Seven key takeaways from this week’s #DemandCon

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Finishing a good couple days at DemandCon, a great sales & marketing pipeline-focused event in San Francisco as part of Data Driven Business Week. Some really good topics & speakers kept us thinking.

Here are a few primary takeaways I had from the event.

1. Software alone cannot solve our problems
Great opening presentation by Mike Couch of Couch & Associates on not only how to leverage technology to improve marketing efficiency & results, but also a caution that technology alone isn’t the answer. Couch went so far as to say that some companies are “overcorrecting” and buying too much software to solve their problems, thereby creating far more problems and work without actually fixing, addressing or achieving anything. Most companies are still behind the innovation curve, but it’s a worthwhile word of caution.

2. Focus on building a sales pipeline, not a lead hypeline
Are you still using lead volume as a primary measure of marketing success? Is your leadership team still enamored with the “up and to the right” board slide that shows how many more leads you’re “flooding” the sales team with? Do these metrics matter? Scott Fingerhut, who runs demand generation for Box, was the first I’ve heard use the term “hypeline” to describe how too many marketers focus on sexy results instead of quality, qualified opportunities for sales.

3. Failure is the path to innovation, and the most successful companies fail a lot!
I’ve written about this extensively in the past (including here and here), but it bears repeating. It is always refreshing to hear leading companies on stage talk about how much they screw up, how often they break things, but also how quickly they course-correct, learn from mistakes, and keep moving forward.

4. Tactical metrics are important, but keep them to yourselves
You can’t execute a successful demand generation campaign without obsessing about open rates, response rates, email deliverability and more. And within your marketing team, let your geek flag fly and celebrate those micro-achievements. Just remember that the rest of the organization doesn’t care about them. Talk too much about individual campaign response metrics with sales or your executive team, and they’ll assume you’re focused more on activity than qualified sales pipeline contribution. Dave Lewis from DemandGen made this point, and reiterated that marketers will do themselves well by focusing executive-level reporting on metrics that are far closer to the money.

5. Software developers can help us improve marketing execution & results
Great best practices panel earlier today led by Jim Ewel on agile marketing, and how leading marketing organizations are stealing a page from agile software development methodologies to execute faster, stay more nimble and achieve better results. It can be easy when executing agile marketing to focus on activity vs. results, and be too tactical without anchoring in strategy, but in general there are some great best practices here worth reviewing for all marketers.

6. Trust is a mathematical equation
Mark Fidelman talked yesterday about managing influencers and developing brand advocates, but started his talk with not just a definition but a formula for developing and sustaining trust. According to Mark, credibility + reliability + intimacy over self-orientation equals trust. How many of those four inputs and variables are you proactively managing or achieving today?

7. Today is what matters
Impressive presentation yesterday from Joe Galvin of Miller Heiman, which finished with a series of guiding statements that can equally apply to all of us. My favorite was this: you are only as good as you are today (yesterday doesn’t matter, and tomorrow doesn’t count). In other words, carpe diem. And execute. Now.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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