Sureshot attended the first annual B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange (B2BSMX) in Boston this past August, along with over a thousand other B2B marketing professionals from all over the nation. Featuring six keynote speakers and more than 50 breakout sessions, we hit the ground running ready to glean the latest insights on account based marketing (ABM), demand generation and sales enablement. Now that we’ve done the legwork, you can sit back, relax and read our favorite quotes and key takeaways.
Key Takeaway 1: ABM Is Everything
If you aren’t currently executing an ABM strategy, stop everything, right now, and make ABM your highest priority. As the undisputed champion of consistent revenue generation, sales and marketing teams can no longer afford to leave ABM on the to-do list. As you are likely aware, ABM is all about capturing the hearts and wallets of the 20 percent of customers who typically produce 80 percent of your company’s revenue. To get your ABM affairs in order post haste, you must profile these buyers and build segmented lists around them. Then, craft highly targeted messages that feel so deeply personal these customers will think you hang on their every word and they’ll relish the attention. If you need a rock-solid primer on how you can develop a better ABM strategy, check out our blogs: 3 Steps to Becoming an ABM Rockstar Part 1 and Part 2.
Quote #1: “It’s very easy for us to think we live in this mass-market world, but we don’t. We live in a micro-market world.”
~ Seth Godin, Author, Speaker, Marketing Prophet and Guru
Key Takeaway 2: You Must Be Buyer Focused to Create Relevant Content
B2B decisions are not made by individuals per se, but by teams of individuals. To make things even more interesting, everyone has a different motivation for choosing to buy or not buy. It’s not okay to send everyone on the buying team the same message. You need to be able to send each person in the mix a version of your content that makes a compelling argument for why your particular solution meets their particular need. Yes, you can recycle some content in order to keep messaging scalable, but it is imperative that you think about the different reasons a CMO and CFO have for saying yes to your pitch, and then address those reasons in the marketing pieces you send. For a few timely insights on how you can whip your content into shape, check out our blog series 3 Marketing Strategies That Deliver – Part Three – Content Marketing.
Quote #2: “Eighty percent of companies spend more than 70 percent of their Marketing budget on demand generation messaging and content. The remainder is allocated to customer retention and expansion programs. Here’s the problem with that ratio. For most companies, existing customers represent at least 70 percent of your revenue.”
~ Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Research Officer of Corporate Visions
Key Takeaway 3: Optimizing Marketing Operations Means Optimizing Your Tech Stack
Harnessing the full power of a martech stack is still a dream that few marketers have been able to realize. A few of the key problems marketing operations teams (MOPS) are experiencing and their solutions include:
- Problem: Poor integrations that lead to copious amounts of manual-step workarounds — just to make things function at a barely acceptable level
Solution: Invest in an integrations platform that is proven to reduce manual steps.
- Problem: Over-investment in tech that either is too complex to use or doesn’t work in the way MOPS teams were told/sold
Solution: Make certain you have your objectives for the year written down. Do not allow yourself to purchase any martech – regardless of how shiny the object is – until you can align its capabilities with your marketing objectives. Whatever martech you purchase, create a step-by-step adoption plan for it that includes cross-training so everyone in MOPS can confidently use it.
Luckily for you, Sureshot wrote a fast-reading and handy Guide to Optimizing Marketing Operations.
Quote #3: “Marketers have been bingeing on martech for years now, but only 5 percent of the functionality is being used.”
~ Keith Sullivan, Senior Director of Marketing Ops & Technology at Software AG
Key Takeaway 4: The New Rules for Marketing Technology and Operations Are Simple, But Powerful
Keynote speaker and author of the famous Marketing Technology Landscape supergraphic, Scott Brinker, gave an inspiring and challenging perspective on what MOPS must do in order to remain competitive. Here are the five new rules he shared:
- Centralize everything you can.
Among the items Brinker suggests centralizing are: Content libraries and brand approved templates; customer data; access to collaborative tools; common platforms; and low and no-code apps.
- Automate everything you can.
Try to eliminate as many manual steps as possible for MOPS by automating workflows and fine-tuning customer journeys into seamless experiences based on natural progressions through the funnel.
- Decentralize everything you can.
Items Brinker maintains should be decentralized include: blogs; landing pages, apps and Google Sheets produced by multiple teams; and data repositories.
- Humanize everything you can.
Empathize with customers and prospects. Spend one-on-one time (preferably face-to-face) with them and learn everything you can from them about their needs and customer experience (CX). Doing so will empower you to identify issues and maintain a perspective that is not only informed, but pre-dispositioned to lead to innovation.
- Embrace continuous change.
The law of martech is that technology changes quickly and organizations change slowly, but we must all work to become more agile and open to change. Embracing change enables us to remain relevant and may even land us a spot on the leading edge of performance.