twogether Marketing Podcast

The 3 V’s of B2B Content Syndication Metrics

March 26, 2020 Twogether
twogether Marketing Podcast
The 3 V’s of B2B Content Syndication Metrics
Chapters
twogether Marketing Podcast
The 3 V’s of B2B Content Syndication Metrics
Mar 26, 2020
Twogether
Transcript
Harry:

Hello, a nd welcome to this bonus episode of the, to gather B2B technology marketing podcast. Today, John Busby and John B reen are going to be talking with V IN, T urk, the co founder, and COO of Madison logic. They're going to be talking about B2B content syndication metrics. This ended up being a fantastic conversation. Hopefully t his should tide you guys over t ill season three when we have some really, really exciting things coming o ut. So watch out for that announcement, but without further ado, it's John Busby, John B reeden, and then t alk.

Jon:

Hello Everyone. You're listening to John Busby here. I'm the CTO at together. I'm joined today by two fantastic guests.

John:

Hi everyone. I'm John breedon the martech director. Um, I kind of look up the reporting, the technology integration piece , um, and do a lot with our media team in regards to analytics and results and monitoring and intent and everything else.

Jon:

But we are really excited to be joined by a very special guest today. Um, Vin from , uh , Madison logic, so Vin, Would you like to introduce yourself?

Vin:

Sure. Thank you for having me. First of all. U m, my name's V IN T urk, I'm the c ofounder chief operating officer of Madison logic. U h, so we started the company about 15 years ago i n 2005 and I help and work and oversee operations partnerships data. And then I w ork very closely with our product team, our agency partners, and our core clients.

Jon:

Um , I mean, we're so pleased to have you guys as a partner. Uh , all I hear is wonderful things about Madison logic and all the great stuff. You guys, you , everyone there does. Um, well , how did it start? what's the journey being so far?

Vin:

Yeah, so the catalyst of how we started the company is my prior role before Madison logic was in advertising sales. My background is computer engineering, so I don't know how the two kind of came together, but I was selling to technology companies for firm that provided paper, click advertising. And this is a little bit before Google had implemented their contextual ad network. So we would partner with these big B2B established publications. And you would pay on a per click basis to have your text link appear on those sites. It was contextually relevant. It was a great audience over time. I noticed this trend where many of the technology clients, the big names that come to mind, we're all pretty much doing the same thing. They were trying to attract that qualified audience to click on their ad, go to their own website and present them a piece of content. And in the hopes that that individual would submit their business card information that they could then use for marketing and sales activities. So it was a bit of arbitrage and I began asking questions, these clients, I said, you know, how many clicks on average? Does it take to get someone to fill out that form? I said sometimes anywhere from seven to 15%. Okay. And how many of the people that fill out the form actually have legitimate information and not Mickey mouse, Donald duck, or something a lot worse. And again, it was about 10%. And then finally I said, well, of all the people that put legitimate information into that form, get the content, how many match your ideal customer profile, the types of companies that you want to sell into? Again, a range of anywhere from 10 to 25%. So I simply ran some basic math and I said, I know what you're paying per click because I'm selling you, these campaigns, you telling me your conversion rates, it's you hundreds of dollars just to generate that initial qualified lead. But at the same time, there's a huge operational burden, right? You have to create a landing page, create a registration form, collect all that data, integrated somewhere with a database or marketing automation, got to get all these different types of individuals involved. What if you just came to us and defined your target audience gave us your content and we handle everything else. And we provided you the service that was very straightforward and transparent in the sense that you knew exactly what you would pay for, for every lead that matched that criteria. So I kind of discussed that with the CEO of the company at the time, very different business model. Um , and we decided to start this new entity, which is Madison logic today.

Jon:

So how has, how has the offering changed over the last 15 years?

Vin:

It has changed quite dramatically. Um, so while we originally started focusing on leveraging content from our clients , uh, putting it in this research library that then spanned out into a network or syndication model where we were partnering with B2B publishers and media partners, because they had great, you know , audiences on their side and they had scale. And so we quickly built a technology infrastructure that satisfied the media publishers side, because they didn't have tools like a DoubleClick for ad serving for content or for lead generation. So they themselves had to get engineering, it, audience development, email marketing, all these different folks together to build a landing page, but then they didn't have campaign management tools to understand how many qualified leads were generated. What's the revenue, what's the disqualification rate, validating the data, delivering that lead to the client. So we presented this idea to many publishers. And as I said earlier, you know, the company came from another company and we had already established great relationships with some of the largest B2B media publications at the time. And we knew that there was this pain point. So on the flip side, we said, well, all these advertising, these big B2B agencies and clients had to go to each individual media publisher, cut insertion orders, do deals, get the lead from them in different manners. What if there was this one central place that they could come to to get a lot of scale across these different networks and sites, but with a lot of precision. And so we built that platform and we got the publishers on board and we got the advertisers on board and it helps streamline their operations. And over the course of about three years, there were these series of events that remove certain competitors from the marketplace, which put these other publishers in this place to say, well, who can provide exactly what we need. And we raised our hand and we said, we have that tool available to you. So that really helped drive a lot of growth in the early days for us.

Speaker 3:

Wow. That's, that's a , that's a fascinating story. And I'd love to dive into more about your technical background as well, but I will leave that for the end of the podcast. What are you guys working on next? I mean, you've just had a great announcement with LinkedIn. I don't know if we can talk about that, but it'd be fun . Be amazing to hear about what you guys are doing.

