Tips & Insights To Help You Overcome Demand Marketing Challenges

David Crane

David Crane

David Crane joined Integrate in September of 2011. David is an ardent student of marketing technology that borders on nerdy obsession. Fortunately, he uses this psychological abnormality to support the development and communication of solutions to customer-specific marketing-process inefficiencies.

December 18, 2018

How to Research and Evaluate the Latest Marketing Technology

"Sixty-five percent of marketing organizations say they plan to increase their spend on martech in the next year," according to the Walker Sands “State of Marketing Technology 2018.” Unfortunately, marketers may not always make strategy-driven choices about new technology as they struggle to keep pace with the rate of MarTech innovation. According to the same research report, just 28% of marketing organizations feel their teams are keeping up with the evolution of marketing technology. 

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December 11, 2018

Why Inbound Marketing Is Failing & What You Can Do About It

A version of this was article was previously published on CMSWire. Inbound marketing efforts play an important role in B2B marketing success. But inbound alone won’t achieve the goals being placed on most B2B marketing organizations today — for three reasons.

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November 27, 2018

Box Revs Its Revenue Marketing Engine to Increase Efficiency and Drive 3.9x ROI

We’re always happy when our customers report strong results after using our Demand Orchestration Solution. But when our customers’ ROI figures nearly quadruple, it’s safe to say we’re ecstatic – and that’s how we feel today as we release Box’s case study.

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November 20, 2018

B2B Influencer Marketing: How to Be Effective Without Being Annoying

Influencers can smell a leech a mile away. If you launch into influencer marketing with the wrong tactics, you won't get a second chance. Many B2B marketers use a templated style of outreach through email or LinkedIn message which sounds something like this. "Hi, I love your article on ___. Would you be interested in ____?" In your industry, the leading influencers are familiar with this approach. They may even receive over a dozen of these impersonal “influencer marketing tactic” emails each day. Don't rush relationships to get a quick return.

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November 7, 2018

Get Clean, Stay Clean: Key Steps to a Healthier B2B Marketing Database

All B2B marketers understand the importance of keeping their marketing database full of accurate, complete and up-to-date data. Unfortunately, we often rely on infrequent, one-off sprints to purge our databases, with long gaps between cleanings and bad habits allowing dirty data to sneak in.

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October 9, 2018

B2B Marketing Trends: Why You Should Be Skeptical

You should pay attention to the hottest B2B marketing trends of 2018, but not for the reasons you might expect. You should be wary of them. We B2B marketers ruin everything. We jump on the bandwagon of new channels, tactics and tools, following the herd under the auspice of "marketing best practices." Then, everyone is using the hottest new marketing "hack," and it stops working due to over-saturation.

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September 13, 2018

15 Tactics for Successful B2B Social Media Marketing

For 20% of B2B marketers, social media is one of the top three sources for qualified leads, according to the Chief Marketer B2B Lead Gen Outlook report. The role of social media in demand generation has evolved to encompass targeted lead generation, influencer outreach, lead nurturing, social listening and research. B2B marketers who want to successfully build an engaged following on social media must master new skills as well as embrace the uniqueness of social media marketing.

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September 5, 2018

Top-Funnel Demand Gen Inefficiencies: How Much Do They Cost Your Sales Pipeline?

A version of this post was originally published on CMSWire. B2B marketing teams are increasingly being evaluated on their contributions to the sales pipeline or even revenue. Understandably, demand-generation marketers have as a result focused more on optimizing down-funnel efforts rather than first fixing more problematic top-funnel inefficiencies. Shifting focus to down-funnel efforts is based on false logic. The failure to scale marketing-influenced pipeline is rarely just a consequence of bottom-funnel roadblocks. In fact, assessment of numerous marketing teams has shown top-funnel inefficiencies are more likely the cause of pipeline scale challenges, which trigger significant impacts all the way down the marketing funnel. In this article, we’ll look at several ways top-funnel inefficiencies may be leaving a lot of money on the table by:

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August 30, 2018

The Must-Have Features in Marketing Operations Software

The marketing technology (MarTech) industry is booming. According to Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot and Editor at, there are now 6,829 MarTech solutions from 6,242 unique vendors. In a tech landscape that broad, evaluating solutions is undoubtedly difficult. Leaders understand that technology plays a greater role in marketing ops strategies than it did in the past.

