Gearing Your Marketing for a GDPR Future

For the past few weeks, we’ve published a few items on the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. The law, which took effect on May 25 of this year, is comprehensive and impacts marketers around the globe. If you interact with data stemming from a citizen of the European Union, your organization will need to accommodate it.

Acquiescing to the new standards of marketing, however, isn’t easy. Databases need to be cleansed. Marketing tactics need to be updated. Real human engagement, especially in a digital environment, needs to take priority. Webinars, as we discussed earlier, provide a GDPR-compliant foundation for organizations to build engaging campaigns on. Still, companies need to know how to craft campaigns and webinars so they fall in line with GDPR.

A GDPR-ready program has a fundamental grasp of the law and how it applies specifically to the program and its parent organization. With this knowledge in mind, marketers can make the necessary back-end adjustments to extract the most from its digital events and maintain compliance for the long run.

Before you Webinar

To start, marketers won’t find the all-encompassing legal GDPR guidance they need in a blog post, a news article or a webinar. Officers and managers must read the actual legislation to understand how it affects them and seek the advice of their legal team or legal counsel. The goal here is for the marketing, sales and executive arms of the organization to have a unified understanding of the law, its impacts, and how the company can coordinate to come into compliance.

With this foundational knowledge underarm, organizations can then plot adjustments to their back-end practices. Doing so often involves establishing a dedicated compliance officer, executing an audit of your database as well as a database cleanse, updating email and messaging preference centers and building out standards and policies for long-term compliance. As an added benefit, these back-end updates can help an organization right its marketing data ship, expunging low-quality contacts while providing an opportunity to adjust scoring models.

Getting to the Marketing

Marketers need to keep several goals in mind when they try to drive opt-in behaviors in their webinar events. For one, they must establish expertise and become a trusted advisor. For another, they must build a brand personality through their events so they can forge personable connections as the program expands. Additionally, they must educate their audiences before asking for consent – teach them what you’re about, what’s going on in your industry, what they can do succeed, then invite them to learn more from you later. Each goal, however, can be summed up in one word: help. All you have to do to engage and gain compliance is help your audience.

Re-centering a marketing program’s mission to helping prospects and assisting longtime customers is now the critical marketing philosophy that must inform all other actions. In many ways, GDPR is a means of enabling you to better understand your prospect’s pain points and cater your marketing efforts to address those issues. By helping your audience, you help your organization.

Help yourself and your webinars

The fundamental shift from “pitching to” to “helping with” also affects how webinars are conducted. Gone are the days where registration is the only goal for the webinar. Now are the days of getting attendees to engage with you and a webinar’s content.

Programmatic webinars are often the best way to earn engagement. Much like a television station, a series, or program, can build on a company’s innate expertise and personalities. Talk shows, Q&A sessions, product demos, industry trends and far, far more are fair-game for webinar programs. Putting these programs into play facilitates trust between presenter and viewer and, over time, turns trust into engagement into consent. And in GDPR consent accounts for a lot.

There are two key terms marketers must understand to master GDPR’s nuances. One is called legitimate interest, where companies can collect and use personal data so long as it possesses a “legitimate interest” for the individual whose data is being collected (organizations must be able to justify their reasoning and should not assume legitimate interest gives them carte blanche to hoover up data).

The second term is far easier to understand: consent. As in, the attendee consents to hear more from you through a newsletter, emails and or webinars. For GDPR, consent is far more powerful, far more robust and far more engaging than legitimate interest ever can be. So, when in doubt, seek the consent of your attendees and prospects during webinar events.

Getting to Consent with Viewer

When it comes to webinars, especially those seeking long-term engagement, it pays to not pitch. Even if your company does produce a relevant solution to a problem at hand, pitching can still damage your brand and your events. After all, a webinar’s goal is to help the prospect with their problems — not hear you talk about your organization.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t position your organization within an event. For example, teams can place white papers, third-party studies, and benchmark reports in webinars where hosts and guests discuss customer satisfaction and practices, industry issues and in-depth solution guides — and safely point to them for download during an event (more on this in a second). You can also match your webinar programs to stages in the marketing funnel — from deep-dive product demos to high-level thought leadership panels on regulations and more.

With a program in place, presided by subject matter experts, percolated through planned events and series, resonate with audiences needing your help — then you can begin to work on consent through multiple opt-in opportunities.

Multiple opt-in opportunities are the nebulae — or electron cloud — surrounding a webinar. They’re the blog post you wrote ages ago, the third-party studies you commissioned, the white papers, the benchmark reports, the videos, demos, eBooks, slides you make available within a webinar; they are especially the gated on-demand webinars, videos and reports you link to — these are each an opportunity to ask an attendee or visitor for consent to contact them and build a relationship.

For example, you can ask attendees for consent with every gated asset with a simple box at the bottom of a form-fill (note: never pre-tick consent boxes — an illegal maneuver under GDPR). Contact us buttons, like those in webinars, can also be used as positive opt-in opportunities. Polls, too, can be used. In fact, during a July 12 webinar on GDPR, 85 percent of all attendees opted-in and consented to hear more from ON24 through a simple webinar poll after the host offered the poll to them. The point is to surround your attendees and prospects with the opportunity to engage with you and your brand on their terms.

Putting it all together

Marketers have marketed in a way that has left them unprepared for GDPR. A symptom may be automation — a set of tools and techniques used to make the elements of communication and marketing in a digital age much more comfortable  — but the real culprit is that marketers just don’t know how to engage with their audiences anymore.

With marketing automation, you could send out a dozen messages to millions of people. The benefit of this is that even if you convert two to three percent of your recipients, you still get an acceptable number of sign-ups. But it’s spray and pray marketing on an industry-wide scale. It atrophies the muscles you need to make a personal, human touch. But we have a fix. Use this checklist below to assess your GDPR readiness, and guide your engagement efforts.

