Brian Carroll

Aha! Marketing Leaders Reveal Their Most Powerful Business Insights from 2011

At the B2B Summit 2011 in San Francisco, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content at MECLABS, asked me and a few other attendees to reveal our most important “aha” moments in 2011. Our responses are compiled in the video below; hearing what my colleagues had to say produced even more “aha” moments for me, and I’m sure they will for you, too.

In fact, this will be well worth investing nine minutes to watch if you want a serious dose of inspiration and insight. You can also review the timestamps for a quick summary.

:31 – Jason Striker, Digital Marketing Director of ICM Document Solutions, insists that even if an organization says they don’t have the money to make a purchase, they’ll still manage to find a way to buy something if they really want it. “It’s not the economy that’s stopping you from getting sales, it’s your message.”

1:01 – Jay Baer, President of Convince and Convert and Author of The Now Revolution, believes that the path to an organization’s social media success can never be paved by a single expert, “It’s about distributing social media responsibilities across the whole enterprise.”

1:23 – Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO of MECLABS, says marketers are finally realizing that optimization is not about “seizing opportunity” it’s about recovering the millions of dollars lost through leaking sales and marketing funnels. “Marketers need to think like plumbers and find the leaks and plug them.”

2:40 – Karen Hayward, CMO and EVP of CenterBeam, believes it’s time for marketers to be accountable for results and has been working diligently with her team throughout 2011 to demonstrate that. “2011 was about … owning our accountability.”

3:19 – Michelle Mogelson Levy, Associate VP of Marketing Programs, ECI Telecom, says 2011 was a watershed for her. “Everything I thought was true wasn’t.” She went on to explain that written processes are meaningless without real relationships with your sales team. “I learned what alignment really was, and how to align the sales and marketing organization to really create a cohesive group.”

3:57 – Milap Shah, CEO of Nexsales, warns marketers that when it comes to data that drives the lead-generation campaigns, you get what you pay for. “Working with a so-called ‘inexpensive’  list could cost firms 2 ½ to 3 times more; it pays to pay more and stay targeted.”

4:37 – I explain how marketing is about building relationships, and how marketing must play a leadership role in transforming companies from the inside so they can transform outside relationships.

5:37 – Kristin Zhivago, President, Zhivago Management Partners and author of Roadmap to Revenue, reveals that over the past few months, buyers are changing the way they purchase. “In the intense scrutiny of the B2B environment, they’re talking to peers first…they don’t want to read websites.” Zhivago explains why: sellers aren’t even close to aligning their websites to how buyers want to buy.

6:37 – Ge Moua, Senior Demand Generation Manager, Unify, says her “aha” moment came when she defined her job as being the liaison between sales and marketing. “For a long time sales and marketing were very siloed … today we’re working together to achieve the same goal.”

7:30 – Tracey DeMay, Marketing Manager, CenterBeam, advises making sure you’re always talking “with” not “at” your customers and meeting them where they’re at. “By the time they reach out to us, they’ve made a decision or they narrowed it down. They’re much farther along in the buying process than before.”

8:12 – Tony Doty, Senior Manager, Research & Strategy, MECLABS, was surprised by how marketing teams in big companies are facing the very same challenges as those in small ones, whether that’s terrible data, poorly tracked metrics, or lack of measurement. “There are huge companies that are just as green as the startups,” he confesses.

What were your biggest “aha” moments this year? I’d love to hear about them, share them in the comments below.

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Lead Generation, Leadership, Marketing Strategy, Sales, Thought Leadership, Uncategorized



  1. | #1

    Thanks for the good info. My biggest aha in reviewing 2011 is we need to refocus on great marketing first instead of getting wrapped around the axle on sales only. It’s a back-to-the-basics thought regarding the importance of relationships.

    Best,
    Mike

  2. | #2

    Hmmm… Here’s what I particularly liked,

    5:37 – Kristin Zhivago, President, Zhivago Management Partners and author of Roadmap to Revenue, reveals that over the past few months, buyers are changing the way they purchase. “In the intense scrutiny of the B2B environment, they’re talking to peers first…they don’t want to read websites.” Zhivago explains why: sellers aren’t even close to aligning their websites to how buyers want to buy.

    Well, I guess, a lot of sellers out there (including me), thought that everyone googles first when they want to buy something. But after Kristin’s “aha”, I realized, whoa, that’s also what I do. I ask a peer first before googling. And yes, there’s definitely a lot of false positives over the internet (unfortunately they’re the ones that rank).

    Hmm… which made me think, engagement really is the key. Good discussion point with my team.

  3. | #3

    Hi Brian. LOved the first one. “even if an organization says they don’t have the money to make a purchase, they’ll still manage to find a way to buy something if they really want it. “It’s not the economy that’s stopping you from getting sales, it’s your message.” I agree with this. If a company presently don’t have the budget to buy something but if they really NEED it, then they will find ways for that. It’s just how you deliver the message and how you convince them.

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