The Now and Future of Emerging Marketing Technologies

The Now and Future of Emerging Marketing Technologies

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So welcome, everybody. I am Frederick Wehrle. I am the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs here at Berkeley in the Extension Division. And it's a great honor and pleasure for me to welcome you all, welcome our attendees from around the world. We have an amazing panel of wonderful thought leaders and experts for you and all moderated by one of our lead instructors and an amazing marketer and expert in the field, Maria.

And we are so proud and happy to open this event and to offer you this event with our dear partner, the Marketing Institute of Ireland, MII. And we're very happy to welcome members and our colleagues to this event as well. Berkeley is a place of change makers, made by change makers, for change makers. I myself am a marketer. And I'm in this field because I love the impact that we can have and the change we can drive not just in the interactions that we have with our customers, the users, the clients, but really the transformational change that we can drive through the entire organization.

And so I'm very excited about this event. And I can't wait to hear the discussion and learn from you all. Thank you so much to the panelists to be with us today and to take your time to share with the other attendees and the other experts in the room.

And thank you so much, Maria, for moderating this wonderful event. I'll hand it over to you, Maria. Take us away. Thanks for the intro, Frederick. Hi, everyone.

Thanks for joining us today. Again, my name is Maria Gianott. And I'm the lead instructor of the marketing pillar of UC Berkeley's Center Marketing Institute of Ireland, as Frederick mentioned already.

So we have a global marketing leadership program, centered around customer-centric and technology-conscious marketing. And of course, I'll be moderating today's session. To give you all some background, the purpose of this program is to provide B2C and B2B pseudo marketers with deep-level understanding of how they can drive change management within their organizations by leveraging the latest groundbreaking technologies that keep customer centricity front and center. Today, I'm really excited to have three guest speakers from leading B2B marketing organizations join me to discuss the now and future of emerging marketing technologies. Thanks for joining us today, Matt, Lisa, and Justin.

Before we get started, just a few housekeeping items. Frederick mentioned this already, but please feel free to send your questions at the end of the presentation to the chat window here. And we always get questions about this. And the answer is, yes. I'll be sharing the presentation via email after the webinar.

So keep that in mind as well. Now, I'll let these speakers introduce themselves and give us a quick background about their companies. Lisa, do you mind giving a quick intro first. Thank you, Maria.

I'd love to. First, I want to say thank you to UC Berkeley Extension for inviting me and for putting this event together and then to each of you out there. I look forward to our collective conversation today. And a special thanks to the other panelists, Matt and Justin. So I am Lisa Rapp.

And I am the VP of Data Cloud and Privacy at Demandbase. So over my 20-year career, I have basically sat at the intersection of MarTech and AdTech. Kind of dabbled in a lot of different areas within enterprise business, everything from project management and program management to running product marketing, to running lines of business, to being subject matter expert, to privacy.

But ultimately, in each of these roles, I think, the ultimate goal, this is more of a B2B to C, was to really help our customers figure out how do they create better customer experiences to drive loyalty and higher revenues. Really at the end of the day, no matter what role I was in, ultimately, that was the end driver of what we were trying to accomplish. And today at Demandbase, my focus is on what I would call the trifecta which is on product, on data, and on privacy, the synergies of all of those together. So a little bit about who is Demandbase.

Demandbase is actually based out of San Francisco. And they are focused on B2B marketing really within the account based marketing segment. So I would basically say, we're trying to help companies do smarter, go to market. And we're helping marketing and sales teams spot opportunities earlier, progress them faster, and inject data into this process, so that they can do better personalization along the way. Awesome.

Thanks, Lisa. Great introduction. Matt, do you want to go next? I would love to. Yeah.

Thanks so much for having me. Very excited to be here. And I don't know that you guys realized you'd invited a UW husky into a cow event. But I grew up in the Bay Area, I have a very soft spot for Berkeley and Cal. I run Heinz Marketing.

We are a B2B consultancy. Our niche is helping companies build predictable, drive predictable growth through more revenue-responsible marketing. So really help the marketing think about the entire funnel and impact metrics you can buy a beer with.

Our purpose, as a business, is to really just change the definition of marketing work entirely so it impacts careers and lives. I think for too long, marketers have been the glorified arts department. And even if they're working on demand gen, it's just a never-ending checklist of things to do. We focus too much on the marketing of more and more clicks, more likes, more retweets, more MQLs. More is not necessarily better.

Better is better. And I think that there's a different way to think about how marketing contributes to organizations, as well as how marketers do that work, how they are recognized, how they are measured, how they position and reflect their work across the organization that changes their strategic direction and impact on the company which impacts careers and lives. And I'm pretty passionate about that. And obviously, technology has an enormous impact on doing that. So thanks for having me. I'm excited for this conversation.

I love that, Matt. Better is better. Right? Not more.

Awesome. Last but not least, Justin. Hello, everybody.

My name is Justin Keller. I'm the VP of Revenue Marketing at Drift. I'm very honored to be here, so thank you.

I've been doing tech marketing for-- how old am I? Like 18 years. The first five of those were in B2C tech. Caught the tech bug right out of the gates early in my career, so much so that I packed up from Indianapolis, where I am now, and moved to the Bay Area for the better part of a decade. So the preroll got me very homesick. It led me to be with SaaS Marketing teams in San Francisco for the better part of a decade before moving back to Indianapolis to be closer to family and to be the head of marketing for a marketing tech company called Sigstr. So that was my first time marketing to marketers.

