Interview with Jay Gaines

Chief Marketing Officer at SiriusDecisions

techconnectr interviews andrew gaffney genius behind b2bmx and president g3 communications
Video Transcript

hi this is Bob Samuels founder at tech
connector tech connector is a
marketplace and campaign management
platform of Best of Breed
account based marketing lead generation
solutions we are partnering with serious
decisions to bring you wisdom from
leading account based marketing thought
leaders to that end I’m happy to
introduce you to Jake Eames chief
marketing officer and analysts for
serious decisions Jay’s background in
both sales and marketing and as an
advisor and practitioner put them in a
wonderful position to share best
practice account based marketing ideas
and solutions Jay it’s always a pleasure
to speak with you how are you today I’m
doing great Bob thanks for inviting me
to participate this is wonderful it’s
you’re adding great value to what we’re
doing which is talking to some of the
true experts in ABM and it’s delightful
delightful to have you so thank you did
you give your get the audience a little
bit of background about you know how it
whirring been in this world and where
ABM has kind of touched you along the
way sure happy to
so I’ve been in b2b sales and marketing
pretty much my entire career I started
for about seven years on the sales side
and this was before you know ABM was a
thing but it’s interesting because even
in my first job I started in inside
sales and went to field sales became a
field sales manager before I moved over
to the to the marketing side but the
nature of my sales jobs were very much
account focused I was focused on
enterprise corporate accounts and
embedded in just three accounts through
most of that time so it was very much an
account based approach so you know one
of my beliefs about ABM is that it’s
nothing necessarily new but it is new
and how we’re doing it for sure so from
there I moved into marketing and my
first job was actually to help a
marketing organization better align with
the b2b sales organization so I did that
for quite some time
but throughout my career I’ve run all
kinds of marketing functions
communications field marketing global
teams I’ve had a couple CMO gigs but
over the last nine years which is the
longest I’ve been at any company have
been at serious decisions and I joined
serious as an analyst from the early
days here I think I was the twenty
second employee and I spent about three
years running our demand creation
service actually four years doing that
helping people do everything demand
related right so all the processes
approaches programs technology sales and
marketing alignment and all that good
stuff and then it’s been about four
years leading our marketing executive
services which is services for chief
marketing officers and other very senior
marketing leaders with a broad scope of
responsibilities like you think about
regional heads of marketing and then
about two and a half years ago the
founders here asked me to become CMO
it’s serious
which has been a lot of fun I’ve got to
tell you it’s we’ve got well over 100
marketing analysts and consultants here
so I’ve got amazing resources at my
fingertips and a lot of research and a
great team under me and you know
throughout my time at Sirius that’s
where I really dug into ABM you know
leading the demand services was really
at the dawn of modern account based
marketing so I got to do a lot of work
with our clients who are on the bleeding
edge and really learning about how to
make this work in the right way and in a
modern way and then of course when I
moved over to the executive services
working more with chief marketing
officers I would say that’s you know in
the top three or four things on most
CMOS list in terms of what they needed
to understand and in many cases
implement and improve so did a lot of
work with them as well that was both
very strategic in terms of how to kind
of build a case for it within the
business how to build the capability in
their teams but also going much deeper
into actual execution program
development measurement that kind of
thing and of course we hear are serious
decisions now that I’m back into a
practitioner role we do quite a lot of
account based marketing ourselves we
have a set of strategic accounts and
Lord
enterprise accounts where we apply ABM
approaches that have worked out really
well for us
– wonderful I was going to ask if you
drink your own champagne well we do yeah
I couldn’t do anything but that’s my
Karen champagne it’s a wonderful day
yeah your background is it and your
exposure is just so phenomenal I’m very
jealous you work with very short
marketers both the both the advisors in
and your clients and cutting edge and
and you have the background of the sales
side too which is really important and
and as you said it’s OAB I’m think it’s
not it’s not anything it’s just it’s
maybe can party account but but we’re
having them look if we putting a little
more technology and around the touches
so it’s a wonderful background you have
delighted book thank you you’re here so
so one of the things I look forward to
is the you know this serious decision
summit its next month on the corner can
you give a little bit of highlights of
what can be happening there and some of
the some of the focus of some of the
ideas that will be popping up around the
ABN and so forth yeah I’d be happy to so
yeah so our US summit it’s our flagship
event of the year this will be my tenth
one that I’ll be at and it’s an all in
the fair for us pretty much the entire
company goes we attract about 5,000
delegates and sponsors to the event and
it’s you know it’s funny I joke about
this all the time it’s almost like a
cult-like experience I mean you get a
group that size of people who are so
passionate about all things b2b b2b
marketing sales product and people
