Nailing the B2B Campaign Optimization Strategies in 2018

According to Debbie Qaqish, Chief Strategy Officer of The Pedowitz Group (TPG), The “Campaign” Is the Currency of Conversation That Leads to Understanding and Engagement of the Customer

April turned to be the most productive month for B2B marketing teams attending global events. The most arduous task for any marketer continues to rake in questions that B2B marketing communities are trying to resolve as a collective force. The biggest agony for most is — B2B Campaign Optimization. To better understand how you could master B2B campaign optimization strategies and drive home smart revenue from these campaigns, we have the doyen of Revenue Marketing, Debbie Qaqish, speaking to us.

Tell us about the need to pursue “B2B Campaign Optimization” strategies in 2018.

This is a very interesting question as there are so many answers! The problem begins with defining a “campaign” and defining “optimization” and then having a baseline definition of “campaign optimization”!

I actually tried to find the definition of campaign optimization on the web and only saw one that was more B2C than B2B. So, given the variability in the definitions, let me provide guidance based on what I see in the market.

While there has always been a need to optimize campaign performance, there are two main reasons why, in 2018, the need is exacerbated – pivot to customer focus and financial accountability. First, because we are in a customer-driven economy marketing is leading to pivot to customer focus. The “campaign” is the currency of conversation that leads to understanding and engagement of the customer.

Optimization in this sense means using campaigns to interact with the customer where and when and how they want to.

The second reason why campaign optimization is critical in 2018 is the ever-growing pressure for marketing to show financial accountability. In this sense, optimizing refers to being able to track and report on the financial impact of a campaign or a program.

How does B2B campaign optimization drive revenue?

Campaigns today have been re-engineered to be performance-based in terms of financial outcomes. The campaign is a natural and valuable conversation thread with the customer that gives and gathers information. Campaigns provide the information the customer is looking for and provides opportunities to interact. This data gathering helps marketing continue to hone the campaign as a revenue-producing process.

How do you link marketing performance management with campaign automation?

Today’s best in class marketers run marketing like a business and this can’t happen without the right mindset, toolset and skill set. The mindset in marketing is not the “make it pretty department.” The mindset is marketing is a revenue-producing center and runs like any other part of the business using a P&L. The tools enable the mindset.

Working with marketing performance management and campaign automation tools operationalizes marketing’s new responsibilities.

Which automation tools are best to deliver ROI for marketing and sales teams?

Given that Scott Brinker’s latest landscape has almost 7,000 different technologies, the answer to this question is simple – the ones that work for where you are. The tool is not the magic bullet. The magic bullet is the mindset and the leadership to drive the change. The tools enable the change.

How should CMOs strategize their training programs for higher marketing and sales productivity?

The digital skills gap continues to grow and this gap represents the Achilles heel of any CMO who is looking to modernize marketing. No one seems to want to take responsibility for identifying the training gaps and providing the training. Most CMOs run teams that get training based on the last white paper they read or the last conference they attended.

FEW companies have a cohesive training program that helps the CMO address the skills gap rampant in their organizations.  Successful strategies to overcome this challenge include borrowing, renting, and/or building skills. 

Borrowing skills mean looking across the organization and borrowing specific skill sets. This happens frequently with analytical skills.  Renting means working with an external partner to deliver projects while training-on-the job.  The third is building the skills.  This involves hiring folks who have a acumen and can pick up whatever comes their way.

Two specific strategies I have seen work in terms of higher marketing and sales productivity is having marketing serve a work rotation with sales and having the marketing group sit in the same area as sales.

I know one VP of Marketing who hires marketers and has them serve a 6-week rotation on the sales team.  In sales, they rotate through insides sales and outside sales. They see first hand what motivates salespeople and what their challenges are.  Once this marketer arrives in marketing, they have a much better perspective and understanding of sales needs.

The second example is just having the demand gen team sit with a sales team.  The day-to-day interactions help create a better understanding that drives better quality leads.

Why should marketers attend B2B Campaign Optimization Series? How would it benefit martech audience?

First, many marketing technologists or marketing ops team members have a little more tech acumen than marketing acumen. Attending the series provides an accelerated education on the what, why and how of B2B campaigns. This additional knowledge makes the marketing ops team a more valuable member in working with the demand gen team.

The series provides a comprehensive view of marketing best practices that can be adopted and standardized in a company. For the marketing ops team member, it is hard to juggle being technical, business and marketing. The series gives them a primer for what marketers need to do and ideas for how the technology can support them.

Thank you, Debbie, for chatting with us.

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