792: Managing Attribution Throughout Each Stage of the Customer Life Cycle w/ Chandar Pattabhiram

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Chandar Pattabhiram, CMO of Coupa Software.

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There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B to be leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vander truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BDB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just kidding. Well, maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob growth show. I am your host for today's episode, Logan Lyles. I am joined today by Chander Patabi Ram. He is the CMO at coupa software. Chander, thanks so much for joining us. How are you today? I'm doing great, Logan. Thank you, and it's great to come and chat with you and and the community here awesome. Well, we are very excited to have you urs seasoned CMO and Martech veterans. So we are really excited to have you share your experiences and some thoughts on attribution across the buyer journey and the life cycle of your customers today. So before we jump into that, I would love for you to give us a little bit of background on yourself. As we mentioned, you've been at some big names in the MARTEX space and currently COUPA software. So tell us a little bit about...

...yourself and what you and the team at Coopa or up to these days. That's great. Thank you, Logan. So again, you know, I've been about, you know, twenty, almost twenty years in marketing management consulting before that. But even if I have to have a tagline for myself, I'll save a marketer for life. I'm currently chief marketing officer at COUPA software and and what Cooper software we do is just like what sales forcecom is two sales is what we are to spend. Just like every company makes money, every company spends money. And just like sales forces a platform for pipeline and revenue, Kupa is the platform. It's the all in one platform for they called business spend management, just like crm. That's BSM, business spend management, which is all aspects of spend, from procurement to expenses, to sourcing to, you know, all the paying, invoicing, etc. All those components are in one platform and Coupa we manage more than seven hundred and fifty billion dollars of business spend today for some of the largest organizations in the world and as well as fast code companies of all sizes. Before we see a more coup I was cheap marketing officer at Marquetto, obviously you know, brand that a lot of marketers are associated with, and before that I was around marketing, head of marketing for Badge Bill, which is a platform for gammification. Before that Ib am, before that at you know, one of the first assassin middleware companies go cast irons. So I've had marketing experience in small companies, medium sized companies as but as large companies like IBM, kind of span the spectrum and driving marketing engines and companies of these different sizes. Yeah, definitely a unique perspective that comes with, you know, running marketing teams at organizations both large and small, in several of the names there. As you're sharing your background, Chender, I think that is great and all of that experience, I think, is going to lead to some very valuable takeaways for our audience today as we talk about attribution. Let's open it up with this gender as we talk about, you know, attribution as it relates to sales and marketing alignment. You know, tell us a little bit about your...

...thoughts there as we dig into this idea of looking at attribution across the life cycle of your customers. Yeah, so if you look at the life cycle, maybe we can thin slice it and say after beer should when it comes to you know, acquisition, which is pretty sales marketing, they can get into adoption and cross sell and then to advocacy, which is kind of, you know, the highest part. If you look at it a life cycle, the third part of it. So when it comes to an acquisition, it's interesting. There's a lot of changes that's been happening with the advent, with the more democratization of, I can't based marketing. Historically, when it came to attribution, typically marketing team would do one of two things. One is there's a lot of measurements on mql's and leads and what we have. You know what leads were sourcing. The second aspect is there's always been kind of a stout pipe or a sideload. Look into the marketing mix. In other words, when people are developing what they call their plan of records, for you know how to generate pipeline, they would say that, you know, sales has to generate thirty percent, marketing has to generate forty fifty percent, partners have to generate twenty percent, etc. And come up with a mix and, as a result, project the amount of pipeline required in each of these discrete siload functions. Well, that works in a world where there's a lot of the predominantly inbound or broad based marketing. That doesn't work in a world where there's account based marketing. But collectively, sales and marketing are going after the same set of accounts. In other words, if you, if your company programmatically drives an ideal customer profile and says, okay, there's about twozero accounts we want to go after, or or thousand or whatever the number is, then it's not sales and marketing exclusively or independently doing this, it's doing this in unison together and and fishing in the same boat together, and and, and that's where it becomes different in terms of attribution, that we should start looking at joined metrics as opposed to metrics like leads, etc. That is very marketing driven metrics within this world. So a couple of kind of, you know, thin slicing that further. The first thing you would do an attribution today is think about the percentage of your business that's driven...

