COPYRIGHT 2012 VERTICURL WHITEPAPER: TOP MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BUILDING A DEMAND CENTER

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1 COPYRIGHT 2012 VERTICURL WHITEPAPER: TOP MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BUILDING A DEMAND CENTER

2 For many B2B organizations, building a demand center is a no-brainer. Learn how to ensure you re successful by avoiding these top mistakes. For CHEP USA, Top Preparation Mistakes to is Avoid Key to When whitepaper Effective Pallet Management and Marketing Building Automation a Demand Center Prospects complete 60% of their research and evaluation before they even want to talk with a sales rep. (Marketing Leadership Council) Introduction The world of B2B marketing has changed dramatically in the last few years. To start, the sales process is no longer what it used to be. Prospects are in more control of the sale than ever before. In fact, according to a recent Marketing Leadership Council survey, prospects are completing 60% of their research and evaluation before they want to talk to a sales rep. Plus, the average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision-makers getting involved in the process (Sirius Decisions). In addition, new technologies and channels have been introduced, such as marketing automation and social media, which has required a new set of skills. This has presented a big challenge for many organizations. According to Eloqua s 2012 Marketing Skills Gap study, 75% of marketers say their lack of skills is impacting revenue in some way, and 74% say it s contributing to misalignment between the marketing and sales teams. Meanwhile, the C-Suite has put greater pressure on marketing to produce bottom-line results. According to a recent study from DemandGen Report, 50% of respondents said that their marketing departments are responsible for meeting a revenue goal. Fluffy metrics like awareness and impressions are no longer acceptable. For these reasons, more and more companies are turning to the demand center model. A demand center acts as a hub for an organization s marketing services, technologies and processes. Simply put, it provides a more cost-effective and efficient way to manage all the various demand generation activities, including social media, telemarketing, data management, lead nurturing, lead scoring, CRM integration, closed-loop reporting and more. For many marketers, a demand center is a no-brainer. But when it comes to building your demand center, it can get a little tricky. In this whitepaper, we will discuss the top eight mistakes when building a demand center and how to avoid them.

3 Companies who had automation with defined processes saw a 416% increase in closed deals when compared to companies without process. (Sirius Decisions) Mistake #1: You think technology will solve your problems. Today s marketing technology vendors promise a lot an easy way to generate leads and grow revenues. That s why it s often at the heart of any demand center process. But technology alone will not make you more successful it s how you use technology that will determine success. In order to maximize your technology investment, you need strong strategies, processes and the right resources. Case in point: In a December 2010 blog post, Jonathan Block of Sirius Decisions detailed research that compared companies who had automation with weak or no process versus those who had automation with process. The increase in value to those companies with process versus those who had none are staggering: A 366% increase in sales accepted leads A 416% increase in closed deals $570,000 in more revenue (based on an average selling price of $150,000) Don t make the mistake of assuming that just because you have technology, you will be more successful. It takes unique skill sets and expertise to generate a return on your technology investment. Quick Tip Before you begin to build your demand center, set expectations internally that the job is never really done - you will need to continously monitor and improve your demand center processes over time. Mistake #2: You think building your demand center will take just a couple months. It s the same for almost every company once they realize they need a demand center, they want it yesterday. Then, it becomes just another task on the marketer s to-do list. The reality is that not only does it take time to build an effective demand center, but the job is never really done. You should be constantly measuring, monitoring and tweaking the performance of your demand generation effots. When you start building your demand center, make sure everyone internally understands that it will take time to implement the technologies, processes and programs to generate results. You should also realize that a demand center is never really complete. It will need to constantly evolve based on various scenarios - new market strategies, competitors, and buying habits are just a few reasons.

4 Quick Tip A true demand generation agency has experience in technology, strategies and processes that drive revenue. Mistake #3: Your agency tells you they do demand gen. And you believe them. Whether it s a creative agency, search marketing agency or digital ad agency, they ll all want to earn as much of your business as possible. So they ll tell you they can do everything you need in a demand center. As a result, they ll be learning new skills and technologies on your dime. You ll probably end up having a lot of mistakes, and fail to see the business results you set out to accomplish. A true demand generation agency has experience in technology, strategies and processes that drive revenue. Their core services will include things like segmentation, analytics, tele-services, data services, nurturing campaign development, technology implementation, etc. These services are aligned to generate more leads that result in closed sales. If you re talking to an agency that claims to do demand gen, ask them to share some of the results they ve generated for their clients. And ask them how they did it. Don t be fooled by flaky marketing data (impressions, open rates, etc.) if they re a true demand gen agency they ll be able to discuss metrics like first call success rates, MQL to SAL conversion rates, ROI and more. 79% of CMOs feel unprepared to manage the changes in marketing - and data was one of the top 5 areas of unpreparedness. (2011 IBM CMO Study) Mistake #4: You have no process for managing your data According to the 2011 IBM CMO study, 79% of CMOs feel unprepared to manage the changes in marketing and data was one of the top 5 areas of unpreparedness. In today s digital world, data is the key to building successful demand gen programs. But data management is not an easy task, which may be the reason why marketers often ignore it. In fact, a recent study from DataXu, Inc, showed that 58% of respondents said they lacked the skills and technology to perform data analytics. Quality data can help you build more targeted campaigns, which will yield greater results. It will give you more accurate insights into the quality of leads you re generating. And it will ensure that your sales team gets the right intelligence to help in the sales process. When you build your demand center, make sure you build in processes to manage your data. Consider using tele-services to help build and/or append your existing database. If you re capturing leads through online forms, consider progressive profiling techniques, as well as data appending services to fill in any missing information on your prospects.

