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Marketing Automation & ABM in the Era of Big Data

Olin Hyde

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Podcast Transcript

In this episode of the Green & Greene Show, the LeadCrunch B2B podcast, two seasoned marketing experts talk with guest Jenifer Metze about Marketing Automation and ABM.

Hosts: J. David Green and Jonathan Greene

Guest(s): Jenifer Metze

Topic: Marketing Automation

Subtopic: Mar-tech Stack

Duration: 21 minutes



  • Introducing Jen Metze, Driver of Billion Dollar Pipelines & Whiz of the Mar-tech Stack 
  • The Value of a Strong Marketing Automation Platform 
  • Digital Marketing is Cross-Channel, Your Data Should Reflect That 
  • Account Based Marketing: How To Know When Prospects Are Ready to Engage
  • Creating Happier Customers & the Need for Real-Time B2B Data 
  • Content Gating: Is the Barrier Too High? 
  • What’s the Business Reason Behind Your Mar-tech Stack? 
  • Tracking the Complex Sale: Using Your CRM for Offline Conversions

Podcast Transcript


[0:00:05.1] ANNOUNCER: Live from deep in the heart of Galveston, Texas all the way to the gleaming shores of Jacksonville, Florida, it’s the Green & Greene Show. Here are your hosts, Dave Green and Jonathan Greene, ready to unlock the mysteries of scaling demand gen. The Green & Greene show is brought to you by LeadCrunch, which has reimagined how to find B2B customers at scale.


[0:00:30.8] JG: I got my own theme music, Dave. My mother would be so proud.

Introducing Jen Metze, Driver of Billion Dollar Pipelines & Whiz of the Mar-Tech Stack 

[0:00:35.3] DG: We are here today with a dear friend of mine from way back, Jen Metze. Jen and I went on one of those digital transformation journeys together at Avaya, of all places, which lasted a couple of years while I was there. I had worked with her before at a B2B agency, but we actually drove a billion-dollar pipeline in 20 months from what was actually worse than a standing start. Things were so broken inside Avaya when we weren’t there. 

Jen, in the meantime, has become a little bit of a transformational expert and, especially in the area of the mar-tech stack, has worked with big-time companies like Magento and Oracle and CSV. When we were talking earlier, Jen, about a 58-million-dollar pipeline that you developed over a four-year period as part of this digital transformation of CSC on. Welcome to the show. We really appreciate having you here.

[0:01:43.9] JG: What is a digital transformation? Is that like when you Photoshop 50 pounds off of yourself?

[0:01:50.4] DG: That’s my version.

[0:01:51.8] JM: That might be the art part, and then there’s the science and the tech.

[0:01:56.5] JG: We can bougie with all these top-shelf experts around here.

[0:02:01.0] JM: Sounds great.

[0:02:05.0] DG: Well, Jen, I think the thing a lot of people struggle with is there’s so much hype around tech, sometimes it’s great to hear somebody who’s actually been there and done it and just hear, at a high level, what I should I do first, second, and third. Maybe you could kind of walk people through how you get from being a starter, doing 50 million in revenue, kind of a small- to mid-sized company, to becoming an enterprise. How do we sequence that stuff, and why do all of this?

[0:02:44.1] JM: First of all, thank you for having me today. I always enjoy spending time with other demand people who love to look at the process and all the pieces and parts. I appreciate that. 

The Value of a Strong Marketing Automation Platform 

You know, regardless of your size, coming to the baseline is getting a strong marketing automation platform. Years ago, there were a number of players and a lot of the smaller players have now gone away through mergers and acquisitions. You have Oracle who acquired Eloqua, so you have Salesforce. They have Pardot as part of their platform. You have Marketo, recently acquired by Adobe which was a pretty big play for the market. I think it’s an interesting value proposition, the sweet spot that Adobe has played and now having that as part of their portfolio.

I look at that marketing automation platform as your baseline and that really allows you to have a solid database. Typically, in size, you probably are migrating a lot of disparate data sources, so you want to have a good database. I still kind of have that guiding principle in my philosophy of demand gen which is lists, which is that database. You want to have a solid offer.

That includes what your product is, but you also want to have something that’s compelling to your target audience, those calls to action and something that’s going to entice the target audience and engage them and bring them in. Then you have that creative piece.

Through that marketing automation platform, it allows you to have that database, but it also allows you to set up those initial campaigns that that created, and then align those calls to action. Dependent upon what player you would like to go with, if those are some of the main ones for enterprise companies, I would certainly go with one of the best-in-class solutions. All of those integrate very nicely with your CRM, the majority of players now are using Salesforce as their CRM.

Digital Marketing is Cross-Channel, Your Data Should Reflect That 

I think those are some of the key points you want to evaluate and look at. Dovetailing into that, too, is that digital marketing is very cross-channel. You need some type of platform that’s also going to allow you to track and report from your basics of email but all of your social channels, all of your organic things that are coming across your website as well. You need to have those integration points, something that’s going to be worthy and strong enough that it’s going to allow you to capture all of those data points where you’re capturing information.

