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Virtual Events: 6 Lessons Learned part 2

In our previous post,  I interviewed Tessa Barron who heads marketing for On24 on what she finds helpful for her clients (full disclosure, we’ve done integrations with On24 with our Marketing Automation and ABM clients prior to this interview).  Here are lessons 4-6 (but bulleted 1-3 thanks to wordpress).

  1. Our webinar benchmarks show that time over time, all webinars are around 50 to 60 minutes. In fact, we saw a minute increase, I believe in the last over the last year. Those, those results will be published in March. So I think that what that shows us is the on demand functionality and the, and the always on aspect of webinars is really becoming so much more important. So people are not treating them any more as this one off event that happens in a single moment and they have to be there. Instead. It’s this always on channel that prospects can come back to again and again. They can self educate, they can share with a buying group and it becomes an extremely valuable opportunity for them to have an entire buyer’s journey and entire experience in a single, in a single event, which I think is pretty phenomenal. You know, with the, typically in marketing we like to drip things out and it’s this six week nurture process and a single webinar, a prospect can get a the, you know, the thought leadership valuable content.
  2. Interactive.  They can also raise their hand to get a demo or book a meeting with the sales person. And actually our, our platform is designed for that to have that multi-touch experience. And so that’s why I think the link is actually staying the same. It’s just the context in which people consume them.
  3. ABM Webinars.  Personalization at scale.  Webinars are an amazing tactic for anyone’s ABM strategy and the role that they play is they offer that ability to get really personal with promotions but still leverage the meaty thought leadership content that is done at that general level.
  • They will take a thought leadership webinar that’s done by corporate or that’s done for the general population. And then what our platform specifically allows them to do is customize the different calls to action, customize the intros, the outros, the branding on it. And that gives them a really easy way to solve that ABM content challenge, but still personalize the different ways that they want someone to engage with them.
  •  And then I think at a higher level what we’re seeing is a lot of webinars by industry a lot of webinars by persona. And it turns out that because someone’s able to come in and have that conversation and have that interaction, a webinar channel is, is a personalized experience that someone is looking for that goes way deeper than just putting a logo on a landing page.
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Virtual Events, 6 Lessons Learned part 1 of 2

(post 1 of 2)

I just ran a survey recently on marketing demand generation ABM techniques and webinars was the number one tactic across the board for B to B marketers to do. I caught up with Tessa Barron who heads Marketing for On24 and asked her a number of questions.

Tessa, what best practices suggestions would you have using webinars these days?

  1. So I think that the biggest thing I would suggest is stop thinking of webinars as a one off event and something that happens once and then gets thrown away and isn’t integrated as part of your overall buyer’s journey or overall integrated demand gen campaign. We add on 24 no surprise, obviously drink our own Kool-Aid and webinars are far and away our number one tactic when it comes to pipeline and in fact closed one pipeline.
  2. So I’d actually take your survey results one step further and say it’s not just effective from a generation of MQL standpoint, it’s all the way down the funnel. And so what we’ve really done is evolved our webinar program from just being a single event once a month to being something that is always on and is happening on a day in, day out basis. We do that in a few ways. 
    • One, we leverage simulive capabilities, which means you can record something once and replay it again and again. So we have a bottom of funnel webinar called our daily demo that happens every single day at 11:00 AM Pacific. So someone can sign up for multiple days in a week. They figure out it’s a no pressure environment to really get an understanding of our product.
    • And then way at the top of the funnel, we have a lot of different panels. We work with partners, we bring in other voices. What that allows us to do is broaden our perspective, but that can be difficult from a scheduling standpoint. So we, we often record panels, well I have a recording I think tomorrow. And then we’ll run it at a time that is best for all the different parties involved. So we are able to promote with different people and then have the convenience of the scheduling.
  3. Think about webinars as being a part of an integrated demand gen campaign. So you can use all your typical demand gen tactics, like your content reports, your blogs, your eBooks, and those should be driving momentum toward a big culmination, a culminating effect and use webinars or field events to drive urgency to get those prospects to convert.
    • And also to help drive motion with your outbound SDR or BDR teams and also your AEs. There was nothing better for them to then to be able to use a, a point in time to drive that urgency.
    • But if you just think of that as something separate that’s in a silo and not a part of this momentous and has alignment with the other content and messaging you’re pushing, then you’ll lose out on that halo effect that really helps you build that audience over time. And, and pipeline.
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Jon in the Press

…I’ll soon add a dedicated section to the website of the numerous times we’ve been cited in the press, but here are a few to start:

