“Expo+” pass for MarTech conference was quite remarkable! It gave us access to the Expo and one free session of our choice. Thursday Keynote was an excellent choice! 🙂
Scott presented major trends he observes while attempting to maintain the list and classification of marketing technologies.
Interesting to see that platform ecosystems allow us to combine “best-of-breed” with platform capabilities. Real Story Group also mentioned that in some cases platform tools are not as well integrated; integrating a different tool might require as much efforts – then… why not chose the best?
Blended models of software and service make sense! If the software is powerful, it is fairly complex and requires expert help to generate business benefit as soon as possible.
It was a pleasure to know that build vs. buy buttes were over. Now we can have our cake and eat it too with custom apps 🙂
MarTech landscape did not significantly changed. At the same time, the creators of the document we were watching over the years admitted that not all tools were included. (MarTech 2019 with downloadable list)
MarTech tools in local markets/languages? CRM specifically designed for health clubs? And an ability to create “citizen martech” with no coding expertise? Note to self – check https://airtable.com/
Real Story Group gave excellent advice on how to select vendors in the Expo theater:
We are at the greater risk of over-buying of technology than buying insufficient technical capacity. Trying to compare features lead to over-buying.
We should evaluate usage scenarios which are important for our business.
Eco system of the tool is important; particularly user eco-system (user conferences, user events).
Never buy technology before trying (I should have asked for clarification – how can you try a tool which needs to integrate with other business systems… before integrating the tool with other business systems, which can be a serious commitment in itself?)
Ann Lewnes made the most profound point during the Fireside Chat: “Customers struggle the most with people and process, not the technology.” Ah, we are human after all… no matter how much we love to talk about AI 🙂
The book is an interesting journey of discovering ABM. The author came to a realization that targeting only desired potential accounts made sense for the business he tried to grew. The approach also allowed investing into more elaborate marketing efforts, as the target audience was reasonably small.
Some of the most interesting aspects:
Creative approach to marketing based on ideas from any part of the organization. A new employee suggested to use a video… in a direct mail. Why not? The campaign was a success.
The author promoted a very narrow webinar, which would be interesting only for a particular prospect. The prospect found the topic irresistible, and signed up. The webinar was held for only one person (who did not know about this fact), and eventually lead to a sale.
Prioritization… The author emphasized the need for focus and thoughtful prioritization of the target audience to avoid costly distractions. Focus is difficult for startups, which might try to adjust the product to suit one large customer from a different segment. This lack of focus would be a mistake. Product and marketing resources need to be concentrated on a core market.
Yes, the conference was remarkably inspirational and encouraging. I typically think about myself as a person, not specifically a woman (except… when shopping for shoes 🙂 ), but I make many typical assumptions and experience challenges similar to other women. The realization was remarkable and remarkably helpful.
I guess, better communication was the “theme” of the conference from my perspective. Celeste kicked off the Workplace Summit with a hilarious, insightful, and thought-provoking presentation about the value of human conversations.
It was a pleasure to see #1 recommendation on her list “Don’t multitask.” Ironically, multitasking requirement can be found on many job postings… even if humans technically cannot do it 🙂
Keynote presentations of the conference continued the “communication” insight. We tend to “create our own stories,” to interpret behavior and thoughts of other people, which could be totally wrong. Brene Brown showed us why we should ask rather than assume we understand other people’s thoughts in the most inspirational and entertaining way.
Communication was also critical for our health (oh, yes, we could – and should – take time off when needed), and for a better understanding of our managers and our teams. One of the main tactics of “managing up” is understanding what is important for our managers, and starting the conversation to gain this understanding.
Doing our jobs is also not enough. We need to communicate our success effectively and understand clearly what is needed for the next step in the direction we would like to pursue.
More than 6,000 women (and smart men) left the conference inspired, encouraged, and ready for action.
We did not talk only about the funnel… Though every marketer has a very passionate opinion about the funnel and rising expectations without rising budgets, the funnel performance is a result of many other aspects of the business.
Marketing technology is an excellent scapegoat. We often experience “analysis paralysis” in the avalanche of data, and the best approach might be the most simple option.
What is the trigger to buy? BDRs can ask customers this question and the insight from the conversations might be sufficient. We are dealing with complexity, but the needed insight might not be as complex.
Marketers are not satisfied with the technology they have; do not get the expected value from the technology.
