Live at the Marketing Effectiveness Summit in Mountain View, California, today, where 60 or so marketers are gathering for three days to learn, discuss and debate the latest in marketing practices. Taught by Jeff Pedowitz of Eloqua, Laura Ramos of Forrester, Rick Wootten of Sonicwall and others, the seminar should be a good source of new info for marketers.
I'll be liveblogging the event, posting interesting updates as they occur.
Update 1: Jeff talks about the four levels of marketing maturity, the first of which is data cleanliness, where the quality of your lists is the key to becoming an effective, measurable marketer.
Interesting question: Why don't marketers have a professional designation, a way to raise the level of professional standards for marketers? Doctors have the AMA, lawyers have the Bar -- what is the way by which we as marketers can continuously improve and indicate our professional development.
Next up: Laura Ramos of Forrester. Laura covers business-to-business marketing research and talks about the state of B2B lead management. Forrester has a maturity model too (is this a trend?). Forrester reports the number one lead management priority for this year is improving lead quality, not the number of leads. This is important, because many organizations are focusing on raw numbers of leads, not lead quality. What her studies indicate is that leads that are not sales-ready are falling out of the picture because sales won't follow up and marketing doesn't have a process for developing the leads over a longer period. Not surprising: firms that are more "mature" in terms of marketing process definition are converting more leads to sales.
Forrester is seeing more companies moving telesales people into "telemarketers," (not "smile and dial" folks, but professional telemarketers) whose job it is to nurture leads over a longer period of time. As a result, the people in this group don't get measured on a quarterly basis, but rather over a longer period of time (sometimes as long as a year).
Jeff comes back and reports that the industry standard percentage of sales resulting from marketing leads is 75%. He then goes through a very interesting lead generation calculator, which allows marketers to align themselves with sales leadership to precisely determine the number of raw responses, inquiries and leads that will help sales attain their targets. This is a hugely powerful tool that can help marketers demonstrate value within their organization.
Discussion around good lead gen tactics. Number one is customer referrals and Jeff recommends using a Netpromoter score to gage which ones are more likely to advocate for your company.
Another great idea: everyone in your department is a speaker. By making sure everyone on your team is trained to speak at an event, you're furthering your company's reputation as a trusted advisor. As a speaker, you get a built-in assumption of credibility. And with so many professional organizations in search of speakers at their events, this can be a powerful technique for generating new leads for your company.
The summit is offered in a few other locations throughout the year.