Mastering MarTech: Insights from Clarasys & Sojourn Solutions – PODCAST

Tune in to learn about integrating marketing and sales, leveraging existing technologies, and navigating the complex world of marketing automation and customer data platforms.

Magnifying glasses on the blue background. Digital marketing concept.

Mastering MarTech: Insights from Clarasys & Sojourn Solutions – PODCAST

Tune in to learn about integrating marketing and sales, leveraging existing technologies, and navigating the complex world of marketing automation and customer data platforms.

Magnifying glasses on the blue background. Digital marketing concept.

Meet the author

Tom Carpenter

Principal Consultant

Phil Boyden

Marketing Operations Consultant

In this episode of Nevermind the Pain Points, join host Tom Carpenter and guest expert Phil Boyden from Sojourn Solutions as they dive into the future of B2B marketing – navigating everything from the complex world of marketing automation and customer data platforms, to proving ROI, and adopting B2C strategies.

Listen here or read on for an edited transcript.

Tom Carpenter: Hello, everyone. It’s great to have you tune into the podcast again today. I’m joined by Phil Boyden, who is one of our marketing experts and partners at Sojourn Solutions. It’s great to have you here, Phil. Welcome to Clarasys. 

Phil Boyden: Thanks, Tom. Great to be here with you. 

Tom Carpenter: Phil, do you want to introduce yourself for the sake of our new listeners? Tell us a little bit about yourself, about your background. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah, sure. So, my name is Phil Boyden. I work with a company called Sojourn Solutions, where we cover marketing operations. Which looks at kind of all the wider areas around your marketing and what you need to do to make sure it’s all working as well as possible to get the best out of the platforms.

I haven’t always done that. I was a musician until I was 40 years old. So, I have a mix of backgrounds to bring to the table for you. Some more useful than others. 

Tom Carpenter: Some art in marketing as well as music. There’s some similarities between the two. 

Phil Boyden: The creativity we’re looking for there. 

Tom Carpenter: And for those who don’t know me, my name is Tom Carpenter.

I’m one of our customer experience and end to end lead to cash transformation specialists at Clarasys. Most of my career I’ve spent in B2B sector, but more recently in B2C as well, advising organisations on how to optimise the customer experience across marketing, sales, service, order fulfilment into billing.

Navigating a complex marketing technology landscape

Tom Carpenter: And today we’re going to be focusing on some real challenges that affect a lot of our customers, which is navigating some of the complexities of the technologies that are out there. So, how can we make the most of technologies that you may already have? And maybe navigating the tech landscape of understanding what new technologies you could use that will really optimise your organisation.

Obviously lots of buzzwords out there at the moment. How do we use Gen AI? How do we use AI in general? But even in some more simplistic terms. How do we make the most of marketing automation platforms and customer data platforms? So, we’re going to be helping discuss a little bit about how you might navigate that today.

If you have enjoyed this podcast, then there will be follow on deep dives into some of these topics as well. So, please do come back and hear a little bit more from us. 

So, I’m going to give you a general introduction of what we’ve seen in the market in general, and then we’ll touch on some of those topics specifically.

So, I guess one of the key things that we are observing across the lead to cash life cycle is that there’s a lot more prevalence of Chief Revenue Officers and Chief Growth Officers. You may have listened to some of our podcasts previously about the subscription economy and the need to bridge Sales, Marketing, Customer success and Fulfilment teams closer together.

And organisations therefore are doing this by trying to get rid of the silos, sorry, of Marketing and Sales. So, previously you might have seen Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Commercial Officers. By creating roles where they have a broader remit across Marketing and Sales. And we think this is a fantastic thing that organisations are doing, because it enables them to deliver an experience across the awareness, evaluation, and purchasing journey, and not see those as two split and divided things.

Also, there’s a lot more self-service automation in B2B landscape, and things which would have been high touch physical interactions with salespeople before – don’t need to be in the future, and therefore Marketing needs a much more glued up journey between the purchase and the acquisition itself. So, one thing that we do see as well are lots of people kind of talk the right talk. They understand the need to join these things together, but actually being able to achieve that with the technologies that you have. So, maybe you have different marketing and sales technologies, but also you have quite divided teams is a real challenge for organisations. So, I see lots of organisations that are buying market leading technologies, maybe they’re investing in the market leader in CDP technologies. They’ve got fantastic sales solutions and a sort of Salesforce or a HubSpot sales technology, but they’re not glueing those things together in order to make the most of that investment. 

