An investment in a technology platform as powerful as 6sense has the potential to help enterprise marketing leaders fulfill the mandate to do more with less. The promise of hyper-targeted personalization at scale, and the ability to capture demand in the “dark funnel,” can absolutely lead to more pipeline, more engagement, more leads, and more program efficiency.
But realizing the full value of 6sense requires overcoming three main challenges during and after deployment. Here’s our take on what often stands in the way of achieving maximum impact—and an enterprise-grade solution to help you unlock the full power of your RevTech stack.
Challenge 1: There’s a skills gap.
There’s no question that 6sense can completely transform the impact marketing has on the business; however, to get the most from the platform, you need to understand its capabilities. Unfortunately, certified and experienced 6sense talent is in short supply.
A recent study 2X conducted with 6sense found an average of only 2.5 qualified professionals adept in new-age marketing skills for every one job opening—far fewer than demand generation and email marketing, which saw seven people qualified for every one role. If you take out those who are not actively looking for employment, the pool of talent that can skillfully operate today’s omnichannel and hyper-personalized marketing machine gets even smaller.
Challenge 2: Your organization’s capacity is constrained.
Whether due to labor-supply issues or budget austerity, enterprise marketing organizations are more constrained than ever in terms of capacity. Forget about having certified 6sense talent; you need more talent—period—to run programs that fully optimize the functionality of your RevTech stack.
A CMO Survey by Chief Outsiders identified “labor issues” as the top impediment to growth. The sentiment was echoed in Gartner’s latest CMO Spend and Strategy Survey, which revealed the majority (61%) of CMOs believed their teams lacked the capabilities required to deliver on their marketing strategy.
Just as any serious marketing effort requires a team with processes around it, a platform as powerful as 6sense deserves a dedicated level of support—more content, more campaign advertising expertise, more analytics, more testing and optimization, more intentional operations and integration support—to yield the most impactful results. To make account-based marketing (ABM) programs the backbone of your marketing strategy will require active management. Assigning it to the Head of Demand to set and forget will simply lead to underutilization of the potential.
Challenge 3: Costs are high—and have gotten higher while you’re asked to cut them.
Higher-than-ever labor costs for scarcer-than-ever skillsets make it very challenging to deploy effective strategy that delivers on the potential ROI of 6sense.
If your budget has shrunk on top of that, it may even seem impossible to achieve program volume and value realization, because the usual solutions won’t get you where you need to be.
Hiring a performance marketing or advertising agency won’t always work if the goal is cost efficiency. Many of these firms have a billing model based on a percentage of advertising dollars, which causes a clear incentive misalignment when it comes to reducing advertising spend and making it more effective. Doling out more work to your employees, especially if they’re already stretched—or giving them tasks far below their capabilities or outside of their expertise—is a recipe for turnover. And while 6sense training and upskilling opportunities are a worthwhile investment if you do have time, you may not have that luxury with 2023 plans and targets already underway.
But there is another way: Marketing as a Service (MaaS).
Optimize 6sense with an Innovation in MaaS Management
MaaS, as part of an operating-model transformation, is an effective way to leverage full functionality of 6sense, even when labor supply isn’t catching up fast enough to meet the rising demand.
Simply, the solution includes a deployment of a dedicated team of certified marketers, contracted similarly to a managed services arrangement. This team is deployed on an FTE basis and dedicated to a client, providing a diverse group of creative, campaign, advertising, ABM, marketing operations, technology management, and analytics resources to run a function of marketing, a tech stack, or shared services to create marketing impact. Leveraging an offshore MaaS solution can mean deploying resourcing at an effective hourly rate of $33 or less per hour, enabling 2-3x as many FTEs for the same cost of 1 internal hire.
As business needs evolve, enterprise marketing leaders have adapted by innovating and transforming investments in technology platforms and program strategy. Now is the time to innovate on talent and labor-supply issues in a similar manner, and acquire talent in non-traditional ways, as well as train and manage your own skilled workforce differently.
In fact, Gartner’s recent “Recession Playbook for Marketing Leaders” called out the need to “fundamentally rethink” the marketing organization’s operating model, particularly around how an enterprise leverages talent and labor, whether in-house, outsourced, part time, or full time.
The MaaS model provides an access lane to a readily available, skilled, and certified workforce of marketing technologists to improve:
- Increased Impact: Being able to split the strategic thinking from the execution work will improve the quality of programs and their outcomes—more engagement, more activation, more pipeline, more revenue, and better marketing ROI. Moreover, specialized focus with a dedicated team to deliver on the variety of dimensions within one campaign will elevate marketing maturity and extract every ounce of potential from your tech stack.
- Best-practice processes: Standardization drives efficiency and scale, so having a dedicated vendor team contracted to support a process—especially when the provider is in the business of providing services around it—will yield higher effectiveness. In addition, knowing productivity metrics, unit-cost economics, and utilization and capacity levels provides the foundation for predictable scale.
- Stability: Having a degree of flexibility if your tech stack changes ensures brand and operational stability. The dynamic market requires the ability to scale up and down, as well as the expertise to navigate the skill changes of new technology, which is hard to do with large teams of internal FTEs.
- Focus: By outsourcing execution-oriented, high-volume tasks from your senior staff in established marketing teams, your marketers can focus on being marketers again. It could even provide a path to management for high-potential employees by allowing them to manage a vendor and learn other new skills to advance in the organization.
Maximizing 6sense ROI with Marketing as a Service (MaaS)
Challenged by economic headwinds and talent shortages, some enterprise marketing organizations have turned to MaaS firms like 2X to augment their RevTech management capabilities and remain competitive with more cost-effective operations.
2X provides cross-functional talent available to start immediately, offering speed-to-value over the traditional hiring process, along with an offshore delivery model that enables a 50-75% reduction in labor costs that could provide large enough savings to provide a budget shift large enough to both satisfy givebacks and fuel new investments in technology, programs, and functions.
As one of 6sense’s earliest and Tier 1 service partners, 2X boasts a team of 6sense certified marketing technologists with a wealth of experience achieving real-world client objectives, whether it’s determining the right channels to deliver content to, evolving how marketing activates accounts, helping convert intent data into actionable insights, or looking for ways to optimize campaigns toward greater impact.
Read more on how MaaS can help enterprises maximize 6sense ROI.