was like, ‘wow, this is true, I need to take this business full-time now.’
So that one blog post changed my mindset to say I’m in business, and I’m making money; I am helping clients achieve what they want. I’m making more data-driven decisions on behalf of my clients, helping them see the analytics behind their marketing, and helping them make more informed decisions.
So I should run this business full-time and help support and market other companies. That was my calling. That was when my purpose emerged gradually, and I came into business full-time.
Q: What are you doing with the clients to bring the most value to them?
It depends on the size of the client and depends on whether they are with their marketing setup, but most of the time, customers come to us looking for more qualified leads and helping them with their top of the funnel.
So we are now in full-funnel marketing, which includes the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. We take a holistic approach, including demand generation, demand management, and sales enablement.
We’re a full-service company, and we come in for different stages of work that most of the time involve demand generation, marketing automation management, content marketing, and premium content development.
We are not in search engine optimization only but more on the paid ad side. We do account-based marketing side like automation and integration of these marketing technologies within their toolkit to get more automation and enablement for their sales teams. This way, they can stay more focused on the correct account and grow their businesses.
So essentially, we are supporting the revenue operations in the company and supporting the marketing directors and VPS of marketing in their journey, creating these programs and effectively managing them through a third-party agency.
Q: What do you see your clients struggle with because of specific ads like webinars or blog posts? How do you educate them?
They sometimes have what they want, and sometimes they’re too specific. But in the process of being too specific, they’re missing out on the strategy of how the alignment of all these different pieces comes together in the content marketing strategy.
So we ask questions, and a lot of a very intensive discovery phase happens at our marketing agency before onboarding any customer. We want to make sure that we only bring in customers with a 95% chance of success.
So we only give ourselves a 5% chance of failure, and that means that any clients we’re bringing in onboard, 95% of the time, have to be successful; we’re consistently exceeding that target.
So in our case, we are always looking at an extensive discovery process; when our clients come for a specific demand, we want to know their ideal customers. Who are they trying to market? What is their brand positioning? What is a unique selling proposition?
So essentially, in a SAS environment, you have to understand the product and the pain points of the persona that they’re trying to target; how do you match the product benefits to the persona and the pain point.
So there’s a lot of extensive interviewing process, but we are trying to gather all this information during the sales process for digital marketing strategy. So when the client signs up with us, we already have been educated quite a bit through this questioning in these discovery sessions and analysis and pre-analysis.
So that when they’re coming to us, we’re able to craft a complete, concise marketing strategy for them. Because I think tactics they’ve been doing, but sometimes they need help with the marketing strategy and how do you integrate all of these different marketing tools and techniques to get the outcomes.
Sometimes clients come to us to accelerate their current accounts and their current pipeline to have leads, but they’re not closing, and they need to accelerate and shorten the sales cycle, which requires a different marketing strategy.
So again, going back to your question, different clients have different demands and needs, and even if they’re all SAS, they still have similar needs but not the exact conditions. So you have to uncover those needs and those challenges and then find a solution that best fits them.
Q: What are some of the steps you do to develop a buyer persona that your clients can benefit from and drive their strategy?
We do buyer persona development in the workshop, where we interview the sales team and bring in other departments. We ask who you want to serve and why you want to help them? Do you have an example of their best customers in the past? What is the need?
Then based on the information, we come up with a buyer persona, but at the end of the day, mapping out the buyer persona is the first step in the entire buyer journey process. You have to map out the different stages your buyers go through.
When we meet with mid-market and larger organizations, they look at account-level marketing. So then you need to define a buying committee, and you need to determine the persona for that buying committee; who are the people? Who forms that buying committee? And each of those personas in the buying committee is different.
For example, there could be a budget controller, influencer, or coil decision-makers. So we interview various departments, look at who has been your best client, and be the best influencer. What kind of content do they consume daily? What inspires them to engage with you, and what kind of educational points are? or intent topics they are looking for. So a lot of questioning happens to carve out the best.
Q: Sometimes, the sales team has different goals than the marketing team. How do you align them?
There’s a variety of different ways, but in the world of b2b, usually, it is not just one person making the decision. So you have to go with the buying committee and all these different people. So how do you create a profile?
We use different marketing frameworks for clients that you’re going after, and obviously, it’s a secret sauce, as you said. But at the end of the day, you want to make sure that your product and services meet their needs and demands, so you have to follow a very targeted digital marketing approach.
You have to be very targeted towards building their persona framework based on aligning different departments. That’s why these personas’ needs, wants, concerns, tastes, and preferences are essential for the digital marketing strategy.
