Where does your company fit along the marketing maturity continuum and why are there no short-cuts when it comes to building a reliable revenue stream? 

Where does your company fit along the marketing maturity continuum and why are there no short-cuts when it comes to building a reliable revenue stream? 

This whitepaper assembles key perspectives and insights culled from our interviews with marketing leaders who have charted a steady course through the choppy waters created when decision-making is placed in the hands of corporate buying committees. 

Find out what digital demand generation strategies are employed by marketers of enterprise technology solutions who are charged with attracting a steady supply of qualified leads to be processed by their respective sales teams.   We found that effective execution of some basic building blocks is essential to advancing and contending to be an “expert” marketing operation.

BEST PRACTICES

During the interviews, it became apparent that even these leading marketers were on a journey of their own. We experienced their evolving mission and purpose. The goal of this section is to summarize the best aspects of what we saw in these marketers and the specific best practices they highlighted in our discussions.

Demand generation campaigns are problematic. Those specifically tasked with this role in most enterprises face tremendous pressure from both sales & marketing leadership while simultaneously dealing with significant budget constraints. There is no silver bullet; there are no easy answers. Developing a predictable, consistent and scalable revenue stream is a complex and difficult challenge.

Nevertheless, we hope to show how leading organizations are approaching this challenge.

MARKETING MATURITY

In the interviews, we identified a vision of where we believe many marketers are heading today. We have summarized this vision in the form of a maturity model as a way to highlight the multiple components that are needed to address the challenges they are facing and the journey many organizations are taking.

Most lead generation campaigns speared by marketing leaders are facing declining response rates. The discipline of “standalone” content marketing has generally failed to deliver on promises it’s made over the past 10-15 years.

While thought leadership initiatives have improved the performance of many demand generation campaigns – it is not enough to expect the majority of audiences to self-qualify themselves.

In order to achieve optimal engagement and build awareness with positive brand impressions throughout the entire customer lifecycle, B2B enterprise vendors are moving toward delivering a sophisticated and engaging content strategy that focuses more on sales enablement and sales empowerment. The basis of sales enablement and empowerment is “commercial insight.”

Those familiar with the Challenger Sale and Gartner studies on marketing will know the term well. Gartner defines “commercial insight” 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.”

“BUILDING BLOCKS” OF MARKETING

Building blocks are the basic functions of competence for a marketing department getting into digital demand generation. Effective execution of building blocks is essential to advancing and contending to be an “expert” marketing operation. Basic components include ABM adoption, sales and marketing alignment, knowing your customer and being able to define personas and mapping the buyer journey. All of our interviews touched on these items. One marketing executive explained it this way: “We begin with an ABM approach. We work closely with sales to develop target accounts in each territory and then determine best approaches in conjunction with sales. Results are monitored regularly and performance improvement is constantly sought. Rates of MQL conversion to SQL and then to a new customer is one performance example. The process is constant and consistent. Improvements are always top of mind.” This marketer identified that they have a complex targeting environment. They segment their markets by industry, company size, geography, type of potential partner(s) engaged, business issues/ requirements and ultimately on the customers’ preferences. For example, in some geographies certain types of partners are more prevalent than others and may have specialized industry expertise.

This vendor recognizes that a variety of customer personas must be marketed to. Small clients may have complex customer interactions while large clients may have simple customer interactions. This situation was an example of a vendor who lays down the foundation of their marketing strategy as a prerequisite for more advanced best practices. You can see how they will transition from the building blocks stage into a more advanced stage. Without the abovementioned building blocks, it is difficult to advance your organization to a more sophisticated and effective marketing strategy.

“ADVANCED” MARKETING

As we encountered more advanced marketing practices under demand generation campaigns, our interviewees were able to address differentiation and messaging based on business outcomes. Our discussions with the VP of Marketing for a cloud hosting provider is a case in point. He emphasized that they have a wide range of personas to which they need to message. The process they go through involves segmenting buyers and then targeting their respective “watering holes” with content that addresses their desired business outcomes.

The ability to speak in terms of the business outcomes a client might be pursuing is what allows this vendor to break through the noise level. Typically, the personas they pursue are senior and mid-level IT but also CFO and other C-suite executives. They also target the industry analyst community (represented by firms such as Gartner and Forrester).

This vendor also established an industry association that focuses on thought leadership for IT executives interested in learning more about digital transformation. By moving its value-add messaging from 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. Facilitating interaction in a virtual setting has become the hallmark of relevance after the elimination of in-person events last year.

For example, “BraveIT” began as an in-person event (currently a virtual event due to pandemic) where IT executives can find peers participating in workshops, interactive exhibits and educational programs. IT executives can register to learn, network and have fun with activities including remote “cooking” demonstrations and virtual happy hours. They can browse topics, listen to leading industry executives speak on relevant topics and watch “BraveIT TV” which hosts a bevy of talks and workshops on digital transformation.

Where does your company fit along the marketing maturity continuum and why are there no short-cuts when it comes to building a reliable revenue stream? 

This whitepaper assembles key perspectives and insights culled from our interviews with marketing leaders who have charted a steady course through the choppy waters created when decision-making is placed in the hands of corporate buying committees. 

Find out what digital demand generation strategies are employed by marketers of enterprise technology solutions who are charged with attracting a steady supply of qualified leads to be processed by their respective sales teams.   We found that effective execution of some basic building blocks is essential to advancing and contending to be an “expert” marketing operation.

Download your copy of the whitepaper “Technology Buying Committees: How They Function Post-Pandemic” today because what you don’t know about buying committees could change what you do in 2021.

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