6 Skills Marketers Need To Thrive In 2018

Martha Schwartz

One of the best parts of my job is meeting with and learning from B2B marketers as they share insights into their strategies to drive performance, their campaign tactics, even their career aspirations. After years of these types of engagements, I can quickly identify marketers who are taking proactive steps to advance their careers. These… Read More

Keys to Content Success: Prioritize People and Business Goals

Martha Schwartz

I’d like to build on a series of excellent content-marketing strategy insights from my former colleague John Siefert. His blog emphasizes time and again the business and revenue impact of content, which is not surprising given his background in sales and business leadership.   These issues are especially relevant today because you’ll soon be developing… Read More

4 Ways To Thrive as the Waterfall Evolves

Edward Grossman

As a B2B marketing leader, you see firsthand how the demand-gen business is evolving, with new buying-process influencers, new buying triggers and, perhaps most important to you, new strategies required to succeed. The challenge we face in keeping pace explains the buzz around the new Demand Unit Waterfall model from SiriusDecisions. The point of this… Read More

Introducing Activate Waterfall: How To Fill Your Funnel With Quality Names

Martha Schwartz

The typical demand marketing organization is adept at running campaigns that deliver one type of prospect – typically top- or bottom-funnel – to their sales partners. While that’s been a viable model for the last several years, a high volume of names in a single funnel stage no longer meets the requirements of most sales… Read More

Introducing Activate Tech Score

Edward Grossman

We’re thrilled to be launching our latest demand generation solution, Activate Tech Score. This snackable-shareable quiz is an interactive, buyer-led assessment that enables users to self-identify pain-points, providing them the right content and delivering marketers high-quality prospects. For tech buyers, these fun quizzes quickly help users assess where they are in their own buying journey, and clarify their… Read More

5 Steps to Full Funnel Marketing

Martha Schwartz

Sales leaders increasingly look to marketing for total alignment with their revenue goals and robust delivery of prospects ranging from top-of-funnel names to sales ready leads SRLs. Demand marketers also face their own leadership’s ramped-up expectations: build an inventory of content and execute a range of programs that deliver prospects from the top to the… Read More

3 Key Sales Requirements Marketers Own

Martha Schwartz

Every B2B demand marketer I speak with is currently living at least one of these scenarios: • You were recently assigned a pipeline quota that bears little relation to what you can practically generate given your budget, database size and other variables that impact demand-gen capacity. • There’s an implicit or explicit indication that marketing’s… Read More

5 Key Content Problems – and How to Solve Them

Imran Suleman

A content audit is an insightful exercise that gives visibility into a demand marketing organization’s knowledge of customers and the sales funnel, as well as its multi-channel marketing savvy. Our experience conducting audits for diverse B2B clients points to common content challenges that marketers grapple with. I’d like to share five of the most common… Read More

Memorable Engagement: 5 Ways To Ensure Leads Recall Your Brand

Martha Schwartz

Customers frequently tell me their worst nightmare is a phone call or email from a sales leader, complaining that they contacted one of my leads, who doesn’t recall any previous contact or the content that they registered for. (And, oftentimes, those “leads” add: don’t contact me again). Are these prospects suffering a sudden case of… Read More

3 Campaign Strategies To Drive Lead Quality

Martha Schwartz

Lead quality will be a major focus area in 2017 as marketers look to drive great partnerships with sales. I recently shared the prerequisites of lead quality from sales leaders’ perspective. It’s a logical next step to explain the campaign strategies that will ensure you deliver a healthy flow of quality leads that meet varying… Read More

4 Key Requirements of a 2017 B2B Sales Lead

Martha Schwartz

There’s a common stress point when I consult with marketers on their 2017 demand-gen strategy: the challenge of executing campaigns that meet sales’ lead-quality expectations. In the near term, that stress is compounded by the need to meet remaining goals for the current fiscal year while building a credible, defensible plan that sales will endorse… Read More

Top 3 Marketing Tactics that Convert

Imran Suleman

Marketers have many choices available to them to invest and are always looking for the channel that will deliver the greatest conversion. There are 3 types of programs that continue to drive the highest conversion for tech marketing clients: • High-Quality Lead (HQL) Programs • Sales-Ready Lead (SRL) Programs • Webinars HQL Programs: Wouldn’t it… Read More

Real World Examples of High Performance Content

Imran Suleman

Interested in true marketing stories, like email-nurture campaigns and whitepaper covers, that experienced unusually high engagement and response rates? This month in Austin, I presented at a tech marketing roundtable. There I shared practical, actionable, marketing best practices to help tech marketers stand out in a crowded content marketplace, while growing revenue. The point of… Read More

