There’s a series on Netflix called “The Movies that Made Us.” As a movie buff, I can watch episode after episode of this show, because it features many of the behind-the-scenes details of the filmmaking process. Politics around producing, the ins and outs of location scouting and production design, things like that.
It almost never features the actors themselves.
In fact, it’s many of the details and processes behind the scenes that actually get the movie made. Similarly, it’s the process behind generating, managing and converting demand (not the technology or marketing tactics) that can make or break the effectiveness of a campaign.
That’s why drilling down on your B2B marketing processes is so important.
As a B2B marketing professional, you’re working hard to keep up with the times, adopting new tools and technologies to reach audiences more effectively. And you’ve probably developed a terrific marketing strategy.
But without the processes in place to execute that strategy, your marketing plan will stumble.
Fine-tuning your process isn’t sexy. And it takes a while for the benefits of tightly integrated processes to emerge. But once they do, you’ll have the infrastructure in place to react more quickly to market changes.
Strategy Doesn’t Matter Without Process
As in most fields, B2B marketing has seen immense innovation in the last several decades. Martech has changed the way marketers do business, partially automating the lead-generation process and providing immense amounts of data throughout the buyer’s journey. The availability of audience and intent data has led to sophisticated account-based marketing (ABM) strategies.
But while the B2B marketing strategy and technology have made leaps and bounds, B2B marketing processes haven’t always caught up.
How helpful is the latest tech if you don’t know how to utilize it effectively, integrate it into your strategy, communicate insights to your team, or quickly act on the data?
Our friends at Intentsify recently wrote about the gap between strategy and execution, using intent data as an example. Intent data tools are great—they help you understand and act on the behavior of buying teams. However, David Crane, VP of Marketing at Intentsify, identifies three areas where B2B marketers struggle to implement the right processes to act on intent data:
- Quickly gather intent signals from multiple sources.
- Update their planned tactics based on fresh intent signals (often updated weekly).
- Distribute intent-driven insights to the teams and individuals in charge of acting on them.
Gather, update, and distribute. Three core processes that could easily fall through the cracks if you’re more focused on the tech (sexy) than the implementation (perhaps not quite so sexy).
Luckily, the issue is fixable. Crane cites CMO Dawn Colossi, who articulates this solution:
A repeatable, even automated, process should be in place to take full advantage of intent data: bringing accounts into your targeting strategies across the tactics you are running in the right campaign, at the right stage in the buyer’s journey.
Hear that? “A repeatable, even automated process.” In other words, process rigor.
Instead of going with a project-management-centric, “just do it” approach, Forrester analyst Lori Wizdo advocates that B2B marketers adopt more rigid processes. Having these processes in place means you can execute consistently, create a unified buying experience, and discover efficiencies.
Most importantly, processes are linked to profits.
Increased revenue performance? Now that’s sexy.
Closing the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
As a B2B marketing services firm, process is where Inverta shines. Our work places us directly in the gap between strategy and execution.
Process refinement isn’t a quick and dirty change. It can look like anything from minor tweaks to communication and campaign planning to total infrastructure overhaul. Getting your processes down gives you the foundation for repeatable campaign success.
There are many paths to refining your processes. For example, you can bring on a B2B marketing agency, hire a marketing ops consultant, or work with a process engineer.
But above all, getting solid processes in place starts simply. Sexy or not, you’ve got to think about the processes you have in place—how you’re compiling data, getting insights to your team, and tweaking your tactics. By focusing on every impact point of how demand is handled from cold to close, you’ll easily uncover and address the root of the issues.
Implementing and refining your key marketing processes will maximize your marketing investment. If that doesn’t make a splash, I don’t know what will!