Industry Insights Sun, 25 Jun 2017 02:45:03 -0400 en-gb B2B Marketers Leveraging Digital Tools To Maximize ROI From Physical Events B2B Marketers Leveraging Digital Tools To Maximize ROI From Physical Events

Events make up approximately 18% of program budgets, according to Forrester research, but the reality is they’re being treated completely wrong.

“Our research is still finding that B2B marketers—while they may spend a big slice of their marketing budget on events—they still treat them like a campaign tactic and not an overall customer experience,” said Laura Ramos, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester.

Industry experts state that events should be visualized as a step in a journey in a company’s relationship with the customer or prospect. In this digital era, B2B companies such as Microsoft, Splunk, G2 Crowd and IBM take unique approaches to their event marketing strategies to up the ante on the overall experience, including:

  • Leveraging tools and technologies, such as mobile apps, to better engage with event attendees;
  • Personalizing the event experience for different attendees by leveraging pre-event data and behaviors; and
  • Tracking in-person engagement to nurture potential prospects.

B2B marketers strive to measure the impact of their event marketing efforts, but that is no easy feat to accomplish. “Companies are doing a good job of measuring online activity such as webinars, but they’re struggling with events and being asked to get the same sort of clarity that they’re getting with online,” said Victor Kippes, President and CEO of Validar, a lead management solutions provider.

Kippes added that it’s important to track attendee behavior at events across the whole spectrum, “not only if they showed up or where they want, but what they’re interested in or if they have questions. It’s about capturing all that and presenting it to your back-end lead management foundation so it can extend and treat them based on that overarching experience.”

{loadposition GIAA}Expand Event Engagement With Mobile Apps     

Many event apps offer the basics for attendees, but there is much more engagement to gain than simply offering an agenda through a mobile app. Forrester uncovered that only 4% of marketers “believe that they are very advanced in their use of event-specific technology to manage and enhance the attendee experience.”

Marketers should use mobile apps to provide more personalized recommendations, which they can later measure for attendee engagement. “I’m seeing some folks do things around recommending sessions, exhibitors, topics or even other people that they should connect with at the event,” said Ramos.

IBM, for example, is doing interesting things using their Watson technology to make recommendations as a result of [the attendees’] expressed interest,” Ramos continued. “The idea of delivering real-time suggestions and recommendations, such as where to go and what do do, and comparing attendee’s pre-event interests with what they engage with, and what is most valuable to them is where measuring the whole value of this space has got to go.”

Adding extra incentives inside the mobile app itself also allows for greater engagement. Some examples include:

  • Only allowing event or session registration via the mobile app;
  • Offering a points system to win prizes;
  • Removing a physical, paper session agenda and making it only available on the app;
  • Making specific content first available on the app that they can’t get anywhere else.

Forrester takes the latter approach to getting attendees to use their mobile apps at events. “When we have an event, we release new research that is only available on the app before we publish it on our website,” said Ramos.

Track The Attendee’s Entire Event Journey For Maximum Value

Experts agree that you simply can’t guarantee ROI before an event. But keeping tabs on attendee interactions and activities—as well as integrating the information into a marketing automation platform or CRM—can help determine potential for follow-up and overall success.

“If you have CRM data and invite people to attend with a fun incentive, and your digital marketing team is sending relevant information as a countdown before the show to build up excitement, you can ensure better, more informed traffic to the booth,” said Peter Gillett, CEO of Zuant, a mobile lead capture app. “It’s really more about optimization rather than saying you’ll guarantee ROI.”

Measuring the success of an event is all about generating interest and capturing that interest throughout the entire customer lifecycle, not just cutting it off when the event is over.

“You need to know how many people came to your event,” said Kippes. “What did they see at that event and what renewed interest was generated? You need to capture those hand-raisers—I call it renewed interest—and measure that renewed interest against a campaign in a [marketing automation system]. That’s when you start tying revenue back to the event.”

Splunk, an operational intelligence platform, works with Validar and Eloqua to drive activity to their lead management foundation to be able to extend the sales conversation based on what the attendee is doing at face to face events.

“[Splunk is] using Validar to track attendee behavior and then, through an integration with Eloqua, Validar automatically updates these records and actions in Eloqua, so that treatment is extended beyond all that activity,” said Kippes.

Marketers can also take pre-show contact outreach and real-time event activity, and sort it all into follow-up streams. Microsoft, for example, focuses on booth activity to sort attendees into who to contact right after the event, who they should nurture or send more information to and who they should leave alone.

Business software review platform G2 Crowd also tracks in-person engagement during the entire span of the event and transfers the information into its CRM. Kevin Benson, Event Specialist at G2 Crowd, keeps a log of anyone he meets with statuses such as “meeting requested,” “booth visit,” or “attended event.”

“By doing this, contacts are scored towards becoming an MQL, included in our reporting, and are tagged as contacts made through a trade show or some other avenue,” said Benson. “For meetings, our account executives create tasks within the CRM that will associate the contact with the tradeshow, allow notes to be taken and assign follow-up. A lot of these processes are manual, but we have seen that the opportunity to meet a contact face-to-face is an incredibly important step in the sales process.”