It was later acquired by a company called Terminus. And that led me to my job now here at Drift. So I've been on the front lines of B2B marketing tech for a little over five years now, and have been fascinated with how much it's changed, and what the competitive field looks like, and excited to share what I can with you all. Great.

Thanks so much, Justin. Now, let's get started with our first point of discussion. So my first question is to the panelists, how have you seen the marketing technology landscape evolve these past few years? Basically, since the pandemic started. And let's start with Justin. Sure.

I think, tactically, the first thing that happened when the pandemic hit was events got canceled. And B2B marketers spend a lot of money on live events. And so all of a sudden, B2B marketers were flush with cash that they didn't know where to park, but they also had no way to interact in real life with their audiences.

And I think that was a huge paradigm shift because we are used to going to trade shows, to hosting dinners, to meeting people at their offices and vise versa. And all of a sudden, everything had to go completely digital. So we saw a huge investment in digital experiences. Virtual event platforms got a huge bump. Banner years for companies like ON24 and others.

Chat, which Drift does, I'm not trying to be a commercial here, but online chat got a big bump. So the ability to interact with your audiences, virtually, have communications, and recommend content, offer insights, that was a big thing. ABM technology, which I won't talk to too much about because I'm sure Lisa will, but ABM, the ability to find best-fit accounts and get your message in front of them, I think, saw a huge lift up.

But I think really that shift away from live events was seismic to us marketers. And I don't know the exact stat off the top of my head but, I think, it's something north of 66%. A B2B buying journey is done before they get on the phone with the salesperson.

And I think that's just a human trait. We don't love being sold to. And as we've gotten more and more digital, a lot more of that education happens without humans interacting. And I think, COVID really accelerated that trend.

So I think that avoidance became even greater because we weren't face-to-face with someone and required to chat with them which I think, is another way of saying, at the end of the day, it accelerated digital transformation. I think, technology became critical to how we all sell to other businesses. And it took many different forms. And I don't think anyone figured it out until a couple of years into the pandemic. And I think, it's a great thing though. I think, technology is making marketing programs act a lot better, a lot more powerful, and with that comes a lot of data which is a huge challenge as well.

I think, you're spot-on, Justin. I was thinking my company, we also invested in a virtual event platform and also online chat, which we actually were a Drift customer. So I don't know if you knew that. Great. Thank you.

So we did that as well. Matt, what are your thoughts around that? I mean, first of all, Justin, I agree with all that you said. It was hard to focus on you, when I was obsessed with the Depeche Mode poster in the back.

That's phenomenal. Really cool. So three things I would say about technology, especially over the last couple of years, the tech landscape for sales and marketing has exploded. I mean, I remember, when Scott Brinker first started doing his marketing technology landscape. There were maybe 1,000 companies on the list.

And constantly, we're seeing companies combine. We're seeing companies buy other companies. So there's a lot of consolidation, as well as companies that go away. Now, we're at 8,000 tools. And they all have something somewhat valuable, different varying degrees of value for B2B sales and marketing teams. And so being able to make sense of all of that, it's becoming increasingly difficult for companies.

Unfortunately, what we're seeing too many companies do is say, I need to do ABM, therefore, I better buy a tool. I need to be doing conversational marketing so I should buy Drift. And maybe you should buy Drift if you're doing conversational marketing. But you need a strategy first.

And that strategy is going to lead you to a process. And that process is going to get automated or expanded or accelerated through technology. And so you have to think about it that way to be able to justify and make sense of it, put the technology into context. And if you do that well, then you're far more committed to using the tool and being successful with that tool.

I would also say it's another trend because we're seeing so many companies invest in more tech to replace some of the events, and in-person events, we've seen. I'm seeing way too many companies buy tools and then continue to manage them in silos. And so you've got a tool that is leveraged well on its own but is missing the context of what's happening with your customer and prospect across a variety of other tools. And so if you can actually-- and look, there's great tools you're going to want to add to your tech stack, but spend the time and effort to integrate your tools together, to make sure that you're sharing data, to make sure that if-then statements happen across channels to create a seamless integrated experience for your customers and prospects.

It is worth investing in and really triaging the amount of time and space you put into that level of integration, versus the next shiny tool. So plenty of stuff to think about. But those are a couple of things that are top of mind for me. It's great, Matt. I was thinking, you work a lot with sales teams and on sales and marketing alignment. So how do you like do the-- I guess, it's a little off topic, but how do you do strategy to the process? How do you think about that with sales? Do you have that conversation first before buying the marketing technologies? Or do you just go ahead and buy them and then you have that process path? Well, it's a fantastic question.

And I think, we're certainly-- A little long-winded but, I mean, it's probably a big question to ask. Oh. We could have a whole of webinar on this. I increasingly don't think of this as marketing tech and sales tech.

I think about as revenue tech. And you would also put in customer success, customer management, gain side, and other platforms into that conversation as well. And some organizations have actually consolidated those departments together. And even if they don't have the department segmented, they certainly are working from a common budget which, in many cases, just the budgeting process forces them to triage together what's needed. The more you can think about that as a unified go-to-market experience and tech play, the better. That's a good point.

Thanks for that, Matt. Lisa, what about you? How have you seen the marketing technology [INAUDIBLE] landscape evolve? I think that both Justin and Matt made some really great points and things that I was actually going to bring up. And we've kind of focused on B2B.

