CMO Confessions Ep 5: HubSpot’s Kipp Bodnar

Hi folks, and welcome to another episode of CMO Confessions, our bi-weekly podcast covering all things marketing.

For this episode, we got someone who knows content inside and out. I’m talking, of course, of Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot. Kipp’s work involves coordinating HubSpot’s global inbound marketing strategy, which means he does a lot of everything on top of a lot of writing. In fact, Kipp quite literally wrote the book on B2B social media marketing in his tome, The B2B Social Media Book: Becoming a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email and More.

In this episode, we discuss what went into producing his book, what goes into book promotion and how marketers ought to look to long-term growth  — even if a CEO is short-sighted.

As always, you can find Kipp and his latest insights on his Twitter feed, @kippbodnar.

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 a marketing leader in today’s business world. I’m Joe Hyland, CMO here at ON24 and joining me. This week is Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot. Kipp, how are you doing today?

Kipp Bodnar:

I’m doing great, man. How are you?

Joe Hyland:

I am fantastic. Thanks again for joining me, I really appreciate it.

Kipp Bodnar:

Happy to be here.

Joe Hyland:

So, I found out that we have a few things in common. One being a huge marketing dork — something that seems like you take a lot of pride in — the other, perhaps, an unhealthy love of ketchup.

Kipp Bodnar:

I do love ketchup guy get a rap for that. The waitresses at the restaurant always look at me when I ask for a second ketchup. I’m like, “Yeah, can I just have some ketchup for the table?” I want a safe space, I don’t want any judgment.

Joe Hyland:

When I was last in London, they have those very small tubes of ketchup that is pretty small, sufficient for, like, seven french fries. When I asked for more, our marketing leader for EMEA was like, “Joe this is not normal.” And he just sat there and watched. So anyway.

Kipp Bodnar:

I do like the chili sauce that they use in London in Ireland and everything with their chips. I like that trend as well though.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah.

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah chili sauce and chips are awesome.

Joe Hyland:

Exactly. Well, let’s talk about dorking out on marketing and geeking out. That’s really what we’re here today to discuss. So, I guess I’ll kick it off with a question: what’s your what’s your biggest pet peeve in marketing or in your role? What do you struggle the most with?

Kipp Bodnar:

Oh, two different things there. Pet peeve in marketing is people who do incremental things. Marketing’s job is to try to do new stuff that is interesting and creative and solves the problems our prospects and our customers face. And if you just kind of increment on everything you’ve done you lose all your leverage, you lose all your advantage and you’re just boring.

So that’s pet peeve. Things that I most struggle with: Scales real, man. Everybody tells you, “Oh, scale’s hard.” No, scale’s really hard. Scale is really, really hard. Let me tell you that Marketing in six languages and always having somebody doing marketing any hour of the day regardless, whatever you have to do that hour of the day. That’s not easy. That’s hard. Anybody who tells you that’s not hard. I don’t know insane or something. It’s hard.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. Well, I think the combination of those two answers is it makes it really difficult — is, one, scale is, and I couldn’t agree with you any more, scale is so real scale is difficult. And what worked before won’t necessarily work going forward, right? So, just trying to do incremental things or stuff is not is not the recipe for success, but that’s challenging because it might be what led to success up until now.

Kipp Bodnar:

Yes, it’s hard. Doing new stuff is hard. You know we call it “dragging the spreadsheet,” you can always just drag the spreadsheet out another year. Estimated another 10% improvement on this thing.

Joe Hyland:

I love that phrase. That’s fantastic. I never heard that.

Kipp Bodnar:

We talk about it all the time. You can’t drag the spreadsheet. It’s kind of colloquialism here. The flip side of it is like it’s easy to do too much new stuff.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah.

Kipp Bodnar:

Right? If you do something new and it works, you got to drag the spreadsheet in a while. You need to basically figure out like your point of maximization of return of that discovery and that effort — you do have to do it for a little while. But still, like if you only do that and you don’t do any new stuff, then you’re eventually just gonna kind of shrink and shrink over time.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. So, you’ve been at HubSpot for a while, right man?

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, year nine now.

Joe Hyland:

Wow, that’s crazy. How big was the team when you started? And compare it to now.

Kipp Bodnar:

I think the company was coming to about 100 people and I think we’re now like 2,200 people maybe.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, that’s quite the ride.

Kipp Bodnar:

Somewhere around there? So, it’s definitely a change and 2,200 people across offices all around the world — so that makes it a little different too.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, that’s scale.

Kipp Bodnar:

Scale’s real man.

Joe Hyland:

So, I think there’s a lot of reasons people respect HubSpot so much. As a marketer, what you guys have built, the beyond the brand, I think that category creation is just something that’s admirable. And the commitment to content is, I think, the way to build a phenomenal marketing department — also a phenomenal company. But a lot of CEOs don’t either have the patience for that or the respect or recognition for how critical marketing is for growth. I think, when I started in marketing, we were kind of the T-shirt Department, right? You know, whatever sales needed but don’t be strategic at all and you know the tchotchkes.

I’ve seen that change a lot. But I still see a lot of CEOs who still look at marketing as the janitorial department of the executive staff. I’d be curious to know your thoughts, one at HubSpot, but also just in general, how CEOs are viewing marketing.

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m good with the broom. I can clean it the best on them. Not my preferred skill though. I think that question is very different depending on where you are in the world, one. There are lots of different markets at different levels of maturation. You know, marketing is still much earlier on and its growth and life cycle in countries in Latin America and Japan. Other folks are a bit further along in a lot of the European countries — very interesting in that way.

The reality is that a lot of CEOs are short-term growth focused. And when your short-term growth focused you want to do bad crappy things that get you results in the short term — cold email, cold call, have a giant outsource call center in some far-off land to try to qualify leads for you — and do all of these things that have huge, huge long-term negative brand drag, prospects perception drag, customer perception drag. And quite frankly, it’s just gonna all be illegal soon. I think if you look at GDPR, for example, I mean GDPR essentially makes cold calling, for all intents and purposes, pretty illegal. There’s some B2B intent arguments to be made, but even then, like, the first thing you do if you’re in Europe and you cold call somebody you’re going to tell them, “Oh, by the way, I have to disclose to you before we start our cold call that I found your information on LinkedIn…” And it’s like, you actually think that’s gonna be effective? Like is that actually gonna work? Like, what person you like, “Oh, yeah, these are the people I want to work with.”

And so, I think, because of that, the brute force short-term thinking — like marketing can get undervalued and get a bad rap — and part of it is that I think it’s on the onus of everybody who’s in the marketing profession to focus on the business strategy and to be deeply integrated into the business and understand where the core opportunities are and make sure that the marketing strategy and the effort that you’re putting against actually like foots with that well. I mean, oftentimes this problem comes out of the marketers and the core leadership team being disconnected in terms of strategy and priorities there. And so, I think it’s our job to actually get aligned and make that happen.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, where you ended is really where I sit on that point. I think it’s marketing’s job to ensure that marketing is strategic, right?

Kipp Bodnar:

You have to be good at marketing. You’ve also have to be good at your job. Like it’s hard. Marketing is a hard job. There’s a reason that the lifespan of a CMO is sub two years, you know.

Joe Hyland:

It’s true. And few CEOs come up through marketing. So, it’s a challenge you have as being a head of marketing is that you’re reporting to someone who might not necessarily have ever practice your craft, right? So, yeah, you’re right, the onus is on you to ensure that they understand the value of it.

Kipp Bodnar:

Absolutely.

Joe Hyland:

You ran demand gen prior to being CMO, right?

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, I did.

Joe Hyland:

So, how do you — it’d be interesting to see if this answer would change from when you were the head of demand gen versus owning it all now — how do you balance…

Kipp Bodnar:

Almost always is probably the answer to that.

Joe Hyland:

Joking, aside probably — perspective changes a little bit. How do you balance building pipeline and building that demand with the kind of broader brand and content messaging?

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah for us, those things aren’t as much in conflict as most people, right? Because our content is how we get people to discover, learn about, not just our brand, but also our products, and get that initial engagement with us.

So, content is core to how we generate demand. Where you actually have that conflict is you know — if you think about content, I think there’s kind of two types of content in the world. There’s the content that your audience knows they want and your job is to give them what they want. And then there’s the content that your audience doesn’t know that it wants, and your job is to get the audience to believe what you want them to believe because you know, you’re right. And, if your job is demand generation, you really only actually really want the first part, which is the giving them what they want because your conversion rates are higher, your reach is higher your funnel looks way better when you look at the numbers.

If you run marketing and you’re a CMO you have to have both because you lose your brand if you only give people what you want, you don’t have a brand you’re not a point of view, you don’t have perspective — all those things. So, I think that’s probably the biggest change when you’re thinking about just demand generation versus the overall story of the business, the brand, and how everything that marketing does works together.

Joe Hyland:

Okay, and how about your — I’m not sure what you guys call them at HubSpot — your sales development team or the qualification arm. Are they kind of the intermediary between your group and sales? Are they only touching inbound leads or people who have expressed interest? What’s that relationship look like?

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah for us, it’s interesting because those folks have a bunch of opportunities. They have people who are coming in and actively engaging with us and have expressed kind of a marketing or sales problem through the content they consume. They are people who chat with us on our website or on Facebook Messenger, one of kind of our instant interaction messaging channels — having l-time conversation. We have an amazing free CRM product and we have lots of people coming in and signing up and using that and so they are also connecting with users who are in their journey on our free products to understand the problems they’re trying to solve and if they might be a better fit for, you know, one of our professional products, for example.

