On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start a martech company)
I am the co-founder and CMO at Terminus and the founder of the #FlipMyFunnel movement. Most recently, I ran marketing at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then Salesforce. That experience taught me a lot about startups and also how to do things at scale for the most iconic brand in tech.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
B2B marketers are suckers for best of breed solutions. If a product excels at one thing and it saves time for an extremely busy marketer, they will buy it. Ease of use coupled with innovation will continue to dominate the martech landscape.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
The rise of customer heroism. Most tools out there, especially in martech, are centered around the question of how we can help the marketer to do things faster. This ability often results in spammy activity, which is why email open rates continue to drop. The trend that should supersede technology is an excellent customer experience, which I like to call customer heroism. Let’s make the customers — not the technology — heroes in their organizations.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
CMOs need to continue to try new things to see what works and at the same time ensure that they can capitalize on the full potential of their strategies across the buyer and customer journey. Frankly, marketing as a function does not have a clear path to success. Yes, CMOs should measure success and track KPIs, but we all know that the customer buying journey has continued to evolve and get increasingly complicated. To predict success and which channels or campaigns will work has been the biggest challenge for modern CMOs, and of course, technology has not helped as much as promised.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
Our marketing stack is ever-evolving. To answer this specific question, at Terminus, we launched the Stack Grader and found that, on an average, companies use about 20 technology solutions. The two common elements are CRM and marketing automation.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Twitter and LinkedIn.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
No laptop or desk at work. This has helped me be extremely productive in the office as I am able to focus on solving problems and serving the team.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
The Bible — not for religious reasons, but for self-awareness and building my faith.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on my strengths.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Prioritize and trust in people.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist – Salesforce
MTS: Thank you Sangram! Hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Sangram Vajre has built a reputation as one of the leading minds in B2B marketing.
Before cofounding Terminus, a software-as-a-service platform for account-based marketing, Vajre led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then Salesforce.
He’s the author of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel.
Founded in 2014, Terminus is the leading account-based marketing platform that enables B2B marketers to target accounts, engage decision-makers, and accelerate marketing and sales pipeline velocity at scale.
Backed by notable B2B marketing technology investors, Terminus is headquartered in the Atlanta Tech Village where it is rapidly expanding its footprint.
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.