Interview with Dave Jones

Co-Founder & President at Yesler

dave jones co-founder and president at yesler

Video Transcript

hi this is Bob Samuels founder of tech
connector tech connector is a
marketplace and campaign management
platform a Best of Breed account based
marketing lead generation solutions an
association with the serious decision
summit we’re happy to bring you wisdom
from leading account based marketing
thought leaders to that end I’m happy to
introduce you to David Jones a 25 year
sales and marketing veteran and
president and co-founder of Yesler an
integrated marketing agency built to
tackle the challenges of b2b marketing
and its inherent complexity with their
team of 250 marketers working around the
world mr. Jones has helped to build the
company into a global marketing
institution and for an ale Award winner
delivering a wide spectrum of marketing
and data solutions for some of the
world’s largest technology brands David
it’s a pleasure to speak with you how
are you today I’m great thanks for
having me on Bob how are you doing I’m
good well it’s a pleasure I’ve had the
opportunity to speak with some of the
really some wonderful people in the the
industry and I’m looking forward to to
hearing your thoughts and wisdom on on
one of my favorite topics account based
marketing all right so
based marketing is it’s nothing new it’s
just a new title its name two counts the
target accounts which can you give a
little bit of a background about your
background and maybe how you’ve
interacted with a DM in the past yeah so
I mean I come from you know 20 years of
working in the tech sector on the
marketing side but man’s been you know
running a marketing services company now
for 15 of those years you know coming
back to my before doing my own thing I
was working on Microsoft you had a price
marketing and it was very much about how
do you demonstrate business value to
enterprise buyers of information
technology and as much as that sounds
stale and old it is still the problem
that you know tech companies are
challenged with now and you know over
the years different labels and different
hype cycles could happen and you know
this whole thing of AP app really has
come to a fever pitch on where I think
you know two years ago it was hype and
felt like something new and now I think
you see as it’s mainstream and it’s just
that’s how you do b2b marketing you’re
talking to accounts you’re bringing on
other companies you’re talking about you
know multiple stakeholders and buying
committees within an account so I think
you know there’s different different
labels and trends start to emerge and a
lot of that gets driven by technology
that can help automate elements of what
we’re doing but at the end of the day as
b2b marketers we’re still you know times
what the same goal is to help drive new
revenue opportunities to grow the
customer base of the company
and my understanding is that you know a
lot of the key work for an account-based
marketing outreach if you will or
program is upfront the planning and
figuring out exactly who you want to
target how are you going to reach them
where are they going to be with what
kind of segmenting are you going to do
how if you found it this way to handle
like the account selection and
yeah I think that one of the things that
we’ve really seen is when ABM started
hitting its fever pitch it was really
being associated with technology and
people were looking at MIT on buying
this silver bull and that’s a point
solution and there we’re going to do ABM
because I bought an IBM platform and you
know they weren’t really thinking about
the like you’re just talking about
identifying what their target account
list looks like you know and are they
going to do it in sort of a tiered
fashion with you know one to one very
personalized approach at scale for your
of your top tier accounts or target
counts and then what’s the the one to
few sort of middle tier and then what’s
the one to many tech more programmatic
approach so I think helping companies
sort through that and I think the other
thing is that a lot of companies think
of ABM as the separate thing but really
it’s a unified approach to marketing
because and it’s not just marketing it’s
almost a philosophy that sales and
marketing have to act as one
otherwise it’s doomed to fail is you got
to talk to the sales people they got to
be at the table about what that you know
what success looks like for them and
what they’re good at councils like in
the leads that they can close so that
you’re able to engage the right targets
for them so it’s this whole idea of a
unified approach to marketing and when
we started yet for you know about six
and a half years ago almost seven years
ago we built out really this integrated
marketing function we weren’t just a
mark tech consultancy or a content
marketing shop or you know an ad agency
we looked at all of the elements that
were required in this sort of modern
marketing era of what that you know
where technology was really helping to
drive engagement at scale and how all
these pieces have to work together so
you know that’s something that we really
try to shine some light on for our
customers because the complexity and
execution around this is that you know
such a high level when you have you
factor in multiple stakeholders within a
company that’s trying to execute ABM and
they’re probably working with multiple
agencies across you know creative and
architect consultancies and maybe some
freelancers doing some writing and stuff
and how you actually bring all that
together with
multiple elements of our tech stack so
that’s where we kind of feel like
there’s this opportunity to work with
other you know agencies and other
service firms that might be in there and
try to drive a philosophy of hey we all
