Over the past several years I’ve been extremely lucky to get a front row seat for a rapidly evolving B2B marketing industry. At Leadspace I watched as we, as marketers, got very, very good at finding the right people and companies to target. This was always a huge challenge in the past, trying to find just the right people in that sea of email addresses, business cards and Salesforce lead records. We would accept that our target audience wasn’t truly knowable but hope that our marketing efforts would yield enough MQLs from the ether to hit our pipeline goals and everyone goes home happy. This shifted with companies harnessing the wealth of data that was now available and applying predictive analytics to make that amorphous target audience now concrete and accessible. As things got more predictable and repeatable you can see the success the predictive vendors have had.
I think as marketers we’ve accepted a similar “unknowability” in the measurement of our marketing efforts. If we’re lucky, we have relatively clean first touch data so we have a clue where that lead originated way back when so we can give that lead source credit. Maybe we look at the last touch to try to guess what finally pushed that prospect to buy. Unfortunately, unless you have a two week sales cycle, neither of these is an accurate picture of reality and certainly not the best way to place your bets. So why do we accept this? Well, it’s hard. Really hard. Between the operational challenges (so you’re telling me Sales is converting all relevant leads for an account to contacts and then associating them with an opportunity?) and the limits of the marketing automation and CRM tools in typical marketing/sales stacks, getting an accurate view of multi-touch attribution isn’t that accessible.
This is what excited me about BrightFunnel as a demand gen practitioner. This measurement and forecasting nirvana is accessible. It is easy. And it’s really robust. Oh… and it just takes a few weeks of set up and it’s off to the races vs. ripping up your Salesforce instance. I geeked out on the promise of the platform first and the opportunity to run demand gen here second. I saw cutting edge B2B marketers at companies like New Relic and Cloudera doing really cool things with the platform. I see a real democratization of advanced marketing analytics happening too. We’re past the days of waiting a week for the keeper of the company’s BI solution to come back with a handful of insights. Anyone on the marketing team can access this stuff in minutes. The content marketer can justify creating that new white paper (oh, and their job). The CMO can see marketing’s true impact on revenue. The Director of Demand Gen can map out her 2016 plan and ground it in reality.
It’s going to be an exciting time as BrightFunnel gets in more marketers’ hands. I wanted to be a part of this. From Nadim on down, the team is fantastic. Beyond being great people to work with, they’re really insightful and they just get marketers and their needs. I’m also looking forward to continuing the dialogue with smart B2B marketers out there as we continue to advance the art and take this concept of “accepted unknowability” (and everything that comes with it) out of the equation.
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