6 Steps to Integrating ON24 Webinar Emails with NetLine

How can you get more engagement from your webinars? Learn the tips, tricks and tactics that make webinars work at Webinar World 2019.

Integrations today are a critical part of the marketing stack puzzle. But getting applications to talk to each other — whether an integration runs directly from app-to-app or uses a third-party solution, like Zapier — isn’t always easy. Recently, we’ve partnered with NetLine, a scalable lead-generation solution, to help drive ON24 webinar syndication through its powerful tool. Netline’s solution allows us to build an offsite content hub enabling a continual lead flow from third-party sources.

Often, third-party syndication can result in a disconnected experience for registrations. For example, registering for a webinar on another website can cause delays between the time a potential attendee registered and the time a confirmation email is sent. This creates a small window of opportunity to either get the registrant to add the live event to their business calendar or to access the on-demand recording. It should be no surprise that when you introduce delays in the handover process, your attendance rates suffer.

To make this partnership better, we created a Marketo integration to seamlessly receive webinar registrants from NetLine directly into ON24’s webinars. We have to say that we’re quite satisfied with the integration and wanted to share our little recipe with you.

The Setup

There are two ways you can get NetLine and ON24 to talk to one another. The first is the easiest: use our direct integration with Netline that brings NetLine registrants to our native Webcast Elite form. The second way is to map Netline to a marketing automation platform, like Marketo, that then maps back to ON24 for faster email communications.

The setup for option number two is easy: We start by creating a Marketo form to be used for the NetLine registrations. NetLine recommends a unique form for each campaign, but we opted to use just one form and to distinguish traffic using hidden fields (if you’ve ever had to make urgent updates on all your Marketo forms, you will appreciate the importance of keeping the number of forms to a minimum).

Once we had our form, we went to NetLine and set up the field mapping at the account level. We set the post URL and map each of the NetLine standard fields to the fields we are using on the webinar registration form:

In this account-level configuration, we also indicated our unique form; this is a “constant” that will show up with each new campaign:

That’s it for the account-level form setup. On to specific campaigns.

Campaigns

The NetLine campaigns are where we add custom fields to the form. We have just one non-standard field, so we add that here, along with its picklist values:

Then the final step of the form setup is to set the campaign-level “Constants” – that is where we add the identifiers for the specific webinar. For this example, we’ll use “Webinars that Rocked 2018.”

We are using our “utm_source” and “utm_campaign” fields as the identifiers here. Our Marketo program for the webinar listens for form-fills with this form ID as well as this utm_campaign.

Leads flow in and the Marketo program takes it from there: the lead is registered for the event in Elite, and the confirmation email containing all the needed webinar information goes out to the registrant.

In Conclusion

Integrating with the NetLine platform gives us seamless registration. The handover from Netline to Marketo to ON24 Elite is working well. We’re able to capture registrant attention while interest is high and deliver an ON24-branded email inviting the registrant into the on-demand recording. As a result, we’re able to drive higher conversions from registration to attendee rates, ultimately improving our on-demand attendance while drastically cutting the time it takes to upload leads.

It’s the Webinerd Ugly Sweater Extravaganza!

Seasons greetings! Today is National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day, and to celebrate, we designed our own festive sweater (big thanks to Sketchdeck and Roody Originals) to share with the webinerd community. To earn one of these beauties, we asked folks to share what it means to be a webinerd, and we LOVED the responses we received.

Below were some of our favorites:

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=1]

We felt like Santa sending these out around the globe and can’t believe how snazzy our customers look in them.

We wouldn’t be here without our amazing community of savvy webinerds. Thanks for your commitment to building beautiful webinar experiences and for being good sports and donning our 2018 edition of the webinerd ugly sweater. And remember, just because your sweater is ugly, doesn’t mean your webinars have to be!

We have a few more great #UglySweater posts for you take a look at below (even a dance we’re going to steal). We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. See you at Webinar World in 2019!

 

New at ON24: New Reporting Features, More Language Options and Better Content Sharing for Your Webinars

How can you get more engagement from your webinars? Learn the tips, tricks and tactics that make webinars work at Webinar World 2019.

At ON24, we’re constantly working to improve both our platform and your experience with it. That’s why when we update our platform, we do so with an emphasis on four major areas: elegant user experiences; scalable products; tools that drive engagement; and delivering actionable and flexible data for better business decisions.

For our latest product update, we’ve crafted several new enhancements improving the overall experience of the ON24 platform. These range from easy access to services and support to improved reports, Facebook Live streaming and new language options. Let’s take a look:

Elegant User Experience

ON24’s unmatched, global, 24-hour support and services just got better. That’s because users can now order services right when they need to directly within Webcast Elite. No more digging around for support when you have an urgent request! Our ON24 Customer Services Team can assist in supporting any part of your program, whether it’s a premium event management package with a dedicated webcast manager or express monitoring and event QA.

Ongoing Engagement

First, ON24 Webcast Elite now lets you share your webinar with Facebook Live audiences, extending the reach of one of your most engaging marketing tools. We made this addition because capturing audience attention means communicating with them where they are. With this addition, you can easily extend your webinar’s reach and capture a broader audience.

Second, we’re releasing a new way for you to expand your audience’s content journey after the live webinar ends. This new feature allows you to automatically redirect your viewers to any URL after an event closes, letting you to spontaneously provide them with the relevant content they’re interested in.

Scalability

Need to add more closed captioned languages to your webinars? Now you can with ON24’s new and improved language options! Our updated closed captioning feature now allows you to enter any custom language for closed captioning — making your webinars more accessible to more audiences across the globe.  

Actionable and Flexible Data

We’ve made two enhancements to our data and analytic tools across the platform. You can now subscribe yourself or anyone in your organization to automated analytics reports — taking one more task off your to-do list and giving more time to focus program optimization. All you have to do is set the timing with the new Report Scheduler tool in Webcast Elite.

Second, and in line with the first, you can now select the date range for Webcast Elite’s top-level analytics dashboard. The days of being limited to 90-days are no more. Additionally, the Webcast Elite Reports dashboard will provide you with performance trends over time, giving you a holistic view of your webinar’s performance.

That’s all for now. If you’d like to learn more about the ON24 Platform and how you can get more out of your webinars, contact us and we’ll set you up. Otherwise, keep an eye on this space for more product updates, how-tos and webinar-enhancing tips!  

 

CMO Confessions EP. 14: App Annie’s Geraldine Cruz

How can you get more from your marketing efforts? Join us at Webinar World 2019 and learn how you can craft a lean, mean marketing machine. 

Hello and welcome to another edition of CMO Confessions, our weekly-ish podcast discussing the latest trends, concerns and innovations in marketing and sales. This week, I had the privilege to talk with App Annie’s Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Geraldine Cruz.

Geraldine started her career in marketing as an analyst for Gartner where, over the short course of six years, she worked her way up the ranks to Vice President. Since then, she’s provided her expertise at institutions like LexisNexis, Bill.com, Kanjoya and more.