]]> (Klaudia Tirico) Industry Insights Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:58:08 -0400
SiriusDecisions Debuts New Framework To Add Metrics & Accountability Around Alignment SiriusDecisions Debuts New Framework To Add Metrics & Accountability Around Alignment

Alignment between sales and marketing has been one of those topics over the past decade where nearly all B2B organizations recognize it is a priority—and typically think they are taking steps to address it. But few have had measurable goals or models to track how their teams are progressing.

To help bring greater accountability around alignment to this issue, SiriusDecisions introduced an Aligned Accountability Framework during its Summit last month. In a presentation titled “Building The Aligned, Accountable B-to-B Organization,” Jay Gaines, CMO, and Megan Heuer, VP Research at SiriusDecisions, shared some background insight on how the new framework was created and how they envision it being activated by clients.

{loadposition GIAA}“When we think about alignment, we think about sales, marketing and even product management down to the team and individual level across an organization,” Gaines said. “With clear models for establishing goals and metrics by team, function and even individual team member levels, everyone across the enterprise can have a clearer understanding of what they are supposed to accomplish and how it impacts the primary goals for the organization.”

The new Aligned Accountability Framework provides guidance for helping companies define, prioritize and measure key strategic initiatives and activities across different functions of the organization, with key categories falling under:

  • Goals;
  • Milestones; and
  • Actions.

Underscoring the need for greater accountability around alignment, a poll of the audience during the session at Summit found that only 28% said their organization currently uses a structured set of metrics to drive accountability, while 21% said they did not and 52% said they “sometimes” do.

While many companies once struggled with obtaining metrics around performance across teams, Gaines explained a bigger issue now is deciding which metrics are most relevant to supporting key business goals—especially transformative initiatives.

“What we tried to do with this framework was to create both the structure for being able to define what the metrics are, as well as criteria for defining what those metrics are, and then also bringing into it the framework the concept of perspective,” Gaines explained. “Metrics and data are great, but if they lack perspective they are kind of meaningless.”

In another poll of the audience, only 51% of attendees said their organization currently uses benchmarks to put performance into perspective.

“Having a clear roadmap for what to measure to understand progress towards goals and understand performance impact at a team, function and individual team member level is key,” Gaines added. “That way each team is clear what they are supposed to do, as well as how it will be monitored and measured. It is a critical part of being a data-driven organization.”

While the framework formally debuted at the Summit in Las Vegas, Jay Gaines, Gaines explained that SiriusDecisions had been actively working with 10 to 12 different client companies for several months before the frameworks were unveiled. “We shared some of the new frameworks in advance with clients and they have been testing the models. We were able to apply some of their best practices into the finished product. It is really important that these models can be actionable for the average company, so field testing and applying real world models was crucial.”

Because performance data is a key component of the accountability framework, SiriusDecisions also introduced its new Command Center, which gives clients on-demand access to benchmark comparisons against peer companies, based on 15 years of benchmarking data SiriusDecisions has compiled. Gaines explained that SiriusDecisions has piloted Command Center for several months, and he expects the comparative data will help provide executives with a dashboard view of key metrics, and also add perspective for both sales and marketing around shared demand management goals.

]]> (Andrew Gaffney) Industry Insights Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:16:27 -0400
Demandbase CEO Discusses Future Growth, Competitive Landscape Following Latest Round Of Funding Demandbase CEO Discusses Future Growth, Competitive Landscape Following Latest Round Of Funding

Demandbase recently closed $65 million in funding to fuel the growth of its platform, highlighting that investors in the B2B tech landscape see massive potential in how these types of solutions can positively impact marketing initiatives.

In an interview with Demand Gen Report, Demandbase CEO Chris Golec discussed the expansion of the ABM landscape. Golec also shared his thoughts on the importance of integrating ad, marketing and sales tech for better ABM, the future of the company and the trends that will have an impact on ABM in the coming future.

Demand Gen Report: ABM as a category has expanded greatly over recent years, both in terms of adoption and also the number of solution providers. Do you think this expansion is a good thing for Demandbase and its future growth?

Chris Golec: ABM itself has been in practice for dozens of years, but it was more of a business process and there wasn’t really technology available to do it at scale, and so it’s really taken off over the last few years and kind of gone beyond becoming a hype factor.

We love the fact that there are lots of other ABM players coming in because you can’t have a category with one or two players. And while we have the biggest footprint in a full platform, there are still needs for others in the space and it’s great that there are other niche players coming in.

Typically, there are a lot of companies with a feature or a single-point solution that are claiming to be an ABM platform, and while that may not be the case, I still think it’s healthy for the category overall.

We’re also seeing opportunities—we’re going into some of our large enterprise customers and literally training hundreds of people within a single company on account-based marketing. And it’s not just what it is or how to do it; it’s how do we change the measurement tactics of our marketing team? Because if you’re still measuring your team on MQLs, click-through rates or traffic volume, you’re going to be way behind. Companies that are more advanced in doing ABM now are measuring the marketing teams on close rates, deal size, pipeline generation—way more advanced and better aligned with the sales team and what the CEO cares about.

DGR: What does the expansion of ABM mean specifically for Demandbase's future growth?

