How many times have you revised your true definition of an ideal customer? Once, twice or more than ten! It’s easier to build the definition of an ideal customer compared to retaining one. An ideal customer is one who falls into the category of your best leads, fills your pipeline and significantly influences others to convert, making demand-gen a refreshing journey for B2B marketers. Leadspace Audience Management Platform offers predictive scoring and real-time customer data enrichment for optimized conversions from multi-channel marketing campaigns. To understand the next frontier for audience modeling and integrations around Customer Relationship Management platforms, we spoke to Travis Kaufman, VP Product & Partnerships at Leadspace.
MTS: Tell us about your role.
Travis Kaufman: My role at Leadspace has evolved a great deal over time. I joined back in 2016 to lead product strategy and build out the roadmap, and release management processes to deliver customer value and differentiation in the highly competitive data & AI categories.
Over time I’ve also gained responsibility for our G2M partner strategy, analyst relations, and product marketing. I managed a remote team of product managers and UI designers, and one product marketer based in our US office.
MTS: In 2017, what would be the most acceptable definition of an “engaged customer,” based on Leadspace data.
Travis: We define an engaged customer as one that is actively using our products and/or interacting with our customer-facing teams. Leadspace data provides us with visibility into who each of the individual user and influencer is within that customer organization. We’re able to use this information to better inform how we interact with that customer, from the pre-sale process through to customer success and advocacy.
MTS: Are the B2B audience management platforms gradually leaning towards delivering real-time behavioral targeting and people-based marketing solutions?
Travis: Absolutely. One important distinction though is that behavioral data is only one of the ingredients that an AMP must be able to understand and act upon. We find that having a solid foundation of who an individual is within an organization – such as demographics, professional expertise and their relationship with an organization (firmographics) – is the primary ingredient for any actionable customer engagement. Behavioral data can then become relevant once you have that foundation of who your customer actually is.
MTS: How does Leadspace build its roadmap?
Travis: We have been very fortunate to work with such amazing customers. It is they who are the true innovators and we’re lucky enough to plan along with them, and it’s the combined vision that we share that guides our roadmap.
MTS: For a product management team of a MarTech company, what are the major challenges associated with driving customer engagement?
Travis: One of the biggest challenges that product teams of MarTech companies face is that there is no “whole product” on the market that satisfies all needs for marketers today.
According to the findings of a recent study by the Marketing Technology Industry Council, your customer is engaging with not only your product, but upwards of 15 to 100 others. This means that the time your customer spends engaging with you is even more precious and difficult to come by.
What’s more, with your customer having so many other solutions in place, your product team must understand the customer’s problems beyond what your product currently solves. If you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before your product becomes obsolete due to adjacent platforms providing comparable solutions.
MTS: How do you bring together advanced predictive scoring and real-time sales intelligence to improve audience management?
Travis: Very carefully! In all seriousness, there are a number of dimensions you need to juggle in order to effectively manage your audiences. The most critical is accessing the breadth and depth of data needed to train and inform your predictive models. This is by far the most challenging aspect, as there is no single place for B2B customer data today.
The example I like to share is when you have a prospect who was previously engaged and then all of a sudden goes dark and unresponsive. As a sales rep, you have no recourse but to consider this a lost account and move on. But with an audience management platform you’ve got visibility to know that your prospect has moved to a new company, for example, and can then recommend the next best person to re-engage with in order to continue the sale. You’ve got data, modeling and intelligence all working together to create a better outcome.
MTS: How do you see audience management platforms evolving around the changing contours of data analytics and marketing intelligence?
Travis: I see audience management platforms evolving to be the nucleus of both marketing decisioning and execution. Traditional data analytics solutions will continue to add value by presenting the “what happened” view and AMPs will be the system that marketers turn to to see “what will happen”.
We’ll see more and more applications incorporating the recommendations and predictions from AMPs for more consistent cross-channel targeting as well as channel specific optimization. The cross-channel targeting and channel specific optimizations are already happening in B2C marketing.
MTS: What would be the next frontier for Leadspace’s audience modeling for customers already using top-end automation, CRM, social ABM, and display advertising technologies?
Travis: We’re still in early days of the current frontier, but as data becomes more accessible and integration capabilities mature we’ll see more use cases open up that are more transactional in nature and unified across engagement channels. e..g Where do I deliver the next best action, campaign, program, collateral to inspire the desired outcome?
This is a truly exciting prospect, and will bring the world closer to the promise of truly personalized 1:1 marketing.