Content is King, Data is Queen – and Timing Holds the Court Together: B2B ESP

The premier predictive intelligence summit, B2B ESP is only three weeks away! To get ready for the event, we wanted to take the pulse of the current state of big data, predictive intelligence and the evolving B2B marketing landscape from our speakers. Our first post in this series highlights ideas from thought leaders at Brocade, LinkedIn, SiriusDecisions and Terminus.

As the leading voices of the B2B sales and marketing, the below influencers share the insights and strategies that drive their approach to building the revenue engines at their companies. Brocade CMO Christine Heckart sums it up best when she says: “Content is king, data is queen – and timing holds the court together.”

  • What is the importance of data to your marketing and sales strategies?
    • Brian Frank: Data is at the core of the value proposition we provide to our members.  Information is similarly the core of our go-to-market strategy – whether providing insights for our customers, tools to help our sales teams sell better, or data to power our applications and processes.
    • Christine Heckart: Modern marketing is about engaging customers in a conversation so you have the opportunity to influence purchase criteria and preference, and thus drive revenue and growth for your company. Engagement takes content, relevant, compelling content all along the infinity loop of the buyer’s journey. A marketer must be useful to customers at the right time with the right information. But knowing which buyers to engage with, when they are in market and seeking options, and what content performs best at each point in the buyer’s journey takes data. It takes all of this to create effective marketing. Gone are the simple days of a marketing funnel, of advertising focused on awareness and guessing at what will be successful. Content is king, data is queen, and timing holds the court together.
    • Alan Gonsenhauser: Organizations and their CMOs and CSOs need to run marketing and sales differently and more collaboratively than in the past. This includes transitioning from data silos and lack of a shared vision to data that is transparent, real-time and has a shared view.
    • Sangram Vajre: Data is at the heart of it but what’s more interesting is the story that data tells us. We look at data as small snippets of stories that tell us what to do next and what not to do. We look at triggers that will connect us with our target customers in a more natural way and on their terms.
  • How do you think the world of B2B marketing is changing today?
    • Brian Frank: All of marketing is continuously getting better, cheaper and more measurable. Analytics and data are revolutionizing the way marketers drive efficiency at scale. The heart of B2B marketing is still content, but knowing how, when and with whom to engage with is the key to controlling your brand and driving leads.
    • Christine Heckart: We’re on the cusp of the next age of marketing, where we know who’s in market for what, and can put relevant content directly in front of the prospective buyer regardless of what sites they visits and channels of engagement they prefer. The reason it matters is that, with these new tools and new skills, marketing can directly drive a greater percentage of business revenue and growth, and can more directly attribute results to its activities.
    • Alan Gonsenhauser: B2B marketing is becoming more complex and tied to real business impacts where marketing is morphing from a cost center to a real business investment center. As such, the role of the CMO is more of a general manager, balancing technology, cross-functional alignment, customer experience, organization design and enablement, and investment strategies.
    • Sangram Vajre: The world of B2B marketing is constantly evolving. What’s interesting to me is that there are more channels than ever but marketers and sales professionals are still focused on email and calls as the primary delivery of their messages. What’s exciting is that we now have tools and technology available to engage our best-fit customers on the channels they engage and on their time. I think the future of sales and marketing is a combination of storytelling with data on the right channels.
  • What excites you about predictive Intelligence? What promise do you think it holds for B2B marketing and sales?
    • Brian Frank: Predicative is great for marketers, but it actually great for customers as well. Increased relevance means better advertising at the right time. It’s the first part of an equation for B2B marketing that will be solved when combined when we can also capture the buyer’s signal at scale.
    • Alan Gonsenhauser: B2B predictive analytics is exciting to the extent it helps marketing understand what’s working and what isn’t and attract more qualified prospects. Understanding what investments are working has always been the holy grail for CMOs.
    • Sangram Vajre: Predictive intelligence might just unlock the idea of marketing and sales being focused on one singular idea of “precision marketing.” The idea is to align sales and marketing with a common goal so they win as a team and celebrate success as a team.

Interested in learning more? Check out the full speaker agenda and register now for B2B ESP 2016 on July 14 at the Four Seasons! Don’t miss Christine Heckart set the stage at 9 a.m. for how modern marketing organizations can have an outsized impact on the growth and success of their businesses. Alan Gonsenhauser, Brian Frank and Sangram Vajre will later share the stage at 2 p.m. for a deep dive into how digital and data are reshaping B2B companies by redefining the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of marketing and sales.


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