Today, more than ever, B2B Buyers are demanding a B2C experience. They expect information that is timely, relevant, and personalized. They also expect companies to keep up with new trends […]Read More →
Posted March 11, 2020
Posted March 11, 2020
A marketing cloud is an integrated suite of solutions available as web-based services delivered via software-as-a-service. The idea of a marketing cloud isn’t new, but the capabilities they offer change constantly, based on what B2B marketers need. Research finds the most critical marketing cloud capabilities are CRM (59%), marketing automation (49%) and personalization/targeting (46%).
In one survey, 68% of respondents felt customer and digital analytics were the most critical core solutions within a unified suite of marketing tools. This underscores the importance of consistent, insightful data combined with the best marketing cloud solutions to use it.
In fact, a growing marketing cloud application involves use of intent data. Most B2B organizations now draw this intelligence from multiple sources to incorporate into sales and marketing platforms. And along with an expanding number of intent data sources, B2B organizations are adding different types of intent data. First-party data from owned web sources is the most common (74%). 64% incorporate third-party data, while 53% use second-party data sources sourced directly, but not from owned sites. While this rich and growing pool of data is valuable, organizations struggle to normalize and use it.
According to an intent data survey by the Demand Gen Report, more than 70% said intent data has had a positive business impact beyond short-term pipeline improvements. Many cite increases in conversions, productivity and efficiency of revenue operations.
Marketing and sales environments have gotten far more complex, and the volume of data now available to us is astronomical. It’s all part of the changing business climate, but the right marketing cloud tames the overwhelming data firehose. Once marketers feel ready to navigate the data nightmare, their next priority is making the information actionable. This requires capabilities that a marketing cloud can help deliver:
Managing and integrating intent data sources
Normalization and cleansing of data from multiple sources
Ensuring data is accurate and actionable
Better activation of data
B2B brands are not only paying more attention to intent data, they’re also moving beyond its basic uses of simply identifying potential in-market buyers. B2B revenue teams now integrate intent signal intelligence into CRM and revenue systems, marketing automation and other go-to-market strategies.
One challenge in implementing these broader use cases is coordinating the channels for integrated marketing messages and touches. 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 attention. Many organizations use unintegrated, even outdated systems to deliver and analyze marketing campaigns. This problem has contributed to the growing adoption of a marketing cloud tool suite combined with intent data for integrated marketing.
As companies expand use of intent signals and normalize data across multiple sources and uses, they must manage data handling across different departments and processes. Again, the marketing cloud brings relief to this cross-functional challenge.
The most common reasons for using marketing cloud software:
The following section goes into these seven reasons a little more deeply:
Companies have realized that intent data can not only help their sales teams focus their outreach, it also helps target advertising dollars and determine topics to address in content marketing. Expanding use cases like these bring in more ROI results that justify broader application.
It’s well worth taking advantage of a marketing cloud to simplify processes, gain more control over basic communications tasks, and strip out unnecessary cost. Achievable KPIs like these help justify activating intent data through an integrated marketing cloud platform:
B2B marketers and sales view intent data as fuel for high-priority initiatives like account-based marketing (ABM), content marketing and targeted advertising, plus closer sales and marketing alignment. With a marketing cloud in place, marketers can bring intent data into more use cases like these.
How intent data brings value through wider operational use:
Intent data is now used across nearly all engagement points for marketing and sales, and it’s being integrated into a variety of systems and processes. Use of intent data will only continue to expand as providers introduce improvements in both platforms and processes.
There’s significant opportunity from these new platforms and processes to increase efficiency and precision, so companies can expand use of intent data at various stages of sales and marketing engagements. Revenue teams will continue to prioritize the ability to map signal data to individuals within the buying team. This benefits marketing and sales ops who suffer from too few quality contacts for their pipeline. Marketing and sales outreach can be more efficient at the contact level, and advanced cloud platforms will be key in making this a reality.
The shift to a marketing cloud platform isn’t just about improving technology; it’s also about helping people who need integrated capabilities to do their jobs. The right combination of cloud technologies can transform the capabilities of marketing, sales and operations teams. These tools help you get in market faster and change the nature of work. Teams spend less time on grunt work, so leaders can make the best use of their groups’ skill sets. The results of the Demand Gen Report Survey reinforce the business value of intent intelligence across components of revenue operations. Get your copy to learn more about the expanding uses of intent data and the critical role of the marketing cloud.