[Podcast] Funnelside Chats Presents: Howard Ting, CMO of Nutanix

[Podcast] Funnelside Chats Presents: Howard Ting, CMO of Nutanix

We’re excited to announce the launch of another episode of the FunnelSide Chats podcast! This week features CMO of Nutanix, Howard Ting.

During his interview with Nadim, Howard dropped some valuable marketing knowledge and delivered spectacular insights that had us nodding vigorously and taking notes as we listened in. From how he sort of stumbled into his first marketing role to how he’s used communication as a tool to solve the ol’ marketing-sales alignment problem, Howard’s stories are chock full of advice for aspiring and established marketers alike.

Below, we run through a few of our favorite moments from the interview:

Being a good marketer begins with being a good storyteller.

When asked what his secret weapon is as a marketer, Howard answered that while hard word, resilience, and a willingness to get better every day have gotten him to where he is now, his ability to tell a story with a unique and fresh perspective is what has helped him truly shine in his career. Howard used to be a DJ while in college, and he describes great marketing as being a lot like great mixing—you listen in on the ideas going on around you, absorb the best ones, and then join them together in a new way to create something original and compelling.

Data is a marketer’s best friend—and understanding it is the key to success.

According to Howard, attribution is the biggest challenge that marketers face when it comes to performance measurement. There’s so much data available, and so much of it can be inaccurate, that it can be hard to put everything together in the right ways so that we can make sense of it all. Marketers need to learn how to really read, understand, and analyze their data so that they can make smarter decisions based on the results they’re seeing.

CMOs have the power to change the perception of marketing.

In order to gain more respect for marketing as a business function, the team needs to be able to prove what it’s accomplishing for the organization. So how does it do that? Howard’s advice is for CMOs—he suggests they start spreading more appreciation for marketing metrics and create more data-centric cultures within their teams. Not only will this allow for more self-sufficient reporting and better informed planning, it will also help the CMO earn a seat at the organization’s revenue table.

Always be consuming!

When asked about his advice for someone who would someday like to become a CMO, Howard’s answer is simple: consume as much content as possible, in as many places as possible. In order to keep ideas fresh and interesting, it’s important to read or listen to content from across industries, from your competitors, from other business’ with great marketing, and so on. Howard says that we as marketers should “read a lot, be curious, and ask a lot of questions.” This continuous quest for new information has gotten him to where he is today, and it can help other aspiring marketing leaders get to the top as well.

Listen to the full episode to hear more of Howard’s insights about the state of marketing today, and be sure to follow us on SoundCloud to stay on top of new episodes as they’re released every other week.

[Recap Blog] Marketo Summit 2017: What We Learned at This Year’s Big Event

[Recap Blog] Marketo Summit 2017: What We Learned at This Year’s Big Event

And that’s a wrap!

Marketo Summit 2017 was a whirlwind of a conference—we’re not really sure how it all flew by so quickly. Over the past few days, we’ve taken a lot in as we’ve listened to and learned from some of marketing’s biggest and brightest revenue rockstars. We collected some pretty cool swag from our neighbors in the Expo Hall, got all done up at BrightFunnel’s incredible Barbers & Blowouts event, and danced the night away to Train at Marketo’s big party.

Earlier this week, we talked a bit about what we took away from Day 1. Now, looking back over the course of the entire conference, we have a few more big ideas to add to our original list:

ABM is still the acronym on everyone’s lips.

As expected, ABM was the hot topic at the conference, and just about everyone who took the stage had something to say about it. But what made it particularly interesting this year was that everyone approached it from a different perspective, and depending on the speaker’s focus, Summit attendees could learn about everything from how to better align with sales and track progress, to how to plan and create more targeted content.

During Joe Chernov’s session, “What They Didn’t Teach You in ABM School,” we learned that marketers have to choose between pipeline ABM, which supports the BDR team, or sales velocity ABM, which supports the AEs. In one of the conference’s final sessions, “Create an Account-Based Marketing Strategy to Drive Consensus for Complex Sales,” content marketing queen Ardath Albee taught us how to build and connect the personas that can allow you to better infiltrate your targeted accounts. As we touched on in our last post, almost every presentation talked about the relationship between marketing and sales, from Lori Wizdo’s session about how to become a customer-obsessed team, to Matt Heinz’s session on how to change the cost-center perception of marketing. And Michael Brenner’s presentation, “2017: The Year of Tough Choices,” taught us how we can restructure our organizations to become truly customer-centric.

In one way or another, almost every single session that we attended taught us something different about how to become better at personalizing our marketing efforts for individual accounts.

