Marketing Orchestration: A Transformative Shift In B2B

Marketing Orchestration: A Transformative Shift In B2B

Customer experience is a key priority in all B2B companies, but most find it difficult to do it well. According to Salesforce, less than 50% of CMOs believe they are delivering an experience that is totally in line with customer expectations, and customers don’t disagree.

In the race to get to terms with the new reality of the customer-centric world, more than 75% of B2B buyers today have a harder time making purchasing decisions. 

These customers are inundated with disruptive sales and marketing activities day after day. They get product announcements, cold sales pitches, meeting requests, and all kinds of offers that seldom provide working solutions to their problems. 

That begs the question – how do you set yourself apart in this crowded environment?

As client expectations rise and executives want more, B2B teams are rethinking their approach, transitioning from the typical Marketing Automation-centric effort to the new big thing – Marketing Orchestration.

This new strategy gives CMOs, MOPs, and digital demand leaders the capacity to orchestrate data, systems, programmes, and experiences in never before ways, all while adding new levels of insight, activation, and alignment with customers and target accounts.

A Word About Marketing Automation – A Pioneer That Can’t Work Alone Anymore

Marketing Automation (MA) was the technology and skill that inspired a generation of B2B marketers to move from brand marketers to revenue marketers. It was a huge step forward for a profession that was renowned for creating logos, themed t-shirts, and stylish events. And it has helped produced so many that have earned awards for using technology and tools to replace hopelessly manual, antiquated efforts and demonstrate what marketing can do for a business.

Credit where it’s due: we won’t be anywhere near where we are if it wasn’t for Marketing Automation. However, today MA is simply not enough to be ahead of the curve. In fact, it has become a growth hurdle for more than a few teams and businesses. 

As we move forward with marketing innovation, we can’t rely just on automation or a single platform provider to achieve the results we need today. Here are the main points where marketing automation falls short, according to the B2B high-growth and corporate marketers:

1) Marketing automation has been implemented by the majority of marketing businesses, leaving little room for  your brand, service, or experience to be distinct from the competition.

2) The automation formula is omnipresent and overused: generate content, direct visitors to a form, send them an email, and push leads to sales with a marketing-defined leads score.

3) An oversupply of disjointed technology and tools to automate critical operations is giving rise to more work than has worth to implement and utilize. As a result, automation has an increasingly depreciating value. 

4) Early MA suppliers have been swallowed up by larger software behemoths, limiting innovation and key new abilities needed in today’s dynamic industry.

5) In today’s sophisticated marketing, sales, and digital landscapes, marketing automation isn’t proving to be enough. More intelligence, more connectivity, and more action are the need of the hour.

From Automation to Orchestration: The B2B Marketing Is Shifting, And With Good Reason

In recent years, this shift has been discussed by a number of renowned B2B marketers. In his insightful post Marc Johnson, CMO at Bombora, wrote: “Orchestration means moving away from automating single tools and components, toward having all of the different marketing and sales elements running off of the same data and talking to each other… It’s about actually aligning around what the consumer needs and what the prospect is interested in — while resisting the extraneous.”

Building further on the insufficiencies of automation, the CGO at Integrate, Scott Vaughan wrote about the shift: “The overabundance of disconnected tech and tools to automate key processes is often creating more work than it’s worth to implement and use… Orchestration… builds off basic automation and offers the ability to orchestrate data, systems, programs, and experiences and adds new levels of intelligence.”

The bottom line? Automation doesn’t amount to much utility unless all the tools and tech you use to automate your processes, along with the data that powers them, are correctly aligned and coordinated, or – in other words – orchestrated. This becomes even more essential as the variety of data and the source of that data you deal with increases. With data privacy regulations becoming stricter by the day, orchestrating your data right can also save you a lot of legal trouble.

The Role of Orchestration in Marketing Strategy

Where automation has come to a standstill, a novel mindset and a progressive solution have emerged in the form of Marketing Orchestration.

What makes Orchestration different is how to allows marketers to go beyond automating processes, lead scoring, and campaigns. This advanced method expands on basic automation by allowing users to arrange data and experiences more efficiently as well as integrating the power of artificial intelligence into the mix. Internal functions — sales, marketing, customer success, and product teams – are also using orchestration to improve their overall performance. Marketers offer the following examples of orchestration success:

  • Connected experiences: Customer journeys start, flow, and end smoother and with better a conversion rate.
  • Optimization: An always-on marketing experience that continuously collects, adapts, and optimizes data within and across channels.
  • Predictive Marketing: Improved integration and performance of analysis and predictions through AI and machine learning.
  • Tracking: Easier to track and focus on the performance of KPIs through better engagement, activation, and measurement across channels, sources, and providers.
  • Marketing Plays: Intuitive activation and coordination of sales and marketing plays.

What MO does so well is to orchestrate interactions at every stage of the customer journey – both online and offline. Simply put, this boosts your chances significantly of being in the right place, at the right time, for the right person, with the right information. 

This orchestration allows you to engage, nurture, and convert prospects in a deliberate and predictable manner, building a clear path from interest to purchase as you go. This shift from traditional marketing activities to a more successful customer experience-centric marketing scheme is what is making Orchestration a hit among marketers and customers alike.

Marketing Orchestrators: A New Legion For The Future

As what transpires in any innovation cycle, a new breed of capable marketers are emerging every day to take forward the philosophy of Marketing Orchestration. This is only helped by the current need of the market: which calls to move away from an over-reliance on a few platforms, a strategy that isn’t working well for many B2B businesses.

To be honest, the shift to Marketing Orchestration isn’t easy. It makes the work a little more difficult, necessitates more discipline, and needs firms to design and manage their own marketing tech stack as well as data governance. However, It also means that marketing professionals and businesses who adopt orchestration have immense potential to overcome their competitors by leaps and bounds.

Many forward-thinking B2B organizations are implementing the Orchestration mindset and strategy today, and the reasoning is sound. Instead of a single, constricting tech stack with tools that can’t communicate with each other, Marketing Orchestration unifies and coordinates them. Across channels, campaigns, and data, MO brings together all your B2B’s top-of-the-funnel demands and creates a truly cohesive customer experience.

As Forrester puts Marketing Orchestration aptly, “an approach to marketing that focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns, but instead on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions that, when added together, make up the individualized customer experience.” 

It empowers marketers to link various customer outreach portals for cogent interplay in a unified direction. It improves the quality of lead data entering your system, allowing you to plan, design, and execute more effective marketing campaigns on a solid foundation of prospect data.

The B2B transformation to Marketing Orchestration is here. It is not something proposed or planned for the future; it has already ushered in the new era. But as is the case with all big transformations, things don’t always work as advertised. 

Yes, Marketing Orchestration can just be the answer for your business. But it’ll take time, mentoring, experimentation, and risk. Whether or not you choose whether this is the correct time for a shift in your business, this is a given: it’ll be fascinating to see how marketers are going to change the game as the next-gen of marketing technology emerges. Question is – will you watch from distance, or will you ride the wave?