But I also see those same trends and B2C, as Justin was saying. I mean, we've seen an acceleration of e-commerce in these past two years. I mean, just to use my family as an example. I know, we buy everything from batteries off of Amazon these days, especially during COVID so we didn't have to leave the house.

Didn't have to go places. Had groceries delivered to us. And I think because of that, as Justin said, it accelerated digital because people that had plans, that were going to do something two years from now, had to accelerate them into six months because that's where people were. That's where the consumers were. They were online, not only for B2C but also for B2B because people were working from home.

You can't direct dial somebody's office phone because they're not there. They're working from their home. But I would say also, as to I think a little bit where Matt was going in his opening, I've also seen a dramatic re-embracing of the power of content and storytelling. And I've seen us move from just doing text, storytelling as well to way more interactive virtual reality.

I think about, during COVID, the idea that my girls did their prom dressing online and used virtual reality to try on their dresses right before we purchased them. And so much more is going into the idea of how do we be interactive? How do we do polls and texts and chats? As we've talked about here earlier. And so I also think that with this storytelling, because of COVID, both from a business perspective and a personal perspective, we really had to, as marketers, appeal to emotion and put a human face onto products that maybe we hadn't had to do before because, as Justin mentioned, most of what we were doing was in person.

Well, you can put the human face on it when you're in person. But now, we had to do that virtually. Now, we had to do that in our storytelling and how we communicated and acted.

And then, I'll say, with that storytelling and that emotion and putting that face on it, I saw it an, what I will call maybe, overdue embrace of DEI as a corporate value. So really thinking about inclusiveness and diversity, really no longer just being buzzwords within HR, but really things that marketers needed to embrace because consumers and users are making choices based off of that. And they're having to elevate that diversity, and really being authentic with their inclusiveness, and coupling that with corporate good and sustainability we were also seeing around that time.

A couple other trends that I saw as well are things like investments and marketing automation, so reducing marketing times, increasing efficiencies, and a lot of this driving to better personalization through use of data. And again, this conversational marketing with the goal of that having better user experiences. Again, a personal story, a couple of weeks ago I bought tickets to Billie Eilish for my daughter. And we, as users and consumers, want instant gratification and expect personalization, expect good customer experiences and all of this.

Well, the tickets were not transferring to my ticket account of the ticket provider that I was using. And I was sweating bullets. So at first, picked up the phone to call. And they were like, due to COVID, we can't take a call.

And I'm like, great, chat bot here. So I started going back and forth. And within 20 minutes, I had someone fix and resolve that problem. And it made me appreciative of the technology and of the communication that we were able to have together and made me more loyal to them because I'm like, they are instantaneously fixing my problem. They're showing empathy for me.

And I feel like I actually had a direct experience with this user. And so I think, all of those things are just going to continue. But they were definitely magnified and accelerated during these past two years. It's a great point, Lisa, the concert sample.

And we definitely expect the omnichannel experiences, why they have to align digitally and offline as well. So thanks, Lisa. That's great. I love that, all of those points that you made.

So my next question is, in your opinion, which marketing technologies are must-have to drive digital transformation within an organization? This time we can start with Matt. What do you think there, Matt? I think of it in terms of categories. So the three categories, I think, are worth investing in.

One is certainly intense signals in general. And there's a lot of different tools that can give you that. But for too long, we have assumed that the white paper download signifies interest. White paper didn't download signifies interest in learning but not necessarily that someone is in an active buying environment. And the intent signals that you can mine from your own data, and there's tools that will help you do that better, as well as tools that will help you see external signals that indicate which accounts and which individuals of those accounts are interested in ready to move forward. I think, being able to understand.

If you do your definitions right, what intent signals to look at, but then having access to it and taking action on that, helps you create more efficient sales and marketing. So that's one. I think, two is investing in a friction-free experience, getting rid of forms, helping people, having conversations with prospects where they are. I mean, this includes-- I mean, I don't want to make this a commercial for Drift. But it includes the conversational cloud and all the different places where you can have a more interactive conversation with prospects at their place to understand what they're looking for, to give them value, to differentiate yourself as a brand from other companies.

So investing in that friction-free experience is important to me. But also creating a seamless experience across go-to-market teams, not just with what marketing is doing but with sales as well. And increasingly, our funnels aren't split horizontally in the middle anymore. No longer are we doing marketing work at the top.

And it's all sales doing their job at the bottom. Increasingly, our funnels are split vertically with maybe a little bit of a diagonal bench. Maybe marketing is doing most of the work at the top of the funnel and sales is doing the majority of the actions to get the deal to close.

But, increasingly, especially for those larger deals, there's an interplay between sales and marketing at all stages. And so you have to have tools, and it starts with a strategy and process, but the tools to actually implement that seamless experience for your customer so that they hear the right message from multiple places at the right time. That's going to increase velocity and viscosity that will make your funnel more efficient, but also create more predictability and scalability of your results. So Matt, what are some technologies that come to mind when you think about those seamless experiences through sales and marketing? Well, I mean, some of that is-- my point before, it was about making sure that your tools talk to each other. So there's one there.

I think, using your CRM as a single point of truth so that they can speak to other tools. So for instance, you may still have a Marketo. You may have a Drift that is capturing inside signals and communicating. And then, you're scoring that behavior. But you're not asking your sales team to log in to Drift and see Marketo. It's going through CRM and, then, potentially out to another tool, another tool like a Salesloft or an Outreach.