Marketing technology is getting in the way of doing marketing
“We over-engineer our work…” “You can not have 45 KPIs, we need just 4…” “We are flying the airplane by instruments, why not look outside the window?”
Marketers overemphasize the data; sometimes, we are not willing to have a conversation until we have data. At the same time, because we are listening to data, we are plugging any data we have, even irrelevant, trying to make decisions…
If your spouse told you he/she was unhappy with something you did, would you require data?
Collaborate with sales on what is the most important to track. When you bring prospects to talk about their problems/needs, everybody is paying attention. This might be “small” data, but it can make a big difference.
Marketers watch carefully benchmark reports from different vendors, particularly the vendor they use. DECK 7 simplified our lives and created Webinar Benchmark Report – across several vendors.
The most insightful part of the report (from my perspective) is the registrants conversion to live attendees – across vendors and based on the webinar type.
The report also argues that the success metric of the webinar would be the number of registrants rather than live attendees, as all registrants expressed an interest in the topic and can be followed up as leads.
My guess, the best metric would depend on the company’s objective and specifics of a particular campaign. Webinar might be successful based on the registrants/attendees from specific accounts, or registrants company sizes, or actual engagement with the content, or even happiness of the sales organization with the quality of the generated leads 🙂
Another interesting point: on-demand webinars viewed differently. Viewers can skip sections of the content (lower viewing time), but more on-demand viewers will see the end of the webinar and the next steps.
Most people understand the need for objectives and some measurement of success. However, many of us experienced goal-setting exercises in a variety of companies, which, sometimes, made goals even more difficult to understand after they were set.
I loved the idea of understandable goals, which could be distilled to the short list hanging in the company’s bathroom. The inspirational stories in the book were encouraging and uplifting; if a tiny startup can use the approach to clarify its direction, everybody can. And – based on the experience of other companies – the process is challenging enough and may not be done right from the first attempt. This is OK. This might be the first objective 🙂
Some simple tests to see if your OKRs are good: — If you wrote them down in five minutes, they probably aren’t good. Think. — If your objective doesn’t fit on one line, it probably isn’t crisp enough. — If your KRs are expressed in team-internal terms (“Launch Foo 4.1”), they probably aren’t good. What matters isn’t the launch, but its impact. Why is Foo 4.1 important? Better: “Launch Foo 4.1 to improve sign-ups by 25 percent.” Or simply: “Improve sign-ups by 25 percent.” — Use real dates. If every key result happens on the last day of the quarter, you likely don’t have a real plan. — Make sure your key results are measurable: It must be possible to objectively assign a grade at the end of the quarter. “Improve sign-ups” isn’t a good key result. Better: “Improve daily sign-ups by 25 percent by May 1.” — Make sure the metrics are unambiguous. If you say “1 million users,” is that all-time users or seven-day actives? — If there are important activities on your team (or a significant fraction of its effort) that aren’t covered by OKRs, add more. — For larger groups, make OKRs hierarchical—have high level ones for the entire team, more detailed ones for subteams. Make sure that the “horizontal” OKRs (projects that need multiple teams to contribute) have supporting key results in each subteam.
OKRs and KPIs
OKRs have a soul and directionality to them. Your objective is what you want to accomplish. Your key results are how you get there. Since KPIs are measures, they make great key results. For example, a museum collects data on the number of visitors and number of donors and those serve as some of its KPIs. This museum in particular has an objective to: make the museum more relevant to the community. A good pair of key results would be: grow number of monthly visitors from the local area 30% by next quarter and host 2 community events focused on attracting local donors. Both KRs happen to incorporate the museum’s KPIs.
There is no competition, KPIs and OKRs complement each other. They both have their place in a wellfunctioning organization.
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Marketers sometimes confuse programs with delivery mechanisms. A website or a content syndication effort are examples of delivery mechanisms, which support marketing programs. Delivery mechanisms include digital and non-digital channels (events, DM, etc.). I guess as we observe specialization of the marketing function, we also see a “merge” of digital and traditional delivery mechanisms into each demand-related family.
Interesting: as field marketing specializations persist, the definition of “what each function does” clarifies. Demand Marketing is probably no longer expects to evolve into ABM, but the definition of “Defined Demand Marketing” is definitely evolving. Some companies are starting to separate the roles, but may not yet fully separate the accounts.
SiriusDecisions recommend approaching marketing technologies selection from the perspective of business needs, rather than a specific task. Many technologies have overlapping capabilities, and business objectives consideration could help companies to find the best tool for the task and future needs.