TechTarget Enhances Priority Engine With Automated Target Profile Delivery

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

tech target placeitTechTarget, a technology media company which also sells data analytics services, has announced the latest release of its IT Deal Alert Priority Engine, a SaaS-based purchase intent insight platform, during the SiriusDecisions Summit in Las Vegas. The release features the launch of Automated Target Profile Delivery, which is designed to help marketing teams set up multiple ideal customer profiles within Priority Engine, as well as deliver purchase intent intelligence and prospects into their CRM and marketing automation platforms.

The company said these new enhancements will help drive marketing and sales activation and ROI by:

  • Fueling the martech stack with active prospects and accounts aligned directly to Target Profiles;
  • Managing multiple profiles and personas for more effective segmentation and nurturing;
  • Supporting multi-tiered account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives; and
  • Enabling streamlined prospect distribution to different stakeholders within the sales organization or channel partners customized by each sales rep’s territory of prioritized active accounts.

“B2B marketers are very busy trying to manage campaigns, data, leads and platforms across multiple vendors,” said Andrew Briney, SVP of Products at TechTarget, in a statement. “The release of Automated Target Profile Delivery dramatically streamlines their workflow so they can get the most out of Priority Engine. By automating delivery of prospects and real purchase intent against each one of these profiles, marketers spend less time processing and more time doing.”  

2017 State Of Inbound Report: Mixed Perspectives Between C-Level, Managers On Alignment

Written by: Brian Anderson

The latest installment of the annual State Of Inbound Marketing from HubSpot showed a disconnect between how the C-suite and its managers view the company’s sales and marketing relationship. The study revealed that 31% of C-level executives say their teams are tightly aligned, while only 17% of managers agree.

The annual report also showed that while 44% stated that their marketing and sales teams are “generally aligned,” only 22% of respondents said that their teams are tightly aligned with sales and marketing service level agreements (SLAs).

“When we unpacked the data, we found that the executives who set the vision for their companies have very different perspectives on the state of their business, compared to individual contributors tasked with executing on that vision,” said Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, in the report. “Executives need a better understanding of the day-to-day challenges employees face, and employees need to communicate more clearly the roadblocks in the way of success.”

The top-three marketing priorities for respondents were converting contacts and leads to customers (70%), growing traffic to the website (55%) and increasing revenue derived from existing customers (45%).

Specifically, when it comes to inbound marketing, respondents’ top-three priorities include growing SEO/organic presence (61%), blog content creation (53%) and content distribution and amplification (47%).

Other findings from the report include:

  • Sixty-one percent of respondents feel their organization’s marketing strategy is effective;
  • Close to two-thirds (63%) of respondents said generating traffic and leads is their top marketing challenge, followed not so closely by providing the ROI of marketing activities (40%); and
  • Roughly one-third (32%) of respondents said their sales team spends more than an hour performing data entry or other manual tasks. Another 32% said they spend between 30 minutes to an hour performing such tasks.

SiriusDecisions Unveils New Demand Waterfall Model To Address Changing Dynamics In B2B Engagement

Written by: Andrew Gaffney

The SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall has transformed the way thousands of B2B organizations have approached, managed and tracked lead management over the past decade. This week at the SiriusDecisions Summit 2017 in Las Vegas, that iconic framework was transformed to address many of the fundamental shifts towards account strategies, personalization and the need for greater precision in measuring pipeline impact.

SiriusDecisons unveiled the new “Demand Unit Waterfall” to a warm reception of more than 3,000 attendees at the Summit.  The new framework features an increased focus on buying groups, rather than the progression of individual leads or inquiries.

Introduced by Terry Flaherty and Kerry Cunningham, both Senior Research Directors with SiriusDecisions, the new Demand Unit Waterfall addresses the realities of engaging buying teams, as well as incorporating new tools and tactics such as predictive analytics and intent monitoring.

While the original Demand Waterfall (which rolled out in 2006) was designed to track activity once a buying journey had begun, Flaherty explained that the new framework was positioned to help companies better define and target their total addressable market.  

The Demand Unit Waterfall adds two new stages—target demand and active demand—which are aimed at identifying target buyers before they have raised their hand or self-identified on your site.

Flaherty said that the new Demand Unit Waterfall addresses many of the gaps and inconsistencies B2B organizations have faced as they have tried to shift to focus more account-based strategies and better align with the metrics of their sales teams.

“The existing model starts with an inquiry, which is when an individual hand is raised,” Flaherty said. “The reality is B2B buying decisions are made by multiple people and with more organizations aimed to drive coverage and engagement across target accounts, there is a need to change how companies define and track key stages of engagement.”

