Not your mother’s “top 10 blog posts of 2019” post

By Kristin Connell

It’s a new year – heck, it’s a new decade – and we’re kicking it off with a look back at our top viewed blog posts of 2019. But hey – this isn’t your mother’s “top blog posts” post – we’ve got a challenge for you. First, take a quick look – do you see a commonality across the list? In my mind, it’s marketing maturity, addressing the often-asked question from our customers and future customers – “how do we get from where we are now, to where we need to be?”

Obviously, marketing maturity varies between organizations – and within organizations – typically due to silo’ed teams, processes (including data), and martech. Why? A top reason is that marketing leadership has other priorities. Marketers are asked to do more with less, limiting time to focus on what is necessary to grow and mature marketing performance aligned to business outcomes. It’s a cycle, requiring purposeful intervention to break from.

On that note, on to our challenge – we invite you to read this blog post, and linked posts, with your organization’s marketing maturity in mind. On each topic. Are you where you want to be? Do you know how to get there?

#10 How data analytics drives peak performance, strategy, and bigger budgets

“Probably the biggest challenge our customers face is lots of different systems with information that can help build a better customer experience, but these systems aren’t working together. Getting those systems integrated is not a simple task, but can have massive impact.” -Dan Vawter, Managing Partner, Sojourn Solutions

Are you leveraging your systems and data in an optimal way right now to help inform your marketing campaigns, strategies, and budgets? Are you looking to drive more “massive impact” with your marketing operations?

#9 5 steps to marketing operations maturity: Going beyond “just” martech

New martech needs to “play nice” with a marketing team’s existing tech stack, but also needs to be strategically aligned with other organizational functions, such as sales. Sojourn Solutions’ Managing Partner Rebecca Le Grange pointed out the importance of supporting cross-departmental collaborations. “Part of what marketing operations should enable is interfacing with other departments like sales, finance, IT, and beyond. Marketing Operations needs to help broker these key strategic relationships. Marketing teams cannot work in a silo, instead they need to share data and connect with the entire organization.”

#8 How O2 transformed its marketing operations and won a B2B Marketing award (part 1)

O2 didn’t begin by going big, “moving fast and breaking things.” Instead, it started its journey of transformation at small scale, trying new tools and practices in parts of the organization, measuring, learning from mistakes, and then sharing lessons learned across the organization. “Start small and scale up,” notes Paul Stevenson, Head of Marketing Operations at O2. “We opened up different segments and learned all we could about best practices and governance. You have to constantly iterate.”

#7 5 tips for using an Oracle Eloqua sandbox

Karin Pindle, Marketing Automation Guide and Guru at Sojourn Solutions, shares key insights on Oracle Eloqua sandboxes and offers practical tips for users who leverage them.

#6 Killer insights from 3 powerful Eloqua-Google Analytics integration techniques

Adam Mitrosz, Sojourn Solutions’ Managing Partner, offers three of his favorite techniques to get more from your Oracle Eloqua/Google Analytics integration. 

#5 7 key findings from our Marketing Operations Maturity Benchmarking Report

Stefan Tornquist, SVP Research & Content Strategy at Econsultancy, and Rebecca Le Grange noted that MOPs leadership is really hard. “MOPs keeps tabs on all parts of the revenue machine, including alignment, metrics/measurement, systems, people, and more,” said Tornquist. Le Grange described some of the key qualities an effective MOPs leader needs, including “having a holistic view of the business and the courage to ask tough, strategic questions,” as well as “being open to feedback from the team” and “being able to help the team curate best practices.”

#4 Getting martech right: How to avoid “shiny new object syndrome”

Marketing technology is a booming space, meaning there’s lots of noise (i.e., buzz, hype) but also difficulty separating the signal from all the noise. Hence, shiny object syndrome runs rampant. The “signal” here is exactly the right martech for you, the martech that will fit well with your existing stack, strategy, goals, and people. News flash: the martech you need might not be the latest shiny object.

For example, one of my customer’s engaged in a project with us, hoping for a evidence-based recommendation for a CDP (which admittedly would fit well within their current martech stack). However, after many hours of interviews and research, it was clear that an overhaul of their data management practices was the most critical business need. Their roadmap does include a CDP as an option, but well beyond the 12-month mark. -Kristin

#3 ABM as growth engine: Insights and tips for optimizing Account-Based Marketing

There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to ABM, and “organizations deploy multiple ABM models, including large-account marketing, named-account marketing, and industry ABM,” said Matt Senatore. In addition, an organization’s access to data and its existing systems/tech stack may impact what it can do in terms of ABM strategy and execution. Many organizations will run ABM pilots at small scale, and then take “lessons learned” and enhanced capabilities to implement scaled-up ABM programs down the road.

#2 Multi-touch attribution, explained: An interview with Peter Bell, Marketing Director at Adobe

So multi-touch looks at the impact of the aggregate marketing campaigns that influenced revenue, tracking the multiple touches along the way, over a period of time, showing you what your total marketing influence was. I don’t want to discount first-touch attribution. If I’m looking at a top of funnel activity, which is fundamentally about adding new names to the database or net new leads then first touch-attribution is a completely appropriate measure.. But where you’re looking at revenue, you’ve got to attribute value across all of your marketing activities, because no single activity will have generated that revenue.

#1 How B2B marketers can develop “change readiness” for peak performance

Effective change readiness – and change management – is about dynamically deploying a “change triangle” of technology, people, and processes, continually aligning and adapting each part of that triangle to meet your organization’s evolving needs. Unsurprisingly, managing change is one of the major components of the Sojourn Solutions Peak Performance Strategic Framework. While the need for change is widely known, and almost every organization is driving transformation and change initiatives of various kinds, a stubborn fact remains. Change is hard. More often than anyone cares to admit, change initiatives fail. What can marketers do to more effectively drive change? This post offers some answers.

You’ve reached the end of our list – and the end of our challenge (for now). My guess is that while you’ve realized you’re on the right path in some areas, other areas? Not so much. That’s expected – and that’s what we’re here for, to help accelerate your “not so much,” in balance with your “right path.” Questions? Please reach out. Cheers! 

P.S. No mother’s feelings were hurt in the writing of this blog post.