Lynn highlights how marketing techniques have evolved and how crucial it is to have a comprehensive data strategy to make informed marketing decisions.
An insights-informed approach is the only way to determine what’s best for your company.
1. With extensive marketing experience, you’ve driven growth for tech giants like Google, Apple, and Oracle. How has marketing evolved over the past few years, and where’s it headed?
The most significant evolution for B2B marketers has been the change in our focus from enabling selling to enabling buying. This isn’t just semantics but a wholesale change in strategy and approach. Our role is to provide the information and clarity buyers need to make confident decisions — especially in uncertain economic times. This is challenging in an environment where buyers choose to be anonymous through much of their buying process and the buying teams are more fragmented and diverse (crossing departments and functions).
This change has shifted marketers’ approach from looking at the buying journey as a rigid, straight-line process we (think we) control to a more flexible one. Practices such as using intent data, machine learning and AI, triggered marketing, and data-driven orchestration across channels are now powering brand and demand programs.
Typically, all the excitement in the marketing community has been about B2C marketing, but I think marketing is headed to a more balanced focus. More B2C-focused companies are creating or building out B2B practices, which may be particularly relevant in an inflationary environment. Similarly, many B2B companies are creating or building on e-commerce models (many launched during the pandemic) to augment their direct sales. B2B is the place to be!
2. What is more powerful — lead generation or demand generation?
Of course, sales will say leads! But the reality is that what’s powerful is the combination of both provoking and sensing demand for your solutions and converting that interest into conversation-ready leads.
Demand generation strategy today reflects that change from enabling sales to enabling buying, which I mentioned earlier. It’s all about the data! We need the right high-fidelity data to understand who is looking for a solution now, who is not in-market just yet, and who might be open to hearing from us. Whether creating a need or capturing one, having the right data sources and the ability to act on them is paramount.
Converting that interest into a lead means leveraging that data for increased personalization, understanding the buying group dynamics, and delivering the right content at the right time.
3. Anteriad Marketing Cloud won product of the year at The Sales and Marketing Technology Awards 2022. What are the best features of the platform?
Thanks, we are very proud of that win! Our Anteriad Marketing Cloud was built originally as the platform to power the solutions offered by True Influence, one of several companies that came together to form Anteriad, and now it is the foundation of our business.
Our platform provides our internal teams and customers with:
1. Easy access to our deep, privacy-compliant, high-performing B2B data (including contact, firmographics, and intent) for activating on almost any platform — programmatic display, email, CTV, social, and more.
2. One pane of glass on which to run campaigns, monitor and analyze performance, optimize results, and manage bi-directional integration with sales and martech systems.
4. What’s your take on Marketing Analytics?
In marketing, analytics is like breathing; it’s essential to survival.
Without analytics, marketing is just a cost center. With good analytics, marketing is a revenue engine.
Note that I said analytics, not reporting – reporting is required but not sufficient. And that modifier “good” is also important — if your analysis is based on opaque, inaccurate, or outdated data, you won’t have the insights needed to make good decisions. I believe marketers need to follow three steps for analytics success:
1. Build a solid data foundation: The data you analyze must be accurate, recent, and relevant. This is harder than you might think, but there is help out there!
2. Widen your view: Analytics provides insight into performance, what to optimize, and new opportunities. Ensure your aperture is opened wide enough to capture not only buying signals from your target audience but also from emerging markets and buyers (before your competitors find them).
3. Use the right methodology: It’s easy for bias to creep in. Sometimes, executives see what they want to see in the numbers or even ignore those that don’t conform to their worldview. Having an objective, sound approach to analytics is just as important as having accurate data.
Getting the support and the resources needed to have a solid approach to analytics is not always easy. It requires an investment in data management, people, and technology. It can be complicated, which is why many marketers work with a partner like Anteriad.
5. Should B2B brands focus on cross-selling and upselling as much as acquiring new clients?
Ah, the perennial question. We did research recently with Ascend2, asking marketers in the US and UK about this — what was their planned focus on cross-selling and upselling versus net-new for 2023. We found a lack of consensus across the marketing department. Marketing executives were more than twice as likely as their direct reports — EVP/SVP/VPs — to say the focus will be on net-new (32% vs 14%). On the flip side, 33% of directors and below plan to focus on cross-selling and upselling (which should make for some interesting internal discussions!). Overall, the number one pick of all levels was “both,” so it seems we marketers are hedging our bets.
