How do you Know It’s Time for Predictive Marketing?

Ready for predictive marketing? In a new webinar, Megan Heuer of SiriusDecisions explains how to assess whether your organization is prepared for the new, cutting-edge, data-driven marketing.

Predictive marketing opens new frontiers for marketers ready to explore data-driven avenues in revolutionizing revenue generation. But where do you start? Is your organization a good fit for predictive marketing? Do you have the right skills? Will your organization enjoy high returns on this investment?

Megan-Heuer

Megan Heuer, VP & Group Director of Data-Driven Marketing at SiriusDecisions

In a new webinar, Megan Heuer, VP & Group Director of Data-Driven Marketing at SiriusDecisions, answers all of these questions and more. In the webinar, Megan discusses taking advantage of predictive marketing and applying data-driven tactics to the campaigns you’re launching. Heuer also give tips on how to cherry-pick the right partner to work with on launching a predictive marketing strategy.

Megan, a sales and marketing thought leader with more than 20 years of industry and professional services experiences, leads SiriusDecisions’ Account-Based Marketing and Marketing Operations services. Megan’s aids clients in bridging the divide between best-practice theory and real-world requirements. Prior to SiriusDecisions, Megan was a consultant with Satmetrix Systems, the leader in customer-loyalty solutions and a co-developer of Net Promoter, the gold standard metric for linking loyalty and revenue growth.

“Being a data-driven marketer is about growth,” Megan explains. “It’s about creating ways to engage with your customers and make them want to buy from you, and in that way delivering growth.” She believes, when you ask yourself how you can foster faster growth, “It really breaks data-driven marketing down into a series of better decisions that you can make.”

According to Megan, “We’re really talking about being customer-driven and customer-focused, but doing it at scale. You can go ahead and take advantage of the power to reach customers. So when you think about that, you’re really talking about the data helping you reach your customers in a better way.”

Megan offers pointers on where predictive marketing can help, depending on where in the Demand Waterfall you find your challenge. For example, in the top of the funnel, “If you’re having trouble engaging with your customer, wouldn’t a bit more market intelligence or a higher degree of personalization change the game? If you’re having trouble making sure that you’re sending the right leads to sales that they’re willing to accept and progress, perhaps some of the data you have working for you around lead scoring or lead grabbing is not doing all it can and you need to go back and take another look at that.”

Predictive marketing can also facilitate outbound marketing. “If your outbound marketing isn’t getting a response rate that you’d like or isn’t reaching the right people, again, data can help you with this.“

According to Megan, improving an existing process is a great way to get started. “Now these are all things that most companies do in some way today,” Megan explains. “What you want to make sure of is that you’re doing them as well as you possibly can, and that you’re taking advantage of all the available data that’s out there to help you do it.” A simple bit of guidance that Megan imparts is to start small. “Take one use case and then work your way up,” she says.

Megan quotes a recent study from SiriusDecisions that surveyed 1,000 senior level B2B buyers about their buying process. The research found that 71% of the decisions of a vendor as a B2B buyer are based on either direct or indirect customer experience, while just 18% of buyers said that they made their decision based on the offering’s ability to meet their needs, and just 9% on the price. “Experience wins every time,” Megan says.

Heuer lists three things to keep on your checklist for choosing a predictive marketing vendor. “The first is around the fit of the solution and whether the solution is going to help us meet our goals. The second is the technology itself and how it fits into what you may already have.”

The third checklist item she imparts is talking to other customers of the prospective vendor. Reach out to customers who had similar challenges to help you better appreciate what it’s like. “You will be in a position to not just base it on private emotional response to an experience, but on a good balanced response to whether this partner is going to really help you meet your data-driven goals,” she counsels.

Data Driven Marketing Webinar

The 5 Habits of the World’s Best Data-Driven Marketers

In a recent webinar, Russ Glass of LinkedIn explains how data revolutionizes marketing and what the best data-driven marketers are doing to succeed.

When talking about the creation of the personal, meaningful online experience, we are talking about engrossing customers with encounters so incredible that they believe they were designed specifically for them, experiences based on what they need and what they want. Not long ago, the vision of giving that moment to customers seemed like a fantasy. However, today, it’s possible and it’s a game-changer for the businesses that enable themselves to grasp what the customer wants and ultimately deliver on those wants.

