Interview with Scott Brinker

VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot

Scott Brinker VP Platform Ecosystem HubSpot
Video Transcript

hi this is Bob Samuel Spano tech
connector tech connect there’s a
marketplace and campaign management
platform the best to brief account based
marketing lead generation solutions
we’ve partnered with the b2b sales and
marketing exchange to bring you wisdom
invading account based marketing thought
leaders to that end I’m happy to
introduce you to Scott Brinker platform
ecosystem vice-president at HubSpot and
the creator and leader of the mark tech
conference I suspect you’re familiar
with Scott’s famous and growing mark
tech landscape chart Scott it’s a
pleasure to speak with you how are you
today I’m good Bob excited excited
excited what are you excited about well
I’m excited because there’s never been a
more exciting time to be in marketing
right I mean technology is changing so
fast the you know role of the marketing
organization and you know shifting the
directions the companies are going never
had greater influence all the exciting
innovation that we hear happening around
account based marketing account base
everything it’s a it’s a great time to
be a lot the great time of your life
so put for those few people that may not
be acquainted with you can you give a
little bit of a background about about
you and about you know what you’ve been
doing these past several years and about
marketing and ABN in particular sure so
I wear to HACC professionally I was the
co-founder and CTO of the company called
ion interactive and that made a SAS
product for interactive content and a
few years ago that was acquired and then
I joined the company called a hub spot
where I’m their VP of platform ecosystem
helping all sorts of other more tech
creators in a great better with the
HubSpot platform and then the other hat
I wear is frankly just an enthusiast
about the intersection between the world
of tech and marketing I’m the editor the
chief mark tech blogs that I’ve been
writing for oh goodness over 11 years
the program chair of the Marne tech
conference and for veteran where’s the
pillow behind that crazy landscape
graphic with the thousands and thousands
of mark tech companies the arch art so
how large is that at this point
oh just painfully large the last one we
did here back in April 2019 and over
7,000 and I know I still missed a bunch
because believe me they send me email
telling me but sorry about that we were
doing our best it’s amazing it’s amazing
yeah yeah I’d like to recommend that you
start handing out eyeglasses and
magnifying glasses with the chart yes
possibly electron microscopes at the
raid were hair we could actually there’s
a lek final version i think is really
easy to drill into I think so that’s
that’s that’s a great way to do it but I
loved what you’ve done and thank you for
for your contribution to helping
everybody figure out all this craziness
around the technology and marketing and
who does what so it’s a wonderful thing
thank you oh well thank you exciting
stuff all right
beautiful so I’m going to focus on
picking your brain about technology
different there’s different aspects of
ABM and I think when we when we talked
to earlier you mentioned that ABN it’s
not really a program it’s more of a
mindset is that what you’re saying yeah
I mean I think um
ABM is a little bit like one of those
are they call that the ink blot the
Rorschach test where you know you asked
somebody what was a be able to do you
can you can get a very wide range of
answers and I think it’s because you
know I mean there are there are things
are very tactical ways of executing ABM
there’s certainly a set of mark tech
tools that were designed you know with
the ABM label you know is the key part
of their positioning but I get excited
about it frankly a little bit of a
higher level up there which is to say I
mean if you’re a b2b company that’s
specializing particularly in like mid
market or enterprise sales right like
it’s a it’s a
you know you’re talking there’s
basically a thousand accounts in the
world of you wanna own I mean to not run
your business around ABM just seems
insane and so it feels like if you
certain you Amy M or even some times
folks just call this right they come
face everything strategy because it’s
not just where it coordinates with
marketing and sales and the services
organization if you really align around
that it just gives you such clarity and
focus in what you’re doing and then from
my world and you know mark tech tools
and Mar tech stacks yeah it simply than
a matter of saying okay how do we build
a Mar tech stack that really support
that ABM mission beautiful beautiful so
I’m going to go through some aspects of
what I see as a BMI horshack texts or
whatever energy Katie maybe share a
little bit about what you see as far as
the technology and you know what you’ve
seen where it’s going any kind of caveat
so the first one is segmentation and
prioritization figuring out going
through someone’s contact list and
figuring out who to go after maybe who
to go after first maybe put it in
different groups of types of messaging
to go out who what kind of technology
does that well or what companies do that
well yeah I mean I think you certainly
have specialist tools at this point but
I find that you know one of the great
successes of account based marketing is
it’s become such a well-established
framework that now pretty much all of
the major marketing platforms have the
ability to support that so whether
they’re using you know Marketo or
Salesforce or you know humbly put in the
plug trout spawning the ability to be
able to you know segment these lists you
know prioritize them based on data
either data that you’re getting
connectivity of how they’ve engaged with
you or other data that you pulled into
you know analyze you know who your
target should be and then yeah
those things into marketing automation
and sales base sequences and we will use
that to yeah guide a lot of those
personalized contacts being driven
