Several years ago Eloqua coined the term “Modern Marketer.” The idea was to communicate that B2B marketers were operating in a new age that involved knowledge at warp speed, change in the buying process, a more informed and sophisticated buyer and a need to modernize marketing of the past.
I could not agree more with this assessment and way of thinking. We are indeed in the modern era of marketing and are dealing with a disruption caused by our buyers and the way they purchase. However, it seems that many in B2B marketing are struggling to adapt to this modern way of marketing and sales. In recent surveys by my firm ANNUITAS and Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers responded as follows:
• Only 10.7% stated they were highly effective in accomplishing their demand generation goals
• Only 32% of organizations state their organizations content maturity level is either sophisticated or mature
• Only 30% of organizations state they are effective with content marketing
These statistics would indicate that many organizations are still in the process of transformation to become more modern in their marketing. As organizations seek to modernize their approach, here are some characteristics to determine if your organization is becoming more modern.
1. They are Buyer/Customer-Centric
I met with a company last week and when we discussed their content the director of marketing said, “We have so much content it is unbelievable, the issue is the content is all about us.” What she realized is that the approach they were taking to marketing was not buyer-centric, but solely focused on their brand, their products, and their services.
Organizations that take a modern approach to marketing align their efforts and resources – People, Process, Content and Technology & Data to those of the buyer and their purchase process. This means the way they market and sell is focused on what the buyer needs, not on what the vendor wants to push. It requires organizations to gain a deep understanding of their customer’s pain points and challenges, the problems they are looking to solve and to engage those stakeholders that are involved in the purchase process.
Organizations that do not make this shift are not modern marketers at all, and remain stuck in the bygone era.
2. They are Strategic Versus Tactical
According to multiple studies, more than 60% of B2B marketing organizations run 15+ campaigns annually. These campaigns all have a starting and stopping point that engages buyers and customers for a limited amount of time. This is a very tactical approach to buyer engagement and does not and cannot align with the ongoing activity of our modern buyers.
Rather than take this tactical approach, modern marketers must develop strategic, perpetual campaigns that map to their buyers and their purchase approach. They develop programs that Engage, Nurture and Convert their buyers based on the purchase path of the buyer, not an arbitrary, internally – focused lead funnel or waterfall.
Developing programs that are “always on” and respond to the buyer in the most expedient and relevant way possible is a hallmark of a modern marketer.
3. They are Always Optimizing
I read a recent article that claimed one of the wonders of marketing automation was the ability to “set it and forget it.” Nothing could be further from the truth! While marketing automation has given marketers a great solution to enable strategy, it is not something that should be left to run without further attention given.
Modern marketers are always optimizing. They are pulling data from their programs, analyzing, looking at trends, buyer behavior, etc., and using the intelligence they glean from this analysis to Optimize their programs to drive better results.
Being data-driven to optimize results is a sure sign of a modern marketer
4.They Have a Focus on Revenue Based Outcomes
Just like their sales brethren, modern marketers are focused on revenue-based outcomes. This means they are looking at how their programs have contributed to pipeline and their closed-won revenue. This does not mean that they are not tracking other metrics such as opens, clicks, etc. However, they go far beyond these vanity metrics as they see themselves as growth-drivers for the business and a strategic part in company growth.
This approach and mindset changes how marketers measures themselves and also brings CMOs in closer alignment with their peers.
The modern age of B2B is upon us and our buyers are leading the way as they have already modernized the way they purchase. It is incumbent upon B2B marketing and sales teams to change their own methods and behaviors and catch up if they want to indeed be modern marketers.
For examples of award-winning modern marketers, download The Demand Gen Pro's Cookbook 2 and learn how to cook up your own recipes of success.
Author Bio: Carlos Hidalgo is an innovative thought-leader with over 20 years experience as a B2B marketing practitioner and industry visionary and the author of Driving Demand, which outlines what B2B marketers must do to adapt to the age of the modern buyer. Carlos is widely recognized for his expertise in strategic integrated marketing, demand process and marketing automation. As CEO and Principal of ANNUITAS, Carlos drives strategy and leads core practice teams to transform demand for enterprise clients globally. Carlos has been named one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management for the last five years.