Tell us about your role at Hortonworks and the automation tools you use for demand-gen campaigns?
I lead Global Demand Generation for Hortonworks. For all Global Campaigns, I work with different leaders on identifying the top campaign themes, set specific and measurable goals, identify existing assets, plan new assets, strategize on net new lead acquisition plans from target accounts, work on engagement and conversion programs including email nurture streams, help with call down programs working closely with the BDRs, eventually with the overall goal of moving the needle on pipeline and revenue numbers! I also act as the Demand Gen SME for the company and consult other individuals and teams on multiple programs. I also lead the global webinar strategy for the company and work closely with operations teams in recommending and testing new operational and process improvement initiatives including account scoring, lead scoring, lead flows, nurture track feeders, sales alerts etc.
What is the most exciting part about attending the ON24 Webinar World 2018?
Besides presenting and being on the ON24 CAB, looking forward to learning directly from folks similar to us.
What are your expectations and likely key takeaways from the ON24 Webinar World 2018?
New tools and techniques around demand gen especially around ABM maturity. What’s new on other folks webinar programs – content strategy, webinar ops, innovative promotion and of course some metrics and benchmarks!
On a scale of 1-10, how tech-savvy are your marketing and sales teams? How do you train your demand-gen pros to leverage automation and analytics tools?
Our Digital and demand gen teams are very tech savvy – I’d rate ourselves at a high 9! As far as training and using the right tools to the full potential for the demand gen pros, at the very beginning, we make every effort to hire the right people – people who show tremendous passion and interest in not only Marketing but also on what Tech could do for Marketers besides automating workflows. There is so much tech out there, only passionate and interested people would succeed because they not only help select right tools, they find innovative uses cases out of those toolsets. Besides, we have plenty of customized training materials including recording sessions and documents to help folks get started and succeed with our tech and our processes. We also have plenty of recurring weekly calls including a demand gen/ campaigns weekly, ops weekly, demand gen/ ops with BDRs weekly etc.
How often do you re-evaluate your content marketing strategies for demand-gen campaigns?
Regularly! We have built a central inventory of content ground up, listing all content and categorizing them by content type, target persona, industry focus, stage of buyer journey, campaign/ theme focus, date last updated, keywords, link to gated pages, direct links to the content just to name a few. We experiment with newer content types, try repurposing existing content and frequently leverage new tools.
What are the webinar best practices you would recommend for better demand-gen ROI?
Focus most of your energies on building a robust strategy for the webinar program. Content balancing has really helped us elevate our program – we try and regularly balance content by webinar type (demo vs thought leadership vs how to. Best practices), by target personas and get the webinars to fit into our big Global campaigns so that there is solid touch cadence for engaged folks post the webinar. Templatize EVERYTHING – webinar request capture, webinars ops, webinar promos, post-webinar touches etc.
What are your predictions for the adoption of marketing technologies for events and webinars?
Webinars have and will continue to be a vital part of the marketing mix. As marketers, we have a big role to play to keep this channel sacred and genuine – the key thing to remember is that folks attend webinars to learn something, period – so helping keep this channel clear of product pitches and product features etc is critical. Focusing instead on customer problems, benefits of a product/ solution and delivering knowledge is the way to go. I see technology playing a big part in webinars – modernizing the webinar platforms – look and feel, overall functionality, newer engagement features, richer analytics and an easy out of the box compatibility with the marketers’ unique MarTech stack.
Which technology startups are you keenly following?
BrightFunnel (now a part of Terminus), Engagio, LookBookHQ, Tesla (still a startup in some shape or form), to name a few.
Are you keen on AI/ML technologies? How do you see these new-age technologies impacting marketing ROI by 2020?
Absolutely – there is no getting away from this tech for anyone! From a marketing PoV, I see AI/ ML tech helping connect the right products /solutions to the right buyers at the right time and for the right reasons! I also see AI/ ML forcing marketers to work way harder on pinpointing target audience, messaging, offers and touch cadences because of the hypercompetitive environment this modern tech would create – after all we are all in the attention economy.
This Is How I Work
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Email, task management tools like Asana, love Google Drive (slides, sheets, docs) for collaboration, excel (it can still do things in a way many modern tools cant), attribution tool like BrightFunnel, to name a few.
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Learning shortcuts on your operating system and browser always work wonders in terms of productivity e.g. ‘cmd’ + ‘+’/ ‘-‘ – zooms in or out. Saving quick note over an ‘new email’ and saving as a draft is a quick productivity hack. Bonus tip – save an email draft as ‘Ideas’ to capture quick ideas.
What are you currently reading?
Not a voracious book reader but frequently consume digital content across social media and industry publications
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Ask the right questions and over communicate on what you do – things that might see trivial to you might be worth its weight in gold for others.
Thank you Sudeep! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.