Golec: The investment community—ranging from VCs all the way up to your growth equity guys—have taken notice of ABM, and they want to make their investment in the space. They do their research, they recognize that Demandbase really pioneered the space and are probably five or 10 times larger than other ABM players out there.

So number one, we just had a ton of inbound interest from the investment community. Second, which transpired over the last nine months, was that we acquired the AI company Spiderbook. We started recognizing that if we apply AI onto these massive amounts of data that we’re sitting on, there are so many more innovation opportunities in front of us. So, it was a perfect alignment of stars around lots of financing interest, huge opportunities to expand our product footprint, bringing a lot more value to our customers and really expand our leadership position in the whole ABM category.

One of the things that’s interesting to note from a comparison standpoint is marketing automation. Most of our customers are probably spending five times the amount on their ABM solution than they are on their marketing automation system, for example, because the impact on the business is so much greater.

{loadposition GIAA} ABM really extends beyond email; it’s everything from attracting potentially new accounts, to engaging them and helping close the deals. But it even goes way beyond that because a lot of our customers want to do a much better job marketing to their existing customers. They do that through a variety of means, such as personalized content, advertising, different targeting and different ways to upsell. So, we’re in an interesting position to really connect.

There’s the whole ad and media ecosystem, there’s the whole marketing tech stack, and then you have the whole sales tech stack, which is essentially CRM. Those three worlds are completely different technology stacks and completely different data models. The pricing mechanisms on how they operate are completely different, as well, so we’re bringing those three worlds together and it’s not easy to do. The underlying data model that we’ve built allows us to do that much easier than anybody else out there.

DGR: We've seen Demandbase make some notable acquisitions—such as the data intelligence companies Spiderbook, which you mentioned, and WhoToo—which have helped Demandbase grow its ABM offerings. Are other acquisitions possible in the imminent future?

Golec: Both the acquisitions were for somewhat different purposes and both opportunistic. The Spiderbook acquisition, for example, was brought to us by a customer—frankly—and we started using their technology for our own marketing purposes and really found out that it was 10 times better than anything else that we had used in that kind of AI/predictive world. They were about to get funding, and so we said, rather than raise all that money to build a sales marketing operation we already have, it was opportunistic and a very good fit at the time.

There’s not a specific gap in our platform that we’re looking to fill by acquisition right now. I would say we’re continuing to build and expand our products. However, we always keep our ears open for additional intellectual property, or even valuable data that would be hard to obtain or take us a long time to build ourselves. We’re always looking for highly valued proprietary data assets or technologies that can extend into all our products. But there’s not a specific category where we’re doing research on right now, so we’ll continue to look at M&A from a strategic and opportunistic standpoint.

DGR: This latest round of funding brings Demanbase's total equity funding to more than $150 million—some could say IPO territory. Is there a possibility of an IPO in Demanbase's imminent future?

Golec: There was a good stat that I saw; I think Forbes did with Bessemer [Venture Partners]. They looked at 100 cloud companies that were either public or on their track, and 95% of those 100 companies had raised over $200 million—which was kind of jaw dropping. So, certainly the additional capital we have in place takes us well into IPO territory, and we are already tracking cash flow breakeven, so the additional capital will increase some investments in certain areas. You know, there’s a lot of firepower there to carry it for years and years, whether we go public or not.

DGR: What else can we expect from Demandbase in the coming months?

Golec: This summer, and in the second half of this year, you’ll see Demandbase begin to really roll out a lot more AI-based functionality into its offerings—from our data to a lot of the products, both from advertising, marketing and sales. We started doing that with some AI-based personalization, but you’re going to see a lot more.

The second piece that’s one of the most exciting, especially for our customers, is a lot more automation across the stack, meaning a world where your tech stack adds a company to the sales pipeline and then that company automatically starts getting advertising for that particular product in real-time. The whole website is personalized to that product, and then it turns off when it closes. Or the company coming up for renewal next quarter automatically starts receiving messages around the product that should be upsold into that company.

Again, this is all automated across your CMS system, the whole ad ecosystem, marketing automation and all the way into your CRM. So, to do that effectively, you really must join those three worlds I talked about. You can’t do it unless you have a data infrastructure that allows you to connect all those worlds easily. Fortunately for us, we built the foundation around network IP address, so that gives us the foundation to do that. You’ll also see us adding layers on top of that IP foundation so that we can get much richer insights on what type of personas they have and what their real-time interests are. I think that will take our products in the entire platform to a whole new level, as well.

]]> (Brian Anderson) Industry Insights Wed, 07 Jun 2017 11:45:43 -0400
Study: 56% Of B2B Decision Makers Gain No Value From Thought Leadership Content Study: 56% Of B2B Decision Makers Gain No Value From Thought Leadership Content

edelman linkedin studyDespite the known potential of thought leadership content in B2B campaigns, many decision-makers are disappointed with the quality of available thought leadership insights, according to new research from Edelman, the global marketing firm, and LinkedIn. More than half (56%) of respondents agreed that they do not gain valuable insights from the thought leadership content they consume.

The How Thought Leadership Impacts B2B Demand Generation study, which surveyed more than 1,300 business decision makers and executives, aimed to understand how thought leadership influences the behaviors of decision makers in the B2B purchase process. 

