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Overview: Jon Miller the CMO and CPO at DemandBase discusses how DemandBase has transformed FourKites marketing.
About the speaker: Jon is a marketing entrepreneur and thought leader. He is currently the Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Demandbase, the leading account-based marketing platform. Previously, Jon was the CEO and founder of Engagio (acquired by Demandbase) and was co-founder at Marketo (Nasdaq:MKTO), a leader in marketing automation.
Jon is a frequent speaker at conferences including Dreamforce, MarketingProfs B2B, Marketing Operations Executive Summit, OMS, and the Marketing Nation Summit. He is also the author of numerous e-books including Complete and Clear Guide to Account Based Marketing and the Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation.
Jon: Hey everyone, Jon Miller, I am the Chief Marketing and product officer at demandbase. I’m joined today with Steve Rotter the Chief Marketing Officer of FourKites. How’s it going?
Steve: Fantastic. Jon how are you?
Jon: I’m good. So we’re here at the RevTech conference, and we’re going to be talking about Demandbase today. So why don’t you kick things off. Tell us a little bit about four kites. And then we’ll get into kind of your history with Demandbase.
Steve: Yeah, sure. thrilled to be here. FourKites, fascinating company, I joined as cmo in February of last year. I’m still new, but very cool supply chain technology. It’s a early stage company, about 500 employees. We’re growing at a massive pace right now. So kind of heading toward that unicorn valuation that, a lot of startups aspire to so excited about that. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Demandbase. I mean, it’s gonna be a key part of our growth strategy.
Jon: That’s awesome. So now, let’s talk just a little bit about kind of the history of you getting here. To where you are going with Demandbase. Because, you started as a Engagio customer, right.
Steve: I did, in fact, I’ll go on record, and I’ll say this, I am a four times Demandbase customer. So for my past cmo roles, I’ve leveraged the technology. And certainly also familiar with Engagio and use that in the past. Thrilled with both and obviously excited to see how the companies are coming together. But when I joined FourKites, it wasn’t that great it was one of those technologies.
Jon: You inherited, Engagio at FourKites right?
Steve: Inherited Engagio and certainly excited that it was there, but I was really challenged to see the the level of implementation. It wasn’t great on our side. And it was not something that the sales team embraced. It wasn’t something that people used on a daily basis. And it wasn’t part of the DNA. So I don’t know if you remember, but you and I got on the phone, probably about three weeks after I joined the company.
I’m like, Jon we got to fix this. Because I’ve seen the power of Engagio, and how it can transform a team. But just we need some kind of external help to make that story possible. So, we quickly turn things around. And within a couple of months, it’s now become the, the favorite tool for our sales team. And they’re sending me notes saying, This is awesome. I can’t believe I live without it for so long.
Jon: Cool. Well, so then, as folks are probably aware, back in June. We made the decision to merge Engagio with the goal of creating what, I feel very confident saying the most complete and and ABM platform. We built actually the new platform based on Engagio. Which effectively enable us to integrate all the awesome demand based technology around prediction, predictive analytics, and machine learning and intent and advertising personalization.
Bring that all into the Engagio platform, and that let us move like the wind and actually deliver Demandbase one which is our new solution based on Engagio in record time. In five months. You guys are one of the earlier adopters of the new solution.
Steve: Excited to see that. I’m thrilled. I mean, if you think about just two great technologies coming together, and now all of a sudden making it even better for for marketing teams. We’re just, excited about the potential. I mean, I’ll share some of the things that we’re doing now. But also just a vision for the future with you guys. I think it’s going to be great.
Jon: How was a migration for you, did it take a long time to kind of get moved to a new solution?
Steve: Not really, I mean, I think we had a couple of meetings with the customer success team. They were awesome, walked through what the transition is gonna be like, and then our marketing ops team took it from there. We haven’t missed a beat.
Jon: Great, awesome. So I know you’ve got some slides here, that we can kind of talk about how we’re using this platform.
Steve: Yeah, that sounds great. Jon let me pop those up. And then we can talk through it as, as we go through this. Showing Okay, on your end? Awesome. So a little bit of context. For those of you not familiar with FourKites, you’ll probably be familiar with this story though. Right? Hypergrowth organization, a lot of companies are kind of in that stage where they’re ready for that next big leap.
Approaching 100 million in revenue and all of that, but we’re still an early stage market. So when we think some of the value that Demandbase and Engagio bring is identifying those patterns. Early stage market category is barely being created. So lots of cool stuff going on there. We sell the large buying teams. So ultimately getting insight and visibility into all the different personas. And the ideal customer profiles that are coming in. That’s critical for us, and is complex b2b sales. This is not something that happens overnight.