really get into it so is so it’s kind of
my favorite time of year and we pretty
much work on it and plan for year round
we also have versions of the event in
Mia as well as one nation Civic and the
whole series of other events but the big
thing this year that we’re very focused
on is what we call kind of aligning and
optimizing the revenue engine for b2b so
that’s a theme of the conference and
really what we focus on there is how do
companies
achieve high performance by making sure
that marketing sales and product
management and development are kind of
well aligned very very focused on their
roles have kind of a common
understanding of their goals but also
their audiences to really drive
profitable revenue growth within
businesses so that’s the overall theme
and the specific theme is achieving high
performance by aligning the b2b revenue
engine and within that as you can
imagine there’s going to be a really
heavy focus on account based marketing
we have a dedicated track on it one of
our main stage keynotes is on what we’re
seeing happening with the count based
marketing one of our services we have a
very large one of our larger services is
entirely focused on account based
marketing and really more broadly
account please go to market strategies
so as part of that track within the
summit we’re going to have what we call
the foundations of account based
marketing really how to assess your
readiness and your ability to start
going to market in an account-based way
that’s going to be effective right you
have the right knowledge the right skill
sets and people in place it’s a little
bit about technology but we don’t serve
really considered technology to be
foundational here it’s something that
you add on once you get people in the
process right and what’s your
understanding of the companies marketing
how is it going to be defined within
your business because as you know
there’s a lot of different definitions
we also talked about the issues around
sales and marketing alignment because
really what makes a company’s marketing
work are those two functions working
very effectively together that’s going
to be us session within that track we’re
going to have sessions around applying
agile principles to account based
marketing measurement of account based
marketing and a whole lot more there’s
one called high performance account
based marketing and that’s really our
view across our client base because one
of the things we do here at Sirius is
we’re constantly measuring and
benchmarking our clients I’m looking at
the results that they’re driving and how
efficient they are in driving those
results so we’re able to identify very
high-performing organizations and it’s
really going to be our view across our
most high performing clients who are
doing ABM and what
they’re doing that’s causing them to
have those great results and then we’re
gonna have a future vision session as
well which is hey where do we think the
company’s marketing is going over the
next five years and why is it going
there and what’s the impact going to be
on skill sets organizations technology
and investment wonderful it’s I always
circle the event on the calendar
it’s a terrific event and gets better
every year go into it so I know you have
you know a nice focus on emerging
technologies I know you said and I and I
believe it that the technology isn’t the
answer necessarily if you don’t have the
foundation if you don’t have the
organizational foundation if you don’t
have it the right procedures in
structure and so forth what kind of
emerging technology are you seeing on
the ABM side so yeah that’s a good
question and you know it’s an
interesting one because as you know as
everybody knows there’s been this kind
of massive explosion of kind of
marketing technology in general but
especially in the ABM space and I mean
that I mean more than any other space
that’s where we seemed a huge explosion
and and one of the things that we do
here at Sirius as we cover marketing and
sales technology categories and what we
found is a few things so first of all
there are a lot of Technology providers
who are claiming to provide account
based marketing technology but it’s not
really I mean it might be things that
they do that are somewhat related to
account based marketing but it’s not
really kind of meeting the needs as we
understand them of users of those
technologies but people are kind of
latching on to a VM as a theme because
it’s so hot right now
and they figure it’ll help them sell
more so so I guess my first you know
message to the audience out there is
that you want to apply caution right and
start with your business needs when
you’re thinking about the technologies
that you’re going to want to employ
because again there are different types
of account based marketing approaches
that require different technology
platforms what we’ve also found is there
are some very specific areas where we’re
seeing
Lions have unique success using
technology and their account based
marketing approaches now there’s
certainly account based marketing
platforms that are very effective you
know things like engage EO and terminus
and demand base and those types of
technologies that people are having
success with in various ways and and
frankly improving over time in terms of
how they’re using them there’s also kind
of the advertising side of things so the
digital advertising side of things who
have highly targeted at the account
level advertising and frankly we find
too often people think about you know
account based marketing ABM that’s how
they define it is highly targeted
digital advertising but you know that’s
just one piece and frankly not even the
most effective piece but that’s evolving
as well but where we’re seeing a really
big impact is through intent monitoring
so more and more of our clients are
adopting solutions to help them
understand intent at an account level
