B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 2 years ago

74. The Top 3 Challenges Facing Marketers Today

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The coronavirus certainly makes the #1 spot on everyone’s list of challenges.

Given that, however, B2B technology marketers tend to share the same 3 non-viral challenges year-round. Those challenges, if anything, are even more formidable in 2020.

In this episode, I interview Yotam Gutman, Director of Marketing at SentinelOne, about the top 3 challenges that marketers are facing… as well as the challenge that everyone is facing now — coronavirus.

We talked about: 3 evergreen challenges for B2B marketers, tactical tips for scaling globally, entering a new territory means understanding the local culture, and coronavirus challenges and changes.

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is Audiam with you and I'm here today with your time. Good Man, director of marketing at Sentinel One. How are you to day? Your time? Hi, I'm fine. Thank you. Excellent accident. So today the two things that we decided to pick is the top street challenges that marketers are tacing. But before we go into the details and we jump into the conversation, would you mind introducing yourself in in a little bit more details? Your time, as well as the company at your represents set you know one. Sure. So, as you mentioned, my name is your Tom good man. I'm marketing director at Centenn on one, where cyber security company with officers and in mountain view, anotherland, UK and Israel, where I'm based here in Tel Aviv. I've been with the company for six months now and I'm managing the local marketing activities and help the global marketing team. I've spend about six and a half years at working in this industry in marketing and business development role and in addition to serving in sentinal one, I also manage a community of cybersecurity marketers, about three hundred of us, who share ideas and have a lot of engagement here. So we have a very strong sense of community. I do like that and it's needs triel the world community means a lot. Since we're on the topic of community and and you know something that's quite topical right now, which is the coronavirus which, I think at the time of recording today and the teens of March, it's kind of kicking off a little bit everywhere. How do you feel the community is reacting? How do you think the impact is? Our people saying it is an opportunity as as an issue, and was a feeling, basically. And what are the what are the sort of feedback that you you collect or received from the community? So obviously it's a big change and a big challenge to all of us. Specifically for marketers, I can say that we're, I think, better adjusted than most, especially people here in Israel. We're very well accustomed to work in from our home on the Goo, very mobile. We work from with people from all over the world. So doing as zone calls and doing things from remote is is practically how we live every day. However, we do we are aware that this is a big shift. A lot of clients have, I either had to stop their operation or alter the way that they operate. So we see a lot of a lot of help going from the community, between ourselves and to the customers. People are offering free services. Some of my colleagues have been laid off, companies are downsizing. We trying to help them find new positions and a lot of companies are doing what they can, for instance in cent in a line where I work, but also other companies. They're offering security products for free for the next couple of months to help. Companies will now have to deal with working from remote and they don't have the resources. So at least we're trying to ensure that they don't suffer any cyber attacks at the process. So we're seeing a lot of help, a lot of enthusiasm and, you know, we just have to push through this difficult times. Actually, I'm compared to agree with you. We have to put together off. Okay, so, coming to the topic again, the challenge is the free the top three challenges at marketers are facing. So should the community that you are running in in Israel. You promote regular events to discuss with us, our marketing executive and, as you mentioned, there is also a big part of sharing best practices experiences. I'm sure you ...

...speak about the vendors and experience with them and all that, which which I'm sure is wonderful. So if we were to come back to the main topic and put the Covid mainteen on the side, far sake from your experience as well as from what you gathered within your community, what are the stream main challenges you believe market halls of facing in the B to be technology space? So that's that's a terrific question and actually, to answer that, I actually ran a survey with my community. We had nearly a hundred responders. So, taking the liberty of altar in the results a little bit, because that survey ran at the end of last year and things of obviously changed, but the main things are roughly unchanged. And and I think the first challenge for US marketers and marketing departments, especially in bit to be environments, is to justify the marketing's role within the business side of the organization. I think that's the biggest and first challenge we all encounter. Second of all, once we've done that and we've hit the road, we start the do in campaigns, trying to generate lead. Then the challenge become different, and that's how to break through the noise. I mean, especially in times like this, everyone is trying to sell. I I'm very familiar with the cyber security space. So there are thousands of companies, about a hundred and fifty product categories and everyone's, you know, broadcasting on the same channel. So it's very crowded and it's a it's a big challenge to break through to the clients. And lastly, if we were able to do that, I mean as Israelis, I look from the local angle, then our challenge becomes different and that's how to scale this globally. Usually where I am in at you, at market and and we come from very small companies and we're good at innovating but not that proficient in scaling. So once you've found your voice, you broadcast to the right audience, how do you scale it into a really big company? So I think these are the main swit challenges and they're only being I think exaggerated as we speak now. So everything is much more acute. It be gonna be more difficult to justify marketing budget. It's going to be more difficult to break through the clutter and then to do it globally. Yeah, now I agree with you. I agree with you. So so if you were to to take hold one by one, and it's interesting because when we in particularly all the conversation that we had on the B Tob Revenue Acceleration podcast, always see a mode that that we are meeting outside of the podcasts. Is really the justification of my role. I'll do I improve to the main companies. Take older that. First of all, marketing is important, but also a marketing needs budget, needs a lot of budget to be successful. So could you elaborate on that little bit and and also share some tech takes of success stories of marketing? Individual have been really successful in showing the ESKPIES and I'm gaging with us a cold or to really get things out and and actually put them into a prime position from a from a functional prospective within the organization. Sure. So, I think you've mentioned the phrase that I think sums at all and that's KPI's so I key performance indicators. If, as marketers, we can communicate this clearly with our peers and with our executive then we can have a very business oriented discussions. We would like to get that much done in the next quarter. For this we would need, I would say, a thousand leads. In order to generate a thousand leads, I think I'll have to run five campaigns and invest I don't know how many thousands of...

