[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.

james-corden-market-summit

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:

#KnowThyBuyer

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).

know-thy-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.

[Podcast] Funnelside Chats Presents: B2B Thought Leader Ardath Albee

[Podcast] Funnelside Chats Presents: B2B Thought Leader Ardath Albee

As BrightFunnel’s Content Marketing Manager, this week’s Funnelside Chat podcast is especially exciting for me because our featured guest is one of the industry’s most respected thought leaders and queen of content, Ardath Albee.

Throughout her episode, Ardath walks the audience through her background as a B2B marketing strategist, the importance of storytelling, and how she thinks Account-Based Marketing fits into modern martech. And as a fellow writer, content marketer, and former lit student, I was hooked on every word.

Here are a few of the biggest B2B content marketing lessons we took away from this week’s episode:

Strategically Develop Persona-Based Content

If you’re not fully fleshing out your buyer personas, you’re not doing the work you need to do in order to really connect with your prospects. If you want to create content that will interest your buyers, speak to their challenges, and earn their trust, you have to do the appropriate research to find out exactly who those buyers are, what their biggest challenges are, and what they need from you in order to solve those challenges.

Focus on Telling the Right Stories

According to Ardath, a lot of marketers take the idea of storytelling too literally. If you want to tell the kinds of stories that will really resonate with your audience, you need to recognize how your characters—your buyers, customers, and product(s)—interact with each other, and then orchestrate that information in a conversational way. She also points out that your buyer should always be the hero in your stories, so be sure you’re putting them at the center of every piece of content you produce.

Shift Your Culture to Better Align Marketing and Sales

During her podcast interview, Ardath references a company she’s been working with whose sales team has been having a hard time relinquishing control over the accounts who’ve begun their journey down the funnel. She suggests businesses focus on shifting their sales culture so that the team is encouraged to learn how to effectively share with marketing, and marketing can in turn help sales by creating content that will better orchestrate the buyer’s journey and move leads through the funnel faster.

Get to Know Your Customer’s Perspective

At the very end of the podcast episode—when Nadim asks Ardath what she thinks the audience should be reading—her response is truly that of a content marketer: always be learning more about the industry you’re marketing to and familiarizing yourself with your audience’s specific needs and challenges so that you can tell stories that will engage them.

You can listen to Ardath’s full eposide along with our others by checking out our Funnelside Chats podcast on SoundCloud. And be sure to follow us to get updates as we release new episodes!

5 Reasons We’re Pumped for Marketo Summit 2017

5 Reasons We’re Pumped for Marketo Summit 2017

Marketing’s biggest and most exciting event of the year—Marketo Summit—is fast approaching, and we, at BrightFunnel, are getting ready to rock n’ roll at this year’s conference. Our swag bags are packed and ready, our session schedules are planned, and we’re ready to drop some serious multi-touch attribution knowledge at the show.

What are we most excited about at this year’s Summit? Below, we’ve listed five reasons why we’re especially pumped for the event:

1. Summit is Back in SF, Baby!

While we enjoyed spending a week in sunny Las Vegas for last year’s conference, there’s no place like home—and for us, home is beautiful San Francisco. The bridges! The Victorians! The food! The wine! We love our fair city and are happy to share our favorite sights around the Moscone Center, like Union Square, the Bay Bridge, and the Ferry Building, with everyone else who’s attending.

2. Tracking Marketing Metrics in “The Funnel Forest”

This year, we decided to have a little more fun with our booth by turning it into an interactive experience. Visitors who stop by will get the chance to color, sign, or add a message to our “Funnel Forest”, featuring our Funnel Fox and friends. We’ll even have Funnel Forest coloring books that you can take home for yourself or your kids! Come say hi at Booth S447, grab a Sharpie and some swag, and learn how to track important marketing metrics through the Funnel Forest.

3. Chillin’ at Jillian’s

If you need to find a comfortable spot to rest your feet during the show—away from the hustle and bustle at Moscone—come join our team across the street! We’re sponsoring an exciting ABM Central event, hosted at Jillian’s on the corner of 4th and Howard Street, on Monday the 24th and Tuesday the 25th from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Stop by and you’ll get the chance to learn how to step up your ABM game, recharge with a latte, and network with like-minded marketers.

