OK, I struggled to write what I consider to be my usual “witty” header with this one. I did, however, get a chance to look up what a manticore is. According to Dictionary.com, a manticore is:
a legendary monster with a man’s head, horns, a lion’s body, and the tail of a dragon or, sometimes, a scorpion
Whatever that means. Still, I’m not sure why that hasn’t been the name of a movie.
Anyway, anyone who reads my blog knows that I am basically a mouthpiece for the lead nurturing and lead management movement. There are a lot of players out there and Manticore Technology Inc. is one of the best. This interview is with Christopher Doran, vice president of marketing at Manticore. He has helped not only Manticore but the entire space in his role as a thought leader. Doran is responsible for all marketing and business development efforts for Manticore including brand management, corporate communications, strategic partnerships and execution of marketing programs for demand generation.
Previously he worked in product marketing at AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) Inc., a leading provider of next-generation computing and graphics solutions. At AMD he spearheaded several strategic initiatives and product launches that contributed over $600 million to AMD’s top line.
You’ll learn a ton from what he has to say. Check out Manticore’s blog to stay informed going forward.
1. What are the three trends you see emerging in 2009?
With the U.S. economy now officially in a recession, we can expect to see marketers getting back to basics while using technology to increase effectiveness and efficiency while saving money. Trends to watch start with reduced spending on pure top-of-funnel lead generation. Budgets are being cut so expect to spend less on pure top-of-funnel activities.
This leads me to my second trend: increased reliance on existing leads in the company’s database. Remember all those tradeshow cards that are sitting on your desk, or those sitting idly in your CRM database? They have tremendous value. Smart companies will re-engage these leads, nurturing them until they’re ready to buy.
The third trend will be increased use of automation. How do you engage these stale leads? How do you accomplish more with fewer resources? The answer is automation. I expect to see continued rapid adoption of demand generation/marketing automation solutions.
2. What are the biggest challenges for 2009?
Marketers will be expected to do more with less. With budgets being cut marketers will need to execute programs that add direct value to the sales pipeline. Therefore accurate metrics are critical. If you can successfully link marketing spend to revenue generation then marketing is inexorably linked to revenue growth. Which CEO is going to say cut that marketing program if it will undoubtedly cut revenue?
3. What are three metrics that B2B marketers should care about and why?
I’m passionate about Cost/MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead). This is the budget I need to spend to acquire a lead that is in my target market and has a timeline.
From there I look at the ratio of MQL to closed deals; in other words how many MQLs do I need to generate to close a deal. With these numbers I know that if I spend x dollars to generate MQLs then I will generate y dollars in revenue.
Finally, the old standby ROI (return on investment) is critical. I look at this from a program level and then roll it up to types of programs and my overall budget. At the program level you can slash under-performing programs and reallocate to top performers to get the most out of your budget.
4. What are the top oversights marketers are making regarding lead generation?
I think marketers have a tendency to focus too much on the top of the funnel as well as on metrics that don’t really matter. B2B marketers need to focus on impact to the bottom line — this includes looking at how marketing can help at all stages of the pipeline.
5. What will you prescribe to marketers to carry out effective lead generation?
Develop a framework to track the effectiveness of marketing on your business and track the heck out of everything. Implement a set of tools to track these metrics.
6. What three Web 2.0 applications, cutting-edge technologies or lead generation sources do marketers HAVE to consider to be successful?
The idea of outsourcing top parts of your lead generation to a company like Tippit is incredibly powerful. It allows you to turn your lead generation into a scalable variable cost. Once I can link these outsourced programs to revenue generation, I have a powerful model for rapid expansion.
A lead nurturing/marketing automation platform is critical. Sales and marketing can nurture leads through automation so that when they are ready to buy your company is on top. It allows you to drastically improve productivity without adding head count.
7. What do you hope for in B2B sales and marketing for the new year?
I hope for peace between sales and marketing.