CMO confession #1: Who cares about MQLs?

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30-second summary: For marketers, setting your sights on opportunities, pipeline and revenue ensures better alignment with your revenue team peers in sales and customer success. That shifts us away from MQLs, which are still the lifeblood of many marketing teams. MQLs typically require a hand raise or website form fill in order to provide enough information to qualify the lead. MQLs keep marketers stuck thinking about leads or contacts, not buying teams. This creates a split between sales and marketing and is a missed opportunity for marketing to surround and engage all the buying team’s members to build REAL pipeline. With an ABM platform measuring account engagement, we get a clearer picture of who’s ready to buy and then can send them the most tightly-honed campaigns to move leads into our pipeline and beat our goals. I was recently asked to participate in a webinar called “True Confessions of a CMO,” and the topic was MQLs. Well, here’s my true confession: I’ve never cared about MQLs . It’s not that I don’t care about MQLs because I’m some kind of marketing genius. Honestly, it was quite the opposite: I stepped into a marketing role from sales, and because MQLs never did anything for us in sales, I just fundamentally didn’t get the hype around them. But not caring about MQLs has proven to be a huge advantage for me as a CMO. I’ve always wired my marketing teams to look at the revenue plan and then convert it into pipeline targets. This requires knowing things like cycle time, win rates and average deal size in order to build “pipeline quotas.” For marketers, setting your sights on opportunities, pipeline and revenue ensures better alignment with your revenue team peers in sales and customer success. That shifts us away from MQLs, which are still the lifeblood of many marketing teams. While MQLs can still be a possible leading indicator, they’re fraught with issues: The 3 scenarios of MQLs A good portion of the B2B buying journey happens in the dark. What I mean is most B2B buyers tend to remain anonymous — preferring to do their own research — until very late in the sales cycle. MQLs typically require a hand raise or website form fill in order to provide enough information to qualify the lead. This creates three likely scenarios: Scenario 1 Buyers from target accounts don’t fill out our form …

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True confessions of a CMO, part 3: Marketing sourced pipeline is bogus

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30-second summary: Too often we self-silo because it’s hard to control and attribute the breadth of potential revenue-generating sources back to each and every activity. But if you want to survive, it’s the job. The ultimate goal for marketing, sales and your entire organization is to achieve predictable revenue growth. Now, with an AI-driven account engagement platform, we have the means to measure our effectiveness, not for attribution credit or as a goal in and of itself, but as a way to optimize our campaigns and budget to maximize predictable outcomes. It’s much easier to predict revenue from a campaign aimed at a small segment of highly targeted accounts than it is from 1,000 leads who filled out your contact us form. Look at account engagement as a critical measurement for your account based segments with respect to timing, specifically how to identify and pursue “in market” accounts. Start with …

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Terminus co-founder explains why ABM is a B2B strategy, not a tool

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30-second summary: Terminus is an award-winning account-based marketing (ABM) platform aimed at helping B2B marketers reach target accounts more efficiently and effectively. The platform, self-described as “all-in-one account-based marketing software” combines first and third-party data to help B2B companies target in-market accounts, manage audiences, and orchestrate marketing campaigns. With ABM, the goal isn’t to obtain more leads, but to be smarter about targeting the right prospects and nurturing those prospects throughout the sales funnel. Terminus developed a TEAM framework that includes five elements—target, engage, activate and measure (TEAM) which looks at ABM as a B2B strategy, not a tool. In 2018, Terminus acquired a company called Brightfunnel, a tool that measures marketing’s impact throughout the sales funnel. Meaningful ABM metrics are focused on business outcomes—improved acquisition, speeding up pipeline velocity, and expansion of existing accounts. Founded in 2014, by Eric Spett, Eric Vass, and Sangram Vajre, Terminus is a key …

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Four steps to ABM fueled targeting for B2B marketers

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30-second summary: Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B growth strategy that emphasizes targeting high-quality accounts by creating audience segments and maintaining an account-based funnel. Successful implementation of ABM requires that your marketing and sales teams are coordinated and that both teams approach ABM together. There are four accessible steps that companies can take to switch from traditional leads-based marketing to an ABM. These steps include: understanding the importance of high-value accounts, aligning marketing and sales teams, measuring and tracking what’s important, and investing in the right tools. Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B growth strategy that emphasizes targeting high-quality accounts over generating large quantities of leads. While an ABM approach may include both leads-based and accounts-based funnels, the emphasis with ABM is not on maintaining a high volume of leads, but on focusing your resources on fewer, more qualified, and higher-value prospects. Companies that are successful at implementing ABM tend …

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ABM approach leads to 9 straight quarters of growth for Phononic