4. Hearing from Our Favorite Revenue Rockstars

From James Corden’s keynote (Marketo Summit karaoke, anyone??) to Jill Rowley’s Social Selling presentation on Monday the 24th @ 11:30 a.m., our calendars have been filling up quickly as we plan for all the great sessions we want to attend. We’re expecting to learn a lot about what’s happening in content, customer marketing, AI, digital, and much more, from a lot of intelligent, well-respected thoughts leaders. And we can’t wait.

5. Pre-Party Primping at Novela

What’s a big blowout bash without an epic pre-party? We’re hosting our Barbers & Blowouts Pre-Party event at Novela, one of the city’s most happening downtown bars (and it’s right across the street from Moscone!). And trust us—you do not want to miss it. We’ll be bringing in a trusted team of hairstylists armed with curling irons and straighteners, talented makeup artists ready to paint a sharp cat-eye or bold red lip, and experienced barbers to treat fellas to a relaxing hot shave. Join us before Marketo’s official party to get all done up, and enjoy unique cocktails (including punch on tap!) and delicious apps. We’ll be there on Tuesday, April 25th from 5:30-8:30 p.m., making sure all of our guests are primped and primed for the big event!

As you can see, we have plenty of reasons to be excited about the upcoming Marketo Summit. From the event location to the expo floor to the parties, this year’s conference is shaping up to be one of the best yet!

Will you be there? Be sure to visit us at Booth S447, register for our pre-party, or schedule a meeting with one of our revenue intelligence experts!

The Number One Report You Need to Assess the Health of Your Funnel

The Number One Report You Need to Assess the Health of Your Funnel

Learn about all the reports you should rely on as a data-driven B2B marketer by downloading our latest ebook.

What should you be reporting on as a data-driven marketer? Which metrics do you pull if you want to accurately report on marketing’s performance and improve your buyer’s journey in the future? Hard questions to answer. Luckily, here at BrightFunnel, we can shed some light on this topic.

If you’re looking to better understand the impact of your work throughout the funnel, intelligently plan for future campaigns at every stage, and prove how your work is helping grow the business as a whole, one report that you need to start looking at is your revenue funnel analysis.

Revenue funnel analysis reports give you a consistent look into how leads are flowing through your sales funnel. This type of report lets you understand the percentage of leads that become MQLs, meetings, pipeline, and closed-won deals. By understanding what percentage of opportunities turn into deals, what percentage of SQLs turn into opportunities, and so on, as a marketer, you can plan better. If you know that you need X amount of deals at the bottom of your funnel, you can work your way up to understand how many leads you need at the top!

Cohorted Revenue Waterfall and Stage Snapshot

There are a couple of different ways for you to look at this type of report. First, you can look at your funnel through a cohorted waterfall view. This shows how all leads generated during a certain period of time flow through your funnel. In other words, out of the 1000 leads you have created so far this quarter, how many of those leads have made it to MQL, SQL, or opportunities.

cohorted-waterfall

Second, you can look at this data as a stage snapshot, which shows you where everything is in your funnel at any given time, regardless of when the initial lead was generated. It is essentially a “snapshot” or a moment in time.

stage-snapshot

Why Does It Matter?

Funnel analysis reports give you a glimpse into how you’re moving leads through your sales funnel to closed-won. By looking at each stage in detail, you can determine where leads are getting stuck. Are leads getting stuck at the top of your funnel in the open lead stage? Maybe it’s time to rethink your nurture programs. Are they becoming MQLs but then falling off? You might want to redefine your stages with that disconnect in mind. Are SDRs booking meetings that aren’t converting into opportunities? Marketing and sales should come together to figure out what they can change in order to push those leads through.

Additionally, by understanding how leads convert through each stage, you and your sales leadership can better plan for how you are going to get to the number you need quarter-over-quarter.

What Do I Track?

To understand your sales funnel, you need to look at your leads, MQLs, SALs, SQLs, Opportunities, and Closed deals—or your own equivalent lead and sales stages. You can track this in your CRM, but it requires manual calculations around how leads are converting through each. However, this can be time consuming and difficult, and most marketers lack the resources to do this easily.

You can also use tools, such as BrightFunnel, that pull the conversion data in from your CRM and offer.

Revenue funnel analysis is just one of the top five reports that we recommend for every B2B marketer. To get the lowdown on even more helpful reports, download our latest ebook.

