Marketers have more data at our fingertips than ever before. It’s coming at us from all angles. With our demand and lead generation efforts, we typically have dozens (or more) of third-party media partners and fulfillment sources generating leads or syndicating our content, sending us streams of prospect data. We even capture data from our webinars, events that we sponsor, or lists that we buy.
We recently released our newest whitepaper “Integrated Marketing Systems: The Essential Guide”. If you’re already sold on the value of integration and ready to put a plan into action, there’s no need to read the rest of this post. Just click the preceding link and get the whitepaper. It contains a simple three-step integration plan any marketing organization can follow to connect disparate marketing tech systems.
If however you’re still unsure whether there's value in connecting your marketing systems, let me share a few things we’ve learned through our efforts to understand the challenges facing marketers today and you can decide if integration is the right step for your marketing organization.
Last week, I participated in the inaugral Marketing Ops and Technology Summit chaired by Gary Katz, Chairman and VP Strategy for Marketing Operations Partners. 60+ practicing executives bantered for two days on the present and future of marketing and tech operations (MOPs). While there were “speakers”, this interactive conference tapped into a seasoned group of practicing marketing and tech leaders. Collectively, this very experienced cadre included executives from powerhouse companies such as LinkedIn, SAP, Clorox, At Home, GoGo, and NetFlix. Since this was invite-only session, here are insights I pulled direct from these accomplished leaders.
Over the last 90 days, I’ve heard “standardization” at least 50 times in sessions with CMOs and marketing leaders as we discuss 2015 planning and budgeting. Standardization – how boring! This is marketing; aren’t we supposed to be creative? And charged with differentiating our brand, products and services?
Yes, we are. However, standardizing data, systems, processes, measurements and expectations frees up the time and resources needed for more creative initiatives. Think of it this way: How much time would you waste if you haphazardly switched between measuring your house in feet, yards and meters in your effort to determine how many gallons of paint you needed? A lot. Because you didn’t select a standard type of measurement or process for measuring. If you had, you probably could’ve automated calculations by inputting a standard data type into a paint volume calculator.
Managing change is the toughest part of any marketing transformation, especially regarding the adoption of new technology. This isn't new news. Yet, the pace of change only seems to be accelerating, and we marketers are prone to neglecting this critical element in our organizations.
Below are excerpts from hand-picked interviews that not only illustrate how important change management is to successfully guiding marketing’s transformation, but also provide insight on how to lead this change effectively. Among these approaches, standardizing goals, communicating needs across departments, and hiring the right people in the right roles seem to be agreed upon as vital efforts in any transformative environment.
I’m a little taken aback when I read statistics like the one from Sirius Decisions that 60% of B2B companies report an overall data health of “unreliable”. But what surprises me more is how few marketing organizations appear to really understand the importance of their data quality.
Ascend2 recently released their Lead Generation Strategy Report which revealed a startling (to me at least) disconnect between how much weight marketing organizations are placing on lead quality and how little on data accuracy.
As we brace ourselves for the inevitable barrage of Dreamforce ’14 “takeaways, “learnings” and “insights” blog posts to hit our inboxes over the next few weeks, I figured it may be helpful to recap some of the biggest marketing tech-related comments about Dreamforces of recent years. After all, it’s difficult to takeaway insightful learnings without context – you gotta have a benchmark.
Marketing technology has garnered a staggering amount of attention in recent years as startups take advantage of today’s low capital requirements to address the myriad challenges marketers face in the digital, customer-centric marketing era. Tech solutions continue to automate processes and measure outcomes in ways that enhance both the performance of marketing and sales as well as customers’ experience. This has led to numerous tech-focused events such as this week’s Dreamforce ‘14 and the MarTech conference held in August.
What has received less attention, until recently, is the discipline that has evolved to own the strategic use of marketing technology: Marketing Operations. The inaugural Marketing Operations and Technology Summit will be held October 22-24 and aims to address this void. I sat down with the conference’s chair, Gary Katz, to gain a few insights regarding the discipline’s current state as well as a glimpse of what we can expect from the event.
With Dreamforce ’14 only 4 Days, 19 Hours, 06 Minutes and 35 seconds away at time of writing, I figured now is a great moment to share a few of my personal learnings regarding ways marketers can squeeze more value out of a CRM. Whether you’re using Salesforce, Sugar, Microsoft Dynamics or some other system, these ideas will help mold your CRM into a technology that will enhance the effectiveness of any department charged with customer-focused goals.
Greg Ness, VP Marketing at cloud app provider CloudVelox, is a proven practitioner of data-driven marketing and a wizard at creating demand and customer pipeline for products and services. My first work with Greg was at Redline Networks a few business cycles ago. I’ve seen his work firsthand through engagements at Juniper Networks, Blue Lane Technologies, InfoBlox, and other players in the B2B tech space.
Greg’s relentless focus on marketing outcomes, customer needs and investing in programs that deliver a pipeline of business opportunity was his core mission long before this was marketing’s primary mandate – and before marketers had all the available tools and technology. I talked with Greg to get his view to contrast “old school” demand gen with today’s modern techniques and see what we could glean from a seasoned pro.