The B2B chief marketing officer

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Of course, it’s impossible to enumerate the priorities for every company across a wide variety of industries, customer groups, growth stages and the like.

But in all the conversations we’re having with B2B marketing leaders, as well as observations of their primary challenges and market opportunities, these are eight potential areas of prioritization that should at least generate a discussion a triage internally.

Measure success on sales pipeline & revenue contribution
It’s still surprising how many B2B marketing organizations track means vs. ends, and are measured based on their own output as opposed to the sales & revenue impact of their efforts. Sure, not every marketing strategy and tactic can be measured as a direct-response channel, but the faster you get your marketing team & goals aligned with revenue goals, the more likely their collective efforts – overall as well as individual and daily decisions – will start focusing more on the right things that drive real revenue traction & velocity.

Establish a true collaboration with sales (especially sales operations)
This means more than just sitting in meetings together, and knowing what the sales process is. It’s a daily interaction at all levels – between the CMO and head of marketing, as well as between managers and individual contributors. And perhaps most importantly, the sales & marketing operations people need to be closely intertwined so that campaigns, metrics and performance indicators are all optimized and driving towards a single goal.

Actively use social media for lead generation
It’s not just for retweets and likes! Market-leading B2B organizations are using the social web to drive material, qualified leads into their pipeline. This includes process-driven strategies using LinkedIn and other channels directly as well as platforms such as Socedo, PaperShare, Salesloft and more.

Formalize lead scoring & nurturing with pipeline contribution goals for each specifically
If you’re not yet actively managing lead nurturing campaigns and lead scoring systems, now is the time. And even if you are, I’d highly encourage setting up separate lead and pipeline contribution goals for your nurture efforts. Too often marketing will bundle these leads together with net-new leads, failing to isolate and communicate the unique ROI of this important middle of the pipeline.

Prioritize an advocate & influencer program
We’ll talk more about natural marketing channels later, but the opportunity and efficiency of leveraging both your happiest customers and industry thought leaders to drive awareness, thought leadership, preference and sales pipeline can no longer be ignored. Tools like Influitive, Little Bird and others can help you identify, organize and mobilize strategies for engaging these important segments.

Build continuing education into your team’s personal objectives
The learning curve for modern marketing is steeper than ever. If your people aren’t constantly learning, it’s likely they’ll fall behind and the performance of their efforts may decline as a result (or they’ll leave to go somewhere that’s more innovative). Do more than just give your people access to a MarketingProfs account. Create a real training & continuing education program, and make participation a part of their quarterly and annual objectives.

Reinvent your PR strategy
Public relations has never really been about press releases and media relationships. It’s really about leveraging these channels to reach your intended, direct audience. But can’t you do that today with tools such as social media, online communities, content marketing, SEO and the like? This doesn’t mean the press release go away, but the way you think about and execute PR might need an overhaul.

Convert your employees into a massive communication channel
Your customer-facing employees especially are a massive, often-untapped conduit to your most important customers and prospects. Teach them how to interact better, how to leverage social channels to connect and listen for trigger events & buying signals, how to share your value-added content even further, etc. Tools such as GaggleAMP and EveryoneSocial make that really easy.

Curious to hear what’s on your priority list this year…

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. Matt:

    Many thanks for including Little Bird in your post, but as someone focused on B2B marketing and sales, I thank you even more for helping me crystalize my priorities!

    I’m moving this post directly to my planning document for 2014.

    = Nate

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