The study determined that:

  • Eighty-six percent of thought leadership consumed is considered merely good, mediocre or poor in quality;
  • Forty-five percent of business decision makers and 53% of C-suite executives reported that they sometimes lost respect and admiration for organizations that produced thought leadership content that was not high quality, insightful or relevant; and
  • Thirty percent of business decision makers and 35% of C-suite executives removed companies from consideration after engaging with what they viewed as poor thought leadership content.

What Do B2B Buyers Want In Their Thought-Leadership Content?

Decision makers want thought leadership that is timely, relevant and substantive, according to the study. More than three-quarters of decision makers (78%) and 79% of C-suite executives noted that successful thought leadership content provided insights on specific trends and challenges within their respective industries.

Thought leaders should aim to identify the drivers of relevant issues and propose a plan in a concise, easily consumable form. Seventy-one percent of decision-makers and 67% of C-suite executives preferred content in short form, three to four-page documents that can be easily absorbed.

 “Earning the trust of customers is vital in the B2B buying process, where investments are large and the professional reputations of decision-makers may be at stake,” said Joe Kingsbury, U.S. Managing Director of B2B at Edelman, in a statement. “The study points to a reality many marketers have struggled to quantify: the ability to demonstrate valuable insights about trends and customer challenges is critical for engaging with senior executives and can lead to tangible, positive business outcomes.”

]]> (Matt Halchak, Contributing Writer) News Briefs Mon, 05 Jun 2017 17:25:05 -0400
B2B Marketers Report Stronger Results From Retargeting Programs Tied To ABM, Segmented Campaigns B2B Marketers Report Stronger Results From Retargeting Programs Tied To ABM, Segmented Campaigns

Retartegting ABMAfter seeing mixed results with early forays into display ad retargeting, B2B brands are reporting significantly better success as they attach remarketing tools and tactics to more precise initiatives, such as account-based marketing (ABM) programs.

Brands such as Trifacta and Capital One are seeing better engagement—and increased opportunities—when they align their retargeting initiatives with ABM efforts.

"With an account-based approach, companies can identify the accounts that can have the biggest impact on their business and focus retargeting on those companies," said Peter Isaacson, CMO at Demandbase, a leading provider of ABM solutions. "They can then send specific messaging about that company/industry/size of their company/topics of interest to personalize that messaging."

Trifacta, a big data solution provider, recently re-launched its retargeting program, after a brief hiatus due to lackluster results.

"We had retargeting in place, but it wasn't focused on the right accounts and it had more of a vertical focus, which wasn't appropriate for us," said Bill Karpowicz, Director of Global Marketing Campaigns at Trifacta.  "We re-launched it based on our target account list, and this is the only list we are retargeting to at the moment."

{loadposition GIAA} While the company identified more than 650 accounts, Trifacta trimmed it down to roughly 180 companies that it would retarget. The list was refined based on the company's current customer lists and finding lookalikes within those 650 accounts.

"We changed our messaging and creative for ads targeted towards these accounts," Karpowicz said.  He added that they are leveraging Terminus, an ABM targeting platform, to personalize messaging, such as "adding company names to the display ads," for example, along with focusing messaging on the account vertical and Trifacta's value proposition.

He added that the company has been targeting key roles within accounts.

"The best person to sell to is the end user, so we target towards that group of people," Karpowicz said. "The message is for someone who will be using the tool on the day-to-day basis, [as well as] their line managers.”

Trifacta has also begun tying their retargeting initiatives to company revenue—moving away from driving sheer lead volume into their CRM.

“We align with goals on opportunities and revenue," Karpowicz said. "I'm highlighting that because many marketing orgs think their job ends as soon as the lead enters the door.”

In the two months since Trifacta re-launched its retargeting initiatives, Kapowicz said it has generated 2.5 million impressions among target accounts.

Capital One is another prime example. The company wanted to create a connection with targeted SMBs by having a cross-functional conversation over email, social, display advertising and in-person meetings at its locations. The company utilized Salesforce Advertising Studio to sync CRM and ad engagement data.

Having the ability to tie data from its CRM to Advertising Studio, Capital One was not only able to engage small businesses in the right context, but also end conversations with SMBs not looking to buy.

“We're seeing many of our customers want to achieve the goal of account based marketing, and do it in an omnichannel way,” Chris Jacobs, Director of Product Marketing for Advertising in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. “People are demanding to make the tech work better together [to meet] overarching goals.”

Different Models For Retargeting

There are a variety of options for B2B marketers looking to refine their retargeting initiatives. Jon Russo, Founder of the B2B Fusion Group, broke down the current retargeting solution landscape as follows:

  • IP-based, solutions such as Kwanzoo;
  • Cookie-based, such as Oracle BlueKai and other DMPs;
  • Proprietary platforms, such as Demandbase, Terminus and Big Willow.

"The cookie based approach has the advantage of drawing a huge audience (1B) with a 'look alike' audience to help shape a strategy,” Russo said. “But cookies may not be available in countries outside the US that are more sensitive to privacy—that’s where having an IP-based approach could work well.”

In all models, companies can purchase ads to retarget based on insight that they can glean from their solution providers, according to Russo.

