From social media to sales enablement, I have found new marketing technologies are abundant, often replacing established tools in the marketing programs and operations toolbox. In my relatively brief time here at Xerox Document Services, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity — and challenge — of adopting a variety of new technologies with a mix of successes and shortfalls.
On November 10, I had the honor of delivering the keynote presentation to the Milwaukee chapter of the BMA. (The BMA is an organization I shamelessly plug to all B2B marketers.) I shared a few lessons that we’ve learned rolling out social media, lead management automation, and guided selling tools in our professional services organization where sales coverage runs the gamut from geography to industry.
It was a frank recounting of the challenges and problems many marketers face with new technology adoption across a range of programs, campaigns, and operations. It was the “practical experience” view to the perspective that Debbie Qaquish, Chief Revenue Officer of the Pedowitz Group, shared on how revenue marketers are changing the landscape of the industry through lead management automation.
You can find the presentation on the Milwaukee BMA site, scroll to the bottom as the presentation is the last one featured on this page. In it I talk about:
1) The state of B2B marketing and how the explosion of online tactics has made it harder for marketing to escape the execution treadmill and demonstrate its true value to the business.
2) How Xerox Document Services uses an online destination and social media to share thought leading perspectives from some of our key executives. On this site, we talk about sustainability, change management, transforming enterprise marketing, innovation, and the future of documents. Topics completely unrelated to copiers and printing.
3) Demand generation and lead management: how we use industry experts and clear, specific targeting to develop a perspective on key issues — like the future of the insurance industry — and share these with current clients and prospects. And how we keep the conversation going.
4) A cautionary note about guided selling and sales enablement and how the most exciting new technologies may be a bit much for your sales people to digest in one swallow. Instead start with something they know (powerpoint slides) and give them a tool that enhances their effectiveness and professionalism when presenting in front of clients.
I also shared the following lessons with the 40 or so BMA members and guests who joined us for dinner and the evening presentation:
- We are never finished. Technology makes many new marketing approaches possible, but you have to keep feeding the machine.
- Choose carefully, understand impact/risks of the new technology approaches you want to try.
- Get inside your business financials to select metrics. If your programs and technology don’t show results in the language of business, you will fail to gain support.
- Partner with sales, but gain senior management support. If the “big boss” doesn’t demonstrate both interest in and commitment to your implementations, then the road to success will be long and difficult.
- Focus on audience and objectives first, the rest will follow. This is the POST principle.
- People, process, and change management are more important than technology. Technology for technology’s sake is never a good thing.
- Content generation is biggest success factor and hurdle. Figure out how to keep the content coming.
- Use reporting to improve marketing, not just “prove” it.
- Don’t be afraid to fail.
If you can relate to the contents in the presentation, let me know how. Also, join your local chapter of the BMA. It’s a wonderful organization that I know helps to improve the business marketing profession.