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The bottom line: time for tech marketing to take control

Will someone please remind me what we do all this for?  The events, email shots and microsites. The social, blogs and videos I thought they were to help companies make money. It seems I was mistaken.

Because this year’s B2B Technology Marketing lead generation survey – completed by 845 tech marketers at the end of 2012 – says 25% don’t even know how many of their leads turn into business.

Those 211 respondents need to ask themselves: are you actually in business, or are you only playing? “Show me the money!” – Jerry Maguire

These days, boards want proof that marketing investment is making a real difference to the bottom line. Not PDF downloads, not Facebook “likes”, not even new business meetings. How much pipeline did your campaigns actually generate? How much of that pipeline converted to sales?

And actually, they have a point. You can blame sales colleagues all you like, but if your marketing isn’t helping to generate revenue somewhere along the way, then why are you doing it?

Leads are no longer enough. A direct, visible connection between marketing campaigns and revenue impact is the key to recognition at the executive and board levels. Revenue-centric marketing is now king.

For a couple of years now, Forrester have been promoting “Lead to Revenue Management” (L2RM) to the technology marketing industry. How it should be adopted as a marketing function. How tech companies who do it thrive, and those that don’t, don’t. And they’re underperforming right.

Leads are essential, of course. But if nobody is managing and tracking the process from initial prospect awareness through to consideration and purchase to on-going revenue generation for each and every single lead… then, ultimately, you may as well never have bothered.

If technology marketing wants to remain relevant, it needs to change its approach. How? Let’s start with four suggestions on how to refocus and retool… Read more