The complete progression of stages in the new Demand Unit Waterfall include:

  • Target Demand;
  • Active Demand;
  • Engaged Demand;
  • Prioritized Demand;
  • Qualified Demand;
  • Pipeline; and
  • Close. 

Breaking Down Buying Groups & Demand Units

Two key components in the new Waterfall model are the focus on buying groups and the concept of Demand Units.

Cunningham said that many B2B organizations have been too limited in defining their target markets, because they were focused on either individual buyer personas or accounts.

In building the new Waterfall model, SiriusDecisions has focused more on buying groups, which are defined as “a collection of personas involved in the process to buy an offering.” This could change for different companies based on different lines of business, geographies, job functions or roles in the purchase process.

Cunningham further explained that a Demand Unit “consists of a buying group that has organized needs the organization is challenged with,” and Cunningham suggested B2B organizations should define buying groups and demand units based on the characteristics of having “relationships, resources and needs” established.

“Organizations may have many demand units, depending on different solutions they sell, and each will have their own unique needs and requirements,” Cunningham added.

Because the new stages and definitions in the Demand Unit Waterfall are better aligned with actual buying scenarios, as well as the criteria sales teams are using, Cunningham predicted the new model will provide much more accurate measurement perspectives for marketers focused on attribution.

“For the math in the old waterfall, it looked like every inquiry should be converting at the same rate, but in reality you could have five inquiries from the same account, which dilute conversion rates,” he said. “Now marketing and sales organizations will have a more accurate view of how they are doing against targeted accounts and how engaged accounts are converting.”

45 Marketing & Demand Gen Execs Named ABM Superheroes

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

For the second year, account-based marketing (ABM) software provider Terminus has released its list of top ABM practitioners.

The Top 45 ABM Superheroes for 2017 features C-level executives putting theory into practice at their organizations. The practitioners also exemplify the following seven ABM “superpowers” formulated by Terminus:

  1. Assemble ABM Avengers—the ability to develop sales and marketing alignment.
  2. Gain ABM Clairvoyance—have clearly defined goals for activities and campaigns.
  3. Build the ABM “Bat Cave”—the ability to select the right technologies to scale ABM.
  4. Use Account X-Ray Vision—being laser-focused on best-fit accounts.
  5. Show Results of ABM Steel—the ability to measure the right KPIs vs. vanity metrics such as MQLs.
  6. Spin Your ABM Web—selecting multiple channels and crafting creative messaging.
  7. Up, Up, & Away with ABM—executing ABM campaigns to help sales take off.

“ABM adoption has skyrocketed since we named our first list of Superheroes in 2016,” said Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and CMO of Terminus, in a statement. “Our 2017 ABM Superheroes are proving the value of an account-based approach to sales and marketing alignment, and the impact ABM has for growing revenue.”

Some of the individuals that earned the title of ABM Superheroes include:

  • Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing, InsightSquared
  • Julia Stead, Sr. Director, Demand Generation, Invoca
  • Bassem Hamdy, EVP Marketing and Enterprise Strategy, Procore
  • Michael Walsh, Director, Digital Marketing, Rosetta Stone
  • Kristen Wendel, Director Marketing Operations, VersionOne
  • Avi Bhatnagar, Director, Digital Marketing & Strategy, WhiteHat Security

Is ABM A Fad?

Written by: Jon Miller, Engagio

1millerAt a recent industry event, the above question was posed by marketers and industry observers, who wondered out loud where the account-based marketing train was actually headed. It’s certainly a question worth pondering, especially as the marketing-tech world has become awash with buzz-worthy new technologies promising all manner of sales, revenue and AI-powered Nirvana.

There’s no doubt that ABM has been overhyped. The vendor community has glommed onto the term in the hopes of marketing their wares. And, to be blunt, there are companies assuming the ABM mantle that have no business doing so. That level of ABM hype is unsustainable and ultimately detrimental to the marketers who are looking for proven solutions to solve very real business challenges.

All of that said, hype is a fact of life in emerging technology. Just because ABM has attracted its share of buzz does not mean it’s a fad. ABM has grown so rapidly because A) companies had a strong need to improve their targeting, engagement and conversion of high value prospects, and B) new technology emerged which enabled all that while doing something really revolutionary: orchestrating human connections at scale.

There is nothing faddish about developing a measurably better and more productive way to engage and convert your best customers and prospects. ABM delivers on that promise every day.