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August 28, 2018

A 7-Part Framework for Doing 3rd-Party Demand Generation Right

Integrate and Inverta just released a new, co-branded guide on the topic of 3rd-party demand gen…very creatively titled “Getting Started with 3rd-Party Demand Generation.” This resource provides a 7-part framework of step-by-step guidance for effective 3rd-party demand gen programs. Further, it comes on the heels of a webinar Kathy Macchi of Inverta and Kate Athmer of Integrate recently hosted on the subject, which you can watch on demand here. The webinar and guide go well together. We created the guide after numerous conversations with B2B marketing teams pointed to the need for a resource that would help demand gen marketers better leverage 3rd-party sources to drive pipeline and revenue. These are the trends we’re seeing:

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August 21, 2018

4 B2B Marketing Experts Discuss Content Syndication’s Resurgence

Inbound marketing is important. But, as so many B2B marketing teams have discovered over recent years, an inbound marketing strategy alone isn’t enough to drive pipeline and achieve increasingly daunting revenue goals. Account-based revenue strategies have only compounded the problem; as B2B sales and marketing organizations prioritize ABM programs, traditional inbound tactics aren’t providing the quantity or quality of decision-makers needed to convert target accounts into pipeline opportunities.

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August 7, 2018

Demand Generation Marketing: 16 Resources to Level Up Your Skills

According to DemandGen’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, B2B marketers use a broad mix of digital demand generation channels. In fact, the most effective channels for driving early-stage engagement are email, search, website and social. However, despite their success, many B2B marketers still struggle to unlock the full potential of these digital channels. A single truth remains — demand generation is more challenging than ever before.

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July 31, 2018

6 of the Best B2B Marketing Thought Leaders You Should Follow

B2B marketing is constantly evolving. The optimal strategy for success a few years ago could be far different from what will drive a higher return-on-investment (ROI) next year. Marketing leaders must continually evaluate emerging tactics, channels and best practices. Learning from industry experts is still one of the most effective ways to level up your B2B marketing game.

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July 19, 2018

4 Essentials of an Effective Integrated Marketing System

Though the idea sounds nice, B2B marketers simply can't rely on a single piece of software to capture end-to-end marketing processes. The marketing technology (MarTech) landscape is exploding with options, none of which fill every use case in the B2B marketing organization. Such use cases are only expanding. This is why Chief MarTec reports that within the last year, the landscape grew approximately 40%, to a total of 5,381 solutions (from 4,891 unique companies).

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July 12, 2018

Navigating the Changing B2B Marketing Landscape (Interview with Anand Thaker)

Anand Thaker is the CEO of IntelliPhi, an R&D and advisory firm working to evolve go-to-market decision making for growth leaders. He’s also a long-time MarTech industry and digital engagement expert, who’s accelerated firms in variety of operational, leadership and advisory roles among enterprises, growth startups and investors. 

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July 10, 2018

Integrated B2B Marketing Efficiency: Reducing Wasted Budget

"Last quarters results were excellent, but can we get better results from the same budget this quarter?" Sound familiar? B2B marketers are experiencing increasing pressure to squeeze more performance from their marketing budgets. But, trying to get more and more mileage from the same spend can feel like a practice in futility. At some point, you have to turn to efficiencies as a source of savings.

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June 28, 2018

How is B2B Marketing and the Role of CMO Changing?

Patrice Greene is President and Co-Founder at Inverta, a B2B marketing consulting firm. I’ve interviewed her before (along with Kathy Macchi), which made for a fun discussion about common account-based marketing (ABM) challenges. (Check out that video interview here)

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June 26, 2018

5 Basic B2B Marketing Tactics That Deliver Big Results

A version of this post was originally published on CMSWire. I know far from everything about B2B marketing. However, over the past decade of yielding to the latest demand-gen “hacks,” content marketing trends and cutting-edge marketing tech, I’ve discovered a few rather basic activities will always deliver meaningful results in a big way if you approach them correctly. While some might see these as stating the obvious, it's amazing how many times marketers forget these tried-and-true techniques in pursuit of the latest shiny object. 

