San Francisco—Tony Jaros, senior VP-research at SiriusDecisions, highlighted the importance of digital marketing in creating demand and driving the entire sales cycle during a keynote presentation at BtoB's Digital Edge Live conference Wednesday.
The conference attracted more than 200 b-to-b marketers and agency executives, and featured thought-leadership discussions on social media, content strategy, mobile marketing and lead generation.
“Digital is woven into the entire fabric of what we do,” Jaros said during the keynote. “With careful planning, digital can provide meaningful, measurable and end-to-end demand impact.”
Jaros presented a rearchitected “demand waterfall,” a concept SiriusDecisions developed to show the alignment of marketing and sales throughout the buyer's journey.
At the first stage is the inquiry, whether from inbound or outbound marketing efforts.
“This is someone raising their hand—it is the raw fuel that goes into the demand waterfall,” Jaros said. “Inbound is becoming the dominant method of lead generation in today's digital space.”
The second stage is marketing qualification, which Jaros described as “the first line of defense leads go through in a marketing automation platform.” This stage includes teleprospecting and lead scoring, before leads are qualified and turned over to sales.
It is at this stage that digital marketing can have an important impact, Jaros said.
“We have to market at the persona level with content,” he said.
According to a recent SiriusDecisions survey of CMOs, the top forms of content used to drive inbound marketing include social media (84%), SEO (84%), keyword advertising (81%), display advertising (67%), online demos (63%) and content syndication (61%).
Jaros said individual lead scoring is important, but “two years from now, what we'll really be talking about is scoring by account—this is the future of digital.”
The third stage of the demand waterfall is sales qualification, during which the sales organization accepts and qualifies the leads. The final stage is the close.
“The tactic itself, the media or the approach mean absolutely nothing unless these things are all woven together,” Jaros said.