And I think some things that we really see, which are more of a challenge in marketing, and Phil, we can touch on this a little deeper in a moment, is making the most of a marketing function. So, you really get the ROI. So, marketing technologies can be quite expensive, but the reason for that is because those organisations understand that if you use those successfully, you can get great returns from it. And lots of organisations aren’t able to do that yet. 

So, I guess Phil, like, how do you see organisations trying to make the most of technologies that they already have today?Like what are the key challenges that you’re seeing? 

Phil Boyden: A lot of the key challenges we see is, almost an understanding of what the technologies are capable of. So there are, I was reading recently that, uh, the majority of companies are only using around 33 percent of the capabilities of their stack. That’s dropped from 58 percent just four years ago in 2020.

So, people are using a lot less of the capabilities, but they’re also spending almost double on the systems they’re using. And I think that’s almost linked a lot with the buzzwords kind of like you were saying earlier. So, CDP – been around for 10 years. It’s really coming to the forefront and people are like, Oh, we need this.

We need the AI capabilities in there that will give us the next best actions. And then we’ll be able to reach all the people we can, and we’ll be properly omnichannel or multichannel, depending on what they’re calling it and if they know the difference and the issue with that is that’s not really how that works.

If you’re adding more tech, but the processes and the way that we wanted to use the tech and the use cases, that all wasn’t there. Adding extra tech is actually going to sink you further into a hole. So, I think the issues we see is people not really stepping back and looking at the big customer journey that they’re actually trying to provide. 

And that’s everything from. Lead right through to cash user, but then it’s iterative as well. So, you’ve got the loyalty, advocacy, all that sort of thing coming in as well. 

And the companies that are really stepping back saying, here’s what the business requires, here’s the use cases we want to support with the tech to do that, and then assess the tech they’ve got under there it’s those companies that are doing that, they’re actually really getting the best out of the platforms and therefore that return. And it all comes down to those kinds of business use cases and processes really, before you can do that. 

Otherwise it kind of falls over halfway through anyway, if the processes aren’t in place, you can’t prove what you’re doing, therefore you can’t improve what you’re doing, and you’ll never get that return that you’re looking for. 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, and I think we see quite a lot of organisations who are delivering requirements to service providers and the tech providers themselves, asking for the same thing they have today, or some modernization of the same thing they have today, when what, it would be great if organisations understood is there are different ways to get to the same outcome.

So, if they were asking us for, how do I raise my acquisition rates? How do I retain more customers and get more advocacy for more customers? There are so many ways that you can solve that, but we do see a lot of organisations where let’s say they have a heavily email campaign based marketing approach today, and they implement something which does have true Omnichannel.

And we will talk a little bit more about Omnichannel, but they’re not using any of that capability. They’ve just replaced the same capability, just in a different technology solution. They’re not optimising it, where it would be great if you could just sort of throw out everything you know and start from a like, what are you trying to achieve perspective and then build on that.

Phil Boyden: Completely right there. You talked about acquisition for a second there and you’ve got companies who they know they’ve got a cornered market. So, you might have some sort of wealth management company. They know that they work mainly through kind of channel partners so that they will actually have a list.

They will know every potential channel partner they have in the country. Acquisition is about reaching out to them. Maybe legitimate interest can come in because, you know, their email address, because it’s published on their website. So if you go and say, “we’ve got this offering for you, what do you think?”

But then you’ve also got people where the acquisition comes from the fact that they might be selling software and those vendors of the software, they need to know when people out there that they’ve never met and have never heard of them are interested in buying their software. And that’s a completely different approach to acquisition.

And by buying the same platform, those two types of companies would do themselves a complete disservice. One needs the intent data, the other one needs to really manage their owned data much better. 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah. And I think there’s some shift at the moment where organisations use outsource marketing capabilities from Google, from Facebook, for example, but they don’t own the result, so they don’t own the learning. Like that’s a very transactional relationship, whereas like Omnichannel for me really means like that complete ownership of what the customer’s doing. I know that Facebook and Google are serving up certain ads to them. I know that they’ve searched a term in Google. I know that they’ve clicked on a paid ad.