through automation that certainly seems
to me like one of the starting points
that people talk about when they look at
in the ABM stack right right so it
sounds like is a starting point fairly
similar with it with the CRM or a
platform of some sort and then getting
in and getting into the first party a
third party data to help understand
getting the signals of good reach out to
it and that correlation
yeah and I guess right there’s two
different buckets there’s like a
question of okay who should our accounts
be you know how am i analyzing the
market to identify the target companies
or organizations we should be going
after and then once I’ve got that
prioritization you know within those
organizations the hierarchy of buyers
and different buyer related groups or
stakeholders or influencers in that
process and getting that mapped out and
also coming up with a strategy about how
you develop those relationships and then
as you mentioned so there’s lots of
different players and the companies is
not just one contact and there’s lots of
different personas to reach out to and
each one has different pain points I
guess so any any advice or illusions out
there around identifying the different
personas with different pain points to
reach it in and then and then crafting
the messages toward those two towards
those specific personas and push one
well for identifying it I will give a
shout out to an app partner that works
on the HubSpot platform a company called
org chart hub and then create this
product that’s really I mean pretty
straightforward but it ends up being
really super useful it’s basically a way
of visually creating an org chart inside
your CRM but the the thing that makes it
so cool is like everyone who’s having
contact with that company whether
they’re in the marketing org or the
sales or the services org as the ability
to first of all just take a look at this
but also to add to it you know when they
like identify okay actually I was having
a chat with Joe you know and it turns
out who’s Joe’s relationship with Mary
and Mary’s the person we’re trying to
you know get her approval on this next
contract you know and you start to map
this out and you start to see okay well
who are the decision-makers who are the
you know influencers where they’re
certain gatekeepers you know okay where
I need to pass through you know this
team and procurement you know again
somebody’s it’s not some super fancy AI
technology but just being able to get
your your organization across
departmental silos to be able to view
the account and then use that as a
mechanism for coordinating contact a
contact strategy I am even you know like
again there’s so much technology out
there but at some level you know it’s
like you want to keep that frame and
your mind that ADM is about really
deeply understanding the account right
and it’s beautiful to be able to I love
the way that that product sounds like it
can visually see the types of people
involved in the process and how they
relate to each other and then and the
fact that collaborative is wonderful
I’ll check that out for sure
thank you so and then and then what
about multi-channel outreach or multi
basically my understanding is you can’t
just reach out one way to each person or
once you know it’s a whole orchestrated
process of maybe different different
meetings maybe it’s through through a
website maybe it’s a social thing maybe
it’s email maybe it’s calling maybe you
know figuring out the different channels
and and and having a coordinated effort
reaching out different ways and then
measuring the success evasion and who’s
coordinating them all yeah I think
that’s a really smart aspect of this to
pay attention to because yeah I mean the
truth is individuals and very different
preferences of how they want to be
contacted under what circumstances they
want to be contacted
you know and so even being able to make
sure that what you’re using is your
system and records for you know the
contacts within their account is able to
identify these appropriately so you know
like okay you know Bob you know loves
our email newsletter and so it’s to
being you know sort of like blaring in
special content to reach bombs in the
newsletter you know that’s the right way
to go you know versus maybe Jill yep she
doesn’t want to do that but when she
comes to the website you know if we’re
able to like you know give her the
content you know promotional content
that you know is relevant to her she
loved that she puts on all the time you
know some folks want to get alerted on
it and ask some people you know mess in
your contacts what happens if this
person comes in and they’re engaging in
a chat bot with us on our website and we
based on their record you know get them
right now is just I mean this is a boat
what makes marketing exciting these days
and also what makes it challenging
because it just is a tremendous number
of these different touch points and
individual contacts within an account
have their preferences so I think first
and foremost is just being able to map
that out I think the other thing that is
challenging but really really important
is just making sure you’re synchronizing
contacts across departments you know so
if they’re hearing one thing you know in
a personal email from their sales rep
they’re not seeing something that is
running counter to that as a you know
more many to say mash but like a more
widely published you know marketing
message and then yeah you know if they
call up you know someone on the services
organization you know that person in the
services organization is going to be
able to pull up that information and
make sure that they’re speaking
appropriately you know to that same kind
of just synchronizing these things you
know the technology is definitely a lot
better for this but it it’s still hard
this is being an APM organization is a
challenging mission to proceed
yeah there get so important not to step
on each other and also to complement the
different messages oh it’s great to be
able to coordinated Frank you said to