Internal:

  • Review GDPR with legal
  • Establish roles and responsibilities for GDPR compliance
  • Audit database
  • Cleanse database of old, outdated, and duplicate entries
  • Review and update email preference center
  • Establish long-term policies for GDPR compliance

Preparing for GDPR-ready webinars:

  • Identify brand personalities, subject-matter experts for events
  • Plot webinar programs covering top, mid, and bottom-of-funnel needs, including:
  • Educational material
  • Industry news
  • Interactive product demos
  • Identify evergreen content to include in webinar events

Executing webinars:

  • Outline the event
  • Identify and incorporate resources relevant to the webinar
  • Identify and include opt-in opportunities
  • Outline event
  • Promote over email, social and more
  • Practice
  • Execute
  • Analyze results

For more information on how webinars can help you provide a GDPR-compliant event, check out our on-demand Webinar Best Practices Series event, “How webinars can Help You Succeed in a GDPR World.”

Why Webinars are a Powerful Instrument in your GDPR Toolkit

If there’s one law on the tip of every marketer’s tongue, it’s GDPR. The General Data Privacy Regulation, which went into effect this May, is a requirement for any organization dealing with the data of citizens from the European Union. In essence, it empowers European Union citizens to control their data and puts strict limits on what data organizations can collect and how.

Similar regulations are popping up in the United States as well.

At its heart, GDPR is about engagement. It demands organizations to be proactive, earn their audience’s interest and to respect the time of today’s digital community. By doing so, organizations aren’t only coming into compliance with GDPR, they’re nurturing better pipeline, a better brand, and a quality one-to-one relationship that actually matters.

So how can an organization wrestle with GDPR? At a glance, GPDR looks like it’d hurt a company’s marketing and sales efforts. It could, theoretically, slash market-qualified leads and cut pipeline. But companies don’t have to take that perceived hit so long as they use the right tools to engage with relevant, interested audiences. What organizations need to do is stop interrupting and start engaging.

That’s where webinars and platforms like the ON24 Engagement Platform step in. With interactive, engaging webinars and events, companies can both affirm consent and confirm interest with  European Union citizens. Moreover, organizations can maintain and expand on that interest through a variety of in-webinar widgets, such as Q&As, newsletter sign up and more. No other digital marketing tool gives you the opportunity to — in one event — interact with a nearly limitless audience with multiple touchpoints while both gaining GDPR-compliant consent and gauging interest through advanced analytics.

What’s more, with tools like ON24’s Gateway — an on-demand engagement hub for webinars, white papers and more — organizations can continue to drive that interest well after an event is over — allowing on-demand attendees to engage with a brand’s message on their own time.

Why does that matter? Simple: It puts your audience in the driver’s seat and allows them to interact with your brand and your content, on their terms. You no longer have to worry about if your messaging is spot-on because your audience will tell you through their interactions with you. You no longer have to worry if you’re GDPR-compliant with consent and legitimate interest, because your audience will confirm their interest through their interactions with you. ON24 helps you to put your audience in control — the way it should be.

Want to learn more about how webinars can be a powerful instrument in your GDPR toolkit? Watch our GDPR webinar on demand here.

It’s Time to Wake Up Your Scale

Let’s talk about scale. As a concept, it’s simple enough — you take an item or set of figures and expand or contract — proportionally — as needed. Projectors, for example, can scale from a small frame to a massive frame with little effort. Similarly, you hold down the “shift” key when expanding a picture in PowerPoint or Word you’re making that image scale.

As a concept, scale is great.

Scale is great, of course, unless you need to scale revenue-generating ideas. Programs, people, pipeline — they’re all easy to scale in concept, but executing proportional growth for an organization is very, very difficult — doubly so if your role depends on it.

The ON24 Engagement Platform removes the difficulty from scaling your webinar events. It provides you with the tools you need to take a webinar from a few viewers to thousands or whittling an event intended for a massive audience down to a select few. Whether you’re using a global or account-based campaign, you have the power to stretch, shrink and scale your webinars to suit your needs.

Even more impactful is the platform’s ability to scale your programs — whether it’s marketing, certifications, continuing education or more — to your next market. ON24 makes it easy for you to push your hard-fought-for programs, and the ON24 platform, to peers in any region, regardless if they reside in a different county, state, country or global region. In fact, with ON24’s easy-to-use platform, you can teach distant co-workers and co-marketers — through ON24 and its robust, interactive widget — on how they can build and scale webinar campaigns and programs. This provides your organization with both marketing power and regional marketing programs that can scale specifically for a particular theatre of operations — extending your brand, your messaging and your values anywhere on the planet in a one-to-one scale.

So go ahead, expand your marketing efforts. Push your demos overseas. Send your campaigns on a round-world trip and tip off your regional peers on the power of scalable webinars. It’s time to wake up your webinars and your scalability.

CMOs: Don’t Lead a Cost Center, Be a Revenue Driver

This post was originally published on adweek.com. Shared with permission.

Gartner’s prediction that CMOs will outspend CIOs on technology is now a fact: CMOs will use 12% of their company’s revenue on marketing technologies in 2018.

It makes sense: Just as a consumer would look to Yelp before going to a restaurant, prospects today do research before talking to sales, meaning the marketing department owns more of the sales funnel than ever. Silicon Valley has jumped on this opportunity — over 5,000 companies are clamoring to help marketers meet this growing responsibility.

Armed with growing budgets and new technologies, you’d think CMOs would have lasting influence in the boardroom. But research suggests otherwise: CMO tenures now average only 42 months, and that number declines every year. Another study revealed that 2016 was a year of record turnover rates for marketing executives. It’s time for CMOs to either figure out why they’re not delivering the ROI that CEOs want or not bother to set up their office.

As the CEO of a martech company for the past 15 years, I’ve seen the role of marketing teams completely transform. I remember when I thought about our marketing spend much like I did about playing roulette — throwing money on the table hoping it would pay of. I assumed that like gambling our marketing budget was simply the cost of playing the game.

Digital technologies changed that and it changed the role of CMOs. But CMOs haven’t adapted quite yet. They now need to act like the CEO of their own business – the marketing team. And that ultimately means CMOs must redefine success in the same way a CEO does, with an unrelenting focus on revenue. This revenue-or-die mindset isn’t easy to adapt, but here are three ways for CMOs to start thinking like a CEO and keep their eyes on the bottom line.

Say no.