At App Annie specifically, Geraldine extracts stories out of data, provides clarity to more than 15 offices across 13 different countries and identifies the company’s must-haves for going to market. If you’re at all curious about what it takes to organize and localize global content, this is the episode for you.

If you’re interested in reading up on Sydney’s career, you can find her LinkedIn profile here. If you’re interested in her musings and expertise, you can find her on Twitter here.

Finally, as usual, if you’re interested in listening to our growing podcast series, you can find all of our episodes right here in podbean. Alternatively, you can also find us on both iTunes and Google Play stores.

Without further ado, welcome to CMO Confessions. Let’s chat.

Transcript:

Joe Hyland:  

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of CMO Confessions, a weekly B2B sales and marketing podcast where we explore what it really means to be a marketing leader in today’s business world. I’m Joe Hyland, CMO here at ON24 and joining me this week from our San Francisco office is Geraldine Cruz, SVP of global marketing at App Annie. Geraldine, welcome.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Thanks, Joe. Nice to be here.

Joe Hyland:   

It’s fantastic having you here. I really appreciate you coming into the office.

Geraldine Cruz:

Yeah, me too.

Joe Hyland:

You should see this setup that we have today. It’s much more professional than our normal setup where we’re thousands of miles apart. Okay, cool. I’ll start with something that I sometimes ask our guests which is, how’d you get this gig? I’d love to hear about your path because I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all path to running global marketing and, and hearing your path. I think it will be particularly interesting for folks.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Sure. So the quick answer is I got this particular job from a recruiter, but the longer story is I starter at Gartner as an analyst back when SaaS was probably starting as an industry. And so back then I followed companies like Salesforce when they got off the ground and I helped other companies like HP, IBM and the like to develop strategies around going to market as a SaaS or as a vertical market player. And so I would do things like a forecast and other types of messaging for primarily marketers. And then after that, I thought about what I really liked doing and I liked the data, I like giving insights, but I really wanted to run a business. And so I’ve done a lot of different types of roles around product marketing at LexisNexis, Bill.com, running marketing organizations. That’s what I love to do, not just running with data or providing insights for other people — I want to leverage all of that for my own business.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah. Um, that’s interesting. Uh, I liked the time at Gartner. What was it like? So was that right out of school? Was that literally your first job?

Geraldine Cruz:

Uh, it was my first official job. The first real job, a real job.

Joe Hyland:

I just say, what was it like, um, because ultimately you ended up being a strategist for, for marketers. Right. And that was one of the roles. What was that like having such a pretty big role? I think you were vice president at Gartner by the time you left and doing that when you had not actually practiced marketing yet. Right? Like in one way you were an expert on the other hand, as you said, you hadn’t actually run the strategy. Right.

Geraldine Cruz: 

That was actually one of those things that I had to grow into when I first started as an analyst. I literally was doing surveys and doing surveys of health care organizations, manufacturers and the like. So I really did a lot of grunt work. So there was, there was a lot of change and education for me over the six or seven years that I was at Gartner. And so it wasn’t immediate and I had to push myself in a lot of different ways. There were instances where I was with IBM and I really had to kind of step it up and just kind of swallow my fears and go for it. But I think along the way it was just a matter of being comfortable around data because that was my job. If I knew my data and my recommendations, well then that served me well.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. I think that’s a good point though, that at some point you have to — anyone has to swallow certain fears and just deal with them, right? No one comes out of the room ready to command a room. So that’s anyway, that’s super interesting.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Yeah. I think about that every day, even in my current job. If you’re not afraid of something, then I think you’re a little too complacent.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. It’s interesting like on one hand, you want to love what you do. And I love marketing. I love what we do. I mean look at the conversation we’re having right now like we shouldn’t be getting paid to do this. Like this is too fun. This is one. I’m on the other hand. Yeah, I need, I don’t know, I need pressure. For me, things won’t get done unless there’s — whether it’s a healthy fear or like a pretty steep hill to climb — I think it’s fun. But also I think it produces great results.

Geraldine Cruz:  

Yeah, absolutely. It’s like taking a challenge to its endpoint. I love marketing and I love talking about it as well.

Joe Hyland:

All right, cool. Okay, let’s, let’s talk about marketing strategy and where strategy kind of meets execution. APP Annie, you guys are a global company and there are pretty diverse challenges and sets of expectations and unique circumstances to any market or any region. What’s your go-to-market strategy like from a global perspective?

Geraldine Cruz: 

Sure. I think from a global perspective, we try as best we can to be scalable for all of the geographic markets that we serve, where we are in 15 different countries, sorry, 13 different countries with 15 offices. And we serve customers in seven different languages. So a go to market strategy that takes into consideration cultures and, and different ways of doing business. There’s a lot of balance that’s involved. And so at a very high level, what we do is we define what our ICP is, what is that customer look like? Is it an enterprise company or is it a mid-market? And then we define how do we go after that. In some countries, like Japan, for example, it takes years to close a business. And so part of that is how do you define what that nurture flow is. And I don’t like to say nurture flow. It’s really how do you cultivate that relationship over that time period.

Geraldine Cruz: 

And so it’s balancing that with, okay, so how do we actually execute? So it’s not just about the strategy, but you know, what kinds of programs are we going to run, what kinds of campaigns and how do we make sure that all of the different assets that we run can be leveraged across as many of our different industries and also geographic markets as possible. That’s the hard part for us. It’s not necessarily easy to go to market in retail banking in the UK as well as the United States without some sort of customization. So, there’s a lot of thought given to how do we actually prioritize what we do and then make it local to that region.

Joe Hyland:

And so you said you have 15 offices or 15 or 13 offices — a lot. How many of those offices do you have marketers roughly? I don’t need an exact count, but…

Geraldine Cruz:

I think soon. Six. Okay. Six or seven.

Joe Hyland:

Okay. So, across most continents?

Geraldine Cruz:

Yes. With the exception of Africa, Antarctica.

Joe Hyland:

I was going to say I’m probably not a huge presence in Antarctica. Okay. And are they, are they primary primarily localization. Are you doing demand-gen locally versus having a centralized hub here in the US? What’s that look like?

Geraldine Cruz: 

Yeah. So our US team is comprised of our content generators as well as product marketing, creative website. And then we also have demand gen that’s focused on the Americas and our regional teams are primarily events, demand gen and localization, obviously.

Joe Hyland: 

Okay. Pretty similar to us. So we try to have like a shared surface hub, if you will, out of San Francisco and then we do localization events, demand-gen and we actually don’t have as many offices as you guys but we’re not too far behind. So you mentioned the, just the kind of off-the-cuff, example of Japan where a market that you really have to have an established presence and you need to have a local presence and it can take time. I’m curious what it’s because we have these challenges. You guys are a pretty fast-growing organization. How do you view a growing as quickly as humanly possible? Which is just the reality for most marketers but while ensuring that you grow the right way? Because we all have these short term deliverables even though we’re probably not necessarily responsible for revenue in marketing, a lot of that growth is coming from marketing, but we need to have a, I think, a longer term view. How do you, how do you look at quality versus immediate scale?

