When Reporting on Marketing Performance, Think Switzerland

From time to time, I’m asked where formal responsibility for marketing measurement should sit within an organization. I have to fight the urge to just blurt out “Switzerland.” While I’m not seriously advocating offshoring your marketing, Switzerland has an historic reputation of remaining neutral in international affairs. And when it comes to desirable characteristics for marketing reporting, I’d place neutrality toward the top of the list. Think about it this way: marketing performance reporting should provide a shared view of what’s really happening. It needs to answer questions like: What can be proven? What can be inferred? What can be learned? What’s going well? What must be changed?

Continue Reading...

What’s the Best Way to Announce a Price Increase?

There comes a time in every product’s or solution’s lifecycle when a price increase must be executed. As we’ve seen in the last several years, prices of raw materials can rise as a result of natural events or increased demand. Costs can also rise due to inflation. Whatever the reason, the increase should be announced – but in a carefully planned manner. The following is a list of best practices.

Continue Reading....

Marketing Qualified Leads: Reasons for Rejection

Clients often ask us what reasons organizations commonly use to disqualify MQLs from becoming sales accepted leads. To answer this question, I have listed the most common MQL rejection reasons used in effective lead management processes. Please note that the number of reasons for rejection should be limited, to ensure usability on the part of sales. In addition, no values should be included that exclude marketing from triggering active recycled nurturing or refining the lead management process. Here are some MQL rejection reasons you might consider using.

Continue Reading....

Five Tips for Optimizing Paid Search Campaigns

Most b-to-b marketing organizations are spending up to 10 percent of their marketing budgets on paid search initiatives, but few have taken the time to define clear objectives. On top of that, once paid search initiatives are in place, even fewer are revisiting them regularly to optimize their performance. If this rings true for your organization, make sure your marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2013 include an update of your paid search programs. Here are five tips to improve the effectiveness of your paid search initiatives.

Continue Reading....

If Content Is the King, Does Data/Analytics Become the Queen?

During the last eight weeks, I have been speaking to 30 or so EMEA CMOs to understand some of the specific regional issues they are facing and learn what marketing skills are becoming more or less important for their organizations. “Understanding the buyer’s journey” and “content” are their top two responses for what is growing in importance. That’s not really a surprise; rather, it’s a confirmation that we all feel the shift of b-to-b buying behaviors as well as the importance of understanding the buyer’s journey from start to finish and aligning content and broader marketing efforts to the needs of buyers as they make this journey.

Continue Reading....

Product Management: Should You Eat Your Own Cooking?

Would you purchase a car from a BMW salesperson who drives a Honda? Would you eat at a restaurant where the chef doesn’t eat the restaurant’s food? There's a common expression called "eating your own dog food," meaning that you should use your own product or service. After all, if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, why should anyone else? Using your own product to replicate the customer experience and “tasting your own cooking” can be a valuable exercise. You will become your own subject matter expert concerning all of its features and functionality, which is helpful to be an effective product manager, marketer or salesperson. This can often be a good way to gain personal insight into potential pain points or enhancements.

Continue Reading....

Make 2013 the Year of Realistic Thinking

The desire to make everything simple is lulling us into believing that great marketing execution is easy. To put it simply, that’s just not reality. Here’s my proposal: Let’s make 2013 The Year of Realistic Thinking. Why? If I’ve learned one thing over the last few years at SiriusDecisions, it’s that there’s a burning desire among marketers to simplify everything. From lead scoring and measurement to the buyer’s journey, customer lifecycle and the messages created to support it all, a common mission is to reduce the complexity. This can often be a good thing; for example, it helps us make decisions faster or prevents us from over-engineering execution. But other times, the insistence on a simple story causes marketers to lose some of the nuances that can make a big difference.

Continue Reading....

Oracle Buys Eloqua, Part 2

Earlier today, Jonathan Block discussed here what Oracle’s acquisition of Eloqua means for Eloqua and the MAP market as a whole. I agree with the points Jonathan raised, especially his opinion on Oracle’s poor track record of capitalizing on the marketing technologies it acquires and on what this acquisition might signal for Salesforce.com. Here are my additional thoughts on the roadmap, competitive positioning, lifecycle marketing and Eloqua employees.

Continue Reading....

Oracle Buys Eloqua

On December 20, 2012, Oracle announced its intent to purchase marketing automation platform (MAP) provider Eloqua for $871 million, a 31 percent premium over the Eloqua share price on the day of the announcement. The deal should be completed in the first half of 2013. Oracle is sending out a “business as usual” message to outline its plans regarding the acquisition, at least in the short term.

Continue Reading....