One of the toughest choices we have to make everyday is the decision to not to do something. It’s easier to latch onto a fad than to stand against it. But the rationale for a campaign or new technology can’t be for the sake of trying something out. Numbers speak louder than words, and CMOs who have hard data to back up their strategy, approach, and results give themselves leverage in the C-Suite and make any campaign, whether it fails or succeeds, defensible.

My CMO has a quarterly revenue target to meet, and every dollar spent needs to have an equal return. Digital technologies have empowered us to analyze the entire performance of our marketing channels and use that intelligence to determine our future investments.

Social campaigns are great for awareness, for example, but for our business, they don’t drive revenue. This realization led us to scale back our investments in Facebook and Twitter. We used those resources to double down on our own website, webinars, and in-person events because our data showed these channels yielded the best results. We certainly feel some fear of missing out, but once you know what drives revenue, other channels become moot.

Prioritize relationships.

Even in the digital age, I still believe a one-on-one, in-person conversation is the best way to close a deal and build a relationship with a customer.

As far as technology has come, no automation software, algorithm or predictive analytics has the power of empathy. Consider H&R Block’s partnership announcement with IBM Watson. H&R Block could have heralded Watson as the end to human tax professionals, letting the computers do all the work faster. But who wants to just deal with a computer?

To their credit, IBM positioned Watson as a tool to further elevate services H&R reps already provide to customers. It was not about replacement, but letting computers and humans do what they do best, together. Marketers need to take a similar mindset, where you’re not having data dominate your approach, but using it in a manner that supplements your human understanding of your customer and their pain points.

There’s tremendous value in freeing up marketers’ time by using automated programs to tackle more tedious activities. This empowers marketers to build key personal relationships, learn from customers, and think critically about their biggest challenges. Marketers will maintain their relevance long into the future, but it won’t be solely because of data — it’ll be by understanding customers on a human level, while using data to enhance this understanding.

Be accountable.

In order to enhance this understanding, data cannot just be superficial The actual strength of the interactions you are measuring must go beyond clicks, views and downloads, and examine length of time spent on a piece of content, the strength of their intent, and level of interaction that your marketing tactics achieve.

A single click only provides a mere glimpse into customer interests, and gives little background on what motivated that click. Marketers must focus on the data points that are rich with insight about a customer’s behavior, intentions, and potential actions. You should ask yourself: for my business, what are the behavioral indicators that have driven past behavior? What’s my prospect’s digital body language telling me about the best way to engage with them? How do I  get them further down the funnel?

In today’s age, where everything is measured, CMOs should constantly look to drive revenue in order to show the value of their efforts to CEOs. If every marketing initiative and campaign is tied to revenue, the only CMOs who will be leaving their jobs will be the ones becoming CEOs themselves.

GDPR, Marketing and the Shift to a Privacy-Centric World

It’s been a little over a month since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, became law. The statute, taking effect on May 25, 2018, launched a slew of privacy update emails and last-minute data wrangling efforts from various companies across the globe. It has since inspired similar regulations, most recently California’s California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375). Additional regulations, originating from different countries or states, could be on the way.

Why all the hubbub?

There are a few reasons why GDPR inspired so much scrambling and continues to do so after its implementation. First, it affects companies on a global scale. Second, it shifts an organization’s control over collected data from companies to individuals. Third, organizations can only collect data on an individual if they actively ask the individual for consent or if that individual has a legitimate interest in that company’s dealings.

Not only that, but organizations also need to clearly explain why they are collecting data and what for. Companies will need to demonstrate they can easily delete collected data if either A). an individual requests it or B). if the data is no longer relevant to the reasons it was initially collected in the first place. Data cannot be kept indefinitely for no particular reason.

The central issue, and why this regulation impacts companies across the globe, is that it regulates any data belonging to any E.U. citizen, regardless of where that data, or the company using that data, resides. If, for example, a company hosts an E.U. citizen’s data in Canada, that company still needs to comply with GDPR or risk up to 4 percent of its global revenue.

So, yeah — GDPR is a big deal. And both companies and governments are still trying to wrestle with both its implications and its enforcement.

Ultimately, though, GDPR is good, even if it’s still unclear to many. It empowers individuals to control their data and gives companies the scaffolding they need to shift their marketing and data retention policies to focus on individuals who are actively interested in what a company has to offer. Think of GDPR — and similar legislation — as an opportunity to both better organize your data and shorten your marketing funnel by engaging with folks who are genuinely interested in your business. It’s an invitation to stop interrupting and start engaging by putting your audience’s interests first.

To help you on your journey, we’re putting together a GDPR webinar. We’ll give you the low-down on the new law and how webinars can act as a powerful tool to help you stay in compliance and generate better pipeline. If you’re in the European market, join us on July 12 at 11 a.m. BST. If you’re in the United States, join us on July 17, at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to get a better understanding of what GDPR means for you and how you can use webinars to get ahead of privacy regulations.

It’s Time to Wake Up Your Revenue

Webinars are a vanguard. For marketing, they lead the company’s messaging, ferrying actionable, engaging content to a sea of prospects. For sales, they signal qualified leads with the real, contextual data needed to earn a close. They capture attention. They educate audiences. They semaphore good and bad quarters for leads and push messages to a swath of listeners on a one-to-one level.

Ultimately, though, webinars. drive. revenue.

That’s because webinars act as a catalyst, enhancing your content and messaging and bringing actual qualified leads to the table with all the data dressings necessary — from what the lead has read, asked, and more — to make a close. The ON24 marketing platform makes this possible by collecting up to over 40 data points for every attendee — allowing your team to analyze content performance and lead quality from an aggregate perspective to a single attendee. With each webinar, your organization has the makings of a more effective scoring model and a better understanding of your best prospects.

Place thought leadership content in front of attendees curious about your solutions. Give demos to those seriously considering it. Provide product updates, industry panels and best practices guides to clients. The point is, for every stage, there’s a webinar use-case that’ll help you to accelerate your pipeline and enhance your messaging.

With ON24, you’re provided with a robust platform that adds dynamic, interactive layers to your content. With these layers in place, you can make a one-way conversation, two, and get a better understanding of the people behind the personas.

Deliver relevant, timely messages with live and on-demand events. Get your audience to lean into your content with interactive features like polling, chatting, surveying, and more. Turn those connections into actionable insights your whole operations team can use — from measuring campaign performance and benchmarking webinars to refining personas and accelerating pipeline. Make the move to smarter, deeper experiences. It’s time to wake up your webinars — and your revenue.

