B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

76. Marketing in an Era of Constant Change


We’re perpetually marketing in an era of constant change.

Nothing in marketing ever stays the same because nothing in life ever stays the same, does it?

(All of us are thinking about ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic right now.)

On a recent episode of the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast, I talked with Mark Johnston, VP of Product Marketing at Domo, about how to hit a marketing target that’s always moving.

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: Domo’s Coronavirus Tracker Daily Pulse, Measure What Matters by John Doerr

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast

You were listening to be tob revenueacceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge ofsales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi,welcome to the B Tob Revenue Acceleration podcast. My name is Dan Seebrook and I'mhere today with Mark Johnston, VP of product marketing at Domo. Mark, how you doing today? I'm doing very well. Thank you. Thanksfor having me. Good stuff. Thanks for thank for joining us today.Interesting Times, as we're talking about before the start of the PODCAST, butwe'll be we're able to still communicate from other sides of the pund so thanksfor joining us. So, mark, today we'll be talking about marketing inan era of constant change, which is more relevant now than ever, Iwould have thought. But before we get into the conversation today, you pleasejust introduce yourself to our audience and also give us a bit of background onyour company. Don't pleasure? So, yeah, I'm amented. I'm andthe vice president of product marketing at Dermo here in the US. So,but I'm not. I'm not from the US. I'm originally from the UKbut moved here to park city are by three months ago and my role justto kind of give you know, what would what I do in that kindof hope frames in the the Seri of constant Chine. So my job isto help kind of position who we are and what we do and I understandwhere we're Domo can help customers and it's maybe just to look about. Youknow what Dom I way is done. Was a cloud based bi platform andin our missions, really simple. We believe the organizations can do more withdata. Three, getting bid leverage and kind be, I levery things interesting. What does that really mean? Will we see it? As we seea lot of data on this, as you might expect for a database becamea data company, is that the organizations really aren't getting the full value fromthe data that's in their organizations, you know, and you know bring itback down marketing our sales context that you know people, people see that traditional, the traditional normal data, whether it's advertising data, but there's so muchdata that is dark and organizations, you know, whether that's tribal knowledge sittingin the head of a marketer or whether that's that's data to sort of passedaround on spreadsheets or sitting another systems that are not accessible to the marketing department. We see that our role is to help unlock that and put that intothe hands of all employees, and not just put that into the hands ofemployees with with charts and graphs, but to put it into their hands withintelligent applications to help them do their jobs. And I think we're going to we'regoing to chat a lot about the world that we know I sit in. But if you think about the issue of dark data, that that justbecame thighs and x more important as we went remote. So tribal knowledge becomesmuch harder. The data that the data to make decisions just changed completely becauseof all of the different dynamics that are going on in the world. Andand I think, but I think is a really interesting kind of rule upmarketing can play and doing that, I'm really looking forward to kind of chattingabout it. Just to give you an example, I like who we areand what we do. I think probably the best thing is the kind oftalk about what our customers do. So we know about customers at bit itall over the world. Got Big ones like Loreal who pull in billions ofrules of marketing the other. And they optimize all of their all of theirmarketing activities through that inside and that intelligence. And and and we have really smallstartups and the BB space who are using us to run their whole businessright there. They're building a very bitther drifting business from the grind up.And so, like, I'm really fortunately, I'm lucky. I'm kind of theguy that gets to learn from those customers and help bring products and servicesto market that that help get. That be our leverage for any organization.Absolutely, and and and to your point, data becoming, well, especially thedark data, coming a thousand x more important now than the perhaps whatthree, four five weeks ago when we really started to see the full impactof the current pandemic. In terms of who you need to get that datainto the hands of. Where are you as a company, where you seeingthe most demand from? Is it? Is it really the large businesses thatneed to make the big strategic decision because...