Funnelside Chats Presents: Jill Rowley

Funnelside Chats Presents: Jill Rowley

On the latest episode of the Funnelside Chats podcast, hosted by our CEO Nadim Hossain, guest Jill Rowley gives listeners the rundown on social selling, personalization, and what it takes to be a successful salesperson in the modern age.

Jill describes herself as “a sales professional trapped in a marketer’s body.” She’s a social selling maven who has mastered the ability to build authentic relationships with buyers, and because of that, she’s been able to drive more revenue, deliver more value, and inspire more customer advocacy throughout her career. Luckily for us, her Funnelside Chats episode is chock-full of lessons she’s learned, insights she’s gained, and advice she loves to share.

Below, we share a few of highlights from Jill’s interview with Nadim:

“Social selling” is all about building and fostering impactful relationships.

Jill didn’t invent the concept of social selling, but she most definitely helped it become a popular B2B tactic. And according to this expert, being successful at social selling requires you to find, listen to, relate with, connect to, and engage your buyers (and the people who influence your buyers) across their networks. If you can do this well, you can create lasting relationships with your prospects and customers that will follow them wherever they go.

What you measure affects your sales and marketing alignment.

It’s simple: if marketing is tracking its impact on pipeline and revenue—as opposed to only tracking something like the number of inbound leads—then sales will feel more connected to what marketing is doing. During her interview, Jill gives a real life example of this from a company that she’s on the board of, where sales and marketing misalignment is a direct result of the marketing team’s not being measured on contribution to pipeline and revenue.

“More” doesn’t always mean “better.”

According to Jill, a lot of sales teams will invest in ‘more’ without considering the bigger picture. More emails and more calls to more people at more companies does not necessarily mean you will see more success. In fact, it probably won’t. Instead, Jill suggests that sales teams spend more time thinking about how they can become more relevant, more helpful, more human, and more handy so that they can better connect with their prospects and create more meaningful relationships.

The best salespeople are constantly learning alongside their buyers.

One piece of advice that Jill gives to salespeople who are attending conferences is that they shouldn’t be solely focused on manning the booth—they should be attending the sessions and learning about the same things their buyers are learning about and interested in, where their buyers are learning. If you want to really connect with your prospects, you have to get to know their world, understand their interests, and intelligently speak to the things they’re excited about and challenged by.

Puppies make great podcast guests, too.

If you want to know what we’re talking about here, you’ll just have to tune in.

To listen to Jill’s full episode, along with more featuring other B2B thought leaders, check out our Funnelside Chats podcast on Soundcloud. And if you like what you hear, be sure to follow us to get updates as we release new episodes!

Funnelside Chats Presents: Jon Miller

Funnelside Chats Presents: Jon Miller

This week, we launched our podcast series, Funnelside Chats, which features top thought leaders from across the B2B landscape alongside our Co-Founder and CEO Nadim Hossain.

Here at BrightFunnel, we’re really excited about this podcast for several reasons, but one of the biggest reasons we love the podcast so much is that we get the opportunity to listen to in-depth, interesting conversations with really some cool folks.

The first podcast in the series features Marketo Co-Founder and Engagio CEO Jon Miller. Kicking things off with Jon simply made sense to us because—as a founder of marketing automation giant Marketo and current CEO of Account-Based Everything platform Engagio—he understands and can speak to the Martech world better than most. And his interview did not disappoint.

Here are a few of our biggest takeaways from Jon’s conversation with Nadim:

We marketers should all read The One to One Future, like, right now.

During his interview, Jon mentions that this book—which he read as a college student—was a huge inspiration as he worked for, built, and grew companies over his career. His takeaways from the book are directly tied to Engagio’s mission to help its customers personalize every marketing action so that they can make account-based efforts more relevant at scale.

Hyper-growth requires three very important factors to line up at the same time.

Founders and CEOs take note: According to Jon, companies that want to grow quickly need to 1) be in a good category that is sprouting up at the same time as your business, 2) create a good product that pleases customers and drives advocacy, and 3) foster good sales and marketing alignment and execution.

A company’s culture is just as crucial to its success as its product.

