Demand Marketing

October 12, 2017

An 8-Step Account-Based Marketing Plan to Share with Your Boss

If you’re a B2B marketer, you’re likely hearing the term Account-Based Marketing everywhere you turn. A quick search of your inbox might reveal a couple hundred emails in the last 90 days touting the latest and greatest in ABM content. And for good reason… In an era where marketing is on the hook to create customers and drive revenue, it makes sense to aim marketing efforts at companies that match your ideal customer profiles. But knowing that it’s the right thing to do and getting the executive buy-in to do it are two completely different things. Marketers need more than just theoretical explanations as to how account-based marketing can help you reach the right customers. They need strategic and tactical plans that they can follow. They need to be able to go to their upper management and say “we need to implement an ABM program and this is how we’re going to do it.”

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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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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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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 12, 2017

3 B2B Marketing Experts Answer Questions On Conferences, Tradeshows & Field Events

On August 23rd I was fortunate enough to host a webinar with two event marketing game changers: Emily Wingrove from Synthio and Frances McCutchon from PFL. While the concept for the webinar initially seemed straightforward, once we started planning the content, I realized we had stumbled on a pretty meaty, and sometimes controversial, topic. Between the three of us, we had so many examples of mistakes, big wins and planned testing that we could easily fill more than an hour. In fact, for those of you who've already listened to the webinar, you probably noticed how quickly we had to talk. And as we dug deep into Frances' and Emily's examples, more excellent questions flowed in from the audience – so many that we didn't have time to answer them all live.

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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 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 3, 2017

B2B Marketing Tricks for Maximizing Event ROI

According to Certain’s Event Marketing Benchmark Report, over half of B2B marketers spend 25% or more of their budget on in-person events. Whether a large conference, regional seminar, or intimate dinner, events take a lot of resources from both the marketing and sales teams to pull off. With that much invested, it’s critical that event leads convert to measurable sales pipeline. However, unlike digital programs in which leads flow smoothly through measurable nurture stages and into sales’ hands, events create a messy, manual data problem from start to finish. And this problem can’t be solved without a high level of participation from the sales team itself. Below are some tricks we’ve found help keep marketing and sales in lock-step surrounding events, regardless of how much wine is consumed. If you're left wanting more tips at the end of this post, consider checking out this webinar.

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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 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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July 11, 2017

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

A version of this post was first published on CMSWire.com. 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 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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June 22, 2017

Make it Matter: Strategically Tackling Marketing Ops

Most marketers work in a world with too little time and too much to do – moving from task to task, rushing to accomplish as much as possible. For instance, right now I’m updating our go-to-market communications, making numerous additions to our website, developing a new preview of Integrate’s demand orchestration software, supporting a half-dozen field events, increasing our website traffic and boosting conversions, managing a couple of top-funnel marketing programs, writing this blog post… plus at least ten other things that I won’t get to this week. It seems like my to-do list is a mile long. And I’d venture to say that our resident Demand Marketing/Marketing Ops expert, Kate Athmer, has twice as much on hers. Why do you think that is?

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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 25, 2017

A Template for Measuring Demand Marketing Orchestration

At what point in your demand generation process do you start with attribution reporting? Are you able to pinpoint marketing’s influence through the duration of the funnel? For most of us, we get started at the point of inquiry, because that’s where our marketing automation platform starts providing us with detailed metrics. But the customer lifecycle doesn’t start with an inquiry. It starts with identifying new targets – something we must be doing constantly, every day. In fact, when I was working through some of this reporting at Integrate, I noticed that our circular customer lifecycle stage map was missing this key stage too. Even we had overlooked that aspect, despite living and breathing it every day!

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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 18, 2017

How One B2B Agency Made Demand Generation as Efficient as Programmatic

Agencies are a vital extension of B2B marketing teams, tasked with creating compelling customer experiences that drive growth for clients. This means designing and executing demand generation programs to engage target audiences and convert them into new prospects. As strategic as that sounds, in reality agency media teams often spend the bulk of their time processing spreadsheets and negotiating returns with media partners before they can even deliver leads to clients. Talk about a waste of resources.

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May 11, 2017

Marketers: It’s Time to Abolish “Campaigns” and Stop Promising “Leads”

Dawn Colossi is Senior Director of WW Digital Marketing at Commvault and SiriusDecisions ROI Award Winner for Digital Content Marketing Strategy.  A few years ago, I was your typical B2B marketer: I had a “lead goal” (144K to be precise); was churning out “campaigns” (read: three emails and a landing page); and I was completely frustrated that all of my “BANT-qualified” MQLs weren’t turning into revenue. The way I saw it, I had a few choices: Start drinking Keep on doing what I was doing and hope things would just get better Or figure out a new way to create demand I chose number three – well, with a bit of number one on the side, if I’m being honest.

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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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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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April 27, 2017

A Useful Template to Develop (or Improve) Your B2B Buyer Personas

B2B marketing is abuzz with the importance of customer-centricity and the “engagement economy,” yet according to SiriusDecisions more than half of B2B marketing organizations admit that they don’t truly understand their customers. This isn’t surprising when you consider that a notable percentage of companies have yet to execute the fundamental task of identifying their buyer personas. And many of those who do have personas aren't adequately leveraging them. We get it – demand marketers have their hands full. And sometimes it’s hard to make room for a project that may seem tedious with unknown payoff. The fact is that persona-based marketing is yielding big returns: increasing engagement rates, shortening sales cycles and driving more revenue.

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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 6, 2017

Demand Marketing Template: Getting Started with Funnel Measurement

The ultimate goal of funnel measurement within a demand marketing team is predictability: How can I take what I see and translate that into future expectations? And then, how can I take those expectations, pull a few levers, make some adjustments and beat those expectations? For example, if you know you’ll need 3000 leads next month to hit your pipeline goals next quarter, and currently you’re only on track to deliver 2000, then you know you’ve got to add another program. Or maybe you’re brimming with MQLs, but sales-acceptance rate is low. How do you decide whether to plan a webinar, invest in a content syndication program or redesign a process to eliminate the bottleneck happening at the marketing-to-sales hand-off?

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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 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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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 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 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 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 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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December 13, 2016

Are There Silent Killers Lurking in Your Demand Marketing Process?