...their business is being significantly impact byCovid or is it in the more kind of nimble business that wants to getahead of the with with real time kind of insights as as to how thatbusiness is performing? More the marks I think. I think it's both right. You know from from the conversations that I've been been part of or heardabout secondhand. You know I think. I think there's different dynamics that aregoing on. I think the it's I would say it might be harder forlarger organizations than navigate this change. You know, if you're old, ifyou're a if you're a big enterprise organization right now and in the BB orthe B Toca space, you know the whole idea of like the decisions thatyou're making. Kind of want to talk a lot about decision because I thinkthat's the really interesting thing for marketers, is that it's a decisions and changethat this environment creates. But if you're a larger organization, you've got avery predictable process and planning whethm you you know that you can go to that, that that that forecasting report that you get from your your it team,your your business intelligence seem or you're analyst and you know that that forecast ispretty predictable. You look at it in that monthly rhyther than you're doing it, doing it and that kind of that kind of pattern for for as longas you know. You probably can remember. You know what? All that stuffgot thrown out the window. The baseline got reset like because you knowwhat people are driving, the aren't going to shops, they aren't going torestaurants, they are going on holiday, and so kind of resetting big,big organizations is difficult. But the benefit that they have is they've got lotsof they've got lots of the Goss of intelligence, they got lots of insight. So they're able to understand the marketplace that they serve and I'll it and, you know, more effectively. On the flip side, like the smalleror more nimble, more agile organizations, that they don't have any of thosepreconceived processes around how they run their business, that they're able to adapt and Ican set about you. You know, we're a medium size organization in termsof employees and but but we ad a very, very nimble, agilemarketing team and we made some pretty pretty big decisions and how we change.So our plans are execution so we're able to move quicker. But you know, but the smaller organizations maybe don't have the same insight to know what decisionsto make or how to adapt. And you know, I don't really havea really good example of a gym franchise in North America. And they werelike, well, how do we how do we understand that the early daysthe pandemic? How are we going to understand, you know, which Jim'sare going to be impacted? And they're like, I could we pull incoople in some data that shows the change in in sort of normal life.So they're like, can we pull in school data? And they say theypulled in school data to see a schools were open or closed and use thatas a proxy for like daytime and traffic of people going to the gym.And then all schools got closed so that they became irrelevant. So then theyjust pivot and they started looking at the next thing. They looked at theylooked at kind of online data, they looked at different signals to understand whatto do next. And I think, I think that's that's the challenge thatthe organizations are facing is, can I kind of get the intelligence and theinsight to be able to make the decisions that I need to make, orcan I move fast enough to adapt to the to the seensing situation that's happeningin the world? And I think you know, people are people are doingthose things of varying levels and and speed. Interesting and you mentioned there around companieslooking at what consumers are doing. So not able to drive cars becausethere are no homes, not able to go to restaurants, are able togo to gym, school's being shut. Naturally that's completely changing the dynamic ofhow businesses interact, interact, I should say, with the with their customers, and obviously that's a shift of businesses to make. And then, likewise, if we look at someone in your position, it's a it's a shiftfor well, how do you actually market to those companies? We look atsort of more broadly speaking, is very likely that this as a year oras a period, marketing teams or businesses and in individuals in general will lookback on it and and pinpoint that as a or now as a moment thatreally going to drive change in strategies and...

