How to lead like a modern CMO

38 min read

Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus. Before Terminus, Vajre led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then Salesforce. He’s also the author of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies, ABM is B2B and is the host of FlipMyFunnel podcast.

Sangram was featured on our Limitless Webinar series on Mar 04, 2020. It was an insightful session and here are the key takeaways from the webinar.

Key Takeaways

– Trends (going from lead to accounts)
– Role (own parts of customer success)
– Organization (running a team of specialist – act like a CEO)
– Metrics (Business outcomes and same metrics as sales)
– Stage based CMOs (Different type of CMO for a different stage of the company)
– What are the key attributes any CMO needs in their toolbelt
– What keeps CMOs up at night or what keeps you up at night being a CMO yourself?
– How and why to manage your team according to KPIs
– What are the Key ABM findings for CMOs to consider
– Should marketers own parts of customer success?
– Should a startup hire a specialist or generalist first?
– What do you mean when you say CMOs should act like CEOs? elaborate
– Is there a right type of CMO based on the stage of the company?
– You always say marketing does not demand gen, and it’s business outcomes (demand gen, pipeline velocity, expansion). Could you elaborate on that?
– When is the right time to create a category? How do you know it’s the right time and you have the scope?
– What budget does an SMB need to start ABM?
– Is ABM ideal for a startup with no sales team?
– What is your idea of positioning to begin with, in a saturated market?
– Minimum basic strategy and tech stack needed for omnichannel marketing for a B2B tech company with a limited budget?
– Where do you see the biggest skills gap in marketing today, and how do you overcome that challenge?
– How to become a CMO?
– Which medium works better in ABM? Sales Nav, Webinars, Seminars, etc?
– When is the right time to hire a CMO?

Watch the complete webinar:

Transcript of the webinar:

Speaker: Sangram Vajre
Host: Sanjana Murali

Sanjana: Welcome to Hippo Videos Limitless Webinar Series, Sangram.

Sangram: Thank you so much, excited. You guys have done a fantastic job of promoting this. Getting the message out there. So hopefully, we can add a lot of value to the people who are listening.

So good morning to everybody who is logging in from the states. And a good evening to everybody from the rest of the World. My name is Sanjana. I'm the product marketer. Glad you guys could join the webinar today. So in the next 60 minutes, you're going to hear from Sangram on how to lead like a modern CMO.

He's the co-founder and chief evangelist at Dome and that's. And he led the marketing team at our door. And then it was quickly acquired by ExactTarget and then by Salesforce. He's the host of Flip, my final podcast with over 550 episodes. Right. And it continues to run the top 50 in the business category on iTunes. And he's the best selling author of All Abia Must Be to Be. And he's also the founder of Flip My Funnel Community and ABM Evangelist.

What does it take to become a modern CMO?

What does it take to become a CMO? You know, to be specific, what does it take to become a modern CMO? Now, let's just take one at a time. So the first one, what keeps CMOs at night? I feel like the majority of the CMO is that I know they never talk to a customer.

And the fear a lot of times they feel is that they don't know what really matters to their customers.

So what happens at the majority of the organization? That's when we'll go into the modern CMO, which is different. But a majority of the organization's CMO is creating the standard process and program around saying, all right, we're going to create the right to webinar Surmont, an ebook, amount, a set of content, product, marketing, datasheets, all those different things.

But they're actually not thinking about what all our customers really want and there's a big gap there. And the reason they're doing what they're doing right now, just to create the volume of leads and volume of activity, because that's what they're measured on. So what keeps most CMO who are not thinking about this, keeps them up at night is like, I don't know what my customer really wants. I'm going to just put stuff on the whiteboard and just forget it all over the place because they just don't know. And that's a really big challenge for a lot of organizations.

And that's why Forrester's research shows that less than 1 percent of the leaves turn into customers. So the data supports that believes that most companies don't drive actual revenue. That's what I think most about. I think CMO that did just not talking enough anymore and CMO that the people that I'm feeling more and more of the people that we have interviewed on the podcast like Megan Isenberg from Trippe Actions or No turn-off, we just became the theme of Tendo like car Lacy who is the CMO less than Lee or Ryan.

All these are due to the craftsy of all these people. They're looking at it very differently. They are in with the customer. They are actually having conversations on LinkedIn or other places and engaging with them.

They're having. And I know some of these CMO, they're having at least two to three customer calls. They're listening to the onboarding call. They're listening to the sales call. They're not just sitting in their office in an ivory tower and trying to say elegies do that. They actually are very close to the customer. So if you are trying to be a CMO, answer your second question.

I think one of the things you need to know is do you really understand your customer? And if you don't, then are you going to take the time on a regular basis?

Not the first 30 days. We learn everything and then we just market as usual, but actually take the time as a regular thing. So one of the things I try to do is that every week I'll at least be or attend or listen to one sales call and one onboarding. That is something I've done for years.

I highly recommend people do that because when you do that, you are the CSO deem your customer success team and your sales team is the closest to the customers. And if you're not listening to those calls, even if you don't do anything, if you don't listen to it, you don't know and you can't empathize with your customer and see what the problem is and have ideas around that. So a modern CMO, I think, is someone who is really empathetic to the customer and just says that they actually do it right.

So it doesn't matter what you do. So to be up more than seeing it more, you have to talk to your customers every day. And only then you'll be able to empathize with them. Yeah. Yeah.