With all the progress that's been made around demand orchestration – from technology to enable ABM and predictive, to top-of-funnel automation, to advanced Pipeline analytics – marketers have more power to influence revenue than ever before. But interestingly, this technology doesn’t always show us the way, at least not at first. Instead, it often uncovers a murky mess of bad data, or a tangle of workaround processes. Much has been written about the consequences of dirty data or time wasted manually processing spreadsheets, but those are just two of the most blatant, deadly problems marketers face. The reality is, we still have a lot silent killers lurking out there, threatening to drag down our marketing results. So how do you identify and weed them out before they do real damage?

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December 6, 2016

How to Know If ABM is Right for Your Company

ABM, account-based marketing, has been practiced by sales and marketing teams dating back to the 1960s. The difference today is the ability of technology to help run ABM efforts that feel high-touch, with better levels of scale and tracking. With today’s tools, we’re able to speed up the feedback loop and use data to refine our efforts, with less manual work. Yet, as with any marketing strategy, it’s important to evaluate the people and process before making any technology decisions.

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December 1, 2016

Lead Integrity Checklist: Demand Gen Tool to Improve B2B Data Quality

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. 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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November 8, 2016

4 “Easy” Areas Where Marketing Technologists Often Fall Short

I was a sophomore in high school, anticipating my first-ever “session.” A session is a term used to describe 20-30 minutes spent playing a musical instrument, by yourself, in front of your music director to be assessed for a chair in the school’s band. (Oh, and former band-geeks – I am looking at you, because you know exactly what I am talking about. Don’t hide). This harrowing collection of minutes was made even more terrifying by the fact that your “chair” represented how skilled you were at your instrument. First chair = the most skilled. Last chair = the least skilled. In Manchester, NH at the ripe age of 15, the stakes couldn’t be higher. I’d spent hours practicing my scales as well as all the prepared pieces (to this day, I find the best cure for anxiety is preparation), and I was thinking I had a terrific shot at first chair. On the day of my session, my parents wished me good luck and I skipped off to the bus, hopped on and made it all the way to school. …without my clarinet. The moral of the story is this: it doesn’t matter how well you execute the hard things if you can’t get the easy things right.

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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 26, 2016

Are You Guilty of These B2B Marketing Hashtag Mistakes?

As Integrate’s social media manager, I have my stack of go-to hashtags readily available before the day’s blog title is even announced. Admit it – you have a list too. Hashtags are great. They allow you to easily find content, identify which market categories are getting the most traction and even expand your content’s reach. Plus, the more you use them, the more your inner teen comes out.

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October 20, 2016

What to Ask Your Paid Lead Generation Partners

Modern demand marketers know there are many steps to building an effective outbound demand marketing program. Let’s focus on the start of the process, when you’re evaluating third-party lead generation partners to help augment your inbound demand generation programs. Using third-party partners is a great way to increase overall lead flow and improve the predictability of lead volume coming into your marketing funnel and sales pipeline. By “third-party partner,” I mean an external partner who you pay to provide leads, or contact-level information, on prospective buyers, beyond the inbound leads you’re creating through your own website and landing pages.

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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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October 13, 2016

5 SlideShare Tips That Increase Reach and Engagement

If you’ve implemented an effective content marketing wheel, you may have received a solid amount of feedback and optimized marketing pieces for your content marketing strategy. And you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to bring another content channel into the mix. Answer: It probably is. SlideShare has more than 70 million users, most of whom are involved in the B2B community – and this channel gets 500% more traffic from business owners than YouTube, Twitter or Facebook. So even if you’re ticking along with a successful content distribution strategy, it’s worthwhile to consider repurposing strong content for this platform to maximize reach and engagement.

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October 6, 2016

2017 Survival Guide for Demand Marketers

The demand marketing environment is changing so quickly that the rules we play by at the start of a year may no longer apply by the end of that same year. The rapid ascent of account-based marketing’s popularity over the past year or two comes to mind. Or, think of how quickly the mushrooming MarTech stack has affected our efforts – both enabling and challenging our ability to coordinate or demand generation initiatives. A recent Scott Vaughan blog post provided valuable tips to grow your B2B marketing career by acquiring the most in-demand skills for 2017. I agree with the importance of those skills, but want to share a different perspective: skills that you can use to survive in this dynamic, sometimes volatile, profession. Here are 7 recommendations to compliment Scott’s perspective.

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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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September 29, 2016

8 Types of MarTech Tools Every Demand Marketer Needs

Marketing technology now accounts for 33% of marketing budgets, according to Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016. B2B marketers specifically are investing heavily in tech to automate processes, engage new audiences, gain insights into marketing’s effectiveness and deliver increasingly innovative customer experiences. But there are literally thousands of marketing tools to choose from, and when the MarTech landscape looks like it does today, it’s hard to know where to begin. At Integrate we have the advantage of working with (and learning from) hundreds of demand marketing pros – customers, partners and friends. Earlier this year, in conjunction with Matt Heinz at Heinz Marketing, we set out to recognize 40 top demand marketing pros, and in doing so obtain a more thorough understanding of what makes a demand marketing rock star. We asked the Game Changers to list their three most essential marketing tools. Interestingly, there was a lot of overlap. And where there weren’t exact matches, we definitely found consistencies as to the types of tools demand marketers need to have in their toolbox in order to keep up in today’s marketing landscape.

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September 27, 2016

How to Use Social Selling to Boost Demand Generation

In A Four-Step Media Strategy That Pays Off, Scott Vaughan gives great tips to put more strategy and discipline into your social media strategy. Today’s top performing salespeople are setting themselves apart from the competition through targeted social selling efforts. LinkedIn defines social selling as “leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals.” LinkedIn is “all in” on this concept, even creating a Social Selling Index (SSI). As a modern demand marketer, it’s important to consider social selling as yet another channel in your marketing toolbox.

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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 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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September 6, 2016

6 Key Demand Generation Lessons Learned from Gated-Content Testing

In a previous post, Gated Content Marketing Strategy: Adding Steps Boosted Results 2X, I discussed how adding steps to the conversion process went against traditional demand generation thinking, and actually created an increase in conversions. Let’s take this concept a few steps further and discuss ways a gated-content strategy can help complement your entire lead generation funnel.

