CSM: The Most Powerful Tool in Your Marketing Toolkit?
I envy today’s enterprise technology marketers. It’s an incredibly fast-paced exciting time to be in this business. In contrast, when I was starting out, things moved a lot slower (at least for me). I had a territory – all I needed to do was pitch my solutions as often and thoughtfully as I could. When I was good, we won. Sure, Marketing provided some messaging and air-cover so we weren’t flying totally blind out there, but that was about it. Beyond what I could do for myself, there wasn’t much support and certainly no collaboration. There was nothing for knowing who to cover when. I only had my own records to tell me what part of the buyer’s journey they might be in. There was very little help available that could have made me more efficient and effective. Beyond the air-cover Marketing provided, we were largely relying on what I’ll call CSM – otherwise known as Common Sense Marketing.
Too Much Martech, Not Enough Common Sense
Now there’s so much innovation, so much that’s possible for the first time, hardly a day goes by without another new marketing capability guaranteed to blow my mind. These days there’s so much brilliant potential embedded in my clients’ Martech stacks, they’re expending significant cycles trying to find the right marketing technologists to get everything really humming.
In fact, when I talk with our customers, their world has gotten so complex it’s getting harder just keeping everyone on track. Despite all the new functionality that’s available, for many of us there seems to be too little CSM to go around.
Back to Basics – 5 Things Marketers Need to Succeed
When I talk with customers, they tell me there are only about five things that really matter to them, five things that really define what they need to succeed at to really impact their business. They need to:
- Provide measurable impact on creating healthier pipelines – More, better “at bats” that drive more revenue.
- Help prioritize Marketing and Sales actions in ways that will protect and even grow gross margins (more than ever, we need to build relationships, getting in early to shape the conversation!).
- Deliver the kind of competitive intelligence that gets them into more deals and ahead of the pack more often.
- Engage the marketplace more effectively between Sales calls to keep the playing field level in the face of new competition every day.
- Prime the market aggressively to accelerate momentum around new solution launches.
To me as a businessman, this all makes good sense. It worked for me years ago and it’s still working right now. That’s why I refer to it as Common Sense Marketing. Sure the thinking isn’t new, but the implementation can be way more powerful than anything we used to cobble together. And if you agree these things are important, like many Marketers, you might be wondering if there isn’t a better way to keep your teams focused on them.
Obviously, I think there is. I think it starts with having clear visibility into exactly what Marketers should be doing, to whom, at what times. I believe this is the missing link to finally aligning Marketing and Sales so their efforts truly reinforce each other. In my next post, I’ll share why we believe our purchase intent insight capabilities represent a critical breakthrough for B2B tech marketers. Here a hint: they reinforce and enable CSM.
Mike Cotoia is CEO of TechTarget. He’s been a leader in B2B tech sales and marketing for about as long as it’s been a thing.