Vin:

So I'll give you the History and about 30 seconds. So our primary core offering way back in the day was content syndication, give us your content to find your target audience. We'll establish the volume of leads that we can generate at a fixed cost per lead. That quickly evolved into an additional offering where we enabled our clients to surround the buying committee at their target accounts, with their brand message, display video, mobile, native advertising. We thought content was great as a vehicle to generate a lead, but it's not scalable within one particular target account. And there may be upwards of dozens of people evaluating this long complex solution that you're trying to sell. So if you can surround them with the right message that helps them respond to emails at a higher rate and remember your content and be more willing to take the calls from the salespeople eventually. So at that point in time, this is now around 2012, 2013. We decided that we wanted to produce a platform that gave all these insights and analytics to our clients , um, that they, that just didn't really exist at the time. You know, we would give them their lead files and we'd show them kind of post campaign wrap-up reports. They were asking for more, they want to better understand what's happening at these accounts. What are they researching? How often are they come into my website? What content interesting to them. So we came up with this platform that was called activate ABM. It has since recently been renamed the ML platform, not as logic platform. Um, and then we began iterating on it. And what we notice is, you know, we have somewhat of a concentration of our clients in the technology space and many of them use Salesforce CRM. So we said that platform is extremely mature and it's open in the sense that they have all of these API APIs and these kind of apps that you can develop into it. So we said, well, why don't we connect into our client's CRM and give them the ability to target their accounts as they're moving to different deal cycles? And we said, well, let's take a look, let's evaluate the technology and what's available there. And what we realized is because Salesforce was kind of one of the first marketing cloud sales cloud providers that had such an open ecosystem. Um , we could tap into many of the data points that our clients were tracking, whether it's opportunity, stage, deal, size, product being evaluated and so on. So when we did that, our client's eyes kind of lit up because for them, this was a whole new way of activating outbound paid media. In the past, it was primarily top funnel driven, or if they wanted to run any middle bottom funnel that have to export reports, Excel files, email them to their vendors and all that stuff. We want it to make this kind of automatic and very efficient. Uh, after that, we then said, well, our marketing teams that our clients predominantly work in marketing automation. So we plugged into Marquetto the big marketing automation platform now owned by Adobe and then Eloqua, which is now owned by Oracle marketing cloud. Um, so the announcement that we had this week is with LinkedIn, their analytics, the marketing solutions APIs that provide our clients both a granular level view at how their target accounts and their LinkedIn campaigns are performing. Um, we've been able to bring to market unique ways of evaluating those campaigns, those audiences, the creative elements that were used in the engagement or the like kind of the immediate exhaust given off by that, brought it into our platform. And then from a holistic view, being able to combine it with your other outbound channels into those same target accounts. So if I'm targeting a cohort of accounts that say fortune 1000 and I'm running programs on LinkedIn and delivering content to them and serving display ads and video and mobile and native, how does all that come together in one holistic view? Because in many cases, our clients are very large and they have these teams that are separated by States, if not countries or continents, and they all use different types of tools and they have different ways of measuring success that may not often always align together. So this platform gives in that one place that they can all kind of converge on, agree on metrics and see exactly how their campaigns are performing.

Jon:

Yeah. I mean, that's amazing . And some of them , I know from some of the pitchers , uh , that we've been in, you know, we, we obviously work with you guys as one media provider, but we're working with a huge plethora of other providers as well. Uh , one of the questions that come comes up again, and again, whenever you're talking to a client is how do I reduce wastage? Um , how do I certainly be to be one of the key metrics that, that whether the Holy grail that, that John and I, both chase is, is attribution for one side, but also how do we track where people are in that, in that deal cycle and all of that wonderful integration you're talking about, and we're also a Salesforce partner. We believe in that open ecosystem. You know , it just sounds wonderful. It sounds like that is the, that is the answer that a lot of clients ask you ,

Vin:

The integrations help a lot from the operational side. It helps clients run always on programs. It helps them prioritize which accounts they're gonna be targeting. The way that we think about attribution kind of falls into two, maybe three categories, right? There's the most commonly viewed attribution, which is I made an investment of, let's say a hundred thousand dollars. What kind of pipeline of revenue did that drive? The other type of attribution that we're starting to think through is does an investment in one channel actually lift the performance of your investment in another channel, forget about pipeline and revenue. But if you're looking at certain performance metrics around your content programs, your display programs and your social, if I launch these programs in tandem with a certain unique messaging or value prop into certain personas, once they engage on LinkedIn, let's say, does that actually drive higher performance on my video, on my display, in my other channels? Because if you say, okay, for every dollar that I put in this channel, I get $5 out. Well, if I put a dollar in a different channel, does that actually elevate the value of that original channel that I get out? So what we're going to be developing and working on our attribution modules that take both of those kinds of sides of the coin into consideration when presenting back to our marketers, what attribution can really look?

Jon:

One of the things, the reports that most impressed me with the ML platform recently has been that funnel comparison, where you can really show the difference that running a Madison logic pro program could have. And I think, you know, when you're talking about attribution there with regards to my mind is still catching up with everything you've just gone through. There's so much , um, the, with regards to how one channel can affect another, how are you, how you stripping out anything else that the client could be doing? Like, cause you are , you may not be the only media provider with a lot of questions .

Vin:

Of course. So , um, our platform today is only really able to measure the digital advertising programs that we power. And now recently the LinkedIn programs. So if you're running paid search or direct to other publishers or events, we're not able to yet report on that. But what we can see through these integrations with CRM marketing automation are the results of all those channels. Are your prospects moving to different stages at the speed at which they're moving the conversion rates and the overall value or the opportunity size. And so kind of taking in that context, we're saying, all right , well, what if I isolate accounts that are only running in one channel? How does that compare to those same accounts when I unlock these other channels? And we like to break into these three vs value, volume and velocity, and if I can create a control or a benchmark or baseline of how that cohort of accounts engage and move through my funnel in one or maybe two channels, then when I lock, unlock these other channels, how does that differ from the control group? Are they moving at a faster rate? And if so, let's drill into that even further. What was the frequency capping that we use? What was the creative sequencing? What was the day parting and the geo-targeting and all of those things put together to then further optimize your other programs and kind of set this North star for other prospects that will eventually make their way down your funnel into that same stage that we were just evaluating, that match whatever criteria, whether it's industry, company size or geographic location,

John:

I'm completely in agreement it's Nivana. And it sounds amazing because having had discussions like this with clients in the past, sometimes that aspirational, amazingness, even if it is possible, can be quite daunting from a client's perspective.

