2021 was a continued rollercoaster ride from 2020 for all of us in Revenue Marketing. And I like rollercoasters. But after two years of constant twists, turns and upside-down twirls, it gets old. I think at some point, we all thought the rollercoaster was over, but perhaps we are in the third upside portion of the proverbial rollercoaster? I sure hope so.
My Biggest 2021 Challenges and Learnings
A colleague recently said it best at the end of 2021, “mental agility” was the biggest challenge in 2021. I agree wholeheartedly. Constant pivoting is tough. Refocus your B2B marketing strategy, again? Yep.
More buyers to consider, more digital touchpoints, and more omni-channel thinking. Keep twirling, we’re on the right track.
Glass half full, Marketing has arrived with Martech following close behind. The consolidation we are seeing in the B2B marketing landscape is unprecedented. Martech vendors are doing their best to add channels and build out AI functionality to bring omni-channel marketing and insights to life – finally. It is so exciting and a nod to the need that marketers have had for decades to create seamless buyer’s journeys across multiple channels – all with the goal of a better buyer and customer connection.
It is our time for Marketing. The buyer is changing and demanding more. And even more interesting, this shift represents a new role for both Marketing and Sales. Craig Rosenberg at Gartner recently discussed some compelling stats that underscore how the buyer has changed at our Game Changers conference:
- Only 17% of the buying process is spent engaging with Sales
- 7 out of 10 Sales reps cite access to stakeholders as a primary challenge
Now before we get our favorite Sales Teams in an uproar, of course there is a critical need for Sales at the right time in the Sales cycle.
One of my favorite Sales reps at Integrate and I sat down to get real on this topic. I love what he had to say:
“Marketing needs to provide Sales with the sharpest knife to cut through the noise and the market can be very noisy. This knife can take many forms, but educational content that challenges the status quo is still the best way. The Sales team needs to know and understand the content, why it’s important to their buyers. We need Marketing to take ownership of the buyer’s journey and through account intelligence provide direction on the right time for Sales to come in — which accounts are ready, and which are not. We are working to perfect this at Integrate.”
- Simon Roberts, EMEA Strategic Account Director, Integrate
In a recent article shared by my friend and mentor, Scott Vaughan, “The 7 Essential Lessons Toward Marketing as a Business Driver,” he shared this wisdom:
“Your customer (and prospects) are your customers, sales is your partner.”
- Scott Vaughan, former Integrate CMO and Chief Growth Officer and current Marketing Advisor to CXOs
Marketing truly has a call to arms to break down silos and squash the old adage of the Marketing and Sales divide. The buyer has never been clearer about what they need in their Sales cycle and when. The silos need to go because we all care about one thing – the buyer.
The bottom line, it is our job in Marketing to foster connections internally and externally. This is evident when you read articles everywhere right now that talk about the importance of the CMO as the Chief Connection Officer. Thoughtful connections with your internal and external stakeholders will result in stronger bonds and customer advocates. I call this awareness to advocacy.
Our Revenue Marketing Team is thinking about this every day.
- How can we form further bonds with our Sales Team to provide a better buyer’s journey?
- How can we work with our Customer Success Team to provide a better customer experience?
- How can we work with our Products Team to enable our customers to provide journeys to their customers?
- How can we work with MOPs to get more out of our tech stack and measure to get to pipeline predictability?
Our Revenue Marketing Team has two primary focus areas for 2022:
1) Buyer Connection
Hats off to our customers who always amaze me. Thank you for your hustle and persistence every day to elevate our marketing community. Preach, buyer-centric thinking.
“The goal of marketers should be being in their buyer’s moment.”
- Leslie Alore, Global VP of Growth Marketing, Ivanti
2) Alignment for Growth
Back to our partnership with Sales, we are continually honing the Marketing + Inside Sales + Sales orchestration all in the name of human-to-human connections. Whether it’s a Marketing ad, an SDR video or Sales outreach, the best approach is when it feels personalized like it was crafted just for you.
One of my other favorite Sales reps at Integrate said it best as to how we’re evolving:
“The Marketing industry is evolving at a faster pace than I’ve ever experienced. Perhaps it is our collective empathy living and working through a global pandemic -- all things becoming digital instantaneously. What I can say for certain is that we have rallied around one single mission to support the customer wherever and whenever. To help them through every stage of their lifecycle and this collide has made Sales and Marketing more focused together than ever.”
- Ben Henson, VP, Strategic Accounts, Integrate
Our continued collective focus is paramount to scaling the business globally. We believe firmly that if Marketing and Sales focus on the customer, the growth will naturally follow.
3) Prioritize mental health
Lastly, how are you doing? How is your team doing? Mental agility is the real deal. Give yourself and your team the mental health breaks they need in this uncertain environment. You’ll all be better for it. Our friend, Dr. Jacinta Jimenez, reminds us to pause with this video from our Game Changers event in December.
Onward to 2022
It’s clear that for revenue marketers to succeed in 2022, we need to continue to follow the buyer. We call this Precision Demand Marketing at Integrate. It is safe to say the buyer’s journey is not linear and what we know for certain is that our buyers will continue to change, and we too will need to adapt.
Let your customers tell their story. They speak volumes above what you can say about your brand.
And then, take a pause and take care of yourself and your team.
At the end of the day, it’s about more human connections in 2022, please. Scale, alignment and growth will follow I assure you.