Monday, April 15, 2013

Slide Deck - 2013 Cloud Marketing Trends

There is no arguments that the cloud software industry is currently top of mind for many, in fact enterprise companies are even receiving their share of love. While the industry as a whole has our attention, what about marketing departments at these companies. 

How are CMOs at these fast growing cloud organizations managing their marketing budget? What are they worried about? and what are their priorities for the rest of the year?

Within IDC's 2013 Marketing Barometer survey we received answers from marketing leaders within cloud organizations. In this presentation you will see the high level findings comparing these cloud marketing departments to more traditional 2nd platform companies.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these initial findings and how your marketing organization is working to compete in this fast growing market (whether as a pure play or just one of many product lines).  


For an extended deck with further analysis please contact me directly at smelnick (at) idc (dot) com or reach out to me on twitter: @SamMelnick

Monday, April 8, 2013

Best Practices for Paid Social Media - An Up and Coming Tool for B2B Marketers


The stigma of social media is something I have been fighting for years. As someone whose education and career has mirrored Mark Zuckerberg's (minus the dropping out of an ivy league school to build a multibillion dollar company and taking it public…so really when I say "mirrored", I mean we are approximately the same age), I feel an affinity to the social networks that have matured as my own career has moved forward. Because of this I have found myself defending the merits of different social networks' "tangible" value to relatives, colleagues, and random people on the subway. So, when I received an email stating I had $100 free Twitter ad credits, I jumped at the chance to see where Twitter has taken their ad platform. While that $100 was great to boost my twitter followers (speaking of which follow me here), retweets, and ego it didn't really answer my questions around how creative B2B marketers are utilizing social networks.

To dive in deeper I tapped the knowledge of 3 digital and social marketing leaders to educate me on how their organizations are harnessing the power of social through "Paid Social" Campaigns. The experts I spoke with are listed below:

Lauren Vaccarello, Sr Director of Online Marketing at salesforce.com

Lauren Friedman, Manager of the Social Community Engagement Team at Adobe

Dan Slagen, Head of Global Marketing Relations at Hubspot. (Now SVP of Marketing at Nanigans)

You can find the full overview and guidance on 'Paid Social' within IDC's CMO Advisory Service's most recently published document Paid Social Media: A Look into How TopBrands Are Utilizing Paid Social Campaigns. For 3 'take aways' for B2B marketers look no further:

There are Two Kinds of Marketers in Social: The Quick and the Dead: A pillar of social is the fast pace and instant reactions it provides. While moving fast is necessary, leading companies go to great lengths to make sure they are able to move quickly and effectively. The experts I spoke with all emphasized seamless communication across the organization to assure there was no misunderstandings on the current social game plan. Additionally, they each spoke about implementing technologies on the backend to measure the data and output actionable metrics.

Paid Social is a Different Kind of Advertising Buy: Social ad buys are not your father's paid advertising campaigns; marketers must acknowledge this before going head first into a paid social campaign. Social networks are built with the end user in mind; all of the marketers I spoke with emphasized this point. Think creatively when it comes to Twitter or Facebook ad buys, consider leveraging the platforms to amplify a message or push something that will strengthen your community rather than just driving leads.

What Can Social do for Me?: Most marketers have acknowledged and embraced social marketing as a part of their overall strategy. However, that does not mean it is accepted throughout the organization. Before asking for (or putting) advertising dollars towards paid social campaigns, marketers need to answer the question "what can social do for me?" for other decision makers within the organization. The experts I spoke with pointed towards heavy alignment with sales so the reps understand the incoming leads and how to act on them. Some companies put SLAs in place to assure that both Marketing and Sales commit to specific responsibilities. The other best practice is to create a pilot program before committing big dollars and major resources - this way you have specific proof points to set your goals on and optimize off.

What are your thoughts on "Paid Social"?

Does your organization currently run paid advertising on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn?

Do you have any comments to add to what is above?

Sam Melnick is a Research Analyst with IDC's CMO Advisory you can follow him on twitter: @SamMelnick

Friday, April 5, 2013

The State of Marketing Operations 2013

Companies simply cannot excel at modern marketing without strong Marketing Operations.  These professionals reinforce high performance by strengthening processes, technology, metrics, and best practices.  A recent study by IDC CMO Advisory Service, in conjunction with MOCCA, found that the Marketing Operations function is flourishing and expanding beyond its original charter.
 