And so, they’re not doing much of any what you would consider cold would be. Maybe they’ve they’re talking to a user or somebody from a company and they’re like, “Oh actually really need to talk to a different person at that company.” So, I need to go and like find the right contact and go and reach out to them and they might like add that contact in and talk to them, but those are the those are the types of people that they’re really going to talk to on a daily basis.

Joe Hyland:

Okay. Does that group sit underneath the head of sales? Your counterpart in sales, does it sit in your group?

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, that’s in sales and I totally think it should sit in sales. I think putting SDRs or VDRs or whatever you want to call them, your kind of qualifying sales team, on marketing is just not as effective. You can’t give them the leadership, the coaching, everything they need to actually develop their career and become remarkable sales people and leaders long term.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think that’s a really good point because while some BDRs or SDRs might go into marketing, the vast majority think of themselves as early in their sales career, right? So…

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, absolutely.

Joe Hyland:

They probably don’t want to look to you and I for guidance they want to look to the head of sales.

Kipp Bodnar:

I mean, I think I’m cool, but I don’t think they think I’m cool. So, they’re likely gonna want to look up at and work with other people and they should do that. And we’re in really good alignment with them and give them what they need, but I think that being part of sales is the right thing there.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I know from watching one of your presentations that you don’t think you’re cool, you just think you’re a marketing geek.

Kipp Bodnar:

Well, I am, and I happen to think of being a marketing geek is cool. So, I guess in a roundabout way, that’s true. But yeah, I’m a dork and I’d much rather be doing marketing than most other things. So that’s just who I am.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, you should love what you do and out here in the out here in San Francisco being marketing dork is certainly cool.

Kipp Bodnar:

That’s true, that’s true.

Joe Hyland:

I’d love to — I think it was a while ago you published this — but I’d love to talk to you about the process of writing your book.

I guess two reasons. One is I’m just curious since it’s been a while now. You know, what you think of it and what you think of the process. I also think it’s interesting from a career perspective because it was a pretty ambitious undertaking. I think a lot of the listeners would just be interested to hear how you even went about it.

Kipp Bodnar:

Like, how do you write a book, and should you write a book basically? It’s interesting — we talk about a lot about this internally. It’s like, you know, I think we wrote the book — I wrote my book with my co-author Jeff like five years ago, maybe — some like that? And then obviously Brian [Halligan] and Dharmesh [Shah] at the Inbound Marketing book a couple years before that.

I think books are very important at certain stages of markets and both those books I thought were important and worth writing at the time because the market was so early on, there was so much speculation and so much thought that, one, you just needed to take the exercise of compiling a lot of research and information into a book to solidify your thoughts and recommendations to the market because there’s so much conversation and disagreement and debate in the market. And so, I think, when that’s the case, they can be very, very valuable. I think books themselves are a little less valuable today. It’s harder to distribute a book. It’s harder to get people to read an actual book today…

Joe Hyland:

What a sad statement that is.

Kipp Bodnar:

That is. It might be sad, but it’s also true I think, unfortunately. So, because of that you’ve got to really think that your message is new, novel, if you have a compelling way to tell it, and it’s what your audience needs right now. And there’s, one, that long format way to tell that story and that depth is really needed to tell that story effectively and that there’s no other kind of version of that story in this format that exists.

You know, I think when Brian and Darmesh at the Inbound Marketing book, for example, that was a fresh novel story that really didn’t exist. And people needed to have that book because it was like this it was a transformational thing. You needed to talk to people in your team and your company to do things differently and you kind of need the validation of this physical thing that other people read the publisher said was good that you can kind of point to and say like, hey we can do this thing. There’s a lot more credibility that you get from that maybe just an article on the Internet or a video or something.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. So, for this book, talk me through the initial genesis, how the idea even started and then what you did right. Like, who do you get in touch with? How did you start compiling a plan? Did HubSpot stand behind it?

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, so the HubSpot team, Mike, Brian and Darmesh everybody were like, “Yeah go do it.” Don’t see any issues any issues. So, basically did it kind of nights and weekends. So, on Sundays, I would spend like four to six hours on a Sunday, and I would just you know kind of head down right? I like to write early in the morning. So, I’d wake up and write for a few hours and then go about the rest of my Sunday and do that kind of thing…

Joe Hyland:

So that’s cool. Sorry to interject — you went to leadership and said “Hey I’ve got this idea. I think this is a unique point in the market, right? This isn’t just total BS. I’m not trying to get my name out there.” They nodded their heads. I like it. And then from there, you started working on it on your own time, though, it wasn’t like you were doing this 20 hours during the week.

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, no, I was doing my real job and I just felt like, one, it was a topic that the market needed — it was a book about talking about social media from more of a B2B lead generation perspective — which nobody really talking about at the time. It was very much consumer, kind of community building, and so you needed that different articulation in the market. And I felt like there’s a lot of misconceptions and just myths and stuff out there. So, I wanted to kind of set that straight. Jeff, who wrote the book with me, kind of felt the same way. And so, we’ve known each other for a while so we decided to embark on that. I got connected with Shannon Vargo, who’s an awesome editor over at Wiley, and kind of talked to her about it, and she thought I was a cool idea. And so we struck an agreement with them pretty quickly and I think over the span of four to six months got everything written and edited and out the door.

Joe Hyland: Really? That is impressive.

Kipp Bodnar:

I am an impatient human being, man. I don’t do a lot of stuff over a real long period of time — if I’m gonna commit I’m gonna be all in and I’m gonna get it done.

Joe Hyland:

When I was at Kronos, a Massachusetts company, we authored a book as well. And I will admit that it was it was not that quick of a process. It was about a two-year process for us, so.

Kipp Bodnar:

It can be long, it can be hard. But, you know, it’s about what you’re putting in. If you’re clear on your point of view and you’re clear on the story you want to tell it can be fast if you’re willing to schedule it, make the time for it, and kind of make it happen.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think the nights and weekends writing, while perhaps a little arduous, was helpful. It was just hard to squeeze it in with everything else we were working on.

Kipp Bodnar:

Exactly. Like anything else, you got to prioritize and make something a priority to get it done.

Joe Hyland:

So now you have a finished product — and, by the way, a pretty good name, “Becoming a Marketing Superstar,” which is only part of the title —  is quite a popular theme in a lot of marketing campaigns now. Five years ago, you know, it really wasn’t.

Kipp Bodnar:

I think it was pretty novel at the time.

Joe Hyland:

I think it’s catchy title. So, then what happens next? Other than your parents and family are probably immensely, you know, proud of you.

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, sure. You have some people proud of you and you’re just relieved to have it done. Then you go, and you speak on the circuit. You got a new platform, you’ve got something very clear to talk about and so you sign up at a bunch of events and you kind of have a kind of a 45-minute keynote summary of the book that you are delivering and gauging with people on and that’s driving book sales and getting your kind of point of view in the market out over the course of the next 12 months.

And that’s kind of — for anybody out there is thinking about doing it — that’s kind of what you’re committing to. You’re not just committed to writing a book, you’re committing to all of the commentary, the content, the presentation development and everything that comes after it.

Joe Hyland:

And, at HubSpot was this a demand gen machine for you? Was this used in campaigns? How successful was it from that standpoint?

Kipp Bodnar:

We used it in some campaigns. At the time, the Inbound Marketing book was still so resonate that this was like a sub-campaign element. You had that marketing book still being the core book campaign and driver by far because the book we did was just focused on social media. Whereas the Inbound Marketing book was more representative of the macro change across all the channels, which I felt like — especially if you’re doing demand generation, as out there who does knows —  broader subjects tend to provide better results, right? Because you’re reaching more people and everything in that regard. So yeah, that how we thought about it.

Joe Hyland:

Okay, cool. I just think that’s an interesting story to hear. All right, I’d love to just I’d love to get your perspective career trajectory and career growth. I get asked this question a lot. I think there’s a lot of ambitious marketers out there and they’re curious to know how people get to certain posts. So, did you have some master plan?

Kipp Bodnar:

No, never. I would be lying to you if I did. I just interviewed a candidate and told them the exact same thing. So, I’m just telling you what I told them. I’ve no master plan. My master plan was to do work I like with people I like. That’s really all I cared about then and still care about today. That’s my motive.

My advice to everybody out here on this topic is most of the time, the people who have very grand career plans and have very prescribed, like, “I need to be at this title in this amount of time.” That doesn’t work that well.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I agree.

Kipp Bodnar:

You know what works really well? Solving remarkable problems in remarkable ways. That’s really all you need to do. My whole advice is find the most important problem that nobody wants to tackle because, maybe perceived to be boring, maybe it’s just not time for anybody else to do it yet, there are whole host of reasons, and if you go and do that and you have a big impact on that, then turns out you just keep getting the opportunity to solve more and more problems. Then you quickly become the person that everybody expects to solve all the problems.

And if you do that in a way in which you have a good attitude, and you’re helpful, and you’re somebody that people want to work with instead of against, then you can kind of do whatever you want in your career. You can lead the team or be a great individual contributor. I think manifests its way itself in many, many ways.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah. I love how you how you ended there because I think life is too short to work with assholes. I mean, you see your co-workers, I see my co-workers more than you see your wife or I see my wife and family, and so you got to love what you do, right? You want to be around people who are optimistic and problem solvers and kind are like-minded. So, I think you’re totally right.