And that's not necessarily mean you're on call every single day. That just means that you are engaged, let's say on a LinkedIn thread. That means I love what I do is I'll ask a question and see what people are talking about. That might mean listening to an onboarding call. That might mean doing a workshop with your sales team.

What are the key metrics a CMO should like?

It's doing something every day where it actually has some sort of connection with the customer because it's so easy, so easy to lose that, so easy to get off the rails and be just talking about programs and strategies and not actually know what our customers really want. It's a really deadly trap. Like you said. So traditionally, marketing is often measured by the number of leads generated. So do you think the number of leads us to the right metric to be measured? So what are the key metrics a CMO should like? Yeah, that is it.

That's a great question. One of the things that I'm on my soapbox lately has been the fact that leaves are probably the worst type of vanity metrics that marketing can track. And we talked about that stat from Forrister, which clearly said that while less than we said. So imagine having this conversation. Everybody just imagines this. You are walking into your CEO and CEO's office and saying to them, hey, only one percent of what I do actually drives business.

Do you want to give me more money? Like it's ludicrous. Right. So. So it doesn't make sense. So nobody's having this level of conversation we hide. Find the MQ URL Escuela and we talk. But if you really look at the number of leads to actual results, the gap is so wide that it will swallow you if you really go and show it to your SO you'll be fired if you actually. So I don't think Leeds is actually the right metric.

And the reason it's getting asked and talked about is because that's what we put on our board backs. That's what we represent. And I did that when I was a part. I did that. I show leaves to Asha. I showed traffic to the website. I'm just thinking about that deck. I showed all the number of people who attended my webinar and registrations, all these things. Reality.

If you're into it, I'm assuming a lot of the people listening to us are in big business. You gotta know your total addressable market. So the question I would ask is how many of the deals that your sales team is working on?

How many of the leaves are coming for those accounts that they need to close that month or that quarter?

If there's one homework that I can get right off the bat like right now is that just go and look at your deals that are in pipeline for this quarter and look at let's say there are 50 accounts that are in your pipeline and find out if you can generate more leads if the lead is the metric.

More leads in those accounts for your sales team to close, give them air cover in some way possible to them. If you're not doing that, we are literally not even in the same loving field when it comes to sales and marketing. So I feel leads quite honestly is probably the worst type of leading indicator of success. It's a false positive.

What does it take for a CMO to act like a CMO?

All right. And also, you say CMO should act like CEOs. Right. So that is an interesting proposition. So could you please elaborate on that?

Yeah, I mean, as a matter of fact, we just hired my mentor and boss from ExactTarget, who is the CMO of ExactTarget for 60 years, went through the IPO, went through all that. We just hired him and he is now the CEO of Terminus. So it's literally happening right now, said Tim. Blop is the CEO of Terminus. And it is like it literally is happening everywhere. But in general, what it means is not just going to be a CEO, but it acts and operates as a CEO.

And anything. Think about what CEOs do. CEOs will look at their organization and say, all right, these are the things that I need to focus on. They need predictable stuff in their business. They don't have predictability. They're not going to be in that position too long to let them go. So they're looking for how we create and predict certain things. Then the second thing is they take full ownership of what to say yes to and what to say no to.

Most marketing is a yes team for the most part because they don't know what they're measuring.

And that's a lot of it is not driving revenue. A lot of times what happens in marketing organizations is there is to go and say, okay, yeah, we'll do a webinar, we'll do an e-book.

Well, we'll do that. We'll do that. They don't know how to prioritize because the picture of success is not very clear. So Lieb's is your picture of success. Then you will do whatever it takes to do that. But if revenue is your picture of success, you will pause. We'll take a moment. You will look at the deals that are in the pipe right now and saying for these 50 deals, what can I do?

You will then say all of these 50 deals. Let me look at it. OK, for these wheat fields, ten of them are in Boston. Let me do an event in Boston. Right. Like two now you're thinking how do I drive business outcomes? Maybe you're looking at that and saying, hey, we just got an e-book. But these are in financial services. Now, let me create an ebook. Take the same ebook, the generic one.

Turn that into a financial services-oriented ebook and send that to those 10 accounts that are in the pipeline. So now you're starting to create real value for the business and driving business outcomes. So the metric that I'm asking every CMO to start really focusing on and that's something that I belong to. Unfortunately, with a therapy of 10 years or so being in space is a business outcome. Everything you do is business outcomes.

Should marketers also own parts of the customer's success?

All right. OK. So when you talk about 90 metrics, you say you have to focus on business outcomes. Right. Should marketers also own parts of customer success? That's an interesting question because your marketers by far are in a way the first touchpoint in almost all these different areas marketing, sales, success, brand stuff.

I don't think you need to, but what you do need and what I'm seeing through the whole account-based marketing lens is one of the greatest areas. And I'll give an example. Thomson Reuters Have you, as you saw the book, you know, probably that that's a story that I mentioned in the book. Thomson Reuters. They essentially said we're going to start working on expansion deals. Right. So that's the customer success arena. And that's a marketing team like we have more than one product.

We've got to sell to them. We've got to do something about it. So they started and then, by the way, that whole story came about when I was interviewing Jillian on a podcast and she told me the whole story, I'm like, oh, my God is awesome. That turned into a book. So like, really amazing how that came about. But she mentioned that, like, hey, they picked up 250 accounts and said these 250 accounts were gonna start focusing on and try to create offerings with the other products that Thomson Reuters has.