To learn more about how you can wake up your webinars and drive more revenue, head on over to www.on24.com/wakeupyourwebinars or simply click this link.

It’s Time to Wake Up Your Webinar Data

Businesses crave data. The more collected, the more companies can investigate the hidden insights into why personas act the way they do, what they want and what they truly need. Data fuels business intelligence and peels back a persona’s layers — giving businesses a better understanding of the people behind the concept.

The ON24 platform wakes marketers up to engaging prospects at scale with engrossing webinars and events across the buying cycle. But ON24 provides more than engaging webinars. It also provides marketers with the tools needed to peel back a persona’s layers.

The tools are in ON24’s intelligent analytics. Measure interest through engagement. Appraise interest through polls. Research curiosity through downloaded resources. Qualify leads by merely asking. By collecting an average of 40 data points per-webinar — not just one — ON24 gifts marketers and sales with actionable data that drives real pipeline results.

That’s because ON24’s intelligent insights supply marketers with detailed analysis on each webinar attendee — scoring them on engagement with a company’s messaging, time spent watching a webinar, questions asked, resources downloaded and much, much more. These data points help marketers better qualify leads, sifting the not-yet-ready for sales from the “let’s talk” prospects.

For example, let’s say a new lead joins at the beginning of a campaign. With ON24, a marketer can track that lead’s progress through the campaign, measuring which messages resonate, which don’t and what the prospect is interested in learning. ON24 even gives marketers the tools to measure the success of a campaign over various webinars.

The ON24 marketing platform enables marketers to accelerate the sales process by making data simple to understand and act on. Get granular with your data. Get grand with it as well. Get reports on your webinar audience in real-time and respond in real-time. With ON24, you have more data, better leads and the tools to better understand your audience. Get intelligent with your webinar data today.

To learn more about how you can wake up your webinars and get better insights into your audience, go here

CMO Confessions Ep. 6 David Lewis

Hi, and, once again, welcome to another episode of CMO Confessions, our bi-weekly podcast covering all things marketing. This week we have a special treat:  David Lewis, the CEO and founder of DemandGen.

If you’ve worked in the digital world in any capacity, you’ve likely seen, or even used, some of David’s handiwork. David’s rather diverse background ranges from pioneering early VoIP technology (his motivation here was to play videogames unimpeded with his brother-in-law in the 90s) to proactively guiding organizations through the — at times, dizzying — MarTech landscape.

We, of course, go over all of this in this episode of CMO Confessions, but we also take a few detours into what the marketing landscape is set to look like over the coming years. All I can say is, if you’re interested in what it takes to make data work for your marketing program, give this episode a listen.

You can find David and his latest insights — and do check them out, they’re great — on his Twitter feed, @demandgendave.

Finally, 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 that explores what it really means to be marketing leader in today’s business world. I’m Joe Hyland, CMO here at ON24 and joining me this week is David Lewis CEO of DemandGen. David, how’s it going?

David Lewis:

Good, Joe. Thank you very much for having me on your program.

Joe Hyland:

Yes, psyched you’re here. So, at the start, and I preface this by saying our show is not about pitching things, but I am always fascinated when someone takes the initiative and starts something. Whether it’s writing a book, starting an aggressive program. And when I get to talk to a Founder who started a company, for me, I’m fascinated to know — why’d you start DemandGen? I think the audience would love to hear that.

David Lewis:

Oh, well, why did I start DemandGen? [There’s] one primary reason that I started DemandGen and that was the success that I was having with marketing technology systems.

So, I was running marketing at a company called Ellie Mae, a very successful mortgage software and banking platform. I joined them in 2002 and from 2002 to 2007, I was implementing marketing automation, brought in Salesforce CRM, online sales and marketing and we just had tremendous success.

And my pause when you said, “Why did I start the company?” I’ve been an entrepreneur before — did another startup we could talk about if you want — but I was at a conference and Tony Robbins was on stage and just prior to him, he was talking with the founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies. And he said “So, what was her recipe for success?” And everyone was like, “the cookies the cookies!” He goes, “No, that was a trap!” And the recipe was how to build a franchise business.

And he said, “everybody write down on a piece of paper, come on, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you’ve been an entrepreneur,” you know, very Tony style. I can’t be Tony. He said, “write down on a piece of paper a recipe that you have for success that, if you shared it with other people, it would help them and help their lives transform their lives.” And I know the challenges — which we’ll probably get to — on being a CMO and been in marketing leadership my whole career, and I wrote down on a little piece of paper, Joe, “how to use marketing automation.”

And that was my recipe. Because, in 2007 and before, we didn’t have MarTech — at most we had marketing automation. So, about six months after that, I resigned to start DemandGen and take the recipes that we had done at Eillie Mae, and other digital marketing experiences, that I had and bring that to other marketers with the sole goal of making them heroes. And that’s the mission of the companies making marketing heroes and technology is just a way to enable doing that. So, there you go.

Joe Hyland:

That’s cool. I find a lot interesting about that. I was thinking, as you were as you were talking, so much has changed. So, I started marketing in 2001. I remember rolling out Eloqua in, I don’t know, 2002-2003. My company, we were a pretty early convert to the cloud, even though it wasn’t necessarily the most innovative company. It was a server company in Boston called Stratus Technologies, and so we had Salesforce and Eloqua. And marketing automation, I mean literally, changed everything we were doing.

So, on one hand, the marketing landscape has wildly changed. On the other hand, here we are, 15 years later, and a lot of shit’s still the same. A lot of the challenges of different tactics are used to solve them, but a lot of the challenges from 15 years ago, we’re still saddled with today. So how has it changed for you? You said you started in 2000, 2007, right?

David Lewis:

Yeah, the company started almost 11 years ago.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. So, walk through what a consultation looked like then versus what it’s like now.

David Lewis:

Everything has changed and then the more that has changed the more that has actually stayed the same. So, there’s been huge amounts of change and yet huge amounts of the same. That’ll make more sense in a minute.

