B2B customer journeys are complex and time-consuming, with lots of non-linear touchpoints. Prospects typically do most of their research online, gathering relevant data about purchase options, carefully evaluating offerings from competing vendors, and then reaching a purchasing decision (often by committee). The sooner B2B marketers and an aligned sales function can (1) “read” customer signals of buying intent and (2) respond to those signals with relevant, timely content that addresses customer needs for research/information, the more likely those B2B marketers (working in tandem with sales) can turn insight into action, prospects into buyers.
Adobe wants to help facilitate and orchestrate these B2B customer journeys with tools like Marketo Engage, Marketo Measure (formerly Bizible), and Adobe Real-Time CDP, as the recent Adobe Summit made clear. During a presentation called Orchestrate Customer Journeys Across Marketing and Sales with Adobe (registration required), Brian Glover, Adobe’s Senior Director of Product Marketing and Strategy, shared Adobe’s vision. It’s a vision for driving seamless personalization at scale across marketing and sales touchpoints, unlocking the power of unified customer profiles and AI, while enabling businesses to measure and maximize marketing ROI. Let’s explore that Adobe vision below in more detail.
Enabling orchestration: 3 capabilities required
“Over the past two years,” says Glover, “the hard shift to digital has completely changed how businesses compete to build [trusted] customer relationships in a noisy world where customers are more self-directed and can access endless amounts of information.” Glover notes that achieving personalization at scale across B2B customer journeys requires three distinct marketing ops capabilities: data excellence, orchestration agility, and a high degree of marketing and sales coordination.
1. Data excellence is the foundation for every personalized experience, informing how your organization understands and interacts with each prospect. Insight is the prerequisite for action, but Glover highlights a common obstacle: ”75% of efforts to create automated, personalized engagement will not meet ROI goals because of inadequate buyer insight.” The ability to collect and share high quality data makes positive customer experiences (CXs) possible.
2. Orchestration agility means working as an aligned business across multiple channels to engage customers in data-enabled ways. It means understanding customer context across every channel and adapting to each customer's unique journey with relevant, timely content. It’s not easy, explains Glover: “82% of marketing and sales professionals have recently observed new and changing customer journeys. It's now about meeting customers when or where they want with the right content or conversation and doing it with speed and scale.” Internally, the right hand and the left hand work together to build a great CX.
3. Marketing and sales coordination is recognized by everyone as essential for success – Glover mentions that “98% of mature companies believe that marketing and sales need to increase coordination” – but it’s not always enabled by the “right” investments in data, processes, and technologies. Silos of mindsets, systems, terminology, and KPIs still need to be exploded so marketing and sales can work in tandem: “marketing and sales coordination has to be more automated and data driven in order to meet [evolving] customer expectations,” says Glover.
How Adobe enables seamless orchestrations
Adobe is working hard to help B2B marketers across each of the three pillars detailed above by Adobe’s Glover.
Data excellence. Last year Adobe introduced its Real-Time CDP powered by Adobe Experience Platform. This data management tool “gives you incredibly precise targeting for more consistent, personalized experiences,” says Glover, “by bringing together real-time person profiles with account and opportunity data from across [multiple] systems.” You can connect multiple Marketo Engage instances to Real-Time CDP “so you have one place for all that engagement activity and can activate complete audiences in Marketo Engage, even creating missing leads or contacts to understand the impact of every customer interaction on pipeline or revenue.” Insight flows into action.
Orchestration. “Adobe Marketo is purpose-built for orchestrating inbound and outbound journeys across sales and marketing,” says Glover. Adobe also helps measure the impact of activities on revenues via Marketo Measure and B2B attribution. “You can plan your marketing investments with speed and confidence because you know what’s working and what isn't. Adobe gives you deep visibility into the drivers of pipeline and revenue across channels and campaigns and down to the individual content or creative [asset],” explains Glover. That granularity allows the entire marketing and sales team, orchestrating their activities together, to make faster, data-driven decisions.
Glover also announced a new “dynamic chat” feature for Marketo Engage that helps with orchestration, enabling “personalized customer conversations at scale, as part of an omnichannel strategy.” Website visitors can use the chat function to book a meeting or demo with sales, taking them to the next step of their journey.
Marketing and Sales coordination. Both marketing and sales functions seek to engage with prospects who are most ready to purchase, following the Pareto Principle (or 80/20 Rule) that says most of your revenues (about 80%) come from a small slice (about 20%) of your customers/leads. To help marketing and sales focus on and coordinate activities around their best prospects, Glover announced “predictive lead and account scoring powered by Adobe Experience Platform and Adobe's AI and machine learning framework.”
With the ability to predict the likelihood of a person or account becoming a sales opportunity or a new customer, marketing can drive higher quality pipeline (MQLs) more efficiently to sales. Marketo Engage gives each sales rep a prioritized list of their hot leads and gives them multi-step engagement tools and content right inside the CRM for a complete workflow.
Both sales and marketing can see and share the same customer insights and coordinate their actions to move the customer journey forward. When customer intent signals and predictive analytics indicate a sales opportunity is imminent, both marketing and sales receive alerts and next steps they can take. “With product browsing and purchase events, natively connected to Real-Time. CDP, marketing teams can use these activities for personalization [of outreach] with their Adobe Experience Cloud applications,” says Glover.
At the end of the day, Adobe seeks to enable omnichannel engagement across the customer journey and across the business organization (involving sales, marketing, and beyond). As Glover notes: “These innovations reflect Adobe's commitment to B2B marketing leadership.”
Want to learn more about how Marketo Engage and Marketo Measure (formerly Bizible) can help you prove/improve the value of marketing aligned to business outcomes? Reach out to us when you're ready to get the conversation started!