Pipeline Velocity Measurement Becomes Next Stage Of Maturity, Revenue Growth

The pressure is on — marketers are becoming more responsible for driving revenue. In fact, Forrester research shows that 82% of CMOs have goals tied directly to revenue. As such, modern marketers are taking an active approach to measuring and accelerating pipeline — a task that was typically reserved for sales. But at companies such as Oracle and CenturyLink, there is a growing priority for marketers to generate pipeline metrics, including velocity, which can provide key insights to accelerate deals and streamline customer retention and advocacy.

5 Steps To Strategic Partnering In 2018

Joyce 5267 Paul edits

I don’t have time or resources to invest in partnerships that exchange kind words and tchotchkes but produce precious few business deals. Below are five proven steps to build a thriving technology/service partner network to advance your business.

The Five Stages of Maturity In Customer-Centric Revenue Operations

1aDebbie HeadshotSomething very complex and wonderful is happening in B2B marketing organizations. It is a transformation of legacy tech strategies, Go-To-Market (GTM) focus and structures that is embracing a customer-driven digital world and finding new ways to grow revenue through a Revenue Operations (RevOps) framework. Companies who do this with excellence will outperform their competition in terms of growth, profit, customer acquisition and retention. Companies who figure out how to develop a RevOps capability will gain competitive advantage. For example, I recently interviewed Morgan Collins of Phunware, Inese Pumpure of CloudLock and Alex Simoes of CAKE — all RevOps leaders who are driving double and triple digit growth.

Industry Experts Weigh In On Microsoft’s LinkedIn Acquisition

With Microsoft spending a whopping $26.2 billion to purchase LinkedIn, the company is positioning itself with the likes of Salesforce to offer businesses a connected community and technology stack. However, thought leaders in the space are hesitant to call the purchase a win or a loss — It ultimately depends on how Microsoft intends to incorporate LinkedIn into its current offerings.

We asked five industry experts how Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will positively and/or negatively impact B2B marketers in the coming future. Read on to see how experts in the space are evaluating one of the biggest martech acquisitions in history.

David Lewis, CEO of DemandGen International

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The potential impact, positive or negative, really depends on the direction that Microsoft takes with LinkedIn and its execution of that vision. Since Microsoft has very little experience building thriving online communities outside of its investment in Facebook and the Xbox Live community, which are consumer communities, my concern is that LinkedIn is going to transform from a professional networking site to something more like Facebook. Some might say it’s already starting to look and act like Facebook. If it becomes a B2B social community fueled by ads and random acts of content, the educational value of the content and the quality of the connections you make on LinkedIn will continue to suffer and ultimately drive members away. If, on the other hand, LinkedIn stays true to its original purpose of being a professional network and a place where keeping your contact information up to date is purposeful, then the value of that data and the network will be invaluable to B2B marketers and to businesses.

Just imagine the power of having every business and working professional on LinkedIn. Imagine the power to use LinkedIn for knowledge and research,  staffing and staff development, as well as the ability to use it for the exchange of business resources and content. Accomplish that, and you’d have an invaluable database for B2B marketers. But go further, with the right interface and API’s, and you could create a whole new paradigm for CRM and communication. You could have an e-commerce exchange that would give Ariba some real competition. You could have a platform for exchanging contracts through it. You could manage shipments and inventory between suppliers through it. You could link business applications to it and through it. Done right, Microsoft could make LinkedIn the world’s network for business.

Erika Goldwater, VP of Marketing at ANNUITAS

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The potential upside for B2B marketers from the acquisition is significant. Integrating LinkedIn with Skype and other Microsoft-owned technologies could be a great enhancement to the platform that marketers will utilize. Of course, there is always the chance that this acquisition will cause LinkedIn to become too commercial for B2B, and instead of increasing the value of it as a media company and content resource, it will degrade it. Only time will tell, but I believe the positives outweigh the negatives for this acquisition.

