It looks like 2013 could be “The Year of the Marketer,” according to the CMO Council. Their recent “State of Marketing Audit” results revealed that CMOs are reporting a strongly positive outlook on the role of marketing in 2013.

However, it will take a lot more than optimism for marketers to see 2013 become their year. Before that can happen, a demand process transformation must take place. A recent post by Carlos Hidalgo, contributor to Software Advice — a marketing automation systems reviews website — outlines four major changes that will pave the way.

1. Take a Buyer-Centric Approach
Every facet of the organization, even beyond content creation, must adopt buyer centricity. Buyers now have access to a wealth of product and company information via the Web — this is called “Buyer 2.0.” Marketers have to appeal to buyers who doesn’t necessarily depend on them for their information, and will have to align themselves around the buyer’s specific needs and processes in order to do so.

2. Be Revenue-Oriented
Marketers should take an outcome-oriented approach. The ultimate goal here is to get the get the most value out of a customer over the course of the buyer-cycle. To do this, we need to identify, qualify and convert buyers into sustainable revenue. Marketers will have to evaluate their process and structure, and make sure they are taking each step with the end goal in mind.

3. Align Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales have to learn to work together to effectively nurture leads. Buyers are going to respond better to a team of marketing and sales professionals who engage them in dialogue and work together, rather than two disunited groups “handing off” the buyer just to qualify them and seal the deal.

4. Clarify Terms
As basic as it may seem, Marketing and Sales need needs to sit down together and spell out the meanings of key terms they will use in the lead generation process to avoid ambiguity. Much can become lost in translation when terms such as “campaign” and “inquiry” are not clearly defined. In order to better align marketing and sales teams, everyone needs to have a clear understanding of these terms and strip them of their ambiguity.

Read the full article and feel free to share your thoughts on how marketers can make 2013 their year.

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