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May 25, 2018

Data-Privacy & Trust-Based Marketing: What It Means For B2B Demand Gen & ABM

Today is the day; May 25 and GDPR goes into effect. Now what? The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect today. And the smart marketing teams have been preparing for a while – not simply to avoid fines of this particular regulation, but to prepare their organizations for the inevitable industry-wide transformation from old batch-and-blast practices to complete trust-based marketing. These marketing teams understand that gaining trust among prospects by respecting their data privacy will soon dictate B2B marketing success – across the board. This means using many of the GDPR’s requirements as best practices for all your demand gen efforts, will be a smart move. For most organizations, this will certainly be an uncomfortable transition; there remain many unknowns with GDPR and the expansion of data privacy globally, and it will surely take some time to adjust strategies and tactics. However, this will become the new normal, so it’s best to get a jump on it now.

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May 23, 2018

Avalara Uses Demand Orchestration Software to Create ABM Efficiency

Avalara – a leading tax solutions company – is on a mission to scale revenue. To accomplish this, Avalara’s marketing team has focused on creating efficiencies to better equip both marketing and sales efforts with the resources needed to execute a scalable account-based marketing (ABM) program. 

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May 22, 2018

How Top Demand Generation Teams Increase Efficiency to Maximize ROI

Increasingly, demand generation program success is determined by sales-pipeline or revenue contribution. In fact, according to DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, 28% of B2B marketing organizations have specific revenue-based quotas, a 5% year-over-year increase. Dialing up success was much easier just five years ago when B2B marketing programs were largely measured against lead volume goals. Today, according to the Benchmark Survey, total leads and inquiries is a primary success metric for just 14% of programs.  Today's need to show greater down-funnel return on marketing investments is pushing marketers to identify the top-funnel efficiencies that will enable them to focus more on converting leads into pipeline opportunities, customers and revenue. 

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May 15, 2018

Demand Generation vs. Inbound Marketing: What's the Difference?

Let's be honest, the B2B marketing industry (and we marketers in general) are pretty bad at defining our terms and sticking to that terminology. Rather than being driven by clarity, our messaging, content and general communications is far more often a haphazard mix of trending buzzwords. This helps neither our marketing teams nor our prospects and customers. This post is far too small in scope to address this problem – a proper solution would be book-length and require a full-time effort to keep it updated.  Instead, I'm hoping to bring clarity to two specific terms that seem to confuse some B2B marketers new to the discipline: inbound marketing and demand generation.

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May 10, 2018

Trending Demand Generation Tactics Pros Rely On the Most

B2B marketers face increasing pressure to scale sales pipeline and grow marketing-influenced revenue. According to DemandGen Report's 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, the largest percentage of respondents (28%) say 26-to-50% of their organizations' revenue will be attributed to marketing-sourced leads. And, 63% of marketers predict their B2B organizations' revenue will grow by 20% or more in 2018.

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May 3, 2018

B2B Demand Generation Content: Thought Leadership vs. SEO

Publishing B2B thought leadership content can have a significant impact on your demand generation strategy. It's a powerful tool for generating awareness, credibility, brand value and quality traffic. Over 80% of business decision-makers say thought leadership increased their trust in a vendor organization, according to an Edelman & LinkedIn survey. In contrast, the same survey revealed more than half of the c-suite lost respect for brands who published poor-quality content. At the same time, data reveals that search also remains valuable in 2018, especially at the top of the marketing funnel. According to DemandGen Report’s 2018 Benchmark Survey Report, search marketing is a top lead generation channel for 50% of B2B marketing organizations. B2B marketers find themselves wondering whether they should prioritize thought leadership content over SEO-optimized content, or vice versa.

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April 26, 2018

7 Ways to Hit Home Runs With Content Marketing for Demand Generation

Content marketing is getting harder. A massive amount of branded content is being published to the web every day. Every piece makes it more difficult to capture and keep the attention of your target audience. Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute Founder, attributes this to the increasing difficulty of “content tilt.” Tilt, according to Pulizzi, is the differentiating factor that makes your brand’s content unique. When your industry is saturated with blogs, eBooks, webinars and podcasts, “tilt” can be nearly impossible to achieve.