...through account based marketing and the percentage of your business that's driven through lead base marketing. So, for example, you would say that, you know, sixty percent of my business, of my new business bookings, I want to drive through a count base and let's say forty percent I want to drive through traditional lead based, broad based or inbound marketing. Now, when it comes to a count based marketing. We should just separate. First of all, forget there's no concepts of leads, but really start looking at account nurturing. And then what you measure together in a sales and marketing joint conversation is the amount of opportunities generated in these accounts jointly by sales and marketing. So it's code driving pipeline as opposed to traditionally sourcing pipeline. Number to, the amount of dollar value of pipeline. That is code driven by marketing and sales, and number three, the amount of new bookings and dollars. That is code driven by marketing and sales. So, for example, you can have a target that's saying that sixty percent of the business needs to be come from my account based marketing revenue or bookings needs to come from a contas marketing, and then you jointly measure attribution of sales and marketing into this. That's the big change in organizations that we're seeing in terms of at least in Coupa as well as other organizations. But are going from the traditional concept of sourcing the conditional concept of code driving and what I call an all bound model. It's not in bounded odd bonus, an all bond model. We're doing joint attribution to drive the best synergies between says and marketing and a convoys marketing work. It's story time again, and we're talking about search engine marketing. Today I'm going to tell you about a challenge within Pelican cases. Be To be division, Pelican needed a partner with deep bb expertise that could get them a massive bumping leads from their paper click campaigns without increasing spin. After vetting a handful of agencies, they decided to go with directive consulting, a B Tob Search Marketing Agency located in southern California. Directive took on this challenge by refining their targeting and building custom landing pages for their advertising efforts. Once implemented, they saw...

...a two hundred and eight percent increase in conversion rate. Needless to say, Pelican cases met their initiative. I have a hunch that directive can get these kind of results for you too, so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. Was it tough for your team chender to make that transition into these different metrics, thinking about, you know, the this different approach to attribution in the acquisition stage. It is because traditionally, when we because budgets are created based on what's the cost of opportunity? In a sourcing model, market will cost on opportunity source. Bay Marketing is, you know, let's say three thousand dollars for opportunity or opportunity source from sales us so much and they drive their budgets based on that. In a model where there's a convas marketing, it's difficult for people to get away from this concept of sideload sourcing to this concept of joint accountability, joint ownership of pipeline and joint ownership of a bookings and and that really takes, you know, strong sales and market leadership to coming together and also, you know, convincing the CFO that, you know, let's not run this in parallel tracks, but let's run a joint, synergistic way between sales and marketing detract the best a line, and I love analogy of in the same boat fishing together. Paints a very great picture of harmony and sales and marketing alignment. That we can all, we can all aspire to. I love it. And what we also fishing to the point, you know, John Miller an engage it makes this point is in a convass marketing world, you know you're fishing with the spear for the large fish rather than fishing with than for smaller fish. And that's that. Again, that takes longer. But what we also get is you can need a lot more food when you get that relative to right. Right, I love it. All right. So if we move on from there and we look at from acquisition and we moved to the adoption stage, tell us a little bit about, you know, how we can think differently about attribution in this next stage of the customer life cycle. Yeah, so typically...

...what happens, Logan, is that you know Ed to eighty five percent of marketing spend and BTB companies, and that comes and companies of all sizes has been in the acquisition phase. Historically, the marketing count teams are focused on how to right drive. You know, leads to pipeline for my sales teams to close the customer. But I had had very little investment in the life cycle of the customer. In other words, am I spending money on on driving adoption marketing in a scaled way? Am I spending money on driving cross cell marketing in a sale scale way, etc. So when it comes to attribution, the first thing market teams need to do is actually put investment of people and program dollars into this adoption marketing and cross cell marketing. But I you know, when I was at Marquetto, or originally got the Marquetto, we didn't have anybody focusing on that. And by the time I had left Marquetto, for example, we had dedicated teams focusing on adoption and cross cell. And similarly, at coup of your made the investment for adoption marketing, for example. And the simple idea there is that in a SASS business, when you know you are in the business of, you know, renewals and and pay as you go. For customers also means don't pay as you go. So it's very important for them to adopt the capability that they have bought before they go to buy more. So it's very important for marketing teams and and and then if you have, if you start getting thousand, two thousand customers, very difficult, of course, for the you know, customer account managers to have this one too, one relationships at scale all the time. So that's when adoption marketing becomes important, where you can, in a scale way, you can educate customers on the capabilities that they have bought and the best ways to adopt those capabilities. And the absolution there is, how can marketing influence, in this case, the amount of adoption that is happening for the products that have been consumed? My question, their chender is it. Does that become tough? You know it, as you mentioned in a previous role, you're, you know, building out the team just so that there were dedicated resources to adoption marketing. Then I have to think that if it...

