Introducing MarTech ReviewTM: Empowering You for the Digital Marketing Revolution

Over the last 20-something years, the Internet and smartphones have transformed the art of marketing… several times over.

INTERNET USERS WORLDWIDE:

Sources: Internet Live Stats and ChurchMag

With the tremendous growth of Internet, smartphone, online video and social media usage, and the digitization of nearly all customer and prospect touchpoints, have come corresponding innovations in marketing, such as:

  • Online display ads (1994)
  • WebEx/ reliable Webinars (1999)
  • Salesforce/ SaaS Customer Relationship Management (1999)
  • Google AdWords (2000)
  • Facebook Ads (2008)

The early adopters of these and other effective new marketing and sales technologies realized significant competitive advantages. For example, Larry Bartholomew, Lively Lobster’s owner and ad manager, was Google AdWords’ first paying customer. He quickly understood that AdWords could drive more business to his restaurant and help him make money from other sites’ affiliate programs. He grew his affiliate optimization empire to a 16-person business that placed more than $12 million in ads on Google over the next decade. Similarly, early WebEx customers enjoyed sizable gains in productivity and travel savings, as they were able to market and sell to prospects without travel or tradeshows.

The pace of innovation around new marketing technologies is exploding. ChiefMarTech strives to track all the vendors in the marketing technology space. In 2011, there were about 100 vendors listed. In 2015, this exploded to 1876 vendors. And during that time, entirely new marketing technology categories were introduced, including:

  • Performance & Attribution
  • Dashboards/ Visualization
  • Data Management Platforms/ Customer Data Platforms

GROWTH IN MARKETING TECHNOLOGY VENDORS, 2011-2015

Growth in MarTech Vendors, 2011-2015
Sources: ChiefMarTec and Radius

And this explosive growth has yet to include newer categories, such as account-based marketing, predictive analytics, and programmatic TV.

While newer marketing technologies frequently offer great promise and Return on Investment (ROI), not every technology offers a great ROI. And even more frequently, most newer technologies present technical implementation challenges before a customer can realize the ROI. For example, one company I know tried to introduce an Account-based Marketing (ABM) system recently, but it was disappointed with the results. The company found that many of the prospects it targets work remotely from the road or a home office (without a VPN). Due to limitations with the Account-based Marketing’s IP-based technology approach, the company was not able to target enough of its prospects to continue its investment in ABM.

Another technology company I know has a product that is embedded in customers’ Websites. The product, like similar competing products, is visible in a Website’s JavaScript tags when it is running on a site. The company planned to run a campaign to target prospects that were running competitive products on their Websites, by utilizing a JavaScript tag-identifying tool. The company was able to identify prospects who had installed competitive products, but they then found that they could not email these companies in a standard manner, like Marketo. They risked having their email server identified as a source of spam if they continued targeting prospects with competitive products through standard email automation approaches.

There is an explosion in marketing technology, and it is not stopping anytime soon. The marketing software market is expected to grow to more than $32.3 billion in 2018, according to IDC, which is up 42% from 2015. Much of this technology can improve your top-line revenue, your operations, your lead nurturing, and so on. MarTech Review, through our reviews and analyses, is here to help you identify the best and most promising MarTech technologies, and support you through the implementation. Join the www.martechreview.com subscriber list to continue receiving our updates on this dynamic industry. And contact us if you want MarTech Review to cover any specific technologies.

25 B2B Marketing Automation Thought Leaders You Must Follow

I had just stepped off the stage at Dreamforce when I was asked by an audience member, “Who are other thought leaders I should follow in the marketing automation industry?” I had a very hard time giving her names because marketing automation is made up of so many differing tactics, all of which have their own thought leaders. Without knowing which areas she wanted to know more about, I couldn’t pinpoint the one person she should follow to help her obtain the knowledge she wanted. This question quickly helped me realize that people currently consider marketing automation to be a singular tactic, when in reality it is a combination of many tactics. And to be proficient at marketing automation, you must be proficient at these underlying tactics.

To help better answer this question in the future, and make it easier for people to find the thought leaders they are seeking, I have broken down marketing automation into its underlying elements: Content Creation, User Experience, Search Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, and Sales/Marketing Alignment. Let’s take a look at some of the thought leaders that you should be following within each category.