And then, you also potentially have-- there's a phenomenal new tool called Unifor which basically takes what we've seen from Gong and Chorus, which is recording calls, and not only giving you a transcript of what was said, but it's also watching facial recognition, watching body language, listening to tone of voice. So imagine you're on a sales call, and there's a buying committee on the call, and someone in the buying committee was showing facial language that they didn't agree with a certain point you were making. You can get an alert after that meeting that like, hey, so-and-so appeared to disagree at minute 26. You may not have noticed it because there were a bunch of boxes here that you were going to look at. But here's a point you should follow up with. And maybe that triggers a marketing campaign that should go out as well to that person to help them increase consensus internally.

I mean, depending on your go-to-market motion and the way you sell and the way your customers buy, it might look different. But, again, there's some amazing tools out there that are making this a lot easier. Wow. I had no idea there was such a tool. And now, I have to look into that.

It's an exciting and terrifying, honestly, some of that technology that's available, as long as we use it for good. Wow. That's amazing. I have to check that one out because I'm very intrigued. Let's say, Justin, What are the must-have technologies? I think, I agree with everything Matt said. I think, intent, especially, is really, really important for modern sales and marketing organizations, and even customer success organizations to be using and leveraging.

I think, an account-based platform-- and we actually probably will touch on this so I won't talk too much in depth about it. But, I think, the amount of investment and M&A that has been going into account-based marketing platforms really indicates there's a huge potential for these tools. I think, in many ways, it is the next generation of marketing automation platforms. MAPs are foundational to a tech stack. And, I think, more and more as the marketplace gets noisier, we get further away from each other, more digital. Being able to select accounts, get your message in front of them, understand who's engaging, pulling an intent into those is a very modern way of going to market.

And then, Lisa mentioned this, COVID highlighted the importance of storytelling and content. And I think that is extremely true because, like I said, people want to buy without talking to a salesperson as much as possible. So being able to present content in a meaningful way where you're being recommended next best steps, where you're able to have more immersive interaction with a brand, either product content or brand content, is really important in helping them make that emotional connection with a brand. And I think, last thing is, modern sales and marketing isn't just those two things, I think customer success is really important too. One thing-- and I probably should have mentioned this up front. One thing we saw with COVID was, all of a sudden, it became less about new customer acquisition and all about customer retention and maintaining your current revenue streams, hopefully expanding them.

And so, I think, when you're thinking about pure revenue generation, your customer base is a huge source of that as well. So a customer health monitoring tool, something like Gain Sight that's saying, OK, I love my customers. And this is more for the software friends in the audience, but who's logging into my product, what's their sentiment about our product, what pieces are they not using that's useful by product marketing or my product team? Being able to take that data and turn it into meaningful sales and marketing campaigns is a really important tool as well. Love it. Yeah.

I totally agree with that one, for retention and new customer acquisition, I think, both are important. Justin, one follow-up on that. The storytelling and content part that you mentioned, you said to talk about immersive interactions.

Which technology set would you use for that, or have you used for that? There's a few. I've been a Uberflip customer a couple of times in my life. I think, they've got a really slick platform.

They surface really good insights about who's engaging with what. They make personalization of content really easy to do, so that you're able to build content journeys, not perceptively, but in a helpful way. Other ones, PathFactory is a good one to look at. Great Analytics follows as a third.

I think, there are more and more out there. I think, this is another category that's growing really quickly. But those are the three that come to mind.

Well, those are great ones. Thank you. Lisa, what about you? Oh gosh.

I have to say I agree with, again, what Matt and Justin were saying. It sounds like we're all aligned on things here. But definitely in the B2B market space are we seeing the continuation of account-based marketing. And it's exactly for the reasons that Justin and Matt said before. First of all, the B2B journey is a complex one.

It's a non-linear one. And it involves committees of people here. And so we also want to have better synergies between our sales and marketing groups, I think, that Matt had mentioned earlier. And the more we can better understand where someone is within the buying process and who's part of that buying committee.

So through, like Justin said, intense signals we understand if they're interested, what they're interested, specifically what they're interested so that we can personalize communications with them and ensure that the marketing message, that the marketing team is doing, and the sales outreach, that the sales teams are doing, are collaborative and connected to an actual journey experience. So that someone is not getting inundated with messages that aren't relevant to each other. Then, we can also see how marketing influences revenue for an organization. And those two groups, instead of working kind of in parallel paths, are now starting to work together to drive better customer success and understand the customer more holistically. And I think that's just a better experience for sales, a better experience for a marketer, and, ultimately, a better experience for all of us as recipients of this. So I definitely am seeing that, as well as the intent as we talked about before.

But I think, Matt hit on this earlier, we're also seeing that 63% of all CMOs are spending more on technology. And as Matt mentioned, the LUMAscapes escape now has 8,000 MarTech vendors in it. I don't know about y'all, but I go on Netflix sometimes, and I'm overwhelmed with the choices of TV shows.

As a marketer, if I had 8,000 MarTech options and I want to make sure I'm picking the best and the right one, how do I make a decision here? Yes. There's consolidation. But, I mean, it's still growing at 24%, the LUMAscapes every year. So how do we, as marketers, decide which technology? And, I think, it's less about focusing on the technology and more about taking a step back and saying-- because there is no silver bullet out there in a technology, in my opinion. Every one of us, who is in this, wants to say, we are the silver bullet. But there's not really a silver bullet.