have to be one team for this to be
successful and I think that’s something
that often gets overlooked I agree I
think the coordination between sales and
marketing is so key and like I said it’s
often overlooked you would think it
makes sense I mean everybody going after
the the best value account seems to be
not very contentious but it’s just
politics and egos and and silos involved
so it’s always a challenge you know go
Charles can switch gear so if you had
something else don’t go ahead okay so
you’ve mentioned in the past about you
know it’s not about just me sales it’s
about how to leverage a B and what
exactly do you mean by that
yeah so I think there’s a you know
coming from my background and you know
hooked up I think it’s been influential
to our entire industry but you know
crossing the chasm and thinking about
how companies need to see like companies
that have been successful with a
technology again so yes are we focused
primarily on the IT sector so we’re
being B marketing agency that really has
a deep understanding of technology
purchasing lifecycle and that’s not just
presale so you think about what
influences future renewals in a SAS
world what influences you know adoption
and growth and activation of that
technology after you buy it and so I
think ABM platforms and the tools that
are out there in AI there’s all sorts of
new ways to look at after the sale is a
company having success with the
technology they purchased and so you
know how do you actually ensure that you
know the customer is successful so that
you’re going to drive on towards the
path of becoming an advocate for you
which you know that I can feed back into
your ABM efforts around
tears like companies that are having
success and I’ve gone on the record to
say so and you know that feeds into
closing new customers while keeping your
existing customers happy and if you’re
not focused on that the other path is
that leads towards attrition and what
are you doing state that off so I think
there’s no as marketers we need to think
about the entire lifecycle and think
about that customer’s experience with
your technology or brand throughout
their lifecycle and I think that’s an
important thing advocacy becomes a key
to ABM success and adopting overlooked
and there’s tools out there like tech
validate which is now part of Survey
Monkey that can you know work to easily
start to pull in feedback then of course
you got things like influitive which is
more community based so there’s great
tools out there to really help on the
advocacy front and I feel it’s so
important but not often not spoken about
often enough that’s a good point so ABM
doesn’t end when the customer is signed
exactly you could actually say I’m
always be marketing always be marketing
even even after they’re a customer
that’s right that’s a very very good I
like that
so so what what are some examples of
what you see I know you probably can’t
name specific companies but what are
some of the examples you’ve seen of a
being done well well I know yeah there’s
done a couple really large-scale ones
that’s word that we’ve been really proud
of what we’ve done with them you know
like a one of our one of the larger IT
providers in the world is a customer of
ours and we work with them to build them
like multi-touch AVM programs so it was
combining everything from you know the
the intent data and processing all that
to help identify target accounts and I’m
putting together not only email and
nurture but direct mail integrating
systems with marketing automation so
that we could actually ship devices to
their high-value prospects that we’re
engaging with sales meeting
and that actually haven’t had an impact
of adding 224 million to their pipeline
which is have more importantly was you
know return on marketing investment
increased 44% from their previous
efforts so showing how to integrate
those different functions instead of
just a sprinkle of you know I’m doing
air quotes on ABM you know rather than
just doing a light so if we’re going to
do this you know email targeting leave
account but bringing in these different
functions tying it in with sales
appointment so sales at the table were
key and you know that hold one team
mindset and there’s other vendors agency
involved as well so you know that one
team mentality is really what drove the
success on that one
there’s been another other you know
there’s others that were working with
all the time and sometimes it to help
them on the tech stack side sometimes
it’s on the creative side again working
as part of all the pieces that come
together but I think another one where
we sort of you know built the program
and again combining everything from
their email their turn their advertising
strategy around it you know working with
the technology they had in place and you
know we drove engagement increased by
eighty six percent of their target
account list in the first five months of
that so that that program is going well
that’s with another sort of global
resource optimization company so that’s
again with without being able to name
the names as a couple large scale
programs that we’ve driven a lot of
success with with our customers their
in-house teams and with their other
agencies and consultants ease of use
beautiful and and I was going to ask you
about outreach and engagement so so you
find it important to have a
multi-channel outreach including postal
mail which I think it’s great idea
because I it left open my email box for
show yeah and I think you know there’s a
lot of funders yeah well they’re send us
over print for lastly numbers lenders
out there that make that real easy and
integrating with automation so then you
have the ability to you know when when
something gets delivered and then that
