Tell us about your role at Madison Logic, and how you got here. What excited you to be part of the B2B Martech community?
I joined Madison Logic in November of 2014. I was really attracted to the company for a number of reasons. But when I looked at the business and the makeup of the clients at Madison Logic, I got really excited.
Right now, the industry is going through one of the biggest transformations in the history of technology. Traditional hardware companies and enterprise solutions are transitioning to the cloud. Because most of the clients at Madison Logic were technology companies with a focus on the cloud, I knew that -as this space got more competitive- those companies were going to have to generate interest, awareness, and differentiate themselves.
At the same time, organizations were putting a new emphasis on results-based marketing. Madison Logic had, for the better part of a decade, homed in on something called company targeting, now called account-based marketing. The focus became translating marketing dollars into revenue. I knew this approach was going to be increasingly important as CFOs held marketing teams more accountable.
I saw both of these trends coming together in a meaningful way. Madison Logic already had the ability to generate leads that help companies increase revenue. Now we use the same data to generate product awareness differentiation. The company was sitting on a tremendous opportunity to put together a suite of products that would be increasingly in demand in the years to come.
How do you see ABM platforms benefiting from the powerful foundation laid around data-management platforms?
Today it’s not about how many individuals, or how many cookies, or the reach or scale, or how many different forms of data organizations are using. I think it’s how they make decisions, and how they aggregate all the data and execute for an intended result.
Case in point, Madison Logic has built a DMP specifically for B2B. We’re helping companies like Google and Facebook identify organizations that have an interest in their products or service, and we’re executing digital campaigns, social media video, and traditional display as well as content syndication to that audience. The power of the data is in the precise way we’re able to target.
What are the tools and trends that are shaping the ABM landscape?
CRM and marketing automation. I believe that clients are investing more money in organizing their data their sales contacts- in CRM, and getting more sophisticated around how they market to current clients and generate new opportunities. It’s not something that’s a nice to have. It’s a requirement for organizations. Specifically those in the software space.
Once those tools are available, aligning sales and marketing would be easier. CRM and marketing automation are enabling more sales and marketing alignment and fueling the ABM trend. It’s a very competitive landscape amongst all the legacy technology companies, and we see new organizations that are benefiting from the transformation from hardware to software, especially as they move to the cloud.
With an exploding B2B sales tech landscape, what are the major opportunities and challenges for CMOs to meet the changing definitions of personalization and customer experience?
The challenge today is differentiating between the thousands of companies in the martech landscape. There are companies that help on the identification side of predictive lead scoring. There are companies that are doing active listening, or active engagement. There are companies that are helping attribute opportunities into revenue. The biggest challenge is understanding how the different players work together to integrate with their own tech stack to deliver real value.
The opportunity is in personalization and customer experience. There are more organizations that want to deliver really great value as it relates to customizing media campaigns and automating the customer experience. I think there are more companies to look at, and some of the legacy organizations who are doing really great things with CRM and marketing automation are adding in or requiring companies to help those organizations personalize and create a really unique and valuable customer experience.
What start-ups are you watching or keen on right now?
We are working with a number of partners that really amplify the solutions that we provide and make our products more successful. Companies like Mintigo help our clients put together account lists, leveraging data, based upon their interests in products and services. They really help us help our clients understand the right organizations to go after, from a predictive side. There are also companies like Bizible that are on the other end of the spectrum. They’ll help organizations attribute their website activity, their media engagement, events, all the different outbound and inbound marketing events, and attribute that to revenue. So Bizible is a great partner of ours and someone we’re watching.
What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
The core tool where we manage all of our opportunities and sales is Salesforce. Salesforce has been a longtime partner, they’re a client of ours. They use us for ABM, they’ve got what I think is an extremely valuable CRM tool that we build on. We also integrate with Salesforce enabling our customers to better engage with their accounts. So it’s a nice partnership, and they’re a quality vendor of ours.
We also license Marketo. We believe in marketing automation, and the two work hand in hand. Finally we use our own platform, ActivateABM, where we engage customers that are interested in ABM solutions we want to sell. We run digital ads content syndication through ActivateABM, and then integrate all of our opportunities in Salesforce and then nurture them with Marketo.
Will you tell us about your stand out digital campaign who was your target audience, and how did you measure success?
As I said before, we sip our own Champagne. We activate media campaigns, outbound campaigns, leveraging our own system. Activate ABM helps us identify those organizations that are actively researching account-based marketing solutions. We’re running digital ads, video, social, and native content across the platform influencing those individuals or drive them to a website. And we’re pushing our content. All this generates leads and that we can then nurture and convert them from opportunities into closed sales. We’ve been very successful at generating ROI using that comprehensive approach. And we’ve got very strict metrics that we adhere to.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
The DMP that we’ve built at Madison Logic puls in data and intelligence from multiple sources: intent data, demographic data, firmographic data, install-base data. All of these data sources help us really identify the organizations that are expressing an interest or intent in products our clients want to sell.
AI is a factor in understanding intent but as a term it is overused. We are more focused on machine learning — understanding the research habits of organizations and individuals, looking at the download content, looking at the searches to understand intent. We have a great focus on ensuring that the data sources we pull in are giving us the information we need to be able to get the results for our clients.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps, software tools can’t you live without? You cannot live without.
My iPhone. My favorite app on my phone is Uber. I travel all the time, so I can’t live without all of my airline applications. Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America being my two favorites. And of course, my Salesforce app.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Coming up with a daily list of goals for each and every day, and doing that before you hit the office. The shortcut would be not responding to each and every email and inquiry that comes in, and using the word “no.” You have to make time for the people that are important within the organization and outside, but you also have to learn how to say no to focus your time efforts so you can complete your daily tasks.
What are you currently reading? When you read what do you read, and how do you consume information?
I just finished The Everything Store, the book about Jeff Bezos and about the culture of Amazon, and how he went about executing his vision. And it was amazing. The current one I’m reading right now is A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by the Zappos founder Tony Hsieh.
How do you consume information?
In the morning I read The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal. In print. Every day. I consume information on my phone, looking at LinkedIn, Twitter, a little bit of Facebook, and then trade websites and other business websites for news of the day.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.
Tag one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.
Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce.
Thank you Thomas! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
As the CEO of Madison Logic, the world’s fastest growing company dedicated to solving the digital needs of B2B marketers, Thomas am responsible for leading the vision, product strategy and global management of the firm. Prior to this, he was CEO & Principal of TOR Media Group, a boutique firm providing investment and programmatic trading solutions to clients in the online ad tech industry. Prior to that, Thomas served as President and Chief Revenue Officer of Martini Media, the global leader in engaging the affluent and influential online, overseeing all revenue, marketing and global operations.
He has spoken at numerous industry conferences, including the Marketo Summit, Gramercy Institute, Digiday, MediaPost, Digital Media Summit, The Montgomery Summit, and the IAB. I have also authored many articles in well-respected publications.
Thomas is on the Advisory Board of The Fiscal Times, the Sales Executive Committee and B2B Operating Group at the IAB, the board of Lavelle School for the Blind and a member of the Young Presidents’ Association (YPO).
Madison Logic is the global leader in Account Based Marketing. Our B2B marketing technology platform, Activate ABM™, unifies targeted advertising and content syndication with attribution metrics to show measurable return on investment. As the only comprehensive global ABM platform built for B2B marketers, it leverages unmatched proprietary data, reach, and scale to identify, engage, and convert prospective accounts. With Madison Logic, B2B marketers can easily gain insights into their target accounts to personalize their message, optimize their programs, and inform their sales and marketing strategy.
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.