Marketers Need to Adjust Their Focus

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo is CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

A New Year is upon us and provides the opportunity to look at the past year and see how far we have come in B2B demand generation.  The market is maturing as marketing’s strategic role in the enterprise is growing as demand generation is top of mind for organizations.  However, it seems that with this elevated thinking the focus is not necessarily on the right things and as a result progress has been delayed.

If you look at many of the headlines over the past year, the focus for many marketers in the last year has been that of technology.

–          Gartner states that the CMO’s technology budget will surpass that of the CIO by 2017

–          Marketing Automation continues to grow and according to Sirius Decisions will have a 50% penetration rate by 2014

–          New roles are being promoted such as the Chief Marketing Technology Officer and building structure around that office

–          Many have tied B2B marketing success to the “mastering marketing technologies”

While I am a believer in what technology can do to help enable an organization, what if the focus on the technology is the wrong focus all together?   What if there is more that an organization needs to do in order to be better prepared to develop a Lead to Revenue approach within their organization?

If the answer to improving marketing and the impact to pipeline and revenue was marketing technology we would not see the following:

–          Over 85% of marketing automation owners state they have not realized the full value of their solution – Sirius Decisions

–          71% of CEOs believe that while B2B Marketers are focused on the latest marketing technologies (such as marketing automation, lead management and CRM) supposedly to generate customer demand, they are still failing to deliver the level of incremental customer demand expected of them. – Fournasie Marketing Group

The focus for marketing organizations that want to have an impact on the business must be the development of a Demand Process℠ – creating a demand strategy and process that manages the buyer relationship through the entire life cycle and integrates qualification with digital dialogue.  This is not accomplished by implementing technologies and it is where many organizations have gone off track.

In looking at the figure below demonstrates that in order to develop a Demand Process Architecture and in so doing Engage, Nurture and Convert your buyers, that the organizational focus needs to start with the buyer, followed by the operational lead management process, marketing and sales alignment and then supported by or enabled by technology.

         DEMAND PROCESS ARCHITECTURE

demand process architecture

Organizations that jump the gun and begin with the technology often find out after some time that a one legged stool is very hard to balance.  While technology can enable, marketers need to keep their focus on developing a buyer-centric demand approach and laying down the foundational processes to support it, it is then the business outcomes will improve.

Author: Carlos Hidalgo @cahidalgo CEO and Principal, ANNUITAS

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