It's a conglomeration of lots of these technologies together. But, ultimately, you have to figure out what is it your use case is and how do I know when I've accomplished that? And then, try to line up with technologies that can help you achieve that, versus trying to just go out there and find what is the next silver bullet and think that that's what's going to get you to your revenue goals. That's a really great point. I think, we get wrapped up in all these different technologies. And it's super overwhelming, really, to decide. It's like if I ask you, if you had to have one technology, which one would you say is a must-have? Lisa, which one, would you say, one technology category, which one would you choose? I would definitely say it would be having like a CRM, a single view of my customer because to me, that's the foundation and the stability upon which everything else is operating off of.

And if I don't have that, then everything else is just garbage after that because the foundation is built off of, in my opinion, that technology. Such a great point. I love that.

That's a great answer Matt, what do you think there? One, you can only choose one. Which category would you choose? I think, I was going to say CRM. Lisa stole the CRM. So I'm going to go with a listening tool. I think, your ability to listen to your market, listen to your customers, listen and watch for signals. I mean, there's a variety of specific tools that could be enabled.

But, I think, even on the social channels, I mean, we get so focused on what are we sharing? What are we publishing? What are we writing? If all you do is use social illicit, create a private Twitter list of the companies you're going after, just their corporate Twitter accounts. Just listen. What are they talking about? What are they promoting? What are they pitching? What are they tweeting about? That's what's important to them. And if you listen to that. And you engage with that.

And you respond in kind, you're far more likely to show them that you're paying attention, that you care about their issues. And they're more likely to respond to you. That's a good idea, especially for sales teams, I mean, marketers as well, obviously. A sales team when they do their personalized outreach, that's super useful. Thanks, Matt.

And what about you, Justin? One must-have. I mean, it has to be a CRM. I think, that's the bedrock of any modern company.

And someone asked in the chat, what's the way to simplify this journey? A, it starts with data. And I don't think there's any shortcuts to putting a yoke around a huge amount of data and putting it into a meaningful structured way. But the way is going to end up is going to be in some sort of a customer relationship tool. So I'd say that for sure.

And then, beyond that, if I had to have one, that was kind of fun-- I have not had-- and this is, again, not a commercial for Drift. I have not had chat not be on my website in, gosh, seven or eight years. No. I think, it's super important nowadays too.

I think prospects, and customers are expected to be there. Thanks, everyone. Great. I love to ask that question, just one that you must have. And I think, that's all great answers there.

Justin, since you're on a site now, what are some effective strategies that marketers are currently implementing with the help of AI and/or machine learning or both? Yes. I am a skeptic as a practitioner when I hear the words AI and marketing in the same sentence because I've heard it for, I don't know, a decade, that AI is going to be the next biggest thing in marketing. I think, we're just now starting to actually see it show up in meaningful ways that your average marketer can put their hands on.

I think, account selection is a big one. So as you're trying to think about your best-fit customers, having AI comb through your current customer base and looking what similarities they have. What firmographics do they share? Demographics? Finding those commonalities to suggest, hey, these accounts, or these companies, look similar to your current customer base. And there's probably a good reason why you should go after them. That's one.

And then, I think, content recommendations. So I mentioned this a little bit earlier. But, basically, Netflix Inc., your B2B content.

Because you read this, because you visited these pages, because you seem to be coming from this account in this part of the world, we think that you should be checking this out. And making your universal content a lot more extensible and accessible to your visitors are the two things where, I think, your regular marketer can start to, actually, do some damage with AI. For the account selection part that you mentioned, were you thinking more on the predictive marketing aspect, like a predicting marketing technology that would help there? I think, it's predictive.

And I think, Demandbase has-- Lisa can probably talk to you a little bit more as well. I think, I've used several tools in my career and building a list based on your-- I mean, ABM isn't something new. Everyone's had that top 100 list their whole career. But being able to scale that and say, these are why and here's what messages these companies need to hear, based on what your customer database says is, I think, the next evolution of app.

Lisa, how do you scale that? Say, using Demandbase, how would AI come into play there, just scaling the marketing efforts and going after accounts? What would be the best practice there, you say? Well, I would say, usually, at Demandbase, we're using AI for a couple of different areas. I'm not sure if this is exactly answering your question. But we are using AI to help with the predictions. We use AI to also help to the point of after you define your ICPs, what do they look like? So you've started to define those. How do we also find more of those? And then, we're using the AI to drive intent algorithms so that we can sequence the activities into lead scores and get things assigned to the person at the right time in the right place.

But underneath, to that point, we are using things like predictions to also help us determine how do we prioritize. Because, yes, Justin, if you have a list of 1,000, you're obviously not going to go after necessarily all 1,000, or you're not going to prioritize them the same way, or you're not going to put the same effort and energy into all of those. So how do you find the ones that you should be going after? Because they are in market, because they do have the right technologies, potentially, to align with what you are doing at that moment in time. All of that, I think helps marketers determine where to place their bets and how to get the highest revenue and the best customer experience, ultimately. Great point. Thanks, Lisa.

Thanks for answering that. And Matt, what about you? What do you think? I think, AI is really becoming table stakes. I think that the common tool sets that companies are using now to drive sales and marketing really are counting on AI in a way that we don't really realize. It's just becoming sort of normalized. So Pascal Finette is one of my favorite keynote speakers around, conferences and circles.

