In my last post, I discussed the frustration marketers face when trying to make disparate technologies play well together. And how, rather than building an ever more precarious technology stack, companies should consider an “anti-stack” approach to resolve their martech woes.
Researchers at Forrester predict that in 2017 marketers will “scale back on experimental tech” and that “B2B marketing technology choices will simplify.”
What better time to revisit our marketing technology choices and build a vision of an “unstacked” marketing future.
This Is How We Roll
Like the hub of a wheel, an effective marketing strategy is always in motion, able to adapt to the changing needs and habits of buyers. This is the beauty of a “hub” style solution where all the “spokes”—designed by a single entity—converge to work as one rather than competing with or overlapping each other.
Such a platform meets every step of the buyer’s journey with content, email marketing and lead nurturing, as well as comprehensive social media marketing. It also provides predictive lead scoring and a dashboard for marketing analytics and reporting, for ROI transparency.
New innovative techniques (such as predictive analytics and artificial intelligence) can be introduced without bypassing regression testing to make sure all the existing components do not break when the new element is added.
Finally, the concept of sharing and augmenting contact records in one data warehouse is not just an afterthought; it’s the primary reason there is a hub in the first place.
We’ve already seen the hub approach applied successfully for inbound marketing, most notably with the HubSpot environment. However, outside of the monolithic enterprise suites from IBM, Salesforce and Oracle, what solution has gained traction in providing a cost-effective hub approach to outbound marketing?
A platform that, rather than attempting to force leads through a traditional funnel, meets and nurtures them wherever they happen to be (with the content that will interest them the most) will be in the best position to dominate the outbound marketing realm.
Isn’t My CRM the Hub?
Many B2B companies have already invested in an enterprise suite built around the consolidation of their customer information in a CRM system. Marketing campaigns with the primary goal of retention can be easily launched using the tools provided in these suites.
However, when it comes to new customer acquisition, all sources and channels must be evaluated and relying on CRM systems will limit the diversity of your outreach. Nevertheless, suspect data should be treated with the same level of consolidation as customer data and a marketing hub approach is the best way to accomplish this.
So, if you have invested in an enterprise CRM suite to manage your sales and account retention efforts, then apply the same reasoning when pursuing new customers and you’ll conclude that a hub approach brings your B2B marketing “full circle” by consolidating suspect data in one place and applying the best technology in an integrated manner.
This post originally appeared in the “B2B Demand Generation Trends” newsletter and on the author’s LinkedIn Pulse page.
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