synchronize it and yeah that the more
amendable a conveyor yeah I’m just going
to say the more invisible you can make
your internal boundaries you know – yeah
contacts across an account the better
yeah which goes back to your
collaborative making sure that
everybody’s looking at the same songbook
and then you mentioned it’s important to
have the intelligence of for instance
what people preferences are and whether
they like email they like reading here
on Tuesdays and whatever who’s good out
there as far as providing intelligence
and data as far as figuring out who to
reach out to how to reach out to them
what to talk about and wind it’s Linda
reach out yeah I mean it’s an
interesting market at this point in time
just because with the you know things
like GDP are and you know the new
California Privacy Act and just I can
generally you know people’s attitudes
towards data and privacy are shifting
you know and so I guess first and
foremost you want to have a clear
strategy for what your first party data
is around this like being able to
collect these preferences and give users
yeah friendly mechanisms for being able
to manage their preferences
you know preference management doesn’t
sound like a super sexy piece of
technology but it’s actually such an
important one you know here particularly
in the Navy M privacy you know concern
world and then I think the challenge
becomes okay as you start to look at
ways that you can in which that data
from other sources
just making sure that yeah you’re you
know the problems of that data the
quality of that data you know making
sure that yeah you’re you’re walking
that line appropriately of serving the
than the customer as best as you can
without ya coming across as being you
know creepy you’re spooky or anything
like that I just I just laughs a nose
was coming back from a trip where we can
get to some food delivered I was looking
at a restaurant and GrubHub and then I
decided am where I skip that order a
pizza or something and like five seconds
later I get an email from grandpa’s like
hey yeah restaurant do you feel like an
idea sure you don’t want to get your
delivery for that I’m like I couldn’t
quite decide that was on the line of
like this is helpful or yeah would you
stop looking at what I’m thinking about
there so it’s a little creepy I’ll be
really careful with this stuff there’s a
fine line like you said and that’s it
that’s the devil a sort of having I mean
to me yeah the more you know about me
that you can give me targeted things
that that’s a lot better than sending me
an addict or pampers because I’m not in
that market yeah what was that there was
a do follow Adam market to market come
yeah market Tunis Tom Fishburne a does
this cartoon every week around marketing
stuff and he did wonder this week that
you know this guy’s giving a
presentation is like we found that our
marketing is ineffective and annoying to
our potential customers you know and
someone else around the table raises a
hand and says hey with the right
software we could annoy them much more
effectively thank Tom I agree but you
know again it does have a point it’s
like all the technology that we’re
bringing to bear I mean you’re
absolutely right it’s like being able to
leverage this data to serve people
better as incredible but it is yeah this
really tricky line to walk of like okay
making sure that the actual prospect
customer feels like they’re being served
versus yeah feeling you not somehow
annoyed and the thing that makes it
really tricky is if someone feels
annoyed they’ll like that’s a very clear
reaction they’re like oh I’m angry of
admin they might reply they might you
know unsubscribe they might say
on social media if you’re doing your job
really well and you’re just giving them
the right information at the right time
have some beauty of it is little even
necessarily recognize that it just it
feels natural which is the natural flow
thing so the marketer you know it’s like
you know whenever doesn’t go well people
can definitely like you know point their
finger at you and be like yeah I owe
that but you know when you’re doing a
really great job actually part of doing
a really great job is it becomes kind of
invisible in the experience and
hopefully the yeah the way in which
you’re actually being able to take your
reward is to say listen at the end of
the day you can impact it had on people
moving through our you know flywheel and
moving crew you know Grossman customer
and account retention so but yeah fun
fun fun being a marketer in today’s
world right it’s it’s certainly tricky
that’s for sure so my last question
which I think could be well could be
multi-part so what’s your what is your
projection what do you see you’ve seen
all this in the past several years what
what are we can be talking about next
year at this event what do we talk about
in five years from now where is this
thing going
so I think it’s interesting that the
technology is just continuing to
innovate at an incredible rate to the
point that yeah it’s somewhere between
amazing and terrifying right I mean we
sing this with a lot of machine learning
now we’re seeing this with other AI
techniques that do things like Auto
generating you know content and honor
generating email and having
conversations on our behalf in a way
that’s getting harder and harder to tell
the difference between you know humans
and machines I mean there’s a yeah
there’s just a lot of change and
innovation that’s happening here so I’m
not sure exactly what we’ll be talking
about next year but I’m sure will be new
stops I think the thing that isn’t going
to change is
all this technological innovation is
really challenging for the human side of
the organization like you know changing
the way we think about our marketing
strategy to you know take advantage of
these new technologies changing the way
we manage you know the marketing
department the way we’re coordinating
your cross marketing and sales
department any of these things that
require changes to behavior or changes
to sort of our mental models for how we