Video Content: This includes webinars and videos. The three Twitter handles that you need to follow are:

  • @ReadyTalk: If you do webinars, you should follow this company. They will keep you up on the latest trends for webinars.
  • @Wistia: This Boston-based video-hosting platform will teach you how to create amazing videos specifically for demand generation.
  • @Vidyard: This Toronto-based video hosting platform serves up great ideas on how to integrate video into marketing automation.

Written Content: This includes white papers, e-books, and anything else you might be writing. There are many people in this category, but only a few I follow on a regular basis.

  • @jaybaer: The head of marketing agency Convince and Convert, and author of the best-seller Youtility.
  • @JoePulizzi: Joe is the head of the Content Marketing Institute and one of my favorite minds in content marketing.
  • @ardath421: Ardath Albee is a blogger, author, and someone you should listen to. Some of the world’s biggest brands do!

B2B Content Thought Leaders: This includes content like slide decks, infographics, and video animations. The brightest minds are the ones who are pushing the envelope with new mediums, great execution on ideas, and creating content that converts.

  • @Velocitytweets: This London-based B2B agency is one of my favorites for innovative digital content design.
  • @BrainRider: This Toronto-based B2B agency is my go-to for new best practices on digital content strategy.
  • @kyleplacy: Author of Branding Yourself, and Twitter Marketingfor Dummies. Now head of content for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • @jchernov: Head of content for HubSpot, Content Marketer of the Year of 2012, and former head of content for Eloqua.

User Experience (UX) Thought Leaders: User experience is one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing automation, yet it is a must if you want your content to be easy to engage with. The better you understand how to design for engagement, the more engagement you will get out of your content.

  • @cliffseal: Cliff is a UX designer at Pardot, founder of Logos Creative, and speaker on user experience. Listening to him will easily increase your engagement.
  • @aarron: The director of UX for MailChimp, and author of Emotion.

SEO Thought Leaders: For organic marketing, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of how the world’s largest search engines rank websites, and ways you can improve your ranking.

  • @mattcutts: The head of the webspam team at Google. He is the one you want to listen to when trying to understand how to properly optimize your website.
  • @randfish: Founder of MOZ, speaker, author, and general awesome guy to follow.

Social Media Thought Leaders: Social is a constantly changing and growing area of focus for many companies. These people are truly the best in the business, and will keep you informed when it comes to maximizing your social marketing efforts.

  • @garyvee: Author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, keynote speaker, owner of @Winelibrary, and VaynerMedia. Super scrappy and smart marketer who’s used social tactics to grow his following to more than 1 million people.
  • @jkrohrs: Author of the highly successful research series Subscribers, Fans, & Followers, author of Audience, and head of thought leadership for Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
  • @DJWaldow: Digital Marketing Evangelist for Marketo, speaker, and co-host of the #WorkTalkShow podcast.
  • @briancarter: Author of The Like EconomyLinkedIn for Business, and Facebook Marketing.

Marketing Strategy Thought Leaders: Marketing automation needs to be grounded in modern marketing strategy. If you are not keeping up with modern marketing best practices, you will end up automating a lot of bad marketing processes. Following these people will help you stay at the forefront of marketing strategy so you can get the most out of your marketing automation tool.

  • @cahildago: As chief executive (CEO) of ANNUITAS, Carlos specializes in marketing strategy for some of the world’s largest B2B brands.
  • @MarketingProfs: Ann Handley is the head of content for MarketingProfs, author, and speaker.
  • @ToddWheatland: Vice president of marketing and thought leadership at Kelly Services, author, and nominated for Content Marketer of the Year in 2013.

Email Marketing Thought Leaders: Email marketing is the workhorse of a marketing automation solution. Many of the people mentioned on this list talk about lead nurturing – and email marketing in general – but these two thought leaders are only focused on email marketing.

  • @chadswhite: Principle of marketing research and education for ExactTarget, and author ofEmail Marketing Rules.
  • @cspenn: Email marketing author, speaker, ninja, and co-founder of PodCamp.

Sales/Marketing Alignment Thought Leaders: Marketing automation involves CRM integration, and aligning your sales and marketing teams. The following people will help you understand the best marketing automation techniques to use to help improve the alignment between your sales and marketing teams.

  • @brianjcarroll: Author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sales, executive director of MECLABS, and great speaker on sales and marketing topics.
  • @kyleporter: Kyle is the CEO of Salesloft, and a TechStar alumni. Kyle focuses on modern sales techniques and sales intelligence.

