As the pace of marketing innovation accelerates, B2B marketers are struggling with growing complexity and growing expectations.  

"B2B Marketers now have access to dynamic technologies that are transforming how leads are generated, prospects are engaged and customers are acquired," according to a recent position paper from MarketOne, a marketing service provider. "But [they] are simultaneously in danger of being overwhelmed by these trends — paralyzed by the sheer enormity of change they must confront.

Onrushing change has created a demand for new practices, processes and talents. Meanwhile, competitive demands have created "a growing impatience for results." 

How should marketers respond? 

Companies such as Cisco, IBM and SAP as well as dynamic growth firms are embracing an approach known as the Demand  Center.  
Strategic

Research firm SiriusDecisions defines the Demand Center as "a hub of shared marketing services, infrastructure and process that enables organizations to bring programs to market by leveraging key corporate assets and best practices." MarketOne goes further to emphasize its ability to "strengthen measurement and reporting, manage demand with precision and leverage buyer insight to generate new opportunities for growth."

The Demand Center represents a model for marshaling marketing resources more effectively and to greater effect. By building an "integrated service organization," marketing organizations intend to: 

  • Maximize Demand Gen programs — automating multi-touch, multi-channel campaigns and interactions that are synchronized with the buying behaviors of prospects.    
  • Incorporate Advanced Technology — enabling marketing organizations to fully capitalize on fast-moving technologies to automate and optimize their processes. 
  • Close the Marketing Skills Gap — providing shared access to sophisticated talent, skills and expertise for everything from search engine optimization to social media marketing. 
  • Strengthen Marketing Measurement — giving marketers a dashboard view into the marketing and sales operations that allows them to track campaigns, conversions and returns on their marketing investments. 

Few marketing organizations will want to go it alone. As they aspire to play a more strategic role in their enterprises, CMOs are likely to selectively outsource key aspects of the Demand Center approach to specialist firms — and then, pay them for performance. 

The Demand Center as Managed Service not only leverages the investments and expertise of these specialists, it offers a fast-track way for CMOs to implement the model and demonstrate results. 

However one implements it, this approach inevitably will gain traction as CMOs step up the pace to keep up with today's early adopters. 

As MarketOne concludes, the Demand Center "represents a powerful model for innovation, performance and strategic leverage that promises to take marketing organizations to new levels."