...tactics and how we go think,how we do think moving forward. Of course, in marketing, the conceptof innovation and change it's not something new. We've heard over the years how thingshave shifted from different buzzwords to, you know, ABM, to avetoo. In personal events through to virtual events and all everything in between,and some marketings always had to be nimble and think on their feet. Yougive us a feel. You spoke about their at Domo. You make apretty big shift in space for a few weeks. You please give us afail for what you think some of the biggest changes. You've gone through itDomo and have touch on what you think as well in the BEATB tech marketingspace is as a whole, as a consequence of this current situation we're facing. It's a great question, I think. I think the concept of innovation andchange from from marketing has been been true forever. I whether it's creativeor channels or tactics or strategies like you know, maybe, maybe, etc. I think the interesting thing is going to be high focused are in thecustomer and high fast. The customers changing, as we just just chatted the bout. But then I know that the back end of marketing. Has Itreally changed, you know, in terms of like how operationally and organizationally highhigh teams are function they you know, I can of Ruan digital events atMicrosoft when I was there for a long time, and you know we wereconstantly innovating with different tactics and techniques. But you know what I know?I would say that the rhythm of high we worked didn't really change. Wejust swapped components for different things that were, you know, either contemporary or high. Customers were changing their interactions, you know, it through a channelor through a medium, or even the kind of the creative or the waywe would engage. Well, I think so. The saying I'm about tobring into life with, and I'm sure many be to be marketers are goingthrough this, which is we went through this pretty early, is hey.You know, a large part of your marketing mixes events, you know,face to face interaction with customers, trade shows, conferences, customer conferences who, fortunately your unfortunately hey, are large customer conference. Domo Paloser, it'scalled, is running solicity every year and you know it's a real gathering ofour best customers. Just to give you a bit of an inside the Domoand the pulloos of the Sassapalooza style is that is the this the is thecommunity and the engagements. We have a ski day and we took a Goway, so people always look forward to I'm trying to bring a massive people fromaround the world to Salt Lake. So so we were unfortunately on the round. The twenty of the march was around the time of that event was planned. So so we were we were fortunate enough to kind of get ahead ofit. We you know, we looked at the data and we decided thatwe couldn't run it. There was too much rest. So we looked atreally the geographical data, where elections where. We looked at the financial risk benefit. So we kind of we made the choice to a smart leadersh ofchoice that to not do that event into to turn to digital. And whatthat what that forced us to do was to ask ourselves. So that waslike that. The Dad of bit was easy, right. I was luckyat them making the right call, which which ultimately everyone is done. Butthe the harder of it it was kind of asking yourself what was what wassupposed to purpose at this event? Right, what are we trying to achieve?And whether it's the commercial it comes is kind of one thing, butbut what does the customer experience need to look like so that we can replaceit with something? So we went with the idea that we could create adigital event and I'm sure that you've seen a sure many of people listening.I've been on them, which is the zoom conference or the webers. Thatkind of the kind of replace the physical events. But we went. Wewent. Know, we want to create it, we want to quit anexperience that is a digital equivalent. So we decried, we decided to sendour CEO to around you tid the film, all of these video segments. Sohe was on the salt flats and he was in the back country atabove twelve thousand feet, skiing telling the story of what we wanted to tellin person digitally. And I think what...

...the how that pound I for usis a found that really well in terms of the feedback that we got fromcustomers. But it also meant that we could have a very different, verydifferent type of event because of that limitless scale of digital. It's not Iguess the thing that I kind of go back to is that we have tochange with a change the way we worked to deliver that. Like there wasno there was no team structure that was set up to deliver that experience sovery quickly, from having an event manager who is used to producing a conference, we had an event leader that was more like a film director. Sowe had to bring new skills and new experiences into the team and learn onthe fly. And the funny thing wasn't, just to give you a bit ofthe the kind of the humor of the whole experience, we thought thepandemic was but on the morning of the digital event we had a we hadan earthquake of five point seven on the Richter scale with several aftershocks that we'regoing on as we were filming the light delivering the live of them. SoI think, you know, resilience is definitely a soft skill, but alot of marketers are learning right now. But to go back to the questionright innovation and Change, I think, I think that the keeping bay takeaway is the things that are being thrown up marketers that you know, thatare that are changes to customer behavior, business dynamics, commercial like coomes.That went from you know, especially be to be arrived at pretty predictable pieceand understanding of what's happening to a world where you're you're changing your marketing makesfrom the physical to digital, you're dealing with earth quakes and and then you'retrying to figure out whether your customer good bye and how you serve them.So so I think. I think being able, I guess at a humanlevel, being able to have that resilience is one thing, but at anoperational level, making sure that you're set up to be able to make thosedecisions and to have an intelligence to guide guide the organization through this period.Yeah, it's interesting. Is Funny as well. You mentioned about having notfunny. It was. It would have been a nightmare few uspose at thetime, but the the earthquake potentially impacting the event on the morning of itsfunny. And side note. We have a client that was running a Webinarand part of their marketing, branding of the Webinar, if you like,was the recording it, the invisible Webinar, and when they went to launch Webinarthey had I think it was something like a thousand people. It wasit was a large number, but they're looking to join. The women areand quite literally, the software crashed and it was an invisible webinars, justa it was just a plan, knows nothing on it and they could notpresent any of what they wanted to. So fortunately, fortunately, it wasrecorded so the the the audio content could be distributed and actually the person presentedthe Webin I could see the content in front of them, but all theguests and all the all the people the audience could not see any of it, and they called it this invisible Webinar, and it was indeed invisible anyway.So one of the things you touched on there was was actually really thatthe process and the rhythm of and the kind of daytoday workings and structure ofhow you how you go about marketing, maybe isn't changing or hasn't changed.But even talking back to your data, Microsoft, but perhaps just a tacticsand the mediums and the techniques and channels in use to engage with prospects will, of course adapt and evolves as the market doesn't demands do now. Naturally, what that means is in when, from a marketing perspective, you needto have your customers needs at the center of your strategies, even more soso. Mean if you, if you look at that as an idea oras a topic, would you agree that right now, in this current period, is more important than ever to have your customers needs at the center ofyour strategies? Were sent to your marketing plans in alignment with your companies,Okayos, and can you just touch about that? Touch on that, thatkind of theory of low Kos and how that links to your customers needs alittle bit. Yeah, sure, and I guess if people have an UNcome across the KRS. Okay, are so stands for objectives and key results. Right. It's really a it's a great book that you should called measurewhat matters on a sense by John Dore.

