Leveraging Sales & Marketing Tech: Build, Buy, and In-Between

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Overview: Learn how to leveraging Sales & Marketing Tech in order to Build, Buy, and In-Between with Mark Maughan of DOMO for the RevTech Summit 2021.

Mark: Welcome. Before we jump in, by way of quick introduction, my name is Mark Maughan. I’m the Vice President of Business Operations and analytics at Domo. I’m coming to you from a cabin in the woods, or a zoom background and a shirt that leads you to believe that. You decide. Based on our topic today, and his experience, I asked Matt Mecham to join me. Apparently from his parents basement. Matt is our Director of Marketing operations and analytics at Domo, and his experience will be key to what we’re talking about today. I thought he and I could tag team this and hopefully between the two of us provide you with as much insight as possible over the next 15 minutes.

So here at Domo, my team is responsible for three key areas. Operations, which is all the business processes and the operational components of the business. Systems, which includes both systems that we purchase within the company, as well as things we build, to internally use. And the last piece is analytics. We have a team of business analysts that are leveraging the Domo product to analyze the business and to provide insights to our executive team, and to other members of our leadership team to help them run the business on.

Today, we thought it would be helpful to talk about three key areas. The first one is our technology stack. We also wanted to talk about how we evaluate vendors. And lastly, we’re going to talk a little bit about the criteria that we use to decide whether we build a solution or whether we buy a solution off the shelf. So Matt has been involved in more purchasing decisions. And then I’m sure he’d like to recall. I’m going to ask him to give us a little bit of an overview of the marketing solutions that are out there and the categories of marketing solutions. And talk a little bit about that. Matt, why don’t you take it away? 

Matt: Awesome. All right. Like we said, In the beginning, sales and marketing technology. Build buy and in between, and there is so much to buy. As you start to consider investing in your sales and marketing technology stack, you quickly realize how many different technologies are out there. How many vendors are out there. The pain point they address, and it’s a lot. It’s a lot to consume.

What we want to do today is give you a framework by which you can start to map your technologies or your vendors against. To understand all of the different areas, you could be investing in your marketing technology. And some considerations about over time how you decide to grow, and build your marketing technology stack.

First and foremost, you may have this on a piece of paper in an Excel sheet or somewhere. But I think it was really helpful exercise for us to put it down visually. Here are all the different areas that we could be investing in. Just walking through, from our perspective, here’s how we think about it. On the right these are the main categories of marketing technologies. So starting at the bottom, you have your core systems. That’s typically like marketing, automation, CRM. You start there, you know, those are the things that you’re using every day.

We define that by how can you function without them. That’s your core business. That’s the way we would define that. Then, as you start going up, not in any particular order, but you tend to have your analytics and optimization in marketing, to help understand ROI, and evaluate your business performance. You have your operational systems, so your collaboration tools, as well as some of the fun predictive scoring stuff that goes on in marketing. Data Management is another category that’s really, really big.

So data enhancing and third party vendors that you’re using to basically append attributes to your customer or prospect database. Your firmographic information, your technographic information. All of that falls in the data management category. The other part of that is how to tie it all together. So there’s a slew of technologies that help you piece together basically all the vendors that you see here as an example. That’s a critical part to marketing automation and marketing operations. Is being able to stitch together these vendors productively, so that they move the needle for you.

Then on the engagement side, you have content engagement, content management, you also have your out your outreach stuff. So that’s like the sales loft, that’s like your your inbound, sales reps, different things like that those tools, email tools to help them reach out to prospects and manage that workflow. Then at the very top is kind of your one on one contact acquisition and ad tech. That a lot of you I’m sure using. You put this all on a map. And after you do that from our experience, we start building on top of the core. What is our marketing strategy?

What are the pain points that we’re having in executing that strategy. And we slowly over time, we start plugging the different holes, identifying where we have gaps, and building our tech stack. A couple of things to consider, as you start building out the tech stack is an interesting thing that’s happening in the market is there certain players that are starting to cross these different categories. Maybe at one point, they were just operations, or at one point, they were just core systems, but they’re starting to do multiple things. And so in the market, you’re starting to see an introduction of players that kind of sell themselves as an all in one solution.

