While attending the Online Marketing Summit in Washington, DC, the audience had the privilege to listen to the lunchtime keynote by Steve Woods, CTO of Eloqua, a leading marketing automation platform provider. He was handing out copies of his recently published book, Digital Body Language, to people who asked questions at the end of his speech.
Fortunately, the Marketing Consigliere asked one of the questions and was pleased to obtain a copy of this book, which should be read by any Marketer who is interested in demand generation, behavioral marketing, business intelligence, campaign management, email marketing, or enterprise marketing management (EMM).
Digital Body Language is a straight-forward, understandable and quick read that can be completely digested in one or two sittings. Interesting case studies appear throughout the book and serve to illustrate the new marketing world we all face. It basically says that the pursuit of information through the Internet by buyers disallows the traditional “body language” that a sharp salesman can observe to help them tailor their communications to bring the customer to close during a face to face meeting. However, the right web tools can detect and alert the marketer to a person’s role, information requirements, the phase they are in the buying cycle, and purchase objectives giving the marketer a better than ever capabilty to build relationships and provide solutions.
While you are strongly encouraged to buy and read the book, the Marketing Consigliere would like to share some very profound excerpts to think about – clearly Steve Woods “gets it” and spells out the writing on the wall that Marketers need to accept:
“One of the persistent challenges in marketing: measuring and demonstrating its effectiveness in quantifiable ways. Although the value of marketing is generally accepted at a high level (few would accept the risks of under-investing in marketing, for instance), most business executives are unable to definitively articulate the precise contribution that marketing brings.”
It can indeed be a challenge when “old media” and/or “creative” types have too much influence in the marketing process and attempt to prevent the natural evolution to systematic and disciplined marketing. For too long businesses have been pouring their marketing dollars into the “black hole” of creative marketing that has not been able to tie directly to ROI. Creative is still important, but more scientific marketers with backgrounds in statistics and information technology can better connect the dots between their actions and sales results.
“Marketers who continue to pursue thier mission with a disconnected set of communication tools and non-integrated data sets cannot gain the multi-perspective visibility into their prospects that is required to understand and leverage their digital body language. Achieving these new perspectives, however, requires an approach to data, processes, and operations rooted in a new rigor and discipline.“
Now it is clear that like a battle commander, a marketer needs clean, integrated information to understand their “battlespace.” A network-centric way to gather, store, analyze, share and act upon data is a strategic marketing asset that a firm can no longer do without. Today’s web applications have drastically reduced the cost to create this ecosystem and if you are not doing it, rest assured your competition will be ahead of you because they will be doing it.
“By delivering a better understanding of prospects, this new discipline within marketing departments can increase the overall effectiveness of efforts to identify and cultivate qualified buying opportunities. Without a dramatic realignment of marketing to become an operational, process-oriented, data-driven discipline, the opportunities to better engage with prospects remain theoretical. At the core of this shift is the emergence of the demand-generation marketer.“
“Data-driven discipline.” The Marketing Consigliere loves that phrase because he always used the phrase “Data Driven RevenueTM.” The transformation of marketing from the alchemy of creative and PR-biased practitioners to the science of methodical, disciplined professionals will be a painful one for many firms; however, this needs to be done in the digital world.
Digital Body Language is not a blatant plug for Eloqua nor does it go into any details about the agony and ectasy of migrating to a marketing automation platform; You could already be a customer of Pardot, Manticore Technology, Marketo, or considering these or other lead nurturing/scoring/marketing automation vendors; nevertheless, you need to understand what Steve Woods has documented for all of us.