B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2033 · 4 months ago

Focusing on Operations for a Successful Demand Gen Strategy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Lesley Crews talks with Judy Sheriff, VP of Demand at Refine Labs, on the importance of operations in a demand gen strategy.

Yeah, welcome back to GDP growth. I'm LeslieCruise with sweet fish media. If you are new here we are currently reachingthe tail end of our deep dive into demand generation today. I am soexcited to talk with judy Sheriff VP of demand over at refined labs judy thanksso much for coming on the show today. Thank you so much for having me. Superhappy to be here. Yeah, I'm so excited for you to be here. I'm so excited totalk all things to me and jen and I love talking to anyone from refinedlabs because you guys have such a specific, you know, you guys are sogreat in that category and you guys are so big in that category escape us onlengthen. Never ever impossible. So the first question I always ask and I'mreally excited to hear your answer since you've kind of been working inthis industry in the space for quite a while now is how do you, in your ownwords define demand generation. Yeah, great question. And honestly I was likethinking about this, what is demand generation? Because the name itself iskind of self explanatory if you break it down. Like ultimately to me, I thinkof it as any type of marketing that's creating new interest for your product,new interest demand. So you know, the variety of marketing tactics, but it'ssomething that's going to generate that awareness and demand for whatever it isthat you're offering our fine labs. We really focus on B two B SAs. Sotypically what I'm thinking of as demand gen is how are we generatingdemand for your software product and how are we creating more users who wantto use your product? You know, I think when I maybe first got into demand gen,I was actually just called online marketing or digital marketing but itreally was a lot of the components of demand gen bucket id into a broadermarketing marketing role. I've seen that become more specifically brokenout. There are people now with demand gen titles at companies instead of justbeing a digital marketer. But I also think maybe people conflate demand genand lead gen. And historically when you think about demand gen or maybe thetypes of campaigns I was running early on in my career when I was firstgetting into demand gen were really...

...lead generation campaigns and I thinkthat's evolved especially in recent years to there's a cleardifferentiation between sourcing a lead. It's really contact information andcreating demand for someone who really wants to use your product because ofthe marketing that you've done. So in a nutshell, that's how I think aboutdemand gen. Yeah, I love that. And I love that you mentioned in yourprevious roles because I was going to ask like how your definition now haskind of changed over time, as you've grown in your role and when you starteddoing demand gen, you know, you said it was really more legion, so kind of backthen, how did you define this new thing? You know, emerging thing and what hasshaped the way you define it now? Yeah, I think, You know, I started moving andworking in the B2B space in 2014, so about about seven years ago and a lotof the campaigns and just the goals that the marketing team was focused onand what like the sea level would judge our success on were very top of funnelgoals, very focused on what is that volume of net new names that are cominginto our contact database. So really it's how many email addresses wererecapturing and I think the longer I worked in the space and the more I wasrunning those types of campaigns, you notice there's a big difference betweengetting someone's name and getting someone who actually wants to use yourproduct. So there's not necessarily a lot of intent behind leave, jen, Ithink a lot of marketers have encountered this, but it's hard tobreak out of that cycle of wanting to hit your leave numbers, you know, yourgold on certain things. It's easy to get lead numbers compared to sourcingpeople who genuinely want to use the product. That's a harder, it's a hardersell. So I think for me it was that realization like what I'm doing isn'tnecessarily driving the business outcomes that we'd like to be having.You know, just getting gated e book leads coming in from a campaign onlinkedin is not turning into net new revenue for the, for the business. Andthat's where this shift to focus on.