Over time, you kind of have to understand in what scenarios is an all in one solution valuable for me. Or when do I start buying multiple point solutions, like you see here on the map. And take on the burden internally, to integrate them all together, and to make that orchestra run, as you would want to. Typically, in our experience, what we’ve seen, assuming cost make sense for you. Is when you’re just getting out and you’re just starting to build your marketing technologies. Sometimes an all in one solution is great. It’s already pre integrated.

Typically, if you get if you find a good all in one solution. It works well together, and it covers that core system component. But I think as you start going you get more mature and your business gets more complex, then you start looking at specific point solutions, and you start deciding, like, Hey, we’re gonna buy, the best within the engagement category, and the best within the operations category.

And we are going to integrate all those together, and make them work for our good. So that’s at a high level how we think about marketing technology. Put them in high level categories. Understand what pain points those categories cover. And then map that to the business strategy that you have. And over time, it’ll slowly build and build and build. 

Mark: That’s great, Matt. Question: There’s a lot of logos on this slide. How many of these vendors? Do you think that you’ve evaluated over the last five years at Domo? What percentage?  

Matt: Yeah, every category for sure. I would say, there might be one on here that I haven’t personally analyzed, and decided on the vendor.  

Mark: I think any technology company that’s been around for a while has probably evaluated a lot of different solutions. And that’s definitely true for us. I think when we started doing this. We just kind of evaluated each solution individually. And tried to evaluate it based on functional requirements and that kind of thing.

But after a period of time, we found that it was too much for us to be able to evaluate each of these vendors in kind of a one off basis. We ended up building some evaluation criteria that we use for all of our vendor evaluations in sales and marketing technology. Matt, do you do you want to talk a little bit about that as well?  

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a great point. What we’ve been seeing and you’re probably noticing as well is the growing trend in marketing. When you think about the allocation of spend towards marketing technology is year over year. It’s recommended, like the benchmarks are growing that you invest more in your marketing technology, and I think that’s for a whole bunch of reasons. As with anything, as you invest in something more and more, there’s more eyes on it, there’s more scrutiny on it. There’s more questions.

So what we started to do is really create a framework by which we evaluate every single vendor. And this is this kind of an example framework that we’ve done in the past. Effectively, what we do is on the left hand side, in Excel, we say, here are all the ways that we are going to evaluate these vendors. Then we put them side by side vendor, one, two, and three in the middle. We add all the data that we have, that we’ve gathered across the three, and then get to the real nitty gritty on the comparison.

A couple main themes that persist across all evaluations, no matter what the technology is, of course, is pricing. What is the pricing model? How do we feel about that model? What are the pricing terms that are available to us? I’m always we consider whether there’s a PoC. If you can kick the tires, and you can try it, you can learn so much and in a short amount of time to validate whether or not you think that that’s a good technology for you.

Of course, we do kind of the feature by feature comparison. That makes a ton of sense. What we also do is consider how many people within the marketing organization are going to be using this tool? How broadly applicable, is it going to be. We one of the big criteria that we use across all evaluations, as well as how well does it fit with our current tech stack. And that’s becoming increasingly important criteria to judge it. Because we’ve got caught in the past where awesome technology really great, but it just doesn’t orchestrate well with, you know, the current solutions that we have.

But at the end of the day, what Mark always asked me, right, is how does this impact the bottom line? Like, how can we link this technology, directly or indirectly to revenue. That’s the most important thing. And then sometimes it’s a stretch, to be fair, it’s hard to make that leap. But we always try to do our best to do that.

And, and then at the end, you know, you can see on the right hand side. We go line by line, every piece of criteria, and we decide who’s the winner is the vendor, one, two, or three. And we roll that score up, and we say, okay, after doing the evaluation, this is the vendor that I think will give us most value. It’s the best fit, and give us the best chance to produce better revenue for the company. 

