A B2B Marketing leader answers "What have been your major challenges?" and "What should you have done earlier in the year?”

Recently, I chatted with a B2B marketing leader of a 250+ person professional services company. They did not start the year off well. But, since that time, they have recovered somewhat. Let’s refer to this marketing leader as Kathy. I asked Kathy, “What was the reason you did not meet Q1 expectations?”


Instead of giving me an answer about content marketing, lead generation or buyer behavior, she simply said “We were not disruptive”.


When I asked her to clarify, she said “we started to turn things around by being disruptive in campaign execution. And I wish we would have done it from the start of the year. We accomplished this by adopting agile marketing.  We turn insight into action fast. We make several weekly adjustments to campaigns.  We now launch quickly and fine tune once live.  It’s ‘real time’ marketing.”


What she described aligns well with SBI’s recent quarterly research reports on the topic of “execution”.


Agile Campaign Marketing


This bias for getting things done right extends to marketing as much as sales. CMOs need to execute multiple campaigns flawlessly as increased competition in B2B marketing is forcing companies to engage in agile, iterative, closed-loop marketing motions. By running multiple small campaigns per month, marketers can feed back their results into campaign design and constantly improve results. This takes A/B testing to the next level.


However, most B2B marketing teams are not set up as a micro campaign factory like this.


Instead, they are set up as a macro long production line, where all the pieces are in place and the line must run all of the throughput before any meaningful measurement and improvement is contemplated. This is waterfall campaign marketing. And it doesn’t work anymore.


Implementing Agile Marketing Across Multiple Campaigns 


There are a series of key motions to master as follows:


  • Establish the marketing campaign as the unit of measure – not the individual lead or the type of program (webinar, blog, event, SEO, etc…)


  • Define a campaign process that can be optimized over time as it contact reality


  • Launch effective demand generation campaigns at scale across multiple modes and with varying program spend


  • Iterate and improve campaigns to improve effectiveness over time as each campaign is sectioned into tranches


  • Systematize the lead engagement capability so that all buying persona leads are intercepted, dimensioned and nurtured into active demand


  • Build marketing KPI dashboards that report on ROI by campaign and tie to revenue for all converted Leads


If you have a legacy marketing team, transforming them is difficult.  The key to transformation is in a dedicated coaching program. Marketing managers need to consistently develop their team members in real-time to improve their skills. When this coaching discipline is missing, the team starts will execute a plan as is but will not feel empowered to make quick decisions and iterate. Valuable time is lost and the ability to make change forfeited. The team misses the opportunity to adjust a campaign or even to stop one altogether. The end result of this non-agile approach is a reduced return on marketing spend.


Effective Coaching Is the Key to Morphing Your Current Team into Agile Campaign Planners


The best way to coach your marketing team it to spend time with them and set-up a “day in the life of” (DILO) meeting. Use this Marketing Meeting Template to facilitate an interactive process of rapid development.   Make sure you are coaching and not micro-managing. The difference between coaching and managing is huge.  Below is an illustration of the differences:




Key Takeaway


Modern day Marketing Leaders embrace agile marketing in campaign execution to make the number. The benefits are worth the extra effort to change the way you work. You may meet resistance, but you will gain in sales ready leads.  If you haven’t started, download the Marketing Meeting Template to begin facilitating the process.



Additional Content


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