Scaling Demand Generation to Build the Next Unicorn
In this episode, we’re joined by Jamie Grenney, CMO at OwnBackup. Jamie discusses how he approaches demand generation as a means to scale four core engines: inbound pipeline, outbound-sourced BDR pipeline, AE-sourced pipeline, and partnerships. He dives into the death of cold outreach, the right way to make impactful video, how to cultivate a great sales and marketing relationship, and much more.
Why cultivating a great sales and marketing relationship is key to scaling demand gen and requires empathy, deep understanding of each others’ jobs, and putting aside your ideals to earn trust.
How the shift from cold outreach to warm introductions is forcing companies to come up with smarter ways to break through the noise and leverage relationships at scale.
Where video plays a role in today’s demand gen strategy and how you can leverage it to deliver a clear, concise message in a hyper-sharable format.
Want to skip ahead to the highlights? Check out these can’t-miss moments:
(1:55) Jamie’s First Job in Demand Gen
In high school, building haunted houses!
He learned how to drive demand gen using flyers, posters, and word-of-mouth marketing
(5:13) Jamie’s Demand Gen Strategy
You have to take a step back and think about the big picture. The four engines to think about are inbound pipeline, outbound BDR-sourced pipeline, AE-sourced pipeline, and partners.
Focus on how you build those for scale, how you measure them, and how you grow them
Various demand gen teams fit into each of these four engines: inbound pipeline is fueled by events and paid acquisition, outbound pipeline is fueled by ABM efforts, and partners are fueled by partner marketing
Additionally, the marketing org also has marketing ops/analytics team, a content marketing team, web team, product marketing team, and a customer advocacy team
(9:51) OwnBackup’s Persona & Vertical Strategy
Executed a big research project to define personas by aggregating sales learnings and distilling that down into three high-value targets: Salesforce platform owners, C-level executives (CIO, CTO, and CEO), and compliance/risk owners.
Each persona has a unique pain point that they build a messaging foundation for
OwnBackup has also established a vertical strategy, as several verticals that are important to their business are highly regulated and it’s important to speak their language
One challenge companies face is they try to take a vertical messaging approach but don’t have a vertical product strategy
Vertical messaging takes a ton of time, so you have to focus on how you solve those unique problems all the way through the product
(20:03) Jamie’s Uncuttable Demand Gen Budget Items
AppExchange marketing program: Since OwnBackup has such a strong focus on the Salesforce ecosystem, this is a major demand gen channel for them
Conversational marketing: Prospect engagement is moving away from forms and is now about getting the prospect to the right person to have the right conversation with them at the right time.
Video: Video delivers a clear, concise message in a format that’s really easy to share.
(22:03) How to Make Video an Effective Demand Gen Strategy
Jamie ran the entire video live events program at Salesforce, so he’s seen across a ton of examples which types of video are most successful
Demo videos get the highest view counts and are super-powerful assets because there’s strong intent behind the people watching them
A good demo video comes down to a good script. You don’t need a huge budget to make an effective demo video.
Need to think about cost per view, which helps frame the value of the video plus how you’re going to promote it
Must think about all the channels the video could be promoted on, how to equip the sales team to use it, how to incorporate it into marketing nurture programs, etc.
(30:07) Cold Outreach is Dead
Every company has a pipeline gap to fill, but cold outreach makes no sense. It’s expensive, inefficient, stressful, and often yields disappointing results.
High-value prospects are bombarded with unsolicited calls and emails that they tune out
Jamie is convinced that marketers will find a way to break through the noise by getting warm introductions at scale
(32:11) How Jamie Measures Marketing Program Success
Pipeline is job number one, but it’s not enough to hit a pipeline number. You must also think about pipeline coverage to ensure sales reps in various territories and markets have the pipeline they need
Also want to think about customer acquisition cost (CAC) across various marketing programs and channels to gauge their respective effectiveness
(33:34) Jamie’s Most Memorable Demand Gen Campaigns
One of his favorite campaigns is one he’s working on right now. It’s a direct mail campaign that will send a Hero Grill to several high-value target prospects with messaging around “be a hero” and “save the day”. It will tie into a virtual event where grill recipients can join a virtual cooking session hosted by a chef.