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April 25, 2018

How to Act on Intent Data with MarTech To Create Account-Based Revenue

Today, Integrate and Bombora announced their partnership. B2B marketers are now able to access and execute on Bombora’s Company Surge™ data via Integrate’s Demand Orchestration Software, enabling a more intelligent approach to top-of-funnel account-based demand generation. Company Intent Data + Account-Based MarTech = Vastly Improved ABM Performance

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April 12, 2018

The Rarely Talked About Benefits of Account-Based Marketing

Research clearly shows that a well-executed ABM strategy can generate significant lift for B2B marketing efforts. A study from the Altera Group found that 97% of B2B marketers report that ABM drives higher ROI than other marketing activities. By adopting a mindset of “account awareness,” where you target customer accounts as markets of one, your organization will make better use of resources, leading to greater gains in sales pipeline and revenue generation.  The benefits of ABM aren’t limited to just ROI, though. While measurable return is a definite goal of B2B marketing, demand generation teams who adopt ABM often achieve other benefits. Some benefits are expected while others are quite surprising.

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March 27, 2018

GDPR’s Effect On Web Forms, Events, 3rd-Party Lead Gen, Channel Partners and Sales

The other week, I was asked to lead a discussion with the Houston Marketo User Group on how GDPR will affect B2B marketing. …well, to be honest, two other people were asked first, but they couldn’t make it, so the user group was stuck with me. In any case, I thought a post on the most poignant points of the discussion would be useful to Integrate’s blog audience. So here they are.

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March 8, 2018

The EU GDPR Compliance Checklist for B2B Marketing

Are you prepared to demonstrate compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by May 25, 2018? If your organization stores or processes data about European Union (EU) citizens, you’ll need to prove compliance or face steep fines up to €20 million. That’s about $24.81 million in USD. Not prepared? Well, you’re definitely not alone. A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCooper revealed

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February 28, 2018

A 3-Tier Framework for Crafting a Winning Demand Generation Plan

There are a lot of moving parts in today's comprehensive demand generation strategies. And all signs indicate that as B2B marketing teams garner greater responsibilities within organizations, demand gen requirements will only expand. This complexity has created a need for demand orchestration frameworks and infrastructures that enable top-of-funnel efficiency and lead to bottom-funnel results. To help make sense of the chaos, here’s a simple three-tier framework of the essential parts of a comprehensive demand generation plan.

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February 22, 2018

Why B2B Marketers Neglect Important Data Quality Issues

An original version of this article was published on Lead quality is a big issue. According to a recent Ascend2 survey (pdf), “Improving the quality of leads generated is a top priority for 77 percent marketing influencers, ahead of all other lead generation goals.”  The topic came up during a great conversation with David Lewis, CEO of DemandGen. We discussed lead quality concerns such as the types of “bad” leads, all the ways "bad" leads can negatively affect businesses and more. And as John Donlon of SiriusDecisions recently emailed me: “Senior leaders often ask, ‘Is this going to make me money or save me money?’ Well, poor quality leads are the antithesis of both — they dent the top line because of their low output, and squeeze the bottom line through inefficiency.”

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January 30, 2018

What are the Best Demand Marketing Channels for 2018?

Demand marketers are drowning in options, including an ever-increasing list of demand generation channels. With all these options vying for a piece of your marketing budget in 2018, it's critical to remember that not all marketing tactics and channels perform equally. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some channels are great at generating high-quality leads (the No. 1 priority among 77% of B2B marketers surveyed in Demand Gen Report's 2017 Benchmark Survey). Other channels may not be great at those initial touches to generate leads, but perform well when it comes to converting those leads down the funnel (a top priority for 75% of marketers surveyed). Still, some marketing teams are more concerned with database size and need to focus on channels that will pump out a high volume of new contacts (a priority for 58% of B2B marketers). 

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January 25, 2018

How GDPR Will Change the Demand Gen Funnel…For The Better

This post was co-written with Ben Henson. The next few months will test the boundaries of change management for marketing organizations (and their colleagues in sales, finance, IT and legal) as they ready their teams for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect May 2018 in the European Union. Much of what we’ve seen in B2B marketing publications, martech vendor blogs and from word-of-mouth borders on fear-mongering. Not to say this isn’t understandable – a lot of rather quick changes must be made and they can feel overwhelming. However, some of the wisest B2B marketing experts I know keep reiterating one very important point: GDPR, while causing some stress now, will lead to more efficient and effective marketing and sales down the road.

