The 3 big things I learned from the TechTarget ROI Summit

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Peter Ross

VP, Corporate Marketing

Over the past two days we hosted our annual TechTarget ROI Summit at our headquarters just outside Boston. It’s our opportunity to share, connect and engage with local technology marketers about what we are seeing in the marketplace, IT buying intentions and market intelligence on IT preferences as it relates to media consumption and the most effective content marketing approaches.

The most important part of these two days is to hear marketer feedback, questions and strategies along with insight from their customers, the IT professionals their products and solutions support. To that end, our most popular sessions involve first-hand discussions from senior IT professionals and presentations from senior level tech marketers.

Catch all that? Well, those of you who are inhumanly adept at multi-tasking caught all of that and the rest of you with shorter attention spans (read: the large majority) probably only caught some of it. Which is precisely the point. When attending events like these, everyone takes away a little something different based on the unique market they are in, their role(s) and responsibilities, and quite frankly, their personal preferences and connections they make with the presenters and the subject matter. I guess we are all selfish in that way…

Knowing that it is virtually impossible to go over all of the tremendous amount covered over the course of 12 hours of sessions combined,  I wanted to break down my own observations into three brief takeaways from the Summit:

  1. “Old school marketing = passing leads to sales. New school marketing = sharing intelligence with sales.”
    This theme kept repeating itself with each of the presentations, tweets (#TTGTSummit) and comments from the tech marketers and subject matter experts in attendance. One dimensional leads only tell part of the story. By analyzing the digital body language and preferences of IT buyers, marketers are in a better position to equip sales teams with the type of information they need to have more successful sales engagements with the entire buying team.
  2. “It’s not who you know. It’s what you know about who you know.”
    More and more research is being completed long before the first sales meeting even takes place.  Market research points to the fact that serious IT buyers have already completed 60%+ of their research before they ever engage a vendor. The buyer is more in control of the sales process than ever before. So it is critically important that tech sales teams know more about the IT buying team than ever before – pain points, installed solutions, other vendors they are looking at. As a technology marketer and sales team, you have to know more about each buying team before you make that first call in order to make the short list.
  3. “If you want to win the deal, then you have to know where the deals are happening.”
    Seems pretty simple and straightforward but some marketers are still using the “spray and pray” method of outreach to determine what is happening at key target accounts. The game has changed. If marketers are not leveraging data analytics aligned to their content nurturing and sales strategies then they are missing the mark with the right technology buyers at the right time.

I know by closely watching the Twitter feed of the event, there were many other takeaways and lessons learned throughout each of the sessions.

Curious to know from the other marketers who attended, what were your three top takeaways? We want to hear from you.

customer intelligence, IT buy cycles, IT deal generation, marketing intelligence, new school marketing, sales enablement

8 Responses to “The 3 big things I learned from the TechTarget ROI Summit”

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    Shawn Rasmussen

    Great Event – Creating “call to action”s was my big take away from the event. Have a “call to action” on your landing page, in white papers, etc. An obvious tip, but one I don’t see used as much as it should.

  2. Sandra Nangeroni
    Sandra Nangeroni

    Another takeaway we heard from Senior IT Panelists was there is no one preferred format of content that works best all the time. It’s more about what’s in it that counts. However there also only so much time in a day to sift through all vendor solution material so be as succinct and concise with your value proposition as possible and how it can help solve my business problem(s).

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    I would say the biggest thing I learned from the TechTarget ROI Summit were the panelists discussing what it takes for a vendor to influence an IT decision.

    Specifically, one of the panelist said that the vendor must present large differentiators in their solution compared to the one they currently have installed. The benefits that a vendor is going to bring must be worth the amount of time it would take to implement a new solution. If the benefit is minor, it would not be worth the investment in the eyes of the CIO.

  4. Avatar

    2 things stood out to me:

    1 – 50% of IT research and buying teams consist of 5+ people so you must create messages and content that resonate with each one. Not easy given flat marketing budgets and headcounts over the past few years.

    2 – 90% of leads are still obtained via email. Digital marketing is great and every brand should leverage it, but not lose sight of the impact that a smart, targeted and relevant email campaign can have with an IT audience when used in combination with other marketing tactics.

  5. Garrett Mann

    1. Listen to your customers before you speak to them
    2. If you wait for prospects to “tell” you they are BANT qualified, you are already too late. Read their “digital body language” instead.
    3. Emerging markets are no longer “emerging”. They have arrived and are ready to hear from vendors earlier and more often during the buy cycle, especially in LATAM and China.

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    1) It’s important to know in what stage your technology falls – hype, mainstream, mature, decline. Then, offer appropriate marketing and content for it. Unfortunately, many marketers don’t consider this.
    2) Content also needs to match where the prospect is in the buying cycle.Just as every asset isn’t right for every prospect, nor is every asset right for the same prospect in different stages of the buying cycle.

  7. Avatar

    It was very reassuring to hear Courtney Kay’s presentation on Leveraging Marketing Intelligence in Content Planning. We are also implementing persona- and segment-base marketing. It was also great learn about the new types of assets that Tech Target is building. Great seminar. Great networking. Sign me up for the next one!

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