The challenges marketers face today regarding data have not changed. We still need to collect and leverage data to generate demand. GDPR forces companies to examine their approach to data collection and comply with the rules or suffer the consequences. Considering the privacy controversies currently surrounding Facebook and Google, one would think marketers would be obsessed with being compliant, but are they?
Engaging your customers through account-based experiences is essential for generating more revenue. This infographic from Marketo emphasizes the importance of putting your customers first by highlighting key statistics, such as how 97% of marketers achieved a higher ROI by incorporating ABM into their business strategy.
A little over a year has passed since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect, but marketers are not out the woods yet. On the contrary, the wave of privacy regulations seems to have just begun, and the latest legislation, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), is scheduled to take effect in six months’ time.
It’s been an exciting time for B2B technology companies, as more vendors and startups secure funding to expand and enhance their offerings.
We’ve all seen the buzzwords in recent years. Big Data. Artificial Intelligence. Smart everything, from toilets to thermostats. Companies rush to keep up with the next fad without really understanding what the true advantages of this new technology are and how it can impact their business. The actual technology becomes overshadowed by the hype, unable to deliver on the many promises that businesses rush to peddle.
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.
“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.
Too 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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
As B2B companies become more customer focused, unique opportunities are arising from the deep bonds developed between buyers and sellers. Tactics such as referral marketing have become more prevalent as buyer expectations change and B2B businesses look to their customer advocates to bolster new conversations.