How Talent, Data and Technology Foster Marketing Team Optimization [Interview]

allocadia, marketing, optimizationIn the “Essential Framework for Optimizing Marketing Performance” report published by Allocadia, research shows that the most optimized marketing teams come from organizations that have best-in-class talent, data, and technology.

However, it can be challenging for enterprises to deliver on these key drivers of success. We spoke to Sam Melnick, the director of Customer and Marketing Insights for Allocadia, for more insight into the findings.

HOW COULD MARTECH POTENTIALLY HELP B2B MARKETERS BETTER UTILIZE THEIR DATA AND ANALYTICS?

“MarTech is an enabler for data and analytics. For data, MarTech can help clean, organize, and format data. For analytics, MarTech can help with visualization and advanced analytics (e.g., machine learning, AI, prescriptive).

That said, MarTech can’t be looked as a ‘savior;’ rather, it should be looked at as an enabler and an important piece of the puzzle.”

IN YOUR OPINION AND FROM WHAT YOU’VE SEEN WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY, WHY ARE MARKETING TEAMS SO MISALIGNED WITH OTHER TEAMS/EXECUTIVES WITHIN THEIR ORGANIZATION?

“Often people or companies get too focused on the details. It is really the executives’ role to set the vision and pace so the rest of the organization is moving in a direction that will create impact.

Details are incredibly important, but if you just focus on details and execution there is no true north, and that creates issues.”

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL FIRST STEPS THAT CMOS NEED TO TAKE IN ORDER TO BEGIN SPENDING MORE TIME ON MARKET-FACING ACTIVITIES?

“I think this is the wrong type of question/goal for CMOs. CMOs need to be the architects of the organization, the strategists for what marketing is going to accomplish, and the diplomats that liaise with all the other corporate leaders.

Essentially, the CMOs should be running marketing and enabling their marketers in field to do marketing, or execute marketing-facing activities. When doing this effectively, CMOs enable their staff to be more effective in market. When the CMO takes on that role as a leader rather than an executer (and enables the organization), it creates a more efficient and effective marketing organization.”

ONCE A MARKETING STRATEGY HAS MATURED AND BECOME OPTIMIZED, WHAT ELSE CAN B2B MARKETERS DO TO IMPROVE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEW CHALLENGES THAT THEY MAY FACE?

“What’s awesome about marketing is there is never an ‘end point.’ There are always changes and improvements that can be made, whether it’s due to internal priorities changing, external market conditions (new buyer needs or competitors), or even brand new marketing technologies that push the envelope on what is possible.

The difference is early on in the maturity curve, the challenges seem more daunting and widespread – it’s painful. In more mature organizations, however, the challenges begin to be more specific and it becomes clear what needs to be done to get to that next plateau.

For example, earlier on in the journey, organizations need to implement world-wide versions of CRM, MAP, or MPM. This is to solve major process, data, and automation issues. Later on, they can implement more point solutions like predictive and campaign attribution, because they have solved some of those larger fundamental challenges and are ready for that next level of tools. The foundation and frame has been built so they can moving on to the ‘finishings.’”

HOW CAN B2B MARKETERS BRING ON BEST-IN-CLASS DATA, TALENT, AND TECH WITH A LIMITED BUDGET?

“My recommendation when there are limited resources is to limit scope of what you are trying to accomplish and do one or two things really well. Be clear with those intentions so that when they are successful, you are able to make the case for more resources to increase your impact. Almost like a snowball effect, you have to start with a small fist-sized ball, but if you keep rolling, it gets larger and larger.”

ARE THERE TYPICALLY ONE OR TWO PRIMARY CAUSES FOR SALES AND MARKETING MISALIGNMENT, OR DOES IT VARY ACCORDING TO THE ORGANIZATION?

“Typically, lack of communication/collaboration is the main issue. Both parties need to come to the table with value and an understanding that each plays a role in customer creation. When that isn’t happening, you’ll often see poor communication and collaboration. Ultimately, it takes work to create alignment.

As a secondary issue, a lack of mutual respect can cause misalignment. The caveat is these are both gross generalizations – large marketing and sales organizations are complex and always shifting. It’s hard enough to create alignment within sales or marketing, let alone across the two departments.”

IS THERE A ‘FAST TRACK’ TO MARKETING TEAM OPTIMIZATION, OR DOES IT DEPEND ON THE SITUATION/ORGANIZATION?

“Nope, there are no shortcuts, no magic fairy dust, and no technologies that will solve all your woes. The larger the company, the even more so this is the case. Marketing is hard, and truly optimizing performance (or any facet of the organization) is going to take work.

This is why having an end goal is important, but creating a process or framework to get there is [also] important. There will be stages or milestones that signify improvement, but, really, there is no way to skip steps – the best bet is hire smart people, be flexible and willing to adjust, and focus. Don’t lose site of the long game.”

Visit the Allocadia website for your free download of ‘The Essential Framework for Optimizing Marketing Performance’ report.

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