Author Archives: Marisa Kopec

About the Author

Marisa Kopec is Vice President and Group Director, Go-to-Market, at SiriusDecisions. She leads SiriusDecisions’ Portfolio Marketing, Strategic Communications, and Product Management services. Follow Marisa on Twitter @Marisa_Kopec

My Three Biggest “Aha” Moments (So Far)

Here are the most memorable personal insights I’ve had as an analyst (so far) and the most impactful lessons I’ve learned during my last four years as a SiriusDecisions analyst. I shared these recently during Microsoft Dynamics’ take on a TED talk on marketing leadership at Convergence 2014 in Atlanta.

Continue Reading....

It’s Not Content – It’s a Lack of Buyer Insights That’s the Problem

At last year’s Summit, we stated that 60 percent to 70 percent of content produced by b-to-b marketing organizations goes unused, sitting on sales portals and Web site shelves. This statistic was eye-opening to many marketing leaders, who realized that they put a lot of time and effort into content creation, delivery and curation without obtaining clear content usage measurements or an understanding of whether the content is valued by its audiences. What I found even more surprising was the number of clients who told us after we released this statistic that their content non-usage rates were even higher. They reported that more than 80 percent of their content went unused, and they spent millions of dollars on content that was never viewed or downloaded.

Continue Reading....

Which Buyer Personas Do We Choose?

Persona-based marketing is becoming more and more mainstream as companies work hard to attract buying audiences to their Web sites and social channels like a virtual Venus fly trap. The problem with taking a persona-based approach is that the marketing organization – no matter how big – can't produce enough content to align with every potential buyer persona in every market segment for every offering. Organizations must choose which buyer personas to focus on. Here are some key questions to guide these decisions:

Continue Reading....

Portfolio Marketing Is the Whole Enchilada

SiriusDecisions’ perspective is that the traditional catch-all term “product marketing” cannot encapsulate the go-to-market functional competency of a b-to-b company – the categorization is too narrow. Though product marketing is still an absolutely necessary role in the marketing ecosystem, the term doesn’t accurately describe the holistic high-level marketing competency required to bring a b-to-b organization’s portfolio to market. And bolting on “solution,” “segment” etc. within the “product marketing” category is not the right answer. How does this internal naming problem get solved? We recommend that “portfolio marketing” become the new umbrella functional categorization term representing all job roles focused on marketing segmentation/sizing, persona definition, content ideation, launch, sales enablement and go-to-market planning for all elements of an organization’s portfolio across products, services, industries, audiences and solutions.

Continue Reading....

Product Launch Has Changed. Have You?

Inbound marketing is driving the need for a redefinition of product launch processes. By 2015, SiriusDecisions predicts that 71 percent of all inquiries will be inbound in nature. This trend must be reflected in launch budgets and strategies, which, historically, have been heavy on events and direct marketing. Organizations that plan and execute inbound marketing techniques (e.g. search engine optimization, search engine marketing, digital marketing, Web site conversion optimization, social media) fueled by thematic, topical, thought leadership content aligned to audience needs do so at their own peril.

Continue Reading....

When Did the Business Case Become Passé?

Do all product managers in your company use the same template when creating a business case for innovation investment? Do you even have a consistent business case process for making investment decisions? When these processes are inconsistent among product managers or business units, flawed investment decisionmaking is the result. Reasons are cloudy regarding what and how to innovate vs. companies that have a tight business rationale for their go-to-market processes and proper decisionmaking authority ingrained in the culture. Here is my advice (toward making the business case cool again):

Continue Reading....

A Call for Mandatory Social Media Upskilling

I listen to conversations about the merits and future of social media and networking for b-to-b. I sit across the table from b-to-b executives who don’t believe that social is impacting or will impact their buyers’ behavior. The most common myth repeated over and over again to me is: C-level decisionmakers don’t have time or are just too important to use social media. To be honest, it feels like déjà vu -- it’s the exact same dialogue the industry had about impact of the Internet on b-to-b buying. And I’m pretty sure that, down the road, we won’t be having this conversation anymore, and social won’t be a issue; it will be just an ubiquitous component in the marketing and sales ecosystem, just as the corporate Web site has become over the past two decades.

Continue Reading....

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

As an analyst on the product marketing and management (PMM) team at SiriusDecisions, I listen every day, and sometimes multiple times a day, to the suffering of b-to-b professionals due to the lack of alignment in b-to-b organizations. It’s saddening to witness bright, successful, driven people – who all just want to see their company grow and be prosperous – downtrodden by imbalances in workflow processes or conflicts resulting from accountability tension between product, marketing and sales.

Continue Reading....

How C-Level Executives Validate Their Vendor Choices

There are six stages in the SiriusDecisions Customer Buying Cycle. The final stage, “making the selection,” is the inflection point in the purchasing lifecycle when terms and conditions, contract negotiations and the implementation plan with the vendor of choice are all finalized. It’s the last checkpoint to ensure that the decision is the right one before final signoff by the key decisionmaker. At this stage, C-level executives are typically fully engaged and thus can make or break a deal. In our recent C-level buyer persona study, offering several bulleted potential responses from which to choose, we asked C-level executives: Which of the bullets carry the most weight when you are validating your decision to select one vendor vs. another?

Continue Reading....

When Do CIOs Respond to Marketing Messages?

Best-in-class marketers leverage persona exercises to form an understanding of a customer segment that enables powerful audience-based communications and personalized content to be shaped. The more granular and specific the understanding of the buyer persona, the more meaningful the messaging created for that persona will be. The apex of our b-to-b persona template is job role. The SiriusDecisions 2012 persona study found that 29 percent of CIOs are most likely to respond to a marketing message when it is relevant to the CIO job role. What this means for marketers is that, when targeting CIOs with content and campaigns, the value proposition should include the CIO’s functional responsibility in the organization and how he or she is measured. Understanding a “day in the life” of the CIO persona is crucial.

Continue Reading....