Riddle Me This: How Much Lead Generation/Nurturing Tech Do You Actually Need?
Procuring the best, relevant technology continues to be an important task for marketers keen on staying ahead of their competition. To find out what some of the biggest marketing technology pain points are, we asked experts in a number of marketing disciplines to weigh in.
We asked Debbie Qaqish, Chief Strategy Officer of The Pedowitz Group the following question about lead generation: How much lead generation/nurturing tech do you actually need?
Is this a trick question? The answer is as much as you need to meet your revenue goals. The bigger question is, "How does marketing develop a technology capability that will continuously answer the question?" The magic for today's revenue marketer is not about the technology. The magic is how that technology is used to drive business results from marketing, and this requires having a technology capability in marketing. A capability is a unique bundling of skills, knowledge and resources that facilitate the execution of business processes, and are what ultimately contribute to sustainable competitive advantage and superior performance.
As I look at many of the successful revenue marketers I have worked with, I see three common elements in their technology capability. They have:
- Technology Awareness
- Technology Adoption
- Technology Structure
B-to-B marketers that have technology awareness are constantly identifying current and emerging technologies that will help them achieve business objectives. Technology awareness means defining clear organizational needs, matching potential technology, educating team members as to potential benefits and formalizing a role to own this process. I most often see technology awareness driven by the marketing operations function.
Marketing technology adoption addresses the rate and extent of adoption by marketing and related stakeholders. The adoption process includes communication, strategic planning, senior leadership commitment, training and business process reengineering. This is much harder than is sounds. I consistently see low adoption rates, mostly because of marketing's discomfort with technology and the resulting changes it brings.
Marketing technology structure is about the marketing operations function. This function is responsible for technology awareness and adoption, in addition to data, processes, analytics, reporting and marketing technology vendor management. The first marketing operations group I ever met and worked with was the Boston Bruins in 2008. I thought, "How unique, but fantastic." Now, having a marketing operations group is an essential.
So the question really is: "How does marketing keep up with technology and apply it to drive business results?" The answer … develop a technology capability in marketing.