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Host Analytics’ Nick Ezzo Shares The ABC’s Of ABM At #B2BMX

Host Analytics’ Nick Ezzo Shares The ABC’s Of ABM At #B2BMX

February 17, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

While everyone talks about the amazing return they are seeing from their account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives, there has not been enough education on the right steps to take to launch an ABM program that drives revenue. Effective ABM implementation and execution are among the variety of topics on tap at the B2B Marketing Exchange in Scottsdale, Ariz. Nick Ezzo, VP of Demand...

#B2BMX Preview: Ardath Albee On The Role Of Buyer Personas In Content Marketing

#B2BMX Preview: Ardath Albee On The Role Of Buyer Personas In Content Marketing

February 13, 2017  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

There is an endless amount of content in the B2B atmosphere, so it’s critical for marketers to ensure theirs stands out above the crowd. One way to do that is by telling a story. But oftentimes, B2B marketers aren’t equipped with the right information to do so. This is where buyer personas can have a significant impact on targeted messaging.

The Art Of Deal Enablement: Aptos’ Dave Bruno Shares Insights On Impacting Closed/Won

The Art Of Deal Enablement: Aptos’ Dave Bruno Shares Insights On Impacting Closed/Won

February 7, 2017  - avatar Andrew Gaffney

The later stages of engagement are where deals are often won or lost. That’s why more B2B organizations are stepping up their investments in tools and tactics to support late-stage decision-making. In an interview with Demand Gen Report, David Bruno, Marketing Director at Aptos, discusses the challenges marketing teams face to keep consistent brand messaging throughout the buying cycle, as well...

#B2BMX Event Preview: The Challenger Customer Author On Consensus Among B2B Buyers

#B2BMX Event Preview: The Challenger Customer Author On Consensus Among B2B Buyers

February 1, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

An Interview With Nick Toman, CEB  As more stakeholders take part in B2B buying committees, solution providers must bring this committee to a consensus on the company’s problems and potential solutions before a tech selection can be made. However, committee members’ disparate views can make this a tough task to overcome.

NRF 2017: What B2B Companies Can Learn From Retailers

NRF 2017: What B2B Companies Can Learn From Retailers

January 24, 2017  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

The B2B and B2C landscapes are quite different, but there are some things the two industries can learn from each other when it comes to customer-facing strategies and technology.

Influencer Campaigns: So Powerful, Even Putin Is Using Them!

Influencer Campaigns: So Powerful, Even Putin Is Using Them!

January 18, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

Influencer marketing campaigns can have a big impact on audiences — sometimes it’s an entire nation at the peak of a Presidential election. The New York Times recently reported how Vladimir Putin allegedly “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” and it got me thinking about how much influence plays a role in the world...

You Are What You Measure: The New Reality For B2B Marketers

You Are What You Measure: The New Reality For B2B Marketers

January 10, 2017  - avatar Andrew Gaffney

An emphasis on measurement is hardly a new trend in marketing. The explosion of web analytics, followed by the rapid adoption of marketing automation, made reporting and analytics a core part of the day-to-day lives of B2B marketers.

Data And CX Among Top Challenges Marketing Leaders Face Today

Data And CX Among Top Challenges Marketing Leaders Face Today

January 4, 2017  - avatar Carol Krol

CMOs and senior marketing leaders today continue to be challenged across the board, from driving big picture vision and technology transformation to guiding teams toward improvement in areas such as content creation and campaign execution. I recently had a glimpse at the data behind Forbes Media’s CMO as Culture Warrior: The 8 Essential Characteristics of High Performing Marketing Leaders report...

4 Tips To Better Holiday Messaging And Campaigns

4 Tips To Better Holiday Messaging And Campaigns

December 21, 2016  - avatar Brian Anderson

The holiday season is the time of the year when B2B marketers must ignore their product-centric habits when engaging with prospective customers. As the last few vacation days are being scheduled and teams hunker down to meet year-end goals, it’s going to be much harder to draw their attention. However, there ismuch B2B marketers can learn from some of the...

Second City’s Andy Eninger On What Separates The Content Greats From The Jesters

Second City’s Andy Eninger On What Separates The Content Greats From The Jesters

December 13, 2016  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

Much like aspiring comedians have to stand out among the competition in order to catch their big break, marketers have to make sure their content trumps others’ for clicks and engagement. With a sea of content out there in the B2B marketing space, buyers have no shortage of information to help them make their decisions. That’s all the more reason...

Beyond The Hype: Why ABM Is An Irreversible Change For B2B Marketers

Beyond The Hype: Why ABM Is An Irreversible Change For B2B Marketers

December 7, 2016  - avatar Andrew Gaffney

I’ve had more than a few conversations with B2B marketers lately who are starting to question the amount of hype that account-based marketing (ABM) has generated over the past year. That is not surprising when you consider that nearly every MarTech vendor is now spinning a story around ABM.

Video Lets Marketers Get Personal

Video Lets Marketers Get Personal

November 30, 2016  - avatar Carol Krol

Video has become an effective tool for B2B marketers, and an appealing medium for buyers. Many marketers are using video strategically at every stage of the buying cycle, and those efforts are yielding good outcomes.

