SiriusDecisions kicked off its 9th annual Summit for marketing folks today in Orlando, Florida, and the message was clear: “Intelligent Growth” can only be fueled by the alignment of marketing, sales and product management.
I was pleased to see that the SiriusDecisions team made sure to provide us great management frameworks with a heavy doses of real-world success stories to¬†ensure we return¬†to the office with something to show for our¬†time spent here. ¬†I’ve pulled together some of the highlights of each of the sessions today, including the Executive Leadership Exchange in the morning¬†which SiriusDecisions was kind enough to invite me to.
All insight is sourced, paraphrased and quoted from the respective individuals, except for my personal comments which are in [brackets]. ¬†I’ve only touched upon the expertise shared by the SiriusDecisions team.
Stories of Transformation: Hyland Software
Drew Chapin, VP Marketing ¬†@DrewChapin
Hyland Software is the developer of the enterprise content management and process management software suite called OnBase. (~$250M revenue, 1,700 employees) ¬†Drew Chapin presented a compelling story about their marketing transformation.
- Key steps taken:
- Full search for an agency of record to consolidate activities and drive change both internally and externally. ¬†Not only did Hyland get free consulting as part of the agency interview process, but they secured a great agency: Babcock and Jenkins.
- Completed of a content audit, brand audit and social media audit.
- Developed personas.
- Created a digital marketing center of excellence (CoE) team which, amongst other things, enabling them to drive social media across all of their groups in a more efficient and effective manner.[Check out the details here about how Justin Levy of Citrix developed a social media CoE at Citrix.]
- Developed a content marketing process.
- Catalyst for success: ¬†Developed a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) in order to align sales and marketing – i.e., a quota for Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Drew¬†provided weekly updates on the WIG to marketing, sales and¬†the¬†CEO. The WIG was also on display on the marketing floor.
- 47% YoY growth in MQLs 125%
- YoY¬†growth in bookings sourced¬†from MQLs
- Marketing was presented an award by the global head of sales
Stories of Transformation:¬†GE Healthcare
April Dunn, GM,¬†healthymagination for Healthcare Systems @ItsAprilDunn
GE Healthcare is an $18B global business unit with 53,000 employees. ¬†April spoke about their Project GROW (Grow, Realize, Optimize and Win) marketing transformation project.
- Objective: make marketing a simpler and higher impact function
- 4 key priorities: ¬†Make better bets; enable stronger commercial execution; connect the GE Healthcare portfolio; increase marketing expertise. [No doubt, these impact SiriusDecisions key focus areas of marketing, sales and product management.]
- Created marketing services center of excellence (CoE) teams:
- Customer Market Insights (e.g., competitive intelligence, research);
- Advertising & promotions group (e.g., trade shows, digital marketing, events);
- Market¬†Access (e.g., healthcare economists to provide market insight).
- Three high-level parts to their marketing transformation process:¬†[April did a great job of presenting the details of their efforts, however, I really liked how they all cascaded from the following parts.]
- Baselining¬†(e.g., spend, headcount, activities and processes);
- ‘ToBe’ Design¬†(i.e., developing processes and identifying tools);
- Implementation¬†(including organizational alignment along new processes)
- What did it take for April to be a successful leader for this endeavor?. . . Read here about April’s background and experience, including her role in GE’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program.
Malcolm Gladwell @GladWell
Journalist, Best Selling Author and Speaker @Gladwell
Ever heard of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers or David and Goliath? ¬†Well, that’s just a small sampling of what Malcolm Gladwell has published. (see more here) And as good of a notetaker I’ve become over the years,¬†I dedicated most of my attention to listening to Malcolm speak. ¬†If you’ve ever been fortunate to hear him speak or you’ve read his books, then you’ll understand that few people will get you to think about things more so than Malcolm Gladwell. ¬†Just a few takeaways of mine:
- Relative Deprivation: ¬†Malcolm spoke about this in the morning session at the Executive Leadership Exchange.