Geraldine Cruz: 

I think that’s always going to be a challenge, especially for — we’re a startup. We are more than a $50 million in revenue, actually much north of that, but at the same time, we have those goals of having hypergrowth. And so, on the one hand, we try to be strategic, but at the same time, we need to be opportunistic as well. So for us, we have a strategic plan every year, every quarter we review them, we review our results every quarter. But then there might be opportunities, for example, it can be in PR where somebody wants a quote based on a mobile app that’s growing fast. And so we’ll do a whole bunch of analysis to have a quote for that particular story. And so it takes a little bit of discipline.

Geraldine Cruz:

I mean the same with like MQLs. We, I’m sure that a lot of other companies have the same problem where we might generate a lead in a target account, but it’s not necessarily ready yet, but, you know, an SDR will go in and jump on it. I mean, it’s kinda hard to say, “You know, hang on just a second,” because there are times when an SDR does help cultivate that relationship and it goes on to be a closed won deal. So I think there’s always balance, as long as there’s some thought ahead of time, I think you can kind of counter some of that opportunistic to just jump on it right away.

Joe Hyland:

I know it’s hard. And actually, SDR is a good example because this will happen here. We have a sales development team, sounds like just like you guys do, and an example of going kind of out of traditional flow would be we have a webinar coming up, super successful, you know 500 to 1,000 people registered, we’re really excited and SDRs will, you know, the week of the webinar say, “Hey, I booked all these meetings based off of people who have registered.” And on one hand, it’s like, I don’t want to dissuade them from being proactive. Isn’t that great? And it sounds like some people actually were receptive to this call. That said, if I registered for an event and someone from sales called me about scheduling a sales call, I’d kind of say, “Well, let me consume your content first. Right?” So yeah, you kind of have to balance those two.

Geraldine Cruz:

Yeah, I think as marketers we are a little more critical of them. Perhaps it’s not that way for someone outside of marketing.

Joe Hyland:

Oh, we are. That’s where our spaces are pretty different. We are marketing to marketers. So I’m marketers tend to be pretty savvy at least to marketing. That’s a different challenge.

Joe Hyland:

So another thing I’m curious about, it sounds like your market is pretty rapidly shifting, right? Things move quickly. We talked about go to market strategy but, and you talked about reviewing results every quarter, even though you have a longer term strategy and a plan, how do you ensure that you guys are going to market in a real agile way so that marketing is just as dynamic as the market you’re going after? And probably at some point, it’s helpful to talk a little bit more about your space because I think the audience members would benefit from hearing about the market.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Sure. So just by way of background App Annie is a data as a service provider and so we provide mobile market data on apps throughout the world and what our customers do with our data is to use it to identify markets that they want to enter, identify what customers actually want in new features and apps or what kinds of marketing campaigns work. And also how are their apps or fairing relative to their competitors? And so the types of personas that we go after are marketers and product marketers, sorry, product managers and even investors. So how do we become agile? I would say that we have a certain level of…we have…let me back up: We want to answer the question in the way of how do you stay agile but at the same time stay true to your, your strategy. And we have a go to market strategy that focuses on those, those, um, personas that I mentioned and the specific industries because some industries are not as ripe for, for mobile market data as others. So we have like a core strategy. But then to be agile around that, we’re constantly, I’m trying to figure out which apps are actually a fairing well, what were the hot new apps. And so we also have a research team that goes in and identifies all of the new stories that we should be paying attention to interest on, that we can actually leverage for a content offer press as well as for our assets and webinars. And so there’s this constant digging into the market, digging into the data.

Joe Hyland:

Do you find this interesting? Is there, and this might not be the case, I’m curious, is there a little bit of a separation of church and state between the research arm versus the go to market arm or do they, do they sync quite well?

Geraldine Cruz:  

I think they see sink really well. The person who runs our insights and research team, Danielle Levitas, she’s done marketing before for App Annie. And so come at it from a very collaborative perspective because what her team unearths, those are the stories that we’re going to be pitching not only to the press but also to our own customers, prospects. Those are the stories that are going to be compelling because, in the end, marketing is about writing a story. And especially for a data company like us, it’s about what stories can we actually tell and what stories are going to be the most important for our customers.

Joe Hyland:  

Yeah. Got It. Okay. So yeah, so that research is probably a mission critical for your demand Gen.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Oh yeah, absolutely.

Joe Hyland:

Is data, so. Okay. So, so you guys provide data as a service. Let’s talk about the data you guys use for your marketing. Is the research arm the kind of primary data driver and deliver for your campaigns? Or, how do you look at that?

Geraldine Cruz:  

So that it… I would say it’s more the content provider for assets. So for webinars and white papers and reports, but what we use from our, from our own data that’s, you know, from our own backend, Salesforce, CRM and Marketo. And so it’s capturing all of that on the back end and leveraging that to make decisions about what we go after. So the apps that we cover aren’t necessarily our potential customers. Some of them are, but not all of them. And so, I would say that our own data we don’t use for prospecting for example.

Joe Hyland: 

Got It. Okay. Got It. That’s helpful. Yeah. So for ON24, we have our industry benchmarks, for example, which is data on our platform. We anonymize and aggregate and then we use it for two things and we can talk about thought leadership. And the second one is just to kind of push out general advice and best practices to the market and — we truly want people to be delivering better webinar marketing. But then, part two, is it’s a great demand gen driver for us. So our best demand gen programs or marketing programs really stem from our best content. So we try to be really true with going to market with what we feel is content that people want and, oh, by the way, and when people want it we, we get better results on the sales side. Is Pretty similar content marketing to demand gen strategy for you guys or is it different?

Geraldine Cruz:  

I think it’s a little bit, a little bit different only in the sense that I’m, the primary consumers of our data aren’t necessarily trying to market, they’re trying to build features. And so I would say that they use our data for benchmarking against other apps and we actually are selling benchmarking data so that, an app publisher can actually determine whether or not I’m a competitive app or leading app has better downloads or higher usage. So, that’s actually what we sell and not just, you know, this is a demand gen tool. It’s, it’s what we offer.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah. A little different from us in that. So yeah, you want to talk about being B2B to C? I’m curious, do you consider yourself a, B2B marketer a, B2B, or is the first one, B2B2C actually a definitive category?

Geraldine Cruz: 

So I would say App Annie itself is B2B2C. I’m a B2B marketer. I’ve marketed primarily to businesses my entire career. What I mean by App Annie Being B2B2C is that our customers are primarily brands, CPG, consumer packaged goods companies, and so, they have consumers as their customers. And so we offer data to help them market to their or build products for their customers. So that’s why I say B2B2C.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah. And so for, and it sounds like you have concentrations, in, high concentrations in particular verticals or industries, right? Do you feel you have to become an expert in‚ you just mentioned CPG? Do you feel with your marketing, you guys have to be experts within the CPG space? Meaning, do you need to know their audience inside and out as a part of your marketing? Are you marketing to proctor and gamble?

