Bomb is Ticking inside the CMO’s Cabin: Push for Account Based Marketing
The tenure of CMO fell to an all-time low in 2017. In a survey released in February 2017, Korn Ferry, a recruiting firm, revealed that the average tenure slipped to 4.1 years across b2b and b2c industries. Why is CMO always at risk of losing the job?
Though the role asks to facilitate marketing team with the right technology, strategy, and infrastructure to improve marketing communications; year on year the role is dramatically changing. Now CMO should wear customer centric hat, and should also take responsibility in improving overall sales.
At least for B2B CMOs, there is a way to improve the revenue objectives of organization: Account-based marketing.
CMO is always under pressure of getting bigger deals in the B2B industry. The defining moment comes at every quarter. One or two years CMO can shy away from showing some leads and appointment settings but not always. In the end, CMO succumbs the pressure and shown the doors. Following account based marketing best practices; CMO can produce tangible business outcomes.
Did you know? Account Based Marketing is Going Mainstream
According to a recent survey of marketers and executives by ITSMA, 57% of B2B companies are planning to increase their spending to Account Based Marketing in 2017. The survey shows how companies are taking bold steps in allocating the marketing budget. Last three years, ABM is coming to the mainstream at a strategic level and playing no fiddle role in an overall marketing campaign. Still, many companies are yet to plan and strategize the ABM.
In another report related to lead generation, the Demand Gen Report (DGR) found 58% of companies ranked increasing lead volume as a top demand generation priority in 2017.
Go For Small. Go For Quality.
Contrary to the popular belief that increases in lead volume improve the Sales revenue, but in fact, the old approach has not succeeded in achieving the revenue target. Now organizations are slowly shifting the gear to generate less leads but the focus is on qualified leads.
10 years before, the old-school marketing approach was chasing hand-picked large accounts. Marketing and sales teams were aligned to create hyper-personalized content assets. Demos were fine tuned to the industry standards. The approach documents were in line with the requirements of the accounts. To a large extent, the marketing team was putting every possible way to customize the brochure as per the prospect before the meeting.
But somehow this approach was completely left to freeze after new martech tools came into the market.
Blame vanity metrics. The KPI of marketing team changed: volume of leads, traffic to the website, marketing collateral downloads number of attendees to the webinar. The quantity overshadowed quality.
In the true spirit, marketing team went for numbers. Founders and senior executives believed hit and miss approach cure the sales woes. The CMO meeting was often summarized: Get more leads to close more deals.
For some vague reasons, everyone is in denial about the lead volume approach. But now to end these woes, entrepreneurs like Justin Gray taking the front seat, the unofficial bearer of account-based marketing. Thanks to Justin, he is quite vocal to choose the less walked road.
Account based marketing knits two teams into one force. When the pendulum shifts permanently from “go-and-get-1000-leads” to acquire 200 quality leads, the likelihood of marketing team working closely with sales team goes high. The excuse for lack of time to reach account by account disappears to thin air. Thus, the new laser focus approach motivates to create hyper-personalized messages to acquire a new client. With ABM strategy, prospect experiences the need of a solution and more gets relevant content to his or her pain points.
Stop Burning Candle at Both Sides
The self-lead generation works like a charm. The involvement of sales team is omnipotent throughout the entire customer journey cycle. However, the challenge is time and effort needed to generate these kinds of leads. Unlike marketing team, business developers won’t have right ammunition of tools and the tech savviness is confined to Outlook emails utmost.
On the other side of the aisle, marketing team sweats in mass production of leads. Lack of feedback, unclear of next conversation between prospect and sales team gives less room to improve the quality of leads and often fell short in closing leads to deals.
The best feedback marketing team can get is few lines in Salesforce CRM or a short email jibe. The sales and marketing team showing back each other and looks the change in the culture won’t happen anytime soon.
The account based marketing brings both under one umbrella. The team can put a strategy in a place. The framework allows a bird view of the customer journey and at the same time deep learning on a micro level. CMO can get access to the path of macro and micro goals.
Overcome Limitations of Generating Enterprise Leads
Among digital marketing channels, SEO, PPC are front runners in generating the leads. A common feedback SEO & PPC team gets is leads are genuine but 90% are small players. Yes, even SEO and PPC have limitations.
Answers to search queries can be broadly Informative. Search engine optimizers are aware the impact of quality content on visitors. The length of content shows the influence of SEO on content writers. Display advertising team strives to run the contextual content marketing.
In spite of following the best practices, two challenges are yet to be overcome by both channels.
a) Personalized communication.
b) Get clicks by demographics: job title, employees of the specific company, revenue size, and another interest level. Account based marketing fills the void. Good news for CMO. Now marketing team can connect one on one and reach by specific demographics.
Leverage account based marketing to improve customer communication. Identify targeted accounts, use sales intelligence to address the pain points of customers. With an ABM platform, CMO can align marketing and sales team to win new accounts.
* Featured Image Courtesy- HBO Game of Thrones