3 Ways to Propel B2B Marketing with Social Data

Companies can gather invaluable data about their buyers from people’s footprint on social networks. Here is how!

LinkedIn Maps

LinkedIn Maps. Algorithms that make sense of your social connections.

Social is one of the fastest growing online activities. While engaging in social, people leave a large online footprint that can provide high visibility to their profiles, interests and activities. This can all be mined to provide a very rich and robust data set.

Here are the types of social data that you can use to propel your marketing:

Social profiles

Social profiles contain a wealth of information including résumés, interests, training, education, job responsibilities and more. This can be one of the best and most robust sources of information about individuals that is available online.

Like sales reps review LinkedIn profiles of individuals they talk to before engaging in a demo, the same can be done automatically and at scale. In addition, social profiles can continuously be updated by individuals to reflect promotions, job changes and new skills. Social profiles can enrich any dataset with relevant data.

Social links

This is what you can learn from looking at people’s friends and colleagues. This is one of the hottest fields in math and computer science: network analysis. When you analyze the connections between individuals, you can form clusters that can teach you a lot about a person’s education, training, interests, goals and needs.

A great way to visualize this was a LinkedIn’s tool called InMaps. LinkedIn’s InMaps analyzed the connections of an individual to form a cluster. The algorithm did not know anything about the person except for how people are connected among themselves.

When you analyze the results though, you do see clusters that make sense. Friends from college can form one cluster; colleagues from a former job can form another, etc. This is how algorithms that analyze big data can discover things that we as humans need more time and knowledge in order to know.

Social activity

Social activity includes all of these likes, shares, tweets and retweets that we do on social networks. These can actually contain valuable information regarding interests as well as wants and needs. Sharing lots of images of new cars? You may be in the market for a new car or just a car enthusiast.

Just linked or tweeted an article about marketing automation? You are more likely to be a marketing automation power user. This wealth of information is invaluable for marketers when analyzed at scale.


In sum, social networks contain a wealth of information. By analyzing social profiles, social links and social activity, you can get data about your buyers that may not be available anywhere else and may give you the advantage you need to close your next sale.

3 Steps for Creating Powerful and Personalized Marketing Using the Power of Data

The robust data and algorithms that power predictive marketing can help create better and more effective personal customer experience–in real-time.

There are several ways in which predictive marketing can create better marketing–discover the leads that are most likely to convert, drive better lead scoring, and match prospects with upsell and cross-sell opportunities. However, Predictive Marketing can also help you create higher engagement with your marketing messages by delivering the most effective message to the right prospect. Personlized customer experience is the future of marketing and data, and algorithms are going to power it.

Personalized Marketing Webinar

Why do you need personalized marketing? Didn’t Don Draper just get the same message in front of everyone?

Today, prospects and leads are exposed to a plethora of marketing messages every day. However, Most of these messages are not relevant to them. The result is that prospects have little patience for the “spray and pray” tactics of the past. The short attention span for marketing messages means that if you manage to deliver the right marketing message to the right prospect, you’ll be able to cut through the clutter and reach your prospects more effectively.

This is where predictive marketing comes in. Using big data and predictive analytics algorithms, marketers can optimize the customer experience in real time and make sure that prospects are getting the message that they are most likely to engage with. Here are three steps for personalizing your marketing.

1.    Gathering data

Robust customer data helps you understand your customer better. However, according to our experience, the average company has only 10 data points on each customer in its database. In addition, this data is not always up to date.

However, online, you can find deep, updated and robust data, including thousands of data points about companies and individuals. These include technologies, organizational structures, hiring and much more. This robust data is the first step towards understanding your customers and their needs.

2.    Finding your buyer personas (or Customer DNA™)

You probably have an idea who your typical customer is for each product. However, in many cases it is hard to identify the most likely customers for each product in advance. This is where CustomerDNA™ steps in. By analyzing the robust data on your customers and comparing it with those who did not end up as customers, we can build a mathematical model that characterizes your buyer persona.

The majority of leads in your database are not going to buy anything from you. However, by applying the mathematical model to all of the leads in your database, we can identify the most likely buyers. Identifying the buyers from the tire kickers can help you craft better and more engaging marketing assets.

3.    Segmentation

Using your CustomerDNA™ and additional data about your customers can help you find interested segments and develop content that resonates with them. Segmentation can be as granular as you want, by industry, use of technology, or any other variable that makes sense. Leads can be segmented in your marketing automation platform in real time.

