Are you a generalist or a specialist? In recent years, many B2B marketing organizations have formed specialized teams that focus in one or two areas. Although it’s not a strictly “one or the other” argument, building more in-depth expertise and concentrating efforts can contribute to breakout achievement. Yet over time, specialized teams pursuing narrow objectives risk falling short in creating a connected customer experience.
Demand marketing, account-based marketing (ABM), and customer marketing teams, who are directly accountable for pipeline and revenue, have faced strategic and systemic challenges for years. So what’s different now? In 2023, changing buying group behavior and talent constraints are creating a shift in perspective. At Forrester, we call this lifecycle revenue marketing (LRM): a modern, outside-in approach to break through silos, extend audience engagement, and connect demand and engagement programs to the full lifecycle of revenue opportunities.
Building A Future State: Shared Capabilities
According to Forrester’s 2022 State Of ABM Study, 82% of respondents envision a future state in which demand and ABM will be broadly or fully aligned, sharing people, processes, and tools. This emphasis on alignment, not structure, leads to greater efficiencies. When these teams are joined by customer marketing, it creates a powerful alliance across the customer lifecycle.
How does this play out for marketers in their day-to-day experiences? In Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2022, 34% of B2B marketing decision-makers said their biggest challenge is creating a single view of the buyer. By working toward a shared view of buyers and customers, marketers can apply their skills and craft with more precision. Delivering real-time audience engagement to buying groups across all opportunity types (acquisition, retention, cross-sell, and upsell) and the customer lifecycle improves the customer experience. At the same time, these efforts give marketers exposure to projects and colleagues that can foster career growth. It increases the caliber and breadth of creativity and execution support available. All of this is a welcome change from coordinating across silos, catching duplicate efforts and gaps, or competing internally for resources.
Adopt A Customer-First Mindset To Overcome The Knowing-Doing Gap
Although B2B marketers know it’s important to have an outside-in perspective, turning that knowledge into action during a time of change can become a major roadblock. This is especially true when redefining how teams work together and plan for LRM capabilities. Here are a few tips for designing your organization’s future LRM vision and capabilities:
- Evaluate your current capabilities and collaboration practices. Are there shared goals and dashboards between demand, ABM, and customer marketing teams that center the customer? Form a working group to assess current processes and communication. How are efforts aligned across the customer lifecycle? Where can teams work with better coordination on resources or content, program, or measurement activities?
- Identify where resource or process updates are needed. Address the areas that affect buyer- and customer-focused collaboration first. Establish priorities and requirements with the customer in mind, and plan for discussions about where skills and new ideas are needed.
- Start working on a roadmap. Build a current team charter and an action plan to develop specific areas for more maturity, and reshape how work is done. Use your current KPIs and customer examples to inform where additional support, professional development, or new processes are needed in shifting to LRM.
Are you still thinking about the future of marketers as specialists or generalists? Consider how you can drive revenue with deep expertise and efficiency — while being more collaborative, adaptive, and customer- and insights-driven. An LRM approach can help your organization achieve its business objectives and prioritize the customer experience. Read Forrester’s new reports that explain the LRM vision, explore the seven essential LRM capabilities, and discuss technology implications from converging platforms.