"On the positive, an account that has multiple stakeholders is more likely to be targeted using a hybrid approach," Russo said. "On the downside, the marketer doesn't have full visibility as to who within the company is viewing the retargeted ad unless there is a call to action that directs them to a marketing automation form."

Data Validation Maximizes Retargeting Outcomes With A Refocused Spend

Industry experts state that the priority right now—in the B2B marketplace in general—is around data verification. This becomes especially true for account targeting and retargeting.

Tom O'Regan, CEO at Madison Logic, another leading technology platform for targeted advertising and lead generation, explained that the models for retargeting are changing in B2B. "Old retargeting was running (ads) on websites that had a high percentage (of what) such as Nielsen and comScore. In the old days, you couldn't guarantee that data accuracy. Layering on top the accounts that fit the profile you are targeting can validate your marketing spend even further."

What has changed on the retargeting front, according to O'Regan, is the granularity of account and firmographic data that can be applied to retargeting efforts.

With ABM, retargeting reveals commonalities across organizations, O'Regan said. "You're able to see which assets resonate the most across [accounts] and even industries to help optimize initiatives.”

Once this type of data is obtained, experts state that it can help target key stakeholders within accounts to maximize spend and increase relevancy.

"Layer on data so that you're not targeting everyone in the organization," suggested O'Regan. "Use some filtering to identify intent and individuals that are most likely to have an impact on the buying decision."

Other thought leaders reiterated that the benefit from this retargeting approach is the information gained over a prolonged period of time.

"Think about what other info they can gather to better enhance the digital identity of their target accounts," Jacobs said. "That's the part where AI, DMPs and connected-customer experiences begin to bear fruit. This is not where many marketers are today, but where people can strive to be."

Deeper Engagement = Deeper Personalization

Marketers who have already formulated—or have begun implementing—an ABM program, are well positioned to look at account or industry level data to start tailoring messaging for ad retargeting.

Demandbase’s Isaacson suggests working with your team to identify "engagement thresholds" to control the flow of messaging going towards top-tier accounts.

"For example, if anyone from Company X comes to our site, you can hit them with ads," Isaacson said. "Or, we can say that those ads can't be sent until a certain minimum of stakeholders within that account come to the site. Or say you value engagement; if there are a specific number of pages viewed by company X, that's the trigger. Then you can dive into what pages they are viewing so you can understand what messages resonate with them."

Industry experts noted that ad retargeting should not be considered just a channel, but as a medium to benefit all your other marketing initiatives.

"Too often, marketers focus on ads only," Isaacson said. "But to drive business metrics, you want to make sure there is triggering sales activity. This includes triggers to bring in SDRs and ADRs to get involved and tie these initiatives to potential bottom line revenue."

Ultimately, as more insight is gained from retargeting efforts, marketers will be able to tie ad click attribution back to opportunities. This can also help the marketer retarget further with different messages on engaged accounts that are likely progressing through the funnel.

“With both attributed ad clicks and lift on the web, the best next thing for a marketer to provide is insight perspective,” Russo said. “While it may not close revenue, it is a leading indicator of a purchase if target accounts are engaged actively (ad clicks) or passively (website).”

]]> (Brian Anderson) Industry Insights Wed, 24 May 2017 10:49:46 -0400
SiriusDecisions Unveils New Demand Waterfall Model To Address Changing Dynamics In B2B Engagement SiriusDecisions Unveils New Demand Waterfall Model To Address Changing Dynamics In B2B Engagement

The SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall has transformed the way thousands of B2B organizations have approached, managed and tracked lead management over the past decade. This week at the SiriusDecisions Summit 2017 in Las Vegas, that iconic framework was transformed to address many of the fundamental shifts towards account strategies, personalization and the need for greater precision in measuring pipeline impact.

SiriusDecisons unveiled the new “Demand Unit Waterfall” to a warm reception of more than 3,000 attendees at the Summit.  The new framework features an increased focus on buying groups, rather than the progression of individual leads or inquiries.

Introduced by Terry Flaherty and Kerry Cunningham, both Senior Research Directors with SiriusDecisions, the new Demand Unit Waterfall addresses the realities of engaging buying teams, as well as incorporating new tools and tactics such as predictive analytics and intent monitoring.

While the original Demand Waterfall (which rolled out in 2006) was designed to track activity once a buying journey had begun, Flaherty explained that the new framework was positioned to help companies better define and target their total addressable market.  

{loadposition GIAA}The Demand Unit Waterfall adds two new stages—target demand and active demand—which are aimed at identifying target buyers before they have raised their hand or self-identified on your site.

Flaherty said that the new Demand Unit Waterfall addresses many of the gaps and inconsistencies B2B organizations have faced as they have tried to shift to focus more account-based strategies and better align with the metrics of their sales teams.

“The existing model starts with an inquiry, which is when an individual hand is raised,” Flaherty said. “The reality is B2B buying decisions are made by multiple people and with more organizations aimed to drive coverage and engagement across target accounts, there is a need to change how companies define and track key stages of engagement.”

The complete progression of stages in the new Demand Unit Waterfall include:

  • Target Demand;
  • Active Demand;
  • Engaged Demand;
  • Prioritized Demand;
  • Qualified Demand;
  • Pipeline; and
  • Close. 