I know that they’ve engaged with an email I’ve sent and all of that is connected. And that interconnectivity between a customer’s journey, a customer experience, is hard to do, but like if you start in the right way, you can do that. A lot of people trying to almost like stitch together things about the journey today.

And I think that’s why a lot of organisations go to things like CDP as a solution, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not the saving grace. There are other ways to achieve the same goal. 

Phil Boyden: No, you’re right there. So yes, CDP is the big thing everyone speaks of. However, I was reading a story earlier from Octopost.

So, basically they had a company. This company was already using all sorts of social channels. They were reacting to those channels, they were reporting within those channels, they were trying to stitch it together, they were then trying to load it here or see what the trends might be. But it all needs to be fairly close to real time because it is reacting to events that were currently happening.

So, people are reacting to their organic posts by the time they’d been through it and worked out reporting in the different channels at kind of the time was gone. So Octopost came in there. They tied all of that reporting, all the likes, the interactions, they can actually see sentiment as well. Coming into theirs, it was across multiple languages, all came into Marketo straight through to Dynamics, which is what that company was using.

And all of a sudden the sales guys were fully aware of people’s intentions and thoughts at that event. Now that, yes, they paid for an extra platform, but they’d saved hours and could react to things so that the return on that is kind of almost, well, obviously you can put a price on, but I think you know what I’m saying.

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, absolutely. It pays for itself. So, I guess in general, it’s about understanding what you want that interaction to be. So, something which we’ve spoken about previously, Phil, is making sure that it’s not just your designing for marketing use cases, but you’re understanding like a broader end-to-end journey and how, like as you’re referencing there, those activities that you do within the marketing function feed through to a good experience for sales and ultimately the customer.

Phil Boyden: Yeah, I mean that, that kind of full flow is what we’re looking for, but the, back to kind of your side of the scenario, we need those processes in place. So if, marketing is sending through leads, if they’re not converted and tracked and stuff, so they can’t feedback that, we can have no idea really on what effect that is actually having on the bottom line for the business or whether it’s really driving customers through.

So, I was talking to a company recently and they tried to put all these measures in place as they had required fields and stuff like that. But again, I’m going to talk about channel partners because this company, they would make a single phone call and because they were talking to a channel partner, that would affect four or five opportunities within the pipe.

Uh, which never went back. So, marketing was actually sending these, this information out. It was affecting all this revenue, but it just wasn’t reflected at all. So, they need to look at processes so that that is easily done. And the link is made in a better way because then you’re really seeing the value being brought from marketing.

Tom Carpenter: Absolutely. So, I guess we’re trying to summarise that how you can get the most from technologies. So many organisations might have different technologies today, and they don’t necessarily need to make an investment in new technologies to achieve that. So, I guess what I’m hearing from you, Phil, is it’s really key that they understand their business objectives and how what they think they need from the technology can deliver on those business objectives.

And then probably speaking to people like yourself who understand a bit more about how to get the most of their technologies. And there were probably some really simple and easy things that people can do to get the most out of the technologies they have just by understanding how they can deliver on their business objectives and their requirements and what they’re trying to achieve.

Phil Boyden: Yeah. So, I think there’s three kind of P’s involved in this. We’ve got the platforms, we’ve got the processes and then the people as well. So that the training on the platforms and the use of the platforms is great. And that also, that needs to be malleable over time as well. So, there’s a great story about a company that they started using Eloqua on this occasion.

They were getting awards, winning marquees. There was probably award winning use of Eloqua. As that grew over the years, they were still using Eloqua in the same way. So suddenly there were like hundreds of campaigns. They’re trying to keep on the top of segments and stuff like that. The way they were building their emails was fine to start with, but it was untenable moving forward.

So, by reassessing what they were doing, retraining them, getting templates in place, and that there was an overall saving of 3000 hours, which I stuck that in the calculator the other day to work out. They had more than a year worth of days of people’s time. If they took no holidays, plus 10 days spare on top.

I mean, that’s a lot of time to maybe report on what you’re doing and look at other ventures, maybe bring another platform in and look at, some more channels that you can be using rather than all getting kind of bogged down within that email marketing.  

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? Because I guess we all realise and know that people interact in multiple different channels.

