• Internet Shifts Power to IT Marketers (Part 1 of 3)

    Marketing is now more fun than ever because the Internet has shifted power not only to buyers, but also to us marketers. With that comes revenue responsibility and true interdependence between marketing and sales. In this short article, we will quickly  review how we all got here, then will outline a few some specific  actions you can take today, not tomorrow.

    The Internet has shifted power to marketers
    Your buyers have much better information then they did a  generation ago. Buyers – or their surrogates and internal  champions – know more about you and your company before  they meet your salespeople than they ever knew, even as late as the 1990s.

    Where do buyers get this information? From you, your website, your marketing campaigns, your competitors’ output, and from anyone and everyone who ever bought or considered buying  from you. One hundred percent of your customers visit your website before they buy. Add in your outbound campaigns, social or otherwise, plus all the information your competitors  offer to provide today’s IT buyer plenty to evaluate before they  even think of calling you. And they don’t always call you, do they?

    High-process, high-intensity direct marketing embraces this trend. Much of your company’s digital footprint comes from you, the marketer, who now controls or influences a big portion of the selling process well before any professional salesperson engages.

    Making marketing more fun
    At last, IT marketers now get to play in the entire revenue  stream. But be careful what you wish for. The other edge of  this sharp sword is that marketing must now account for its contribution to revenue, in detail, every single day. Marketing’s more fun now, but only when marketers have mastery over the  lead flow and revenue creation their company demands.

    Unfortunately today, B2B marketing is still too often about branding and brochures. Marketers are building buyer confidence and loyalty at every step through every channel – lists, website, inbound and outbound campaigns, social networks, sales engagement, and as importantly, post-purchase follow-up.

    Most companies still embrace a sales culture
    Today’s marketing culture is shifting, but we need to see corresponding movement from sales. It’s all about sales; just ask any successful salesperson or sales leader – and most CEOs. They’re right, of course – business is all about revenue, always has been, always will be. And your sales team controls revenue.

    However, as you and your marketing team increasingly have access to the customer, both marketing and sales are forced to adjust and adapt.

    It’s up to marketing to cross the bridge to sales
    Your job is to make marketing matter to sales – quickly. Showing revenue impact with charts and graphs will get you there eventually. Building a great lead pipeline for sales takes time, at least six months, before sales will see its importance. In the meantime, marketing has to provide real, visible value that salespeople will recognize.

    Thor Johnson is the former CMO for Eloqua, a leader in B2B automation software, and former head of Agency.com’s New York and Boston business.  He earned an MBA from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Brown University.  He currently leads Team Thor Marketing, a U.S.-based marketing consulting agency providing strategic planning and implementation guidance to automate demand generation and drive sales force performance.

    See the complete article in the Oceanos List IntelligenceTM Report

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