5 Ways To Avoid The Unfollow Button With Your B2B Social Media Strategy

5 Ways To Avoid The Unfollow Button With Your B2B Social Media Strategy

November 22, 2016  - avatar Brian Anderson

My normal morning ritual may sound familiar to some people: I pour myself a cup of coffee, look at my email and check out my social feeds to see what is trending. Every so often I find myself unfollowing companies and individuals due to a variety of factors, and I always wondered if people felt the same way I do...

Conversational Presenting: 3 Best Practices For Sales Reps

Conversational Presenting: 3 Best Practices For Sales Reps

November 16, 2016  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

Sales representatives don’t always have it easy. Communicating with a buyer and providing them the information they need to get through the funnel takes time and effort. In today’s B2B buying landscape where the buyer has already done his or her research before having their first conversation with a sales rep, it’s important to know what kind of information will...

Planning Ahead: 4 B2B Trends To Master For 2017

Planning Ahead: 4 B2B Trends To Master For 2017

November 9, 2016  - avatar Brian Anderson

As 2016 comes to a close, you’re probably already having conversations with your team about how you are going to revamp your marketing and sales initiatives to surpass goals, meet quotas and drive pipeline in the new year.

Don’t Get Eaten By The Cheetah, Or What You Need To Know To Satisfy Customer Needs

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SiriusDecisions debuted and described the SiriusDecisions Needs Aperture Model at its 11th Annual Summit in Nashville to help marketers address what it called the “art and science of identifying and prioritizing customer needs.”

I have to confess that the terminology — and the multiple Frameworks SiriusDecisions deploys for marketers — tend to be dizzying for this editor, but every time I sit in on a session or interview with one of the SiriusDecisions analysts for a story or seek advice, I come away with a greater understanding of the B2B marketing ecosystem. It helps me chronicle this industry more intelligently for you, dear reader. What follows is my high-level key takeaways from the keynote this morning on the Needs Aperture.

“The ability to find and address customer needs is crucial to commercial success,” said Rachel Young, Research Director at SiriusDecisions.

Young and her colleague, Jeff Lash, VP and Group Director, used photography as a metaphor to describe the framework.

“Photography is both an art and science, and using the right techniques to capture the best image,” Lash explained. “Sometimes when we focus our view on what’s in front of us, we miss the rest of what might be happening around us.”

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“You need a view of the entire landscape of the potential needs you can address,” he said. A landscape photo projected behind the two executives of a photographer on safari taking a picture of a zebra drove the point home. He is so focused on capturing the zebra that he doesn’t realize there is a cheetah charging him from behind.

The Needs Aperture is described as a “best-in-class process for identifying, prioritizing and applying needs that have the best opportunity for B2B commercialization.” “The foundation for Intelligent growth — whether through markets, buyers or offerings — is the ability to address commercially viable customer needs,” Young said.

Continuing the photography metaphor, the Aperture includes five phases marketers need to consider and work through in order to be able to address custom needs: Frame, Focus, Find, Filter and Formulate. Inherent within each phase are the key questions to consider, described by SiriusDecisions as follows:

  • Frame: How do I define needs and what are their components?
  • Focus: What types of needs can I explore? 
  • Find: How do I identify and capture needs? 
  • Filter: How do I analyze and prioritize needs? 
  • Formulate: How do I use needs in innovation and go-to-market strategies?

“In Frame, we help classify what the need is,” Young said. She described three dimensions of needs: organizational needs, functional needs and operational needs. “Identifying the full need can start from any one of these dimensions, but all of them must be defined to truly understand the need.”

The second phase, Focus, helps organizations determine the market parameters, and the company introduced a new framework to clarify that: the SiriusDecisions Needs Landscape. Sirius said this framework will help marketers categorize the potential needs on the spectrums of customer awareness and time outlook, and identify which types the organization should investigate.

The third phase, Find, centers on techniques that can be used to understand, capture and summarize the needs.  Young said, “The desired outcome and business value must be captured for all relevant personas, along with prevalence of need and any applicable emerging elements. “You need a consistent, objective, data-driven focus.”

The next phase, Filter, is about prioritizing needs. SiriusDecisions, again, created a framework around this, dubbed the SiriusDecisions Needs Prioritization Framework. This helps marketers determine which needs are worth pursuing for innovation and go-to-market efforts.

The final step, or phase, Formulate, is when these prioritized needs are integrated into product and marketing processes to evaluate innovation and go-to-market opportunities, according to SiriusDecisions.

Lastly, Young and Lash provided a list of takeaways, or “Action Items,” in three key areas, to help organizations implement the Needs Aperture Model. These include:

Marketing

  • Increase message resonance by incorporating insights that focus on customer needs.
  • Isolate the primary buyer needs for the development of need-based campaign themes.

Sales

  • Address the three dimensions of needs for all personas involved in the buying process.
  • Capture and relay explicit and emerging needs to help shape innovation.

Product

  • Broaden the view across the needs landscape to find previously unidentified needs for innovation.
  • Understand the business value of addressing a need to avoid feature-myopic descriptions.

And just to bring things full circle, Lash boiled the hour-long session down to: “You don’t want to be caught off guard by the cheetah coming up behind you.”