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August 31, 2016

Conjoined Twins: The Emerging Sales-Marketing Relationship

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. The lead gen era’s slow death: How it affects the marketing-sales relationship

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August 25, 2016

Gated Content Marketing Strategy: Adding Steps Boosted Results 2X

Many companies have a strategy to gate certain types of content in an effort to acquire names for their prospect database. Gated content is simply content that sits behind a registration form. The concept is that the content is valuable enough, in-depth enough or detailed enough, that a prospect will pay for the content by providing his or her email address. Once a prospect supplies their email name, it’s common to deploy an outbound marketing automation strategy (or nurturing track), designed to convert prospects, i.e. leads, into paying customers. With the advent of modern marketing tools and practices, most B2B product- or service-oriented companies use an inbound content strategy to drive eyeballs at the top of the funnel (TOFO), converting those eyeballs to emails mid-funnel (MOFU), then converting email names to customers through the mid and bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

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August 18, 2016

2017 Marketing Budget Planning: People, Partners and Technology

We’re fast approaching a time – budget season – that many marketers dread. Budget negotiations will, indeed, be dreadful if you’re following old models of demand generation and sales support grunt work, where it’s exceptionally hard to prove ROI.  If so, you should anticipate contentious discussions with your CMO, COO or CFO, who will accept no less than quantifiable ROI and a plan to drive revenue. Having gained visibility into leading-edge B2B marketers who orchestrate demand and drive revenue, I’m going to share what I’ve learned from these leaders to help you proactively manage this year’s ritual. I’ll lay out concrete ways to articulate the people, partner and technology investments you seek – and the outcomes you’ll drive.

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August 16, 2016

The 5 Most Common Persona Pitfalls B2B Marketers Must Avoid

Most modern B2B marketers have invested resources to develop their customer personas. The next step is to put those personas into action, by creating useful content that resonates with your prospects and customers. Having documented personas is one thing; executing relevant content and marketing strategies is where the real art and science come into play. Here are five common pitfalls that can emerge when a team puts their personas into action, along with tips to avoid the risks.

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August 11, 2016

The Infographic Framework: How To Build A Visual Story

Our brains are wired to respond to pictures and visual cues – in fact, the average brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than text. And marketing trends have reflected this over the years: we’re still developing text-based content, but marketers are ever more concerned with putting out visually stimulating content that engages more deeply with an audience. You already know that repurposing successful content can be a more effective long-term strategy than constantly churning out new pieces to keep your prospects engaged. So if you focus on repurposing content that’s already performing well, imagine the engagement and brand recognition you can achieve by converting it into an infographic. Infographics are among the most shared content formats in the digital marketing world – but a poorly executed piece can have an adverse effect on your brand awareness and audience engagement. By following a simple but effective framework, you can repurpose content into infographics that have a positive effect on your ROI.

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August 4, 2016

How To Create New Prospect Engagement With Video Content

If you’re part of the 92% of B2B marketers who use video in their content marketing strategy, you’ve likely already seen the benefit. Video content shares more information in less time than written content, and creates a stronger brand association. Most marketers leverage video for middle- or bottom-of-funnel marketing – like product demos and client testimonials – but you’d be surprised how valuable video content can be as part of your top-funnel (TOFU) demand generation strategy. Customers typically go through more than half of the buying process independently – so in the absence of a sales rep in the early stages, you can lean on video content to deliver the personality and expertise that facilitates a strong brand connection. Top-of-funnel content should be educational in nature, and should attract audiences in the early stage of the buying cycle. To front-load your marketing funnel with prospects in your target demographic, you’ll need to go beyond native content on your website. Repurposing high-performing content for syndication will allow you to expand your reach and engage new audiences with your video content. Try these three video formats for your TOFU content to increase engagement and brand awareness:

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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 28, 2016

24 Practical Tips to Upcycle (Not Recycle) Your Marketing Content

Upcycling is described as the process of converting older or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. Let’s discuss new ways to upcycle current content, and turn it into something useful and perhaps even more beautiful. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 benchmark report, only 30% of B2B marketers say their organizations are effective at content marketing. This number is disappointingly low, and has dropped from 38% in the same survey last year. Yet, 76% of respondents say they will produce more content this year. If only 30% of us feel we are effective at content marketing, why do 76% of us plan on producing more content this year? Does this mean our content strategy is to create even more (ineffective) content marketing? Let’s try a new approach. Let’s create less content but make sure it is more useful, not continue to create more content that we know is ineffective. In the spirit of less is more, here are 24 practical tips with idea prompts for upcycling existing content.

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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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July 7, 2016

The New Face of Outbound Marketing Balances Inbound

Content creation has become a main B2B marketing focus over the last few years. Until fairly recently, however, many marketers have leveraged their content for inbound marketing strategies alone, while neglecting all the possible impact content could have via outbound marketing strategies. But that’s all changing, and for good reason. Imagine your business is a brick-and-mortar cheese shop, and your marketing strategy is limited to the free samples you offer pedestrians as they pass by your door. Think about all the customers who shop at the grocery store around the corner, but never appear on your doorstep because they don’t know you exist. Think about the foot traffic you’d miss, and the potential new customers that would never even show up on your radar.

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June 30, 2016

10 Demand Marketing Strategies That May Up Your Game

We’ve been on a mission for the last year to help demand marketers up-level their game. Recently, we facilitated a recognition program to shine a spotlight on the Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers. And now we’re working to unearth their demand marketing secrets so we can not only learn from them but share them with you. If you missed the recent Game Changers in Action webinar, then this article is for you. Demand Marketing Game Changer Scott Fingerhut, WW VP of Demand Generation at Elastic, shared some sage marketing advice that can help us all be better demand marketers. I’ve distilled Scott’s 20 minutes from the webinar into 10 demand marketing tips that will hopefully give you some new ideas on how you can approach your role and your relationship with current and prospective customers. 

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June 23, 2016

The Content Marketing Wheel: A Smart Approach to Content Strategy

If you’ve been playing in digital content for any period of time, you’re probably familiar with this scenario: you publish a new blog post, get a spike in traffic and engagement, then watch your analytics level out. It’s a common pattern in B2B marketing — only 10% of blog posts continue to increase visits over time, after the initial traffic spike.  This linear process creates an imbalance between the input — the time and resources devoted to content development — and the ROI of your content marketing. If you really want to make an impact with your strategy, it’s time to try a new approach. 

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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 15, 2016

40 Demand Marketers Who Are Changing the Game

We talk about it all the time. Marketing is changing. Marketers own more of the customer lifecycle than ever before. And they’re being charged with creating exceptional experiences to engage those customers while driving ever-increasing contributions to pipeline and revenue. They’re building demand centers. The demand marketers powering those centers face new challenges every day. It’s a tough job and many have a hard time keeping up with the pace, let alone innovating. But there are definitely some standout pros rising to new heights and changing the game of what it means to be a demand marketer. Recently, Integrate and Heinz Marketing set out to recognize 40 demand marketers who are accomplishing big things within their organizations.