Geraldine Cruz:

That’s actually a great question. And I think because our data is about their customers, we have to be smart about their customers. Because if we can’t demonstrate that we know about their customers that we can’t really demonstrate the value of our data. So, a lot of our insights are actually driven from the data that we have on retailers, customers or a brand’s customers.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah. I suspected that. And this is one thing… this a shift I see in marketing and it’s just great marketing, but I think it’s easy to forget that. So I’m a quick story is I was visiting FitBit — a customer of ours — and someone on our accounts team asked if I would come and meet their head of demand gen. So anyway, great meeting, but midway through the meeting, we were talking about how ON24 helps technology companies. And finally, the head of demand gen turned to me and said, “Listen, I know that we’re a technology company, but we market to — in this case it was the team marketing to HR — so they, FitBit, actually has a team that goes and sells to businesses. And she respectfully said, “If you can’t tell me something really intelligent about marketing to HR, there’s really not a lot of value for me to be in the meeting.” She didn’t want to hear us talk about tech. She wanted us to know her audience. And I think like if you have an ICP go to market model, knowing your ideal customer profile and knowing segments, I think marketers have to step up and know the end user of their immediate audience. That’s a pretty big shift.

Geraldine Cruz: 

I think so. And quite frankly, I think a lot of the focus on the product, sometimes, is driven by the fact that — we’re in the tech market here. And, uh, it’s very much, I think, a function of the product orientation of a lot of startups or even companies that have been around for a long time. It’s let me tell you about our products and let me tell you about our features and even our benefits of our products but not necessarily how can I help you do what you need to do better or more efficiently or more intellectually. So I think that’s the missing part.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah. When I was in college, I was considering what, what to major in. Someone, one of my friends who is an economics major said, “Hey, let me draw a pretty simple supply and demand curve.” And she said, “Do you understand this?” I was 18 or 19? And I said, “Yeah, no, that makes sense, right?” And she said, “Okay, good. Well, because this is a core principle and fundamental of economics and some people just, it doesn’t resonate. And if you can’t understand this, don’t stay away from economics.” I think that for marketing is, and it’s so basic, you just said it, it’s never about you and it’s always about your audience and I don’t know if it happens more out here in Silicon Valley, but I see so many companies so eager to say why they’re so great — and that is just, it breaks the basic tenet and principle of marketing.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Yeah, it does. And, I think it’s, it’s. I would say that a lot of technology companies are not as advanced. I don’t want to say that they’re not advanced in their marketing, but it’s, I think that the product gets a lot more of the attention than the actual, “How do I sell the product? How do I position it in a way that’s really compelling to prospects and customers?” So I think it’s just a fundamental shift in basically the creators of those products.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah, I’ll say it differently. I think there are brilliant product architects here in San Francisco and the Bay Area. There’s a lot of shitty marketing. I mean, there really is a lot of bad marketing. Maybe that’s good for you and me, but I think there’s a dearth of excellent marketing out here.

Geraldine Cruz:

Yeah, and I’ll be honest, I’m guilty of, you know, highlighting all the, all the great features of these products without really thinking about how is someone going to use this? Or how, you know, what does this actually really mean? Why does it matter? So I’m, I’m guilty, guilty of it too.

Joe Hyland:   

Yeah. One of my first product marketing jobs, I had an amazing boss who every time I would write something, I’m his only comment would be why? Why does it matter? Why does it matter? And I remember writing this two-page brief at one point and they had said it like 30 times and he was like, “Why does that matter, Joe? You just listed amazing features.” Sure. I think there’s a benefit but what’s the difference? Right. So, yeah, that’s interesting. Okay. I guess I touched on some of it for me. We talked about what we love and marketing, what, what drives you insane?

Geraldine Cruz:

I would say, right now, deciphering the differences between marketing technology. I have a whole bunch of emails about why something is, is a great ABM platform, for example. I get a whole bunch of them all the time, but unless I really dig deep I don’t feel like I truly understand what the differences are between this and that platform. So I think that’s one of my big pet peeves about marketing right now.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s a good one. For me, I think it’s interesting that marketers, or at least in the Bay Area, a lot of marketers, think technology will solve their marketing. I don’t know about you, technology, we both provide technology — but if you’re not careful, it can really complicate things. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a silver bullet.

Geraldine Cruz: 

No. In fact, oftentimes there’s so many, even for our own product, there are instances where people don’t use it. They don’t know how to use it, and so they never get value out of it. And so, I’d say that’s definitely real and there’s a lot of software that I haven’t used. And it just is so much easier for me to cut it out of the budget next year because I haven’t used it.

Joe Hyland: 

Yeah, I think that’s a good point where we’re trying. Again, neither of us are enormous companies, but we’re trying to trim down our martech stack, right? I’m not looking to have 30 or 40 pieces of technology. Having them all work together as complicated and you said it at the start with your time at Gartner and then what you love doing: technology is not a strategy. It’s kind of like when marketers talk about a whole bunch of tactics — like that’s not a strategy. Putting in an ABM platform isn’t going to solve your personalization strategy. Right?

Geraldine Cruz: 

Yeah. And it’s probably going to end up being more work for me because now it’s got to be GDPR compliant. And so going through the hassles of — not the hassles — I don’t want to say that because there is good in privacy, data protection, but there are more hurdles to face.

Joe Hyland:   

Tons more hurdles. Well, so let’s go out on GDPR because I can talk about this all day. I’m curious, what about it do you, without going through all the legislation, what about it do you think is good? And then we can get to where perhaps it’s, it’s too stringent

Geraldine Cruz: 

Oh Wow. We don’t have lawyers around.

Joe Hyland:        

I know, that’s why I’m saying we don’t need to go into implied consent and explicit consent. But what do you think is what is helping marketers? Because I feel like a lot of marketers have had an over-reliance on what we call click marketing is basically just blasting out 3 million people a week and said, “Cool. We’re all set for the program this week.” So I feel like some of it’s good, right?

Geraldine Cruz: 

Yeah, I think that protecting privacy is really important and in fact, Apple has a very white hat approach to privacy and so there’s a lot of good in that. And so GDPR I think has good intentions. I think the way it’s been executed, you know, we’re going to find obviously over the next couple of years, a lot of, perhaps, either loopholes or like places that are way too stringent. I think one of the areas that’s a little too stringent in my opinion, but this is just purely my opinion, not App Annie’s opinion. And that is, you know if you have a history of interactions with a customer, but don’t have explicit consent — as of May 25th or whenever that date was — officially you can’t communicate with them over email. And so I think that in and of itself is challenging. At least that’s legal guidance that we were provided. So there are elements of it that are just not pragmatic or you could tell that the intent to interact was already provided or it was implicitly provided, but because we don’t have that documentation then we can’t.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. It was interesting to see because we worked with a lot of our — it’s funny, I asked you the question, I was like, I don’t know about lawyers, now I’m talking I’m like, “Oh shit, I shouldn’t say this.” We weren’t setting guidance for our customers, but of course, there is data that’s captured in a Webinar, right? It’s a digital event. So we had to have a point of view. And it was really interesting, some with our customers, but also just I have a lot of friends in marketing — my wife works in marketing — it was interesting to see how different companies had a different read on the legislation. My sense was the larger the company, the more strict the interpretation was. Going back to having to really emphasize growth and scale, I feel like some smaller companies perhaps were a little more liberal with the interpretation. I think it will be a bit of a moving target over the next couple of years. And it was interesting. I could talk about this for an hour or two.

