Tips & Insights To Help You Overcome Demand Marketing Challenges

Scott Vaughan

Scott Vaughan

Scott Vaughan is CMO of Integrate, a marketing technology software provider automating top-of-funnel marketing for B2B marketers to enable demand marketing orchestration. Scott leads the company's go-to-market and growth marketing strategy. He’s passionately focused on unlocking the potential of marketing, media, data and technology to drive business and customer value.

August 8, 2018

B2B Marketers: Look to Musicians for Advice on a MarTech “Stack” that Performs

A version of this article was originally published on MarTech Today. I was in Nashville a few months ago, proudly watching my niece — a singer/songwriter — perform. For this three-day adventure, I saw my share of bands and listened to multiple sets of music. During each gig, I noticed the background presence of Marshall stacks powering the sound and experience. The martech world picked up the “stack” analogy as a generation of modern B2B marketers started to acquire technology and cobble together tools to power their demand and revenue marketing machines. Somehow in this journey, we’ve lost our connection to the original intention and promise. We’ve gotten enamored with the size of our martech “stacks,” not the productivity or ROI. Sticking with the music analogy, who cares how much equipment you have or how cool it is if the band sucks?

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June 19, 2018

How Marketing Attribution Can Create Unintended Consequences

A version of this article was originally published on MarTech Today. B2B marketers must measure to understand what’s working and what’s not, where and how to improve, and, most importantly, how to run marketing like a business. Without this capability woven into the fabric of the team, B2B marketing organizations will languish. But, somehow, we’re being sidetracked from strong measurement and analytics to chase full-blown attribution – the ability to attribute every action and activity to an outcome. The “attribution obsession” that’s creeping into some B2B marketing teams is creating unintended consequences.

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April 5, 2018

High-Quality Data and Multi-Channel Marketing Is Moving Marketing’s Mindset from MQL to Revenue

New benchmark survey research from DemandGen Report shows that B2B marketers, while making progress in some areas, are woefully behind in key capabilities

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February 14, 2018

The Business Case for Using 3rd-Party Lead Providers to Power ABM

The rapid shift to account-based-revenue (ABR) creation is shaking up B2B marketing and sales organizations. The concept of an account-based, go-to-market approach isn’t completely new for many sales teams, but it is new for many marketing teams. And, we’re all gradually figuring out what exactly an “account-based” approach means for our business. No surprise, it’s disrupting the way we understand and execute demand generation marketing.

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February 6, 2018

Is GDPR the Y2K for B2B Marketing? And How to Use It to Your Advantage

This article was orginally published on MarTech Today. Buckle in. Marketing — and your entire organization — is about to be overwhelmed with stiffer data privacy regulations around the globe. The poster child for this movement is GDPR, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As a marketing leader, you’ll be spending hundreds of hours with the legal eagles and the data teams on what many analysts are calling the biggest thing to hit B2B marketing in a generation. As we’ve been preparing for GDPR these last few months, I’m having flashbacks to my time in the IT world as we counted down to Y2K. The similarities between GDPR and Y2K are striking:

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September 28, 2017

5 Steps For Account-Based Revenue Generation

More and more B2B organizations are deploying account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. In the high-tech executive suites and grungy boiler rooms across the globe, enthusiastic teams filled with hope are concocting lists, readying programs and shifting resources – people, time and budget – to account-based revenue (ABR) efforts. Normally, I’m a big fan of diving in, experimenting and then building out a scalable model. However, with both ABR and ABM, foundational planning is essential. Why? First off, organizations must determine if an account-based approach is viable for their business. For those that dive in, account-based efforts often start with the sales teams who submit their top-preferred accounts.