Mark: Yeah, that’s great. And I think what we found is that sometimes, there’s not a solution out there that fits our exact needs, or we’re not willing to pay the cost to get a solution that’s out in the marketplace. And when that’s the case, we have to make the evaluation or the turn the determination as to whether we build a solution or whether we buy that solution. Oftentimes we will buy solutions based on just that’s the key thing that that company does, and therefore they’re focused on it every day. But there are times when when we find that, that they we are in a better spot to actually build something.

One cool thing about Domo is that it is fully expandable, so you can build custom applications, or buy custom applications from our app store. And those sit right on top of Domo and add additional functionality to Domo. We’ve done that a number of times pretty, pretty lightweight effort. And I thought just to round out the conversation because, again, sometimes the the best solution isn’t to buy. Sometimes the best solution is to actually build.

As Matt said that decision typically comes down to ROI and how quickly we feel like we would be able to get a return on our investment, whether we’re buying something or whether we’re building we’re building something. So with that said, I wanted to show just a couple of examples of of solutions that we built in the Domo platform. Solutions that we’re using today. So Matt if you want to pull up the this is our demo instance of Domo. And here hopefully you can see this. This is an application that we built based on a need from our film marketing group.

The events group said, Hey, we don’t have a great way to identify accounts, customers prospects, and a specific geographic area and we want to do dinner event when that was a thing when we used to actually sit together and eat dinner together. We built this application that we call account hunt. So Matt, if you just want to type in like New York City. You can type in anything that you want. And you pulls up the results here, and this is using our Salesforce connector our Domo Salesforce connector.

So it’s pulling in all of our Salesforce data showing prospects and accounts that we have here in the city of New York. And we can on the right hand side there filter down to a number of different criterias, maybe we want to see a target account, or maybe we want to see just our customers. We could filter down on any of those. And then from there, reps will use this when they’re making on site visits, maybe they’ll do a drop by if they’ve got a prospect in the neighborhood, or like I said, account.

Our fill marketing group, we use this to, to then export and leverage that as a list to then import into our email our automated email system. So just one one example, I thought we’d show you one one more quickly. Before we have to let you go. Man, if you want to jump over to sales forecasting. Sales forecasting is kind of a pain. Reps don’t like to do it. It’s really time consuming. And we found that using our CRM to do it was really not the most effective way to do that. And so again, using our Salesforce connector, and using a connector that allows us to write back to Salesforce.

We built this custom application for forecasting. So Matt, as a manager can go in and see all the roll up of all the opportunities from his group. He can then make modifications like he’s doing here. Maybe he says, Okay, well, actually, below, I feel quite strongly about that. So I’m going to make an upward adjustment. He can go down in that middle section and filter on any of the reps and just see their particular opportunities, and then have a conversation with those reps. So the managers VPS, and all the way up to the CRO are leveraging this to understand what our pipe looks like. And to have conversations to help forecast. This is really helped us to be able to have more accurate forecasting.

And it’s just an example, we could go out and buy a solution that would include a forecasting piece. But we didn’t need all the other bells and whistles. We just needed a forecasting solution. We built this in Domo. So just a couple of examples of custom solutions. As you can see when you need something custom, or the advantage of custom is that you can build it exactly to your specifications.

Obviously, if we were to go out and buy something, from a company that’s focused on this every day. We get the added benefit of when something breaks. We just call them in the middle of the night rather than having to deal with it ourselves. So there are some trade offs for sure for you to consider in the build versus buy, but wanted to show you some examples of some things that you could do, by way of build. With that why don’t we go ahead and wrap up.

Again, from from our side. It’s critical as you’re considering what kind of solutions you need as an organization. To understand where you are in your lifecycle, as a company, to evaluate what resources there are out there. We’d recommend leveraging some sort of set criteria to be able to evaluate solutions. And if we can help, we’d love to help. If you if we can help you avoid any pain that we’ve had to go through, we definitely want to so here’s our contact information.

Feel free to email us or hit us up on LinkedIn. If you want to hit him up on Twitter. You can’t because he doesn’t believe in social media, but you can hit me up on Twitter as well. So appreciate you taking the time with us today. Hopefully you learn something and again, if we can help just reach out to us. Thanks so much. Thanks so much.