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Corporate Visions’ Tim Riesterer Dishes On New Personalization Research, Shares Sneak Peek Into #B2BSMX Keynote

In the current content and email-saturated landscape, B2B marketing and sales professionals are constantly challenged with crafting relevant messages that stand out from a sea of “Hello, [first name]” subject lines. Naturally, the topic of personalization is often talked about in content marketing and sales enablement, but what many organizations don’t realize is that delivering personalized messages to acquire new business is much different than personalizing for existing customers.

The 2019 B2B Buyers Survey Report

Research Shows Buying Committees Engaging And Rewarding Agility And Relevance Of Potential Solution Providers

Over the course of eight years, Demand Gen Report’s annual B2B Buyers Survey has spotlighted the ever-changing needs and expectations of the different stakeholders in complex purchasing decisions. This year is no different, with the annual survey data showing that buyers are engaging earlier with sales and conducting many of the key steps in their path to purchase to support a more agile approach to selecting new solutions.

The study, which surveyed more than 250 senior-level B2B executives, found that 83% often accelerate or put purchase decisions on hold based changing business needs and/or priorities. Of that number, 39% said that they “strongly agree” with that statement. While the survey ultimately supported that B2B buying cycles are still lengthy and involve several stakeholders, the increasing focus on agility in the process underscores the reality that buying journeys are not a linear, predictable funnel.

This report will provide a deeper look into B2B buyer needs, priorities and expectations, including:

  • How buyer expectations for quicker engagement impact the sales funnel;
  • The importance of first-contact channels, such as websites and advertising in the B2B purchase cycle;
  • How a stronger necessity for ROI analysis requires vendors to have a steady stream of reliable resources to fuel buying decisions; and
  • How knowledgeable sales reps are helping further educate and accelerate purchase decisions.

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Turn Your Data Points Into A Data Picture

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 3.49.25 PM“But how do you know it’s working? Show me a dashboard.”

You’ve been there. I’ve been there. Whether it’s your CMO, head of sales, CEO, or just that curious little reporting angel on your shoulder — we all want proof that our marketing is having an impact.

Here’s the problem: you know there are dozens of touch points between your marketing campaigns and every buying center that ultimately closes business with your company. Sometimes hundreds. But between click-through rates, opens, web visits and a whole mysterious black box of offline stuff, it’s still a struggle for us to communicate the value of our marketing programs on pipeline and revenue.

And most of the tools we use today — from marketing automation to custom dashboards — are all focused on minute interactions with individual people (inherited from the lead-based attribution that relies on a cookied form fill and known contacts, and the B2C bias that runs through most digital marketing tools).

But using tactical micro-metrics like cost per click (CPC), cost per lead (CPL) and click-through rate (CTR), and on-page optimizations is like looking at a Seurat painting up close.

You can count the dots, but it won’t help you see the whole picture.

Screen Shot 2019 06 20 at 3.51.25 PMToo often, B2B marketers end up in this scenario: you’ve measured everything. Your UTM hygiene is pristine. You track CTR, CPC and CPL on every permutation of channel and content or ad creative. And you optimize constantly, culling out underperformers and iterating on your superstar content.

But no matter what you do, your tiny tweaks never quite seem to add up to a more efficient funnel (and no one beyond the digital marketing team really thinks they matter). Somehow, you always seesaw between quality and quantity, and those optimizations don’t shake out downstream as better opportunities, faster sales cycles, or any improvement in opportunity-to-close numbers.

So, let’s start by admitting it’s not just you. Actually, it’s very possibly a problem with the way you’re measuring success — by hyper-focusing on the small stuff, you may be inadvertently losing resolution on the bigger picture.

Manage What You Measure

If you’re measuring minutia, you’re going to be focused on minute optimizations. That’s fine if you’re selling high velocity, ecommerce or consumer, but that’s not B2B.

B2B buyers are signing up with you for the long haul. Their livelihoods depend on your product working, so they need to trust you deeply. This applies to your expertise, ability to deliver and ethics.

Start Fixing It By Measuring The Right Things

The account-centric measurement mentality is designed to pull you out of the weeds, so you can understand the impact of complete, coherent, cross-channel programs, not individual ads and campaigns. This is accomplished in two ways:

  1. Turning anonymous web traffic into known account traffic, so you can quantify overall program impact. According to Gartner, there are 9.6 people in today’s average buying committee. How many contacts do you typically have on an opportunity? I’m willing to bet it’s not 9.6, so odds are high that there are a lot of phantom influencers who aren’t getting enough of your attention (and who can slow your deals down unexpectedly late in the game).
  2. Making it possible to track and communicate the revenue impact of higher-level programs across your organization and for yourself. By elevating the importance of open and closed pipeline value, sales cycle time and quantified engagement as the most meaningful leading indicators of true account interest, you’re able to communicate outcomes to everyone in the organization, in terms they actually understand and can get behind.

