Rather than add to the annual deluge of upcoming-year predictions, I thought it’d be more helpful, if only slightly, to go through a couple things I’ve learned this year while engaging with marketing tech customers, vendors and influencers. Hopefully, these learnings will help inform your own 2015 marketing predictions – or better yet, spark ideas for how to progress your marketing efforts in the coming year.
Successful demand gen marketers know that lead quality is a key factor in their ability to engage prospects and activate buyers. In a recent study by Marketing Profs, nearly 60% of marketers surveyed indicated quality is the single most critical aspect of the leads they generate. One key indicator of lead quality is accuracy and completeness of data on the lead.
Both marketing and sales operational efficiency are directly impacted by lead data quality because high-quality leads are more likely to convert to customers. Diluting a marketing database with low-quality leads results in wasted time and ineffective communications.
Lead accuracy needs to be managed proactively, whether leads are generated in house or by a third party. Here are six data factors that will create a positive return on your investment in generated leads.
If you Google “sales and marketing relationship,” phrases such as “love/hate,” “ending the war” and “sales turf war” all come up on the first page. Numerous articles discuss the turmoil of this on-again, off-again fling between these departments; however, many miss a key point that’s resulted in more inter-departmental love than an open bar at the company Christmas party.
In marketing’s old world (pre-2013), e-mail campaigns went to large lists that were developed to be as inclusive as possible. Low response rates were grudgingly accepted, with individual e-mails producing at most a few quality leads. For those whose names were in a B2B marketer’s database, that was a sure ticket to getting every message and offer, whether it addressed their needs or not.
Thankfully, the more-is-better, spray-and-pray mindset is fast approaching obsolescence as marketers recognize less (volume) yields more (quality), for their brands and the prospects they target.
In modern marketing (and specifically demand gen), campaigns benefit from prospect targeting by one or more criteria, individually or on a mix-and-match basis, to reach the right individual or company with the right offer.
Ask ten marketers to define demand generation – or lead velocity or sales-qualified lead, for that matter – and you’re likely to get ten definitions that are at least slightly different. Demand gen is evolving quickly, and the majority of those practicing their craft are more focused on driving results than defining terms consistently from one company to the next.
Yet consistent definitions are important. They enable partners to create common expectations. They help those working in demand gen to measure results the same way. And they help marketers use their tech investments more effectively. Consistent language, especially when it expresses demand gen in layman’s terms, improves marketing’s credibility with sales and other stakeholders. Broadly, standardization is needed in demand gen, and that applies to core terms as well.
Nearly all marketers are using advertising and marketing technologies to automate the processes required to create, execute, and analyze marketing programs. Automation is making marketers smarter about customer needs, behaviors and experiences, while freeing up time to focus on marketing strategy and creativity. In essence, it’s increasing our ability to effectively discover, engage and nurture prospects and create satisfied customers.
So, in an era of automated marketing and with an estimated annual investment of nearly $30 billion, why does Demand Gen remain mind numbingly manual and disconnected from other marketing systems and customer data?
The guy is amazing. Not only did he set the record for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history, but he also orchestrated (and had his receivers practice) the practical joke of playing keep away shortly after (see video here: http://digg.com/video/peyton-manning-record-ball).
How successful would Peyton have been if he did the following:
- meticulously studied and analyzed his opponents
- used complex machine learning to predict behaviors of the other team
- prepared a play book
- executed every single play in order throughout the entire game
Not very – because football requires responsiveness and constant flexibility.
Recently, we had the privilege of leading a webcast as part of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s “Spotlight on Success Series.” We were joined by marketing and demand gen leader, Meagen Eisenberg, who is VP of Customer Marketing at Docusign and a valued Integrate customer.
This 45-minute webcast highlighted one of the core challenges that plagues the majority of today’s demand gen practitioners and marketing automation users – manual data processes. If you are currently using Oracle Eloqua (or another marketing automation system), this post and session can help you understand:
Our first #MarTechChat TweetChat session was exactly what we were hoping for – great insights that illuminated both important trends and intriguing debates within the world of Marketing Ops. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who participated in the session, especially our two headlining practitioners: Leslie Cocco Alore and Alexa Bleecker!
While there were many takeaways for consideration, one thing is certain: Ops practitioners are a dynamic breed of marketer with skills that set them apart. High-tech, fast-paced, analytical, curious and deeply connected with all business units, Ops pros are a proactive force within the organization and will shape the future of marketing. And surprise, surprise – they love data!
Digital marketing dominates the B2B marketing space, making telemarketing seem like an outdated, or at least an under-appreciated, marketing method for generating and qualifying leads. Its association with intrusive phone calls and sometimes aloof call agents may keep this tactic from making it into your marketing mix.
Truth be told, telemarketing can be a very cost-effective and reliable way to generate qualified leads for your pipeline. Admittedly it was not always included in my arsenal, but proven success over recent years has turned me into a telemarketing supporter. The power of conversation and human touch with the right call center can yield rewarding results.