Tips & Insights To Help You Overcome Demand Marketing Challenges

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This just in – B2B Marketing is hard and getting more complex. Our revenue targets are climbing, account-activity expectations are escalating and “Where’s the damn pipeline?” is being shouted from every corner office. Most of us have been working at warp speed trying to do more, do better and keep pace. After much banter, Heidi Bullock (CMO of Engagio and revenue marketer extradionnaire) and I decided to contribute some ideas with a dose of therapy to help all of us move the needle. We’re coming together to share our revenue-generating experiences on a B2B webcast October 12 at 11 am pacific/2 pm eastern. Read More
September 19, 2017

How CMOs Are Juggling Long-Term Marketing Strategies & Daily Needs

A theme I continually run into whenever speaking with Integrate customers and other B2B marketing and sales professionals is how goals and challenges differ between departments and job levels – and the ways these differing viewpoints affect priorities. After all, B2B marketers can’t contribute to sales pipeline or revenue if sales reps aren’t confident in the lead generation, content strategies and nurturing/scoring practices employed by the marketing team. Marketing executives can’t achieve their goals if they don’t understand the day-to-day roadblocks facing their marketers. And demand gen and marketing operations practitioners certainly can’t live up to CMO expectations if they don’t know what they are.   To get the marketing executive’s perspective on common CMO challenges, fundamental sales enablement practices and the balance of marketing technology, I sat down with Brad Gillespie, current VP of Marketing at Cvent and former CMO at Octiv.

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September 14, 2017

It’s Time B2B Marketers Sweat The Small Stuff to Drive Bigger Results

In a recent Reachforce interview, Kate Athmer answered a question about common demand generation marketing challenges: Traditional demand gen campaigns and channels are managed individually, and are almost never integrated with marketing automation or CRM systems. So marketers spend all their time managing media partners, testing lead sources, formatting and scrubbing spreadsheets, arguing over returns and loading leads into their database – without much insight into what’s actually working. Plus, all the manual components make it nearly impossible to scale for gains in marketing-attributed revenue. In the grand scheme of things, each of the challenges Kate listed seem rather minor, so marketing leaders and the c-suite (and even the demand generation and marketing operations practitioners in the trenches) avoid addressing these inefficient processes. Take all this inefficiencies in aggregate, however, and you have a major problem that affects revenue and marketing’s impact.

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September 12, 2017

3 B2B Marketing Experts Answer Questions On Conferences, Tradeshows & Field Events

On August 23rd I was fortunate enough to host a webinar with two event marketing game changers: Emily Wingrove from Synthio and Frances McCutchon from PFL. While the concept for the webinar initially seemed straightforward, once we started planning the content, I realized we had stumbled on a pretty meaty, and sometimes controversial, topic. Between the three of us, we had so many examples of mistakes, big wins and planned testing that we could easily fill more than an hour. In fact, for those of you who've already listened to the webinar, you probably noticed how quickly we had to talk. And as we dug deep into Frances' and Emily's examples, more excellent questions flowed in from the audience – so many that we didn't have time to answer them all live.

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September 7, 2017

6 Most Common Account-Based Marketing Pitfalls to Avoid

While interviewing the Inverta team a few months back, I asked Kathy Macchi and Patrice Greene what I thought was a fairly straightforward question: In what ways do B2B marketers consistently miss the mark on their account-based strategies? I was expecting a brief answer. Maybe they’d pick one or two errors they commonly see and give a quick explanation. But, no. This question struck a chord; Patrice and Kathy unleashed a litany of ABM mistakes they apparently see all the time.

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August 31, 2017

How Marketing Ops Pros MacGyver MarTech to Get More Done

As B2B marketers, we often buy technology to do one thing, and end up needing it to do something else. Or more realistically: we constantly uncover new tasks and challenges to solve with marketing technology. But while more technology or newer technology can sometimes be the answer, just as often we can find a workaround or other path to get the result we need. Which is good, because no one likes to be accused of having shiny object syndrome. As Courtney McAra said in her Marketing Ops Game Changers interview (the inspiration for this post): "Game Changers challenge the definition of what it means to be a Marketing Ops person. We’re not just data-dorks who sit in the basement with our staplers, taking orders and building webinar programs. We like using technology to do cool and innovative things. Maybe to do things that they weren’t intended to do. We’re MacGyvering the shit out of it to make it work to bring more revenue to the business."

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August 24, 2017

What To Do Before, During & After Events to Increase B2B Marketing ROI

According to Forrester, on average B2B marketing organizations spend 18% of their budget on in-person events (conferences, trade shows, summits, field events, etc.). And Certain’s Event Marketing Benchmark Report put this percentage even higher at 25%. Even if we go with Forrester’s more conservative estimate of 18%, this still indicates B2B marketing teams spend more on events than on any other demand generation or marketing technology investment. Yet, as we all know, prepping for, managing and following up on events remains one of the most manual, task intensive elements of demand generation marketing.

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August 22, 2017

Is ABM Right For Your B2B Marketing Team? New ABM Readiness Scorecard

I don’t think it’d be a stretch to say that by now most B2B marketing teams have at least discussed implementing an account-based market strategy. ABM’s benefits of efficacy and efficiency have been touted by B2B marketing analysts, influencers and practitioners for several years.   However, as with everything in marketing, just because a specific marketing technology, strategy or “best practice” has gained a lot of attention, it doesn’t mean it’s right for every organization. We created the below ABM Readiness Scorecard/Checklist to help your team determine whether ABM is right for your business.

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August 16, 2017

Marketers: Are You Making Any of These ABM Mistakes? (Interview with Inverta)

I always enjoy talking shop with Kathy Maachi and Patrice Greene of Inverta. They provide a much needed (yet usually avoided) nuanced perspective on B2B marketing trends and practices.

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August 10, 2017

Bigger, Better, More Templates: New ABM Program Development Workbook

Nearly two years ago, Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing and the marketing team at Integrate collaborated on workbook to help B2B marketers get started with account-based marketing, titled, “Developing An Account-Based Marketing Program.” Since then, ABM strategy adoption has grown rapidly, new tactics and “best practices” have surfaced and various ABM MarTech solutions have emerged. Based on these developments and the success of the first edition, we decided to revise and beef up the workbook for a second edition.

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August 3, 2017

B2B Marketing Tricks for Maximizing Event ROI

According to Certain’s Event Marketing Benchmark Report, over half of B2B marketers spend 25% or more of their budget on in-person events. Whether a large conference, regional seminar, or intimate dinner, events take a lot of resources from both the marketing and sales teams to pull off. With that much invested, it’s critical that event leads convert to measurable sales pipeline. However, unlike digital programs in which leads flow smoothly through measurable nurture stages and into sales’ hands, events create a messy, manual data problem from start to finish. And this problem can’t be solved without a high level of participation from the sales team itself. Below are some tricks we’ve found help keep marketing and sales in lock-step surrounding events, regardless of how much wine is consumed. If you're left wanting more tips at the end of this post, consider checking out this webinar.

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August 1, 2017

5 Demand Generation Problems B2B Marketers Should Be Prepared For

The larger and more established an organization becomes, the more complex the demand creation function. This is true for many things, but for B2B marketers, the effect is especially compounded. As businesses grow, sales pipeline requirements do as well – and more rapidly than the total available market. This means that we marketers must continuously develop and refine new engagement strategies, channels, content, nurturing tactics, analytical and optimization efforts, etc. as our businesses scale. In other words, our marketing successes lead to greater challenges. Such new demand marketing challenges obligate us to adopt new marketing tech for efficiency, append data for greater insights that enable us to focus efforts, and test numerous new channels, content and engagement tactics to attract the accounts and personas we may have missed in the past.

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July 27, 2017

ABM Isn’t A B2B Marketing Cure-All, It’s Just One Strategy [Interview]

I had a great conversation with Jennifer Pockell Dimas , Plex’s VP of Integrated Marketing & Operations, at Sirius Decisions Summit this last May. The conversation was supposed to be a quick 4- or 5-minute interview. As it turns out, we both had a lot to talk about – I think there were about 20 minutes of total footage, all of it containing great insights, perspectives and opinions from Jen.   I had a great conversation with Jennifer Pockell Dimas, Plex’s VP of Integrated Marketing & Operations, at Sirius Decisions Summit this last May. It was supposed to be a quick 4- or 5-minute interview. As it turns out, we both had a lot to talk about – I think there were 20 minutes of total footage, all of it containing insightful perspectives and opinions from Jen.

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July 19, 2017

Why 4 MarTech CEOs Bet on Integrate’s Success

Today, Integrate announced its fourth round of venture funding. I know what you’re thinking: “So what? …Marketing tech companies get new rounds of funding all the time.” That’s very true. And for that reason, I’m not going to wax poetic about “our incredible journey” as if it’s over. However, there is something different and more exciting than usual about this round – it includes funding from four distinguished MarTech founders and CEOs:

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July 13, 2017

5 Indispensable B2B Marketing Hacks You Can Learn from Publishers

Over dinner a couple months ago in Austin, a few of my B2B marketing peers pointed out how much influence my days as a publisher have had on the way I approach demand marketing. I hadn’t given it too much thought before then. However, after hearing the observations of my fellow marketers, I reflected on some of the “go to” strategies and tactics in my current marketing playbook. Indeed, I have carried many of my media company learnings into the B2B marketing world. Inspired by my colleagues, here are a few publisher strategies that I’ve seen drive significant, cumulative value for B2B marketers.

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July 11, 2017

How I Stay Agile In Demand Marketing: Perspectives, Tools & Tips

A version of this post was first published on CMSWire.com. Like many tech startups, Integrate operates with a lean marketing team. And it’s crucial that each one of us wears multiple hats. Take my title for example: “Thought Leadership and Marketing Tech Strategy”…it’s a mouthful of garbled nonsense, but it covers a broad spectrum allowing a great deal of flexibility, which lends well to – you guessed it – agility. We all know “agility” as an operational concept was ripped off from software developers. And with regard to B2B marketing, we can loosely define it as an approach that encourages rapid and flexible response to change in order to continuously improve the results of our marketing efforts. Sounds great! But how exactly can we marketers put such “rapid and flexible responses to change” into action?

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June 27, 2017

Attributes of Valuable B2B Marketing Partnerships

Marketing departments today rarely have the resources, time or expertise to deliver on every marketing strategy. To advance their effort and get stuff done, they turn to partners to execute initiatives, fill team gaps and deliver new capabilities. It’s no different for software companies like Integrate. We rely on numerous partnerships to provide a holistic solution for B2B marketing organizations. Further, knowledgeable partners are critical to helping us deliver on our demand orchestration promise to our customers. In that spirit, we’re excited to share that Just Media, a B2B marketing services agency, has become the first agency to be Certified as a Demand Orchestration Partner.

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June 22, 2017

Make it Matter: Strategically Tackling Marketing Ops

Most marketers work in a world with too little time and too much to do – moving from task to task, rushing to accomplish as much as possible. For instance, right now I’m updating our go-to-market communications, making numerous additions to our website, developing a new preview of Integrate’s demand orchestration software, supporting a half-dozen field events, increasing our website traffic and boosting conversions, managing a couple of top-funnel marketing programs, writing this blog post… plus at least ten other things that I won’t get to this week. It seems like my to-do list is a mile long. And I’d venture to say that our resident Demand Marketing/Marketing Ops expert, Kate Athmer, has twice as much on hers. Why do you think that is?

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June 20, 2017

Trend Micro Connects Marketo & Integrate to Scale Sales Pipeline 6.6x

The MQL volume goals of yesterday have become merely the first lap of a much longer B2B marketing race today. An increasing number of marketing teams are investing their time, resources and strategic focus on down-funnel metrics, such as scaling sales pipeline opportunities.

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June 14, 2017

How to Overcome Top-Funnel Marketing Deficiencies in an ABM World

There are many moving parts involved with developing and executing a successful account-based marketing program. One of the most overlooked aspects is the way in which we marketers must coordinate top-funnel demand generation efforts differently in an ABM world.

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June 6, 2017

Content Syndication Isn’t Lead Generation, It’s An Introduction [Interview]

A few weeks back, Dawn Colossi, Senior Director of WW Digital Marketing at Commvault, wrote a guest post for the Integrate blog. To date, the post holds the Integrate blog record for most views, engagement, shares and general complements within a single week. …Dawn is clearly better at this B2B marketing stuff than us. After my initial feelings of jealously subsided, I swallowed my pride, accepted my inferiority as a content marketer and writer, and decided that the best thing to do would be to interview Dawn for more marketing insights. The video below is the result.

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May 31, 2017

Getting Real About Account-Based Revenue

Trish Bertuzzi, Patrice Greene, and Kathy Macchi weigh in with a live panel discussion on June 8. Here’s a joke for you: “How do you know two marketers are talking about ABM?” If you muttered “their lips are moving,” followed by a groan, then you understand why three women with a combined 30 years of experience executing successful account-based revenue strategies are starting to get fed up!

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May 25, 2017

A Template for Measuring Demand Marketing Orchestration

At what point in your demand generation process do you start with attribution reporting? Are you able to pinpoint marketing’s influence through the duration of the funnel? For most of us, we get started at the point of inquiry, because that’s where our marketing automation platform starts providing us with detailed metrics. But the customer lifecycle doesn’t start with an inquiry. It starts with identifying new targets – something we must be doing constantly, every day. In fact, when I was working through some of this reporting at Integrate, I noticed that our circular customer lifecycle stage map was missing this key stage too. Even we had overlooked that aspect, despite living and breathing it every day!

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May 23, 2017

3 Big Implications of New SiriusDecisions Demand Unit Waterfall

I’ve been excited about the coming of SiriusDecisions’ revised waterfall since February when Kerry Cunningham first told me he was working on it. Like a movie trailer, Kerry implied significant changes, without actually giving anything away. I was intrigued – and the unveiling last week didn’t disappoint.

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May 18, 2017

How One B2B Agency Made Demand Generation as Efficient as Programmatic

Agencies are a vital extension of B2B marketing teams, tasked with creating compelling customer experiences that drive growth for clients. This means designing and executing demand generation programs to engage target audiences and convert them into new prospects. As strategic as that sounds, in reality agency media teams often spend the bulk of their time processing spreadsheets and negotiating returns with media partners before they can even deliver leads to clients. Talk about a waste of resources.

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May 11, 2017

Marketers: It’s Time to Abolish “Campaigns” and Stop Promising “Leads”

Dawn Colossi is Senior Director of WW Digital Marketing at Commvault and SiriusDecisions ROI Award Winner for Digital Content Marketing Strategy.  A few years ago, I was your typical B2B marketer: I had a “lead goal” (144K to be precise); was churning out “campaigns” (read: three emails and a landing page); and I was completely frustrated that all of my “BANT-qualified” MQLs weren’t turning into revenue. The way I saw it, I had a few choices: Start drinking Keep on doing what I was doing and hope things would just get better Or figure out a new way to create demand I chose number three – well, with a bit of number one on the side, if I’m being honest.

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May 9, 2017

SiriusDecisions on Importance of Outbound in ABM Era

SiriusDecisions Summit is just around the corner, and as a warmup, I thought interviewing SD’s Sr. Research Director of Demand Creation Strategies, Kerry Cunningham, would be a timely endeavor. …of course, I was wrong. As soon as we started filming in what seemed like a quiet corner of an office lobby, everyone and their cubicle mate decided to pour out from elevators and loudly trek past us to the nearest smoking area. Seriously, who smokes these days? …loud, inconsiderate people – that’s who.

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May 2, 2017

$161B on Top-Funnel Marketing vs $9B on Lower-Funnel: A Problem

B2B CMOs are shifting their demand marketers’ focus. Simply generating marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) is no longer enough. Marketing execs are now emphasizing down-funnel efforts that convert prospects to new customers and cross- or up-sell solutions to current customers. And, to be clear, I’m not just echoing the “marketing-driven revenue” slogans we’ve heard from all the MarTech vendors the last several years. This mandate is coming directly from the C-suite.

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April 27, 2017

A Useful Template to Develop (or Improve) Your B2B Buyer Personas

B2B marketing is abuzz with the importance of customer-centricity and the “engagement economy,” yet according to SiriusDecisions more than half of B2B marketing organizations admit that they don’t truly understand their customers. This isn’t surprising when you consider that a notable percentage of companies have yet to execute the fundamental task of identifying their buyer personas. And many of those who do have personas aren't adequately leveraging them. We get it – demand marketers have their hands full. And sometimes it’s hard to make room for a project that may seem tedious with unknown payoff. The fact is that persona-based marketing is yielding big returns: increasing engagement rates, shortening sales cycles and driving more revenue.

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April 20, 2017

Commvault’s Content Marketing Strategy Delivers 3.5x More Deals

“It’s obvious that people coming to your site are interested, but there’s a ton of people that don’t make it there. It’s critical to engage larger audiences on trusted third-party sites. But that requires a lot of resources.” - Dawn Colossi, Sr. Director of Worldwide Digital Marketing, Commvault It surprises me how many B2B businesses take the principles of inbound marketing – developing personas, devising a comprehensive website, landing page and social strategy, and creating great content – and then stop there.

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April 14, 2017

7 Surefire Ways to Limit Your B2B Marketing Career Advancement

I read a post on the surfing blog The Inertia the other day titled “9 Surefire Ways to Get Punched in the Mouth While Surfing.” And while this has absolutely nothing to do with B2B marketing, demand generation, MarTech or content marketing, it did cause me to reflect on some of the things I’ve seen marketers do on the job that can only be described as career-limiting. Just to be clear, I’m not advocating that anyone be punched in the mouth for committing any of the below (it’s better just to imagine it). Besides, they’re already hurting themselves. Here’s my quick list.

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April 6, 2017

Demand Marketing Template: Getting Started with Funnel Measurement

The ultimate goal of funnel measurement within a demand marketing team is predictability: How can I take what I see and translate that into future expectations? And then, how can I take those expectations, pull a few levers, make some adjustments and beat those expectations? For example, if you know you’ll need 3000 leads next month to hit your pipeline goals next quarter, and currently you’re only on track to deliver 2000, then you know you’ve got to add another program. Or maybe you’re brimming with MQLs, but sales-acceptance rate is low. How do you decide whether to plan a webinar, invest in a content syndication program or redesign a process to eliminate the bottleneck happening at the marketing-to-sales hand-off?

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April 4, 2017

4 B2B Marketing Functions Automated By Demand Orchestration Software

As regular readers have likely noticed, the Integrate Blog primarily explores the ways in which B2B demand marketing is evolving – and becoming quite complicated in the process. A proliferation of data sources, customer engagement channels, targeting strategies and marketing technologies are continuously developed to support marketing success, but often bog down demand generation and marketing operations practitioners as much as they help. It’s for this reason that we frequently use the term demand orchestration.

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March 28, 2017

Demand Marketing Planning Template: Sales-Marketing Revenue Goals

I’ve been lucky enough to have had both sales and marketing roles. While it is invaluable experience, especially in my current CMO role, I know one thing for sure – sales and marketing pros have different mindsets. This makes it extremely difficult to achieve much-needed alignment. The problem is often exacerbated by the fact that sales and marketing often have different (or wishy-washy) goals. Working with hundreds of B2B organizations and as part of our own effort at Integrate, we’ve found that B2B marketing teams and sales organizations communicate in vague, general terms – i.e., qualitative terms without specific quantitative KPIs, goals and rewards.

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March 23, 2017

SiriusDecisions and Lookout Discuss Demand Orchestration [Webinar]

B2B marketers face a common challenge...  C-level execs expect marketing teams to have full-funnel command, from building brand awareness to driving pipeline opportunities and revenue – not just inquiries and MQLs. Yet, the labyrinths of disparate data, systems and processes that comprise today’s marketing infrastructures stand in the way of achieving these goals. Marketing organizations must learn to orchestrate all these moving parts with precision and efficiency if they’re to find success in today’s revenue-focused environment. Webinar: “The Move to Demand Orchestration”

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March 21, 2017

Secrets & Strategies from Top Marketing Ops Game Changers

From my view, it’s safe to say that Marketing Operations is the most challenging discipline within marketing today. Not only are the pros in these roles expected to leverage tech, processes and data to create efficiencies and drive results – but they’re being increasingly relied upon to develop a strategy that will help reach the company vision AND be masters of change management to ensure all hands are on deck to execute that strategy. That’s a tall order. But there’s are a number of marketing ops leaders rising to the occasion. We recently announced the Top 33 Marketing Ops Game Changers, a group of best-in-class marketing operations innovators leaving an indelible impact on their organizations and shaping the future of marketing ops. Over the last several weeks, we’ve had the privilege of working closely with these pros to uncover tips & tactics to help you:

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March 15, 2017

[Video] Demand Orchestration Insights: 3 Questions with Leslie Alore 

We're starting a new video interview series!  The plan is to hound top B2B marketing professionals (aka demand orchestrators) into sharing some of their words of wisdom whenever we cross paths. This may occur at Marketo Marketing Nation or SiriusDecisions Summit or at numerous other events. If you were recently recognized as one of the 33 Marketing Ops Game Changers, I'd especially be on the lookout – before you know it, I or one of my colleagues may be pinning unattractive microphones to your lapel and annoying you with B2B demand marketing questions for 5 minutes.

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March 14, 2017

The Modern Marketer’s Workshop – ABM: From Strategy to Action and Results

The value of well-executed account-based marketing (ABM) is clear: Greater efficiency and revenue impact – Companies generate 208% more revenue for their marketing efforts when using ABM strategies (MarketingProfs). Increased customer lifetime value – 84% of marketers believe that ABM provides significant benefits for retaining and expanding current client relationships (SiriusDecisions). That’s why 92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider ABM “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts (SiriusDecisions). And why 41% of marketers plan to increase spending on ABM (eMarketer).

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March 10, 2017

Webinar: Winning Marketing Ops Strategies for Your Playbook

Integrate and Heinz Marketing recently recognized 33 Marketing Ops Game Changers. The purpose was to identify the folks who are driving their organizations forward and to surface insights that will help other ops practitioners while advancing the industry. Over the last several weeks, we’ve been working closely with this group of pros to understand the challenges they’re facing, the solutions they’re implementing to overcome those challenges and the outcomes received as a result of their prescriptive approaches.

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March 7, 2017

Template for Developing a B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing can be tough, especially if you’re as organizationally incompetent as I am. (Seriously, it’s bad). If you’re like me, this gives you two options for achieving your content goals: Rely on tools to help organize and support your efforts Rely on highly organized teammates to keep you on track…to the point that they daydream about hiring a contract killer to end you. I prefer a healthy mix of the two. But since my esteemed colleagues would be better suited to write about the second option, this post will focus on the first – tools to facilitate your disorderly, yet well-intentioned content marketing strategy efforts.

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March 1, 2017

A Short Video About Demand Orchestration

Integrate recently released a new resource: The Demand Marketing Assessment Guide and Orchestration Workbook.  …yes, that title is a mouthful, and in hindsight, we probably should’ve come up with a better one. So, for the rest of this post, I’ll just refer to it as the Demand Orchestration Workbook. Part of the reason for the workbook’s longwinded title is the fact that it comprises a lot of various, useful info and tools for B2B marketers: an assessment guide, prescriptive advice, influencer opinions, excel worksheets and more. To highlight why we created the Demand Orchestration Workbook and how best to use it, we also developed the short video below.

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February 22, 2017

What Iron Mountain’s Achievements Tell Us About Scaling Marketing Pipeline & Revenue

Earlier this week at the B2B Marketing Exchange (#B2BMX), Iron Mountain’s Director of Global Marketing Operations and Automation, Leslie Alore, began her presentation with a very salient slide (see below).

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February 16, 2017

RES Automates Top-Funnel Digital Marketing to Scale Demand Generation

Like many B2B organizations, the marketing team at RES – a global provider of technology that creates, automates and secures the digital workspace – has been tasked with creating a scalable, global demand generation machine. “Global demand generation machine” sounds nice, doesn’t it? It implies sophistication with impact (in a marketer-speak kind of way). Most importantly, however, it highlights a growing requirement among B2B marketing orgs to participate directly in revenue creation.