Vin:

Clients look at it as daunting for a couple of reasons. One, if I'm a marketer and I've been at a company for a decent period of time, I'm used to doing things a certain way. And if you're now presenting a different way of doing things well, how's that gonna impact me, my team, my budgeting process. And so on. The second part is that as you guys probably know, the larger an organization gets the, sometimes the slower they move. So when you speak about integrations and data sharing and exposing systems that can take some time, the integration itself doesn't actually take a lot of time to hook up. It's just, I have to go through compliance and it security and auditing and understand are you encrypting this data who gets access to the data and so on. So I would say the first step is to evaluate one, how are we currently tracking performance? Are we looking at metrics like clicks and website visitation and basic conversion rates? Or are you able to tie that to pipeline creation speed through the pipeline and closing, winning business? And if you're not, then I don't really even want to talk about us integrating together yet because you're just not ready for it. So let's guide you down a path of saying, all right, you're in the marketing org , you have certain limitations or there's this virtual firewall of what you can see, start having conversations with the revenue leaders on giving, you know, exchanging information on, I ran this campaign who was under these target accounts. Tell me about what the sales team is saying about these accounts. Are they converting at a higher rate, have opportunities been created? And so we, we've kind of held the hand of many of our clients that are very large and tens of thousands of employees in that journey to get to that place. Once we reach that place, they've already somewhat gotten familiar with what our digital offerings are, that the integration. So we said, let's take it from a crawl walk, run kind of approach. Because when we talk about these integrations and we kind of label them journey acceleration, the first thing that come to our marketers minds is, wow, that looks amazing, but I don't have content and creative for each one of these stage and different accounts and so on. So let's, let's look at it in just three different phases, true top funnel, mid funnel and bottom funnel. And as a funnel kind of goes deeper, it gets a little bit more narrow. It's just the nature of it. So the volume of accounts or the overall campaign size, make it smaller, the deeper you get. So let's first say, all right, well, where do you want to prioritize? Are your deals getting stuck in the pipeline, or do you have a net new logo acquisition, like objective, or is it simply upsell and cross sell? And you don't really have to worry about the true top funnel. Let's kind of set those in stone and then guide them through. Here's what that first campaign may look like. Here's the way that we want to work with you and agree on how you're going to measure it. One, we've already confirmed that you can measure it this way. Now you're getting insights back, whether it's in your CRM and your marketing automation or other kind of stakeholders there, then we can kick off these campaigns and then, and go through that process.

Jon:

You mentioned three V's , one element that I think B to B marketers and B to B in general suffer with is having clear KPIs. And those, I just want to come back to those three V's. vo you feel those are the key ones clients should be looking at when they're, when they're evaluating their marketing?

Vin:

Every company has to define them for themselves , but I think they are critical metrics that should be monitored. I mean, it just makes sense. And it's , it's kind of hard to argue with. Right. Do you want more deals? Yes. Do you want your deals to close faster? Yes. Do you want them to be of greater value? . I mean, if, if , if I was talking to a marketer that didn't agree with that, it probably wouldn't be a fit for our services. And so they kind of see that says, yes, I want all of that. Okay, great. Well, let's take it one by one. What's most important expansion upsell or new logos. So we kind of approach approached that.

Jon:

I just love the clarity, those three V 's give to it. And I remember seeing the demo of the journey accelerator and just exactly as you say, it just, it works who wouldn't want more deals who wouldn't want them to close faster, u m, and who wouldn't want them to be bigger. U m, but what, what do you see as one of the biggest, you know, when, when going into a large enterprise technology f irm, all of us around the table here a t used to working with C lark with big technology clients, what d o you s ee a s the biggest challenge in implementing your technology?

Vin:

The biggest challenge is what their current objectives actually are, and if they have personal objectives or team goals, and they're not rooted in some aspect or attribute of those three V's , then you have to work with what their goals are. And some of them say, Hey, I got an MQL goal. Okay, well, how do you define your MQL? Well, they got to meet this criteria and it just simply just what the lead looks, you know, the right job title in the right type of company, the right size or industry, regardless of how they're actually engaging through your funnel. Okay. That's pretty straightforward to, to achieve if it's to convert those MQLs and opportunities, then I like to drill in a little bit further and understand what are the different channels, the tactics that you're using. Do you have performance metrics available or is it kind of, again, this black box where you're just waiting at the end of the quarter, the revenue leader, the head of sales is going to show you what happened in the pipeline. That's a big, difficult area for some marketers. And then , uh , you know, the higher up in the food chain that you go, like, what are the objectives of the CEO, the CFO, and the board level, because if you're opening a completely new office in a new region, is it you're simply changing the brand perception of your organization or is it driving actual business? Do you want to lay the foundation first? Do you want to really hit the ground running and, and so on?

John:

I think , um , I completely agree. We , we come across, I think a lot of those discussions and often to start for marketers to start thinking about their objectives as a revenue piece comes with risk. Um , and I think there's , if we take contents indication on a level of MQL is if we take a , uh , a marketer who has been in the role for a while , they've got clear KPIs that defined as MQL or net new logos or a reengagement with existing accounts, they are ways that can be controlled. So if it's MQL, for example, you can do a very specific content syndication campaign, get X amount of leads that you need agree, the conversion points , and it can be quite low. It can be quite high and scoring adjustment to make it work and everything else. And it always takes me back to , um , that there's , uh , a lady that works with console she's head of ABM marketing, and she did a speech or a , um , a discussion months ago now, a B to B events . And she was explaining that she's been given a lot of control and a lot of freedom to do what she wants from ABM perspective for ScanSource it's quite big, it's quite important. And she was saying the fundamental to getting that input and that buy in from board level was agreeing a revenue target. She agreed she would deliver X amounts of revenue for the business, from her activity and from everything that they're working on as a team, by a certain point. And that's her risk, it's a motivator. It's I think because the engagement now with sales and marketing, and they're talking about CMOs becoming a different role, it's more around revenue and things like that, and tying them in together. I think you've got a lot of different companies as well, that kind of bucket sales and marketing together with sales leaders , um, that don't understand the impact of marketing.viSo then it's, marketer's jobs to bring that up to them and explain how they're going to do it, but to do that, you take a risk and everybody's risk I'm risk averse. I don't want to spend 50,000 pound on something that actually it's got to work out. And then I taking the risk for 12 months that it has to work out on it , you know , small scaling comparisons to some companies. But I think I'm starting that journey and getting the baseline that you're going about before , um, and understanding what that baseline is. So starting that journey, instead of going full fledged, integrating complete connectivity, understanding the revenue, get a that's comfortable, and then just take the risk, pick a revenue figure that you can take to the leadership of your company and hold it up to them, ask them for what you need, explain what you're going to do with it and take that risk. Um, but it's a very difficult thing to do.