Kipp Bodnar:

Yeah, one, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, right? If you want to be better, you need to surround yourselves with truly remarkable people doing remarkable work — and that’s just a baseline to accomplish success I think today.

Joe Hyland:

I think that is an amazing point to end on. So, with that, Kipp, I want to thank you.

Kipp Bodnar:

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, this has been great and everyone, thanks for tuning in for another episode.

CMO Confessions Ep. 2: Engagio’s Heidi Bullock

Hi, and welcome again to CMO Confessions, our bi-weekly podcast at ON24 exploring what it really means to be a leader in today’s business world. I hope you all had an opportunity to listen to our first episode, featuring Matt Heinz, Founder and President of Heinz Marketing.

For our second episode of CMO Confessions, I had the good opportunity to talk to Heidi Bullock, Chief Marketing Officer at Engagio. Heidi has had a super-interesting journey to her position in the marketing world, where she started her career as a molecular biologist and worked her way up the marketing ladder within that industry before moving to Marketo. There, Heidi helped to shape the company’s marketing program during a few key formative years. Now, she’s heading Engagio’s marketing efforts.

In this episode — which you can find right here — we talk ideal customer profiles, why it’s important to prioritize accounts and, yet again, why it’s so important for marketing and sales departments to coordinate and work together. Plus, much more.

As always, we’ve included a transcript of our conversation for you to pursue as you see fit. If you’d like to reach out to Heidi, you can find her on Twitter at @HeidiBullock and LinkedIn at this link. And you most certainly should check out Engagio, which is doing some great work around engagement measurement in the account-based marketing space.

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

Transcript

Joe Hyland:

Hello, everyone. My name is Joe Hyland, Chief Marketing Officer here at ON24, and welcome to another edition of CMO Confessions. Today, I have Heidi Bullock, CMO of Engagio. Welcome, Heidi.

Heidi Bullock:

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be on.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, this is fun to do this. Okay, so since we said absolutely nothing is out of bounds, I’ll start with a question that perhaps you get a lot of, but maybe it will surprise you. How does a molecular biologist become a chief marketing officer?

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, it’s a question. I’ve definitely had. It’s an interesting path. I was somebody that was pretty technical, but I had the ability to communicate really effectively to people who I’m not going to say we’re not technical, but just busy and didn’t have the time to care about the details. And I think just that ability to communicate to people in different styles worked well for me. And, also, being in marketing being technical and having a thoughtful process has been an advantage. So, it’s not as much of a stretch as you think.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, that’s actually really interesting. I think a lot of marketers shy away from being technical or really getting to know the product. I don’t know if you have any thoughts or experiences with that.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, I see that, but I also feel like I see some marketers now almost trying to be so technical that they, you know, almost like it hinders them it’s like well, “I don’t have data; therefore, I can’t make a decision.” Well, nothing’s perfect. How can you make a good decision when you don’t have perfect data, which who has perfect data? Let’s be real. I do feel like I still see marketers that are like, “Oh, I don’t need to be in the product, or I don’t need to know those level of details.” And my feeling is you should be as close to the customers as possible. If you’re not doing that, to me, it’s a little bit weird every product that I’ve ever sold or marketed I’ve done my best to be in it as much as possible. Engagio I was in every day, Marketo I was in every day, and it really helps me relate to what a customer is not only looking at but facing.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think you’re totally right. I mean, great marketing is always about them, and never about you, but if you can understand that the challenges, the plight like the day-to-day frustrations of whoever your marketing or selling to, I mean, you just have an enormous advantage because it’s about solving their problems, right?

Heidi Bullock:

Exactly. And I totally get that. We’re in MarTech, and so that’s a little bit different for us, but I’d even say when I was in the Life Sciences and sold software in that industry, I did my best to work with sample data sets and get in there as much as possible to and I really think it’s a benefit if people can do that.

Joe Hyland:

Okay, so you didn’t, maybe you did, I’ll ask, you didn’t have some grand plan in your career to rise up and become a CMO one day.

Heidi Bullock:

I knew that I wanted to always do a good job, and I think that I’m a fairly competitive person — I’ve always played competitive sports — so I knew that I probably wasn’t just going to sit on the beach and just be complacent. But I wouldn’t necessarily say at 24 I knew I was going to be a CMO. I just knew that. I was going to be passionate with whatever I did and do it the best that I could. So, that’s kind of always how I lived and here I am.

Joe Hyland:

That’s kinda good advice for life, right? I mean outside of one’s career. Just do what you’re passionate about like give it your all and, truthfully, good things happen.

Heidi Bullock:

That’s right, and I think also just being really realistic about what certain jobs are, that’s advice that was given to me a long time ago. Make a list and what are the things that are important to you, and I think sometimes, I’ll talk to people, I’m sure you hear this, like, “what does it take to be a c-level person?” And I think if people sometimes knew what it was they really wouldn’t to, they really wouldn’t want the job, right? And so, I think, it’s only important in life, is it, is it money? Because I’ll tell you like go be an investment banker do that instead.

Joe Hyland:

That’s true. And you’re right, I think there are components of getting to the top of any career path or any profession, perhaps, what you what you loved doing, it shifts, right? And there’s different responsibilities. we have a great finance department, but I loathe having a budget meeting. I just hate it, but it’s one of the responsibilities of the role, right? It’s not exciting, but you got to do it.

Heidi Bullock:

That’s right. Like, hiring too, that’s something that I see, and I think if people had any ideas sometimes how much hiring you have to do. It’s a good part of my day for sure.

Joe Hyland:

It’s true, particularly at a high-growth company. At my last company, which is in a completely different space, we were growing like crazy. I was about the 20th employee and when I left we were over 400, so there were weeks that half of my time was spent recruiting or interviewing which is, truthfully, it brings a different joy, but it’s not marketing.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, it isn’t. Well, marketing yourself.

Joe Hyland:

I guess, yeah, it’s true. Let’s talk about growth hacking. Super-fast growth companies and then balancing, ultimately, building something that’s built to last. You guys are in hyper-growth mode. You’re doing some really cool things over at Engagio. How do you view balancing the realities of the short-term growth pressure, because it’s there, versus building something that is in fact built to last?

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think, for me, I wish I had a perfect answer. But I think, as much as we can, we try to not grow — if I could use the word — it’s almost artificial growth, where say maybe you add a bunch of numbers you bring in a bunch of customers, but if they all turn its sort of irrelevant. It doesn’t matter, and I’ve seen that movie before. We actually have spent a lot of time since I joined the company developing an ICP, we have a customer profile. There’s actually a segment of the market. We’ve really kind of figured out is not great to sell to even though to be honest with you. It’s made my job, and my sales partners job a lot harder. I think I could hit my pipeline goal much easier if I didn’t do that. But my feeling is if we have churn and other leaks in the boat, so what? It’s not going to help with that growth story.

So, I think having that right balance up front and that experience … You have to be pretty disciplined to do it because if we all can see the short pass to things it’s like, it’s almost like a crash diet like we all can live on some weird soup for a week, but it doesn’t work out and it’s kind of the same thing,  I feel like I have to make hard choices, and it’s made my job may be tougher, but I think it’s the right thing for the business. So, the quick answer’s we have an ICP. We’re really focused on a certain segment of the market that we know is good for us and so far, it’s gone well, but we have big hills to climb. I’m not sitting back and feeling like I have nothing to do.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, probably far from it. Yeah, for us, we were actually just talking about this in our board meeting a couple of weeks ago. We have what we call good DNA and bad DNA contracts and so not every win is a win. We’ve, and I won’t go into great detail on it, but we there’s a segment of the market that we sell into and they’re a little fickle and they don’t renew it at such a high rate. So, it’s really not worth it to sell-in there, right? And so that takes that discipline on the sales and marketing side because, you’re right, it’s easier for us to hit our targets if we kind of say, “Fuck it let’s just go after the whole Market,” but if the whole market doesn’t want our solution, that’s, at least long-term, that’s not good for us.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, and I have to say just for people that are in high-growth companies. I mean growth a huge part. That’s retention like huge. So, you can do great on the acquisition side, and if you’re not clever about how you retain and keep customers, it’s actually is a problem that magnifies itself. So, I think if you can have some of that discipline of front it’s really worth it.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I totally agree. It’s important. How do you view presale versus post-sale?
So, you have obviously an acquisition strategy that you work in partnership with your head of sales. Over at Engagio, what happens after someone signs? Do you stay involved?

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, we do. It’s interesting since I have been — and I carry this experience from Marketo, I owned up cross-sell there, and I was involved; I wasn’t the owner of retention, but we viewed it as almost like several pillars were marketing was a piece of it — and I view it that way here too. Especially, again, because we’re selling in the marketers. So, I like to stay involved, as an example. We on-boarded a customer today. I was on the call. I wanted to make sure that they felt like they got what they needed and just tried to make it as efficient as possible. I can’t be on every call, but I really try to stay pretty involved.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, that’s cool. I mean talk about staying close to the customer, right?

Heidi Bullock:

Right, I mean ideally. You know, I would love to do it as much as possible, but it’s tough. We have a lot that we’re in, but I think I’m definitely, for the larger customers, in the ones that they’re really critical for your business you probably want to do that.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, not that this is the reason we would do it, or you would do it, but also if there’s an upsell cross-sell component right they like you’re investing in a new client that could foster itself into a much, much larger relationship.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.