I hope you can learn as much from these people as I have, and please feel free to add your favorite thought B2B marketing thought leader in the comments below.

Mathew Sweezey is Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com. This post is edited from an original version on ClickZ.

4 Ways Data Drives Sales and Marketing Alignment

I had the pleasure of hosting Sangram Vajre, CMO and co-founder of Terminus and Peter Isaacson (CMO of Demandbase) in a webinar about scaling account-based marketing (ABM) using predictive analytics. A key point we kept coming back to was how sales and marketing alignment is a key factor in any ABM strategy. Yes, ABM does shift marketing’s focus from leads to accounts – which is how salespeople think about the business. So, I’d say that’s a step in the right direction. But that’s not enough. I’d argue that data is a key part of getting sales and marketing on the same page. Let me illustrate through a story.

I was talking to a B2B company last week who targets ISVs. They are pursuing an account-based marketing strategy and are in the process of developing a list of ISV targets – and are struggling. Over the years, as they’ve grown, their Salesforce instance has proliferated with multiple fields each serving to classify the “segment” into which an account falls (many of which were fairly arbitrary). Now, they’re trying to agree on which field(s) to use (or to create new ones entirely). They tried using the NAICS classification system – but they found that tends to be not as accurate. For example, a company developing healthcare software could be classified as a “healthcare company.”

Here are a ways which good data drives sales and marketing alignment.

1. Identify “look-a-likes”

Predictive analytics relies on using training data and machine learning to identify patterns in large amounts of data. These patterns make it easier for you to make educated guesses about certain outcomes – like is Company A more likely to buy than Company B?

Most predictive analytics vendors will have their own databases of all the companies out there. Using their technology, you can identify net new companies who “look” just like your existing customers. This not only helps immensely with sales and marketing alignment, but depending on how closely they resemble your existing customers, you can assign them a score which you can ultimately use for prioritizing sales and marketing efforts.

In the context of this example, the company could look at their list of existing ISV customers (the “training data” for the predictive analytics system) and have predictive analytics provide a list of “look-a-like” accounts. Predictive analytics also provides a way to “back-test the model” (fancy way of saying verify its accuracy) so you can have confidence in the target list provided. A target list of your best-fit accounts is critical for sales and marketing alignment.

2. Find which accounts are in-market.

Your target accounts might already be engaging with you already on your properties or on 3rd party properties – in which case, marketing should flag that appropriately and put them into a special nurture track. Our example company was planning on running executive roadshows for its target accounts. They could look to see which target accounts are engaged via their inbound programs, identify what the title is for the engaged lead – if the lead is an exec-level lead, then invite them to the roadshow using a personalized invite – if not, send the contact to sales – and ensure they prioritize follow-up as this is a contact from a target account that has engaged with you.

Marketo Screenshot

A screenshot from Marketo showing nurture activities

3. Go deep on their personas.

Product marketing typically creates buyer personas for go-to-market purposes. In most instances, however, they’ll be at the “person level” and include things such as:

  1. Title
  2. What keeps them up at night
  3. Where they “hangout”
  4. What metrics they care about

What’s needed though is a really close look at the companies that these people work for. And, by that, I don’t just mean “company revenue” “industry” or “employee band.” Think credit scores, financial filings, quarter over quarter revenue changes, executive changes, office expansions, technologies used on their website and behind the firewall, etc.

In the context of our example, the company has different offerings for each of the different development platforms – Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud, Microsoft Azure, etc. They can use predictive analytics to identify the types of development platforms each of their target companies use.

Marketing can then further segment their target list by which companies have Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud, etc — enabling them to run hyper-targeted campaigns. Marketing can also provide this insight to sales, so they can have more contextualized conversations with their target accounts. These types of conversations are only possible through sales and marketing alignment.

4. Going “account-first” is only the beginning

Account-based marketing starts to get both marketing and sales thinking about “account-first.” That’s a great first step in driving sales and marketing alignment. But as I’ve shown with a simple example above, there are many other ways you can use predictive analytics and datato get sales and marketing on the same page with respect to who you target accounts are, how to prioritize them, and ultimately how to engage them.

If you’d like to learn more, I invite you to download Lattice’s latest whitepaper describing how you can scale account-based marketing at your company with predictive analytics.

Nipul Chokshi is the Head of Product Marketing at Lattice Engines. This post is edited from an original version on the Terminus website.