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January 16, 2018

The 7 Toughest Challenges of B2B Demand Generation (And How to Overcome Them)

Every B2B marketer faces challenges. However, the individual struggles of one B2B demand generation marketer can look very different from another – even if they’re on the same team. Demand marketers come from a diverse variety of backgrounds, which can range from marketing to journalism; technology to public relations; web design to sales and much more. While some excel at writing, others would rather face a thousand spreadsheets than author a thought leadership blog post.

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January 10, 2018

GDPR and How to Cover Your B2B Marketing A$$

If you’re a B2B marketer, you’ve almost certainly noticed the onslaught of GDPR content over the last few months. This is for good reason. Coming into effect this May, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require the most wide-sweeping changes to B2B lead generation tactics to date. Considering the drastic consequences of non-compliance (up to €20M/$24M or 4% worldwide annual revenue), your team should be heads-down focused on preparing for GDPR. To help, SiriusDecisions and Integrate are hosting a webinar on January 31st to discuss the measures B2B marketers must adopt to comply with GDPR requirements. Further, they’ll uncover some of the newly developed demand generation software features created to facilitate compliance.

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January 9, 2018

The 6 Best Demand Generation Strategies and Activities for B2B Marketers

Leading B2B marketers aren’t afraid to test new ideas, fail fast and treat everything like an experiment. However, they also employ a trustworthy arsenal of tried-and-true tactics that continue to drive results, quarter after quarter. While you should definitely test new tactics and activities to drive demand, you shouldn’t gamble your goals by going "all in" on any one, trending strategy. Instead, create a foundation of go-to activities that you know will work and let those results provide a cushion if an experiment doesn’t turn out.

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January 4, 2018

How to Objectively Review a Demand Generation Strategy

In 2017, CEB Insights reported that B2B brands that created a strong connection with their prospects experienced higher rates of consideration, purchase and willingness to pay a premium.  This statement seems rather obvious. Yet, I’ve often witnessed firsthand how B2B marketers get so tied up in lead volume that they often neglect the importance of building trust and credibility – both before and after a contact becomes a qualified lead. It’s key to remember that lead generation, though an incredibly important element of demand generation, is just that: one element. Crucial elements of successful demand gen strategies are often overlooked as we strive to tread water in marketing’s growing flood of responsibilities. That’s why we must, from time to time, take a step back and review out demand generation strategies to identify what’s working, what’s not and then gain some insights from industry peers.

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December 13, 2017

6 Tips to Get the Most From Your Demand Generation and Marketing Automation Software

Despite a lot of recent, exciting innovations in MarTech, 65% of brands have no plans to invest in emerging technologies in the year to come. According to Matt McGee, former editor-in-chief at MarTech Today, brands are instead dedicating their budgets to more tried-and-true initiatives, such as analytics and content marketing, in an effort to get the most return on their investments. Smart brands understand that simply purchasing new software rarely leads to better marketing performance unless its supported by an intelligent strategy and a skilled team. To get the most value from marketing software and tools, your integrated marketing strategy must clearly dictate how each piece of MarTech will be used and who will be responsible for using it. If your demand generation, marketing automation and customer relationship management tools aren’t supported by sound, clearly defined programs, you’re likely missing out on much of the potential value that drove you to adopt these technologies in the first place.

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December 6, 2017

5 B2B Marketing Steps To Help Ensure Your Business Is Ready For GDPR

In May, 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require wide-sweeping changes to B2B lead generation tactics. Failure to comply with GDPR’s mandates will results in substantial, even crippling, fines: Level 1 – €10M or 2% worldwide annual revenue (whichever is higher) Level 2 – €20M or 4% worldwide annual revenue (whichever is higher) At the same time, B2B marketers are being asked to collect increasing amounts of detailed, actionable data with which to engage and convert prospective customers. A global business’ success today rests on its marketing team’s ability to walk this tightrope with diligence and speed. How Will GDPR Affect B2B Marketers’ Lead Generation Tactics?

