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Salesforce Executive Talks Demand Gen Evolution, Top Channels

Nate Skinner Headshot 1 1In an exclusive interview with Demand Gen Report, Nate Skinner, VP of Marketing for Salesforce Pardot, shares his thoughts on the evolution of demand generation, top channels for success and more. This interview is part of the What's Working In Demand Generation In 2019 Special Report.

Demand Gen Report: How do you think demand generation has evolved over the past few years? Where do you see it going in 2019 and beyond?

Nate Skinner: Now more than ever, marketers are being pressured to prove ROI to help justify marketing budget and spend. According to Gartner, we've reached a point where marketing has more money for technology than any other department and with that comes a shift from quantitative marketing (getting the most clicks) to qualitative marketing (getting the right clicks).

Teams must get smarter about demand generation by testing what’s working. With bigger budgets comes higher expectations for ROI. Historically, marketing has had a bad rep for the spray-and-pray strategy — targeting all people versus the
few qualified leads. Successful demand generation is now about getting the most qualified leads to your website to engage with the brand in a meaningful way. Savvy marketers will always be able to create favorable numbers, but today's teams want to know how many leads were converted and how.

ABM is one of the hottest growing trends, and it happens to be the antithesis of a spray-and-pray approach. The future of marketing is a more personal approach towards leads to create more genuine and impactful interactions with prospects. AI is another emerging technology for demand generation, helping to automate segmentation and drive insights around campaigns to determine the best next steps to convert leads.

DGR: What is important for demand gen success from an organization/process standpoint?

Skinner: Integrated team collaboration and transparency are critical factors in demand generation success. Sales and marketing teams need to be aligned to effectively communicate and empower each department to succeed.

Most organizations understand the importance of both departments needing to be in sync on what metrics to track and measure to drive successful demand generation, but they often haven't agreed on how to define those metrics — how does each department define a qualified lead or conversion? Is it someone who has clicked on the website, or someone that has consistently engaged with several pieces of content? If marketing and sales have different interpretations of what makes a qualified lead, then one of two things will happen: teams may be missing out on qualified leads or creating a bottleneck by capturing too many leads. While technology can augment demand generation, it can only go so far. It’s imperative that cross-collaborative teams actually interact, discuss measurement and define success in order to optimize for the organization's success as a whole.

DGR: What are some of your top tactics/channels for demand generation?

Skinner: I believe the top five tactics or channels for demand generation right now include SEO, email, direct mail, review sites and content marketing.

A stellar SEO strategy helps drive visibility in search engines when prospective customers are looking to solve specific challenges. It's an important top-of-funnel strategy for your business to rank well for keywords your target buyer is searching for.

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Though blasting emails no longer works to engage your prospects, email is not dead. The right email sent at the right time to the right buyer is a great approach that nurtures leads through the funnel when done thoughtfully and strategically.

Direct mail, while a more seasoned demand generation strategy, still works in B2B because it can stand out from the noise and overload of information online.

Review sites are a great channel to build credibility and trust in your brand. People look to others for reviews and experiences for lots of purchases, and technology purchases are no different. People also trust experts that evaluate products and services on review sites for objective insight into a brand’s credibility and best fit. However, be aware that converting customers to reviewers can be costly, but worthwhile.

Lastly, content marketing is a critical tactic for driving demand generation. When done effectively, strong content helps educate and inform prospective customers. One way to do this is by creating authentic content that shows the “how to” for buyers and showcases your brand as a helpful resource and thought leader.

DGR: How do you think marketers can enhance their demand generation with ABM?

Skinner: Those same tactics I mentioned earlier are still relevant but can be done with an account-first approach. An account-based strategy helps focus a tailored and high-value approach to demand generation. Coupled with AI, marketers can get automatic insights into more accounts that are also likely to be strategic to focus on — for example, AI can tell you that these additional 20 accounts look very similar to your top 10 accounts, so let's add these to your priorities — providing white space awareness around your account-based strategy. Coupling these approaches can help scale and make your team aware of trends you weren't previously aware of.

DGR: Is there anything else marketers should know?

Skinner: Marketing and sales are better together, and data is the tie that binds these two teams. We're going to continue seeing the shift to one platform, a common data set and having customers at the center.


To learn more about the demand generation channels and tactics marketers plan to prioritize in 2019, download the full report.

 

What’s Working In Demand Generation In 2019?

Fearless Marketers Rethink Traditional Channels, Test New Tactics To Boost Buyer Interest

As buyers grow more selective with their content consumption and time, generating and maintaining demand is becoming a more elusive task for B2B brands. But fearless marketers are plowing ahead, experimenting with different channels and investing in demand generation to kickstart conversations with potential customers.

This special report will explore what's working in demand generation and spotlight success stories from companies such as Radius, Bottomline Technologies, SAP Concur and more.

Download the report to learn about:

  • The growing role of ABM in demand generation;
  • The reemergence of direct mail as a top-tier strategy;
  • How marketers are refreshing webinars with new approaches, such as panels and interactivity;
  • How influencers can extend content reach and credibility; and
  • Why more B2B companies are turning to review sites in their demand gen process.

Complete the form below to download:


  • Published in Reports

PFL Looks To Expand Capabilities, Global Footprint With New Capital Expenditures

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TimeTrade CMO Discusses Direct Mail Campaign That Generated $6M In Pipeline

Welcome to my new blog series, "Behind the Marketing," which is inspired by the classic VH1 series, "Behind the Music," but with a B2B marketing twist. Each month, I will spotlight a cool, eye-catching and thought-provoking campaign or project — and the marketers behind them.

This week, I spoke with Lauren Mead, CMO of TimeTrade, about the company’s "Selling is a Team Sport" campaign, which used direct mail to accelerate sales conversations and convert target accounts.

  • Published in Blog

Postie Offers End-To-End Platform For Direct Mail Management, Optimization

Postie is a platform that aims to automate and simplify direct mail marketing. It is designed to help marketers better manage their prospecting, retargeting and CRM engagement campaigns from a centralized platform.

FEATURES/FUNCTIONALITY

Postie is positioned to provide a full range of direct mail capabilities, such as testing and optimization features and audience modeling and attribution. Using the platform, marketers can create direct mail campaigns in minutes, deploy them in hours and measure the results in real time.

Postie is designed to help marketers segment their CRM, personalize messaging and optimize campaigns. It is positioned to provide deep insights into customers and leads and deliver targeted direct mail campaigns based on attributes, look-alike models or online behavioral instances. Marketers can create campaigns with real-time triggers or dedicated, time-specific deployments.

TARGETED USERS

Postie is designed for customer acquisition marketers and CRM teams.

COMPATIBILITY

The solution is positioned to integrate with most CRMs, websites and mobile applications.

DELIVERY/ PRICING MODELS

Pricing is based on a cost-per-piece model.

CURRENT CLIENTS/USERS

Postie serves clients across a variety of industries, including insurance, e-Commerce and financial services.

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Postie aims to offer direct mail prospecting and CRM marketing automation together in one platform. It is designed to provide easy-to-use tools and technology with creative testing, audience segmentation and micro campaign structures. Campaigns can be set up in minutes and mailed out the next day.

CONTACT INFO

Postie
12655 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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