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February 15, 2017

33 Marketing Ops Pros Who Are Driving the Industry Forward

Marketing operations is arguably the most challenging discipline within B2B marketing today. It’s a constant back and forth between big picture strategy and in-the-weeds execution. Ops leaders must balance people, processes, data and technology in order to make micro- and macro-improvements that will prove instrumental in reaching business goals. Integrate and Heinz Marketing recently set out to uncover the marketing ops professionals who aren't only rising to this challenge, but leaving indelible impact on their organizations. We conducted a similar program last year to recognize demand marketers. That process worked well and resulted in some helpful content being used by many demand marketing leaders to shape and evolve their strategies. So we followed a similar process to acknowledge ops leaders who are driving their organizations, and the industry at large, forward.

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January 31, 2017

Quick 2016 Recap and a Look Ahead for Integrate & Its Customers

2016 was an exciting and momentous year for our team at Integrate. Like many of you, we're already knee deep in executing our 2017 plan, including the next evolution of our demand orchestration platform. (We’re just a bit pumped up about that!) We want to use this post first and foremost to thank our customers, partners and team (affectionately known as “Integrators”) for continuing to work collaboratively on solutions to help B2B marketers scale sales pipeline and revenue. We thought a short post was a simple way to update our community, both on our progress and what’s ahead. The headline as we closed 2016 was all about growth. Integrate quadrupled its software revenue growth year over year in 2016 (see full details here in the release). We’re proud not just of hitting this milestone, but for making significant gains in marketing performance. Here are a few 2016 highlights worth calling out.

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January 26, 2017

13 Rules To Learn On First Day As Demand Generation Marketer

As with every profession, you learn a lot on the job that you weren’t ever told during school, the interview process or training. This is especially true regarding B2B marketing, where the pace of change is far too rapid for any undergraduate marketing curriculum to keep up. While randomly musing with friends over what I’ve learned about the career I accidentally fell into, I began thinking about how knowing these things off that bat would’ve saved me from many arguments with colleagues, wasted efforts, headaches, drinking binges, etc. To help future demand marketers, here’s a letter I intend to provide on the first day of their new career. Dear newbie,

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January 17, 2017

Marketing Ops Focus: A Little Less Tech & A Little More Data

David Raab is Founder of CDP (Customer Data Platform) Institute and Principal of Raab Associates. With nearly 30 years of experience analyzing marketing trends, tech and data, Raab is one of the most trusted resources for practical advice that helps advance today’s marketing organizations. This year, he joins an esteemed panel of judges to help identify  33 Marketing Ops Game Changers who are driving their oranizations forward.   Raab recently took some time to share his views on the Marketing Operations role. It seems perhaps many ops pros are so inundated with implementing marketing technology and building complex workflows that they’re not able to full exercise their data-driven and analytical talents.

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January 12, 2017

MarTech Overwhelm Syndrome: A Growing Concern Among B2B Marketing Executives

Do you suffer from Martech Overwhelm Syndrome? If so, you’re not alone. Okay, I just coined that term. But I think it works well to describe a common ailment among marketing professionals. Namely, a severe form of stress brought on by the colossal number of marketing technologies available – and an inability to make smart decisions about which ones to use. Scott Brinker talks about this problem in his blog, “Martec’s Law: the greatest management challenge of the 21st century.”  Martec’s Law is an idea Brinker came up with a few years back, which states that “technology changes exponentially, but organizations change logarithmically.” According to Brinker, figuring out how to handle the massive influx of marketing technologies is a very difficult problem. In other words, faced with thousands of new and emerging technologies, how in the hell are marketers supposed to keep up?

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January 10, 2017

Assessing Your Demand Marketing Maturity: How Do You Stack Up?

B2B marketing has changed a lot in the last five years. New technologies, strategies and channels have served as both challenges and opportunities. Every marketing organization has tackled these opportunities differently. Some have put great effort into expanding the number of customer engagement channels to scale top-of-funnel lead volume, while others have focused more on implementing insight-producing analytics solutions to increase conversion rates down the funnel. There’s no right or wrong. As demand marketers, however, our enthusiasm for one path – whether it be developing cross-channel programs, integrating efficiency-producing tech or devising sophisticated content strategies – often results in unintended neglect of the others. Occasionally, we need to take a step back and reflect on our demand marketing efforts holistically to identify areas of needed improvement. 

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January 5, 2017

Marketing Operations Pros Are Putting on Their Big Kids Pants

John Donlon is Research Director for Marketing Operations Strategies at Sirius Decisions. He works with Marketing Ops pros and teams every day. He is one of the six judges for the Marketing Ops Game Changers program which is recognizing the top 33 Marketing Ops leaders in B2B for breakthrough work. We caught up with John to get his scoop on the past, present and future of Marketing Ops – a profession that has progressed from the “island of misfit toys” and an informal function to today being a trusted counselor to the CMO.

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December 15, 2016

B2B Marketing Words & Phrases That Shaped 2016

As marketers, we know WORDS matter. They’re used to communicate, differentiate and deliver a clear understanding of your brand, company, products and ideas.   We tried something a little different as we assessed 2016. We wanted to get handle on our current state and to understand what we were communicating. Our blog is often the starting point for shaping, sharing and honing our points of view. So, we created a “word cloud” around the Integrate blog to identify the words and topics and we spent the most energy on over the past year. While our 2017 planning is chalked with forward thinking, it was a useful tool to first assess what we thought was important for B2B marketing in 2016.

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December 13, 2016

Are There Silent Killers Lurking in Your Demand Marketing Process?

With all the progress that's been made around demand orchestration – from technology to enable ABM and predictive, to top-of-funnel automation, to advanced Pipeline analytics – marketers have more power to influence revenue than ever before. But interestingly, this technology doesn’t always show us the way, at least not at first. Instead, it often uncovers a murky mess of bad data, or a tangle of workaround processes. Much has been written about the consequences of dirty data or time wasted manually processing spreadsheets, but those are just two of the most blatant, deadly problems marketers face. The reality is, we still have a lot silent killers lurking out there, threatening to drag down our marketing results. So how do you identify and weed them out before they do real damage?

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December 6, 2016

How to Know If ABM is Right for Your Company

ABM, account-based marketing, has been practiced by sales and marketing teams dating back to the 1960s. The difference today is the ability of technology to help run ABM efforts that feel high-touch, with better levels of scale and tracking. With today’s tools, we’re able to speed up the feedback loop and use data to refine our efforts, with less manual work. Yet, as with any marketing strategy, it’s important to evaluate the people and process before making any technology decisions.

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December 1, 2016

Lead Integrity Checklist: Demand Gen Tool to Improve B2B Data Quality

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a B2B marketer working in demand generation or marketing operations. The odds further suggest that you or someone you work with has spent grueling time pouring over spreadsheets to get leads ready for your marketing automation and/or CRM system. It’s a taxing, time-consuming process that eats away at resources (not to mention team morale…no one goes to college to scrub and format leads). But it’s necessary. And in the throes of such tedium, it’s easy to overlook an erroneous email here and an untargeted job title there, allowing bad data to get into the all-important customer database. This “dirty data” skews performance measurement and hinders your ability to optimize programs effectively.

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November 29, 2016

3 Common Causes of Slow Lead Velocity and the Tactics to Solve Them

The importance of lead velocity to B2B marketing is widely understood. However, discussions on the topic, and more importantly, how to increase velocity, often take a back seat to the flashier aspects of demand marketing, such as account-based marketing.   This isn’t surprising. After all, when we speak of lead velocity, we’re simply referring to how quickly marketing leads convert through the various stages of the customer acquisition funnel. Yet ignoring slowed velocity and funnel blockages can lead to potentially severe marketing problems:

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November 17, 2016

Is Your ABM Strategy Creeping Out Your Target Buyers?

If most people approached dating the way marketers approached marketing, the world’s population would likely plummet. Why? Because when it comes to B2B demand marketing, we marketers seldom acknowledge the subtle differences between those tactics that successfully pique target buyers' interest and those that simply annoy them (or creep them out entirely). This is especially true regarding account-based marketing (ABM), in which B2B marketers must raise interest and credibility among an entire buying-committee across a set number of accounts.

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November 10, 2016

8 Questions About Account-Based Marketing Content Answered

Account-based marketing (ABM) has become a must-have strategy for B2B organizations looking to engage the accounts with the best potential, but for ABM’s promise of efficiency and effectiveness to payoff, marketers must be able to engage the decision-makers at the target accounts. We know content is critical to reaching target-account decision-makers, but the content you use in your broad thought leadership and demand marketing efforts typically won’t fully deliver on your ABM agenda. To help B2B marketers align content with ABM strategy, last week we hosted a webinar with practitioners from Engagio, Uberflip and Influitive called “How to Evolve Content Marketing Strategy for an ABM World.” 

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November 8, 2016

4 “Easy” Areas Where Marketing Technologists Often Fall Short

I was a sophomore in high school, anticipating my first-ever “session.” A session is a term used to describe 20-30 minutes spent playing a musical instrument, by yourself, in front of your music director to be assessed for a chair in the school’s band. (Oh, and former band-geeks – I am looking at you, because you know exactly what I am talking about. Don’t hide). This harrowing collection of minutes was made even more terrifying by the fact that your “chair” represented how skilled you were at your instrument. First chair = the most skilled. Last chair = the least skilled. In Manchester, NH at the ripe age of 15, the stakes couldn’t be higher. I’d spent hours practicing my scales as well as all the prepared pieces (to this day, I find the best cure for anxiety is preparation), and I was thinking I had a terrific shot at first chair. On the day of my session, my parents wished me good luck and I skipped off to the bus, hopped on and made it all the way to school. …without my clarinet. The moral of the story is this: it doesn’t matter how well you execute the hard things if you can’t get the easy things right.

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November 3, 2016

Call for Nominations: Who Are The Best Marketing Ops Game Changers?

Earlier this year, we had the privilege of working with Heinz Marketing to highlight 40 demand marketers who are taking their organizations to the next level. Through collaborative work with these Demand Marketing Game Changers, we unearthed leading-edge B2B marketing strategies and tactics that are setting the pace for demand generation and marketing ops pros. 

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November 1, 2016

6 Skills Marketing Ops Leaders Can Master to Change the Game

Marketing operations has become the epicenter of marketing activity. Businesses look to their ops team to align people, processes and technology in ways that create maximum business value. These leaders wear many hats, move at the speed of light, and constantly strive for both macro- and micro- improvements that will impact the organization.   While there are some valuable resources to help marketing ops professionals refine their strategies, great ops work goes beyond copying someone else’s playbook. If you really want to advance your ops career, you first want to understand the traits that make ops leaders invaluable and then integrate those traits into your marketing DNA. After working closely with some of the best ops pros in the industry, we’ve boiled game-changing marketing ops work down into six core traits.  These are the skills up and coming operations professionals want to master.

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October 27, 2016

Modifying Content Marketing Strategy to Increase ABM Results

It’s quite possible that I’ve missed the discussion (I certainly don’t read every B2B marketing blog post or article), but amid all the account-based marketing (ABM) discussions on selecting target accounts, engaging account decision-makers and tracking program results, it seems as if there’s been little industry talk about how all this affects your content strategy. The Integrate ABM program development workbook released last year touched on the subject a bit; however, even that wasn’t a comprehensive dive into the topic.  The good news is that implementing an ABM program doesn’t require you to completely overhaul your current content marketing strategy. It’s more recalibration than revolution.

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October 26, 2016

Are You Guilty of These B2B Marketing Hashtag Mistakes?

As Integrate’s social media manager, I have my stack of go-to hashtags readily available before the day’s blog title is even announced. Admit it – you have a list too. Hashtags are great. They allow you to easily find content, identify which market categories are getting the most traction and even expand your content’s reach. Plus, the more you use them, the more your inner teen comes out.

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October 20, 2016

What to Ask Your Paid Lead Generation Partners

Modern demand marketers know there are many steps to building an effective outbound demand marketing program. Let’s focus on the start of the process, when you’re evaluating third-party lead generation partners to help augment your inbound demand generation programs. Using third-party partners is a great way to increase overall lead flow and improve the predictability of lead volume coming into your marketing funnel and sales pipeline. By “third-party partner,” I mean an external partner who you pay to provide leads, or contact-level information, on prospective buyers, beyond the inbound leads you’re creating through your own website and landing pages.

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October 18, 2016

3 Common Top-Funnel Demand Gen Ailments You Can Fix

When it comes to demand marketing, a single issue can be a symptom of multiple problems. For example, if website visitors aren’t converting to leads, this can be a targeting problem, a content problem or both. The right diagnosis often requires more than identifying single issues in a vacuum – you must analyze a wide range of unsuccessful (and successful) efforts holistically if you’re to diagnose the real problem and treat it effectively. Below are fundamental problems I see demand marketers commonly face.

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October 13, 2016

5 SlideShare Tips That Increase Reach and Engagement

If you’ve implemented an effective content marketing wheel, you may have received a solid amount of feedback and optimized marketing pieces for your content marketing strategy. And you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to bring another content channel into the mix. Answer: It probably is. SlideShare has more than 70 million users, most of whom are involved in the B2B community – and this channel gets 500% more traffic from business owners than YouTube, Twitter or Facebook. So even if you’re ticking along with a successful content distribution strategy, it’s worthwhile to consider repurposing strong content for this platform to maximize reach and engagement.

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October 11, 2016

How to Survive Any MarTech Implementation

Avoid these six common pitfalls and help your team survive the challenges of your next marketing technology implementation. Gartner has predicted that CMOs will outspend CIOs by 2017. IDC predicts CMOs will drive marketing technology spending to $32.3B by 2018. IDC notes that CMOs’ influence has moved beyond traditional spending areas into more parts of the business, as evidenced by the marketing technology map, broken into four main areas: interaction, content, management and administration, and data and analytics.

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October 6, 2016

2017 Survival Guide for Demand Marketers

The demand marketing environment is changing so quickly that the rules we play by at the start of a year may no longer apply by the end of that same year. The rapid ascent of account-based marketing’s popularity over the past year or two comes to mind. Or, think of how quickly the mushrooming MarTech stack has affected our efforts – both enabling and challenging our ability to coordinate or demand generation initiatives. A recent Scott Vaughan blog post provided valuable tips to grow your B2B marketing career by acquiring the most in-demand skills for 2017. I agree with the importance of those skills, but want to share a different perspective: skills that you can use to survive in this dynamic, sometimes volatile, profession. Here are 7 recommendations to compliment Scott’s perspective.

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October 4, 2016

The Past, Present and Future of Customer Lifecycle Automation

When it comes to marketing and the technology we use to automate it, it seems as if we’re still in those awkward, early teen years. Not all parts are in sync during this huge growth spurt. And, in fact, it’s often overwhelming. Adopting new MarTech systems, connecting them effectively and implementing new processes that fully capitalize on these new tools are just some of the challenges we face on a daily basis. With Dreamforce happening this week in San Francisco, it’s a perfect time to reflect on both recent progress and future challenges around using sales and marketing automation. One thing we know for sure: 100,000+ pros wouldn’t be putting up with the jammed packed chaos of Dreamforce for a week if this automation thing wasn’t driving real business value. History doesn’t only tell us about the past, it can also be a powerful compass for the future. It’s a good time to ask: Where are we on delivering a fully automated, integrated funnel to generate prospects, acquire new customers and effectively manage these relationships?

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September 29, 2016

8 Types of MarTech Tools Every Demand Marketer Needs

Marketing technology now accounts for 33% of marketing budgets, according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016. B2B marketers specifically are investing heavily in tech to automate processes, engage new audiences, gain insights into marketing’s effectiveness and deliver increasingly innovative customer experiences. But there are literally thousands of marketing tools to choose from, and when the MarTech landscape looks like it does today, it’s hard to know where to begin. At Integrate we have the advantage of working with (and learning from) hundreds of demand marketing pros – customers, partners and friends. Earlier this year, in conjunction with Matt Heinz at Heinz Marketing, we set out to recognize 40 top demand marketing pros, and in doing so obtain a more thorough understanding of what makes a demand marketing rock star. We asked the Game Changers to list their three most essential marketing tools. Interestingly, there was a lot of overlap. And where there weren’t exact matches, we definitely found consistencies as to the types of tools demand marketers need to have in their toolbox in order to keep up in today’s marketing landscape.

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September 27, 2016

How to Use Social Selling to Boost Demand Generation

In A Four-Step Media Strategy That Pays Off, Scott Vaughan gives great tips to put more strategy and discipline into your social media strategy. Today’s top performing salespeople are setting themselves apart from the competition through targeted social selling efforts. LinkedIn defines social selling as “leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals.” LinkedIn is “all in” on this concept, even creating a Social Selling Index (SSI). As a modern demand marketer, it’s important to consider social selling as yet another channel in your marketing toolbox.

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September 22, 2016

Is ABM Simply a Signal of a More Significant Shift in B2B Marketing?

We’ve been hitting the account-based marketing (ABM) content pretty hard lately – numerous webinars, blog posts, infographics, white papers and a workbook. But when we get down to it, ABM is just one facet of B2B marketing (albeit a very important one). I’m a strong proponent of ABM, which makes sense considering Integrate delivers an ABM solution. However, as I’ve written about before, we shouldn't equate ABM to B2B marketing. (You can read why here.) More to the point, we shouldn't neglect all the other facets of B2B marketing just because ABM is “so hot” right now. I'm not alone here –  Jeff Siegel (Enterprise Global Demand Gen Strategist at Dell), David Johnson (Director of Product Marketing at Oracle Marketing Cloud) and Scott Vaughan (Integrate’s CMO) all agree.

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September 20, 2016

Just Media Redefines the B2B Marketing Agency Model

B2B marketing agencies must be much more than just media buyers these days. With all the channels available to engage prospective customers, they must possess not only extensive media relationships and experience, but also the analytical skills and technological know-how to continuously identify which channels are working and why. Tech-enabled, data-driven media expertise is the new agency formula – one that Just Media is pioneering. The reinvention of the B2B agency model is a result of several factors: primarily the proliferation of MarTech and its adoption by marketers. B2B marketers have developed sophisticated marketing tech stacks that run on a growing amount of data that has inevitably transformed the way they do their jobs. Consequently, media agencies are having to align their tech, data and processes with each of their clients.

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September 8, 2016

Targeting the Account’s Buying Committee: Tips from the Leaders in ABM MarTech

At this point, most B2B demand marketers understand the account-based marketing (ABM) basics: Figure out the common characteristics of your most profitable accounts Create a list of similar companies Do your best to engage the accounts, and hopefully, the decision-makers within them While basics are important, the above steps leave a lot of ABM specifics unaddressed. Just a few questions left unanswered include:

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September 6, 2016

6 Key Demand Generation Lessons Learned from Gated-Content Testing

In a previous post, Gated Content Marketing Strategy: Adding Steps Boosted Results 2X, I discussed how adding steps to the conversion process went against traditional demand generation thinking, and actually created an increase in conversions. Let’s take this concept a few steps further and discuss ways a gated-content strategy can help complement your entire lead generation funnel.

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September 2, 2016

11 Tips to Make Content Syndication Work for Demand Generation

B2B marketers are starting to get glimpses of their 2017 pipeline goals and wrapping their heads around what percentage their teams will need to contribute next year. Quick analysis of conversion rates, database size, etc. are indicating for some that the only way to reach next year’s goals is to get way more prospects in their databases. But what if you’re milking your organic social and search channels for everything they’re worth? And what if you’re at the tipping point on your paid search efforts where the only way to increase volume is to start settling for lower quality? How on earth can you keep scaling demand across your top-of-funnel marketing efforts so you can continue to fill your pipeline with qualified opportunities? In our experience, one of the best ways to keep a steady stream of new prospects flowing in at the top of the funnel is to work with third-party media partners that can syndicate your high performing content to their engaged audiences. This approach to lead generation, when done right, can be a powerful key to ensuring a growing and engaged pipeline. When done wrong, it can leave you with not only a dirty database, but a massive headache as well. Here are a few tips about what you need to know to effectively leverage lead data providers in your content marketing efforts.

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August 31, 2016

Conjoined Twins: The Emerging Sales-Marketing Relationship

Sales-marketing alignment has seemingly been written about more than any other B2B marketing topic. (Well, maybe not as much as account-based marketing.) We’ve certainly written our fair share on the subject. However, as much as previous sales-marketing-kumbaya content has served its purpose in the past, times are changing…and so must the ways in which this much-honored relationship works. The lead gen era’s slow death: How it affects the marketing-sales relationship

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August 25, 2016

Gated Content Marketing Strategy: Adding Steps Boosted Results 2X

Many companies have a strategy to gate certain types of content in an effort to acquire names for their prospect database. Gated content is simply content that sits behind a registration form. The concept is that the content is valuable enough, in-depth enough or detailed enough, that a prospect will pay for the content by providing his or her email address. Once a prospect supplies their email name, it’s common to deploy an outbound marketing automation strategy (or nurturing track), designed to convert prospects, i.e. leads, into paying customers. With the advent of modern marketing tools and practices, most B2B product- or service-oriented companies use an inbound content strategy to drive eyeballs at the top of the funnel (TOFO), converting those eyeballs to emails mid-funnel (MOFU), then converting email names to customers through the mid and bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

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August 23, 2016

Do You Have These 4 Most In-Demand B2B Marketing Skills?

You hear the term “accidental marketer” frequently, especially in the B2B tech world. Many marketers did not start their career with a grand plan to join the Marketing ranks. They ended up in Marketing because they were good communicators or writers. They had an aptitude towards more complex products and technology. Or they found a good gig out of college as a new recruit doing social media, manipulating spreadsheets or assisting with events, and stayed. Today, marketing leaders cannot afford happenstance with talent. The stakes are too high with marketing on the hook for revenue and delighting empowered customers. A renewed focus must be put on finding and developing difference-making marketing skills. Over the last few months, I spent time with a variety of marketing leaders and CMO recruiters who are marketing game changers and have proven they can build teams that deliver results. I also added in my own perspective as a CMO who gets to work with hundreds of B2B marketing organizations. Please note: this is NOT a scientific survey. Deep conversations – sometimes involving adult beverages – were exchanged to unearth the essential skills.

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August 18, 2016

2017 Marketing Budget Planning: People, Partners and Technology

We’re fast approaching a time – budget season – that many marketers dread. Budget negotiations will, indeed, be dreadful if you’re following old models of demand generation and sales support grunt work, where it’s exceptionally hard to prove ROI.  If so, you should anticipate contentious discussions with your CMO, COO or CFO, who will accept no less than quantifiable ROI and a plan to drive revenue. Having gained visibility into leading-edge B2B marketers who orchestrate demand and drive revenue, I’m going to share what I’ve learned from these leaders to help you proactively manage this year’s ritual. I’ll lay out concrete ways to articulate the people, partner and technology investments you seek – and the outcomes you’ll drive.

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August 16, 2016

The 5 Most Common Persona Pitfalls B2B Marketers Must Avoid

Most modern B2B marketers have invested resources to develop their customer personas. The next step is to put those personas into action, by creating useful content that resonates with your prospects and customers. Having documented personas is one thing; executing relevant content and marketing strategies is where the real art and science come into play. Here are five common pitfalls that can emerge when a team puts their personas into action, along with tips to avoid the risks.

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August 11, 2016

The Infographic Framework: How To Build A Visual Story

Our brains are wired to respond to pictures and visual cues – in fact, the average brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text. And marketing trends have reflected this over the years: we’re still developing text-based content, but marketers are ever more concerned with putting out visually stimulating content that engages more deeply with an audience. You already know that repurposing successful content can be a more effective long-term strategy than constantly churning out new pieces to keep your prospects engaged. So if you focus on repurposing content that’s already performing well, imagine the engagement and brand recognition you can achieve by converting it into an infographic. Infographics are among the most shared content formats in the digital marketing world – but a poorly executed piece can have an adverse effect on your brand awareness and audience engagement. By following a simple but effective framework, you can repurpose content into infographics that have a positive effect on your ROI.

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August 9, 2016

Marketing Automation Missed Its Mark – And Why That's a Good Thing

Only a few years ago, most marketing automation vendors were sprinting to expand their cloud offerings. It was an intense race: most major vendors wanted to be the first all-in-one, customer data platform to automate the entire customer experience — from initial prospect identification to post-purchase advocate creation. They wanted to be the Salesforce of marketing. They all failed. And this has been great for marketers. 