...euros or dollars, and that would be the result. So I think if if you come to such discussions prepared and have estimated Kpis for at least in the beginning, you wouldn't have very good estimations, but that's something that you can improve as you go along and then at the end of each quarter each year, you can review these and say, okay, those were goals, this is how much we spend, this is our return on investment. Okay, today marketers are measured by the amounts of qualified leads. Some of my community members are also in charge of sales development representatives and then they also have to schedule meeting, so there's also part of their Kpis. Other marketers are measured on exposure, because companies care about brain recognition. It doesn't really matter as long as you discuss this in advance, you recorders and then you visit this and revisit at the end of the process. Once you do that, then people presiduous part of the business process and they'll be happy to spend because they can see the correlation between the investment and the results. One of the reasons that we've ran a survey, and that's something I'd be happy to share with anyone interested, is that we wanted to have a benchmark. So one of the Nice thing about it is that we can show we have percentage. We can show that how much companies are spending in marketing and in different segments within marketing, so that marketers can go to their executives and tell them look for a company roughly our side. Similar company is investing three times as much as as we do. So please, if you want to have similar results of better, I need you to match this budget. So with KPI is with benchmark, I think that you can have an education that discussions. One of the companies I'm seeing here that are doing a terrific job are called Kato Networks. They've been doing blee generation campaigns terrific ones for about three years and the marketer that I know their name done, is doing just that. He speaks with the management in terms of KPI, of real business goals and then assigned the dollar value to them, and it's been very successful. I know that because he manages to increase his budget here near there's probably doing a good job. At least. I'm very happy to see this progress. That sounds wonderful. And when it comes to the Dioversey challenge, because that's also a going oversee, going into New Territories in general often an issue that that companies are facing, and I think from all perspects you would well see like two types of clients resolved. The US companies who are trying to come into the European market, or you've got Israeli companies trying to come to Europe and then go to North America. My experiences, what we see, we what I believe is the most difficulties to actually enter the North American market for company at was not born and bred there, but like to get your sorts on that as well. I think coming into the European market when you are Astraeli is probably a similar mindset in a way going into the US from a European company, this trading company or whatever company. It is not true as up we always see people struggling a little bit, and maybe it's because of the the investment that is required to actually get an end do a successful full work in the US, or maybe it's a cultural difference, but we never really been able to put out finger onwards the issue where. But we've seen this. This company is really strongly as you mentioned, is in your your your self, challenge of that skating globally always being an issue. So what are your sults on that? Do you have any, you know, war stories,...