Vin:

I agree . I think, you know, it was only a few years ago where there was this big race of the MarTech , boom, right? I need a platform for marketing automation and a chat bot and website personalization and social media management and all these things. And I'm going to put them together in this beautiful stack and I'm gonna win an award for how the stack looks and God bless them . But if they didn't or they failed to agree on a certain set of metrics that would actually drive performance, then you know, you've got shiny objects that eventually will be pulled out.

John:

Yeah. And I do think from the kind of conversations that I'm hearing and the way people are approaching it, I think now that there is a change where instead of adding technology to their stock and new shiny things, it's about making use of what they've got integrating it and making it more complete, especially when you get down to the attribution level and reporting and insights and revenue. And it's, it's amazing how many companies aren't able to link the two, even at a basic level, what channels worked for first touch attributions, what channels worked for the last touch? What impact did it have? Um, but I do think there's , there's now a change, I think because of this change to marketers becoming revenue focused , um, it's going to happen at some point for everyone, every marketer in the world is going to have to change their focus if they haven't already. Um , and I think looking at forgetting the shiny things and making use of what you've got , um, and for the Madison logic platform, the capabilities of integrating where you can benchmark and test and deliver and test and deliver , um , in different ways and different integration seems like a completely acceptable risk level , um, to me anyway. And, you know, we only do number of them on a monthly basis for our clients. So , um, but yeah, it's, it's, yeah, that's , it's the approach that you're taking with the platform and actually with the way that you're working with customers seems completely the absolute right .

Vin:

You're kind of painting some of our vision for the next few years, because when we have our clients integrated and they're running across multiple channels, and we understand the nuances and characteristics of their content, their ads, the personas are targeting that is kind of like this feedback loop where we can see, all right , we targeted these programs or these campaigns, these accounts, these are not moving at this speed. But over here in this other area, we're seeing these deals move faster and then let's take those learnings and automatically apply them into this optimization approach. That's machine driven to do that at scale. And so now you've got a revenue target. We know your conversion rates based on their funnel, your , your movement, your velocity, all of that. That is one of the ways to calibrate what your campaign can look like, which is vastly different than how campaigns are usually planned. You know, there's a brief, there's target audience. There's the content, here's the budget, here's the partners and the plan go. And at the end of the quarter, we're going to take a look at how it all did. This is more like always on learning as we go optimizing as we go, but making it very transparent to the marketer and their agency partners. Exactly what's happening, not a black box, not something where we just, you know , slap labels of this machine, doing all these crazy things. It's just, here's the approach we take. Here's the data that's kind of backing it up.

Jon:

You , you were talking about MQL as quite a common way, a common KPI that all of our clients use to , to measure the success of a campaign. Um, I would say one of the key challenges we're seeing is that link and John would mentioning revenue. You know , we've now seen the rise of the CRO, the chief revenue officer, everyone now talks in MRR instead of deal size. And the world is changing as we move towards cloud. Um, one of the, one of the biggest challenges I always see whenever we run a marketing campaign and this comes right back to what you were saying there a moment ago is we, you define the funnel. We define the target audience. We go and generate a bunch of leads , comes to the end of the quarter. And we send a spreadsheet across the sales and hope something sticks. And the way that way of thinking, it just blows my mind that people are still running their campaigns that way. So how do you see sales fitting into some of the activities that you've got that you guys do?

Speaker 2:

To a certain degree It makes sales more accountable to keeping the pipeline clean and the hygiene at a very high level, because if they know that marketing is going to be engaging with their target accounts, their prospect, their deals at certain stages, it's to their benefit to always keep it up to date. So, you know, we've got a sales team like everyone else. And the day to day grind of being a salesperson, part of it is , uh , bidding CRM , uh, bidding your deals when they're going to close, we're not close . And if you now know that you're going to get this air coverage from marketing to help you close and move those deals, I want to keep them up to date. Um, so that's one aspect, but the second is that I think marketers today have so much data available to them that they can bring something unique to the table for their sellers. Whereas a seller, I might say, all right, I'm selling my technology solution into big bank. And I can go to that bank's website. I could look at their press filings and their , all their earnings reports and all that. But marketing knows other things about the company and the different pockets of the groups in there that I can use to my advantage, whether it's the intent data, the type of research that they're doing, or the other products or solutions that have already been put in place. So I know, are we going up against an incumbent or competitor ? Um , what is the content that they've been like downloading from us? Um, so I think sales and marketing want to get closer together and agreeing on that certain set of shared metrics is a great first step in that direction.

Jon:

You've touched on two things there that we are seeing is really, really hot elements that might one being intent, which is a key element of , of your platform, but the other being technographic. Um , so how are you saying technographic play with some of the programs that you're running on behalf of your clients?

Vin:

The graphic is an extremely valuable dataset for a number of use cases. Um, some clients use it for conquesting or competitive takeout. Yep . So I sell widgets and I know that this company has already purchased widgets from company a, well, I know the benefits of my solution versus theirs. So in the that I promote to that company , um, I'm going to highlight those benefits, or if we have a lower total cost of ownership or timeline to implement, I'm going to bring that to light for them. Or if I know that on average, someone buys that company's solution and the average deal size or S um, timeline, is that a year? I know because we have verification date when the technology was last verified, when the deal may be up for renew . So that's a great starting point to get in front of that company and start presenting your solutions. The other use case, which is very beneficial is when your technology or your solution is complimentary to another, right? So CRM like Salesforce is the foundation of any sales team, but there's so many other tools that plug into Salesforce. So if I know that one organization uses Microsoft dynamics versus Salesforce, and we only support Salesforce, I'm not going to promote my solutions to the , the company that can't actually buy from me. Yep . And then I could say, well, you've already made the investment here, and this is the natural next step in that process. And here are the benefits. Here's how it integrates because the beautiful thing about all these cloud platforms and solutions is many of them play nicely together. So it's kind of like that influence on one channel versus the other. If I can buy something from a vendor that adds value to the investment I made and that original other vendor, it's very beneficial to them

Jon:

And we're seeing technographic be , and what you're describing as coopertition, I think is if there is the official term, but we're seeing it just every time I sit down and look at demographic data, I find a new use case for it.

