Interview with Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing at LookBookHQ
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role and how you got here? (What inspired you to be a part of a content management company?)
I’m the VP of Marketing at LookBookHQ and my background is in demand generation. In my heart, I’m a big marketing nerd and I really love working in marketing tech because it allows me to stay really close to the problems we’re solving for our customers first hand. I was working in demand generation roles at marketing technology companies (first at Eloqua and then at Lattice Engines) when I met the founders of LookBookHQ, and I was blown away by the elegant simplicity of the solution.
The LookBookHQ Intelligent Content Platform solved a problem that I had struggled with as a marketer for years. As someone who has bought and been disappointed by a lot of marketing technology, I was really impressed by the depth of functionality that this early stage company had developed. A lot of martech companies are out there selling dreams, but LookBookHQ was a company with so much integrity and they were building products that actually did what they said they were supposed to do. I knew this was a company I wanted to be a part of.
MTS: How does an intelligent content platform improve conversion rates and scale engagement with automated sequencing across digital channels?
Our job as marketers should be to educate buyers, and help them buy products or services they actually need. That’s really what it’s all about. But at some point, buyer education became secondary to getting people to click on things in an effort to hit lead targets.
The problem with that is this: buyers who aren’t educated aren’t really buyers. Someone who clicks but never reads the thing they clicked on isn’t a buyer at all. They’re an unqualified prospect. If we pass them to sales and expect them to convert, we shouldn’t be surprised when they don’t. Our standards for what a qualified lead is, needs to be higher.
Intelligent content does two things to improve conversion:
- It helps engaged buyers find all the relevant information they need to make a purchase decision.
- It identifies when a buyer is really engaged by tracking not just the click, but what happens after it: how much time someone spends consuming content. In this way, marketers can fast track the best buyers and take action on them when they demonstrate real intent.
MTS: On what factors should marketers rate their content marketing strategies for sales readiness?
We need to move past the metrics we’ve relied on in the past, and require buyer readiness and qualification to mean more. Marketing automation platforms can’t tell the difference between two people that click on or download and consume the same asset. One person may spend 20 minutes deeply reading that eBook, while the other never even opens it. Yet, to the marketing automation platform, both behaviors are identical and are treated the same way. We need to value the quality of the behavior, not the quantity
Lead scoring today tends to be a simple summing up of activities. A few points for this, plus a few points for that, and when you hit the magic number, you are instantly qualified. What is missing from this magic qualification threshold is what happens beyond the click, download, or form fill. By tracking the time spent with content and whether someone consumed multiple pieces of content in a single session, marketers can separate the casual clicks from the serious content consumers.
MTS: How should marketers plan adoption of content personalization and analytics platforms for Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing tools that can personalize offers and assets are a great way to engage target accounts, but this is only part of the equation. Getting someone to click on something and walk through the door is a great first step. However, combining ABM tools with intelligent content delivery is the best way to maintain buyer attention and efficiently move them through the buying process as quickly as possible. Getting your buyer’s attention is incredibly difficult – ABM tools can help you to attract their attention and intelligent content platforms make it easier to hang on to their attention once you’ve got it.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle while consolidating all formats of content into a central repository for sales enablement?
Consolidation does not equal enablement. Just because you put information in one place, it does not mean that sales will be any more empowered to use it. Knowledge management solutions need to be paired with organizational discipline around rep training and enablement to ensure that sales tools and content have functional uses. Marketing can’t just check the box to say they have put all the content in a place where sales can find it.
MTS: What startups within MarTech are you watching/keen on right now?
One tool my team is loving is Sigstr for email signature management. Such a simple concept but one that is a headache for marketers. It gives us such elegant control and another piece of real estate for promotion.
They’re not a startup, but I’m a big fan of Full Circle Insights for response management and attribution. I have been a customer for several years and it’s a tool I have come to really depend on.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
The two I just mentioned, Sigstr and Full Circle Insights, plus Marketo and salesforce.com. LookBookHQ is really the brains of our operation. We also use Engagio for ABM and PFL for some really cool automated direct mail programs. We love the targeting we get with Linkedin Ads and we use Datanyze for building Ideal Customer Profile models.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?)
We just built a hyper-targeted campaign that was designed for a very specific funnel stage. It gets delivered to people who schedule a meeting with us and the goal is to ensure they are properly educated before they show up and meet with a sales person.
It just launched, so the verdict is still out, but there are few ways we will measure success:
- SQL to SQO conversion: Does it improve?
- Age of SQOs: Do we have fewer SQOs that sit around for long periods of time?
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
I’m not sure I need to prepare. AI is like any other innovation; it’s not a panacea for poor or neglected processes, nor it is a solution for everything. Directed at the right problems, it can be very effective, but it’s a layer on top of things you’re already doing, not a “thing” unto itself. Marketers need to find the places where AI can be useful. Content recommendations, for example. In the same way that Netflix or Amazon can make content recommendations, marketers can use similar AI-powered technology to drive content recommendations that will make it easier for their buyers to find the information they need. AI needs to be fit for a specific purpose in order to be useful.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Don’t be the bottleneck. Clearing the path for your team to make progress can sometimes slow you down, but ultimately, it makes everything move a lot faster.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. I pretty much exclusively read fiction for my own pleasure and I read every night before bed. I do consume a lot of news on my phone throughout the day, but after I put my kids to bed, my brain needs a break from the frenzied pace of my day. I love tucking into a novel that can transport me somewhere else. I typically go for historical fiction and particularly like turn of the century British literature.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received—your secret sauce?
Don’t be a jerk. You never know when you might need someone’s help.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
45 things at once…with a fairly high level of quality.
MTS: Tag the one person in the MarTech/AI industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
MTS: Thank you Elle! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
I’m a revenue focused marketer with expertise in digital marketing and demand generation. Equal parts creative wonk and marketing nerd, I love the science of integrated demand generation and enjoy bringing sales and marketing teams together through shared process, goals and KPIs. I’m just as comfortable defining lead scoring criteria or mapping out a complicated nurture flow, as I am writing snappy copy and coming up with cool, creative concepts.
I’ve had lots of success driving and accelerating qualified demand at various stages of the funnel and managing paid media programs. While I love managing and mentoring people, I’m also a “roll up your sleeves and get stuff done” kind of person.
LookBookHQ builds software that accelerates B2B purchase decisions. By delivering more of the content people need about you and your products or services whenever and wherever they click, the LookBookHQ Intelligent Content Platform helps marketing & sales organizations educate prospects and customers faster and more efficiently. With attention at a premium, we use Content Science™ to make it easier for the right people to get the right content when they need it – so that you drive revenue.
You can easily integrate LookBookHQ with your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) and MarTech stack, and add LookBookHQ content experiences to emails, landing pages and websites to make them more engaging. LookBookHQ post-click content engagement data is fed back to your MAP on a per prospect basis so that you can use this data for leading scoring, workflows, segmentation and insight into the sales readiness of your buyers.
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.