Author Archives: Megan Heuer

About the Author

Megan Heuer is Vice President and Group Director, Data-Driven Marketing, at SiriusDecisions. With more than 15 years of industry and professional services experience, she has worked both in – and for – organizations to build a wide variety of collaborative sales and marketing deliverables that drive systematic, predictable growth. Follow Megan on Twitter @megheuer

How to Tell the Real Story of Marketing’s Impact This Year

Now that we’re closing in on the end of the quarter, and for many organizations the end of the fiscal year, let’s take a moment to reflect on our marketing results. Looking back at everything you did, what would you say made the biggest impact on financial results? How do you know? Yes, this is a loaded question, and it’s getting harder to answer. For many of our clients, 2013 saw a shift away from marketers focusing exclusively on demand creation toward more balanced support for reputation, sales enablement and market intelligence objectives, along with demand creation. Many of these efforts involved account-based work such as helping sales source demand in target accounts and providing post-sale customer experience support. In 2014, this shift will accelerate, as non-demand-creation activity becomes an accepted part of marketing’s charter. Even for companies that focus mainly on demand creation, there’s change: We see a shift to maintaining marketing involvement way before and long after the lead goes to sales, based on customer preference for continued online interactions.

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Customer Experience Is the New Demand Creation

If you knew the one thing that would make the biggest difference in closing deals, you would use it, right? As it turns out, very few companies do. Let’s change that. In a recent post, my colleague Lisa Singer shared data from our 2013 persona study highlighting what factors senior-level decisionmakers trust most when choosing a vendor. About 80 percent of these relate directly to customer experience – either the buyer’s customer experience (previous experience with the vendor) or someone else’s customer experience (vendor-provided references, opinions of internal and external colleagues). The remaining 20 percent, although not labeled as such, are also tied to customer experience – e.g. brand perception, which is built on customers’ collective experience, and relationship with sales, which is a personal aspect of customer experience.

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