4 B2B MarTech Ideas Startups Should Invent
As a marketer, I feel like we finally are getting the serious attention we deserve from the technology world. You just gotta love the MarTech map that Scott Brinker at chiefmartec creates every year. Here’s his latest:
Having recently led marketing at a content marketing startup, I had a front row seat to this world. We have some amazing new tools available, and yet there’s very little B2B MarTech. There are hard B2B marketing challenges that are still a pain in the neck to solve.
4-Pack of B2B MarTech Ideas for Startups
It all about insights. Data is a marketer’s new best friend. Data tells a story. Yet the picture for B2B marketing isn’t black and white. We can see some trends straight up, but other marketing insights must be inferred. Mostly, day-to-day work is still driven by opinion and beliefs.
So, what are B2B marketers looking to measure? Here’s the core list from Regalix and their Research Report on the State of B2B Marketing 2016:
Even when we have good insights, knowing what to do about them is new territory. So, here are 4 areas of B2B marketing ripe for re-invention:
1. Measure marketing as a team sport.
Tracking traffic, pipeline, and revenue are a norm. It’s time that we also get smarter at how we enable sales, corporate marketing, field marketing, and other stakeholders.
Startup pioneers have the opportunity to invent a smarter way to correlate the impact of marketing resources to sales productivity, market penetration, and brand awareness.
We need better tools to measure how marketing investments directly and indirectly help other teams hit their goals. B2B MarTech that measures integrated marketing effectively would be a very powerful business tool.
2. Measure B2B Content Across Channels.
As marketers, we’re in our infancy in understanding the impact of content. Most efforts at content measurement are anecdotal or ad hoc. Some of the newer tools track content usage on Web sites or in email marketing. It’s nice to know what assets get click-throughs and email opens.
But alone, an asset is an island unto itself. It doesn’t advance a dynamic dialogue with a prospect. Want proof? The Content Marketing Institute reports that 57% of B2B Content Marketers cited measuring content effectiveness as a problem.
Why is that hard? Because, it needs to be easier to measure what content themes drive engagement, leads and pipeline. We need to track the flow of digital content conversations, and where these conversations trail off.
I’m not talking about tracking views of your assets or e-books simply to score leads. That’s only half of the story. Actually, it’s just the beginning of the story.
What’s important is the thread of the prospect’s or customer’s interest. That requires us to match digital content engagement plus social selling interactions plus conversation topics with our sales teams. In truly advanced B2B marketing companies, conversations with service teams would add transformative insights to the post-sale experience.
Hard to do? Today…yes. In the future, this is how we get smarter.
3. Forecast program impact to pipeline.
What programs drive more leads and pipeline? Do webinars get new leads or engage the base? By what average number and percent? If we can benchmark how B2B marketing programs perform, we can start to forecast contribution to net new and install base pipeline targets.
Sales organizations can forecast quota attainment using Sales Force Automation tools. Now, it’s time for B2B marketers to get attention to the similar needs we have. It’ll make lead quality and lead flow more reliable and business demand more predictable.
4. Make it safe to embrace data.
Even if we had the right B2B MarTech tools, marketers need to learn to wield data better. There are many amazing creatives in marketing. But it’s not yet common for these talented people to fully understand financial analyses and make daily decisions using data.
We need to train marketers in how to effectively read and use demand gen, product marketing, event, and other data to plan better programs.
We can’t truly embrace data without helping marketers grow along with the the data revolution.