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What Can Consumer Marketing Teach the Revenue Marketer? #REVtalks Recap

Today marks REVtalks, the annual Revenue Marketing Summit organized by the Pedowitz Group. The event focuses on bringing new ideas and innovations to senior marketers who are looking to fuel revenue growth. REVtalks celebrates CMOs who are making the transition to CROs. Lattice’s CMO Brian Kardon led the session, “What Can the Revenue Marketer Learn from Consumer Marketing?”

Brian kicked off his talk with a synopsis of his experiences that shaped him as a revenue marketing. First as CMO of Forrester Research, then as CMO at Eloqua. Back in 2004, he got a call from a friend who thought he could have a lot of impact at Forrester. At the time Forrester was in a bit of trouble – the Internet bubble that had propped up the company’s revenues burst, customers were fleeing, stock was down and employees were leaving. After several weeks and lunches with CEO George Colony, Brian joined Forrester as Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer. Brian first observed how the company was operating both marketing and sales. The strategy was primarily outbound and relied on cold calling and email blasting with a dash of events and corporate branding. It was that year when Brian first learned about marketing automation and he bought into Eloqua and begun his revenue marketing journey. By 2008 Forrester’s sales cycle decreased from 160 days to 90 days, win rates exploded from 10 percent to 35 percent and the stock price surged from $13 to $34. Next up was Brian’s transition to Eloqua. He joined in 2008 and remained the CMO until 2012. During that time, Brian had a front row seat to all that was transforming in marketing: social, real-time, content, marketing measurement, scoring and more.

Today, marketing automation is more than 10 years old as a category. The latest data from Forrester and other research companies report penetration rates above 50 percent for B2B marketers – higher rates (in the 70s) for larger companies. (Lower rates for smaller companies.) Of course, not every marketer is taking full advantage of everything marketing automation has to offer. Marketing automation is like a lot of households that have pianos — not all of those pianos are being played well or played often.

Something very, very big is happening in the consumer world – and B2B marketers should be watching closely. Brian shared several examples of consumer companies and all successful companies had one common thread. The successful companies are smarter and using data to their advantage. Using Amazon as an example, Brian shared how the company is tracking what you buy, what you covet and what your neighbors buy. As a result Amazon is able to make smart recommendations. In fact more than one third of the company’s 2013 revenues of $75 million came from its recommendation engines.

With penetration rates north of 50 percent for marketing automation, what is next for B2B marketing?

Today many successful marketing organizations are using the power of big data to build predictive models and transform their businesses. Amazon, Netflix and Uber are leading the charge on the consumer side. B2B companies can model their own recommendation after Amazon’s. The future is all the data that is hiding in plain sight. Things like job postings, grants, government contracts, social media, patents, locations, credit rankings and purchase history. B2B marketers can use these attributes to predict whether someone will buy your product or not.

Brian covered an example from the business banking industry. One Lattice customer was interested in boosting business among loans. With Lattice, the bank uncovered top predictors of customers most likely to apply for a $50,000 in the next 120 days. For example, companies that recently hired a CFO, grew about greater than 20 percent and had a flurry of job postings available were 10 times more likely to need a loan. That is a huge advantage.

To bring the talk to a close, Brian offered the following to all B2B marketers.

The Dutch chess grandmaster Jan Hein Donner was asked how he’d prepare for a chess match against a computer, like IBM’s Deep Blue. 

Donner responded: “I would bring a hammer.”

For the marketer, do not bring a hammer to beat the machine.  Use the machine to be a better marketer.

Image Credit(s): Robert Scoble                    

Written by

Amanda Maksymiw
January 27, 2014