Heinz Marketing On: The Road to Webinar World 2019

This post was originally published on heinzmarketing.com. Syndicated with permission.

So much of what constitutes sales and marketing today is noise, and while noise may keep prospects busy sifting between what’s important and what’s not, it doesn’t do much to tip the marketing scales in your favor. Noise doesn’t stand out. It doesn’t get noticed. It doesn’t drive interest, engagement, urgency, or, most importantly, action.

But as we all know, creating content that resonates with one persona is hard enough. Doing so for multiple, across companies and industries? Well, that’s another story altogether. When today’s buying committee is made up of at least six people, and one in two consumers completely disregard content they deem irrelevant, what’s needed to drive meaningful, scalable engagement? How can you take into account your targets’ different roles, responsibilities, preferences, and concerns? How can you be sure what you’re sending prospects is actually valuable?

These are just a few of the questions we, as B2B sales and marketing professionals, must consider. But the answers are much harder to find. And while there may not be a silver bullet to solve all of our engagement woes, there is a tactic that can, at the very least, help to point us in the right direction — webinars.

With ON24’s Webinar World right around the corner (which you can get free tickets to using code “Heinz_VIP” at checkout!), we’ve been thinking a lot about the usage and effectiveness of webinars as a means to drive meaningful, scalable, and profitable engagement. In fact, according to ON24’s 2018 Webinar Benchmark Report, 95 percent of practitioners agree webinars represent a key part of their marketing and lead generation efforts, as well as:

  • 76% reporting webinars enable them to reach more leads
  • Over one-third (38%) considering webinars to be ‘critical’ to their digital communications
  • Half of those surveyed consider the quality of leads generated through their webinars to be above average
  • And eight in ten respondents report webinars help lower their cost-per-lead

Clearly, webinars possess a lot of value. The question now is: What are the different plays, tactics, and strategies around webinars you can utilize to uncover this value for yourself?

To help you get (and stay) on the right path to achieving webinar success, we’re excited to announce our new blog series — The Road to Webinar World 2019. Over the next eight weeks, we’ll share with you a new webinar tactic to help you do everything from planning, measuring success, and integrating a webinar program into your larger marketing strategy.

Here’s a calendar of what you can expect:

  • 2/20 The Power of Panel Webinars
  • 2/26 Streamlining Webinar Operations with Integrated Technologies
  • 3/05 Driving Webinar Success with Your Internal Teams
  • 3/12 Building an ABM Program with Webinars
  • 3/19 Using Webinar Data for Research and New Content
  • 3/26 Tracking Webinar Performance
  • 4/02 Extending the Life of Your In-Person Conferences
  • 4/09 Developing Webinars for Key Opinion Leaders (KOL)

Keep an eye on this space, the ON24 Blog, for these posts and more as we head into Webinar World 2019 and beyond.

Matt Heinz on How Marketers Can Drive Engagement and Take Action at Webinar World 2019

The expectation that marketers must do more — drive more engagement, create more interactions, push more messages — grows every day. But the resulting content and connections aren’t built on a genuine relationship. Instead, they’re built on noise.

It’s time to take a moment and reassess how quality engagements happen today. That’s why we’re inviting Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, to Webinar World 2019.

During his keynote session, Matt will share a few tips, founded on new research, about how marketers can drive real B2B engagement in a hyper-competitive landscape. During Matt’s session, you’ll learn:

  • About ground-breaking new research on marketing today
  • An actionable framework for planning and executing marketing
  • A practical approach that crafts the relationship your prospects and customers want from — and with — you

It all takes place on at Webinar World 2019 on Wednesday, March 13 at 9:00 a.m. Click here to learn more.

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.