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Head Off ‘Sloppy Growth’ By First Understanding Your Customers

With the ongoing proliferation of channels, it’s easy for marketing efforts to become fragmented. “Some companies may have been integrated in the past,” said Kevin Bobowski, who, up until November (and at the time of this interview), was CMO of Portland, Ore.-based Act-On Software. “But what ends up happening is that as they evolve and grow, it can have impact on their marketing, where it can get more siloed.”

Bobowski’s prescription is to refocus on the target customer. “Because of the intense focus on acquisition marketing or demand generation, companies end up with what I call ‘sloppy growth.’ They get a lot of leads, see a lot of deals come through, but those customers aren’t sticking around for very long,” said Bobowski, now SVP of marketing at BrightEdge. “You have to have a pretty good and tight definition of what the ideal customer profile looks like.”

Once you have that, you can start to move toward a more account-based marketing approach. “I really do believe that’s the next evolution of where marketers need to go,” Bobowski said, “orchestrating the entire relationship and the entire customer journey.”

But that’s a complex challenge and can’t stand alone. “There are certain things we will always do that are inbound-marketing focused, but we have segments of our market that we’ve defined and built out a very specific account-based marketing program for,” he said. “We don’t do it for everyone, but we do it for key segments of the market.”

Highlights from this week’s Marketing Superstars podcast include:

  • Why some marketing organizations are siloed while others do a better job of integration (3:30)
  • How to breathe creativity back into a marketing organization (5:47)
  • How to find the “sweet spot” in your customer base and deliver the right message (7:40)
  • How account-based marketing has improved the interaction between sales and marketing (13:49)
  • Should the sales development team be located in sales or marketing? (21:11)
  • Where integrated marketing goes from here (22:24)

Listen in iTunes.

Click here to listen to previous episodes of Marketing Superstars.

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