Posted in B2B Marketing, tagged Adam Needles, B2B marketing, buyer-centric demand generation, buyer-centric marketing, CRM, customer relationship management, David Raab, demand generation, enterprise marketing management, Jep Castelein, Malcolm Friedberg, marketing, marketing automation, marketing execution management, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing technology, mass one-to-one, technology on August 31, 2010 |
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I tackled this important topic last Wednesday in a new post on the Silverpop Demand Generation (DG) blog – a post that also was highlighted on the Savvy B2B Marketing blog in their weekly roundup.
I’ve noticed a resurgence of this question in recent months — or at least I personally find I’m getting asked this question more than ever by B2B marketers. I think the trend is linked to a new generation of B2B marketers that are adopting marketing automation and that are trying to wrap their heads around the demand generation technology ecosystem.
“CRM and marketing automation have purposes and capabilities that are related and complementary but very different, and these differences are salient to what we’re trying to accomplish with B2B demand generation,” I note in the post. “The two are integral. You need both, but you need to understand what each one does for you, and what it doesn’t do.”
So clearly it’s great timing both to be talking about the two types of platforms and for a blog post that digs into the details, comparing them.
The DG post breaks down the two platforms at three levels:
- A first take: What are some top level similarities and differences, and where do these platforms sit in the larger marketing technology ecosystem? This section includes a great contributed chart from David Raab.
- An analysis of the goals of each platform: What is the intended strategic purpose of each platform?
- A deep dive into features and capabilities: What are the specific things each platform does and doesn’t do? This section includes some great contributed charts from Malcolm Friedberg with Left Brain Marketing and Jep Castelein, a.k.a. “The Lead Sloth.”
I think the most interesting aspect of the dialogue in this post is around the strategic role of marketing automation – a topic I also covered in a past post on MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog. I note in the DG post:
Marketing automation — at it’s most fundamental level — was developed to help marketers better target and execute one-to-one communication with key prospects within the context of demand generation efforts, simultaneously orchestrating and tracking marketing resources against this activity. CRM consolidates a great deal of information about prospects and customers; however, it provides virtually no framework or tools for true nurturing of earlier-stage prospects, and it definitely is not a communication platform. Marketing automation leverages CRM and addresses these gaps, but it then presents new capabilities for B2B marketers that enable them to take their demand generation programs to the next level.
I think of marketing automation as the technology infrastructure you need to power buyer-centric demand generation. It is a critical element in scaling and managing a pattern of dynamic campaigning that is buyer led and that engages buyers on a ‘mass one-to-one’ basis.
Honestly, this is a worthwhile post to check out – with great insights from a number of industry luminaries – so I won’t steal any more of its thunder here.
Click here to read the full DG post.
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Posted in B2B Marketing, tagged Adam Needles, B2B marketing, B2B Marketing University, demand generation, dialogue, freemium, Jep Castelein, marketing, marketing automation, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing technology, technology on August 16, 2010 |
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On Friday I published a new post to the Silverpop Demand Generation (DG) blog — one that responded to the comment thread on Jep Castelein’s Lead Sloth post, “Will Marketing Automation Be Free?” My DG post placed this dialogue in the context of what I believe really are the major challenges facing B2B demand generation today. I also linked this back to the very-timely four-part series on the ‘real state’ of demand generation I published on this blog this past week.
The DG post argues that much of the discussion around ‘freemium models’ in the marketing automation space right now is potentially focusing on the wrong challenge:
What struck me about this ‘freemium model’ dialogue is that it is semantically interesting, but fundamentally focused in the wrong place. As important as your choice of marketing automation technology provider is — and it is important — I’d argue that the stumbling block for most B2B marketers attempting to take their demand generation to the next level is not access to the technology, itself. So giving it away for free doesn’t necessarily improve adoption rates.
The major obstacle today for the next generation of B2B demand generation is actually the ‘people and processes’ that must be in place to successfully leverage marketing automation technology. And this is a point backed up by stacks of recent research reports and commentaries by some of the best and brightest in B2B marketing today.
The focus of my post then shifts to what we can do about this, and I argue (from the perspective of my role at Silverpop), that it is critical for marketing automation technology vendors to play a catalytic role in improving the state of ‘people and processes’ among B2B marketers. “We have to pay it forward,” I noted. We are still in single-digit-percentage adoption of marketing automation, and we’re past selling to early adopters. The future growth of the marketing automation space, thus, is going to be closely linked to evolution of skills and approaches among mainstream B2B marketers.
The post highlights the B2B marketing programs and education Silverpop has contributed to the marketplace during my current tenure at Silverpop. It provides updates on the Fall 2011 B2B Marketing University (B2BMU) series, as well as links to all of Silverpop’s blog content on demand generation since launching the B2BMU series. So it’s a good combination of commentary, data and also resources for closing the gap.
Click here to read the full DG post.
And in case you missed any of my series, “The Unspoken ‘Real State’ of Modern B2B Demand Generation,” here are links to all four parts:
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Posted in B2B Marketing, tagged Adam Needles, B2B buyer, B2B marketing, Carlos Hidalgo, CRM, demand generation, integrated marketing management, marketing automation, marketing execution management, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing technology, technology on August 10, 2010 |
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This week I’m publishing a four-part blog series — based on research I’m doing as part of the updated focus for my marketing book project. This series takes a look at B2B demand generation today. The first post provided an introduction to the series. Parts two through four examine the three major challenges facing B2B demand generation. Today’s post looks at the first challenge — identifying why technology, alone, is not enough to improve B2B demand generation. ~ABN
So what does that average B2B marketing organization look like today? And what are the challenges that organizations must overcome to get to best-in-class?
