In order to move past simple building blocks and into more advanced marketing practices, vendors should be able to address differentiation and messaging in terms of business outcomes, not product features. The ability to speak in terms of the business outcomes a client might be pursuing is what allows cloud technology vendors to break through the noise level in today’s market. By moving messaging from a source within the vendor’s four walls to a place where it can generate an industry-wide dialogue, a vendor can be seen as relevant to an ongoing conversation amongst users and pundits.
At an “expert” level of marketing maturity and lead generation services, a vendor’s sales teams are able to sell in a consultative manner to senior management and influence the processes established for evaluations. This approach is in contrast to their competitors that are seen to sell at the technical level and address solely the technical needs of the client. By utilizing community platforms, vendors at this highest level of maturity can capture unique information that can subsequently be used by the sales team to engage prospective buyers with commercial insight, defined by Gartner as “… a compelling, defensible perspective from a supplier that materially impacts a customer’s performance and directly leads back to the vendor’s unique capabilities.”
In an effort to capture the voice of today’s market, InsideUp conducted a study regarding the operation of buying committees in selecting new cloud-based technology. To distill some insights from those study results (that can be turned into action by technology marketers), InsideUp recently published a whitepaper, entitled “Beyond the Hype: How Mature Demand Generation Teams Build Reliable Revenue Streams.” In order to present some implications of the study findings, this whitepaper used a three-stage continuum of marketing maturity as a framework for the discussion. The second and third stages refer to an “advanced” and “expert” level of marketing maturity and lead generation services, to B2B marketing solutions, respectively.
Based on the interviews that were conducted with marketing leaders as part of this study, once companies are comfortable using a set of key building blocks in their sales and marketing operations (see my blog entitled “Developing Marketing Maturity Starts with These Building Blocks”), then they can aspire to reach the advanced and expert stages of marketing maturity through lead generation in digital marketing.
We have all seen a set of case studies trotted out on a vendor website that purport to show how customers are benefiting from the implementation of that vendor’s solution. Some of those case studies may even include a passing reference to a customer’s own metric that shows how the vendor solution actually improved the competitive positioning of their business or enabled new markets to be addressed more effectively. Rarely, however, does that same vendor take those business outcomes (so clearly presented in one of two customer case studies) and use them in their own messaging. That’s a very large opportunity missed B2B marketing solutions, because customers are telling you the value of your solution in terms that matter to them.
Expert Marketing Initiates an Industry-wide Dialogue That Showcases Vendor Value
A vendor at the “expert” level of marketing maturity and lead generation services is able to develop an integrated sales process that realizes the full potential of sales and marketing alignment. The customized process leverages all the investments lead generation in digital marketing has made to understand their customers, define the business outcomes they seek and develop commercial insights for the sales team to leverage. When a vendor’s sales team is bringing commercial insights into every deal in which they compete, prospects see the vendor as a potential partner, not simply a supplier.
For more information on this study, and to access articles summarizing interviews with marketing leaders and CMOs of cloud technology providers, click here.
InsideUp, a leading demand generation agency, has over a decade of experience assisting technology clients, that target mid-market and enterprise businesses, by meeting and exceeding their key marketing campaign metrics. Our clients augment their in-house demand generation campaigns (including ABM) by partnering with us to build large sales pipelines. Please contact us to learn more.