Imagine you’re a company that specializes in IT solutions for hospitals. You want to expand into a new region, say Florida, where you don’t have any presence today. Marketing and sales would get together to define the objective. For example, this year, we want to acquire 20 new accounts from small and midsize hospitals in this state.
Once the target is agreed on, marketing jumps into action. They could start with an awareness campaign in target regions of the state. It could be a demand generation campaign, where experts provide digital education on best practices for hospital IT departments. It could be an in-person event offering to show smaller hospitals what leaders in other parts of the state or country are doing.
The marketing team is still being creative—often even more so than what they were doing before. The difference is, all these interactions are now in the service of a clear objective, with a strategic and tactical plan to achieve it. And, at the end of the year, there will be measurable results. Did marketing deliver those 20 new accounts, or do we need to shift our strategy and/or tactics?
Marketing’s efforts are also now organized to deliver “sales-ready” leads. No longer is it just about collecting email addresses at an event and handing the list over to sales to start cold-calling. You’re now using marketing automation tools (like the ones that come with every Citrix Partner Kickstart campaign) to track potential customers from the first touchpoint. You’re serving those customers targeted digital content (blogs, white papers, infographics, videos) on topics they care about, and establishing your company as a thought leader in this space. You’re calculating “scores” for each prospect, based on the number of interactions, customer attributes, and other factors. Now, when you hand sales a lead, that customer has been nurtured through multiple interactions and is ready to have a serious buying conversation.