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August 4, 2016

How To Create New Prospect Engagement With Video Content

If you’re part of the 92% of B2B marketers who use video in their content marketing strategy, you’ve likely already seen the benefit. Video content shares more information in less time than written content, and creates a stronger brand association. Most marketers leverage video for middle- or bottom-of-funnel marketing – like product demos and client testimonials – but you’d be surprised how valuable video content can be as part of your top-funnel (TOFU) demand generation strategy. Customers typically go through more than half of the buying process independently – so in the absence of a sales rep in the early stages, you can lean on video content to deliver the personality and expertise that facilitates a strong brand connection. Top-of-funnel content should be educational in nature, and should attract audiences in the early stage of the buying cycle. To front-load your marketing funnel with prospects in your target demographic, you’ll need to go beyond native content on your website. Repurposing high-performing content for syndication will allow you to expand your reach and engage new audiences with your video content. Try these three video formats for your TOFU content to increase engagement and brand awareness:

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August 2, 2016

5 Reasons B2B Marketers Need to Automate Top-of-Funnel Marketing

Yesterday, Scott Brinker published a really great blog post that highlights the mainstream recognition of MarTech and the marketing technologist role. His conclusions were drawn from a recent DataXu report (Modernizing the Mix: Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics), which I suggest every tech-focused marketer read. In addition to highlighting the rise of marketing technology and technologists, I wasn’t all to surprised to find a substantial amount of survey information point to how, even with all this marketing tech investment, marketers’ chief obstacles remain lack of efficiency and transparency at the top of the funnel.

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July 28, 2016

24 Practical Tips to Upcycle (Not Recycle) Your Marketing Content

Upcycling is described as the process of converting older or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. Let’s discuss new ways to upcycle current content, and turn it into something useful and perhaps even more beautiful. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 benchmark report, only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing. This number is disappointingly low, and has dropped from 38% in the same survey last year. Yet, 76% of respondents say they will produce more content this year. If only 30% of us feel we are effective at content marketing, why do 76% of us plan on producing more content this year? Does this mean our content strategy is to create even more (ineffective) content marketing? Let’s try a new approach. Let’s create less content but make sure it is more useful, not continue to create more content that we know is ineffective. In the spirit of less is more, here are 24 practical tips with idea prompts for upcycling existing content.

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July 26, 2016

Full Funnel Means Marketing as a Profit Center

Perspective and Tips from Matt Heinz with Release of New Book Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing, one of the real-world thought leaders in our B2B marketing community, just released a new book. I thought it was insightful, timely and covered a healthy bit of strategies and tactics required to become a kick-ass revenue marketer.

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July 25, 2016

The Value of Top-Funnel Automation for Sales Pipeline

Fixing top-funnel (TOFU) marketing issues (and automating TOFU processes) is now a major initiative among many demand marketers. Considering CRM’s effect on the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) and marketing automation’s results with the middle, focusing on centralizing, standardizing and automating top-funnel demand gen efforts is a natural progression. While several articles have made strong arguments for the need and value of top-funnel MarTech, I’ve yet to see any support the case with hard numbers. (And hard numbers are critical when you’re building a business case to evaluate potential investment value.) So I thought I’d do just that, focusing on an important element of automating top-funnel efforts: filtering and correcting unmarketable leads before they’re injected into your prospect database.

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July 12, 2016

MarTech Health Checkup: Think Evolution, Not Revolution

Shiny Object Syndrome…an increasingly common ailment in the tech-dependent marketing world. It often happens when we get distracted by the influx of new technologies and trending strategies that promise us the world. Given a total of $10 billion in MarTech funding since the start of last year alone, along with the fact that, according to Gartner’s 2015-2016 CMO Spend Survey, 71 percent of marketing orgs have discrete funding for innovation (averaging about 10 percent of the marketing budget), it’s an easy trap to fall into. It’s precisely for this reason that we should regularly check up on how well our tech investments are supporting our marketing initiatives. And now that we’re halfway through 2016, it’s probably a good time for that bi-annual review.

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July 7, 2016

The New Face of Outbound Marketing Balances Inbound

Content creation has become a main B2B marketing focus over the last few years. Until fairly recently, however, many marketers have leveraged their content for inbound marketing strategies alone, while neglecting all the possible impact content could have via outbound marketing strategies. But that’s all changing, and for good reason. Imagine your business is a brick-and-mortar cheese shop, and your marketing strategy is limited to the free samples you offer pedestrians as they pass by your door. Think about all the customers who shop at the grocery store around the corner, but never appear on your doorstep because they don’t know you exist. Think about the foot traffic you’d miss, and the potential new customers that would never even show up on your radar.

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July 6, 2016

Painkillers or Vitamins? What to Take for Improved Demand Marketing Health

Mastering B2B marketing is getting more challenging. Customers’ expectations are rising, markets are more dynamic than ever, business seems to be continually in transformation mode, and the corner office and sales honchos are screaming for “leads” (translated = “opportunities”). With so many moving, changing parts to think through, we B2B marketers often find ourselves in a constant dilemma, masking short-term pains rather than addressing mid- and long-term needs to scale our capabilities and make greater contributions to the business.   At Integrate, we find ourselves in this situation from time to time and we see it every day with the hundreds of B2B marketing teams we work with to automate and orchestrate their demand marketing efforts. Until recently, the much more common approach had been fixing demand gen issues with a painkiller; that is to say, generating larger and larger volumes of leads.

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June 30, 2016

10 Demand Marketing Strategies That May Up Your Game

We’ve been on a mission for the last year to help demand marketers up-level their game. Recently, we facilitated a recognition program to shine a spotlight on the Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers. And now we’re working to unearth their demand marketing secrets so we can not only learn from them but share them with you. If you missed the recent Game Changers in Action webinar, then this article is for you. Demand Marketing Game Changer Scott Fingerhut, WW VP of Demand Generation at Elastic, shared some sage marketing advice that can help us all be better demand marketers. I’ve distilled Scott’s 20 minutes from the webinar into 10 demand marketing tips that will hopefully give you some new ideas on how you can approach your role and your relationship with current and prospective customers. 

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June 29, 2016

Why Demand Marketers Are Developing Customizable Data Ecosystems

Last September we published an article that discussed why, over the last few years, marketers and the MarTech industry have gradually come to favor customizable marketing technology stacks. The article explains how marketers are no longer seeking all-inclusive, out-of-box marketing systems to simplify their jobs; instead, they’re looking for innovative ways to leverage multiple systems to their advantage. Unsurprisingly, this emerging mindset of customization is also having great impact on the ways in which marketers identify, coordinate and use the data that fuels these finely tuned tech stacks.

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June 23, 2016

The Content Marketing Wheel: A Smart Approach to Content Strategy

If you’ve been playing in digital content for any period of time, you’re probably familiar with this scenario: you publish a new blog post, get a spike in traffic and engagement, then watch your analytics level out. It’s a common pattern in B2B marketing — only 10% of blog posts continue to increase visits over time, after the initial traffic spike.  This linear process creates an imbalance between the input — the time and resources devoted to content development — and the ROI of your content marketing. If you really want to make an impact with your strategy, it’s time to try a new approach. 

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June 21, 2016

Schizophrenia in B2B Demand Marketing: Why Making Progress Can Be So Hard

Demand marketing is a succinct term. Properly defined, it gets a lot of information across quickly and easily (saving us content marketers from character limits…not to mention the occasional onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). But such simplicity can be problematic. It allows us to neglect the nuances of a very complex relationship of processes, technologies and data. And with how busy demand marketers are these days, we often don’t even notice the unintended consequences.

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June 15, 2016

40 Demand Marketers Who Are Changing the Game

We talk about it all the time. Marketing is changing. Marketers own more of the customer lifecycle than ever before. And they’re being charged with creating exceptional experiences to engage those customers while driving ever-increasing contributions to pipeline and revenue. They’re building demand centers. The demand marketers powering those centers face new challenges every day. It’s a tough job and many have a hard time keeping up with the pace, let alone innovating. But there are definitely some standout pros rising to new heights and changing the game of what it means to be a demand marketer. Recently, Integrate and Heinz Marketing set out to recognize 40 demand marketers who are accomplishing big things within their organizations.

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June 14, 2016

Marketing Ops: Why TOFU Matters to You Now More Than Ever

The rise of the marketing operations (MOPs) profession has driven efficiency, new capabilities and a much more analytical and process-driven approach to marketing. MOPs’ biggest area of impact has been the enablement of demand generation and customer acquisition. To date, MOPs has primarily focused on what happens inside the organization. This includes the deployment and optimization of core marketing platforms such as the organization’s web site, marketing automation (MA) and CRM systems, as well as any analytics tools. MOPs is responsible for ensuring all these internal systems are applied and integrated to provide maximal efficiency, data insights and overall value to the business. Such requirements are pretty well understood by this point (there’s always room for improvement, of course). But what about all the interactions, data and effort happening outside the organization, where discovering and engaging new prospects is essential to creating new customers?  

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June 8, 2016

Optimizing $68 Billion in Media: MarTech for Media and Data Providers

More than $68 billion will be invested in digital media this year. That’s more than three times what’s being spent on the marketing technology used to processes the data generated by such media investment. As we’re all aware, much of this media spend goes to waste. In fact, a recent survey from Wakefield Research highlighted how 96% of B2B marketers believe that B2B advertising reaches a large volume of people outside target audiences. And 71% believe that B2B media frequently fails to meet expectations. Moreover, Integrate’s own research as identified that on average 40% of media-generated leads falls short of B2B database requirements. Marketers obviously need to find ways to better coordinate media buys and optimize how the resulting data. In fact, this is a core focus of demand orchestration. And it’s one that will be addressed largely through the adoption of new marketing technologies.

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June 2, 2016

How to Drive Demand Marketing Change without Sinking the Ship

As both Scott Vaughan and I have discussed at length in recent posts, there’s a growing need for the automation of top-funnel B2B marketing activities. This is a key requirement if we’re to climb the B2B marketing maturity curve and fully orchestrate demand. Unfortunately, attaining key elements of demand orchestration (fully automated funnel, dynamic personal messaging and real-time analysis and optimization) is far from easy. It requires a significant amount of change – in mindset, processes and technology. And as we all know, managing change is often the toughest part of any new initiative.

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May 31, 2016

The Mobile Imperative For Marketing Ops

If there’s any remaining doubt about how mobile phones have permeated our lives, pay close attention the next time you’re in a public restroom – airport, shopping mall, sports arena – and note the individuals using their phones to text, email or talk. Don’t worry: this conversation isn’t headed for the toilet and it won’t be a rant against non-stop mobile phone usage. Instead, I’m going to suggest ways marketers should capitalize on the remarkable extent of mobile usage.

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May 24, 2016

Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers: Final Call for Nominees

With 300-plus nominations, I feel pretty comfortable saying that the Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers program is already a success. Yet, like a fine blue-flavored Jell-O, there’s always room for more. The more nominations we receive, the more valuable insights we gain on the innovative strategies and practices progressing B2B marketing from demand generation to demand orchestration. And of course, we’ll be compiling all such insights in a forthcoming eBook and webinar with Heinz Marketing. So if you know anyone who’s setting the bar for B2B demand marketers, nominate them here by May 31st.

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May 20, 2016

The Demand Marketer’s Guide for #SDSummit 2016

SiriusDecisions Summit has become a must-attend event for numerous roles throughout marketing, sales and product. In fact, the #SDSummit website provides tracks for 22 roles, from ABM Leader to Chief Sales Officer to Financial Services Leader. The options are comprehensive. This is great – we all love options. At the same time, it makes picking and organizing which sessions to attend difficult. The #SDSummit website provides a list of suggested track sessions for demand marketers here. But if you’re looking to narrow the list and get some advice on which demand marketing case studies, keynotes and track sessions to attend (and parties), here’s a quick infographic we threw together.

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May 19, 2016

25 Demand Orchestration Terms All B2B Marketers Should Know

B2B marketing is evolving quickly from simply generating demand to orchestrating it. Key to this transformation, yet often overlooked by all of us demand practitioners, are the terms that guide and enable measurement of our progress. Definitions are important. They enable colleagues across departments and organizations to create common expectations. They allow uniform measurement. And they help demand marketers use their tech investments more effectively. Consistent language improves demand marketing’s credibility with sales, customer success and the C-suite. Simply put, standardization is needed throughout the industry, and that applies to core terms as well.

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May 17, 2016

Getting the Most Out of Your Third-Party Lead Acquisition

Generating net-new names is critical to developing a revenue-producing marketing engine. Getting this right significantly increases your odds of success. The good news is that there are many options to get us there by driving people to our website and landing pages: think SEO, SEM, PPC, social media, content syndication and advertising.  While there are innumerable channels to generate new names through internal efforts, the results can vary wildly. For example, the volume of new names can be slow, the quality is all over the place, or the alignment with optimum demographics for your solution can be weak. To meet pipeline needs or accelerate contribution, many marketers acquire leads from a third party to add net-new names to the database. The most popular methods are to purchase a list, or syndicate content. 

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May 12, 2016

What’s Missing From Your Account-Based Marketing Strategy?

Many marketers still only understand the ABM basics: figure out the common characteristics of your most profitable accounts, create a list of similar companies, and then do your best to engage decision-makers on that account list, usually through sales team efforts. Today’s most successful ABM programs involve a lot more than this. Below are a few key aspects often lost in account-based marketing programs as well as an overview of new technologies facilitating marketer efforts in these areas.

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May 10, 2016

5 Ways Understanding MarTech Can Make Your Career

Technology is now pivotal to the marketer’s trade – and has been for some time. And marketers that understand the software and systems available to them (and how they’re continuously evolving) put their companies and careers in a much better position. This should be self-evident. After all, we’re surrounded with conversations about the expansion of MarTech. Yet, much of this discussion focuses on the changes in the industry itself, rather than individual technology use cases. Researching the latter is increassingly important.  Treating marketing technology (and MarTech vendor) research as a regular part of the job will benefit you and your organization in several ways:

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May 5, 2016

Demand Orchestration: The New B2B Marketing Aspiration

With dedicated demand marketing teams and increasing amounts of data flowing through digital, CRM and marketing automation (MA) tools, marketing’s ability to contribute to customer acquisition and revenue has never been greater. Nor has the bar and expectations ever been higher. In fact, the #1 skill CEOs want from CMOs and B2B marketers is the ability to drive demand that translates to growth.  Deploying CRM and marketing automation, and connecting them to your website, are standard fare today. The next challenge in front of us is connecting the data sources and processes generating traffic and leads that fuel these systems.

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May 3, 2016

How Demand Marketers Can Conquer the Chaos at #MKTGNATION

I have a confession to make. I’m an introvert. My favorite sound is silence. I have an aversion towards large crowds. And I am not a fan of Vegas. Yet a couple times a year, as part of my professional obligation, I shuffle off to these mad houses known as “marketing conferences.” They typically pack somewhere around five to ten thousand attendees into a massive conference center. The expo halls are an odd hybrid between an airport shopping mall and well-lit nightclub. The breaks are reminiscent of college days when everyone is simultaneously making a mad dash to get from one session to another. And by the end of it all, you feel like you need an extra week just to recover and download all the information you absorbed. Six thousand or so marketers will likely share at least some of this sentiment come next Friday, when they return from Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit. But there is hope. I’ve found that the more prepared I am for an event, the less likely I am to get overwhelmed. So, partially for my own sanity, I thought I’d share some tips to help demand marketers conquer the chaos of #MKTGNATION.

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April 28, 2016

Advice for Demand Marketers: How to Avoid the Black Hole of MQLs

Sales wants qualified leads. Now. With velocity, ready to buy, and at their target accounts. You already invested in marketing automation (which someone else probably stuffed full of crappy data) and dabbled in some paid efforts. Now you’re exploring Predictive and Account-based Marketing… but HOLD ON. Whatever happened to all those leads you already generated and qualified? As a demand marketer, it’s tempting to wash your hands of the lead once it reaches Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). But too often Sales reaches out a few times, then moves on when a lead is unresponsive. They aren’t going to nicely hand that lead back to marketing – they will just move on. And the lead will disappear into “the black hole of MQLs”.

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April 21, 2016

How to Prepare for ABM & Predictive Data

With emerging technologies and rich data sources becoming widely available, marketers are now in a position to develop and execute sophisticated, highly targeted programs. In fact, predictive analytics and account-based marketing (ABM) are revolutionizing the ways in which marketing organizations think and operate. Such capabilities, however, are inundating B2B marketers with new systems, types of data and a ton of associated processes. We must coordinate all these pieces if we’re to reap the full rewards of ABM strategies and predictive data.

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April 19, 2016

Apperian’s Demand Marketing Team Focuses on Strategy, Not List Processing

I could write thousands of words on why manual lead-list processing weighs down demand marketing efforts, slowing lead velocity, delaying prospect follow-up, diminishing customer experiences and stalling revenue growth – and how Integrate’s software helps eliminate these obstacles.

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April 14, 2016

3 Steps to Optimize Customer Experience for ABM and Net-New Lead Generation

On a recent road trip, I had an unexpected need to stop overnight. I went into my email, found a message from my preferred hotel brand, clicked to my loyalty account, reviewed availability and booked a room. Thanks to a desktop-quality mobile experience, the process took less than five minutes. The friendly staff welcomed me upon arrival and emailed a folio afterwards. One could argue that this brand is in the hospitality business so my customer experience (CX) was nothing exceptional. Yet those of us who travel frequently know top-notch customer experience is noteworthy – even more so when it happens consistently – as I’ve found with this brand in personal (B2C) and business (B2B) travel. Spanning email, mobile, inbound, outbound and in-person channels, the lessons above are a nice introduction to my guidelines for creating a great customer experience in both account-based marketing (ABM) and net-new lead generation programs. It’s because of customers like me – who’ll leave a brand without hesitation but stick with those that excel – that CX must sit at the top of every marketer’s priority list all day, every day.  

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April 12, 2016

5 Traits of a Demand Marketing #B2BGameChanger?

We’re nearly 45 days into the Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers program that Integrate is producing in conjunction with Heinz Marketing. Hundreds of nominations have rolled in. As a marketer who works for a demand marketing software company that serves demand marketers, this program is of prime interest to me. I review nearly every nomination that’s submitted in order to discover exactly what my peers are doing to make an impact in their organizations. When we launched the program, we identified five characteristics that we believe serve as the core traits of game changing demand marketers:

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April 7, 2016

How to Operationalize ABM with Predictive Analytics & Demand Generation

Account-based marketing (ABM), predictive analytics and demand generation are all well-established elements of B2B marketing. And, when done right, they increase each other’s value. Applying predictive data to demand generation efforts significantly amplifies ABM success. Without predictive analytics, it’s incredibly difficult to properly identify the accounts you should be targeting. And without an efficient demand gen operation, it’s a struggle to efficiently engage the decision-making committees at those accounts. But how do you connect and operationalize demand gen to act on predictive data and ensure ABM success? On Thursday, April 14, Scott Vaughan (CMO, Integrate) and Atul Kumar (Chief Product Officer, Mintigo) will be discussing specific and tangible steps to execute an effective ABM program using predictive analytics and demand marketing technology.

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April 5, 2016

How Predictive Analytics & ABM Go Together - Mintigo CPO Breaks It Down

It seems as if you can’t walk into a marketing meeting these days without someone talking about predictive analytics and account-based marketing (ABM). But understanding how these two methodologies should work together is still somewhat vague to most B2B marketers. We interviewed Atul Kumar, Chief Product Officer at Mintigo, to get some clarification on the state of ABM, the role predictive analytics should have, and some tips for those B2B marketing practitioners beginning their ABM journey.

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March 31, 2016

Can You Define “Predictive”? A Crash Course in Key Marketing Terms

First off, I want to provide perspective on my point of view around all things Predictive Marketing. At Integrate, I head up data and technology partnerships, which means I’m out there all the time working directly with customers and prospects to understand ways Integrate can partner with other marketing technologies to provide a better solution. And in today’s B2B marketing landscape, to say that predictive comes up often would be a drastic understatement. And while I can’t go five minutes without hearing “predictive,” it seems as if there’s no common definition of the term. This is a big concern among customers. And a common – or at least understood – definition is very much needed to assure internal stakeholders and external partners are on the same page.

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March 29, 2016

Top-of-Funnel Marketing: The Next Big MarTech Category?

“As more marketers adopt ABM strategies, they’re finding that top-funnel marketing is the weak link in the chain, and that it too must be optimized with tech to generate full ROI from their ABM investments.”    In a TechCrunch article published last month, Ajay Agarwal provided a great overview of the state of marketing technology (MarTech). Comparing MarTech’s more tumultuous rise against the rather smooth ascent of sales technology (specifically Salesforce’s domination), he wrote: “B2B will continue to be a strong market for martech startups with plenty of demand from CMOs; we expect to see several new $1 billion-plus companies emerge in categories like top-of-funnel marketing, account-based marketing and predictive analytics.” (Italics are my own) With regard to predictive analytics and ABM, this isn’t too surprising; ABM is now a widely accepted B2B strategy for its efficiency and effectiveness. And predictive analytics – for those organizations with the means and database requirements – is probably the best way to inform ABM programs. Top-of-funnel (TOFU) marketing tech, however, hasn’t received nearly the same degree of attention.

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March 22, 2016

[Infographic] Teaming Up to Tackle ABM: Demandbase + Integrate

Last week we posted a blog discussing the reasons why so many B2B marketers struggle with their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. While marketers face several important obstacles to ABM success, it’s clear that the most daunting challenge is executing on the data – i.e., identifying, engaging and obtaining info from decision-makers at specified accounts. In fact, Integrate and Demandbase recently cosponsored a survey of more than 500 B2B marketers to gain specific insights on the state of ABM adoption and its challenges. And guess what it found…

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March 17, 2016

Why B2B Marketers Struggle to Execute Account-Based Marketing 

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become a “must have” line item for 2016. And this enthusiasm isn’t just a fleeting trend. More than just a highly targeted engagement tactic, a full-fledged ABM program supports the post-sale customer lifecycle, using marketing's toolkit to contribute to the overall customer experience at the most profitable accounts. Thus, ABM represents more than just targeting – it’s a transformation in the way B2B marketing, sales and customer support are perceived and executed. Yet, ABM is only a smart strategy when executed well. Its promises of efficiency and effectiveness can’t payoff unless marketers have the know-how and ability to reach the decision-makers at accounts showing buy signals. Unfortunately, several common B2B marketing challenges stand in the way of successful execution.

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March 10, 2016

Rackspace Builds Outbound Demand Generation Engine to Propel Sales Pipeline

Marketers these days work diligently to establish strong inbound marketing programs that, more often than not, boost awareness and generate a solid sales pipeline. However, as is so often the case in B2B marketing, after several quarters of surging results, inbound results slow and in many cases growth plateaus.

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March 8, 2016

Advice from MarTech Marketing Execs on Being a Better Demand Marketer

Demand marketers have their work cut out for them. With new initiatives and increasing goals at every turn, it can be challenging to know which areas of focus will have the most impact. The marketing teams making the biggest difference are often those at marketing tech companies – perhaps because these are the organizations driving the leading edge of marketing. We searched for the best marketing advice from MarTech CMOs and executives and this is what we found.

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March 3, 2016

4 Reasons Demand Generation Orchestration Requires Great Analytics

Orchestrating the diverse platforms, engagement sources and data types that drive demand generation campaigns is one of the most important – and most difficult – jobs in demand marketing. Those same eclectic systems must be marshaled to collect the analytical insights necessary for optimizing two critical – and often disconnected – elements of demand generation: paid acquisition marketing processes and customer insights that drive revenue. As a marketing ops or demand gen practitioner, you’re no longer managing a three-piece band but conducting a demand gen orchestra that can easily turn discordant amid its complexity. You’ve got a great opportunity to fine-tune the inefficiencies of paid acquisition, which is crucial but too often overlooked in favor of inbound marketing. The tuning process starts with analytics.   In paid acquisition marketing processes, robust measurement provides several big benefits:

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March 1, 2016

Collaboration Tools Every Marketing Team Should Have (and Use)

We have a pretty small marketing team at Integrate. Despite (and partly because of) lean resources, we’ve spent the last year laying a solid demand marketing foundation: a strong content plan; a kick-ass website; a defined lead funnel; a fluid data strategy; and (mostly) seamless integrations between marketing technologies. And now that our marketing organization is poised to drive and measure contributions to sales pipeline, we’re faced with some really big goals. Oh boy. I thought the hard part was over.

