Salesforce Trailblazer Spotlight: Casey Cheshire
Casey Cheshire is a larger-than-life marketer and the founder of Salesforce Pardot Consulting company Cheshire Impact. As Cheshire’s CMO, Casey spends his days working with clients or in his podcast studio interviewing marketing luminaries. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about B2B marketing. We sat down with Casey to get to get to know him a little better.
MR (Maura Rivera, Qualified Team): Hey Casey! Tell us a little bit about yourself and Cheshire Impact.
CC (Casey Cheshire, Cheshire Impact Team): I’m a longtime marketer and a super fan of Pardot. I've been working with Pardot a long time and Cheshire Impact came out of that. We're a Salesforce Pardot Consulting Group and I like to say we're full of the most technically savvy but also caring consultants that I've ever met. We’ve helped over 2,300 companies get started on Pardot and many more after they've implemented to help them maximize the solution.
We've had a chance to see what works right, what doesn’t work, the best approaches, and the inefficient approaches, and boil it all down into the right way to do it.
Simon Sinek has a book and TED talk that says that every company should have a “why”. Our why is to make marketers heroes. That's all we do. We think about the different strategies and technologies and do whatever it takes to make them successful. We're like the Yodas and Obi-Wans of the marketing world.
MR: In addition to founding Cheshire Impact, you’re the CMO. What does that role entail?
CC: We have a maturity model for marketing automation is called the CSI: the Cheshire Success Index. It has ten different steps on how you can make marketing automation better. So while part of my job is creating our strategy based on conversations with clients and on the podcast, the other half is implementing the CSI at Cheshire and really honing our own marketing automation strategy so that we can then teach it and share the results we've had.
MR: You have a great Podcast, The Hard Corps Marketing Show. What’s it all about?
CC: I love talking to people and learning new things about marketing. At the same time there's like a lot of bogus marketing content out there. So when we created the show we wanted to be all about debunking marketing myths and getting to the real strategies that work. It’s been a lot of fun and a real honor to have learned from some of the biggest, most brilliant thought leaders in marketing.
We always smash a myth right at the beginning. One example is Sangram Vajre. He came on and I was a little skeptical about ABM because of all the buzz words that were going on. So he set the record straight, defining what is and what it is not. It was all about better identifying and speaking to your buyer and we were able to really smash some of the hype around it.
MR: Let's talk a little bit about this ever-changing B2B marketing landscape. What trends are you seeing in the B2B marketing right now?
CC: I think the trend the biggest trend in marketing right now... is trends. As marketers, I think we can all get a little distracted and lose sight of what's going on. But I can get behind anything that really points us back to understanding our customers better as well as having real conversations with them.
That’s where ABM and Conversational Marketing come into play. Who do you want to talk to and who is your ideal buyer? You zero in on them and make their journey magical.
MR: How do you think business buyers expectations are changing?
CC: We can't actually forget that our B2B buyers are also retail consumers. Could you imagine what you would do without Amazon these days?
When it comes to companies like Amazon and Netflix, you can boil it down to this effortless personalization. It just happens. These days it’s table stakes for buying experiences. It makes me wonder “does that cup of coffee taste as good if they forget to write your name on the cup at Starbucks?” So translating that into the B2B world, we can meet these expectations that our new buyers have or we get passed over for someone who will.
MR: How do you help your Pardot clients deliver that seamless, personalized experience to their buyers?
CC: I think the challenge with marketing automation is you have this gut feeling that you could use it better and you're not really sure where to start. The very first step is actually getting to know who your buyer is and starting to segment them dynamically inside of Pardot. From there it moves into getting your first touch and ROI sources figured out.
MR: Conversational Marketing (meeting with qualified prospects in real time on your website) is emerging as a totally new software category. What’s your take on conversational marketing and why is it exciting to Pardot customers?
CC: Conversational Marketing is a trend I can get behind because it really embodies everything. You have to know who you wanted to talk to, the qualified conversations you want to have, then you actually get to have them. So again anything that goes back to better understanding your ideal customer than having a customized conversation with them. That's the win that we've been looking for in marketing for so long.
MR: What problem do you think conversational marketing is going to solve?
CC: It’s going to help with the bridge between sales and marketing divide. It also reminds us that there's a face behind the number and the metrics. It helps humanize the fact that you've got all this website traffic but they actually have names and there are personas attached to them. It also helps us clarify our own marketing and prioritize and given the understanding of what are the best campaigns we want to start with, just understanding that question helps us understand where we focus our time and attention in marketing.
MR: Cheshire is using Qualified on your website for conversational marketing. How has that been going?
CC: It’s been priceless to me to have Qualified’s help in really zero-ing in on the critical conversations we actually want to have with our ideal clients and ideal personas. I also know that when I when I send prospects over to the sales team it's someone sales is eager to talk to.
MR: With Conversational Marketing, it’s easy to want to jump right in and start talking to every website visitor, but you quickly realize that’s not efficient. How does your team prioritize who you want to qualify and have sales conversations with?
CC: It’s not only about where's the good stuff coming from or who are the people you want to talk to but who are your ideal buyers? Who are the people you want to drop everything and talk to? Just like with ABM, Qualified is forcing the conversation to happen.
It's been great to have the Qualified team ask those questions of us as we build out our conversational marketing strategy. I think just like how marketing strategies changed with marketing automation, our strategy is shifting as we implement qualified.
MR: In addition to conversational marketing, how does Pardot help bridge the sales and marketing divide?
CC: Growing companies are unified like crazy in amazing ways. They've got it figured out and it's fantastic. Unfortunately that's not everyone. The majority of companies still have a long way to go. There's a a friction between sales and marketing. I think marketing automation actually started the alignment process because you're linking the two softwares together—you're linking marketing technology with sales technology—the software is talking so maybe the departments can start talking.
MR: What are your thoughts on ABM and what are your thoughts on conversational ABM, this concept of engaging with your target accounts right on your site?
CC: Conversational marketing works well with ABM because it says here's your best buyer, your tier-1 ideal customer profile, they're on your site right now. Communicate with them directly and create a personalized experience for them. Whether it's a demo, answering some questions, or getting something scheduled... go ahead do that now. Because what is more personal than a one-to-one conversation? It's beautiful.
MR: Let’s talk about Pardot. What’s exciting for you in the Pardot world right now?
CC: The one that has my attention right now is called Connected Campaigns. Now marketing's first touch, nurturing efforts, campaigns, all the work that sales is doing... all those different touchpoints are tracked and reportable. It's fantastic.
I was actually recently working with my team and they were showing me some charts in B2B Marketing Analytics and we were actually looking at a report of our own webinars. We are able to see what webinars were the most engaging but also which ones drove to the most revenue. You can't say it's a Salesforce campaign or a Pardot campaign. It's one overall campaign.
MR: What are your thoughts on AI and the influence it will have on marketers?
CC: I think the way I boil it down is to spotting the patterns. You still need that marketing brain thinking about the customer and having conversations, but you can spot patterns, and they might be some complex patterns you might not be aware of. You have to give it really good data.Once you clean up your data, then you can unleash AI on it to go look at it and analyze make out those patterns. I've seen it worked really well for scoring predictive scoring and for spotting the sources that are most likely to turn into business. But it's all about what you give it is what it will give you back.
MR: We covered a lot of ground today, it was really a great conversation. Thank you for taking the time to chat!