He speaks a lot on innovation and sort of the trend line in innovation. One of the things, I think a lot about is, he says, the learning curve in the future is far steeper than it actually will be. The innovation curve in the past appears far thinner than it actually was. You think about just the innovation that's in this device. Right? I mean, how much computing power is here versus what it took to get people to the moon.

And you think about the things we now take for granted, like dynamic lead scoring. I mean, you think about marketing automation platforms. And forever, it has driven me nuts that we create a lead score arbitrarily.

We say, hey, if you download that whitepaper, five points. If you ask for a demo, 12 points, 14 points. I don't know. Give us some points.

And those get plugged into Marketo and, in many cases, never change. So we don't go back to see if they actually correlated with success. We don't go back and see, should it be 12, or 18, or 7 , or nothing? We just keep them in place. AI is changing that.

You can now see, dynamically, like, hey, something came in from a target account versus a non-target account, or we saw three people from the same account. But instead of treating them as individual leads, we're now looking at them as three people within 24-hours, the same thing from one account. That's an intense signal, my friends. And so now, all of a sudden, what are the actions we need to take from that? So I think, dynamic lead scoring is a great example of being able to look across platforms, pull all that data together, and decide where I should spend my next step.

I mean, for as long as I've been in B2B sales and marketing, a salesperson is sitting at their desk saying, what should I do next? It's not about making hundreds phone calls. It's not about sending out 1,000 emails. It's like, what do I do next? Who do I call? Why? With what message? And so AI is answering that question. And to follow up, something, I think, Lisa mentioned earlier, we are seeing leading companies spend far more money on tech.

Tech used to be a mid to high single digit investment as part of CMO budgets. For many companies on the leading edge of this, it is now in the mid to high teens. And what it is replacing is media. Companies are spending less time buying attention and more time earning and owning attention, more money on creating content and creating experiences, and then buying and leveraging the technology that can enable more of that at scale. It's a lot harder to make that work than just to buy a bunch more ads.

But it is far more effective. I totally agree. I mean, I think intent is a game changer for us marketers. It changed so many things.

And helps us be better marketers, honestly. So I think, it makes sense to spend less on the media side in that sense. It's like blast out. And it's just not effective anymore. Great. Thank you, everyone.

So my next question is, which product innovations are your companies focusing on this year? And Matt, it could be clients that you worked with. What do you see in the space? And Matt, maybe you can go first for this one. I will go first. I mean, so we're consultants. So we're a services company. But we have developed, over the years, a pretty tight methodology that we think is core to helping companies build predictable pipeline.

And it includes things like having tight definition, your ICP, and having a really strong positioning framework, and having strong collaboration between sales and marketing, yada, yada. One piece that has not traditionally been in that methodology that is becoming more and more important is the concept of change management. Well, we are changing how sales and marketing teams work together, when we're changing the nature of what marketers do. When you've got someone on your team, who for the most of their career has focused on the most possible leads at the lowest possible cost, and we're now saying that may need to be reversed. I may be willing to spend three times as much on a lead to generate far fewer leads if they're the right person.

And I need you to collaborate with sales, not just jazz hands at sales kickoff. But if you apply the Tuesday test. OK. Some demand is identified and sent signals identified. Someone shows up on chat on our website. What happens? What do we say? What happens next? Who does what? The level of collaboration between departments as well as the change in the role and priorities within marketing need to be addressed.

The status quo is powerful. And when you see people push back on some of that, it's not because they don't want to do it. Sometimes, it's just fear. You just changed my job.

You just told me what I've done my entire career, that I have hung my hat on, is not as important. Am I still relevant? Am I going to keep my job? Am I going to have the time to be able to figure out how to do this new work? And so if you don't proactively address, and with empathy and clarity and transparency, the change happening in there, no playbook, no tech tool is going to help you be successful. So for me, you asked about innovations, like a product to focus on changing culture management. Culture change and change management is increasingly important. That's right. Actually, the program I'm doing, it's about change management.

How can we as marketers bring that change to the organization? So thank you for bringing that up, Matt. Makes total sense. Lisa, what do you think on this one? Which product innovations is your company focused on this year? I'd say one of the things that we're focused on for sure is better collaboration amongst all groups, so better collaboration amongst marketing and sales organizations attached to customer success and implementation and feeding that back into our product organization, so that's one continuous circle. I think, for years, it was easy for companies to work in various silos. And I think, now, especially with COVID and virtual and with all the emerging technologies that we've just talked about, we have been forced to collaborate more together in order to be successful.

But I would say also, one of the things that our company is focused on and doing a little bit more of, from a technology perspective, is not putting all of our eggs in one basket, meaning not purchasing just one monolithic tech stack from a single company or provider or vendor who thinks that they can do everything really, really well. But instead, more of a move back out to purchasing of best of breed technologies where are the areas that we are immature or lacking in. And then, how can we go and purchase that in a best of breed opportunity? But then, as Matt was talking about, I think, the biggest struggle there is then, how do we connect all of those best of breeds together so that we are not making decisions based off of just one technology, but that we're collectively bringing that information together to see the bigger picture, to make the best and wisest choices. But that's where we are from a Demandbase perspective. Lisa, are you referring more from an acquisition standpoint of other companies that have those specific breeds? Or are you thinking more as a marketer or just like a-- I'm thinking more just as a marketer, not from an M&A perspective but just as a marketer in the technologies that we're using. Have you seen any good-- So you're on the data side.