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September 21, 2017

Things to Try When Your Revenue Goals Go Up, with Heidi & Scott

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

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July 13, 2017

5 Indispensable B2B Marketing Hacks You Can Learn from Publishers

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

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June 27, 2017

Attributes of Valuable B2B Marketing Partnerships

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

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May 2, 2017

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

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

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March 28, 2017

Demand Marketing Planning Template: Sales-Marketing Revenue Goals

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

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January 31, 2017

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

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

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January 5, 2017

Marketing Operations Pros Are Putting on Their Big Kids Pants

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

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December 15, 2016

B2B Marketing Words & Phrases That Shaped 2016

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

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October 4, 2016

The Past, Present and Future of Customer Lifecycle Automation

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

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August 23, 2016

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

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

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July 26, 2016

Full Funnel Means Marketing as a Profit Center

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

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July 12, 2016

MarTech Health Checkup: Think Evolution, Not Revolution

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

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July 6, 2016

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

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

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June 14, 2016

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

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

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May 5, 2016

Demand Orchestration: The New B2B Marketing Aspiration

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

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February 16, 2016

Integrated Marketing: Great for Sales Pipeline – And Your Career

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

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February 4, 2016

Building a Demand Generation Machine

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

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January 28, 2016

Beyond Alignment: 4 Steps to Sales-Marketing Integration

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

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January 26, 2016

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

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

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December 1, 2015

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

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

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November 3, 2015

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

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

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October 13, 2015

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

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

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September 22, 2015

Building an Interactive MarTech Landscape from the Buyer’s Perspective

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

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September 1, 2015

The Future of MarTech: Opinions from 14 Practitioners

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

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July 30, 2015

7 Tips for Optimizing Account-Based Marketing

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

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July 21, 2015

3 Imperative Resources to Fix Demand Generation Lead & Data Quality

Poor data quality is an issue that comes up daily, in both our internal marketing team conversations and with the hundreds of demand marketing and marketing ops teams we closely work with. We all know that lead data quality a big challenge, yet many of us still struggle to fix it. Why? Because it takes constant vigilance to get lead data quality right and maintain high levels of data accuracy and integrity.  The good news is there are marketing technology and automation solutions, along with very clear practices, that you can deploy to address dirty data challenges that negatively impact customer experience, undermine sales partners’ trust and hamstring your ability to deliver optimal results from your marketing programs.  

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June 30, 2015

Your Best Marketing Data Provider May Be Right Underneath Your Nose

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

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June 11, 2015

How To Plan Social Media Performance, Deliver ROI

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

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June 4, 2015

6 Ways to Improve Customer Communications Today

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

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June 2, 2015

Customer Experience: The New CMO Revenue Driver

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

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May 26, 2015

A Four-Step Social Media Strategy That Pays Off

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

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May 12, 2015

The Road to Push-Button Demand Marketing

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

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April 16, 2015

High-Potential Marketers Lead with Data

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

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March 17, 2015

Communications: It Does a Marketing Career Good

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

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March 10, 2015

Customer Knowledge Is Power For Your Marketing Career

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

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February 17, 2015

How Automation Impacts Marketing Career Growth

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

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January 21, 2015

Demand Generation: It’s More than Marketing Automation

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

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January 13, 2015

8 Marketing Phrases We Love To Overuse

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

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December 2, 2014

It’s Time to Automate Outbound Demand Generation

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

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November 6, 2014

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

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

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October 28, 2014

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

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

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October 23, 2014

Marketing Standardization: The Must Have for Marketers

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

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October 7, 2014

Stuff that Works: Insights on Creating Customer Pipeline

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

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August 27, 2014

Marketing-Sales Alignment: Real-World Lessons

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

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August 23, 2014

How to Efficiently Assess MarTech Business Value Alignment

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

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August 19, 2014

5 Must-Have Marketing Ops Skills

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

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August 17, 2014

The State of MarTech: An Interview with Scott Brinker

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

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August 11, 2014

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

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

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July 29, 2014

2015 Marketing Budget Prep: Start Now, Win Big

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

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July 22, 2014

Integrated Marketing Needs Integrated Systems

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

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July 8, 2014

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

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

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June 26, 2014

Meet the Chief Markitecht at Symantec

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

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June 3, 2014

Marketing CTA: Rid Data Pollution From Your Pipeline

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

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May 20, 2014

The Rapid Ascent of Marketing Ops

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

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May 12, 2014

Creating a Marketing Tech Blueprint to Drive Performance [Slideshare]

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

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May 8, 2014

The Integrate Imperative for Marketing: Start Connecting the Dots

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

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April 29, 2014

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

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

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April 17, 2014

Benefits of Tying Media Into Your Marketing Cloud

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

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April 10, 2014

Missing Link: Integrating Media & Prospect Data with Marketing Systems

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

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April 3, 2014

Brands as Media Companies: The Performance Imperative

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

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March 19, 2014

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

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

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February 27, 2014

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

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

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February 12, 2014

Integrating MarTech and AdTech Enables Revenue Marketing [Video]

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

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January 30, 2014

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

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

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January 23, 2014

5 Ways to Crank up Lead Velocity

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

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January 21, 2014

Media Buyers: Meet Your Modern Marketer’s Advantage

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

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January 16, 2014

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

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

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January 9, 2014

Master the Thought Leadership AND Performance Content Marketing Mix

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

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November 24, 2013

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

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

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November 18, 2013

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

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

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September 22, 2013

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

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

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