During the interview, Jon says that there are two kinds of companies: those that are smart—meaning they have a great product and a solid strategy—and those that are healthy, or have goals like maintaining employee morale, attracting the right talent, and reducing turnover. When co-founding Engagio, he put a lot of thought into how he could build a company that could be both smart and healthy.

As a CEO, you can expect to get as much out of your marketing team as you put into it.

According to Jon, the amount of money you decide to invest in your sales and marketing organizations will dictate the results you see from those organizations. For instance, if you’re investing 90 cents into marketing for every dollar you invest in sales, you’ll most likely see about 90% of your pipeline being influenced by marketing’s activities. On the flip side, if you’re only investing 20 cents in marketing for every dollar spent on sales, the percentage of marketing-influenced pipeline will shrink significantly. Make your investment decisions with this in mind.

Want to hear more wisdom from Jon’s interview? Tune into our kickoff episode, and be sure to follow us on Soundcloud to keep up with Nadim’s Funnelside Chats.

The Big Problem for Marketers Reporting in SFDC

The Big Problem for Marketers Reporting in SFDC

To learn more about why reporting in SFDC is bad news for marketers, download our new ebook.

Salesforce can’t tell the complex and unique story of how marketing’s efforts have influenced all the decision-makers on an account. And the problem lies in its inability to accurately track multi-touch attribution.

Each individual account’s journey is by no means a straightforward or linear affair. But with Salesforce—since the tool was not developed to make the marketer’s job easier—you’re only able to capture and report on the first and last marketing touchpoints where a prospect interacted with your brand or product. This effectively knocks all those other influencers out of the equation—and out of your reporting capabilities.

Let’s take a step back and discuss the methods of marketing attribution tracking that you need to utilize.

Single-Touch Attribution

Single touch attribution tracking is when you look at only a single touch in the buyer journey. As explained above, this is typically what brings a lead into your system and what makes him convert.

Single touch attribution is the type of tracking that Salesforce provides. However, as the buyer journey becomes more complex and your buyer and her decision peers self-educate through the buyer journey, single touch is simply doesn’t cut it. It’s not enough to understand what brings someone in. A modern marketer needs to understand what moves that person (and account) through the sales funnel.

Multi-Touch Attribution

Multi-touch attribution is the ability to track and assign value to multiple touches throughout the buyer journey. This type of tracking looks at every single sales and marketing touch and assigns value to each interaction. This type of tracking is something that Salesforce is unable to provide marketers, which is incredibly problematic.

In order to get true multi-touch attribution, you need a third party platform which helps create those attribution models for your business—so you can get true ROI for programs that influenced the buyer journey— from lead to customer acquisition, and everything else in between.

With a third party platform, you can see what channels have influenced the most revenue, have the most opportunity touches, and have the most deal touches. These metrics will show you what channels are helping to move a buyer through the journey to become closed customers.

Without multi-touch attribution tracking, you would never know your most influential channels.

This discrepancy between what actually happened and what can be reported on should make any data-driven marketer feel uneasy. 


Download our latest ebook to learn more about why Salesforce reporting won’t cut it for marketers.

Telling the Whole Story: Why You Should Track All 4 Steps of Your Buyer’s Journey

Telling the Whole Story: Why You Should Track All 4 Steps of Your Buyer’s Journey

To learn more about web tracking and the updated buyer’s journey, download our new ebook.

As B2B marketers, we can’t just look at the beginning or end of our customer journey in a vacuum—this doesn’t tell us the full story of that journey, or offer any real insights into how we can work to improve it.

When looking at the full lifecycle of a customer, there are four distinct and measurable steps to a digital buyer’s journey:

  1. The anonymous touch: The digital channel through which a lead finds you originally—before he becomes known to your organization (ie. AdWords, paid social, organic search, etc.).
  2. The first touch: Where your lead first becomes known to you by filling out a form for an offer such as an ebook download, webinar, and so on. This new lead has now entered your database.
  3. The middle touch(es): The identified touches between the first and last touch point, where a lead interacts with your content or other offers (ie. events, demo requests, etc.). There are often many middle touches.
  4. The last touch: The final place where a lead interacts with your brand before converting into an opportunity or closed deal.

Many marketers track just the first touch and last touch, because the anonymous touch and middle touches are more complicated to track. And some marketers don’t track any of these touches at all. However, the only way to truly measure marketing’s impact within a business is by tracking all four. Because you can’t understand the whole picture without looking at everything that led to the end result.