approach it
next up is just hard I mean like the
technology is frankly 10% of it and it’s
the human dimension of how an
organization really adapt to what this
technology can do that’s 90 percent of
the work I think it’s just something
that I mean again is Ammar tech guys you
know this is a blame myself it’s like
it’s so easy you know to somehow get
carried away with the technology and
forget how hard it is for change
management to really be run effectively
to take advantage of these tools but at
the end of the day and you talk to
pretty much any marketing leader that’s
going through this stuff and change
management is 90% of the panel so that
my first reaction is well we just need
to automate the human team inside of it
that’s all there were like oh yeah yeah
I do think marketing because of the
unique human dynamics and you know and
the subtleties that still really play a
big part in brand building is actually
marketing is probably one of the safer
professions you know in this whole AI
revolution but just because it’s safe in
that grand scheme doesn’t mean it’s easy
because we’re still in the environment
in which we’re having to operate and
provide leadership is that just
continuing to change it’s such a
incredibly rapid rate
you can only out of eight so much
there’s a certainly a mix of science and
art to this yes this is a bit this is
why I started out by
thing I’m excited it’s a really exciting
time to be in marketing so I’m glad to
hear the examiners it’s very infectious
so any any other shout out to folks that
you’re finding that Oh first of all as
far as a five-year one year five year
picture what’s your estimate of how many
companies you can be on your landscape
map in one year in five years
oh goodness um I to be honest I don’t
know you know and part of it is a
question of where do you even draw the
boundaries because one of the things
that’s just happening in the world at
large is more and more people are
creating the software I mean there’s
this whole fair really fun time you
Google no code you know solutions it’s
like all these tools that have emerged
for letting people who have no
engineering background no programming
capability whatsoever because like you
know and drag-and-drop ways you know
create their own apps and web
experiences and you know services that
are running on you know serverless AWS
you know functions that just it’s crazy
and then you know I mean again this is
you know like everything else in
marketing the technology is changing at
such an incredible rate
but what’s hard for us is our mental
models sure how we manage this stuff is
changing so like when I dig into how
many pieces of software somebody hands
in their Mahr tech sack you know it
often starts by saying oh yeah yeah we
have like you know three or four pieces
don’t we have our CRM we have a
marketing automation we have our website
BAM simple stack you know but then you
start to say okay well let’s dig into
you know what are you using Cree social
management over here you know I’ve got
that other thing well my using for my
data analysis oh it turns out actually
for my website I’ve got like you know 24
plugins you know to wardress that I’ve
installed you know do each one of those
plugins count as a piece of software
well you know kind of and so you start
to go down that rabbit all I’m like I
generally don’t know I think you can
make an argument possibly in the next
five years there will be tens of
thousands of pieces off the marketers
used and happens if they won’t even
realize that it’ll be dis kind of and is
oldest question just install listen no
became part of my website it became part
of my chat BOTS never give us a second
Dodger beautiful so it clear to close
any any shoutouts to any of the cool
companies you’re seeing either the the
solution providers or the solution users
for marketers himself doing things well
I mean the challenge with the market
landscape is that thousands of them so I
would feel I was like singling out a few
I’d be and unfair to all the others but
I think I would take the category if
there’s one other thing to take a look
at it really is some of these no code
solutions because I think what you’re
starting to see and worried I’ll give
you one company called air table you
know it’s use a marketer have the
ability to work with Excel to work with
a spreadsheet it turns out actually now
that being able to build a spreadsheet
is an interface you can use now to
create custom databases with air table
custom little apps with a whole bunch of
tools that like take a spreadsheet as a
model and then they turn it into a
mobile app I mean so if you if you
Google just no code it it is amazing
what non-technical marketers and sales
people now have the power they now have
at their fingertips and I think we’re
just beginning to scratch the surface of
how that’s going to change the
relationship between marketing and
technology beautiful excellent well
Scott if it’s a pleasure to speak with
any loss sauce or words of wisdom as I
said exciting time so I know it’s a it’s
a lot going on it can be overwhelming
sometimes but taking deep breaths we’re
all in this together and we’re going to
figure out a really wonderful future
your other sort of seeing it to be to be
m/s MXC yeah your your presentation I
hear what time it said what’s the what’s
the topic so I mention give folks a
work about how to balance the technology
side of this and the human side of it a
little bit about thinking about you know
centralization and decentralization and
marketing technology which again as you
you know as we’re talking earlier about
account based strategies right it’s
you’ve got so many different people
throughout the organization that touch
that account you need to have some sort
of way of yeah really being able to
coordinate all of them working together
and empower them to each do a really
great job so I will do my best in the
Big Dawg format to give you a framework
on how to do that well see if I look
forward to it thanks again Scott have a
nice one all right thank you too