One of the things we enjoy the most at Just Media is meeting with clients that really want to evolve their demand gen strategy. We have more powerful tools at our disposal, more than ever before, and we can make a major impact rather quickly. For our clients running cost-per-lead programs, Integrate’s Demand Orchestration Software has become one of the most important starting points for evolving their demand gen strategy.
The first question we are asked by new clients is: Which media tactics, channels and strategies can we bring to the table to improve demand gen performance? However, before we get into all of that, we start the conversation with understanding our clients’ internal demand engine. If we think of demand generation as an “engine,” then media and the resulting prospect data is the fuel to fill the tank. The fuel is important, but keep in mind that if you put rocket fuel in a ’82 Chevy Nova, you aren’t going to make it to the moon.
Here are the most prevalent demand challenges we see that need to be addressed:
- Leads take too long to get into the system and get routed for nurture or sales follow-up
- The number of people and disparate systems involved in lead flows make for an expensive and time-consuming process
- Too much bad data flows into the funnel causing confusion, wasted time and distrust between sales and marketing
- Sales and marketing are not aligned and don’t have agreed upon metrics or goals
- ROI data is not easily accessible to the marketing team or the media agency, hampering the ability to optimize or inform future media buys
- Marketing “campaigns” are constantly starting and stopping on a quarterly basis with no real cohesiveness or momentum established
All of these are symptoms of a broken demand engine. And yet we find that many companies that clearly recognize these problems are slow to take action to solve them. It’s understandable. Legacy processes and systems can be difficult for organizations to overcome, even when marketing teams are eager to innovate.
This is why Just Media places such a strong emphasis on demand orchestration, the new aspirational goal for many B2B demand marketers. Our strategic partners at Integrate are leading advocates of demand orchestration and this blog by Integrate CMO Scott Vaughan is a great primer that I recommend on the subject.
Demand orchestration is a wonderful goal that has many facets, but fundamentally the emphasis is on two primary things:
- Making sure your systems and processes are integrated so that accurate and actionable data is flowing through your entire pipeline from top to bottom.
- Using this data to guide your marketing investments in real time, target the right customers at the right time with the right message, and accurately predict outcomes and revenue.
As the Chinese proverb teaches us, “A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.” Deploying lead management software such as Integrate is a solid first step toward demand orchestration and will show results very quickly. Having the software in place allows you to quickly screen incoming leads to ensure they meet the proper criteria, and that you will have clean data flowing to the correct place via marketing automation and/or CRM. Bad leads are rejected and replaced. Good leads go where they are supposed to automatically. The entire process becomes visible in a dashboard and centrally controlled for quality assurance.
We have seen great success even with just this first fundamental step of demand orchestration. In 2016, the client campaigns that we ran at Just Media through the Integrate platform saw an average of over 40% of the content syndication leads rejected and replaced due to bad data, improper formatting or because they fell outside of the campaign filters. These leads were automatically sent back to the publisher/supplier for replacement before they even got into the client’s systems and were paid for, ultimately saving the client precious time and money. Total dollar savings from these rejected leads totaled well into seven figures.
If you are still passing spreadsheets around for leads, it’s time to stop and have a serious conversation about demand orchestration. And we haven’t even mentioned the upcoming changes in global privacy regulations (namely GDPR) that will likely make spreadsheet-based lead gen completely out of bounds in much of the world by 2018. We’re here to guide you with that conversation. The difference to your business processes will be about as dramatic as the difference between postal mail and email.
The Just Media approach is to start with the fundamentals. We live by “Crawl, Walk, Run.” Once you have the pipes connected and have established the proper flow of leads and data, then you can start to look toward taking the next step, evolving your strategic thinking and processes to utilize the breadth and depth of data available to you. It’s not an overnight fix but if you can start to take the first steps on the journey, the results you see will earn you the support you need internally to make even more investments in this innovation.
Just Media and our partners at Integrate are here to help you take this journey. Let us know what we can do to help your business. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and pop open the hood.
K E V I N F L I N T
Director of Integrated Demand