Problems with Tracking the Anonymous Touch


Before the advent of new tracking technology, the anonymous touch wasn’t measurable, so the journey began at the first touch—as soon as a lead made him or herself known on your website by filling out a form. But that often doesn’t track each and every activity that helped deliver pipeline and revenue. Where did a prospect discover your brand? What piece of content attracted him or her? These are questions that the first touch can’t always answer, but that an anonymous touch can. Think about it—as a buyer, how many Facebook ads, Google searches, blog posts, or web pages do you look at before you actually fill out a form on a company website? Most likely, you do a ton of initial research before you make yourself known. Because these touches are so difficult to track, the marketer is often blind to what is moving you through the funnel.

The story isn’t complete until every touch is captured. And, if you don’t have the whole story, you can’t prove—without a doubt—marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue.

Download our latest ebook to learn more about how you can track the entire buyer’s journey, from anonymous to last touch.

Top Digital Trends for 2017: What We Learned at MarketingProfs’ Virtual Event

Top Digital Trends for 2017: What We Learned at MarketingProfs’ Virtual Event

Mike Corak’s session at MarketingProfs’ “Marketing Trends for 2017” virtual event centered around the big digital trends that he predicts will emerge or grow this year.

The team, here at BrightFunnel, enjoyed Mike’s session for many reasons—A) It helped our marketing team understand where we should direct our focus this year if we want to stay on-trend, and B) it confirmed something that we already knew: campaign optimization is the way of the future.

So, what does that mean for us marketers?

Before we dig in, here is a quick summary list of Corak’s top trends for digital marketing in 2017:

 

  1. Customer Experience is Still #1: Building stronger relationships by understanding and prioritizing users’ needs.
  2. Mobile Maturity: Investing in mobile-first experiences, mobile-friendly landing pages, and mobile-friendly media.
  3. Content Quality Over Quantity: Measuring content results and doing more of what’s performing well.
  4. What if Google isn’t #1?: Optimizing paid search and social strategies to ensure your content is being seen.
  5. Local Digital Marketing: Locally targeting media in all channels, and localizing emails and content.
  6. Staffing Scrappy: Hiring math majors, journalists, good communicators, empathizers, and people who pay attention to detail and work quickly.
  7. Future Planning: Experimenting and trying out new trends (such as customer digital assistants and immersive experiences) as they emerge.

While they’re all interesting predictions, a few of them really stood out to us: Corak’s focus on enhancing the customer experience, improving the quality of the content you produce, optimizing paid digital channels, and experimenting with emerging trends and technologies. All of these trends have this in common: if you can figure out how to better allocate your budget based on past results, you’ll see more success and earn more praise down the line.

Unfortunately, as B2B marketers in a data-driven culture, our activities are often questioned, our budgets often slashed, and our teams and technologies often insecure. Unlike other departments whose activities are easily quantified (such as sales, for instance), marketing’s activities are more difficult to track and measure in the context of the entire buyer’s journey. And if we can’t prove the ultimate ROI of the content, channels, and campaigns that we’re investing in, it leaves room at the executive decision table for doubt. Because of this, we have to optimize our efforts to enjoy the highest returns, and the best way to optimize is to measure what we’ve done before to see what has worked best—and then do more of that.

This is how we can apply this to the four trends we singled out above:

How do we enhance our customers’ experiences with our products and brands?

According to Corak, customer experience is the most important thing to think about as a marketer in the digital age. When thinking about how to optimize that experience, he suggests that you first capture your customer marketing data, then look at your analytics to see if you’re meeting their needs (and what you’re meeting their needs with), and, finally, apply what you learn to future efforts so that you can continuously improve upon your tactics.

 

How do we make sure that our content quality is improving, and that our audiences are engaging with the assets we publish?

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that content marketing is a huge priority for a lot of companies in 2017. In a Smart Insights survey, referenced by Corak during his presentation, 20.3% of marketers rated content marketing as their top digital marketing technique for 2017. But in order to break through the noise and develop better instead of just more content, Corak suggests auditing your existing assets and looking at how well they’ve performed. If you continue to measure your content’s performance, you’ll be able to ensure your quality is improving, and then do more of what has brought you the most success.