Here is a simple example. Imagine that you work for a financial services firm and use Eloqua as your marketing automation platform. Now, you get two marketing assets:

  • The guide for building better campaigns with marketing automation
  • The guide for building better campaigns with Eloqua for financial services firms

Which one are you more likely to read? This is the power of personalization.

Personalization can be a driving force behind effective marketing that resonates with prospects rather than alienates them. The result is higher engagement and more effective and relevant customer experience.

If you want to learn more about data-driven personalization, you can join us for a new webinar on Thursday, April 9 2015 at 10 am PT. The webinar will explore the process of discovery of data-driven customer profiles (or CustomerDNA™) and how to identify key attributes to create targeted customer experiences. In addition, the webinar will teach you how to develop data-driven personalization strategies in less than 30 days. The webinar will be hosted by Tony Yang, Director of Demand Generation at Mintigo, and Ashley Chavez, Director of Marketing at Get Smart Content. Click here to register and reserve your seat!

90% of B2B Organizations See More Value with Predictive Lead Scoring

In a new webinar, Jay Famico from SiriusDecisions explains the emergence of the marketing cloud and how predictive marketing helps marketers find buyers faster.

“Ninety percent of B2B organizations see more value with predictive lead scoring than traditional lead scoring,” says Jay Famico, Technology Practice Director at SiriusDecisions. “Ninety-eight percent of the respondents said that they would purchase predictive lead scoring again.” In a recent webinar titled “Data, Predictive Analytics & Marketing Clouds: The Platform for the Modern Marketer,” Jay explained the reasons behind the emergence of the marketing cloud and predictive marketing. You can watch the full webinar here.

SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfal

According to Jay, one of the major contributors to the gap organizations find in their sales target is sales/marketing misalignment. It happens when these organizations build their target basing their assumptions on models that are not granular enough. Sometimes there is lack of realistic expectations around conversion rate and response rate. Furthermore, according to Jay, we see that these issues often occur due to a lack of consistent end-to-end data, process and technology platforms.

What is the marketing cloud?

To resolve the problems associated with demand generation, we are seeing a rise in new capabilities withing the marketing cloud. Jay explains that the marketing cloud consists of “marketing solutions that integrate with each other for the purpose of enhancing overall function.” The marketing cloud is comprised of 6 key areas:

  • Data services: Filling in the gaps of the data profile and allowing organizations to standardize. If you have dirty or incomplete contact data, then data services are critical for reporting, segmentation, and personalization. In addition, they help outreach and measurement.
  • Marketing automation: This is a pillar of the marketing cloud and it’s all about driving engagement of contacts through lead nurture.
  • Web content personalization: This helps you tailor your online content delivery to drive higher web conversion. Web content optimization is also a great driver of customer- or account-based marketing tactics.
  • Social management and intelligence: This gathers all reporting and triggering based on social interactions.
  • Analytics: The use of statistical approaches to predict, optimize, and report on marketing tactics and reprioritization based on outcomes.
  • Content management: Solutions that are focused on activating, curating, and organizing content, such as web content management platforms.

Marketing clouds drive several benefits, according to Jay:

  • Sales effectiveness: Understanding what sales activities are driving the most value for your organization, what sales activities you should focus more on, which ones you should perhaps scale back on.
  • Targeting: This helps you focus on the type of leads and segments that are best for your organization.
  • Forecasting: Forecasting gives you insights on how your organization is trending towards its overall objectives and goals.

Jay lists two types of effectiveness that you can measure:

  • Tactic effectiveness: This is all about figuring out what messages and delivery mechanisms are most responsive and most valuable.
  • Waterfall effectiveness: This is about getting a better handle on process or alignment issues. This analysis helps you better understand where in the waterfall you should focus to drive maximum impact, maximum revenue generation, and then ultimately apply resource balancing. The way to think about it is to ask whether there is a production line between marketing, inside sales, and sales reps.

After we established how marketing clouds benefit a marketing organization, according to Jay, the question then becomes how well the average marketing organization performs. Jay argues that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Enhance lead qualification

First, all of you may be familiar with the demand creation waterfall, which is used to define, measure, and optimize those demand creation activity efforts between marketing and sales. The demand waterfall reveals key alignment points between sales and marketing, providing a core set of metrics to measure, diagnose, and improve demand creation performance.

