5 Ways for Marketers at Mid-Sized Companies to Survive (and Thrive)

Today’s author is Dennis Shiao, Director of Product Marketing at DNN. He is awesome and this research is really interesting. We are lucky to have the opportunity to have him on the Funnelholic today.

Introduction

I’m trying to channel my inner Billy Beane. No, I don’t imagine that Brad Pitt will play my role in a made-for-Hollywood true story. You see, I’m a marketer at a mid-sized software company (DNN). In Marketing, we’re like the front office of a ball club. We make moves and stay on the look-out for interesting opportunities. But like Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, we have limited resources, compared to the New York Yankees of the software world. Despite that, management expects us to contend for a championship. This means that we have expectations comparable to the Yankees, but far less resources available. You know what else? The “Moneyball” tactics employed by Billy Beane (i.e. using analytics to derive unfair gains against statistically-averse competitors) are now commonplace in Marketing. That means that “test, measure, adapt, interate” is part and parcel of being a marketer today. Beating the Yankees requires far more than that.

Marketing Got Complicated

But wait, there’s more. According to a research report commissioned by DNN, marketers at mid-sized companies are faced with an increasing degree of complexity in the tools and systems they use.

dnn, marketing, marketing technology[Download a copy of the report, “Marketing Got Complicated: Challenges (and Opportunities) for Marketers at Mid-Sized Companies.] [Read more…]

Introducing Content Scoring: The Metric That Will Revolutionize Your Marketing

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Liz O’Neill from Kapost. Couple reasons I asked a Kapost writer to write again for the Funnelholic. First, the earlier post on managing an editorial calendar was awesome and got fantastic traffic. Secondly, they announced content scoring and I think it’s an exciting breakthrough in content marketing. Oh and they have great writers. Liz is one of those great writers as you can tell by this thorough and well-written post. Enjoy.

There’s no denying the imperative role content plays in propelling buyers down the funnel. 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing and 78% of CMOs think it’s the future of the industry.

Marketers are expected to publish content that results in a constant stream of valuable leads. While innovations like lead scoring offer insight into whether marketers are hitting lead gen goals, understanding exactly why they are — and what content influenced those leads — has involved a lot of “educated guessing.” Until now.

Content scoring is a process that reveals exactly how many leads and opportunities a piece of content generates. Unlike pageviews, uniques and shares, content score applies an actual numerical value (a “content score”) to the content an organization produces based on how leads, opportunities or closed deals interacted with that content.

The result is valuable insight into the true ROI of content, enabling marketers to make informed decisions about which content assets to produce.

How Content Scoring Works

So, how does content scoring work exactly? Put simply, it works backwards from a buyer’s journey to specified conversion stage, highlighting the content that buyer digested along the way.

Let’s explore by taking a look at the journeys of two marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

content marketing, demand generation,

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Sales and Marketing Alignment: The Rumble Revisited

The Royal Revenue Rumble webinar is now on-demand on the Funnelholic! We took on a completely different format — Jason Miller moderated/refereed. Justin Gray from LeadMD represented Marketing and I represented Sales. We argued over 10 sales-marketing alignment issues. It was a blast…check it out

How to Use Kapost to Manage Your Editorial Calendar

Editor’s Note: I asked Jean Spencer of Kapost to put together a “how-to” for the content marketing automation software, Kapost. This is a very cool company based in Boulder, Colorado and is making the lives of content marketers around the world easier.

In the world of B2B marketing, content has taken center stage. Nine out of 10 B2B marketers are using content marketing and, as numerous studies explore, inbound tactics deliver promising leads into the sales funnel.

In a world where buyers screen their phone calls and research options independently of salespeople, marketers use content to attract those buyers and nurture them toward purchase, setting up sales with a pipeline of qualified leads and potential revenue. And we all agree more revenue is a good thing.

But what marketers (seemingly) can’t agree on, is what kind of tool will help them deliver results.

Less than half of B2B marketers report having a documented content strategy. But as the number of blogs, tweets, videos, and eBooks increases the deluge can be overwhelming.

You need a software that can manage your content assets, a single place that keeps track of your strategy, production, and analytics.

Say hello to, Kapost (yes, I’m biased…but, seriously, this product rocks. I use it every day. Ask me anything.). Today, I’ll show you how to use Kapost to manage your editorial calendar.

The editorial calendar is the hub for content management—and, as far as we’ve seen, it’s the most requested feature in content organizational tools.

Hopefully, by the end of all these steps, you’ll be a master of the editorial calendar (and drooling to see what else Kapost can do).

