Lead Management with End-to-End Digital Marketing – by Christopher Ryan

B2B Marketing is hot hot hot.

In fact it seems to be overheating with a plethora of terms that are used to describe similar, well …, related marketing techniques.

  • Lead nurturing
  • Drip campaigns
  • Lead qualification,
  • Lead scoring
  • Sales development,
  • Contact management
  • (B2B) Marketing automation
  • etc

High time for somebody to bring order into this chaos and explain how the above fit together.

And they do all fit together, namely they are all aspects of lead management.

Thankfully, the next article in our DigitalMarketingOne series for the CMO is on lead management and comes to us by Christopher Ryan.

Chris is president of Fusion Marketing Partners. He is well known in B2B marketing with twenty-five years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience.

Wow, with 25 years looking at this it must be fun to reflect how much B2B marketing will have changed in the digital age. Digital’s knack for interactivity is just Purrrrfect for B2B. And doing digital marketing for B2B without interactivity would seem a crime today.

For additional resources on B2B marketing from Chris visit fusionmarketingpartners.com or contact the author at cryan – at – fusionmarketingpartners.com.

Content Marketing: How to Engage with Your Target Audience – by Ardath Albee

Now that our Digital Marketing One series for CMOs reviewed the most critical know-how for a variety of channels, the focus shifts to digital marketing techniques.

You can apply these marketing techniques across digital channels.

And the first insights that I’d like to point readers to come from writer and consultant Ardath Albee on content marketing.

To paraphrase from Ardath’s article, the best content marketers have been able to:

  1. increase lead conversion rates (e.g. by 70%!!!)
  2. make it more likely that leads will respond to calls
  3. and – most impressive to me – increase average sales values!!

Yet,content marketers also have the Internet awash with bezillions of “Top 10 tricks” guides and bezillions of free webinars on every conceivable topic. So, it can be really, really hard to get good marketing returns on your content.

Ardath’s article provides golden advice to strategize on your content development in a systematic manner.

Ardath Albee Ardath‘s book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale was recently released by McGraw-Hill. Ardath is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She applies her business management and marketing experience to help companies with complex sales use eMarketing strategies to generate more and better sales opportunities.

I asked Ardath recently which industries (besides B2B) benefit from content marketing. Here was her response:

All industries can find benefit from content marketing. My focus just happens to be B2B companies with complex sales that require building engagement over time with lots of education and expertise and more than one person involved in the decision. Yet, the equivalent in B2C markets would be buying a house or buying a car or even life insurance or investing for retirement or to fund your children’s college education.

An example in B2C are Baby Center’s iterative emails for new parents who need to learn a lot to raise children.

I think the difference is really in the approach and type of content selected. For example, Lego would likely do well by creating content that engages kids in what they can build, creating interactive games, contests, etc. And, I’d even bet there’s a niche out there with adults who haven’t ever given them up.

To learn more from Ardath, check out the following:

Social Media: Four Metrics for Success – by Jim Sterne

“The key to improving your returns on social media marketing is combining a firm belief in this brave, new method of contact with a committed course of experimentation and discovery, and a resolute dedication to measuring results in order to determine value as you learn.” – from Jim Sterne’s article

Or, as my colleague Jay Henderson at Unica / IBM puts it: “Don’t just dabble in new media but adopt a continuous process of experimentation and measurement”

Jim’s article is next up in the Digital Marketing One CMO series for digital marketing. Read key advice by the author whose seven books include Social Media Metrics. Jim also produces the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and is the founding president of the Web Analytics Association.

Jim’s article completes the Channel Insight’s section in our Digital Marketing One short series. In summary, the following authors contributed Channel specific know how into this series.

Next, we will look into advice on marketing techniques. Email marketing is obviously missing in the list above and will be addressed in the context of demand generation.

Mobile Marketing: Creating a Dialogue with Customers – by Kim Dushinski (Mobile Marketing Profits)

Kim Dushinski “Mobile Marketing is not about sending unwanted text messages to people or simply offering discounts via the mobile channel. It is about creating a meaningful exchange on mobile with your customers.” – from Kim Dushinski’s article

That quote from Kim’s article in our Digital Marketing One CMO eBook series sums up the biggest challenge with the mobile channel for marketers.

Yes, there are also lots of technical questions with mobile (e.g. security, analytics, display sizes, capabilities, etc.) that “make digital marketers work harder to make sure it works on these tiny devices.”

But don’t let those technical questions obstruct what marketers most need to think about for doing their mobile channel justice.

