On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a bit about your role at Leadspace and how you got here.
Having lived and breathed B2B Marketing for so long, and seeing how people actually use Sales and Marketing Automation, including the successes and challenges they face, I wanted to be at the forefront of the next B2B Sales and Marketing trend towards “intelligent CRM” – bringing intelligence and analytics into these workflow systems.
MTS: How does Leadspace assist customers with audience management?
Just like B2C marketers before them, B2B marketers are moving from leads to accounts, and finally audiences. By “audiences” I mean distinct groups of companies – and more importantly, the people within companies that form buying centers and “demand centers”, to coin a term from SiriusDecisions.
Finding these audiences requires an audience management platform, which allows B2B Marketers to understand the total addressable market for their products, prioritize potential accounts, identify the specific personas, and then engage them through ads, email, sales, content – wherever – all from a single platform. Leadspace is pioneering this idea of an audience management platform for B2B sales and marketing.
MTS: What part did Leadspace play in their customer, Microsoft, receiving the 2017 Revvie award for (Enterprise) Marketing Team of the Year?
The Microsoft Marketing team are amazing – having won not just the Revvie, but also Large company ROI programs at SiriusDecisions in 2016. While it comes down – as always – to great people, great strategy, and good execution, we’re delighted to see that Microsoft’s decision to standardize on Leadspace for their data management and predictive scoring formed a key component of their success.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
I think that the change in user interactions is going to fundamentally change our way of interacting with one another – both in a personal and business sense. We will find it weird in 10 years time that people walked along the street looking at their phones all the time, not letting an assistant talk to you or read the news, or have it overlaid in context.
At the same time, we’ll also find it weird that we spent so much time looking at Gmail, Salesforce, or Hubspot interfaces on a big screen. Instead, we’ll be presented with the pertinent information at the right time – with a recommendation on what to do.
I think this is why you see such emphasis on large technology platforms trying to build out the “AI’ side of their platforms, as the specific form of interface will increasingly matter less – whether it is Alexa or Slack that you get your CRM data from – and it will need to be everywhere
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
I am interested in various companies looking to build applications on the new engagement platforms. For example, there are some really interesting applications we use in Slack, such as Champ, which help us build a faster moving, more informed and agile team. The same is true in the consumer space with applications built on Alexa and Google Home, and while few are yet mainstream, I think there will be a lot of very impressive innovation in this space.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
The great thing about working at Leadspace is that we get to use our own tool on a regular basis, and experience firsthand all the benefits I described earlier. We feed that data and intelligence through our CRM, Salesforce, and Marketing Automation Platform, Marketo.
We also have Uberflip to help manage our content, PFL for direct mail campaigns, and paid advertising tools – i.e. Facebook and Adwords – as some of our standout technologies.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
We always focus on targeting the right audience when it comes to our marketing campaigns. For example, in our most recent campaign, we used Leadspace Audience Management Platform to identify our high-target enterprise accounts and the individuals in Demand Gen or Marketing Ops personas at those accounts.
After understanding the audience, we developed a campaign strategy including email and direct mail to grab their attention. We started off with some emails to get them familiar with Leadspace, and then sent them a “teaser” box, offering them a free Amazon Echo if they agreed to a meeting with us.
By taking the time to evaluate the audience, compared to our database and prioritizing the right people within high-value accounts, we were able to increase our deal size, sales velocity and pipeline.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
AI is going to transform B2B Sales and Marketing, and every business leader needs to be building their knowledge and skills in this area. However, like all CRM and technology deployment, it is all about test and learn, and focusing on tangible results, not a “big bang” approach – what we call the “crawl, walk, run” approach. Leaders need to set a path, focus on where the results can truly be shown today – whether it is in AI-driven data management or predictive segmentation, and from this foundation of real results, start to experiment with the earlier stage applications such AI-driven marketing programs or intent based recommendations.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Google Inbox, Slack.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Techmeme – a single place to stay on top of the news you need in tech in real time. I like to try to stay one step ahead on the news.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I am trying to move to only using my Pixel XL for everything. However, I have also moved back to real books as a balance to all the digital media – I’m currently reading the “Three Body Problem”.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Sleep on it.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I learned at McKinsey the Pyramid principle for problem disaggregation and communication, which I believe is a critical skill for all business leaders.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
David Ogilvy – a genius at taking Marketing and Advertising and boiling it down to key truths.
MTS: Thank you Doug! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.