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Podcast: How ThoughtSpot Became a $2 Billion Unicorn in 5 years

On this week’s episode of the Demand Gen Visionaries podcast, we hung out in the studio with Scott Holden.

Scott is the Chief Marketing Officer of ThoughtSpot, a BI and Analytics company with a $2B valuation and unique “Silicon Valley Unicorn” status. ThoughtSpot aims to make analytics easy and accessible by arming employees with the tools to access, understand, and report on key business insights. With ThoughtSpot, finding the metrics you’re looking for is as easy as typing into a Google search bar or using your favorite app. Before his role at ThoughtSpot, Scott spent nearly a decade leading marketing teams at Salesforce, and prior to that was at Walmart.com. Needless to say, Scott is a seasoned marketer and demand generation pro. 

During Scott’s episode, he hammers in the importance of filling your pipeline and knowing your numbers. Plus, he breaks down:

  • Why Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has been a critical growth strategy
  • Which demand gen channels he thinks are uncuttable
  • How his marketing team is pivoting their events strategy in the COVID-era
  • The importance of the website and conversational marketing

Thank you Scott, for stopping by the Qualified.com studio for our premiere episode of Demand Gen Visionaries. We hope you all enjoy learning from this pro!

Episode Highlights

07:25 – All About ABM 🎯

  • ThoughSpot's ABM strategy is all about going after the global 2000, essentially companies with greater than $1 billion in revenue. 
  • The key to ABM? Being hyper-targeted in how you segment and pursue your accounts.
  • ThoughtSpot’s ABM program really took off when they narrowed the number of accounts per rep; that’s the point where sales got invested in the ABM approach. 
  • ABM done right is about connecting buyers and sellers when buyer behavior demonstrates they’re ready to engage.  

13:00 – ThoughtSpot on ThoughtSpot

  • Scott breaks down how their team uses their own tool to analyze metrics and build reports for anything from a marketing all hands to a board meeting.
  • Fun fact: they have no data analyst on their marketing team. At ThoughtSpot, every marketer is a data analyst.
  • Scott shares which metrics and marketing engagements they report on, how they slice and dice the data

20:00 – If It’s Not in Salesforce, It Didn’t Happen

  • Scott shares his experience working with the Sales Ops team to implement Salesforce at ThoughtSpot 

22:15 – Scott’s Demand Gen Playbook

  • LinkedIn is the name of the game. This channel allows them to be hyper targeted and they see strong ROI.
  • Scott shares their best performing ad content.

24:40 – ThoughtSpot’s First Brand Campaign

  • ThoughtSpot just partnered with Harvard Business Review to launch their first ever brand campaign “Meet the New Decision Makers” focusing on how you can empower the front lines to use data
  • Learn how this massive integrated campaign came to be

25:40 – Scott’s Take on Virtual Events

  • To date, 40% of ThoughtSpot’s pipeline came from physical events
  • Scott shares his thoughts on virtual events, as well as some bright spots that have come from them, including access to C-levels who they otherwise would miss at in-person events

34:20 – The Website: Prioritizing Storytelling and Real-time Engagement

  • It’s not about growth-hacking or A/B testing every CTA and color
  • The website is about powerful, clear storytelling 
  • Scott shares his experience using Qualified’s conversational marketing platform to instantly engage VIPs, right on the website; read their full customer story here.

40:30 – Getting to Know Scott

  • Scott shares his favorite dust-up: a competitive campaign that he participated in at Salesforce
  • Plus he shares his favorite (and unexpected) shelter-in-place hobby

Episode Quotes:

“If you’re not thinking about demand gen as a CMO, what else is there?” 
“The number one job for a marketing leader is pipeline creation. If I'm not hitting my pipeline target for the sales team, nothing else matters. Plus, it buys you the right to do the fun stuff.” 
“We've got hundreds of campaigns running at any given point of time. Marketing these days is an all out, guns blazing affair.”
“Segmentation strategy is critical, but it just doesn’t fly at all if you don’t have sales bought in. If they’re not ready to segment accounts, and narrow the focus to a reasonable level, then it won’t work.”
“It’s the golden age of data. In particular, being able to pull data from nontraditional sources together and analyze quickly across them is crucial.”
"Now with Conversational Marketing, when a fortune 100 company is on our site, we know about it immediately.” 

Ready to hear from more Demand Gen Visionaries? You can find all episodes here.

Demand Gen Visionaries Podcast
Posted on
July 22, 2020
by
Maura Rivera

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