and just for anybody out there who is
unclear on what intent monitoring is
essentially what it allows you to do is
get a much broader and when I say
broader I mean beyond your own websites
beyond your own clients or prospects
activity that you can directly measure
insight into what they’re doing relevant
activity that they’re up to kind of what
they’re searching on on search engines
web sites and specific pages that
they’re accessing content assets that
they’re accessing and what you can do
with that is basically look at trends
score that activity and behavior at an
account level to really understand
intent right so is there a lot of
activity going on around you know
searches for and accessing content
around for example a marketing
automation platforms that might mean
they’re in market or about to be in
market looking for an account based
marketing platform right or a marketing
automation platform so that’s the
fundamental idea there and one of the
things that’s really nice about it is
that this information is being gathered
at the account level with no personally
identifiable information associated with
it so there are no privacy issues
at play here so you know in the context
of GDP our and amia for example we’ve
had a lot of clients become really
successful at understanding an intent at
an account level without having to worry
about implications related to privacy in
GDP our and then what they do with that
information is what’s really critical
then of course – so on the marketing
side obviously can be far more targeted
in terms of your advertising your
outbound marketing that you’re doing
development of content assets and offers
that are targeted to accounts based on
understanding of intent inside tella
teams can use this information to create
context for conversations that they want
to have that will draw people in and
hopefully be more compelling obviously
sales people can use this information
for their own targeting as well but also
to drive effective conversations and you
know I’m talking a lot about that one
because again this is an area where
we’re seeing real impacts in terms of
efficiency and performance and outcomes
that are being driven so for example on
the marketing side we’re seeing a lot of
marketing organizations be able to
actually focus and target much better
which is having an impact on their
ability to actually reduce activity and
in some cases even investment while
driving better outcomes because they can
be so much more targeted and what
they’re doing you know the other thing
I’ll say about it and I’ll kind of
compare it to predictive analytics
predictive analytics is really great it
has a lot of fantastic applications but
we’ve seen a lot of companies struggle
with it and one of the reasons for that
is a lot of b2b organizations don’t have
the volume of data or the quality of
data to look at historical data to
predict future outcomes and that’s the
difference about intent right intent is
gathering real-time data across many
many pretty much across the entire web
not just your own web properties so that
data is much more reliable and it tells
you what’s happening now rather than
predicting what might happen in the
future based on what’s happened in the
past so so again a lot of activity there
and I think it’s only going to improve
over time
wonderful well yeah I you can go on
about behavior so the other
the other piece of ABM which which I get
involved with is targeting to specific
people within the company so having a
target list having like figuring out
your white space with who you have
access to who you don’t have access to
and being able to hit those people
specifically yeah and obviously that’s a
huge area too and that’s kind of second
to a intent monitoring in the sense that
the ability to target is absolutely key
so you know our language here at serious
decisions we talk a lot about demand
units right so a demand unit rather than
a lead
so a lead being at one individual a
demand unit is made up of a group of
individuals because as you know as you
know in the b2b world it’s typically not
one person that’s making or influencing
a purchase decision but the people
across functions several people with in
buying centers so you might have you
know end users at play you might have
more senior executives who are the
ultimate kind of power in that
decision-making process we have people
who we call ratifiers you know you might
have CFOs or purchasing people who are
involved in making decisions so
understanding that demand units are at
play and all these people oriented
around a specific need that they’re
trying to fulfill for their business
understanding that only adds to the need
to target at an individual level because
this is okay we can just look at end
users or ultimate decision makers we
have to look at all these influencers
who are involved as well so being able
to do that effectively is key but then
adding to that the ability to not just
target them effectively but engage them
effectively is key as well because
they’re going to have different
perspectives different information needs
that are going to help them make
decisions or influence decisions so that
creates you know a necessity around
deeper targeting but also more in the
way of unique offers you need content
assets and ultimately personalization as
well so that’s another huge trend that
we’re seeing related to ABM is this
trend towards deeper targeting and
greater personalization to create better
experiences and better and more
effectively engage your individual
targets within those accounts yes and
then I heard them considered as grouping
those targets with different personas
that’s exactly right
exactly and then my dance guy you may
want to address differently than the
Sedna tech guy or security guy or well
that’s exactly right so and which is
really cool because you know these big