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February 25, 2016

[Infographic] Account-Based Marketing 2016: What You Need To Know

In light of today’s #FlipMyFunnel Roadshow kickoff, we thought it timely to throw together an infographic that illustrates the importance and growing adoption of account-based marketing strategies (ABM). The graphic concludes with 8 quick, helpful steps on how to get started with your own ABM program. If after making your way through the infographic, you’d like to take a deeper dive into ABM strategy development, be sure to check out the “Developing an Account-Based Marketing Program” workbook we recently created with Heinz Marketing.

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February 23, 2016

How to Get Big Payoffs Using a Paid Acquisition Marketing Strategy

Little-recognized fact: Each year, some of the most forward-thinking, technology-driven marketing organizations spend 10x to 20x more on top-funnel leads – via acquisition tactics and services such as lead generation, content syndication, events, webinars, media, third-party social engagement, etc. – than on their marketing technology stacks. Yet while budget goes to paid acquisition programs, marketer time and energy remains focused on marketing tech that caters to other initiatives. Paid acquisition marketing processes thus remain highly outdated, manual and disjointed. What if we invested the same effort and capitalized on the same MarTech revolution to create greater efficiencies and insights regarding paid acquisition initiatives? We’d all quickly become much better marketers.

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February 16, 2016

Integrated Marketing: Great for Sales Pipeline – And Your Career

Many marketers view inbound marketing as the end-all, be-all of demand generation, while others position outbound tactics  as the most important for acquiring new leads and fueling sales pipeline. We marketers can easily become experts in one area, creating an unintended bias toward specific marketing channels simply because we’re comfortable working with those strategies. By focusing too much on one strategy or channel, we’re missing out on the opportunity to deliver significantly better results for our company and our careers.

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February 12, 2016

An 8-Step Account-Based Marketing Plan to Share with Your Boss

If you’re a B2B marketer, you’re likely hearing the term Account-Based Marketing everywhere you turn. A quick search of your inbox might reveal a couple hundred emails in the last 90 days touting the latest and greatest in ABM content. And for good reason… In an era where marketing is on the hook to create customers and drive revenue, it makes sense to aim marketing efforts at companies that match your ideal customer profiles. But knowing that it’s the right thing to do and getting the executive buy-in to do it are two completely different things. Marketers need more than just theoretical explanations as to how account-based marketing can help you reach the right customers. They need strategic and tactical plans that they can follow. They need to be able to go to their upper management and say “we need to implement an ABM program and this is how we’re going to do it.”

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February 4, 2016

Building a Demand Generation Machine

An interview with Lisa Hatheway, Senior Director Global Marketing & Demand Generation at Aerohive. Quotable Takeaways: “You need brand to create demand, period. The trick is the tactics you emphasize based on your market position, customer need and business cycle.” “Create experiences to rise above the noise. It's the fastest way to differentiate.” “Data is critical, but your odds of success increase dramatically when you add creativity and experience.” Lisa Hatheway is the quintessential demand marketing leader – a data geek full of creative passion with a track record of making business happen. Currently Senior Director Global Marketing at Aerohive, she and her team are on a mission to build a “demand marketing machine.”

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February 3, 2016

7 Ways To Step Up Your Account-Based Marketing Game in 2016

On the heels of this month’s #FLIPMYFUNNEL conference (February 25), co-founder and Terminus CMO Sangram Vajre chimes in on what it takes to deliver a winning account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. If you’re thinking about launching an ABM program or in the midst of planning one, the #FLIPMYFUNNEL conference is a great place to learn from some of the best practitioners deploying ABM – the good, the bad and the ugly. If you want to join in the discussion, you can register here for 50% off of the full day of sessions using promo code INTEGRATE50.

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January 28, 2016

Beyond Alignment: 4 Steps to Sales-Marketing Integration

The team at Integrate is in the midst of ramping up 2016 demand generation efforts like many organizations. While we've always been pretty well aligned with sales, this year we’re committing to moving from alignment (we have a defined set of processes, SLAs, definitions, regular pow-wows and such) to “integration.” We have a few loosely defined ideas of what “sales-marketing integration” means, and we’re not sure if it’ll make a meaningful difference. However, it felt like we were ready to work smarter and closer to get better results for Integrate and for our demand marketing customers.  This commitment prompted some homework and discussion with other marketing and sales leaders at respected organizations.

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January 26, 2016

7 Must-Have Traits of a Kick-Ass MarTech Stack

Marketing Technology is empowering brands to discover, engage, acquire and delight customers like never before. But, with so many tech options and customers’ needs continuously changing, nailing the right strategy and developing the MarTech stack to execute it is – in a word – tough. I wish there were a silver bullet, but we all know one doesn’t exist in MarTech land. However, we can learn a great deal from the successes and scars of the many marketing pros who’ve already lived through these trials.

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January 19, 2016

4 Reasons Why Demand Marketing Orchestration Will Be Huge in 2016

When I was a kid and all my friends were hell-bent on becoming professional football or baseball players, I diverted from the pack. My friends were all sheep, focused on relatively easy sports that mostly depended on one’s ability to throw and catch a ball. Not me – I gravitated toward a much more arduous, masculine sport; one that requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, precise timing and…the ability to hold one’s breath. Yes, I’m talking about synchronized swimming. Okay, there’s not an ounce of truth to any of that, but it segued nicely into the following simile: much like synchronized swimming, marketing is continuously growing more dependent on an organization’s ability to orchestrate precisely arranged moves. Here are four reasons why such demand marketing orchestration will be more important in 2016 than ever before:

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January 15, 2016

5 Non-Marketing Infographics to Inspire Your Content Marketing

While not quite an Ivory Tower, Marketing (especially in the tech space) tends to be a rather small community in which the same thoughts, reasoning, ideas, terms and more often get regurgitated back and forth until we’re all basically one big army of marketing storm troopers. While this is great for mutual morale, it can deflate creativity, which even in the proverbial “data-driven” landscape is still important. To inspire some marketing originality, I find it’s often helpful to step outside the industry’s bubble. Taking a few minutes to close the door on the “ROIs,” “Rock Stars,” “Mavens,” “Unicorns,” “Data-Savviness,” “Clouds,” “Funnels,” “Stacks” and other terms that habitually take hostage of our collective thinking provides new perspectives with which we can tackle mounting content marketing challenges. Here are a 5 infographics that have helped me (and others) do just that:

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January 13, 2016

Should All B2B Demand Marketing Be Account-Based Marketing?

I recently participated in a B2B marketing tweet chat. Inevitably, one of the questions focused on 2016 B2B marketing predictions. And almost as inevitably as the question itself, many participants responded with something like “ABM will explode this year.” One tweet actually went so far as to state that ABM will become synonymous with B2B marketing in 2016. Further, just last week, a Bizable blog post titled “Is Account-Based Marketing the Death of Inbound?” exhorted a similar stance: “The ultimate goal for B2B marketing should be 100% account based.” I’m skeptical of this. I’m not saying I disagree – I just don’t know yet.

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January 7, 2016

[Webinar] Anatomy of an ABM Program

The benefits of account-based marketing (ABM) are well-established: greater sales-marketing alignment, increased resource efficiency, more profitable accounts, higher ROI and so on. However, when it comes to executing an ABM program, most marketers only know the basics: figure out the common characteristics of your most profitable customers, create a list of similar accounts, and then do your best to engage the companies on the list.

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January 5, 2016

How Much Will Poor Data Integrity Cost You in 2016?

While everyone knows marketing data integrity is incredibly important, our industry-wide efforts to address the issue aren’t keeping pace with the proliferation of bad data. In fact, a recent Ascend2 Research survey (November 2015) found that “Improving data quality” was overwhelmingly the No. 1 “Most Challenging Obstacle to data-driven marketing success.”

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December 10, 2015

Creating Demand Generation Playbooks to Nurture Prospects [Interview]

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to interview Lauren Brubaker, Director or Demand Generation at NetProspex. The fact that she works in a demand gen role for a company that helps demand gen marketers manage marketing data kills several birds with one stone…and I’m all about efficiency. Quickly into our first discussion, however, I learned that gaining her insights would hold even greater value than I originally thought. Lauren is incredibly passionate about her work, which you’ll easily see in her responses.

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December 3, 2015

Iron Mountain’s Story of Marketing Innovation Is No Exaggeration

I use terms like “forward-thinking” and “innovative” a lot. And I’ll admit, it’s sometimes hyperbole (after all, if I weren’t hyperbolic from time to time, I’m pretty sure I’d be booted from this particular profession). Though in the case of Iron Mountain, I can confidently say that its marketing team is very forward-thinking…even innovative. Take a quick look at its marketing technology stack and you’ll agree.

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December 1, 2015

Point of View Marketing: A New Way to Fuel Demand Generation Strategy

As marketers, we strive to differentiate our brands and products, to increase our relevancy and, ultimately, to make our customers’ “must have” list. No easy task in any market or community you serve. One of the best techniques I’ve learned from working with many strong communicators and through lots of experimentation over time is what I call Point of View (POV) Marketing. Many pros, colleagues and a great deal of trial and error have helped shape my POV approach to demand generation.

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November 25, 2015

MarTech Insights from SiriusDecisions and #SDTechX

Words can’t describe how excited I was when I heard that SiriusDecisions was having a tradeshow dedicated solely to marketing technology. As someone who lives and breathes this space and is huge fan of the work that Sirius does, it was like the perfect match of MarTech geeks converging in one location to talk technologies, process, data and analytics. So I embarked on my cross-country journey to lovely San Francisco to attend #SDTechX with two real priorities in mind.

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November 19, 2015

15 Account-Based Marketing Stats To Convince The ABM Skeptics

Everyone likes stats. This is especially true for marketers as our chosen (or accidental) profession becomes more science and a little less art. So, for all you account-based-marketing skeptics who need a bit more convincing, here’s what the surveys are telling us. 92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider ABM “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts. (SiriusDecisions) Moreover...

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November 17, 2015

3 Simple Ways to Blend Outbound & Inbound Marketing Tactics

As popular as inbound marketing has become, outbound is still a vital component to a strong marketing strategy and organizational growth. 74% of all B2B companies (and 71% of B2C) report increasing the number of contacts and leads as a top priority, according the 2015 State of Inbound Report. But marketers know that inbound alone isn’t enough to reach rising customer acquisition and revenue goals. They have to turn to outbound channels to reach new audiences and fill their databases with more prospects. Despite the fact that so many companies rely on outbound marketing tactics to meet mandates, inbound marketing techniques often deliver stronger ROI. This could mean that outbound simply isn’t as successful as its more organic counterpart. It’s more likely a natural consequence of the reality that most marketing teams still execute paid marketing campaigns within silos.

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November 10, 2015

3 Surprising MarTech Stats and How They Affect You

I came across a great report yesterday – the Walker Sands “State of Marketing Technology 2016: Understanding The New Martech Buyer Journey.” The report comprises survey results from more than 300 marketers involved with marketing technology purchasing decisions. While most of the findings were expected – e.g., 51% of respondents think their companies need to invest in more tech – a few stats got me thinking…

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November 5, 2015

Demand Generation Issues You Should Fix Before Your Boss Finds Out

Demand marketing gets more complicated by the day. In order to get everything done and still ensure great customer experiences in this always-on environment, we often find ourselves cutting corners. But one shortcut can quickly grow into many, until our entire demand gen engine is compromised. Here’s a list of issues that may start off small, but can end up resulting in big problems down the road:

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November 3, 2015

New Isn’t Always Better: A Case for Evaluating Existing MarTech First

Prep Tools for 2016 Planning It’s 2016 marketing planning season. Time to strategically rethink your marketing initiatives and tech investments to meet next year’s business goals. This is a golden opportunity to look at your marketing technology roadmap and add new solutions to make you and your team better, faster. While new can be awesome, many times what you have on hand may be good enough and even better if you focus on optimizing its application.  This is not an anti-new, kick-ass technology – quite the contrary. Rather, what I see working is prioritizing your choices. If you can be creative with using the tools you have today AND make sure your new tools work with what you’ve got, you can invest in the right new, game-changing tech and processes.

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October 28, 2015

Developing an Account-Based Marketing Program: A Workbook

In a blog posted earlier this month, I mentioned that we’d be releasing an account-based marketing workbook to guide marketers through the process of developing a full-fledged ABM program. Well, my procrastination has ended and that day has come…with three days to spare actually. And the primary reason I was able to keep my October promise was because I didn’t complete this work alone. The workbook, titled “Developing an Account-Based Marketing Program: A Workbook for Success,” was a joint effort between Integrate and Matt Heinz of Heinz Marketing.

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October 22, 2015

5 Questions with a Marketing Ops Geek

First of all, I don’t think Tom Kahana, Director of Marketing Operations at Imprivata, is a geek in any way. In fact, while very experienced, well-informed and enthusiastic about all things MarOps, he’s actually quite affable. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’m far more of a geek than he...but he calls himself a marketing ops geek at the end of this interview, and I needed a catchy title. So there it is. Tom has over 15 years of marketing experience in the technology space. And for the past six years, he’s been in the thick of marketing operations’ rapid evolution. Which is why I reached out to him, on numerous occasions, for expert insights – and that inevitably led to this interview and hopefully much more content to come.

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October 20, 2015

9 Reasons Outbound Demand Gen Should Be In Your 2016 Marketing Budget

Marketers are challenged with ever-increasing goals to identify and engage new prospects. It would be great if we could achieve company revenue and customer-acquisition goals simply via inbound tactics, converting personas that arrive at our website. But this simply isn’t reality. Today, demand gen requires the right mix of inbound and outbound marketing. Here are the top nine reasons why outbound demand gen is a must for any marketer’s 2016 budget:

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October 15, 2015

6 Steps To Get Started On Outbound Demand Generation

Getting started with an outbound demand generation program to supplement your inbound marketing efforts can be challenging at first. There’s many moving parts to deal with across numerous channels and partners. A few include: Calculating pipeline requirements (those number of contacts/leads beyond what your inbound efforts can achieve) Identifying, selecting and onboarding media partners with the necessary audiences to scale your reach Communicating with each partner individually regarding the requirements of a given campaign, typically via email or phone Delivering, managing and updating campaign creative/content Acquiring lead files and “normalizing” them for correct formatting Analyzing campaign performance by each variable – demographic/firmographic targeting, content type, messaging, the media partner, etc. Adjusting campaigns across each partner based on performance of numerous variables It’s enough to make many marketing orgs shy away from outbound demand gen altogether. But one way or another, you need to scale your pipeline and get the leads that sales needs to thrive – and inbound alone is unlikely to get it done. Fortunately, after years of facilitating outbound demand gen programs, we’ve found six steps that help things run smoothly.

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October 13, 2015

Connecting Front- & Back-End Marketing – What’s In It For You?

It sounds so obvious – if you connect marketing’s people, processes and systems, good things happen. And in fact, I’m inspired everyday by new examples of integration transforming marketing’s impact. But while we all realize the importance of connecting systems and processes, there remains a very common rift between what’s known as “front-end” and “back-end” marketing. Before we jump into the benefits of front- and back-end integration by specific role, let’s first define the concepts and identify the barriers so we can knock them down. 

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October 8, 2015

Marketing Operations – A Skill Game [Infographic]

Over the last year, we’ve interviewed a lot of marketing operations practitioners. Those that come to mind quickest include Leslie Cocco Alore of Iron Mountain, Gary Katz of Marketing Operations Partners, Tom Kahana of Imprivata and Jennifer Clegg of CA Technologies. These numerous conversations highlighted the most common, daunting pain points (pun slightly intended) that MarOps pros face on a daily basis. And more importantly, they inspired me to rip off the creative genius of everyone’s favorite 1960s board game: Operation.

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October 6, 2015

Budgeting For Your 2016 Account-Based Marketing Road Map

It’s 2016 budget planning season. And with account-based marketing (ABM) on the minds of B2B marketers everywhere, we thought a quick guide to the various ABM technologies and the vendors that supply them would be helpful. Kicking off an effective ABM program requires two initial efforts:

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September 29, 2015

3 Side Effects of Persona-Based Content Marketing

Don’t get me wrong – developing buyer personas and creating content based on these role-based identities is crucial in marketing. Creating personas by definition, however, pigeon-holes large groups of people. And whenever we do this, we can suffer from unintended results – unless we’re aware of such effects and ways to counteract them. The following three persona-based content side effects often hamper our content marketing performance:

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September 24, 2015

Shifting Marketing KPIs To Account-Based Marketing Values

With all the discussion around account-based marketing (ABM), I wanted to take some time to address an issue that most ABM conversations seem to be missing: Accounts don’t buy technology – people do. As marketers, we may sell to companies, but we market to people. And these people have varied reasons for making a purchase, spurred by specific needs and driven by distinct personalities. 

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September 22, 2015

Building an Interactive MarTech Landscape from the Buyer’s Perspective

An Interview with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, co-founder of Growthverse Marketing Technology has become an important weapon in the quest to discover, engage and delight customers. While marketers try to sort through their needs and identify what and with whom to invest in, it seems like every week there’s a new landscape or “MarTech stack” produced by a vendor or industry pundit.   I rather recently discovered something very refreshing, a new perspective on the landscape created by CMO Jascha Kaykas-Wolff and Kobie Fuller, Partner at Accel.  It’s called Growthverse, an interactive, living, breathing tool marketers can use to discover and sort through marketing technologies and the solutions providers that may be right for their organization.  I had a chance to chat with Jascha last week about Growthverse and the current state and future of marketing technology. Here’s the scoop.

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September 17, 2015

6 Sources To Consult Before Any MarTech Investment Decision

Most marketing technologies these days have multiple applications. Two separate systems may provide completely complementary capabilities for one marketing organization, while being entirely redundant for another. This is just one reason why thoroughly researching your marketing tech investments is so important. While there never seems to be enough time to perform an adequate vetting process these days, any time spent qualifying the best solutions and vendors will save you and your colleagues time, effort and budget down the road. And with 2016 only a quarter away, it’s time to start your search.

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September 15, 2015

What the Hell Is “Inbound-y” Paid Marketing?

So I just got back from INBOUND 2015. Inspirational speakers. 14,000 happy marketers. So much great content that choosing which sessions to attend was as difficult as ordering dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. And, of course, the HubSpot product announcements. This year, the marketing software provider rolled out:

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September 9, 2015

Customized MarTech Stacks Are A Winning Approach: Here’s Why

Just a year ago, there was wide industry debate regarding whether all-inclusive marketing clouds (such as those offered by Adobe, Oracle, IBM and Salesforce) or best-of-breed marketing technology stacks would become the marketing organization norm. In fact, the discourse was so rampant in 2014 that it provided me with enough fodder to write a three-part series on the topic, which I somewhat regrettably titled “The Platform Wars.” What I didn’t realize at the time was that this debate wasn’t only about marketing tech strategy or vendor prowess in the martech space. No, it was about something much more significant: Would marketers and their organizations own new tech responsibilities, embrace innovation and learn new skills, or would the shy away from the challenge and leave the innovation to the tech vendors?

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September 3, 2015

4 Reasons Why Marketers Resist New MarTech Adoption

I often witness my colleagues’ hesitance about having to adopt a new platform. Whether it’s for sales, HR, marketing or accounting, there’s always some push back. I understand that, especially with the rapid proliferation of marketing tech, adding another platform, system, tool, etc. is just one more thing we have to log into and learn how to use. But we should keep our irritation in perspective. There’s a very good reason we’re continuously adding new tools: the benefits of a properly selected tech solution far outweigh our irritations.

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September 1, 2015

The Future of MarTech: Opinions from 14 Practitioners

I participated in a MarTech “Tweet Jam” last week.  Basically, it was 14 Marketing Tech pros (full list/handles at bottom of this blog) bantering, debating and discussing the “convergence of MarTech” on Twitter in a real-time, online Q&A.

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August 27, 2015

From the Experts: How MarTech-AdTech Collision Impacts Demand Generation

The convergence of adtech and martech has gained momentum over recent months. The topic has certainly been discussed for years, but a wave of articles has flooded the industry as “marketing cloud” ambitions and integrated platform capabilities become more than just talk.

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August 25, 2015

Using Inbound and Outbound Marketing to Distribute Marketing Content

Following my recent blog on maximizing content marketing ROI through repurposing, I want to share recommendations for distributing marketing content – through inbound (social media, company blog) and outbound (email, paid media) channels – to increase audience reach and impact. Any content distribution strategy should have two fundamental goals: Accurately target buyers and influencers to ensure you attract the right prospects Gain maximum visibility and engagement within your target audience I’m going to briefly explain the importance of No. 1 and how to achieve it, then drill into ways to leverage various inbound and outbound channels to help more people find your content.

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August 20, 2015

Marketing Ops' Next Frontier [New eBook]

I’ve been working on this “Marketing Operations’ Next Frontier” ebook a while…probably too long if you ask some of my colleagues. And while it’s quite comprehensive and covers several topics, it’s not as complete as I originally envisioned. But this is good news for all you “hopefully will-be” readers, because if I’d kept to my original plan, it would’ve amounted to about 60 pages. And nobody wants that. Instead, this ebook is a concise 22 pages and will serve as the foundation for an in-progress Marketing Ops “playbook.” There will be many more marketing ops resources to come in the following months. Here’s a snapshot of which Marketing Operations Playbook works on the horizon:

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August 18, 2015

Keeping Up With Marketing Tech: Interview With LeanData CMO

I recently had a chance to speak with Adam New-Waterson, CMO at LeanData, a marketing tech company creating some really innovative account-based marketing (and sales) solutions. One of several notable panelist at last week’s Flip My Funnel conference (read a good recap here), Adam’s insightful comments specific to ABM led me to open a dialogue with him about wider marketing-industry challenges. …and, of course, I always like to talk marketing with others who had very unusual paths to careers in marketing. David: Can you tell us a little about your background and journey to CMO of LeanData? Adam New-Waterson: I probably have an unconventional background for someone who is the chief marketing officer at a technology company. I have a bachelor’s degree in fine art photography from Georgia State University. I never even took a marketing class in college. But I fell into a graphic designer position at a public relations firm in my hometown of Atlanta. And while I didn’t think of it this way at the time, that was my first marketing experience because the job included making restaurant coupons, advertisements and sending out blast emails to attract attention for our clients.

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August 13, 2015

3 Practical Ways Buyer Personas Can Increase Customer Engagement

A couple months ago we kicked off our website redesign by taking a deep dive into our customer personas. We started this work last year and had some fairly defined personas in place, but a good marketing strategy is ever-evolving. There were a year’s worth of insights and customer feedback that needed to be infused into our customer profiles. And then we needed to figure out how to make those personas actionable.

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August 6, 2015

3 Must-Read Account-Based Marketing eBooks Reviewed

As Scott Vaughan stated, “Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is all the rage as organizations increasingly deploy strategies to focus on individual companies that are the best fit for their solutions and services.” With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to briefly review three eBooks published by technology vendors leading the account-based marketing space.

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August 4, 2015

Thought Leadership vs. Educational Blog Content: Which is Best?

Creating content is the single, most powerful tool in the marketer's toolbox. Invest in content one time, and if done well, you will reap the rewards of that content for years to come. But I've noticed a lot of companies wrestling with what kind of content to create. Most of them make a big mistake in the type of content they craft. After having this conversation multiple times, I thought I would write an article on it. The choice in question is: thought leadership vs. educational content. Now, there is some overlap on this - thought leadership content can be educational. However, as a general rule there is a pretty wide gap between the two.

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July 31, 2015

The Closed-Loop Marketing Era [White Paper]

Marketers annually invest billions of dollars in both marketing technology and media in an attempt to more effectively discover and converse with customers, but this attempt is drastically hindered. Why? Because marketers aren’t leveraging the data garnered from marketing technology (marketing automation, customer relationship management and data management systems) to its full potential. Actionable customer insights are stymied by disconnected marketing systems and hindered even more by rift between marketing and media investment. At a time when making lasting impressions with targeted personas gets tougher by the day, marketers strive to ensure they’re generating maximal efficiency and performance visibility.