Introducing Lead Advance: Better Leads, More Pipeline

Imran Suleman

“What is this IT buyer really looking to solve?” “What unmet need, specifically, is this customer trying to fulfill?” These are questions that cross the minds of marketers everyday. To a certain extent, there is guesswork involved in responding to these types of questions. You are never really sure as to what a given customer… Read More

I Don’t Remember Your Company

Imran Suleman

Lead Recall is a challenge many companies face when sales teams call leads generated through content syndication. When your reps follow up with these leads, it’s not an uncommon response to hear: “I don’t remember downloading anything.” This translates to “I don’t remember your company.” So how can one create recall value in a mindspace… Read More

Guide to Best Bottom Funnel Content That Converts

Imran Suleman

The bottom funnel, or late stage, asset is key content that can tip the balance in your favor — and convert a prospect into a customer. Some B2B marketers argue it is the most valuable asset in the buyer’s journey and they invest a lot of time, resources and money on the creation of late… Read More

4 Steps To Optimized Top-of-Funnel (TOFu) Content Creation

Jon Guerringue

Whether you’re in sales, marketing, finance or part of the senior management team, closing business is a goal that’s on everyone’s mind. But to close more business, you need to create better awareness among people who may not know your company or why to choose its products. As was mentioned in our previous blog post,… Read More

2016: The Year to Really Maximize Lead Conversion!

Imran Suleman

There are many ways to generate leads, but only one way to optimize their path to sales. That path begins with an examination of your prospects’ digital buying signs and culminates with a phone call. Make 2016 the year you maximize your lead conversion. Digital Buying Signs Go beyond titles and account lists to identify… Read More

3 Key Steps to Return on Content Investment (ROCI) in 2016

Imran Suleman

There is a lot of content out there that is unfortunately underperforming at best. With deep roots in performance marketing, Activate has a unique view of being able to examine the reasons behind content failure across the B2B landscape and how to optimize it for success. Companies that succeed at content marketing have a clear,… Read More

Applying Today’s Marketing Best Practices for Pipeline Success

Imran Suleman

Overheard At The Just Media-Activate “Peer To Peer” Marketing Roundtable Most marketers want to hear about peer experiences, according to results from a survey Activate Marketing Services and Just Media conducted in preparation for its first joint roundtable in Silicon Valley. The sharing of peer marketing experiences is exactly what occurred at the Four Seasons… Read More

3 Steps To Live Event Success

Martha Schwartz

Because there’s no substitute for face-to-face conversations with highly targeted prospects, holding roundtable events can dramatically enhance your pipeline. After doing hundreds of intimate roundtables for every top technology brand in top venues worldwide, we know firsthand that they enable you to: •  Create the ultimate conversion opportunities. While publishing thought-leader content online is necessary,… Read More

Achieve 25% conversion rates like our clients do

Martha Schwartz

Everyone realizes that it’s not worth your calling team’s time to work leads that aren’t ready. So when we talk to customers, we hear the same question again and again: How can I move from larger volumes of lower quality leads to getting smaller quantities of higher quality leads that we can manage and convert?… Read More

3 Common Content Strategy Problems – and How to Solve Them

Edward Grossman

Every marketer knows they need a strategy for the content they produce. Yet when we work with clients on content strategy, we see them having the same three major challenges time and again. If you recognize any of them in your own content creation efforts, here’s what you can do about them. Lacking a clear… Read More

5 tips for generating sales-ready leads

Imran Suleman

Ask 47 marketers and sales executives what “sales ready leads” means and you’re likely to get 47 different answers. So allow us to throw our own into the mix. Activate defines sales ready leads (SRLs) as people that have budget authority, are ready to spend in the right timeframe, and have specific needs that can… Read More

4 Insider Secrets To Know Before Starting Your Next Demand Gen Program

Imran Suleman

Activate employees – yours truly included – have had the unique experience of generating millions of demand gen leads throughout their careers.  As a result, we know a thing or two about successful demand gen campaigns – those that actually drive revenue. Here are 4 key points to keep in mind as you start to… Read More

The Marketers Guide To Persona Building

Imran Suleman

The Marketers Guide To Persona Building Personas are critical for connecting with your customers – to better your pipeline, to improve efficiency in acquiring and closing deals, and to drive greater value. Persona building can be a daunting task and not everyone is entirely clear on the optimal approach – or what goes into building effective… Read More

Your Pipeline’s Gonna Love Us!

