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Make It Rain: The Evolution of Measuring Marketing’s Success

On this episode, Daniel Englebretson, Head of ABM at Phononic, breaks down his journey from lead generation, demand generation, to integrated marketing, to #ABM.

This is based on an exclusive session from the 2019 B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange 

Here’s what we’re unpacking today:

  • Evolution of measurement of marketing success
  • Lead generation
  • Demand generation
  • Integrated marketing
  • ABM 1.0
  • ABM 2.0

Based on a podcast with Daniel Englebretson. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below.

Your job is to make it rain for the sales team:

Daniel: “These web leads are like gold. Daniel’s making it rain, over here.” When I started my second job out of school, this is what a sales guy said to me. It totally changed my perspective on what I was doing. I think we were generating 7 leads a week, and he was just so happy with the quality of the leads. My whole job became: “How can I make the sales team to love me by generating these leads?” Your job as a marketer is to make it rain for the sales team.

1: Lead generation:

Daniel:  Lead generation is basically marketers aggregating data from wherever they can and pouring in the top of the funnel. It could be a booth scan, a web inquiry, your sales guy’s Rolodex, whatever. Maybe you’re measuring unqualified, maybe you’re measuring qualified, maybe you’re measuring win rate. But lead generation is about volume.

The big challenges you run into are things like, “I’ve got tons of waste in my funnel.” So you get this commonly heard phrase, “Ninety-nine percent of leads are garbage.” That’s because in a lead generation model, 99% of your leads are garbage.

2: Demand generation:

Daniel: For me, demand gen is about relevancy for the end user, for the sales team, and for your activities. Here, you’re starting to think more about the customer life cycle. You’re thinking about driving traffic, converting them to prospects, converting them to MQLs. “What’s their experience pre-purchase post-purchase?” “What’s their experience as they’re advocating?” The marketer is trying to engage the demand unit, or the demand record, through each stage of the life cycle. So, your metrics start becoming about pipeline growth, not just on the top, but also inside of the funnel. You’re thinking a lot about buyer journey. You’re starting to write content for the buyer journey, and you’re trying to influence that entire life cycle.

So for measurement, you might have more resolution into your funnel. You’re looking at raw leads or you’re looking at MQ Ls or SQLs, because you have some level of threshold before you’re going to pass it off to sales. You might also now be measuring the dollar value associated with that pipeline. You’re starting to think, “Okay, I don’t have 10 leads. I have a million dollars of pipeline.”

You’re now getting a lot of pressure on revenue contribution. What’s happened, as you move from lead gen to demand gen to get more relevant, you have more technology and you have more costs or you might have more staff, so your budget is going up.

3: Integrated marketing:

Daniel: In comes integrated marketing along this path. Really, what has happened with integrated marketing is, people are getting really good at using the technology, and they’re getting really good at measuring what’s happening. So, they’re trying to fold other areas of the business or other areas of marketing into what they’re doing. They’re trying to meet customers where they are, because customers, more and more, are expecting an experience that’s relevant to them. So, you start measuring things like marketing influence and how it’s influencing across the funnel, and across the whole experience. You start having a much higher focus on the customer experience overall, and you start thinking a lot about engagement, and which accounts are engaging, which people are engaging, how they’re engaging, stuff like that.

When you get to this point, your main problem is that sales may not have scoped their team to actually receive all the leads. Alongside that, you also now have a much clearer understanding of the cost per acquisition, because you have the technology, and you clearly understand what you’re doing with it. So, you know how much you’re spending on all these leads. That means you know how much you’re losing every time they don’t get called back. You also have really high infrastructure costs to run all these platforms, and so you need the throughput to justify it.

4: ABM 1.0:

Daniel: So, enter ABM. (I kind of broke this into ABM 1.0 and 2.0.) With ABM, the technology has caught up. You can say exactly what you want to say, to exactly who you want to say it to, exactly when you want to say it, and to the exact account where you want to say it. So it has totally changed the way your budget works. Your goal is very much about time prioritization. It’s not budget anymore, because I actually need less budget to do as well as I was doing before. But I don’t have any more time in my day.

But now what you’re running into is that marketing can’t scale. “How do you get more one-to-one campaigns out?” Or, “how do you get more accounts targeted?” So now, you’ve got this massive infrastructure you’ve got to pay for. Now, it’s not a volume game anymore. It’s now a quality game.

Then also, one of the things that I hear a lot is that it’s very hard for a marketer to tell their boss or their boss’s boss that last year’s target was a hundred leads, and this year’s target is 10. That’s what you’re saying when you go to ABM. 

5: ABM 2.0

Daniel: So, you’re very focused on scale, because you now have learned from 1.0 that this stuff works, and you’re trying to scale up. If you could crush it on 1.0, what could you do if you were at a 2.0? 

ABM has really become a cross-functional alignment game. It’s a lot about bringing your partners to the front to get sign off on things like, “What tactics are you going to run? What content are you going to build? What’s your targeting going to look like? What kind of output are you going to get from this campaign?” You should have those questions answered before you launch. Because if you don’t, you’re going to run into efficiency problems later on, because of your alignment.

With that, then you have stronger collaboration, reinforced by that flow of information, you get a better result. So 100% of your output is now actionable. Every lead you generate, sales wants to call, and they’re ready to call them. You have best in class customer experience, because your customers are having a common experience across what you’re doing, and you’re maximizing your marketing dollars as best as possible. We’ll move accounts in and out of campaigns all the time, based on who sales says we should be targeting this week, or how that account’s changing or whatever.

Back to make it rain:

Daniel: So to bring it full circle to, “Make it rain.” When you have alignment, and you understand the technology that can do it, you really can generate the lead or the business where you want, when you want, for as long as you want. It’s important to make the point on the enthusiasm with sales. If you’re not best friends with your sales team, if they don’t love what you’re giving them, then there’s a disconnect.