From the moment the 2000+ attendees crossed the literal racing Starting Line to attend the conference, the focus was on how to break away from peers and outperform the status quo. In the spirit of Nashville's diverse and vibrant music scene, here's our mix tape of enterprise learnings from #SDSUMMIT 2015.
#1 – Alignment is the New Black
There is a renewed emphasis on the importance of sales in the B2B buying process and the subsequent alignment. Companies that effectively align across the organization realize one-third more growth or 19 percent greater than peers or 25 percent profit increase. As SiriusDecisions founder John Neeson noted, inspiring keynote speaker Magic Johnson owns no records in number of points scored; he is a catalyst for alignment and makes the teams he works for better. He is the record holder in assists and steals. He aligns his teams and makes them great. That is our role as marketing and sales leaders in our organizations.
#2 – Are you a Digital First, Digital Hybrid or Digital Support Org?
In Building the Digital Organization, we learned digital first companies are those with 65 percent of sales and marketing touchpoints online. A digital support organization, such as those for highly complex product sales, are 35 percent digital. Hybrids are between the two with three sub-types: high purchase complexity (standard offering, self driven) or custom offering (Low ASP, self driven) or design driven ( high ASP, standard offering). Each has its own mix of required organizational skills, process and measurement, and technology needs which the audience now has a Sirius framework to think about.
#3 – What gets Measured, Gets Kept
Informal networking discussions with CMO and VP attendees revealed that while they are investing an ever greater percentage of marketing spend into the data-driven, analytically proven marketing tactics and technology, there is concern over disinvesting in the classic marketing "art" programs. This is not because these programs are delivering lower ROI, but because it is difficult to adequately measure those programs. One exec compared his measurement endeavor by saying its like "chasing the Holy Grail" and others expressed some concern about dropping classical marketing techniques from the mix simply because it's difficult to justify to the Board and C-suite. Time will tell what results these changes bring.
#4 And The Winner Is….
A most valuable peer company presentation in our opinion was by Holly Rollo and LinLin Li from FireEye with their ROI Award Winning case study on marketing transformation through marketing operational effectiveness. They discussed their agile journey and how they gained organizational credibility with time. In addition, GE Healthcare showcased their roadmap for successfully changing a large enterprise company's lead funnel, lead scoring and employee training deployment to grow 300 percent. This marketing team created a core team of 56 people across multiple stakeholder groups for an innovative REACH team (Revenue, Efficiency, Alignment, Customers, High quality) that interviewed sales and marketing staff and multiple execs to get alignment and then communicate, communicate, communicate ad they trained hundreds of sales people.
The authentic Americana music and culture added a very unique dimension to this year’s event with the last night Titanium event of a private, fenced off downtown block party next to the famous Ryman Auditorium and the late B.B. King's blues club. A large number of attendees dressed for the occasion, and one CMO told us his greatest takeaway was his new cowboy boots (in addition to 10 action items he and his team are taking back to their company)
If you attended this event, what is your key takeaway? Please comment below!
Editor's Note: Today’s post is co-written courtesy of Jocelyn King and Jon Russo who each serve on the board of directors for MO-CCA, the leading enterprise association for Marketing Operations professionals dedicated to marketing effectiveness.
In addition to being the President of MO-CCA, Jocelyn King is currently Sr. Director, Worldwide Corporate Marketing of Altera, leading a staff of 85 in 10 locations globally, including demand generation, online marketing and marketing operations.
Jon Russo is the founder of B2B Fusion, a professional services firm that modernizes old demand generation practices to new to drive more revenue for clients like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Level(3) Communications, Thomson Reuters, PGi, and Monetate, among others.