actually can send an alert so then you
can have the SDR follow up with the
person I think there’s there’s all these
sort of visual and tactile and getting a
phone call there’s different experiences
that that customer or prospect is now
getting with your brand right and it’s
just they’re being touched in different
ways so not everyone is going to react
the same way to a direct mail or to a
phone call but if your your prodding at
them from all the different angles your
likelihood of getting through is a lot
higher make sense make sense so as far
as as far as technology goes you
mentioned which is disappointing but
it’s reality that technology is not a
silver bullet it’s a it’s a tool and you
really need a good plan and a good
coordination with sales and all that but
as far as as far as technology goes what
are some of the interesting things that
you’ve seen for for instance in
identifying accounts to go after or
prioritizing them over I think you
mentioned predictive source or intent
signals what kind of what kind of tools
are you using to help with the process
yeah well I think you know obviously the
names of people you’re most familiar
with on that front um and if someone is
always at the lead lead of the
categories demand base and you know for
them data is as the differentiator and
their intent signals and really being
focused on really just the b2b side of
things not the consumer intent index and
I’m actually really excited about the
app that they had
at the Adobe summit with Marketo just a
few weeks ago and really trying to
connect the dots between when you have
anonymous and ten signals from an
account but being able to marry that
with the you know the contacts are
already in the in your Marketo system
and start to connect those elements
together it becomes more actionable
because you’re showing at a macro level
that this account has interest or is
that a certain stage of a lifecycle and
now you have people that you can you
know trigger a follow-up campaign to so
I think there’s real interesting things
on that front and you know excited to
see how we continue to build that
outcome on or you know full lifecycle
what are those intent signals in that
you can look for a post sale as we
talked about already didn’t know about
you know activation of a technology and
how to look for the right signals on is
that going well or not and then having
moved people towards a life cycle that
leads towards them becoming an advocate
as opposed to becoming frustrated uh you
know we’ve seen a lot of people by
technology thinking it’s a silver bullet
and then when it’s not they get
disappointed they don’t run it and so
you’ll see sort of the immaturity of the
AVM lifecycle a couple years ago where
there was a lot of just you know blind
investment in the technology without
thinking about the people in the process
required to make it successful and then
high turn would come as a result of that
but if you take this holistic view you
start to turn you know it becomes a
technology adoption thing they really
bring it in start using it getting value
out of it and that’s what these
customers being advocates sticking with
you for a long time and if you just do
the math if you keep a customer while
you’re adding new customers you’re going
to grow your customer base faster than
if you are churning out your existing
customers and having to replace them
with new ones all the time make sense
next time thank you so have you found
any technology or any solution providers
to help with identifying like Whiteface
of you know the missing missing contacts
that the company tab you know what I’ve
been told especially with big sales
there’s is not just one person at the at
the prospect that that’s key to reach
out there was a whole committee of
people a whole different set of personas
that need to be involved and try to hit
them from different angles as finance
people in the security people in the
influencers and the decision-makers and
all that so identifying who are all the
people that need to be contacted and
then compare that to who the company
currently has to kind of figure out who
else to reach out to
yeah I think that’s where you’re you
know then their data providers come in
and whether you’re merging or importing
in third party you know contact data to
identify certain roles backs with
certain personas because if you think of
the whole stakeholders or members of a
buying committee you know they could be
someone were going to be the financial
person right and then there’s going to
be the line of business people that are
doing it to help solve the you know
operational problem and what are the hot
buttons that each of them are looking
for and it’s not just about price and
features all the time right so what is
what are the problems we’re trying to
solve and so it’s starting to match that
third party contact data with with those
intent signals then you can place that
ton you’re you’re talking to yeah and
then and then to me a challenging part
which I don’t think technology helps is
its content and figuring out what the
messaging needs cooking for each of
these different personas and and have it
what they’re not what can resonate with
all these folks if you’re absolutely
right and that’s where you know I know
where I referenced some of the ABM
programs that we’ve been involved with
you know one that I kind of talked about
there’s ones where your words were just
a creative shop as part of that one team
so there’s somebody else that oh they
have an in-house marketing operations
team that’s driving all the
orchestration but you know were there
were the ones that are working with the
brand team to make sure that the message
is on point and designing the creative
and putting that together and plugging
that into their internal machine so
