The most important metric to use to judge a B2B marketer’s success is their ability to drive net new demand. This desire to drive net new demand has erroneously programmed B2B marketers to gear their marketing strategies and the bulk of their effort toward achieving lead-generation volume.
While volume-based strategies are the first of the four V’s we’ll look at today, 62 percent of B2B marketers say they use revenue metrics to gauge the impact of marketing campaigns, according to research conducted by Madison Logic (my employer) and Demand Gen Report.
If revenue volume is the finish line, then limiting strategies to just “top of the funnel” activities is the equivalent of taking a car that tops out at 20 mph on the Autobahn. You’ll get to your destination, eventually, but you could get there a lot faster, and more efficiently, if you approached the journey with the right tools.
These myopic top-of-the-funnel strategies leave many marketers in a perpetual state of scratching the surface, unable to realize the full depth of the opportunity. By contrast, successful B2B marketers dig deep into the prospect’s entire journey, analyzing and determining where they might be stuck, and then engaging in a velocity strategy that concentrates on moving prospects through the funnel faster.
By achieving accelerated flow and volume, savvy marketers continually learn and optimize their programs for success.
Expanding the journeying mindset
Let’s talk about velocity (the second V). If you want to drive opportunities through the funnel more quickly, you need to focus on relevancy. To increase velocity across your waterfall, you need to take a unique, personalized, multichannel approach at all stages of a buyer’s journey. You need a variable content strategy (the third V) that evaluates how they’ve engaged with your company in order to deliver the most relevant content to each member of an account’s buying committee wherever they are in the buyer’s journey.
What about prospects who get stuck in an opportunity stage? Things seemed to be going along swimmingly, and then — poof! — they’re a ghost. How are you going to re-engage them? Try taking a measured approach. Evaluate behavioral, technographic and firmographic data and tailor your nurturing approach accordingly. Let’s take a look at some specific examples that illustrate the potential and the power of thinking this way.
The volume play (V1)
The volume-based, top-of-the-funnel play is your go-to strategy. Marketers frequently ask me if they should abandon these approaches to focus on the velocity- or variability-based approaches. The reality is that you shouldn’t ignore any play in lieu of others. You need to be able to run these volume-based plays to keep the scale in your pipeline, while you layer more sophisticated velocity- and variability-based tactics to increase your performance and your overall ability to impact revenue.
The velocity play (V2)
When you talk about velocity, you’re talking about driving revenue by more efficiently increasing the speed of opportunities. This should be a data-driven approach, so you can to focus on relevancy over scale.
Over time, as a marketer’s expertise on velocity-based plays increases, their marketing mix between plays should also change. Marketers will start to move more budget from pure volume plays (but never eliminate them) and increase spend on velocity plays (over time).
The variability play (V3)
If you hype-personalize content and deliver it based on a prospect’s individual opportunity stage, you will immediately see the impact on the prospect’s velocity through the funnel. Here, personalization isn’t demographic, nor is it isolated to an individual account. Instead, the variability of content is based on how cohorts of accounts have engaged with you in the past, allowing you to create content that complements that behavior to increase future engagement and increase their velocity through the funnel.
The value play (V4)
Value, no matter how deep you are going into an organization to prospect and persuade, will only be attained through thoughtful, precise measurement, attribution and optimization of consumer journeys.
If you are already going in and analyzing your marketing at a detailed account level, your foundation to do so more powerfully through an even closer look at consumer journeys will be in place. But there’s more to do.
You can build out, unless you are not measuring properly in the first place. In this case, you can’t expect to validate performance, and your optimization moves and outcomes won’t be optimal because the foundation is missing.
You must not suffer from paralysis by analysis or be complacent just because you’ve dabbled with account-based data. You need to take it further, engage on the full journey, and do the other plays even if it takes more time to apply the value strategy.
This is the way to more powerful outcomes.