Joe Hyland:

Do you want to talk more about your ICP? I mean, that’s kind of where you guys play in the market as well, right? Feel free to talk about how you use your own solution because I think people would really benefit from hearing about that.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah. So, one of the first things we did — and I think people, and you kind of said this, that there’s a lot of noise — and I think for a lot of marketers they probably see stuff on LinkedIn and Twitter and everyone are just like, “Oh, this is like too much almost kind of that feeling like, “never mind, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.” And I would just tell people I joined Engagio, and we’re a small team we sat down, and we just looked at our closed-one deals, where we felt like we were having success and what are those companies have in common. We looked at certain technographics, we looked at demographics, we looked at a lot of different facets to cut to a place where we felt like, “Okay, this is a company that stays with us for the long term.” And we definitely saw a pattern with, as you were mentioning, a segment that seems to have a higher turn rate for us. I mean I can get into it, we really right now our focused-on people that have a Salesforce CRM. They’ve got some level of marketing automation in place. They probably, and this is harder, but there’s a certain type of marketing team that’s already in place. Like, if they’re heavy brand and have never done demand gen, maybe not the best fit for us.

So that’s just a small sliver, but we look at a lot of different facets, even geography comes into play, and then we’ve really focused there and one of the things that I’ve done just for people to think about. I have the ADR team, they report in to me, and we’ve actually caught them that way, so I have data that shows the segment that we’re trying to move away from, we haven’t sold the deal there, and I think it’s about 4 to 5 months, so it works, but you have to make sure the incentives are in place because people will get to their number, however, they can, right? So, you actually have to make sure that the comp lines up to it. And that’s something, I think, we’ve done that’s been helpful. That being said, to your earlier point, you gotta grow, there’s a lot we need to do, and you can’t have such a narrow ICP. It’s like, hey, we only sell to companies in Virginia that have 10 people that are vets. I mean that, so I mean he’s got to be realistic too.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, it’s an interesting line to walk, though. Because when I got to ON24 I looked at our addressable market. So, I looked at our TAM and is pretty massive and so, on one hand, it was exciting. It was like 250,000 companies in North America that we could sell to and so my CEO is excited. He’s going, “It looks great. We’ve got 1,200 customers right now. Joe, there’s so much room for growth.” And I said, “Focus is a beautiful thing.” And you’re right if we go scattershot here, and we just get 1% of this addressable market, we’re set, will be public, we’ll be worth a billion dollars. But will also have so much waste. We won’t be efficient. And so, we went through the painstaking process — and for us, it was pretty painful, because we weren’t that disciplined in our addressable market — and we cut out a lot when we really defined the ICP by vertical and region. We got laser-focused. And we’ve had some stumbles along the way — we realized our first pass at the ICP kind of sucked. We were too rigid on verticals. We didn’t use enough data. So, have you guys had to adjust it or were you right the first time?

Heidi Bullock:

You know, I feel it right now. We’ve been right, but early in the process, right? So, I think we’re a younger company than you guys, so I mean I’m sure it will evolve over time. I mean that and being flexible the name of the game I think, so far, we’re right. It’s been good and nice to see. I think another kind of point that I want to highlight that you asked, like how we use our own product. One of the cool things with Engagio is we actually can see, of the companies were focused on where we have coverage awareness and engagement, so that’s kind of another nice thing is we can sort of see, “hey here’s an account!” Like, maybe you have a series of accounts that are in a vertical. What your sales team can start with those where you have the right people and they’re aware and engaged and that’s been a huge even just coming here, I didn’t really have to get trained on Engagio we did that right away.

So that was actually kind of a nice thing. And then, we’ve basically been tracking like we have the different groups of target accounts and we kind of track them through their different statuses, and that’s been a nice thing to do to and report out on. So good, but I also think an important piece of kind of defining even if you have tiers. One thing I think is good is to meet with the sales team and the marketing team and say, “You know these are accounts that are going to get the white glove treatment, we’re going to have a lot of investment, you’ll get a lot of our time, but the tier-3 accounts, you know they might not get as much.” It’s more of a scalable approach, and I think that’s another kind of take away if I could add that today for people, I think that’s been really helpful. I even do that on the customer side as well because not all your accounts are the same and shouldn’t be necessarily be treated that way.

And what’s nice is the marketing team can figure out from a resource and budget perspective what’s reasonable because we’re all going to get the rep that’s like, “Hey this accountant, Florida. Can you guys fly out and do the workshop?” And it’s like no, we can’t because they are a tier-3 account, right? And that’s a really valuable thing to do is just making sure that you have those entitlements if you are thinking of a target account-based approach.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I agree. I think about, and we can talk more about ABM, I think a lot of marketers still struggle with this relationship with sales and having alignment. There’s no better way to get alignment than to have an agreed upon set of customers that there will be added emphasis and focus. I’m assuming that’s how it works at Engagio, but you want to talk about the partnership with sales?

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, let’s all face it. I think being a partner with sales is just — I mean, when you have that, there’s really kind of nothing better — it makes all of our lives and days much easier, and I think, to me, there’s like a few key things that I’ve seen that really help it. We have a good partnership because we do. We sit down we agree on accounts and we agree on the strategy and one of the key things though, that’d I highlight, is what’s nice is when we do use Engagio and it’s just the technology that kind of supports those interactions. It’s not. People can’t do it without it, but it just makes it more easily. It just scales. So, I can see, “Well, my refs did follow up on those accounts where we did that executive dinner,” and I can see that engagement and still can my sales team, so it’s not like yeah marketing sucks like what are they doing? They actually can see it and that to me has been just immensely beneficial. It’s like, I feel like it helps marketers definitely have that cred that I think everybody deserves, which is a good thing.

And so, I feel like everyone understands the need to coordinate, it’s just I think historically it’s been like very manual and hard, and you don’t want to hunt down the AVP in Atlanta and say like, “Hey Mark, you know how’s it going? Did we do XYZ?” And I feel like Engagio just makes that more seamless, and it’s less of a struggle to do it. But I’ll throw out another thing, I’m actually comped like a salesperson, and so I think not only having the technology and the, again, the goal of these accounts, but think about how you comp your marketing folks, because I think my sales teams like, “Hey, she’s in it with us, and I am, and I care just about you know getting those deals done as much as anybody.” So, that’s something I still don’t see as much and I it surprises me actually.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I think there’s a lot of — it’s scary — there’s a lot of marketers that don’t want to step up and take that on and if you really want to have a partnership with sales you have to have skin in the game same thing over here for better or worse. I’m comped on our bookings and pipeline. We, at ON24, I own our pipeline and we do it in concert, and in cooperation, of course, with our head of sales, but we felt like that was the best way for marketing to walk the walk. So, yeah, I think that’s important. I don’t think that many people do it, though.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, I don’t think that many people do. But even just making, even if it’s, like, a segment of your marketing team, like if you have a larger organization, maybe, I just think as much as you can do that as possible. I think really helps because again people do what they’re incentivized to do.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, it’s interesting. I think a lot of people don’t want a lot of marketers don’t want to work with sales. Like, you’re supposed to say you want to work or sales, but sales can be messy. I was talking to a CMO of a Fortune 100, I won’t mention the name, and I was having this conversation. It was it was it was over drinks…

Heidi Bullock:

You should mention the name

Joe Hyland:

I just refuse to do it because what I’m gonna say isn’t very nice. What she said to me, but she said I was having this discussion, and she said sales is messy, I don’t want to be involved, I don’t want my bonus tied to it. And she had been at this company for a year and a half is a huge company. She said I have not had one conversation with a sales rep, and you just I don’t know maybe you can you can get away with that when you’re a twenty-billion-dollar company size. It’s about growth like you have to be tied at the hip with sales.

Heidi Bullock:

I think, I’d actually even say you should be tied at the hip with customer success, too. I like the idea of like a revenue team that’s kind of my future model of how I’m thinking about things, and I don’t know, I get it, sales is messy, but you know what life is messy right? It’s like. I don’t know. I just feel like if you don’t want messiness then I don’t know why you’re in a c-level job. Like it’s messy, it’s hard, and I think it’s how you … I think part of our job is being elegant and figuring out how to work with other teams. It’s like, not everyone’s like us, right? And actually, that’s what makes it exciting and fun. It’s like, you know what matters to sales, you know what matters to your partner team. I mean if we want messy let’s talk to IT that can be really good times. I feel like it’s really critical in our roles. We’re sort of the hub of customer input and data, and it’s our jobs to kind of make sure that we can get along and facilitate that with other teams. So, I like salespeople and I always have felt like their good partners, and we always, I feel, like the companies where I’ve seen winning occur really regularly as when marketing and sales are aligned. That’s my just what I’ve seen though.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I agree, and I like that you threw the CS team in there because in a SaaS model you’re nothing if there’s a huge hole the bottom of your glass and revenue is falling out the bottom. How you market, that’s why I asked the question earlier on are you involved post-sale. I mean, it’s wildly different marketing strategy, if you, if you are involved in the whole life, cycle, yeah.

Heidi Bullock:

I think it’s better it actually. I think, makes you a better marketer because you have to really think about the beginning to end. It’s like kind of going back to the diet analogy. It’s like yeah, you can have weird soup for a week, and it’s like you might lose some weight, but then you get [to] change it again, and I just think like thinking about like balance and doing the right thing from the beginning. It’s just it’s just better for the business.