Vin:

We were having a discussion last week about the use of intent data. And if we take B2B tech clients, it's , it's my expertise. What I know. Um , and from my experience, sometimes it's a tick box exercise. We've got it. It's there. Do we use it? Um , and other times it forms part of their strategy in quite a strong way. Uh , I'd be interested to know where you both think intent data sits in the journey from kind of net new acquisition logos from a marketing perspective through sort of close sale. Where do you see that intent data being the most effective? I think it can be useful in most of those stages. You know, the first is the sales team wants to sell to the fortune 1000. Great. Well, why don't we prioritize that list of accounts, understand which organizations are showing those signals on the web much heightened level of research activity than they were in the past. Let's prioritize our marketing efforts there and by doing so you simply compare that to your control group or the other accounts that you wanted to target regardless, but that aren't showing those signals. Then if you're able to measure conversion rates, engagement, opportunity creation, that's kind of like the proof in the pudding. And then when deals are moving through the pipeline and, you know, the types of personas that get involved at that stage in the deal where at the final stages, maybe it's finance compliance operations, but early on, maybe it's security and networking. And I in traditional it, you can use the intended to understand, well, what are the topics this company's researching to help solidify and quantify that they are truly at that stage. And then of course, cross sell up, sell. They've been a customer of ours for a number of years. Um, are they at risk of churning ? You know, are they actively researching our competitors solutions? You know, that's get in front of them , kind of reinforce the value of why they bought from you or understand what their pain points are.

John:

The point that we were talking about as well was a lot of the time the intent is focused on the conversion points , the point sales get involved, the point that the leads has been captured, actually, what are they doing? Yes, it's from target accounts. But I think what I also think there's a big use case for is structuring the strategy of the message and the creative that you're going out with at the beginning. So identifying your target accounts, and then actually what's best going to work with them. Who's the most engaged, what topics security and when it's the same audiences on a regular basis, it decision makers across Europe or whatever it may be. Um, why don't you use from campaign off the campaign and what we're doing at the moment, actually for one campaign is taking the intent data from the work that we've been doing with you guys and the Madison logic platform. And applying that to the leads that are going through and getting the client on board a little better with it. So not only are we using that data to prioritize the leads, follow up with the lead conversion piece, but then using that to influence the future campaign, the next set, and actually those topics, those themes that they've engaged with the most engaged accounts, how can we use that to influence it? So we're kind of going through a bit of a test phase with them at the moment to show the benefits .

Jon:

S o in this case, a re w e creating content based off the data we're seeing?

John:

we'd be looking to? Yes. So when you take it from the next campaign, we kind of do the campaign at the moment and what we're not. I think that the structure and the integration is not quite there to do it automatically. I'd love to, but actually creating content is one of the biggest headaches that any company and the bigger they get, the more time it takes the ball reviewers and the more approvals and everything else. Um , so we're looking to use that for future camp , for the future campaign, understand it's a couple of weeks out of date, but know that it's going to influence what we're doing.

Vin:

Yeah. One of the interesting things that we do, it's an exercise that attracts a lot of clients is this intent look back, right? So we ask them, give us a sampling of 10 clients that bought from you, tell us what product they bought and the point in time, then from that, we can easily identify the topics that are very relevant for that solution. And look back the past 18 months to see what the research trends at those accounts were that led up to that purchase. And that's useful for a couple of things. The first is, well, let's find other companies that look like that, that are on that same trail and get in front of them. The other is, well, let's look at what their research is after they buy from you because they are, are they already starting to think about what other technologies they want to implement in that next sequence? Or are they doing research? Because it almost immediately, they're feeling a pain point integrating your solution or whatnot. And then that can lead to a whole nother areas of, well , there's a whole cohort of new types of accounts we want to sell to you that we didn't even have on the radar that fit the ICP that are showing this intent that might have the technographics behind it as well. Um , and then to your point, you know, creating the right content to get in front of them. Yep .

Jon:

It's almost, I'm going to call it intent listening. So you're going back and viewing playback , um,

Vin:

echos or look backs.

John:

I think that's the term I'm going to keep using

Jon:

That's incredible. That's , that's absolutely amazing. Uh, one thing coming back to the sales conversation though, one thing I'm particularly passionate about is how do you shorten when something comes in from marketing or from a contents indication to when a sales person can follow up? Like, is there any, have you found any best practice to how what's the best timeline that should be to really get the most successful or the most, the highest velocity behind yourself ?

Vin:

Yeah, unfortunately I don't think there's just one cookie cutter answer. I think every company has to evaluate that differently, but what they should do is simply just run a series of tests. You know, if we take leads that we generate, regardless from where it's paid search driven to our website, LinkedIn, our events content syndication, what are the nurturing activities that we do? How quickly can we kick off those followup emails or outreach? What are the conversion rates? And then when we're ready to pass them to sales, get a keen understanding of that. They pushed back on them because they're not ready or that they are fully sales accepted. Yep . And then look at the behaviors or the activities that you did to lead there. Alright , well, sales is accepting this group at 85%, which we think is really healthy, but at the same time, the volume of that is really low because it requires marketing to do so many more touches to get them into that point. So if you took the other approach where we're sending sales 10 times as many leads, but there's a 5% acceptance rate. And that means that sales is spending a lot more time trying to follow up when they may not be ready and marketing, they need to recalibrate how they're scoring those leads or those accounts to get them to a different point before they hand them off to sales.

Jon:

many brands just aren't ready to have that conversation because they haven't connected the two. Um, you know, they're still handing reports from one team across to another. They're still in the world of SALs and SQLs. And I think if they're able to have that conversation to , to really drill down and understand what leads are converting and what leads aren't , then they're in a much better place than , um, and they're able to, they're able to really understand that data, but I find many are still much further up.