This is a gigantic company. Their win rate. Was ninety-five percent OK with those accounts? Now you think about a company called Thomson Reuters. The deal sizes, you're talking millions and millions of dollars in revenue.

Right. And the only reason they were able to scale to a ninety-five percent win rate was because they focused on the right accounts. And that was marketing. So if the color of the money is green or whatever, the color is the same color for acquisition, for the pipeline, for expansion.

I think marketing needs to really get out of the demand gen box, open the blinders and start looking at saying, all right, where can we drive revenue for the organization? A 10 percent increase in win rate for India within the pipeline. That might mean millions. That might mean you don't have to generate that many leads. That's why I keep talking to Leeds. Really is a virus in a way for organizations to kind of get out of. Because if you measure that, you'll never measure what's really impacting the business.

You stop measuring that and start looking at how I drive business outcomes that will mean customer meetings. That would mean how do I stop customers from churning, increase retention, how to increase velocity, how to increase the size of the sort of deals within that. Those are the metrics that are your CEO, your CFO. They. They did look at this every day. But marketers are not looking at it. If you start talking about them, you will have a seat at the table.

How does a CMO overcome the skill gap in marketing?

All right. Got it. So talking about measuring metrics and becoming a modern CMO so that you see that because of the skill gap in marketing today. And how do you overcome that challenge? I quote the ultimate question on that one.

Right? I think one of the things that we are going back and forth on LinkedIn, I was talking about this idea like this.

CMO seems like a sexy title and people want to have it but look at it. Most cinemas are not in their job, so more do three years. So what do you not wish for?

So just take that with a grain of salt. Most organization’s sims are not necessarily what they need in the early.

So for example, if you're a startup organization listening to this, you probably don't need a CMO until you hit like a 10 million in revenue. Unless like in my case we were like I was a co-founder, so it was just a title that I had. It didn't really matter. As a co-founder. So. But if you're not a founder of an organization, then you don't really need a CMO.

It's too early, too much then. That's not the role. What you need is a doer. You need a whole bunch of like, let's just get this thing running up and running up and running like a lot of stuff. So I constantly recommend and advise companies like until 10 million. Don't even think about a CMO. It's just not right now within that.

If you are someone like you, I would put myself in a category where I love to build categories. I like to build something that's not been done before. I'm not trying to go into existing marketing. I want to create a new market. Now, that's a completely different breed of CMO. So I would be a very horrible CMO for a company that is like, you know, scaling super-fast has like, you know, 2 billion in revenue.

I'll be horrible unless they give me the wiggle room to just drive crazy stuff. So I would be really good at an early stage startup company from 10 to 100 million but over a billion dollars or over 500 million.

I may not be the right CMO. So you need a CMO skillset document. That different skill set is not the right CMO. I've seen really good friends, really amazing CMO.

MMOs fail because it wasn't they didn't have the team there and they didn't have the infrastructure, they didn't have the support and all that stuff. So if you are someone who wants to be a CMO first, figure out if you really want to do that. Look at the trajectory of that. Right. The second is that the right industry and company you want to be in terms of revenue because if you get in early and you do, you're not someone who thrives on chaos.

Then early-stage startup is going to be really, really hard for you to be a CMO. If you're someone who likes team building and likes making sure that a bunch of people do other things, events at a massive scale and stuff, then maybe it's a bigger organization that you should go for. So the skill set Sinjin up really depends on the type of the size of the company and also the type of personality most people have got to totally understand.

Should a startup hire a specialist or a generalist?

So speaking of startups, should a startup hire a specialist or a generalist first specialist all day long?

We have like so we are like I don't know for sure. I think the last seven numbers we shared was twenty-five million determinists went from about three co-founders to now we are about 250 people. Our marketing team, we acquired two companies in the last few years. Bright Funnell And six or so now, or I think the marketing team is about 14 people or so and almost everyone is a specialist in marketing is the only function by the way.

This is something that is really interesting that started to dawn on me as that marketing. And I wonder what your thoughts are on that. I think marketing is the only function where you have a bunch of specialists and you need that, right, because it's not like a salesperson meeting Quora. OK, we need 20% of that person like that kind of background and stuff that doesn't work. Like somebody who's doing videos good at videos is probably not good at content.

Somebody is good at content, probably not good at product marketing staff. Who's got a product? Marketing is probably not good at events. And so you have a whole bunch of like the A14 specialist in the team and now a CMO, if that's good news for CMO is because if you're not good at anything like me, you become a CMO because they don't know where to put you.

Right. So. So that's what happens with people like me who are generalists or not really great at anything. People are really, really, really, really good at something. They have to really quickly figure out how to meet someone and get others to do it. Otherwise, they become the bottleneck for their own career.

We ought to have a team of specialists here. We got about 10 people and each and every one of them is a specialist in certain areas. We have a specialist baby and we have a specialist but even for intensive marketing, for videos, all the stuff. Yeah. To see. Yeah, we have ahead of marketing. Yeah.

I mean and to me, that's like how big is yours. I don't know. You don't have to share revenue stuff. Like how big is your customer base? How big is like your market that you're going after.

We have 5000 customers with us. So you have a pretty good-sized customer base at this point. It depends on what your revenue is and stuff like that. A head of marketing is. Probably like a CMO. Yeah, exactly. So I think it goes the same when I think about what's interesting and I think this is where a lot of people are stuck in marketing, not really talking about true empathy or here. Right.

This is real. Yeah. Most marketers are not ready and should never try to become CMO. And the reason is that CMO means that you are constantly under fire or something.