CMS Newswire5 Ways to Prove Marketing’s Worth to the Board of DirectorsOctober 2019
Successly.ioThe 5 Biggest MarTech and ABM Mistakes Made by Marketing LeadersJuly 2018
EngagioHow to Kick-Start an Account Based Marketing StrategyJuly 2018
DemandGen ReportB2B Marketers Looking To Better Track Activity Across Buyer Stages, Channels & CampaignsJune 2018
DemandGen ReportB2B Marketers Looking To Better Track Activity Across Buyer Stages, Channels & CampaignsJune 2018
DemandGen ReportIndustry Experts, Practitioners Sound Off On The Evolution Of B2B Marketing OpsJune 2018
OpenView VentureDemystifying Account Based MarketingMay 2018
DemandGen ReportCustomer Obsession, Analytics & ABM Take Center Stage At Marketing Nation SummitMay 2018
MarTech AdvisorLessons Learned in an Account-Based Approach (ABA)February 2018
MarTech AdvisorWhat Kind of Talent is Required for ABM Success?February 2018
MarTech AdvisorWhen is Account Based Marketing Needed?January 2018
DemandGen ReportSAP America Acquires CallidusCloud For $2.4 BillionJanuary 2018
MarTech AdvisorHow to Convince Stakeholders ABA is Worth DoingJanuary 2018
DemandGen ReportMarketers Preparing For And Adapting To Email Compliance Standards Around The GlobeSeptember 2017
Chief MarketerWhat Are the Biggest B2B Pain Points?August 2017
DemandGen ReportFind Your Perfect Match: 7 Traits To Look For In A B2B AgencyJune 2017
DemandGen ReportB2B Marketers Report Stronger Results From Retargeting Programs Tied To ABM, Segmented CampaignsMay 2017
CIO ReviewMarketing and Sales Alignment Wow FactorMarch 2017
Marketing Land6 keys to more effective email marketingJuly 2016
MarTech AdvisorDigital Selling – 2017 MarTech Integration ChallengesMarch 2016
Sales Leadership Mgmt Assoc.40 Most Inspiring Leaders – Sales Lead ManagementDec 2015
SlideshareCritical KPI/ROI LessonsOctober 2013
SlideshareMarketing Automation – BtoB MagazineAugust 2013
SlideshareSales Enablement ConferenceAugust 2013
SlideshareFinding Relevant Prospects – BtoB Magazine WebinarAugust 2013
OtherDemand Generation: CMO Viewpoint #DemandConMay 2011

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ABM & Data – how to think of it

Want to learn more about data? Click here.

[Jon] Hi I’m here with Scott Vaughan. He’s the Chief Growth Officer of Integrate and Scott and I were just talking about data. Data decays, Scott, at two to three percent per month at the contact level.

Make it very hard for sales and marketing productivity. What are you seeing in terms of an account based marketing strategy with data right now?

[Scott] Well, if you’re gonna do an account based strategy like that, data is everything. You need the account intelligence, you need to be able to build out that buying committee and the contacts. And we’ve got a massive data hygiene problem. We’ve got one in our existing database that we’ve compiled and spent a lot of money to build, so we have to get clean, but we also have one that we’re spending a lot of money on demand dollars from all these sources to bring data in, and frankly, with all the direct integrations and just pushing in lists and all those things without validation, without governance, it’s killing the database even more. So you’ve got this investment in your expensive tools like marking animation, CRM, your data warehouses, and you’re pushing bad data in, and so it’s just compiling. So we are seeing those that have a get clean, clean your database, and stay clean, putting a level of governance and ability to comply at the top, as that data comes through, is really helping demand marketers and leadership focus on driving more value, focus on creating higher conversions, and then being able to do better targeting. That all adds up to more pipeline, more revenue.

[Jon] And who do you see owning the initiative for data governance? It’s a great point about data, and really important point that sometimes people miss, but who do you see as the owner in the organizations that you target?

[Scott] So, revenue ops, which can be sales and marketing or sales or marketing, is really sit at the center. CMOs know they have a problem, even sales leadership knows they have a problem, but we try to work with marketing and sales ops to help drive those conversations. And know that there’s an answer. Because it’s not just, clean your data’s not a big initiative, you tell your CMO that, where’s the revenue? Well it’s a step to be able to go then really increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the investment of your people’s time and everything that you do.

[Jon] Makes sense, and you just recently got promoted to chief growth officer from CMO, what kind of trends, how you feeling about that, what kind of trends are you seeing there?

[Scott] I’m a little overwhelmed, in a good way, we’re a high growth software company so what we decided to do is put somebody in place who pivots and connects sales, marketing, product and customer success, and be able to apply specific account plans and strategies against those, our top 25 customers, using a rough number, our highest potential prospects, and then bringing to bear all the resources, including our technology alliance partners, like Marketo and Bombora, LinkedIn, and then our solutions providers, those are the folks that work on the front line with our customers. So it’s a really exciting role, it’s strategy, but it’s building again. After CMO for five years here at Integrate and building the brand and the initial demand channels, it was time to hand that to somebody else who could do great work at the next level of scale, and this allows our company to have a really intense focus on growth.

[Jon] With the average tenure of a CMO of 18 to 24 months you’ve more than doubled that.

[Scott] I beat the odds. On the data, I survived.

[Jon] Congratulations on that, that’s no small feat, and I guess last question, outside of Integrate, what do you like to do for fun?