So, truth is, back then, the work that we were doing all of our clients had Eloqua. There was no Marketo in 2007. There actually was, but it was in a lab getting coded, and wasn’t yet a product in-market. So, as you know, and, like you, I was in early Eloqua customer. I think, probably, we were posterchilds for what to do with these tools, right?

So, what has changed is that, when we first started the company, we were helping people with the use and adoption of marketing automation. We were almost, in many ways, like an Eloqua Professional Services team.

I wish I could tell you that I was brilliant or had some kind of time machine and knew that all of this was going to happen, and all of this is eight thousand marketing tools and technologies. I did not see this coming. It’s no surprise now when you think about everything that we’re doing in digital marketing and digital sales and how much it changes become a digital economy, but it really was all about marketing automation.

Fast forward 10 years, and we don’t look like ourselves from 10 years ago. We are helping people become full stack marketers and our clients, on average, have over a dozen different marketing technologies that were helping them select, implement and leverage to drive growth and to drive revenue. So, you need a whole tool chest and we help our clients with that tool chest.

So, that’s what’s changed: is the toolset what’s not changed is all the same challenges. It’s still hard to align sales and marketing. ABM is a is a three-letter acronym that, to so many folks, feels like a Holy Grail, but there’s a recipe — set of recipes that you need to do to do an effective ABM, account-based marketing and sales team. Marketing still is paid less than sales. One day, hopefully, equality there or even maybe more. That’s a B-HAG of mine is to see equality in compensation between sales and marketing because of how much marketing is doing to drive growth. That’s not changed. The shiny new toy syndrome is still alive and well, unfortunately, in that marketing isn’t really providing the same level of diligence for how to select and adopt tools and being a little bit more, Halloween candy issue, “That looks good. I’ll put that in my stack and then, “Oh that that actually is not something that’s useful.”

So, we’ve got to become a lot more process-oriented in marketing. What hasn’t changed the data challenge — that’s still alive and well. Most marketers’ databases look like an episode of Hoarders and not some pristine analytics-ready database. I could go on, but you know, the challenges are still there and yet we’ve got more tools to help us solve these problems, so the question is, “are they solving problems?”

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, you mentioned data I could talk about I could talk about data for the entire discussion. I had a conversation with Laura Ramos from Forrester on this, which is, I think, data has become quite sexy in marketing circles. I don’t know if it’ll ever change, truthfully. I mean that is the foundation of — well the more targeted you want to get, the more precise your data needs to be.

Databases are a disaster. I would say. I have friends over at LinkedIn, a company who you would think has, you know, the most accurate data on employees in the world and they were complaining and bitching about how — they were Salesforce shop — how messy their data is, and they don’t know if someone’s at a company. And, meanwhile, all they had to do is check their own technology to see if they are, but obviously those two things aren’t speaking, right? So, they aren’t syncing. So, if LinkedIn is having a problem with data, everyone is.

David Lewis:

Yeah, I know these experiences firsthand. Like, we did LinkedIn’s deployment of Eloqua. We did a ton of work for those guys. We did — get it ready for this — Salesforce’s deployment of Eloqua, which they used until about six months ago. Pretty much every high-tech company DemandGen has worked with, whether it’s Eloqua or Marketo, and you’re right, the problems are the same large or small, experienced or not, these are challenges. And, let’s look at another factor — there’s a lot of turnover in marketing, a lot of turnover in sales. So, even if you had the best team in the world building out these initial systems, do you still have that same team? Or, if you didn’t have the best team do you now have it? And, so, these systems are not set it and forget it in any way. So, the challenges will always be there.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. This is — 20 years from now, they’ll be talking about clean data. So, adjacent topic, the rise of the data-driven marketer. I think, so if data is sexy, and the Nerds are, perhaps, taking over marketing — which I would somewhat question — do you see a lot of organizations — they’re struggling with data and cleanliness of data – but how are marketers doing with gleaning insights and making decisions with that data? Because I know a few people who have a data problem. I mean, most marketers have too much data — they’re drowning in it. How are marketers doing with the data? Are they making smarter decisions? Is that full of shit? What do you say?

David Lewis:

Let me back up to the data is sexy comment that you made, because I think Laura might think — I know Laura, smart, talented data-driven — I don’t think data is sexy. In fact, from the companies that I’m advising and partners that we have in data, one of their biggest challenges is getting marketing appeal for their data orchestration platform. Which, by the way, is a domain that I registered and never used —data orchestration platform — because I think that is. I think it’s important, and I think data could get maybe sexy — JT who’s in town, Justin Timberlake, he gets to say, you know, maybe data will be sexy back, but it’s just not sexy because you can’t see it you can’t show it.

There’s no data on a black board that goes “look how wicked cool this data looks like.”

You know, unless you’re Tank in The Matrix, data doesn’t really look very cool to you. However, data is essential for success. So, if you get the right data person on your marketing team, you will be the best marketing team in the world because you can make data-driven decisions and you can segment better than ever.

So, look at Amazon. How many data scientists do you think that they have empowering the Predictive Analytics engines that they have on their site? How do they know that when Johnny down the street is buying a snow shovel because it’s snowing — data, data, data — in your town, that I’m gonna serve up ads for snow shovels on your site because you’re in the same geographic area, right? If you can become data-driven and have the right people on your team, the sky is a limit in terms of your promise and marketing of what you can do. But, I don’t think we’re there yet.

So, I’m going to challenge that thought that most marketers would rather work on a campaign or a program — the art of marketing and the science is still levels up from that data level. But it’s coming and it’s going to be incredibly important.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, and I would further your challenge, which is I think. There are a lot of marketers that it’s not necessarily their core skill set. So, bringing in a few or a team of data scientists, that’s different. I mean, they literally I have friends who are data scientists. It can be some weird people — they live for combing through data. I don’t know if most marketers would describe themselves that way. So, I think I think there’s a bit of a skills gap here.

David Lewis:

I’ve produced a couple things for the web some professional, some personal level — a lot, lot for the web. You want to factoid, interesting one: I did a mannequin challenge video with my drone and a bunch of us at a 10-million-dollar home in Cabo that had 20,000 views. People like drones, mannequin challenge. I’ve done — lots of written about lead scoring, lead nurturing, ABM — all kinds of stuff. Hundreds, if not, maybe, thousands of views. I did an article called “the rise of the data scientist” went through the roof as a blog post. I don’t even know how people found it because they’re searching for it.

