Sure, we can all admit that size actually does matter. But in business, stature isn’t just about company size — it’s about core strategic maturity. It’s also about the ability to suit up in the right way to activate and accomplish your business goals at scale.
So, how can companies of all size adopt a mature strategic mindset, methodical approach and the right hands-on solutions to penetrate their target accounts and convert deciders?
Establishing balance and setting goals
The truth is, a marketing organization of any size must balance what comes from within (outlook, mindset, knowledge of one’s own targets and audience data intel) and the solutions at hand. With this balance in check, you are better equipped to wisely use those tools and solutions to guide your own destiny. Strengthen from within before you suit up.
So, let’s say you are a mid-size company with a reasonably staffed marketing organization and a solid marketing strategy and plan. When you look in the mirror and get real about what you are going to need on hand to succeed, how does that assessment actually go? Where do you start?
It starts with having some discipline about goal-setting. Be radically honest: Prioritize your true goals. Nobody cares how many leads converted. A success story includes more than lead volume. Think hard about how your team’s marketing can create value for the organization, by making sales more effective and by accelerating the pipeline to convert accounts faster and ultimately drive aggregate, recurring revenue from the right targets. Think very specifically about what you need to have to accomplish that more inclusive picture and how you’re going to validate it.
If you think about the kind of investments in resources, time, organizational change and tech stack required to achieve and measure this kind of strategy, you might feel daunted, but just for a minute. Traditionally, that kind of scale, efficiency and sustained growth modeling was only feasible for large, global marketing organizations.
Thinking like an enterprise
Once you’ve recognized a more meaningful set of goals, consider the following operating principles: target account penetration, buying groups, content nurturing, journey optimization, opportunity velocity, recurring revenue. And finally: Think like the enterprise.
Thinking about this set of principles, let’s talk about target account penetration. As I’ve said before, sophisticated marketing organizations have moved away from tactical KPIs like lead conversion and are really changing the conversation within their companies, across discipline, to focus on their target accounts.
Target the consensus sale
How is the organization successfully progressing toward its goals by reaching and engaging with the right accounts? How does engaging with its accounts help to influence pipeline? It’s not about lead velocity, it’s about full opportunity (or account) velocity. These are the kinds of questions you should be helping your organization answer to measure and validate the success of your marketing initiatives.
In order to engage these accounts as meaningful opportunities, you need to think beyond the individual. Keeping your focus on specific individuals is a tactical approach, but not very strategic. Moving forward, it’s ALL about the consensus sale. How can you reach and influence a larger group of individuals at your prospect companies? An integrated omnichannel approach, rather than traditional isolated tactics, will help you engage and nurture more individuals at these accounts.
Being relevant to your audience is also critical. The flat, single-dimension content strategy of yesterday is no longer getting it done. Consumers have access to so much information, much of it noise, that to be effective, we have to be relevant. In order to be relevant, we need to understand our consumers.
Understanding them in a B2B world can mean different things, but the most important thing to remember is to stay focused on the account, not the individual. Consider account-level intent behavioral patterns, buyer stage and content engagement. These are great signals to help you define your content strategy.
Optimizing the buyer journey with hyper-relevant content is the best way to show your prospects you understand them and can provide value to them.
Engaging and nurturing accounts
All of this leads up to your media strategy. How will you engage and nurture these accounts (not individuals)? As you are elevating the conversation across the enterprise, we also know that to effectively nurture the entire account, you will need to leverage a multichannel strategy across email, website, content, display advertising, native, video and social (among others).
This is how the most effective enterprise marketers think about their approach. At a primal level, they go big or they go home.
This mindset and modus operandi play out in always thinking strategically, not tactically — in thinking about accounts and penetration, not just individuals. And the enterprise thinks about, plans for and activates on the journey, not the singular transactional moment. Finally, they make sure they’ve got the right tools to turn that thinking into action and outcomes, time and time again.