Marketing Operations: Hot Topics From B2B Summit EMEA
One of the most popular attractions at Forrester’s B2B Summit EMEA is the analyst one-on-ones. Analyst one-on-oness provide delegates with the opportunity to book a discussion with an analyst on a specific topic or get deeper insight on a particular piece of research. Here’s a summary of the hot topics discussed during this year’s marketing-operations analyst one-on-ones.
What Are The Best Practices For Centralising Vs. Decentralising Go-To-Market Teams?
The debate over centralised or decentralised marketing functions most often refers to geographical organisation, where a central corporate function exercises greater or lesser control over regional- and country-based marketing execution. Tension can arise when the central direction is overly prescriptive, failing to recognise local nuances.
In our Corporate And Regional Marketing Alignment report, we describe the four states of alignment, comprising directed, influenced, distributed, and situational. Each state of alignment considers six key factors: strategy, go-to-market, organisation, measurement, process, and technology. Key to all of this is to end finger-pointing, ensuring mutual feedback. Seek consistency while allowing for regional flexibility, with alignment around roles and responsibilities. Make sure that you use the model to diagnose where you are and surface differences in expectations that will need to be addressed to create alignment between corporate and regional teams.
How Can B2B Organisations Be Successful With A CDP?
While customer data platforms (CDPs) hold out the promise of unifying data to achieve a single customer view, deploying a CDP won’t magically resolve all of our data problems. Crucially, when scoping a possible deployment, start by identifying the goals to be achieved, whether a CDP is the right solution, and if you’re in a position to successfully adopt the technology. Ensure that the solution selected matches the resources available to you by capturing your requirements and evaluating them against the solutions on the market. Forrester clients can refer to The Forrester New Wave™: B2B Standalone CDPs, Q4 2021 evaluation for an overview of the top solutions available. And while many CDPs are starting to support advanced functionality such as journey orchestration, remember not to lose sight of your immediate data-unification objectives.
What Are The Most Appropriate B2B Marketing Metrics?
While there is no single universal set of measures that work in every situation, here are some guidelines to consider concerning how the data is collected and the processes necessary to support marketing reporting. An opportunity-based waterfall combined with proper buying-group identification creates a much better environment for measuring marketing contribution to pipeline. Any executive-level reporting should also focus on impact rather than activity. Similarly, avoid overreliance on conversation rates, as these are also likely to be of less interest to senior audiences whereas retention and cost-efficiency will get their attention. Read more on what B2B marketing leaders are measuring and also why it’s time to ditch sourcing metrics, which are failing to credibly describe marketing’s contribution to the revenue engine.
How Do We Implement The B2B Revenue Waterfall?
The Forrester B2B Revenue Waterfall™ recognises that deals rarely involve just a single individual, or lead, and instead comprise a group of buyers working collectively toward pursuing a solution. While the concept makes sense, moving from a lead- to an opportunity-based process is no trivial undertaking.
It’s important to recognise that making this move doesn’t have to happen all at once. It will likely be necessary to create additional sales stages in your CRM and alter how early-stage enquiries are managed; get started by having revenue development reps join an individual to a buying group on an opportunity before handing to sales. One of the benefits of the B2B Revenue Waterfall is that it aligns sales and marketing around enterprise selling. Check out our recent on-demand webinar, Say Goodbye To MQLs, No Thanks To MQAs, And Hello To Opportunities, for more guidance.
How Should We Undertake Effective Campaign Planning?
Campaigns bring together strategy, content development, messaging, audience identification, and technology enablement for go-to-market execution. Planning this activity is a key undertaking across the marketing function, spanning portfolio marketing, demand generation, ABM, marketing operations, field marketing, corporate comms, and more. Very often, though, campaign plans comprise little more than a bunch of tactics on a calendar, lacking the necessary structure and coordination to be effective.
The blog post To Build A Better Marketing Plan, Revisit Your Approach To Planning will help you cascade planning down to effective tactics. The key is to pause before deploying a range of activities and ensure that the ultimate tactics are tied all the way back to corporate strategy. Marketing operations has a crucial role to play in campaign planning: coordinating planning activities and ensuring that plans are aligned, strategically rooted, and delivered on time.
What Are Common Intent-Data Mistakes To Avoid?
B2B Summit EMEA attendees can watch on demand the session, What B2B Marketers Need To Know About Buying Intent Data. In this session, we recommended first recognising that intent signals are early-stage indicators and should not be treated as qualifiers. Next, keep in mind that intent data has a shelf life; old signals need to be disregarded and new intent data acted on promptly. Finally, don’t overlook compliance obligations. Forrester clients can also refer to An Introduction To B2B Intent Data for more guidance.
How Should Marketing Work With IT To Ensure The Ideal Martech Stack?
Marketing’s dependency on technology sets it on a potential collision course with IT over where ownership of this technology should rest. Marketing operations has evolved as the natural home for martech management, creating the need to build a positive relationship with IT. This involves marketing operations demonstrating its competence in the selection, governance, and maintenance of technology and ensuring martech adherence to IT policies such as security, compliance, and interoperability.
One way for marketing to ensure martech interoperability with IT is to build a stack within a well-defined framework. We recommend six essential B2B revenue technologies, comprising sales force automation, sales intelligence, marketing analytics, sales engagement, marketing automation, and content management. We outlined some factors contributing to a strong collaboration between IT and marketing in a recent blog post.
While the marketing operations queries we received were varied, there was an underlying theme that marketing operations leaders are appropriately striving toward aligning disparate revenue engine teams through the interpretation of data and enablement of tools and processes. Join us next year to ask us your questions!