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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 31, 2016

The Mobile Imperative For Marketing Ops

If there’s any remaining doubt about how mobile phones have permeated our lives, pay close attention the next time you’re in a public restroom – airport, shopping mall, sports arena – and note the individuals using their phones to text, email or talk. Don’t worry: this conversation isn’t headed for the toilet and it won’t be a rant against non-stop mobile phone usage. Instead, I’m going to suggest ways marketers should capitalize on the remarkable extent of mobile usage.

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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 17, 2016

Getting the Most Out of Your Third-Party Lead Acquisition

Generating net-new names is critical to developing a revenue-producing marketing engine. Getting this right significantly increases your odds of success. The good news is that there are many options to get us there by driving people to our website and landing pages: think SEO, SEM, PPC, social media, content syndication and advertising.  While there are innumerable channels to generate new names through internal efforts, the results can vary wildly. For example, the volume of new names can be slow, the quality is all over the place, or the alignment with optimum demographics for your solution can be weak. To meet pipeline needs or accelerate contribution, many marketers acquire leads from a third party to add net-new names to the database. The most popular methods are to purchase a list, or syndicate content. 

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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 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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May 3, 2016

How Demand Marketers Can Conquer the Chaos at #MKTGNATION

I have a confession to make. I’m an introvert. My favorite sound is silence. I have an aversion towards large crowds. And I am not a fan of Vegas. Yet a couple times a year, as part of my professional obligation, I shuffle off to these mad houses known as “marketing conferences.” They typically pack somewhere around five to ten thousand attendees into a massive conference center. The expo halls are an odd hybrid between an airport shopping mall and well-lit nightclub. The breaks are reminiscent of college days when everyone is simultaneously making a mad dash to get from one session to another. And by the end of it all, you feel like you need an extra week just to recover and download all the information you absorbed. Six thousand or so marketers will likely share at least some of this sentiment come next Friday, when they return from Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit. But there is hope. I’ve found that the more prepared I am for an event, the less likely I am to get overwhelmed. So, partially for my own sanity, I thought I’d share some tips to help demand marketers conquer the chaos of #MKTGNATION.

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April 28, 2016

Advice for Demand Marketers: How to Avoid the Black Hole of MQLs

Sales wants qualified leads. Now. With velocity, ready to buy, and at their target accounts. You already invested in marketing automation (which someone else probably stuffed full of crappy data) and dabbled in some paid efforts. Now you’re exploring Predictive and Account-based Marketing… but HOLD ON. Whatever happened to all those leads you already generated and qualified? As a demand marketer, it’s tempting to wash your hands of the lead once it reaches Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). But too often Sales reaches out a few times, then moves on when a lead is unresponsive. They aren’t going to nicely hand that lead back to marketing – they will just move on. And the lead will disappear into “the black hole of MQLs”.

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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 14, 2016

3 Steps to Optimize Customer Experience for ABM and Net-New Lead Generation

On a recent road trip, I had an unexpected need to stop overnight. I went into my email, found a message from my preferred hotel brand, clicked to my loyalty account, reviewed availability and booked a room. Thanks to a desktop-quality mobile experience, the process took less than five minutes. The friendly staff welcomed me upon arrival and emailed a folio afterwards. One could argue that this brand is in the hospitality business so my customer experience (CX) was nothing exceptional. Yet those of us who travel frequently know top-notch customer experience is noteworthy – even more so when it happens consistently – as I’ve found with this brand in personal (B2C) and business (B2B) travel. Spanning email, mobile, inbound, outbound and in-person channels, the lessons above are a nice introduction to my guidelines for creating a great customer experience in both account-based marketing (ABM) and net-new lead generation programs. It’s because of customers like me – who’ll leave a brand without hesitation but stick with those that excel – that CX must sit at the top of every marketer’s priority list all day, every day.  

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April 12, 2016

5 Traits of a Demand Marketing #B2BGameChanger?

We’re nearly 45 days into the Top 40 Demand Marketing Game Changers program that Integrate is producing in conjunction with Heinz Marketing. Hundreds of nominations have rolled in. As a marketer who works for a demand marketing software company that serves demand marketers, this program is of prime interest to me. I review nearly every nomination that’s submitted in order to discover exactly what my peers are doing to make an impact in their organizations. When we launched the program, we identified five characteristics that we believe serve as the core traits of game changing demand marketers:

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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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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 8, 2016

Advice from MarTech Marketing Execs on Being a Better Demand Marketer

Demand marketers have their work cut out for them. With new initiatives and increasing goals at every turn, it can be challenging to know which areas of focus will have the most impact. The marketing teams making the biggest difference are often those at marketing tech companies – perhaps because these are the organizations driving the leading edge of marketing. We searched for the best marketing advice from MarTech CMOs and executives and this is what we found.

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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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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 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 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 5, 2016

How Much Will Poor Data Integrity Cost You in 2016?

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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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 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. 92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider ABM “extremely” or “very” important to their overall marketing efforts. (SiriusDecisions) Moreover...

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November 17, 2015

3 Simple Ways to Blend Outbound & Inbound Marketing Tactics

As popular as inbound marketing has become, outbound is still a vital component to a strong marketing strategy and organizational growth. 74% of all B2B companies (and 71% of B2C) report increasing the number of contacts and leads as a top priority, according the 2015 State of Inbound Report. But marketers know that inbound alone isn’t enough to reach rising customer acquisition and revenue goals. They have to turn to outbound channels to reach new audiences and fill their databases with more prospects. Despite the fact that so many companies rely on outbound marketing tactics to meet mandates, inbound marketing techniques often deliver stronger ROI. This could mean that outbound simply isn’t as successful as its more organic counterpart. It’s more likely a natural consequence of the reality that most marketing teams still execute paid marketing campaigns within silos.

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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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November 5, 2015

Demand Generation Issues You Should Fix Before Your Boss Finds Out

Demand marketing gets more complicated by the day. In order to get everything done and still ensure great customer experiences in this always-on environment, we often find ourselves cutting corners. But one shortcut can quickly grow into many, until our entire demand gen engine is compromised. Here’s a list of issues that may start off small, but can end up resulting in big problems down the road:

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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 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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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 24, 2015

Shifting Marketing KPIs To Account-Based Marketing Values

With all the discussion around account-based marketing (ABM), I wanted to take some time to address an issue that most ABM conversations seem to be missing: Accounts don’t buy technology – people do. As marketers, we may sell to companies, but we market to people. And these people have varied reasons for making a purchase, spurred by specific needs and driven by distinct personalities. 

