How to Overcome Top-Funnel Marketing Deficiencies in an ABM World


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There are many moving parts involved with developing and executing a successful account-based marketing program. One of the most overlooked aspects is the way in which we marketers must coordinate top-funnel demand generation efforts differently in an ABM world.

 So, I thought it’d be worthwhile to outline how applying demand orchestration can help B2B marketers execute their ABM strategies.

First… What is demand orchestration?

(For a deeper dive, check out this workbook.)

In a nutshell, demand orchestration is a B2B marketing approach used to efficiently coordinate and manage top-of-funnel marketing activities. The explicit goal of demand orchestration is to increase sales pipeline by both making your top-funnel investment more efficient and the results of your mid- and bottom-funnel efforts more impactful.

The adoption of this approach is increasingly becoming more important as marketing organizations invest billions in top-of-funnel marketing programs to generate pipeline. Unfortunately, top-funnel campaigns and channels have historically been managed in a siloed fashion, disconnected from initiatives controlled through marketing automation and CRM systems.

Demand generation and marketing operations practitioners are typically left scrambling to manually piece together top-funnel programs – campaigns, channels, lead data, program performance reports, etc. – with the hope of showing the c-level execs that they’re producing a return on this substantial investment.

Demand orchestration is a way of centralizing lead sources, streamlining demand gen campaigns, automating lead management processes and facilitating greater program transparency (read: reporting) to produce more marketing-attributed pipeline from same amount of resources and investment.

…and demand orchestration software is technology used to automate and support all the effort that goes into the demand orchestration approach.

ABM Programs Suffer From Top-Funnel Inefficiencies

While many ABM programs begin with a “bottom-funnel to top-funnel” focus – leveraging CRM, predictive analytics, and other bottom-funnel data sources to identify target accounts – such data must still be leveraged at the top of the funnel to engage decision-makers at these targeted companies.

In fact, this culling of bottom-funnel info only serves to further the complexities of top-funnel demand generation efforts by requiring an increasing number of data sources, channel tactics (for precise targeting), processes and systems. And these elements are all typically disconnected and managed through the manual efforts of demand gen and marketing ops practitioners.

Let’s walk through just a few of the typical steps of launching an ABM program…

First, you must coordinate all the sources of data that inform your target-account lists (CRM analysis, predictive analytics, website tracking, marketing automation conversion rates, attribution tracking, etc.).

Then, you must put all this target-account data into action; i.e., engage decision-makers/buying committee members at these companies. This requires selecting the mix of channels you wish to use – webinars, events, content syndication, display, etc. – and selecting lead sources and media partners that have direct access to these specific accounts.

Let’s now assume all your manual organization of engagement tactics and media investment efforts have paid off and you have lead info flowing in on decision-makers among your target account list. This is great. But you still must ensure the quality of the data you’re about to pump into your database and nurture tracks.

So, you must now verify the veracity of the lead data, standardize it to your marketing automation platform’s (MAP) required formatting, enhance that data which additional information (especially true for event data) and then import all this lead data into your MAP and/or CRM to begin the nurturing and follow-up process.

All these hindrances undermine the very efficiency that ABM is intended to create. It’s like weighing down a sports car with 500 pounds of cement in the trunk.

How Does Demand Orchestration Software Complement ABM Specifically?

Demand orchestration software automates all these top-funnel marketing processes so you can refocus your efforts on more strategic efforts down funnel, such as converting leads into opportunities and upselling current customers.

It centralizes all your marketing channels and lead sources, then pulls account-list data (from predictive analytics, CRM, website tracking software, etc.) before using your branded content to acquire target-account decision-maker leads from individuals who have expressed interest in your products or services.

It then verifies, standardizes and enhances lead data within minutes, ensuring no inaccurate, unacceptable or incomplete data gets into your marketing funnel.

Via integrations with marketing automation platforms and CRM systems, demand orchestration software then feeds this verified, standardized and enhanced lead data into mid- and lower-funnel systems.

Automating all these manual processes, centralizing data sources and integrating with lower-funnel marketing and sales systems, demand orchestration software provides distinct values for ABM programs.

  • Saves time and resources
  • Produces more return on your existing media investments, data sources, and marketing and sales systems
  • Increases the quality and value of your pipeline – more and better data on buyers at your target accounts
  • Enables you to quickly scale your ABM initiatives
  • Provides a greater level of transparency into which ABM tactics are working and which aren’t

Simply put, demand orchestration software enables you to more efficiently and effectively identify, engage and nurture decision-makers among specified companies, which leads to rapid pipeline growth.

If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of demand orchestration software, read this guide.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

David Crane
David Crane is Strategic Development Manager at Integrate and an ardent student of marketing technology that borders on nerdy obsession. Fortunately, he uses this psychological abnormality to support the development and communication of solutions to customer-specific marketing-process inefficiencies.


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