- Relative deprivation is defined as¬†“the perception of an unfair disparity in one’s situation compared to others.”
- Malcolm‘s view on the theory:¬†“As human being we do not form our self-assessments based on our standing in the world. We form our self assessments based on our standing in our immediate circle,”¬†making it, for example, better to go to a middle of the road college and stand out, than go to an elite institution and drop out.¬†Let’s just say that I’m rethinking my entire mental paradigm about which colleges I should encourage my children to go to.
- All transformation, in alignment with the SiriusDecisions theme, begins with the process of reframing.
- As marketers, we need to think about how we can reframe our strategy and messaging to more rapidly drive change across our organization and within the market. ¬†Malcolm offered some great examples of this in “real-life”, such as the governments effort to get adults to wear seat belts.
- As much as they tried to communicate to us the dangers of not using seat belts or event establishing laws for their use, they failed at this transformation effort. ¬†They only succeeded when they reframed the problem and required only children to wear seat belts. ¬†At that point, the use of seat belts became a question of parental responsibility (i.e., parents setting a good example for their children) versus the government telling us what to do.
Intelligent Growth and B-to-B Transformation by SiriusDecisions
John Neeson, Managing Director and Co-Founder @jneeson
Tony Jaros, Sr. VP and Chief Research Officer @tjaros
James Ninivaggi, Sales Enablement Strategies @JNinivaggi
The SiriusDecisions team did a nice job of kicking off the 3-day summit with a view into their new “tagline” of Intelligent Growth, what it takes to succeed at business transformation, as well as a look at the state of B-to-B growth. ¬†I will be no means do their presentations any justice, therefore, I’m only including some of the highest level take-aways below.
- 5 pillars of Intelligent Growth:¬†be Agile, Predictable, Profitable, Sustainable and Scalable.
- 5 ways to grow: ¬†Markets, Buyers, Offerings (i.e., launch new products/services, enhance existing ones), Acquisitions; Productivity (i.e., efficiency, effectiveness and engagement)
- The SiriusDecisions B-to-B Confidence Index: state of B-to-B growth product management,¬†sales and marketing. ¬†This study is based upon 300 companies, large and small, across the world:
- “We are moving out of the productivity era and into an area of business optimism with a keen focus on growth.”
- high expectations for growth (~1/3 of companies indicated 11-20% growth)
- areas for growth include Energy, Technology and China
- ~50% of companies are “very confident” according to the SD B-to-B Confidence Index
- “Offerings and markets lead the way as primary growth pillars in 2014 and beyond, for both large and small companies.” ¬†Live poll of 2000+ people. . 35% of audience (highest result) thinks growth will come from new buyers.
- Marketing, sales and product management are not always aligned on where to find the biggest opportunities for growth:
- Marketing is going after new buyers for growth.
- Sales and product management are going after offerings.
- What the result?. . ¬†Marketing may be creating opportunities¬†for conversation that sales is not ready to have; and product¬†group may be developing products¬†that the market is not ready for.
- Final words to prepare for growth:
- “The war for talent has just begun.”
- We will continue to be “shackled by a lack¬†of investment.”
- “Disparate growth strategies will fail.”
- Just a tip of the iceberg for how to approach these challenges?
- Align change initiatives to buyer outcomes.
- Leverage analytics to drive investment decisions and measure results.
- Enable reps with the knowledge, skills, and assets required for better conversations with buyers.
- Develop a strong discipline in hiring, on boarding and retaining sales talent.
- Product: push the bounds for innovation and success.
- Additional sources for SiriusDecisions expertise:
ROI Award Presentation: Polycom’s Journey to Defy Distance
Jim Kruger, CMO Polycom @jimkruger
More than 400,000 companies “defy distance” with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom.($1.4B revenue, 36,000 employees, 160 marketers) Jim Kruger shared their journey for development and execution of¬†Polycom’s¬†‘defy distance’ campaign/theme.
