This article was written by Dan Albaum of Market Impact.
Today’s Marketing organizations are evolving to be more accountable, quantitative and digitally focused than ever before. At the same time, market and competitive shifts have never been more dynamic, creating a need for highly adaptive teams using change as a catalyst for continuing improvement.
Market Impact has worked with high growth B2B technology companies across a wide range of segments and found the following “Vital Few” are crucial for Marketing to more clearly and effectively contribute to business success:
Master the Metrics
Justifying Marketing spending through measuring activity levels alone no longer cuts it in most businesses. Senior leaders demand seeing measurable results of Marketing activities from demand generation to events to PR and more that contribute directly to the overall company performance. CMOs and/or marketing leaders proactively participating in the formation of annual company objectives, and then linking Marketing objectives that are tightly aligned not only better focus the efforts of Marketing team resources but will ensure Marketing relevancy across the eyes in all functional departments. Creating a Marketing culture that craves numbers accountability (tracked consistently through easy to understand scorecards with no more than 3-5 priority measures) enables a faster, deeper understanding of what tactics work best, what tactics need adjustment or need to be dropped altogether.
Go all in on “Go to Market”
There’s no room for traditional Marketing and Sales silos in today’s highly successful companies. Creating tighter alignment through the formation of virtual Go to Market cross-functional teams where Marketing and Sales partner together in the definition of what is a quality lead and qualification criteria builds greater trust and speed in following up on sales inquiries. Establishing a defined cadence for reviewing together post “top of the funnel” sales follow up activity (ideally through fully implemented CRM systems) is a great start. Establishing no less than monthly interactive leadership calls reviewing demand generation tactics and sales follow up will over time turn the natural tension that often exists between Marketing and Sales organizations into a “we’re all in this together” mindset.
Commit to a Process
While a metrics focus and Go to Market team alignment are critical, to really pay off they must be part of a well-defined Go to Market process that ensures consistency in delivery, tone and message across all instances of customer touch. Unlike traditional sales processes that focus only on sales representative responsibilities at various stages from prospecting to close, a robust Go to Market process actively involves Marketing to incorporate a deeper understanding of discovered customer needs in top of funnel awareness, interest-building and PR influencer campaigns. These deeper customer insights are made possible by committing to researching target prospect needs, pain points and business objectives. Taking the time to profile decision makers and influencers, demonstrating great “listening” capabilities with confident playback of your understanding of needs that resonate not only accelerates sales but gives Marketing a much better opportunity to demonstrate measurable impact.
Today’s competitive and rapidly changing marketplace presents unique challenges for sellers and marketers. But by investing in a higher accountability metrics culture, fostering better Marketing-Sales alignment by creating Go to Market virtual teams and building consistency and discipline into a well-defined process, growth-focused organizations will pave a smoother path for future success.
Dan Albaum and Nikolett Bacso are Marketing Leaders at Market Impact, a trusted partner for B2B technology companies to elevate their brands for strategic growth.