Geraldine Cruz: 

Yeah, I could too, I just remembered the painful months prior to May.

Joe Hyland:

Can you. Oh yeah, same. And by the way, total aside. I tend to not like being stuck in very heavy operations meetings like when we start going, when there’s a meeting with our marketing and sales ops to go through how data moves from Marketo to Salesforce or what fields will be captured, like I don’t know, it’s just not what I’m interested in. Yeah, so I had to endure literally months of this. It wasn’t fun, was it?

Geraldine Cruz:  

No, and you probably have, because you’re a vendor for us. So, we had to get a DPA from you. Yeah, that’s right. And so you probably had to like work through all of that with the customer communications and documentation that’s — I think that was the hard part for me.

Joe Hyland:

That part wasn’t as bad. The bad part for me was we probably had 30 or 40 meetings with our lawyers and outside counsel and there was just like nothing I would rather avoid than that. It’s just so boring, right? So

Geraldine Cruz:

Yeah, I guess the lawyers made off with GDPR.

Joe Hyland: 

That’s true. They very much did, as they do with any regulation. Well, listen, Geraldine, this has been fantastic. I think we’re pretty much past the bottom of the hour. Thank you again so much. I really enjoyed the conversation.

Geraldine Cruz: 

My pleasure

Joe Hyland:

Okay. This is fantastic. Thanks so much.

Geraldine Cruz:

Thanks.

Webinars: The New News

Whatever your politics are, I think that we can all agree that how and where we get our news is dramatically changing. We don’t know who to trust, we don’t know where to turn and increasingly we are turning away from conventional choices and moving towards non-traditional channels to get information that we feel is more tailored to our needs.

This behavior in our personal lives is beginning to spill into our professional lives as well. In a digital landscape where we are constantly being bombarded with an endless stream of messages, most aimed at selling us something, we need to work harder to uncover the practical information that we need to get our jobs done.

The New News in B2B

In the business world, webinars have really stepped up to become the “new news” source. Companies from every industry, are beginning to create serialized webinar programming to deliver updates on changing market conditions, to interoperate and analyze current events, provide guidance on hot topics or simply deliver regular best practices and training.

This programming establishes companies as the trusted source or advisor, the thought leaders in their specific area of expertise. And yes, establishing that kind of trust means that prospects will come back often and ultimately be more likely to convert into customers.

These webinars often look different than your standard talking-powerpoint presentations. They often feature presenters, on camera, that become “personalities” for their companies. They may broadcast from a nice studio set, but in many cases, they may simply use webcams to quickly and easily, “get on the air” to deliver the latest updates.

Real-Time Feedback on Breaking News

This type of webinar is often very interactive as well. One well-known financial services company delivers a weekly webinar that begins with a market update, followed by a few polls to gauge audience reaction to the latest news, then they have an entire section dedicated to simply taking questions from attendees so that they can have a conversation about the events at hand. People love this type of engagement; the webinars are informative and the interactivity makes it more authentic, more human.

It is my prediction, that in 2019, we will see “news style” webinars being to appear across every major industry and many sub-industries as well. Where there is a need for information, there will be a webinar series to help people figure it all out. The question is who will get there first?

If you would like to get a deeper look into the future of webinar marketing in 2019, join me for “Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2019.” Looking to get more out of your webinar program? Join us at Webinar World 2019 for in-depth tips and tricks for webinar success. 

The Secret to Engaging Stories? Ask NPR’s Scott Simon at Webinar World 2019

Looking for great webinar guidance? Get the freshest webinar tactics and strategies at Webinar World 2019.

The best way to grab an audience’s attention is to tell an engaging story. It helps, too, if you have a wealth of experience to draw on for inspiration. Scott Simon, war reporter, world traveler, best-selling author, renowned journalist, Peabody award-winner and host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” has both plenty of experience and the know-how to tell a gripping narrative.

That’s why we’re happy to announce that Simon will share his storytelling secrets with attendees at Webinar World 2019. Webinar World 2019, which centers on the theme “Engage for Action,” runs from March 11 to 13, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, California. The three-day conference brings together digital engagement experts, marketing, training and communications leaders, webinar practitioners and, yes, storytellers to share strategies, best practices and tactics for audience engagement and business growth.

In addition to Simon, Webinar World 2019 will feature several keynote speakers, including:

Webinar World 2019 also features a robust, hands-on series of breakout sessions guided by companies on the frontier of digital engagement, such as Oracle Netsuite, Salesforce, Box, SAP, Merrill and many more.

Ready to take your marketing and storytelling to the next level? Register for Webinar World 2019 today and prepare to engage for action!

What Webinars Rocked 2018? Discover on Dec. 12

It’s the end of the year and everyone is ready for the big holiday break and a fresh start to 2019. So, take the time to wind down from work at work on Dec. 12 and join us as we take a look at the Webinars That Rocked 2018.

Webinars That Rocked — taking place at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) — is our most popular webinar of the year and is a great opportunity to sit back, relax and grab some inspiration for 2019.

During this webinar, we’ll go over this year’s standout events, examine fantastic webinar uses from top brands, explore new webinar formats and reveal the webinars that rocked 2018. Best of all, you get to decide 2018’s best webinars! Tune in and vote for who you think should take home the grand prize of “Webinar of the Year” and maybe take home a few great ideas to implement as well. All you have to do is register here.

Interested in more amazing webinars? Come meet the designers and get some webinar inspiration at Webinar World 2019! Click here for more details.

CMO Confessions Ep 13: SalesLoft’s Sydney Sloan

Interested in more great marketing insights? Register for Webinar World 2019, running from March 11 – 13, and learn the secrets to stepping up your marketing game.

Hi and welcome to another edition of CMO Confessions, a weekly-ish podcast covering all things marketing and sales. This week, we have Sydney Sloan, CMO at SalesLoft, on to discuss how marketing is evolving with the times — and why marketers of all stripes need to challenge the way they attribute leads.

Her secret? SalesLoft doesn’t use MQLs — and that exclusion a central part of their strategy as they shift to an account-based marketing approach. This is another great episode and I highly recommend you give it a listen as we begin entering the new year and start planning new strategies.

If you’re interested in reading up on Sydney’s career, you can find her LinkedIn profile here. If you’re interested in her musings and expertise, you can find her on Twitter here.

Finally, as usual, if you’re interested in listening to our growing podcast series, you can find all of our episodes right here in podbean. Alternatively, you can also find us on both iTunes and Google Play stores.

Without further ado, welcome to CMO Confessions. Let’s chat.

