B2B marketers want real-time transparency in their B2B marketing demand generation programs. But in order for your demand gen partner to provide these insights, they have to have clear visibility into your campaign tactics and progress. And that is often not the case.
If you’re working with an agency or lead-generation middleman, there’s a good chance they don’t own the contact data, or that they aren’t even executing the actual campaigns. These brokerages often buy leads from third parties, who in turn buy those leads from other providers. In fact, your marketing demand generation contract may be outsourced as many as five or more times from the initial contract.
This type of partner can’t give you real-time transparency, because they really don’t know what is happening at ground level with your engagement efforts. All they can do is bulk-drop leads into your CRM – and those leads may be weeks old. Your team will be chasing dead ends, and your ROI will suffer.
To get genuine transparency, you need to work with a team of marketing demand generation professionals who design and optimize campaigns based on their own contact and behavioral data, and who provide you with business intelligence solutions that lets you see your progress as it happens.
Anything less, and you are operating in the dark.
Taking “Transparency” to the Next Level
“Business transparency” has been a buzzword in data-driven marketing and technology for more than a decade now. You’ll often hear it used to describe customer data use and privacy policies, or business intelligence solutions that provide real-time insights into financial or supply chain management.
In B2B marketing demand generation, the term “transparency” has been evolving along the same lines. This post at LinkedIn suggests that your demand generation partner should be transparent about their data quality regime and the customer journey for each delivered lead. This information can then be used to drive engagement through personalized low-funnel marketing and sales outreach.
Here are Bython, we believe that’s only part of the story. We like to think of ourselves as an extension of your marketing team. We don’t deliver bulk leads to your CRM – we identify and engage with opportunities that fit seamlessly into your revenue strategies.
To fill that role, we try to operate like a trusted part of your team. That means providing you transparency for every aspect of your marketing demand generation campaigns, including:
- Our team’s expertise
- Campaign design and execution
- Pacing and delivery expectations
- Progress against campaigns
- Feedback and campaign adjustment loop
- Quality and comprehensive contact and behavioral intelligence.
When your demand gen partner offers this kind of transparency, in real time, you can move beyond basic lead gen and create opportunities that move the needle.
Transparency in B2B Marketing Demand Generation
So, what does transparency look like in action as you work with a B2B marketing demand generation partner? Simply put, you should have a clear, unobstructed view of the design, execution and results of your campaigns.
This transparency should be present at every step of the process, from initial campaign design to progress toward your goals. And you should be able to get answers from numerous sources, including a reporting dashboard you can check for near-real time status updates.
Your Marketing Demand Generation Team
You should know the general qualifications and skill set of the people who are going to execute your campaigns. Obviously, you can’t be in daily, first-name-basis contact – there’s work to do, and that’s why you have a customer success rep. But you should be confident that there is a team in place that’s committed and able to adapt and meet your goals. The team should include data analysts and dedicated project managers, not just sales people. Don’t be afraid to ask for details about who will drive engagement on your behalf. If a potential partner can’t answer, there’s a good chance they won’t be doing the work.
On-Demand Campaign Updates
Sometimes you may need a quick status update on your marketing demand generation campaigns before lunch with the boss. Your partner should make this information available via a personalized web reporting portal that offers progress reports, including key metrics like percent to complete and exact campaign parameters, in case anybody from Sales is asking.
We built our Byonic platform [pictured above] to provide this key information in easy, turnkey dashboards. Some of our customers use Byonic regularly; others elect to wait for weekly status reports from our team – which often are screenshots of our Byonic interface. We’re that proud of the business intelligence solution we’ve developed.
Your primary concern here should be that your marketing demand generation partner is close enough to your campaigns to be transparent about how the work is progressing, in near real-time.
The time between an prospect opt-in and contact delivery to your CRM can be a tipoff that your vendor is too detached from your campaigns to offer true transparency. Multiple lead sourcing agreements can slow down delivery and compromise your team’s ability to drive engagement with what have become cold leads. So, you need to have a clear idea of how quickly the in-market opportunities you are paying for will be in the queue for your in-house marketing and sales teams.
Opportunity Delivery Pacing
In-market opportunities are great, but there are only so many of them that your team can work at once. If you can’t follow-up in a timely fashion, you’re wasting your B2B marketing demand generation budget.
If leads are coming in at a perfectly constant rate, much of the effort is probably being outsourced. Campaigns have ups and downs, tactics occasionally need to be tweaked, and response rates can be affected by all kinds of external factors. Also be wary of campaigns that immediately drop a ton of contacts into your CRM – those leads have been queued up for a while.
The pacing of opportunity delivery is a key metric in marketing demand generation that is often overlooked in conversations about transparency. We feature pacing in our Byonic platform as a peer (at least) to delivery and acceptance numbers.
Feedback Loop and Campaign Adjustments
As we just noted, sometimes B2B marketing demand generation programs need to be adjusted a bit. Your partner should be transparent not only about campaign performance, but also ways they plan to adjust parameters and tactics to drive engagement.
Sometimes these adjustments happen after a comprehensive wrap-up review after a campaign closes; sometimes it can happen during the current effort, if progress is a little slow. This is where knowing there are data analysts on your team pays off. They can look beyond the raw numbers for real business optimization and suggest new audience segments.
A final note here: Transparency is a two way street. The more insights you share about revenue attribution and closed sales with your partner, the more productive your feedback meetings will be it.
Most marketing demand generation providers have regular status meetings with clients. You should expect these meetings to go beyond the raw data – that should be available to you at any time. Use your high-touch exchanges to discuss new approaches and possibilities.
You should also expect to get clear, transparent answers to your questions, whenever you have them. Again, campaigns run in real time. You need to be confident that you can get a clear picture of how your program is progressing anytime you need it by contacting your customer success team.
Data and Opportunity Quality
Your marketing demand generation provider should be able to show you that it is constantly refreshing its contact data and scrubbing it with the latest technology, including AI and machine learning, to ensure that contact records and behavioral data are accurate, complete and up-to-date. If they can’t provide this level of transparency, they probably are outsourcing a lot of your work and simply can’t tell you, because they don’t know.
Transparency Is Key to Driving Engagement
Transparency in your relationship with your B2B marketing demand generation is essential. You need to know that the team that’s delivering opportunities is also the one that owns the data and executes your campaigns. With this clarity, you can work with your partner to optimize your programs and drive engagement with your best customers.