there’s creative is one of those things
that yeah the technology can’t
necessarily just replace and automate
right you still need to have creative
ways of articulating a message and when
you start thinking about conversational
marketing and how to make things very
relevant to people coming to your
website for instance you know the amount
of work that would go into researching
your target accounts to make sure you
have the relevant things to to message
to them and to talk to them about health
trends solve problems for them or with
them you know that takes humans and then
you can scale with things like a eye and
catch a pause and things like that but
just generic you know crap on a bot is
is not going to add value to that
customers experience with your client so
it does come down to richness and
relevancy of the content and the
creative that doesn’t interact with make
sense so so you’ve mentioned some of the
you know some of the key folks in a VM
world like the main base and some of the
new technologies that are here that they
weren’t here five years ago
what if you can put your crystal ball
viewer on what is what do you think ABM
is going to look like in a year from now
in five years from now I like five years
but it’s too far away for me to think
about which how do you see things
progressing honestly I think you know if
you just follow the logical path of a B
and one from this shiny new thing that
was all hype and now it’s really
becoming a mainstream thing but when you
think about going back to you know he’s
showing a bit of my age and B in the
tech industry in business all you days
and everything I just I feel like the
label is probably going to go away and
it’s it’s just how we do b2b marketing
because it’s business-to-business we’re
talking to accounts and I just I feel
like you know just there’s plasma screen
TVs five years ago and Ali needs color
TV actually they’re attending plug
hearing that my just flat panel TVs are
just seeing a TV now right
longer flat panel label on it so I think
you need to look at how things will just
evolve and this is just as it becomes
mainstream it just becomes marketing yes
and like you said nothing’s going to
replace having to talk to the customer
yeah and the other interesting thing to
we’re in the middle of doing some
research right now and we’re the obscene
early drafts of the findings and the
report still in draft that we’ll be
publishing soon but it’s it’s tied to
you know the IT purchase across the
entire lifecycle and the decisions that
are made even post sale and what what
influences renewal and things like that
and it’s really anything again I go back
to how important it is for people that
are purchasing technology to see
companies like them having success using
this type of solution right and and so
the idea of advocacy and customer
success and building a framework for how
customers can be successful and walking
them through that is really again I
think it’s just something that marketing
BB markers at large are missing out on
largely because they’re under pressure
to drive you know pipeline and revenue
and it that’s where you can show more
ROI but I think there’s still a mindset
shift that maybe that’s where ABM goes
is just it’s you know it shifts to
always be marketing and maybe that’s
what it becomes is more holistic and
more of a life cycle approach but I
think customer experience is more
important in the mail five years down
the road it’s it right now it’s more
important than ABM I think it’s we just
get wrapped around these labels and and
they you know the hype cycle that goes
on with it where marketers so we’re
attracted to shiny objects but at the
end of the day you just got a synced up
customer and what’s working for them and
then not get distracted by any
particular label that’s what’s it and
and I like the fact that you keep going
back to customer experience and customer
lifecycle and repin
double accounts and testimonials and so
forth because those are very strong and
powerful and those are those are key
things to sure to focus on because
that’s where that’s where the biggest
value was I think yeah I mean it’s in
the very DNA of our company it’s my two
co-founders and I it’s when we started
working together 15 years ago that’s the
work we were doing together and so it’s
been you know in our DNA and we’ve run
some of the largest advocacy programs in
the world for some of the largest
software companies in the world so it is
something that is probably we don’t talk
a lot about it and the industry doesn’t
talk a lot about it because I want okis
on things like ABM to manage and just
automation and sort of all the the newer
things that have been coming out over
the past you know ten years but taking
care of your customers and making them
successful is never going to get old no
I don’t think so
and there’s no technology it’s all about
shit they’re all about taking care of
them listen to them learn getting above
the knee this is great so any other
words of wisdom that we didn’t hit on
otherwise I look forward to seeing you
at serious decisions next month yeah I’m
looking forward to that’s always a good
event so it was a good time to see some
of the industry peers and get together
with all our customers too so I’m
looking forward to that as well you know
I think the joerger I think we touched
on a lot of main points of you know AB
Casey is the key part ABM that gets
overlooked I think I’ve heard that point
home owned up but if I really do feel
that does the thing that is not being
talked about enough these days that’s it
kids going to hammer in now I’ll make
sure I’ll point that out on the
interview summary this is great thank
you for your time and I look forward to
seeing you in Austin next month all
right thank you Bob
okay take care juice