According to data from SiriusDecisions, only 10% to 30% of leads that are qualified by the marketing automation platform also progress after teleprospecting. Furthermore, when sales gets the leads, only 10% to 30% of them become sales qualified leads. Taken together, we’re losing 97% of our automated qualified leads.

In teleprospecting, reps call the lead asking questions around buying cycle, budget authority, and timeline. Often they go into detail about the client, the prospect’s needs, the ability of their own solution to be able to address those needs, and the prospect’s attitudes and ideas about the possible solutions. This process is very effective at separating the wheat from the chaff. However, teleprospecting is expensive, takes a long time, and doesn’t always help you find new prospects.

The question is how do we make this process more effective by bringing it back to the marketing automation phase?

According to Jay, when you start incorporating predictive analytics, we’re now able to qualify leads at a deeper level prior to ever talking to them live. We’re also able to provide the right messaging and the right tactics to sales. This really supercharges teleprospecting and sales.

According to a study that was conducted by SiriusDecisions last year, 68% of B2B organizations are scoring leads. However, among organizations that use predictive lead scoring, 90% agree that predictive scoring provides more value than traditional lead scoring. Furthermore, 98% of the respondents said that they would purchase predictive lead scoring again. Eighty-eight percent of respondents say that they are both receiving more value from predictive lead scoring and that they would purchase it yet again. That might explain why we’re seeing such a sharp move toward predictive lead scoring within the marketing cloud.


In conclusion, Jay suggests that failure and sub-optimization are not prerequisites for success, and therefore an organization should move directly to predictive lead scoring rather than start with traditional lead scoring. “Rather than struggling with trying to implement processes and procedures that are going to get you partway there, skip the industrial revolution. Focus on the technologies, skills, and processes necessary to fully achieve your organization’s objectives.”

The Marketing Cloud: A Deep Dive

In a new webinar, John Stetic, Group VP of Products at Oracle, takes an in-depth look into the strategy and vision behind the Oracle Marketing Cloud.

The marketing cloud offers a huge promise to marketers to enable the grouping of powerful individual technologies and provide an end-to-end solution in accelerating deal velocity and increasing revenue. In a new webinar, John Stetic, Group VP of Products at Oracle, takes a deep dive into the Oracle Marketing Cloud, a solution that aims to change how marketers work. You can watch the full webinar by clicking here.

John Stetic

John Stetic, Group VP of Products at Oracle. Source.

Data is becoming one of the foundations of marketing. How can doing more with data enable you to understand more about your customers? According to John, the Oracle Marketing Cloud has 3 key areas of focus:

  1. Delivering marketing simplicity to the marketer–Allowing marketers to leverage technology in order to make very effective campaigns that drive leads and revenue to their company.
  2. Delivering real customer centricity–Allowing marketers to understand their consumers enabling the creation of rich and engaging experiences for their customers and leads.
  3. Enterprise scale–Enabling both fast-growth and large-scale enterprise organizations to leverage these capabilities.

According to John, the marketing cloud helps marketers identify the “who, what, how and why” of marketing.

  • Who. Who is the customer and to whom are we talking? It’s important to have a broad understanding of that who, no matter what stage they might be in the life cycle, whether they’re an existing and well-nurtured and very loyal customer, or just someone with a brief interest in or some buying tendencies of your product.
  • What. What types of products or services are offerings that we want to be able to deliver to a customer in order to help the customer solve their problems?
  • How. How do you talk to that customer? What type of channels and what types of content do you actually deliver through those channels in order to be able to effectively engage with those contacts?
  • Why. Being able to tie that what, who and how together helps you get some really powerful insights into how to best engage with your customers. How you’re effectively allocating revenue back to your marketing activities helps you optimize your marketing.

John explains that data helps you learn more about your customers, score your leads, segment your contacts, and target and personalize content. In addition, there are ways in which your data can even get more useful–and this is where the marketing cloud is going. These new directions are about being able to combine a good deal of the data sources with the CRM system marketing automation platform.

The marketing cloud insider’s view

What does this really look like for the marketing cloud customer? John says that, for example, if a marketer would like to define an audience that they’re interested in targeting, they can select a profile from over 700 million profiles, that they can drill and then tune these audiences, and create highly targeted communications and advertising to enable effective prospecting of new customers. The prospects then engage with those ads, and you can start leading them down the engagement funnel that we’re all used to within the marketing automation world.