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November 21, 2017

4 Demand Generation Mistakes Hurting Your Brand Right Now

I was recently asked by another B2B marketer what I thought about a particular demand generation tactic. Specifically, they were asking whether I thought its potential impact outweighed any possible harm to their brand. This got me thinking: There are many B2B marketing tactics that could go either way, supporting your team’s efforts to scale sales pipeline or hurting your brand reputation. Whether or not it's a demand generation mistake often depends on a number of factors, such as the persona targeted, their stage in the buy-cycle, the cadence of tactical execution and more. While I find the four tactics discussed below to be – when used on me personally – harmful to brands, others may not if the tactics were used in the right circumstances. This is why diligence with demand gen strategy development, persona- and/or account-targeting precision and execution timing are vital to drive demand without undermining your brand reputation. Here are four demand generation mistakes I often find particularly harmful to brands.

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November 15, 2017

New Research Report Reveals How Much Bad Leads Could Be Costing You

Every B2B marketer knows that bad leads waste budget, time and resources. We even know that they hurt our relationship with our sales counterparts. But during a discussion a few months back, it occurred to Integrate’s CMO and me that we really didn’t have a clear grasp over the extent to which bad leads are undermining our demand generation efforts, let alone how much they’re costing the business. Next thing I knew, I was face down in dozens of surveys, analyst briefings, vendor reports and influencer articles published over the last 18 months, gathering as much secondary source info as possible. Then, I dove into the primary source material, analyzing over 3.6 million B2B leads processed through the Integrate platform between September 2016 and August 2016 – all to answer three questions: What are the most common types of bad leads? Can we estimate the costs of these bad leads? What can marketing teams do to improve lead quality and database integrity? The “Cost of Bad Leads Report” is the result of these efforts. [You can get the report here]

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October 19, 2017

Proactive Approaches to Increasing B2B Marketing Database Integrity

B2B marketing database quality has been a major concern among businesses for years. Yet, the problem only seems to be getting worse as marketing teams identify new types and sources of prospect data, and the martech vendors that serve them find new ways of generating it. In fact, a 2017 Ascend2 and Informatica report states: “A clear majority of marketing decision-makers (62 percent) point to improving the quality of marketing data as a most important objective of a successful marketing data strategy.”[1]  Another recent report, however, shows that a mere 6.6% of B2B marketers “believe their data is complete and up-to-date. Slightly more than 4 in 10 marketers aren't confident in the quality of their MA and CRM data.”[2]

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October 10, 2017

Buying Contact Lists: A Bad Demand Generation Strategy

Every marketer gets at least one email a week from a company offering X number of contacts from various job titles. This practice has accelerated due to the rise of account-based marketing (ABM), with vendors slinging lists of contacts from specific businesses promising an ABM panacea. The idea is that, once you fill your prospect database with contacts from target accounts donning specific job titles, all you need to do is schedule a few emails, drop some content on them and then sales can quickly follow up to create an opportunity, because they’ve determined the company is a target account. Of course, it’s not quite so easy as that. This modernization of the old “batch and blast” technique typically produces the same results that caused B2B marketers to abandon email spamming years ago (during the early years of email marketing automation): little engagement, even less conversion and compromised brand reputation. Based on the carnage we see from using lists buys as part of a B2B marketing strategy, here’s why you should rethink your demand generation efforts if they include buying lists of cold leads: 

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October 3, 2017

7 Ways Martech Expertise Elevates Your B2B Marketing Career

Any seasoned B2B marketer knows that marketing technology won’t fix a bad marketing strategy or ineffectual process – but the right martech certainly magnifies the results of good strategies and processes, clean data and focused marketing teams. Marketers who understand marketing technology and the martech landscape put their companies and marketing careers in a much stronger position. Regularly researching new martech solutions and tech vendors provides multiple benefits. Here are seven: 

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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 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 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 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 11, 2017

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

A version of this post was first published on 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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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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 10, 2017

Assessing Your Demand Generation 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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December 1, 2016

The Essential Lead Quality Checklist to Improve Demand Generation Data 

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 (unless you're using demand generation software that validates lead data for you). 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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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 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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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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August 31, 2016

Practical Tips to Improve Your Sales-Marketing Relationship (and Why You Should Care)

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.

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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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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 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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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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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?

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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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 about the effectiveness of account-based marketing.

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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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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 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 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 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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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 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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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 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 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 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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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 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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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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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 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 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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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 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 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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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 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 15, 2015

Not Understanding the Martech Landscape Can Hurt Your Career

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that 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 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 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 4, 2014

16 Demand Generation Terms We Should Agree On

This article has been much revised in a newer post: 

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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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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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 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 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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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 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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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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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 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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