How can B2B marketers recast the marketing automation journey to meet today’s challenges and be ready for those to come?
Jon Miller, chief marketing officer at Demandbase, recently presented a session at the 2021 B2B Marketing Exchange Experience virtual conference, and explored new account-based marketing best practices.
Although this pandemic year at #B2BMX won’t see B2B marketers gathered in the event’s usual sunny Scottsdale, Arizona location, many new attendee opportunities were on tap virtually.
Refresh, renew, remix has been the conference’s theme this year, and to help ease the lack of physical networking, #B2BMX included a Spotify music playlist, live music performances, and even various charitable elements.
Jon began by looking back at his journey starting Marketo — acquired by Adobe in 2018 for $4.75 billion — nearly 15 years ago, when marketers had a need to capture and manage online leads, a need that the company’s service met, allowing marketers to communicate and send leads to the appropriate departments.
Marketo’s efforts during this era helped marketing build credibility and respect, Jon noted, as marketers became a part of their firms’ revenue engines.
Today however, the world is changing and marketing automation tools aren’t necessarily keeping pace.
We’ve reached the end of the era of traditional demand generation, which has become shipwrecked, Jon explained.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other global data protection efforts have made it more challenging for marketers to send emails in the way they were once able to, while in some instances sales teams are sending greater amounts of email now than marketers.
“Marketers lost the keys to being the sole owners of communications,” Jon said, and noted that today’s larger buying committees also present challenges when trying to hold one-on-one interactions. This is where marketing can play a larger role, he noted.
Firms today are often generating more revenue after the sale in the form of recurring revenue and a focus on expansion, Jon observed.
There’s a strong bias in marketing automation tools against net-new business, while at the same time increasing revenue is being generated after the sale, which led Jon to share some of the limitations of traditional lead-based approaches:
It doesn’t make sense for marketers to be looking at leads while salespeople look at accounts
Buyers have become harder than ever to reach, and have a greater reluctance to filling out forms than ever before
Greater quantities of research that once took place on a business’ website are now done elsewhere, making the tools that track on-site activities less effective
Buyer intent signals are hidden to traditional marketing automation software, as the digital body language has moved to third-party sites
Jon also pointed out a number of other factors that have contributed to the shipwreck that traditional demand generation has found itself in, including:
Missed pipeline goals
Poor alignment between marketing and sales
Obstacles to moving upmarket
Sluggish expansion revenue
Inefficient complexity and wasted time
Jon then explored how B2B marketers can move from this to a dynamic process where sales and marketing work as a team, each able to access relevant information from today’s more complex buyer journey.
Leaving behind the traditional marketing technology built more than a decade ago is a key step, Jon noted.
Jon then asked, “So what’s next, and how do we move forward?”
Modern Sales & Marketing Alignment: Find, Engage, and Close
1 — Finding The Most Valuable Accounts
The first step in adapting to the new realities of B2B 工作职能邮件数据库 marketing and sales alignment is to find, by focusing efforts on locating the most valuable accounts, Jon explained.
“When it comes to finding target accounts, one size does not fit all,” Jon said, and marketers should do deep-dive one-to-one level account research, using highly-customized programs for each major strategic account — a process that is often a significant investment.
Another segment, one-to-few, focuses on moderately personalized deep cluster research — using micro-clusters of accounts focused on similar business issues, Jon explained.
An additional level with a broader scope is the one-to-many level, which is where many account-based programs exist, with a basic level of light personalization and much less investment per account, Jon noted.
The one-to-many level often benefits from greater use of technology such as intent data, making it more scalable.
The broadest category of all is the targeted demand generation segment, Jon explained, usually using traditional marketing tactics to go after specific accounts.
When considering which of these four levels to use for your business, the key is to find which one is truly the best fit for your selling style, Jon noted, and encouraged organizations to get creative and use custom level names such as tiers.