Measurement makes the marketing world go round.

In the same vein as ABM, measurement was something that was featured in almost every session as well. Marketers are definitely in the process of figuring out which metrics they should track if they want to a) be seen as a contributing function within their organizations, b) align with sales and work better together to drive more deals across the finish line, and c) make smarter decisions when planning for future campaigns.

Marketo CEO Steve Lucas kicked the event off by mentioning measurement in his opening Keynote, stating that if we want to succeed in the “Engagement Economy”, we must all embrace our inner data scientists and learn how to make better sense of our results. Box CMO Carrie Palin continued the trend not long after when she said that metrics are what will bring everyone together to close the marketing and sales chasm. On Day 3, Matt Heinz took on the topic during his session, “Profit Center Marketing: Aligning and Measuring Teams Around Business Impact,” by offering his five keys to profit center marketing, two of which are purely metrics driven: quantify what success looks like, decide how will you measure it, and determine which metrics are important to you.

This year’s Summit made it very clear: marketers are hungry for the metrics that matter and eager to learn where and how to find them.

We’ve got to be our own biggest cheerleaders.

There’s no better show of marketers’ support for one another than at Summit itself. Everywhere we sat, stood, walked, or danced, we saw and heard people making connections—sharing professional advice, offering helpful suggestions, or simply introducing themselves to one another. You could sense in every room in the Moscone that we’re a group that not only learns side-by-side at conferences, but also lifts each other up and has fun together. And that’s because we all know what it’s like: it’s tough to be a marketer in this day and age!

Michael Brenner said it best during his session on Tuesday afternoon: we have to champion our colleagues, make sure their ideas are heard, and support them in their efforts because that’s the best way to make sure that we, as marketing teams, can experiment, learn, grow, and succeed. When we’re able to trust that our colleagues will be our champions instead of just following orders from the top-down, we’re more free to work together to execute new ideas, innovate our industry, and have fun with each other in the process. BrightFunnel’s Barbers & Blowouts party was the perfect example of this—our team brainstormed together and championed the brightest ideas, and it ended up resulting in one of the hottest after-parties at this year’s Summit (ICYMI, we rented out a trendy cocktail bar near the Moscone, brought in hairstylists, makeup artists, and barbers, and helped Marketo party goers primp and network before the big event!).

If we continue to help each other out and stand up for each other’s ideas, then the sky’s the limit for us marketers.

Between the sessions, the parties, and the overall vibe, this year’s Marketo Summit definitely fit its theme of the Engagement Economy to a T. This year, we learned a lot about how we can better connect with our customers and each other, and walked away ready to turn those lessons into actions that will help us thrive in our companies and careers.

Until next time!

[Live Blog] The Age of the Engagement Economy: Day 1 of Marketo Summit 2017

[Live Blog] The Age of the Engagement Economy: Day 1 of Marketo Summit 2017

Day one of Marketo’s Marketing Summit 2017 definitely lived up to our expectations! We laughed with James Corden during the opening Keynote, enjoyed a few lattes from the coffee cart at Jillian’s, and had some fun coloring in our Funnel Forest in the Expo Hall. We also sat in on several interesting sessions led by the industry’s top thought leaders, and learned a ton about what some of marketing’s biggest influencers are thinking about and focusing on these days.


This year’s theme—Leading in the Engagement Economy—was definitely a key topic throughout all the sessions that we attended. There’s no doubt about what the world of marketing is prioritizing these days: putting the customer at the center of everything.

Below, we walk through a few of our highlights from yesterday’s sessions:


From the opening Keynote to industry influencer Jill Rowley’s presentation on social selling, the concept that marketers need to get to know their customers—their needs, challenges, interests, and more—was heard loud and clear throughout Summit’s first day. By building strong, lasting relationships with your prospects and customers, you encourage the kind of loyalty that will help you drive continuous revenue.

In his session “The 3 Key Pillars for Potent Content Marketing,” Jeff Bullas talked about how content marketers can succeed if they’re able to attract, seduce, and then finally gain commitment from their audiences. And how do you accomplish all three of these goals? By studying your buyers to find out where they are (Twitter or Google, for instance), what they’re interested in or challenged by, and how they consume their content (Bullas suggests using easy-to-understand language to seduce online audiences, for example, but this might change depending on your buyer).


Good Data Drives Good Decisions

We as marketers need to be smart about where we’re investing our dollars. During one of the Keynote panels, Box CMO Carrie Palin spoke about how her marketing team has committed to a certain level of revenue contribution, and they’re able to show and grow that contribution by collecting and analyzing the right data. The only way for marketers to gather better insights and make better decisions is to be data-driven, and to continuously test and improve upon their strategies based on results.