Breaking Down Buying Groups & Demand Units

Two key components in the new Waterfall model are the focus on buying groups and the concept of Demand Units.

Cunningham said that many B2B organizations have been too limited in defining their target markets, because they were focused on either individual buyer personas or accounts.

In building the new Waterfall model, SiriusDecisions has focused more on buying groups, which are defined as “a collection of personas involved in the process to buy an offering.” This could change for different companies based on different lines of business, geographies, job functions or roles in the purchase process.

Cunningham further explained that a Demand Unit “consists of a buying group that has organized needs the organization is challenged with,” and Cunningham suggested B2B organizations should define buying groups and demand units based on the characteristics of having “relationships, resources and needs” established.

“Organizations may have many demand units, depending on different solutions they sell, and each will have their own unique needs and requirements,” Cunningham added.

Because the new stages and definitions in the Demand Unit Waterfall are better aligned with actual buying scenarios, as well as the criteria sales teams are using, Cunningham predicted the new model will provide much more accurate measurement perspectives for marketers focused on attribution.

“For the math in the old waterfall, it looked like every inquiry should be converting at the same rate, but in reality you could have five inquiries from the same account, which dilute conversion rates,” he said. “Now marketing and sales organizations will have a more accurate view of how they are doing against targeted accounts and how engaged accounts are converting.”

]]> (Andrew Gaffney) Industry Insights Wed, 17 May 2017 16:19:38 -0400
Oracle Spotlights 2017 Markie Award Winners At Modern Marketing Event Oracle Spotlights 2017 Markie Award Winners At Modern Marketing Event

1markeisFor the past 11 years, Oracle has recognized modern marketers from around the world at the company’s annual Markie Awards.

This year at the Modern Marketing Experience event in Las Vegas, the awards featured 17 categories reflecting the evolving marketing landscape, including Account-Based Marketing Team of the Year, Best Digital Marketing Ecosystem, Best Integrated Mobile Experience, Best Use of Data, Most Creative Marketing Campaign and Modern Marketing Leader of the Year.

The 2017 Markie Awards winners include:

  • Best Cross-Channel Marketing Program: Cisco Inc.
  • Account-Based Marketing Team of the Year: Covance Inc.
  • Best Digital Marketing Ecosystem: Juniper Networks
  • Best Email Marketing Campaign: Jetstar Airways
  • Best Emerging Company Marketing Campaign: National MI
  • Best Integrated Mobile Experience: Mountain America Credit Union
  • Best International Campaign: Tableau Software
  • Best Lead Management Program: Morningstar, Inc.
  • Best Overall Customer Experience: Avon
  • Best Social Campaign: TD Ameritrade Institutional
  • Best Testing and Optimization: Hilton Worldwide
  • Best Use of Data: Calçados Bibi
  • Best Use of Insights & ROI: Deltek
  • Modern Marketing Leader of the Year: Kenya Airways
  • Most Creative Marketing Campaign: Eaton
  • Rapid Transformation: FIS
  • People’s Choice Award – Best Video Submission: Juniper Networks

“The annual Markie Awards are our way to recognize and celebrate heroic marketing and the most prominent modern marketing success stories over the past year,” said Laura Ipsen, SVP and General Manager for Oracle Marketing Cloud, in a statement. “This year’s winners have gone above and beyond, fully leveraging the most innovative marketing technologies to create customer-centric campaigns that delivered outstanding results.”

]]> (Klaudia Tirico) News Briefs Wed, 03 May 2017 11:52:37 -0400
Marketing Nation Summit Recap: Data, Storytelling & Adaptivity To Fuel The Engagement Economy Marketing Nation Summit Recap: Data, Storytelling & Adaptivity To Fuel The Engagement Economy

With buyers continuing to become more empowered and demanding, companies are rethinking their marketing strategies to drive one-to-one engagement fueled by detailed buyer behavioral data.

At Marketo’s annual Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, speakers from companies such as Panasonic and Amazon Web Services discussed how new processes and tools are helping B2B organizations to boost engagement with relevant storytelling, while also staying adaptive to buyer demands.

“Every day, we hear about the peril and opportunities we have as new tech emerges and changes the way we do business,” said Marketo CEO Steve Lucas during his keynote session at the event. “Back in the day, things were a lot easier. We had the luxury of time; the big decisions were unrolling in days, weeks or even months. Today we're making more complicated decisions, and as marketers, we have to make those decisions in seconds.”

Marketers’ expanding to-do lists and shrinking timelines can be attributed to heightened buyer expectations. Lucas noted that since buyers are more empowered than ever before, marketers are tasked—and struggle—with reconciling all the data being gathered across multiple channels to offer more one-to-one engagement.

“Digital marketing has been incredibly effective to date,” Lucas said. “That leads to more and more investment. But with that, we run into a fundamental law of diminishing returns. The more volume we send has the potential to turn negative. Therefore, our engagement overtime needs to be scarcer.”

{loadposition GIAA}During the Marketing Nation event, Marketo unveiled new user interface (UI) updates to its marketing engagement platform, which the company states will help customers better analyze and leverage behavioral data obtained through their marketing initiatives to create hyper-targeted experiences.