Vin:

a good exercise might be, it's kind of like a combination of your pipeline analysis, your ICP and the intent e cho. So let's take customers that bought from you and these are great customers, right? They're renewing, t hey're increasing use of your products. Why don't you take a look back, not just at your pipeline and the speed at which they went through there, but the marketing activities that you did to get them to the point of opportunity creation. So if w e want to talk about when's the right time to pass it to sales, look at your current customers. When did you pass those to sales? Maybe you need to isolate i t by channel because someone that comes in through paid search that has very high intent, that goes right to the contact me form c onvert a t a high rate, which could be very different than c ontents i ndication originated l eads. So look at those current customers, even look at the deals that you lost, what stage did we lose h im? Why did we lose him? Was i t because we tried to engage a little bit prematurely? Did we not have the right message? Because, you know, we didn't understand what they were researching or what their pain was. U m, and then use that again as a way to kind of recalibrate when marketing p ass it to sales,

Jon:

we have to move towards an always our model. We can't, we've got to stop thinking about individual campaigns and , and , and that fire and forget type view. The other side of it is you've also got to , you've got to have that growth mindset to go into a marketing activity and say, we might be wrong and we've got to learn from this. Um, so what what advice would you give a big enterprise firm that's going through that transition? Like how would you, how would you get them started on?

Vin:

Well , I agree with you, I think for large enterprise, it's tough to change from the older model jump right into the new one. Especially when you have other partners or agencies involved, those agencies have a certain workflow, a certain background mechanics of how they operate. You know, they have teams, they have planning, they have buying, they have measurement, they have optimization. They've reporting back to clients that whole day to day interaction. So the client came to you guys or another agency and said, Hey, we're switching this to always on. We need to continually optimize. And self-learn all these things. It's like, Whoa. Okay. So, so the, the advice that I would give is do a small test experiment first that regardless of how it goes, could be the best thing in the world could be the worst thing. It will not have a material impact to the business. Use it just for learning to understand one, is it repeatable? Is it scalable? Is it apply to many of our other campaigns and then selectively choose the ones that you want to gradually shift from a transactional quarter by quarter or campaign by campaign to that always on model. Again, it goes back to the foundation of, do we have the right metrics that we can track this? If so we can give our stakeholders kind of above us, the insight throughout that always on approach, what's going on. What's the, what's the performance of that campaign? Because if on one hand you say always on just means it's running all year. Well , at the end of the year, you can present one big PowerPoint to a big committee and say that didn't work. You know, that's not the best idea, but throughout the program at your defined cadence, whether it's every week, every other, every month quarter, whatever it is, and everyone in the room agrees on that, here's what we're going to provide when we're going to provide it. And the course of action that we can take to correct or expand and so on. I think that's a good starting point. And we're S and we're starting to see that coming from our large enterprise companies, because they're getting demanded from their bosses too . It's not just moving to an always on model. It's just be more accountable for revenue. And if you need to be more accountable for revenue, you need to somewhat shift that always on approach .

Jon:

I think, yeah , it comes back to our point. You were saying earlier, John, about some, a lot of CMOs and now taking revenue as one of their key metrics and starting to become accountable for it, which is quite, you know , when you think about it quite revolutionary, even though it sounds very simple because now they're responsible for something from sales. They've got to work really, really closely with them to make that, make that happen. Um, bring it to us for a moment together. Why use an agency to implement someone like Madison logic? What value do we bring to this, to this table?

Vin:

One of the reasons is that you guys, or perhaps agencies in general probably get closer to the clients sometimes than we do. Yup . You know, we talk to specific individuals that have certain responsibilities, whether it's demand gen ABM awareness. But I think the unique position that an agency is, is oftentimes they're involved in content creation. That's extremely beneficial. They understand the needs of folks that we may not be talking to higher up the food chain, the CMO level, maybe the CEO level. And they're a partner in this with us. It's not just, you're this vendor, and we're going to give you this amount of money and you hit these metrics. And that's it. I mean, I know from you guys having worked with this firm , um , you want your clients to succeed. You want our relationship to succeed. And oftentimes the larger an organization gets the more they have a need for that agency because you're here in London, but you can execute campaigns globally. We don't have offices in every country, but you know, what's important to your client in Italy and how that differs from the UK or the U S market or, you know , Latin America. And we don't always get to have those types of conversations. So by working closely with agencies, we can then present back better solutions to our clients that result in better performance.

Jon:

And I think one of the key things, key things there as well as, and this is coming back to your MarTech point, right ? A few moments ago is we also try and integrate that with all the other different systems that are , that are customer facing . So, you know, a lot of our customers are running either Eloqua or Marketo, and we want to make sure that that journey is consistent, right. From the first time they might touch a white paper or PDF all the way through to yeah. To multiple buyer buying personas, hitting the , the vendor site and interacting with, with content directly. Um , so we're always trying to tie those together. And , uh , John, that's certainly something that you spend your life, your life doing.

John:

Yes. I think at the moment, what we're trying , um, especially from a complete multichannel perspective , um, a lot of the time for lead gen campaign content syndication is one of the most important elements. Absolutely. Because it gives it de-risks of the campaign from the client's perspective. Um, but then going back to your earlier point about the impact of the channels have on the channels that you've been delivering before , um, just from experience that we know adding display, programmatic, whatever it may be to an overall campaign will improve the contents indication results or the quality of the content syndication is also the leads are more engaged because they've seen other elements. So by the time the lead is getting some marketing, whether you in an ideal world, I think some people have said, you know, I get a content syndication lead, it's an MQL. I'm going to pass it straight through. Not always the best approach. Sometimes it can cause a lot of problems and, you know, disconnect that lead. Um , but by tying in the full campaign, what we're doing together as for us as an agency from you as an agency, or kind of bringing that together with the client themselves is being able to deliver not just the lead, but the brand awareness, the impact, the education, then going through to those additional touch points, you know, learning from what they're doing. Are they engaging with content at certain messages or certain sub themes and feeding that back as simply and as eloquently as possible to the sales team to say, look, we have, we think they're about ready to have a conversation. Don't hard sell. They're not a hard sale client. They're not hard sell to lead what they are, is talk to them about their difficulty. Talk to them about their pain.sales 101 from that perspective, but it gives them something to start with. Um , and I think what we're finding is the more clients have been testing out alternative ways. Let's take contents indication, let's push them through and get them to tele sales . Um , it hasn't worked. Why hasn't it worked content was too big. It was too, we need to break it down and we need to have more sub themes and consider that content plays a part in our learning that plays a part in our lead sources and the channels and the impact just bring that together. And it doesn't have to be as complicated. And what I think we're doing now , um, especially with the Madison logic team and the platform is how can we bring it together for our clients? Even if it's campaign testing, we're not implementing this complete, robust, automated, always on reporting attribution model. What we're doing is saying, is it worth it? Let's do some manual testing with you as a client. Let's kind of take this. I'm going to get a team to take that data. And that data it's a thousand leads, 2000 leads, whatever it may be, let's see what improvement that has and then go from there . And if we are seeing that it's worthwhile, let's start expanding it out to the rest of it. And that's kind of how we've started with a number of our clients.

