Interview with Jenn Steele

jenn steele cmo at madison logic

Interview Highlights

1. Jenn’s background 

    • Jenn ‘likes big data and cannot lie’
    • Marketing as a second career (after running IT at a law firm)
    • HubSpot 
    • Amazon
    • Start-ups
    • Bizible

2. Cool ABM SWAG idea – sales acceleration promotion = racecar USB drives

3. ABM Best-Practices Examples – 

4. Messaging (speak to the prospect’s soul) 

5. TOPO Observation – Everyone is calling themselves an ABM Platform – all different features and deliverables

6. Contrast with Marketing Automation – ABM is nowhere near there – maybe 9 years back

7. ABM features – game changers vs table-stakes.  

8. 2025 should see more easily-understood vital features of ABM; 

    • ABM Segments expected- similar to Marketing Automation from years ago – ie: Eloqua = enterprise; HubSpot = SMB; Marketo= Mid-market
    • ABM will be a tactic in the arsenal (like inbound marketing now)

Video Transcript

hi this is Bob Samuel stander of tech
connector tech connector is a
marketplace and campaign management
platform the Best of Breed account based
marketing lead generation solutions
we’ve partnered with the serious
decision summit to bring you wisdom from
leading account based marketing thought
leaders to that end I’m happy to
introduce you a Jenn Steele CMO of
Madison logic gin is a special kind of
she’s an excellent creative designer and
strategist and she’s also a data person
she readily admits that she likes big
data and cannot lie Jen it’s a pleasure
to speak with you today how are you I’m
doing well how are you excellent
beautiful day here in California and I
know you’re gonna be on a bunch of trips
so I appreciate you squeezing us in for
the interview and to share your your
wisdom on ABM thanks for having me so
it’s just art if you can give a little
bit of background you’ve had an
interesting background both as a
practitioner and as a solution provider
be good to hear that about its
particular okay so I actually Marketing
is my second career I used to run IT
departments at law firms which is a
story I often share but only over a beer
or a glass of scotch usually and I
started my marketing career at HubSpot
about a decade ago so marketing to
marketers is something that I basically
first learned when I got my feet wet in
marketing itself and then from HubSpot
to Amazon to startups and it was that
one of those startups that my director
of inside sales and I took a look at
each other and went hmm we’re trying to
sell to enterprise how do we do this and
we started doing some research and this
is back in about 2015 so we started
doing some research and we discovered
this thing called ABM and that’s when
you know basically I rolled up my
sleeves and I got involved and we rolled
out ABM and amusingly that’s also when I
made my first giant error of forgetting
to tell demanda and to stop measuring
themselves by net new leads but that’s
again a story for another day
so from that company I went to visible
which was an entirely APM shop and a B
I’m just made sense of course coming to
Madison logic having the background that
I did of course despite my background
I’m really somewhat irreverent when it
comes to ABM itself because I have been
known to call it sales but now with a
digital component X it’s a new it’s a
new three letter acronym but it’s it’s
it’s like he says it’s it’s targeted
accounting it’s every target that counts
as exactly yeah so I know that you Bob
you have a history with Madison logic
you’ve known us for a while and we’ve we
did you know basically target account
marketing before bbm was a thing right
and so it was really interesting because
you know what we called it versus what
what ITSM a called it and then we
adopted their terminology ah that’s
interesting that’s interesting yeah
that’s exactly and it’s it’s an
impressive it’s impressive
legacy to show so when I think of ABM
there’s a lot of different components I
mean there’s to me one of the most
important things is that it’s a it’s a
nice rallying call so for sales and
marketing to link up and on two very
common goals and focus absolutely
absolutely and what’s amusing to me
always is that I didn’t realize that
sales and marketing had a historic
schism because when I started at HubSpot
we called its marketing and sales and
marketing had the meetings together and
were held to exactly the same goals and
that’s actually something that I’ve been
bringing into every organization if it
hasn’t been here already is simply
saying forget marketing goals all I
really care about are sales goals you
know how many how many leads do they
need but then of course as we’ve gotten
further down the funnel driving that you
know how do we drive pipeline how do we
drive revenue and the moment you start
talking to sales about what affects
their paychecks suddenly they rely a lot
more on
you and they start getting along with
you and they start asking you for things
whereas before you might have been
operating in a bit of a silo and trying
to show something down that roads that’s
amazing in that nice where it’s at I
think of dollars and and and and strong
pipeline is appealing to everybody and
getting not just leads but edges talked
about you know getting the right lead
the ones that are going to be high most
highly valued absolutely absolutely I
used to make a somewhat irreverent joke
about people who are just trying to
drive traffic in order to drive leads
and that’s like I can get you all the
traffic in the book absolutely I just
have to push post a somewhat risque
video on your website but that’s not
going to be traffic that helps your