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July 30, 2015

7 Tips for Optimizing Account-Based Marketing

"Companies Don’t Buy, People Do” Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is all the rage as organizations increasingly deploy strategies to focus on individual companies that are the best fit for their solutions and services. “Single-lead generation” –acquiring one contact at a time from various companies to create an opportunity – is no longer efficient or effective for many marketing orgs.  This is especially true in B2B markets where purchases often involve multiple decision-makers and require lengthy vetting processes. Historically, this account-focused effort has been led by sales. Today, armed with modern tools and robust data to bring more intelligence to this effort, marketers need to:

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July 28, 2015

Optimize Your Customer Experience with Standardized Data

Are you delivering the optimal customer experience? As Scott Vaughan notes in one of his recent blogs, it’s a topic of utmost importance to CMOs… Delivering an award-winning customer experience requires a holistic effort that transcends marketing – it involves the entire organization. Customers need consistent, accurate and targeted communication across the entire purchasing lifecycle. Marketing often holds a significant amount of data on every customer or prospect in the pipeline. But to consistently deliver an authentic brand experience, every customer-facing role must have access to that data – from marketing to sales to customer success teams.

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July 23, 2015

Closed-Loop Marketing: Where Demand Gen Is Falling Short

Marketers today are constantly hustling to ensure prospective and existing customers get the info they need when they need it. This is incredibly difficult if customer-facing roles (demand generation, brand management, product marketing, etc.) can’t access the performance data (often enabled by marketing ops) that highlights specific persona needs. Herein lies the value of a closed marketing loop – it shows marketers: which marketing content is resonating with personas through which channels your personas are most likely to engage which media sources have audiences matching your personas the combination of demand generation tactics that provides maximal ROI where to allocate media and content marketing budget  which demand generation efforts are failing and which are succeeding …the list of benefits is extensive. But most marketing organizations are falling short due to operational roadblocks that prevent data from being shared between various marketing roles and the media partners that need it.

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July 21, 2015

3 Imperatives for Fixing Lead Data Quality: From the Experts

Poor data quality is an issue that comes up daily in both our internal marketing team conversations and with the hundreds of demand marketing and marketing ops teams we closely work with. We all know it’s a big challenge, yet many of us still struggle to fix it. Why? Because it’s a never-ending quest to get it right and maintain high levels of data accuracy and integrity.  The good news is there are automation solutions and very clear practices you can deploy to address dirty data challenges that negatively impact customer experience, undermine sales partners’ trust and hamstring your ability to deliver optimal results from your marketing programs.   This past week I reviewed a few key articles from data experts for a kick in the butt to get out in front of the dirty data issues. It’s a call to arms to proactively implement measures to prevent bad data where possible and manage the health of our prospect and customer data on an ongoing basis. Here are three solid reads – from Forrester Research, Sirius Decisions and our own Integrate Data Quality Index – that I hope will spark some ideas and provide inspiration to tackle the poor data quality issue in your organization.

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July 16, 2015

Liz Du on Balancing Outbound & Inbound Marketing [An Interview]

I had a chance to sit down with Liz Du, Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Seagate Global Online, and discuss her take on current marketing trends, as well as the big things going on at Seagate. David: Tell us about your professional background and how you got into marketing? Liz: I was an art major in school so I always had an appreciation for the creative side of marketing. Then early in my career, I got into project management and ultimately had the opportunity to marry the creative and strategic worlds with marketing programs. I’ve spent the last ten-plus years exploring different marketing disciplines in both B2B and B2C environments. Since coming to Seagate four years ago, I’ve been able to apply all that as we span across multiple audiences.

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July 14, 2015

Six Ways to Repurpose Marketing Content

Content is arguably the marketing strategy of the decade. According to a May 2015 Content Marketing Survey by content marketing agency Castleford, 97% of survey participants plan to increase or retain their current level of content investment, while 76% of their C-level superiors view content marketing positively. Strong ROI is the influential factor in this positive view of content marketing. But just like every other hot marketing strategy, as more marketing orgs jump into the content game and saturate the industry, maintaining current ROI levels will become increasingly difficult.  And we marketers must be smart about the ways we invest in, develop and distribute content. One of the best way to ensure continuous content success is through repurposing content – across asset types, campaigns, personas and target markets. Indeed, marketers must consider repurposing content one of the most important drivers of content marketing ROI.

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July 10, 2015

14 Reasons Manual Demand Generation Marketing Sucks [Infographic]

Being a demand marketer today is pretty exciting. Marketers have more tools and technologies available than ever before to engage people in unique ways and create dazzling customer experiences. If you’re a seasoned marketing pro, chances are your day looks completely different now than it did 10 or 15 years ago… unless you’re responsible for executing outbound demand generation programs. If that’s the case, your job looks a little something like this…

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July 9, 2015

Lead Velocity: Why It Matters, What to Measure & How to Boost

Lead (or data) velocity is a marketing metric that’s quickly gaining popularity among Marketing Ops and Demand Gen practitioners. And it’s understandable why. Lead velocity is a gauge of several fundamental marketing objectives: sales-marketing alignment, customer experience and marketing-attributed revenue. We’ll get into much more specific definitions and how to measure velocity later in this post.  At a high level, lead velocity is about speed (e.g., the time it takes for a generated contact to become sales-qualified lead) and conversions rates (the percentage of leads that convert through various points in the customer acquisition funnel).

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July 7, 2015

How to Make Your Content Marketing Stand Out and Activate Customers

“Slash Splash, Glub Glub...” That’s the sound of our customers and prospects drowning in a sea of our content.  We’re bombarding them on a daily basis, using a variety of “highways” to reach them: emails, websites, social media, phone calls, and the list goes on.  Much of it’s just sand sifting back and forth in an ocean that our customers have emotionally unsubscribed from.  Despite industry saturation, content marketing remains incredibly important. It’s the key conduit to communicating with prospects and customers. With 30-million pieces of new content created every day, what can we marketers do to ensure our content stands out and activates customers? There’s no silver bullet for effective content. However, there are smart, proven ways for creating valuable content that engages prospects and creates customers. 

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June 30, 2015

Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

Data is today’s marketing currency. We harvest it wherever we can – via paid, owned and earned media. And this harvesting is facilitated by numerous tech and services providers: known-data appending plug-ins like Dun & Bradstreet and Social123; anonymous data marketplaces such as (Oracle) BlueKai; and currently the hottest of the data sources, predictive analytics providers such as Lattice Engines and 6Sense. But what’s almost always neglected in the marketing data discourse: the media companies that have been generating traffic, prospects and customers for marketing clients for years. Marketers shouldn’t neglect these sources and their evolving capabilities. Top-tier media companies aren’t the “lead-gen sources” of old – they’re the “data-gen providers” of tomorrow.

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June 25, 2015

Why Sharing Is Caring About Media ROI

We marketers are getting better at breaking down departmental silos and sharing standardized data within our organizations. Yet, we’re still failing miserably when it comes to sharing information with external media partners and lead vendors – often the primary sources of our sales pipeline. This isn’t smart marketing. We need to communicate with our media partners, providing the necessary information they need to do their best work and maximize media ROI. You may have incredibly strong media relationships and supporting tech, but unless all parties share common definitions of success, more often than not, you’ll be disappointed with the results. Defining KPIs and communicating performance data with media partners drastically increases your odds of paid media success. 

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June 24, 2015

5 Actions To Drive Sales-Marketing Alignment & Business Performance

This post was originally published on the MoneyballMarketer.com blog on June 13, 2015. We all know sales & marketing alignment is extremely important. This Kapost article references an Aberdeen Group stat that “Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate, and companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline.” (Now if I could just find that pesky Aberdeen stat... although this stat is referenced everywhere, I’m citing the Kapost article because I couldn’t find  a public version of the original stat from Aberdeen). Knowing it’s important isn’t enough though, as actually attaining true sales & marketing alignment is challenging. To that end, these are five specific actions that I’ve found sales and marketing can do together to drive alignment, and achieve the resulting business performance. I choose the word “sales and marketing” and “together” very precisely, as the key to this is that equal responsibility and commitment is taken from both groups within the company’s revenue team.

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June 23, 2015

My Biggest Blog Failures and What We Can Learn from Them

I suck…absolutely suck at creating blog titles. I know this and that’s why I usually get help. But there’s a lot of other areas of my blog-writing suckitude that I’m not as clear on. So I thought it would be helpful to do an audit. I had three of my colleagues – Scott Vaughan, Triniti Burton, and Ben Henson – review three separate (particularly bad) posts I’ve written, asking them to explain everything terrible about them. Here’s their combined wisdom explained.

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June 18, 2015

How to Get More Marketing Done with Less Time

The good news is that marketing now has the spotlight. The bad news is that with the spotlight comes a vast audience – the entire business world – which is gathered around, waiting to see and judge the result of our efforts. They’re expecting a lot, and they’re expecting it done right. How do we live up to these expectations? We’re all slammed. In fact, if you have a lot of free time, you probably aren’t doing it right – or you’re a savant…in which case, I hate you. We need to increase efficiency. Easier said than done. So, in an effort to help everyone find a little more time to do more, I gathered some helpful advice from three notable marketers who seem to produce five times the results of any average marketer such as myself.

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June 16, 2015

5 Secrets to Make Lead Gen Work for You

Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism. With Yin/Yang, two halves come together to create wholeness.  Examples abound in everyday life: night and day; sun and shade; art and analytics. Inbound and outbound marketing, when done right, are an example of Yin/Yang – two sides that make a whole.  Inbound marketing techniques draw potential customers to you while outbound techniques go to where the customers are less likely to find you on their own. Regardless of how leads are generated, both inbound and outbound marketing techniques must fill the pipeline with MQL’s, SQL’s, sales opportunities, and deals.  The more sales opportunities and deals that marketing drives, the better the performance review in the boardroom.

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June 11, 2015

How To Plan Social Media Performance, Deliver ROI

In the first blog of this two-part series, I explained the ROI-driven steps that marketers should take when planning social media strategy. Developing a social media plan and using a scorecard are critical to determine our success, know where we are falling down and quickly make changes in our strategy and tactics. This is especially applicable when it comes to social media, both because it is seen as a “nice to have” by some executives, and as an accountable marketer, you have to guard against investing lots of people and technology cycles with little to show for the investment.  You can quickly burn through time, resources and budgets, and you run the risk of executives growing weary of social media as a core marketing/customer communications strategy. As I did with my four-step plan to build successful social media strategy, I’m going to lay out the four steps needed to measure and adapt that strategy post-launch to keep your stakeholders enthusiastic – while building your social presence and results.

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June 9, 2015

Always Be Testing: a 905-Word Guide to Better Marketing

As marketing continues to evolve, marketers who continually test new, creative ideas and technologies will prevail over those who don’t. This is also true of the organizations that foster such creativity among their marketing practitioners. It’s true – marketing is becoming more scientific every day, but anyone who believes that this in any way indicates a shift away from creativity is blatantly wrong. Great scientists are creative, and marketers should always keep this in mind. Continuously testing new ideas in creative ways doesn’t just unveil winning marketing tactics, it also keeps us and our teams from gradually falling into the “we’ve done it this way forever” mentality. And any marketer who’s spent enough time in the industry understands how devastating this way of thinking can be. So here are a few things I constantly remind myself so as to not to fall into a pit of self-satisfied complacency.

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June 4, 2015

6 Ways to Improve Customer Communications Today

Marketers are determined to get closer to and more knowledgeable about their customers. To keep up with our customers’ needs and aspirations, the marketing team at Integrate is going through a major review and update of our customer communications – rethinking both what and how we communicate. I’ve been part of many of these initiatives before, but something seems different this time.  Upon reflection and therapy-like exchanges with other marketing executives, there are two big factors I see contributing to the increased pressure and simultaneous excitement that we face today: 

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June 2, 2015

Customer Experience: The New CMO Revenue Driver

In recent discussions with fellow CMOs, I’ve noticed a common theme about Marketing’s conflicting “Big Goal” priorities: Should we focus on customer revenue or customer experience? My opinion: We’re asking the wrong question. Marketing obviously needs to deliver both.  The right question (that’ll lead to the big wins): How do we infuse customer experience into our revenue-driving efforts? CEOs expect Marketing to directly contribute to sales pipeline, new customers and revenue. These same executives – and your customers (the real bosses) – expect a personalized experience that makes it easy to interact and transact with your company, products and people.  

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May 28, 2015

Affiliate Marketing 3.0: Customizable Ecosystems

Online affiliate marketing began with a promise: Leverage the massive reach of the internet while only spending in proportion to revenue achieved. Unfortunately, the promise hasn’t come to fruition. Over the years, marketers have fallen victim to affiliate exchanges, ad technologies and publishing practices that weren’t created in brands’ best interests. But this doesn’t mean affiliate marketing doesn’t work – it can. But it requires marketers to regain control of their affiliate relationships and marketing processes by creating customized, transparent ecosystems.

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May 26, 2015

A Four-Step Social Media Strategy That Pays Off

It’s easy to get caught up counting followers, likes, re-Tweets and other short-term indicators of a budding social media presence. While those “metrics” provide immediate gratification, they have less tangible impact in driving business value (awareness, funnel advancement, pipeline) and personal brand equity. Before you commit time and resources, I recommend a disciplined – even skeptical – approach to building a social media strategy, with frequent checkpoints to assure ROI. What follows – in Part 1 of two blogs – is a four-step social media success plan I’ve executed over the past two years that has driven significant growth in:

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May 21, 2015

Call It A Comeback: Outbound Takes On Inbound Marketing

“It’s a bit naïve to think that all your potential customers will come knocking at your door.” The problem: Due to the emphasis on inbound marketing that has pervaded the discipline over the last several years, technological innovation has focused on bringing efficiency and new capabilities to inbound, while outbound marketing has remained stagnant. …but outbound is on the comeback trail.

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May 19, 2015

What Media Companies Need From MarTech

These days, marketing technology is all but synonymous with marketing itself. And much of this discourse has been focusing in greater degree on the convergence of martech with its less-respected sibling, ad-tech. Yet, only somewhat surprisingly, very few of these discussions address how media companies can leverage marketing technology to better serve both their marketing clients and their business.

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May 14, 2015

How to Learn Demand Generation

There is no school or class that teaches you demand generation.  I hadn't heard of demand generation before I became a field marketer and certainly hadn't heard of it while in business school. While we did learn tools like Lifetime Value and associated sales funnel dynamics, no one discussed how that funnel works in real life. So how did I learn demand generation? How can you learn demand generation? Are you preparing for graduation and want to be a marketer? Are you thinking of switching from sales to marketing? Perhaps you are already a Product Marketing Manager and think you can do a great job driving leads to your sales team? 

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May 12, 2015

The Road to Push-Button Demand Marketing

You put $10,000 of demand gen fuel into your newly designed demand marketing engine and out pops $100,000 worth of new revenue.  Sweet! Many marketing teams have built and are using these lead-to-revenue models. Now you need to scale these efforts and deliver $3 million in revenue by the end of the quarter.  Will the same formula work? So you connect your MarTech “stack” (your company’s systems, process and data) to the Internet, and this engine kicks into another gear. Programmatic hyper-targeted ads, search key words, content personalization, message retargeting, and first- and third-party data mashup yields a big data bonanza. Pure inbound “cloud” heaven.    What happens when your inbound marketing machine runs out of gas and you need to go outside your website-produced leads to generate demand? You turn to third-party sources, events and media partners to help drive the additional inquiries and leads required to hit your revenue goals. Woops, not so automated, yet.

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May 7, 2015

6 Useful Marketing Automation Infographics

Marketers are striving to master the art of visual storytelling in an effort to attract prospects and engage audiences. Infographics often become the preferred medium to communicate significant amounts of data or a plethora of information that would otherwise run the risk of falling flat if delivered as text on a page. Given the thousands of marketing infographics available today, I set out to compile a list of those specific to marketing automation that provide useful information for marketing automation users, teams considering implementing a marketing automation platform and marketers (like myself) striving to understand and engage these same people. Here is a list of my findings. I hope you find them to be helpful.

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May 5, 2015

Know Thy Source – How to Identify Qualified Fulfillment Partners

Given marketers’ hyper-focus on capturing ever-increasing volumes of quality leads and acquiring customers that will yield the highest lifetime value, it’s not uncommon to leverage third parties (media partners, publishers, affiliate networks, etc.) in order to scale programs. The biggest challenge in this world of paid demand gen is identifying qualified fulfillment sources. The risk involved often causes organizations to stick with a small handful of tested and true publishers. While this seems like a safe strategy, it drastically hampers the ability to reach large volumes of new prospects.

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April 30, 2015

What's Holding You Back From Marketing Automation Success? [Interview]

As we work to understand the opportunities and challenges facing marketing automation users today, it’s important to pick the brains of experts who have honed their core competency in implementing marketing automation strategies. It's for this reason I sat down to interview John Muehling. John is Sr. Director, Client Services at Digital Pi and formerly the VP of Marketing for VIRGO Publishing (now Informa Exhibitions). He has worked with recognizable name brands, such as Beechcraft, Cessna, Swift Transportation and Blue Shield of California to help them implement and make more effective use of Marketo, Pardot and Salesforce.

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April 28, 2015

How Eloqua Users Can Drive Revenue & Improve Customer Experience

Earlier this month, I joined a few thousand other marketers at Oracle Modern Marketing Experience. Kevin Akeroyd's keynote aptly captured the challenge that lays before today’s marketers: the dichotomy of Wall St. vs. Main St. While marketers are getting revenue focused and becomingly responsible for contributing more to sales pipeline with each passing quarter, they are simultaneously charged with delivering ever better customer experiences – in part to accomplish this end result. Oracle Marketing Cloud customers have built best-in-class marketing tech stacks aimed at nurturing prospects and creating customers. When you combine the power of the Oracle Eloqua marketing automation platform with innovative advancements such as the recently released Oracle ID Graph that connects user data from various channels and devices into a single identity – great experiences are possible. But there is still a vast disconnect in the marketing lifecycle. These systems used to engage prospects at nearly every stage of the customer journey are completely separate from the processes marketers must rely on to identify new prospects in the first place. This lack of a seamless experience at the source of origination is a sure-fire recipe to negatively impact customer experience.

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April 23, 2015

3 Things B2C Marketers Can Learn From B2B Demand Gen

I know…the title seems a bit condescending to B2C marketers, but I assure you it wasn’t meant that way. There’s many reasons why it’s only “3 Things…” rather than “15 Things…” One of those reasons is that, historically, B2C has been way ahead of B2B when it comes to tech, innovative marketing strategies, and the now proverbial data-driveness. Yet, resting on laurels is never a good idea, so after conversing a with a few B2C experts, here are the three main themes I gathered:

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April 21, 2015

[New Guide] How to Supply and Scale Your Marketo Demand Factory

You’ve invested in Marketo as the hub of your customer engagement ecosystem – your Demand Factory (a clever term coined by David Lewis of DemandGen). It’s incredibly sophisticated. Between its ability to score leads, progressively profile prospects, and seamlessly integrate a fleet of supporting marketing tech solutions, it’s more difficult to think of what it can’t do than what it can. But no matter how you use Marketo and the rest of your tech stack, this all-powerful demand factory won’t produce much if you can’t get enough raw material: the unqualified leads, the prospect data.

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April 16, 2015

High-Potential Marketers Lead with Data

This is Part 4 of a 4-part blog series highlighting key skills to advance your marketing career. Which of the following would you rather have on your LinkedIn profile:  “My team developed content and messaging for a nurture campaign that won industry awards for the quality of writing because the voice and messaging resonated so well with the target persona.” Or this: “My team developed content and messaging for a nurture campaign that moved 16% of leads to sales-qualified status – and created 48 new customers, an increase of 33% over the previous year.” The answer should be obvious to marketers who recognize the evolution of our profession to be data-driven and performance-centric.

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April 15, 2015

What Naps & Self-Driving Cars Mean for Marketing: Marketo Summit Day 1

Day 1 of Marketo Marketing Nation 2015 is in the books. Running the gamut from life lessons to industry insights, here are a few of the Summit's larger themes: 1. We all need to nap more …Or at least this is what Arianna Huffington wants us to do; and I’m 100% fine with that. Her presentation was witty, charming, funny and, not to mention, quite convincing. Balancing wellness and focus to creatively and continually disrupt ourselves seemed to be the thesis of her keynote discussion. And it all made sense. She provided many salient points, such as the fact that multi-tasking doesn’t exist, but it's rather just task switching and that humans aren’t meant to be “on” 90% of the time. Continuously switching between focuses and overworking oneself – something our industry is known for – is counterproductive; it causes stress and “stress kills creativity.”

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April 13, 2015

What To Do At Marketo Marketing Nation Summit

Last week I reached out to a few marketing industry luminaries to get some feedback for a post I was writing on tips and insights for Marketo Marketing Nation Summit. I requested of each expert a short reply to one of three questions. Of course, there were two overachievers – namely, Kaitlin Stich of BrightTALK and Cynthia Gumbert of CA Technologies – who apparently had far too much insight for just a quick one-sentence reply. They each instead provided me with thoughtful responses to all three questions. …responses that, if I had tried to work them into the original post, would’ve completely over-shadowed my own far less profound thoughts. I certainly couldn’t allow that. So, in an effort to protect my fragile ego, I decided to save their superior thoughts for a separate post:

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April 9, 2015

4 Sessions and 3 Tips for the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit

Marketo’s annual summit is in a few short days, and as I was doing my pre-game prep to decide which sessions I want to attend, I noticed three are scheduled at the exact same time on Monday. Irritating as that is, I thought I’d explain the merit of each in case you find yourself in the same dilemma. Fortunately, the fourth session doesn’t conflict with the others – it’s simply a discussion I think anyone who’s involved in content marketing will want to attend. At the end of post, I also include three tips on ways to make the most of your Marketing Nation Summit experience.

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April 7, 2015

Automated Demand Generation: What It Is and How to Get Started [eBook]

If you’ve been paying attention to our content, you’ve likely noticed a lot of talk about automating demand gen. We recognize that this concept may be somewhat confusing as many marketers believe that their marketing automation systems (MAS) are already addressing the full spectrum of demand generation. But marketing automation really is only the starting point in our quest to leverage marketing technology to discover, engage and nurture prospects.

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April 2, 2015

4 Traits of a Top-Notch Demand Gen Campaign

Marketers are walking a razor’s edge when it comes to demand generation.   For any given campaign, success requires effective execution on several fronts, while failure is only a key mistake away.  It explains why demand gen is an area where many companies struggle.  In fact, according to a study by IDG, 61% of B2B marketers reported to have problems in this area.   As disheartening as this may seem, all is not lost.  Many companies can and do run consistently successful demand generation campaigns – and it’s not by accident.   In the last year, HiP has fulfilled more than 2,500 demand gen campaigns (both successful and unsuccessful).  As a result, we have a unique view into the art and science that makes up demand generation.  We can say with some certainty that a specific set of traits marks the most successful demand gen campaigns.

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March 30, 2015

An Oracle Eloqua App Demand Gen AND Marketing Ops Can Agree On

So, we’re releasing a new Integrate app today for Oracle Eloqua users. Now, I typically wouldn’t make a big deal out of this – after all, apps in this space (or any space for that matter) are a dime a thousand – but this app is pretty awesome. And anyone who knows me is fully aware of my distain for hyperbole. Why so awesome? Simply put, because it makes closing the loop (numerous loops, actually) on your third-party demand generation programs as easy as dragging an icon into place on your Eloqua Campaign Canvas.

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March 27, 2015

[Infographic] Third-Party Demand Gen Plays

With March Madness Sweet Sixteen games underway, we thought this would be a perfect time to exploit our target personas’ collegiate sports enthusiasm. The new Integrate infographic uses thinly veiled, yet hopefully informational basketball metaphors to illustrate the benefits of automating third-party demand gen efforts.    

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March 26, 2015

Getting the Most Out of Oracle Modern Marketing Experience 2015

Modern Marketers are the new breed of pros hell-bent on mastering the art and science of marketing. These are the marketers that have jumped in with both feet embodying the Internet-inspired revolution of the customer being in the driver’s seat; they have committed to becoming marketing technology experts. At the core, they: Are data-driven Understand with specificity the components of their marketing mix that are driving meaningful interactions along specific stages of the customer journey Customize messages to a highly targeted audience, across multiple devices and channels, over a specific period of time These are the marketers set to converge in Las Vegas from March 31 to April 2 at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience 2015 (#MME2015).  And, it is not by chance that the term “modern marketer” was popularized by the Eloqua team (now part of Oracle).

