Tell us about your role at Intelligent Demand and the team/technology you handle.
As VP of Marketing, Sales and Business Development, I lead the team that is responsible for new revenue and partnerships as Intelligent Demand continues to grow its global client base and expand its network of strategic partners and consultants. Our team mainly helps our prospective clients and partners to turn goals into new ideas that translate into real, pragmatic agency solutions that our account services team can turn into real revenue transformation and growth.
What is the overall state of Demand Generation in the tech industry?
Many of the B2B marketers I talk to are stuck in Demand Generation hell because their companies expect them to bring in as many new leads as possible. Why is that like hell for a B2B Marketing team? Because salespeople don’t really want more leads from the Marketing team. Sure, if you ask the salespeople what they want from the Marketing team, they will say they want more leads. But they are really saying that they want to have more meaningful conversations with people at the target accounts in their territories.
That way, they can turn those conversations into opportunities and pipeline and hit their sales quotas. When marketing is measured on leads and sales is measured on opportunities from specific accounts or verticals or territinterories, there’s always a gap, and that gap is usually full of leads that the salespeople aren’t following up on. The good news is that the conventional approach of generating more individual leads that hopefully turn into opportunities is changing for the better. Smart B2B Marketing and Sales teams are changing the conversation inside their companies by aligning around hitting a target number of active accounts, opportunities, win rates, and deal sizes.
As a marketing leader working in a critical technology like Demand Generation what are the biggest challenges that you face on a day-to-day basis?
Demand Generation is a hard job. It’s hard to get buyers to pay attention to marketing. It’s hard to prove what’s working and what’s not so you can get more resources to grow faster. It’s hard to make the technology and data stack work together to create seamless customer experiences. It’s hard to do just about everything in Demand Generation these days. That doesn’t mean it’s an impossible job, however.
It’s actually the best time in history to be a B2B marketer in my opinion, because B2B marketers have access to more data, technology, resources, and buyers than ever before. What Demand Generation needs is a new, courageous approach to managing and operationalizing Demand Generation. Demand Generation needs change agents who can lead companies into a mindset of transformation rather than optimization.
How important is Demand Generation? What is the value addition towards a brand when they involve in your product?
Marketing, Sales, Product, Customer Success, and the C-Suite are all responsible for revenue growth in modern B2B companies. In this new context, Demand Generation, as a function, needs to innovate in order to grow revenue across multiple stakeholders. B2B companies need a modern revenue partner with integrated services and expertise to help them drive measurable growth. Intelligent Demand is the only B2B revenue agency I’ve encountered that understands how to grow revenue with clients side-by-side in this new Demand Generation construct.
Can AI help in optimizing Demand Generation?
AI can and absolutely does help in optimizing Demand Generation, but technology is not a strategy. In fact, technology amplifies your strategy. If your strategy is bad and your technology amplifies it, you’ve gone from bad to worse. AI in a Demand Generation context has many valuable use cases. Prioritizing and personalizing campaigns based on intent signals from the business interest is one example, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Which geographical regions is Intelligent Demand looking at as its ideal clientele?
Intelligent Demand works with revenue leaders at large and very large B2B companies. While we aren’t focused on any specific geography, our ideal companies are typically headquartered in big cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London, as well as medium-sized cities with strong B2B roots like Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Austin, and so on.
What Sales and Marketing technology tools do Intelligent Demand currently use?
B2B companies spend a lot of money on technology, so as you can imagine we use a long list of tools on behalf of our clients. But, we’re not a technology-focused agency, we’re a solution-focused agency. When our clients have problems or see opportunities, we find a path to the final result that combines services and technology in a way that produces the desired result faster and more intelligently.
The key is making it all work together with an integrated strategy, not necessarily by choosing a best-of-breed technology. There are so many good technologies out there, it’s hard to name them all or pick favorites, but I’m personally a big fan and user of market leaders such as Demandbase, Uberflip, Terminus, Mintigo, Engagio, Adobe, Vidyard, and many more, as well as hidden gems like Sigstr, Conversica, Bridgeplex, and Drift.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I can’t live without Google. I know they are tracking and listening to everything I do and say, but there is so much value in what I get for that in return it’s worth it to me. A lot of companies don’t understand the value exchange that needs to happen in order to win favorability and loyalty. Google has done a great job at that and their products solve a lot of valuable problems for consumers and businesses.
What is the best piece of professional advice that you have received?
Sometimes it’s better to try loving what you do than to try doing what you love.
Thank you for answering all our questions!
John Arnold is VP of Marketing, Sales, and Business Development at Intelligent Demand. John and his team are responsible for showing prospective ID clients how they can turn their revenue visions into reality using innovative strategies, technologies, media and services.
John is a well respected revenue change agent and authority on Account Based Marketing and B2B strategy. His pragmatic approach to the evolving B2B revenue landscape combined with his real world experience working with some of the world’s largest B2B brands and high-growth startups make him a great addition to ID’s revenue transformation mindset.
Prior to his role with ID, John was the head of ABM consulting and strategy at Demandbase, VP of Marketing at FullContact, and the head of Product Marketing and Sales Enablement at Return Path. He’s also the author of multiple “For Dummies” marketing books, a former advisory board member at Wildfire (Acquired by Google in 2012), and the former customer education director for the Mobile Marketing Association and Constant Contact (IPO in 2007).