Bring that in, do that rationalization, and house it in an environment that allows you to look at accounts and contacts and things of that nature. Accounts are certainly important but people make decisions, so you want to ensure that you’re having the best contact database and understanding who they are. As you start in that crawl, walk, run, then you start to layering in some of those additional pieces which allow you to look at the contacts that are coming in. What behaviors are they exhibiting to us? What are we learning from that information? Then that starts to align in even more detailed sequence between those calls to action.

What is that area of interest? What do they care most about? Through our solution, what can we solve for them? You want to deliver that relevant information across channels.

[0:06:49.0] DG: Interesting. How do you see account-based marketing impacting the tech stack? That’s been something that’s really swept across demand gen over the last three to five years in particular.

[0:07:02.7] JM: I am very much a follower of account-based marketing. I look at it in a little bit of a different sphere, as well, looking at it from a pursuit point of view, still being very focused in on the accounts that you care most about.

Who is going to make purchase decisions? I think that goes back into your mar-tech stack which is understanding who that ideal buyer is and at what point in time they are starting to raise their hand. We’re starting to see activity that could lend to a purchase decision.

Account Based Marketing: How To Know When Prospects Are Ready to Engage

With account-based marketing, you’re really looking at the profiles of who your existing customers are today and what behaviors they are exhibiting. What’s the profile, demographics, firmographics? Then you’re also layering in a lot of that behavioral dialogue which allows us to really understand what it is that they care most about but also when they will start raising their hands and becoming engaged.

Account-based marketing is much more targeted, focusing in and dialing up your marketing efforts and your sales efforts, as well, at the point in time that those key accounts you care most about are starting to show interest.

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[0:08:21.0] DG: Yeah, I think it came right out of some of the efforts of sales and marketing alignment, where sales always cares about the big accounts because they know that’s where all the money is. I think marketing has gradually gotten the message and started to apply more resources to those larger opportunities.

Let’s say somebody has a marketing automation platform. What are the next handful of technologies that usually are key? What do you want to layer on top of that?

[0:08:48.4] JM: Well, kind of segueing into ABM is a lot of that IP targeting, you’re really looking at that account level. You want to start layering in some of those elements that allow you to be much more targeted. 

Back in the day, we would send out broader-based types of campaigns, but when you start to really focus in more on that IP targeting or that account-based marketing and then layer in the data and the value of that information that you can receive from some of those key players, that allows you to be much more relevant and more specific and personalized.

I think B2B buyers are becoming more centric around B2C buyers. It is a little bit Big Brother, but we do have that expectation that they know something about us. They see us on the web, they see that digital footprint and that digital body language.

That’s a really natural influence that I always look at. I also look at it from the ABM perspective, but I also look at it just because you may have limited dollars, even the enterprise marketers, I think sometimes the impression is that you have these big budgets. 

You’re complementing that with your existing marketing automation platform through those e-nurtures and that email that you can do through the platform, but then you start to layer in some of those additional pieces, and that allows you to be much more targeted towards the accounts that you care most about.

Creating Happier Customers & the Need for Real-Time B2B Data 

[0:10:58.6] DG: You really bring up a great point, and I think one of the things people lose sight of with the mar-tech is the value of a smaller set of your customers. ABM is one dimension of that, but the lifetime value of your customers and which ones are happy with you is another. I think putting a little bit more focus on targeting is one of the ways to get there. Do you have any other thoughts about other non-ABM related technologies that people ought to have in mind? 

[0:11:31.6] JM: I always think that you should look at data players as much as you want to maintain that data in a healthy state internally. I would also recommend looking at some of those tried and true, such as Harte Hanks and Dun & Bradstreet. They have even changed. At their core, their value proposition is still the same of good data, but now, they are based in the cloud. 

It is real-time influencing and updates, and so you need those pieces. They have also started to layer in those social profiles and that behavioral context so that you are also getting what social sites are they frequenting. You have some of that intel as well. It just gives you a richer profile, but at its core, you still need to make sure your data is in good fighting shape. I would always look at a data player and maybe you have a couple. 

You still need those, and as rich as our engagement is through digital, you also want to ensure that your sales teams have that information and that they also have the contact information so that, at the point in time when the phone call is right and they become a hand raiser and they start to engage in that dialogue, they have that information, too. 

[0:13:07.1] DG: Data is right at the core. 

Content Gating: Is the Barrier Too High?  

[0:13:09.5] JG: You know I am just curious on your perspective because there are a couple of competing schools apart. If you are doing demand generation on top-of-funnel, at some point in time, obviously, you want to gate that information and capture that lead. Do you think it is better to go with a lower burden for capture in terms of just maybe a name and email address and try to enrich that data on the backside, or do you think the higher-friction situation with more form fields is better and why? What is your perspective on that? 

[0:13:36.3] JM: Early in my career, we used the business reply card: these are the seven to 10 pieces of information. Now, with technology, I think that’s another beautiful, amazing thing that you want to get more. I recommend more of a low-friction because you can populate a lot of that on the back end. 