company at all liked it and yeah you
could tell same with the events in the
booths that are that are run by the
marketers that their goal is to get most
number of people to sign up not the
right people but maybe people that like
t-shirts or like teachers whatever but
not they’re not not really true
prospectors exactly although I do have
to confess that my marketing team does
spend time trying to get fun swag but it
we like to be thematic as well so for
example when we lost journey
acceleration we had little racecar USB
drives that’s adorable
yeah thank you I think it’s good I like
a little swag myself so and then you
getting into APM there’s several
component and I love your background
with which hub squad and invisible food
you’re getting into
there’s the messaging component the
personalization of the messaging there’s
the measuring and and learning from
every campaign there’s the account
identification and prioritization of the
people to go after there’s outreach and
outreach channels and so forth lots of
different components and they’re all
they’re all worth we’re talking about so
what are some of the maybe if you come
across any examples of some strong ATM
campaign even that you did or yourself
as a marketer or or they that you were
involved with some of your clients so I
love this question because I am
pretty much obsessed with clients and in
fact the best ABM practitioner I knew I
hired into medicine logic from one of
our clients but but I will say that we
have a customer doing a case study for
us at the upcoming at least upcoming
when we’re recording this the upcoming
serious decision summit sale point is
talking about doing very data-driven ABM
and how their head of demand Jen came in
and basically revamped how they were
using data from multiple sources not
just Madison logic but from multiple
sources to align sales and marketing
tear out their accounts and then
actually do really cool things with
their tactics where they basically
almost teared out their tactics so it’s
like oh we’re trying to drive awareness
so let’s use display advertising here
before we invest more in doing content
syndication and lead generation efforts
from that group of accounts right as
opposed to hitting everybody in every
channel with everything at the same time
they use data to really drive what they
were doing to most efficiently spend
their marketing dollars and I I love
that story I think you’re fantastic and
I’m really excited about about their
presenting it obviously I look forward
to hearing the story for Santa serious I
look forward to to going I think it’s
wonderful so any other any fun other fun
stories well I mean I think that it’s
marketers now we’re trying to one-up
each other on Direct Mail so and you
know we’ve got friends as medicine logic
and actually just as myself I’ve got
friends at you know pfl and send oh so
and actually it visible there was one
PDR we had who did this brilliant job of
using send oh so to send a customized
gift based on what he was seeing and
then writing a pun filled note to go
with it that somehow related
what visible does in you know
multi-touch marketing attribution to
their hobby so I saw examples of tea
fishing like with a set of lures like
woodworking all sorts of crazy things
and it
worked it absolutely worked it was
granted very very very high touch but I
have to say that you know when I see
something like that that’s
extraordinarily well done it isn’t just
yet another Starbucks gift card or yet
another Amazon gift card it knocks my
socks off oh and by the way I don’t like
the socks thing either that everybody is
having this that’s neither here that
thiking step is it’s really cute I mean
it was it was spectacular it’s quite
frankly as a marketer it’s inspiring
because then when I look at these
accounts you know because we have our
top two your accounts you know our top
twenty-five or whatnot it’s almost like
hmm is there anybody that we should
spend you know that 30 minutes of time
doing something that custom to get their
so is it well go except there’s two
different kinds of marketers in the
world there’s the there’s the numbers
the numbers kind and the making things
everything creative and pretty is that
kind of you so the number is an
analytics and the optimization that sort
of thing so it’s interesting because I
actually consider there to be more than
two kinds of marketers because there’s
the people who are trying to make things
pretty but then there’s the people who
are really working on the messaging
right and I have I always call myself a
recovering product marketer and and the
first so I’m really obsessed with
messaging and getting just the right you
know I I kind of believe that you can
speak to somebody’s soul if you can
really know who they are and and it’s
your job in product marketing to really
do that in a one-dimensional I k2 and I
cannot lie so that’s where I might take
issue with it however I also have the
design sensibilities of a snail and I’m
so I’m definitely not to make things
completely pretty I will make them make
sense but that’s about all excess is
good so
that’s pretty I like it so you’re really
your combination and like I said have
creative to the messaging yes yes it’s
so funny I have a well and maybe this
explains the dichotomy I have a degree
from MIT in science but my minor was an
expository writing back before there was
such a thing as blogging and I’ve always
joked that who knew that I would make a
career out of my minor and not my major
oh I love your background that is that’s
fun until you get to practice it every
day or at least when I have time to
write it’s a it’s always funny when my