An open platform

One of the critical enablers, John explains, is this very large app ecosystem that brings together the most comprehensive marketing tech and ad tech ecosystem for marketers. Oracle marketing cloud provides the most integrated open and global platform for fast growth and enterprise marketers, being able to deliver a whole suite of best-in-breed apps, data and media partners, allowing you to extend your reach as marketers, allowing you to engage more effectively with customers, and better understand them.

According to John, Oracle is able to do this because it’s an open platform that leverages all of the great innovations across the entire market space. “So of course, our partners, Mintigo here, have done a fantastic job of leveraging our open platform being able to build an app that can plug directly into your marketing platform. This allows pushing audiences into different campaigns or triggering external actions, or making decisions based on data that exists outside of the marketing clouds.”


In conclusion, John says that the marketing cloud then becomes a comprehensive suite of capabilities for marketers, “It involves not just the products and capabilities that we offer from Oracle, but an entire ecosystem as well. That’s why Oracle is so excited to be working with partners like Mintigo, who have really innovated in this space to deliver a very interesting solution.”

Predictive Marketing University: Learn How to Leverage Data Science to Improve Your Marketing

Mintigo launches an online course to help teach marketers the fundamentals of predictive marketing.


Predictive Marketing fundamentally changes marketing by introducing data science to traditional marketing. As an up-and-coming topic, there weren’t any resources available online to develop deep understanding of this exciting field. This is why we launched Predictive Marketing University.

Predictive Marketing University is a video course that lets marketers learn and understand the key principles of predictive marketing. Each module is comprised of multiple videos and each short video reviews a key topic in Predictive Marketing.

PMU is free! To access PMU, click here.

Salesforce: 42% of Marketers See Predictive Marketing as Critical for Creating a Cohesive Marketing Journey

A survey of over 5,000 marketers finds that the majority of marketers see technology as critical to craft their customer journey.

New research from Salesforce finds that the majority of marketers are eager to leverage technology in order to shape their customers’ journey to purchase. The survey, which included over 5,000 respondents, asked marketers what are the most effective technologies that they use in order to control and shape the touch points that a prospect has with the brand and product prior, and even after purchase.

Predictive Marketing and Effective Customer Journey

According to Salesforce, 86% of senior level marketers say that it is critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey. The survey shows that technology is widely used in order to design, shape, and measure the customer journey to purchase.

The idea behind most of these technologies is to create a one-to-one brand experience and to cater the marketing and sales effort specifically and uniquely to each prospect. This would enable marketers to achieve higher engagement and higher relevancy to their audience.

Mobile is the most important technology for most marketers to shape the customer journey—with 57% of marketers consider it critical or very important. Mobile is helpful specifically in the B2C environment.

The power of predictive marketing

Next, we see a group of related technologies—Marketing analytics, CRMs, content management, marketing automation, and predictive intelligence, or the way we call it at Mintigo, predictive marketing. These tools are considered critical or very important by 42-54% of marketers.

These are very important and related tools. CRMs and marketing automation platforms provide the content and the execution to many campaigns. Content is the fuel that drives customer engagement. However, predictive marketing, which is becoming ever more important, has the power to propel campaigns forward.

Predictive marketing takes vast amounts of data from the web, combines it with data from your CRM and marketing automation and, using sophisticated algorithms and models, predicts favorable marketing outcomes. Predictive marketing can help you identify what content will drive engagement from which lead in your CRM and when. In fact, predictive marketing should be used to drive optimal decisions in planning and designing your customer journey.

The vast majority of top marketers acknowledge the power designing a customer journey and most use technology to support it. Predictive marketing, a nascent technology, has the power to bind all other technologies and help marketers execute better campaigns and design optimal customer journeys.

Optimize Your Marketing for the Mobile Web

Mobile has changed the way people engage with email, social and web browsing. B2B marketers will have to adjust as well.

According to the Pew Research Center, 58% of American adults have a smartphone and 42% have tablets. Of smartphone owners, 81% use their phone to send text messages, 60% access the Internet, 52% check their email and 50% download apps. No online marketer can ignore the shift to mobile. Mobile Internet and data is growing at 1.5x per year and projected hit 30% of Internet traffic by 2015.

