We have seen a huge transformation in marketing over the past 10-12 years. Buyers are now in control of when and how they access information during the purchase process. At the same time, marketers are constrained by tight budgets and are being asked to interact with buyers across a huge array of channels. All of these changes can prove to add up to numerous challenges, but they also open up new opportunities for marketers. Now more than ever before marketing is being seen as a revenue driver and marketers are finding that they now have a seat at the C suite table.
But where do you start? There are many changes that need to happen within the organization in order to keep pace. During our Good to Great virtual event, Forrester presented on our keynote with our CMO Sanjay Dholakia and brought up a number of great points about how to transform your organization to match the pace of the today’s marketer.
As a modern marketer, you will need to:
- Be accountable for revenue
- Adopt a buyer-centric mind-set
- Build new, repeatable processes around lead nurturing
- Hire for or create new roles and skills
- Measure against new metrics
- Collaborate at new levels with sales
- Automate processes
This new role of the marketer requires transformation within your organization – both in your own marketing departments as well as in other departments across your company. And you have to both lead and manage the change within your organization.
In terms of managing and leading change, you must address your people, your process, and other people.
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The new focus for everyone on the marketing team is the buyer’s journey and how to contribute to revenue. To create a new mind-set, you need to not only reward your teams for success on traditional metrics, such as number of click-throughs or trade show leads, but you also need to reinforce new goals, such as marketing’s contribution to pipeline.
Marketers also need new skills so they can use data and analytics to make more informed decisions for continual improvement. Achieving this goal may mean bringing new people on board or developing your current team’s skills.
Additionally, as the buyer’s journey continues to evolve, you need to create a significant new role around content. Content managers and directors are needed to develop engaging content that moves buyers through the purchase process.
As marketers engage with prospects further along the funnel, they must nurture them until they’re ready to talk to sales. Lead nurturing needs to be implemented as part of lead-to-revenue management. At the same time, you must move beyond measuring volume to measuring the velocity and value of the pipeline. As part of that, you have to look beyond lead acquisition and conversion to measure progress at all relevant phases in order to prove marketing accountability.
To reach today’s buyers, marketers need to launch new marketing programs and may need to engage differently with the product management and sales teams during the process. Regardless of the project at hand, it’s wise for marketing to engage the CFO and CIO to demonstrate fiscal responsibility around the budget, and to rally support for using today’s technologies in support of marketing. You need the collaboration of stakeholders and sales, and you need to over-communicate on your objectives.
The key is to embrace the changes, prepare for them, put strategic plans in place to execute on them, and lay out the practical steps needed to achieve the vision. Just as important is to remember that no marketers need to tackle this on their own. Instead, they can tap into new technologies and a nation of marketers to seize their destinies.
Learn more about what it takes to manage and lead change in today’s hectic marketing world and download our newest ebook Going from Good to Great Marketing