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March 25, 2015

Can Marketing Be a True Revenue Forecasting Machine? [Interview]

I had a great conversation the other week with Justin Gray, CEO & Chief Marketing Evangelist of LeadMD – a marketing consulting firm that helps Marketo and Salesforce customers increase the effectiveness of their tech investments and marketing operations. This conversation led to a topic that I find very interesting, but seldom gets much attention: The extent to which marketing can be an actual revenue forecasting entity. Sure, we all glibly talk like it can and will, but it still seems a long way off and few people are discussing the specific challenges impeding this goal. But we’ll never conquer these obstacles unless we fully understand them. Justin clearly had no problem talking about the challenges to marketing’s quest to become a revenue forecaster, so I invited him to share his perspective in an interview.

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March 24, 2015

Illustrating and Analyzing Your Marketing Architecture

The marketing technology landscape is crowded. And the proliferation of martech solutions isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, Scott Brinker’s annual Marketing Tech Landscape Supergraphic grew by 98% to 1,876 vendors between 2014 and 2015. While the explosion of marketing solutions presents vast opportunities for marketers, identifying the right martech investments has become a daunting process. Solution identification became a bit easier a couple weeks ago when Heinz marketing published the Marketing Tech Landscape Directory (an Excel spreadsheet of all supergraphic vendors) to enable easy vendor sorting and tracking via 43 categories and subcategories. It’s a great resource and I highly recommend downloading it. Today, Integrate is releasing another resource to further enable marketers to make informed technology decisions: The Marketing Tech Blueprint Workbook.

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March 19, 2015

Marketing Tech Reality Check

In less than two weeks, thousands of fellow marketers and I will head off to San Francisco and Vegas for MarTech Conference and Oracle Modern Marketing Experience, followed by Marketo Marketing Nation Summit just two weeks later. We’ll submerse ourselves in the experience of the most innovative and advanced aspects of marketing today. Keynote speakers will inspire and session presenters aim to impress. Marketers will share stories of grand accomplishments using innovative technologies. It might be easy to walk away with the feeling that all of marketing is connected, automated…a smooth running machine. That our decisions are always predictive and our data always accurate. But don’t be fooled. This movement towards automation is very much a journey… one on which many of us have made some progress and a few have taken great strides.

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March 17, 2015

Communications: It Does a Marketing Career Good

This Part 3 of a 4-part blog series highlighting key skills to advance your marketing career. In this series’ previous two blogs, I’ve explained the importance of embracing marketing technology and utilizing customer insights to build a successful modern marketing career. Building on those two disciplines, the next marketing career building block is communications. In this context, communications is two-way – listening for insights and the ability to package and deliver value, inspiring or motivating people and communities to take action.  This must occur first and foremost with your prospects and customers through the diverse channels they frequent.  And, in today’s social media-driven world, this also means communicating with influencers and stakeholders that your constituencies trust and value.  

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March 12, 2015

Why Demand Gen Marketers Need To Automate Media Partner Management

We marketers are incredibly diligent about refining prospect data once it’s inside our marketing systems. Lead nurturing, scoring and predictive analytics tools have turned us into physicists with our data. And we continually strive toward that perfect equation to build stronger customer relationships. However, we all too often cast a blind eye to the disorderly and sluggish processes by which we manage numerous media partners to acquire the all-important prospect data used to fuel our demand gen engines.

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March 10, 2015

Customer Knowledge Is Power For Your Marketing Career

This is Part 2 of a 4-part series dedicated to the critical requirements of a successful marketing career in 2015. You can see part 1 on marketing tech here. I’d like to pose two questions to my marketing colleagues      1. How important do you believe customer knowledge is to your marketing success?      2. How often do you meet or talk with your prospects and customers? My guess is that most marketers said “very important” to question #1, and “not often, if at all,” to question #2. This incongruence is not unusual for most marketers.

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March 3, 2015

Optimizing a Career with Marketing Technology

Not long ago, marketing was about the 4 Ps (product, price, place and promotion). It wasn’t about educating and engaging customers like it is today.  The change in marketing’s roles and responsibilities was led by the Internet – which shifted knowledge and power to the customer – and is now being propelled by marketing technology.  Marketing capabilities are leading to specialization Evolution is happening faster than ever, requiring more and more specialization.  That specialization is vital to a thriving marketing career. This is especially true for technical marketers who are responsible for the systems and data that power customer engagement. They require a deep knowledge of how systems work and communicate with each other, and must understand the ways data should be stored to provide maximum accessibility and flexibility for use (e.g., analytics and segmentation). Additionally, they must have the skills to customize tech solutions and interpret the resulting data.

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February 26, 2015

27 Strongest Opinions On Dirty Data

Last week's tweet chat on the causes, consequences and approaches to preventing dirty data in customer acquisition pipeline resulted in hundreds of insights from many notable industry experts. While it would require much more than a single blog post to summarize all the topics and opinions discussed, below highlights the six topics and 27 opinions that garnered the most consensus or debate. 1. The biggest obstacles to prospect data quality are complexity of sources and silos. I’ve said it many times: marketing is evolving rapidly, and with this transformation comes much specialization and the inevitable silos. It was nice to see that I’m not alone in my views; there seemed to be wide-held concern for the compartmentalization of data and the need for standardization to raze growing barriers between and within departments. When asked about the biggest challenges to ensuring accurate data, almost all responses agreed with these tweets:

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February 24, 2015

Getting Inside The Mind of Sales: Why It Matters to Marketers

Before assuming my current role at Integrate (sales and marketing ops), my career focused strictly on sales and sales management. My journey to ops was a slow evolution, during which I witnessed and learned greatly from the many struggles that typically characterize the sales-marketing relationship: miscommunication, systems limitations, misaligned objectives, and most importantly, inaccurate perceptions of the other side. Without the multi-disciplinary knowledge I’ve acquired, I couldn’t do my job effectively, nor could many of the marketing execs and CMOs who have towed both sales and marketing lines during their careers. Sales’ perspective of marketing – the worst case scenario  During my time in sales at several companies, I heard mentions of marketing teams, but I was never quite sure what they did. A common, almost rhetorical question often thrown around between sales reps was, “What is it that marketing does?” …as if to imply that they sat around all day doing nothing except maybe trying to come up with a catchy tagline.

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February 20, 2015

How To Help Marketing Ops and Demand Generation Work Well Together

Whether it’s about IT and Marketing (namely the CIO and the CMO) or growing dissent between Sales and Marketing, everywhere you turn seems to be another piece of content trying to shed a light on changing dynamics and the need for alignment. I’m not taking away from the value of such conversations, they’re obviously important. Yet, such interdepartmental emphasis distracts from intra-marketing alignment issues, a problem of that grows day by day.

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February 17, 2015

How Automation Impacts Marketing Career Growth

This is Part 1 of a 4-part series dedicated to discussing today's critical elements of a successful marketing career.  The calendar year’s first quarter is an ideal time to update your career objectives and evaluate whether your current role and scope of responsibilities places you on a growth path. As you consider your career outlook, I want to share insights I’ve collected over the past six months from B2B and B2C marketers – particularly our customer base – and recommend steps you can take to position yourself for success. 

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February 12, 2015

3 Keys to Marketing Ops & Demand Generation Alignment

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been surveying a few marketing experts to gain feedback on what we’re seeing as a growing issue within marketing; namely, misalignment between demand generation and marketing operations teams. This is seemingly the result of marketing’s expansion in responsibility and size, which in turn causes intradepartmental siloes to form (in bigger companies), each with their own goals, duties, terminology, perspective, needs, etc. The insight we received from Scott Fingerhut, VP of Global Demand Generation at Elasticsearch, deserved to be highlighted in its own post. Scott has vast experience on both sides of this matter, but here he focuses more on the marketing ops perspective.

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February 10, 2015

Airing Out Dirty Data [TweetChat Session]

The value of marketing tech is only as good as the data it processes. No one wants to be responsible for undermining hundreds of thousands of dollars in software investments by allowing their systems to be mired in bad data. But that’s exactly what’s happening. Most efforts to undue database contamination are cosmetic solutions to symptoms of a larger issue: the inaccurate and incomplete prospect data that we pump into our marketing systems and sales pipeline. The importance of clean, complete and accurate prospect data isn’t new — but neither is it typically obtained to the standards marketers and their systems require (see Integrate’s recent research report, Prospect Data Quality Index). It’s time we reject complacency and give our technology and teams the quality data they need. Join us on February 19th for a 30-minute TweetChat featuring an all-star list of marketing influencers and practitioners sharing their ideas, learnings and advice for marketing’s path to accurate and actionable data.

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February 3, 2015

[eBook] Guide to Prospect Data Quality

Today, we’ve released an ebook, “Guide to Prospect Data Quality,” to help marketing operations and demand gen professionals identify and solve growing problems resulting from poor-quality prospect data. The ebook provides detailed guidance on ensuring your prospect data quality is accurate, complete and actionable BEFORE injecting it into your marketing systems or passing on to sales for follow-up. It also provides an analysis of more than 775K B2B leads and data governance insights from companies such as DocuSign and TIBCO. You can download the ebook here.

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January 28, 2015

[Infographic] Causes and Consequences of Dirty Data

Integrate recently examined more than 775K leads to answer the question: WHY exactly are marketers and sales teams so frustrated with their lead quality? The result was our first research index: Prospect Data Quality – B2B Tech Industry. Though stat-filled indices are great, stat-filled infographics are better (statistically speaking) – which is why we created the following…

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January 27, 2015

Prospect Data Quality by the Numbers [Research Report]

Marketers are recognizing more than ever the need to improve lead quality. In fact, we’ve seen survey after survey (Salesforce,[1]  ANNUITUS,[2] Asscend2[3]) that clearly highlight deep frustration among marketers regarding the quality of their prospect data and how improving lead quality is a No.1 priority. We haven’t, however, seen much analysis of the prospect data itself. Questions are left unanswered: To what extent is prospect data inaccurate? Where do the biggest quality issues lie? Is this an SMB concern or just an enterprise issue? At Integrate, we recently set out to address real world questions such as these, because recognizing the problem is the first step, but pinpointing the causes is key to finding a solution. Get Integrate’s Data Quality Index here. 

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January 21, 2015

Demand Generation: It’s More than Marketing Automation

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), marketing leaders and media executives will invest $39B in media in 2015 and billions more on marketing technology to generate customer demand for their company’s products and services. This investment is driven by the huge mandate for marketers to create a continuous, predictable prospect pipeline that results in loyal customers. In the marketing technology revolution, “demand generation” is often aligned (almost synonymously) with marketing automation (MA).  This is understandable as MA platforms improve a great number of demand gen processes. As far back as 2008, marketing tech authority David Raab labeled marketing automation as “Demand gen systems for the digital era,” and as MA platform capabilities have evolved, so too has the relationship between demand gen and these systems.  Marketing automation is undoubtedly an integral part of the customer acquisition equation, but its value shouldn’t blind demand gen pros to more recent tech-driven opportunities. 

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January 20, 2015

Costly Mistakes Marketers And Media Pros Make

A little-known fact. Prior to Integrate, I spent three years in performance-based media sales. It was the most challenging role of my sixteen year sales career. Challenging enough that I was over-the-moon happy to leave sales and transition into its much more predictable counterpart—marketing. Those three years though did instill in me a level of empathy for both the media company that I worked for and the marketing clients I served. Experiencing the “before” version of an industry barely touched by the marketing tech revolution allows me to more fully appreciate the available technologies today that support smarter marketing. Not to say that mistakes don’t still happen or that we aren’t still in a learning curve. However, eight years ago there were a lot more “not so smart” media and marketing mistakes. For example…

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January 15, 2015

Not Understanding the Martech Landscape Can Hurt Your Career

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that ChiefMartec.com released its annual Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic on Monday. As always, Scott Brinker outdid himself, but I’ll limit my compliments since by now he’s likely suffocating beneath rightfully deserved praise. Suffice it to say, the research that went into the supergraphic was undoubtedly a formidable undertaking. And you – the marketing professional – should take full advantage of his NEARLY selfless labor. (He did, after all, include his company, ion interactive in not one, but two categories! Such an opportunist.) Despite the volume of discussions that pervades the industry about the ways marketing tech proliferation is giving rise to the new, specialized “marketing technologist” role, we must not use this as an excuse to shun our own technology education and simply leave it to the specialists. These days, all marketers must become part marketing technologist, regardless of your title or job description. Failing to evolve with marketing’s tech revolution will hinder your own career advancement. And this responsibility to progress your personal edification goes beyond tech specific to your job duties – you must familiarize yourself with systems and software used by practitioners throughout marketing in general. Below are just a few reasons why understanding the Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic is vital to your career:

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January 13, 2015

8 Marketing Phrases We Love To Overuse

Like our marketing peers representing companies from across the land, the Integrate marketing team has been knee deep thinking through strategies and tactics for 2015. These brainstorming sessions have provided many ideas resulting from a review our 2014 marketing hits, misses and “I’m not sure what happened” moments.  The more we got into our review, I caught myself (and others) repeatedly using tired buzzwords and phrases – basically, a lot of words that only make sense to a few insiders. Isn’t marketing supposed to be the truth well told? Aren’t we marketers supposed to make things easier to understand? 

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January 8, 2015

Media Integration Without Data Governance: A Bad Idea

Reading through scores of 2015 B2B Marketing predictions, there are a few consistent themes.  Programmatic buying is now officially the accepted practice.  Predictive analytics companies like 6Sense, Prelytix and Lattice Engines continue to bring their intelligence to the mainstream.  And lead-generating media companies are increasingly dangling their ability to directly inject prospect data into client marketing tech stacks (marketing automation and CRM systems) as a valuable new option.  I find this last theme particularly important, and in many ways dangerous if not properly executed. You’re likely thinking: If a media company offers to free my time and resources by automating lead delivery into my nurture tracks, why shouldn’t I dive in head first?  What could go wrong?

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January 6, 2015

TIBCO Breathes New Life Into Demand Generation [Customer Story]

Conversations with customers are one of the most rewarding parts of my job – I always come away with new, insightful information. That’s not to say that feedback is always good news; there have been plenty of times that customer-provided constructive criticism has fallen on me like a grand piano, but even that’s useful because it provides new challenges on which to focus my efforts. What’s even better, however, is when you come away from customer talks with new knowledge about how your product provided solutions you didn’t even know it was capable of. Information is always a good thing, but accolades for a newly discovered strength is an awesome thing. The latter is what we gained from a recent discussion with Kenan Frager, TIBCO’s head of advertising for worldwide demand generation.

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December 23, 2014

Creating A MarTech Blueprint [From The Archives]

[Originally published Februrary 20, 2014] As Integrate CMO, Scott Vaughan, pointed out this week in a timely AdExchanger article: There is a growing effort to merge anonymous third-party data (e.g. cookies) with identified/known customer data (e.g. email, job title) to engage audiences with customized, relevant messaging, and attribute sales performance to specific marketing experiences. To do this, CMOs are investing heavily both in their marketing tech stack and the ad tech solutions that fill the gaps and expand capabilities. He goes on to exhort CMOs to create a marketing technology blueprint in order to:

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December 18, 2014

A Few (Completely Subjective) Demand Generation Learnings

Rather than add to the annual deluge of upcoming-year predictions, I thought it’d be more helpful, if only slightly, to go through a couple things I’ve learned this year while engaging with demand gen customers, marketing tech vendors and influencers. Hopefully, these learnings will help inform your own 2015 marketing predictions – or better yet, spark ideas for how to progress your marketing efforts in the coming year.

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December 16, 2014

6 Undervalued Demand Generation Data Points

Successful demand gen marketers know that lead quality is a key factor in their ability to engage prospects and activate buyers.  In a recent study by Marketing Profs, nearly 60% of marketers surveyed indicated quality is the single most critical aspect of the leads they generate.  One key indicator of lead quality is accuracy and completeness of data on the lead. Both marketing and sales operational efficiency are directly impacted by lead data quality because high-quality leads are more likely to convert to customers. Diluting a marketing database with low-quality leads results in wasted time and ineffective communications.  Lead accuracy needs to be managed proactively, whether leads are generated in house or by a third party.  Here are six data factors that will create a positive return on your investment in generated leads.

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December 11, 2014

Speed Is The Key to Improving Sales Relationships

If you Google “sales and marketing relationship,” phrases such as “love/hate,” “ending the war” and “sales turf war” all come up on the first page. Numerous articles discuss the turmoil of this on-again, off-again fling between these departments; however, many miss a key point that’s resulted in more inter-departmental love than an open bar at the company Christmas party.

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December 9, 2014

7 Prospect Targeting Tactics And Why They Work

In marketing’s old world (pre-2013), e-mail campaigns went to large lists that were developed to be as inclusive as possible. Low response rates were grudgingly accepted, with individual e-mails producing at most a few quality leads. For those whose names were in a B2B marketer’s database, that was a sure ticket to getting every message and offer, whether it addressed their needs or not. Thankfully, the more-is-better, spray-and-pray mindset is fast approaching obsolescence as marketers recognize less (volume) yields more (quality), for their brands and the prospects they target. In modern marketing (and specifically demand gen), campaigns benefit from prospect targeting by one or more criteria, individually or on a mix-and-match basis, to reach the right individual or company with the right offer.

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December 4, 2014

16 Demand Generation Terms We Should Agree On

This article has been much revised in a newer post: http://blog.integrate.com/25-demand-orchestration-terms 

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December 2, 2014

It’s Time to Automate Outbound Demand Generation

Nearly all marketers are using advertising and marketing technologies to automate the processes required to create, execute, and analyze marketing programs. Automation is making marketers smarter about customer needs, behaviors and experiences, while freeing up time to focus on marketing strategy and creativity. In essence, it’s increasing our ability to effectively discover, engage and nurture prospects and create satisfied customers. So, in an era of automated marketing and with an estimated annual investment of nearly $30 billion, why does Demand Generation (Demand Gen) remain mind numbingly manual and disconnected from other marketing systems and customer data?  

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November 25, 2014

OMAHA!! Data-Driven Marketing and the Audible

The guy is amazing. Not only did he set the record for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history, but he also orchestrated (and had his receivers practice) the practical joke of playing keep away shortly after (see video here: http://digg.com/video/peyton-manning-record-ball). How successful would Peyton have been if he did the following: meticulously studied and analyzed his opponents used complex machine learning to predict behaviors of the other team prepared a play book executed every single play in order throughout the entire game Not very – because football requires responsiveness and constant flexibility.

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November 20, 2014

Harness the Power of Third-Party Data [SlideShare]

Recently, we had the privilege of leading a webcast as part of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s “Spotlight on Success Series.” We were joined by marketing and demand gen leader, Meagen Eisenberg, who is VP of Customer Marketing at Docusign and a valued Integrate customer.   This 45-minute webcast highlighted one of the core challenges that plagues the majority of today’s demand gen practitioners and marketing automation users – manual data processes. \ If you are currently using Oracle Eloqua (or another marketing automation system), this post and session can help you understand:

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November 19, 2014

Marketing Ops' Favorite 4-Letter Word

Our first #MarTechChat TweetChat session was exactly what we were hoping for – great insights that illuminated both important trends and intriguing debates within the world of Marketing Ops. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who participated in the session, especially our two headlining practitioners: Leslie Cocco Alore and Alexa Bleecker!  While there were many takeaways for consideration, one thing is certain: Ops practitioners are a dynamic breed of marketer with skills that set them apart. High-tech, fast-paced, analytical, curious and deeply connected with all business units, Ops pros are a proactive force within the organization and will shape the future of marketing. And surprise, surprise – they love data! 

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November 18, 2014

Don’t Ignore Telemarketing as a Demand Gen Tactic

Digital marketing dominates the B2B marketing space, making telemarketing seem like an outdated, or at least an under-appreciated, marketing method for generating and qualifying leads.  Its association with intrusive phone calls and sometimes aloof call agents may keep this tactic from making it into your marketing mix. Truth be told, telemarketing can be a very cost-effective and reliable way to generate qualified leads for your pipeline.  Admittedly it was not always included in my arsenal, but proven success over recent years has turned me into a telemarketing supporter.  The power of conversation and human touch with the right call center can yield rewarding results.  

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November 13, 2014

Building Quality Customer Engagements With Standardized Data

Marketers are inundated with data. From lead files, to web traffic reports to marketing automation data, marketers can’t – and shouldn’t - get away from it. Data provides the basis for optimizing marketing performance. In fact, data elevates marketing to the role of trusted business partner with sales, according to Pete Koliopoulos, VP of Marketing for Arrow Electronics, who spoke at this year’s Sirius Decisions Summit. The problem is that data from diverse sources lives in different systems and formats, making it difficult to gain a consistent view and take action. Koliopoulos said data strategy often isn’t given adequate priority in enterprises because business executives overlook the impact that data has on sales and marketing productivity. How can we possibly still be failing to see the full impact data has on our business?

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November 11, 2014

Inside The Mind Of A GE Marketing Ops Executive

When it comes to enterprises with a complex range of marketing needs and seemingly overwhelming goals, few stack up to GE. That’s why we were very excited to have the opportunity to interview Ramiro Ramon, General Manager of Marketing Strategy & Operations for GE Healthcare. Over the last two decades, Ramiro has focused on generating innovative strategies and customer-centric business models that have maximized revenue, market share and profits for both GE and Johnson & Johnson. Moreover, he serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and is a writing contributor for PM360 – the premier magazine for marketing decision makers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device industries. We spoke with Ramiro about his take on the ways marketing technology is both influencing and being influenced by the marketing’s transformation. We also delved into the mindset, strategies and characteristics needed to be a great marketing ops leader in this evolving tech-focused landscape.  

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November 6, 2014

Marketing Ops Hashes It Out via #MarTechChat [TweetChat Session]

Marketing Operations has become marketing’s nerve center, overseeing the convergence of marketing and technology to streamline processes, measure and analyze initiatives, optimize resources and provide strategic planning. But this responsibility doesn’t end with marketing alone. Marketing Ops is increasingly charged with aligning marketing, sales and IT efforts. This means establishing expectations with external leadership and standardizing the use of data between cross-departmental technologies to continuously increase sales pipeline, conversion rates and lead velocity – an increasingly daunting assignment. Join us on Twitter for a fast-paced, engaging discussion on the mission, purpose and role of Marketing Ops in a data and ROI-driven marketing world. This 30-minute TweetChat will feature leading Ops practitioners sharing their ideas, learnings and advice for marketing’s road ahead.

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November 4, 2014

Why Standardization Boosts Value Of Marketing Metrics

A couple weeks back, Scott Vaughan’s post titled “Marketing Standardization: The Must Have for Marketers in 2015” exhorted the need for marketing orgs to standardize data, systems, measurements and expectations to free valuable resources that would be better used for other endeavors. While I wholeheartedly agree with his central thesis, I would take it a step further, at least with regard to standardizing measurement processes. Standardizing measurement enables marketers to peform better. It allows them to: More quickly compare the value of lead sources, assets, marketing tech systems, media investments, etc. Do all this with greater accuracy to better inform decisions and make more effective optimizations.

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October 30, 2014

Integrate Third Party Data Or Get Left Behind [Webcast]

Marketers have more data at our fingertips than ever before. It’s coming at us from all angles. With our demand and lead generation efforts, we typically have dozens (or more) of third-party media partners and fulfillment sources generating leads or syndicating our content, sending us streams of prospect data. We even capture data from our webinars, events that we sponsor, or lists that we buy.

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October 29, 2014

Essential Guide To Integrated Marketing Systems [Whitepaper]

We recently released our newest whitepaper “Integrated Marketing Systems: The Essential Guide”. If you’re already sold on the value of integration and ready to put a plan into action, there’s no need to read the rest of this post. Just click the preceding link and get the whitepaper. It contains a simple three-step integration plan any marketing organization can follow to connect disparate marketing tech systems. If however you’re still unsure whether there's value in connecting your marketing systems, let me share a few things we’ve learned through our efforts to understand the challenges facing marketers today and you can decide if integration is the right step for your marketing organization.

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October 28, 2014

What Can LinkedIn, SAP & Netflix Leaders Teach Us About Marketing Ops?

Last week, I participated in the inaugral Marketing Ops and Technology Summit chaired by Gary Katz, Chairman and VP Strategy for Marketing Operations Partners. 60+ practicing executives bantered for two days on the present and future of marketing and tech operations (MOPs). While there were “speakers”, this interactive conference tapped into a seasoned group of practicing marketing and tech leaders. Collectively, this very experienced cadre included executives from powerhouse companies such as LinkedIn, SAP, Clorox, At Home, GoGo, and NetFlix. Since this was invite-only session, here are insights I pulled direct from these accomplished leaders.