Mobile web statistics

While potential buyers are shifting their time and attention to mobile, marketers aren’t responding. Only 45% of marketers have a mobile-optimized website, according to Adobe. Only 25% of marketers test their email for accurate mobile rendering, according to marketing automation platform Pardot.

One of the reasons that mobile is not becoming a part of every marketer’s tool set is that mobile is different. It has its own challenges, metrics and objectives, different from the web. Marketers must learn new tactics and acquire talent to succeed.

New skills required

To succeed in the mobile web, marketers need other ways to engage. For example, while PC users download and read whitepapers, long content and forms are hard to digest on a 5-inch screen.

Welcome to the App Economy. According to Flurry, apps account for 86% of the time people spend on the web compared to just 14% of time spent on mobile browsing. This shows the importance of apps to succeed in the mobile web.

Mobile web

Mobile apps don’t need to recreate all the functionality of your web experience, particularly at first. You may decide to have a portfolio of apps or a single one to concentrate your efforts. The app store is the new SEO.

Hubspot created a mobile app that allows users to access their platform from iPhone and Android phones, analyze data, connect with leads and track progress. With this mobile app, you can stay on top of your marketing campaigns on the go. Salesforce.com started with a portfolio of apps and consolidated them down to one in the Salesforce 1 platform.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 5.37.49 PM

When creating a mobile app, metrics are different. You need to track downloads from the App store. But downloads aren’t enough. Retention is critical. Research from Loyalitics indicates that 20% of apps are only opened once and 60% of apps are opened fewer than 10 times.

Email is the workhorse of B2B marketing on the web. It remains a significant driver of B2B lead generation and engagement. Most marketing automation platforms use email as their main channel for leads.

However, emails viewed from mobile are very different from emails viewed from a PC. Emails need to be mobile-optimized and fit the small screen. Emails aiming to send people to a landing page with long forms will fail in conversion. You need to optimize the entire experience.

In addition, you need a content strategy suited for the mobile web. Native advertising puts your content alongside organic content. High quality, relevant marketing content, boosted with advertising, can generate more clicks than organic content. The shift to content marketing has been running for some time, but mobile has made your ability to create quality content even more urgent.

Finally, you’ll also need new sources of data. For example, you’ll need to track downloads and usage from vendors like App Annie. You’ll need to build dashboards to track your campaigns across multiple mobile networks. Some but not all of your web vendors have made the mobile shift.


As consumers shift to mobile, marketers need to respond in kind. Mobile marketing requires a new set of strategies and tactics. Email alone won’t work anymore. Welcome to the world of apps, native advertising, and optimization for the small screen.

Staying in place isn’t an option. Comments are welcomed!

About Brian Goffman

Brian GoffmanBrian is an Internet executive with general management, marketing, sales, and product management background in mid-to-large-size organizations. Currently he is a venture partner at Technology Crossover Ventures, a growth-stage venture capital firm. At TCV, he works with the firm’s partners to evaluate new investments in consumer Internet and software, and advises leadership teams at existing portfolio companies, with a bias to disruptive products that upend existing business models. Prior to TCV, he led the global enterprise marketing team at LinkedIn across Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Sales Solutions.

Off the Grid Data: How to Develop Highly Targeted Solutions and Messaging Based on Data Mined From the Web & Social

Some of your most valuable marketing data may actually reside outside of your database. Data mined from the web and social networks contains a wealth of information that can inspire a new way of understanding customer profiles and creating progressive and targeted solutions and messaging.  

Off the Grid Data

Data is one of the core assets of the modern marketer. When the CMO Survey asked top marketers how often they base their decisions on data, 61% said they use data for decision-making “some of the time” or more. 4% of marketers are basing every decision they make on data and analytics.

Data for decision-making

Therefore, marketing data is used for better decision-making, targeting, performance measurement and product development. Yet in recent years, marketing data is changing as well. While in the past, marketers used to work in an environment of data scarcity, today they work in an environment of data abundance, which gives them the opportunity to make more data-driven decisions.

However, there is a caveat related to data abundance. While data captured by the organization grows quickly, data that resides outside of the organizational database grows even faster. As organizations are implementing tools such as marketing automation and web analytics platforms, CRMs and other tools that help to capture and store data, the more interesting data is captured elsewhere—on the web and social networks.

Data from the web and social

In 2014, nearly 500 million tweets are sent per day. There are over 2.3 million blog posts written per day and over 2.5 billion Google searches conducted every day. This data for a marketer is like a kid in a candy store—endless opportunities for interesting analysis and insights. However, this is off the grid data, as it exists outside of the company database.