How do we genuinely create moreinterest in the product? How do we make people aware of what the product doesand make them want to come use it so that they're coming inbound, reallyqualified to us and we're truly sourcing demand and not sourcing leads.So I think a lot of it is just seeing what, what didn't work and how we canpivot away from that, which this is a big part of what we do. A refined labsis helping companies shift to that mindset. Absolutely. And kind ofshifting right into that. Do you mind sharing like some simple practices thatrefine labs is doing with their clientele um, in these demandingstrategies that kind of makes you stand out among those competitors? Yeah, wereally think about demand gen is like a two pronged approach. We want to makesure that for the existing demand that's out there for our clients or foranybody that has a software company, people that I know of you and know theyneed you. It's very easy for them to convert. And so we really want tomarket to people in those high intent channels, make their conversion funnelon the website. Super. Optimized. Make sure anyone coming in direct orsearching your brand name or converting on google paid ads on a direct responsecampaign. Going to get all those people for sure. But we have this other halfto the marketing that is creating net new demand in your in your keep yourideal customer profile. And for that we really want to help our clientsshowcase themselves as the leader in the industry and create this ah hamoment for their prospect in their I. C. P. That's like oh I have that problem.I didn't know this software could solve that problem and now that I do I wantto learn more about it. So I think a lot of people focus more on capturingthe existing intent and existing demand and forget to focus on generating netnew demand. So a lot of what we're doing with the net new is awarenesschannels like facebook and linkedin having a lot of product focused ads. Uhproduct marketing ads showing values and future benefits how they solve painpoints or more content campaigns that...

...are educating the buyer problem,awareness blogs. Case studies of how other companies have solved the sameproblem using this software. A lot of these messages that are going to followthe users around as we're cold targeting them on facebook or onLincoln and really keep the company's top of mind for them so that when theyare ready to purchase, that's the first company they're gonna think of. Yeah, Ithink that's our general approach to demand gen. Obviously there's tips andtricks within each channel and some of that's proprietary but that's how we'reoverall thinking about it and really focusing on the inbound funnel as awhole and not necessarily what is being attributed to marketing maybe in thecrm or attributed to a specific paid channel. But how are we looking atoverall inbound growth? How is that increasing over time? How are yourconversion rates improving as we're driving better quality traffic andbetter quality I. C. P. Fits into your funnel. Looking at total inbound verseoutbound instead of just what's may be attributed to pay because we know thatso much of the campaigns that were running impact, organic and directtraffic, the awareness, the word of mouth plays that are harder to measurefrom a attribution standpoint. Absolutely. What are some things thatyou feel marketers tend to kind of get wrong in this space? Yeah, that's agood question. You know, I audit lots of different B2B marketers, accountsadd accounts, their their crm. Is there marquee animation platforms? Idefinitely see some commonalities for sure. I think one area that I often seea gap in is really thinking about marketing operations as it relates todemand gen. I think people will often operate in silos and there's a lot ofoperational best practices to get in place that make demand gen so mucheasier. Even things just like having a really clear understanding of what yourfunnel is. What are the stages that you want a buyer to move through. Beingaligned with sales, on that, being able...

...to measure that in salesforce, having atimestamp field when your opportunity, status change, stage changes from opento qualified and you're able to measure how many new opportunities werequalified each month. Like those pieces of being able to tell the full story ofyour funnel, I think often get missed. Um, I'll see sort of operational issuesaround not having your marketing automation in your crm systemintegrated correctly. Maybe there's source reporting in your hubspot, butit's not mapping into salesforce. You can't report on opportunities by source.There's these components that make it harder for the demand gen, marketers toreally show the influence of the campaigns are running and be able totell that story. And I think oftentimes they'll focus a lot on the front endmetrics of like how is the campaign performing? How much am I spending?What clicks am I getting But without having the operations really tied in tosee that all the way through the funnel into their crm. I see that as a bigmess. Um, another mistake I think people, people do often is not takingfull advantage of some of the resources out there that are free, like thegoogle suite. As often see clients that are potential clients that don't havegoogle analytics set up and tracking correctly. Tag manager isn't on all oftheir domains by pixels are not firing correctly. Still, conversion trackingis often platforms, these foundational best practices that once those are inplace, just put you in a good position to be able to scale up from a demandgen paid perspective as a marketer, you're probably brainstorming outsidethe box ideas to engage your prospects and customers working remotely. Andyou've probably thought about sending them direct mail to break through thezoom fatigue. But how do you ship personalized gifts to remote decisionmakers When you have no idea where they're sitting at B two B growth, weuse the craft and platform to send hyper personalized gifts to anyoneworking from anywhere. Crafting, makes it easy for your prospects andcustomers to pick and personalize their...