Russ Glass

Russ Glass, LinkedIn

Analyzing data to unearth what customers need is key in today’s marketing world, according to Russ Glass, Head of Products for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Russ has a long experience with data. The founder and former president and CEO of Bizo, a B2B audience marketing and data platform, led the organization from founding in 2008 to a $50 million+ revenue run rate, before being acquired by LinkedIn in 2014. Russ is a dynamic, serial technology entrepreneur, having founded and held senior positions at four venture-backed technology companies.

In a recent webinar, Russ explained how data changes the way we market to prospects, explaining that the revolution in marketing got underway with the development of computing power.

Russ shares a few interesting stats: “The phone in my pocket right now is a thousand times faster than the computer that sent Apollo 11 to the Moon. Every 6 hours, the NSA is collecting the same amount of information that’s been stored in the Library of Congress. The cost of storing a megabyte of data has gone down by 28 million times since 1980.”

The revolution in storage and processing has given rise to Big Data. “There are a lot of definitions around Big Data,” explains Russ, “but we simply look at this as the ability to process huge amounts of data in order to expose and find previously hidden insights. The analogy you can use here is the needle in the haystack, and use that to improve the value of your business.”

According to Russ, Big Data is really about is creating great customer experiences: “It’s about understanding your customer better, it’s about being able to serve that customer with more of what they need, and it’s about being able to improve your business by being smarter about all of this exhaust that consumers are creating as they move around the web.”

Amazon is a prime example according the Glass: “Amazon started in 1996 as a bookseller online and they quickly grew into a powerhouse. Amazon is looking at what you’ve bought in the past and what you’ve looked at but haven’t bought and uses this data to serve a completely personal experience.”

Russ explains that they use this data to provide uniquely personal experiences on the website, the mobile app, the email newsletter, and on ads across the web. He contrasts Amazon with Borders, which ignored what customers were telling them, paying the ultimate price–Borders is now out of business.

Another impressive example from Russ is Netflix: “Netflix built an incredible, data-driven, and customer-centric business. In the House of Cards, they went to about eight different producers, in Hollywood, and they all said no to the show. And then they went to Netflix, who had never produced a show before, but Netflix looked at their viewership. What they saw is that their viewers loved movies with Kevin Spacey, loved the British version of the show, and also really liked the director of House of Cards. Using data, they figured out that it’s going to be a success and bet $100 million on producing the show. The rest is history.”

How to be a stellar data-driven marketer

Addressing how only recently data became part of marketing plans, Russ explains, “Marketers are using platforms on LinkedIn like sponsored content. They’re defining content marketing in an entirely different way. They’re testing audience types and the messages that are most effective with these audiences.”

According to Russ, there are five things that distinguish the best data-driven marketers from the rest of the pack. “The first big thing that the best marketers are doing is being customer searcher from the start,” says Russ. “They’re defining their personas at a very rich level and they’re determining the experience for that customer. The second is starting small. With simple A/B testing or simple predictive analytics, they expose the needles in the haystacks.

“The third thing we’re seeing is a desire and willingness to invest in technology. A part of the definition of the Big Data is that you can’t do this without technology. Fourth thing is an incredible focus on hiring the right people. This doesn’t mean that you need quants necessarily, but it does mean that you’re hiring people that are comfortable with what data is telling them.

“The final thing is the companies we see having the most success are companies that are testing everything. They’re measuring everything. Everything that goes out the door has an A/B test associated with it. Everything that comes back is measured against the baseline.”

In conclusion, Russ says that these five concepts help the best marketers become more customers-centric and drive better customer experiences. Today, we see that the ability to create experiences and develop a data-driven understanding of customers is key for driving success.

Data Driven Marketing Webinar

The 8 Keys for Deploying Powerful Marketing Models

To get the most out of your predictive marketing models, follow these 8 simple steps.

Predictive Marketing Modeling

Predictive marketing models leverage robust data to help marketers optimize campaigns. These models rely on vigorous, up-to-date data from the web to forecast the likelihood of prospects becoming buyers.