Transcript

Joe Hyland:

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of CMO Confessions, a weekly B2B sales and marketing podcast where we explore what it really means to be a marketing leader in today’s business world. As always, I’m Joe Hyland, CMO here at ON24 and joining me this week from the Bay Area is Sydney Sloan, CMO of SalesLoft. Sydney, How are you doing?

Sydney Sloan:

I’m doing great, thank you.

Joe Hyland:

That is fantastic having you on, thank you so much. Alright, well I’ll dive right in with something that is always fascinating to me and I don’t mean for this to come across as any way of a cynic or any negative energy at the start. But what, what drives you crazy about our world, this B2B marketing landscape that we live in today?

Sydney Sloan:

Uh, I don’t know about drives me crazy, and I know it’s meant to be provocative, but I think we’re in such a fast-changing pace and the world that we’re in, and I think what I love is that marketing’s being held more accountable than ever on our contribution to the business. So I guess if I had to critique anyone saying it’s, you know, people who aren’t moving from marketing who are moving into the new world fast enough that still maybe use, and I don’t want to say vanity metrics, but vanity metrics, were things that marketing is doing same impressions or MQLs that don’t actually turn into business drivers. So, where there’s that mismatch between, “Hey, Rah, Rah, Marketing’s doing great,” but the business isn’t growing, so there’s something wrong here. So if I would have to say that it’s like making sure that the leaders of marketing have a seat at the table as an executive and our are fully in lockstep with their, their counterparts on growing the business and admit when stuff isn’t going well. It’s not always good to have good numbers when the other hand is not succeeding.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I mean that’s, yeah, that is the definition of a vanity metric, right? Well, let’s talk. Let’s talk about that alignment because I think this is a popular topic among B2B marketers is being aligned with sales. I think a lot of marketers still struggle with this. It’s something they love to say, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily inherent in their day to day actions. I’d love to get your take on alignment with the sales team and what does that mean?

Sydney Sloan:

Yeah, I think it’s threefold. It’s first of all and empathizing with salespeople that selling is hard — their job is hard. We have to do whatever we can to make that easier. I’m also having customer empathy and owning the entire experience of the customer. I believe that marketing has a responsibility to bring that to light. So I’ll always take a customer first mindset across all parts of the organization, but at the end of the day, I think what’s transitioned the most, I know it’s been a buzzword over the last few years, but it is really taking an account based approach for B2B marketers. And if sales and marketing are in lockstep around account based and are truly working through and leveraging data and science to identify those target accounts when we are working them together, that’s where it changes.

And I’ve, the last three companies have kind of the first dip the toe the last one was kind of a hybrid share. We’re doing account based but yet still what’s marketing doing for me? And then I took over the entire SDR function as well and it was like, you know, we didn’t really own all aspects of inbound and outbound and with SalesLoft it’s a 100 percent account-based marketing. So accounts we work closely with, sales ‚ MQL doesn’t exist in my world and I’m so, so pleased. So we look at pipeline, we look at influence and we’re just working in lockstep with our sales counterparts. I’m trying to generate business, keep our customers happy and grow the business overall.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, it sounds so simple when you say it that way and it’s actually refreshing to hear that alignment and that focus. I want to come back to MQLs not existing for you because I’m fascinated by that. But first I want to talk about you said the metric is pipeline and it sounded like a singular metric. Do you measure just overall pipeline versus giving credit to where it comes from or how does that work?

Sydney Sloan:

So there are three aspects to our pipeline which I think are good and they’re good check and balances. We track a target account pipeline. So far our target accounts, what’s that pipeline? And then we track non-target inbound just so we can see the differences between where the leads are coming from and they, they pass through different processes internally on our side. The second part of that is what percentage of target account pipeline marketing influences our goal is 80 percent. So, we track about at that level. So, given that we are SalesLoft and we use our own tools, that I don’t actually use a marketing automation platform and, and the teams truly do lean into outbound that, you know, I feel a bit a little bit spoiled, to be honest as a marketer that, you know, it’s our DNA and that’s what we do and we want to showcase that to others. So I really get to see know a true outbound based company and approach.

But the other aspect that I talked about that check and balance is we look at pipeline, pipeline influence and all the conversion metrics that are associated with that. But my sales counterpart books just at opportunities for him, the numbers game is different because just how we could change the metrics on MQL. Anybody can change what the value of an opportunity is before it closes. So he’s looking at it in a different way in terms of the number of sales qualified opportunities, set it from a pure number of account opportunities that we’re working and then we can play around with the variables between them.

Joe Hyland:

We have a similar view by the way, where we look at a total dollar value for obvious reasons. However, what, what you said, who was a lesson learned for us in terms of not that there’s a malintent but it’s pretty easy to manipulate that number, a $10,000 opportunity all of a sudden one day as a $50,000 opportunity and I hope my sales management off my back and sure enough all close at $10,000 a month from now, but I’ll deal with that then. So we moved to opportunity count both for pipeline and then also deal. So it’s just a way to kind of disaggregate the business.

Sydney Sloan:

Exactly. I think to people, and you know, where you get the model where you start selling to small and medium enterprise and almost start small to medium businesses and then start selling into the enterprise. That metric changes exponentially because of all of the sudden you’ve got people putting in six-figure deals where before it might’ve been low to figure and you’re like, wow, that’s awesome. But really the number of opportunities isn’t changing.

Joe Hyland:

Well, you also mentioned something in there that I love is, you know, what it’s like working for a true outbound company. And some of that is you guys need to have that mindset — I’m sure you’re passionate about it because it was exactly. Well, it’s interesting. And I think a love to get your take on this. I think this has happened over the last, I don’t know, five or eight years where so many marketers were enamored with an inbound strategy and in no way mean to shit on having a smart inbound mechanism within your marketing department is obviously very important.

However, I’m a firm believer in controlling one’s destiny and I think a great marketing team needs to have a great outbound strategy and I feel like outbound, it’s kind of become this four-letter word. Whereas a lot of marketers who think they know that what works yet they don’t necessarily want to talk as much about what they’re doing on an aggressive outbound strategy. But I think that’s just great. A great demand-gen strategy. And I’m curious if you see something similar or you think marketers have come back and the pendulum has swung back to marketers really believing that outbound is critical for their success.

Sydney Sloan:

So I see two things. One is from a personal experience. What I find interesting is, if we’re talking about our lead, well there’s two things. First of all, for the test of time, the complaints are “marketing never generates enough leads,” and then we say, “sales, why aren’t you falling up on my leads?” That’s true, the story hasn’t changed regardless of if there were 150 people in the tech marketing landscape or 7,000 companies, right? But it’s still the adage to the age-old adage. The issue is kind of where their responsibility lies and how we’re starting to track that. And in taking over the sales development or the business development function or responsibility as a marketer changed.

And as much as, I hate to say that just because people shifted on an org chart from one team to another that things should be different, but for me it was. Where we started thinking about them as one of the marketing channels. So we had all our different channels, webcasts or our advertising channels, what we were driving from trials, but we weren’t thinking about outbound as one of our leavers in the marketing world of things that we could do to impact. And so, once the CRM team became part of our organization, that changed and we started thinking about that as another aspect. And I got that as a piece of advice from a counterpart — a colleague one day. Now what I see being at SalesLoft and talking a lot more is a to lots of folks, about 30 percent of companies in high-tech currently have the business development function under marketing.