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October 23, 2014

Marketing Standardization: The Must Have for Marketers

Over the last 90 days, I’ve heard “standardization” at least 50 times in sessions with CMOs and marketing leaders as we discuss 2015 planning and budgeting. Standardization – how boring! This is marketing; aren’t we supposed to be creative? And charged with differentiating our brand, products and services? Yes, we are. However, standardizing data, systems, processes, measurements and expectations frees up the time and resources needed for more creative initiatives. Think of it this way: How much time would you waste if you haphazardly switched between measuring your house in feet, yards and meters in your effort to determine how many gallons of paint you needed? A lot. Because you didn’t select a standard type of measurement or process for measuring. If you had, you probably could’ve automated calculations by inputting a standard data type into a paint volume calculator.

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October 22, 2014

From the MarTech Experts: Tips for Successful Change Management

Managing change is the toughest part of any marketing transformation, especially regarding the adoption of new technology. This isn't new news. Yet, the pace of change only seems to be accelerating, and we marketers are prone to neglecting this critical element in our organizations. Below are excerpts from hand-picked interviews that not only illustrate how important change management is to successfully guiding marketing’s transformation, but also provide insight on how to lead this change effectively. Among these approaches, standardizing goals, communicating needs across departments, and hiring the right people in the right roles seem to be agreed upon as vital efforts in any transformative environment. 

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October 16, 2014

You Can’t Drive Quality Leads With Inaccurate Data [Whitepaper]

I’m a little taken aback when I read statistics like the one from Sirius Decisions that 60% of B2B companies report an overall data health of “unreliable”.  But what surprises me more is how few marketing organizations appear to really understand the importance of their data quality. Ascend2 recently released their Lead Generation Strategy Report which revealed a startling (to me at least) disconnect between how much weight marketing organizations are placing on lead quality and how little on data accuracy.

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October 15, 2014

Marketing Tech at Dreamforce: A Developing Story

As we brace ourselves for the inevitable barrage of Dreamforce ’14 “takeaways, “learnings” and “insights” blog posts to hit our inboxes over the next few weeks, I figured it may be helpful to recap some of the biggest marketing tech-related comments about Dreamforces of recent years. After all, it’s difficult to takeaway insightful learnings without context – you gotta have a benchmark.

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October 13, 2014

Marketing Ops & Tech Summit: Past, Present, Future Of Ops

Marketing technology has garnered a staggering amount of attention in recent years as startups take advantage of today’s low capital requirements to address the myriad challenges marketers face in the digital, customer-centric marketing era. Tech solutions continue to automate processes and measure outcomes in ways that enhance both the performance of marketing and sales as well as customers’ experience. This has led to numerous tech-focused events such as this week’s Dreamforce ‘14 and the MarTech conference held in August. What has received less attention, until recently, is the discipline that has evolved to own the strategic use of marketing technology: Marketing Operations. The inaugural Marketing Operations and Technology Summit will be held October 22-24 and aims to address this void. I sat down with the conference’s chair, Gary Katz, to gain a few insights regarding the discipline’s current state as well as a glimpse of what we can expect from the event.

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October 8, 2014

Maximizing Your CRM’s Value

With Dreamforce ’14 only 4 Days, 19 Hours, 06 Minutes and 35 seconds away at time of writing, I figured now is a great moment to share a few of my personal learnings regarding ways marketers can squeeze more value out of a CRM. Whether you’re using Salesforce, Sugar, Microsoft Dynamics or some other system, these ideas will help mold your CRM into a technology that will enhance the effectiveness of any department charged with customer-focused goals.

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October 7, 2014

Stuff that Works: Insights on Creating Customer Pipeline

Greg Ness, VP Marketing at cloud app provider CloudVelox, is a proven practitioner of data-driven marketing and a wizard at creating demand and customer pipeline for products and services.  My first work with Greg was at Redline Networks a few business cycles ago.  I’ve seen his work firsthand through engagements at Juniper Networks, Blue Lane Technologies, InfoBlox, and other players in the B2B tech space. Greg’s relentless focus on marketing outcomes, customer needs and investing in programs that deliver a pipeline of business opportunity was his core mission long before this was marketing’s primary mandate – and before marketers had all the available tools and technology.  I talked with Greg to get his view to contrast “old school” demand generation tactics with today’s modern techniques and see what we could glean from a seasoned pro.

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October 2, 2014

Pitfalls to Avoid When Migrating A Blog

The marketing team at Integrate has been creating great blog content for a couple of years now, but over the last year we've been more actively developing this content to help modern marketers overcome their marketing challenges. During this time, we’ve outgrown two different platforms. Recently we decided that we needed more flexibility with our blog to provide a better experience for our visitors and to allow us to integrate our blog content with the rest of our marketing efforts. Once we selected our new tool, we developed a migration plan. (NOTE: This is the third time we’ve migrated our blog. The first two times were completely manual due to incompatible systems. We sacrificed some content and links along the way, so this time I was determined to do it right.) 

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October 1, 2014

Generate Leads Effectively + Accelerate Sales Pipeline [Infographic]

Regardless of how much marketing has changed, today’s ultimate business goal remains the same: acquire new customers. The key difference is that marketers are now directly responsible for contributing to that goal. They’re no longer simply influencers creating feel-good messages to promote brand identification (though those types of marketers still serve a purpose). Modern marketers must discover new prospects, fill sales pipeline and drive revenue. And although CMOs and Marketing Ops are investing in marketing technology and systems to use prospect data in creative new ways and nurture potential customers along the buyer’s journey, the marketers who are responsible for acquiring prospect data in the first place are still relying largely on inefficient manual processes to get that data.

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September 30, 2014

You’ve Invested in MarTech, Now What?

Integrate has published several recent posts on the topic of selecting the right marketing technology for your team: Choosing MarTech Is Like Selecting The Right Wine 2015 Budget Prep: Finding The Right Marketing Tech Providers How To Efficiently Assess MarTech Business Value Alignment But making the monetary investment is only half the battle. After you have your new solution in place, you must make another investment in time and energy if you want to reap its full value.

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September 24, 2014

4 Questions with a Marketing Ops Pro

We’re constantly on the lookout for new industry influencers and practitioners to interview, and one name that kept popping up among my colleagues was Alexa Bleecker, Trusteer WW Demand Generation and Digital Marketing. Unlike most other Marketing Operations practitioners, Alexa started in an Ops role. She didn’t migrate as it grew into its own discipline (that is to say, she didn’t carry over any bad pre-digital habits like the rest of us). And this gives her a distinct perspective on the role’s evolving challenges and opportunities.

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September 22, 2014

The Great Schism: Marketing Ops Analytics and Customer Data

A recent study shows that organizations measuring marketing ROI are 17 times more likely to see the same or greater ROI over the previous year.[1] Yet there remains a resounding echo among many organizations that state an inability to pull the requisite data for such measurement. In fact, only 53% of the 3,500 survey respondents claimed to measure ROI. This is largely a result of an inability to tie systems together.

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September 17, 2014

5 Tactics to Increase Your Marketing Automation ROI

The implementation of a new marketing automation platform comes with numerous challenges, but the biggest hurdle that marketers typically face is evolving their processes, strategies and overall mindset in ways that complement their technology investment.  As Scott Brinker, CTO of ion Interactive and program chair of the MarTech Conference, said in a recent interview

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September 16, 2014

Choosing MarTech is like Selecting the Right Wine

Marketing technology, aka MarTech, is all the rage, the new black, and the must-have resource in marketing shops around the globe. I get it. Call this a rant, but really it's a personal quest for me as a marketing professional to change this “tech-first” mindset.   My respectful request to my peers and colleagues — Stop leading with tech! 

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September 11, 2014

Make Your Marketing Data Actionable Or Go Home

Analytics that don’t result in actionable insights and are just charts, tables and maps. Data points that don’t elicit action are simply numbers. Successful marketers understand that the data they generate and the ways they convey that information need to result from logical, outcomes-based planning. This ensures that they’ll know what to measure, understand why they’re measuring it, and be able to reap performance-boosting insights.

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September 9, 2014

2015 Budget Prep: Finding The Right Marketing Tech Providers

For marketers, technology stack complexity grows daily. We’ve reached Rush drum-set status. Three years ago, most marketing teams could count their tech solutions on a hand or two. Now, most marketers are dealing with more tools than a Cowboys Stadium security guard. Yet inefficiencies remain. And new solutions continually crop up to meet the demands of marketers striving to enhance their productivity and bolster their company’s bottom line. Navigating a sea of 1000+ MarTech solutions and finding the right marketing tech provider for you, however, isn’t easy. It helps to have a map…or at least rough sketch of landmarks to guide the way.

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September 3, 2014

Marketing Ops: Only the Analytical, Adaptable and Hungry Need Apply

The digital era has provided marketers with the ability to measure and analyze the outcomes of their efforts. No longer a company’s “arts and crafts” team, marketing departments are leveraging metrics and systematic management techniques to generate real business value. Marketing Operations spearheads this focus on back-office data analysis, strategic planning, budgeting and the use of marketing technology to perform these duties. It has become marketing’s nerve center, controlling systems and processes to influence, measure, and manage all things marketing.

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September 3, 2014

Lessons From Our CMO

A year ago, Integrate received a gift that would forever change the face and heart of our company. We were blessed with the addition one of the most passionate martech leaders in modern marketing. Today, we’d like to take a moment’s break from the tech talk to pay tribute to our fearless CMO, Scott Vaughan and acknowledge the many lessons he’s imparted upon us over the last 365 days. Here’s a short list of our biggest takeaways.

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September 2, 2014

4 Critical Elements of a Successful eCommerce Site

My most recent blog post on buying, governing, and optimizing data resulted in a number of inquiries from customers and acquaintances who operate in the ecommerce space — particularly the subscription service space. As you can imagine, nurturing leads, maintaining a clean funnel, and ensuring swift lead velocity become less important in ecommerce, where buy cycles are swift and the sales metric can be immediately attributed to specific campaigns, tactics and partners. As Scott Vaughan discussed in a recent blog, business outcomes are the ultimate simple metric and sales are the ultimate business outcome. If only it were that simple.

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August 27, 2014

Marketing-Sales Alignment: Real-World Lessons

How Emerging Tech Provider Tintri is Transforming Marketing from Demand Gen to Revenue Gen Marketing and Sales Alignment. Stick a needle in my eye, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. CEOs and Boards of Directors rank driving and measuring revenue contribution as the No. 1 marketing priority, according to the Corporate Executive Board. Without working in unison with sales and having joint metrics, marketing is unlikely to significantly influence revenue, let alone prove any positive impact.

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August 23, 2014

How to Efficiently Assess MarTech Business Value Alignment

Have you invested in a MarTech solution or tech vendor that sucked your team’s time, budget or resources? Or one that simply didn’t fulfill on its grandiose promises? If so, was it your fault, the provider’s responsibility, or equal share? It’s a perfect time for a gut check.

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August 20, 2014

4 Must-Read MarTech Blog Posts of 2014

Ending the inaugural MarTech Conference, I felt this would be a perfect time to provide a completely subjective list of the year’s most important marketing technology-focused blog posts. Ironically, this list is in no way based on content performance, traffic volume, social influence, or any other metric that one may have used to support the logic behind choosing these posts. Nope—this list is simply comprised of martech blog posts that stood out to me and a few of my colleagues. Think of our selection process as a tribute to the marketing tactics of old.

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August 19, 2014

5 Must-Have Marketing Ops Skills

Marketing Ops has become the nerve center for today’s modern marketing organization. It’s no surprise that Marketing Ops pros are in-demand and sought-after by CMOs to operationalize marketing, automate processes, standardize data and measure everything. This is an ideal time for Marketing Ops - marketing, tech, data and program management - types who are accelerating, re-making or jump starting their careers. We talked with CMOs from our top customers to get the skinny on the skills and attributes to look for in scouting and hiring Marketing Ops leaders.

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August 17, 2014

The State of MarTech: An Interview with Scott Brinker

The inaugural MarTech Conference begins Tuesday. And it’s sold out. So, being the altruists that we are, we’ve decided to siphon some insights on the current state of martech from the conference’s program chair, Scott Brinker, out to all of you who were unable to register. You can follow the conversations @MarTechConf and @Integrate.

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August 13, 2014

A Segmented Approach to Measuring Content Marketing Success

Many companies struggle with measuring content marketing effectiveness. Unlike other marketing activities, there’s not a single set of definitive metrics. This is due largely in part to the variety of outcomes content marketing is expected to deliver. According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 benchmark report, B2B content marketers named their top goals as brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, and thought leadership, respectively. These top four goals were named by more than 65% of respondents.

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August 11, 2014

Data-Savvy Marketers: How To Break Down A Last Remaining Silo

Old-school marketers were organized in distinct camps: creative types who drove messaging and sales collateral, and analytics and tech pros who used data to manage and analyze programs. While many marketing organizations continue to maintain silos for these and other functions, the days of narrowly defined marketing roles are numbered. Customers don’t consume information in silos, so neither can marketers operate in one-dimensional roles.

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August 7, 2014

How to Avoid Bad Sales Outcomes from Good Marketing Programs

Disclaimer: I'm conflicted when it comes to giving fellow marketing people advice. On one hand, it feeds my ego. On the other hand, we all compete with each other and frankly my company pays me for IP and execution — not to share good IP. But, I love demand generation, the challenges and complexity it brings. Spreadsheets are only as good as the garbage you put in them.

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August 6, 2014

What Goldilocks Taught Us About Closed-Loop Marketing

Marketing has a clear mandate to prove ROI; we’ve heard this time and time again. Similarly, we’re now hearing the mantra “closing the loop” as the main way to validate our marketing spend and optimize it for future campaigns. Far too much gets written on the “Why,” yet the “How” is rarely addressed. Closed-loop marketing typically refers to marketers’ ability to track a buyer all the way through their journey, from original lead to closed customer (all of your leads become customers, right?), and then attribute sales revenue back to the originating data sources, channels, creative assets, tactics, etc. However, in my experience, different organizations have different business models, strategies, agreements between marketing and sales for lead handoff, etc. — all of which influence the most effective points to initiate a closed loop.

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August 5, 2014

Offline Data is the New Black

One of the things I love most about the marketing tech industry is its rapid evolution — new solutions create new opportunities, which result in innovation that circles back to new solutions. What’s more, I’m lucky enough to have a job that’s almost entirely focused on observing this evolution in order to benefit customers. During the last year, there’s been significant technological progress that has created many new opportunities (read “needs”) among marketers, but one has stood out more than any other simply due to the number of times it has been brought up during discussions with marketers: the desire to combine all offline data with newly standardized online systems.

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July 29, 2014

3 Ways Data Fluidity Drives Results for Media Companies

Data is becoming the lifeblood of media companies. The ability to capture, access and leverage accurate data to serve the right content to customers and execute effective media campaigns is essential. Marketing customers expect high-performing, measurable results from their media-driven marketing programs, and they want the resulting data to flow seamlessly into their marketing systems for immediate action. The need for actionable data is a given for today’s marketers, but their media partners (publishers, affiliates, bloggers, etc.) have not fully embraced this new world. It’s time for media companies to take control of demand marketing programs.

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July 29, 2014

2015 Marketing Budget Prep: Start Now, Win Big

We’re well into the second half of the year and focused on nailing 2014 goals. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning and thinking about our 2015 marketing budgets. I know – buzz kill. Budgeting is much more dynamic in the era of agile marketing. The agile approach works well for program-based budgets, but not always for critical infrastructure and key hires you need to support and scale your marketing efforts. Investments in technology and people are typically big-budget items that require executive- or board-level buy-in, which means you need to do your homework and build your case.

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July 24, 2014

Marketing Integrations 101

There’s been a tremendous amount of talk about the importance of marketing integrations lately. In fact, it was a key theme at Oracle Interact this year. Kevin Akeroyd, general manager of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, recently stated in a CMSWire blog post: “Unlike the past, when it's been enough to go out and buy best-of-breed, I believe the winners are going to be the ones who are very committed to integration. Integration is going to become as important, if not more important, as buying best-of-breed assets." As Scott Brinker predicted months ago, due to the proliferation of marketing technologies, marketing cloud vendors are increasingly leaning toward integrated, open-platform strategies to provide their customers all the capabilities they require.

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July 23, 2014

Marketing Ops: It’s Time to Clean Your Marketing Data [Whitepaper]

Marketing organizations know that quality marketing data is the key to unlocking marketing’s potential to drive maximum business value and create happy customers. Data-driven marketers are continually finding new ways to dissect and apply data in order to increase marketing performance. Yet, our ability to leverage data effectively in our marketing efforts is directly affected by the quality of the data fueling those efforts.

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July 22, 2014

Integrated Marketing Needs Integrated Systems

If you’re like most marketers, your marketing operation has an increasing number of marketing tools and systems, a plethora of processes and a boatload of data being generated. And, there seems to be a new piece of technology creating more data and requiring new processes every week. While marketing technology holds tremendous promise, it doesn’t create nearly its potential value if it’s NOT integrated.

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July 18, 2014

Defeat Is A Roadmap To Success

This week I had the pleasure of speaking at MozCon and sharing with a couple thousand digital marketers a subject that is very important to me: failure. More importantly, how we can leverage failure to create personal, professional and marketing success. If you read my bio, it might appear that I’ve been successful in most things that I have done, but my narrative is quite the opposite. For every milestone that I’ve reached, I’ve failed a thousand more times. At the risk of sounding grandiose, I believe that learning how to effectively manage adversity is the single greatest skill that we need to learn in order to become successful and happy. Truly understanding how to leverage adversity and failure in your life will help you reach greatness. Every great entrepreneur, athlete, marketer…every great person I’ve met has mastered this skill.

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July 16, 2014

Oracle Eloqua and Integrate Partner to Power Customer Acquisition

A few months back, we published a series of posts titled “Platform Wars,” in which I suggested that marketer needs would dictate whether all-inclusive marketing suites or platforms open to third-party solutions would come to dominate. Oracle’s announcements yesterday dealt a hard blow to all-in-one solution enthusiasts. In one of three press releases published yesterday, Oracle stated: “Modern marketing demands a unified, data-driven approach, not the data silos and integration challenges that point solutions create. Marketers need easy access to consolidated data to better engage audiences and analyze performance.”

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July 16, 2014

How Marketers Can Yield Big Results Without High Tech

I think we, as marketers, are guilty these days of thinking and acting a bit too strategically, leaning on the substantial technology investments (marketing automation, analytics suites, etc.) that every organization is, or should be, making. Too much big-picture thinking has resulted in inaction – we all too often neglect the little, tactical tricks we can implement to increase our data quality, lead velocity and generate real business value.

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July 9, 2014

Need An Effective & Easy Lead Gen Process? [Whitepaper]

This post provides an overview Integrate's "Follow the Money" whitepaper in which CMO Scott Vaughan presents a clear path to effective lead generation. You can read the post, download the whitepaper, or do both.  With the growing adoption of marketing automation technology, most marketers are focusing heavily on post-lead-gen processes such as nurturing leads and personalizing conversations with prospects. Advances in marketing technology have driven this newfound emphasis, and with good reason — buyers are navigating their own journey, and if they don't receive the information they need when they need it, they’ll move on. Savvy marketers know this and have adapted their systems and processes according.

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July 8, 2014

Modern Marketing Tips from the Wizard of Moz

With MozCon bringing together the digital community next week in Seattle, it’s a good time to get the scoop on the latest trends in digital marketing along with modern marketing tips directly from the Wizard of Moz himself, Rand Fishkin. We had an opportunity to interview Rand leading up to the “not your typical marketing conference” and capture his insights in this always surprising and informative gathering of digital marketers.

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July 8, 2014

Today’s CMO #4: Analytics – It’s Time to Get Back to Basics

“Analytics” means different things to different marketing and business pros. After a deep dive to create our marketing analytics and a whirlwind tour of our customers to scope Integrate’s next version of our analytics suite, it’s clear we (CMOs and marketing pros) need to simplify our approach. Always trying so hard to prove we can account for everything, we often unknowingly, make it more complex to focus on what matters. And, we have so much data we can compile, especially with powerful new tools available to us, that we may be overshooting what we need in order to deliver business impact. So, my new mantra is “Get the basics right and build from there.”

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June 29, 2014

Marketo + Integrate Partner: Automate Prospect & Customer Acquisition

Marketo recently announced its open-platform vision — to provide a holistic view of customer experience through best-of-breed software integrations, customized to individual marketing organization needs. As the lynchpin of this vision, Marketo strives to “bring a core set of capabilities, and then be open to third-party solutions that build on the common foundation.” In the continuously evolving world of marketing, Marketo understands that its platform’s robust product offering must still be open to complementary solutions if it is to successfully offer marketers the range of capabilities they require. The Marketo-Integrate partnership is the result of this mindset.

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June 26, 2014

Meet the Chief Markitecht at Symantec

With always-on, empowered customers and the rapid pace of business, understanding and strategically using technology across your marketing and communications efforts is more essential than ever. To make this strategy a reality, marketing and tech teams need to collaborate ( Don’t worry, not another goofy article about the CMO vs. the CIO!). Out of this new world a critical role is emerging to help bridge the gap and bring these disciplines together. Whether you label the role as “marketing technologist” or some such title, it requires a focus on business and marketing process, a passion for data and marketing, a player-coach mindset, and a solid understanding of technology architecture.

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June 24, 2014

What Can Dr. Oz Teach Us About Data Quality?

As I was writing my last piece on what the MarTech Revolution can do for media partners and publishers, I was struck by something that seems second nature to those of us used to running consumer-based media campaigns, but which is often missing in the MarTech Revolution: optimization. We all know the old adage “garbage in/garbage out”—this remains true in marketing. Frequently I see demand-gen organizations invest great sums on Eloqua, Salesforce, Marketo, you name it, spend the engineering time and resources to tie everything together, and then just shovel a bunch of worthless data in the front end. All the money in the world won’t fix data or products that were no good from the start.

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June 19, 2014

Are You a Mighty Duck or a Modern Marketer?

My first job out of college was coaching competitive youth hockey. I often had to deal with players who continuously attempted the same plays over and over again without success. Why? Because those plays had been successful at less competitive levels. What they didn’t understand is that if your environment advances, so too must you. New plays, different strategies and tactics that are tailored to succeed in your current environment. And this ties into modern marketing, how?

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June 17, 2014

The MarTech Revolution: Why You Must Adapt

Technology has always been a driver of substantial change. Irrigation tools and techniques caused the Agricultural Revolution in the Fertile Crescent, navigational instruments and innovative accounting techniques spurred the Commercial Revolution that laid the foundation for the world economy, and machine tools and interchangeable parts powered the Industrial Revolution, bringing us into the modern era. These historical examples seem irrelevant to us marketers, but understanding the role of technology in these great changes can provide useful insights into the current state of marketing and where we’re headed. In each example, those who made the effort to adopt and creatively implement new technology boomed — those who didn’t, went bust.

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June 12, 2014

Aligning MarTech and Marketing Ops — An Interview With Gary Katz

I recently interviewed Gary Katz, Founder and Chairman of Marketing Operation Partners, for research I’m conducting on the challenges and opportunities regarding the simultaneous growth of marketing tech and the Marketing Ops role. What resulted was a 52-minute conversation of great value. Here, I have provided a short, yet very insightful part of that conversation.

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June 11, 2014

Why Marketing Must Close The Loop [Whitepaper]

Considering the advancement in technology and processes over the previous decades, it’s difficult to understand why so many marketing processes remain archaic, specifically regarding the ways we manually access and leverage the data we spend billions of dollars producing. Marketers annually invest billions of dollars in both marketing technology and owned media in an attempt to more effectively discover and engage with customers, but this attempt is drastically hindered. Why? Because marketers aren’t leveraging the data garnered from marketing technology (marketing automation, customer relationship management and data management systems) to its full potential.

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June 10, 2014

How to Select the Best Marketing Ops Tools for Your Business

We have shared a great deal of learnings about the importance of “Creating a MarTech Blueprint” to guide your technology investment and integration decisions. And, we have outlined successful formulas for adoption such as “Crawl, Walk, Run.” Today’s post is from Mary Wallace, a Marketing Ops leader who outlines how to identify the best tools – in the endless landscape of marketing tech providers – to meet your business and customer requirements.