Kim’s company Mobile Marketing Profits helps local businesses use mobile marketing to get more customers. She helps people start their own mobile marketing business and become mobile marketing entrepreneurs. She is also the author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook.

Read Kim’s article and chime in with your own questions.

Local Search: Engaging Customers by Alan See, Berry Network

For the right kind of business, local search is an indispensable opportunity for promoting your offering. With the wildfire spread of smart phones it is also getting that much more play.

Perfect that the next five-star article in the DigitalMarketingOne eBook series is on how to find and engage customers with local search and written by no other than Alan See, CMO of Berry Network, an At&T company. Alan was a speaker in this week’s CustomerThink B2B Summit. He also serves as an associate faculty member for the University of Phoenix’s College of Business & Management.

Doing Local Search justice is getting increasingly hard because, to quote from Alan, Local Search provides: “the ability to promote, but also persuade since most local search platforms include ratings and reviews. “.

In fact the Google / Yelp business models might merge increasingly. So if we don’t pay close attention to how our local brand is represented local search can be as much a liability as it is an opportunity.

Read Alan’s popular article and chime in with your own questions.

Jan 27th: B2B Digital Marketing – Virtual Summit

Register for the virtual summit on B2B Digital Marketing taking place tomorrow, Jan 27th. A great roster of speakers from Digital Marketing One is staffing interactive panels and will explore top issues for digital marketing leaders.

B2B digital Marketing Summit

Join on January 27 for one or more of these sessions:

Session 1: 9-10 a.m. PST
Demand Generation that Delivers: From Leads to Revenue

Robert Lesser, Tony Zambito and Jon Miller will discuss how using buyer personas and buyer experience can help craft a thriving digital marketing plan.

Session 2: 10-11 a.m. PST
Using Social Media Marketing to Reach Your Strategic Goals

Jim Sterne and Alan See will discuss the success metrics and the role of CXOs.

Session 3: 11 a.m.-12 noon PST
Achieving Multi-Channel Optimization in the Digital World

Akin Arikan and Laura Patterson will talk about best practices in managing and measuring digital marketing performance.

Sign up once (registration is FREE) and you’ll get access to all sessions

Search marketing: 3 use cases and how to optimize, by Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting

The second article in our series on digital strategy for the CMO at Digital Marketing One is about Search Marketing: Optimizing Paid and Organic Search. The author is Eric Enge, of Stone Temple Consulting.

It goes without saying that Search Marketing is the primary online channel for acquiring new customers. But check out Eric’s article for a reminder of two other use cases for that mustn’t be neglected.

I also liked Eric’s reminder that both PPC and SEO are competitive disciplines, i.e. you must out-do your competitors in order to succeed. That explains why both require continuous effort.

A word about Eric

Eric is a partner with Stone Temple which has been providing SEO Consulting services for over 5 years to clients ranging from small silicon valley start-ups to Fortune 25 companies. Eric is also co-author of The Art of SEO book.

How can You Increase Digital Marketing ROI and Accountability?

How can you increase digital marketing ROI and accountability? Isn’t that the question that keeps digital marketers and CMOs up at night?

The DigitalMarketingOne Founders Council has spent the last couple of months collaborating to gather cross-functional advice on this question. The result is a series of short articles from our Founders Council members. Bob Thompson, CEO of Customer Think is the editor in chief for the project.

What’s new here?

The cool and really remarkable thing here is that each author is an expert in a different niche within digital marketing.  And so collectively the articles will break across digital silos and show how the many puzzle pieces can be assembled into a digital strategy that supports the business.

Kicking it off with the Strategic Roadmap for Digital Marketing

As the chair of the Founders Council, I have had the pleasure to coordinate our collaboration during the project. And I have had the honor of kicking off the article series earlier this month with the strategic roadmap for digital marketing which has also been discussed on this blog before.

Now, on to the First Area of Expert Advice: Digital Marketing Channels

With the top level strategy set, the first set of articles summarize the minimum that a chief marketer must know about various digital channels. It is one of the most remarkable but also most challenging aspects of digital just how many channels there are (advertising, search, email, social, mobile, etc. etc.)

You can’t hope to increase ROI and accountability without channel specific know-how.

First Channel know-how Article: Ted Boyd on Interactive Advertising

So, with that I’d like to point you to the first article in the series that was published within the area of channel expertise. We are kicking of with Ted Boyd’s advice on Interactive Advertising.

There are two kinds of advertising online that have something to do with interactivity. Namely, targeted advertising on the one hand and directly interactive ads on the other hand that may for example include a little video or game. Ted’s key advice is focused on the latter kind of ad.