Joe Hyland:

And you understand the customer more, let’s face it. It’s easy to spout a whole bunch of bullshit on the front, and they get someone excited, and then they buy the product and they realize, “man, they were full of shit.”

Heidi Bullock:

Exactly.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, but if you’re involved the whole way. Like you can’t do that.

Heidi Bullock:

Right, and I think it helps a lot with your acquisition strategy to because you can actually see what was effective or, maybe, some of the things that you’re positioning that you’re like, “Oh, that was maybe a stretch.”

Joe Hyland:

It’s true because we all do that, right? But I mean if you…

Heidi Bullock:

Never!

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, never, of course. Why did I say that? That’s ridiculous. Well, let’s talk about

Heidi Bullock:

We all make perfect content all the time

Joe Hyland:

Perfect content and everything we say is absolutely true. There’s no there’s no future selling in there.

Heidi Bullock:

That’s right!

Joe Hyland:

I want to hear the difference — Marketo your experience at Marketo — and now at Engagio. Obviously, different company, but there’s a pretty strong Heritage from Marketo. You came from Marketo, John came from Marketo. I’d love to hear what the dynamics are like what the environment is like and some of the differences.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, I’d say I’d see the similarities that I think are really, really cool and, first and foremost, we just really care about marketers and making them successful. I think that’s what was you know why I love Marketo it’s just the passion around the marketer who, let’s face it, for a long period of time, when I first got into marketing, you know the top question I get is, “Hey are those hats ready? And it’s like, “What?” And that’s the number one way to annoy me to ask about like hats or t-shirts like just I don’t even I’m not involved. It’s not my thing. But I feel like the passion around marketing and making them successful in making them perceive to really as a really value-add department and critical for driving the business is really common with both companies and it’s exciting. I just feel like any way that we can help marketers is like, that’s what we’re here to do and that’s a great feeling so that’s a similarity.

I think a difference is just like obviously size. Like, Marketo was so much bigger. But I see a lot of similarities because even when I joined Marketo people are like why can’t you use an ESP? Why do you need marketing automation, and so it’s a little bit, still, educating the market in and helping people see it’s not extremes, clearly, but what benefits you can get from evolving your technology stack. I see a lot of similarities. See the people that are involved from an early stage just really care a lot, and that’s fun and exciting and the DNA at Marketo early days was amazing, and, yeah, I think the biggest difference I see is probably now, just its size. And I think when you’re a CMO or a leader in an organization where you have 25, 30 people is very different than when you have a team of, like, eight. It’s just different.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, how big was Marketo when you when you arrived?

Heidi Bullock:

So, I got there in 2012 and so we were a few hundred people at the time. Yeah.

Joe Hyland:

Still relatively small I mean that’s not huge.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, still pretty small, right. And I think the interesting thing then was like the market itself was not many people have demand gen roles on teams. Like that, I remember, was a pretty novel thing. Where’s now everyone’s, like, of course, we have demand gen, and that’s kind of where we’re at with ABM. We’re starting to see there’s ABM leaders and people that are thinking along those lines. So, it’s kind of fun. It’s exciting. But I think Marketo how did a great job. I think building something that helped that really generally help marketing folks, and that’s just that’s awesome, and that’s again, I think, with Engagio, we’re just trying to take it to the next level and do our best to make marketers successful, whether you’re a senior level marketer, or you’re a marketing coordinator, and you’re like, “I have a lot of shit to do.” I’m gonna make this easier, right? We’ve all been there.

Joe Hyland:

So how do you set up the team at Engagio? So, obviously, you guys were significantly smaller when you spend you started. Talk to me about how you built the team and are continuing to build the team.

Heidi Bullock:

Yeah, so anyone can relate to when you add people it’s like the best feeling in the world next pizza or tacos, I guess. For me, I feel like that minute you get some of you can depend on and you have the help, it’s the best feeling in the world. So, I have our ADR organization reporting and to me and so that’s kind of one area. We have a marketing operations technology person. I think those roles are essential. And I think that’s something I’ve seen. I’m kind of like highlighting the areas I think that have changed, and I think, you know, I’m even thinking about Revenue Ops as we get bigger and somebody that probably thinks about you know technology for success, marketing, and sales that kind of has all those key folks reporting into them. That’s kind of what I’d like to do long-term. Again, because, I think, a lot of those technologies most people kind of depend on a few systems and having somebody that oversees all those, I think, matters.

I have somebody that does our strategic events and a lot of like high-level kind of ABM programs, and then I have a demand gen leader, and then we have somebody that does content, social and a graphics person. So, it’s, I mean, a lot of people probably think that’s pretty bare bones, and, again, like at Marketo, the team was closer to 25, if you didn’t count international teams — and it was organized by business units. We had an SMB team that was probably more transactional more demand gen and Enterprise team that did more account-based marketing, and then we had content, social and events. So, to me, when you’re anybody thinking about team building right now that the biggest thing, I think, is different is the person that does your operations and your tech stuff because those people are hard to find, and I think the expectations for them, in a lot of ways are kind of crazy. It’s like, “Oh you’re going to be a Marketo expert, and build a plan of record, oh, and, go fix the Salesforce that she would lead routing.” Not many people can do all those things, and so I think a lot of companies and a lot of CEOs that I see they’re like oh, why is why do you need all those things, or is the text that really that expensive and your, but yet they want all that perfection and so that to me is a struggle still.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, you mentioned this at the start. Data at a few companies is clean. My wife, actually, works for LinkedIn and people at LinkedIn complain that their data is dirty, and if LinkedIn can’t have perfectly clean data when people tell them where they work, and what job they have, who can? But yeah, I think data is in some ways becoming sexy again, which is an absurd statement, but it’s so important particularly if you get a more and more focus with your marketing, or you don’t have the right contact information you’re screwed. I think those are becoming critical roles.

Heidi Bullock:

They are, and I think that it’s critical, but I think the piece that people don’t quite get it’s like, “Oh you don’t just buy you know marketing Automation, and you’re done?” It’s like, that’s the beginning, and I think it’s like who’s managing it? Who’s keeping all those systems clean? Reviewing your data? Making sure you think they’re ongoing deduping. I just think most people don’t have an understanding of that investment, and it’s hard when you’re a small company right are held to those standards that the level of investment is different, so that’s where you have to be Scrappy and I think pretty clever about it.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, no, I agree and it’s not one and done right like it’s not like you it’s not binary. You don’t do it, and then move on to the next thing like that’s forever.

Heidi Bullock:

It’s like brushing your teeth. You gotta do it every day.

Joe Hyland:

That’s funny. That’s a great analogy. Data is like brushing your teeth, you heard it here. All right, so, to wrap up. What kind of advice do you have for younger marketers in their career or marketers? Who are looking to do Dynamic things?

Heidi Bullock:

That’s a great question. I think, for me, this is probably going to be a little bit different than maybe something other folks would say I really look for people that love to learn — they just have this hunger for learning and a willingness to get in there and try a lot of different things, and I can’t overemphasize humility. I think I like people that just, even I feel, like, in our rules, I don’t claim to know everything I feel like I’m learning every day, and I think as you get older you actually realize how much you don’t know if I think that excitement of learning is what makes us better.

Joe Hyland:

I know something is happening outside my office.

Heidi Bullock:

But I think that’s what I look for is just people that are smart, and they’re hungry they want to try that they have that humility. It’s not like, “Oh, I’m, I know it all because I’ve been in marketing for six months.” It’s like, “Oh gosh, not at all.” And I think the people that I’ve seen do the best are just the ones that continue to learn, and they just stay humble. I mean it’s not to say you can’t take credit for your accomplishments. I’m not saying that but it’s just the willingness to keep learning and getting better, and I think. Really worth that for me.

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, that’s great advice. That’s a great insight. I mean so much of what we do in our jobs is I think problem-solving, but that’s true in any job, and there’s no there’s no playbook that you can come in and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, right? Yeah, there might be a methodology which is different, but there’s no always right way to handle something so I think that’s a great point and let’s face it. No one wants to work with an asshole and humility is a great a great quality of life.

Heidi Bullock:

It is because I think when you when it comes down to it. I mean we all are on teams and the team just has to be crushing it, right? It’s not about me it’s not about you, it’s not about one person. It’s about, you know, how’s that team hitting our goals and making sure that we’re winning, and that’s, to me, I think if it just like that’s like a team sport. You could have a rocking forward on a soccer team or basketball team, but that’s not enough to win the tournament, right?

Joe Hyland:

Yeah, I was true. All right. I’m digging the analogies. Heidi, this was fantastic. I really enjoyed the discussion and thanks for the time.

Heidi Bullock:

Thank you. I appreciate it.

CMO Confessions EP. 1: Heinz Marketing’s Matt Heinz

Last week we ran a small campaign over our social media channels poking fun at brands that get a little too excited about April Fools’ Day. The point was to call out bad marketing habits and to promote the idea that — as B2B leaders — we should talking about these compulsions openly. It also, and this might be a little more honest and to the point, was to promote our new podcast, CMO Confessions*.

The aim of CMO Confessions is to explore what it really means to be a leader in today’s business world. It can be confusing and, at times, downright unpleasant. The advantage we have today is that we can share our experiences and advice with millions of people at the click of a button.

