We hear it all the time: marketing and sales organizations are given high year-over-year growth targets with flat or reduced budgets. They are challenged to do more with less: produce more qualified leads, increase sales capacity, improve the return on marketing investment (ROMI), and ultimately drive bigger business impact.

Traditionally, teams would invest in two costly areas of the funnel to drive growth: 1) Top of the funnel (through advertising spend) and 2) Sales capacity (organizational hires). Pressured to show higher growth with limited funds, many marketers have recently shifted to optimizing the middle of the funnel. Doing so likely accelerated growth by plugging the holes but as the system reaches its optimized capacity, growth is slowing and the pressure of “what next” continues.

So how does a marketer have a healthy funnel and continue to meet growth targets with no incremental budget? With recent advances in marketing technology, now marketers can do more with less by investing in what we call “growth accelerators.” By investing in point solutions designed to essentially make the funnel smarter, marketers can essentially throw more fuel on the fire without requiring a ton of incremental advertising spend.

The challenge many marketers face is choosing the right investment. With new categories emerging every year (check out Chief Martec’s Lumascape to see just how much), there are four seasoned solutions that have demonstrated proven success at improving funnel performance and could be considered a strong bet:

  • Predictive analytics
  • Personalization
  • Social Enablement
  • Customer Advocacy

Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and accelerates a funnel in different ways. Choosing the correct solution requires a thorough understanding of a company’s existing technology stack, funnel, go-to-market strategy, and organizational strengths and weaknesses. Remember, any new technology is an investment, not just in dollars spent to acquire it, but time to properly integrate the new system into existing infrastructure and processes.  But the payoff can be great—a more robust funnel that drives YOY growth as the system’s utilization grows.

For more information, read how other marketing executives are approaching lead generation through their technology stacks.