Sales wants qualified leads. Now. With velocity, ready to buy, and at their target accounts. You already invested in marketing automation (which someone else probably stuffed full of crappy data) and dabbled in some paid efforts. Now you’re exploring Predictive and Account-based Marketing… but HOLD ON. Whatever happened to all those leads you already generated and qualified?As a demand marketer, it’s tempting to wash your hands of the lead once it reaches Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). But too often Sales reaches out a few times, then moves on when a lead is unresponsive. They aren’t going to nicely hand that lead back to marketing – they will just move on.
With emerging technologies and rich data sources becoming widely available, marketers are now in a position to develop and execute sophisticated, highly targeted programs. In fact, predictive analytics and account-based marketing (ABM) are revolutionizing the ways in which marketing organizations think and operate.
Such capabilities, however, are inundating B2B marketers with new systems, types of data and a ton of associated processes. We must coordinate all these pieces if we’re to reap the full rewards of ABM strategies and predictive data.
I could write thousands of words on why manual lead-list processing weighs down demand marketing efforts, slowing lead velocity, delaying prospect follow-up, diminishing customer experiences and stalling revenue growth – and how Integrate’s software helps eliminate these obstacles.
On a recent road trip, I had an unexpected need to stop overnight. I went into my email, found a message from my preferred hotel brand, clicked to my loyalty account, reviewed availability and booked a room. Thanks to a desktop-quality mobile experience, the process took less than five minutes. The friendly staff welcomed me upon arrival and emailed a folio afterwards.
One could argue that this brand is in the hospitality business so my customer experience (CX) was nothing exceptional. Yet those of us who travel frequently know top-notch customer experience is noteworthy – even more so when it happens consistently – as I’ve found with this brand in personal (B2C) and business (B2B) travel.
Spanning email, mobile, inbound, outbound and in-person channels, the lessons above are a nice introduction to my guidelines for creating a great customer experience in both account-based marketing (ABM) and net-new lead generation programs. It’s because of customers like me – who’ll leave a brand without hesitation but stick with those that excel – that CX must sit at the top of every marketer’s priority list all day, every day.
We’re nearly 45 days into the Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers program that Integrate is producing in conjunction with Heinz Marketing. Hundreds of nominations have rolled in. As a marketer who works for a demand marketing software company that serves demand marketers, this program is of prime interest to me. I review nearly every nomination that’s submitted in order to discover exactly what my peers are doing to make an impact in their organizations.
When we launched the program, we identified five characteristics that we believe serve as the core traits of game changing demand marketers:
Account-based marketing (ABM), predictive analytics and demand generation are all well-established elements of B2B marketing. And, when done right, they increase each other’s value.
Applying predictive data to demand generation efforts significantly amplifies ABM success. Without predictive analytics, it’s incredibly difficult to properly identify the accounts you should be targeting. And without an efficient demand gen operation, it’s a struggle to efficiently engage the decision-making committees at those accounts. But how do you connect and operationalize demand gen to act on predictive data and ensure ABM success?
On Thursday, April 14, Scott Vaughan (CMO, Integrate) and Atul Kumar (Chief Product Officer, Mintigo) will be discussing specific and tangible steps to execute an effective ABM program using predictive analytics and demand marketing technology.
It seems as if you can’t walking into a marketing meeting these days without someone talking about predictive analytics and account-based marketing (ABM). But understanding how these two methodologies should work together is still somewhat vague to most B2B marketers.
We interviewed Atul Kumar, Chief Product Officer at Mintigo, to get some clarification on the state of ABM, the role predictive analytics should have, and some tips for those B2B marketing practitioners beginning their ABM journey.
To learn more about ABM from Atul and Integrate’s Scott Vaughan, join this upcoming live webinar on April 14 titled “Jumpstart Account-Based Marketing with Predictive & Outbound Demand Generation”
First off, I want to provide perspective on my point of view around all things Predictive Marketing.
At Integrate, I head up data and technology partnerships, which means I’m out there all the time working directly with customers and prospects to understand ways Integrate can partner with other marketing technologies to provide a better solution. And in today’s B2B marketing landscape, to say that predictive comes up often would be a drastic understatement.
And while I can’t go five minutes without hearing “predictive,” it seems as if there’s no common definition of the term. This is a big concern among customers. And a common – or at least understood – definition is very much needed to assure internal stakeholders and external partners are on the same page.
“As more marketers adopt ABM strategies, they’re finding that top-funnel marketing is the weak link in the chain, and that it too must be optimized with tech to generate full ROI from their ABM investments.”
In a TechCrunch article published last month, Ajay Agarwal provided a great overview of the state of marketing technology (MarTech). Comparing MarTech’s more tumultuous rise against the rather smooth ascent of sales technology (specifically Salesforce’s domination), he wrote:
“B2B will continue to be a strong market for martech startups with plenty of demand from CMOs; we expect to see several new $1 billion-plus companies emerge in categories like top-of-funnel marketing, account-based marketing and predictive analytics.” (Italics are my own)
With regard to predictive analytics and ABM, this isn’t too surprising; ABM is now a widely accepted B2B strategy for its efficiency and effectiveness. And predictive analytics – for those organizations with the means and database requirements – is probably the best way to inform ABM programs. Top-of-funnel (TOFU) marketing tech, however, hasn’t received nearly the same degree of attention.
Last week we posted a blog discussing the reasons why so many B2B marketers struggle with their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. While marketers face several important obstacles to ABM success, it’s clear that the most daunting challenge is executing on the data – i.e., identifying, engaging and obtaining info from decision-makers at specified accounts.