David Raab, Principal of Raab Associates

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In the short term, LinkedIn will apparently remain a separate company so the impact on marketers will be minimal. It’s reasonable to expect a slowdown in new offerings as the company adjusts to new ownership. But the overlap between LinkedIn and Microsoft’s other businesses is relatively low, so I don’t expect much disruption from consolidation, as acquisitions sometimes cause. Longer term, it’s possible there will be some clever ways that Microsoft can use LinkedIn data, although what those are is not yet clear. So maybe some good things will happen, and maybe not much at all will change. Either way, there’s not much downside for marketers.

Scott Brinker, Editor of

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The potential of a vertically-connected ecosystem in the digital channel is what makes Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn so powerful. Although Microsoft already has positions in all three stages of this channel, its primary strength was in client software (Windows, Xbox, Internet Explorer) and the company’s secondary strength was in marketing software (Dynamics CRM, Office, Cortana). Microsoft’s Internet services were a distant third, as Bing struggled against Google Search. They had no dominant exchange social media property.

Microsoft could probably use greater strength in the marketing software stage of the channel, as well — which is why the company was rumored to be interested in acquiring Salesforce last year and Marketo this year. I think something like that will happen eventually. (As an aside, I think Satya Nadella’s Microsoft might be a better cultural fit for HubSpot than when the firm was in the Ballmer years.)

For all these reasons, LinkedIn becomes a strategic crown jewel for Microsoft — and makes this the largest martech acquisition in history.

Bruce Culbert, Chief Service Officer of The Pedowitz Group

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Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn is a great fit. Why? Because emails are at the heart of the online experience — 85 % of people online communicate through email. Microsoft owns the lion’s share of business communications via Outlook in the e-mail channel. Microsoft’s ability to dominate the business communications channel is clear. With the acquisition of LinkedIn, Microsoft now owns business communications in the social channel. Bravo Microsoft! LinkedIn also benefits heavily with the umbrella of Microsoft in the enterprise space. It’s a match made in heaven.   

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The High Cost Of Status Quo

Debbie QBy Debbie Qaqish, Principal Partner and Chief Strategy Officer, The Pedowitz Group

In the world of B2B marketing today, if you don’t already have some kind of direct revenue accountability as a marketing executive, don’t worry, you will. As I’ve watched and helped many marketing organizations make this transition, I’ve also seen a lot of marketing executives completely ignore this fundamental shift in the role of marketing. We’re talking about head-in-the-sand behavior, at worst, and delegating this obligation to a lower level role and treating it like a tactic, at best.

The Rise Of The Marketing Technology Officer

Debbie QMarketers are using technology, specifically marketing automation platforms, to make an impact on revenue. In a recent study from Lenskold Group/The Pedowitz Group, 373 marketers were surveyed and 68% are using some type of marketing automation system. While this is interesting and certainly shows growth in this space, what is more interesting is the business result from using this kind of technology – companies using marketing automation integrated with CRM helps companies outgrow their competition. 

Marketo Ramps Up Marketing Nation With Program Exchange, Partner Ecosystem

On November 14, Marketo announced the launch of LaunchPoint, the company's new partner ecosystem. The announcement was the third in a series related to the company's Marketing Nation initiative, which was launched in late October.

The current announcements related to the Marketing Nation initiative include:

Marketo Program Exchange. Marketo is developing a shared library of pre-built, verified marketing programs for the company's user community. Program Exchange templates cover categories such as lead scoring, email campaigns, lead nurturing, webinar creation and SEM.

Evolving Your Marketing Automation from Tactical to Strategic Levels

Live Date: November 30th, 2012 at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT • Register Now »

11-30_calRecent research has shown that lead generation marketing drives greater growth and effectiveness with executive level support for marketing automation. But what are marketers to do when marketing automation is treated as a basic implementation tool instead of as a strategic capability driven by executive leadership? This webinar will outline steps marketers can use to win support and provide facts from the 2012 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness research study to convince them.

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