Thoughts on Business-to-Business High-Tech Marketing

As a B-to-B Marketeer for over 25 years, 19 of which have been in high-tech, I have been involved at the sharp end of integrating marketing and business strategies, aligning sales and marketing and implementing campaigns to execute strategy at an EMEA and worldwide level. I have seen a lot of change in the marketing tools available, the demand to ‘cut through the noise’ and the challenge to deliver more and higher quality leads with fewer resources and in shorter timescales.

I thought I’d use this Blog to ruminate on the state of B-to-B marketing and provide some insight into the challenges we all face day to day in trying to deliver on the expectations of the businesses we work for. If this inspires some interaction and sharing of best practice then that can only be a good thing. If nothing else it will help to get some things of my chest which bug me, which possibly no one else, other than those of you out there facing the same challenges, is interested in.

I have primarily worked in Enterprise software and services with a strong direct channel orientation, but a lot of the challenges I face will be familiar whether you rely on direct Sales, systems integrators, resellers or channel distribution models.

The primary things I want to talk about are:

  • Aligning sales and Marketing: how to get everyone ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ or working off the same playbook
  • Sales and Marketing automation: how to ensure Salesforce, Eloqua, or your SFA/ automation system ‘de jour’ help the practice of driving growth and don’t just get in the way
  • Performance measurement: closely aligned with the above – how do you measure both the short term lead generation and long term brand development aspects of Marketing? What are the correct metrics and how can you reliably collect actionable data?
  • Digital marketing and Social networking – how do we build Web 2.0 into marketing strategy and not just get hung up on the new tools
  • Human resources, MRM etc.: how do marketing organizations need to plan and organize to execute effectively in today’s fast-moving environment
  • Change management: how to align process, people, systems and metrics in a pragmatic way that doesn’t involve putting the company on hold for 6 months…

I’m sure there’s more but these things are on my mind at the moment (and that’s probably enough for now).

Lots of other people are bombarding us with ‘best practice’ everyday – MarketingProfs, MarketingSherpa, BtoB Marketing, SiriusDecisions all have good things to say – these are just my thoughts. Hopefully I can find time to share them.

I’m looking forward to the debate.