...wasn't even there at all, you know, really honing in on the attribution, there has to be an even tougher next step. That's right, the first steps, the first step to adoption marketing for attribution is actually have program and people dollars. A bent rights programming people dollars. There's nothing to attribute to and that's you started the challenge. Now the second step to that life cycle is cross cell. Right. A lot of times companies will, you know, they want to go do cross cell marketing and they have their sales teams, you know, going and trying to cross selling products or upselling products to what the customers already have. The challenge there is in it is an analogy in your consumer lives to is that we're not bond going to buy more from a company until we have consumed the original set of things that we have bought from the company. And that's why it's a sequential thing for us to look at, saying acquisition has to drive adoption, has to drive cross cell and in that particular case, to you know, marketing can have a very strong influence in cross cell where we can figure out customer journeys and, at scale, figure out what's the right time to cross sell the right product for the customer with the right message at this stage of their journey in a very programmatic way. And if you do that right, then you're helping a sales team scale significantly as opposed to having this one off conversations randomly and the life of the customer. And and the attribution again in this particular case, is the amount of cross cell bookings that can be in. All right, right, right, I love it. All right. So we move from adoption in we get to advocacy. Tell us a little bit about building out, you know, your capabilities to make sure that you're attributing things in the right way in this next stage of the advocacy. Yeah, so advocacy becomes in a very important metric in today's world because, you know, we're living in a peer bond world, just like in BDC, even in BTB. You know, customers are prospects are influenced by customers more than they are by the vendor themselves. It's basically, you know, every mom is going to say that her baby is good looking, but not all the these are great looking.

When it comes to software, has a result and especially, you know, an advocacy. You have to look at how do you invest in advocacy in your own the channels and telling the story in customers voice and, more importantly, invest in advocacy in earned the channels, whether that's, you know, Voice of Customer Initiative, where get to crowd trust radius, as well as even peer insights by companies like Gardener, etc. And have customers tell your story in their words and their value. You know, talk about the value of light as opposed to the you know, the product, which is the candle. So you know, I always say that people buy candles because they need light, not because they want candles. So they able to talk about the custom dog with the value of your product becomes very important and the attribution really is how many brand advocates you're creating on a monthly, quarterly basis. You have to have a goal for that and then continue to have the caidence to hit that because ultimately, if you boil it all down and what I've said, the two big what I call them Fossam metrics, the you know, the line King of all metricts, and that's ass world, is number one lifetime value and number two number of brand advocates, because the simple logic is if a customer is staying with you longer, paying you more money and shouting from the rooftop that they love you, chances are that you're doing really well as a company, and those are the two mentally stay. Lifetime value and brand advocates are the two most important. That right, right, and and the more of those brand advocates that you have. It's very tough to be the king of your category without enough brand advocates, no matter how many paying customers you have that are at least paying for your product right towly. And the problem is a lot of people confuse loyalty with advocacy, you know, and the challenges you know. I can be loyal to a brand and when you look at my data I've been with the company for three or four years. Doesn't mean I'm an advocate of it. So I'm loyal to my airline for fifteen years because I'm locked in. It's locked in loyalty because of the programs that I have. Doesn't mean that I'm shouting from the rooftop that that airline is great for me. So that just is really important kind...

...of make that distinction between loyalty and advocacy. Yeah, I think that is a great way to look at each ender as we think about this conversation on looking at attribution and looking at your models in each stage of the customer journey. I think you've brought some some very specific takeaways for our audience. If anyone listening to this would like to follow up with you stay connected with you. I know that, as we were talking offline, COUPA's got a brand new website, so they can they can search for Coupa there and see brand new nice clean presentation there. Other than that, what would be a great way for them to reach out, stay connected with you personally or ask any follow up questions that they have from this conversation? Great, you can reach me at Chand Rpct you and the RP on twitter. See at Chin D RPS, meant our handle. You go to Linkedin again, Chand Arp at Linkedin, so you can reach Pan the way, and I'm happy to engage further. All right. Well, they thank you so much for being on the show. We really appreciate it. You're welcome and thank you looking again for having becoming a thought leader doesn't just happen. If you want to build a strong personal brand and extend your reach online and offline, you need a plan. Want help developing yours, check out impact summit. This one day event is bringing together best selling authors, professional athletes, influential CEOS and emerging entrepreneurs, all for one purpose, to equip you to lead, influence and inspire. Whether you're looking to build a lasting legacy with your business or extend the reach of your brand. Impact Summit speakers will share inspiring stories and practical lessons to help you on your way. Did we mention a session on launching and growing a podcast. You guessed it. You'll hear from sweet fish media's own James carberry during that session. You won't want to miss all of these influencers and leaders coming together in Salt Lake City on October thirteen. Ready to learn more? CHECK OUT INFLUENCER INK DOT COO. Impact summit be to be...

...growth. Listeners can get fifteen percent off the price of their tickets for this event by using the Promo Code Sweet Fish. Sweet Fish, so use that code, get your tickets today and get ready to grow your brand and your influence at impact summit. Two Thousand and Eighteen.

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