Digital marketing has transformed how most organizations market today. Marketers at even the smallest companies are now equipped to leverage online strategies including email, banner ads, search, and social media.
The concept of a “demand center” has emerged at the core of successful marketing organizations as a hub for shared marketing services, infrastructure and process to enable organizations to bring programs to market that leverage key corporate assets and best practices. Not surprisingly, savvy marketers are embracing the concept because they see how it can help them drive consistent demand, whether they represent the corporation, a business unit or region.
What’s Driving this Change?
- Customers now have the power; especially in B-to-B where they control the dialog, establish the rules of engagement, define the information they need, and the channels used
- It’s tougher than ever to identify and reach the actual buyer with relevant communications; invisible buying committees are the norm and customer advocates must often be equipped to sell on behalf of the vendor
- Greater accountability is expected, with marketing expected to demonstrate a quantifiable and measurable contribution to revenue; depending on the company, this might be in the form of marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads, converted sales or a variety of other metrics
- New tools, such as marketing automation, to strengthen operational muscle and agility are widely available, leveling the playing field so that smaller companies can compete effectively with the big boys
- A greater focus on organizational integrity and transparency is an outcome of the power shift from seller to buyer, reinforced by the inherent scrutiny the Social Web and other “watchdogs” bring
- Marketers are expected to work cross-functionally with other disciplines to tackle enterprise-wide challenges; this means marketers need to align with every group that touches the customer, especially sales
The digital age presents both an opportunity and a challenge for today’s B-to-B marketer who must combine both “traditional” marketing vehicles with new demand creation tools to find and convert high-value, relationship-centric selling opportunities.
Since customers set the cadence of the buying cycle, marketers must be able to respond with the right information at the right time. Without marketing automation, this quickly becomes impossible as companies grow, and puts them at a competitive disadvantage. On the other hand, those marketers that master these new channels and tools will be able to deliver more powerful, measurable and profitable demand generation programs than ever before. A key vision for the demand center is to help transform the marketing function from a perceived cost center to a vital revenue-generating engine for the enterprise.
To accomplish this critical objective, marketing needs to substantially raise its game. Here’s how:
- Convert insight to value
- Accelerate selling and buying
- Localize and personalize marketing campaigns
- Scale marketing for growth
- Synch marketing objectives with the enterprise strategy
- Optimize customer profitability
- Demonstrate measurable Return on Marketing
If you’re finding it a challenge to get the most out of your marketing and sales databases, the process begins with an automated demand generation system that efficiently tracks, nurtures, and identifies interested prospects over time and puts that data in the hands of sales and marketing to close more sales faster.
If you are already running a simple email-blast system, it’s time to take your marketing campaigns to the next level with campaign automation and tracking using an automated demand-generation system like eTrigue DemandCenter.
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