 

Step 1: Identify Your Contributors

Content marketing, editorial calendar [Read more…]

Mo Money Mo Problems: New Age Impediments to Sales and Marketing Alignment

Before you read further or prepare to leave a comment below that I have missed the core elements of sales-marketing alignment, please read my previous work here:

I am a proponent, consultant, advocate for the core elements that have to be in place for sales and marketing alignment and those posts should help you see my point of view. In other words, yes I understand that things like shared expectations and responsibility are critical, but this post is focused on what I consider recent developments in the sales-marketing cold war.

First of all, let me say that a lot of companies are really trying. The relentless blogo-sphere rantings on aligning sales-and-marketing have brought more organizations to the table. Many companies have a qualified lead definition, have shifted real revenue-generation responsibility to marketing, track their efforts, and have generally attempted to become modern revenue machines. I love it. Marketing is at the big boy table. A giant first step has been taken.

Let’s explore some of the new issues hampering alignment but before we do — please take note: I will talk further about these issues with Jason Miller from Linkedin and Justin Gray from LeadMD on an amazing webinar on February 25th at 11am. This going to be a really cool format: We are hosting a debate. I will represent sales and Justin will represent marketing. Jason will attempt to moderate us. Both sides will be represented. Be there for the fight of the century.

sales, marketing, marketing automation

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How to Use Full Circle CRM to Build Powerful Demand Generation Funnels in Salesforce

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Bonnie Crater, President and CEO of Full Circle CRM. As you might imagine, posts on funnels are a favorite of mine…Enjoy!

Funnels are great tools for understanding exactly how sales and marketing functions are working – both on their own and together.  At Full Circle CRM we believe that leveraging CRM systems (like Salesforce) is the best way to get the most accurate and complete funnel metrics across your entire demand generation organization. Salesforce tracks a ton of response information from both your sales and marketing efforts and provides some great insight into your overall demand generation health. With Full Circle CRM’s native Salesforce Marketing Performance Management application added on top of your Salesforce instance you are able to get a more complete picture of the key metrics your funnels are tracking to truly understand how your overall demand generation efforts are performing.

Let’s take dive a little deeper into how to leverage Full Circle CRM to get the most out of your demand generation funnels in Salesforce.

Step 1: Define Your KPIs

The first step of building out any report is determining what exactly you are trying to measure.  The same is true with your demand generation funnels.  KPIs can be anything from generating a particular number of MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) to having a specific amount of days it takes responses to move all the way through funnel (aka velocity) to having sales accept 50% of the leads that marketing sends over (conversion rates). These are going to be different for each company but with Full Circle CRM enhancing Salesforce’s ability to track critical performance metrics at a granular level you can easily set up reports in the standard salesforce.com reporting UI to track these across any category that is relevant to your business.

Step 2: Assess Baseline Metrics

The key metrics that we find are the most helpful to track are the volume, conversion rates, and velocity of your funnels. Volume tracks the sheer amount of responses that are being generated and is a critical metric helping you determine if you are generating enough raw leads to hit your revenue goals. Conversion rates show the quality of the responses and how effective your organization is at transitioning responses between different funnel stages or departments.  Velocity shows how quickly responses move through the funnel and is an important metrics for finding and eliminating bottlenecks in your processes.

conversion rates, demand generation

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CMO + Technology = True Love

According to Gartner, CMOs will spend more on technology than CIOs by 2017. Yes, I know many of you have heard this prediction over and over again but keep listening, because this prediction is so bold that it is hard to fathom. At least in B2B, marketers were the weak link on the executive team. They sat at the kid’s table at the party while the “adults” ate steak and patted each other on the back. Begging for money internally was about pitching a bunch of people on the executive team who had no idea what they were trying to do and hearing “no”. One of my favorites from years back was when my buddy who is a demand generation rockstar VP of Marketing was telling me that his CEO wouldn’t give him budget for anything but did feel like he should be spending his time trying to get him on Oprah. (Seriously). Boy, that has changed. The marketer has been given a checkbook.

CMO

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What is REVTalks?

The Funnelholic is a media sponsor for a new, upcoming event for marketers: REVTalks in San Francisco on January 27th, 2014.  36 great speakers. (Yes, 36). What we liked was the number of practitioners that are speaking. For me personally, practitioners means great content. (If you have ever heard Meagan Eisenberg you will know what I am talking about. She is always doing some forward-looking marketing) These are the people that have to do it not just talk about it. I asked Debbie Qaqish from Pedowitz Group 7 questions about the event which we present to you in this post. Enjoy!revenue marketing

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