And I think we’ve all experienced our inboxes being full of all of these emails that none of us ever really open. But every now and again, maybe we do. And I can understand why therefore for organisations invest a lot in that. But there are so many other ways you can engage with customers today. And getting the balance between those channels and being truly omnichannel is something that all organisations are going to need to do in the future. It’s just interesting that the way in which we interact on a day-to-day basis has moved on quite fast, but the way in which marketers respond to that interaction is probably lagging a little bit between how we use it. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah, lagging. And I think the larger the company, the more the lag is, because it takes a lot more time to get through permissions and the budget and stuff like that.

But yes. But like you were saying, I was just thinking that I’d like to touch on the omnichannel and multichannel thing. 

Tom Carpenter: That’s one of my favourite conversations, Phil. 

What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing?

Phil Boyden: So, omnichannel, you’re kind of looking at the customer, is the way I see it. So you’re looking at what the customer needs to get through their journey.

Where are they in the journey? Have they stalled? What can we put in front of them? Examples might be, we know who they are. They’ve done business before. We’re sending them some emails they haven’t opened or shown any interest whatsoever. So, we can actually start putting some subtle adverts in front of them just to raise that logo again and try and keep them going.

And that might click through to something we know they’ve had interest in the past, maybe with a 10 percent offer on it or something like that. So, that’s omnichannel where you’re using every channel you really can to drive that customer journey. Multichannel is more about the product itself. So, you’re putting the product into multiple channels so that people can see it in whatever form they like to digest.

But it’s, it’s more around the product placement as opposed to the actual driving of a journey. That’s how I see the two. Do you see it the same way or? 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah. And I think people say omnichannel assuming it means they market individually through different channels. So, it’s like, I do some social marketing.

I do some email based marketing. I do some physical marketing. So, I am omnichannel, but you’re right. Omnichannel for me is. In quite quick succession, creating different interventions with customers across different channels, which is much more complicated, like you need to understand where the customer is.

You need different information about the customer to be able to push different channels. So, let’s say you’ve managed to link their Twitter, their Instagram and their email together. So you know that that’s the same user. They’ve accepted cookies and you’re following them around online.

Right. It’s an interesting one because I think we’re seeing a lot of clients today battle with creepiness versus helpfulness of marketing. And I think like as marketers, we need to not be too concerned by how creepy it might be. Like if customers are generally interested in your products and services then being reminded of them across multiple channels makes them think about it.

So, I think something to think about when you go to fully omnichannel is, It’s how you serve up an experience, which isn’t too much to customers. But I think initially just setting up the framework to be able to truly communicate and market across multiple channels, like in unison and have that omnichannel experience.

And to do that, like you need an understanding of the customer and who they are across multiple channels. And I guess that’s why a lot of organisations look to CDP as a solution, but I think you can do so much of that with core marketing technologies already that people probably don’t realise you can.

Phil Boyden: There is a lot you really can do with those core technologies, but I suppose you’d always need something else pulling in there. Because the big beauty of the CDP is that identity matching piece that you are touching on there. So, if I’m on Facebook, I’m going to be on my Gmail address or whatever, perhaps it was something from the stone age when I really signed up to Facebook, to be 

Tom Carpenter: Back in the Myspace days.

Phil Boyden: Fair yeah, so you got those identified. It’s then slightly different for me on LinkedIn than my business email address that I’m looking into stuff using and signing up to white papers. And that is different again. 

So, for someone really to do omnichannel marketing to me, they need to know multiple different versions of me that doesn’t tie together just with a single cookie or anything like that. So, tracking from a marketing automation platform is great, but you might need another kind of social tool to understand who that is. Because, I know I keep saying Octopost, sorry, but they do that social matching in, and they’ll only push details into a marketing automation platform when they’re at a certain percentage convinced that that is the same person you’re looking to. So there are other ways of doing these things, but like I say, that’s entirely what the CDP is designed to do. But again, you need everything in line. So if your data is a bit of a shocker and you’re pulling all your data into the one place, then.

Tom Carpenter: Marketing the wrong thing to the wrong people at the wrong time, probably. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah. Yeah. Which probably isn’t the result you’re looking for. So, you know, you do have to have those building blocks in place. And if you can prove that those building blocks are in place by doing something really nice out of your kind of intermediary marketing platforms, right, and marketing automation with some extra pieces added on, then you know you’re heading on the right journey to be ready to put a CDP in place.