So yes, these people are worth their weight in gold when you find really good ones. And ask yourself everyone listening to this podcast. Do you have a data operations manager on your team? Have you ever even heard of that title yet? Depending on when you listen to this podcast either didn’t exist or it’s now everywhere. So, it will happen, just like there wasn’t a marketing automation manager back in the day, there wasn’t a marketing operations manager, or leader, and today there’s really not a data operations manager title across a lot of different companies. But there will be.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. I think you’re right. You’re not going to see some, you know, a standard profile from you know, marketing programs manager, who’s just going to turn into that that person. So, I think this this push for marketers become more data-driven, obviously, I think few people would argue against that. I just think there’s many marketers that that’s not their core skill set.

David Lewis:

Yeah, we even marketing technology wasn’t marketing’s core skill set. It was the four Ps, right? Unfortunately, marketing’s always been seen as kind of an arts and crafts department that throws really good parties and events.

And, so marketing is getting rebranded — certainly in the roles and what we’re doing today — but for most, I think there’s a chasm, Joe. In that, you’ve got the digital natives who have been born and raised with technology — and they used it when I was driving here to the office today when I turned the corner and so the kids waiting for the light at school every single one of them had their head down looking at their phone everyone none of them were talking to each other and they’re standing right there on the corner — so the digital natives are addicted to devices and using technology and know far more pieces of software at their age than we ever knew up until our careers. But they don’t know how to connect technology to driving growth in revenue — yet.

Then you’ve got the CMOS who have been around for a long time because they’re CMOs — so they’ve been doing this for years. They’ve been doing this for a while back before there was marketing automation — and many of them are not wired for marketing technology. Some are, but many of them are not. And, in fact, I only think the reason that I’m so passionate and started this company is because I graduated with a degree in computer science and marketing and now I’m in The Perfect Storm to feed both of my passions. But once this Chasm gets crossed, where digital natives have more experience in leadership and growth and driving, marketing is going to be a breadwinner in the revenue family. I hope so.

Joe Hyland:

I’ve heard you talk about salaries by the way and compensation and how compensation should be structured and how it is today and how they’re speaking of chasms that one exists. I think part of bridging that is tying oneself to revenue, and perhaps the upstream indicator for that is pipeline.

When I started, my first task in marketing when I graduated school, was drafting letters which we then, printed — I signed for my sales rep — and I mailed out a thousand of them. And I had no other skills. That’s I mean, I literally folded a thousand folded or printed a thousand letters signed a thousand folding them put them in envelopes mailed them.

And so that was my first, you know, revenue-related task. But we were the tchotchkes department — we very much were in support of sales. Being blunt, we were sale’s bitches. We did just what they wanted — now because we were revenue focused marketing department back then. That meant doing what sales asked of us.

Now, I’m in, I mean, obviously, my roles changed a little bit, but we’re looked at as a strategic driver. I mean, I don’t know whether it’s a blessing or a curse. When there’s a pipeline challenge, our CEO or, my boss, is calling me over. And he calls over my counterpart, the head of sales, but he wants to know from me why we’re missing pipeline.

So again, I said that can be a blessing and a curse, but that’s where marketers are headed. I’m biased. But I think that’s where marketers need to get to.

So, we do plenty of other things that are screwed up in our department, but that’s one thing that I think works quite well, which is we own pipeline. We own pipeline by segment for the company.

David Lewis:

Yeah, 50% of our is — actually 60 percent of our revenue last year — 50% right now, tracking of our revenue comes from marketing and, you know, and demand gen. And if we’re not the best at tracking this stuff, you know, shame on us. So, we know exactly where everything is coming from we’ve got these systems all dialed in and I I like you I I didn’t.

Like the Kinkos mindset, you know, meaning that marketing was Kinkos to the rest of the organization — make me another data sheet, make me a brochure, print me out this. But no, we’re revenue drivers — and I mentioned I did another startup, right?

So, my very first startup was in 1999. Came home one night and I was a big video gamer my whole life — that’s how I got into computers and stayed with me — and I loved playing Shooters, Counter-Strike, Unreal, Quake all these first-person shooters. So, 1999 I came home, my wife said, “Are you going to tap the phone line all night?”

So, why did she ask that? So, this is 1999 — 9600 baud modem. You still have a landline. There’s no iPhone. You know, there’s no mobile phone — unless if you did you were like the elite or you worked in sales — and I said, “Yeah,” and she goes “I got to call my mom,” and I said, “Well, I’m playing Counter-Strike with your brother, so, can you call her later?”

“Well, how long you gonna play till two o’clock in the morning again?”

I’m like, “All right, how long you gonna be?” So, she goes “Why don’t you figure out a way to talk over the computer?”

So, my first startup was actually a product called Roger Wilco, precursor to Skype and what you and I are doing right now — painkiller.

I mean, it’s like, “let’s figure out a way.” I was, like, the Alexander Graham Bell of the internet. Why do I bring this up? It’s a neat story about Dave. But all I ever printed was a business card. All we ever had was a website and we built this company up and sold it a year later during the dot com era was pretty exciting. It was all marketing driven. There wasn’t a salesperson the company. We had an SDK, every game developer was incorporating our audio system into their games, and boom: never salesperson never even a printed piece of collateral.

So, if you’re a digital company, you’re very marketing driven and not sales driven. And if you’re a B2B company, so many companies, especially those of our clients have been around forever, they’re such a sales-driven organization. Revenue or sales people. Let’s grow more revenue. Well, who’s gonna feed all those sales people believe marketing?

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, that was that happened with us when I when I got here. We had the ratio of marketing both bodies and dollars to sales was out of whack because we did exactly what you just described it.

We wanted to grow revenue. And so, we said well, what’s the next closest thing to revenue sales reps? And, you know, we used data to say well how many how many leads does each rep need and how do we generate leads and how much does each lead cost? And before we knew it we had a justification model for increasing marketing spend — not because I wanted to fiefdom — but because we showed shit that seems to be working we should do more of it.

