On Tuesday more than 500 B2B and B2C marketers attended FUNNEL, our first event to consider where marketing meets sales - and leads become revenue.
With a definite sense of new confidence in the air, the packed speaker programme looked at key challenges and opportunities facing ‘considered purchase’ marketers today – how to best attract, engage, nurture and convert leads.
I’ve collated some of the key takeaways and soundbites below...
“The average video presentation length is 11 minutes. If you’re marketing to new people, make it one to two minutes. For ‘known’ people, the ideal length is four or five.”
“Capture the length of time people viewed video for to qualify leads. Longer viewing times usually mean more engaged viewers.”
“Syndicate your video content for best results: social media, webinar, website, blog.”
Irwin Hipsman, director of customer community programmes, during his session on using mobile and video to generate leads.
“For us, advertising networks deliver higher value than premium media.”
Pascal Lendermann, head of marketing programs & ops for TelePresence Video EMEA, during his session on filling the funnel efficiently.
“Content marketing means marketers becoming publishers. Deliver the right content at the right time to the right people.”
“Measure everything: traffic generated by individual pieces of content, calls, enquiries, engagement & shares.”
Richard Brenkley, managing director, during his session on content marketing.
“Most businesses spend on SEO, PPC, email and various other channels to drive visitors to their site, however, often less than 1% of visitors will identify themselves.”
Lee Chadwick, managing director, during his session on converting anonymous traffic.
“Bad data is the number one cause of CRM failure. In fact, 42% of CRM failures are due to bad data.”
“The quality of your marketing data can influence lead generation by a factor of 50%.”
“Define your ideal customer profile, agree data for informing sales & marketing, clean & enrich data, agree lead management processes.”
Simon Knight, channel marketing manager, during his session on using a dynamic customer view.
“Map your content to stages of the buying cycle. Education is absolutely key - buy the content if you don't have it.”
“The buying cycle equates to education, then finding a solution and then finding a vendor.”
Kate Shopper, director of media services, during her session on making your site buyer-centric.
“Having the skills required for automation is a prerequisite for success in the new data driven age.”
“Marketing technology spend has increased 26% since 2008.”
“It is predicted to increase to the point where the marketing department is the primary spender on technology within an organisation.”
“Challenges to digital evolution consist of legacy systems, joining up data, senior management buy in, finding staff.”
Stefan Tornquist, VP research (US), during his session on the new lead nurturing and marketing automation landscape.
“Revenue performance management is the next step in marketing automation, since it’s data driven.”
“When you consider that this is made up from technology, people and process – when you leave out the technology, you’re left with the biggest and most important thing. To achieve success, marketing must talk to sales. Align, and create common metrics.”
Stuart Wheldon, senior director of customer success & strategy for EMEA and Asia Pacific, during his session on revenue performance management.
“Great content marketing understands that prospects are people first. Our work and life patterns are blurred nowadays. There is no clean work/life separation any more.”
“Rather than a dull corporate information PDF, consider a less formal approach such as an interview with your CEO to build a relationship.”
“Net result of implementing this approach for Expedia was an acceleration in conversion rate. Uplift from 4-7% to 25%.”
“Effective content that should be good enough to share is built from relevancy and something that’s distinctive.”
John Watton, director of global brand and marketing for the Expedia Affiliate Network, during his session on the ways a human touch and digital practice come together.
“Develop content of value. Observe the patterns of behaviour and respond to them.”
“Look at the Amazon model, people don’t find those suggestion creepy or odd, they’re simply useful. Learn from this and work out how to give people what they really want.”
Kirsten Knipp, vice president of HubSpot Europe, during her session on making customers fall in love again.
“At IBM we have transformed into a social business. Our unique approach is not document centric, but people centric. The critical turning point for this is the realisation that the collective knowledge of networks of people can provide business with a unique competitive advantage.”
“We're no longer B2B or B2C, we're now in the H2H (human-to-human) era.”