As I have said since before launching Engagio just over two years ago, ABM is akin to “fishing with spears.” By contrast, the first big martech innovation—marketing automation—was analogous to “fishing with nets.” These are two very different, but complementary, types of marketing that meet very different needs. Using “nets” works well when you are targeting prospects with lower Average Contract Values (ACVs), such as those that are less than $20K.

When you are pursuing larger fish—and especially enterprise “whales”—“spears” are the right tools for the hunt. Of course, there are also some companies for which a “hybrid” fishing approach is the best way to go—using both nets and spears. At my own company, Engagio, we use marketing automation as well as our signature ABM solutions.

Ten years ago, there was a hodgepodge of tools that helped marketers scale their net fishing. Then, marketing automation integrated those tools into the platform that became a must-have for modern marketers. Fast forward to today and we are seeing the emergence of new platforms that are bringing together similarly disparate tools and point solutions to help marketers pursue their high value accounts—the biggest fish—with spears.

These new “marketing orchestration” platforms are very different than their marketing automation cousins. Why? Because fishing with spears requires marketers to orchestrate human connections at scale, in addition to orchestrating account-based data, various systems and operations, and data-driven insights. To do all of that, and generate true account-based engagement (which is the Holy Grail of the spear-wielding ABM marketer), you need a marketing orchestration platform.

I believe marketing orchestration is the engine that is driving the rapidly growing era of Account-Based Everything. Marketing orchestration is very different from the last few martech cycles that included trends such as content management and predictive, which was just another way of doing lead scoring. A marketing orchestration platform represents a fundamentally different technology designed to empower marketers to engage, measure and convert accounts at scale. I believe it is a sea change in marketing, not a temporary phenomenon.

Marketers have a reputation for loving what is new and trendy. But, ABM driven by a powerful marketing orchestration platform, is not one of those fleeting fads.  It is a proven, highly scalable way to use the sharpest and strongest “spears” to land the biggest, most profitable whales. I’d call that a marketing revolution worth joining.


 

Jon Miller is CEO and Founder of Engagio. Previously, Jon was the VP Marketing and Co-Founder of Marketo. He is a speaker and writer about marketing best practices, and is the author of multiple Definitive Guides, including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. 

Mintigo Raises $10 Million For Global Growth

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

Mintigo, an AI platform for marketing and sales, has raised $10 million in funding from Glilot Capital Partners to accelerate global growth. Sequoia Capital IL, Adams Street Partners, Giza Venture Capital, Maverick Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners also participated in the round.

The company’s AI- and predictive analytics-powered technology is designed to help B2B organizations identify prospects that are most likely to buy, and provides insights to marketing and sales teams on how to intelligently engage with them. The company’s B2B database collects more than 3,000 data points on more than 50 million companies. Current clients include Oracle, Getty Images and CA Technologies.

“Our new partnership with Glilot Capital Partners will help us accelerate our growth and widen our penetration into the enterprise market,” says Jacob Shama, CEO and co-founder of Mintigo.  “We’ve seen amazing results in the past year and we’ll use this investment to move our business forward full throttle.”

BrandMaker Launches Customer Engagement Cloud For Tailored Content

Written by: Klaudia Tirico

BrandMaker’s Customer Engagement Cloud is a combination of marketing software, methodology and best practices designed to maximize the effectiveness of lead generation/marketing communications efforts by aligning prospects with the right content, at the right time to create qualified leads.

FEATURES/FUNCTIONALITY

The Customer Engagement Cloud enables marketers to understand and analyze how prospects are reacting to marketing content, and tailors content to each audience and channel based on their needs and progress in the customer journey.

Marketing receives personalized lead reports detailing prospects’ engagement with sales and marketing material, which includes critical information such as:

  • Time spent on individual content;
  • Details on who content is shared with;
  • Customer profiles; and
  • Additional content recommendations.

TARGETED USERS

BrandMaker serves senior marketing and sales decision makers that are typically faced with long and complex marketing sales cycles in key industries, including enterprise software, manufacturing, professional and financial services, as well as pharmaceutical.

COMPATIBILITY

Providing standard APIs, BrandMaker solutions integrate with any kind of adjacent and relevant solution, be it ERP or financial systems, sales systems, marketing automation or business intelligence/analytical systems. The solution also integrates with all relevant online services and platforms to enable social communications, KPI and data tracking and aggregation, as well as report such data into follow-up systems such as data warehouse solutions.

DELIVERY/PRICING MODELS

The Customer Engagement Cloud is a SaaS solution and is priced based on the number of users.

CURRENT CLIENTS/USERS

Companies such as HSH Nordbank have successfully adopted BrandMaker’s Customer Engagement Cloud.