David Lewis:

By the way trivia question: guess who did your Eloqua deployment for ON24? You’re talkin to him. We did, and you guys no longer use Eloqua — we didn’t do your migration. But, I would say the marketing team that you have today, Joe, thanks to your leadership, and the organization is nothing like the marketing team that you had back then. The pendulum has swung to put a lot more horsepower and talent and focus into marketing because of the power that can come from having a killer team there.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, thanks. I really appreciate it. And I did not know that actually that’s pretty cool. I am honest to a fault always. Do you know the story behind why we no longer have Eloqua — which was before my time that predates me.

David Lewis:

No, no I do not.

Joe Hyland:

It was a CYA situation. I think it’s actually interesting story for any vendor technology. So, we had um a nurture stream through Eloqua — this, again, before my time — things went wrong and there were sequences, right? Things went wrong after the first email and you know, people were pissed and went all the way up to our CEO and they said, “You know, don’t let this happen again.”

 

David Lewis:

Sender “unknown” was it? Or the wrong language in the wrong country? And we don’t have to share keep going.

Joe Hyland:

They just screwed everything up it was it was a disaster. But it was a sequence and so, supposedly, which I actually don’t even believe — I will get the answer from you right now — there was no kill switch on this sequence and we had no ability to stop these future emails that were going to go out. I do not believe this.

David Lewis:

Yeah, that’s not true.

Joe Hyland:

So, over the course of the next like week or two all these people who are pissed off received more emails from us and that head of demand gen at the time got pulled into the CEOs office and said, “what the hell is happening?” And they explained it’s not me but the technology we’re using just isn’t working. And he said, what any CEO would say in that time, then change the technology.

And it was too late. So, they had to hire someone to come in through the migration and, you know, ended up purchasing Marketo. We’re very happy with by the way, um probably cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lot of time because, truthfully, someone was covering their ass.

David Lewis:

Yeah, not the first time I’ve heard a story like that and I want to say for everyone listening and I’m going to talk to the vendors as well, because maybe some Marketo people and Oracle people are listening as well, in most cases it’s not the tool, it’s the team. Someone used to say, “A fool with a tool is still a fool.” And there are very good reasons to switch marketing automation system. So, what I want to say is, in short, if you don’t have a marketing automation system get one because you’re going to be better off. There are best-of-breed applications and you should know your needs, but no one should hear this call, this podcast and say, “I need to switch marketing automation systems.” The chances are that you probably can get more from the technology that you have for it.

And we have migrated a lot of people from Eloqua to Marketo and made them more successful. We have also migrated some people from Marketo to Eloqua, less, less common more the other direction and Marketo certainly as a company than a lot in terms of innovation on their platform and continues to do Innovation because they came to the market later and had to compete more fiercely and it’s more focused and driven because this is all they do, that’s all Marketo does, is marketing technology. So, Kudos to them, but you know, not a surprising story – the one that you shared — and you guys are doing the right things, though, in terms of really taking the game to the next level there at ON24.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. So, I’ve never done a migration — I was part of the team that put Eloqua in, I had no idea what I was doing, so, I wasn’t that helpful, but I was in the room. I think listen there’s a right — there are certain features and there are differences in the Technologies — but you’re right if you have an existing marketing Automation and things aren’t perfect. It’s you, it’s not the technology, right? And we’re doing a lot right and ON24 and we screw up a ton of things. I mean, there’s so many ways we can improve.

So, I would I would echo your words: I would encourage you to look at your strategy and ensure that you’re executing on the right strategy before I’d say switch marketing automation. But, I thought it was a funny story.

David Lewis:

Something to think about, Joe, and marketing, because you said about failing — we’ve got to fail in marketing and we’ve got to take risk, all the time, every day. There’s the 80/20 rule and that applies to sales which is interesting that 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the sales force.

So, sales organizations are failing every day at an individual level as well as a team level. And marketing, in most cases, doesn’t fail, but we are very good at taking risk, but we do create campaigns that don’t hit, you know, this kind of success metrics that we had hoped for, but we got to do that and never be discouraged. And sometimes, it’s as much as an image or color change or a subject line change or a whole scale different call to action or a different channel you could run ads on LinkedIn and not succeed. You could run the same ads on another channel and succeed wildly.

And so, it’s a fascinating discipline where sales is very one-to-one and transactional and engagement with a group environment they fail. That’s at an individual level. I mean, most cases, fields are lost because the individual. Very rarely is marketing failing on a program because of one person — although this email stream sounds like someone didn’t code something, right.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, definitely. Well, I’d say a couple of things to that one. If you’re not failing, like, you’re not trying or you’re just totally full of shit. A friend of mine is the CFO of a pretty big company and he said to me that he’s lost faith in marketing and I said “why?” And he said, “all they do is report their successes and they are unwilling to admit failure and I just know that’s not practical. I don’t believe them. So, when I get presented with every program was a success — an ROI was you know hundreds of percent on each investment — I know they’re not being truthful.” I mean I you got to take chances, we do things that fail all the time.

I just did a little email drop for a sales rep who I’m friends with. And said, “let me help you out, I’ll send an email to like 30 of your prospects will get a great response rate.” Zero responses, right? Okay, we tried. And the question is being you learning from them? Right? So, I think that’s what we’re marketers should focus versus trying to spin everything as a win. No one believes you, anyway.

David Lewis:

When I launched my podcast, demand generated radio, you know in the episodes 50s now because depends when you’re listening to this, you know, I keep trying to master my craft and make sure that the content, the guests, the format, just keeps getting better and better. And you know, what? The chart shows that — so the listens from where we were like the first several months have really hockey sticked in year two.

And one of the things that made a tremendous difference, Joe, was the frequency of the podcast. I mean the content continues to get better and better — I’ll let people be the judge of that. I think the guests and the way that I’m interviewing them, and talking with them, as we are as getting better, but there was just a frequency change that got a lot more listening ship.

We launched marketoassessment.com. We just launched this, which is a free assessment, and it’s version 1 — I think it’s pretty amazing. But version 2 is going to be better than version 1 and version 3 is going to be even more amazing. But you gotta pilot and perfect in marketing, and I think coming back to your, you know, if I can give everybody a piece of advice is no one good is good enough and just keep building upon it if you try to just boil the ocean and get everything perfect — what if your campaign doesn’t succeed and you wasted all that extra time? Get it out iterate and make it better.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. No, I agree. Yeah, I we adhere to the lean the lean philosophy which is just let’s get something out. It’s not even network, necessarily, testing it per-se it’s we just speed to markets really important to me. And you’re right, you could you could spend six months perfecting something and then you realize you were off and you just wasted all that time, right?