...success stories that you could share with us? So there are several aspects to consider here. One, as you mentioned, is that the cultural aspect of trying to do business in a different region or geography and and in this regard, I don't think it makes a lot of difference if you're trying to sell from Israel to Europe or foreign result to the states and vice versa. I think the golden rule is is that you have to have local people literally speaking the same legs, the local language, not just in terms of lingo, but they understand best the the mindset, how procum and works the Sales Cycle? Who's the strong person in the organization? Even small stuff that are an opposive to be very important but could have a big significance. I'll give you one example. In the states small medium businesses are called SMB's. You know, they're mostly returned. Refers to as SMS, Small Medium Enterprise. The size also the fair. So if you come to European light and say S and B they're probably won't understand you and you start the discussion of the wrong foot. Just a small cultural point because you're talking about the same thing, but you're not very a tune to your client. When you're talking about is valley companies in specifics, as I mentioned, we're very good at moving fast and building products at work, but we're not always fully appreciate the size of the companies we're working with. So, for instance, Centen and one works with three of the top ten fortune, five, Thou onezero companies. I think it's number one, three and and seven. So these are huge companies. When most these valley companies go and address these companies, they can go in, they can probably get in the door, perhaps to a proof of consop and then it stops and they don't really understand why. And one of the story is one of the battle scars that I can share is one of the startups I was working then with about five years ago. I, with a lot of effort, I managed to get our system back then into a major US banks fusion center. So the system was installed, it ran for about a week. We got like positive feedback, but the bottom line, and they said that straight to our face, they said, you guys are very nice, but you're not corporate grade, so you're not enterprise ready. Let than get us, and that's something I think it took me a while to understand what enterprise ready means. It doesn't necessarily mean that your product isn't good, but it lacks the scalability, it lacks the support that you commentation the local people on the ground as a lie, all these kinds of things that we don't always appreciate here because we work on a much smaller scale. So I think that company is looking to expand to any territory, they have to consider who the target audience is, who can speak to these people in their language, and one of the basic requirements so far us and Israel is like one Tipe I can give you is don't go for a fortune five thousand clients in the United States. Don't go for a t one banks. You can go for a one, tier, twoty three banks. They're as big as any local bank that we have here in Israel and they roughly the size that you can actually serve as a small start up going into a new company. If you go to a big enterprise, you'd be stuck in a cell cycle that can last twelve to eighteen months and you probably don't have the stamina to go through that. So aim correctly, use local people and then you might be able to break through on your first clients. I agree with yourself walking before you your run and also taking it easy at the beginning of going after the not going after the whales hunting, but more doing like a bit of a Chun now, well, fishing, elstuna fishing. So trying to...

...get the deal that can move quicker and the one that hoome stuck you into a propriman process. Well, you will need references and and lots of those Ol bits and pieces to go through the hooks. That makes sense. Regarding territories, do you see the we again from your perspective of in lots of experience with the DESRAELI CMO marketing community. Well, do you see the most paid? You see the most pain into coming to the European market or going into the US market? And why? If you have themser, sure so. About would say ninety five percent of the companies in Israel would aim at the US market first for many reasons. One the investors push them that way to it's the largest market. The US are early adopters and they are happy to in experience with new technologies. But if you try to do that then, as I said, you have a big lip that you need to take. It usually doesn't work if you just have like one person on the ground that you supporting with the team flying in and out. So I think the biggest challenge if you do that, is that you need to hire fast and higher. Well, if you look at the European market, and that's an interesting perception, because a lot of the companies are the said are not well equipped to handle such a big leap, and they might. They should actually start with the more geographically closed location in Europe. Our biggest challenge is the diversity. So if if in the states you need to speak English. Well, okay, we are proficient with we are not native speakers, but it works well enough in Europe. Is Not going to do. We have to speak in several languages. You have to understand the regulation at different countries. Spain is very different. Let's say, southern Europe is very different than Western Europe, which is different than the nordics, which is then different than Eastern Europe and in the Middle Eastern countries. So it's a lot to take in and most companies, if they decide to tackle the European market, they would start with either the British market which, in terms of language as it's easy process really yeah, or the dark region, which is more cohesive. So we have a Germany, the Luxembourg parts of Switzerland. So roughly, if you have a German native you be able to to cater for the territories and also their fine actually sounds. So it makes a lot of sense starting there. Yeah, I agree with you. I'm gonna go back. I am so sorry. I'M gonna go back to coronavirus for sake because as we are speaking, my many is bubbling and I need to ask you that question. It's a tactical question. Less strategic to the type of topy that we with discussed just now. But we have had a couple of clients impacted drastically. So one of our large clients a company called guilt. Now you must have done about Golt not being in marketing. We were supporting them in driving traffic to events and obviously, with the recent news of coronavirus, we had to pose what we are doing with them because they are can setting the event, so there is no point having US driving people anymore. So well, that's not a great news. Is kind of leading me to believe that a lot of markets were probably banking on events taking place round table. It could be industry events like a Google Cloud, the the big conference in in San Francisco, got cancel the couple of weeks ago. I believe Info Sake in the UK got will get cancel. I believe that Cloud Expo was not canceled in the UK, but at very limited, poor attendance. I've seen some terrific, terrible feedback on on Linkedin and s book to people with a lute it was. It was not a great investment of time and money. So with that I'm kind of thinking that they will be a deficiency in leads created,...

