Who’s Quarterbacking Marketing?

With the Superbowl fresh on my mind, I can’t help but make an analogy as to how most marketing organizations are run (or not run) today.  What would happen if the Broncos didn’t have Peyton Manning to call the plays and ultimately ensure that the Broncos put points on the scoreboard?  The notion seems ludicrous doesn’t it? Yet most marketing organizations today are built in silos with no one in the quarterback role to determine the Demand Generation Strategy.

qb huddleTypically in most mid-size or enterprise organizations you have disjointed teams that run marketing, leading to a marketing organization that has multiple silos – product marketing, demand generation, field marketing, web teams each with their own Director or VP.  Add to the mix that all too often each of these departments are measured by different goals and have differing priorities.  What this means is there is no one looking out for the overarching revenue goals of marketing, much addressing the needs of the buyer.

In this Buyer 2.0 world, shouldn’t marketing organizations be built around how a buyer buys?  Who is overseeing all of this to ensure that the content strategy i.e. what is being created, written, emailed, blogged, etc. is actually what your buyers want to hear? Who is overseeing the demand generation strategy that will ensure content is placed where the buyer actually researches and shops? Even players like Wes Welker and Eric Decker, as talented as they are, need their quarterback to call and orchestrate game-winning plays. Isn’t the same true for marketing?

Rather than relying on an organization that has multiple silos, marketing needs to be organized to function as one unit and have an individual responsible for creating perpetual demand and maximizing customer lifetime value. This is the role that makes sure the people, content, process and technology are all enabled for maximum results. Keep reading for more detail:

  • Buyer Insights – Developing the critical insights into what drives your buyer enables you to not educate and qualify them throughout their journey, but it is the cornerstone for all the messaging, content, and ongoing engagements. Keep in mind also, that a B2B buyer is not one person, it is a team of people all with their own perspective.
  • Strategy – According to Content Marketing Institute, only 44% of organizations have a defined Content Marketing Strategy.  Often overlooked as part of the Demand Strategy, the right content architecture will make or break your Demand Generation success.  A content strategy needs to leverage the buyer insights, buyer preferences and relevance.  It all goes back to the buyer insights.  A content strategy isn’t deciding what piece of content to use and when. It’s creating and then leveraging the right content, at the right time to Engage, Nurture and eventually, Convert  your buyers  to revenue.
  •  Technology solutions – An essential part of any Demand Strategy includes the right technologies to maximize effectiveness of the marketing strategy. This includes marketing automation, CRM, content management solutions, webinar platforms, social media platforms and others. Technology is not the solution – however it enables your demand strategy and should be managed and governed wisely as part of the cohesive strategy.
  • People Often the biggest challenge is how to maximize personnel to drive the best results. It comes down to ensuring the right skill set is in place and understanding transformation does not happen without change management. A team needs to be cohesive, each individual plays an important part in an organization but all players need to drive their individual objectives in order to meet the organizational i.e. team objectives. It’s really all or nothing . . . Who cares about second place or almost attaining your revenue goals.

It all comes back to the need for a good QB, i.e, the marketing leader, to drive a buyer-centric Demand Process strategy. Without one, there isn’t anyone there to make things happen. To drive perpetual revenue, an organization needs a Demand Generation Strategy, driven by the QB.

Author: Jennifer Harmel, @JenniferHarmel2, VP Strategy, ANNUITAS

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