team delegates up to me and my PR firm
has had to adjust to the fact that they
send me an outline and not a complete
not a complete article because I can’t
stand other people’s writing and my
voice or trying to so the case study
sounds great serious decisions I also
understand you’re going to be making an
announcement while you’re there we are I
can’t give you the details but we’re
very excited about our second major
launch of this year and there will be
several executives who at serious
decisions who will be more than happy to
talk to people then once we once we’ve
released it we’ve been bargained this
one wonderful I look forward to it
that’s it’s exciting so um so where do
you see things heading and if you’ve
been around ABM like you said before it
was ABM what do you see the changes
occurred what how does next year look
like how does five years look like we
still could have ABM are we gonna be
perfect at it which looked like
marketers been perfect at anything but
so where ABM is now is that it was it
was kind of funny at the topo summit
executive track we went around and there
were like four of us who were like I’m
from company X we’re an ABM platform and
the funniest thing is that no two of us
did the same thing and in fact some of
us were customers of each other
etc and fundamentally what’s happening
in ABM right now is we have a ton of ABM
quote unquote platforms including our
own about us and logic we have a ton of
these platforms and no two have the same
which is both a good thing and a bad
thing it’s a good thing because it’s
really easy for me to differentiate
right I can say okay you’re comparing us
and company acts well if you need x and
y it’s about us and logic but if you
need y&z it’s company x rank and if you
contrast that with marketing automation
which of course is where I started my
mark tech career ten years ago green and
the major players have kind of carved up
the market into segments and that’s fine
but they have approximately comparable
features and people use them to do the
same basic things for marketing
automation ABM is nowhere near there so
if you look at where ABM is now it’s
probably close to where marketing
automation was you know you know about
nine years ago and so what remains to be
seen is which features become the game
changers and which ones become the table
stakes because we’re not there yet
you know or of course the ABM industry
could do could surprise me and actually
form a nice little spiderweb of a lot of
interdependent applications that doesn’t
tend to be what happened
simply because nobody has the Mahr tech
budget for you know twelve different
apps as a standard so right what I think
it’s going to happen is that you’ll
eventually see the ABM vendors like
Madison logic start kind of carving into
segments much like you know HubSpot and
Marketo and elekid you know eight or
nine years ago and developing feature
sets for for those segments and by the
time we hit 2025 I think that it’ll be a
lot more easily understood and that
there will be at least better understood
vital features with what ABM actually is
but I think by 2025 because we’re also
moving a lot faster than we were ten
years ago
ABM will simply be a tactic in the
arsenal much like inbound marketing is
now rather than the big new strategy
that everyone
we’ll be doing there will be something
out whatever that is it’ll be baked in a
bake that element of whatever it is
right when you say your you would be
looking at targeting different segments
how would you define a segment so when
I’m thinking about marketing automation
I’m thinking about you know how eloquent
have dominated the enterprise and market
or the mid market and HubSpot SMB and
you know HubSpot started dominating SMB
even more rain as time went by Marketo
of course have has gone up into the
enterprise a bit more but you still have
those same basic you know striations of
the major platforms so segmentation by
company size more than by industry or
geography or you see although geography
obviously there’s GDP are that’s causing
us to segment out a bit there use case
and see this is where I actually think
that and I could be totally wrong you
can call me up in 2025 and laugh at me
but I actually think we’re going to
agree on a basic set of use cases as
opposed to segment out by them yeah well
stay tuned so it sounds like like you
said the ABM is a very fuzzy term
everybody’s ABM it sounds a lot like big
data very big data
right right it’ll flush its way out and
and there’s probably what I’ve heard is
there’s probably going to be some
consolidation somewhere along the way I
guess there already is on the data side
and on there’s over 7,000 companies in
the market ech 5,000 which is hilarious
they’re on its own and growing but and
well you know it’s interesting because
topo has predicted that we’re going to
start seeing consolidation in 2019 I’m
and you know visible got acquired by
Marketo which got acquired by by Adobe
so of course I’ve experienced my own
consolidation very very unpleasant
personal so it remains to be seen
exactly what will happen yeah and then I
just thinking on the data side with zoom
info and rain Rainmaker required by the
scope of award that sort of thing
so it’s exciting though and so I
appreciate your share is there anything
else that I missed or we should talk
about otherwise I have absolutely saying
it serious I I don’t think there’s
anything you missed I look forward to
seeing you at serious decisions as well
and hopefully other people swing by and
find out what it is we’re launching all
right thanks again then I’ll talk to you
soon thank you so much take care