Top Stories Of 2017: Audience-Centric Marketers Showed Interests In Bots, Storytelling & GDPR

Published: December 20, 2017

2017 was the year when B2B marketers shifted their focus from the product to the customer.  Looking for greater engagement with target accounts and buying groups, companies showed interest in new frameworks, such as SiriusDecisions’ Demand Unit Waterfall. They also welcomed inside sales into marketing teams for greater alignment to better cater customer demands for more personalization and one-on-one interactions.

The top 10 most-viewed articles from Demand Gen Report emphasized marketer interest in these strategies. This round up spans a unique blend of topics, from storytelling and segmentation, to chat bots, upcoming GDPR standards and the day that Marketo turned marketing’s world upside down.

Read on to see the top 10 stories that generated mega attention from our readers.

SiriusDecisions Unveils New Demand Waterfall Model To Address Changing Dynamics In B2B Engagement

In 2017, SiriusDecisions enhanced its well-known “Demand Unit Waterfall” to focus on the shifts towards account strategies, personalization and need for greater precision in measuring pipeline impact. The new framework now features an emphasis on buying groups as opposed to individual leads or inquiries. It also added two new stages — target demand and active demand — to better identify interested buyers.

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“Now marketing and sales organizations will have a more accurate view of how they are doing against targeted accounts and how engaged accounts are converting,” said Kerry Cunningham, Senior Research Director for SiriusDecisions.

What’s The Impact Of The New Demand Unit Waterfall? Hear From 30 B2B Experts

The B2B community welcomed the new Demand Unit Waterfall with positive receptions. This year, Demand Gen Report reached out to 30 experts to get their detailed thoughts on the framework. Executives from companies such as Content4Demand, Dun & Bradstreet, Full Circle Insights and Oracle Marketing Cloud mentioned both the positive and negative results of the Waterfall, including greater alignment, better targeting and more ABM support.

Marketo Site Outage Causes Social Stir Among Users

Every Marketo user will remember where they were when the Marketo site went down in 2017. Rumor had it that the company failed to renew its domain, which even resulted in a Twitter user apparently repurchasing it for them. Fortunately, the site was back up and running (albeit slowly) within a day or two. We must say, the commentary on Twitter served as great entertainment. 

Why Are B2B Companies Moving Inside Sales To The Marketing Department?

Inside sales teams are becoming an extension of marketing teams at some companies. In this byline, Matt Gingerich, VP of Sales and Customer Success at Bombora, dives into how data is changing the role of inside sales and how the role now plays a big role in the growing practice of sales and marketing alignment.

The Top Three In-Demand Digital Marketing Skills & What They Pay

Mondo’s Senior VP of Marketing and Sales Operations Gianna Scorsone revealed the three biggest digital marketing skills in this byline. They include martech and marketing automation, user experience and machine learning — all with salaries that can reach six figures.

2017 B2B Innovator Awards

Demand Gen Report’s inaugural B2B innovator awards rewarded 34 executives across various marketing roles and organizations in categories such as “buy-focused marketers,” “cross channel champions,” “sales drivers” and “marketing mentors.” The awards were created to spotlight B2B professionals who think outside the box to develop and foster innovative strategies at their companies.

B2B Marketers Apply New Tools & Tactics For Segmenting Campaigns To Target Audiences

Segmentation became a big priority for marketers — especially in the age of account-based marketing. This article features a case study from commercial real estate software provider Apto and how the company cleaned up and segmented its database of 100,000 contacts. Plus, we revealed the top must-dos for effective segmentation and the tools that help support it.

“With segmentation, it’s important to understand the relationships between the stakeholders involved in buying what you sell,” said Ardath Albee, Author and CEO of Marketing Interactions.

Are Bots The Next Generation Of B2B Marketing Employees?

Research from Forrester shows that 59% of B2B buyers do their own online research and prefer to not interact with a sales representative as their primary source of research. With that said, some companies turned to virtual assistants (voice or chat) — a.k.a. bots — to help marketing sales teams in efforts such as customer service, lead generation and content discovery.

“Bots can help people who might have some early interests but don’t know about the company or its offerings, and enable them to learn more,” said said Steven Casey, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research, “And through that process, they can convert into real leads.”

Marketing Nation Summit Recap: Data, Storytelling & Adaptivity To Fuel The Engagement Economy

This year’s Marketing Nation Summit, an event hosted by Marketo, unveiled new user interface updates designed to help customers better analyze and leverage behavioral data to deliver hyper-targeted experiences. This recap article also highlights a variety of themes from the event, including storytelling, advocacy and new levels of engagement — with use case examples from Panasonic and Amazon Web Services.

Marketers Preparing For And Adapting To Email Compliance Standards Around The Globe

With GDPR scheduled to go into effect in May 2018, marketers are learning to navigate the new environment and getting all their ducks in a row. Global email compliance standards are sure to shake up the B2B marketing community, and this article delivers best practices on preparing for compliance and how marketers from companies like Salesforce Pardot are taking action.

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