Focus on what’s next: Playbooks
Now having delivered the first Playbooks we need to move on because our ambitions are limitless. This means that new Playbooks will be released on the next couple of months and the current will get updated and adjusted. Because that’s one of the next big things: marketing intelligence. The amount of data we collect with regards to our prospect profiles and their behavior gives us great insights with regrads to what works and what doesnt work. So once we thought we were ready we really need to dive now into the details. I have seen the first reports coming through with thousands of contacts entering our Demand Generation flows where we can see which content resonates and which content doesnt. This will be a new experience with finetuning and tweaking the process and its content. And this is something difficult because it makes su realize how agile in reality we are to make further improvements. Also new requirements appear with regards to our marketing automation systems. The core is build with Eloqua and new requirements pop up with regrads to digital asset management, measurement and reporting. The core is build with Eloqua and new requirements pop up with regrads to digital asset management, measurement and reporting.Most important thing still is the mindset of all people within the team. Once they believe in the concept they can execute a huge amount of work. That the team has shown in the last couple of months. It is the urge and drive that we want to be the best. We are priviliged to work in an environment that is growing dramatically and where it is about building and deploying smart things. Old rules of marketing and communications don’t work anymore. The playing field has completely shifted in the last couple of years. We want to close the loop between sales and marketing and will show that accountability is fully applicable on marketing organisations where in the past in many cases it was about doing nice stuff and creating beautifull things. Now it is about predictability, intelligence, accountability and being a profit center.
Focus on what’s next: Lean Startup
Like our payoff says, we will always focus on what’s next. In the next few weeks I will start to define our marketing strategy for 2015 but even further we need to think about our next steps. And although we need to do a lot of work with regards to our current Playbooks for our Demand Generation activities to achieve a level where we are satisfied with, we need to think about the next big thing. In that perspective a had some quite amazing experiences over the last couple of weeks. In 2013 we defined a number of strategic initiatives and one of them was sponsored by myself: how to embrace social and big data into our offerings? A lot of works has been done and during the summer, as a roject group, we were able to present our ideas how to embrace these market shifts into our products. It took quite some time to inform and resent it to all stakeholders up to the advisory board. In the beginning of this year we decided to take this concept to the next level. We wanted to enable ourselves to make a go-nogo decision which was better justified and validated. We formed a slightly adjusted project group and I decided to take a more active role in the process to come. One of the first decisions we made was to hire some external help to lead us through a certain process. I wanted to be this contemporary like you see from leaders like Google but also the young kickstarter like initiatives. Google Glass and Google Project Tango are initiated in ways which is completely different than we did years ago. Start as soon as possible in order to validate and test the market and constantly adjust. And although elements of this approach are being adopted by our organisation, still we felt we needed some additional help in that.
Sparks: the next big thing?
Sparks is the codename of the project as of last year and it still is. The methodology we applied is called Lean Startup. Interesting stuff whcih has been written in a book by Mr Eric Ries. Many new kids on the block companies like Rally Software who focus on companies and organisations and rpovide them with the right tools to support such an approach. Agility in this apporach ia key across all functions within the company. It is a mindset that you need to adopt, a kind of openess where there is complete market devotion. Outside the building, thats where the truth is, stay open for it and adjust and finetune accordingly. So with Sparks we did. We started with a concept and now that we are close to the definition of the Minimum Viable Product that we will release I can say this has been an amazing experience. But most of all, I think we have something really really big. Which is quite risky to say but reading afterwards in a couple of years will be fun to read. By offering something truly valueable that helps small business owners to become even more succesfulI think we found something that lets us enter the lives of small business owners in a very early stage by being utmost valuable. And thinking further about this, it is the next step in Demand Generation. What we do within Demand Generation is offering valuable content, whitepapers, interesting blogs that helps our target audiences to make a next step. With Sparks we even go a step further. Not by telling on bill boards that we are great people and have the best products, no by offering something truly valueable that helps small business owners to become even more succesful. And yes, we also consider accountants as entrepreneurs that own a small business by themselves. Within a few weeks I can be more concrete, you might be even able to apply for early access to it. And again, I really think this is something big it has huge potential and can’t wait to show all of you how it can help you in running your business. To be continued…