For our inaugural episode of CMO Confessions I talked to President and Founder of Heinz Marketing, Matt Heinz. We had a great talk about how marketers can build out a predictable pipeline, why we think account-based marketing is experiencing a resurgence and why, in our opinions, CMOs ought to own revenue responsibility. You can find a link to that episode right here.

Additionally, you can read our transcript of the whole episode after the jump for your own notes. Just in case you wanted to double-check something you heard.

So, without further ado, welcome to CMO Confessions. Let’s talk.

*Was that bait and switch a bad habit? Sure was. But, as I said, we all have our weaknesses — we ought to at least air them.

The Transcript:

Joe Hyland: Hello and welcome to the very first episode of CMO Confessions, a weekly B2B sales and marketing podcast that explores what it really means to be a marketing leader in today’s business world. I’m Joe Hyland, Chief Marketing Officer here at ON24 and joining me on our first — our maiden voyage — is Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing out in Redmond, Washington.

Matt, welcome to the show.

Matt Heinz: Hey, Joe. Thanks very much for having me.


Joe Hyland: Yeah, this is fantastic. You have a wealth of experience. You’ve been doing this for a couple decades as a practitioner before you started your own shop. I’ve heard you speak on numerous occasions. We’re fortunate to have you coming to Webinar World in a couple weeks, and you’re going to be presenting on the main stage, but your career is essentially centered around helping organizations drive measurable results, greater sales revenue with marketing that produces results.


Matt Heinz: Yeah, I think one of our VPs has said “You can’t buy a beer with a Marketing Qualified Lead.” So, as important as MQLs are, you know, it’s not the be-all end-all. So, helping companies build revenue-centric, predictable pipelines — that’s our jam. And so that’s what we spend time doing.


Joe Hyland:  Yeah, that’s the fun side of marketing, right? And, it’s funny, you see companies get themselves in trouble, or departments get themselves in trouble, when it turns into this pissing match between marketing and sales on what’s qualified, what’s not, versus what’s actually driving results.


Matt Heinz: I think, you know — as a lifelong marketer — when it comes to that alignment between sales and marketing, I’ll be the first to say this is marketing’s fault, right? I mean, sales by definition owns a number, and so when sales is grinding it out of the end of the month and the end of the quarter,  trying to hit their number, and us marketers, we’re down at the bars celebrating that we hit our retweet goal, like, there’s something wrong with that picture. And I wish that was just a joke — that’s a real story from a client a couple years ago.

So, there’s a significant amount of misalignment. I think that if you can migrate the culture of marketing to be to act more like a profit-center, to be more revenue responsible — sometimes that means different focus areas different actions different priorities — but I think that is that clearly the future of B2B marketing.


It doesn’t mean everything you do is going to be attributable to pipeline, but it means you have to have that orientation that what you are doing has to have revenue and sales responsibilities at the end of the day.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, I think sports analogies are often forced, but I think there should be one metric that determines victory — and we’ll talk about growth in a couple minutes — but, for me, I feel that it is revenue and on the sales side it’s new bookings. So, on our marketing team, our north star is our annual sales target, and then we work backwards, right? There was a lot of things that lead to that — so there were upstream indicators — but we talk revenue, we talk new bookings, and then we immediately go to pipeline.

Then we get to the social components and how much content is required, like cool things like this. I think we do them because they drive results, but does this have a pipeline target on it? And, I mean, that’s silly, but the end of the day I think you got to combine the two.


Matt Heinz: You do, and I think there is there is a separation between what I would call, sort of, your operational dashboard and your executive dashboard. You know, if you’re going up to the c-suite, if you’re going to your peers and communicating what marketing did, you don’t want that report to be full of open rates and click rates, and retweets.

I mean, … having access to an audience and having the attention of an audience are two different things. And you’re not going to build pipeline if you don’t have the attention and engagement of the people that you care about. So, there’s plenty of work that goes into building attention and building that engagement that is not a straight line to revenue, but is a required predecessor to building that pipeline.

That’s a bunch of detail that — on a weekly scorecard — your c-level peers don’t want to see. I think if you come to the table with metrics that your CFO already understands and already recognizes as valuable, I think … you can sort of work back and walk back into “Here’s how we’re leading into that.” I think you’re getting somewhere.

Since you’re calling this the CMO confessions, I will say that I’ve heard from a number of CMOs that migration to having that revenue responsibility is actually quite scary, you know? When you’ve got a marketing team that has been used to measuring nothing further in the funnel than just a marketing qualified lead and has been valuing impression and valuing things like share a voice — this is a different paradigm. This is a cultural shift, and sometimes, I’ve seen some of the biggest impediments of that being the CMO themselves. Sometimes wittingly, sometimes unwittingly. But as we as we mentioned earlier, I don’t know that you have a choice as a B2B marketer these days.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, I think that’s a great point and you have to walk the walk. So, at ON24, maybe I’m a moron for signing up for this, but I own, and our marketing team owns, our pipeline. So, not marketing sourced, not what goes through SDRs, like, we think that’s bullshit. Do we model it? Yes. Like, we’re not morons. But I own the number.

We had our board meeting yesterday. I have a close partnership with Jim Blackie, our global head of sales, but I present the pipeline. And we don’t get into, at the board level, of the details of where it comes to and if there’s a there’s a pipeline problem, I own it. I’ve got my bonus tied to it. This might be where, you know, who knows if it’s smart or not. But that’s, for me, that’s walking the walk. That’s saying, marketing, when we sign up for revenue — it’s not it’s not a vanity metric. We’re tying comp to it.


Matt Heinz: So, one of the biggest objections I hear from CMOS that they don’t feel comfortable embracing that revenue responsibility will say, you know, “I just I’m not comfortable signing up for a number I don’t have control of.” I’m guessing that your counterpart in sales does not have control of those deals getting close any more than you do, you know?


Joe Hyland:  Exactly!

Matt Heinz: And when you’re selling into large organizations, let’s not pretend that the prospect has control over when the deal closes. There’s so many variables that play. I mean, for everybody, like you just need more pipeline, bigger pipeline, to sort of make the numbers work in your favor. So, if we take control off the table and simply just say listen, “We have a number to hit, we’re in this together.” We think a lot is B2B marketers about attribution and who’s getting credit for things and where is the deal coming from. I could make an argument that between sales and marketing, maybe we should take attribution off the table.

I don’t care if this came from sales, I don’t care if this came from marketing. Now, I care if it came from this expensive marketing channel or that expensive marketing channel. I want to know which of those worked, and my waiting is, but I really don’t care about marketing-sourced versus sales-sourced. I care about hitting the number. Because we’re all gonna get fired if we don’t hit the number. So, somehow, we still got to do that. And there’s an awful lot of unproductive time spent just arguing over who gets credit.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, “unproductive,” I think, is the key word there and it just becomes two people digging their heels in arguing for what ultimately are just optics. Now, maybe I’m in a fortunate position where we’re privately held, backed by Goldman Sachs and a few other firms. We’re all shareholders and, so, for me, winning, as a company, is our company actually reaching some sort of a financial goal. So I care about the end results. For us, I care about our recurring revenue and, for me, that’s more important than getting dinged because we didn’t deliver pipeline regardless of whose problem it is, or fault. And if we’re if we don’t deliver those results there are bigger issues.

Matt Heinz: Well what I don’t want this to become is, “We move the pendulum all the way over to you know we have to account for every penny. We spend that everything we do has to have a pipeline metric around it.”

Because if, we because if we did that then all we would ever do is just buy ads. Because the ads, we can measure the ads. We can see results right away. We would never invest in content. We would never invest in podcast like this. You would never invest in making the migration over time from renting attention to owning the attention of your prospects. And we know how powerful and high-leverage owning the tension is, but you don’t buy your way into that. You have to earn that over time and that takes time and effort. But then, just like in a SaaS business, where you’ve got lifetime value increasing, you know, profitability, when you can own attention when you can get people that want to come here from you that becomes an annuity, that creates massive scale and efficiency in a marketing organization.


I mean, doing a podcast like this and doing blog and sort of doing, you know, other content elements — they don’t they don’t have to be immediately attributable to revenue today, but if you talk about it in the perspective we just did — that we’re doing this so that we can own the attention of prospects so that acquisition and retention and loyalty becomes easier and more efficient down the road — that is still a revenue-centric conversation to be having. I’m still putting that in terms of the business can understand.

Joe Hyland: Well, it’s your north star, right? It’s what the end goal is and I think it’s silly to only move one step away from that. You’re right, you would just create no content. The marketing team would just be full of demand gen marketers and, perhaps, SDRs, right? I don’t think that’s a prescription for success.

Though it’s interesting. I think we’re sliding down the slippery slope of a lot of organizations doing this. I just read comments from Marc Benioff, when he was at Davos not too long ago, that trust is more important than growth. Which I think is an interesting comment, particularly for a CEO of a publicly traded company, which has a pretty rich multiple based off of growth. His point isn’t that growth isn’t important, but it’s just what you were saying and owning, kind of having a seat at the table, and essentially earning trust. Well, that’s probably what leads to growth. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts as to how marketers are sliding down the slippery slope and moving away from great marketing.

Matt Heinz: Well, I don’t think you can. I think that if you’re moving away from what is always been great marketing, where you build trust and credibility and respect with your brand and your people and your company, if we move all the way to the other side of the first of the pendulum and just become growth hackers, where all we’re doing is optimizing Facebook pages and landing pages and digital ads — that may hit your, you may hit your demo request number tomorrow, but you’re not going to build a lasting brand, you’re not going to build a company that’s around for 100 years. You’re going to be very point-driven and transactional and you’re going to build a house on quicksand that your competitors are very quickly going to come and tear down.