5 Only 25% of companies with marketing automation use their system to its full potential. [Focus Research] Mistake #5: You only use your marketing automation system for sending out s. According to Focus Research, only 25% of companies with marketing automation are using their system to its full potential. If all you re doing is sending out blasts to your database, you re missing the mark when it comes to demand generation. is only one component to marketing automation. In order to build a truly successful demand center, it s important to leverage all the capabilities that automation technology offers. Not sure where to get started? Try a simple scoring model. This will allow you to measure the level of engagement among your prospect database. If you start simple, you can evolve over time. Another place to start is to send lead data to your sales team if you re not ready for the CRM integration, you can start by sending notifications based on behavior (for example, when a lead visits your website or downloads a whitepaper). If you are going to focus on s, try building an automated nurturing campaign based on leads that come in from your website. The more you use your system, the more value you will get out of it. 46% of CMOs cited a lack of skills as an obstacle to implementing new strategies. (2011 IBM CMO Study) Mistake #6: You think you can build your demand center internally - even though no one on your team has experience. Building an internal demand center is not necessarily a bad move but it s important to be realistic about the skills you have in-house. According to the 2011 IBM CMO study, 46% of CMOs cited a lack of skills as an obstacle to implementing new strategies. A demand center requires several unique capabilities, such as data management, analytics, content development, knowledge of technologies, marketing & sales operations, etc. If you do decide to build internally with inexperienced staff, keep in mind that your time to ROI may be delayed and it s likely you ll incur some costly mistakes if your team learns on the job. Outsourcing your demand center offers many benefits. First, you re likely to achieve success faster because an agency already has the expertise and skills you need. You ll also benefit from their knowledge of best practices in technology implementation, lead management strategies, tele-marketing, data management, and more. If expertise isn t your problem, you may be facing bandwidth issues an outsourced demand center can augment your already stretched resources. Plus, it may be more cost-effective than hiring new talent, and will allow you to scale up or down as needed.

6 Quick Tip Start simple - you can measure what you do, analyze the results and evolve over time. Mistake #7: You start by building an overly complex program. When a lot of companies get started with lead nurturing and marketing automation, they are excited about all the possibilities that are available. They start mapping out complex if this, then that scenarios. They develop complex lead scoring models when they don t even know what combination of demographics, firmographics and behavior constitute a qualified lead. They come up with 20 different segment audiences and need nurturing tracks for each. As a result, they either get so overwhelmed they don t know where to start. Or, they implement these complex programs, realize they got it wrong, and need to overhaul the entire thing. When you re first getting started, it s important to start simple. Measure what you do, analyze the results and then evolve over time. This will allow you to achieve some early success and build momentum. If you start out too complex, you re likely to fail; and therefore, won t get the buy-in you need from your internal stakeholders (C-suite, sales, etc.). Not sure where to begin? Identify some quick wins. For example, maybe an automated to website inquiries will improve efficiency and help drive demand. Or, if you re already doing webinars, you can start by building programs to promote your webinar, and follow up with prospects that registered and attended. 69% of marketers cite the pressure to justify spend as the reason for an increased focus on marketing measurement. (DemandGen Report) Mistake #8: You measure your success by activity. Today, marketers are being tasked with proving their value to the company s bottom line. In a recent DemandGen Report study, marketers cited the following reasons for an increased focus on marketing measurement: Pressure to justify spend (69%) Sales team looking for more leads (58%) Need for deeper intelligence into customer segments (45%) Management s push for better pipeline visibility (65%) A demand center should be more than just a flurry of marketing activity. A demand center should be about Revenue Performance Management. Make sure you leverage closed-loop reporting to measure results such as MQL to SAL conversion rates, sales cycle time, cost per lead, campaign ROI and more.

7 Conclusion B2B marketing is rapidly advancing. While the sales cycle has become more complex, there are more tools available today for marketers to manage and measure their impact on revenue. But with all these advances, it s easy for an organization s marketing efforts to quickly become disjointed. This is where the benefits of a demand center are clear more efficient, effective and scalable processes. Not to mention the business benefits of higher sales conversions, lower costs and greater ROI. But building a demand center requires specific skills and expertise. And many organizations aren t sure where to start. By avoiding the eight mistakes listed in this whitepaper, companies will be more successful in building and implementing their demand center. Contact Us Today About Verticurl Verticurl is a demand generation consulting firm, helping companies worldwide improve processes, drive leads and grow revenues. A Gold Certified Eloqua partner, Verticurl works closely with clients to get up and running quickly to maximize the benefits of marketing automation. With extensive expertise in marketing, segmentation and analytics, campaign planning and management, our consultants work with clients to build strategic demand centers that drive growth. Founded in 2005, the consulting firm works with organizations ranging from small regional businesses to global multi-national corporations to implement and integrate their marketing automation vision. The company is based in Singapore with offices in North America, APAC and EMEA. For more information, visit

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