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  • Michael Kerman

The 12 Questions of 2020 Marketing (Part II)

Now that the company holiday party is over, here are the remaining 6 questions that every marketing leader should be prepared to answer…

7. Have you explored using purchase intent data to improve your prospecting efficiency and lead qualification process? It’s one thing to have a list of prospects to email or call, but where do you start? Is it largest-to-smallest? Perhaps “A” to “Z”? Perhaps you should be investigating using some type of purchase intent data to help your targeting, prioritization and selling efficiency. Yes, purchase intent is still evolving, but it is worth taking a look at companies like TechTarget, DemandBase, Bombora, etc.

8. Have you examined your PPC keywords and optimized your ad groups and online spend to fit with your overall marketing plan? Many companies take a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to PPC keywords and that is so, so wrong. SEM in incredibly dynamic and you need to examine your keywords (and your competitors’) on a regular basis. For example, if you’re entering a new market segment or targeting a new persona, are these reflected in your ad groups, campaigns and keywords? Take the time to dig deeply into Google Analytics to make sure you’re on track.

9. Does Sales have a clear, documented Playbook? A great addition to your 2020 Sales Kickoff meeting (or equivalent) is a true sales playbook. Does Sales know what triggers to look for (e.g., “change in leadership”) and what the implications are for the key personas? Do they know what marketing campaigns, messages and assets to use to capitalize on those triggers? Marketing MUST be prescriptive.

10. Do you have a streamlined lead qualification and management process that sales, marketing and other groups agree on? Have you ever considered how much time you’ve spent (and wasted) on “what is a lead” or “what is an MQL”? The issue isn’t what is right, but what you all agree upon, how well you communicate it and how consistent you are in your processes. Take the time to map out your process from first-touch through customer acquisition all the way through to renewal. Make sure you have tracking for every place a prospect can drop out of the cycle. Yes, it’s a lot of whiteboarding and minutia, but the devil is in the details. Without this, you’ll never be able to measure conversion rates and your marketing effectiveness.

11. Do you know how you’re going to maintain data integrity, data cleansing and data enrichment to ensure your CRM data is accurate and actionable? Did you ever really look at your CRM data? Ever notice you have 6 accounts that are really the same? What about you contacts – can you track them when they move to a new company? And let’s talk about those great “attendee lists” you get when you sponsor a trade show. Increasingly, those lists don’t have email addresses and direct phone numbers. This makes the list virtually useless to your lead development team. How are you going to enrich these lists so that the contact information is current and useful? If you haven’t thought about these issues, you still have a few weeks before New Year’s!

12. How does your marketing plan and prospecting programs take into account countries with strict interpretation of GDPR? If you’re thinking about an EMEA-wide marketing email-based campaign, go back to “Start” and think again. The interpretation of data privacy laws such as GDPR is not constant across companies. I can market to prospects in the US and UK, but what about France? Germany? Netherlands? In some of the more strict/rigid countries, how are you going to leverage telesales, partners and/or social media (e.g., LinkedIn) campaigns to reach these prospects and get them to “opt-in” to your marketing communications?

Oh, so many questions, so little time. I wish all of my marketing colleagues healthy, happy holidays and a prosperous and impactful 2020.

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