trends that are going on kind of the two
biggest ones are the combination of ABM
right which is an account based an
account level approach combined with
what we call persona based marketing
right so it’s kind of like macro
approach combined with this very
granular approach in persona based
marketing and those personas are so
critical and you know that’s an area of
a lot of work for us – it’s serious here
because I can say I’ve reviewed a lot of
personas and some of them are great but
a lot of them aren’t really useful
because they contain a lot of
information that isn’t actually
information you can use to make a good
decision the critical information in the
persona are things like not just things
like hey what is their you know function
that they’re in what is their title
level within that function that’s
important for sure but that’s kind of
foundational but understanding their
role in a buying process right so are
they like a CFO where they’re going to
be looking at it from a totally
different perspective from an end-user
for example so that role in the buying
process but also building in things like
what are their trusted sources of
information where do they turn to get
the information they need in order to
make decisions and inform themselves so
understanding that will obviously
influence the channels to which you’re
going through marketing your your
programs and your tactics so you know
what we find is kind of brief very
focused personas are effective and then
also making sure that a shared
understanding of those personas exists
I’m going to share it across marketing
but across sales and marketing as well
but everybody agrees yes that’s what
these people look like that’s the role
in the bryant buying process your key
characteristics that we can use to
better engage them and convert them and
make them hopefully eventually become
clients wonderful and then and then you
get the whole concept of figuring out
what content to show the different
people at the dinner yeah for different
calls the action and timing and methods
and channels and whatever yeah yeah
through all this content remains King I
know it’s cliche but if you don’t have
good content you are not going to get
engagement if you don’t have engagement
you’re not going to be able to convert
anybody and everything else falls apart
and you know quality content is what
drives engagement that’s ultimately what
all this is about it’s got to be
relevant for that person yeah absolutely
so yeah if you do it right I call it a
double mitzvah to double good D you’re
getting them you know that that person
that you know the target out there
something that you’re interested in it
speaks to them
exactly oh that’s wonderful
so what’s your what is your crystal ball
say about how things are going what’s
what is what is our conversation to be
about next year at this time how about
in five years but what is a good
question is different so you know
there’s there’s several areas you know
one of the things that is critical that
I think will continue to happen is that
you know account-based marketing you
know we talked about account based
marketing but of course it’s really
account based go to market right because
again that sales marketing alignment is
key if you don’t have a sales
organization that is going to market an
account based way account based
marketing is going to be very effective
but that’s going to extend I think some
people call it account base to
everything I wouldn’t quite go that far
at least not in the next five years but
but really what we’re going to start to
see is things like customer success for
example taking a much more account based
approach so it’s not only about how you
go to market and acquire customers or
grow within existing accounts it’s also
been increasingly going to be about how
do you retain customers and how do you
create advocacy within your your key
accounts so and that’s something that
you know it sounds intuitive but it
hasn’t really happened just yet you know
customer success functions still take a
very broad-based approach tend to treat
all clients the same way and aren’t kind
of achieving that level of
personalization so that’s one area that
I think is going to be kind of
interesting is this broadening of
account based approaches that are going
to increase Lee increasingly focus on
retention
Elte advocacy those types of things
within accounts so that’s one you know
the other that I think is really
interesting is going back to intent data
intent data is great now but it’s still
in its early days so we’re already
seeing a lot of success we’re already
seeing being used in more and more
interesting ways we’re seeing our
clients innovate with intent date in
terms of what they do with it and how
they use it to better engage their
audiences and target their their work
but we’re just at the starting point of
seeing machine learning and AI really
begin to make it have an effect on
intense data so as we all know AI is all
the rage right now everybody’s talking
about it nobody’s really kind of figured
it out it’s evolving and emerging right
now but I believe that five years from
now what we’re going to see is AI being
applied to intent data to create an
environment where marketers salespeople
businesses in general are going to have
be able to get game much much deeper
insight into what is actually happening
within accounts and what that means and
the actions they should take on based on
what that means so that’s going to get
just better and better over time in fact
like I said we’re already beginning to
see the beginnings of that but it’s very
early days but five years from now you
know I think it’ll be everywhere and you
know the other thing I think we’re going
to see happening and this is already
underway but you know when we think
about five years out I think you’re
going to hear very very little about
lead generation and lead qualification I
