What Happens In Vegas Doesn’t Have to Stay In Vegas – 2017 SiriusDecisions Redux

 In All Things Productivity, Blog

There is an old adage that “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” Thankfully that does not apply to the incredible Sirius Decision Summit our team had the privilege of attending last week.

Over the course of the week, we had the opportunity to engage with hundreds of senior sales and marketing leaders from some of the largest, most dynamic and progressive organizations in the world.

These are our summary insights and takeaways. For those interested in a more detailed deep dive, we are offering a select few Content Measurement sessions to qualified companies. To apply please register here.

 

1. The Transformation Journey is Real

Every single marketer we met at the conference described their company as being on a marketing transformation journey.   No exceptions.   It did not matter the size of the company or the industry.   Now, clearly organizations are at many different points on the journey – some are just rolling out their very first marketing automation efforts while others are in the midst of more sophisticated efforts like ABM.

One thing was clear – marketers are not satisfied with the status quo and are continuously looking for ways to drive efficiency and more importantly revenue.

The journey encompasses not just technology but every facet of a company including people, process, and of course tools. This type of massive change is a once in a lifetime phenomenon and is what makes the sales and marketing space and the technologies around it one of the most dynamic and high potential markets in all of tech.

 

2. Digital Transformation Is Putting Enormous Pressure on Marketers

Nearly every company we spoke with was undergoing some sort of digital transformation initiative given new competitive pressures and more sophisticated buyers who are more educated, discerning and demanding.       Marketers are bearing the burden of responding to these new trends and leading their companies’ digital transformation efforts.   This means a huge focus on demand generation, customer education and lifecycle management, and often a complete rebuild of the sales and marketing stack.   Sometimes this means significant changes in personnel.   About half of the folks we met with, had been on their job for less than 12 months.

 

3. It’s All About the $Ms — $$ and Measurement

When discussing key priorities and initiatives, the number one focus was marketers was showcasing the overall marketing contribution to revenue.  How is the marketing organization actually contributing to revenue in the business?   This has become an obsession with executives and the way that marketing justified its role and its value to the business.

 

4. Methods for Measuring Revenue Contribution Still Leave Much to Be Desired

Most companies admitted that their revenue contribution and measurement efforts were imperfect at best and still in their infancy.   Today the vast majority of organizations are focused exclusively on measuring the contributions from MQLs to the overall pipe and closed business. While that is helpful, the entire middle to bottom of the funnel is largely ignored despite enormous marketing efforts and investments.

 

5. The “Last Mile” Problem

While B2B marketers now largely have a good grasp of how they are driving activity at the top of the funnel, the rest of the funnel is very murky at best.   This is ironic since opportunities and deals at these stages have higher probabilities of closing and therefore represent more dollars to the business.   It’s also ironic because most marketing departments invest a huge amount of resources on supporting sales and deals at this stage.   But where is the credit?

 

6. One Marketing Dashboard to Rule Them All

Marketers described a need for a one single source of data and analytics on their revenue contribution – looking both at the top of the funnel and “the last mile.” Today, there is a wealth of data across multiple different platforms and the only way to manage it is Excel.   That is simply not scalable. There is a real need and market for an uber marketing dashboard that connects all of these data sets and silos and provides organizations with a full 360 degree view of their revenue contribution.

 

7. Sales and Marketings Stacks are Complex and Evolving

When asked to describe their sales and marketing stacks, each organization no matter how big or small would typically fire off a list of 20 or so platforms of solutions. The problem is that most of these solutions don’t always talk to each other and therefore create data and management silos. There is definitely some technology fatigue from buyers, and most expressed a desire to invest in platforms that can scale across multiple use cases and bring disparate data sets together.

 

8. Technology must be lightweight and self managing

With so much pressure, limited resources, and already complex tech stacks, marketers have no time for heavyweight and high touch solutions.   That means that vendors must thrive to deliver, lightweight, easy to use and easy to implement solutions that are entirely self managed.   There is simply no room in the stack for complex and heavyweight solutions.

 

9. The Desire for Quick Wins

Most organizations are taking a portfolio approach to their key transformation initiatives. The key is to mix in long term and high investment plays like the roll out of a new CRM system with quick wins that can deliver immediate measurable value to the business.  No single marketer we met with was satisfied with the status quo and everyone was looking to show quick contribution to revenue.

 

10. Content Management Strategy Session

For marketing leaders at select enterprises looking to learn more about the the summit, Docurated will be offering A Content Measurement Strategy Session, to apply please register here.

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