Phenomenal discussions about marketing technology with industry leaders representing all different levels of the marketing tech stack occurred last week. The Marketing Tech Stack Webinar Series is now available on-demand here!

We attended every talk and made pages upon pages of notes. Here’s a summary of the key information you’ll want to take away.

The Value of Picking the Right Leads … err Accounts

Let’s start with a re-imagination of the typical funnel. The standard funnel has an extremely large opening and normally, by the time we get the bottom, there are very few leads left. Marketers are very focused on bringing in as much volume as possible to the top of that funnel. But in reality, 94% of MQLs never close (SiriusDecisions). It’s such a drastic change in volume from top-of-funnel to the bottom that it begs the question: are 94% our activities wasted?

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What if we tried a different approach? Sangram Vajre, Co-founder and CMO of Terminus, an account-based marketing platform challenges marketers to shift their thinking from a focus on leads to a focus of revenue. He came to this realization after of a mentor of his said to him one day: “Sangram, we don’t close leads, we close accounts.”

It’s true.

So how do you implement this theory of a revenue-focused marketing department? You flip the funnel. Start thinking about customers as accounts, not individual people, that are the best possible fit for your business (a.k.a. the ones that have the greatest likelihood of converting).

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Watch the full webinar, “Forget the Persona: Why You Need to Identify High-Value Accounts as a Whole” to discover the 5 digital strategies for flipping your own funnel.

How to Identify High Value Prospects

Starting with high-value accounts is all fine and dandy, but how do you identify these accounts (or leads, if you’re still stuck on the traditional funnel!)? Predictive analytics is one way. By providing a list of accounts you’ve closed, predictive analytics can determine common characteristics and pinpoint future prospects that are likely to close also. And this goes beyond just industry or job title, it’s more than your typical persona. This could include things as specific as whether the company just received funding, who their CFO is, or what technologies they use.

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Many marketers believe they have more than enough data to accurately make decisions and select target accounts. But according to the image above, shared by Brian Kardon, CMO at Lattice, a predictive analytics company for marketers, there’s some important information we’re missing. He asks us, “why would you want to target someone whose credit rating just dropped from ‘A’ to ‘C’?”. You wouldn’t, and that’s exactly why you’d want access to this information.

Watch the full webinar, “How to Use Predictive Models to Learn Who Will Buy, When” to discover specific examples of companies using predictive analytics to better understand their converting accounts and refine their targeting.

How to Generate more High-Quality Accounts with Video

Now that your systems are building the profiles of top prospects, it’s time to see how to generate more of these prospects. And that’s where video comes in. Video is more than simply a brand awareness tool. In fact, 72% of B2B buyers are watching video all the way through their buying journey.

So how do you bring video off its island into your marketing programs and synched with your marketing technology?

  1. Use video across your site – by building a video hub or embedding videos throughout your site, it keeps people on your site and away from the deep, dark, black holes of YouTube
  2. Use video in email – simply put, emails with video see greater opens and CTRs
  3. Use video in content campaigns – video can increase landing page conversions by 80% and is a great way to pique people’s interest and move them to conversion

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With video, you can generate leads with email gates and forms and then track second-by-second consumption to build lead profiles and qualify prospects. Unlike text-based content like an ebook, you can actually see if a prospect has viewed all or part of your video and even get insight into parts they’ve re-watched. This gives you an added element to understand your prospects and better qualify them.

Watch the full webinar, “Moving Beyond View Counts to Lead- and Conversion-Focused Video Content” to discover how Cetera Financial uses video to engage, qualify, and convert leads.

Nurturing and Engaging Leads with the Right Content

Once you’ve refined your system to highlight only the accounts or leads with the highest potential and these are rolling in, then it’s time to keep them on track with a content journey.

Notice that I said “journey” there. This is the part that’s very important according to Nick Edouard, President and CMO of LookbookHQ a content engagement platform. He explained that we’re in the age of ‘one-and-done’ or ‘catch-and-release’ marketing. We tend to focus on getting people to download one piece of content and don’t really build that into a targeted and detailed content journey.

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But since 94% of MQLs never close, this lead nurturing approach that we’re all using clearly isn’t working particularly well. Nick shares that it boils down to three main problems:

  1. “One-and-done” content offers – we frequently work hard to get prospects’ attention for one content offer and then leave them hanging and (hopefully) waiting for more when it suits us
  2. Scheduled drip – we tend to send out communications on our own timelines and not our audience’s. As Nick points out, Netflix has already proven that the scheduled approach doesn’t work with their takeover of primetime TV!
  3. Incomplete data – the information we look at are really proxies for purchase intent, like clicks and form completions and frequently we can’t even see our audience’s true engagement in content. Did they actually read that whole whitepaper?

Nick recommends an on-demand or “always-on” nurture track that lets prospects choose their own self-nurture.

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Always-on content experiences are all about optimizing a content experience in one single session and providing the content that your audience wants, as much of it as they want (frequently it’s more than one piece!), and when they want more.

Watch the full webinar, “The Secrets to Content Engagement and ‘Always-On’ Marketing” to learn more about always-on content and how to put it into practice at your organization.

Using Content to Qualify Prospects and Build Profiles

Now that you have your prospect’s attention and you’re holding it, how can you use that attention to better understand your prospects?

Seth Lieberman, CEO of SnapApp, an interactive content experience platform, suggests that the key to this is opening up the current monologues we so frequently have with our audience and branch out into dialogues, instead. You can do this with interactive content.

Imagine every piece of content on your website collected just one piece of information on your prospects like ‘what technology are you using?’ or ‘what’s your biggest pain point?’. Just think about how much more you would know! Not to mention how the engagement level of your accounts would climb. Sure, you can capture some of this information through forms, but forms are actually losing their impact. According to DemandGen Report, only 5% of buyers say they’ll provide detailed information in exchange for a whitepaper now.

In contrast, when you build interactive experiences, marketers see 2-3x more leads than static content. Plus, you can better qualify these leads with all of these additional pieces of information. Win-win!

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Watch the full webinar, “Get More from Your Content with Interactive Content Experiences”, to learn more about how to use interactive content and companies that are using it today.

Want to dive deeper into all of these discussions and learn more? Check out one, two, or all five of the webinars on-demand here!

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Kimbe MacMaster