Lucas added during his keynote session that these types of enhancements to marketing technology can position B2B organizations to engage customers whose attention spans are shrinking.

“We have to understand that finite attention isn't going to grow,” Lucas said. “We have to be passionate that we make our messaging as meaningful as possible for that finite attention we obtain.”

During the keynote, Ariel Kelman, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Amazon Web Services, described his marketing team’s engagement efforts as “frustrating,” because the programs were designed to minimize the amount of communication taking place between the company and the prospect.

“We want to make sure what we're doing is working and actionably useful to our customers,” Kelman said. “Which, ultimately, means that we are creating engagement only when necessary.” He added that this has helped Amazon Web Services increase response rates with prospective customers.

Rethinking B2B Engagement

To stay top of mind without overwhelming audiences, leading industry analysts speaking at the event suggested B2B companies must adopt a customer-centric approach to better understand buyer needs.

“Just because [buyers] are addressable, doesn't mean they want to be addressed all the time,” said Rusty Warner, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, during his session. “They have higher buying power than ever before, are value-driven and more digitally savvy—as well as advertising adverse.”

SiriusDecisions’ Jay Famico stressed the importance of A/B testing messaging, channels and more to gain a better understanding of what buyers expect when they are engaged.

“There's no substitution for testing,” Famico said, adding that data is readily available if gathered correctly, which positions marketers to leverage it and better test their initiatives. It’s important to “look at what has the best response in your database, and develop on that and grow from there,” Famico said.

This type of insight can enable marketers to better personalize their buyer engagement initiatives into more personalized experiences. Personalization has notably evolved to an individualized experience on the evolution of data throughout the years, according to Michael Fauscette, Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd.

“Over time, we started to have a trove of data about individuals than we’ve ever realized—and these digital traces span across the Web,” Fauscette said during his session.

He added that, while difficult, deeply personalized messaging offers B2B companies an opportunity to “come together from a tech and data perspective to a place where we can meet this individuality.”

Emotion Enables Top-Of-Mind Engagement

Another theme that emerged out of the event was a renewed focus on the power of emotion, as speakers shared new ways to stay top-of-mind with prospects.

“It's important to win the battle for your customers’ minds by associating your brand with the attributes and emotions you want buyers to recognize and tie to your brand,” said Chandar Pattabhiram, CMO of Marketo, during his keynote session.

Pattabhiram highlighted three areas where brands can make an impact and drive engagement with current and prospective customers:

  • The Art of Storytelling: The battle for the mind cannot be won without first fighting the battle of the heart, and that’s where effective storytelling comes in. Storytelling can help brands connect to buyers on an emotional level. But Pattabhiram noted that in order to resonate, brands need to be interesting, authentic and relevant.
  • Adaptive Engagement: This involves combining art with science to expand on engagement. “It has gone from brands talking and customers listening, to customers talking and brands listening,” Pattabhiram said. “The big difference is we can do it at scale today. And if you start early, you can learn more about your audience and create more relevant engagement at scale.”
  • Advocacy: “If you have people staying with you longer, and shouting your name from the rooftops, that keeps your brand top-of-mind,” Pattabhiram said.

In one example, Stephen Yeo, Marketing Director for Panasonic Europe, described how his team embraced innovation to test new engagement methods.

“We've taken the customer lifecycle and dissected it, so [we can] message our customers at the right channel with the right message at the right time to offer the right experience,” Yeo said.

The company created a variety of different marketing programs, including “repeat customer” and “lost customer” programs specifically designed to leverage insight into customers’ behavioral patterns.

“We’ve gone from running 88 campaigns in 2012 to close to 1,500 campaigns today,” Yeo said. “And the relevancy is getting better and better.” He added that Panasonic has seen $271 million in campaign pipeline from these initiatives.

]]> (Brian Anderson) Industry Insights Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:21:37 -0400
Leading Execs At Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience Event Share Perspectives On “The Power Of Insight” Leading Execs At Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience Event Share Perspectives On “The Power Of Insight”

One of the key themes at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience event taking place in Las Vegas this week is around data-driven marketing and the power of insight to know every customer.

To gain further insight into how the “power of insight” is impacting today’s B2B marketing campaigns, I reached out to several speakers and sponsors at the event to ask them to share their perspective. As you’ll see, many pointed to emerging technology like AI, but others pointed to data and intelligence around buyer preferences.

Here is what they had to say:

Aaron Dun, VP of Marketing, SnapApp1adun

Deep insight allows marketers to truly engage with the buyer and create meaningful conversations, transforming from a static one-way information push to a two-way, engaging experience that will resonate with prospects.  


Peter Isaacson, CMO, Demandbase

AI plus ABM turns data into insights into action for B2B marketers.


1cridgeCaitlin Ridge, Director of Marketing, Lattice Engines

There is a wealth of new information available to B2B marketers every single day. The marketers who are able to lock in on the data that matters most and, in turn, use that insight to have more contextualized, targeted conversations with high-impact accounts and leads, will have greater success meeting their customers’ specific needs and convert more prospects into happy customers.

1aespoAlicia Esposito, Content Strategist, Demand Gen Report

Research shows buyers want content customized by industry, role and specific pain points. And once that targeted content is created, brands can use data to understand what topics resonate, and what formats they prefer, so they can create more relevant experiences and make more informed marketing decisions.