...in pipeline, created in prospect, engagement created or even with the partners and all that. So, as part of the community now and the way you communicate and all that, what sort of tactics do you see your peers putting in place in order to upset the deficits of mqls, leads, whatever we want to cut it, byplay generated from the traditional events type of activity? Yes, that's reality and and as you mentioned correctly, I think the largest cyber security events that we're we have witnessed this year was Rsa about a month ago and I don't think there's gonna be any event of this scale, even if the virus subsides. I think there's going to be massive constellations with scheduling. So in terms of event this year is pretty much devastated and we have been talking about this internally within our my company, within the community, and people realize very quickly that they need to offset that with digital activities. So we see in a lot of efforts going into Webbin are going into one on one interviews, conference calls with clients serving digital content. I'm thinking I have and Syne this yet, but I'm thinking that there's going to be smaller round table events who, once this crisis will be over and people will, at least locally, will feel safer to be in a company of others. I might even hippathize or have had an idea from new startups for, you know, just having a small conference room, but with separated rooms, but with one big video screen where everyone can can share. That's also something good work. I mean, people are looking for interaction, especially in how that we're all cooked up and and contravel. But again, that's not going to happen in the form of massive event, at least that's my prediction towards the end of this year. So a lot of digital activities, a lot of customer education. People still want to know who you are, people are still interested in your product. There's a need for all the technology that's secure and facilitate remote work. We're feeling the demand. Other companies are feeling it as well. So it's just a matter of shifting between the traditional to the more, let's say, digital and remote kind of interaction. Okay, that's what we feel. So we have the big shift in in the way we walk. So we in some countries. So obviously the US want much more. We'll be nout driven, online, demo, zoom calls and all that, because of the nature of the territory when it comes to Europe, actually of Europe, and clients tend to like face to face meeting. So we see we had to shift all these face to face meeting. But again, if you look at our hands be to be software companies, everybody is equipped with Web, EGS, zoom, Google and out, you know, Google Conference, whatever it could be. You know it is lots of solution, but everybody is using the solution because they are used to communicate with their Israeli colleague, the Indian colleague, the US colleague, there French colleague, and that's the way that's the way it works for me to be software companies. Having said that, we actually try to change the approach and every single message that we would send email, social of telephone, conversation, whatever I could be, because we sears, you know, your a more approaches will be direct. We trying to make we try to emphasize about the situation and I think while you can engage with people right now, when you can pitch them your solution, you can tell them where you are, you can still contact them and technically you know what we are saying. Well, seeing people having a little bit more time in the ends because they're working from home and they're not is a commuting or they are not into internal meetings, or they are less internal...

...meetings or they are less in the operational stuff in a way, so they should have a little bit more time in diends. But we really try to emphasize on the situation and tell them brook, this is not really we're not trying to sell you something right now to take advantage of the situation, but at the same time we need to carry on, wait to put it together. You still need to work. You have to protect your job. I've got to protect my job. Obviously we don't say that, but we Gott of we kind of make it, make it clear in the first sentence that we need to carry on. In most people actually say yes, absolutely need to carry on, but you're writing saying that you won't send me something right now because for the time being, getting a coach so Altho, I getting the contract sign will be difficult. But we have to carry on. We need to look and new technology and it's actually it could be a good time. But like you, we hope that it will come down and we will be able to do small gathering, will be able to get out again and and and get things going in a free things should resume to normal at some points. Our long it would take, we don't know. But yeah, we've got to pull it through and keep going, I guess. Yeah, I think the important messages that eventually we will see the other end of this crisis. And then, though, big changes will definitely occur. People who still need the essentials, they'll go out the shop and and our clients, the bit to be clients, are enterprises, will want to serve these people. So we work with clients all over the board, from energy, telecommunication, retail, all these need to keep on working. Even now as we speak. I mean energy. Energy companies still have to pump oil and refine that. So they need security. They will need to sell it. And when the crisis is over, and and and it's important to understanding the world is not gonna stop, but we're probably gonna have to make adjustments both to how we do business and how we interact with our without clients. That the quicker we do the more companies will be better. Quay to get through this difficult situation. Yeah, yeah, and it to Benest we mean you probably don't know about it, but actually made the decision as a company to move to centinel one. Think it up and last week and I was in preparation of walking from home and getting getting theeed a pice as past as part of the something at was important for it. So, as as mentioned, you know, technology are important. Traces will be made based on walking from all audio control things out. You bring security and, as you and unfortunately hackles everybody, you know, people will try to take advantage. So you know now more than ever it's important to be secured and and if the community, as you mentioned, can supports and user in getting securities through free be support content and etc. Etc. It's IT'S A it's really all about solidarity right now. Yes, so thank you very much for your inside and already appreciated you your time today. One question that we ask towards the end of the of our session and our recording is if anyone wants to get in touch with you. I'm sure that anyone Israel probably knows you, but if in the marketing failed now, if anyone else want to get in touch with you, pick up any of the topic that we discussed today. Take their more flying or even a speak about scenting old one and what'Suchin one could mean to them. What is the best way to get all of you get him? So the best way would just approach me through Linkedin. Very active on the platform. I usually answer within minutes, so just bring me, send me a connection request or, you know, comment on one of my both and I'll gladly interact with with egon every one of you when as formed a full once again, your time. Thank you very much for your time today. It was an absolute pleasure to you on the show. Thank you for having me. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many...

...years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to BEDB revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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