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June 4, 2014

Platform Wars: Episode 3 — The Integrate Perspective

This is the final of three installments discussing the “Suite vs. Open Platform” debate. The first post discussed arguments for open platforms versus all-in-one marketing solutions. The second provided arguments for marketing suites. (If you haven’t yet read them, I suggest doing so before diving into this one — much of the content below references these posts). This final installment is meant to provide a customer-centric perspective on adopting a marketing platform.

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June 3, 2014

Marketing CTA: Rid Data Pollution From Your Pipeline

Does your sales pipeline suffer from any of these forms of “pollution”: inaccurate or incorrectly formatted prospect data; slow movement of prospect data from lead source through internal processes; insufficient data to ensure targeted content or messaging? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you’re not alone. 

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May 29, 2014

Making Your Marketing Frankenstack Work Via Integrations

Whether you are pursuing an open platform or the elusive all-in-one marketing suite as your marketing tech solution, the need — right now — to connect and integrate marketing systems at the most basic levels is absolutely essential to obtaining the data you need to get your job done. The good news is despite the omnipresence of the Marketing Frankenstack (glued together marketing systems from different providers), this is very doable with today’s abundance of APIs provided by “Marketing Cloud” providers.

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May 28, 2014

Marketing Pros: Face Your MarTech Fears One Solution At A Time

Today’s marketers are witness to a paradigm shift in how marketing programs are built, executed and evaluated and technology is at the backbone of it all. In recent years we’ve been introduced to innovative tools and systems designed to give us better intelligence regarding where to spend and which marketing tactics perform best, along with more insight on marketing performance that allow us to improve the outcomes of our efforts. With all that’s available to us there’s no better time than now to be a marketer, right? So why are so many of us hesitant to adopt and embrace these new technologies? Scott Brinker’s now ubiquitous marketing tech landscape suggests a reason: we don’t know where to begin.

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May 21, 2014

Respecting Legacies: Factor Existing Systems Into Your MarTech Roadmap

The networking industry has long used a phrase for changes that IT and business leaders want to avoid at all costs: “forklift upgrade.” The concept effectively conveys the heavy lifting and disruption of a brute-force replacement of current systems. That imagery comes to mind regularly when I interact with marketing leaders who are considering new technology investments. Many fear a software equivalent of the forklift upgrade — ripping out existing systems and processes at a steep cost in time, money and cultural impact. Their fears are justified; wholesale replacement of applications and work processes can be just as disruptive as major hardware upgrades, and potentially more risky.

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May 20, 2014

The Rapid Ascent of Marketing Ops

With its roots in strategic planning and budgeting and its increasing focus on customer acquisition, Marketing Ops is quickly becoming the customer experience nerve center. Ops leaders are driving the tech systems and processes to automate, measure, and manage all things marketing. With Sirius Decisions Summit taking place this week in Orlando, Florida, it’s the perfect time to take a deeper dive into the current state of Marketing Ops and project where it’s headed (Sirius Decisions is credited with coining the “Marketing Ops” term).

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May 15, 2014

The Platform Wars: Episode 2 – The Big Suites Strike Back

This is the second of three installments discussing the “Suite vs. Open Platform” debate. The first post discussed arguments for open platforms versus all-in-one marketing solutions (if you haven’t yet read it, I suggest doing so before diving into this one — much of the content below references that piece). As the title implies, this second post reviews recent articles that either discuss the strengths of the marketing suite approach or display some skepticism of open-platform efforts.

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May 12, 2014

What Google’s Acquisition Of Adometry Means To Marketing

Last week Google and AOL made headlines with the purchases of Adometry and Convertro, respectively. With these acquisitions, Google and AOL have taken another large step towards encompassing the top of the digital advertising funnel. Both of these giants have been slowly progressing towards top-funnel domination, as they’ve gobbled up one large AdTech company after another. Their collective purchases of ad servers, ad exchanges, DSPs, SSPs, and DMPs have given them the capacity to serve and target ads very effectively across search, display, mobile and video channels. The question now is: Which marketing channels are working best?

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May 12, 2014

Creating a Marketing Tech Blueprint to Drive Performance [Slideshare]

Last week, we participated in MarketingProf’s Marketing Technology conference, keynoting along with Scott Brinker @chiefmartec and Tony Burne from Real Story Group. From the questions and dialog, the big wins for marketing technology are: Automation and efficiency Personalization and execution around customer experience and the customer journey Integration and closing the loop for measurement and insights

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May 8, 2014

The Integrate Imperative for Marketing: Start Connecting the Dots

Integrating people, processes and technologies is essential for any business. This is especially true for CMOs and marketers today as they invest in and develop unified processes and technology to align everything with their customer’s “experience” and “journey.” While it may seem like a no-brainer to integrate, it’s not always easy to find the dots, let alone connect them. There’s no better time to get started than right now.

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May 6, 2014

The Platform Wars: Episode 1 — Arguments for the Open Platform

This post is the first of three installments discussing the “Suite vs. Open Platform” debate. As the title implies, this first post reviews the most recent arguments for open platforms succeeding in the face of the more traditional, all-in-one marketing solutions. The second post will present arguments for the big marketing suites, and the third installment will discuss my own views on the topic. In recent months — and especially since Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit last month — there have been a number of blog posts and articles written on the marketing tech “consolidation or proliferation” debate. This dialogue has essentially drawn a line in the sand between the big marketing suite vendors (IBM, Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce) and smaller, open-platform vendors, who’ve recently gained a notable champion in Marketo.

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May 1, 2014

Quarterly Business Review For Marketing

A long time ago during my very first professional job at an ad agency, the CEO made a not-so-profound statement that sticks with me to this day. He said one of the most important things that advertising professionals must do is cover their ass. This of course is sage advice in any industry, but especially so in advertising and marketing where performance is open to wide-ranging speculations if not measured and documented. A superb way to accomplish this creed is to conduct quarterly business reviews (QBRs).

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April 29, 2014

Today’s CMO #3: Embrace Change and Win Bigger

Change is all around us. Change is necessary to succeed and win in business. But damn change is hard. This is especially true in marketing today where huge disruption, high expectations and massive FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) have become the norm. We’re expected to use real-time data to precisely target and personalize experiences, elegantly nurture prospects and deliver happy customers through the entire customer lifecycle, while portraying our brands as thought leaders to authentically differentiate our value. Not only is this a mouthful to say, but a big, tall order to deliver.

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April 24, 2014

Marketing And IT: Get On The Love Train

Any organization that has more than one employee has never made an important decision alone —important choices are negotiated and decided via committee. When considering a martech investment, by definition of the topic, you’re including two divisions within that decision-making process: Marketing and IT. These are two very different groups who speak different languages and are judged on a job well done in very different ways.

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April 22, 2014

Collaboration and Customer Experience: Unlock Your Website's Potential

Integrate celebrated its 4 year birthday on April 15th and in celebration, we launched our new website. I’ve been with the company since its founding and witnessed our evolution from the ground level, celebrated several successes and learned from many mistakes. And here’s what I know. Four years of startup life, five iterations of messaging, twelve versions of sales decks and nearly two hundred pages of website content can give the best of companies a severe identity crisis.

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April 17, 2014

Benefits of Tying Media Into Your Marketing Cloud

Today’s marketing leader faces stepped-up pressure to acquire customers through multiple channels, measure interactions with prospects and customers, and demonstrate the revenue impact of their campaigns. That’s a tall order, and it’s driving much-publicized increases in marketing technology spend to automate campaigns for ongoing performance. But campaign optimizations are especially tough when they require marketers to assemble, analyze and act on data that lives in a variety of places, including both internal and third-party systems such as media marketplaces.

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April 16, 2014

Involving Sales via Marketing System Logins: A Cynic's Approach

About a month ago, Craig Rosenberg posted an article on the Funnelholic: “’I Have No Idea What Marketing is Doing’ said the Rest of the Organization.” In addition to being cleverly titled, the post had great value, broaching a topic that is often felt by us marketers but rarely discussed...at least in a wide, very public setting. Of course, the quest for marketing and sales alignment has been a staple topic for years, fodder for anyone blogging about either; yet, highlighting this disconnect in such brazen terms was refreshing and appreciated.

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April 10, 2014

Missing Link: Integrating Media & Prospect Data with Marketing Systems

Marketing organizations are aggressively modernizing, automating and adding more digitally centered marketing methods as they focus on their mandate to discover prospects and create new customers. To meet the challenge, CMOs have turbocharged Marketing Ops teams and are building their “Marketing Cloud”, leveraging marketing automation for nurturing prospects, adding CRM for managing pipeline and customer relationships, and spending millions on super-charged, branded websites and social pages, while pumping billions into media to promote their offerings. With all of this progress, we’re still missing a vital component in the quest to modernize our marketing approach. We are NOT connecting the prospects generated by our media investment, nor their data, with our marketing systems and processes – a critical missing link.

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April 8, 2014

Marketing Acceleration: Automation’s Role In Driving Results Faster

The name of the marketing game in 2014 is speed: speed to acquire top-of-funnel leads, speed to engage those leads after initial capture, speed to push them to sales when the time is right, speed to close deals. Every process, system or person that slows the organization is a barrier to marketing’s biggest goals: engage customers, build sales pipeline that converts to revenue. In order to keep their jobs, marketing leaders need to eliminate those barriers and turn up the speed. I’d like to share some practices we’re using at HiP to increase speed for clients and our own internal operations.

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April 3, 2014

Brands as Media Companies: The Performance Imperative

One of the most widely discussed business trends over the past several years is that of brands becoming publishers to develop their own content in support of branding and performance marketing strategies. In fact, 73% of B2B marketers say they are producing more content than they did one year ago. This shift to develop engaging content is all part of the “build your own attention” era of marketing. Any brand (or person) can publish “content”. However, producing high-performing content that engages a target audience, prospect or customer and has the ability to measure results is the new imperative. 

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April 1, 2014

MarTech Success #4: How To Overcome The MarTech Learning Curve

I work and consult with organizations as they deploy marketing technology (“martech”), and they frequently encounter the same cultural hurdle: marketing pros waiting for a nudge (though I’m not sure who from) before diving in and gaining experience to accelerate their personal and organizational learning curve. My simple advice: it’s time to take the wheel and drive change. 

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March 27, 2014

The Media Partner’s Perspective On Marketing Tech Revolution

Lately there has been an enormous amount of discussion among marketers (advertisers) about the value of technology as it relates to acquiring customers, measuring media program effectiveness, justifying budgets and generally proving marketing’s overall value to an organization. Interestingly, relatively little of that discourse has crossed the table to the media partner/publisher side of the advertising business. This is very surprising. Over $40 billion is invested in media annually, but the idea of how this marketing tech revolution affects the job of media partners is still largely neglected.

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March 25, 2014

Best Practices for MarTech Adoption: Part 2—The Communications Imperative

NOTE: This is part two of a three part series regarding best practices for martech adoption. Previously, we discussed key elements to consider when initially planning to implement new technology within a marketing organization. As we interact with demand marketing and join them on their journey to implement marketing technology, we identify many best practices, trends, and key imperatives that promote success. One of the most common success factors is communications. Why? 

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March 19, 2014

Today’s CMO #2: Look to IT’s Past to Shape Your MarTech Future

CMOs can learn so much from CIOs. NOT just because they are teaming up to invest in technology to automate, integrate and measure internal (analytics, process management) and external (customer engagement, digital media, social) marketing and customer processes. Rather, because what CMOs are experiencing now is déjà vu for CIOs who were in the same spot just a few short years ago (do you remember CIO equals “Career is Over”?).

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March 13, 2014

Best Practices For Tech Adoption: Part 1—The Planning Phase

This is part 1 of a 3 part series, in which I will address 4 important steps you can implement during your planning phase to ensure successful tech adoption. You just got a purchase order signed for your shiny new piece of marketing technology. Precise vendor evaluation led you to this particular software that will instantly create departmental workflow efficiencies, better data analysis, increased targeting precision and of course greater return on marketing investment, right? Well not quite.

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March 11, 2014

Integrating The Voice Of The Customer

At last week’s Forrester Forum for Sales Enablement, many big themes around the customer emerged. While not new, I was reminded of the critical importance and high impact of infusing the customer’s voice during each stage of engagement. I’m sure I sound like captain obvious, but I see marketers and sales pros run into the language barrier time and time again, and with disastrous consequences.

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March 6, 2014

The Challenges Media Companies Face in Today’s Digital World [Video]

The media world is rapidly shifting. Running a media company is more difficult than ever. In his recent post, “Why Brands Will Start Buying Media Companies,” Joe Pulizzi identifies one of the core challenges that media companies face as a need to please two distinct groups: their marketing customers (brands and advertisers) and their audiences. Keeping both groups equally happy often puts media companies in a precarious situation.

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March 4, 2014

Media Partner Management: Automate & Integrate to Create More Customers

CMOs and marketing teams are directly accountable for producing revenue and providing measurable business value — both of which are driven by customer creation and retention. While working with marketing customers to identify roadblocks, gaps and points of inefficiency, I find that marketers are incredibly diligent about cultivating and honing prospect data once it’s inside their marketing systems, especially using lead nurturing and predictive lead scoring systems. However, they all seem to neglect inefficiencies and opportunities to improve the media investment process — specifically, the ways in which they interact with the media partners who distribute their content to generate and transmit prospect data. Media partner relations is vital part of the marketing process. And overlooking such crucial initial steps in the customer creation process seems counterintuitive, but it happens all the time, and is even understandable. Here’s why.

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February 27, 2014

What Oracle-Blue Kai Acquisition Means for Big Data & Marketing

The news of the Oracle’s $400M acquisition of BlueKai this week made headlines for several reasons – continuing industry consolidation, acknowledgment of the power of prospect and customer data in the marketing process, big data meets marketing, Oracle’s march to dominate all things marketing cloud, and Larry Ellison shenanigans always make good headlines. All viable and interesting angles.

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February 20, 2014

MarTech Success #3: Creating A MarTech Blueprint

As Integrate CMO, Scott Vaughan, pointed out this week in a timely AdExchanger article: There is a growing effort to merge anonymous third-party data (e.g. cookies) with identified/known customer data (e.g. email, job title) to engage audiences with customized, relevant messaging, and attribute sales performance to specific marketing experiences. To do this, CMOs are investing heavily both in their marketing tech stack and the ad tech solutions that fill the gaps and expand capabilities. He goes on to exhort CMOs to create a marketing technology blueprint in order to:

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February 18, 2014

Digital Fraud Prevention: How to Clean Up the Dirty Sandbox

Last week’s Annual IAB Leadership Meeting opened with a subject that is near and dear to Integrate and all marketing and media pros—digital traffic fraud prevention. Traffic fraud has long been a hot topic, but is often dismissed as an inevitable drawback to digital advertising. The industry at large has seemingly accepted that we play in a dirty sandbox, giving the perpetrators freedom to perfect their fraudulent endeavors without consequence. Our apathy has fueled the pollution of the digital playground, which has now reached a disturbing state.  

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February 13, 2014

MarTech Success #2: What’s Hindering Your Marketing Automation’s Effectiveness?

I’m not going to start this post by clamoring on about the value technology holds for marketers. The need for tech has a consensus; the focus now lies in right ways to leverage it. This is the second post in Integrate’s ongoing MarTech Success Series that marketers can reference to successfully implement and utilize marketing technology. According to a recent Lattice eBook (which you can download at the always great Funnelholic blog), SiriusDecisions Co-Founder, John Neeson, stated that 50% of marketers admit they don’t leverage marketing automation to its full potential.[1] A later chapter provides even more sobering numbers:

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February 12, 2014

Integrating MarTech and AdTech Enables Revenue Marketing [Video]

I recently participated in REVTalks, a first-time event of about 400 revenue-driven marketers. I’ve hosted and participated in hundreds of events and the team at The Pedowitz Group put on something meaningful to shine a bright light on the present and future of marketing. If you haven’t received the memo, marketing today is all about customer acquisition and creating revenue. Marketing as the anti-cost center. The RevTalks format, modelled after TedTalks, consisted of rapid fire 15 minute sessions, forcing all the marketing practitioners and experts to focus and get to the point. There was no time to meander through openings and introductions, nor for attendees to scroll their email as they were moving session to session. A useful format to keep everyone engaged. Most importantly, the six topic areas made up a solid agenda and provided an accurate compass for today’s CMO.

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February 11, 2014

Making Outbound Marketing More Like Inbound Marketing

** Note: For the purposes of this post, outbound lead generation refers to paid digital media, such as purchasing leads from content syndication, email and social publishers who capture and deliver prospect data via their respective channels and owned media** Prior to Integrate I worked for another rapidly growing marketing software company, HubSpot. I mention this because yesterday a colleague received a response to a prospecting email that read: “Sounds a lot like HubSpot. How is it different?” (which leads me to believe that my colleague’s prospecting emails could use some work).

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February 6, 2014

Data Governance #1: Three Reasons You Need Automated Lead Validation

In December, AdAge posted results of a survey stating 71% of marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets in 2014. Marketers quickly blasted the stat through social media, underlining the need for quality content to discover new prospects and generate sales leads. No doubt, a good chunk of the increased content developed will be used for lead generation. With so much time and budget investment in media and content to generate leads, it’s staggering how many marketing organizations are not taking the next, critical step to utilize available technology to validate data as leads come in from their marketing programs.

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February 4, 2014

Media Best Practices #1: Google Is Not Just a Verb

Given its beginnings, it’s natural to think of a Google marketing campaign as a search campaign that relies on keyword-based search traffic. After all, when “google” gained the distinction in 2006 of being added to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was defined as “to search for information on the internet using the Google search engine.” But to marketers, the purpose and application of “google” is so much broader. Google is an important part of a well-rounded cross-channel marketing campaign. It’s time for us to stop thinking of Google as a verb, and fully capitalize on its influence and strengths. As a practicing, certified (Adwords, Bing) marketing pro on Integrate's Digital Media Services team, I live and learn every day the vast possibilities with Google Ads (what works and what doesn’t!). For this post, we will focus on the “what works” and share a few media best practices and possibilities that span beyond search to consider for bolstering your campaign results:

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January 30, 2014

MarTech Success #1: The Crawl-Walk-Run Formula

Technology is a critical component of every CMO’s playbook. Finding and deploying marketing technology that creates business value has quickly become a top priority. The difference between success and failure often comes down to smooth implementation and widespread adoption; many traditional “IT-driven” rollouts are hampered by project delays, cost over-runs and lack of employee embrace, resulting in failed efforts and wasted investment.

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January 23, 2014

5 Ways to Crank up Lead Velocity

Marketers are experiencing a groundswell of demand for lead velocity when engaging with consumers and business pros. Velocity refers to the movement of leads and potential customer data from marketers’ lead generation campaigns to their internal database or sales and marketing automation systems. Slow-moving processes result in one of the most frequent complaints from sales: too much time between capturing a lead and having it ready for follow-up. So how do you go about increasing lead velocity?

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January 21, 2014

Media Buyers: Meet Your Modern Marketer’s Advantage

We hear lots of buzz about the “modern marketer” – a creative individual leveraging slick tools and marketing software to build campaigns, analyze results and drive outcomes, powered by automation and analytics. Some pros are practicing modern marketing, but today’s media buyer often more closely resembles the proverbial jack of all trades, trying desperately to excel at marketing strategy while manually managing a wide range of marketing tactics and incoming data from every campaign.

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January 16, 2014

Kick-Ass vs. Good-Enough Marketing – Time to Prioritize for Results

Business moves at a torrid pace. Dynamic customers, volatile business conditions, global markets, needy sales colleagues, feisty competitors – all making our jobs as marketers increasingly more difficult. On top of it all, expectations are high with demonstrable business and customer value a must. We have to prioritize. A small problem: most marketers are perfectionists, type-A by nature. Every color palette, font size, and word is dissected and debated for days. Everything must be perfect!

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January 14, 2014

Leveraging Data Effectively: 6 Reasons CMOs Are Closing the Loop

Forrester “expects data to form the basis of nearly all successful marketing campaigns” in 2014. This is largely due to the changing role of marketing and the CMO’s new mandate to deepen customer relationships and provide measurable business value. Data is the foundation of successful marketing.

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January 9, 2014

Master the Thought Leadership AND Performance Content Marketing Mix

There’s no better place to streamline marketing initiatives than content marketing, particularly the way we create content and engage our customers with useful information. Too many marketers approach all customers and prospects as equal when developing content. That’s a mistake because customers are at different stages in the buyer’s journey (if they’re looking to buy at all), and missing the mark with content is a disservice to your brand – and your budget. Marketers must know how and when to apply thought leadership content versus when to apply performance content. It all starts with understanding the differences between the two and how to leverage each for measurable results.

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January 7, 2014

Closing The Loop: The Next Step Toward Actionable Customer Insights

Today’s marketing technology is impressive. In fact, it has fundamentally changed the marketing profession. Marketers no longer pick a TV spot or print ad and cross their fingers. We gather, measure, analyze and act on data. New marketing technology and processes consequently allow us to target consumers by granular characteristics such as traveling habits and intended purchases, and then reengage them with creative specific to their individual characteristics, behaviors and interests. Stop and think about that. Now think about how only 20 years ago Zack Morris was seen as a technological savant when he made calls by holding a cell phone the size of a smart car against his perfectly coiffed head.

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December 3, 2013

Take Control of Your Marketing Data

We’re all familiar with the expression “50% of my advertising works, I’m just not sure which 50% it is.” It seems that this would be impossible today with all the technology and data available; however, it still rings true for many marketers. I recently read an article commenting on the growing disconnect between what marketers need from data and what they are actually getting. It cited Domo Inc.’s “2013 Data-driven Marketing Survey,” which revealed that:

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November 24, 2013

Will You Be a Data Manager or a Marketing Performance Hero?

The typical B2B marketer’s 2014 goals will look something like this: increase sales by 8%, pipeline by 10%, marketing ROI by 15%. Notice a couple items that aren’t on that list: managing and compiling campaign data, coming up with new ways to expedite data collection across systems. The latter functions are important, but they’re not going to move the needle on your marketing performance (or your career or compensation, for that matter). Which is ironic, because in too many marketing organizations, campaign managers spend much of their time wrestling with those tasks. That point is reinforced day in and day out as marketing execs continue to be frustrated by their teams’ data management woes.

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November 20, 2013

Three Reasons Why Media Needs to Be Centralized

When I walk into meetings with brands and agencies, I’m consistently amazed by how many manual tasks and antiquated tools are still being used to buy and measure media. For nearly three years, I’ve been obsessed with fighting the notion that marketing departments need to proportionally scale headcount with spend and that media buyers need to spend so much of their time pulling reports and manually aggregating data. However, when relationships with publishers, ad networks and exchanges exist outside of an integrated platform, this state is inevitable.

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November 18, 2013

The Missing Link: Connecting Media + Prospect Data to Marketing Ops

Marketing organizations are aggressively modernizing, automating and adding more digitally centered marketing methods as they focus on their mandate to discover prospects and create new customers. CMOs have added CRM for managing pipeline and customer relationships, leveraged marketing automation for nurturing prospects, spent millions on super-charged, branded websites and landing/social pages, and dumped billions into advertising technology (ad tech) to promote their offerings. With all of this progress, we’re still missing a vital component in the quest to modernize our marketing approach. We are NOT connecting our target audience, prospects and future customers, or their data, to our marketing systems and processes – a critical missing link.

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October 14, 2013

3 Steps to Getting Agencies Out of the Woods

Consumers engage with brands through an increasingly fragmented collection of channels, applications and devices on nonlinear paths to purchase. As the number of consumer interaction points and marketing solutions climbs, so too does the complexity of our digital marketing landscape. Navigating through the cross-channel marketing forest has become a time-killing chore for ad agencies, limiting the already-stretched-thin productivity of their rosters, including media buyers, marketing strategists, analysts and creative teams. Worse yet, agencies struggling to adjust to the rapidly evolving industry have implemented overlapping or incompatible technology platforms, simultaneously increasing their workloads and straining relationships with brands.

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September 22, 2013

"Build Your Own Attention" - A CMO's Move to Integrate

CMOs and marketing departments have a clear mandate: create new customers, new revenue and new relationships – cheaper, better, and faster. The expectation is unequivocally to demonstrate business value and show direct contribution. If they can’t, the best case is reduced marketing budgets and irrelevance to the business. The worst case – you’re fired!

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