think everything will be moving much
much more to account level qualification
right so again that doesn’t mean won’t
be targeting individuals within those
buying units or demand units and within
those accounts but it means that it’s
really going to become far more about
the aggregate of activity and engagement
across multiple individuals that’s going
to add up to account scoring that’s
going to be used by everybody to better
understand where there’s real
opportunity and what the nature of that
opportunity is within those accounts so
and that’s going to be driven by again
being
increase use of technologies the
evolution of technologies but also the
expanding kind of privacy regulation
that is already coming we’ve seen it in
GDP our we know the California is about
to pass some laws and that is only going
to as spread so people are going to have
to really think about when we think
about useful information information of
data that we’re gathering without
explicit consent we’re going to have to
be thinking about that in aggregate form
right yes we’re still targeting
individuals yes we’re still driving
those individuals to take actions and
convert and do things but looking at
activity in aggregate form is going to
become critical in kind of a more and
world more defined by privacy issues and
regulations Wow except that’s well said
that’s a beautiful crystal ball there
you go that’s food yeah so and yeah
beyond that you know the other thing
because there is another side to this
you know just data in general is going
to involve and you know one other thing
that I should mention here because to me
it’s a starting point for any of any
really effective account based marketing
and I think we’re going to see a strong
evolution in this area as well is
account selection right so if you’re not
focused on the right accounts anything
you do no matter how well you do it your
account base marketing it approaches are
not going to work out really well so I
think there’s going to be an evolution
and approaches there collaboration
across sales and marketing but also
effective use of data and ten data
audience insights to really go further
in terms of how do we do a good account
selection I mean right now there’s kind
of three criteria that are really
critical that’s obviously we kind of one
is understanding the opportunity within
account right so the scope of the
organization kind of the buying centers
that you’re trying to penetrate or maybe
already penetrated you know thinking
about things like categories spend and
share a wallet are all part of kind of
understanding opportunity within
accounts but then there’s kind of this
element of achieve ability to where you
start to think about okay well so what
extent do we have
really deep account knowledge right
across sales and marketing who are we
armed with the right insights and
information to really engage this
account and go after them what about the
competitive environment
what about kind of our current
relationship is it really healthy or are
we going to be facing problems because
the current relationship isn’t that
healthy and then finally there’s kind of
this idea of cooperation within the
account right do we have champions
within the account and that gets back to
kind of the relationship a little bit
but do we have people within the account
who are willing to not only be champions
but to help us do things within that
account and understanding that as well
so so I think there’s going to be a real
evolution there too because when I work
with clients and the other analysts here
work with clients who are engaged maybe
m2 often still we see them kind of
struggling because that initial process
of selecting accounts has been based too
often on opinions and frankly too often
on individual sales reps opinions about
what’s going to work and what’s not
going to work you know the other thing I
should say is you know cooperation being
key not only within the account but
within sales too so my advice to
marketers is think about the sales
people within those accounts and are you
going to be able to work with them and
again this isn’t a ding against sales in
general but there are just some sales
reps who are far more interested in
being independent operators believe that
they can do it all don’t necessarily
want marketing’s health my advice is
focus on those sales reps we’re going to
collaborate and engage with you and
again I think that’s going to just be an
evolution the way marketing people may
be and think about how they select
accounts but it’s a really important
factor because if you don’t have good
collaboration you’re pretty much you
have an uphill battle on your hands and
you’re not going to be very efficient or
effective yes that’s good and it’s
natural consequences to those sales reps
that don’t don’t embrace their ABM thing
stay tuned well that’s the other lenses
that’s right well that’s right and so
the best way to show them is all the
successes from the other reps don’t
figure it out exactly beautiful and
that’ll be the evolution too so I
guarantee five years
now or whenever it is six years from now
most salespeople will be fully and 100%
onboard with engaging with marketing
around account based marketing because
they’re going to learn very quickly that
they have to collaborate to be
successful I would think so I would
think so this is wonderful so I look
forward to seeing you at the event is
there anything else that you want to
share now otherwise rather forward to
speak with you first week of May well
I’ll post the information about how to
get to the event and everything great
well I appreciate that no nothing else
for me I feel like I’ve already said
more than enough and I really enjoyed
the conversation Bob and again I
appreciate you inviting me to do this
Thank You Jay I appreciate it as well I
have a porcini Medicare great take care
of up