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September 15, 2015

What the Hell Is “Inbound-y” Paid Marketing?

So I just got back from INBOUND 2015. Inspirational speakers. 14,000 happy marketers. So much great content that choosing which sessions to attend was as difficult as ordering dessert at the Cheesecake Factory. And, of course, the HubSpot product announcements. This year, the marketing software provider rolled out:

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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 13, 2015

3 Practical Ways Buyer Personas Can Increase Customer Engagement

A couple months ago we kicked off our website redesign by taking a deep dive into our customer personas. We started this work last year and had some fairly defined personas in place, but a good marketing strategy is ever-evolving. There were a year’s worth of insights and customer feedback that needed to be infused into our customer profiles. And then we needed to figure out how to make those personas actionable.

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August 4, 2015

Thought Leadership vs. Educational Blog Content: Which is Best?

Creating content is the single, most powerful tool in the marketer's toolbox. Invest in content one time, and if done well, you will reap the rewards of that content for years to come. But I've noticed a lot of companies wrestling with what kind of content to create. Most of them make a big mistake in the type of content they craft. After having this conversation multiple times, I thought I would write an article on it. The choice in question is: thought leadership vs. educational content. Now, there is some overlap on this - thought leadership content can be educational. However, as a general rule there is a pretty wide gap between the two.

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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 28, 2015

Optimize Your Customer Experience with Standardized Data

Are you delivering the optimal customer experience? As Scott Vaughan notes in one of his recent blogs, it’s a topic of utmost importance to CMOs… Delivering an award-winning customer experience requires a holistic effort that transcends marketing – it involves the entire organization. Customers need consistent, accurate and targeted communication across the entire purchasing lifecycle. Marketing often holds a significant amount of data on every customer or prospect in the pipeline. But to consistently deliver an authentic brand experience, every customer-facing role must have access to that data – from marketing to sales to customer success teams.

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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 21, 2015

3 Imperatives for Fixing Lead Data Quality: From the Experts

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 it’s a big challenge, yet many of us still struggle to fix it. Why? Because it’s a never-ending quest to get it right and maintain high levels of data accuracy and integrity.  The good news is there are automation solutions and very clear practices 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.   This past week I reviewed a few key articles from data experts for a kick in the butt to get out in front of the dirty data issues. It’s a call to arms to proactively implement measures to prevent bad data where possible and manage the health of our prospect and customer data on an ongoing basis. Here are three solid reads – from Forrester Research, Sirius Decisions and our own Integrate Data Quality Index – that I hope will spark some ideas and provide inspiration to tackle the poor data quality issue in your organization.

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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 10, 2015

14 Reasons Manual Demand Generation Marketing Sucks [Infographic]

Being a demand marketer today is pretty exciting. Marketers have more tools and technologies available than ever before to engage people in unique ways and create dazzling customer experiences. If you’re a seasoned marketing pro, chances are your day looks completely different now than it did 10 or 15 years ago… unless you’re responsible for executing outbound demand generation programs. If that’s the case, your job looks a little something like this…

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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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July 7, 2015

How to Make Your Content Marketing Stand Out and Activate Customers

“Slash Splash, Glub Glub...” That’s the sound of our customers and prospects drowning in a sea of our content.  We’re bombarding them on a daily basis, using a variety of “highways” to reach them: emails, websites, social media, phone calls, and the list goes on.  Much of it’s just sand sifting back and forth in an ocean that our customers have emotionally unsubscribed from.  Despite industry saturation, content marketing remains incredibly important. It’s the key conduit to communicating with prospects and customers. With 30-million pieces of new content created every day, what can we marketers do to ensure our content stands out and activates customers? There’s no silver bullet for effective content. However, there are smart, proven ways for creating valuable content that engages prospects and creates customers. 

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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 25, 2015

Why Sharing Is Caring About Media ROI

We marketers are getting better at breaking down departmental silos and sharing standardized data within our organizations. Yet, we’re still failing miserably when it comes to sharing information with external media partners and lead vendors – often the primary sources of our sales pipeline. This isn’t smart marketing. We need to communicate with our media partners, providing the necessary information they need to do their best work and maximize media ROI. You may have incredibly strong media relationships and supporting tech, but unless all parties share common definitions of success, more often than not, you’ll be disappointed with the results. Defining KPIs and communicating performance data with media partners drastically increases your odds of paid media success. 

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June 24, 2015

5 Actions To Drive Sales-Marketing Alignment & Business Performance

This post was originally published on the MoneyballMarketer.com blog on June 13, 2015. We all know sales & marketing alignment is extremely important. This Kapost article references an Aberdeen Group stat that “Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate, and companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline.” (Now if I could just find that pesky Aberdeen stat... although this stat is referenced everywhere, I’m citing the Kapost article because I couldn’t find  a public version of the original stat from Aberdeen). Knowing it’s important isn’t enough though, as actually attaining true sales & marketing alignment is challenging. To that end, these are five specific actions that I’ve found sales and marketing can do together to drive alignment, and achieve the resulting business performance. I choose the word “sales and marketing” and “together” very precisely, as the key to this is that equal responsibility and commitment is taken from both groups within the company’s revenue team.

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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 16, 2015

5 Secrets to Make Lead Gen Work for You

Yin Yang is perhaps the most known and documented concept used within Taoism. With Yin/Yang, two halves come together to create wholeness.  Examples abound in everyday life: night and day; sun and shade; art and analytics. Inbound and outbound marketing, when done right, are an example of Yin/Yang – two sides that make a whole.  Inbound marketing techniques draw potential customers to you while outbound techniques go to where the customers are less likely to find you on their own. Regardless of how leads are generated, both inbound and outbound marketing techniques must fill the pipeline with MQL’s, SQL’s, sales opportunities, and deals.  The more sales opportunities and deals that marketing drives, the better the performance review in the boardroom.

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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 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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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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May 28, 2015

Affiliate Marketing 3.0: Customizable Ecosystems

Online affiliate marketing began with a promise: Leverage the massive reach of the internet while only spending in proportion to revenue achieved. Unfortunately, the promise hasn’t come to fruition. Over the years, marketers have fallen victim to affiliate exchanges, ad technologies and publishing practices that weren’t created in brands’ best interests. But this doesn’t mean affiliate marketing doesn’t work – it can. But it requires marketers to regain control of their affiliate relationships and marketing processes by creating customized, transparent ecosystems.