Edward Grossman

Over the past few months, Activate has undertaken a project to “practice what we preach” – we conducted customer interviews to get a deeper understanding of our own customer buying journey, and key buying triggers. The practical result is our new site, and a new “brand” promise: Your pipeline’s gonna love us! But perhaps even… Read More

Customer Activation: Moving From Dormancy To Action

Imran Suleman

This is the time of the year when we wipe the slate clean, find new ideas to engage and disrupt, and launch the next crop of campaigns with fresh resolve. Marketers have a lot of priorities, and I don’t want to present a list of four or five things to do in 2015. I’ve seen… Read More

2015: Start Scoring To Begin Converting

Imran Suleman

Driving opportunity is difficult and complex today. The buying process typically involves several influencers and buyers, depending on how sophisticated and strategic the buy is.

5 Tips To Achieving The Right Person, Right Time, Right Message Goal

Mary Wallace

From the days of Mad Men to the new era of social selling, Right Person, Right Time and Right Message has always been the goal of great marketing. Paul Teshima, Founder and CEO of Nudge Software, and Ed Grossman, Co- Founder and CEO of Activate examine how this marketing “truism” has become more possible than… Read More

The 7 Mysteries of Lead Nurturing Unveiled

Mary Wallace

With more and more responsibility landing on marketing to help fill the sales pipeline, lead nurturing programs must be employed to involve the 45% of inquiries that go dormant.  While marketers do not struggle with the value of lead nurturing overall, according to research from Bizo and Oracle Marketing Cloud, many do wrestle with the… Read More

2 Key Elements Of Quality Lead Generation

Imran Suleman

We’ve gone from reach to engagement to conversion – the essential metric for marketers today. What steps can marketers take to create greater conversion – and how can you start generating urgent and prioritized leads for your sales team. Today, I’ll talk about the two key elements to an effective marketing strategy that generates quality… Read More

Three Key 2014 Marketing “Ideas” that will become Marketing “Realities” in 2015

Edward Grossman

I love speaking with our customers about what’s working (and not working) in their worlds – even (especially!) if it’s outside of the scope of what Activate does. Why? By hearing what marketers are struggling with – where they’re thriving – I get insights into what pain points drive their activity, and most importantly what… Read More

Marketing Job One: Focus On the Customer

Mary Wallace

Customers are what keep us all in business. Not metrics, not a CRM system, not lead scoring. Customers. In fact, Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, said “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” So who is our customer? What do they value? And how can we differentiate ourselves in… Read More

Introducing Activate Tech Centers

Edward Grossman

We’re so proud to have our first Tech Center launch this past week. Check it out at www.VMware-TechCenter.com! Tech Centers are embodiment of our key premise at Activate: why rent your engagement when you can build your own?

Tech Marketing Checklist: Prepare for 2015

Martha Schwartz

There will be many places where you can spend your budget in 2015, and over the next few months you can expect countless blog posts, studies, research material, LinkedIn Updates and everyone under the sun giving you advice on where to invest your money for optimal marketing ROI.

5 Content Creation Rules That Convert

Martha Schwartz

Content marketing has been around for a long time, but we were only able to give it a convenient name recently. Given the emphasis B2B buyers and customers place on the value of content, it is imperative that content is clear, educational, practical – especially when we speak about top of funnel content.

Activate the Buyers Journey with Digital Body Language

Mary Wallace

Today’s buyers are not on a straight path to a purchase.  Instead, they obtain lots of information about a solution before they ever talk to a sales person. A lead might download an ebook on how to solve a particular business problem. A few days later, the same lead might register for an infographic on solution… Read More

Lead Engagement Strategy: Answer the Key Question

Mary Wallace

What’s in it for me (WIFM)” is a term used frequently in sales. It means speaking directly to the needs or interests of the prospect/customer. Traditionally WIFM hasn’t been a focus of marketing messages, but it’s gaining traction as the marketing organization strives to engage with prospects earlier in the buying cycle. “While prospects are… Read More

Content, Marketing Services Trends for 2014

Tom Smith

It’s that time again. Time to start thinking about 2014 and what lies ahead for those of us in marketing services, content development/marketing and lead gen. Trends over the past six months indicate that in 2014 we’ll see: Lead quality and performance finally trump lead volume. It seems every year there’s discussion on this point,… Read More

Scoring, Nurturing: Two Strategies To Maximize Marketing ROI

Mary Wallace

 Producing greater quantities of quality leads and maximizing ROI on their marketing spend are two constant challenges for marketers.  To address them, marketers must use quantitative facts – instead of anecdotal data – to measure results of their campaigns, regardless of whether those campaigns involve content marketing, social media, or mobile interactions.