- Marketing challenges¬†faced by Polycom:
- Messaging, content and general strategy was very outbound and product centric.
- Poor customer and prospect data records. (i.e., had trouble increasing engagement with¬†buyers beyond identification of Polycom)
- Demand generation was¬†fragmented (e.g., many agencies, different messages, poor global consistency)
- Key steps to transform marketing (all in less than one year)
- Developed a marketing vision: ¬†One customer centric team that leads and measurers best in class demand generation,¬†awareness, thought leadership, sales enablement¬†and brand affinity to exceed the company’s financial goals and to support the company’s vision.
- Added a marketing operations role.
- Hired a content strategist: content development was very fragmented. [43% of companies have a content marketing executive]
- Developed a Campaign theme to run for at least a year: Defy distance.
- Selected one creative agency to drive this campaign: John McNeil Studios.
- Benchmarked the marketing organization using SiriusDecisions research and related consulting services.
- Developed messaging and content within the campaign to meet the needs of 9 roles/personas. [Excellent example of targeting your message to a specific audience.]
- Launched the entire campaign in four months
- Jim invited two of his key “lieutenants” up on stage to share more detailed steps and results of their journey:
- Maurizio Capuzzo,¬†Vice President Americas Marketing at Polycom
- ¬†Identified and developed¬†business personas: marketing, engineering, customer service, human resources) IT, Human Resources, CEO, Customer Service, Finance, Facilities)
- Brought all material into an online sales playbook.
- Designed the entire process around the SiriusDecisions framework
- Integrated all marketing and sales data into dashboards for quick and frequent review and analysis.
- Aligned their marketing and sales technology.
- Niki Hall,¬†VP Corporate Marketing and Analyst Relations at Polycom @NikiHall
- A key to their success was¬†the SiriusDecisions content framework.
- Used 3rd party influencers to develop “killer content” which resulted in a 70% conversion rate over 2 weeks. [Using independent industry experts is an excellent way to complement your own created content and build trust with your audience. ¬†Many content marketers are using content curation in this same manner. Learn more here about how to Feed the Content Beast.
- Developed primary research as part of a more strategic and less egocentric content marketing strategy. ¬†Polycom then amplified the impact of this research by building different content assets from it. ¬†-> amplification. [Refer to the Content Marketing Pyramid for a simply framework to create great content.]
- Created different types and formats of content based upon buyer personas, stages in the buying process. (i.e., highly leveraged the SiriusDecisions’ content frameworks)
- Used social media “in a big way” to promote the entire campaign as well as individual pieces of content. [Great to see Polycom marketing their marketing.]
- Created an operational council to develop and manage their¬†content strategy.
- Used stories to tell the world (internally and external) how customers are defying distance with their solutions.
- Developed next generation content: ¬†Polycom Guide to Collaborating Across Borders
- Results. . how does marketing know they were successful?
- Industry analysts:¬† In house research, “Polycom has launched one of the most significant marketing campaigns in the history of the industry.”
- Internal reaction:
- Peter Leav, CEO, “I love what the marketing team has done with Defy Distance”
- Gary Rider, EMEA President, “Defy Distance has had significant impact to help sales engage new buying centers.”
- Marketing data:
- 20% increase in half over half ¬†number of marketing responses versus marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
- 2.5 X conversion rate of inquiries to¬†TQL (tele-prospecting qualified leads);
- 22%+ YoY marketing sourced leads;
- Lessons learned/key success factors:
- Drove a cultural shift;
- Established clear roles and responsibilities;
- Tapped into local expertise;
- Improved efficiency and effectiveness of channels;
- Used SiriusDecisions frameworks and overall expertise.
No doubt, lots of value from only day 1 of the Summit. ¬†Follow the latest Summit insight at #SDSummit.
Interested in learning more about the power of content marketing? Check out these additional resources or contact us at Curata for a more detailed discussion or for a demo of our content curation solution: