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Author: David Crane

David Crane joined Integrate in September of 2011. David is an ardent student of marketing technology that borders on nerdy obsession. Fortunately, he uses this psychological abnormality to support the development and communication of solutions to customer-specific marketing-process inefficiencies.

Assessing Your Demand Marketing Maturity: How Do You Stack Up?

By David Crane

January 10, 2017

B2B marketing has changed a lot in the last five years. New technologies, strategies and channels have served as both challenges and opportunities.

Every marketing organization has tackled these opportunities differently. Some have put great effort into expanding the number of customer engagement channels to scale top-of-funnel lead volume, while others have focused more on implementing insight-producing analytics solutions to increase conversion rates down the funnel.

There’s no right or wrong. As demand marketers, however, our enthusiasm for one path – whether it be developing cross-channel programs, integrating efficiency-producing tech or devising sophisticated content strategies – often results in unintended neglect of the others.

Occasionally, we need to take a step back and reflect on our demand marketing efforts holistically to identify areas of needed improvement. 

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Lead Integrity Checklist: Demand Gen Tool to Improve B2B Data Quality

By David Crane

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a B2B marketer working in demand generation or marketing operations. The odds further suggest that you or someone you work with has spent grueling time pouring over spreadsheets to get leads ready for your marketing automation and/or CRM system.

It’s a taxing, time-consuming process that eats away at resources (not to mention team morale…no one goes to college to scrub and format leads). But it’s necessary.

And in the throes of such tedium, it’s easy to overlook an erroneous email here and an untargeted job title there, allowing bad data to get into the all-important customer database. This “dirty data” skews performance measurement and hinders your ability to optimize programs effectively.

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3 Common Causes of Slow Lead Velocity and the Tactics to Solve Them

By David Crane

The importance of lead velocity to B2B marketing is widely understood. However, discussions on the topic, and more importantly, how to increase velocity, often take a back seat to the flashier aspects of demand marketing, such as account-based marketing.  

This isn’t surprising. After all, when we speak of lead velocity, we’re simply referring to how quickly marketing leads convert through the various stages of the customer acquisition funnel.

Yet ignoring slowed velocity and funnel blockages can lead to potentially severe marketing problems:

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Is Your ABM Strategy Creeping Out Your Target Buyers?

By David Crane

November 17, 2016

If most people approached dating the way marketers approached marketing, the world’s population would likely plummet.

Why? Because when it comes to B2B demand marketing, we marketers seldom acknowledge the subtle differences between those tactics that successfully pique target buyer interest and those that simply annoy them (or creep them out entirely).

This is especially true regarding account-based marketing (ABM), in which B2B marketers must raise interest and credibility among an entire buying-committee across a set number of accounts.

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Modifying Your Content Marketing to Increase Your ABM Strategy Results

By David Crane

It’s quite possible that I’ve missed the discussion (I certainly don’t read every B2B marketing blog post or article), but amid all the account-base marketing (ABM) discussions on selecting target accounts, engaging account decision-makers and tracking program results, it seems as if there’s been little industry talk about how all this affects your content strategy.

The Integrate ABM program development workbook released last year touched on the subject a bit; however, even that wasn’t a comprehensive dive into the topic. (Note: we’re currently revising and expanding the ABM workbook for a 2nd edition.)

The good news is that implementing an ABM program doesn’t require you to completely overhaul your current content marketing strategy. It’s more recalibration than revolution.

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3 Common Top-Funnel Demand Gen Ailments You Can Fix

By David Crane

October 18, 2016

When it comes to demand marketing, a single issue can be a symptom of multiple problems. For example, if website visitors aren’t converting to leads, this can be a targeting problem, a content problem or both.

The right diagnosis often requires more than identifying single issues in a vacuum – you must analyze a wide range of unsuccessful (and successful) efforts holistically if you’re to diagnose the real problem and treat it effectively.

Below are fundamental problems I see demand marketers commonly face.

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Is ABM Simply a Signal of a More Significant Shift in B2B Marketing?

By David Crane

We’ve been hitting the account-based marketing (ABM) content pretty hard lately – numerous webinars, blog posts, infographics, white papers and a workbook. But when we get down to it, ABM is just one facet of B2B marketing (albeit a very important one).

I’m a strong proponent of ABM, which makes sense considering Integrate is an ABM technology. However, as I’ve written about before, we shouldn't equate ABM to B2B marketing. (You can read why here.)

More to the point, we shouldn't neglect all the other facets of B2B marketing just because ABM is “so hot” right now. I'm not alone here –  Jeff Siegel (Enterprise Global Demand Gen Strategist at Dell), David Johnson (Director of Product Marketing at Oracle Marketing Cloud) and Scott Vaughan (Integrate’s CMO) all agree.

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Just Media Redefines the B2B Marketing Agency Model

By David Crane

B2B marketing agencies must be much more than just media buyers these days. With all the channels available to engage prospective customers, they must possess not only extensive media relationships and experience, but also the analytical skills and technological know-how to continuously identify which channels are working and why. Tech-enabled, data-driven media expertise is the new agency formula – one that Just Media is pioneering.

The reinvention of the B2B agency model is a result of several factors: primarily the proliferation of MarTech and its adoption by marketers. B2B marketers have developed sophisticated marketing tech stacks that run on a growing amount of data that has inevitably transformed the way they do their jobs. Consequently, media agencies are having to align their tech, data and processes with each of their clients.

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Targeting the Account’s Buying Committee: Tips from the Leaders in ABM MarTech

By David Crane

At this point, all B2B demand marketers understand the account-based marketing (ABM) basics:

  1. Figure out the common characteristics of your most profitable accounts
  2. Create a list of similar companies
  3. Do your best to engage the accounts, and hopefully, the decision-makers within them

While basics are important, the above steps leave a lot of ABM specifics unaddressed. Just a few questions left unanswered include:

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Conjoined Twins: The Emerging Sales-Marketing Relationship

By David Crane

Sales-marketing alignment has seemingly been written about more than any other B2B marketing topic. (Well, maybe not as much as account-based marketing.)

We’ve certainly written our fair share on the subject. However, as much as previous sales-marketing-kumbaya content has served its purpose in the past, times are changing…and so must the ways in which this much-honored relationship works.

The lead gen era’s slow death: How it affects the marketing-sales relationship

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