Four “New Marketing” Skills You’d Better Learn Quick

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Posted: August 21, 2012 | B2B Marketing

I am pleased to introduce our guest blogger, Matt Heinz. He brings more than 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations, vertical industries and company sizes. His career has focused on delivering measurable results for his employers and clients in the way of greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.  You can connect with Matt via email, Twitter, LinkedIn or his blog

In just the past few weeks, I’ve talked to 5-6 marketing professionals who got out of the game years ago (to have kids, to travel, to try something different) and are now ready to get back into it. Most of them don’t recognize the marketing roles they’re now facing.

B2B marketing today has changed significantly. And whether you’ve been out of it for awhile, or want to make sure your skill set keeps up with what’s required for success now and in the future, here are four skills I recommend you learn quickly.

1. Funnel math and revenue performance management

The mindset you want, even as a marketer, is that your job depends on finding and closing business. It’s not enough to manage the trade show, send the direct mail, or even flood more leads to the sales team. You need to understand the economics of the full sales funnel – how many opportunities are required to generate a closed sale, and how many leads are required to find a qualified, short-term opportunity (for starters).

Next, knowing that today’s sales process is completely non-linear, you need to understand the fundamentals of lead nurturing and two-way lead and opportunity movement, including the metrics behind these dynamics for your unique market and industry.

Here’s a relatively simple mathematical model for understanding the lead-opportunity-sale math for your company. And for revenue performance management, I recommend reading up on best practices from Marketo and others whose business focuses on revenue-centric marketing.

2. Social lead generation and buying signal mining
If you’re worried about followers and likes, you’re doing it wrong. Focus instead on engagement, conversations, and driving an active, two-way discussion about the issues, needs and pain points your target customers care about most. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Your prospects are sharing their needs and buying signals on the social web every day. Your responsibility is to listen, look proactively for mentions of those keywords and buying signals, and become an information concierge to drive top-of-pipeline lead generation for your organization.

Technology and process drive value here, not media buying and budget. The social web is the greatest source of ongoing free leads ever seen. Are you taking advantage?

Here’s a best practice guide on social sales best practices, as well as a full (and free) resource on successful social selling.

3. SEO and inbound marketing fundamentals
The rules change (literally) daily, but it’s important to understand the fundamentals of what drives natural traffic, and how to create content that drives perpetual inbound interest for your products and services. If you understand (and read) nothing else, understand that the most important drivers of successful SEO and inbound marketing are 1) great content, and 2) inbound links that demonstrate others are validating your great content.

It’s worth reading content from SEOMoz, Content Marketing Institute and others who keep up on the daily changes of the technical aspects of SEO, but educate and enable “the rest of us” on how to cut through the clutter and drive value, traffic and conversions.

4. Lead management/nurture workflow development
Even if you aren’t using a marketing automation solution, your marketing strategy should reflect the reality that the majority of your prospects don’t convert (or move forward) right away, and that most of them need “nurturing” in advance of being ready to buy.

This isn’t about buying a marketing automation system. It’s about having a strategy that addresses how your customers buy, and enabling processes and tactics throughout your organization that address and empower your prospects where they are.

No matter how tightly you manage your sales process, your prospects will decide (independent of you) when they’re ready to buy. So your lead management and nurture strategy had better reflect that.

This isn’t to say that the “old” marketing focus areas and strategies aren’t relevant or don’t work. Because many are and do. But if you don’t have a working knowledge of the above four disciplines, it’ll be difficult to be a working marketer moving forward.

Have you gotten back into the game recently? What as your experience been like?

 

Related Resources

  • Charles Besondy

    Spot on, Matt. Unfortunately there are a lot of marketers in the workforce who haven’t seen the writing on the wall yet (and aren’t reading Marketo’s blog) This puts emphasis on training. Also means the CEO has to “get it”, too, so the marketing function can transform (and invest appropriately).

    I wrote a similar post about a year ago. The Evolution from Mad Men to Marketing Geeks.
    http://funnelfanatic.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/evolution-to-marketing-geeks/

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Great stuff, Charles! The world needs more “math marketers” like you!

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Great stuff, Charles! The world needs more “math marketers” like you!

  • http://www.DigitalSalesDoctor.com/ Brock Butler, D.Sc.

