Recently we co-hosted two marketing panel events exploring two sides of the same coin: Demand Gen Marketing (Enterprise) and Growth Marketing (Consumer). Both functions play a significant role in driving revenue into the organization, but each has different ways of driving and testing leads and customers.
Below are a few takeaways from each panel:
We partnered with VTS and co-hosted a fantastic panel led by Andrea Kayal (CMO, Degreed), Jesse Weiss (Senior Director, Growth Marketing at mParticle), Jonathan Beaton of (Head of Marketing, Electric), and Skye Fulkerson (Senior Director of Demand Gen, VTS).
Here’s what they had to say about the current landscape:
Defining the field: While the definition of ‘Demand Gen’ was difficult for everyone to clearly articulate, the panel all agreed on Skye Fulkerson’s definition of their role as “driving revenue and pipeline into the organization. [Demand gen marketers] are always pushing and testing channel levers to get the top of funnel engaged and push them forward into the process.”
Marketing as storytelling: The panelists, all from various backgrounds before becoming demand gen experts, corroborated that the storytelling in enterprise marketing is different now. Jesse Weiss explained, “We are the closest position to revenue that isn’t sales, even closer to the most senior sellers sometimes. We are creatively storytelling in a way that is different than the typical brand builders, we do this with data in a way that relates to revenue.”
Don’t get too caught up with the competition: Jonathan Beaton warned to not get swept up in the “shiny object syndrome.” This can often be tempting when a CEO or CMO reads a blog post or article about a campaign or an event that worked really well for an organization and immediately wants to do it. “Maybe that only works for inbound and your organization needs more outbound leads, but you always need to be prepared with data, and preferably experience, to defend why something may not work for your organization. Otherwise, you will get caught wasting time on strategies that don’t work for your company’s overall goals.”
We co-hosted the Consumer Marketing panel with portfolio company Slice. The panel was led by Nick Karrat (CMO, Boll & Branch), Matt Breuer of (Head of Growth, Buffy), Pamela Piccola-Fales (Director, Media, and Acquisition, Squarespace), and Samantha Taube of Slice.
Here are the four top themes that surfaced:
Mix of new and old: Panelists shared that they’ve been seeing a blend of traditional channels coming back, as well as tech for testing new channels. Samantha Taube said “The trend is going back to the traditional channels. There was a great report that came out about how TV ads are doing better because you can actually buy while watching, so the call to action is much more relevant.” Matt Breuer highly advised using Instapage — calling it the “best-underused tool.” He said, “We use it for everything from landing pages, product names, prices, and merchandising strategy. He also recommended that “no matter what channels people are talking about using, step back to see if you can make those things work rather than chasing every channel. It’s about chasing results rather than tactics, and it’s a really delicate balance.”
New ideas and inspiration: The panel all had different ways they look for new ideas. Samantha subscribes to Growthhackers and created a “marketing inspiration channel” to learn from great campaigns and hopefully inspire future ones. Matt prefers to go to the old fashion way and said “Find people you trust that you can bounce ideas off of. If it’s an idea that doesn’t work, how do we hammer it down and get it somewhere that is fresh and different.” Pamela Piccola-Fales added, “Good ideas come from people. Tapping into their passions. I am really active in the YouTube community, and constantly getting ideas from those campaigns and thinking ‘what should we be doing there?’”
The balance between CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) & LTV (Lifetime Value): Overall, no one on the panel was directly measured on retention, but each recognized the importance of the loyal and returning customers. Samantha said that at Slice, CAC needs to be in line with the projected LTV and that needs to be reflected and move in different channels. At Buffy, Matt isn’t personally responsible for retention, but noted that “the customer quality will be our problem later if we don’t think about it now.” It helps to have a sticky product like Squarespace, but Pamela said she is “still emphasizing email campaigns, and transitions into upsells and how we always add more value than our competitors.”
Justifying marketing spend: The panel agreed that it’s easy to get carried away in getting too granular with marketing metrics. Pamela offered some advice on how to think through what matters — “Justify dollars in and dollars out. Where is my audience spending their time? Where am I not?” Matt reiterated by stating “Digital channels are lying to you. Four years ago at a tech conference, everyone was saying you need to survey your customers on multi-attribution channels and get more specific on data, but if you’re dependent on that level of granularity, you’ll get paralyzed measuring every number without a working framework.”
As we look back at these events, we’re grateful to our co-hosts and panelists for helping us to throw two wonderful, frank conversations about what’s on the horizon for the marketing landscape in 2019.