Key take away: Interactivity is the major strength that the Internet has over offline advertising. So, Interactive Ads are an opportunity that digital marketers must at least consider to do digital justice. Yet, a measurement strategy will be key so you can prove that the extra effort of making the ad interactive pays back.

A few words about Ted Boyd

Ted is CEO of 58Ninety Inc., a Toronto-based Digital Agency. 58Ninety helps clients create strategies and engaging experiences that span multiple technologies, platforms and media channels. Mr. Boyd is the founding President of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, a Director of The Audit Bureau of Circulations, Chair of the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ Canadian Digital Advisory Committee and a Director of CBC/Radio-Canada.

Read his article on Interactive Advertising here.

Spiders vs. Bars for Maturity Models

Sharp, as always, Jacques Warren commented on my previous post why maturity model people always gravitate to Spider graphs?

Wouldn’t it be easier to read bar charts?

Worth a try!

So, belowe are the three examples from the digital marketing maturity model as bar charts instead of spider diagrams.

Which to prefer, Spider or Bars?

Comparing to the spider charts from the previous post, I’d say Jacques is right on. The Spider charts look more sophisticated and interesting. But the bar charts are much easier to read.

Graph masters

Dress your charts to impress. That may sometimes mean making them look fancy, but usually probably means making them meaningful and easy to interpret.

There is nothing that “sells” analytics like good visuals.

To that point, some people are just so genius that I feel hopelessly behind to their masterminds. Case in point, see for example the following Halloween costume chart by “MB“.

Halloween costume guide

Happy Halloween!

Maturity Model for Digital Marketing Strategy

It makes sense to have a maturity model as a companion to the new digital-marketing strategy framework . (See the thumbnail of the framework below.)


What’s a maturity model?

Maturity models are well established today. Their purpose is to be a roadmap to marketers. You find your personal “You are Here” point on the map. Then you see what next steps you may wish to consider for further growth.

How does this model (below) relate to the framework (above)?

The framework proposed five major components for digital-marketing strategy:

  1. Setting Digital’s mission
  2. Deriving the digital strategy
  3. Deriving the interaction strategy
  4. ROI measurement and improvement
  5. Technology strategy

The job of the maturity model below is to score different levels of maturity with each of these 5 different areas.

Here is the Maturity Model

Click to expand

Maturity model for digital marketing strategy

How can we use this model?

Below are three examples of typical companies that you will find in the market place today.

1: Digital laggards

Typical laggards may look like the following spider chart when scored against the digital strategy maturity model. Usually there is no defined mission, or only a vague or basic definition for the contribution of the digital channel.

And everything goes downhill from there.

Sadly, many CPG, pharma, manufacturing, or book publishing companies find themselves in this boat. The reason is not ignorance at all. It is that these business models make it hardest to prove the contribution that their digital channel has on the business. They typically don’t sell directly, neither online nor offline.

Digital-marketing maturity model example - digital laggards

These companies will need very creative business and ROI measurement strategies to unlock their digital potential.

2: Digital leaders that lack cross-channel integration

Digital marketers can get very sophisticated within their silo without yet taking a look beyond their plates. So many web teams have grown up in isolation from the rest of marketing (or sit outside marketing alltogther) so that they slide into this one-way street.

Digital-marketing maturity model example - digital leader

Part of the reason for the online-only silos has also been that marketers have tried to avoid their IT departments at all cost. That locked them into SaaS only technologies and clicks & cookies only views of their customers.

Again, it wasn’t for ignorance. For many reasons, IT at most companies has been ill equipped to support digital marketing. So marketers that experienced this voted IT off the island and crossed to using SaaS technologies in the past 5-8 years.

3: Digital leaders including a true cross-channel view

While still the tip of the pyramid, you now increasingly enocunter digital marketers that have moved beyond the digital silo. They are typically building data warehouses that bring together customers’ online click behavior with the same customers’ offline transactions and other marketing data.

They prioritized these (not cheap) projects because they realized a true (i.e. cross-channel) view of ROI of digital strategies was necessary in order for company leadership to take the digital channel seriously. They also use this central data mart as the basis for cross-channel marketing integration, e.g. re-marketing, cross-sales, or retention marketing. 

Digital-marketing maturity model example - cross-channel leaders

Even these leaders don’t necessarily apply long term analytics yet. I am thinking of analytical methods such as Kevin Hillstrom’s Multichannel Forensics. He aims to predict longer term migrations of customers across channels or products to help companies decide where they should invest now based on that forecast.


There are many frameworks and maturity models. They each have their merrits, and their blind spots. See a few good ones below:

Take a look around and pick the models that best speak to your own business needs.