Indicators for predictive lead scoring

CRMs were historically built in order to accommodate sales data. Therefore, they mostly contain names, contact information and some company demographics. In fact, Mintigo estimates that the average company CRM contains around 10 data points. By mining the web and social networks, companies can find thousands of data points on each prospect, out of which about 300 are relevant marketing data.

By combining data from the CRM with data from social and the web, marketers can get a robust data set for their analysis. However, this addition is not trivial—web and social data is unstructured and therefore poses some challenges.

  • Merging CRM data with web and social data is challenging. Matching the person on a twitter account or the company that authored a blog post to the record in your CRM is not trivial. You have to use robust algorithms to match this data accurately.
  • You need to make sense of social and web data. Social and web data may appear in various forms—status updates, job descriptions on job board or even code on the website. You need to translate these into data points that you can enter into your CRM. Let’s say that you would like to add a variable to your CRM whether a company uses Google Analytics; you will have to mine the web and make a decision about every company if it’s a yes or a no. Making these decisions the right way require some deep predictive marketing algorithms.

The advantages of getting robust data from web and social to your CRM are enormous. Robust data will give you deep understanding of customer profiles and let you segment your market better. It will also let you understand complementary technologies that your prospects are using and the DNA of your perfect prospective buyer.

Furthermore, robust data let’s you drive leads faster through the funnel by developing clear and targeted messaging and marketing collateral that resonates with them. It can also let you develop solutions that are better suited for them and may give you the competitive edge.


While marketers are relying more on data to make better decisions, the best data may reside outside the organization’s database. Combining this data with your CRM and making sense of it requires robust algorithms. However, the benefits are tremendous—you’ll get better understanding of your customer profiles to create more targeted solutions and messaging.


About Todd Forsythe

Todd Forsythe EMCTodd Forsythe is the VP of Global Marketing at EMC, a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver information technology as a service (ITaaS).

Data in the Clouds: Oracle’s Quest to Win the Marketing Cloud

Oracle may have been a latecomer to the sales cloud, but now it is making an aggressive bid to win the marketing cloud—according to John Furrier from Forbes.

John Furrier

John Furrier.

Oracle is set to take over the new and emerging marketing cloud, says John Furrier from Forbes. In a recent analysis of the marketing cloud he says: “This marketing cloud marketplace is the new lucrative market and battleground for the coveted and growing set of marketing and sales applications. Oracle is investing heavily to win the battle for the marketing cloud, and the dividends are starting to appear.” According to John, the strategy integrates technology and a business model similar to the Apple App Store or Amazon Web Services.

John gives Jive as an example of the difference between the new marketing cloud and the old model of enterprise software. He argues that Jive failed because companies don’t want to see sales people “proposing the moon” with huge upfront cost, before any value is realized.

Instead, companies prefer the Software-as-a-Service model, or SaaS, where software is cloud-based and does not carry a huge upfront cost. In addition, the cloud has leveled the playing field, allowing small startups to offer robust software solutions that once required on-premises software.

According to John, “Oracle has decided to draw a line in the sand and invest heavily in the marketing cloud with R&D. Through organic development, R&D, acquisitions, and partnerships, Oracle has assembled a formidable marketing cloud offering.”

The article also quotes R. “Ray” Wang, the founder and principal analyst of Constellation Research who said, “Oracle still has to find the right balance of partnerships, alliances, and acquisitions to serve the growing marketing buyer’s needs.”

Third-party ecosystem

Another strategy that Oracle is developing is a 3rd party ecosystem. “For example, the Oracle AppCloud is an API system and set of tools that allow tighter integrations between the functionality of Oracle and partner applications,” says John.

At Mintigo, we partnered with Oracle’s Marketing Cloud vision and developed an app on their AppCloud that integrates with Eloqua. This app allows marketers to enrich their leads with data and execute sophisticated campaigns directly from Eloqua, based on our robust indicators.

According to Forbes, the marketing cloud is becoming a crowded space with companies like Oracle, Salesforce, and LinkedIn now building marketing clouds. “If Oracle could pull off the ‘Apple for the enterprise software’ then it will be checkmate for their competitors. The key will be in building a credible 3rd party application marketplace,” John concluded.