So if the revenue is going down, CMO gets a call. If retention is bad, CMO gets a call. Website branding. I mean, the reality is everybody in the company knows what marketing should do except the CMO, apparently. Right. Like that's really the thing. Everybody thinks they know marketing. So CMO is a really, really, really tough role to be in. And if you don't have thick skin, you can adapt to all those things.

If you are not great at a relational shift in relationships with CFO and see our Sciarra, whatever your head of sales says and a product like, it's a really, really shitty job when it comes. If you don't have that level of support from all of it.

On the other side, people who are especially if you're really good at content if you're really good. And then there's no there's so much creativity for you to go and do and explore your craft and be the best person and the best version of yourself. So I think I would advise all the time to last a lot of folks that think about it like, do you really want to be that just for the title?

You actually could make more money and have more like happiness in your life. If you're the best at your craft in it. So choose wisely. All right.

All right, so speaking of this, it brings me to my next question, which is if companies at different stages of their lifecycle have different requirements. For example, an early-stage venture might have a different set of requirements, whereas a post IPO or a public company might have a different set of objectives. Right. So is there a type of CMO based on the stage of the company?

Yeah, it's a different CMO altogether. It's a different CMO. If you think about our own, we have gone through like three. I mean, the reason I'm not a Full-Time CMO anymore is because I'm not right for our company to be a CMO. I'm better at being an evangelist. My heart is I want to talk to customers every day. I love connecting with people. I love speaking. I love writing. So that's what I do.

Right. So I don't even talk about our product at all. I will talk about the company. I love the culpability culture. So this is where I'm at.

I feel like I find more joy and passion. And thankfully, that drives business for our company. So I get to do who I am. So if I were to hold on to the title and say I just want the country to be there, I think it will 1 not be the right thing for the business and it won't be the right thing for me at this stage of our company. So we have gone to like to see demos in our organization already and Laden is our CMO right now.

He was the CMO at Dun Bradstreet. That would be a net prospect that got quite done. He has taken companies from our size to 200 million. So he knows the skill. You need a completely different CMO almost every day. And that's no different for unless you can grow into it.

And that's a different personality altogether. But that's not just for CMO. That's for heroes. That's for the head of products. Very few companies have the same people at zero to 10, 10 to 50, 50 to 100, 100 plus. It's a very different ballgame.

All right. So we'll move on to Abia. So one of the most asked questions when it comes to ABM is what budget does an assembly need to stop ABM? Is it suitable for companies of all sizes? No, it's not good for all companies. I'll give you an example. And it is actually totally independent of what size company you are, actually. What I'm learning is that it's important to know what size your customer’s company is. So, for example, logistic HubSpot is an example.

HubSpot is a great CRM. It's a public company, great size. One would think like they would be the perfect use case for ABM. Not so much because 99 percent of the companies they sell to our SMB. Yeah, the deal size is really small for them. There's a volume growth company. So they invent and they have a certain set of accounts that are big deals. And in that case, it makes perfect sense. So I would never look at HubSpot and say HSPA should be our customer, even though there are investors in terms of all the stuff.

I would say, well, HubSpot is probably not the best customer or the ABM is not the best thing for them because they are the transactional business. They have a ton of small agencies and startups and the agency is how they run and stuff like that. So that so it's not about the size of the company or selling to is the size of the customers they are selling to. OK. On the flip side of it, we have companies and agencies that are like, you know, 50 people agencies.

Right. They are running incredible, even Kampeas because the deal size that they close is upwards of five hundred thousand or a million dollars. So to them, Avios perfect use case because that's what they're doing.

They're trying to surround everybody in the decision-making process. That's a longer sales cycle. The deal sizes are really big. They need to enthrall and they need to do all these things. So it's literally with that's the biggest aha moment. It's not your customer size, it's your customer’s size that really matters.

Got it. OK. So for ABM to walk, you see that the marketing and sales team should work together, but in reality, marketing blames it. It's full of coke and machines and sales blame marketing for the poor quality athletes. So how do you motivate most of these teams to work together? Marketing is wrong. The Thousand percent market is wrong and almost a thousand percent. A. Here's the reason why. In your own audit, you have a sales team.

Yeah. Right. And if in salespeople it's the hardest job in the world, by the way. Like if you're a marketer, if you don't have empathy for sales, then you need to go and actually make a hundred calls and have 90 times, 90 of them actually hung up on you and then it will build your character up sales to the hardest job in the world.

When it comes to technology, part of it's one recognizing that you are more as a salesperson, you every single month. It starts at zero dollars. Zero, right. If you don't meet your quota in most organizations for about two months or three months at Max, you're out. So what sales are challenged with. Is that they don't have the patience on working on a six-month campaign and a lead that actually is not in their quarter in that month.

That is the reason I say marketing is wrong is because the value of marketing is defined by sales. That is the number one thing that upsets me. And I rarely get looks from everybody when I say that because I'm like I'm a marketer.

Does marketing get more budget when the revenue goes up?

But it's true because tell me in your organization when the revenue goes up, does marketing get more budget?

Typically yes, we get it. Yeah. If out loud tell me this. If your sales number goes down. Would marketing get more budget?

Right. Right. So it's tied to marketing and sales is tied to the hip. So you like it or not. This is not an honest philosophical conversation. No. Nada. It is a hundred percent a conversation of truth. The truth is marketing and sales are tighter to her. If you're in B2B and it's one line item in most financial statements. So if you're tied to the hip, your job as a marketer, everyone who's listening to your job as a marketer is to do that incrementally or exponentially grow sales, period.