 

How do we make sure that we’re spending intelligently on digital ads and social campaigns?

Digital marketing efforts are some of the hardest to optimize because they are some of the hardest to measure in terms of revenue. But Corak says that it’s definitely worth the investment, as paid search and social channels are now just as important as SEO. To avoid overspending on channels that aren’t delivering pipeline and revenue for their businesses, marketers need to measure these organic and paid digital channels, and then make the appropriate allocation decisions based on what they see.

 

How do we make sure we see returns on the investments we make in flashy new technologies?

Emerging technologies can offer a chance for excellent ROI, but they can also run the risk of falling flat with prospects. Corak suggests that marketers save a little bit of their budget to try new things, and while we agree with him on this, we also suggest—as with all marketing tactics—that they continue to measure every single activity they invest in so that they can get the most bang for their budget buck.

Optimization and smarter spending are a crucial part of the digital marketing landscape in 2017. By investing in a solid plan to track, measure, and intelligently plan your efforts, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful year across channels, content, customers, and beyond.

Introducing BrightFunnel’s Web Tracking: How to Measure the Updated Buyer’s Journey

Introducing BrightFunnel’s Web Tracking: How to Measure the Updated Buyer’s Journey

When it comes to measuring marketing activities, web tracking is the final frontier.

With web tracking—the ability to see how an anonymous lead came to a website before making herself known with a form-fill—marketers gain the ability to look at every touch throughout an entire customer journey, from click-through to close.

Why does this matter? If you don’t know where those leads are coming from, you can’t track the entire buyer’s journey. Which means that without web tracking, you’re flying one quarter blind.

How can you make better decisions about what to do next if you don’t know what happened first?

The Updated Buyer’s Journey

Up until new advances in web tracking, if you wanted to look back to see where a lead came from, you could only go as far back as the first form-fill. If someone clicked on a Google ad or a Twitter post to get to your webinar, but then changed her mind and didn’t come back to your site for weeks, you certainly wouldn’t know that your ad was effective. You would only find out who she was once she filled out the form to register, or download a white paper, or request a demo.

That original touch was unknown.

Now, the buyer’s journey is made up of four distinct stages:

  1. Original Touch: The digital channel through which a lead finds you originally
  2. First Touch: Where your lead first becomes known to you by filling out a form for an offer.
  3. Middle Touch(es): The identified touches between the first and last touch point, where a lead interacts with your content or other offers.
  4. Last Touch: The final place where a lead interacts with your brand before converting into an opportunity.

If you’re starting at the first touch, you’re not seeing everything. Same applies if you’re tracking just one of the four stages. You can only get an accurate view of the entire updated buyer’s journey if you’re tracking the original to the last touch, and everything in-between.

How It Used to Be

Before the original touch was measurable with web tracking, digital marketing efforts could be measured by click-through rates, but there was no way to tie those click-throughs to pipeline or revenue later on when a buyer converted. This was problematic for digital marketers because a) they couldn’t prove the end results of their work, and b) they couldn’t allocate budget based on ROI. They couldn’t connect all of the dots to see which digital channel were bringing in the most successes.

Pre-web tracking, marketers knew where their leads ended up, but couldn’t tell how they got there. And this left a giant gaping hole in the beginning of the buyer’s journey.

There just had to be a better way!

Turns out, there is.

The Way of the Future

With the advent of new web tracking technologies, it is now possible to track digital channels to see where leads are finding you initially.

By measuring these digital channels, such as search, social, and direct-to-site traffic, you can tie the whole buyer’s journey together and start making better decisions about where to allocate your digital spend. You’ll also be able to prove, without a doubt, how your digital marketing efforts are helping to source pipeline and revenue.

Web Tracking with BrightFunnel

By tracking via direct integration (like with AdWords, for example), UTM parameters, or referral URL mapping, BrightFunnel can help you figure out how your leads are originally finding you and which types of content are attracting them in those channels. Not only that, but you can also connect all of your leads back at the account level.

With all of this new information available at your fingertips, you’ll be well-equipped to report on your past successes and plan for more wins ahead.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo today!

