Category Archives: Demand Creation Strategies

What Constitutes an Offer Rejection?

Offer acceptance analysis examines a contact's offer engagement with the goal of helping marketers better understand the contact's areas of interest (e.g. issues, solutions, products) and preferred content format (e.g. case studies, whitepapers, events). Marketers can use this insight to drive more effective targeting and messaging in their demand creation efforts to increase conversion rates. On the other hand, offer rejection analysis – looking at the types of assets and/or promotions a contact opts not engage with – also provides insight into a contact’s area of interest by pinpointing what he or she is not interested in. Using the insights from offer rejections, a marketing team can more effectively determine the next best offer for a contact, which can help boost demand creation effectiveness. However, measuring offer rejection is not as clear-cut, nor is it frequently used by most b-to-b organizations.

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Gaining Permission: Where Email Opt-In and Social Media Meet

Note: SiriusDecisions is not a firm of legal advisors, and if you are in any doubt as to the legality of your proposed electronic communications, we urge you to obtain expert local legal counsel. I am glad that recent SiriusDecisions research on the topic of email communication has achieved one of its intended goals – namely, to add a level of urgency for U.S.-based companies to come to terms with the thorny topic of opt-in laws that exist within Europe and wider afield. Opt-in is not just a wacky European idiosyncrasy; many non-European countries have moved to adopt these laws as well. For example, new Canadian anti-spam legislation will take effect July 1, 2014 (companies will have a three-year transition period in which to gain consent of individuals). It is similar in nature to the opt-in laws enacted in European countries. Many Asia-Pacific countries have followed a similar path:

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The Correct Way to Define a Lead

Too often, when marketing leaders sit down with their counterparts in sales to discuss lead definitions, the only factor considered is what sales wants. While this discussion is relevant and valuable, the result is typically one of two scenarios:

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Pipeline Acceleration: What’s to Be Done?

In my previous post, I explored the benefits of breaking down the sales pipeline into specific zones in order to drive more effective pipeline acceleration programs. We looked at the main program types – rapid entry, intra-pipeline and last mile – and explored how marketing can best prepare and engage with sales to push new and stalled opportunities through the pipeline more quickly. Let’s turn our attention now to look at what marketing can deliver to ensure program success. In essence, all activity should be designed to educate and encourage the prospective buyer to feel confident enough to move forward, or educate and enable the sales executive to be in a position to re-ignite the opportunity. SiriusDecisions recognizes two major tactic categories to achieve those goals: stimulus offers and (sales) enablement offers:

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How Do Marketing Automation and MRM Interact?

A minority of b-to-b marketing organizations that use a marketing automation platform (MAP) also have a marketing resource management (MRM) solution (according to a 2011 SiriusDecisons survey). We’re often asked by these organizations, and by organizations that have one of these platforms and are considering the other, how the two work together. Here are four key points of integration between these platforms:

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From Likes to Leads: Tips for an Effective Conversion Strategy

The overuse of the word “like” in our everyday communications is flagrant. As much as I hate it when I hear others tossing the word meaninglessly into their conversations, I still catch myself doing it. Like so many others before me, I blame Frank and Moon Unit Zappa and their 1982 song “Valley Girl” for my transgressions. Now, thanks to the introduction of the “like” button on Facebook in 2009, we have another “like” to contend with – and this one is just as rampant. Sure, Facebook “likes” have their place; it’s the quickest and easiest way for a contact to show appreciation of a post or a page. But clicking “like” has become almost as commonplace as peppering our conversations with the word “like.”

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Marketing Automation Benchmark: How Do You Stack Up?

Do you know how your marketing automation performance stacks up? Do you have a benchmark or authoritative standard you can reference to compare your marketing automation performance to peer organizations? Do you have a way to compare the number of resources you use for marketing automation to similar organizations? Unfortunately, the answer is no for most companies, but the answer for you can be yes.

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Marketing Automation Platforms: Minimum Requirements

The word “computer” once meant “a person who makes calculations, especially with a calculating machine.” That definition is now out of date; today, dictionaries define a computer as “an electronic device for storing and processing data, typically in binary form, according to instructions in a variable program.” Similarly, the term “marketing automation” once referred to technology that programmatically distributed email through an automated workflow and captured leads through online registration forms. Now, SiriusDecisions defines marketing automation as “a technology solution that helps enable the seeding, creation, nurturing and acceleration of demand among prospects and customers.” But what does that mean? What are the minimum requirements an application must meet in order to be labeled a marketing automation platform? SiriusDecisions has identified 16 such requirements that span three areas: campaign management, lead management and platform management.

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Getting Ready for Pipeline Acceleration

Whether preparing for a dry-stone wall or the manufacture of the finest piece of jewelry, there will always be hard-working souls who prepare and rough shape the rock (read: sales lead) before passing it onto the skilled craftsman (read: sales rep) to create a work of wonder. Should a “rock” accidentally fall prior to being worked on, have no fear, marketing is ready with recycled nurture programs to pick up the pieces, dust them off and pass them carefully back to the sales rep. But what if a craftsperson is sitting idle for lack of appropriate stones? What if work has already begun but a problem prevents work from continuing, or an expected purchase falls through? Well, you guessed it; marketing will be ready to work with sales on a variety of programs to help accelerate an opportunity through to completion. At SiriusDecisions, we often help our clients plan pipeline acceleration programs to address these situations. Pipeline acceleration programs can be classified as one of three types: rapid entry, intra-pipeline and last mile.

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When Best Practices Aren’t Best Practices

The more time I spend as an analyst, the more I dislike the term “best practice.” I think it is often misapplied. Let me explain. What's best practice for me may not be best practice for you. What may be best practice today is unlikely to be best practice tomorrow. And when you believe you've achieved a best practice, don't be surprised when that victory proves fleeting because the definition of the best practice has evolved. Best practices are not something you achieve – best practices are something you continually pursue. More importantly, don’t expect to go out and mimic someone else's best practice and see the same results. It doesn't work that way. What you can see and replicate is just part of the solution.

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