"Last quarters results were excellent, but can we get better results from the same budget this quarter?"
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.
Within a single integrated marketing campaign, there can be dozens of tactics, channels, tools and partnerships. Each of these components has the potential for waste and inefficiency. Solving for these two things can free up the budget, which can then be reallocated to drive more results.
Reducing Wasted Spend From Integrated B2B Marketing
Where can you find sources of waste and inefficiency? That depends on a number of factors unique to your organization. However, these are some common areas of waste we've seen over and over again, regardless of industry.
1. Bad Leads
Bad-quality lead data and invalid lead entries are likely the single most significant source of waste at many B2B marketing organizations.
Integrate analysis of 3.64 million B2B leads revealed that one of the most significant sources of waste is bad leads. Of the leads included in the research, 33% (1,217,769) contained duplicate data and 10% (376,942) contained invalid data for reasons such as non-working email addresses, incorrect field values and ranges and more.
Invalid leads don’t convert into sales pipeline or marketing-attributable revenue. However, the total consequences of poor-quality leads can have a more significant impact on the health of the organization as a whole. Ashley Shailer, Senior Associate at Inverta, states:
"Losing credibility is the biggest consequence of poor lead quality. Sales loses faith in marketing – and then they stop following up with the leads they get....It’s very difficult to dig out of this vicious cycle.”
How to Solve Lead Data Quality Challenges
To avoid paying for bad lead data or suffering the consequences, B2B marketers need strategies and tactics to identify root causes of poor-quality data before it enters the marketing automation (or CRM) in the first place.
Identify Lead Quality Issues
The root cause of lead quality issues can vary, depending on technologies, processes and partnerships. If an organization lacks well-defined processes for lead data quality control, bad data quality issues can be rampant.
In other cases, organizations may have some manual filtering techniques, but lack a tool for catching issues not easily undetectable by the human eye, such invalid email addresses, duplicate leads or leads that are old (e.g., contact moved to a different organization).
Develop an Ongoing Lead Quality Strategy
Once B2B marketing organizations identify the cause of their lead quality issues, winning support requires a strategy for implementing new processes and solutions.
Commit to Ongoing Quality Management
Lead quality control isn’t a one-time or occasional effort. Even implementing more technologies for lead quality may not solve the issue. Ensure your safeguards provide comprehensive quality control, or at the very least commit to manual efforts to ensure you're not paying for bad leads.
2. Employee Turnover
Excessive turnover is costly.
Estimates vary, but the cost of replacing employees who leave the organization may be 6-9 months of salary, or one-third of annual wages, according to Employee Benefits News. For a demand marketing vacancy with a $60,000 annual salary, avoidable employee churn can cost $20,000.
There’s a shortage of skilled integrated media marketers, especially individuals who can manage the many tactics, strategies and channels used to power multi-channel B2B marketing campaigns. To avoid lost productivity and periods of transition, organizations are wise to focus resources on improving the total employee experience, including superior employee engagement.
According to HR Dive, which recently surveyed employees who voluntarily left their role, respondents cited a number of reasons for transition. Some of the most common motivations for switching jobs included:
- Career development (22%)
- Work-life balance (12%)
- “Managers’ behavior” (11%)
- Compensation and benefits (9%)
- Well-being (9%)
While total compensation matters to today’s workforce, it’s not the only factor which can shape moral and retention within a B2B marketing organization. In addition to making sure wages and benefits are competitive, demand marketing executives should protect team productivity and engagement by pursuing opportunities for employee education, work-life balance and monitoring manager-employee relations.
3. Manual Processes
Manual, time-consuming activities that could be replaced with technology-assisted process automation are common sources of waste within demand marketing organizations. McKinsey research published in the Harvard Business Review estimates that 10-15% of marketers' existing workload could be automated with technologies that are currently available.
The same study found that heavily manual work is not necessarily associated with marketing interns and other entry-level positions within the B2B marketing organization. In fact, marketing executives and other leaders are typically performing work than can be replaced with smarter technology.
Opportunities for Automation
Some ways that existing sources of wasted manual labor can be efficiently replaced with existing technologies in a demand marketing environment include:
- Adopting lead data validation and enhancement tools to automate lead processing and quality control, instead of manually scrubbing spreadsheets and uploading lead data to the marketing database.
- Replacing manual lead assignments with technologies for automated lead processing and routing.
- Centralizing all 3rd-party demand gen sources for easier program launch, management and optimization.
- Embracing full-funnel analytics and measurement tools for visibility and drill-down optimization opportunities throughout the entire sales cycle.
The Benefits of Automating Integrated Marketing
There are benefits to replacing manual work with automation. Not only does the average B2B marketing team stand to save 15% of their time each week (by McKinsey estimates), but the adoption of smarter technology can also free up human talent to spend more time on innovation and more strategic efforts.
Further, automation often mitigates errors and speeds up processes, allowing sales to engage with qualified leads quicker and more accurately. Technology may also have the edge over humans at identifying patterns in information, modeling and analytics, enabling marketers who adopt sophisticated tools for in-flight campaign optimization to identify sources of waste in real time.
4. Redundant MarTech
Waste related to MarTech is surprisingly common.
- How often do B2B marketing teams pay a monthly subscription fee for an app their teams don’t need or use?
- How many add even more tools to their marketing tech ecosystem when the current marketing automation platform (MAP) or CRM aren’t even being used to their full potential?
Business software waste across industries is a multibillion dollar annual problem, according to a 1E study. 38% of B2B software paid for by enterprises goes to waste, and in some large enterprises, the annual cost of unused licenses can average $7.4 million.
The app economy has made software adoption as simple as signing up for a monthly recurring subscription for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. When B2B marketers focus on fulfilling immediate needs instead of following a thoughtfully created MarTech roadmap, it’s easy for one or more of the following forms of waste to occur:
- Software under-utilization: Poor adoption of existing software, unused features or abandoned subscriptions.
- Software redundancy: One or more subscriptions to tools which serve the same purpose.
- Shadow IT: Unauthorized software or apps used by employees without marketing or IT leadership approval.
Wasted MarTech resources cost more than subscription and licensing fees. Redundant software or software that doesn’t integrate or serve the greater goals of the program can lead to data quality issues, collaboration problems and miscommunication.
Do you know if your marketing tech dollars are contributing to your B2B organization’s revenue goals, or being wasted? Download the Marketing Tech Blueprint for step-by-step guidance on how to blueprint your MarTech ecosystem, identify sources of waste and create a strategic roadmap.
Optimizing Integrated B2B Marketing Resources
Within an integrated marketing environment, identifying sources of waste and opportunities for optimization can be inherently complex. Without technologies in place to orchestrate full-funnel marketing efforts across channels, B2B marketers can struggle to understand where they’ve gone wrong and how to improve.
Integrated marketing success exists when people, processes and technology are working together optimally. By improving the employee experience, adopting automation opportunities and taking a more strategic approach to technology, B2B organizations can ensure their resources are contributing to revenue-based goals.
Successful integrated marketing requires efficiency. Use the Demand Marketing Assessment Guide and Orchestration Workbook to identify where your team may be struggling with inefficiency and what you can do to scale your results with minimal time and effort.