Account-centric Demand Gen report: How to realistically manage your marketing expectations

If you need to build confidence, combining quick wins with long-term strategy is often the best way to ensure marketing success.

In a world changed by Covid we’ve noticed that one increasing challenge facing marketers is the growing expectation from their business to demonstrate more directly attributable value. With everything moving online, many marketers understandably feel the need to increase the volume and complexity – to be seen to be doing more – but this obsession with activity isn’t always helpful. It likely doesn’t add long-term value, often introduces confusion and asks too much of prospects. Moreover, it doesn’t mean that increased output will automatically equal increased value. 

Here is what some of the people we asked – both practitioners of ABM and demand gen – had to say about the problems they faced when it came to their marketing efforts: 

  • “We’ve just started doing ABM. We can see how it’s working, but we’re still at the beginning. In future, we’ll need to align more closely with sales.”

 

  •  “I’m nervous about the fact that we haven’t been able to get a lot of numbers on the page this year from marketing.

 

  • ‘We have a lot more demand than we know what to do with’

 

  • “Sometimes we generate a lot of leads, but no opportunities come from them.”

 

  • Sales tend to like merchandise marketing, whereas I’m focussed on digital marketing. Our expectations are very different”.

With that in mind we took these concerns into consideration, and actioned them into 3 main solutions to follow when looking to improve your marketing efforts. 

1.Talk to your stakeholders and reframe what success looks like

In this newly shifting landscape, marketers often are trying to run before they can walk. This is something only made worse when success in the eyes of stakeholders is based around volume metrics. Yet panic spending on initiatives that don’t work is not only a waste of time and money, but proves to be a scattershot, less focused approach which won’t help marketers gain traction or impact in the long-term. 

Instead, to overcome this need to prove worth and show what you’re doing is successful, move the goalposts and reframe what you’re doing. Ask questions. Where does this ideal number of leads come from? Why do stakeholders expect it? Encourage your stakeholders to take stock, and consider why these numbers are used, and to think smarter about generating leads. 

2. Value over volume 

Since you’ve questioned ‘why’ you’re measuring your marketing activities, now is the time to scrutinise ‘what’ you’re doing. We’ve talked about quality over quantity before with lead generation strategy, and the same logic applies here. With many B2B marketers fighting to be heard in an increasingly crowded, noisy digital landscape, don’t add to the volume with activity that is simply pushed out for the sake of having something to show. New tactics may also need new KPIs. 

Instead, look at the value of what you’re doing. Does it provide a solution to your audience’s challenges? Add a unique twist to a common topic? The number of leads might well be lower, but the pay-off with higher engagement rates is worth it in the long-term, and better for boosting brand awareness that will benefit your marketing efforts. 

3. Best of both: quick wins and long term strategy 

We all know that enacting sudden radical change with a snap of our fingers cannot happen when it comes to your marketing strategy and expectations. A blended, sensitive approach to reframing your success is best, one that brings in your sales and business stakeholders along for the journey. 

Combine quick wins – such as ad impressions, clicks, email opens and form fills – with activities that move the needle, particularly engagement with influencers, and decision makers at accounts that matter to you. Doing this not only builds engagement with your audience, but also satisfies sales, and doesn’t prevent you from delivering on more long-term strategic outcomes over time. 

Keep on reading…

Interested to see how else we can help B2B marketers improve their practices? Download the full Account-centric Demand Generation report to learn more about how this account-centric approach can help you find solutions to some more tough marketing challenges, such as: 

  • Matching the right ABM approach to suit your business 
  • Measuring your marketing programs correctly 
  • Maximizing the progression and conversion rates of your content
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