Through your business logic, again, going back to the heart of your marketing automation platform, that allows you to get those definitions around what your requirements are and then, through some of those players, populate that information on the back end. You are still getting it. You are still feeding it to your sales person. One trick that I always use is that you kind of have that blind-submit, but the form is still there. You can always offer it to your users so that they could click on it and say, “Update your profile” and they can see what information is there. 

You are also still being upfront about it, but you are also giving them the opportunity to see what’s there and update that and correct it. I think you should use technology to your advantage and use a little bit more of that blind-submit and pre-population on the back end. 

[0:14:53.0] JG: Great, thank you. 

[0:14:53.9] DG: Very good. There is so darn much hype about technology. I think all of us have bought something and had an “uh-oh” moment when we got into it and realized it wasn’t quite as good as advertised. What is the reason you’ve found, if you are talking to the CFO, about why to do this? Why invest in mar-tech? 

What’s the Business Reason Behind Your Mar-tech Stack? 

[0:15:19.4] JM: When I look at mar-tech in the same way that I market to my target audiences, I look for the business reasons. What are the business drivers that you don’t go buy technology just for the sake of buying technology? A CFO is looking for close loop tracking and reporting. You guys probably look at that, too, from a demand gen and end-gen perspective. 

That is something they want you to understand. I am making these marketing investments. I am putting this much in paid, I am investing in agencies, whatever, wherever those sources are. That is a key piece that I always look at. If you want close loop in tracking and reporting, then we need to make sure we have some type of technology. 

Going back to user experience, existing customers are expecting you, as a partner, to come back to them and know more. “Have you considered this? Have you looked at these options?” Back in the day, we used to do a lot of that just from gut instinct. We know what the buyer’s journey is, and we have a good inkling, based on that journey, that this is probably what they are going to need. Now, we can be even more specific and more relevant, and that is enabled through technology. 

That is a pretty appealing conversation from a CFO’s point of view. “Are renewals reducing attrition? How do we up-sell/cross-sell those existing customers?” It is much less to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer. That can be a very strong conversation and compelling for the CFO. On the flip side, those are pretty relevant conversations for a CEO as well. “How are we going to break into a new market? How are we going to up-sell and grow revenue with the existing customers that we have today?” 

Those are key points that most CFOs and CEOs are very keen on, and that’s something that is very relevant if you are a public company. How does that influence and drive your stock price? Your board of directors is certainly interested in those pieces as well, and the expectation is that the CMO is able to report a lot of that back to that executive team as well as the board and influence that stock price if it’s public. 

[0:17:59.8] DG: Very good. What are your parting thoughts for the audience, today, about mar-tech and that journey? 

[0:18:07.2] JM: I would say if you do not feel that you have the insight and intel, then ensure that you hire the right team or agency partners or consultants to help you. There are a lot of strong players out there who can really help you to build and document those key requirements and help you to explore and look at the right player or players who would fit within your business requirements, your budget, and also your timing. 

Kind of going back to a demand gen point of view, I think your band is always really defined in that as a marketer and as you go and look at your purchase decision. 

[0:18:52.5] DG: Very good. Jonathan, any questions for Jen? 

[0:18:56.5] JG: No, I think I do have a specific-use case question. I don’t know if it is really appropriate but what the heck? I got you, I might as well ask you. It is my show, I’ll do what I want.

[0:19:05.9] JM: That’s right. 

Tracking the Complex Sale: Using Your CRM for Offline Conversions

[0:19:06.5] JG: For people who have a complex sale where the locus of conversion is not online, what kind of attribution modeling software or whatever do you see that is working to really tie ad-set level insights to revenue in that complex environment? Do you know anything out there that is performing particularly well? 

[0:19:32.1] JM: I would still go back to your marketing automation platform, but I think that also goes back into your CRM. If you are having those complex sales, and I know sales guys don’t always like to go back and do that tracking and reporting, but if you are capturing that information within your sales tool, within your CRM, I think you can easily with that integration tied back into your marketing automation, so that you could understand across the buyer’s journey from awareness, consideration, evaluation to purchase, you are tying that all together. That would be my recommendation. I think that it is core for sales to be integrated. 

[0:20:17.8] JG: Absolutely. I’ll tell you what, Dave, all our B2B marketing shows are not created equal. We’re starting to look pretty good over here. 

[0:20:25.9] JM: You guys look great. I love the backgrounds. I mean if that had been a requirement, I would have gotten the digital print out there. Well, thank you for having me. 

[0:20:36.9] DG: You bet. 

[0:20:37.9] JG: This is too much good information, but for you, I’m going to have to start charging people. Two days a week.

[0:20:44.2] DG: Thank you Jen. 

[0:20:44.8] JM: My pleasure.

[0:20:46.3] JG: It’s been real. We’ve got to have you back on. You’re just too smart not to, so I can’t wait for that to happen. Until then, it’s been another episode of the Green & Greene Show.


[0:20:52.8] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for tuning in to the Green & Greene Show by LeadCrunch. Green & Greene think differently about B2B and want to start a movement to transform demand gen. If you have ideas for topics or would like to be a guest, send an e-mail to david.green@leadcrunch.ai. If you’d like to find more customers, visit our website to talk to one of our demand gen guides, www.leadcrunch.com.