Selecting the right marketing technology for your business

Tom Carpenter: So, I guess that’s feeding us on to our next topic, Phil, which is maybe you don’t have the right technologies and you need to try and understand what is a very complicated landscape of different technologies that are out there. What are some things that our listeners and our customers can consider to help them navigate that landscape?

Phil Boyden: So, what we see over time is that the tech vendors, they’re buying other subsidiary companies. They’re, adding to their special kind of, you know, you see something as an email marketing platform, but if we take Marketo, for example, it’s email marketing. You’ve got your chat, you’ve got SMS availability.

Platforms have now got web push, app push and things like that coming in. So. What was originally seen as email marketing is really expanding. So first, you know, check what capabilities are within the platforms you already own. Make sure you’re using those capabilities before you start adding other things.

Another one I would say is cross department collaboration, really. So, maybe have a centralised place. You can actually do a tech audit rather than MarTech. I think we need to talk about tech rather than just MarTech for this purpose, but know what’s in place. So, when a request comes in from some random left-field department, because they want to send a message out about something, check whether you can actually cover that in the capabilities you already have.

And I find that will allow a company to streamline, really understand what they already have. And then when they spot something they’re needing to do, and there’s a gap, then they know they need to plug that and they look for the exact platform to do that and not necessarily anything more. 

Tom Carpenter: I guess that’s a good consideration because I do see quite a lot of organisations where they swap similar functionality technologies with each other because they may have set something up in a specific way to start with and they assume that that’s the capability of those technologies.

I have quite a lot of sympathy and empathy for those organisations because often it is easier to start from new than it is to unpick what you have. But do you have any thoughts on how organisations can work out if they’ve got something set up in the best possible way now. How do I know if I’m getting the best of my platforms, my technologies, do you think?

Phil Boyden: At the risk of plugging us as partners, I would say talk to people that really know the platforms. Talk to the vendors, make sure that you’re using everything that is capable of there. But the partners, I suppose, the people that help set companies up, they really understand. Not just that software, but you need a partner who understands that software and the wider view of things.

And they’re working across even potentially multiple industries. Cause I often hear people say, well, I’m in this industry, so I need to get a partner that does this. And you’re like, well, maybe, but if you really want to innovate, perhaps you need a partner that does. 18 other things so they can actually draw from that.

Tom Carpenter: I fully agree. Yeah. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah. So you, you are genuinely looking then at what the higher opportunities are, I guess. 

How B2B marketing is adopting B2C tactics to boost customer engagement

Tom Carpenter: Yeah. And I think that we’re seeing already B2B organisations are becoming much more similar to B2C organisations in what they do. And that means they need significantly more marketing versus sales.

They need significantly more low touch automation than they thought they did before. Although I appreciate that there’s a scale of maturity across different industries, almost all industries in a midsize to large organisation today need to be thinking more like B2C organisations than they would have done in the past.

And I fully agree, therefore, that I think that means, learning from different industries, like construction need to learn from retail. And someone’s going to fall off their chair who works in construction at me saying that, but customers are fickle. There are younger buyers, like some of the surveyors who are choosing partners today, are 25 years old, and they’re not used to this we all go to dinner and, and drink whiskey together in order to do deals. Like that doesn’t happen as much anymore. And organisations across any industry need to be really ready for that. So, that really resonates with me Phil. I agree industry knowledge and understanding is important, but learning from other industries is equal, if not more important in many scenarios.

Phil Boyden: I totally agree. What we’re seeing in B2B now is more of the research is being done. 70 percent of the customer journey is complete before they even come towards a company, so they can only research based on the companies they know. So, you’re very limited. So, I would say one of the main things where B2C should be reflected in B2B is looking at that intent, having a knowledge. So you’re looking at your data management platforms really that were serving up that sort of information previously to your shoppers, you know.

But now we need to be doing that sort of thing in B2B because we need to make sure we’re influencing those early decisions. And I think it comes around again with the advocacy and loyalty thing as well. So, just because, let’s say they bought some cybersecurity software office, but we also do some other software.

