Ever since Vista Equity Partners acquired Marketo in May 2016, the countdown was on to see what the future would be for the industry’s gold standard marketing automation platform. Much like the Amazon HQ2 frenzy, theories ran rampant as to who the eventual acquirer would be, and everyone from Google to Salesforce made the list. […]
About Jessica Sprinkel
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Entries by Jessica Sprinkel
Don’t you love when meetings collapse into finger pointing and frustration?
One of the common mistakes you can make during the planning process is to assume sales leadership is on board with your plan.
And if that alignment never happened, looking back at the end of the quarter can be painful.
Sales & Marketing alignment is essential—and it can pay dividends:
“Companies with aligned sales and marketing generated 208% more revenue from marketing.” – HubSpot
With Q4 planning in full swing, let’s dig into some tips on how to align and work toward a common goal.
Before, say, 2008, marketing and sales were much more aligned.
In many B2B tech companies, marketing’s role was basically a 50/50 mix of PR and sales support. With a laser-like focus on the long game—penetrating accounts and fostering relationships—enterprise reps would pop in and out in Brooks Brothers shirts, in between golf engagements and steak dinners (okay this was Boston tech—a notorious boys club and pretty conservative).
So what happened?
I’m guessing we all know the answer: technology, automation, and INBOUND.
From about 2008 on, I witnessed a noticeable shift in the relationship between marketing and sales.
Webinars are still a big part of the marketing mix, and they’re not going anywhere.
When someone takes 30 minutes out of their day to hear what you have to say, that’s a pretty strong signal of interest in your topic.
And by now, most of us know how to create content that serves a higher purpose than simply promoting products and services. After all, when someone is truly interested in what you’re selling, they’ll find a demo on your website.
A webinar program (and every other kind of content) is about thought leadership, sharing insights, and providing access to expert knowledge that can help people do their job better.
So let’s talk about how to create a webinar program that does three important things…
“Let’s see. What campaigns can I run to achieve as little as possible?”
Said no one ever.
Marketing is shifting to a revenue center—a role once reserved for Sales alone—and marketing leaders must create new business, expand existing business, and consistently drive growth.
So what do revenue-focused marketers do that’s so different? Let’s focus on three things.
When you really think about it, doesn’t it blow your mind?
I’m talking about how the digital age has completely changed marketing and sales—especially buyer behavior. By now we’re all well aware that research happens quietly online, long before a human becomes a “lead” and lands in your funnel.
Imagine talking about a funnel 15 years ago.
Nope, we were sitting in conference rooms talking PR, events, collateral, and swag. We were thinking hard about corporate colors on the website, not about SEO, real-time web personalization and conversion.
Enterprise sales reps were scheduling golf outings and sending monogrammed BBQ sets to their top prospects (wait I guess that’s called ABM now).
Ah the simple days.
Fast forward to 2017 and there’s so much data on any given prospect, that our role as marketers barely resembles what it looked like even 10 years ago. Brand, PR, and events are still a thing, but what’s the real driver of increased marketing budgets over recent years?
Too early to talk Q3? Nope.
For many companies, Q3 is slow. Summer vacay is in full swing, and those of us back in the office are itching to pack it in early. And Europe? Literally the entire continent is eating gelato at the seaside until mid-August.
Yes, it’s summertime and the livin is easy (as Gershwin wrote and Billie Holiday turned into magic—you really should listen right here). It’s everyone’s favorite season but Q3 can be the toughest time of year for B2B. So why not plan ahead and take advantage of the lull?
Here’s three ideas to kick start your Q3 plan (or recharge marketing any time of the year).
FML it’s end of quarter again.
It’s late. I have so many tabs open I’ve lost track of where I am. This would be waaay better with wine (yanks laptop off docking station, runs for door).
I’m pretty sure you can relate to late nights during end-of-quarter planning. Of course we track throughout the quarter, but the EOQ round up is a big deal—and rightfully so. Your plan for the upcoming quarter is only as good as your audit of the past.
It helps to focus on a few key questions, like…
In 2011 I was running content marketing at a software company in Burbank CA.
There was a good Mexican place down the street, a notable Armenian café around the corner, and the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains rolling down to meet the road behind the office. Coyotes would hang around the parking lot at dusk.
The place itself was meh—an 80s building with a depressing façade and joyless cubicles inside. Mostly beige from what I remember, open and light, but every bit as bleak as a brown Caprice Classic. My favorite memories of that place are the people I worked with and the enormous pine trees I could see out back, over the maze of cubicle walls.
Marketing plans vary so wildly from team to team, it’s amazing we have a common language at all. Yet how we codify our roles and our contribution to an organization are very similar—whether we’re B2B, B2C, or in entirely dissimilar industries.
What’s one thing we all have in common? The very real need to change quickly when we have to.