Well, lately a lot of hiking and exercise, trying to get that mental health and capacity, that’s been more and more trying to work that in. You know here we’re in Scottsdale, it’s beautiful, trying to get out and about and get that activity going, that’s been the thing I think I’ve added and focused on the most outside of work.

Awesome, well thanks again Scott.

You’re welcome Jon, great to see ya.

Great to see you.


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2015 Sales & Marketing Predictions: Data Relevance

Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, recently said, ‘Data is the key competitive differentiator in today’s business environment.’  I believe he is right.  Data is the star of the 2015 sales and marketing show; enterprises will generate new business, optimize their current state of data, and close more deals as a result of the improvement in data quality.

According to Aberdeen, nearly 91% of B2B Enterprises have not properly optimized their lead flow process.  Proper data is a key ingredient in that optimization.  Despite data not being a ‘balance sheet’ item historically was overlooked by non-marketing executives, executives will begin to assign company initiatives to improve data as they realize the direct correlation of the effectiveness of the inquiry to close conversion process to that of the quality of data in their customer relationship management and marketing automation databases.  CMO’s career credibility relies heavily on the data quality when reporting on their impact to the business and they, too, will invest more cycles in improving the current state of their data.

From this point, companies will begin to experiment with data predictability models.   SaaS based enterprises with large volumes of inquiries and with client usage data will continue to be earlier adopters of such predictive data technology.  SaaS companies will sort out the most probable to deal close or most probable to upgrade, with other companies eventually following suit.  The overall predictive market in 2015 for marketers using data will still be very nascent (<$100M for all companies in the sales and marketing use case) but will be the fastest growth as a percentage quarter over quarter of any marketing technology in 2015.

Lastly, the term ‘Big Data’ will become increasingly meaningless in 2015 as the executive question will pivot from ‘what are we doing in Big Data?’ to ‘how can our data be used to increase productivity…increase sales…decrease customer churn…etc.?’

What do you think will happen in 2015?

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4 Reasons why Marketing Automation changes a Marketer’s SaaS Career.

I just read an interesting post from a fellow EMEA CMO/head of marketing @JWATTON with a thought provoking viewpoint that marketing automation for SaaS (software as a service) US headquartered companies would have less need for heads of regional marketing in locations like EMEA as automation replaces local headcount.    My view is slightly different.  As a head of marketing  for 3 software and service companies with 2 successful exits, I’ve hired in region expertise, spent significant time in Europe, and implemented MAP (marketing automation platforms).   He had some really interesting viewpoints that I wanted to elaborate on – some of which I agreed with and some my view differs.

Here’s how I’m seeing things on what changes marketing automation means for a marketer and her/his career:

  • Marketing automation on its own with no marketer senior level supervision is like a train running downhill without tracks.  The potential to do more harm than good exists when investing in these systems without a clearly defined business objective up front.  The caboose is the MAP, the engine is the objective, the trains that link the caboose to the engine are the process.
  • Marketing automation is a means to an end, not the end itself.   A measurable business outcome should be set with sales tying them to the outcome of the process and also involving them on why this benefits y/our selling cycle.  When automation is performing correctly, revenue is accelerated and sales teams are more informed about their prospects prior to actually contacting them.  A marketer now needs to run that dialogue, that is a new dialogue for ‘dated’ skill set sales people as well as ‘dated’ skill set marketers – it can also be ‘dated’ skillsets for board members who do not know how to measure marketing, adding another complex communication vector to the equation.
  • As @JWATTON identifies in his blog post, Marketers who are not proficient in the latest digital tactics are not going to survive in this new world.   Those that are not steeped in the language of Eloqua, Marketo, SilverPop, Pardon, Hubspot, or any other marketing software that integrates with Salesforce.com will become known as the ‘marketers of the 80s’.  Those that are not proficient in social media like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (follow me @b2bcmo) and understand the social media tie to business objectives will also be ‘80s marketers’.   Lastly, those not proficient in SEO techniques an integrating SEO into the MAP platforms for B2B will also be yesterday’s marketers (NOTE:  today’s integration is challenging).
  • In my mind and contrary to his post, there is always a need to be geographically close to both internal customers (sales) and external prospects and/or customers.  It is nearly impossible for a head of marketing in the US to know and understand the marketing nuances of in region challenges.  Marketing within Germany is a challenge in and of itself;  it’s often a NA centric software company *incorrectly thinks* EMEA is one ubiquitous region to market into (just like the US!) without understanding each country has a different market and a different way of receiving information.   Privacy laws differ dramatically in EMEA and in certain countries moreso than that of the US;  this makes a marketers job in both EMEA and US more complex and raises the bar for a marketer to continually learn, as his post correctly points out.  Also note that contact software today (Dun and Bradstreet, InsideView) are largely North American centric databases, thus requiring another level of thought from an in region marketer.

It’s a round world and we all see things from different viewpoints – how do you see things if this relates to you?