Allen Pogorzelski, VP of Marketing, Openprise1apogo

The Power of Insight means the end of generic nurturing tracks and "spray and pray" marketing—and not a moment too soon! Knowing who I am and what I need right now as a prospect is the only thing stopping me from meeting your unsubscribe page.

]]> (Andrew Gaffney) Blog Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:52:33 -0400
B2B Marketers Apply New Tools & Tactics For Segmenting Campaigns To Target Audiences B2B Marketers Apply New Tools & Tactics For Segmenting Campaigns To Target Audiences

With targeting and segmentation becoming bigger priorities to support ABM, lead nurturing and related initiatives, new tools and tactics are being deployed to help marketers prioritize and better engage new targets.

For example, commercial real estate software provider Apto was having trouble separating its ideal target prospects (commercial real estate brokers) from the rest of its database (residential real estate brokers and non-brokers in general). The company recently started working with a company called Calibermind to help clean up and segment its database.

“We tend to get a lot of inbound interest and traffic to our website from people in commercial real estate,” said Michael Bevan, VP of Marketing at Apto. “We just inadvertently added others over the years—like appraisers, property management companies, investment companies and developers. So we worked with Calibermind to separate our actual target prospects from all of these other people in commercial real estate that are not really viable prospects for us now.” 

New Tools To Support Segmentation

Calibermind Profile Segmentation is designed to push a segment tag to all CRM systems, allowing for better end-to-end, dynamic segmentation at scale.

EverString recently launched predictive segmentation capabilities to its Audience Platform, enabling customers to create a predictive segment using their own data.

Act-On Software unveiled newAdaptive Journeys solution features, Adaptive Segmentation, designed to help marketers create contact lists based on CRM, web form and behavior insights.

Salesforce’s Einstein release also features an Einstein Segmentation tool to help marketers uncover the right prospects, as well as target new segments with personalized campaigns.

Bevan said he began segmenting brokers from non-brokers by analyzing prospective customers’ websites and LinkedIn profiles pertaining to specific phrases identified through trial and error.

“The residential broker audience is so much larger than the commercial audience,” Bevan said. “Even adding a few of them to the sales funnel will just overwhelm our salespeople, so it’s important to us to filter them out.”

After identifying the right brokers, the next step was to identify which specialty vertical they belonged to, as well as what property types they sell and their role within brokerage. Once these segments are identified, the company leveraged an email nurture program featuring personalized content.

“Once a month, we send out a mass email to the whole database to announce a new piece of content or something that is potentially relevant to any broker regardless of specialty or role,” said Bevan. “Then, we have nurture programs and workflows set up so we can send more frequent emails to people based on their specific challenges or interests. We have workflows for specific functions and titles, as well.”

Bevan said Apto is using Calibermind to enhance its existing database of 100,000 contacts with more information to help “refine and expand those target groups.” While it’s still too early for Apto to see measurable results, the company was able to update and validate 100,000 contact records.

“Our biggest result right now from a strategic standpoint is having this new insight in our database to help us realign our sales initiatives, discover new segments and refine and personalize our messaging in ways that didn’t make sense before.”

Top To-Dos For Effective Segmentation

While agreeing on the potential payoffs of segmentation, industry analysts remind marketers that effective segmentation starts with really understanding your target audience. Experts point out that too many marketers rely on the titles rather than understanding the needs of the buyer.

With segmentation, it’s important to understand the relationships between the stakeholders involved in buying what you sell. 

“I often hear B2B marketers say they have to reach a CXO,” said Ardath Albee, Author & CEO of Marketing Interactions. “With segmentation, it’s important to understand the relationships between the stakeholders involved in buying what you sell. Engaging the role responsible for research and evaluation can be much more fruitful than banging your head against the wall trying to attract a CXO who’s too busy to be interested in what you have to say.”

Allison Snow, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, added that in order to build a robust persona, marketers should build the segment first. “[Figure out] what you need these to look like, and then carefully match your value proposition to that persona,” she said. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why does this person care about what you’re doing?
  • How will it help them with their job?
  • What does their boss ask them for every day?
  • What competitive threats do they see?

“Then, you have to examine your value proposition tools against [the persona’s] problems and translate it,” Snow said. “Segmentation is about not asking people to do that themselves anymore. Personas really guide that.”

Other key tips for successful segmentation industry experts suggest include:

  • Think about the end result. “Defining segments with greater specificity can help you think about how to deliver content that’s more targeted or messaging that’s more personalized,” said Apto’s Bevan. “You can fall into the trap of over-segmenting and being too specific because, if you do that, there is no value to actually speak to one segment audience differently.”
  • Data hygiene is crucial. “You need to keep up with your data hygiene,” said Albee. “Contact information changes pretty quickly. Marketers need to pay more attention to the integrity of their data.”
  • Relevant content is nuanced. Snow said content must be personalized to the point where you are delivering your value proposition and what your company can do for this prospect. It must also be relevant to the prospect’s stage in the buying cycle, as well as the person’s role on the buying team.
]]> (Klaudia Tirico) Industry Insights Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:56:16 -0400