    Hi Matt, May I indulge in my favorite past-time… making
    fun of marketing professionals? My
    frame-of-reference is the CEO’s revenue responsibility. (80% think marketers are clueless when it
    comes to revenue)

    First of all, I am in complete agreement that Marketers
    need to re-tool. However, I propose you
    are aiming too low. With the exception
    of social media, your suggestions would have been appropriate a decade ago -
    not today. Mass-marketing concepts such
    as lead generation and lead nurturing were being promoted ten years ago when
    marketing automation first emerged. Marketing
    adoption of these already outdated concepts and tools has been excruciatingly
    slow.

    If you missed the window on that innovation, sorry, you
    are too late. CEO’s have moved on to Revenue
    Performance Management – applying proven principles of Management Science and
    customer-oriented selling to your single integrated revenue process. “Marketing” and “Sales” has become irrelevant;
    they are simply process centers and resources in a shared enterprise operation
    with a single output – revenue.

    If you aspire to become the top revenue officer you will
    need to learn process, quality, Lean production and performance
    measurement. You will also need deep
    knowledge of customer-oriented structured selling. [You are aware that your customer moved to a
    digital SALES channel?]

    Otherwise, marketing professionals will continue the
    steady decline in their relevance to financial objectives… not a good place
    to be.

  • http://www.toboc.com/ Kenny Schwimmer

    Would like to know more on SEO optimization to help increase your business. I work for a b2b portal and here we stress on the lead we get on daily, weekly or monthly basis. I want to know if it is just SEO has more importance than any other methods or does it come last?

  • Pingback: Four “New Marketing” Skills You’d Better Learn Quick – B2B Marketing « National-Express2011

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Good question, Kenny. One of the reasons SEO is so important is that it’s an annuity of traffic and leads if you do it right. The day you stop buying paid search, for example, that traffic goes away. But if you can create content that drives more organic search traffic, that content will continue to drive new traffic & leads into the future. I’ve seen many companies decrease lead budgets while increasing lead production because of their content and SEO strategy and execution.

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Good question, Kenny. One of the reasons SEO is so important is that it’s an annuity of traffic and leads if you do it right. The day you stop buying paid search, for example, that traffic goes away. But if you can create content that drives more organic search traffic, that content will continue to drive new traffic & leads into the future. I’ve seen many companies decrease lead budgets while increasing lead production because of their content and SEO strategy and execution.

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Sorry about that, Laura. Here’s a direct link to the lead-opportunity-sale model spreadsheet: http://www.slideshare.net/heinzmarketing/lead-gen-sales-budget-model-sample

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Sorry about that, Laura. Here’s a direct link to the lead-opportunity-sale model spreadsheet: http://www.slideshare.net/heinzmarketing/lead-gen-sales-budget-model-sample

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Great points, Brock. Completely agree that marketers need to think and act like business leaders, not just marketing executioners. Fodder for another blog post methinks…

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    Great points, Brock. Completely agree that marketers need to think and act like business leaders, not just marketing executioners. Fodder for another blog post methinks…

  • http://www.toboc.com/ Kenny Schwimmer

    Hey Matt, Thanks for your reply. So mean to say SEO has become as important as another means of promotion. Any idea according to you… How long should I wait to track the ROI of my SEO efforts?

  • http://www.toboc.com/ Kenny Schwimmer

    Also Matt would like to know what if I have got just dynamic content and these are uploaded when we upload a profile.

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    You should track them right away, but assume they will grow in value over time. If you identify keywords with minimal competition, you might start ranking highly right away, but the traffic volume might be low.

    Take a quick baseline measure of your organic search traffic now (volume, % of total traffic, primary keywords driving that traffic, etc.), then measure growth in those metrics over time as you put focus on SEO and content marketing.

  • http://www.heinzmarketing.com Matt Heinz

    If it’s repetitive profile data, Google might not think it’s unique enough to rank over and over. Depends on the nature of the content. Can you post a sample?

  • http://www.toboc.com/ Kenny Schwimmer

    You can check one of my clients website. I have just started work on it and find that there many duplicated pages get generated dynamically. Do you think have so many repetitive pages will hamper my site?

  • Kenny Schwimmer

    Are they any hardcore rules for getting good inbound links. I am asking this question because I have been maintaining a blog for more than a month now and I hardly see getting any links from them. Need help

Dayna Rothman is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Marketo. She runs the Marketo content initiatives and is the managing editor of the Marketo blog. Dayna has extensive experience in content marketing, social media, marketing automation, and inbound marketing. She has an MBA from Golden Gate University and lives in Oakland, CA.

Read Dayna's Blogs

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