They’re not necessarily going to come straight to us because they’re already a customer. They’re going to start doing their own research again. And that, from that point of view, B2B really needs to catch up with where B2C has been for quite some years, because they need to influence the journeys of people they don’t know and that don’t know them.

And so that’s, I think that’s one of the key ones that we’ll be seeing. And it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these big marketing platforms, as they consolidate everything. So we might have the orchestration that could almost rip out marketing automation platforms built into the CDP with the intent data, which is the extra bit that CDPs often don’t have because the CDP will be, your data, third party data you can load in plus second party where you’re sharing with the company, but that intent needs to be sat there as well.

And then if someone then sticks a massive reporting layer over the top of that, because you’ve got everything flying in there, really hoping to see a platform like that come out in the next few years where everything sits coherently in one place, not just being told by a sales team that it all coherently sits in there.

The right place, but actually doing it, that would be great for any industry or B2B, B2C, I think that would be fantastic. 

Auditing and building your MarTech stack

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, I agree. So, I guess we’ve, we’ve expanded the thinking now and what technologies you may or may not need, but how do, how are we going to narrow that down into choosing some of those technologies, do you think, Phil? 

Phil Boyden: So, again, it has to come back to the business requirements, the use case and things like that. So, um, and then you can, uh, an audit would tell you what technology you’ve got. You can then have a look at your processes, your use cases, see what technology you need, might then see redundancies there so you can remove those platforms and that might help release some budgets to fill the gaps where you can’t achieve what you’re needing to do at the moment. 

But I think it’s all about, you know, really understanding what you have in place and the full capabilities of those platforms. 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, I agree. I think my advice for organisations would be start with what you have and really understand it. Do exactly what you said, like you can get a lot of favour and support from the technology providers themselves in the first instance, but often they will sell you a little bit of a dream in what they can and cannot do.

And I’m sure some of that is possible, but it’s how easy it is to achieve that and whether that is the right solution to do it. And that’s where people like yourselves. Phil and Clarasys as well can also support you in understanding where you’re best to invest some of your time. I think one of the big challenges is there is a lot of overlap in capability between platforms.

So, unfortunately, there is not some magic answer of use this for this capability and this other thing for this other capability. There are choices and those choices are not obvious choices in all cases, right? You need to decide in order to decide that really relates to what you’re trying to achieve.

Planning three to five years out from where you want to get to and getting a roadmap kind of towards that journey as well. And then from there you can start to make choices about the right technologies. I think the other thing that we see a lot is reactive to the latest thing in the market or reactive to an immediate priority for the business and then making technology choices and selections about how you choose the technologies, but also the architecture in general on snap judgments, but really like you need to be committing to kind of three to five year plan.

You can replace some of these technologies, but it’s better to get the right one to start with and optimise that over a longer period of time. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah, for sure. I mean, if you get the wrong thing in the first place, yes, you can rip and replace, but you’ve had all that time that’s kind of wasted because you’re going to have to start again.

If you are tracking historical activities within those platforms, that. It’s not necessarily lost, you can migrate it, but then you’re looking at using that data in a really complex way while the new platform builds up to be in a similar place. Also it’s the skills of the team. So you might have someone who’s an expert in a specific platform and you realise it’s not set up, or it’s not the right platform.

You move to something new, you’re full on training a new team. But when you are assessing those platforms as well, it’s really important to understand the skills of the team at the same time. So, there’s some platforms that are really good for pure marketeers. It’s all drag and drop. It’s all really simple to use, but there might be some limitations and you’ve got some that are more needs more tech savvy, you might be able to get something better out the door, but if you don’t have a team that can run that platform, you can’t necessarily get anything out of the door.

So, it’s really important to not just see what these platforms are capable of, but how you use them in anger once you’ve got them running in the company. 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, and I guess the similar sort of thing we see is there are people who know about the platforms in some organisations, but they know about how it’s set up for them.

And they know based on their previous experience of those platforms. And it’s great when you go to organisations, you’ve got really inquisitive people who are trying to learn more about the technologies and platforms that are out there. But often like we get caught up with our day jobs and the grind of needing to hit our numbers and bring in leads in a marketing context that convert.

So often people sort of forget that there’s so much more capability out there. So, I think it’s a great thing to just take a bit of a step back sometimes and make sure you really understand what you have. And therefore, like where there are opportunities to improve that. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s the usual thing where too much business as usual prevents innovation. And that means that you lose your business as usual. 

