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Verticurl whitepaper on Demand Center top mistakes


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Verticurl Whitepaper - Top mistakes to avoid when building a Demand Center.

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Verticurl whitepaper on Demand Center top mistakes

  2. 2. For many B2B organizations, building a demand center is a no-brainer. Learn how to ensure you’re successful by avoiding these top mistakes. Top Mistakes to Avoid WhenFor CHEP USA, Preparation is Key to Effective Pallet Managementwhitepaper… and Marketing Automation Center Building a Demand Introduction Did You Know? The world of B2B marketing has changed dramatically in the last Prospects complete 60% of their research few years. To start, the sales process is no longer what it used to be. and evaluation before they even want to Prospects are in more control of the sale than ever before. In fact, talk with a sales rep. according to a recent Marketing Leadership Council survey, prospects (Marketing Leadership Council) are completing 60% of their research and evaluation before they want to talk to a sales rep. Plus, the average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision-makers getting involved in the process (Sirius Decisions). In addition, new technologies and channels have been introduced, such as marketing automation and social media, which has required a new set of skills. This has presented a big challenge for many organizations. According to Eloqua’s 2012 Marketing Skills Gap study, 75% of marketers say their lack of skills is impacting revenue in some way, and 74% say it’s contributing to misalignment between the marketing and sales teams. Meanwhile, the C-Suite has put greater pressure on marketing to produce bottom-line results. According to a recent study from DemandGen Report, 50% of respondents said that their marketing departments are responsible for meeting a revenue goal. Fluffy metrics like awareness and impressions are no longer acceptable. For these reasons, more and more companies are turning to the demand center model. A demand center acts as a hub for an organization’s marketing services, technologies and processes. Simply put, it provides a more cost-effective and efficient way to manage all the various demand generation activities, including social media, telemarketing, data management, lead nurturing, lead scoring, CRM integration, closed-loop reporting and more. For many marketers, a demand center is a no-brainer. But when it comes to building your demand center, it can get a little tricky. In this whitepaper, we will discuss the top eight mistakes when building a demand center and how to avoid them. 404.891.1515
  3. 3. whitepaper Did You Know? Mistake #1: Companies who had automation with You think technology will solve your problems. defined processes saw a 416% increase in Today’s marketing technology vendors promise a lot – an easy way to generate closed deals when compared to companies leads and grow revenues. That’s why it’s often at the heart of any demand center without process. process. But technology alone will not make you more successful – it’s how you (Sirius Decisions) use technology that will determine success. In order to maximize your technology investment, you need strong strategies, processes and the right resources. Case in point: In a December 2010 blog post, Jonathan Block of Sirius Decisions detailed research that compared companies who had automation with weak or no process versus those who had automation with process. The increase in value to those companies with process versus those who had none are staggering: A 366% increase in sales accepted leads A 416% increase in closed deals $570,000 in more revenue (based on an average selling price of $150,000) Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you have technology, you will be more successful. It takes unique skill sets and expertise to generate a return on your technology investment. Quick Tip Mistake #2: Before you begin to build your demand You think building your demand center will take just a center, set expectations internally that the couple months. job is never really done - you will need It’s the same for almost every company – once they realize they need a to continously monitor and improve your demand center, they want it yesterday. Then, it becomes just another task demand center processes over time. on the marketer’s to-do list. The reality is that not only does it take time to build an effective demand center, but the job is never really done. You should be constantly measuring, monitoring and tweaking the performance of your demand generation effots. When you start building your demand center, make sure everyone internally understands that it will take time to implement the technologies, processes and programs to generate results. You should also realize that a demand center is never really complete. It will need to constantly evolve based on various scenarios - new market strategies, competitors, and buying habits are just a few reasons. 404.891.1515
  4. 4. whitepaper Mistake #3: Quick Tip Your agency tells you they do demand gen. A true demand generation agency has And you believe them. experience in technology, strategies and Whether it’s a creative agency, search marketing agency or digital ad agency, processes that drive revenue. they’ll all want to earn as much of your business as possible. So they’ll tell you they can do everything you need in a demand center. As a result, they’ll be learning new skills and technologies on your dime. You’ll probably end up having a lot of mistakes, and fail to see the business results you set out to accomplish. A true demand generation agency has experience in technology, strategies and processes that drive revenue. Their core services will include things like segmentation, analytics, tele-services, data services, nurturing campaign development, technology implementation, etc. These services are aligned to generate more leads that result in closed sales. If you’re talking to an agency that claims to do demand gen, ask them to share some of the results they’ve generated for their clients. And ask them how they did it. Don’t be fooled by flaky marketing data (impressions, open rates, etc.) – if they’re a true demand gen agency they’ll be able to discuss metrics like first call success rates, MQL to SAL conversion rates, ROI and more. Mistake #4: Did You Know? You have no process for managing your data 79% of CMOs feel unprepared to manage According to the 2011 IBM CMO study, 79% of CMOs feel unprepared to the changes in marketing - and data was manage the changes in marketing – and data was one of the top 5 areas of one of the top 5 areas of unpreparedness. unpreparedness. In today’s digital world, data is the key to building successful (2011 IBM CMO Study) demand gen programs. But data management is not an easy task, which may be the reason why marketers often ignore it. In fact, a recent study from DataXu, Inc, showed that 58% of respondents said they lacked the skills and technology to perform data analytics. Quality data can help you build more targeted campaigns, which will yield greater results. It will give you more accurate insights into the quality of leads you’re generating. And it will ensure that your sales team gets the right intelligence to help in the sales process. When you build your demand center, make sure you build in processes to manage your data. Consider using tele-services to help build and/or append your existing database. If you’re capturing leads through online forms, consider progressive profiling techniques, as well as data appending services to fill in any missing information on your prospects. 404.891.1515