...own gift in real time and offers highlysecure data capture. So decision makers feel comfortable submitting their homeaddresses for shipping purposes to get your own personalized craft and gift.Go to craft um dot io slash growth to schedule a demo and receive acomplimentary personalized gift from craft um to claim your personalizedgift, go to craft um dot io slash growth. Absolutely. And I want to divea little bit more into into marketing ops because I think that's somethingthat a lot of people don't ever focus on in the demand in strategy, becauseit's more, I mean really it's like an organizational thing, right? So it'snot, people are thinking, oh, like my strategy, my strategy, but really it'slike, let's take a step back and let's look at the organization as a whole andkind of see how they, how they communicate. So what are some keythings that marketers can kind of focus on in their operations? I know youmentioned a couple, but maybe like some examples to have a more successfuldemands on strategy. Yeah, I mean, I think the basics, you want to have afunctioning marketing automation platform and crm together. So I thinkhubspot is a great one if you're just starting out and you want to have itkind of combined into one. Obviously I'm a big fan of Salesforce, big fan ofmarquette 02 I think there's a lot of good tools out there, but you know,getting your basics of your integration together. I think like I mentionedtaking advantage of the google suite tag manager, google analytics, searchconsole, getting everything sink in there, linking your analytics and yourgoogle ads together, so you're able to report on all of that and googleanalytics. It's really one of the best free tools out there. I think thatmarketers, fingertips and people are really under used. There's a lot ofpowerful things you can do with google analytics, I think maybe less kind oftactically on the tool side of things, but really into operations is just thatalignment with sales and making sure that you guys feel really good aboutthe flow of a new leader prospect coming in, if a demo comes in, how isthat going to be tracked, measured? Who's following up with it? How are weseeing which opportunities are coming from those demo requests? The salesaligned with qualification and what...

...we're considering a qualified demoversus unqualified. So really more of that team alignment component. And thenI think the bigger thing is, I mean it's related to team alignment, butwithin a marketing or I think there can be ways to actually structureoperations and demand gen together under the same marketing leader or twoteams that are working very closely together so that they're not measuringup to different goals or they're very much aligned on the same outcome. Sothat demand gen feels really comfortable going to ops and saying weneed help getting this program running this specific way and we want to makesure this is all tracked and it's all working towards the same end goalinstead of being done in two disparate groups. Absolutely. So if someone'slistening to this and they're thinking, you know, I'm a small business, maybe abusiness of one person, they don't have a lot of people on their team andthey're wanting to kind of start implementing demand generation intotheir organization. What are some specific tools of specific advice thatyou would offer to someone who's in that kind of a situation? Yeah, that'sgreat. Like I mentioned before, getting your operations straight, even ifyou're a team of one, just figuring out what is it that I want to make sure Ican measure from whatever my first demand gen campaign is going to be. So,you know, I think typically people probably are going to start with agoogle presence first. If you're thinking about paid demand becauseorganic searches huge, everybody uses google and there's likely some keywordsthat's going to drive high intent for whatever your software is, you canreally orient around uh figuring out from like that specific channel. If I'mlaunching my first campaign and I have my key words set and I have my adsbuilt out and I want someone to request the demo. How am I going to measurethat? Am I going to have a demo form on my website that they're going to fillout, making sure your pixels gonna fire on the back end, like mapping all ofthat out before you start. So you can see what is the main end goal that Iwant to be working towards and make...

