B2B marketers don’t have it easy. From aligning with sales, mastering ABM, executing personalized campaigns and proving ROI, the list of tasks keeps growing, along with the number of martech tools to manage.
Over the last several years, video content has become a highly preferred content format for B2B buyers. Demand Gen Report’s 2019 Content Preferences Survey showed that the majority (92%) value video content when researching purchase decisions — with 51% saying it is one of the most valuable content formats.
Spring has finally sprung and what better way to enjoy the warm weather than to soak up the sun and dive into a new book that will help you polish up your marketing strategies and get ahead in 2019?
Webcast series have become popular in the marketplace, aiming to provide a “binge-worthy” content option for target audiences while offering a different format that is more engaging and valuable. We here at Demand Gen Report, as well as all our brands under the G3 Communications umbrella, believe that the key to a successful webcast series lies in first defining production and promotion processes that are scalable, repeatable and flexible.
For years, B2B marketing has discussed the “consumerization” of the B2B buyer. However, technology specifically has continued to remain siloed as B2B or B2C point solutions. Adobe has shown that it is positioning itself as the cross-practice cloud ecosystem, especially with the acquisitions of Marketo and Magento, to drive digital transformation that meets buyer expectations of a frictionless, memorable experience.
The idea of a physical event focused on webinars is a bit ironic, but the more than 600 attendees that gathered in San Francisco this week for the third annual Webinar World demonstrated that the evolution of online events is having a fundamental influence on overall content and marketing strategies.
The sixth-annual ABM Innovation Summit will take place in San Francisco next week from March 14-15, and will feature many of the top practitioners and analysts in the ABM category. Demand Gen Report had the chance to chat with Peter Isaacson, CMO of Demandbase, to get a sneak peek into some of the top trends and themes spanning the agenda this year.
The 2019 B2B Marketing Exchange wrapped up with a closing panel wherein marketing practitioners from Pendo, Outreach and GE Digital shared their go-to-market strategies for measuring and accelerating revenue growth, and discussed new trends shaking up the industry.
B2B markers are increasingly expected to report on their performance and tie marketing dollars directly to revenue. According to Demand Gen Report research, 87% say marketing measurement and attribution is a growing priority for their organization. But it is often easier said than done.
“If you’re on a desert island and just need to see a few things for your business, what do you look at?” asked Binch, who said Pendo’s key metrics are gross pipeline created and killed each week, as well as customer engagement scores and conversion rates. “At the end of the quarter, our board comes to us and they don’t ask about MQLs created. They ask how much pipeline did you create? And what are your conversion rates?”
Binch said that in addition to proving marketing’s value, measuring conversions rates has also helped align Pendo’s sales and marketing teams to accelerate growth.
Using intent data positions marketers to better identify target accounts, which is increasingly important in an ABM world.
Pat Oldenburg, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and Operations at GE Digital, said the company has shifted to focus almost exclusively on target accounts.
“We don’t sell to white space,” said Oldenburg. “We’ve named a certain number of accounts and those are the account that sales reps are allowed to sell into.”
To improve its account-based marketing and sales efforts, GE Digital also reevaluated its ideal customer profile. By blending firmographic data with intent data, its sales reps are able to sort through the list of 4,500 target accounts and prioritize their outreach accordingly.
“Our CEO said ‘[intent data] is not a long-term play; it’s the most important play you can ever make. We should be betting our company on getting intent data and making sure the account selection is flawless,’” said Oldenburg. “We’re seeing more account-based sales and marketing activities, and the very foundation of that and maybe the most important part is account selection and the identification of not only your target market but within that, your ICP target accounts.”
Sixty-five percent of B2B buyers rate review sites as “very important” during their evaluation process. According to the panelists, review sites mark the latest trend of consumer-like experiences transforming the B2B marketplace, and they expect the value of peer input to rise over the coming years.
“What we’re seeing in B2B with these review sites is the development of peers as trusted advisors,” said Max Altschuler, VP of Marketing at Outreach. “People are going to these sites, seeing these reviews and they’re making their decision based off of them. They’re not as focused on the analyst anymore, as they are on what their peers have to say.”
Binch agreed and suggested marketers take advantage of the insights into customer pain points that review sites such as G2 Crowd and TrustRadius can provide. When armed with this information, marketing and sales teams are better positioned to tailor their messaging to address a specific customer’s needs and pain points.
“Go on these websites and look at the two-, three- and four-star reviews and pick up some themes about what their users are saying. Then, give them a call and say, ‘I saw the reviews on a third-party site about your product and these are the areas we can help,’” said Binch. “You need to go from talking about yourself and your technology to talking about the customer and why it’s relevant for them.”