This is the third in a series of posts that take a closer look at B2B marketers, their practices and how they’re using account-based marketing in their day-to-day. Today we’re talking to Jenn Steele, VP of Product Marketing, at Bizible.
As a product marketing leader, how do you define your practice at Bizible?
I usually define my product marketing practice as “anything anyone else doesn’t want to do,” so it can be a bit all over the place, but I love it. At its core, product marketing is where sales, marketing, and product come together (usually with customer success thrown into the mix as well), so my team and I have a lot to do!
Each product marketing role I’ve done has had a different scope definition, and at Bizible, my department handles <deep breath> go-to-market, product launches, buyer personas, product & brand messaging, sales enablement & training, customer training, brand, public relations, analyst relations, partner marketing, the website, and probably twelve other things that I’ve forgotten about.
Do you have account-based marketing philosophy?
At Bizible, we made the shift from mostly inbound to nearly all ABM. When I got here six months ago, my first ABM priority was basic sales collateral coverage–not all of our features had sales collateral around them–and we produced more than 30 one-pagers in my first quarter. Now that my BDRs and AEs have some ground coverage and we have our buyer personas defined, I’m digging into our customer journeys to determine a ton of different things, including which personas might appreciate what content at what stage of the deal.
Meanwhile, my product marketing manager continues to create a fair amount of target account content on-demand for the sales team and the occasional one-pager or deck request. Because we sell to CMOs and other marketers, missing with content has some pretty big repercussions, and we hope to avoid those in the future with more segment-driven, deal-stage-driven, and persona-customized content.
Where do B2B marketers most often fail when executing marketing programs?
Most B2B marketers fail for two reasons: they either run out of time and resources or they have no idea what might be working (and what might not) in order to optimize for company growth. Interestingly, fixing the latter usually helps the former, since they can be confident that they’re properly re-allocating resources.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my career trying to figure out how to know what’s working, and it’s not an easy nut to crack. I’ve attempted to measure by closed-loop first-touch attribution; by frankensteining together my own data from Google Analytics, marketing automation, and CRM systems; and now, finally, by using my own product, which expressly creates common data to make it easy to measure absolutely everything. Interestingly, our marketing team puts unusual amounts of efforts into some programs, like direct mail and events, while completely ignoring some traditional ones (like email nurturing), because we know the ROI on absolutely everything.
What marketing tactics/strategies do you see as most successful?
Fundamentally, I believe that all marketing tactics/strategies work…until they don’t. I was at HubSpot in the early days, and I remember being on the forefront of the Inbound Marketing movement. Since then, however, marketers have flooded the web with content, and it doesn’t work as well. So now we’ve all jumped over to ABM (which is, to me, basically outbound sales with a digital component).
What’s important to me is that we can consistently determine the ROI of our tactics/strategies so that we don’t wait to shift until it’s too late. I look forward to whatever marketing tech and tactics come next and figuring out how to measure and execute them. Maybe we’ll go back to Mad Men? I do have a bottle of scotch on my desk…
Bizible is all about marketing attribution and helping B2B marketers demonstrate the ROI of their efforts. How do you define success in your own practice?
Bizible has a vision of all marketers being held accountable to revenue growth, and we do drink our own champagne. Product marketing is probably the weirdest thing to try to measure to revenue, but I’m looking at bringing in sales enablement systems that will allow me to attribute revenue directly to collateral. Good collateral management will write results directly to the activity object in Salesforce, so we can attribute revenue.
Until I do that, I measure myself and my team by how the entire company performs relative to our goals. Any successful marketing effort by definition has a demonstrated impact on that measurement. I’m excited to see how we’ll start measuring things like brand and analyst relations to revenue–I haven’t figured that out yet, but I know my product team has some really great ideas.
How do you think our joint customers stand to benefit as a result of the Madison Logic/Bizible partnership?
Fundamentally, you can’t grow what you can’t measure in context. When PGi looked at their Madison Logic return in the context of all of their sales and marketing activities, they discovered a 350% ROI on their investment. I’m not saying that every single Madison Logic customer will see great results when they look at performance with accurate Bizible data and reporting, but I am saying that there’s no way to truly tell how any marketing spend performs without accurate measurement. Our joint customers get unparalleled clarity so that they know exactly how to use their Madison Logic investment to create maximum growth from their ABM efforts.
Jenn Steele is the VP of Product Marketing at Bizible, the leader in the marketing performance management space with revenue attribution and planning products allowing marketers to power growth. She previously worked for Amazon and HubSpot and holds degrees from MIT and Simmons School of Management. Jenn is passionate about big data and marketing strategy, and she uses both together to grow companies.