Jon:

So let's , let's take this in a slightly different direction. And we started off this podcast talking about Alexa , um, where do you see what'd you see the next innovation in this market and B2B marketing's specifically? Um, I think it is the, the intersection of transparency trust and automatically optimizing. So if you have certain objectives and you put your inputs into a black box and something comes out, it might be beneficial, but if you don't know how it happened and you can't really put trust in a platform because they don't share why they did those actions , um, it can be difficult to scale that. So as everybody knows, you know, fake news bots, malware, it's rampant all across the web, so properly conveying to clients. Here's how we're preventing that. Here's how we're mitigating that. And here are the tools, the technologies either we develop or we partner with that gives them peace of mind. And it helps them understand that their investment in those areas is driving real outcomes, but where the future lies in it, I think is bringing together not just for the sake of more data, but the right data in a very efficient manner that adheres to the client's specific objectives. And because every client doesn't have the same objective, there's going to be some configuration or some adjustment that needs to kind of happen before can fit directly into that CMOs toolbox when it does. And you can say, here's our goal, here's the baseline. I think you mentioned this earlier. Now we know how to move forward and optimize that. And it may be that one particular channel isn't working and hasn't worked. Let's cut it out. That's okay. Let's focus on like the meat rather than the fat in that equation. Um, I like to think that more mediums and channels are getting into this connected ecosystem, streaming television and videos, whether it's the Roku boxes or other types of, of like on demand streaming channels, it's inevitable it's happening and it's going to be addressable and hopefully it will be measurable. So if we can plug that in that's another benefit. Um, I think a lot of what it boils down to is that marketers are looking for attention, not for themselves, but to gain the attention of their target audiences. Attention is finite, right? So I commuted in it's a short commute, but I'm still, maybe I'm on my phone. Maybe that's when a podcast is most relevant. If I'm sitting on a train for a long while, maybe I'm reading something a little bit longer form. If I'm at my desk, I've got some time in my web browser for a marketer to get the attention, have trust with a key target account. And a persona is not easy, but the more that you can show that you gaining that attention is actually driving real business outcomes. Um , I think is where the market's heading. Yeah, completely agreed . I think one of the biggest it's going to sound like such a tiny innovation, but it's changed the way I view content is there is that little indication you might get at the top of a medium article or a top of a , um, even on your Kindle now that tells you how long you've got left to read. Yeah . I can look at your reading style and it says, you've got five minutes and actually I will sit and finish something now where before I might've , I might've decided to put, to put it aside. So I think you're exactly right. The way that we're consuming content is changing, you know, w w you need to, to bring it back to a point we were making earlier. It's, it's about taking the user's context in mind when they're consuming. So have they got their headphones in, then that's delivering them a podcast. If they, you know , are they, are they on a train then maybe they can read a longer form article?

Vin:

I think , I mean, I keep reading stats that more and more of this buyer's journey occurs before they even contact vendors. So they're doing their own research, whether it's on kind of community driven review sites or with analyst firms or on their, you know , publications that they trust, they go to your website, but they don't self identify. So you may not be able to understand who they are by the time they actually reach out, or you're able to get in contact with them. They've done a lot of analysis. They know you probably better than you think that they know you.

Jon:

like over two thirds now do research a t weekends and, a nd don't, I don't want t hem to h ave with the sales person. In fact, most B to B buyers are now looking for a more B t o C experience. They want to see, they want t wo things to be automatically personalized. U m, and one of the biggest trends that I've started to see recently is the move away from, a nd move away from traditional content management systems, per se, or r ather the traditional way that you would create a piece of content and much more towards what I'm going to call metricized content. So a t the article that you read may actually be a combination of five or six different content pieces, but it's based o n your industry, especially your company size, it's based on your point in the buying funnel. U m, and that that's really, I see some of this f uture going Is, is, you know, you won't even notice it's been personalized or it's used AI, or it's used some fantastic technology, even if it is much more rudimentary. U m, but it, but it will speak to you at that personal level.

John:

To me, that point that also ties into the, and the explicit in , and everything that the regulations that are in or coming in. Um, but I think with my experience of LinkedIn sales contacts , people contacts me to sell the service and everything else. Um, I'm now really critical of the lack of personalization because the personalization is possible. Simply rebalancing portfolios are hidden. You can read the details. I accept sales inquiries. It's absolutely fine. However, the personalization is there. It's still, the capability is still there. Um, and I think for brands and for organizations that get ahead to your point, John , where they do create personalized content , um , asking for opt in is more accepted. It's when I think there's this legacy in transition period of organizations asking for opt in with no benefit because the content isn't personalized, we're not tailoring it to them because that hasn't been planned. It's the capabilities are still being developed and whether they've got them or they're not using them. And I think it's just in case we've got a board, but that for me at the moment is one of the biggest things that has got to happen over the next two years is personalization is actually deliver on the personalization promise to gain the,

Vin:

Yeah. So we had a interesting product idea about four, maybe five years ago. And we came up with, and we said, you know, we are able to track the user's journey when they consume that content, right? So they hit a landing page. However, they get there, whether it's an email or a website and they fill out a registration form. And during the process of filling out the registration form, we capture their company, name, their job, title, their size, their industry, their location. And I thought, well, what happens if we're, if we're capturing that info, can we use that information in real time to start personalizing the piece of content that they're about to download? So let's say someone downloads a piece of content on cloud security, and as they go through that registration flow, I know that they work in aerospace at a very large company in, I dunno , the UK, right? So once they hit submit the piece of content that they give them is specific to the aerospace industry in the UK market for size of company that you've just put it in there. And so I started thinking through all the different permutations and the data points and the effort required on marketers to personalize that for each one of those combinations. And I was like, that's just insurmountable. And so is there a way that we can do that automatically, but you take an automatic approach to personalization. You run the risk of it going haywire or completely out Side of what you would expect . We never ended up building the product,