And if your sales team is not happy with you, you're not doing something right. So the way to go about all that is that and I have shared some of these things in other videos as well and find the two salespeople that you're buddies with, that you go to drinks with at the happy hour with and whatever and help them be wildly successful that month or that quarter. And the way you do that is simply this. You literally go and say, oh, Joe and Sally, give me the list of accounts that you need to close this month to meet your quota.

This quarter meant what they already knew. And a sidebar on that. The reason account-based marketing became such a big deal. It's not for sales. It is for marketers to learn how to do it.

Sales people's title has always been an account executive. They always got their marketing. We never got to give them leads and they like, did you haven't seen an account to work on?

So back to this is if you help Joe and Sally, they give me the 10 or whatever number of accounts you have that's going to help you win and meet your quarter, exceeding your quota this month.

This quarter, you ask them, they will give you that list, no questions asked. Then you generate leads within those accounts. Then you do all those things that we talked about, webinars for those accounts, very specific. Then you go create ebooks for those accounts. Then you do direct mail. Then you do free-market events for those accounts.

They make them super wildly successful. They will go tell the entire organization that, oh, Sanjana just made me super excited, super awesome. Because before I met my current staff, they're going to do everything possible to support you and they're going to tell you the entire organization, the entire CEO is going to come to you and say Sandra, and you do this for my entire sales team.

And that's a beautiful conversation to have right at that time because I like my budget. Instead, I think what we do is we throw a bunch of leaves from all of the places.

So, for example, if you sent all the leads from this webinar to the team without looking at how many of these are actually going to are in their accounts that have, say, zero, people listening to this webinar are part of the deals that are in-flight for your organization. You're wasting their time. It's not that they're not supposed to get those leaves.

So the idea would be like, how can you get the lead in those accounts if leads are one of the metrics for you that they want to close that month, that quarter. That is why. So it's not who's right? Who's wrong on it? Marketers have to do this. Otherwise, I don't know why you want to be marketing and B2B.

I've read your book somewhere. Maybe you miss me, too. So it was a brilliant time. In fact, we use it as a reference. Got that. Ask SBA to start the ABM process now. All right. That's awesome. Thank you. Yeah. So on that note, we are shipping free copies of some Grim's book, I would say it's a must-read for a marketer and someone one of them at a distance to whom we ship. The book said he'll do a video review once he's done reading a book like that.

Thank you so much, because I've been really direct and I'm like, how does this work? And people said you gotta be shameless at asking for reviews because that's how Amazon knows how to recommend to other marketers. So I've been like if you like it really, then please give it a review on Amazon because that's how it goes. Yeah.

What are the key ABM finding policies?

So what are the key ABM findings policy and what's to consider?

One, I think one of the things I didn't answer, part of it is one of those findings is that your budget if you're doing ABM. Most people think this is gonna take more time, so more money and all that stuff. Actually, what I've seen with companies who are doing thousand one to one campaigns, and when I say 1 to 1, I mean 1 ad to one landing page one type of direct mail to different from other than like it is literally one to one kind of thing.

In those cases, even in those cases, the budget has actually gone down, if not stayed the same. And if you really think about it, it makes sense for referral for me, a dirty deal. It's gone through me for a loop but actually makes sense.

So instead of getting less than 1 percent of the leads turning into customers, still getting a thousand leads and get into like, you know, maybe 10 customers who are doing that, if you change the math and saying it's a thousand now you're going after one hundred and you're good and you're converting them at like 25, 30, 40 percent because you're doing all these levels of personalization with them.

You know why after writing to you so you're gonna have to literally cut your budget from that to that half. And then within that, no matter how much personalization you do like, it doesn't it's not going to cost you an arm and a leg because you're not good at all himself. My big finding has been if you're actually truly doing ABM, your budget might actually seem like it's you using less money and more creativity. So it's really interesting. All right.

So we move on to category creation. So if category creation has done right, it can be rewarding and in fact, it can be the ultimate growth strategy. Right. So how do you know if a category correction is a right strategy for your business? And how does one go about creating a category? The big question, Sangin it right like that is one area I love, I love, I live and breathe in that I think that's one conversation. I have had more founders in the last year than anything one.

It's hard and stupid to do that. Like, don't do it if you can't because it's really hard. We've done it and we realize it. But if you can't help yourself like we did that, go do it because it's a lot of fun at the end of the day when you're on the other side of it for us.

Tell our story. And through that, hopefully, people can draw parallels to it. When we came on the scene in 2015, there wasn't anybody talking about cannabis marketing. Yeah, even the thought of cannabis marketing was novel like no, we really thought and we were based in Atlanta. We didn't have a whole bunch of money. We were literally across the street from where we are now. We had like one desk and we were sharing that.

Like two of the founders write, nice to all us, sits outside. That's what I did. So that's what we started in the early days. And what we saw was there are over five, eight thousand companies in Martek and there's no way we can rise above them that have a hundred million dollar plus funding makes no sense. That's just. So our view is that we need to build something as we build a product. We need to create noise.

And the way to create noise is to identify if there is a category of yourself. There is a name that you can give that people would like. Spatt stop and pause and say, what's that right like? That is really good. We tried to interrupt the van tire noise in the Martek space.