Is Content Marketing Ineffectiveness Changing Buying Behavior?

Tony Zambito

The pendulum has been around since 1602 when Galileo invented it.  It was the world’s most accurate timekeeping device right up until around the 1930s.  The concept is one of our natural laws of the world.  We may be experiencing the effects of the pendulum in sales and marketing. Despite the pronouncements of buyers not… Read More

The Content Creator 2.0 Rises

Tom Smith

There’s been much attention paid to a few facets of content marketing – building your content plan and strategy, getting maximum value (including reuse) from your content, building a content repository. A different aspect of content marketing has caught my attention, and it speaks to the evolving role of content creators. There are a lot of… Read More

Quality Content: The Gemstone Nurturing Can’t Live Without

Mary Wallace

Imagine a future groom proposing to his leading lady.  He’s presenting her with a gorgeous engagement ring that consists of a center setting surrounded by glittering sapphires.  But oh NO. The center setting is empty.  It is totally devoid of any gem because the future groom spent all his money and energy on the ring… Read More

Offer Your Leads the Right Hamburger Based on Their Buying Cycle

Mary Wallace

My 7-year-old son loves (LOVES!) hamburgers from McDonald’s.  He has no interest in a Kobe burger from the local 4-star restaurant even when I beg him to take a bite.  From his perspective, they are too rare, too big, and are not smothered in ketchup.  Conversely, I will pass on a fast food hamburger every… Read More

Can Owned Media Be The Only Media?

Edward Grossman

I have asked myself this question many times: Can Owned Media replace Earned Media? Can it replace Paid Media? Having worked much of my career within publishers’ walls, my instinctual reaction to this question has been to gasp with horror – never! Never can (fluffy!) owned marketing content replace we journalists and the truth we speak…. Read More

Lead Nurture: The Importance Of Defining Attainable Goals

Mary Wallace

Lead nurturing, unlike traditional email marketing, is about quantifiably driving revenue by advancing email recipients through a process. As with anything quantitative, the goal(s) need to be defined up front. Without defining the business, campaign and marketing goals up front, there is no way to accurately determine if a nurture program is working or needs… Read More

Is Your Lead Management Ready To Acquire New Business in 2014? 5 Areas To Get In Synch

Tony Zambito

You can almost see the long trumpets getting ready.  The clarion call for generating new business in 2014 will be loud and long.  B2B businesses have been making the slow crawl out of the recession.  Looking out in the horizon for new markets, growing their customer base, and expanding products and services.  Getting there means… Read More

5 Buyer Insights You Need To Grow Customer Acquisition

Tony Zambito

The buyer revolution is in a frenzied uprising.  More empowered and influential than ever before, buyers are letting it be known of their dissatisfaction.  Several reports during the past year indicate buyers frown upon self-serving as well as product-based content marketing and sales approaches.  The power of revolt now a mere click to the trash… Read More

Lead Nurturing: Determine How Warm Your Leads Are

Mary Wallace

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads, according to Forrester Research. The hands-on experience of our leadership in driving lead nurturing for clients shows comparable results.  Why does lead nurturing have such a great impact on a company’s ability to deliver sales ready leads?  Lead nurturing strategies deliver content that leads… Read More

Content Marketing – Why Now?

Edward Grossman

If you’re a marketer you already know content marketing is all anyone wants to talk about these days. Frothy? Perhaps, but not without good reason. The macro trend of media-as-marketing is undeniable, even if it is only in its infancy; the momentum behind that massive trend makes content essential and central, although it is still… Read More

Activate the Buying Process

Edward Grossman

I’m enormously proud to be a member of the storied group of professionals with whom today I announce the launch of a new force to accelerate technology buying: Activate. As you can see from our press release below, Activate is squarely focused helping tech marketers activate buyers. Today more than ever, responsibility for revenue rests on the… Read More

The Content-Marketing Disconnect

Tom Smith

In most contexts, “content marketing” refers to a specific type of marketing strategy – using content to drive marketing campaigns or outcomes. It’s all the buzz, and I’m a huge proponent. But in recent conversations I’ve noticed a significant disconnect between the promise of content marketing – using insightful information to get people to engage… Read More

The Collaborative Cloud Emerges

Tom Smith

Much of the discussion around cloud computing centers on its cost benefits, as well as IT flexibility, guaranteed uptime and more. Those are great benefits, but they’ve been given loads of treatment across the web, in brand marketing and many other outlets.