On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role at BrightFunnel and how you got here. What inspired you to author Lead Generation for Dummies?
My role at BrightFunnel, as VP of Marketing and Sale Development, is to lead both the core marketing functions and our ADRs (outbound sales development reps) for an integrated full-funnel strategy. Prior to BrightFunnel, I ran content marketing at Marketo and then I was VP of Marketing at EverString. At EverString, I was actually a BrightFunnel customer. I used the platform to measure and track everything that we did in marketing, so I could report our marketing impact on revenue to sales, our CEO, and the board. I loved the platform so much that I came over here to build out the team.
For Lead Generation for Dummies, Wiley (the publisher) actually reached out to me to write the book when I was still running content at Marketo. Since Marketo was a leader in lead generation and I wrote their content, it was a natural fit. I wrote a proposal for Wiley and then completed the book in about 6 months. It was a fantastic experience. I really enjoyed going through the publishing process–and have been thinking about writing another book again soon. So we shall see!
MTS: How do you see the B2B multi-touch attribution and forecasting market evolving over the next few years?
I see attribution becoming even more critical as marketers are asked to justify their spend and show how every marketing investment impacts revenue. I also see attribution and forecasting becoming much smarter by leveraging machine learning and data science algorithms to better predict the right attribution model for your business. By combining AI with traditional attribution methodologies, these new technologies will be instrumental in helping marketers to predict the best path to sale for various accounts, business segments, and verticals.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
I will echo my thoughts above and say that I think machine learning and AI will be a critical trend that we are going to see evolve over the coming years. Although these technologies are available now, most marketers don’t know how to harness them. I think we will see predictive technologies improve, and most importantly, there will be more innovation around how marketers can extract insights and action from this data.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge for startups to integrate a revenue intelligence suite like BrightFunnel’s into their stack?
I think one of the biggest challenges for a marketing team that is integrating a revenue intelligence platform is developing a culture of measurement on your team. In order for attribution to be successful, I believe you have to have your entire team on board. Everyone from your demand gen leader, to your social media marketer, to your content marketer, and beyond, everyone needs to understand what they need to measure and how to measure it. Don’t leave the reporting strictly to your marketing ops function.
By sharing the knowledge with your team and holding them accountable, they will become more strategic, data-driven marketers over time. At BrightFunnel, the whole team uses the platform to more thoughtfully plan out their programs and proactively determine what to keep and what to kick to the curb. If you embed metrics into your marketing team’s DNA, it will be a skill they have for life and something they keep coming back to over and over again–no matter what company they work for.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
Gosh, there are so many martech startups right now! I am definitely watching the predictive marketing companies like EverString and Infer to see how that technology continues to evolve. I am also keeping an eye on platforms that are starting to bridge the gap between sales and marketing–like Engagio’s Playmaker. As more marketing teams own more of the sales funnel and begin integrating core marketing with sales development teams, it will be interesting to see what type of technology emerges to help that collaboration.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
So I have considerably pared down my marketing stack since EverString (we had a TON of technologies) and now I am really focusing on what I need vs. what I want. Here is what we have so far:
– BrightFunnel (of course)
– Uberflip for research center and account-based content
– Wrike for project management
– Hootsuite for social management
– GaggleAmp for employee amplification
– Outreach for sales automation
– ReadyTalk for webinars
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
For a standout digital campaign, I will talk about one that we did at EverString. For last season’s Game of Thrones, we created a weekly drip campaign with associated videos that we launched every week throughout the full season. Each video featured our Social Media Manager and VP of Sales Development talk about the most recent episode, what marketing lessons were learned, and what their predictions were for the next episode. We published the videos on YouTube and sent them out via email where folks could subscribe to the weekly drip campaign to receive the video every week. In addition to emails, we also promoted the videos heavily on all social channels through organic and paid advertising. We also filmed a live episode during Marketo Summit.
This campaign performed incredibly well for us and we saw a 700% ROI and $114,000 in attributed pipeline. We tracked multiple different metrics for this campaign, including first-touch and multi-touch attribution to revenue, campaign velocity, lead-to-opp conversion rates and more.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
As a marketing leader in the world of AI, I think a focus on data is critical to success. Marketers need to focus on the cleanliness of their data, so that they can prepare to leverage that data in a meaningful way. Additionally, marketers also need to think through the ways in which they need to interpret that data and turn those insights into action. Data doesn’t mean anything unless you can get something out of it–so getting into the motion of focusing on the data itself and the outcomes early sets you up for success.
This is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I am pretty basic actually with my workflow. Minimizing the tools I use helps declutter my thoughts and focus me on the actual work itself. While I think this statement is going to be controversial, I am a huge Microsoft Office fan. I use Word for all of my content projects and Excel for complex spreadsheet creation. While I do like Google Docs as well, when it comes to hard-core content creation, I need track changes and version control in a way that only Word provides! I also use the basic Notes app on my Mac to keep track of immediate tasks and we use Wrike on our team to keep track of larger projects.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Block out your schedule for times when you need to focus on larger project uninterrupted. I am pretty good at multitasking, but if I need to do something, like write, I often block out specific time. Blocking time on my calendar enables me to keep my calendar clear of meetings and set aside time to specifically work on that project. The other key thing is that I don’t block off hours and hours to work on one project, for me, I need diversity in my days–making progress on multiple projects at once. Instead, I block out small interviews of time so that I can go between various projects–this keeps my days diverse.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
Hmmm…I am slightly embarrassed to say that I am between books right now! Generally, I get my reading done when I have a stretch of time when I am traveling for work a lot. I will get reading done on the plane, in the hotel, etc. It’s tough to get a lot of reading done at home during the normal work-week unfortunately. And right now, we are in the middle of event season, so we are all hustling to execute on 5 events in the next 6-8 weeks.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Two pieces of advice stick out to me:
– “You aren’t being challenged in your work if a project doesn’t make you slightly uneasy”–the idea here is that it is OK to feel anxious or even fearful when you delve into a new project–that is how I know that I am being challenged and learning something new.
– “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to management”. When I first started managing people I would use the same management style for each person, which wasn’t always successful. What I ended up learning is that I have to tailor my management style based on how that employee best receives feedback.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I would say that I write and execute on work faster than a lot of folks. I am very good at taking a plan and turning that into reality. I work well under fast timelines with definitive deliverables.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Jill Rowley! I bet she would have some interesting answers to these questions.
Leader of all things marketing and Sales Development at BrightFunnel including demand generation, mid-funnel acceleration, content, brand, social, web, SEO, marketing operations, events, and Sales Development. Author of Lead Generation for Dummies. Author of numerous Lynda.com courses on content strategy. Seasoned marketing speaker.
BrightFunnel is the pioneer in revenue attribution and forecasting for B2B marketers. For the first time, CMOs and their teams have a complete picture of Marketing’s impact on revenue. Through multi-touch attribution and intelligent forecasting, B2B marketers can now understand the revenue impact of every decision, and align marketing plans with business priorities. BrightFunnel’s clients are data-driven B2B organizations such as Cloudera, MobileIron, Invoca, Nimble Storage, New Relic and ServiceMax.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.