And we're fortunate enough to identify this very specific thing like, man, if we actually go off accounts as opposed to leaves, it would change the way companies do business. That became the theme. So we literally started creating like I mean, in our case, I wanted to do a Terminus event.

Nobody would sponsor because nobody would. Nobody knew us. So I said, what if you buy a domain for eight bucks, call flip my funnel and said, Hey, what about flip my funnel? Everybody said, yes. Crazy as it sounds. People want to be part of a community. People want to be part of the movement. They don't want to be part of a product. Companies are still today. If done 10 conferences. But Terminus is a booth just like everybody else.

My keynote does is not about Terminus. It's about the state of marketing and state of sales and where it's going. So all that to say is every week when you think about category building, you have to first identify somebody working on it. And there's no category of one.

So if you were to build a category, you have to uplift all the other competitors and that's on. That might sound crazy. So we invited you to engage with your demand base, all of them. We gave them Mayne's love mainstage level speaking spots at our conference because we needed to make sure that the category existed because we brought in competitors. It brought in the media because they wanted to. Wait a minute. What's going on? Because the media came in.

It became an industry event. Now not. It's an industry event. Now there's a lot more buzz about it. So we literally followed the gospel of ABM and went to different cities all over it with the same set of characters of competitors, influencers and media people in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, all these different places. So bottom line, a couple of things. One, it's extremely hard to do. And if you do it, you have to be very authentic about it and you have to make it community-oriented, which is something I say.

You're not a community, you're simply a commodity. Right. So building a community is a big part of it. You think about Dreamforce. Salesforce created Dreamforce. HubSpot created inbound drift growing happier good gain side created pulse terminals. So you can literally start seeing petrol like these are the six categories that have incurred in the last 15 years.

Yeah. So building a community is a big part of creating a category that's one. And number two, because there is no category of one. You have to figure out a way to bring in competitors. You have to lift them up, which is a really hard thing to do and kind of think about to do. We literally even brought in somebody from Scotland who was doing some like now you do ABM, you don't know yet, but you do. And we brought them to come to speak because we wanted this to be such a big phenomenon that people would talk about it. So category building is hard, no category of ones you need to bring, bring, bring all of your competitors and then create a community that will allow you to get that message out in the world.

So those are the kind of a couple of things to think about. OK. And then I see a lot of sense from the audience. Can I just quickly ask one? Yep. So the first question is from Kostic. He's asking one of the first 30, 60, 90-day activities. Every new CMO should focus and specifically by looking at implementing and one too many ABM how important this cost to revenue a metric.

All right, so the first part, I would scrap the 30, 60, 90-day plan altogether and create a one-word camp-like program, which is customer, learn about your customer, go-to site, visit, spend as much time as you can, especially in the first 30 days with customers where you get to know them, see them. We started a program here called Customer Flash, which means every six weeks I bring in a customer, fly them in red carpet, sweat and do an all-hands with them with the entire company where the entire company gets to see who looks up.

Customers are what they care about, who they look like, what they talk about, what matters to them. So customer, customer, customer like you, you make that your focus. You'll do really well as a CMO or any job. It really doesn't matter.

What is the second question on that when looking at implementing one too many ABM how important this cost to revenue is a metric. If you are truly doing ABM and regard it as a one to one or one too many, the cost of your cost of acquisition will go up, but your cost revenue will go down. So think about it this way when you get leads today, you just say give me leads that are interested in this thing and do like 30 bucks, 50 bucks, 80 bucks, but you get thousands of them.

So your cost of acquisition is law in ABM because you're going to go not after a thousand, you're going to go after 50 or hundred, your cost of acquisition because you need to figure out if they have the right intent data. You have the right account. We have the right people in those accounts at your cost of acquisition that might go up. But because your cost revenue, because your conversion rate from that customer to actually truly becoming the customer is going to be much higher.

Your cost of record, the revenue is going to be so much more much better. So I would look at it from that perspective. Constant acquisition for sure will go up.

All right. And the explicit question is from Anoush asking. I see you just said a false positive. I posted the margin agencies and companies who are in Legian business who sort of top up the fund and in some cases lead nurturing were some challenges for CMO organizations. I think it's a very negative thing for organizations. Just to state itself should tell us that there is something wrong with it. So is lead by itself wrong?

No. The lead word is wrong. Every person who attends this webinar is not a lead for a forum for your business. So what would the mistake most companies have done is take every single person and dumped them into the same buckets and mixed it up with everything they got and said You're a salesperson. And that's why salesperson's don't work on them, because not everybody is qualified. Right? So a lead the word is wrong. Lead generation doesn't mean an actual lead and actual lead. If you really go back to the definition of a thesaurus on that one lead is someone you think that there's a potential for this person to buy from you.

They are qualified, use the band criteria, all those kinds of things. Right. So if you don't have that, then you're literally setting your organization for failure. I think the stacks that are horrific on the amount of money organizations waste on disqualifying leaks is ridiculous.

Disqualifying, not qualifying this disqualified because they're not the right thing. So imagine this, you do this, legislate the spending out, you get a lead and not the right lead for your business, but you still give it to a sales team. The sales team takes time. Does 7, 8, 9 touches. Now, they have spent two weeks on that particular set of people. They're not the right people. Then they look at them. There's a pipeline meeting.

There's a revenue meeting that is to follow up. Maybe you direct me. All you do all these things, your wasted time and money and energy, and resources to drive business. So that is really the reason why lead generation is bad.