John:

but you're right. It's the risk of that personalization as well. I think once organizations can get to grips with how personalized can we be, how much content does it need? Um, and, but can we deliver that personalized experience,

Jon:

but you're exactly right, but I've only seen one really crack That level of content and it's taken them years and they have hundreds of thousands of words. I think it's over a million words in this, in this repository, but I definitely see that being the way this will go, because it just, it's just what users are going to start to expect. And we need to move away from the concept of personalization is hello, John, and here's your company name and more towards something where it's , it actually speaks to me

Vin:

Well, on the point of data, I think, you know, maybe 10 years ago, people were looking to get more and more data. And now there's an overabundance of data. And the hygiene of the cleanliness of it is extremely critical. And so I'd say about nine years ago, I don't remember where, but somewhere I fill out a form and I did not use my real name, but I use my real email because they were going to send me the piece of content I use . I use the name, Marcus, I don't know why it just popped into my head, right? And so even today I still get emails from various companies, not the one that I originally submitted, but I would imagine that there were crowdsource sites where you upload leads that you get, and in return, you get credits to get new leads. Someone uploaded it with the name, Marcus and I get emails from people say, Hey, Marcus thought you'd enjoy this piece of content or whatever the automated outreach is . On one hand, I kind of laugh. And the other hand, I kind of cry a little bit

Jon:

Here in the UK. And in Europe, we have this III privacy directive that is now going to start to drive and a change significantly changed the way we believe we may have to build marketing strategies because a Google have already announced that they're going to start this allowing third party cookies. Um, you know, a lot of the ways that we are used to marketing that have grown over the last 10 years , the last decade , um , are going to be a lot more challenging to achieve. So how are you seeing that impact potentially, or how are you, what, how are you seeing that impact? What you guys are doing at Madison

Vin:

First is that I think , um , all the legislation is not going to slow down. You know, even in the States, there's going to be either more independent States that will pass their own CCPA, right? And they're working on it in Wyoming and Nevada and Maine and New Jersey and elsewhere, maybe they'll take it to the federal level. Uh , but other areas of the world will do that as well. So to navigate through that complex framework where each area has their own nuances, it takes a lot of preparation and a lot of work. And you have to make tough decisions as to how much do we want to have a presence in those areas? I mean, is it a valuable channel for us? Is it an area that we want to continue growing our business? Um, thankfully Google gave us about a two year timeline. So I'm hopeful that the industry can come together. That achieves a certain level of whether it's attribution tracking or personalization , um, that still gets you what you need to be able to measure, plan and kind of execute and optimize in the account based marketing world . Um, you don't always have to tie it back to an individual person on certain types of activities, which is , which is good, which is good on the lead generation side. It's very much rooted in personally identifiable information, but as long as you take the, the appropriate path that adheres to the laws in place, explicit consent opt in language, that adheres to all the laws, very transparent with the end user, with your partners, with your client, the whole workflow of that data, how it's stored, how it's removed, how you can reply to data, subject, access requests, all those different things. You're probably in a good place, but of course there's still a lot of unknowns because a year from now, there could be a new initiative in the UK or elsewhere that says , um , you need quadruple opt- in and a blood sample. And before you can even talk that person's name, I don't know, but I'm hopeful that these governing bodies see the economic impact that these industries are creating jobs, GDP growth, and they balance that with the privacy needs of individuals.

Jon:

I think it's a great point though , there , which is in the B2C space. Yes. There's a big drive towards making sure you get the right opt in and it's going to completely change the way that we market it market. Um, but in B2B, perhaps we should be using the term company-alisation, if you can bear with me rather than personalization, because you're right at the company level, it's still fair game. We can still do a lot of, a lot of this magic that we've just been talking about. And when you're ready to buy, you know, when someone has that intent and they're interested in learning more, then they're going to give that opting consent. Or at least they're going to give you some element of consent that allows you to, to follow up. Um, so I think that's , that's a really, really good point here. So we're just, we're , we're coming up at the top of the hour. So I wanted to make sure we come up with something to , uh , to , to , to sum up if we were to kind of, you know, we've discussed some wonderful subject today, we've talked about certainly one of the key things that stood out for me is how we need marketing to always be on in B2B. We need to have that have that iterative mindset, that agile mindset that allows companies to apply and remove technologies and channels and approaches , um, to be able to make their marketing more successful. We've had some great discussions about KPIs. I love those three vs a little bit of a shame. He didn't have three t's. We had transparency and trust. And then there was, we nearly had another T their technology technology. Maybe, maybe we can, maybe we can coin that one later, if there were, if there were three things that we could summarize from today's from today's discussion, what , what would you recommend a B2B technology brand does

Vin:

I would say, is align with your constituents in the other divisions, whether it's sales, operations, finance, how are we going to measure all this that's number one, number two is , um, how do I get that visibility? And we know what we want to track. How do I get that tracking in place? Do I need to get access or permission to another tool set? That's managed by a completely different team. Let's put that in place before we launch anything. Um, and then, you know, from there test there's your T right test on a small scale and always test. I mean, people say marketers love doing arts and crafts. This is a great example of an area to test whether it's content or frequency or outreach channels. And then with that testing, drive it back to those same KPIs that you agreed on and share it amongst that same team. Um, so I would say that's a great initial step from any large organisations.

Jon:

I think that I couldn't agree more , um, you know, and just to break it down for a lot of our clients, this doesn't need to be something that , that requires a six month timeframe. This is something that you can spin up inside of six weeks or even six days, if you really want to challenge us here it together. Um, cause we always love a good challenge, but the, you know , there , there is, there is that barrier of, Oh, I need to get all these people on board and getting everyone's Canada aligned, or they're making sure that we've all got the right metrics and understanding what everyone else is doing. Um, you know, we should, we're in a rapidly moving marketplace where new technologies are coming all the time, even our clients themselves are under pressure to be releasing those technologies. So we need to get to a point where you can run those little tests, get everyone on the same page and just get it out to market really quickly.

Vin:

Start with the end goal in mind and kind of reverse engineer it from there and then identify the bottlenecks with the things that we don't have available in our company, or we're going to have to change in order to be able to transparently measure to that goal.

Jon:

it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you today. It's been great having you on the podcast.

Vin:

I appreciate the opportunity. It's been a joy. Thanks again, guys. Awesome .