And, which is I believe that pendulum swings back and forth, the SDR, BDR team, you know, depending on where it sits, but at least the alignment is coming together more closely and we know that if we’re generating leads, we need to be just working as hard to convert those over to opportunities. And so, if you’re looking at your cohorts and saying, you know, what’s going on between my whatever, like I said, I don’t use MQLs anymore, but the leads that I’m generating and the, and the accounts that are being worked in the activity levels and engagement levels on the accounts holistically, marketing and sales should be looking at that view, I think.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. Well, that goes back to what you said earlier on your, how you look at your pipeline. You’ve targeted accounts so you and sales, marketing and sales together, have come up with a list of your ideal customer profile or the group of accounts that you say, Hey, they’re insane if they’re not using SalesLoft. Right? And is that, is that literally how you begin your marketing and sales strategy from this, from this core group of accounts,

Sydney Sloan:

We have three tiers as every good ABM huckster should. And the question is, you know, in my previous company we had 50 companies in the top tier. At SalesLoft we have 10. So we’re hyperfocused on 10 for each of our sales teams, commercial and enterprise. So those are the ones that we really do feel that the most opportunity is gonna come from. And my advice has always that you’ve got a good blend of your existing accounts in that top 10 if you’re going to put that much resource into them. The second and third tiers, you know, we’re still using data and exploring different data points in order to get to that. What I’ve, what I’ve learned is we can use more technology triggers as kind of the roadmap for whether or not this count is more successful. Let me explain because that might have sounded confusing.

So for instance, for us we are going after companies were previously we’re going after SaaS companies that we knew had a strong inside sales and business development teams — and there is a known universe of that. But as our need to grow increases and we need to go after net new accounts, what we wanted to do is we’re saying, well, let’s think about this. If there are companies that are buying ABM technologies, they are inherently account-focused, therefore they should have outbound as part of their strategy. And so we started looking at what’s the footprint of ABM technologies in accounts and using that as part of our scoring model. I’m definitely interested in this whole idea of intent and exploring the intent score around those to help stack-rank the accounts.

So I think, you know, there’s a lot of science and data that can be applied, but at the end of the day, you’re still doing the handshake with sales and in having them select as well based on different segmentation. So I wouldn’t say we’ve got yet our tier two and three nailed in terms of the right pieces, but we’re constantly tweaking and finding new approaches to figure out what the right accounts are in that second tier. And then the third tier is kind of just keeping them warm. Right?

Joe Hyland:

I think that’s smart too because I don’t think anyone who, my opinion, anyone who tells you that there’s a specific formula and this is bolted to the ground is full of it. Like you, you need to be somewhat flexible and agile because perhaps for that top tier I could be argued into that. But other than that, I think you’ve got to be somewhat flexible in terms of the definition.

Sydney Sloan:

I used to say that I’m creative meetings where my guilty pleasure, I loved going into creative meetings and, and working with the teams on concepts and now it’s, believe it or not, tech and data meetings and just because we have so much information available to us and there is so much more science that can be applied and constant learning. There’s so much gold in there that we just need to continue to push the bar and try and figure out how to get it right and it’s constantly changing.

Joe Hyland:

Isn’t it interesting how, how marketing just constantly adapts? You’re right. I think 10 years ago it became incredibly important to be more analytical and use data to make smarter decisions, which is great. Now, marketers have to be somewhat well versed in technology, which I’m not ancient, but when I started in marketing and there really wasn’t much tech to choose from, we were in early salesforce customer and we added in Eloqua and we were pretty advanced. I mean that was our tech stack. There really wasn’t anything else other than our website, of course. Now it’s insane. Even at ON24 or not a huge company, but we have about 20 pieces of technology in our marketing tech stack and it’s not a trivial amount. So you’re right I find myself in a lot of tech stack discussions and I don’t know if I like it or not.

Sydney Sloan:

Maybe I do because it’s after filling after marketing technologist for so long and technology that I didn’t use if that makes sense now being able to say, “okay, this industry [intelligible] and then how to apply it for my own needs is interesting. I remember back, Gosh, 10 years ago when you did 10 years, I had to calculate and like 2008. What was I doing then? But that was it, right? There was the rise of the digital marketer and I was working at Adobe at the time and so it was so funny. We were teaching the sales guys, okay, well you go to Linkedin and you type in “digital marketing.” I’m like there’s someone there like “I found one!” And you know that was 10 years ago. Now, it’s like you have all this data, these contacts and we’re plugging into these systems, we’re bringing it front and forward to the sales reps to be able to do personalized prospecting on.

Sydney Sloan:

And I mean, there’s just so much there, but that has created its own unique challenges in terms of what marketing automation kind of, that way that happened and now the way that we’re in, we’re personalization matters and really helping build the connection and break through the noise. I mean it sounds and we say it all the time but it’s true. We just did a survey actually were between buyers and sellers and we were asking the question, what do you think is, is buying harder or is selling harder? And both audiences said selling is harder. So it was like 74 percent of the sales teams and sales were harder, but 70 percent of the cut the buyers said sales was hard, too. And it’s just the number, the amount of competition I’m trying to reach your contact and saying something meaningful, like don’t waste their time. Um, and those were the three kinds of pieces of why they thought it was hard.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think they’re right. You’re 100 percent in control selling whether we like it or not. You are not like it’s not a, it’s not even a question.

Sydney Sloan:

And then the last thing I need is another 50 emails in my inbox.

Joe Hyland:

Oh, tell me about it. It’s the bane of my existence every morning, even with spam filters. I’m curious. So you referenced an intent earlier using intent data for me, the verdict somewhat out on the effectiveness of that though that said we are, we also are using intent data or trying to. We’ll see how successful we are. What do you think…are you a believer in predictive intent data to drive decisions?

Sydney Sloan:

I think they both have their use and my experience with predictive was mixed, I’ll be honest. But I do what I learned after the fact was if you are going through and have like a top of the funnel, goodness problem. Like I have so many customers in the top of my funnel, I need to figure out which ones to kind of push through the funnel. Predictive was a good model for that and, for us, it was a challenge because we were changing who we’re going after, so we didn’t want to continue to sell who we were selling to so that didn’t quite work for my previous company. With intent, I started using it last year when it started to come out and it does give you another data point, it’s just how much are you going to rely on that and in where you’re going to invest your resources.

So, it makes logical sense and how they’re thinking about that, hey, if people are going to Google and search, you know, they’re already looking forward if they’re going to G2 Crowd, those are very strong indications, but if they’re out in the open web, I’m also searching for things that might relate to you, it’s a signal. So we kind of treated as another data point. It’s not the holy grail per se, but it’s something, another data point to look at.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. So same for us. And it sounds like we’re at a pretty similar stage with it. My challenge or our challenge is, how much information or at what point does too much information become just that — overwhelming and too much. So, we’re using it pretty heavily in marketing and we’re still tweaking with what ultimately gets passed onto sales. Just because sometimes I feel like there are false positives in there and I can just be a little overwhelming.