Now, if you do lead generation, the right accounts that matter. That's really, I think, a legion reason. If I were in the lead generation business today, I would change that and say lead generation in accounts that matter to you. That's the business idea.

The next question is from Matt. He's asking, How do you think about communicating the importance of marketing activities that don't result in a lead, for instance, saturating a target account with native video content? For a target account and saturating a target account with native video content.

I don't know if you can truly do that because when you think of an account. There's not one person in that account, and I cannot by definition mean that there are multiple people in that account. So you are.

If a true account was marketing it would mean different personas within that account are now getting different messages through your video content or advertising or record or whatever.

So, for example, let's say you're selling I.T. services to a company, right? I.T. product. Your IT people might be interested in knowing that this is a really, really good product and they might be interested in the bits and feeds and all that information. Your message to them is different. Your CFO is probably going to care about how they are, the Gartner magic quarter. So is it that's a different message to them, right? There's a video conference video or anything you do will be different. Your CEO might want to know that. Oh, my goodness.

All of our competitors are using them. They must be good. Like I want to get more information. So if you're truly doing ABM, you would make sure that different personas are getting different messages with different ideas about the same product and you will talk to them much different in that process. I don't know if you can truly saturate an account because today I don't know if many companies are doing it.

All right. So the next question, this by room is IBM ideas. Stopped at the no teams. Aaron, I'd think. By the way, that's my dad's name, too. So that's a cool name.

And so I think if I don't I don't know many organizations that have marketing and no sales in a B2B space because your job is too incremental exponentially sales. So I'm thinking that you probably are still in the already stage trying to create a product-market fit more your probably your deal size. I'm not that big. So if any of those are true, this is a different play for you because you're not I don't know. I don't think APM is right now the best thing yet because IBM is like, you got to know your target audience.

And you got to know what the sales cycle looks like for it. You have to know that these are the right customers. You can serve the best and they will benefit from it. If the answers to any of those questions are no, then it's not right for you to figure out the market first before you can actually spend so much more time on your next business.

Which medium works better in ABM, is its navigator webinars or seminars?

That's a great question. What's the name now will be nubby. I mean, has it been the Tory who runs our ABM program?

He actually educated me on this a few weeks ago. I own this thought that the more you do, the better it is with the same account. And as he is in the weeds running the program, I'm just a talker. He's the one who actually is doing things like reprograms and ABM, hundreds and hundreds of calculations and all that stuff. Incredible guy.

Did he educate me as he ran preambles? Like it really doesn't matter. It's literally you could do whatever you're good at and you shouldn't focus on that. Not every company is good at events. So you should do what you're really good at.

But he said what we do and what has work now has been, let's say you're going after manufacturing vertical, you start running ads because typically ads are super cheap because if you have a target list of accounts and going after it and if you're doing that and you get it on Google and LinkedIn and Facebook or you are all those down things when you do that and if you start engaging, lets you go after 50 accounts and lets you start seeing 10 of them showing signals that they're interested in and by clicking the ad or engaging or coming to your website and you should be able to see all those with all the tech out there, then for the 10 accounts you start adding different layers and beyond advertising, you change the advertising.

But now you can have the salespeople start calling these accounts because they have shown interest in it. You can also start doing it, doing maybe it based on where they are, ebooks and webinars and whatnot within those 10 accounts. Let's say five or further showing more interest. Now you actually start doing in addition direct mail and stuff because it makes sense to not spend more money and time with those because they have self-identified in that journey.

So if you all believe that 70 to 90 percent of the journey that companies, if they do it online and people are only taking it before they talk to your salesperson, then I think like a marketer, our job is in that journey to increase the level of engagement as they come closer to actually having a conversation with you. So it's not one thing that is that we have found that works better. It's always as they come closer and they get to know you more.

You actually start spending more on that, which is one of the reasons we haven't. The book is like some accounts. You have to greet them with champagne and other sparkling water. Not all accounts are the same. If you did everything for every account, there is no unique proposition for them.

So we have one more question about how effective ABM will be when it comes to marketing ideas and data. It's. It depends on the same three questions. What is your deal size? How many people are in the process and what does your sales cycle look like in terms of timeframe?

So if all of those things have deal sizes big at least fifty thousand dollars or more, or if the sales cycle is like three to six months or more, if any of those answers are so true, then it actually doesn't really matter what field you're talking about.

The next question is,

What's the cheapest way to get indent data besides ad campaigns or content marketing?

I think we use Bambara data to be like straight up and chain. We found that their data is the best data that we have got.

We also did a partnership with G2 data that started to do in 10 data due to is really, really phenomenal. I love that because that's like if somebody is looking at your grid and figuring out if your product is right or not, they are ready to buy from you or your competitor. You need to be on them. So G2 in 10 is getting really good. Bambara and 10 are really good because both of them internally and for our customers, we recommend that.

So that's where the technology is right now. All right. Next, Can you show examples of ABM campaigns that have impacted the pipeline in the same month? Examples. Well, I'll give you an example of it, say we talked about Thomson Reuters. It happens for us are actually just talking with Terminus 40 percent. If I'm not mistaken, maybe all but a few percentage points, 40 percent of the deals that we closed within the quarter are sourced within the quarter.

That makes sense. Like because we have such a high level of personalization, we know at least 40 percent literally is going to close within the quarter that we are sourcing within the quarter. Companies like Maser G and Promoter, both of them are mentioned in the company in the book. They are all running very targeted campaigns and they actually promote risk. As you might remember, this is from the book. Their graphic actually dropped by 70 percent when they started doing ABN.

