Evolving Trends From TechTarget ROI Summits in Europe
Last week, TechTarget had its biggest London ROI Summit by far, following successful summits in Paris and Munich. TechTarget has been running European summits for 4 years, but this year, there were 3 trends in particular that stood out to me as quite different than in years past.
Role of marketing in the sales process is beginning to change in Europe
While European marketers have always sat in close proximity to their sales teams (probably more so than their American colleagues), the quality of communication between the teams has had “room for improvement.”
This panel discussion from European marketing and sales execs at Dell, Cisco and SAS describes how the relationship has evolved (and job roles as well) between marketers and sales, giving specific examples of how marketers are credible and essential parts of the sales process and are regularly “walking the sales floor” as a partner. Stronger synergy between the groups is helping to deliver better lead management and conversion. For example, panelist Todd Schwiderski, Senior Regional Sales Manager – EMEA, shared that better collaboration between marketing and sales teams has allowed his organization to reduce lead decay rates from 7-8 days down to 24 hours or less and improve conversion up to 20%.
Content marketing and lead nurturing is on the move as well
For a long while, many European marketers have lacked the resources to gather effective content and use it effectively to progress leads to real pipeline. We learned from marketers at organizations like Salesforce and SAS that European marketers are:
- Finding the content they need from the US (and using it without international incident)
- Making more efficient translation choices
- Using thoughtful follow-up schemes and scoring mechanisms (that aren’t too complex) to get a lead ready to pass to sales
Maturity of metrics
In many 2014 marketing conferences (especially where content is central), there is generally a lot of hand-waving about what performance indicators or metrics make a true difference. At the London ROI Summit, several presenters shared how the audience could adopt new practices and compare the effectiveness of current processes. Smarter marketers in Europe are starting to look at the impact that engagement within highly targeted IT buyer research environments is having, looking at measuring elements such as:
- % increase in mail follow up response when targeted by topical interest
- Response rate of banner ads and online advertising based on quality of alignment with content topic
- % of leads re-engaged when content options are displayed in real-time vs. delayed
- What topical actions are key triggers to pass leads to sales
These are things that all marketers and sales professionals in Europe should be thinking about as they start making plans for the second half of 2014 moving into 2015. While I am looking forward to connecting at next year’s summits, in the meantime I would love to hear firsthand what strategies, tactics, or processes are working for you in Europe. Feel free to leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.