Bullas added to this during his session by stating that one of the biggest challenges content marketers face is showing results, because engagement has to show up in the bottom line or marketing won’t be able to prove its value. By collecting the right data and measuring the impact of our work, we can a) continue to optimize our efforts and b) show how those efforts are helping to grow the business.

Marketing and Sales Can (and Should) Get Along

During his session about Account-Based Marketing, Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing at InsightSquared, spoke about how “credit” can be a dirty word because marketing and sales teams often fight over who should get it. But the two teams have to learn how to play nice if they want to succeed with an account-based strategy, which has marketers getting more personal with account influencers in order to really connect. If marketing and sales are not properly aligned, it disturbs the personalized and engaging buying experience that our customers crave.

Jill Rowley also touched on the relationship between marketing and sales in her session, telling the audience  that social selling is an initiative that must have buy-in from both teams in order to be successful. Sales has to do away with the concept that they shouldn’t step in until a lead has been perfectly scored and nurtured, and marketing needs to learn more about the sales process as well. Both teams have to come together and learn how to see things through the eyes of their customers in order to engage effectively.

All in all, day one was exciting, fun, and full of interesting tidbits around how we as marketers can better connect with our audiences. We’re definitely looking forward to what the rest of the conference has in store!

[Coloring Book] The Creatures of the Funnel Forest at Marketo Summit 2017

[Coloring Book] The Creatures of the Funnel Forest at Marketo Summit 2017

If you’re looking for the BrightFunnelers at this year’s Marketo Summit, you’ll most likely find us camped out in the Funnel Forest.

What’s the Funnel Forest, you ask?

It’s where all the revenue intelligence creatures hang out, of course!

We’ve added an element of playfulness to this year’s event by hosting a marketing menagerie at Booth S447. We’ve got Funnel Fox, who’s the best metrics tracker in all the land, reporting master Opportunity Owl, the always exciting Buzz Brigade, and our favorite closer, Rev the Deer. And because coloring books are all the rage right now, we’re prepping for Summit by releasing one of our very own, featuring all of these Funnel Forest critters.

Download your copy of our Revenue Rockstar coloring book (or, if you’re at Marketo Summit this week, pick one up in person at Booth S447!) and discover all of the B2B marketing creatures who call the Funnel Forest home.

To download this infographic: JPG (1MB)  |  PDF (high-res;  80MB)

[Aberdeen Report] Does Your Marketing Team Need a Revenue Attribution Reality Check?

[Aberdeen Report] Does Your Marketing Team Need a Revenue Attribution Reality Check?

Talk about an alarming statistic about revenue attribution…

According to research conducted by the analyst firm Aberdeen Group, 51% of marketers aren’t sure how their efforts objectively connect to revenue. Eek.

Additionally, 17% of the marketers Aberdeen surveyed aren’t even sure if they have any kind of revenue attribution model in place. If over half of marketers don’t know how their work connects back to the bottom line, and about a quarter of them aren’t even measuring their impact in the first place, then there’s a serious problem.

As Aberdeen’s report says, “Revenue attribution models are explanations for how marketing efforts translate to business value.” Without revenue attribution, marketers can’t understand what they’re actually accomplishing for the organization. And if marketers can’t understand what they’re accomplishing, they can’t drive smarter business decisions and earn their seat at the decision-making table.

But it’s not all bad news for B2B marketers.

In addition to pointing out how far behind the majority of B2B marketers are when it comes to measurement, Aberdeen’s knowledge brief also talks about the various attribution models that are available to marketers who want to connect their efforts to revenue. And to shine some light at the end of the tunnel, the report also shows us how best-in-class marketers (defined as the largest subset of top performers) are using attribution to measure their activities.

One interesting tidbit that the report points out is that best-in-class marketers are 2.8X more likely to use a weighted revenue attribution model, which equates touch points with different weights depending on definitions that are customized for (and unique to) specific businesses. This is the most sophisticated level of revenue attribution, and can be derived from insights gleaned by using the other three models (first-touch, last-touch, and evenly-weighted) together.

What did we ultimately take away?

One—that marketers who want to be taken seriously need revenue attribution in order to measure their impact on the business. And two—that the best way to measure that impact is by using all of the different attribution models together. This allows marketers to see the full picture, and then use what they learn to make more intelligent, business-driving decisions down the line.

Does your CMO or overall marketing team need an attribution reality check? Download the full report to read all about Aberdeen’s findings.