And the reason it dropped is because they were not getting bad traffic any more. They only were getting traffic from the right accounts. So their pipeline and revenue increased within a month, within a quarter, but their overall traffic actually went down, goes back to the vanity metrics leaves and traffic to the website. Those things are not necessarily going to drive business. What's going to drive businesses, actual business outcomes on it. So I think the majority if I think about Macer, do promote all these companies ourselves are actually seeing more in quarter deals because of the level of personalization they're doing.

All right. Again, from should the. Can you share some benchmarks with a good and performing a B program. Good at Royesh. Good employer. I think we just shared like in a good another would be like a snowflake.

We talked about that and it's in the book as well, which is one to one day. I think they're like the best campaign that I've ever seen. If you want to really look at where an auction could be a year or two years from now, not today starting today. Don't think you could do that because that would make you like your mind might blow up. Right. Like it's not something. But it's a really inspiring one because they're literally doing one to one campaign, one ad, one message, different personas, one landing page, nothing to fill out there because they already know who's coming to the website, to the landing page or the right people from the right accounts.

Then retargeting to them, direct mail to them, video to them. So they're doing everything for that account because it's a million-dollar account. All right. So best in class. I've seen the worst. Oh, gosh. I think all over the place one week. I'm a big fan of this framework. Again, it's something that we talk about all the time, which is the team framework. Target engaged activity measure team and Target, engage, activate and measure.

The worst performing ABM companies are those who actually skip a step in this process. Okay. If you don't know who you're going after, the rest doesn't matter how good your marketing is. So a lot of times that's where majority companies do. We're throwing all these amazing activities out there, but it's not reaching the right people. So it's a waste. That's why they let the 1 percent stat exist. So figured out the target list of it.

The worst thing we did at Terminus when we started doing ABM marketing came over the list. Guess what? No buy-in from sales. SALES did not follow up. Nothing happened. All right. We said, all right, fine sales. You come up with the list failed. Why? Because sales said we want to close Nike and added as we'd like.

Not even in our tab. Like it makes no sense. Failed third time. We actually sat down in a room like a team, like adults should not like to give adults should and actually came off the list together. And when that target list was clear, everybody was on it. Right.

Whenever there was engagement from any of the target account marketing, allergic sales, sales were all over its target list. Number one, if they don't do it, companies will fail, engage, engage people on their terms as we talked about the Tory example, your engagement level increases as the deal gets closer to the finish line. Activating your sales team is by far the most important thing. If you don't do that, magically deals are not gonna happen.

So sales team activation where you alert them for every account, every deal that's going on because you know and agree on that and then measure, which is really not you're not measuring leads, you're measuring lead in an account, engagement in an account. Imagine going to join Sallyanne saying, hey, you're three accounts. They're all on fire right now. They have engagement. They will be all over it.

Yeah. So one last question for me.

What do you think the future of marketing is going to look like?

Oh, I was literally working this morning and a new talk track, and I'm calling it marketing focused business outcomes. So, I really think the future and we all are at the forefront of it.

Everybody is listening to it. I think they're here. And so I'm assuming that you all are the forefront of trying to figure out and be the best marketer you can. And in that sense, I think I can. I love to challenge everybody to think about what are your business outcomes? What does that look like? So if you're a demand generation person, don't hide behind leaves and traffic. Look at appointments and say my metric is the number of appointments for sales things.

Right. That changes the game. It will change the way you think about it. Don't hide behind. If you're a social CEO kind of person, they'll look at how many impressions you're getting on that kind of stuff. Look at all the people whose team did a fantastic job of reaching out and engaging with the right people on LinkedIn and all these people and saying recruiting opportunities out of it. Let's say you are a product marketing person or something listening to these great customer stories that real, authentic, raw, bring customers in the office show then terror organization what it looks like.

Talk about their stories, not your story. Be the guide. So I think there is an opportunity for all of us to think about business outcomes no matter what role we play in marketing today.

We could come up with different ideas. What is your favorite ABM frame? Look outside Terminus.

I mean, if there was, I would have put it in the team framework is truly, truly my favorite one.

But if I was just talking about just frameworks, I'll just go off the rails on this one, not ABM framework for. Because that let me just answer that quickly. ABM framework. I think a team is really a good framework because it gets people to work as a team. The other one is something that we have talked about with Peter when he was a CMO here. You talked about fitt intent and engagement, fit and dentin engagement. Find the right accounts that are fed fine if their intent and start engaging with them.

So I think both of those frameworks are really, really inspiring outside of the ABM framework. I like I posted something on LinkedIn yesterday that we all think our world is as hard work. Like we got to just work grind every single day to make things work. But the reality is it's actually a whole bunch of things. So check out that post because I think it identifies the challenge for us as marketers. If you think your whole world is about leaves or the whole world is about how you're doing it Bandz, you're doing direct mail advertising, doing all these things.

But if it's not pulled together as a strategy, you're going to fail. So think about all of this. The hub and spoke model is really what we need to do as marketers.

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Sanjana Murali is a Marketing Specialist at Hippo Video. She is an award-winning blogger, one of her articles on “Customer Success” was selected from worldwide participants and won her MVP 2019 award. She has learned the knack of ranking her blogs and website pages in the 1st result of Google Search from her 6+ years of writing and marketing experience. She is also the host of #Limitless webinar and podcast series at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.

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