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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 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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May 14, 2015

How to Learn Demand Generation

There is no school or class that teaches you demand generation.  I hadn't heard of demand generation before I became a field marketer and certainly hadn't heard of it while in business school. While we did learn tools like Lifetime Value and associated sales funnel dynamics, no one discussed how that funnel works in real life. So how did I learn demand generation? How can you learn demand generation? Are you preparing for graduation and want to be a marketer? Are you thinking of switching from sales to marketing? Perhaps you are already a Product Marketing Manager and think you can do a great job driving leads to your sales team? 

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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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May 5, 2015

Know Thy Source – How to Identify Qualified Fulfillment Partners

Given marketers’ hyper-focus on capturing ever-increasing volumes of quality leads and acquiring customers that will yield the highest lifetime value, it’s not uncommon to leverage third parties (media partners, publishers, affiliate networks, etc.) in order to scale programs. The biggest challenge in this world of paid demand gen is identifying qualified fulfillment sources. The risk involved often causes organizations to stick with a small handful of tested and true publishers. While this seems like a safe strategy, it drastically hampers the ability to reach large volumes of new prospects.

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April 28, 2015

How Eloqua Users Can Drive Revenue & Improve Customer Experience

Earlier this month, I joined a few thousand other marketers at Oracle Modern Marketing Experience. Kevin Akeroyd's keynote aptly captured the challenge that lays before today’s marketers: the dichotomy of Wall St. vs. Main St. While marketers are getting revenue focused and becomingly responsible for contributing more to sales pipeline with each passing quarter, they are simultaneously charged with delivering ever better customer experiences – in part to accomplish this end result. Oracle Marketing Cloud customers have built best-in-class marketing tech stacks aimed at nurturing prospects and creating customers. When you combine the power of the Oracle Eloqua marketing automation platform with innovative advancements such as the recently released Oracle ID Graph that connects user data from various channels and devices into a single identity – great experiences are possible. But there is still a vast disconnect in the marketing lifecycle. These systems used to engage prospects at nearly every stage of the customer journey are completely separate from the processes marketers must rely on to identify new prospects in the first place. This lack of a seamless experience at the source of origination is a sure-fire recipe to negatively impact customer experience.

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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 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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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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April 7, 2015

Automated Demand Generation: What It Is and How to Get Started [eBook]

If you’ve been paying attention to our content, you’ve likely noticed a lot of talk about automating demand gen. We recognize that this concept may be somewhat confusing as many marketers believe that their marketing automation systems (MAS) are already addressing the full spectrum of demand generation. But marketing automation really is only the starting point in our quest to leverage marketing technology to discover, engage and nurture prospects.

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April 2, 2015

4 Traits of a Top-Notch Demand Gen Campaign

Marketers are walking a razor’s edge when it comes to demand generation.   For any given campaign, success requires effective execution on several fronts, while failure is only a key mistake away.  It explains why demand gen is an area where many companies struggle.  In fact, according to a study by IDG, 61% of B2B marketers reported to have problems in this area.   As disheartening as this may seem, all is not lost.  Many companies can and do run consistently successful demand generation campaigns – and it’s not by accident.   In the last year, HiP has fulfilled more than 2,500 demand gen campaigns (both successful and unsuccessful).  As a result, we have a unique view into the art and science that makes up demand generation.  We can say with some certainty that a specific set of traits marks the most successful demand gen campaigns.

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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 26, 2015

Getting the Most Out of Oracle Modern Marketing Experience 2015

Modern Marketers are the new breed of pros hell-bent on mastering the art and science of marketing. These are the marketers that have jumped in with both feet embodying the Internet-inspired revolution of the customer being in the driver’s seat; they have committed to becoming marketing technology experts. At the core, they: Are data-driven Understand with specificity the components of their marketing mix that are driving meaningful interactions along specific stages of the customer journey Customize messages to a highly targeted audience, across multiple devices and channels, over a specific period of time These are the marketers set to converge in Las Vegas from March 31 to April 2 at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience 2015 (#MME2015).  And, it is not by chance that the term “modern marketer” was popularized by the Eloqua team (now part of Oracle).

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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 19, 2015

Marketing Tech Reality Check

In less than two weeks, thousands of fellow marketers and I will head off to San Francisco and Vegas for MarTech Conference and Oracle Modern Marketing Experience, followed by Marketo Marketing Nation Summit just two weeks later. We’ll submerse ourselves in the experience of the most innovative and advanced aspects of marketing today. Keynote speakers will inspire and session presenters aim to impress. Marketers will share stories of grand accomplishments using innovative technologies. It might be easy to walk away with the feeling that all of marketing is connected, automated…a smooth running machine. That our decisions are always predictive and our data always accurate. But don’t be fooled. This movement towards automation is very much a journey… one on which many of us have made some progress and a few have taken great strides.

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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 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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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 24, 2015

Getting Inside The Mind of Sales: Why It Matters to Marketers

Before assuming my current role at Integrate (sales and marketing ops), my career focused strictly on sales and sales management. My journey to ops was a slow evolution, during which I witnessed and learned greatly from the many struggles that typically characterize the sales-marketing relationship: miscommunication, systems limitations, misaligned objectives, and most importantly, inaccurate perceptions of the other side. Without the multi-disciplinary knowledge I’ve acquired, I couldn’t do my job effectively, nor could many of the marketing execs and CMOs who have towed both sales and marketing lines during their careers. Sales’ perspective of marketing – the worst case scenario  During my time in sales at several companies, I heard mentions of marketing teams, but I was never quite sure what they did. A common, almost rhetorical question often thrown around between sales reps was, “What is it that marketing does?” …as if to imply that they sat around all day doing nothing except maybe trying to come up with a catchy tagline.

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February 20, 2015

How To Help Marketing Ops and Demand Generation Work Well Together

Whether it’s about IT and Marketing (namely the CIO and the CMO) or growing dissent between Sales and Marketing, everywhere you turn seems to be another piece of content trying to shed a light on changing dynamics and the need for alignment. I’m not taking away from the value of such conversations, they’re obviously important. Yet, such interdepartmental emphasis distracts from intra-marketing alignment issues, a problem of that grows day by day.

