SiriusDecisions’ Technology Exchange kicked off this morning in San Francisco with a great keynote session led by Jay Famico and Jason Hekl called Specificity Over Scale: The Future of B-to-B Sales, Marketing and Product Technology.
The focus was on using technology to move beyond activity to impact – focusing less on items like “clicks, calls, or opens” and more on true business drivers. It was refreshing to hear the SiriusDecision team deliver a message that balanced the excitement of investing in all these great technologies with the fact that it is hard to get right! Because in reality, driving change through technology is hard.
— Scott Vaughan (@ScottAVaughan) November 19, 2015
Below I’ve taken the liberty to identity some key points that resonated with me and added a bit more context and perspective:
Understand that it Takes Time Being patient with a project and technology may be the most important point that was made during the session. This is sometimes overlooked by marketing practitioners as they get caught up in the excitement of a new technology. (It’s also fair to note that sometimes vendors are not always blameless here when it comes to setting correct expectations.)
What’s awesome about marketing is that it can be done successfully in so many different ways, but that also means no two marketing organization are exactly alike. Because of that, marketing technology implementations take time to get right; this should not only be expected, but embraced. Remember, the end goal is impact, not speed.
With that said, there absolutely should be an urgency to drive the project to completion. Nothing good comes from a lingering implementation. A good approach is to demand progress, but not perfection and partner with vendors to deliver what is right for your unique marketing organization.
Expect Resistance Before the session started I had the opportunity to talk with a client and they stated they have a list of internal “detractors” and “allies” around moving marketing technologies forward. For marketing practitioners, understanding that even if you are the champion or excited about a technology, there will be naysayers in your company and probably department. My suggestion to drive projects forward is to proactively work to understand what internal objections may come up and how to overcome them. This may be with the vendors themselves, analysts, or marketing peers across the industry.
For vendors this means you have to be ready to partner and coach your prospects. It is paramount to understand the champion is going to need your help to not only close the deal, but also drive a successful implementation.
— Allocadia (@allocadia) November 19, 2015
Over-Align Across the Organization:
It was great to see Jay and Jason touch on this point as a key takeaway. While it seems obvious, in the drive to create revenue it can be forgotten that Sales and Marketing (and even IT and Finance) must work together to get the right technologies, processes, and skills in place. Creating that much needed impact is absolutely a team sport – marketing can’t do it without sales’ help and vice-versa.
— Noelle Mahoney (@nolanmahoney) November 19, 2015
Tying It All Together
An overarching theme I saw was bringing multiple “points” together to create impact. Walking away from the session this is the #1 item I am going to remember:
Marketing + Sales have to work together, technologies must be purchased in a portfolio approach and people, process, data, and technology must work in harmony.
When organizations stray from the above, often that is when the focus shifts to activities and impact will not be realized.
To combat this, one suggested approach I have made in the past is to build capability layers around technology and marketing activities. At Allocadia, we believe that the marketing spend and budgets are they key to closing the loop on Marketing Performance Management and ROI. Regardless of the approach, the important point is to make sure your activities and data are actually tied together and are driving towards a desired impact (or outcome.) Without that anchor, the marketing and sales organizations will quickly become disjointed and ineffective.
If you’re at the SiriusDecisions Tech Exchange we’d love to continue the above conversation – stop by our booth and say or shoot us a tweet @Allocadia!