This is typically six to nine months sales cycle. Multiple parties involved, and you can look at the logo list below. That’s just our some of our customers, but you get a sense of the large complex global companies that we serve. And very excited about that. Jon, I frame this like a good marketing presentation. Five ways got the List Going Right Out of the Gate. Five ways Demandbase is transforming our marketing. I chose these words, because ultimately there are there are phrases that that I see, as I look from a CMOS perspective that are really important.
The first one I saw is visibility, right. One of the ways that we’re using Demandbase now is our campaign managers create a specific target account list and use Engagio and Demandbase to really monitor the performance of a campaign. So they get this bird’s eye view. This is an example of a food and beverage campaign that we ran earlier in the year. And looking at that performance over time, but then also being able to dive in and look at what accounts are trending and what’s going on there.
So really excited about just being able to provide campaign managers. Yet another data point, because it’s surrounded with data. They’re looking at ad performance and open rates and email, click through rates. But ultimately, this starts getting at the heart of what companies are actually involved in this. So, really excited about that is kind of giving us that visibility.
Jon: And I just want to clarify for everybody, all the screenshots that you’re showing, these are all from the new Demandbased solution.
Steve: Yeah, it’s fantastic. So it looks great. Really like the user experience. It was a nice upgrade, but it wasn’t dramatically different, where it caused a lot of training and restructuring. So I thought that was excellent. The second thing that, that we find really valuable from this as we think about Demandbase, and our marketing team is speed. A common phrase these days is speed to lead. I mean, this is something that we think about all the time.
And we’ve all seen these stats that say that the amount of time it takes for you to follow up. The the the degradation or the decrease in conversion rates is significant, the longer it takes. So what we have is we have a weekly triage and targeting meeting using all of this data from from Demandbase. Point one of these examples out here, where you can look at this company, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there’s a huge spike in activity.
What caused that what’s going on with that particular customer? We use this to be very, very fast in terms of response rates, and exactly what this customer or prospect in this case cares about. So, Jon other comments about some of the other capabilities around this. I know, we’ve also talked about using the qualification score, and also using some of the pipeline prediction capabilities as part of this process as well.
Jon: Yeah, I mean, those are some of I think, the most exciting capabilities of the new platform that use kind of big data and machine learning, to help you take the process you’re doing and kind of identifying kind of these customers and searching accounts, and applying even more AI to it. So the qualification score, basically, is a ranking of all of 20 million accounts, every b2b company out there, based on how well they fit to your ideal customer profile.
So it’s a great way to know where you should be focusing on regardless of where they are in their buying cycle. The pipeline prediction takes things even further. And what it does is it sort of looks at the pattern of behaviors that your best customers follow. As they sort of approach becoming an opportunity. The pattern of the behaviors they’re doing on your site with your campaigns, as well as out on the open web.
And when we see an account have a similar pattern of behaviors. That says, hey, this looks like accounts look like as they’re about to sort of be moving into the purchase cycle. We give a high point prediction score. So I think when you’re doing these weekly stand ups, to prioritize the meetings. The ability to kind of combine these three scores together. I think is going to take everything you’re doing even to the next level, and this is live, it’s in your instance and ready to go.
Steve: Yeah, I love this. I mean, I think in many ways, what highlighting is something so incredibly valuable for an early stage technology. Because you really don’t know I mean, you pick your target account list. You think about your ideal customer profile, but that’s changing every single week. Every single month, every single quarter, as the technologies mature as the category matures.
So getting this kind of, I guess, view into that crystal ball with all that data. The app is fantastic. One of the other things that, I think you touched on this is, these kind of surging accounts. We look at this as well as another indicator of just great opportunities for our team to, pursue a prospect based on a lot of things going on. I’ll just touch on this when you can see that big red arrow pointing at a couple of examples in, pharmaceutical.
As we look at as we think about this kind of intent surging. If you think about the pharmaceutical world, think about what’s going on in the world doesn’t take much to realize that COVID vaccine rollout is taking center stage. In fact, this was a wall street journal article, Jon, just a few weeks ago, that highlighted FourKites technology as part of that overall end to end vaccine distribution. But it’s driving a tremendous amount of awareness. And we’re now using the same capabilities to start looking at the intent activities for those exact prospects that are surging.
So if you look at it, you can kind of zero in on a couple of these bumps and look at Wow, this, this particular pharmaceutical companies really interested in on time delivery and supply chain visibility and temperature control. Which is exactly what you’d expect, given that current climate. I know that, we’re just kind of scratching the surface on using some of that intent data, but we find that incredibly powerful.
Jon: Yeah, I think one of the coolest things about this new platform is how many options you have for the intent data? There’s the Demandbase provided intent data, that we come up with by looking at over half a trillion signals every month. And like really matching, who’s out there on the web, looking at content, reading articles, and what companies and looking for patterns. You have the native Demandbase intent data.