And I, you know, I say that as a math marketer, as someone who starts a marketing plan with a spreadsheet, who wants things to be attributable, but I also highly value the brand and the reputation and the voice that you can create that gives you the benefit of the doubt, that makes you someone people seek out. I mean, we were talking to someone yesterday about how do you migrate your marketing from being interruptive to irresistible? How do you get to the point where you got people that want to get your marketing? [Who] want to be on your list that want to experience what you have to say?

Every company today is a media company, or can be a media company, and can build that audience. You have that opportunity, and I don’t care how like money-grubbing you are, or how conservative your CFO is, you go and tell them that you can create, your company can be a magnet for all the people in your audience and the people want to come listen to you? Everybody wants that asset, for sure.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, um yeah, I couldn’t agree with you anymore. But I think what’s happening, and as a funny story, is, uh, a friend of mine, um, works for a company where they’re tracking pipeline on almost a daily basis, and so the CEO saw a report in Salesforce and said, “We’re behind in pipeline today. What campaign can we run tomorrow to juice it?” And he didn’t have a good rapport with the CEO, so, they, the next day, they lit up they lit up their database, three million people with a click of a button, to try to drum up some clicks and short-term pipe. I think we’re seeing more and more of that.

Matt Heinz: Oh, it’s there’s no question we’re seeing more and more of that. And I think that that scorched-Earth mentality is going to have massive negative impact for companies as they try to sustain growth. You know, for folks listening to this that are anywhere near B2B marketing — I’m sure you all get the same — terrible BDR emails that we all get 800 times a day from people that have that same [email] —nowhere in that email is there any kind of value for me. All it is, is “Can I have 15 minutes of your time?” right? And the reason why we keep getting those is because they work enough to make a spreadsheet show that they work — that the VC say, “That’s the model keep doing that.” And A) they do work because there’s always three or four percent of the market that is actively buying, according to Gartner. So, someone out there has a need and wants to see that right away, but the collateral damage you are doing to the rest of the market, the damage you’re doing to your brand and reputation by going scorched-earth to hit your number tomorrow or this week or this month — if that aggressive rep leaves your company next week, or if someone comes in and finally convinces you to stop doing those kind of tactics — you’re still left that bad taste in the mouth, that bad impression with that prospect.

So, again, that’s a house built on quicksand that someone else can come and take over very quickly simply by offering a better experience. I mean, the challenge of sales guys at CEB have said, for the last couple years, “How you sell is more important than what you sell, especially when you’re building trust report and pipeline with your prospects.” So, I think you really have to be careful. Yes, you may be behind on your demo number today, and, yes, there may be things you can do to juice it for tomorrow — but you have to take the long view on this stuff or else you won’t have a business after this quarter.

Joe Hyland:  Yeah, I feel it every morning when I check my email I every morning there are 40 to 50 emails in the first five minutes or spent just pruning that list down to what’s real and it’s painful.

Matt Heinz: So, maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. I end up putting myself on some of those lists so I can see — I mean because there are some good examples. There’s a company — I was at  sastra conference just recently and had some follow-up in there — there was one guy that followed up, and he clearly had read some of my recent content and was commenting on things he had seen and then the last half of the email I got was probably a template — it looked a little more templatized and less personalized — but, I mean, in today’s world that stood out like a like a sore thumb.

He was selling something that I had no interest in, it would have not even qualified for us, so there wasn’t really a match there, but the approach is good. And you can’t automate that approach, but you can sure create a process around it. Even if you can’t get as many emails out the door with your spam cannon, you’re likely to get a better engagement rate with people you really care about. So, I think there’s trade-offs on all of that, but it’s, I don’t know, you got to balance the short-term activity and pipeline delivery needs with the long-term value you’re building with customers that will, eventually, be ready to buy.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing — we actually get that question for webinars. How being a webinar provider? How long should a webinar be? And my answer is how much content do you have? Do you have … you’ve got 15 minutes of great content? There’s your answer. You’ve got two hours, and this is a super-targeted session and the attention span of your audience is there? Great, have a two-hour webinar.

There’s no magic answer. Same thing on emails, like, you’ve got something compelling to say and you think you can genuinely help someone, I think you’ll have good results. If you’re doing connect-and-sell with 23-year-olds just lighting up your market —  I don’t think it’s going to work. And you’re right, they do that because — I mean, I’ve looked we built these models ourselves — if you only need two or three percent response rate, and you send it to a couple hundred thousand people, shit, we got good pipelines. Like, is that really smart?

Matt Heinz:  You know, you got to be careful what you wish for on that. And I think that, if you’ve got, you know — whether it’s the 23-year-olds lighting up the emails—  we think about content, whether it’s content that you send out, something like this, or when you think about sort of those SDR emails, I think the lighter and earlier in the relationship you are with someone, the less content you can put in front of them. If you’ve got an hour and a half of things that are interesting to say, you have to earn my attention. I’m not going to give you an hour and a half, and then say, “Well that actually sucks.” You know? I think you start with 100 words. You start with five minutes. You start with an interesting video. You start with, you know, it might even be someone else that listens to you and says, “Boy, you got to listen to this.”

I committed to a college football podcast a year and a half ago because Craig Rosenberg, who we both know, said it was great, right? And, so I subscribed without having checked any of them out because, it’s free, there’s low-cost entry there, but [I’m] listening to them for an hour and a half talking about college football recruiting based on someone’s recommendation. That’s interesting. But if I didn’t know about it, I’d probably listen to it a lot less than that to make sure I liked it. But I think, you know, the content you put out has to be good, it has to be engaging, it has to be relevant to your audience and it has to be relevant to the stage of the buying journey they’re at to get and keep their attention.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, and there was trust, right? So, that came from a recommendation of someone you respect, or somewhat respect.


Matt Heinz:  Let’s not go respect. I know we both know of…

Joe Hyland: If Craig is listening, somewhat respect. Right, so you said, “Okay, cool. I’m not gonna scour the market and do all this research, cool, recommend it to me.” Yeah, that’s funny. What else are you seeing out there? What do you love? What do you hate and we’ve talked a lot about the pet peeve so far, but um what some great marketing you’re seeing?


Matt Heinz: Well, I mean I think we’ve we are seeing more companies invest in building what we call sort of the predictable pipeline, which is sort of getting away from random acts of sales and marketing that a lot of people do and you kinda referenced it earlier, “Oh, man. We’re light on the activity today. What can we do to light up a bunch of demos tomorrow?”

And there are times when the fire drill is necessary when you need to be agile. You need to pivot, but if you hit your number this month, or this quarter, like, what’s your confidence that you’re going to do it again next month and next quarter? And that’s not just about your campaigns. It’s, like, you know, how buyer-centric is your messaging in your content?  How well aligned? Is your sales and marketing team together? What process and tools do you have to facilitate greater efficiency in that system, and then what sort of go-to-market activities are in play that can feed the right volume of activity and leads back to you? And then what tools you have to report on that as well?

So, you know, we’ve developed, sort of, this six-stage sort of critical pipeline framework, these seven areas, that people can look at and say, “I’m strong here. I’m weak here. Here’s a place I need to focus on doing better.” I think a lot of companies in a lot of marketers are looking for the silver bullet, we’re looking for the one thing that’s gonna do it for us, right? I think four years ago — it was five years ago — it was social selling. Three years ago, it was ABM. Last year, it was AI. Like look, there’s no silver bullet. Like, I think, as we all painfully know, that have been in marketing for a while, it’s doing a lot of little things well and doing them consistently and repeatably, with scale.

And so, that’s where this idea of the predictable pipeline came. It’s just that you have to create a system that you can rely on that will deliver high-confidence results over time. So, I think the marketers that are investing in building that system — and it’s not just technology — it’s knowing what’s working, knowing your buying journey. It’s getting it’s fundamentals. That’s what we’re seeing a lot of companies really invest in and that’s helping them align with the sales organization to create that predictability and confidence.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, I like that you mentioned the fundamentals because that’s not sexy to talk about so.

Matt Heinz: No.


Joe Hyland: Five years ago, I found, when I’d have conversations with marketing leaders, or people even on our own team, they would list a whole bunch of tactics and that was kind of the strategy: was a collection of tactics. And I think it was easy to course correct on that — easier at least. Now, what I’m finding, is tactics are being replaced with technology — and we’re a technology firm, so perhaps we’re adding to some of this — but the conversations I have are, “Oh, we’re going to invest in this technology this year you mentioned ABM or dabbling with AI.” And there’s nothing wrong with putting in a tech stack — obviously, you need to do that in today’s day and age — but putting in certain types of technology does not replace your strategy. And, going back to core fundamentals, [that’s] actually something that gets brought up in board meetings, and my CEO, we’ll say, “What’s working? Like, our we’re doing really well as a company our pipelines quite predictable?” And I list really boring things.


We’re very disciplined with our message right now. We’re doing a great job in the last two or three quarters in that we have a consistent webinar program, like a consistent demo process, we try to tell a story that is about the market — not about ON24, and trust me, we screw up more than we get right — but it’s the fundamentals that, for us, are driving the results versus these shiny toys or objects.