Tom Carpenter: So, and you’ve got to take time out to do that. I mean, this is more expansive than just with marketing specifically. But also like the lead to cash life cycle is, you need to give time for organisations to think deeply about things or people to think deeply about things and I think that should apply to how you get the most out of your people but your technologies too and giving some time to like let’s take half day let’s take a day and work out like what could we do tomorrow that we don’t do today like what capabilities do we have, how can we learn about those, and then kind of resetting your kind of expectations of what’s possible.

Phil Boyden: Yeah and again you can lean on the vendors or ideally us partners for this as well. So, if you’re subscribing to a platform for a certain number of years, you own the data in there and it’s all yours. 

But the vendor, if you have a QBR with them, just check that you’ve got the latest, best ways of using things. Are there any more features coming out? If those new features are coming out, what do they really do in the real world? I suppose when I was learning coding, sitting on a coach between gigs, I’d see all these constructs going past and I’m like, Oh, that’s great, but I have no idea why. And it’s that, that why is the important piece.

So, here’s the new feature. What scenarios would we use it in? How would it benefit the business and how should we actually roll that out across the business to see it actually returning for us? So, yeah, definitely lean on the vendors when you can. 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, I think that’s good. And things do change quite quickly as well.

And maybe you made choices about certain modules or features that you are or are not paying for. So, it’s really important to try and understand what’s out there, but also talk to implementation partners who understand how to get the most of tools as well as the technology vendors.

Demonstrating Marketing ROI and advocating for investment

Tom Carpenter: So, the third thing that I wanted to touch on as well, so zoning in a little bit more on marketing is, maybe you’ve got the technologies, you’ve got the people, but in order to really optimise them you need to make some investments, you need some support from third parties and potentially you need to swap some of the technologies you have.

Proving the value of marketing and therefore the need to invest is something that a lot of organisations struggle with. And I think we spoke earlier about the need for B2B to be more similar to B2C. So, I think there’s a great argument to be had in, investing more in marketing, driving more self service and bringing more educated customers to a sales team is going to reduce your cost of sale. And there’s an ROI in that. 

There’s also an ROI obviously in bringing in customers that maybe wouldn’t have been so accessible to you in a high touch sales environment, because you can reduce the cost of sale. So, I think there’s really something in the B2B organisations acting more like B2C organisations in that sense and therefore seeing marketing in a different light and how it supports sales. 

But is there anything that you have seen or witnessed to help organisations really prove and communicate the value of marketing to organisations? 

Phil Boyden: Yeah, for sure. So, we’ve definitely seen situations where, and again, it’s interdepartmental, I would say. So, we had a company who were, they were using their marketing tool and they were sending stuff out, they were getting subscription services sold.

And then those resubscriptions were part of sales is kind of, they’d own the given accounts, they’d get in touch, they’d reach out for sales. We’re reticent to do anything apart from that because they, wanted their commissions coming in, if we’re honest about it. However, one department in this particular company said, well, we’ll give it a go, we’ll try automating some of this process. 

So, a portal was set up so that re-subscriptions could be done automatically and self-served. And then those, what had previously been bought was fed back into the marketing platform, an always on nurture campaign was sent out ready for each – it was a publication that was selling advertising space, basically.

So, the automation of that meant that what was a 96 day renewal cycle, they managed to get down to, I think it was a 65 difference. I’ll have to do some quick maths in my head. I think 31 days, knocked it down to 31 days. Because it was a quarterly publication, what that meant was that the sales guys were having to do a lot less phone calls, a lot less manual emails to actually get these renewals.

It was still to their account, so the commissions came in, but they released more time for them to actually make new sales. So, they actually managed to extend the amount of stuff they were doing. Also, because that cycle was so much quicker, they knew what space had already been sold in the publication.

So, it could therefore up the number of pages and put more advertising space within the publication, meaning actually even more commissions for the sales team. So, having them felt they would actually lose out on what they were doing to marketing, adding this automation and integrating those pieces together, actually improved the revenue for the overall company and for the guys on the team themselves.

So, rather than them losing out on work, as they thought, it actually improved everything for everyone. So, it is important to look at how everything works together and come together. And so a Chief Revenue or Chief Growth Officer would definitely be wanting that sort of collaboration going on. And when it’s more siloed, you’re not going to see that in the same way.

