Jessica Cross, the director of audience marketing at EverString, was a recent guest on our podcast, B2B Nation: Smarketing Edition.
In this episode, we discussed:
- What the Director of Audience Marketing title says about our industry
- How the “new age of demand generation” impacts marketers
- Why marketers have trouble measuring conversion rates
- The growth and impact of marketing to accounts instead of leads
Below are some of the highlights from our conversation.*
The MQA and MQL are very different.
“An MQL is an individual person and an MQA is an actual account. Marketers need to focus more on getting marketing aligned with what sales actually needs. What they’ve been doing all along is Account-Based Selling (ABS). That was the whole message at FlipMyFunnel. If marketers are purely focused on a lead number, it creates a disconnect because sales reps are selling to accounts.”
Funnel marketers need to constantly analyze performance.
“Funnel marketers spend a lot of time measuring the funnel by analyzing conversion rates and how many leads they have in each stage. At year-end, when the board decides, ‘Oh, we’re going to grow by 4x,’ most marketers then try to grow their lead volume by 4x.
“If I created 1,000 MQLs a month last year, suddenly I need to create 4,000 MQLs a month. But my budget stays the same. And putting four times the number of leads into the top of the funnel doesn’t always yield four times as many sales.
Putting four times the number of leads into the top of the funnel doesn’t always yield four times as many sales.
“If you’re looking to expand your business, you have to think through what new segments and audiences you need to expand into rather than shoving more and more leads into funnel.”
Use predictive intelligence vendors to identify a target account list.
“Predictive is an impartial, data-driven approach to figuring out which accounts and which companies are actually a good fit for your solution. It’s all about developing a target account list.
“If you left it up to sales guys, they would probably pick the companies they’ve sold to at previous jobs or pick the Fortune 500 even if their solution doesn’t integrate with Fortune 500 companies. Or they pick companies in the first half of the alphabet. It’s a funny one, but I’ve definitely seen target account lists that are heavily skewed to the first half of the alphabet.
“If you leave it up to marketing, marketing will try to do some analysis of their existing CRM data, which is weak, considering the amount of dirty data in a CRM. In my opinion, you should go with a third-party vendor that has a huge data cloud and a predictive algorithm to hone in on the top 1,000 companies.”
Marketing’s impact on the MQA is still TBD.
“Did account leads come in through your website? Through a conference booth? Did they attend a webinar? What’s the threshold of engagement with your brand that makes an account “qualified” and ready to talk to sales? How did various marketing effort influence qualification? Those answers are continuing to develop as we grow.”
Alignment Between Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service
“All three departments are all coalescing towards revenue. Those three entities should report to a CRO. There should be one department that’s responsible for the customer journey and responsible for bringing in new business and renewals.
“Marketers should be able to focus more on the overall account and the overall health and wellness of their customers. It’s going to bring them closer to revenue and earn that seat at the table we’ve been talking about for so long.”
B2B Nation: Smarketing is a podcast for B2B sales and marketers, featuring expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in the industry. Check out our other episodes on iTunes, or follow us on Twitter: @B2BNation_Smar.