So, yes, there and andI think they the principles are really, really, really kind of like logicaland but the executions really smart, which is creating topped on and bottomsup objective objectives and then creating a credibility within different roles and teams and groupsthat for these key results that build up to those objectives, that build upthe higher key results objectives and and I think what's really interesting. A hundredpercent agree that having the customers needs and what they're trying to achieve match withyour company's objectives, which will largely be commercial objectives, right for a lotof organizations, especially in kind of times like this where it's uncertain what whatcommercial success look like for for lots of businesses, and how you how theBDB business serves another consumer and how you figure out that whole dynamic of what'sgoing on in the marketplace and I think the benefit of having a customer atthe center is the the choices that can be made and the investments in theactivities. It's really about understanding what the customers going through and matching it tothat, and so adapting and being agile is a critical thing to be successful. Like we were just chatting before before we started the call, about theunderstanding the calendar and you know how how be the be buying is going tohappen right in your q ones. Okay, is is q to going to betougher as we kind of go back into this idea of and you normalwhat this q three look like, what this beyond look like, I think. I think being able to understand where your customer is and if your customersin a position where they can buy right, if you're in the hospitality industry orthe travel industry, you're in Gating, your in the business of selling orserving them, your strategy is going to be completely different than to whatit was six months or three months or three weeks ago. So I think, I think understanding that customer behavior is really a customer need is really clearand matching the context of what they're going through and again, you know,having intelligence and insight to enable that. We see. We see lots ofreally interesting customers. Look at you're looking at coronavirus data to understand what theircustomers are doing. And, you know, little plug for if you go todemodocom last coronavirus, you'll be can see a trucker of all of thisglobal data from the likes of John Hopkins and different organizations. People are actuallyusing that to then inform their studgy that they are overlaying on top of theirwhat their business is. It's saying, what does this tell us? Likewhat you know? What should we do? Like I go back to that,that fitness franchise there there. You know, once you know, thereverse of what they were looking at with school data to see if regions weresort of functioning as normal as life opens up, they need to figure outhow they bring people back to work. If they're bringing people back to work, you know what's the marketing with was going to it's going to be requiredfor it. Maybe another good example is what happens when the bounce back happens. If you're if you're in, if you're in a an organizere, anorganizer. So if you're in Paris thing and you're in a car, you'rea car dealership. There's going to be a war between car dealers fighting forcustomers, coming back into their their their their their locations and trying to winback business as being pent up. Like as a marketer, you need tobe thinking, you know, tea to when that might happen, but youdon't know when that is going to happen. So you've got to tiggle that signalbring it together. So yeah, I bring back to the cars likeyou need it. You need a North Star, you need to know whatyou're trying to do and if the customer and the customer context is what drivesthat, match the commercial like comes, then you're never going to go farwrong. Absolutely and I guess in the using that, having a north star, but then using using your own stuff, where I guess that, don't know, you can use a lot of insight, some real actionable intelligence,I guess, to actually guide you into your know star, with with yourwith the inside of your customer in mind, using, you know, if welook at this period, you look at tools like what Domo can offerand you look at some of the differences in marketing that it's brought. It'sbrought this period. So things like the...