Get To The Metrics That Matter

By using newly-available, account-level web traffic data in this funnel, you’re able to focus in on exactly the metrics that mean something:

  • Engagement, not leads;
  • Opportunities (also not leads);
  • Revenue (real deals closed);
  • Deal cycle time; and
  • Average contract value.

Revenue Measurement Drives Confidence, Which Encourages Bold Moves & Big Wins

We all know leads can be a little wishy-washy. But one thing that doesn’t lie is cold hard cash — that’s real revenue. And if there’s one thing revenue wins lead to, it’s confidence.

When you’re confident in your reporting, and know it represents what’s really going on with your programs, you can commit to bold ideas and big bets.

And ultimately, that’s my brightest vision for B2B marketers — a future where more of us can make bigger bets on memorable experiences, and easily understand the payoff of those bets so we can iterate and make more. But in order to get there, we need to use our data points to create the full, big picture first.


 

Janet Polyakov is the VP of Product Marketing at Terminus, where she runs sales enablement, digital marketing, content strategy and more. She has also served as the Director of Global Growth Marketing and Senior Manager of Acquisition and Retention at Matterport.

Marketers: Flip The Funnel And Gain Newfound Confidence With Data

ChrisEmme MDAmericas EyeotaWhile probably 90% of marketing professionals use data when activating their programmatic media campaigns, only a small percentage of those marketers are likely to say their data needs are met completely. That’s because data seems so overwhelmingly complicated that they are reticent to dig in — and just as reticent to ask questions of their partners and agencies.

What’s Next In Modern Marketing?

10 Industry Experts Sound Off On The Trends, Tactics & Tech Revolutionizing The Future Of B2B

In an era of constant change and disruption, B2B marketing teams must learn to adapt and grow at a quick pace. Traditional, cold marketing tactics simply won't cut through the noise anymore, especially as B2B buyers continue to be influenced by the personalized experiences they have grown accustomed to as consumers.

To get an insider view of how B2B marketers must reinvent their strategies for modern times, Demand Gen Report interviewed 10 industry experts about what modern marketing means to them and the tools and tactics marketing teams need to focus on for the future.In the following pages, you'll hear from:

  • Michael Brenner, Marketing Insider Group
  • Heidi Bullock, Engagio
  • Kevin Joyce, The Pedowitz Group
  • BrianKardon, Fuze
  • Michelle Killebrew, PwC
  • Leela Srinivasan, SurveyMonkey
  • Karen Steele, LeanData
  • John Steinert, TechTarget
  • SangramVajre, Terminus
  • Scott Vaughan, Integrate

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  • Published in E-books

B2B Buyers Demand Authentic, Consistent Investments In Philanthropy From Brands

The B2B buyer’s checklist continues to grow and nearly one-third (31%) of buyers say the length of their purchase cycle significantly increased in 2018, according to Demand Gen Report research. In addition to considering deployment time (77%), features/functionality (72%), pricing (71%) and peer reviews (65%), B2B buyers are adding new criteria to the list: brand values and philanthropy.

B2B Marketers Look To Modernize Webinar Experiences By Promoting Two-Way Engagement

Webinars continue to be a staple in many B2B demand gen strategies, with studies show that webinars are one of the most useful content formats for generating positive engagement with prospective customers. Findings from Demand Gen Report’s annual Content Preferences Survey show that close to half (47%) of respondents find webinars valuable at the early and mid-stage of their buying process. Also, close to two-thirds (64%) of B2B buyers are willing to spend 20 to 60 minutes watching a webinar — more than any other content format.

TOPO CEO Spotlights CX, Brand Power, Data & People At Summit 2019

TOPO’s annual Summit brought hundreds of sales and marketing professionals to San Francisco’s Pier 27 for two days of learning around topics such as marketing ops and tech, sales development and effectiveness, as well as account-based marketing and sales ops and tech. TOPO analysts and practitioners from companies such as Cloudera, ServiceNow, Zoom and more took the stage on April 17-18 to share their insights into the latest trends and best practices fueling modern B2B marketing and sales practices.

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