Marketing is now moving and evolving so quickly that no team can be successful without the right technology. But with so many new tools available, how do you choose the marketing technologies most worth your time and budget?
During PGi’s recent sales and marketing alignment webinar, Ask the Experts with SiriusDecisions: 4 Pillars of Building Sales & Marketing Alignment, my cohost Jason Hekl, Vice President and Group Director at SiriusDecisions, and I received the following question from a listener:
What types of technologies are you using to complement your demand strategy?
In case you missed the webinar and Q&A, Jason and I discussed the value of marketing automation to demand generation. However, because demand generation strategies are more complex than ever before, your technological approach to it should encompass the evolving ecosystem of marketing tactics and customer touchpoints.
To follow up to our listener’s question, I’m going to expand on the top, emerging marketing technologies you can use to complement your demand generation strategy.
Top 5 Marketing Technologies for Demand Generation
- Marketing automation continues to be the hub for demand generation, as Jason said in the webinar. At PGi, we leverage a number of tactics to drive leads into our marketing automation system, and then we assign those leads to targeted nurture tracks according to line of business and stage of the buyer’s journey. We then monitor the lead’s digital engagement and leverage explicit data captured on our progressively profiled forms to score the leads and determine if they are ready to pass to sales.
- Every additional tool tends to be either integrated or used in conjunction with marketing automation, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce. Once a lead is deemed Marketing Qualified in our marketing automation system, it is aligned to a sales rep for follow up via our CRM system. We track the status of a lead from Assigned to Contacting, and Qualified to Disqualified. We also monitor the conversion rates from Marketing Qualified to Opportunity to Closed Won. It is critical that your sales organization fully adopts the appropriate use of a CRM system, because as we say at PGi, “if it doesn’t exist in Salesforce, it didn’t happen.” Marketing leverages the data in the CRM to understand which programs are performing, shift marketing spend to top performing programs and substantiate further marketing investments.
- Predictive analytics software is an emerging way to leverage the data from both your CRM and marketing automation tools to produce actionable insights. Essentially, predictive analytics leverages your existing data and augments it with third-party data to create predictive models for better targeting your marketing efforts. It’s generating a lot of interest among marketers, Jason said.
- When we’re talking about tools for demand generation, I can’t overlook one of the leading technologies that helps drive net new leads and engages existing leads in your marketing automation system: webcasts and webinars. In fact, I hosted my webinar with Jason using PGi’s iMeetLive™ solution, which makes it incredibly easy to produce professional, branded web events and engage your audience through HD video, polling, Q&A and exit surveys.
- Finally, perhaps one of the most overlooked tools that benefits your demand strategy is project management and marketing collaboration solutions. The actual creation of top-of-the-funnel content takes place outside of your marketing automation technology, and standby tools like emails and spreadsheets only slow down the pace of your marketing team. Instead, we use Central Desktop by PGi to share and review content files faster with version history, automate workflows and organize and manage assets within team workspaces.