What is the best way to connect data throughout different technologies? Is there a tool that does that? I don't know. Is there a Holy Grail that you can leverage? I would definitely say, there's not a Holy Grail. I would definitely say that because of privacy, because of deprecation of third-party cookies, and now more and more people moving into the collection of first-party data, that you need to collect with consent and everything associated with that.

We're definitely seeing more and more people move into CDPs, having a single view of the customer, and also moving into more cloud technologies, so not wanting to move their first-party data around. Like I said, using things like Snowflake or AWS or GCP where the data is not moving and they have tighter controls over security. And then, also using more privacy-enabling technologies, overlaid on top of that.

And I definitely see that as-- data has always been king. But I feel, we've had this conversation of big data for 10 years now. But I still think, even after 10 years plus, we're still trying to figure out-- We have more data now, probably more data created than the last two years in the previous 10 years. We still haven't always figured out how to pull the insights out of the data to actually drive to make the right decisions. But I do think that AI, as mentioned earlier, helps us with this data.

And it also creates more data. And So it's this never-ending cycle. But I definitely see data as being king and a place that we're going to. And it's obviously even more important now because of all the changes in privacy.

And actually a great point, Lisa, because I was going to ask about that. I think the whole cookie-- the elephant in the room, right, the whole cookie situation. But I'll come back to that for the other panelists. But I do want to ask Justin the same question before we move on to this topic.

Justin, product innovations, what are you thinking? Pretty straightforward. One, I think, it's interesting, similar to Lisa and Demandbase, we're focused on the entire customer-facing unit, so it's sales marketing and customer success. I mean, all those teams need to have one shared repository of data on their customers that they can use to create, ultimately, a better experience. Drift is, at the end of the day, at the service of our customers' buyers and helping them remove friction and have a better experience. So unifying those three things from a product perspective is one. And the other is, now that I've dunked on it, AI.

So getting better and better at having an interaction with a robot. So talking to a human, when you can't find your Billie Eilish tickets. Great. Great experience. People have to sleep though. So getting Billie Eilish tickets when you have to talk to a robot might not be so good.

So being able to, at scale, aggregate and analyze conversations in a way where the robot is getting better and better at acting and servicing like a human is the other big thing for us. Makes sense. Thanks, Justin. And going back to that topic of data and privacy and cookies. Justin, so when it comes down to how we can continue providing personalized experiences.

That's all we talk about as marketers nowadays. How do you foresee companies handling that? Cookies are going away next year. And I think, Lisa mentioned some good points, but I don't know. Do you have any thoughts on that as well? Yeah. I think, right now, the best way to understand who someone is, when they're interacting with you digitally, is cookies. And then, Google is going to remove those from Chrome which has the largest market share of web browsers.

They keep moving the date. I feel like it's like a year or two from now. I don't know.

Yeah. I thought it was good, but it's probably moot already, might as well be. It's going away. It is the point. Right? And third-party data is expensive, unreliable, because it moves quickly.

So right now, what companies need to be doing is building their own first-party data set. And that's going to mean databases are going to shrink. But I think, it's also a good thing. The people that are in your database, that you are able to track in a meaningful way, are more likely to be your customers.

And you can build a better relationship with them. On the whole, I think, getting rid of the cookies is a good thing because, I think, they can create a lot of spam and noise from a digital marketing perspective that, I think, we'd all be happy to have less of. That's actually a really great point.

Totally agree there. Matt, what are your thoughts around cookies? I just had to go look it up. Seth Godin wrote Permission Marketing in 1999, not even in this Millennium. Oh my gosh.

So now, I'm doing the math. Was that 23 years? That's how long ago he wrote this book. I mean, I just keep thinking about it every time spam issues come up, and GDPR comes up, and whatever we call the Canadian one. And now, you've got California, and Virginia, and Colorado all doing sort of individual state privacy restrictions.

And it's going to get more and more complicated. But Seth's still right. Go earn it. Earn the trust and attention of your prospects.

It may take more than forcing someone to click somewhere and then being able to track them everywhere. But that's not an authentic relationship anyway. The other benefit of doing it in an authentic, trusted way is that becomes a massive competitive differentiator. The relationship in trust is now with you, with your brand, with people at your company.

And you can screw that up. I mean, you can earn that trust and reputation over a long period of time and do something dumb and screw it up, but you own that. You could literally give your competitors a list of your customers. And if your customers love you, if they trust you, access to contacts is not the same as having earned that trust and relationship. So is it harder and does it take more time? Yeah. Of course.

But, I think, as more of these restrictions happen, as more of the easy tools we've had to shortcut the process of communication and connections, as those go away, the companies-- in the end, Justin's right, they keep moving the goal post out. But it is coming. And if you wait until that comes to invest in building trust, you're going to be behind.

Start it now while you still have access to some of these tools. But invest in trust and relationship building. There's no amount of restricted tools that are going to keep customers from coming to you when you go from being interruptive to irresistible. Great point there, Matt. Follow-up question.

Lisa mentioned that she sees customers investing in CDP or marketer CDP and account technologies. Are you seeing the same throughout your consulting with clients? Is that to me? Yeah. Sorry, Matt. Yes. It was to you.

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Look, you need to protect your data.

