Coming In 2016: Revenge Of The Demand Marketers
Armed with new tools and data, demand marketers are influencing a marketing shift, and columnist Scott Vaughan believes that in the coming year, businesses and CMOs must support their needs.
Demand marketers have been working hard to be the driving force behind marketing’s shift to revenue and customer acquisition. They have been applying new tools and techniques to turbocharge their inbound efforts and trying to infuse predictability into the big investment they are pouring into outbound paid acquisition.
Customer acquisition and expansion — and all that goes with it — is not a new phenomenon. But not since the advent of marketing automation have they been in such a strong position to impact their business (and their customers).
The effort of continuous improvement is a big undertaking, but a necessary one, as so many of the processes are manual, data are disconnected and marketers don’t have nearly enough time or resources to sort through all of the options and make them work.
As a result, while a lot goes into demand marketing initiatives, the outcomes don’t always measure up.
The demand gig can be tough. However, you can see on the horizon another round of big breakthroughs are coming.
For the year ahead, marketers are now making demands of their own to increase the results and recognition they know is possible. I think of 2016 as the year of the “revenge of the demand marketer.”
Fed up with the status quo and armed with a data renaissance, new tools and solid experience under their belt, demand generators are creating their 2016 list of expectations as they advance their position and capitalize on what’s possible.
Here is a starter list of the expectations and points of focus I am hearing repeatedly from demand marketers:
Data With Integrity
Marketers are generating leads and lots of prospect data from third-party media partners via paid acquisition that can help fuel the pipeline.
The only problem is, a large portion of this data is duplicate, in the wrong format or invalid (e.g., someone entered their name as Fred Flintstone, gave the wrong company size info, or a phone number is off by a digit or two).
A pipeline filled with poor leads will crush all the other demand efforts. It delays the process and requires lots of manual legwork to sift through and reorganize the data.
As time is of the essence, several opportunities are lost, since the organization cannot offer timely follow-ups to the right prospects. The spreadsheet hell behind all of this is exactly why marketers are seeking revenge!
Once prospect data is vetted and finally cleaned, it must be imported into marketing automation or CRM (customer relationship management) systems to put it to work. This is easier said than done.
While many organizations have CRM and marketing automation synched, they often forget about the paid media and other data and lead sources not connected. These prospects are left on an island, requiring manual uploads into systems.
Without a natural, automated integration in place, organizations will never have a full picture of their customers and prospects. Worse, they lose valuable time for prospect engagement and waste resources on low-value, manual data processing tasks.
Sales and marketing have never been closer in working toward the same end goal: new customers and increased opportunities. It is easy to stay complacent and continue to operate in silos when they could be benefiting from shared objectives, data and experience.
There is no better opportunity than the shift to account-based marketing. This is a high priority for sales; and demand marketers are in an unparalleled position to bring new ideas and smarter approaches to the table.
This is where demand generation pros will shine using data, tools and effective targeting to drive more direct contribution to revenue and customer acquisition and expansion.
Mitigate Manual Madness
A common theme from the previous “demands” is the manual nature they embody. For example, in an era of automation, why are we doing business and sending data via individual spreadsheets? Why are we still scrubbing spreadsheets? And why does data need to be manually imported?
There is a perception that marketing is completely automated today. Well, we are getting there. And in 2016, demand marketers will expect a radical reduction in these outdated processes.
Demand gen pros are starting to make a big surge and show next-level work and results from their efforts. In the coming year, CMOs need to support them, and marketing, media and technology providers must deliver on rising expectations.
If this happens, 2016 will be both a year of revenge and one we can all celebrate as the calendar turns.