Tag Archives: ROI

Building Products Marketing Transformation And The Empowered Customer

6 Dec

Leading Marketing Transformation

Customers are more informed than ever and marketing needs to evolve to match those smarts

Earlier this month I heard from Christine Jacobs, Director of Demand Programs at IBM North America. She spoke on marketing transformation – how marketing is changing and how marketing departments need to focus on social, content and ROI to meet the growing demands of customers. She focused on the need to make digital mainstream and shared that 40% of IBM’s marketing spend is now digital. Here’s what I took away from her presentation:

Social is the way of the future

  • Christine talked a lot about social engagement and pointed out that for many organizations, this is a key area of under-preparedness. Recently there has been an explosion of data and social media and most companies aren’t prepared to tackle these changes.
  • It’s time for marketers to redefine the customer. We’ve talked about the need for personas in the past and Christine touched on this too. Instead of looking at customers as one buying group, we need to focus on micro-segments so you can build experiences and make marketing more relevant. In fact, each micro market needs specific objectives. As building product marketers, we need to appeal to the empowered customer through a differentiated experience.
  • So how do we do this? Social media is on-demand intelligence and engagement. We need to be listening. Social media should help guide media buys, social media strategy and so much more. Especially for CMOs, social media will be a key engagement channel moving forward. Are you ready?

Content and assets should align to the buyer’s journey

  • How do you create, package and distribute your content today? We need to provide a seamless experience for our customers across all touchpoints, whether they’re paid, owned or earned.
  • The best way to do this and prepare for the future? Embrace new technologies through testing. Testing can be a great way to try out things like text ads, retargeting visitors from your website, targeting niche audiences in LinkedIn, mobile marketing, etc.

ROI: Measure impact by applying the science of analytics to your marketing

  • Analytics are the future of marketing. There are a finite set of KPIs. Make sure you are measuring business outcomes (not volumes) and move from the historical to the predictive.
  • The best thing about analytics? You can optimize all the time, on the fly and operate in real time to ensure you’re making smart business decisions.

So what does this mean for your marketing department? Make sure you understand your customers in real time and anticipate their needs. Where do you start?

  • Enhance
  • Extend
  • Redefine

And work with your CIO. The CIO and CMO are the power team of the future. When looking at your 2013 marketing plans, consider: are you ready with a plan for social, content and analytics? Because if not, it’s time to reconsider. For more information on marketing transformation visit IBMconnectedcustomer.com or IBM.com/smartermarketing.

The Perfect Building Products Threesome – Marketing, Sales AND Leads, Part 2

28 Nov

Part 2: The Impact Sales and Marketing Can Have When Working Together

In Part 1 of this series, I referenced a MarketingSherpa study that was, at best, discouraging to marketers. But in this post, I hope to bring you back from despair. There is a real trend happening in the B2B marketplace between Marketing and Sales and their shared resource – sales leads.

Here are three key stats from MarketingSherpa B2B Best Practices that show the impact Sales and Marketing can make when working together:

1. Companies that qualify leads, instead of sending them all to Sales, have a 30% higher return on lead generation investment.

  • Wow – read that stat again: a 30% higher ROI. That’s a number marketers and the people that control our budget would love. Remember that number.

2. Companies that use lead scoring have a 60% higher return on lead generation investment.

  • Doesn’t that just make sense? If you actually have a scoring system that is constantly being tweaked, you’ll better prepare the leads for the Sales team. The Sales team will start to value your teams’ efforts and sales will increase. Nirvana.

3. Companies that use marketing automation software, which points to a strategic lead generation approach, achieve a 96% higher return on lead generation investment.

  • These are research figures and should scare you and make you happy about the future all at the same time. If the ROI can be this high, imagine how many sales dollars have been lost. How many marketing campaigns and systems that have gone under-utilized and then ultimately un-funded.

These are 3 key points on what can happen when Sales and Marketing really work together – when they implement a marketing and sales strategy that utilizes technology to help them in the process.

The shift in technology spending is continuing and will continue. By 2017, the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO. Why? To enable sales. To score leads. To nurture leads. To help manage the funnel – the complete funnel.

So this all sounds good, but ‘it just won’t work in our company’. Ever hear that? It’s time to change the thinking inside your walls. Break down silos, create cross-function teams that help score the leads. And then when it just gets going, tweak it all again. Why? Because your competitors are getting better, faster and stronger and have created the perfect relationship between sales, marketing AND leads.

In Part 3 I’ll share some best practices based on hundreds of B2B case studies that will continue to excite you (and scare some of you).

7 Ways Building Product CMOs Increase Financial Fluency

9 Nov

Learn how increasing your marketing department’s financial capacity can make a big difference in your business.

Especially in the building products industry, it’s more important than ever to closely monitor the dollars going into your marketing efforts. It’s no longer about the next big idea and pushing out pretty creative, today’s CMO has to focus on how their programs will affect the bottom line – and be able to prove its success with data. CMO.comtook a deeper look into how CMOs can boost their financial comprehension. Here’s our take and how it relates to the building products industry:

1. Master the ROI Calculation

  • Among the many financial concepts building products marketers should adopt, Return On Investment (ROI) calculation is key.
  • It’s important to focus on business results like customer loyalty, price premiums, growth in market share, as well as ad spend, reach and engagement.

2. Hire Outside the Box

  • Look beyond your typical agency marketers’ resumes to engineers, accountants and mathematicians.
  • Marketing can be taught and these skills are invaluable to a marketing department looking to build up their financial acumen.

3. Get Serious about Data Analytics

  • Marketers need to be especially careful when analyzing data and be sure its consistent and structured.
  • The ability to take a hard look at data analysis allows CMOs to identify the best opportunities, set priorities, execute plans and gain sales.

4. Adopt Corporate Metrics

  • To make a real financial impact on the company, the CMO must understand the ins and outs of the finances of the company, especially in the building products industry when the smallest details make a big difference.
  • Get comfortable with the profit and loss, balance sheets – anything that can make you a smarter businessperson.
  • Another way to educate yourself and your team? Have senior finance leaders host lunch-and-learn sessions to review the basics.

5. Steal from Finance

  • Borrow accounting concepts to develop new marketing analytics and track marketing and sales activities.

6. Get to Know the CFO

  • A Forrester Research/Heidrick & Struggles survey found that 69% of CMOS said their relationship with the CFO was the most important in the organization. However, natural tensions exist between these two departments (especially during tough times in the building products industry), as money spent on marketing is a line on the expense report that takes away from the company’s earnings. If the CMO and CFO understand each other, they can work together to track the metrics of success.

7. Focus on Process

  • Process leads to measurable results, a must when you sit at the executive leadership table. Just like sales reps must do when selling building products, having the marketing team focus on process over marketing tools ensures you produce results for your organization.

Sources and Additional Articles