Challenge #1: We implement technology to solve our B2B demand generation problems, but we fail to substantially update our underlying processes and roles; thus, we find technology by itself has not really solved our problems.
SiriusDecisions reported at their 2010 summit that the penetration rate for marketing automation platforms among B2B marketing organizations in the US currently is at roughly 7-10%, but they project this will rise to as much as 30% by 2015. A recent CRM Magazine article further noted, “The percentage of firms that have implemented CRM [has] increased, according to industry research firm CSO Insights, from 53% in 2003 to 75% in 2010 … .”
Clearly the adoption of technology – particularly marketing automation and CRM – among B2B marketing organizations is on the rise. Yet within organizations that have adopted the technology, we too often see a consistent pattern of doing what it takes to initially implement the technology – creating minimal definitions and scoring models to get going – but falling far short of a complete overhaul of our core processes and roles. So we never fully leverage this technology.
“Today many B2B marketers are buying into [this] idea: If they acquire a marketing automation solution, then they will wind up with a lead management process,” comments Carlos Hidalgo of The Annuitas Group in a recent post on Silverpop’s Demand Generation blog. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Technology adoption must occur hand-in-hand with process evolution.”
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Posted in B2B Marketing, tagged Adam Needles, B2B buyer, B2B marketing, content marketing, CRM, demand generation, lead management, marketing automation, marketing execution management, Marketing Infrastructure, Marketing Qualified Leads, Megan Heuer on August 9, 2010 |
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This week I’m publishing a four-part blog series — based on research I’m doing as part of the updated focus for my marketing book project. This series takes a look at B2B demand generation today. I’ll put up a new post each day, and then I’ll link all of the articles together once I’m done posting the series. Today’s post is part one, which serves as the introduction for the series. ~ABN
There is no question we are in the midst of a seismic change in the B2B demand generation model. This is a topic I’ve covered in my blogging over the last 12 months and some of the best and brightest in B2B marketing have detailed in their own research and writing.
In fact, it’s more than just change; it is fundamental evolution of the B2B demand generation model. But as with any theory of ‘evolution,’ there often is debate – both around origins and also the current state of being.
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Posted in B2B Marketing, tagged Adam Needles, B2B buyer, B2B marketing, B2B Marketing University, Connected Marketing, CRM, demand generation, innovation, marketing, marketing channels, marketing execution management, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing technology, technology on July 30, 2010 |
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Some of you have been asking about the status of my book project, and so I wanted to provide a quick update.
I announced a little over a year ago that I had begun working on a book project – tentatively titled Connected Marketing – “… that covers the topic of marketing technology and that is meant to help marketers deploy and use technology in a substantially-different way than they do today,” per my last update.
What’s the status of this project today?
First, let me explain that this is a project that I’ve always been pursuing on my own time – i.e., writing early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends. And that is something that’s been challenging to do, given my active role at Silverpop as director of field marketing and as the company’s ‘B2B Marketing Evangelist.’ Many of you know I’ve spent the greater part of the last 13+ months on the road throughout North America and Europe, speaking, meeting with customers, launching new events (such as B2B Marketing University) and educating the marketing community about how to strategically leverage marketing automation technology.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome work — it really is — and it’s a mission I’m passionate about, so no complaints here! It’s just hard – as I’m sure you can appreciate – to both be a dedicated, on-the-road evangelist/marketer and also spend focused time on a personal book project at once. As a result, the book project has had to take a back seat many weeks.
Second, this is a project that – as many projects do – has matured over time as I’ve continued to research and write about the topic. Let me be clear that I’m absolutely continuing to work on this project, but its focus has shifted and has moved in what is at once both an adjacent and evolutionary new direction.
How marketers can better leverage marketing technology to be a more ‘connected’ marketer remains a critical element of the book, but I increasingly recognize two fundamental realities that also are critical to cover in the book.
- As many of you probably will concur, technology adoption alone will not help marketers be more connected, nor is it necessarily the right first step; strategy and process change is the first step.
- Much of the need for new technology – and new strategy and process – is the result of a fundamentally-changing modern marketing environment.
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Posted in Innovative Ideas, Marketing Programs, tagged Chris Halsall, demand generation, dialogue, integrated marketing management, Jim Lenskold, marketing, marketing accountability, marketing automation, Marketing Infrastructure, marketing performance, marketing technology, Michael Dunn, NPV, ROI on July 16, 2009 |
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The prevailing wisdom in marketing today is that achieving the greatest levels of performance requires true, closed-loop, customer-level insight into the effectiveness of marketing programs. If you can see a detailed, causal chain through the complete demand-generation process and correlate steps and interactions in that chain to account-level customer spending, you can then analyze how various marketing activities contribute to final results. Further, if you can analyze your marketing at such a granular level, you can tie spending to specific outcomes and can continuously tune your overall marketing formula at all levels.
I’ve touched on this imperative in past blog posts. So no argument here. In fact, as a tenured marketer (and now as a team member at a marketing technology company), it’s exciting to look around and witness the rapid evolution in marketing technology that is moving us closer to this reality.
It also goes without saying that in this environment, plenty is written about the drive for marketing accountability.
Yet there is something subtle that gets missed and that I would argue should be the greater focus in the accountability dialogue. It is the inherent and holistic upside for marketers of having an accountability mindset – i.e., the positive transformation that results from embracing a new approach to marketing.
I call it the ‘halo effect’ of marketing accountability.
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