What should be your new approach to marketing straight from the experts
The past ten years has seen a dramatic change in marketing. However, it has been the changes in the recent years which have impacted the marketing discipline more profoundly.
Confused? Read further, as we bring for you selective excerpts (paraphrased) from Marketo report.
The rise of the new and evolved buyer, who holds more control of the buying process, for instance -
Buyers read 3 pieces of content (minimum) about the company for every 1 piece sent by its marketer or sales rep. (Forrester)
Alternatively, the job has just got tougher for the marketers with constrained budgets and long to-do lists.
Average marketing budget for B2B marketers is about 2% reduced from 7-8% in 2005. (Forrester)
Not to forget – the compulsion of interacting with prospects and leads across a dizzying array of channels.
Buyers prefer engaging with potential solution providers through 3-5 different channels. (Forrester)
Further complicating the matters is the fact that marketers are increasingly being asked to show quantifiable results for their lead generation and nurturing efforts. As a consequence, 22% of marketing budgets, on average, are now getting allocated to lead-to-revenue management.
Although, revenue has always been one of the main concerns of the marketing executives, they haven’t really done anything about it. Reason: absence of means to measure the impact of marketing on revenue. However, now the tools are available for measuring the marketing efforts and suggesting possible incremental changes to improve the results. Hence, now the businesses are strongly demanding the marketing executives to impact the top line.
Obviously, marketers have started to feel the pressure. A host of new challenges has risen for them and only the right attitude and approach can help them make the leap from average to successful.
Prospects today are 70% through into the buying process before they reach out to a sales rep. (Forrester)
This has clearly illustrated the fact that marketers have a much bigger and significant role in the buying funnel than we all thought. Inevitably this has led to a transformation of the marketing, sales and buying funnel.
Not anymore can the marketing do away by only focusing on the activities at the top of the funnel. They need to undertake more responsibilities along the funnel, because buyers aren’t ready to talk to sales so early in the process.
So does the funnel transformation hold negativity for the marketers?
Not really! In Forrester’s opinion, increased role in the buying funnel has brought more opportunities for the marketers to achieve greater results.
How can this change happen?
To stop being defined as a cost center and becoming a fundamental driving force in the organization, change of marketing approach is needed. Using the numerous advanced technologies like marketing automation software, marketing executives can tie their efforts to revenue.
Fortunately, there are a few companies who have already pioneered this change. (You can simply follow their footsteps to start the ball rolling).
In a survey of 400 companies, Marketo has found that the companies who have made this shift are achieving tremendous results on their revenue plans. They are generating about 55% of the revenue compared to organizations that are still relying on traditional marketing methods.
These companies have organized their lead-to-revenue processes around buyers. The agenda is simple: to develop the correct understanding of the buyer personas by learning about their behaviors. With this insight, marketers can easily answer buyers’ questions to shepherd them through each stage of the buying process.
But there is a word of caution too.
The transformation to a changed marketing approach is indeed very challenging. Marketers need to undergo it in times of great stress. Even those that have made the transformation are finding it tough to lead and manage the change at the expected pace.
In relation to this context, Forrester states a few pointers. These are general tips that can be used by all marketers when implementing the new marketing approach in the organization:
- Adopting buyer-centric thinking
- Building new process around lead nurturing
- Removing barriers and giving employees the freedom to address new challenges
- Concentrating on short-term wins that result in more buy-in
- Implementing programs based on best practices
- Cloning effective programs instead of creating new ones from scratch
- Leveraging advanced technology to automate processes
- Collaborating more with sales.
In addition to the above-mentioned pointers, there is another pointer that deserves special mention and a slightly more detailed explanation – communication with the marketing team
Its common knowledge: a marketing leader cannot make the marketing approach shift as long as his team is not entirely convinced about it. Thus, it becomes essential that the marketing leader addresses its people, and its processes – explaining everyone the new point of focus i.e. buyer’s journey.
Merely rewarding the team on traditional metrics, such as number of click-throughs, will not serve the purpose. To create a new mind-set, marketing leaders need to reinforce new goals, such as how their activities can contribute to the pipeline. Plus, they need to emphasize upon delivering the right content that moves buyers through the purchase process.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub