What I Learned as a Marketing Intern at BrightFunnel

What I Learned as a Marketing Intern at BrightFunnel

Today marks my last day here at BrightFunnel. Throughout my tenure here, I’ve been able to be part of something big, taking in significant learnings—tactical and strategic, directly and indirectly—around B2B marketing, startups, and even life. Invaluable wisdom aside, I also got a chance to see really amazing things happen here. From seeing contracts pushed on the last day of a quarter, the raising of a $6M Series A led by Crosslink Capital and Salesforce Ventures, the launching of true solutions that B2B marketers involved in long and complex sales cycles need, and the initial establishment of our marketing and sales infrastructure of our go-to market engine for initial scale. As a farewell I decided to evaluate what has happened during my stay. These are fractions of my learnings from Suite 804.

B2B Marketing isn’t easy. Before BrightFunnel, I never knew what an MQL was. I had no idea of the many intricate gears and pulleys behind the scenes. And there are lots of processes involved when it comes to marketing a true solution to the enterprise. Compared to B2C, the B2B buyer’s journey can be weeks. Sometimes it may even go up to several months, a whole year or more, until someone decides to pull the trigger to buy your solution—after consistent and proper education through nurturing that is. In that allotted time frame, on top of marketing’s growing ownership in the sales cycle, B2B marketers need to be able to measure their efforts effectively. Even with the right pieces in place, it’s difficult for B2B marketers to get a real sense of ROI on their efforts. How are webinars performing this fiscal year in comparison to the last? Which campaign groups influenced closed-won deals this quarter? Which campaigns are having the most influence on prospects at the account level? And how can I track my marketing campaigns across all of my targeted accounts? Without clear definitive answers to these questions, B2B marketers are unable to prove their seat at the table, and therefore not getting the respect we deserve.

One reason as to why I joined BrightFunnel? The team. Gratefully, I’ve had the honor to share the field with talented and driven folks that have also made their mark at prominent SaaS companies like Salesforce.com, Marketo, PowerReviews, LinkedIn, InsideView, and Netscape. From the CEO to engineering, each and every member shared equal passion and drive in BrightFunnel’s mission: connecting marketing to revenue. Being able to see this in action I took away how to build a great team. It’s that each and every person is a practitioner at heart. It’s that each and every member is data-driven. It’s that each and every sales hire has something in him or her that says one day they’ll be a VP of Sales. It’s that each and every member will cultivate our customers and advocates to success. It’s that each and every person is so bullish on execution. When you get an opportunity to be part of a team like this, seize it. They’ll rub off on you. So as Marc Andreessen once said, “Don’t worry about being a small fish in a big pond — you want to always be in the best pond possible.”

While my journey here at BrightFunnel has been a valuable experience as a growing B2B marketer I look forward to using my knowledge in the next step of my path.

Many thanks to Nadim, Nirav, Blake, Brett, Damon, Chris, and the rest of the BrightFunnel team.

How Nimble Storage Drove A 128% Increase in Marketing-Influenced Bookings with BrightFunnel

How Nimble Storage Drove A 128% Increase in Marketing-Influenced Bookings with BrightFunnel

Today we’re excited to publish the latest addition to our customer success series with brand a case study. Read on for an overview of how Nimble Storage was able to drive 128% increase in booking with BrightFunnel, or download the full case study today!

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Serving more than 5,500 enterprises, governments, and service providers across 49 countries, Nimble Storage is redefining the flash storage market.  A data-driven organization, Nimble knew that the ability to more effectively analyze and interpret marketing performance would be a necessity in order to meet aggressive company-wide goals.

Nimble Storage faced several challenges that they knew could hinder their ability to reach these goals. These challenges ranged from ineffective campaign attribution in their CRM and Marketing Automation solutions, lack of insight into Marketing’s impact on pipeline and bookings, and the inability to seamlessly share and collaborate across the organization.

“Our marketing mix is diverse and constantly evolving. Despite growing investments significantly from quarter to quarter, we lacked a way to effectively measure Marketing’s impact on bookings,” says Dan Leary, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Nimble Storage.

Solution

Nimble Storage Marketing Attribution Report

To overcome these challenges, Nimble Storage partnered with BrightFunnel to do what their CRM and Marketing Automation couldn’t: analyze multi-touch attribution across the buyer’s journey. Moving beyond the limitations of their CRM, they were granted full visibility into campaign history, ROI, trends, and campaign-specific performance—helping them finally connect marketing activity to bookings.

Results

Using BrightFunnel, the company’s marketing leaders gained the ability to easily understand performance with a single, consolidated view into their team’s influence across activities. With the ability to measure marketing impact using account-based, multi-touch attribution—rather than single-touch models—Nimble was able to:

  • Increase impact: BrightFunnel insights guided decisions that helped increase Marketing’s total impact on bookings by 128%.
  • Improve visibility: For the first time, the entire marketing team
    and management had visibility into Marketing’s impact.
  • Make data-driven investments: Nimble gained insights that allowed them to invest confidently, increasing marketing spend by 30% to improve top-of-funnel demand generation.
  • And more…

“Data-driven decision making has always been a foundation of Nimble Storage’s success. Partnering with BrightFunnel, we gained valuable new insights into how Marketing’s activities were actually impacting business. As a result, we’re making smarter investments armed with the confidence that our decisions will support continued, rapid growth.” 

– Dan Leary, VP of Marketing, Nimble Storage

To learn more about how they achieved these impressive results with BrightFunnel, download the full case study today!

Data-Driven University: A Marketing Intern’s Lesson For B2B CMOs

Data-Driven University: A Marketing Intern’s Lesson For B2B CMOs

As a current college student (and Marketing-Sales intern at BrightFunnel), I’ve noticed an increasingly dangerous trend in academics: the overemphasis on the creative aspects of marketing. Undoubtedly, creativity still plays a critical role in the world of marketing, but the field has evolved to beyond what was once considered and arts-and-crafts function to be more data-driven than ever before. Creative-focused curriculum may do a good job of teaching the basics but, due to disruption in technology and the mass availability of data today, it’s time for a refresh. I’ve realized most information that I take away from marketing and business classes, although still valuable, may be outdated and no longer optimized for the direction that marketing is heading.

Marketing seems to be moving too fast for curriculum to catch up. With marketing evolving at such a rapid speed, the lessons being taught in colleges must evolve along with it. Today’s classes should dive deep into a wide range of digital marketing essentials and core technology—search engine optimization, marketing automation basics (Marketo and Eloqua), CRM best practices (Salesforce), and the analytics associated with each of these platforms. Most importantly, how to analyze the data being presented by analytics and reporting features, interpret it, and act upon it would certainly give me a leg up on the competition in my generation.

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Marketing is now a science.

Today, you simply must be data-driven to succeed. Whether it’s fine-tuning your automation strategy, A/B testing everything across your web experience, or finding ways to gain better visibility into performance throughout the buyer’s journey, if you’re not making use of all the data you’ve amassed, you’re wasting time and money. Data-driven practices are not only applicable to Marketing, but to every department within an organization. Sales Development Representatives can utilize data through lead scoring—honing in on the lead that’s most likely to turn into an opportunity or deal. Recruiters can adopt a data-driven mindset just as much as Marketing and Sales—through analysis of job listings, finding the candidates most fit for the position, and finding new ways to approach them. There’s not a department where data can’t be used to benefit an organization, tech industry or otherwise.

Working with BrightFunnel I’ve realized that, in some ways, my education path is not too different from some established CMOs and Marketing VPs. Even at prominent organizations, many marketing executives at are just now discovering the benefits that data can provide and, much like myself, are scrambling to get up to speed. Data-driven culture has reached a point where it is critical to adopt in order to succeed—learning about the data-based tools and strategies and applying them to every aspect of a marketing plan.

At BrightFunnel, we’re solving a problem that B2B marketers have struggled with since the beginning of time: understanding the impact that marketing has on pipeline and revenue. Using these insights to more efficiently plan and budget is at the core of what it means to be a data-driven marketer and I feel honored to be part of an organization that’s playing such a pivotal role in the evolution of the field. For instance, a few issues that we’ve already helped great companies solve for include:

  • Having no answer to “If I had X amount of marketing budget where should I invest that?”
  • Relying on time-consuming spreadsheets to calculate cohort oppty and conversion rates
  • Not knowing which marketing channels generate the most opportunities
  • Lack of full insights for lead cycle, their conversion rates, and velocity

  • No insights on marketing impact for every stage of the funnel

Having visibility on these insights allows B2B marketers to not only see the impact that marketing has on revenue and pipeline, but take complete control of their marketing campaigns and budget.

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Did marketers in the past pre-data-driven era throw money at the problem rather than solve it?

While data analysis might not seem as appealing as a creative role, marketing technology has simplified what was once a painful, manual, and time-consuming process. Today, there are an abundance of tools that do the heavy lifting for marketers—analyzing the data across marketing systems and delivering valuable insights that can be applied to your strategy. Marketers that choose to ignore these tools—convincing themselves that what worked a few years ago should still work today—are going to quickly fall behind the competition. Decision making based off “feel” is a thing of the past and can hurt your marketing performance far more than it helps.

You don’t need to neglect what has traditionally worked to be open to the concept of data-driven marketing. A new paradigm has emerged and the data-driven marketers will reign over those who fail to adapt. The data-driven curriculum is still being written every day, but you can stay ahead of the trend by proactively familiarizing yourself with new data-driven processes, technologies, and best practices. Whether it’s “textbook” or not, marketers who fail to adopt a data-driven mindset can and will fall behind. To those that believe in the power of data—students, new marketers, and seasoned executives alike—class is now in session.