Jay Famico, long-time marketing technology pundit and thought leader, joined Mike Burton on the Inside Intent podcast to discuss the necessary changes that B2B marketers must make to keep up with the 6,000+ technology vendors in the industry. Throughout his career, he has gone from advising businesses on building MarTech stacks, to helping them select and implement new technologies. Famico has seen first-hand how the mechanization of traditional processes is what gives strategy the legs to take a business to the next level. 

“If you think about the CMO of yesteryear, they were very much brand-centric, messaging and positioning focused,” says Jay Famico, the co-founder of Capstone Insights. “There was really no credence or focus on technology whatsoever. You’d never see the VP of IT and the CMO ever talking with each other,” he continues, showing the contrast of marketing as it was years ago versus the landscape today.

Today’s B2B marketers and the brand-tech balancing act 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a marketing job description these days that doesn’t list a software or technology platform as a ‘required skill’. Additionally, being well-versed in the various data governance and privacy laws have become a requirement for most B2B marketers. What’s more? Campaigns, messaging, and all traditional brand-related activities still fall under marketing’s umbrella. 

“There’s so much in marketing, especially if you just think of the percentage of marketing budget allocated towards technology. It’s grown immensely throughout the years,” explains Famico. 

Over the past decade, B2B marketing-qualified activities have grown to run the gamut and touch nearly every department. The capabilities that come from blending marketing with technology have made 1 to 1 marketing exponentially more attainable, “10, 15 years ago, the concept of dynamically changing marketing messaging based upon company behavior, that was a pipe dream,” Famico claims.

The key to driving more quality leads is reducing friction at the top of the funnel 

Jay’s experience at Sirius Decisions and now Capstone Insights has afforded him great visibility into trends that are changing the way B2B marketing is conducted. A trend that stands out in particular, is implementing tactics that allow prospects to more easily engage directly with a business and its sales professionals; this means relinquishing the barriers that stand directly between a buyer and a resource. There are some businesses making this direct engagement possible, Jay claims, “You see that through the increase of online chat, conversational marketing that is beginning to emerge, [or] the ability to directly schedule a sales professional via a corporate website.” 

What’s more, B2B organizations are even beginning to use a tactic that might have “felt a bit screwy a few years ago. And that is ungating high-value content.” He used an example from Evergage that proved valuable with this method, “while it might have decreased the volume of leads, but the actual quality of leads increased.”  

“It’s all about you wanting an organization or individual to get comfortable with your brand. How you’re able to address their needs, their wants, their requirements, and why on earth are you trying to put barriers to prevent them from doing that? If you’re allowing them to understand the market, like you understand it, get a better appreciation of the products that you offer, it’s likely going to increase preference for your solution.”

The opportunity and future market for Intent data

Both Mike and Jay comment that today’s market for Intent data is not fully saturated. Jay explains, “If we’re talking B2B and companies more than $5 million, the adoption rate is less than 10%. The reason we’re hearing so much about [Intent data] right now is because it really is a sexy technology. It does drive significant benefit and it does give you an unfair advantage relative to your competitors if they’re not using it.”

So, why the slower adoption rate? Jay says that many businesses may be using Intent data, but just not yet to its fullest potential. “I don’t mean that to be a slight, I just view it to be a huge opportunity…There are lots of organizations that are using it and driving value from it. And I see many organizations using Intent data for one or two types of activation. However, there is a multitude of other ways that you can leverage it. If we think of leveraging it with some process changes or enhancements within your organization, you’re going to get more value.” 

We agree! Make sure to catch this episode of Inside Intent, and learn more about the various, lesser-known Intent data activations that Jay and Mike talked about.