Tom Carpenter: Yeah, I think that’s a great message as well. Because a lot of people will see marketing ROI, offsetting against sales ROI. And obviously we have spoken about that. It will do that a little bit, but yeah, you’re absolutely right. If you want to keep your sales teams and that enables them to spend more time selling more and they seeing the value of them having more time and therefore being happy with marketing, driving more sales and more educated leads to them.

Phil Boyden: Yeah, and it cuts down, again, if you’re looking at the reporting so you can see what’s really working, which leads have come from where, what journey did they take, how did they arrive at this place. You can then expedite those journeys as well, so you know someone is at this point in their journey.

Previously it might have been a couple of weeks before they came around to doing this next action, but you can actually, you can push that next action onto them. So, you can actually increase the speed that they’re actually committing to that sale. So, when you look at that and report on it across all the platforms that you’re using and reporting in one place, if possible, or pull it out to Power BI or something like that, if not possible in the one, you know, the way you’re, you’re set up. It allows you to really see these good, clean journeys.

And you can drop some of the stuff that pushes people off that track and increase the stuff that’s working really well. And what that eventually means is you get better quality going from marketing into sales. So, the sales guys, they know exactly where this person is in the journey. They know exactly what they need to say to them in order to actually make that sale.

So again, the collaboration, it really is of a benefit to every team. 

Tom Carpenter: Yeah. And you touched on two things there. I guess one is, maybe you don’t need to change anything about what you’re doing. It’s just evidencing the value or reporting on the value the marketing have. So, I think that’s something that will be a quick win for many organisations, is they can start to look at some of the automations that they’re already adding, or consider if they’re going to add automations, what that improves or changes further down the life cycle.

I think that’s really important. I would say also at that point in, greenness and getting buy in of that value with sales directly at a point. So you’re removing those silos of them versus us, which I guess is the second point you’re making there too, as well. I think organisations who are seeing marketing, having an ROI, and sales having a separate ROI are missing something in the collaboration between those two teams. Like in effect, marketing is the automation of sales.

But if you’re keeping the same size of your sales organisation, then it should be bringing in more sales together. So more educated leads to sales and less time from sales to convert it. So sales should be seeing marketing as like their shortcut to closing deals and bringing in leads and not having to waste time on lower value leads as well.

So, marketing sales working together I think is the best way to prove marketing’s value and not being a, an almost like a competition between, “Oh, well that lead was because of marketing and this lead is because of sales.” Like that’s where things are going wrong. 

Phil Boyden: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a really good point. Yeah. 

Tom Carpenter: We’re probably running to the end of what we wanted to share with you listeners today. So just to, I guess, summarise what we’ve spoken to and hopefully you’ll come back to hear a little bit more from us. 

So, we’ve touched on how making the most of technologies from a capability and resourcing perspective is about knowing what your objectives are, really understanding how your business requirements therefore can help you deliver on those objectives. And at that point, then assessing the technologies in which you have and, and how they can support you with those requirements. Don’t be afraid to talk to the technology providers and external implementation providers as well, to help you understand what other competitors and companies are doing within the market and how you can make the most of learnings, particularly cross industry. B2B, you can learn from B2C as well. There’s a lot to learn there. 

We also then started to talk about how you might navigate the tech landscape. There are lots of different technologies out there and lots of them have overlap. I think that the important thing is to try and work out, what you already think you know. We talked about taking some time out as a team and working out what you’re doing today and what you could be doing in the future. Again, not being concerned about relying on the technology providers and, and implementers themselves and other partners to give you some steer on what good looks like.

And then finally, we were talking about how to prove and communicate the value of marketing within an organisation. And a lot of that is about removing silos, making sure that you’re clear on the value you’re already adding and how marketing and sales are in support of each other and not against each other.

Phil Boyden: Yeah. That summarises that really nicely. 

Tom Carpenter: Well, it’s great to have you here, Phil. Hopefully we’ll be able to bridge the marketing and the music career at some point and turn this podcast into a nice song for everyone. In the meantime, we’ll keep talking about marketing and how that helps improve the end-to-end customer experience and leads to cash life cycles.

So please do join us again, we’ll be going into a little bit more depth on some of these topics.

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