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Industry Experts Close Out #B2BMX With Revenue Growth Strategies, Predictions For 2019 & Beyond

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.

Hone In On ‘Desert Island Metrics’

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.

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To sort through the mountain of metrics available, Bill Binch, CRO of Pendo, suggested marketers prioritize company-specific “desert island metrics.”

“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.

Invest In Intent Data For Enhanced ABM

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.”

Use Review Sites To Fuel Buyer-Centric Marketing

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.”

How Marketing Can Save The World With Humor, Authenticity & Inspiration

Seventy-one percent of B2B marketers rate their company’s overall content marketing success as zero to minimal, according to the Content Marketing Institute. The issue, however, isn’t about creating and publishing content, but rather creating the right content that authentically speaks to buyer needs and pain points. Leveraging inspiration from other organizations, as well as incorporating more authenticity and even humor into your messaging, can position marketing teams to create genuine, personal relationships with buyers.

Top B2B Marketers Share Their New Year’s Resolutions

As 2019 kicks off, it's time to reflect on your goals for the New Year and brainstorm how you can meet and exceed them in your personal and professional life. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out this collection of resolutions from industry experts, including authors David Meerman Scott and Pam Didner, Jeff Pedowitz of The Pedowitz Group, Masha Finkselstein of Google, Kelvin Gee of Oracle and Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group — all of whom will be speaking at the B2B Marketing Exchange in Scottsdale, Ariz. on February 25-27, 2019.

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