Sales Management

Stop Doing Marketing Campaigns

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November 15, 2022

3 mins read

Gabe on GTM Feature

Stop Doing Marketing Campaigns


Not what you expected to come out of a go-to-market leader’s mouth, is it? Hopefully it got your attention. 

I’m not suggesting that you stop doing campaigns. After all, Demandbase is in the business of helping you go to market smarter. What I am suggesting is that you stop thinking of campaigns as marketing-only tactics. It’s time to think of campaigns as joint sales and marketing plays. 

Here’s why.

We used to think of the buyer’s journey as a linear process, moving from qualified to aware. From aware to engaged. From engaged to opportunity and opportunity to purchase. You may have slightly different journey stages, but you get the drift. 

And we all thought of our part in the journey, as solution providers, as a relay race where marketing ran the first few laps at the top of the funnel, handing the baton to sales when a lead became an opportunity. And sales took it from there to close…hopefully!

We now know that the B2B buyer’s journey is much more complex. There are multiple decision-makers and the process moves forward and backward with various buying committee members being at various stages of the journey. And vendors need to think of it more like a soccer game, where all their team members — from sales, marketing, and even customer success — are on the field moving the ball back and forth as needed to meet the buying team members wherever they are. The goal is still to move down the field and score the win, but it doesn’t move in a straight line and the handoffs between sales and marketing happen all the way down the field. 

In this world, sales and marketing need to be tightly aligned in everything they do, and that goes for running campaigns. Doing so can make a huge difference. 

At Demandbase, we run monthly sales blitzes to drive pipeline generation. Each blitz targets specific accounts and personas based on a relevant topic and offer.

Marketing and sales agree on the focus. Marketing then shares the recommended targeted audiences with sales, based on intent surges, marketing engagement data, and qualification criteria, and orchestrates an integrated multi-channel campaign. The joint team experiments each time, with sales teams trying new creative prospecting strategies. For example, using direct mail, video prospecting, or cameos in their outreach.

These joint marketing and sales blitzes mark Demandbase’s highest SQL producing weeks, generating 35% more opportunities than any other week of the quarter.

In another example, our customer Diebold Nixdorf has achieved incredible results by taking a collaborative sales and marketing approach to their ad campaigns. The teams agree on target accounts and meet bi-weekly throughout each campaign to analyze engagement and optimize where they’re seeing strong results. They’re far exceeding industry benchmarks, and improvements really jumped when they implemented their new feedback loop between sales and marketing. If you want to read the full story, you’ll find all the details in their case study

So how do you implement this kind of collaborative process? Here’s what I recommend.

  1. Involve sales in the campaign strategy. Typically marketing takes the lead on campaign planning, but it’s important to bring sales to the table as you set goals, select audiences / target accounts, discuss key messages, tactics, budget, and timing. This is important to get early buy-in.
  2. Enable sales. Communicate early. Provide training where needed. Assign roles and set expectations for who does what and when. Be clear about what marketing will do, when SDRs are to get involved, and when account execs should pile on.
  3. Align on metrics. Will it be meetings set, pipeline created, converting accounts from one stage to the next. The goals of the campaign — that sales hopefully bought into at step 1 — will determine what you measure.

It’s really pretty simple. The key is to work as one team with different positions — referring back to the soccer analogy. Every player, from sales and marketing, needs to step onto the field with a sense of ownership and responsibility for results. 

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Gabe Rogol

CEO, Demandbase

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