One of Jamie’s most memorable campaign flops was back in his Salesforce days. He was running a product line called Salesforce Ideas, which powered their idea exchange. He purchased a bunch of domains for top-target accounts, such as “myappleidea.com” or “mytoyatoidea.com”. The intent was to buy the domains, set up example websites, and use them in outreach to the prospects. Within a couple of days, he started receiving tons of cease-and-desist letters. It was a mess up, but good learning lesson.
(39:08) How Jamie Develops Relationships with Sales
It starts with regular one-on-one meetings up and down the sales organization
This helps to establish empathy for their jobs and gain perspective on their challenges
Jamie likes to ask sales leaders about how they reach their sales goals. This sheds light on what works, where there’s friction
It’s ultimately about building trust and creating a good feedback loop
(41:13) Jamie’s “Dust Up”
Jamie has two memorable dust ups in his career
The first was in a recent role, where he came in to run marketing. Things were broken and the sales and marketing relationship wasn’t great.
He figured that if he jumped in and started fixing things, that it would improve the relationship with sales. But the more he pushed to deliver for the team and make things data-driven, the more the relationship eroded.
Jamie’s learning: sometimes you have to relax your ideals to earn trust. It’s more important to be effective than to be right.
Jamie’s second dust up involved an epic, last-minute project to launch an ideas exchange for Dell within 7 days of a big event with Michael Dell and Steve Jobs.
They decided to power the ideas exchange on Dell’s servers because the servers Jamie had access to at the time wouldn’t be able to power the load. This would end up being Salesforce’s first on-prem deployment. They stood everything up and the event went off without a hitch, but Jamie was instantly called out because of the challenge they would face in getting off of Dell’s servers and back into Salesforce’s servers.
Jamie’s learning: Never fail alone. You have to think about all the people potentially impacted by something and make sure they’re in the communication loop.
(43:54) Quick Hits: Getting to Know Jamie
Favorite recent book: The Emerald Mile
Alternative career: Building haunted houses
Favorite quote: “Nothing is more highly to be prized than the value of each day.”
New shelter-in-place habit: Electric biking
Top advice for a CMO trying to figure out demand gen: Measure what’s taking place today, and invest in an ops/analytics foundation and find good people who understand the systems
“Inbound pipeline, outbound BDR-sourced pipeline, AE-sourced pipeline, and your partners. Those are the four engines you want to think about. How do you build those for scale, how do you measure them, and how do you grow them 5 or 10X. Think about those engines, and what you can do to increase their respective productivity.”
“One challenge that some companies have is they have a product that is not verticalized, but they go after vertical messaging. It can take a ton of time and energy to maintain a bunch of vertical messaging. When you go into verticals, you've got to think ‘what is the vertical and how am I going to solve that problem all the way through?’”
“Conversational marketing is an uncuttable [budget item] because I think it's the future of how we engage our prospects and customers. It’s less about forms and more about getting them to the right person who can help. It's about improving the quality of conversation, and it's about making sure that you make the connection in real time.”
“One thing that I see fading away is cold outreach. Every company has a pipeline gap to fill, but cold outreach makes no sense at all. Generally, cold outreach is expensive, inefficient, stressful, and it often yields disappointing results. These days, if you're a high-value prospect, you're bombarded with unsolicited calls and emails and advertisements that you're going to tune out. So marketers really need to figure this out.”
“Sometimes you have to relax your ideals to earn trust. You have to put yourself in [sales’] shoes. Understand that it's more important to be effective than to be right. A really good lesson in bridging the sales and marketing divide is to think about what is the right pace to introduce things to sales and how do you build trust in those relationships.
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