10 Resolutions for Data-Driven Marketers

10 Resolutions for Data-Driven Marketers

As 2016 (FINALLY) comes to an end, us marketers now look forward to the upcoming year with renewed hope, refreshed expectations, and revitalized goals. The slate is clean again—we can dust off the residue from quarters past, and use what we’ve learned to move ahead with more speed, precision, and know-how.

It’s hard to look forward without first looking back to figure out what to do differently this time around. And since resolutions just come with the New Year’s territory, we’ve outlined 10 good ones to help data-driven marketers get a head start and step up their game in 2017.

  1. Track and measure everything throughout a deal’s journey. The steps your leads take towards the dotted line will tell you how to plan for more success in the future.
  2. Develop an ABM strategy that works. Define and locate your target accounts, get to know their internal decision-makers’ biggest challenges, and then decide where and how to target them. From there, continue to track results and refine your strategy.
  3. Look at more than leads. Yes, generating leads is important—but so is generating pipeline and revenue. Start understanding where and how your team influences deals throughout the entire funnel.
  4. Instead of crying over spilled milk, learn from it. If a campaign failed last year, take a step back to figure out where you went wrong so that you can make more informed decisions—and see more success—as you move forward.
  5. Play hardball with budget by proving what you’ve delivered for the business. Definitively show marketing’s impact, ROI, and direct contributions to pipeline and revenue, and whoever holds the purse strings won’t be able to say no.
  6. Listen to your fans, your foes, and your customers. Their words will help determine your future strategies and focal points.
  7. Don’t underestimate your value to the business. Find out which metrics you can track to show how you contribute to the bigger picture, and then pull the right reports so that you earn the respect and praise you deserve.
  8. Measure everything. Once you’ve collected all the data in one place, use it to make more informed decisions around upcoming events, content, social media, ABM strategies, paid programs, and more.
  9. Celebrate every win as a team. Big or small, individual or collective, every success matters—track progress, gather results, and don’t forget to stop and appreciate the accomplishments.
  10. Have fun! Be creative, give yourself room to fail and grow, and don’t take it all so seriously.

Let’s raise a glass to 2017 being your biggest, brightest, and most successful year yet. Happy New Year!

The CMO’s Holiday Wishlist: 5 Suggestions for Stressed-Out Execs

The CMO’s Holiday Wishlist: 5 Suggestions for Stressed-Out Execs

It’s that time of year again—twinkling lights, roaring fireplaces, hot chocolate, and stressed out executives. What would the tail end of December be without your CMO pulling his hair out while he agonizes over EOY reports and planning? Between trying to hit projected Q4 numbers, gathering big-picture metrics for the C-suite, and efficiently allocating budget for next year, there’s not a lot of time left to enjoy the holiday cheer.

While the end of the year may feel like the end of the world to your CMO or Marketing VP, there are ways to simplify these activities and alleviate the season’s biggest pressures. Below, we’ve compiled a short-n-sweet holiday wishlist for any marketing exec looking to kick off the new year with a little less stress (and a little more hair):

1. Marketing’s ROI

If there’s a sole metric that emboldens marketers across the board, it’s ROI. It proves what the team has delivered for the business, gives everyone a clear view of what he or she has accomplished, and helps managers and execs make more well-informed decisions about what to plan next. If your CMO can easily derive marketing’s ROI, he can prepare for high level metrics meetings without breaking a sweat.

2. A team that pulls its own reports from one place

If Demand Gen Dave, Content Carrie, and Marketing Ops Marvin can quantitatively show the successes or missteps of their individual campaigns, the CMO or VP only has to worry about compiling and delivering higher level reports and analysis. And if all the team’s reports are easily accessible and located in the same place, putting it all together to present the bigger picture becomes a piece of cake.

3. Reliable projections made from reliable metrics

By making sure all across-the-team metrics are up-to-date, accurate, and robust, your CMO will have an easier time predicting what the business can expect from your team in the quarters ahead. When it comes to next quarter’s campaign results and upcoming budgeting priorities, reliable data means reliable projections—and that means a more satisfied CEO and Board of Directors, and a more confident marketing executive.

4. An excellent relationship with sales

It’s no secret that marketing and sales teams can have contentious relationships. It takes frequent meetings and the right metrics to instill a sense of trust and camaraderie between the two teams—and that’s not always the simplest feat. But if your CMO can definitively demonstrate the role that marketing plays in the sales process—and vice versa—then everyone has a reason to come together and celebrate mutual wins.