  5. 5. whitepaper Mistake #5: Did You Know? You only use your marketing automation system for Only 25% of companies with marketing sending out emails. automation use their system to its full According to Focus Research, only 25% of companies with marketing automation potential. are using their system to its full potential. If all you’re doing is sending out email [Focus Research] blasts to your database, you’re missing the mark when it comes to demand generation. Email is only one component to marketing automation. In order to build a truly successful demand center, it’s important to leverage all the capabilities that automation technology offers. Not sure where to get started? Try a simple scoring model. This will allow you to measure the level of engagement among your prospect database. If you start simple, you can evolve over time. Another place to start is to send lead data to your sales team – if you’re not ready for the CRM integration, you can start by sending email notifications based on behavior (for example, when a lead visits your website or downloads a whitepaper). If you are going to focus on emails, try building an automated nurturing campaign based on leads that come in from your website. The more you use your system, the more value you will get out of it. Mistake #6: Did You Know? You think you can build your demand center internally - 46% of CMOs cited a lack of skills as an even though no one on your team has experience. obstacle to implementing new strategies. Building an internal demand center is not necessarily a bad move – but it’s (2011 IBM CMO Study) important to be realistic about the skills you have in-house. According to the 2011 IBM CMO study, 46% of CMOs cited a lack of skills as an obstacle to implementing new strategies. A demand center requires several unique capabilities, such as data management, analytics, content development, knowledge of technologies, marketing & sales operations, etc. If you do decide to build internally with inexperienced staff, keep in mind that your time to ROI may be delayed – and it’s likely you’ll incur some costly mistakes if your team “learns on the job.” Outsourcing your demand center offers many benefits. First, you’re likely to achieve success faster because an agency already has the expertise and skills you need. You’ll also benefit from their knowledge of best practices in technology implementation, lead management strategies, tele-marketing, data management, and more. If expertise isn’t your problem, you may be facing bandwidth issues – an outsourced demand center can augment your already stretched resources. Plus, it may be more cost-effective than hiring new talent, and will allow you to scale up or down as needed. 404.891.1515
  6. 6. whitepaper Mistake #7: Quick Tip You start by building an overly complex program. Start simple - you can measure what When a lot of companies get started with lead nurturing and marketing you do, analyze the results and evolve automation, they are excited about all the possibilities that are available. over time. They start mapping out complex “if this, then that” scenarios. They develop complex lead scoring models when they don’t even know what combination of demographics, firmographics and behavior constitute a qualified lead. They come up with 20 different segment audiences and need nurturing tracks for each. As a result, they either get so overwhelmed they don’t know where to start. Or, they implement these complex programs, realize they got it wrong, and need to overhaul the entire thing. When you’re first getting started, it’s important to start simple. Measure what you do, analyze the results and then evolve over time. This will allow you to achieve some early success and build momentum. If you start out too complex, you’re likely to fail; and therefore, won’t get the buy-in you need from your internal stakeholders (C-suite, sales, etc.). Not sure where to begin? Identify some quick wins. For example, maybe an automated email to website inquiries will improve efficiency and help drive demand. Or, if you’re already doing webinars, you can start by building programs to promote your webinar, and follow up with prospects that registered and attended. Mistake #8: Did You Know? You measure your success by activity. 69% of marketers cite the pressure Today, marketers are being tasked with proving their value to the company’s to justify spend as the reason for bottom line. In a recent DemandGen Report study, marketers cited the following an increased focus on marketing reasons for an increased focus on marketing measurement: measurement. (DemandGen Report) Pressure to justify spend (69%) Sales team looking for more leads (58%) Need for deeper intelligence into customer segments (45%) Management’s push for better pipeline visibility (65%) A demand center should be more than just a flurry of marketing activity. A demand center should be about Revenue Performance Management. Make sure you leverage closed-loop reporting to measure results such as MQL to SAL conversion rates, sales cycle time, cost per lead, campaign ROI and more. 404.891.1515
  7. 7. whitepaper Conclusion B2B marketing is rapidly advancing. While the sales cycle has become more complex, there are more tools available today for marketers to manage and measure their impact on revenue. But with all these advances, it’s easy for an organization’s marketing efforts to quickly become disjointed. This is where the benefits of a demand center are clear – more efficient, effective and scalable processes. Not to mention the business benefits of higher sales conversions, lower costs and greater ROI. But building a demand center requires specific skills and expertise. And many organizations aren’t sure where to start. By avoiding the eight mistakes listed in this whitepaper, companies will be more successful in building and implementing their demand center. Contact Us Today 404.891.1515 About Verticurl Verticurl is a demand generation consulting firm, helping companies worldwide improve processes, drive leads and grow revenues. A Gold Certified Eloqua partner, Verticurl works closely with clients to get up and running quickly to maximize the benefits of marketing automation. With extensive expertise in marketing, segmentation and analytics, campaign planning and management, our consultants work with clients to build strategic demand centers that drive growth. Founded in 2005, the consulting firm works with organizations ranging from small regional businesses to global multi-national corporations to implement and integrate their marketing automation vision. The company is based in Singapore with offices in North America, APAC and EMEA. For more information, visit 404.891.1515