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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 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 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 20, 2015

Costly Mistakes Marketers And Media Pros Make

A little-known fact. Prior to Integrate, I spent three years in performance-based media sales. It was the most challenging role of my sixteen year sales career. Challenging enough that I was over-the-moon happy to leave sales and transition into its much more predictable counterpart—marketing. Those three years though did instill in me a level of empathy for both the media company that I worked for and the marketing clients I served. Experiencing the “before” version of an industry barely touched by the marketing tech revolution allows me to more fully appreciate the available technologies today that support smarter marketing. Not to say that mistakes don’t still happen or that we aren’t still in a learning curve. However, eight years ago there were a lot more “not so smart” media and marketing mistakes. For example…

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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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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 16, 2014

6 Undervalued Demand Generation Data Points

Successful demand gen marketers know that lead quality is a key factor in their ability to engage prospects and activate buyers.  In a recent study by Marketing Profs, nearly 60% of marketers surveyed indicated quality is the single most critical aspect of the leads they generate.  One key indicator of lead quality is accuracy and completeness of data on the lead. Both marketing and sales operational efficiency are directly impacted by lead data quality because high-quality leads are more likely to convert to customers. Diluting a marketing database with low-quality leads results in wasted time and ineffective communications.  Lead accuracy needs to be managed proactively, whether leads are generated in house or by a third party.  Here are six data factors that will create a positive return on your investment in generated leads.

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December 11, 2014

Speed Is The Key to Improving Sales Relationships

If you Google “sales and marketing relationship,” phrases such as “love/hate,” “ending the war” and “sales turf war” all come up on the first page. Numerous articles discuss the turmoil of this on-again, off-again fling between these departments; however, many miss a key point that’s resulted in more inter-departmental love than an open bar at the company Christmas party.

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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: http://blog.integrate.com/25-demand-orchestration-terms 

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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 25, 2014

OMAHA!! Data-Driven Marketing and the Audible

The guy is amazing. Not only did he set the record for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history, but he also orchestrated (and had his receivers practice) the practical joke of playing keep away shortly after (see video here: http://digg.com/video/peyton-manning-record-ball). How successful would Peyton have been if he did the following: meticulously studied and analyzed his opponents used complex machine learning to predict behaviors of the other team prepared a play book executed every single play in order throughout the entire game Not very – because football requires responsiveness and constant flexibility.

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November 20, 2014

Harness the Power of Third-Party Data [SlideShare]

Recently, we had the privilege of leading a webcast as part of Oracle Marketing Cloud’s “Spotlight on Success Series.” We were joined by marketing and demand gen leader, Meagen Eisenberg, who is VP of Customer Marketing at Docusign and a valued Integrate customer.   This 45-minute webcast highlighted one of the core challenges that plagues the majority of today’s demand gen practitioners and marketing automation users – manual data processes. \ If you are currently using Oracle Eloqua (or another marketing automation system), this post and session can help you understand:

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November 18, 2014

Don’t Ignore Telemarketing as a Demand Gen Tactic

Digital marketing dominates the B2B marketing space, making telemarketing seem like an outdated, or at least an under-appreciated, marketing method for generating and qualifying leads.  Its association with intrusive phone calls and sometimes aloof call agents may keep this tactic from making it into your marketing mix. Truth be told, telemarketing can be a very cost-effective and reliable way to generate qualified leads for your pipeline.  Admittedly it was not always included in my arsenal, but proven success over recent years has turned me into a telemarketing supporter.  The power of conversation and human touch with the right call center can yield rewarding results.  

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November 13, 2014

Building Quality Customer Engagements With Standardized Data

Marketers are inundated with data. From lead files, to web traffic reports to marketing automation data, marketers can’t – and shouldn’t - get away from it. Data provides the basis for optimizing marketing performance. In fact, data elevates marketing to the role of trusted business partner with sales, according to Pete Koliopoulos, VP of Marketing for Arrow Electronics, who spoke at this year’s Sirius Decisions Summit. The problem is that data from diverse sources lives in different systems and formats, making it difficult to gain a consistent view and take action. Koliopoulos said data strategy often isn’t given adequate priority in enterprises because business executives overlook the impact that data has on sales and marketing productivity. How can we possibly still be failing to see the full impact data has on our business?

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October 30, 2014

Integrate Third Party Data Or Get Left Behind [Webcast]

Marketers have more data at our fingertips than ever before. It’s coming at us from all angles. With our demand and lead generation efforts, we typically have dozens (or more) of third-party media partners and fulfillment sources generating leads or syndicating our content, sending us streams of prospect data. We even capture data from our webinars, events that we sponsor, or lists that we buy.

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October 16, 2014

You Can’t Drive Quality Leads With Inaccurate Data [Whitepaper]

I’m a little taken aback when I read statistics like the one from Sirius Decisions that 60% of B2B companies report an overall data health of “unreliable”.  But what surprises me more is how few marketing organizations appear to really understand the importance of their data quality. Ascend2 recently released their Lead Generation Strategy Report which revealed a startling (to me at least) disconnect between how much weight marketing organizations are placing on lead quality and how little on data accuracy.

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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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October 2, 2014

Pitfalls to Avoid When Migrating A Blog

The marketing team at Integrate has been creating great blog content for a couple of years now, but over the last year we've been more actively developing this content to help modern marketers overcome their marketing challenges. During this time, we’ve outgrown two different platforms. Recently we decided that we needed more flexibility with our blog to provide a better experience for our visitors and to allow us to integrate our blog content with the rest of our marketing efforts. Once we selected our new tool, we developed a migration plan. (NOTE: This is the third time we’ve migrated our blog. The first two times were completely manual due to incompatible systems. We sacrificed some content and links along the way, so this time I was determined to do it right.) 

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October 1, 2014

Generate Leads Effectively + Accelerate Sales Pipeline [Infographic]

Regardless of how much marketing has changed, today’s ultimate business goal remains the same: acquire new customers. The key difference is that marketers are now directly responsible for contributing to that goal. They’re no longer simply influencers creating feel-good messages to promote brand identification (though those types of marketers still serve a purpose). Modern marketers must discover new prospects, fill sales pipeline and drive revenue. And although CMOs and Marketing Ops are investing in marketing technology and systems to use prospect data in creative new ways and nurture potential customers along the buyer’s journey, the marketers who are responsible for acquiring prospect data in the first place are still relying largely on inefficient manual processes to get that data.

