MarTech Interview with Marc Laplante and Mike Kelly, Co-Founders at Intentsify

MarTech Interview with Marc Laplante and Mike Kelly, Co-Founders, Intentsify
MarTech Interview with Marc Laplante and Mike Kelly, Co-Founders, Intentsify

“It is essential to create robust knowledge bases that drive operational efficiencies, scalability and growth that can be automated through AI.”

Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What inspired you to co-start Intentsify?

Our careers began in 1999 when we joined TechTarget as account executives. After a 13-year career that included running two of the company’s largest media groups, we began to see a shift in how marketers were beginning to use data to power demand generation.

That shift drove us to create Prelytix. Prelytix was a first mover in the third party, intent data world and was acquired in 2015 by MRP. After spending 6 years building Prelytix, we started to see an obvious divide developing between the Intent data being purchased and the ability for customers to turn it into an actionable Demand Generation strategy. Marketers really struggled to gain value from the intent on its own. That cavern in the market inspired us to jump back in and create Intentsify.

What is Intentsify and how does it fit into a modern CMO’s Marketing Technology stack? 

Intentsify helps companies create a customized third party intent strategy that is connected to demand generation in every way. The Intentsify solution allows the modern CMO to power her/his ABM strategy with a Customized Data approach that identifies the correct buyer profiles at organizations that are in the market today.

According to you, which businesses are the fastest in the adoption of Marketing Technology platforms for intent Data Management and Analytics?

In our opinion, the B to B technology companies were the first movers. The early adopters started this journey 6 years ago and the common theme amongst them was that they built their own systems to handle multiple intent feeds. That data would be ingested into their systems to be normalized, scored and then piped into an automation system with personas for nurture. These are the folks you see winning ROI awards at Sirius Decisions today.

How does Intentsify help customers better identify and execute against all Intent data signals in their market?

The first thing we do is to help our clients create customized Intent signals for their business. For example, if your business is in the data storage space, you don’t necessarily have the same focus, value proposition or competitors as the thousands of vendors in that space. The generic, pre-packaged, Intent products that are available today are being utilized by thousands of vendors who are all calling on the same prospects. We create a customized data strategy that produces unique results that aren’t shared with your competitors.

Additionally, many of the Intent providers today only allow you to access their small ecosystem of Media properties. Our technology allows you to capture signals based on how applicable the content is as it applies directly to your business, regardless of where it is located on the web.

Once we identify and process your Intent data, we then make it actionable by creating a Demand Generation strategy that is powered by that customized approach. The result allows your Intent strategy to identify buyers at the right location who are producing signals directly tied to your message. Intentsify is the only current vendor to directly tie intent to the correct buyer persona.

How dynamic is the Intent Data Landscape? How much has the landscape changed in the past two years?

Intent and the way it is viewed has drastically changed in our opinion over the past two years. Vendors utilizing AI to produce better results and monitor more applicable signals has been a major push for everyone in our space. Incorporating customer data and historical results along with real-time Intent will be the norm for all of us from here on out.

Which markets and geographies are you currently catering to?

We are running programs globally for some of the largest brands in the world. We can capture signals in any region in which our clients have reach. The beauty of how we capture Intent does not constrain us from working in a specific vertical. Our current clients include the Technology, Manufacturing, Healthcare and Finance organizations.

Tell us about the new-age integrations that Intensify offers with other Marketing Technology platforms such as Contacts, Social Media, Contracts, Email, and Customer Service.

Capturing Intent signals that power all the services you mentioned is exactly what we do. On top of that, monitoring the results around outbound services like email, providing social listening tools and tying those results back into our AI-powered Intent stream to deliver a contact that we know is part of the buying team is why we created Intentsify.

How do you communicate and mingle with other like-minded MarTech CEOs and CMOs? Which topics do you often discuss with them?

This is a tight-knit community. Many of us have either worked with or partnered with so many of these companies over the years that we all stay close and monitor what each other is doing. Our conversations are usually focused on customer trends and what we are hearing is getting good results in the market.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use in your current roles?

We are lucky enough to have the Intentsify solution to power all our lead generation activities. It’s a great introduction when you can tell a prospect that you found them on your own technology.

Beyond our own solutions, we utilize HubSpot to manage customer and pipeline data. It’s a perfect solution for a fast-growing startup.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Data Management technology on CRM businesses for 2019-2020? 

Utilizing AI to access and process every piece of historical data on current and former clients and prospects will be the norm in 2020. Once AI can fully understand what the past buying behavior of won and lost clients look like, it can reach new heights in terms of ROI for all of us.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

We are watching some of the new programmatic startups that are focused on real-time Intent topic targeting. Understanding where the right content is for our customer’s prospects is essential in our business. Making sure that we are ahead of the curve in that space is paramount.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as MarTech Business leaders?

For us it’s capturing as much data as we can that will allow AI to do its job. AI is only as powerful as what you put into it. Today we are focused on finding as many intent signals that can uncover opportunities before anyone else. Utilizing AI to pool those signals and put the right individuals in front of our customers is our primary goal.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

Practice what you preach.

Showing them examples of how your own products are benefiting your business is the best way to inspire them and build confidence around your company.

One word that best describes how you work.

Collectively

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Waze, I hate traffic!

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

A clean desk and a clean inbox. I only want to look at the truly important things that need to be worked on today.  Everything else gets filed away or thrown out.

What are you currently reading?

Currently, I am reading ‘Bad Blood, the Rise, and Fall of Biotech Startup Theranos‘.  I’m a non-fiction guy, try to read as much as I can when I’m traveling.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My father would always tell me, ‘If you can’t do it right don’t do it at all’. I try to apply that to everything I do daily.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

Staying focused – Being an entrepreneur can be difficult, you get so much thrown at you and if you can’t focus on what is truly important and blocking out the noise you will fail. I think I do a really good job tackling the areas that are the most important for my business and my employees.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Charlie Tarzian at Aberdeen.

Thank you, Mike and Marc! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Marc Laplante and Mike Kelly have been at the forefront of the Demand Generation and Intent Data markets since 1999. They both spent 13 years at TechTarget, where they helped develop the industry’s first lead generation programs. In 2012, they cofounded Prelytix, the industry’s first predictive analytics software platform. Prelytix was the only platform at the time that accessed intent from thousands of publishers from across the web.

Their experience over the past several years allowed them to see how the ABM landscape has shifted and created confusion. Intentsify was built to help marketers easily navigate this shift and understand how to get the most out of today’s many offerings.

intentsify.io logo

Intentsify provides marketers with an accurate view of the buyer landscape by normalizing multiple internal and external Intent signals to uncover real buyer profiles. Enabling companies to accelerate pipeline growth by getting into the market faster with a customized ABM demand generation 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.

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