Sydney Sloan:

Yeah, we’re currently not passing to sales either. So, I’m with ya.

Joe Hyland:

Okay, cool. You referenced the death of the MQL earlier. I’d love to go back to that because you’re right though, I mean, this is marketers have a lot of control over scoring and it’s pretty easy to manipulate MQL count and I think it — in the wrong environment can lead to finger pointing back and forth between marketing and sales — which is the antithesis of how we started this conversation on getting that alignment. You guys have done away with the MQL altogether?

Sydney Sloan:

It doesn’t exist and I can’t say that I could take credit for it. It was, it was not in place when I got there, so I didn’t have to put it in place, but it’s interesting, there still might be something there in the nurturing side, but we didn’t have the… SalesLoft was already fully into the ABM model before I got there. So I need to thank the team for being forward-thinking. Here’s kind of the part where I’m struggling with, is that there’s still, what is the indication of is there more that marketing could be doing to warm up accounts before they get passed through? So I’d like to look at as we look at target account engagement and the amount of the number of accounts we’re influencing, can we help the influence within the account level? How much?

Sydney Sloan:

One of the things that we did use to do that, I’d like to figure out, and I was talking to John Miller about this the other day. We were at an event together and we used to do these things called smoke reports where you could see, did you have engagement across multiple contexts in a single account? So I’d like to be able to bring that sort of data, but that’s where leads meet accounts and I know Engagio solves that problem. We don’t use Engagio personally right now, but that is one of the things that they do solve for. And so we had written a script in Salesforce to do that previously.

So how do I get that to work where we can try and help with the footprint inside accounts when you’re trying to get more people involved or maybe land and expand into new opportunities. So that’s the MQA score, I guess. But we just pass it right through to our SDR team and they start working it. So the question is who does the nurturing? Do sales do the nurturing through sales, often cadences? Does marketing do the nurturing through — also, we can use our cadence engine for that — or should we be using marketing automation? We have lots of customers that do that with marketing automation.

Joe Hyland:

Sure. So, you mentioned that your tier-one accounts, so they are, I would imagine, all using marketing automation in combination with you guys as you assume it’s correct —

Sydney Sloan:

For the most part, yes. And that’s where there’s still a traditional handoff between the marketing funnel and the qualification funnel.

Joe Hyland:

But as you… So, I’m just curious as you guys then go down market to smaller companies, is it common that you’ll work with marketing departments to say, “Hey, we’re not gonna use marketing automation at all and I think SalesLoft can handle the whole thing for me?”

Sydney Sloan:

We’re trying to go upmarket versus downmarket. We do have customers that just use SalesLoft and in some customers don’t even have Salesforce. So, on the very small enterprise, they can. I think there are, again, it’s depending on the size of the company and the complexity of the offerings they have and there is value in nurturing. Whichever system does that, I think that’s important and to be able to track all those interactions — however that does that — I think the difference comes between the level of effort and who’s doing the hyper-segmentation so you can still get that personalization that people actually want.

So that’s the balance in terms of how hard is that to do that in your marketing automation systems versus in your, within your sales or your sales development teams. But, also, I think, you know, at the end of the day, everybody still has to do prospecting, whether you’re an account exec or, you know, I don’t yet know of a company where the sales reps are not also on the hook for generating and their own opportunities.

Sydney Sloan:

And so when you think about being able to leverage tools to engage customers to communicate with customers, that’s better than an excel spreadsheet and your own personal email. There are many different tools out there that can help with that — I advise for a couple as well. And so I think that’s the problem we’re all trying to solve for is how do you create meaningful communication in the most personalized way yet still using some kind of tool for automation so you can get scale, whether that’s marketing automation or what, I forget what the other new category is around field marketing enablement or something like that and sales engagement all these new categories that are emerging.

Joe Hyland:

You made a good point, even a lesson I learned a few years ago when I also wasn’t in Martech before this. We have some clients who were fortune twenties, he’d say, well, of course, they have a CRM and marketing automation, but some arms don’t, right? So, there are divisions, small divisions, which have to be pretty scrappy of huge companies that don’t necessarily have all the bells and whistles for technology. So that’s a good point.

Well, you just referenced scale, which I think is something so exciting about what we do as marketers, but it’s also a slippery slope and you combine that with creating really compelling customer experiences, which I think is something that marketers should own and the question is where does that, where is the line of demarcation how deep into the relationship should marketing own the experience?

Joe Hyland:

But I feel that…

Sydney Sloan:

All the way…

Joe Hyland:

That’s how I feel as well, I think it was a long conversation, I think that is one of the most exciting areas of marketing. But I see a lot of marketers really screw that up because they say, “Hey, I know, we just got to scale and you know, we just, we got to blast out a ton of emails and we’ll worry about the experience later.” Which I think is the wrong approach, but why? Why is it that so many marketers have a hard time balancing those two?

Sydney Sloan:

Look how many MQL is I can generate that don’t get closed?

Joe Hyland:

Exactly that scale, right?

Sydney Sloan:

I think people have to have the confidence that if they’re doing the work upfront to qualify the accounts better that and work on your ICP and, and run meaningful programs that are going to target and convert the right accounts. It is scary if you’ve been, hey, look how many MQLs I’m having a now I’m going to reduce that number, but it’s going to be more meaningful because my conversions are going to go up. That’s the logic behind it and you just have to commit to it and start doing it and prove it out.

I went through that transition in my last role and it paid out and we started to see the ASPs grow and because we were going after the accounts we wanted to go after and working more closely with sales and it was, you know, it was a long, it was, you know, two and a half years of going back and forth on what it meant to have target accounts and how we are partnering together and did I pick the right accounts or did it not pick the right accounts? And am I confident in the data in order to do that? So, it’s scaling down to scale up. And I used the term to like slowing down to speed up. Sometimes you just, you gotta be smarter about what’s up front so you can make it more meaningful in the longer run. And then you start scaling by running multiple segment programs. So it’s not one for everyone. It’s you scale, like, okay, I got that model running. Now how do I add a new one while I’m continuing to manage this one?

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. And that’s great marketing, right? I think focus is such a beautiful thing when done right. And it’s, you’re right. That takes some discipline. Yeah, no, you gotta know when to say no, right? And there is such a thing as, you know, we talk about this in our group, there’s such a thing as a bad lead whether you classified as MQL or not like, yeah, you could use, it can be a waste of time for both marketing and more importantly sales. So I like that — your favorite f-word — Well, we’ve wasted another perfectly half hour.

I want to thank you for your time. I’ve really enjoyed it. This has been a wonderful discussion. Thanks so much.

Sydney Sloan:

Thank you. It was excellent to get to talk to you and look forward to watching some of the other webcasts if they’re as fun as this one. We can always be learning more from each other, so hopefully, it was useful.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, no, I love it all. Alright, thanks so much, everyone.