It’s no longer enough for a CMO to create “clever taglines” or choose “color palettes” – in 2014, the CMO must be a master of technology. Today’s CMOs are held accountable for revenue generation, which requires a more systematic approach to market engagement, and a deeper understanding of technology.
According to a study from MarketingSherpa, here are the top priorities of today’s CMOs:
- Achieving or increasing measurable marketing ROI
- Optimizing the sales funnel
- Gaining greater insight into our audience
- Implementing lead tracking
- Demonstrating marketing contribution to revenue
- Improving database hygiene
To boot, a report from the CMO Council recently found that sales and marketing organizations are failing at customer intelligence, which happens to be the foundation of maintaining a strong funnel and driving revenue.
So if you’re still working on a New Year’s Resolution for 2014, here’s our suggestion: Turn over a new leaf, work out your key technology core, and get started on your marketing technology six-pack. Here’s how:
The Marketing Technology Six-Pack
The technology six-pack enhances effectiveness through each stage of the customer lifecycle. With a well-defined set of muscles, decision makers will increase conversions, improve customer engagement, and drive more revenue.
1. MARKETING AUTOMATION
Goal: Automate and scale your marketing strategies.
Tech Solution: Marketing automation
Shine a laser on the prospects who are most likely to buy your product, and give up on the batch-and-blast emails. A marketing automation platform is the key technology behind marketing practices like lead generation, segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, relationship marketing, cross-sell and upsell, retention, and marketing metrics. In short, marketing automation enables you to succeed with every other technology on this list.
Did You Know? Direct Marketing News reports that only 17% of marketers are updating data in real time.
Recommended Solution: Marketo
2. LEAD DATA / INTELLIGENCE
Goal: Enrich lead data to score and route faster
Tech Solution: Lead intelligence
Know your customers and become intimate with their business needs before the initial contact. You’ll need to “talk the talk” before your customer raises her hand. Lead intelligence platforms provide marketing and sales people with the data, insight and connections they need to improve results at each stage of the sales funnel. Reduce your number of form fields to increase conversion rates, and enrich leads to score and route faster. Monitor your customer’s business, career, social likes, and other public clues.
Did You Know? According to Direct Marketing News, only 3% of CMOs are confident in their salespeople’s ability to source customer data independently.
3. SALES ENABLEMENT
Goal: Empower your sales team with consistent messaging.
Tech Solution: Sales enablement
Integrating a sales program and consistent marketing messaging can only improve sales productivity. A sales enablement platform provides on-demand communications and collateral to match any sales situation and keep context top-of-mind.
Did You Know? According to KnowledgeTree, a typical sales team can waste up to 4000 hours per year looking for useful collateral to share with customers.
4. CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Goal: Understand how customers use your products.
Tech Solution: Customer experience tracking
Within any organization, you’ll need to know the types of people who will leverage your product, as well as how. Ask yourself: “Is my customer’s business better after working with my company and using my product?” Customer experience tracking platforms allow you to target customers who are receiving value and even reveal product features that need fine-tuning. It’s all about maximizing customer success and fighting churn.
Did You Know? Econsultancy reports that only 26% of companies have a well-developed strategy in place for improving the customer experience.
5. SOCIAL MARKETING
Goal: Maintain your brand
Tech Solution: Social media monitoring
Social quickly became the most accessible touchpoint within the spectrum of customer interaction. It’s like a two-way mirror that allows you to gain a complete picture of your customer and promote your brand in response. Use a social media monitoring platforms to manage consistent branding on all of your social profiles (read: brand management), engage with influencers, provide customer support, and track conversations.
Did You Know? Only 19% of companies run a CRM that integrates with marketing automation or social media analytics, according to Direct Marketing News.
6. CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT
Goal: Build loyalty and utilize customer advocacy
Tech Solution: Customer advocacy platform
B2B buyers are acting more and more like B2C buyers. So what? According to Influitive, 47% of all referrals to tech B2B websites begin with a product review. That means customer reviews, ratings and references are key pieces in the research and purchase process. It also means that marketers and salespeople need to take ownership of the feedback loop, working to improve product features and customer messaging. An advocacy marketing platform will help your team manage that feedback loop.
Did You Know? A dissatisfied customer will tell between nine and 15 people about their experience, but around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people, according to Client Heartbeat.
A Six-Pack Isn’t Overrated
Many proactive marketing departments have realized that the list is easy to tackle once the right solutions have been implemented. Creating a fit funnel is foundational. Simply improving the lead quality at the top will generate better ROI at the bottom. The marketing technology landscape is ever-expansive, but at the end of the day, developing this six-pack will keep your team flexible and fit.
Want to learn more about pumping up your sales funnel? Join us on Wednesday for a joint webinar with Hootsuite, InsideView, and Marketo: A Fitter Funnel in 2014: Streamline and Accelerate Your Lead-to-Revenue Model.