If I had a dollar for every time an exec asked me about the value of content syndication or the impact of events or the outcome of advertising as a single demand channel, I’d be sailing in the Caribbean. Let me be very clear about this. Content syndication, social, and Account-based marketing (ABM) are as valuable a channel as any others, but marketers need to know how to use them in the marketing mix to map to each account and buyer’s journey. There is no easy button here, gang and all channels eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. This is why you need the right channel mix for both buyer and account-based strategies. If your SDR team is complaining about the leads they get from your programs because the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t remember downloading your whitepaper on LinkedIn or from X publisher, you can bet you aren’t doing it right. Paid media-generated leads must be scored properly, they must be nurtured properly with relevant and timely ungated content that the customer finds compelling enough to engage with. Demographic and behavioral data is not enough; we must combine that with account intent data and market data to provide the highest quality of both engaged accounts and buyers. They must be handled with kid gloves before they are handed over to your SDR team and when they are handed over, they must be accompanied with a history of engagement that makes the conversation that SDR is going to have with your customer a worthwhile one. Anything less is a disservice to the investment you’re making.
Demand marketing needs a plan of action that is coordinated across the channels your team is using. And you need to use them all. Why? Because our buyers are in all channels. We know that most B2B buyers are 57% of the way through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative from your organization. They certainly aren’t doing that research in one channel alone and taking any sort of a siloed approach is just silly. (The next time that same exec who asked you why you were still investing in content syndication suggests you find the one channel that performs the best and just use that tactic over and over again, it’s time to update your resume…)
Too often, however, marketers on the same team find themselves working in silos that leave their customers with a disjointed, awkward, and uninviting customer journey. Your ABM team is working on one campaign that doesn’t consider the fact that you just hosted the same customer on a webinar or that someone else from that account is engaging in your paid social campaigns, or just attended an event. If we continue to work in this siloed fashion, we must ask ourselves, would I want to engage with my company? Silos are literally killing the customer experience.
CMOs struggle to get their teams to understand this concept and it’s for a good reason. Marketers are high-performing people. They like to own things. They want to be able to show a return on investment for the program they designed. They want their names attached to a line in the budget so they can say: Mine! I did that! And marketing vendors haven’t helped. Through a myriad of tools and technology that solve singular problems and don’t talk to each other, there’s no clear way for you understand the overall impact each of these individual programs has had on your buyer, leaving the Marketing Operations team struggling to piece together the ROI across the entire demand budget.
Yesterday we saw DemandBase make a significant investment in Engagio, ensuring even more of a position in ABM marketing. And while this investment is a big step forward in ABM, I can’t help but think it’s one more step in another siloed channel. As my good friend and colleague, Danny McKeever said to me this morning, that’s like building a bigger base for a skinny silo. Yes, we love and believe in ABM, so much so that we’ve invested in that channel in our last three, now four, companies together. But done alone, unconnected to the rest of your marketing channels, and my friend Danny has one more disparate channel to try and connect to everything else.
At Integrate we’re taking a different approach. We’ve built the Integrate Demand Cloud around the buying process. ABM is one important strategy we employ, and we connect that strategy to every channel throughout the buyer’s journey so that we can provide the best customer experience possible. The ability to integrate and connect people, process, programs and data is critical to show a real return on all channels our customers use. And that’s why we don’t play favors here…we love all our demand channels equally.
Chief Marketing Officer, Integrate