Marketing has changed a great deal over the past few decades, moving from being product-centric, to becoming more customer driven and value orientated. To a large degree it has been shaped by the proliferation of the internet and the additional tools and channels that are now available. It has also changed in terms of the way it is viewed by the organisation; it is no longer seen as a support function, but rather is seen as a key driver for the organisation’s overall strategy.
But it’s not just marketing as a discipline that has changed. The role of the marketer, and specifically the CMO, has changed as well. After the 2008 financial crash where marketing was one of the first areas to be cut, businesses restructured around the CEO, COO and CFO focusing largely on cost control and driving an inside-out approach to sales numbers.
Fast forward 10 years and the economic climate has improved significantly, along with growth and change across industry sectors. In addition, consumers (individuals and B2B customers) have also changed, their behaviours influenced by a burgeoning online world of new social channels, content and knowledge building. What this means is that the majority of the buying journey (67% according to Sirius Decisions) is now completed online and ahead of any engagements with sales. This highlights the need to be able to engage with the right customers, at a much earlier stage of the buying journey and with the right messages.
In an ideal world, marketing sets the strategy and agenda for the business. From gathering market intelligence and taking those insights to fuel a go-to-market strategy, to driving growth. The CMO needs to be front and centre on the board — accountable not just for furthering the brand but also in making a difference to the top and bottom line, working closely with sales teams and sales leaders. The modern CMO wears both a strategy and commercial hat.
Traditionally, this is sometimes a lot clearer in the B2C environment. The B2B space has been heavily influenced by advances in technology and a focus on investing heavily in sales teams who generate their own opportunities for the business. But that is shifting and the B2B CMO is taking charge and is facing added pressure to perform. As a result, CMOs (and marketing teams overall) need to be aligned with their sales counterparts and use all the tools at their disposal to identify and engage with customers, and deliver on their objectives.
For many, the challenge is identifying the right prospects so that the right content and messaging can be pushed out to them. Increasingly on an enterprise level, sales and marketing teams are adopting an ABM (account-based marketing) approach, a powerful method that helps marketers draw together all the outbound and inbound touchpoints with a target customer in a co-ordinated plan. To make ABM work, you need rich data insight which helps identify the proportion of customer prospects (2-5%) that are actively seeking a specific solution. Adding a behaviour-based approach to ABM makes it significantly stronger. Behaviour-based marketing is a qualitative approach based on insights that are fuelled by buying intent data. This behaviour intent comes from understanding all online activities based on what prospective customers are looking for, where they’re looking and who they’re talking to about it. Ultimately, these insights transform the quality of leads generated and do so much earlier in the process, enabling marketers to target prospects more precisely with tailored content and messaging.
Nexus, the behaviour-based marketing platform from Cyance, is one of the SaaS tools every CMO should have in their arsenal. It delivers those rich data insights, enabling marketers to target the right prospects at the right time across international country markets, with the right content with integrated campaigns deployed using marketing automation.
To find out more about how Nexus can benefit your business, or to book a demo, get in touch with us today https://www.cyance.com/cyance-account-based-marketing