Trends in Pipeline Marketing and Why They Matter

A conversation with Scott Armstrong, Partner and CEO, BrainRider by Anastasia Phillips

Anastasia: What is Pipeline Marketing?
Scott: Pipeline marketing, or PM, is marketing that leverages new digital tools and technologies for better visibility and performance out of a combined marketing and sales model. It is done by integrating demand generation, lead nurturing and lead management into one overall strategy and plan. Tools include CRM tools, your website, marketing automation and on top of that other campaign and deployment measurement tools, such as Demandbase, Uberflip or Bizable. More importantly it is not about the tools, it’s about an integrated strategy plan and execution.  The tools enable this to happen in a way that was not available to marketers before.

Anastasia: Why is it Important?
Scott:  It produces more measurable results so that you, as a marketer, can better run, plan, improve your campaign and ultimately, generate more revenue more quickly.

Anastasia: What has been your biggest learning pursuing pipeline marketing?
Scott: PM is a strategy, not just a tool or a tactic.

All strategies need to be customized to the objectives, target audience and value proposition. I get asked, “Hey, do landing pages work?” The answer is: it depends on your objective, your target audience and your value proposition.

Anastasia: So what is new about this?
Scott: It’s not brand new, but the way you build your plan and use the tools to make it happen is new. There is a lot more data available to the marketer now and agile tools to both connect with the customer and understand their interaction.

Let’s compare how we used to do B2B direct mail versus an email campaign. With a B2B letter campaign we can track a letter that was sent. The responses were measured by BRCs or 1-800 #s.  Today, we can track which link was opened, which web pages they’ve viewed, which contact they’ve downloaded and which CTA converted them. In addition, we can track colleagues from the same company that are engaging at the same time, along with the dollar value of their specific purchases. 

Anastasia: What are the trends you foresee in pipeline marketing?
Scott: The evolution of permission-based marketing and privacy compliance is the most popular trend but it isn’t new.  Permission Based Marketing by Seth Godin was written 20 years before these tools were even made available.

The top 3 trends are:

  1. Tool penetration is exceeding 50% of the market and more marketers are on their way in this journey. It’s no longer about having the tools, it’s about using the tools well.  Current challenges are that marketers are not updating their strategic and tactical planning to match their new tool set. For example, business are still working on 12-month budgeting instead of quarterly budgeting or historical budgeting vs. performance budgeting. 
  2. The next key trend is talent pool.  Training a new generation of young marketers skilled in pipeline planning and execution is key.
  3. With the amount of data that is available, permission-based marketing and privacy compliance/best practices are evolving.

To learn more, attend CMApipecon on Tuesday, April 24 from 8-11am.

About the Author: Anastasia Phillips is Marketing Manager, Data Center Storage & SaaS, Softchoice

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