Brian Giese, CEO, True Influence
In my first article in this series, I talked about why we find ourselves at this point, that is, why the digital B2B marketplace is primed for a tool like an intent-based cloud platform for sales and marketing. The COVID crisis has accelerated the “digital intent” transformation, forcing B2B sales and marketing into a more digital world through faster adoption of digital technology for B2B marketing and demand generation.
Marketers have found that just because we have more data at our fingertips doesn’t mean we can integrate and optimize it without constant manual intervention and trained attention. Solving this problem has led to the growing adoption of a marketing cloud tool suite combined with intent data for integrated marketing and sales.
7 Ways an Intent-based Cloud Creates Business Value
Why use an intent-based cloud platform? The most common reasons are:
- Reducing complexity
- Unified user interface
- Single data source
- Better customer experience
- Normalization of data
- More visibility into campaigns and ROI
- Faster cycle times to execute
Let’s dive deeper into these seven important ways that an integrated, intent-based marketing cloud benefits B2B sellers.
1 – Reducing complexity: One place, one view, one source of truth
Imagine monitoring your sales and marketing results from an integrated platform and having a complete picture of what’s working and what’s not. Imagine knowing that you’re getting hits from that certain piece of content — or not. What if you knew you were sending email to buyers who are actually in-market? Are you building out the members of your target buying group or still chasing individual leads? Now B2B marketers can confidently answer these questions (and more) with a marketing cloud platform fueled by intent.
Reducing complexity is perhaps the most important advantage of an integrated approach, with 44% citing this benefit in one study. Integrated cloud technologies reduce complexity in implementation and provide a unified interface to a variety of solutions. Users aren’t forced to learn and manage an assortment of snapped-on tools and plugins (along with the upkeep and updates that go along with each one of those.) It combines the rich, reliable detail of verified intent data with a SaaS platform that delivers solutions specific to your needs (and the ones you might want to add next year.)
2 – Unified user interface
Integrated marketing solutions provide a unified interface to make data easier to view, access and interpret, a benefit cited by 36% in one study. A single user interface gives teams a powerful competitive tool for demand generation campaigns and intent-driven discovery of buying groups. Organizations can use all their data from any source to build out customer views for more effective marketing. It’s also more easily learned by different functions, which is vital to maintaining momentum.
3 – Better user experience
User experience often gets lost when trying to integrate martech components with CRM systems, but some marketing cloud providers design their product suites for a more harmonious marriage between customer experience (CX) and CRM technologies. When platforms have been created with this in mind, staff across different departments can create campaigns, consult information and collaborate more easily. The ideal intent-based marketing cloud provides a comprehensive set of solutions in a single interface, so users easily manage campaigns, share data and increase revenue.
4 – Single data engine for revenue programs
This advantage is of particular value for data professionals. Complex data can be made manageable to drive marketer-friendly processes. One outcome is less time spent moving data among systems and struggling to maintain accuracy. It also reduces duplication and redundancy.
5 – Normalization of data from multiple sources
Going back to the point about the increasing volume of marketing data, this leads to the serious issue of trying to make it all usable in a consistent way. Nearly 60% of companies use three or more data sources, and 53% spend more than four hours cleaning up data from various sources. Marketing ops and data teams need better consolidation and automation of vendors and processes to support and sustain this. This is another area ripe for advancement with an integrated marketing cloud fueled by intent data. To expand use of intent signals, companies must handle data across different departments and processes. Again, the marketing cloud brings relief to this cross-functional challenge of normalizing data from multiple sources and for multiple uses.
6 – Better visibility leads to faster cycle times
Who doesn’t want to accelerate time to market with relevant campaigns or get to active, researching prospects faster. Users find cycle times to execute activities drop dramatically with the adoption of marketing cloud technology. Improved visibility into buyer behavior throughout their journey leads to shorter pipelines, better prospect targeting and increased conversions. With the visibility and control offered by the marketing cloud platform, B3B marketers can make smart decisions about how to engage with buyers and which programs are delivering the ROI they need. Intent data not only helps sales teams more precisely focus their outreach, it also helps B2B marketers determine where to target advertising dollars and what topics to address in content marketing.
7 – Marketing cloud for operational efficiency and beyond
One challenge in implementing broader use cases for intent data has been coordinating the channels and campaigns needed for integrated marketing messages and touches. It’s well worth taking advantage of a marketing cloud to simplify operations and processes, gain control over basic communications tasks, and strip out unnecessary costs.
Achievable KPIs like these justify activating intent data through an integrated marketing cloud platform:
- Better budget allocation by prioritizing campaigns towards accounts likely to convert
- Increase in pipeline acceleration
- Higher conversion to sales-qualified accounts
- Increase in sales rep productivity from account prioritization
- Make content more relevant to prospects’ needs
With a marketing cloud in place, intent data can be brought into more use cases. The data is the plumbing that links solutions and strategies within the platform. Once you’ve successfully used intent in a few use cases, the solid ROI justifies expansion into other areas. Where can an intent-based marketing cloud take you?
Our new True Influence ABM Cloud can help B2B marketers organize and manage your revenue generation campaigns. Learn more in this ABM Cloud news release.