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30-second summary: Phononic is a technology startup that manufactures a solid-state chip used in cooling and heating technology. One of the first challenges Phononic faced with regards to marketing their technology was in proving the commercial viability of their products. To address this challenge, Phononic adopted an ABM approach which is well suited to their target buying groups which are typically comprised of 3-4 people and have long deal cycles. The Terminus ABM platform enabled Phononic to reach the new verticals they wanted to market to even though they had no historical access to relevant contacts in their sales database. When creating campaigns at Phononic, Englebretson developed a methodology that enfranchised sales and other departments in the campaign design process. The ABM approach has been very successful for Phononics. They’ve had nine consecutive quarters of growth, taken 26% of the share in the market over the course of their ABM …

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Live events may remain digital for the long term — words of wisdom from Certain’s CEO

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30-second summary: Certain, Inc. is an event automation and management platform headquartered in San Francisco whose clients include Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. Their focus is with companies that have over a billion dollars in revenue primarily within technology, financial services, and health care. We spoke with Certain’s CEO, Peter Micciche, to learn about their technology and how they’re working with customers to navigate the fundamental shifts in the event industry as a result of COVID-19. Certain’s customers have had to scramble to replace live events that they had scheduled and move them to their platform to deploy virtually. Micciche recommends that marketers stop thinking in terms of running large conferences virtually, but take larger conferences and carve them into many slices aimed at specific segments of buyers. Micciche predicts that marketers will see increased capabilities from event technology providers that make it much more conducive to being immersed in a …

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Email Marketing Consulting

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A question: Do you know anyone who doesn’t have an email? Highly unlikely, right? After all, it’s mandatory to get an email address for all kinds of things – from opening a bank account to signing up for social media platforms to booking flights online. And that’s not it! Nearly 3.93 billion users have email addresses, out of which the clients you’re trying to target or retain already have active email addresses. What makes it even better is that most people don’t mind signing up for a product/service demo or a lead magnet in exchange for their email addresses. In short, you get a direct connection to your lead, where you can leverage your offerings and boost your chances of landing a sale. Let’s take a look at some email stats while we’re at it: Nearly 99% of consumers check their emails daily. 73% of millennials prefer receiving business communication …

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7 enterprise level providers of AI-enabled marketing solutions

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30-second summary: We provide seven examples of enterprise-level providers of AI-enabled marketing solutions as well as case studies for each. Each of these companies are leaders in their respective category, with B2B and B2C organizations each benefiting from their AI-enabled solutions. This list is not inclusive of every enterprise-level provider, but is meant to give mid-to-enterprise-level organizations an sense of the best-in-class tools that exist in the market today, and how organizations are using them to improve their marketing, sales, and customer experience initiatives. As part of our ongoing coverage of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing, we’ve compiled a list of ten enterprise-level providers of technology solutions that utilize AI in some capacity. This list covers key categories within the martech space including digital asset management, marketing and sales enablement, customer experience/engagement, and account-based marketing. This list is not – by any stretch of the imagination – comprehensive in terms …

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The B2B content that can help your sales team close

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30-second summary: The driving force behind many B2B marketing initiatives is content creation, but all content is not equal. Some content types are better for closing the deal than others. Tying content to specific stages of the buying cycle has been shown to increase b2B buyer engagement and lead to more deals. B2B buying groups spend most of their time researching new solutions independently. They use content to help facilitate this process. By creating content that matches different needs on the buying cycle, B2B marketers can help guide buyers in their increasingly self-guided buying process. Marketers who understand the job inherent in the buying funnel are in a better position to create content that helps buyers complete them. B2B marketing teams are juggling a million balls, with responsibilities that include driving demand gen and awareness through outbound marketing, creating compelling messaging for their company’s unique audience (not to mention defining …

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Adwords Consulting

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Google AdWords can be both exciting and terrifying. If you get it right, AdWords could totally transform your business by driving high traffic , generating more leads and revenue, and boosting sales. But if you get it wrong, you‘ll end up spending thousands of dollars and get absolutely nothing in return. Let’s consider the following statistics: Google ads produce 3.5 billion interactions every day. Advertisers can expect around 700% return on investment for all their efforts. 90% of consumers say that ads influence their purchase decisions. 66% of shoppers prefer shopping online rather than from malls or stores. However, the tantalizing world of advertisements isn’t as straightforward as it seems. You see, neither the promises nor problems that come with Google AdWords can fully describe the dynamic mechanism of a marketing platform and how it works. Additionally, you may not have the time or may not be able to give …

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How would an SEO agency be built today? Part 2: Current business model(s)

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There are about 36,000 digital marketing agencies worldwide, based on our research on platforms like UpCity, Clutch, and our trials and users. Out of these, about 60% have SEO services integrated into their main activities. New agencies keep appearing, even in the current challenging context — more than 200 were created so far in 2020. With this in mind, our team at SEOmonitor designed a strategic experiment in three parts, starting from the question — How would you build an SEO agency in 2020? In the first part , we’ve explored trends, based on search data, and Gartner’s Hype Cycle to understand what’s transient and what’s here to stay, whether or not accelerated by the pandemic. In this second part, we’re looking at the status quo of SEO agencies and their current business models, introducing another strategic lens to guide our research: Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas or BMC. A …

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