Matt Heinz: Yeah, I completely agree. I had two companies not too long ago, this is late last year, you know, we were talking about their marketing program and got a call back from the head of marketing said, “Yeah, you know, the CEO took a look at your business and took a look at your website, and he’s decided you represent the more traditional marketers, and we really just want to hire a growth hacker that can come in and make some moves really quickly.” And I think we just got, we just disqualified each other, pretty much for this conversation.

Yeah, I mean, there’s some really interesting flashy things you can do — and even through channels like this. I mean, we’re a ON24 user, I think you can do some really exciting things on this platform multiple formats multiple channels. We record episodes of sales pipeline radio through ON24. It’s been an enabler of our strategy, right? The technology is not your strategy. You find tools that can help you get the things done that are going to build your pipeline that are going to build your business and we do some things on a pretty consistent basis. Like, we do sales pipeline radio every Thursday. We do certain types of content every certain days of the week. I’ve got a daily cadence of prospecting and networking that I do. It’s not flashy, but it works. So I think if you’re looking for “How do we stand out? How do we do something different? How do we break paradigms?” Like, paradigm-shifting is not the goal — having something that is different than everyone else is not the goal. Pipeline is the goal and I think that you got to put your focus in right place. Honestly, once you find something that is working — the growth hackers pivot to something else, what I want to do is build a process around that.

Maybe that processes is buying a system that can automate it. Maybe that process is simply having a checklist that we follow every day. When we do sales pipeline radio for ourselves we have a detailed checklist of how that gets executed, right? And even though we’ve done over a hundred episodes now, like, we all still use that checklist as a safeguard. Yeah, the book, if you haven’t read, “The Checklist Manifesto,” written by a surgeon — these super-smart people that still have a checklist for the mundane details. I mean, I have a daily to-do list for my networking and prospecting — it’s stuff I’ve done for years and I still use that checklist because it’s something I don’t have to remember, you know? It just becomes sort of muscle memory.

I’m the last person that is going to apologize for the mundane. If it’s stuff that can repeatedly scale-ably deliver results.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, there’s nothing overly exciting about repeatable — and it takes that kind of discipline to bring repeatable results.

So another thing that, for me, is kind of silly and funny, but I think marketers get caught up in the craze, which is something that is a core fundamental of great marketing and then becomes the next latest craze. You mention account-based marketing being that three years ago, and, by the way, out here in San Francisco, it’s it still is.

We just went to, I won’t say the vendor’s name, we will probably end up working with them, but we went to an ABM-specific event over at LinkedIn the other day. So, it’s in partnership with LinkedIn and this will solve all of our problems and, again, I, for targeted marketing, I think will look to add in some technology to help us scale what we’re doing, but account-based marketing is just great personalized marketing. And when I remember 15 years ago our CMO said we’re gonna hire someone to do this new thing it’s called account-based marketing and it was a little more manual 15 years ago, but, talk for a few moments about what is what is old becoming new and what is what is all becoming a craze.

Matt Heinz: Well, I think going back to some fundamentals, right? I think, if you, the better you understand your customer, the more effective you’re going to be as a seller. Whether you are in sales or are in marketing. And I think that, to me, that viewpoint in that perspective provides for the two really clear distinctions in my mind between the ABM we should be doing and what we traditionally been doing is marketing.

ABM is not, like, “Well, let’s get a list and start marking them.” ABM is not, “Well, let’s do direct mail.” To me, once we move past sort of the frothiness of hashtag ABM into sort of what residually [will] be part of our marketing. I think there’s two things. One is having better alignment between sales and marketing. I think if you’re going after enterprise deals, no longer is the divide in the pipeline horizontal in the middle where marketing owns the leads and sales owns the conversion. I think the divide is now vertical. You’ve got sales and marketing that own each stage together. And, so, to be coordinated in and how you manage the pipeline, but also coordinating the story that you’re telling to your prospect throughout the pipeline, I think, is important.

The other piece that is incredibly important — and I think most people miss in ABM — is the complexity of the internal buying committee. You know, CEB tells us that now, on average, six members of the buying committee exists. You’ve got almost seven people. And many talk to and enterprise sales are like, “Oh, it’s way more than seven!” You know, all these people that are inside the organization that have a vested interest what you’re selling or what you are enabling.

So, I think your job as a marketer, as a salesperson, as an organization, is to help those six-point-eight people build consensus amongst each other so that they can make a decision faster. So, it’s not just having six personas. It’s understanding the connective tissue between those people, some of it positive some of it negative some of it political. There’s all kinds of stuff that exists, but unless you can help navigate that map, unless you can help navigate that consensus building, you’re going to have a hard time getting deals done. And, so I think, and that is not necessarily a marketing activity, it’s not necessarily a campaign some of that is just good account mapping that’s enabling — in many cases, your sales organization to have the right conversations in maybe a non-scalable way, like the way you do that, for one account, may not work for another account. But if it helps get both of those deals closed, I will take the time to do that, right? Put another way, I think good account-based marketing in some organizations is a lot more sales enablement and a lot less demand gen. It’s getting into the deals and coming up with bespoke strategies from your organization that may include marketing, but may just be inviting people to dinner. Arming your sales team with the right conversations to have when you’ve got three key members of that buying committee on the phone to help them build that consensus.

If you can provide the messaging and the connective tissue to get that deal move forward, I don’t care if it’s a direct mail piece or a friggin tweet, or a set of bullet points you give your sales team — get the deal done. And so, I think that mentality, back to our whole comment about like who gets credit who did what? Like, you know, get in the war room together and figure out what’s going to take to make that customer successful and get them on board with you.

Joe Hyland: Yeah, you’re going back to fundamentals, right? I think what people are confusing in the sexy side of ABM is “Think about it, we’ll be able to deliver this targeted message to thousands of people.” Oh, guess what, that’s transparent. Like, that, in my opinion, that’s not going to work great. Account-based marketing, by definition, shouldn’t scale to several hundred or thousand people.


Matt Heinz: We if we’re doing that, we’re back to the marketing of more, right? And we’re back to the marketing group that just wants more leads more traffic more retweets — like more is not necessarily better. You know, you talk to the sales team, that says, “You gave me more leads, but this guy I got yesterday’s a dentist in South Carolina. How am I supposed to sell an Enterprise IT solution to the dentist that downloaded your content marketing white paper? I mean, that’s just not helpful. And now you’re upset that I didn’t follow up with them 16 times?”

Again, I wish that was a joke! These are real stories that exist in the field, and so that just doesn’t pass the sniff test and I think we are seeing in real time the changing of how, of what, B2B marketing is. It’s not about activity. It’s not about volume. It’s not about how big your budget is. It’s about doing what it takes creatively in your business in your industry, but with a level of predictability and scale that can give you that predictable pipeline that can give you the confidence that you’re going to be able to do it again next month next quarter next year.


Joe Hyland: Yeah, I mean that brought us full circle. That gets back to what you said at the start about MQLs and getting in battles, right? If in the database that’s an MQL, it’s like, “Hey, you know, good luck selling to that dentist with two cats and a dog there —  we qualify them as an MQL.” How’s that relationship going to be? So, it’s about shared ownership on a singular goal.


So, Matt, listen, this is fantastic. You’ve got a pretty kick-ass book, which we have a couple of copies of here in the office, “Full Funnel Marketing.” Anyone listening, you can pick that up at HeinzMarketing.com in the resources section. I’m sure it’s pretty easy to grab.

And Matt, listen, and this was this was fantastic. Thanks for doing the first-ever episode of this with me.


Matt Heinz: The maiden voyage. This was fun, see, it’s conversational. It goes quickly. Hopefully, this gives people some value, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what’s coming up. I know you guys have a bunch of great guests and some great CMOS coming up in future episodes, so, uh, I will be listening.

Joe Hyland: Okay, that’s awesome listen. Thanks Matt, thanks everyone.

Matt Heinz: Thank you.

A Confession: I Hate April Fools’ Day Marketing

It’s April Fools’ Day, and despite all the cute marketing campaigns timed to the manufactured holiday, I’m beginning to think the joke is on us. B2B marketing today suffers from a chronic disease that there’s a silver bullet technology holding the keys to more pipeline… but that’s just a total joke. And on a day that is all about BS, I’m declaring that it’s time for the BS to end.

You know what I’m talking about — all the jargon-ridden claims from martech vendors that sound really cool but don’t mean much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten to the end of a web page, email or white paper and thought, “Wait, what does that company actually do, why should I care, and how will this technology actually live up to its promise?”

I think it’s time for marketers out there to come clean and stop continuing the hype. So, I’ve started a podcast, called CMO Confessions, featuring me and all the best, and honest, marketing minds I know to confess where we’ve blurred fact with fiction.

The goal is to give you a candid perspective from the B2B marketing leaders who craft and market the technologies and the methods promising to change the industry. They’ll discuss what they love and hate about marketing. They’ll confess to past marketing misdeeds and they’ll give you the insight to call bullshit on bad marketing. It’s a sorely needed reality check in an industry that likes to present everything in a shitty candy wrapper.

So who would sign up for this? Well, for our inaugural episodes, we have:

And, of course, yours truly as the host.  

What will it sound? Well, you can check out our first four episodes at this link.  

So, join us on Monday, April 9 — maybe during your morning commute or something — as we officially launch CMO Confessions. We’ll be updating this space with more information about our guests and how they’re fighting the good fight against bullshit and you can finally put an end to crap marketing.

And no, this isn’t another one of those April Fools’ Day jokes. This is happening.