You need to protect your relationship. And so ensuring that you have the right lines crossed there, it makes a lot of sense. And, I think, it also reinforces how important integration across systems is. If someone says, hey, I don't want to hear from you.

But then, another tool in another department or another division-- I mean, their prospect isn't going to say, well, I get that marketing systems are siloed. So I'm going to give you-- no. No.

No. No. No. Your brand is your brand, even if it's a massive company. And so it's another investment in protecting and respecting the relationship you have with your customer. Good answer.

Thanks, Matt. Lisa, do you have any follow-ups to that? I know you started this topic. But I don't know if you have anything else to follow-up with there. I would echo what Matt said, which is as a consumer, as a user, when you come to a website, your expectation is that if I do want to opt out, or I do want to understand what is going on, that company is going to respect my wishes and my needs.

Meaning that the company is not going to make me do 600 actions before I can either opt out, or that I'm going to have to opt out multiple times because they have five products. And then, I'm going to have to opt out five different times. But that instead, the systems are going to be connected in the back-end.

And so that I, as a user, can just do one action or a fewer sets of actions. And you are going to respect that. And I definitely think that once GDPR went into effect, prior to that, there was no governing body. There was no legislation for any of it, for anything related to privacy.

So companies were doing this as, I guess, I'll use the word goodwill or as being parts of trade organizations. That was part of the duty there. Privacy got elevated to the C level once GDPR happened.

And now, I will say that companies can use it as a differentiator for themselves within the marketplace. With that being said, I also would say, it's table stakes, meaning there is a natural inclination as me, as a consumer, a user, and all of this, that you are treating my data with respect, that you are not allowing nefarious people to get a hold of it or do things with the data that I would have no expectation that you would be doing with my data. And so I think that, sometimes, companies who are doing it the right way, don't get the credit. But the companies that are definitely not doing it the right way, it can ruin a brand image. And at the end of the day, a lot of times when you go and talk to people about why that happened, there isn't a lot of thought put behind that.

It's like, well, maybe we could use this data later. The brand reputation is never coming back for something that you didn't really get a lot of value out of. And so I definitely believe that one of the things that we're doing at Demandbase-- and I'm sure, Justin's, they're doing it at Drift.

It's really this idea of doing privacy by design built into your products so that you're thinking about customers and interaction and how you are protecting their data on the front end, versus having to do band-aids on the back-end of it, and making this easy for our users. And I think that's how progressive, forward-thinking companies are integrating privacy within their business models. It makes total sense. I love that, privacy by design.

I think that makes total sense. We should all look at data and do privacy that way. All right. I know, we're coming up on the hour because we have to have some time for Q&A. But I have one last question for the panelists.

What is your prediction for the future of market technologies? And I think, we talked about this the whole time. But is there anything else that you are thinking of? Maybe we can start with the Justin on this one. What Matt said about making sure your tech is integrated is such an important thing.

I think, the way out from that, consolidation. There are a fajillion different pieces of marketing technology out there, and sales technology, and customer technology. And there are so many that are so cool. But right now, the sum is not greater than the parts. It is very siloed, both from a technological perspective but also an organizational perspective.

And I think, the huge tech companies right now, Salesforce, the Marketos, the Adobe's, I think, are all in a monopolistic state. I think, they need to be disrupted in some way. I don't know how.

And if I did, I'd probably be on a beach right now. But, I think, it's coming. And I think that the amount of interesting technology that's out there, being able to fuse it together in really useful ways that are collecting more of their own data so that you can create a better customer experience at the end of the day is my prediction. And I think, everything we've said ladders up to that today. So I think that's my big thing.

I love the idea of companies collecting more of their own data. Makes total sense. Matt, what do you think on this one? My prediction is more of a hope. Again, the technology is supporting a strategy.

And I hope that more companies will adopt a strategy of earning attention versus renting it. Invest the time and effort in being a company that your prospects and customers can trust. Focus on building an experience versus short-term transactions.

I mean, a lot of our technology, historically, has been like, get someone to convert, send them another email. It's short-term. It's tactical, short-term thinking, versus investing in the long-term experience and relationship you want with that customer. Think about what are you doing to earn that in the short and the long term. And invest in the tools and the integration of tools that can enable that. I totally agree with that as well.

Lisa, what do you think on this one? Prediction? So I would say, as was mentioned earlier, I think, throughout this entire conversation, we've been talking about where we think the future is. And I think, one of the big points that has come out is the idea of integration. And so I will definitely say that I think the integration and utilization of tools in collaboration with each other is going to be huge. But I will say, both Matt and Justin hit on the strategic, so I'll hit on something a little bit more tactical for where I think things are going.

And I would definitely say that connected TV is going to be huge. And I think that this goes back to your first question where we were talking about storytelling. And I think that connected TV is really the blending of great storytelling in a video format that's also addressable. So it hits answer many of the things that we've talked about today. And then, again, this blurring of work and home life added in there.

And so I definitely see from a tactical perspective that that's one of the technologies that is going to be taking off in the next year or so. Interesting. Matt, have you worked with any clients that are focused on connectivity or thinking about that that's the thing they have to focus on? Not necessarily connected TV. I think, for sure, connected video and assuring that the video you create that-- I think the lines between video and TV are starting to blur a little bit. I can watch TV shows on my computer. I can interact on web stuff on my actual TV.

I mean, a whole other topic probably but, I think, video is still under-served as a tool for B2B marketers. And we were talking earlier abou

2022-04-14 19:25

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