An insights-informed approach is the only way to determine what’s best for your company.
There are many factors to consider. A large company with significant market penetration is likely more focused on upselling and cross-selling simply because there aren’t many more new logos to get. A start-up is likely concentrating on net-new logos. However, insights around the cost-benefit of each approach can help companies create the best strategy.
6. Do you think it’s crucial to have a comprehensive data strategy to make informed marketing decisions?
Absolutely. Our research shows that companies with a data-driven marketing approach perform significantly better than their peers. We found that the marketers with a comprehensive data strategy are twice as likely to grow 20% or more and 3.6 times more likely to report excellence in deriving actionable insight from data compared to those that do not (54% versus 15%). Having a strategy that encompasses data normalization across systems, a centralized customer view and real-time data augmentation, cleaning, management, and reporting is clearly material for driving growth. Companies need to control their own data ecosystem to facilitate better outcomes and help them market responsibly and successfully in a crowded market. Data has to be best in class in terms of being accurate, compliant and engaged, this approach is now ‘must have’ not ‘nice to have,’ and we are seeing the improved results and campaign lift as a result.
7. How should marketers go about audience profiling?
It’s important to remember that data practices need to be, at minimum, compliant with government regulations and industry best practices. Best-in-class practices also take into account customer experience, campaign performance and future changes to policy. Our data practices have been vetted and certified by leading organizations such as Privacy Shield, Neutronian, and OneTrust. We understand that our customers are going to be more successful and avoid unnecessary risk if they are using data that is not only collected in accordance with applicable policies but also managed to the strictest quality standards
Assuming a B2B marketer is working with safe and compliant data, what’s important is building out the right data elements from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party sources that will enable you to create a confidence-building buying process for your target audience. This means letting the audience decide what to share when, personalizing when appropriate, and using the data to be as relevant and resonant as possible.
We highly recommend that marketers test and adjust to find the best approach for their audience.
8. Why is intent a big deal right now?
In today’s competitive market, insights that help marketers capture buyers before their competition is priceless.
Buyers are more savvy and critical, and there is more competition for their time and attention. After shifting much of their buying process to digital channels, there is more ‘data exhaust’ based on that behavior than ever before. Capturing intent from owned channels (like website activity) and trusted second and third-party channels (like content syndication programs and social content consumption) is critical for B2B marketers today.
Our survey found that marketers who plan to “significantly” expand their use of intent data next year report they are more than twice as likely to meet their goals compared to marketers who are keeping their intent data use the same or don’t use it at all (39% for the former group, vs. 15% for the latter).
We recently worked with a client to create a new strategic approach to reseller marketing using intent data. They wanted to lean into digital channels to create a “marketing-first” program that could generate more and better quality leads for the sales team and nurture those leads through the pipeline. Intent data played a significant role in this new approach. They saw a 133% increase in targeted campaign performance using Anteriad’s unique intent-based insights.
9. Anteriad acquired True Influence in November last year. What new power has the combination created?
In the past two years, MeritB2B acquired several companies including True Influence and 180byTwo. This year we relaunched as Anteriad, a data-driven, tech-enabled marketing solutions provider driving growth for the world’s leading B2B brands. With our combined capabilities, our customers can now more consistently and confidently deliver on their ambitious pipeline goals. With more than 500 billion buyer-related signals tracked every month on our award-winning Anteriad Marketing Cloud platform, customers like IBM, Microsoft, Forbes, SHRM, and Lenovo benefit from our high-fidelity B2B buyer data, full and self-service multichannel execution, analytics, and expert advisory to generate impactful ROI multiples.
We recently shared that more than 60% of our revenue is from customers using multiple solutions, proving that marketers value having a partner that can power more of their funnel.
10. What do you love the most about the culture at Anteriad?
Anteriad’s focus is leadership: helping ambitious B2B marketers get in front of their next customer and out in front of their competition. I love working with growth-obsessed colleagues! Whether bringing a new pipeline-creating point of view to a demand marketer, helping a colleague with a stretch assignment, or supporting an organization like The Monroe Foundation, we’re all-in on growth. I genuinely feel that I can bring my whole self to work, can balance my work and personal passions, and that I’ve found a fun bunch of humans to build something amazing with.