Predictive Marketing: Brand is Not Dead; But Data is Your New Friend

Brand is still important. However, modern marketers need to be comfortable using data in order to help their organization engage high likely buyers.

Predictive Analytics and Marketing

Four of the top five most valuable brands are technology companies, according to Forbes. Apple tops Forbes’ list, and is followed by Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola and IBM. Ultimately, a great brand drives sales, high margin and profitability (as the lines outside Apple Stores show over and over again).

Where did all of these branding dollars go?

However, getting a strong brand awareness that pulls buyers in is a long and hard journey. Becoming top of mind for potential buyers takes a lot of upfront investment and a long time to show results. However, unlike B2C companies that address a large audience, B2B companies target a relatively small and well-defined niche.

In B2B organizations, sales-marketing alignment is critical for the organization to be able to meet its revenue target. Branding activities are typically viewed unfavorably by the sales organization that questions their contribution to revenue. This is further exacerbated by the fact that measuring branding results is not straightforward—organic traffic, branded keyword searches or brand surveys may have value, but they don’t show contribution to business and revenue objectives.

Therefore, B2B marketers that are too focused on branding find themselves facing questions from management and specifically Sales about the value that they bring to the organization. This puts marketers in a defensive position of being a “cost center” rather than having a seat at the revenue table.

Organizational Goals for B2B Content Marketing

Still, marketers are focused on branding, as branding is what they are trained to do. According to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, the most important objective for content marketing is brand awareness. Lead generation only comes second.

In an age where marketers are tasked with doing more with less, generating brand awareness without real accountability for revenue hurts marketers’ credibility. In fact, most organizations would find it hard to add more resources to branding without any hard evidence that it contributes to revenue objectives.

Engage the people who matter

Enter marketing data. Data lets marketers optimize all of their marketing efforts towards revenue objectives and get back the credibility that they deserve. Using marketing data that is collected inside and outside the organization, marketers can now prove that they are bringing in relevant sales leads (and ultimately customers) and that these leads have multiple touches with the brand before they are passed to Sales and turn into revenue.

In B2B, where target audience is typically very focused and well defined, Data lets marketers prove that they are engaging relevant potential buyers. In addition, it lets them prove the value of branding campaigns and their ability to push prospects down the funnel towards purchase.

In fact, in B2B, general brand awareness is meaningless without the data. A student who is very interested in working for a company and has downloaded a whitepaper is a very different lead than a qualified buyer. Our ads and brand message may resonate with a wide audience, but is it really convincing potential buyers? These are the questions that can be answered with data.

One great application of data-driven marketing for B2B is predictive lead scoring, which is a part of predictive marketing. Predictive lead scoring allows companies to identify people with high likelihood to buy and invest more money and effort in engaging them.

Predictive lead scoring takes advantage of data from the company database, which is enriched with data from the web and social networks. The data is then crunched using sophisticated machine learning algorithms. The result is a score that signify the prospect’s likelihood to buy.

For example, ReadyTalk, which makes high quality web conferencing technology, was looking for a way to generate campaigns that resonate with potential buyers. The marketing team decided to apply predictive marketing. Using Mintigo, ReadyTalk identified potential buyers in their database and targeted them with a top of the funnel email campaign.

Results were impressive. Email open rate increased by 33%, from 15% to 20%, as compared to targeting their full database. Email click-through rate increased by 118%, from 1.65% to 3.60%. Unlike brand awareness alone, engaging qualified buyers has a direct contribution to revenue. These prospects that clicked were pre-identified as likely buyers. Now, they can be sent to Sales, with higher probability to convert into paying customers.


Branding is powerful and ultimately contributes to sales and your bottom line. However, marketers need to gain credibility by showing that they are engaging the right people and that these people have high likelihood to end up as customers. Predictive marketing helps to ensure that top of the funnel campaigns are not only engaging, but are also bringing your next buyer.

About Jeanne Hopkins

Jeanne Hopkins

Jeanne Hopkins is the Senior VP of Marketing and CMO at Continuum Managed Services. She was Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot, where her marketing leadership helped the company become the second fastest-growing software company in the Inc. 500, by generating over 50,000 net new leads each month. She was also CMO of SmartBear and MECLabs, owner of MarketingSherpa, MarketingExperiments and InTouch, as well as Senior Director, Marketing Programs and Communications for Symmetricom.

Follow Jeanne on Twitter @jeannehopkins.