5 Principles Every Modern Marketer Should Prioritize Right Now

Posted on by Bryan Law

Efficient growth is now “in,” and not just with the CFO. Nearly every company, regardless of size or sector, is still navigating layoffs and budget cuts. No matter what part of the organization you are in, you are probably required to drive the same results with fewer resources.

But how can you drive the same ROI, and the same profitability, with fewer folks and less money? The answer is incorporating a modern go-to-market (GTM) strategy, powered by deep audience research, robust and quality data, a firm grasp of new technologies like AI, and sales and marketing alignment. Doing this not only helps drive business value and revenue, it nurtures the brand and optimizes the customer experience.

For marketers to be a strategic revenue partner, implementing this modern GTM strategy requires a few absolutes. Here are five principles that you should prioritize right now:

  1. Have A Deeper Understanding of Your Audience

With so much information swirling around us, human beings only have a finite amount of mental availability to remember a company and what it stands for, let alone its logo. So it’s even more vital to find ways to increase the propensity for your brand to be noticed and considered in buying situations. That’s why we took nearly a year of hard work and extensive market research before ZoomInfo launched our very first brand campaign last year.

We partnered with marketing research firm Kwantum Analytics and surveyed nearly 500 B2B sales and marketing leaders to garner direct consumer feedback and develop a more extensive view of our prospect and customers. We asked them about our brand perception in the market, what their problems and pain points were, and what triggers typically lead them to search for new GTM solutions.

This was a necessary part of our campaign as it guided all of our messaging. Whether or not you’re launching a brand campaign, a deep understanding of your customer base and those you market to is crucial and should inform all marketing actions.

  1. Align Marketing and Sales Goals

Marketing and sales are often two of the biggest cost centers for businesses, leading executive teams and boards from all industries to seek efficiencies across both departments, rather than just within each. One of the key levers to help drive more revenue is to improve sales and marketing alignment. Both teams are involved across the funnel, so it’s critical that they work in lockstep.

Reaching alignment requires open communication, proper tech adoption, and high quality, democratized data that helps you identify and target your next best customers. And of course, executive buy-in. In fact, 87% of leaders say marketing and sales collaboration enables critical business growth. There’s also proof in the pudding: companies that are aligned report 2.4x higher revenue growth and 2x higher growth in profitability, according to Forrester research.

To maximize the overall success and growth of a business, marketing and sales teams should share the same metrics and goals, have a consistent “data-backed view” of your target market and coordinate go-to-market motions. Alignment will allow you to fine-tune your messaging, improve your lead quality, identify issues or inconsistencies and produce valuable insights that will help you continue to drive ROI.

It’s also important to evaluate the cost of marketing efforts, plus the cost of your sales team’s efforts to drive revenue based on the channel, customer segment and associated campaign. Analyzing these metrics will help determine how efficiently your sales and marketing processes are working with each other. For example, there’s a huge benefit to unifying your data into a single data foundation, integrating bi-directionally with your tech stack.

  1. Make Data-Driven Decisions the Standard

Data should be at the core of every decision you make. There was a time when “move fast and break things” was a catchy, exciting phrase. But innovation shouldn’t mean taking action without research and data to drive you, especially in a time of consolidated spend.

Data should inform when and how often you’re posting on your blog and social media, which channels you focus your outreach efforts through based on where your ideal customers are at, competitive analysis, and so on. If you don’t have this kind of data, you should invest in quality technology that can track and analyze this for you. And the technology you choose should produce data that enables both your marketing and sales teams so that there is one source of truth.

  1. Get A Firm Grasp of AI

Many of today’s most forward-thinking companies are incorporating generative AI technologies into their products and services to more effectively modernize go-to-market strategies. Generative AI can assist in various forms of content creation, including blog posts, social media copy, landing pages and video scripts. And generative AI learns from your feedback so if something isn’t quite right, you can add more information and regenerate the response until it’s more aligned to your brand voice and tone. Proofreading and editing are essential practices here—there can still be quite a gap in creating longer-form content that sounds human. So remember, this is a tool, not a replacement.

You can also use AI for A/B testing and content optimization by asking programs like ChatGPT or Jasper.AI to create variations of ads, landing pages or email subject lines. Then you can determine which versions perform better, and optimize your campaigns based on the results. Automating your campaigns with AI can enhance efficiency, optimize results and deliver more personalized experiences to your target audience, which is a game-changer.

But it’s critical that you have high-quality data underlying your AI algorithms, to ensure accurate and effective outputs and avoid potentially brand-damaging creations. Additionally, marketers should regularly monitor AI-driven processes to identify potential issues and ensure that the automation aligns with the brand’s overall marketing strategy.

  1. Reduce Budget Waste

When it comes to reducing overall budget waste, marketing leaders should not do a flat haircut across their expenses. You’ll likely sacrifice longer-term growth for near-term gains. Instead, consider the value of every expense category, including headcount and program dollars for media, events and contractors. Identify what is and isn’t working. Hyper-focus on the programs that are working and be aggressive about cutting the programs that aren’t—even if it may be uncomfortable.

You can probably already think of programs that should be reduced. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to stop them, now is the right time.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, it’s clear that data-driven decision-making will remain a cornerstone of successful marketing strategies, enabling companies to stay nimble, customer-focused and competitive in the ever-changing market. Embracing these principles empowers marketers to stay agile while simultaneously optimizing performance and achieving higher ROI, all the things that make for a good revenue partner in the organization.

Bryan Law is CMO of go-to-market platform ZoomInfo.


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