The framework we have is a seven-step process, and there are different sections and different questions within these eb7 steps. When we get to those seven steps, we recognize and say this persona is essentially the champion persona and an influencer persona.
They’re two or three different personas within the type of companies you want to target. You are not just targeting one persona; you’re targeting a variety of different personas to get the buy-in on your product and service.
Q: How do you make sure that every piece of content is quality content? What is your quality assurance process?
Content is a subjective element. There’s a variety of content that we end up producing, from writing articles, press releases, and blog posts to writing white papers, ebooks, research reports, social media content, and many other types of content.
The first step in the quality assurance process is to check who is this content important? Who is going to be consuming this content? Who is our ideal consumer for this content? What is the perfect customer profile? How are they going to engage with this content? Is it value-driven content, or is it more engagement and sales-driven content?
So that’s where the framework of the content comes in and in any case, writing content or producing content requires a very strong set of quality assurance guidelines that it has to pass through.
At our digital marketing agency, we have a manager of content marketing, every piece of content has to go through him or his assistant. We have an editor and a content marketing manager, so they’re the ones who manage a team of content writers and content producers. It’s a very collaborative effort.
We have an intake form; we have a strategy document and questionnaires around different pieces of content that we need. Sometimes, we ask our clients to fill the question, or sometimes, we just get on the phone and interview a few people on their marketing team, sales team, or operations team to get that information to produce that white paper. Then we look at some research items.
So that’s the writing and production part of it, and then after that, because the goals have been established initially on what this content is going to do for us, we run it by the checklist and say if this content meets all those criteria.
Then when it comes to quantum quality, more pairs of eyes go through it a couple of times to ensure that the content is grammatically correct and makes sense besides the factual and message information. Its voice and tonality are fine.
Q: How do those inputs impact your writing and your content?
They’re so tremendous and helpful because we’re a people-first organization that’s a core value, but we also take customer-centric approaches to go to market strategy, and that’s what we train our clients on and educate them.
They work with us under strategic advice to say your customer is at the core of everything. How does your go-to-market strategy need to align with your customer and their needs, demands, and their wants? How do they engage and attract their end consumers?
So obviously, we want to be part of that journey with our clients. When they give us these inputs through forms and interviews, they become highly instrumental in creating a compelling and relevant piece because our clients know their customers the best.
But sometimes, they cannot pinpoint what they need until our team comes in and starts asking them the questions that get them to rethink and extrapolate that information from them.
Q: What do you see that some writers miss in the process that would make their content more effective?
One thing that we’ve done over the years is that we have created a solid panel of writers and more contractors. We keep them busy, so they don’t have time to write content for any other agency.
Secondly, our content manager Andrew Hinckley, he’s done such a fantastic job of creating a system even with our contracted writers because sometimes you need specialists in certain areas to write that content.
Sometimes, your full-time writers don’t have that experience or exposure in various industries, so it’s just hard for them to write the lingo. So that’s why we go off to the panel writers; having said that, we’ve built a system in-house to keep our writers engaged.
We give them scorecards, we run specific contests among our writers to provide them with a little bit of an edge, and we try to optimize the efforts they’re putting in by constant coaching and mentoring them. That’s where Andrew and his team come into play; the editors and Andrew himself.
Q: You mentioned the importance of the checklist and the brief. What goes into a brief that you usually give to your writer?
We talked about client intake forms. So when the client has given us information, somebody has to synthesize that information and turn that into a brief for the writer.
To say here’s some resources available to you, here’s the tonality that we want. This is a no-no for a client; never mention these things. Mention these things, and this is how the positioning needs to be done; this is an ideal customer profile, and these are the key phrases that you should use in the content or vocabulary that you should highlight in the content.
For that matter, here’s what the trending topic is around the subject area. See how you can incorporate that, or there are these available statistics.
So basically, somebody took the client intake form, did the initial research, packaged it together, and gave it to the writer so that they’re just very focused on the content and the facts they need to incorporate.
Q: If you are advising a startup about content marketing, what would be that advice?
There are three things that I would do first, early on, define who is your ideal customer. Make sure that your messaging on your website and all your marketing and your content voice align with your ideal customer profile.
Second, it’s never too late to build a brand guideline but a content guideline also. So people usually stop preparing guidelines at the branding site, but it’s crucial to create your content guidelines, voice, tonality, and reflective of your brand.
The third thing I would say is to speak from the heart and be authentic about the support you want to extend to the marketplace. That’s, again, commercialization, but why are you in there?
If you’re going to help customers, speak from your heart, and make sure your content speaks of who you are, why you are in the business, and what kind of services you provide.
Talk about your purpose often and weave that in and connect the dots with your ideal customer profiles. Make it more authentic, relational, and engaging.