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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 2, 2014

4 Critical Elements of a Successful eCommerce Site

My most recent blog post on buying, governing, and optimizing data resulted in a number of inquiries from customers and acquaintances who operate in the ecommerce space — particularly the subscription service space. As you can imagine, nurturing leads, maintaining a clean funnel, and ensuring swift lead velocity become less important in ecommerce, where buy cycles are swift and the sales metric can be immediately attributed to specific campaigns, tactics and partners. As Scott Vaughan discussed in a recent blog, business outcomes are the ultimate simple metric and sales are the ultimate business outcome. If only it were that simple.

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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 13, 2014

A Segmented Approach to Measuring Content Marketing Success

Many companies struggle with measuring content marketing effectiveness. Unlike other marketing activities, there’s not a single set of definitive metrics. This is due largely in part to the variety of outcomes content marketing is expected to deliver. According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 benchmark report, B2B content marketers named their top goals as brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, and thought leadership, respectively. These top four goals were named by more than 65% of respondents.

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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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August 7, 2014

How to Avoid Bad Sales Outcomes from Good Marketing Programs

Disclaimer: I'm conflicted when it comes to giving fellow marketing people advice. On one hand, it feeds my ego. On the other hand, we all compete with each other and frankly my company pays me for IP and execution — not to share good IP. But, I love demand generation, the challenges and complexity it brings. Spreadsheets are only as good as the garbage you put in them.

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August 6, 2014

What Goldilocks Taught Us About Closed-Loop Marketing

Marketing has a clear mandate to prove ROI; we’ve heard this time and time again. Similarly, we’re now hearing the mantra “closing the loop” as the main way to validate our marketing spend and optimize it for future campaigns. Far too much gets written on the “Why,” yet the “How” is rarely addressed. Closed-loop marketing typically refers to marketers’ ability to track a buyer all the way through their journey, from original lead to closed customer (all of your leads become customers, right?), and then attribute sales revenue back to the originating data sources, channels, creative assets, tactics, etc. However, in my experience, different organizations have different business models, strategies, agreements between marketing and sales for lead handoff, etc. — all of which influence the most effective points to initiate a closed loop.

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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 16, 2014

How Marketers Can Yield Big Results Without High Tech

I think we, as marketers, are guilty these days of thinking and acting a bit too strategically, leaning on the substantial technology investments (marketing automation, analytics suites, etc.) that every organization is, or should be, making. Too much big-picture thinking has resulted in inaction – we all too often neglect the little, tactical tricks we can implement to increase our data quality, lead velocity and generate real business value.

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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 24, 2014

What Can Dr. Oz Teach Us About Data Quality?

As I was writing my last piece on what the MarTech Revolution can do for media partners and publishers, I was struck by something that seems second nature to those of us used to running consumer-based media campaigns, but which is often missing in the MarTech Revolution: optimization. We all know the old adage “garbage in/garbage out”—this remains true in marketing. Frequently I see demand-gen organizations invest great sums on Eloqua, Salesforce, Marketo, you name it, spend the engineering time and resources to tie everything together, and then just shovel a bunch of worthless data in the front end. All the money in the world won’t fix data or products that were no good from the start.

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May 1, 2014

Quarterly Business Review For Marketing

A long time ago during my very first professional job at an ad agency, the CEO made a not-so-profound statement that sticks with me to this day. He said one of the most important things that advertising professionals must do is cover their ass. This of course is sage advice in any industry, but especially so in advertising and marketing where performance is open to wide-ranging speculations if not measured and documented. A superb way to accomplish this creed is to conduct quarterly business reviews (QBRs).

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April 22, 2014

Collaboration and Customer Experience: Unlock Your Website's Potential

Integrate celebrated its 4 year birthday on April 15th and in celebration, we launched our new website. I’ve been with the company since its founding and witnessed our evolution from the ground level, celebrated several successes and learned from many mistakes. And here’s what I know. Four years of startup life, five iterations of messaging, twelve versions of sales decks and nearly two hundred pages of website content can give the best of companies a severe identity crisis.

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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 8, 2014

Marketing Acceleration: Automation’s Role In Driving Results Faster

The name of the marketing game in 2014 is speed: speed to acquire top-of-funnel leads, speed to engage those leads after initial capture, speed to push them to sales when the time is right, speed to close deals. Every process, system or person that slows the organization is a barrier to marketing’s biggest goals: engage customers, build sales pipeline that converts to revenue. In order to keep their jobs, marketing leaders need to eliminate those barriers and turn up the speed. I’d like to share some practices we’re using at HiP to increase speed for clients and our own internal operations.

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March 6, 2014

The Challenges Media Companies Face in Today’s Digital World [Video]

The media world is rapidly shifting. Running a media company is more difficult than ever. In his recent post, “Why Brands Will Start Buying Media Companies,” Joe Pulizzi identifies one of the core challenges that media companies face as a need to please two distinct groups: their marketing customers (brands and advertisers) and their audiences. Keeping both groups equally happy often puts media companies in a precarious situation.

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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 11, 2014

Making Outbound Marketing More Like Inbound Marketing

** Note: For the purposes of this post, outbound lead generation refers to paid digital media, such as purchasing leads from content syndication, email and social publishers who capture and deliver prospect data via their respective channels and owned media** Prior to Integrate I worked for another rapidly growing marketing software company, HubSpot. I mention this because yesterday a colleague received a response to a prospecting email that read: “Sounds a lot like HubSpot. How is it different?” (which leads me to believe that my colleague’s prospecting emails could use some work).

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February 4, 2014

Media Best Practices #1: Google Is Not Just a Verb

Given its beginnings, it’s natural to think of a Google marketing campaign as a search campaign that relies on keyword-based search traffic. After all, when “google” gained the distinction in 2006 of being added to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was defined as “to search for information on the internet using the Google search engine.” But to marketers, the purpose and application of “google” is so much broader. Google is an important part of a well-rounded cross-channel marketing campaign. It’s time for us to stop thinking of Google as a verb, and fully capitalize on its influence and strengths. As a practicing, certified (Adwords, Bing) marketing pro on Integrate's Digital Media Services team, I live and learn every day the vast possibilities with Google Ads (what works and what doesn’t!). For this post, we will focus on the “what works” and share a few media best practices and possibilities that span beyond search to consider for bolstering your campaign results:

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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 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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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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December 3, 2013

Take Control of Your Marketing Data

We’re all familiar with the expression “50% of my advertising works, I’m just not sure which 50% it is.” It seems that this would be impossible today with all the technology and data available; however, it still rings true for many marketers. I recently read an article commenting on the growing disconnect between what marketers need from data and what they are actually getting. It cited Domo Inc.’s “2013 Data-driven Marketing Survey,” which revealed that:

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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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