I had the chance to spend some time last week speaking with Malcolm Friedberg about what he calls The Left Brain Model (TLBM) and learn about the driving factors for its creation.
Essentially, Malcolm wanted to create a way to help marketers articulate a bottoms up structure that removes the mystery from what's meant by integrated marketing. Marketing has changed so fast that the skill sets and comprehension of what's needed to keep up have made marketers and companies afraid to step up to the plate.
By creating a stair-stepped model, Malcolm's intention is to provide an intuitive and logical framework that marketers can use to construct their marketing strategies based on applying different techniques at each stage of the process.
He defines TLBM as a blueprint for marketing program development and intends to address all the needed components with additional papers devoted to exploring the nuances of each of them. This includes marketing content, lead scoring and lead nurturing and more. It also builds the process a step at a time instead of asking busy marketers to do it all at once. I like the incremental approach - it tends to have more stickiness over time.
This blog post details Malcolm's rationale for The Left Brain Model.
The model works starting from the bottom left with prospect engagement, moving up toward the right to closed/won deals. I'm stongly in favor of a marketing process that covers the entire buying process (and beyond). Marketing programs must do more than toss contacts at sales to be effective. We all know this, but figuring out the "how" can be the biggest challenge to change.
Adam Needles has written two great blog posts describing the process, so I'll leave that in his capable hands. Go take a look...
In my opinion, The Left Brain Model is on the right track. Many of my clients contact me because they realize they need to become more strategic with their online and content marketing, but they just don't know where to start. This may be evidenced by a recent poll conducted during a BtoB Online webcast that showed 70% of attendees spend 25% or less on content marketing. Although they may know they need it, it appears that many haven't wrapped their arms around how to use it effectively given the change in how buyers buy, and the need to use content to address their preferences and informational needs during the purchasing process.
Numerous surveys indicate that B2B marketers are expanding their investments in digital marketing, but it remains unclear just how many of them are succeeding with content marketing strategies that drive demand generation that contributes to downstream revenues.
The Left Brain Model begins to put together a framework that's aimed toward helping marketers add science to the art of marketing. With the increasing need to be accountable for marketing's contribution to company objectives, this is a needed skillset marketers need to develop.
This excerpt from Malcolm's TLBM for Demand Generation just may inspire you to take the next steps in developing your demand gen model:
What's the most basic statement a Marketer can make to his or her CEO - the empirical presentation of which is both profound and persuasive?
"In order to achieve next year's company revenue goal, I need $X for Y-specific programs."
Imagine having the ability to show a formula for how you'll achieve that goal. You'll need a variety of data points. Initially, some will be based on industry-benchmarked conversion rates and yields. Over time, they'll be validated by real data, your data. And, if at any time in the process you decide to look backwards―not to justify your existence but to apply this knowledge in order to improve performance―using TLBM will facilitate the Marketing metrics to do that as well.
I'm interested to see how the model develops. It's definitely a Brave New World out there for B2B marketers. Lots of possibilities and opportunities for those up to the challenge.