We also have a really awesome integration with Bombora. So anybody who’s using their intent data that comes natively into the platform. That’s something you guys have been using, as well. Plus, you bring in data from G2, Tech Target. Anywhere else, you name it. So I think this intent data is, I think, one of the biggest, most important things happening in ABM these days, because it lets us reach out to accounts at the right time when they actually want to hear from us. As opposed to pounding on their door when they’re like, I don’t even know what you do, or why I care.
Steve: Yeah, timing is everything, right. And if you think about even just this illustration on the screen, if we would have reached out to this company five, six weeks ago, or a month or two ago, it probably wouldn’t have been the right time. But all of a sudden, they’re investigating things that are absolutely the center of the bullseye. One of the things that we look at is just the alignment of the teams. And in many ways this is a challenge is for any fast growing organization. Aggressive sales team, aggressive marketing, aggressive SDRs.
We’re all working for similar goal, but sometimes, three teams running fast and maybe not the exact direction. So we’re using the the weekly reports, every single Sunday, email reports go out to the exact team sales, leadership, marketing, leadership. Each and every sales rep has a their target account list, and everything going on within those accounts. You can see these guys here, every single Sunday, it’s really clear here are the accounts that are surging in your particular patch. And here’s an opportunity for you to really kind of strike while the iron is hot with those particular accounts.
Then the sales team and the SDR can take that and work together and say, Where are there holes in the buying process? We’re missing data at the contact at the at the sea level in this account? Or where are we strong? And where are we weak. So really kind of dive into that once we get that. But the Northstar if you will, or the trigger point. Fantastic. I would love those reports. It really ramps up the adoption, right?
Jon: You’re looking at, you’re showing this and then the Demandbase product, but your reps are usually going to be looking at this inside Salesforce.
Steve: Yeah, exactly. I mean, this is one of the things that new tool adoption of any technology. You put it where the team lives most of the time, and it makes it so much easier. We find that to be incredibly valuable. Two other quick points. I’ll share one thing that’s really, I guess, an unexpected benefit. I found this from talking to the SDRs in the sales team is clarity. I use that word because clarity of message at our stage, early stage companies is so important. You don’t always know exactly what people are looking for and what people are searching for.
What we find is the SDRs and the sales teams will actually sit together and then not only, look at the accounts that are surging, but they start using some of these advanced filters to start getting into the details on what type of content is actually being looked at. From there, you can really start to get your kind of heat map, in your view in terms of where you should focus and what you should focus on. Fantastic. Just as we think about where things are going, again, super excited that the companies have come together. I think this is going to be incredibly powerful. Two things on our roadmap that I can share that I think are going to be game changers for us. One is advertising.
Today we’re using another, we’re using another technology for doing display, advertising, and so forth. Incredibly cumbersome workflow. And now all of a sudden, having that completely linked to the Demandbase platform for looking at surging accounts, and immediately putting those into a specific ad rotation at that is absolutely spot on for us. And then personalization, I think the future of b2b for us is, is going to be hyper personalization of content. Using that information that’s available to start. Crafting the perfect message for the perfect persona at the perfect stage.
Obviously, that’s a little bit of, future vision, but we’re heading toward that really fast. With that Jon, that’s all I had to share. But again, super excited to be part of the part of this conference and share what we’re doing with the team.
Jon: Yeah, well, if I can just pull out some themes that, I was excited about is. You know, you shared a lot about how you’re, you’re using the platform, looking at both engagement and tanks, and then soon to be machine learning to discover those in market accounts that are really ready to buy. Then to move quickly, with speed to kind of follow up, and really kind of ultimately bringing sales and marketing together by connecting those revenue insights to action.
That’s not the exciting themes I heard. I think the other one that is, I’m excited to where you’re going is you’re really starting to orchestrate account experience. Where you’re going to be connecting your insights. Which tells you when to engage in what to say. With the sales touches with the advertising with the website experience. And overall, I think that’s going to deliver a better account experience.
Steve: Think about it we’re now pushing b2b where b2c is kind of thought about for a long time in terms of omni channel consistency. This is right there so it’s fantastic. Especially when you start thinking about, the business impact shortening sales cycles. Getting crisper on your messaging and really driving that growth that a lot of b2b companies are striving toward. For us as game changing.
Jon: Good. Listen, Steve, this has been a blast to see and hear how you’re using the new platform. Thank you for being a fourth time customer and for for all the success that you’re having both using this and also helping to evangelize ABM.
Steve: Fantastic. Well, thanks, Jon. Thanks for having me and have a great conference. Cheers.