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Three Reasons Sales And Marketing Teams Struggle To Drive ROI

Three Reasons Sales And Marketing Teams Struggle To Drive ROI

September 20, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

Tech and data continue to fuel and operate B2B marketing and sales efforts, but the ongoing challenge of driving ROI — and being able to prove it — leaves many companies still struggling.

Marketers Want To Crunch The Numbers, But May Need Help Sweating The Details

Marketers Want To Crunch The Numbers, But May Need Help Sweating The Details

September 12, 2017  - avatar Terry Moffatt, Contributing Editor

According to Demand Gen Report’s 2017 Marketing Measurement and Attribution survey, almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they want deeper metrics to show the impact on pipeline and revenue.

Measurement And Revenue Optimization Has Officially Arrived, As Dedicated Gathering Launches In San Fran

Measurement And Revenue Optimization Has Officially Arrived, As Dedicated Gathering Launches In San Fran

September 6, 2017  - avatar Andrew Gaffney

Next week, I’ll be heading to one of the first conferences for B2B marketers to focus exclusively on measurement and revenue optimization. Circulate 2017, taking place Sept. 14-15at the W San Francisco, will bring together thought leaders and practitioners from different roles — all with the common interest in measuring and optimizing marketing and sales performance.

7 Content Marketing Tips & Takeaways From Uberflip’s Content Experience Event

7 Content Marketing Tips & Takeaways From Uberflip’s Content Experience Event

August 30, 2017  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

Content makes the marketing world go ‘round. It is often one of the first ways a potential buyer is introduced to your company, so it is crucial to develop meaningful and relevant content for target audiences.

How OpenText's Buyer-Focused Campaign Saw Surprising Results While Resonating With Their Audience

How OpenText's Buyer-Focused Campaign Saw Surprising Results While Resonating With Their Audience

August 22, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

As marketers push on in their strive for buyer centricity in their campaigns and messaging, a lot of tweaking and fine tuning comes into play. And while buyers' paths to purchase certainly aren't linear, today's technology allows marketers to gain vast insight on target audiences. But even with all that insight, there is always a possibility that something just works...

B2B Marketers Rethinking Lead Nurture Strategies As Acceleration Programs Stall

B2B Marketers Rethinking Lead Nurture Strategies As Acceleration Programs Stall

August 16, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

Given the long sales cycles most B2B organizations have, lead nurturing is typically a critical part of marketing strategies. However, a sneak peek at the preliminary results from our annual Lead Nurturing & Acceleration Benchmark Survey reveal that B2B marketers are struggling with the results of their campaigns to maintain or advance the initial interest of prospects.

Why Is It So Hard To Create Personal Content?

Why Is It So Hard To Create Personal Content?

August 9, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

I ask myself the above question far too often — and I go through A LOT of content while researching new story topics or potential news to share with all our loyal subscribers. Nothing upsets me more than coming across a “5 Innovative Ways To Boost Your Demand Gen Efforts” type E-book, in which these five “innovative” ways are blatantly...

Triblio’s Andre Yee Makes A Case For ABM At #Bii17

Triblio’s Andre Yee Makes A Case For ABM At #Bii17

August 2, 2017  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

I’m sure you’ve heard about a little marketing strategy called account-based marketing (ABM). You may even be sick of the term. Whatever your thoughts are, it’s hard to deny the benefits of taking an account-first approach. B2B companies far and wide have benefitted from ABM — (enter shameless plug for our sister publication ABM In Action, #sorrynotsorry) — but why...

Reviews Are In: Sneak Peek Into How B2B Brands Are Tackling The Growing Influence Of Peers

Reviews Are In: Sneak Peek Into How B2B Brands Are Tackling The Growing Influence Of Peers

July 26, 2017  - avatar Matthew Halchak

B2B buyers are more reliant on peer reviews and ratings to validate and find new solutions. According the 2017 B2B Buyers Survey Report, 94% of B2B buyers reported that reviews from industry peers were important in making a purchasing decision. Input from other users gives prospective buyers transparent insights into aspects such as ease of use, ROI and deployment time...

What Can B2B Content Marketers Learn From Amazon Spark?

What Can B2B Content Marketers Learn From Amazon Spark?

July 19, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

During my morning peruse through the latest tech announcements in the B2B marketplace, I often come across new technologies geared toward consumers that can have vast similarities in the B2B world.

5 Key Trends Sales Teams Need To Address From The New B2B Buyer’s Study

5 Key Trends Sales Teams Need To Address From The New B2B Buyer’s Study

July 12, 2017  - avatar Andrew Gaffney

In the first few years we conducted our B2B Buyer’s Survey, a lot of the focus was around how an increasing amount of the decision-making process took place before a buyer ever engaged with a sales representative.

Q&A: Making The Move To A Buyer-Centric Content Strategy

Q&A: Making The Move To A Buyer-Centric Content Strategy

July 5, 2017  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

There is a shift taking place among B2B marketers, moving from simply driving leads to developing deeper dialogs with key decision makers. And marketers are also quickly realizing that true “dialog” can now be built with a product pitch. To create real conversations with buying groups, marketers are focusing much more on the unique needs and pain points of different...

Does Your Content Stink? 5 Things To Check Before You Panic

Does Your Content Stink? 5 Things To Check Before You Panic

June 27, 2017  - avatar Alicia Esposito, Content4Demand

We’ve all been there before. We spend weeks — even months — developing a piece of content. And we do all the right things: we receive buy-in from all key stakeholders, interview subject-matter experts, conduct extensive research and collaborate with design to ensure everything was executed flawlessly. But when we finally launch the asset, we find that it’s not generating...

5 B2B Social Specialists You Should Be Following

5 B2B Social Specialists You Should Be Following

June 21, 2017  - avatar Brian Anderson

When it comes to marketing—whether it’s B2B or B2C—social media has grown into a prominent channel for engaging prospective customers. That will only continue to increase as more and more millennial and next-generation marketing professionals start to take over seats at the buying table.

Find Your Perfect Match: 7 Traits To Look For In A B2B Agency

Find Your Perfect Match: 7 Traits To Look For In A B2B Agency

June 14, 2017  - avatar Klaudia Tirico

Unfortunately, there is no eHarmony-type website that pairs your business with a B2B marketing or demand generation agency through a match-making quiz. (If you know of one, let me know in the comments!)

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.”