Section Manager ABM, National Instruments
On Marketing Technology
MTS: What topic are you speaking on at Revenue Summit 2017?
I have been asked to speak as an expert managing an ABM program at a large enterprise company. National Instruments was founded in 1976, operates in over 60 countries with more than 7,000 employees with 2016 revenues exceeding $1.2 billion. NI provides powerful, flexible hardware and software technology solutions helping engineers and scientists in nearly every industry. It’s an AMAZING company to work for and I love my job!
MTS: What led to National Instruments (NI) winning the best comprehensive ABM program award?
It’s a combination of NI’s culture of innovation, strong sales and marketing alignment with a focus on employee skill development. For an engineering company it’s in our core to improve ROI. Piloting ABM 6 years ago as an experiment to add more value to sales’ most important accounts, we adopted SiriusDecisions industry best practices and drove $10 million in new contact pipeline creation during the first year. At the center of all of this, is an amazingly talented team of ABM’ers.
I have a passion for employee development, as a side responsibility I also teach our management development courses. I aligned individuals on the ABM team with development areas mapping to their competencies; and in doing so, we advanced the program at an accelerated pace. We now have individual team members who are go-to experts in ABM measurement, ABM technology, external account intelligence and ABM sales enablement.
MTS: How often have you attended Revenue Summit?
This is my first time at Revenue Summit. In 2016 I attended two FlipMyFunnel conferences and spoke at the one in Austin. In December at the Atlanta FMF event, NI was awarded the first ABMie for Best Comprehensive Account Based Marketing Program in the nation.
MTS: Whose keynote session are you looking forward to?
Well, it’s not a keynote but my panel session Mar 8th 10:45AM – Lessons from the Lab: The Chemistry of Enterprise ABM is one that I am really looking forward to being a part of. I am interested in hearing from Max Altschuler and more from members of the Sales Hacker community. I am also hoping to connect with some ABM’ers from some of NI’s target accounts, the ones where we deploy our ABM programs. The past two conferences, I’ve been able to share ABM advice with teams at the accounts who are also some of our best customers.
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.
I manage the outbound marketing execution strategies for the Americas at NI. In this role I not only directly manage the ABM program, but I also manage which marketing execution strategies we trigger – sales enablement, ABM, integrated or digital marketing. Speaking at RevenueSummit – that started with my relationship with SiriusDecisions and Sangram Vajre, founder of FMF. Sangram and I met after I spoke at the Austin FMF event. He was impressed with the depth of our ABM program, how long we have had a formal ABM program and my focus on ABM skill development.
Both of these are passions of mine and I get energized whenever I get to talk about them. We are also clients of SiriusDecisions and it’s a great partnership. They help us validate our approaches and we leverage their frameworks. We also innovate on ABM and share back our best practices. So the panel session invite was a combo of both relationships and over 6 years of ABM program experience to share with the conference attendees.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
For us, it’s the way to scale our impact. Our program has a heavy dependency on people and to impact more accounts we have to leverage technology. Today’s technologies seem siloed or fragmented. It’s difficult to find one platform that works well for an entire organization, especially if the sub-organizational maturity levels differ and even more difficult if they aren’t aligned. I would expect to see more platforms focusing with an outward-in perspective.
It should start with the contact, group of contacts or accounts and then build the platform around the functional needs of the marketing organization. In addition, more of our enterprise account decisions are at an executive level, which traditionally have been managed through in-person relationships. I see technology providing more insights to marketers and sellers to be able to teach these leaders how to fast track their company objectives.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
Convergence of data. With the proliferation of technology and the resulting data captured, how to mine the captured data, append it with external data and be first to take action. I think of it as more than predictive analytics, it would be more like the Internet of ABM.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
I’m not a CMO, but I think that it is common for people to seek technology before they have a fully aligned and defined process. I imagine defining business processes to ensure the technology can support today’s needs and future needs is an obstacle. Also determining ROI for technology investments is another challenge, especially in an emerging function such as ABM.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
As a large enterprise company we don’t have a heavy reliance on martech for ABM. Due to the size of our company, our technology approach for ABM starts with a stand alone pilot or a business case proposal to extend a current platform like SFDC or Eloqua.
For the size of our ABM program, relative to global IT projects, we aren’t yet able to make the company’s top IT investment list.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
We are just launching the first three digital campaigns to test digital technologies and approaches for ABM. We have designed the pilots to test technologies against 3 of the 4 ABM models defined by SiriusDecisions. We did this to answer the question, are some technologies better suited for they type of ABM strategy you are deploying?
The first is a named account pilot. The second is an industry/segment pilot. And the third is a customer journey pilot. Each of these start with using IP and cookie ad re-targeting with Terminus. From here we have different treatment strategies, nurturing streams, landing pages, asset positioning, SDR outreach and follow-up. Each of these pilots has different goals, target audiences and measures for success.
For the named account pilot – we are seeking increased engagement.
For the industry/segment pilot – we are seeking net new logo contact acquisition.
For the customer journey pilot – we are seeking platform expansion.
We will assess our pilots by end of Q2 2016.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Its not the most exciting, but SnagIt. As I type this, I am self-realizing that maybe I screen capture too much.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I have two. First is when I am on the way to work to figure out how I am going to “win the day”. It doesn’t matter what deadlines I have or what’s on my calendar or to-do list, but what is the one work effort that I will do and when it’s done and I clock out, I know it was a good work day. The second one is not to read email when I first log on. I do my hardest work for the first part of my day and then look at email. If someone needs me from the time I clocked out to when I arrived at work, they would most likely text or call me.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
On Managing Yourself – HBR’s 10 Must Reads. I’m doing it as a book group with one of my employees, but I pretty much knew that I’d benefit as well. I find the HBR’s 10 Must Reads a good way to consume a variety of perspectives and best practices on common themes. But there are only so many of them, so I’ll need to find another outlet soon.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
As a manager, your number one responsibility is to grow, challenge, support and empower your employees.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
There isn’t anything that I do better. What I think I do a good job with is how I seek people’s ideas before sharing my own. I get folks to talk through their ways to solve challenges, take the first step, approach a project before I give them my take. In doing so, I can understand where someone is. It opens the door to coaching and is the first step for someone to attach to their own ideas, increasing the likelihood that they will follow-through.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Brian Brown, Chief Product Officer, Terminus
MTS: Thank you Joe! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
As an experienced department manager and business leader, Joe has over 25 years invested in developing marketing talent from coordinators to senior managers. He has created marketing frameworks from broad-based demand generation to targeted account-based marketing, defined roles and recruited talent, and built the infrastructure to support these programs for both Fortune 500 and mid-sized enterprises in the Americas.
For more than 40 years, NI has been a catalyst in accelerating engineering innovation to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges. As we step into the next decade of discovery, NI is continually pushing boundaries and strengthening our approach to engineering by equipping customers with tools and systems that dramatically advance how engineers and scientists work.
Their software-centric platform is uniquely engineered to leverage modular hardware and an open ecosystem, empowering more than 35,000 companies worldwide. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI operates directly in more than 40 countries with a global team of 6,400 employees.
About the MarTech Interview Series
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.