David Lewis:

You know, Elon had to blow up a lot of rockets before he figured out how to land one back on the ground.

Joe Hyland:

That’s right, that’s right. I would — and this might be a five-minute close — but I would love to know, don’t name any names or don’t feel the need to — do you have a lot of clients that you work with? So, you you’re like having a best friend who’s a physician and when you get together with them drinks over drinks, you say? Okay, tell me the good stories which of course are not supposed to do. So, I’m sure they wouldn’t.

But let’s do that here. What are think of an example or two of just brilliant things some of your clients are doing or a particular client. And, in the back of your mind, think of the opposite end of the spectrum just something that you’re shocked by — you’re disgusted with horror that you can’t believe that a client is still making the same mistake on. So, I’ll let you start with the good side first.

David Lewis:

Great question. I’m working on a book that has a working title for me called Agents of Change. So, I’ve been taking all of the lessons of our top performing clients and putting those into this book. Maybe, it’s called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective CMOs. I don’t know what the actual title of the book will be.

But I’ve been taking all of the lessons which by the way some of them fail miserably in certain projects and become exceptional through the learnings of those failures and distilling it down. So, here’s what I find of some of the things — look maybe preview of the book. So, number one, and kudos to Sarah Kennedy and the Marketo team, for Fearless, the word Fearless.

These are people, you know, that’s the theme of Marketo — the Fearless Marketer. One of the things that all of our clients are doing is — the successful ones — they are fearless, they are willing to take risk. They took the risk going to another company and it never stopped there. They retool their teams. They retool their technology. Yes, marketers come in, and sometimes do brand refreshes. I’m smiling because sometimes we go, “Oh look, it’s a new marketer in town, we got a new logo. You have to change everything, you know?

Joe Hyland:

A new website.

David Lewis:

Subway’s just did that right? I don’t know if I like the retro look or whatever look that is, but you know, we bring new and the ones that are doing it really well don’t wait a year to start bringing about change. They trust their gut, they trust their instincts and they land and make a difference.

That’s number one. Number two is they hire top talent around them. They are master conductors. They are they are the orchestra leader and they don’t try to be the sharpest tool in the shed. They will surround themselves with absolutely the top talent —the best data operations manager, the best marketing operations manager, the best analytics people, the most creative. They also work with agencies — and that’s not just a selfish plug — it is a selfish plug but it’s not just a selfish plug because they are bringing in agencies to help them get there faster and to leverage what these agencies are have been doing for hundreds of clients.

I don’t know about your resume Joe, but I don’t think I have more than seven companies on my resume, but DemandGen works with over 400. So, if you work with my team, you’ve got what to do and what not to do. The other thing that they’re doing, which is not — maybe as obvious and certainly not easy —they align like crazy. With not just sales, but with every C-executive the CFO can be your friend if you show up as an analytics driven marketer, right? You want budget? Show what you’re doing, show it isn’t working and show them that you actually know what is working. CFO can be. They’re your venture capitalist in marketing, so make sure you have a great relationship with them, same thing with the head of operations, the same thing with sales. So, they’re aligning those are a few things that that they’re working.

As I said, I wish I could tell you the stack matters. Most of it does not. I’ve seen people be successful with mediocre tools doing things really, really well. And people fail with the best tools because they’re not being very process-oriented.

I said the four Ps earlier, there’s a couple other PS, and that’s process and programming. So, one of things I said in my book Manufacturing Demand is don’t forget about these two other PS because you got to set processes and marketing. Live processes more than you ever have, and you got to learn programming. I don’t mean code I mean using technology to drive growth.

Joe Hyland:

Sure. Okay. Now, what just drives you crazy, like what do you get pulled into from your clients and you’re shocked that they still have that problem because you see the good and the bad.

David Lewis:

I think that one’s harder for me and that you hear me think about because we really try to educate our sales team on what our ICP looks like. And we will DQ, underperforming teams and cultures because we can’t fix broken and it’s harder to pour for me to find examples where we’re trying to have an All-Star cast of clients and the brands that we work within the companies that we work with are all their best in class. 60-some-odd percent of the SiriusDecisions Award winners have been our clients and think we won over our clients combined at one over 70 Marquis and Revies and Stacky awards just this past week.

So, we’re pretty selective on who we work with. But if I see a gap it’s when the leader doesn’t realize that their strength is either on the art or the science and doesn’t get that complement to their team to address their gap. I know of someone I’m thinking of right now, not a client yet, that just took a CMO role. And this person is very marketing operations and technology oriented. Well, now, they’ve got product marketing and branding and messaging and PR and if they don’t get some people that are exceptionally strong there, unless they’ve also have those skills, which is not often the case, they might not succeed in this this first-time CMO role. So, surround yourself with talent when you don’t it shows up.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you anymore. And that Echo something you said earlier on about 10 minutes ago was as a head of an organization, you don’t have to be all things — surround yourself with experts. If I was in charge of our operations, like I’m not operationally strong, it’s just not what I’m interested in is not my skill set if you had me poking around Marketo or Salesforce — we would be screwed. It’s just not my strength. We have a great marketing Ops Team, right? So, smart people know where they’re not smart and where they need where they help.

David Lewis:

So, this is Marketo assessment that we built that I told you, it’s wicked cool. At one point we needed to create an autoresponder email and need to be highly responsive. One of the guys on the team was trying to get the HTML to work. He couldn’t. He gave it to one of the other guys on the team. They got turned around in four minutes and made it exceptional.

And just, you know, having someone that you can throw something to and get back four minutes later and it’s amazing is a great just tactical example of like, “Give the ball to the person that can throw it through the hoop or get it down the court.”

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, no. No, I couldn’t agree with you anymore. All right. Well, let’s end with that. Dave, I want to thank you again, this has been fantastic. And that concludes this week’s episode. Thanks so much.

David Lewis:

All right, thank you.