Used correctly, predictive models are powerful, but incorrectly used they can be misleading. Here are some tips for the successful deployment of powerful marketing models in your organization:

  1. Model validation: Models need to be tested and validated for accuracy and for their predictive power in “real” market conditions. So verify that your model has been successfully deployed and tested with dozens of clients. Reliance on theoretical models that were merely back-tested on paper without real-world results will probably disappoint. Don’t put your money on a paper tiger.
  2. Optimization across the funnel: Optimize separately at every point of the funnel–from marketing campaign engagement to closing deals to lifetime value. Augmenting each point of the funnel will provide far more successful outcomes.
  3. Understand score drivers: Predictive models may be complex, but results should be clear and make sense. Never accept model results as a black box. Make sure you get reports with an unobstructed view of what’s driving your score so that you can perform “sanity checks” on your model.
  4. Full control over leads passed to sales: Ensure that you have the ability to determine the quality versus quantity of leads passed to sales to optimize ROI. Need more leads? Lower the score and pass more leads to sales. Too many leads? Pass less leads, but with higher likelihood to close.
  5. Step-by-step process: Deploy your model powerfully to achieve your goals. Apply best practices and expert reviews at any stage of the process to make sure you’re on target. While deploying as many models as possible is tempting, our experience shows that successful implementation of the first model leads to better adoption of predictive marketing in your organization.
  6. Training: Get proper training and customer support experts on building successful predictive marketing models.
  7. Sales-Marketing alignment support: Be a predictive marketing evangelist. If your sales team isn’t comprised of believers in the power of predictive marketing and how it can benefit them, the best models in the world may fail to get a positive ROI. Get as much support as you can to foster sales-marketing alignment.
  8. Engineering support: If you run into challenges with your models or their deployment, get help from data scientists that can resolve custom modeling challenges.

Predictive marketing models are the future of marketing. However, you must carefully deploy them in your organization to get the best results. These 8 best practices will boost the outcomes of your most important marketing investment.

5 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Leads Database with Predictive Marketing

You’ve spent years and a fortune building your marketing database. Here are 5 powerful ways Predictive Marketing will help you enrich, clean, and structure your database for success.

Predictive Marketing Database

Image source: r2hox

The leads database is one of your company’s most valuable assets. Marketing automation collects data about leads, which is used to nurture and slide them down the funnel. However, this data is not robust enough and also degrades quickly. The solution is a platform that continuously sources data from the web, keeping the data fresh, robust, and current.

Here are 5 challenges that many marketers face and how Predictive Marketing can resolve them:

1. Not enough data points

Company data gives only a fractional view of a lead as it mostly contains contact information such as names, job titles, and addresses. On average, the company database contains 10 data points on each prospect. Compare that to the more than 1,700 that you can find on leading predictive marketing platforms. Predictive Marketing mines data from the web and enriches the lead with valuable data points that can help you evaluate leads and support your sales process.

2. Degraded data

Company data is not regularly updated with new information and therefore can become stale. Typically, after a lead or a contact is created in the CRM, sales reps rarely update it with new information. However, people change jobs or get promoted, companies grow or launch new products, and their needs change. And so does data. Nevertheless, this will not be reflected in your CRM or marketing automation data.

Predictive Marketing, on the other hand, sources data from the web. Online data is continuously updated by individuals, people who update their LinkedIn profiles, for example, and companies by way of press releases, their website, and blog posts.

3. Data cleansing

CRM data is not clean. When multiple people enter data over a long period of time, it becomes less and less clean and prone to errors. Predictive marketing is not prone to typos and data entry errors as the data comes from the web and is validated through multiple sources. Therefore, it can be used to clean your company database.

4. Lack of clear structure

In your CRM, data structure is not standard. The same variable can be entered in many different ways. For example, states can be entered as two letters or as the full name. Job titles that are the same can have different names. Nonstandard data makes it hard to segment and draw meaningful conclusions. Predictive marketing collapses your data into a standard format that makes it easier to use the data.

5. Missing data

As with any database, some of the variables are missing from the company database. Inbound leads may have left some of the fields in the form empty, and leads from different sources may have different fields associated with them. Predictive marketing leverages the data mined from the web to fill many of these missing variables, delivering a complete and robust database.

Conclusion

Predictive Marketing makes your company database robust and complete. The data on the web is updated by companies and also by individuals themselves, and Predictive Marketing updates it to your company database. You’ve spent years and a fortune building your company database; now let Predictive Marketing take it to the next level.

Marketing Unicorns May Not Exist, But You Can Find Acres of Diamonds in Your Backyard!

Instead of looking for new prospects, marketers should make sure that they leverage the leads that they already have in their CRM.

Marketing Unicorn

Finding the unicorn. Source

“Tell me about the leads and buyers that I don’t know about. That’s the real B2B marketing unicorn.” This is what I heard at SiriusDecisions Summit in May, from a marketing executive from a large Bay Area tech company.