...dramatic shift in volume from in personevents to virtual events. Right, I'm I know that virtual events have beendone before, but of course not to not to the same degree in termsof volume, but also probably not to the same size or level of levelof insight that perhaps a virtual event may have offered before. You spoke aboutDomo pulluser there and actually lengths you went to to to try and replicate whatit may have looked like an in person perpective. But all of these,these different elements at this period is bringing will be new to some, tosome in marketing, or they'll be different to some in marketing, and naturallythat's going to be challenging but also exciting for a marketer. What, fromyour perspective, what kind of skills do you think this will this will allowmarketing teams to develop, if any, of course, and and do youthink this is actually going to change the way the marketing's done moving forward inthat perhaps now people see the benefit of a virtual event and that they canget as much from it as an in person event, and maybe that's thenew normal in itself. there. What changes do you think will come outof this? From a UP, I think they're a skill split. Over. The number one skill that I've learned personally is keeping my kids out ofalmost zoom calls that I could put apart from that to a see your question. I think it of a it's a bit of a yes and no answer. I think the skills that require right. I took take our double clizard,dumb was alive right running a conference to running effectively a TV show withfilming locations on Salt Flats and gives and ski back country skiing like that work. That's a very different skill set. But you know my colleague that that. She was amazing. She just she she brought in the talent, shethought about what the customer experience was, but she is she went back tothe OKA ares and the objectives right. So I think there's going to bea new skills are an thinking more and experience and I think there's lots ofparallels that we can we can draw from the BBC World. It's the BEDPworld right that you know, the BBC worlds very used to kind of veryused to kind of engaging with with those kinds of tactics and techniques. Ithink the the no answer is going to be like we have a child cominginto mirror. So there you go. It's just one point, but sorry, and that no answer is that, I think, actually staying true towhat your your commercial objectives are, in your customer objectives. That's what matters, right, that's the thing that hasn't really changed. Well, I thinkyou know maybe off of that that does change is I don't think after thisthat we're going to go back to the classical way of working. Right,we're going to. There's going to be more changes. There's going to bedifferent business models that are coming out there, you know, like our people goingto go back to to go into a restaurant. So they're going toget like delivery like they've never done before. I've been doing my right like getting. I've got friends that are getting gen and tonic deliveries to their icein the UK, like. So I think understanding that the change is alwaysgoing to be constant. It's definitely going to be true. And then Ithink keeping I go back to their the O dart year, which is what'ssignal. What intelligence can you be bringing into your marketing organization today, sothat you're constantly being able to adapt, to be our gentle and be resilientfor those changes. Yeah, okay, interesting. And it also interesting thatyour friends are getting a genotonic delivered, because I'm yet to find that.I had to find a simple service round where I okay, cool, sowell, Mark, look, I think we are. I think we're actuallymoving towards the end of our time here to then, and actually it's beenbeen really useful getting your insights from from the perspective of how it's currently affectinghow this covid situation is currently affecting us today, what some of the thingswe are in we need to be thinking about in terms of keeping our customerreally at the center of everything we're doing. From market inspective, how that's maybeshifting marketing tactics in the short term, but then in the long term aswell. More more broadly speaking, are we ever going to keep marketingthe same way or will that change forever?...

It's been been really insightable. NowI'm sure we could we talk about these things you'll day, but therewill be a lot of people, I'm sure, that will also want toreach out to you directly and have a conversation with you directly or learn moreabout Domo as a product and as a company. So, if people wantedto get in touch with you or the or the or indeed your company,could you just give us a couple of lines on the best way to dothat and and if they wanted to tinue the car? Yeah, thank you. It's been really, really, really good, good conversation. He's thisthing as Democom and feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin, MarkJohnston, I'm sure you'll find me excellent cool. Well, once again,many thanks, mark. It's been great having you on the show. Go. Thank you. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companiesworldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse hasexisted for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agilityand scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. SeeHow operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listeningto be tob revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode,subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much forlistening. Until next time,.

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