...sure you're gonna be able to measure it.Like a a team of one perspective. I think there's a lot of great tools outthere that are actually pretty low cost to, to kind of round out your marketing.Obviously google suite is free. There's cool things to the like canvas, anawesome tool. If you're trying to get your ads created on your, on your own,you don't have a designer in house and you want to just build out somecreative for social. There's some great tools for your website, like hot jars,a website optimization tool that's free that would let you track the keep mapsof if someone's coming in from paid where they're landing on your site,where they're going next. That user behaviors, there's some good resourcesout there. But I think the main thing is that you want to get down is howmuch budget do you have to play with and which channel makes the most sensefor you right off the bat? Typically see google as a nice starting place andthen facebook instagram often even in B two B, because it's so much more costeffective than Lincoln if you're going to be launching for the first time andyou're really trying to put your name out there about your product, B two Bmarketers are still on social media, even if maybe they're not consumingtons of business content and those channels there there and you're goingto get their eyeballs and it's a great channel for being able to testdifferent creatives, different messages, figuring out what's resonating withyour audience in a way that is more cost effective than running those sametype of experiments that work on Lincoln. So I would recommend if you'regoing into the testing phase of figuring out like what is my audienceeven going to respond to? Do they like people in the images, Do they careabout color? Do they want anything that's gonna be video or more emotionfocused? Like once you get those down, take what's working and then you canbuild that out on linkedin or some of the more premium channels that youdon't want to waste your spend on by running experiments and then justmaking sure that whatever you're doing from a paid perspective, you'remeasuring your full funnel, you're looking at everything that's coming inand bound regardless of if it looks like it's organic or it looks like it'sdirect, you know, so much of the types...

...of campaigns that you and we run,marketers run on really any of the channels is not always going to beattributable. There's a lot of, a lot of association just from being able toview an ad and that brand recall and having the eyeballs on it and crossdevice as well. People are going to engage on mobile from facebook andlinkedin. Probably most of your clicks are going to be on mobile, but they'renot going to necessarily come back and sign up for a free trial or request ademo on their phone and that's gonna look like a later organic or directvisit that's coming in on, on desktop and you're never going to see thatattribution. So just always encourage new demand marketers to look at theirfull inbound funnel regardless of if it looks like it's coming from paid or notbecause there's a lot that can be missed. Absolutely. I love that youmentioned testing out different, different socials and different thingsbecause personally it's like, it seems like everybody's like, oh everything'son linkedin, it's all linked in. But it's not like you said, B two Bmarketers are still on social media personally. When I'm scrolling through,Tiktok, if I see a business Tiktok, I get so excited because I'm like, oh,that is so rare and I want to go and follow this person and see what they'redoing and see, I mean what they're talking about because it's sointeresting to me. That's exciting. Yeah, totally. I, I love that you, youmentioned Ticktock, not a channel. We currently are doing much on a refinedlines, but interesting to see where the potential will go with that for me tobe. But I feel the same way just as a marketer on instagram, probably themain social media that I scroll through and maybe I'm not going to clickthrough and like buy a product. But rippling is an HR software. That is agreat example of this myself and a couple other people that refine labssaw their ads for, I don't know, nine months before we finally purchased withthem and they were just in the cold targeting and then I think eventuallyretargeting from them. But they were in my instagram all the time, justconstantly on my feet. And then when I was like, oh we need an HR software isthe first one we thought of. So I think there's, you can think of examples inyour own life of how you would like how you shop, how you would engage. That'snot necessarily going to be click on...