Why are new buyers unicorns? When you have millions leads in your database and you manage marketing for many years for the same company, it is really hard to find any new buyers that you are not already aware of. Are there really target companies, of any volume, that this marketer isn’t aware of? Maybe a handful…

The conversation did not actually start on discovering new leads, but rather on discovering which of the millions leads in their database are likely to become customers. “We know that only half of the leads in the database are good leads; we just don’t know which half,” he said.

But the biggest prize was identifying new leads. A seasoned marketer, his eyes lit up at the thought of Mintigo identifying new leads that he isn’t aware of and discovering an untapped market.

I was skeptical at the beginning. What are the odds that we can discover new leads for such a mature company and marketing team with millions of leads in their database? One of my mentors used to say that when we are chasing a bright, shiny object, “People tend to be so concerned about what they don’t know, rather than about what they know.” The grass is greener. Psychologists state that the problem with the greener-grass syndrome is that it is usually “based on fantasy and fear.” Unicorns, anyone?

B2B marketers typically have a relatively defined universe of potential customers that are most often segmented by:

  • Basic firmographic data: Industry, revenue, geography, and employee count.
  • Products, services, or solutions that they sell.

Therefore, companies that have been around for a few years are likely to be aware of 95% of their addressable market. Firmographic and product fit are the high level definition of a target. So why are we now concerned about the small percentage of companies, net news, we don’t know about?

My theory is that B2B marketers have been marketing into these broadly defined segments for many years. Therefore, the performance metrics (MQLs to SQLs to conversions, cost/lead, cost/win) are not improving even as they increase the volume of content and campaigns that they run.

What is the solution? Unicorns! That’s what we need. Think about the analogy itself. We’re comparing these net-new leads to something that (People under the age of 18, or those that believe in unicorns, please don’t read the rest of this sentence.) doesn’t exist!

Instead of focusing on how to improve our productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency with the data we have in our known universe, we’re looking over the hill at the greener pasture of potential customers that we don’t know about! This has to stop. Even if we suddenly have visibility or awareness of these magical net-new leads, the marketing generated revenue lift factor will be minor and short-lived. That’s not a sustainable solution and has no leverage.

So what if, instead of looking for unicorns, we uncover the diamonds in our backyard—real diamonds (Ask my wife.). Which brings me to one of my favorite parables Acres of Diamonds told by Russell Conwell in the early 1900s. Trust me, it’s still relevant. If you aren’t familiar with it, I encourage you to look it up.   Read pages 4-7 here to learn more.

The Acres of Diamonds

The Acres of Diamonds tells about a farmer who is wealthy beyond his wildest dreams with enough riches to last him several lifetimes. It says, “He was contented because he was wealthy, and wealthy because he was contented.” One day someone tells him about diamonds and the enormous value each one has. That night he went to bed “poor because he was discontented, and discontented because he feared he was poor.”

He must find these diamonds! To cut to the end, he sells his farm, leaves his family, and spends all of his wealth looking for these diamonds. He dies broke and alone. Shortly thereafter, the man that bought the farmer’s land was walking through a stream that ran through the plot of land. A rock with a shape and color that he had never seen before caught his eye and he leaned over and picked it up. It turned out to be a diamond… Soon thereafter that land became one of the largest diamond mines ever discovered.

Look in your backyard

So to my marketing colleagues that are focused on the finding these unicorns of enormous value out there in the universe, please pause! The buyers and net-new customers you are looking for are in your backyard. You just have to know what to look for and how to mine the data that will identify which of those leads and customers are actually diamonds.

Our focus, energies, and investments should be on the 95% of the market we are aware of that lives in our own databases. The problem isn’t that we don’t know who they are; it’s that we don’t know enough about who they are, what are the characteristics, tendencies and personalities of our customers, to identify the diamonds when we run across them.

Firmographic information doesn’t help you to answer those questions. And you can’t target what you can’t see. That is where Predictive Marketing platforms can clean off the dirt and will help you identify the Acres of Diamonds in your backyard!

Mike MaloneAbout Mike Malone

Mike Malone is Sales Director and a B2B demand generation solutions expert at Mintigo. Mike is passionate about helping B2B marketers, sales leaders and anyone involved with demand generation improve their ability to identify, target and engage new customers.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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.”

Conclusion

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.

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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.