COMPETITIVE POSITIONING

Unlike traditional marketing solution providers, BrandMaker effectively aligns marketing and sales. The solution is designed to improve the connection between marketing operations and lead management. 

CONTACT INFO

BrandMaker Inc.
5185 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 280
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092, USA
1-678-735-7363

CIENCE Hires Eric Quanstrom As New CMO

Written by: Brian Anderson

Eric Quanstrom cienceCIENCE, a data sciences company offering managed services and software for lead generation, announced it has hired Eric Quanstrom as the company’s new CMO.

Quanstrom will be tasked with guiding global marketing activities, including oversight of inbound and outbound marketing, demand generation, partner marketing, web presence, social media, corporate communications and customer success.

“The company’s strength—obsessive focus on customers—attracted me to CIENCE,” Quanstrom said in a statement. “My goal is to build the preeminent modern revenue organization, through customer-centric programs. We’re solving for such an important need in every partner company we work with—to fill sales pipelines with qualified opportunities, thus introducing targeted, scalable growth.”

Prior to joining CIENCE, Quanstrom was the CMO of KiteDesk, Pipeliner CRM and Nimble. He also held senior-level positions at companies such as Sorenson Media, SightSpeed and DocuComp.

B2B Marketers Report Stronger Results From Retargeting Programs Tied To ABM, Segmented Campaigns

Written by: Brian Anderson

Retartegting ABMAfter seeing mixed results with early forays into display ad retargeting, B2B brands are reporting significantly better success as they attach remarketing tools and tactics to more precise initiatives, such as account-based marketing (ABM) programs.

Brands such as Trifacta and Capital One are seeing better engagement—and increased opportunities—when they align their retargeting initiatives with ABM efforts.

“With an account-based approach, companies can identify the accounts that can have the biggest impact on their business and focus retargeting on those companies,” said Peter Isaacson, CMO at Demandbase, a leading provider of ABM solutions. “They can then send specific messaging about that company/industry/size of their company/topics of interest to personalize that messaging.”

Trifacta, a big data solution provider, recently re-launched its retargeting program, after a brief hiatus due to lackluster results.

“We had retargeting in place, but it wasn’t focused on the right accounts and it had more of a vertical focus, which wasn’t appropriate for us,” said Bill Karpowicz, Director of Global Marketing Campaigns at Trifacta.  “We re-launched it based on our target account list, and this is the only list we are retargeting to at the moment.”

 While the company identified more than 650 accounts, Trifacta trimmed it down to roughly 180 companies that it would retarget. The list was refined based on the company’s current customer lists and finding lookalikes within those 650 accounts.

“We changed our messaging and creative for ads targeted towards these accounts,” Karpowicz said.  He added that they are leveraging Terminus, an ABM targeting platform, to personalize messaging, such as “adding company names to the display ads,” for example, along with focusing messaging on the account vertical and Trifacta’s value proposition.

He added that the company has been targeting key roles within accounts.

“The best person to sell to is the end user, so we target towards that group of people,” Karpowicz said. “The message is for someone who will be using the tool on the day-to-day basis, [as well as] their line managers.”

Trifacta has also begun tying their retargeting initiatives to company revenue—moving away from driving sheer lead volume into their CRM.

“We align with goals on opportunities and revenue,” Karpowicz said. “I’m highlighting that because many marketing orgs think their job ends as soon as the lead enters the door.”

In the two months since Trifacta re-launched its retargeting initiatives, Kapowicz said it has generated 2.5 million impressions among target accounts.

Capital One is another prime example. The company wanted to create a connection with targeted SMBs by having a cross-functional conversation over email, social, display advertising and in-person meetings at its locations. The company utilized Salesforce Advertising Studio to sync CRM and ad engagement data.

Having the ability to tie data from its CRM to Advertising Studio, Capital One was not only able to engage small businesses in the right context, but also end conversations with SMBs not looking to buy.

“We’re seeing many of our customers want to achieve the goal of account based marketing, and do it in an omnichannel way,” Chris Jacobs, Director of Product Marketing for Advertising in Salesforce Marketing Cloud. “People are demanding to make the tech work better together [to meet] overarching goals.”

Different Models For Retargeting

There are a variety of options for B2B marketers looking to refine their retargeting initiatives. Jon Russo, Founder of the B2B Fusion Group, broke down the current retargeting solution landscape as follows:

  • IP-based, solutions such as Kwanzoo;
  • Cookie-based, such as Oracle BlueKai and other DMPs;
  • Proprietary platforms, such as Demandbase, Terminus and Big Willow.

