A Call for Marketing Enablement

ANNUITAS recently published a B2B Enterprise Demand Generation Survey. The study was focused on companies that had revenues above $250 million to gain an understanding of  their unique approach to Demand Generation.

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Among the many insights that came from the study, there were two in particular that stood out from the others in terms of the ability for B2B marketers to perform at a high level within their roles.

  • When asked “How Effective Are Your Demand Generation Programs at Achieving Your Primary Goals”? Only 2.8% said effective
  • When asked the “Rate the skill set of the marketing personnel in terms of executing their Demand Generation Strategy”, only 7.5% stated their teams were highly skilled while 55.7% rated themselves as unskilled.

This is an issue that must be addressed given that according to Forrester, 96% of CMOs have stated that their departments are being asked to do things it has never been asked to do before. If organizations are expecting more from marketing (demand generation being one of the biggest asks) and yet programs are ineffective because more than half are unskilled to do their jobs, then marketing enablement must come quickly!

Imagine if these were responses from a sales organization survey? One out of two reps saying they are unskilled and only 2.8% of reps saying they were effective? This would never be tolerated and swift action would be taken in the form of sales training, finding skilled resources to replace the ineffective ones (this is not so easy in marketing) and money would be spent on sales training to ensure that sales had what they needed in order to be successful.

So why is this not the case when it comes to marketing?  Why is there no Marketing Enablement function to ensure that marketing has the right skills, knowledge and resources to do their jobs?

Consider that according to CEB, that 57% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they ever speak to a sales representative. With this being that case, how important is marketing when it comes to ensuring the right content is developed and aligned to that 57%?  The paradigm has shifted, marketing needs to be able to account for that 57% and the majority of them have stated that they do not know how to do this effectively and do not possess the skills to change it.

As we head into 2015, many organizations are in the throes of planning and defining their budgets. Rather then spending money on the creation of new content, more tactics and more head count, CMOs need to consider spending more on enabling their marketing teams to do the jobs they are required to do. Marketing is now a strategic department for any B2B enterprise organization and to not spend the money on enablement will only hamstring those who are trying – many in vain – to drive more value from their efforts.

In order to win in today’s rapidly changing market, there needs to be Marketing Enablement.

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

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