...linkedin, fill out form, immediatelyconvert on website right away. Like that's just not how people buy. Yeah,it's crazy. Advertising is so crazy now. It's like you think of something andthere it is like you think I need to buy dog food and it's like, oh I getsix ads for it. I mean they're definitely listening. I don't haveproof, but I have proof from the ads that I'm receiving were probably I'mprobably gonna get some ads just from our conversation now from my phoneeavesdropping on me. Absolutely. Oh man, you talked a little bit aboutattribution and your last answer and I want to hit on that. You know whenoptimizing for the customer journey. I feel like there's a lot of Controversyaround this in this space. Do you think the attribution is important or do youthink it's something that needs to be left like in 2010? Yeah, it'sattribution is such a hot topic right now. The data nerd in me like with myoffice background, I love attribution. It's so cool. You can see all thishistory of what people have done, but I think people lean weigh too heavilyinto it. It does not tell the whole story and there's a lot of things thatthe decisions that marketers make that are skewed because they're trying toget attribution um in a prior role, we use an attribution software is able tolook at marketing campaigns prior to an opportunity closing. And it was reallygreat as a marketer to be able to see like, oh look at all these touchpoints,but what's not there is the the word of mouth referrals, the conversations thatpeople have, like offline. And then, like I was talking about before, sortof the the brand awareness component of any marketing campaigns that are beingrun that's not going to be tracked. So I think a lot of times marketers willlean heavily into campaigns that give them attribution. That's why gatedcontent has gotten so huge. It's easy to put an e book on linkedin, get a tonof leads from it. If one of those leads is that a company that happens to close,you're going to get that attribution called out on that deal. It's gonnalook like someone from that deal down all of this content. These it's not tosay the content doesn't help the deal,...

...but if they consume that contentwithout the gate, maybe they probably would have closed anyways. It's thefact that we put the form in front of them and have their name associated toit is not necessarily the reason that the deal was closed. And more thanlikely most people downloading the books are not going to convert. Andthere's not a lot of buying intent behind it, but it makes it easy forrecords to say, I don't want to run this campaign because I'm not gonna beable to tie this attribution back into whatever that paid effort was. You know,my management wants to see trials directly associated with facebook andthe in realistically, it's probably not going to happen. I mean you're going tohave a couple of direct conversions maybe, but most of it's gonna show upas organic or direct because people are not gonna click through being thefacebook browser, I frame on their phone and go through a whole form fillwhen they're signing up for a business product, they're gonna maybe clickthrough, read a blurb blurb about a case study or take five tips on howyour software can help them generally improving their job even if they're nota customer and that's like the beneficial component of it. But whenthey come back and convert, you're not gonna get any attribution on thatcontent piece. So I guess if I was going to sum it up, I think attributionis cool data, it's cool visibility for when you have it. But it should not belike an end all be all, it should not be what you make, all of your decisionsoff of because think if you just think about it from a common senseperspective and like we were talking about how we buy, we're not buying togive someone attribution, you're buying a good user experience for the prospect.Absolutely awesome judy. This has been so great, so insightful for me. Thankyou so much. And if listeners want to hear more from you or learn more aboutrefined labs, um where can they find you online? You can find me on linkedinlinkedin dot com slash judy moon. Yes, Moon is my middle name. I have healthyparents grew up on an island in the woods, love it. Yeah, but love toconnect with new people on linkedin. And like I said before, once you startfollowing us, you're going to see your fine. Let's content all over the place.So get ready. Absolutely. I love it was...

...fantastic. Thank you again so much forjoining me here on beautiful growth. Yeah, thank you for having me. Are youon linkedin? That's a stupid question. Of course. You're on linkedin here.Sweet fish. We've gone all in on the platform. Multiple people from our teamare creating content there. Sometimes it's a funny gift for me. Other timesit's a micro video or a slide deck and sometimes it's just a regular oldstatus update that shares Their unique point of view on B two B marketingleadership or their job function. We're posting this content through theirpersonal profile, not our company page and it would warm my heart and soul ifyou connected with each of our evangelists, we'll be adding more downthe road. But for now you should connect with Bill Read our Ceo KelcyMontgomery, our creative director, dan Sanchez, our director of audiencegrowth Logan Lyles, our director of partnerships and me, James Carberry.We're having a whole lot of fun on linkedin pretty much every single dayand we'd love for you to be a part of it. Yeah.

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