“The cookie based approach has the advantage of drawing a huge audience (1B) with a ‘look alike’ audience to help shape a strategy,” Russo said. “But cookies may not be available in countries outside the US that are more sensitive to privacy—that’s where having an IP-based approach could work well.”

In all models, companies can purchase ads to retarget based on insight that they can glean from their solution providers, according to Russo.

“On the positive, an account that has multiple stakeholders is more likely to be targeted using a hybrid approach,” Russo said. “On the downside, the marketer doesn’t have full visibility as to who within the company is viewing the retargeted ad unless there is a call to action that directs them to a marketing automation form.”

Data Validation Maximizes Retargeting Outcomes With A Refocused Spend

Industry experts state that the priority right now—in the B2B marketplace in general—is around data verification. This becomes especially true for account targeting and retargeting.

Tom O’Regan, CEO at Madison Logic, another leading technology platform for targeted advertising and lead generation, explained that the models for retargeting are changing in B2B. “Old retargeting was running (ads) on websites that had a high percentage (of what) such as Nielsen and comScore. In the old days, you couldn’t guarantee that data accuracy. Layering on top the accounts that fit the profile you are targeting can validate your marketing spend even further.”

What has changed on the retargeting front, according to O’Regan, is the granularity of account and firmographic data that can be applied to retargeting efforts.

With ABM, retargeting reveals commonalities across organizations, O’Regan said. “You’re able to see which assets resonate the most across [accounts] and even industries to help optimize initiatives.”

Once this type of data is obtained, experts state that it can help target key stakeholders within accounts to maximize spend and increase relevancy.

“Layer on data so that you’re not targeting everyone in the organization,” suggested O’Regan. “Use some filtering to identify intent and individuals that are most likely to have an impact on the buying decision.”

Other thought leaders reiterated that the benefit from this retargeting approach is the information gained over a prolonged period of time.

“Think about what other info they can gather to better enhance the digital identity of their target accounts,” Jacobs said. “That’s the part where AI, DMPs and connected-customer experiences begin to bear fruit. This is not where many marketers are today, but where people can strive to be.”

Deeper Engagement = Deeper Personalization

Marketers who have already formulated—or have begun implementing—an ABM program, are well positioned to look at account or industry level data to start tailoring messaging for ad retargeting.

Demandbase’s Isaacson suggests working with your team to identify “engagement thresholds” to control the flow of messaging going towards top-tier accounts.

“For example, if anyone from Company X comes to our site, you can hit them with ads,” Isaacson said. “Or, we can say that those ads can’t be sent until a certain minimum of stakeholders within that account come to the site. Or say you value engagement; if there are a specific number of pages viewed by company X, that’s the trigger. Then you can dive into what pages they are viewing so you can understand what messages resonate with them.”

Industry experts noted that ad retargeting should not be considered just a channel, but as a medium to benefit all your other marketing initiatives.

“Too often, marketers focus on ads only,” Isaacson said. “But to drive business metrics, you want to make sure there is triggering sales activity. This includes triggers to bring in SDRs and ADRs to get involved and tie these initiatives to potential bottom line revenue.”

Ultimately, as more insight is gained from retargeting efforts, marketers will be able to tie ad click attribution back to opportunities. This can also help the marketer retarget further with different messages on engaged accounts that are likely progressing through the funnel.

“With both attributed ad clicks and lift on the web, the best next thing for a marketer to provide is insight perspective,” Russo said. “While it may not close revenue, it is a leading indicator of a purchase if target accounts are engaged actively (ad clicks) or passively (website).”

Oceanos Partners With ReachForce To Add Contact Enrichment

Written by: Brian Anderson

reachforce oceanos imageOceanos, a data management solutions provider, announced it has partnered with ReachForce, a marketing data quality automation solutions provider. The partnership will add Oceanos’ contact enrichment capabilities to ReachForce’s SmartForms and Continuous DataManager solutions.

The partnership enables ReachForce users to validate contact data and gain deeper insight into data points such as job role, function, location, expertise and more. This, in turn, positions users to improve their lead scoring, routing and segmentation for better engagement.

 “ReachForce’s comprehensive solutions are unique and powerful because they deliver real-time data at the front-end of the web lead conversion process and continuously cleanse and enrich the marketing database on the back-end,” said Brian Hession, President & Founder of Oceanos, in a statement. “With ReachForce, Oceanos is proud to introduce critical data quality scores needed to power valid contact enrichment for the diverse and immediate use cases ReachForce’s SmartForms and CDM customers require.”