5. A rock-solid ABM plan

While most of today’s B2B marketers are busy developing and deploying account-based marketing strategies for their businesses, a lot of them struggle to come up with truly effective plans. CMOs who can pinpoint, measure, and analyze their biggest campaign successes are better equipped to develop strategies that perform well. By digging into the tactics that have worked best in the past, marketing execs can set themselves up for less uncertainty and stress in the future.

By crossing these items off their wishlists, marketing executives can ensure peace of mind this holiday season—and a much happier new year.

Learn more about how you can simplify reporting now and throughout the year by watching Effective Metrics from CMO to Specialist or downloading The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Tactical Reporting.

Straight From the CMO’s Mouth: Best Practices for Across-the-Team Reporting

Straight From the CMO’s Mouth: Best Practices for Across-the-Team Reporting

As ProSites’ CMO Ken Robinson told the audience during our “Effective Metrics from CMO to Specialist: What You Need, What You Don’t” webcast, marketing can unfortunately be viewed as the “arts and crafts” function of a business. It’s creative, it’s inspired—and it’s not always easy to measure. If the department known for its bright and shiny ideas wants to earn an influential seat at the executive table, it must find a way to quantify its results. Or, as Ken put it, “without data, you just have an opinion.”

When it comes to reporting, it’s essential to look at both how the team and each individual team member impacts pipeline and revenue with their efforts.

So, are marketers measuring their teams’ success? Our in-webinar poll revealed that 40% of respondents’ teams have KPIs for every role, 27% of respondents’ teams have KPIs for a few roles, and 7% haven’t made the switch to metrics-based reporting. This tells us that while there is a trend towards role-based reporting, we’re still not there yet.

So if we are trying to get to a place where the whole team is reporting, what exactly should everyone be reporting on?

In our webinar, Robinson—who runs ProSites’ marketing team—runs through his top-level reporting advice for almost everyone, from ops to events.

In this blog, we deliver a quick hit list of these best practices to help you get started on your team-wide reporting plan:

Strengthen Your Foundation

According to Ken, the demand generation manager or team functions as the “core” of your marketing organization, and is responsible for the full-funnel reporting—from lead  all the way down to revenue. This type of reporting helps inform future plans. Your demand generation team should report on not just the volume of leads, but also the quality of those leads. Are they becoming MQLs? Are they becoming Opps or closed deals? How many leads are being disqualified and how many are being put into nurture? They should also be looking at marketing’s contribution to pipeline and closed-won business, essential metrics that show the team’s true impact on the business.

Tighten Up the Nuts & Bolts

Marketing Operations is “the engine that drives marketing for the organization.” This person or team should be responsible for managing the overall tech stack, ensuring that stack is capturing all of the necessary marketing data to provide KPIs for other members of the team, and helping to set up campaigns. Examples of reports that should be coming out of operations include information on whether prospects are moving through the funnel or getting stuck and database health reports like email deliverability. How many unsubscribes or hard bounces are there? Are email sends getting out to the prospects and customers?

Build Out a Better Library

Your content marketers should report on the types of content that are working best, and they should know where they’re working. By looking at initial touch-points that have created leads, along with all of the later touch-points that have influenced closed-won deals, your content marketers can better identify the wins and missteps that will inform a more successful content strategy down the road. Not only will these reports show the impact that content has on prospects and customers, it will show the team, as a whole, which themes, topics, and messaging resonate well with your audience.

Prep for Next Year’s Roadshow

Event marketers should be digging into the conferences and tradeshows that are most profitable and tracking data to measure whether or not it’s worth it to sponsor a specific event. By looking at how much pipeline or opportunities an event sourced or influenced, an event marketer can help determine what events to commit to next year. First-touch and multi-touch attribution reporting is a key element to building out your event plan.

By breaking up report types by role—and ensuring every report plays into the larger business strategy in some way—you’ll end up making smarter decisions for your team and the company. You’ll better understand how each part of your team impacts a deal from lead to MQL to closed-won, and be better equipped to predict where your biggest successes will come from.

And then, you get to be creative and confidently show the value that your team is providing every step of the way.

For more marketing reporting best practices advice, be sure to check out the full recording of our webinar with ProSites’ CMO Ken Robinson.