What a year! 2021 was a rollercoaster marked by both uncertainty and progress. The vaccine rollout gave hope that B2B marketers would be able to resume a semblance of normalcy and participate in in-person activities and events, but toward the latter part of last year and into the beginning of this year, new virus variants emerged, causing us to rethink our processes and pivot once again.
For B2B marketing operations (MOPs) professionals, this continued uncertainty affected our ability to understand, align to, and measure our buyers’ behaviors. In our ever-shifting world, we’ve had to move with the changes, and there’s no doubt that we’ll have to keep on adapting and evolving. Below, I reflect on these shifts and what MOPs professionals need to consider in order to have a successful 2022.
My biggest challenges last year
Outside of the personal- and pandemic-related challenges, my team was focused on laying the foundation for future growth. Our goal was to enable marketing at Integrate to scale our Precision Demand Marketing (PDM) programs. This process revealed challenges with data, team silos, and process, which was further validated in the research we conducted with Heinz Marketing late last year on the gaps in B2B marketing team strategies, technologies, and team structure.
On the data side we had to focus on account and contact data, territory data, and their ownership. It took us a good part of the year to put together an account ownership and territory planning process that we could all hang our hats on. All of this helped with target account lists, the account creation process, and lead and contact routing. We worked closely with our sales team to align marketing and marketing programs, our SDRs, and messaging to begin to drive engagements on accounts that we really care about. All these efforts resulted in the highest amount of marketing-sourced pipeline and bookings to-date, with bookings growing nearly 120% over the previous year.
What I learned in 2021
The pandemic highlighted the fact that it is all about the buyer. In 2021, we saw the importance of a digital-first strategy and meeting your buyer where they are. 2021 forced marketers to have an omnichannel approach to their programs and campaigns. We can no longer afford to have siloed strategies, programs, or technology across our marketing teams.
This means that the digital team needs to be aligned with the events team and the demand team. Everyone needs to agree on who their buyers are and how best to meet them in the channel of the buyer’s choosing. A well-thought-out program is key to marketing success.
My 2022 priorities
Like many of our customers and marketing peers, this year we will be focused on building out buyers' journeys through PDM programs. This means we need to update our internal data to align even more with the buying stages of an account or buyer. We will be working with our revenue marketing team to develop more targeted content and to deliver this content through all channels in which the buyer will engage with us. And finally, we will pivot our reporting to focus on two funnels: a standard demand waterfall funnel and an ABM-focused funnel.
Marketing technologies and trends to follow in 2022
In 2022 we are monitoring three big trends we believe every MOPs team should keep an eye on:
- The move toward PDM, which puts the buyer first and orchestrates journeys across all the channels in which our buyers live. Marketers simply cannot stitch campaigns, data, and the resulting success story of this work together without a solid marketing operations team behind them.
- Innovations that allow us to reduce the number of technologies we need while enabling us to govern our data and be fully compliant. Here’s a look at my martech stack, which I’ve optimized to reduce silos, align our teams, and support the best user experience.
- The evolution of marketing reporting across multiple funnels: the traditional demand waterfall funnel and the account-based funnel. Marketing teams need strategies to do both, and MOPs teams must support both to be able to tell a cohesive story about the marketing investment made.
2022: Moving Forward with Precision
If we’ve learned anything from the past two years of the pandemic, it’s that our world is uncertain, and our solutions must be agile. Our ability to grow and move forward lies in our ability to shift our mindsets toward a more buyer-centric, precise, agile, and connected framework. Here’s to a 2022 that puts the buyer first, breaks down team silos, brings forth new technology innovations, and most importantly, champions progress over uncertainty.