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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.

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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Marketing Automation Missed Its Mark – And Why That's a Good Thing

By David Crane

Only a few years ago, most marketing automation vendors were sprinting to expand their cloud offerings.

It was an intense race: most major vendors wanted to be the first all-in-one, customer data platform to automate the entire customer experience — from initial prospect identification to post-purchase advocate creation.

They wanted to be the Salesforce of marketing.

They all failed. And this has been great for marketers. 

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5 Reasons B2B Marketers Need to Automate Top-of-Funnel Marketing

By David Crane

Yesterday, Scott Brinker published a really great blog post that highlights the mainstream recognition of MarTech and the marketing technologist role. His conclusions were drawn from a recent DataXu report (Modernizing the Mix: Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics), which I suggest every tech-focused marketer read.

In addition to highlighting the rise of marketing technology and technologists, I wasn’t all to surprised to find a substantial amount of survey information point to how, even with all this marketing tech investment, marketers’ chief obstacles remain lack of efficiency and transparency at the top of the funnel.

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