• Summit is the premier event for B2B sales, marketing and product leaders to learn best practices for driving greater alignment and topline revenue growth
  • At this year’s Summit, Erin Bohlin and Laura Cross will present a keynote focused on nurture in a Demand Unit Waterfall world
  • This session outlines how to rethink the concept of nurture to plan and deploy the right mix of interactions and content throughout the decisionmaking process

The concept of a demand unit challenges marketers to broaden their thinking about how to engage all parties involved in a B2B purchase. Unfortunately, data, systems and processes have hindered demand marketers’ ability to create nurture programs that incorporate the context of the buying group.

lead nurture in the demand unit waterfall

At this year’s SiriusDecisions Summit, Erin Bohlin and Laura Cross will explain why it’s time to reconsider the concept of nurture as a core component of an audience-centric strategy focused on interactive, adaptive and personalized buying experiences. I met recently with Erin and Laura to get a preview of what Summit attendees will learn about how program design, content strategy and tactics need to evolve to effectively support the progression of demand units through the Demand Unit Waterfall.

What can we expect to learn from your keynote?

Laura: Attendees will learn how to rethink their nurture programs in the context of buying groups. The buying process is managed very linearly by B2B marketers, even though it’s not linear. Future demand creation and nurture programs need to be informed by the reality of how the buyer – the individual and the buying group – is behaving or not behaving in the context of that purchase decision. Attendees will walk away with some really great examples of how to use demand programs and nurture programs to respond to buyer needs, and a path forward to think about nurture capabilities using a better process, more informed buyer data and more advanced technologies.

Erin: We’re also going to be presenting some compelling information about how to think about nurture in the context of your broader program strategy, not just focus on nurture as its own linear, disconnected program that’s operating on the side without a tangible or specific objective. We’ll cover how to apply this new thinking while recognizing that multiple buyers are engaging with you that are part of these joint opportunities coming from the same accounts, and how you can approach nurture in a different way given the new realities of these buying scenarios.

Who will benefit the most from attending this session?

Laura: Every individual who is involved in demand creation, including, hopefully, sales counterparts.

Erin: Sales will absolutely benefit from this, because sales teams often think of nurture as being just this thing that marketing does, and they probably don’t understand fully what that means or how it potentially matters to them. Once you really start to define from a demand perspective what you’re trying to do, trying to support and trying to enable, nurture is certainly something that sales is going to care about.

Demand marketers will see a great way to paint the picture of how nurture can be applied meaningfully to help drive results. Anchor that to a very specific objective and goal, which is about driving more business and identifying, creating, nurturing and cultivating demand units. Portfolio marketers will also benefit, because part of what we’re going to illustrate is how programs – specifically, nurture programs – bring buyer insights to life. This is important, because although these insights are obviously specific to the individual, they’re also specific to the demand unit as well as the account, and I think that’s a nuance that will resonate with a lot of people in the audience.

Any other thoughts on why this topic is especially important and timely?

Laura: Right now, with the technology explosion of predictive, artificial intelligence and account-based marketing applications, a lot of demand marketers focus only in and around marketing automation. This is especially timely, because through this technology, nurture can finally take advantage of all of the possible magic that can be given to buyers through demand programs – this one-to-one that’s been promised for 15-plus years that hasn’t really been able to be operationalized inside of systems and demand programs.

The other reason this topic is extremely timely is that marketers continue to have to put together their performance against spend and prove their contribution to revenue. With demand now being centered on the Demand Unit Waterfall and nurture being considered in the context of it, there’s an opportunity to really prove the effectiveness of nurture. Today, with the way most marketers think about nurture and are putting together nurture programs, there’s not a generally accepted set of metrics, reports or dashboards that proves nurture effectiveness. This is why most vendors don’t actually report on it. There will be in the future, because of the Demand Unit Waterfall and the construct of the buying group, which is tied to the opportunity.

Erin: This is a really exciting time, particularly, to be a marketer, and truly be able to respond in a personalized, one-to-one manner. The reality is that now there’s technology to help us make decisions about interactions and give us insight into what our buyers are actually doing and actually consuming, and now is the time for marketers to harness some of that magic to drive programs that make a difference – and demonstrate that contribution. I think this is going to be a really energizing and inspiring presentation for a lot of people, because everyone “does” nurture. I think we’re going to give them some really tangible ways to think about how nurture needs to evolve in 2018 and beyond, and some very specific examples of how to do that.

In addition to our keynote, Summit attendees who are interested in nurture should also attend two track sessions that are directly aligned to this topic and use the framework we’ll show during our keynote: “SiriusLab: Implementing Nurture Programs in a Demand Unit World” and “Activating Persona and Buyer Insights for Demand Creation.”