Marketing Operations has been a rising star from its inception. I like to compare Marketing Operations to the structural frame of building. Try to scale without steel girders and you get a weak and wobbly high-rise.  Your marketing will also be weak and wobbly without Marketing Operations.  IDC first recognized Marketing Operations in 2005 in its annual Tech Marketing Benchmarks study.  Then, Marketing Operations represented 2.5% of the total marketing staff. The team became a fast-rising star – driven by the need for marketing accountability and the addition of marketing automation.  In 2012, tech companies averaged 4.4% of their staff in Marketing Operations.  IDC believes that the optimal percentage is between 4% and 6% of total marketing staff. Below 4%, a company will lack the necessary operational capabilities for solid management and transformation. Above 6%, a company should examine whether it's time to infuse operational capabilities into other functions rather than holding them in a single role.
IDC's Definition of Marketing Operations:  Internal staff responsible for developing and orchestrating the processes and systems required to enable efficient and effective marketing.  More specifically, marketing operations staff members are responsible for developing and managing the processes to ensure smooth operation of strategic planning, financial management, marketing performance measurement (including dashboard development), marketing infrastructure, marketing and sales alignment, and overall marketing excellence.

In this new study, called Marketing Operations Expands, IDC finds the Marketing Operations function expanding. It has progressed beyond its early charter of planning and resource management to become an important part of lead management and marketing technology among other areas.  More than 70% of survey participants say their role has broadened in the last year and more than 80% say it has become more important. The top six responsibilities for Marketing Automation are: automation, analytics, process improvement, campaign execution, and planning/budgeting. Survey participants, many who are members of MOCCA, the marketing operations professional organization, told IDC that Marketing Operations is also spreading out from its original corporate center to regional teams and beyond its origin in technology companies into new industries.

How should marketing leaders view the expansion of the Marketing Operations role? On the positive side, Marketing Operations can serve as an important and exciting pilot lab for new marketing science initiatives. However, in many organizations, IDC observes that Marketing Operations risks becoming the dumping grounds for not just critical operational tasks, but also for most of the “odd jobs” in the department. Too much expansion, or the wrong kind, results in performance degradation.

For more information on the IDC CMO Advisory Service Marketing Operations Expands research report (which contains important information on organizational structure, skills, job scope, success factors, and much more) check the MOCCA website or contact me at kschaub@idc.com.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Do You Leverage Win-Loss Analysis to Improve Marketing and Sales Productivity?

As Henry Ford said, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently". However, how many of us actually take the time to learn from our mistakes as part of continuous improvement in our customer creation process? No doubt it can be difficult to admit where we have made mistakes, especially if we've lost money in the process! In fact, based upon a recent IDC survey, only 55% of large BtoB organizations have a formal sales win-loss analysis program in place. You may be thinking that you're one of the lucky companies in that list, feeling comfy with the fact that your sales reps are required to check a box in your sales force automation(SFA) system when they lose a deal to indicate the reason for that loss. Best-in-class players in this space will tell you that you're only kidding yourself into believing whatever the sales reps input into the SFA, if they even use your SFA.

If you're in sales operations, then you're in an ideal position to initiate a win-loss program.  If you're in marketing, then you're in a great position to increase your value add to sales by helping drive a win-loss program in collaboration with sales operations.  Here are a few of the things that best-in-class companies are doing as part of their win-loss analysis process:
  • Quarterly review calls (or even weekly) to review select wins and losses (a fact-finding culture is key here, and not fault-finding)
  • Roundtable sessions to discuss wins and losses, including root cause analysis and associated corrective actions
  • Review of specific wins and losses with the buyer, conducted by an objective team either from within the organization, or ideally, by a 3rd party
A couple of key guidance points in setting up your win-loss analysis process:
  1. Establish accountability for this process. (apply a RACI model and ensure global continuity; tap into your Sales Excellence team, marketing's data analytics team, and your field marketing organization)
  2. Develop, execute and govern the process (collect data from multiple sources, ensure an objective party conducts the analysis, and focus on "fact-finding", not "fault-finding")
  3. Deliver actionable recommendations as a result of this process. (e.g., better identify the buying team as part of account-based marketing activities; improve allocation of sales support resources to target the best opportunities (check out industry benchmarks); rapidly communicate competitive insight to your sales team through social collaboration)