Tech Marketers Unite in Raleigh, NC – Top 5 Takeaways from the TechTarget ROI Summit

Abby Gilmore Grant
Abby Gilmore Grant

Director, Client Consulting

Event Recap

ROI Summit takeawaysLast Thursday, June 18th we hosted our 37th ROI Summit in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.  Our first Summit in Research Triangle Park was one for the books, with a room packed full of many of the area’s top technology marketers excited to discuss best practices and tricks of the trade.

Our own Jon Brown, Vice President, Market Intelligence, started off the morning’s first session discussing the IT landscape for 2015, covering the increase in IT spends internationally and the potential “next big things,” including the Internet of Things, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure and wearables.  Next, Rajeev Jaswal, the Sr. Director of IT at RedHat joined Jon to speak to how his buying team is structured, while providing marketers actionable recommendations  on how best to engage prospects (no cold calls!) and make the short list.

Courtney Kay, VP of Field and Product Marketing at TechTarget provided insight on how to be a publisher, by a publisher, as creating quality and compelling content is at the core of our business.   From taxonomies, content formats and editorial calendars to understanding distribution channels, enabling buyers and attribution models, Courtney discussed many key areas tech marketers today must consider to see success.

In addition to learning about the IT landscape and content best practices, we also discussed data-driven marketing, and how to effectively get that data into the hands of salespeople. Justin Hoskins, VP of Product Architecture and Innovation at TechTarget, showed attendees how to make the most out of their database with firsthand use cases and demoed new tools for project and opportunity identification.

Attendees also got the opportunity to learn from one of their peers, as Jenny Hooks, Revenue Marketing Manager for Cisco, joined Cisco’s TechTarget Account Director, Rich Stone to provide best practices from the front lines. Jenny talked about Cisco’s revenue-driven marketing strategy and how collaborating with media partners, like us, contribute to its success.

Top 5 ROI Summit Takeaways

Top 5 ROI Summit takeawaysThe event was full of information and insight presented from a variety of point of views, making it a learning experience for all who attended. As a marketer myself, here are my top five takeaways:

 #1 – Buyers have high expectations

Salespeople nowadays have a tough job, as today’s buyers have higher expectations than ever before. Buyers expect salespeople to understand their pain points and needs before even having an actual conversation, so without that information, your sales team is at a disadvantage from the start.

As most of the buy cycle is completed independently through content consumption and online research before speaking with sales, many buyers already know or have an idea of what they want before directly engaging with a vendor.  As a result, it has become increasingly crucial for sales and marketing to work together to understand buyers’ wants and needs before beginning outreach.

#2 – Personalized experiences are better for buyers and sellers

To my point above, buyers have come to expect a personalized experience, which is a win-win for both buyers and sellers when executed well. Buyers are inundated with messages all day long from every possible angle, from generic emails and voicemails to unsolicited meeting invites and LinkedIn connection requests.

It takes more than a blanket email to get a buyer to talk. Vendors need to show buyers that they understand the problem and are ready with a solution that works for that specific business, based on a buyer’s content consumption and online behavior. Buyers are much more willing to speak with a vendor who has been listening, and sellers have a much better chance at closing the deal.

#3 – When it comes to content, less can be more

B2B marketers are creating content at record highs, with 70 percent creating more this year compared last. But more isn’t always better. Companies should think quality over quantity when it comes to content creation. It isn’t about having the most content; it’s about having the right content for your audience. Every asset you create should be helpful in some way – speaking to market pain points, purchase drivers and solutions.

#4 – Think “life cycle” over “buy cycle”

As marketers, we’re constantly talking about the buy cycle and which content maps to each stage. However, instead of focusing on the buy cycle, concentrate on the life cycle. Lots of companies make the mistake of neglecting customers once a purchase has been made. However, in many instances there are cross-sell and up-sell opportunities available – you just have to look for them. Don’t stop marketing to your customers once they have purchased your solution, follow them throughout their entire life cycle to better satisfy the customer experience and continually grow your business.

#5 – Enable channel partners with more than money

Channel partners are just that – partners. While providing funds for marketing initiatives is all well and good, sharing strategy, direction and content in addition to funding is much better. When your channel partners win, you win. So why not enable your partners with what’s necessary to succeed? By providing partners with additional resources you not only empower them to be successful, you ensure their messaging and marketing plans align with your company goals and guidelines.

Rave Reviews from Raleigh Tech Marketers

Overall, the first #ROISummit in North Carolina was a huge success. And don’t just take my word for it; check out what attendees had to say on Twitter:

To see more of what other’s had to say about the Raleigh summit, check feedback and conversations posted on Twitter throughout the event.

What Did You Takeaway?

Whether you attended or not, we’d love to hear from you. If you did attend, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We’d love to learn about your key takeaways and how you plan to use the tips and best practices discussed in your upcoming marketing programs.

If you didn’t make it, we hope to see you next time, but encourage feedback on the types of content and sessions that would be most helpful to you and your team. Take a look at our upcoming TechTarget ROI Summit events this year in Singapore, Sydney and Boston and if you have any tech marketing colleagues that sit in the Northeast or in APAC, please pass the link along!

 

Top 5 image via Shutterstock

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