“IBM gave its 470,000 IBMers a day off to help others in their community, providing that they shared their experiences online. The result was significant exposure/content generation online on Flickr, blogs, social networking sites and the like”
“You must have the team, content and creativity in place if you are to have a social media presence. Otherwise don’t bother.”
Delphine Remy-Boutang, worldwide digital social media marketing manager for IBM Software Group, during her keynote on attracting the right leads using social media.
“An analogy to illustrate the traditional approach to B2B marketing language would be marketing sushi as ‘cold, dead fish’. A factually correct yet completely devoid of emotion description.”
“Don’t be afraid to articulate a distinctive point of view. The worst sin is to be bland. Challenge thinking!”
“If you’re using demographics to segment your market, you need an urgent rethink. Segment using situational, behavioural, environmental & organisational criteria instead.”
“Align your content to the buying process. Attract=research, engage=consider, nurture=evaluate, convert=selection.”
Bob Apollo, managing partner, during his session on the inbound marketing revolution.
“21. 81% of ALL buyers require five sales calls before they buy.”
Aaron Stead, vice president of sales, during his session on creating the perfect customer lifecycle.
“Testing is key. Regarding SEO and PPC, there’s not really much more you can do technically, so looking to make your efforts more efficient becomes incredibly important.”
Alex Stanbridge, PPC leader, on the conference floor.
“Keep forms short – only ask for what you need. With nine fields Marketo saw a 10% conversion rate and with just five, this increased to 13.4%.”
“For fast leads converting within one month, there is no difference with or without nurturing. For leads taking over a month to convert ROI rises from 6.67% up to 20%.”
Fergus Gloster, managing director, during his session on the secret to sales and marketing alignment.
“Automation is fine, but always remember - people buy from people."
Jan-Willem Schelkwijk, director of strategy and marketing operations for EMEA, during his session on driving integrated marketing.
“Process must meet creativity – Good demand generation practice should blend the methodical development of end-to-end, transparent sales and marketing processes with the colour of a creative, engaging content strategy to bring it to life.”
“Content is emperor – Content is no longer king. It’s now the emperor. It must be remarkable and intelligently map to your target market’s buying cycle. No more than three assets per buying cycle stage was one assessment.”
“Technology is no longer a barrier – Once upon a time, smaller companies were hindered by the lack of affordable technology to support a smart marketing effort. The rise of powerful, but affordable marketing technologies such as HubSpot and Marketo has levelled the playing field – allowing small, agile companies to compete with the big boys, regardless of marketing budget size.”
“Inbound marketing rules – It’s official. Inbound marketing is the way forward. Why waste money buying cold lists and running expensive outbound interruption campaigns just to irritate and annoy prospective customers?”
“Sales and marketing alignment is not a pipe dream – There are no more excuses for not joining the dots between sales and marketing. The technology is there and the knowledge is there to run end-to-end sales and marketing processes. They should be working as one.”
Matt James, founder and director, in a blog post reviewing the event.
“When web analytics is everyone's job, it becomes nobody’s job. You need a dedicated team.”
“Avoid marketing 'campaigns'; instead feed content to the machine that auto-matches customers with content.”
Shawn Burns, global vice president SAP.com and online marketing, during his session on traffic quality.
“CRM needs to move with the times, and catch up to in-bound marketing. The landscape has changed and we now need to nurture much, much earlier.”
“According to research from the likes of Gartner, 73% of decision makers say they don’t accept inbound sales calls and 90% say they make decisions following Internet research.”
David Beard, CRM evangelist for Sage CRM Solutions, during his session on the future of CRM.
“It’s likely that less than 5% of the leads you generate are ready to buy.”
“The buying cycle has changed and it has grown to be even more complex.”
“Sales and marketing MUST be aligned to the same numbers, the same vocabulary, and the same units of measurement.”
“Technology is not the cure. You must have the right structure, the right process, and the right content. CRM is the foundation, but you need marketing tools to manage the entire lead to opportunity process.”
Richard Evans, director of marketing for EMEA, during his session on real-world lead nurturing from the inside.