Interview with Simon Jones

Research Director, Demand Marketing at Forrester

Simon Jones Research Director Demand Marketing at Forrester

Interview Highlights:

  • Demand Generation Marketing best practices
  • Agile Marketing Implementation Tips
  • Buyer-Centric focus
  • Sales-Marketing coordination
  • ‘Demand Spectrum’ alignment
  • Utilizing Telemarketing effectively
Video Transcript

hi this is Bob Samuels founder tech
connector tech connected provides
efficiencies and actual intelligence for
b2b leeching marketers and their agents
we’ve partnered with serious decisions
to bring you wisdom from leading account
based marketing thought leaders to that
end I’m happy to introduce you to simon
jones research director of demand
marketing at Forrester I’m looking
forward to Simon’s presentation at the
serious decisions Europe summit in
Simon it’s a pleasure to speak with you
how are you today you – I’m great I’m
fantastic it’s towards the end of my day
now it’s raining in England as it tends
to do this time of year how about you
yeah I’m doing great if it wasn’t
raining there I would figure I was not
in the right place yeah I think you’re
right I’m looking forward to coming out
for the the summit it’s I look forward
to this all year it’s one of my favorite
events of the year and it serious says
it’s just such a great a great job of
putting together excellent speakers and
and also putting together a great
audience of peers to be able to talk and
share and so forth I totally agree with
you I think I had been a serious vine
before I became a serious research
director it was always always one of my
favorite things going on – a serious
decision summit excellent and if you
could give a little bit about a share a
little bit of your background about
where you’ve been before serious in now
and what’s with your focus is sure so I
started on failed now I think I started
my my career in demand or digital or or
whatever you wanted to call it II back
in the 1990s I’ve got my first
e-commerce site in 1998-1999 about
$60,000 made 79 million dollars in the
first year of operation that was for
Motorola and I stayed with Motorola till
until 2016 and I basically introduced
their entire digital in Europe initially
their entire digital capability
digitized e-commerce digitized and moved
away from brochures and to websites the
number of redesigns and then I built out
their own demand capabilities in Europe
and the beginning of this decade and
eventually went on to be there the
global marketing technologists where I
am I hope today separated part the
business out to to another company
called zebra and did a full
transformation of their digital
technology landscape but also a lot of
the processes that went around it then
spent a you know rosto working with
smaller organizations high-tech FinTech
company in the UK consulting with them
on ATM strategies and lining their sales
and marketing and working with them
another example would be I worked with a
Britain’s only remaining cell phone
handset manufacturer as they started
progressing from being a normal small
startup into a into an enterprise and
just helping them out on on their
content strategy their digital strategy
and two years ago came to serious
decisions were on the research director
for DeMarre marketing outstanding so a
great great hands-on experience and now
you’re helping service the knowledge
sources which is absolutely wonderful
absolutely so in our in our brief talks
before before we started you were
explaining some of your presentations
that you’ll be involved with at the
event this week the first one had to do
with agile marketing it which which
sounds interesting to me we all need to
do more with less and faster and so
forth what’s what’s what’s how is that
going to look as far as the what is your
advice there so I think for us this
we’ve I did a a small track session last
year on agile in demand and if you were
doing a broader one on mainstage and
we’re really looking at five top tips in
terms of in terms of getting your your
agile align to your organ
and really where do you need to
implement it how should you me think
about it how how you should be trying it
out we find that and we did a survey for
people are trying trying agile and some
people have been more successful than
other people I talk to clients all the
time about a badge ‘el and I get
different responses from so what we’re
doing here is we’re just just demystify
some of it taking some of the magic away
and just to a broader audience
explaining some of the tips and tricks
places to start places they could go and
what they really need to think about –
to implement agile and you know it’s one
of my it’s one of my my my drums that I
bang inside serious decisions as I work
I think I think marketing has to be more
agile we I never hear anybody when I
speak to them say I’ve got enough magic
money and I’ve got enough budget and
I’ve got enough resource to do the job I
need to do and so we have to change the
way where we’re working as more and more
demands come upon us as marketers to
deliver more and deliver more revenue to
live a more pipeline to deliver more
everything that we need to deliver we
just need to start acting differently
excellent we’re all being asked to do
more with less and actually more with
more and I mean there’s a lots of data
there’s lots of tools and it can also be
quite confusing – or maybe
counterproductive with all the extra
capabilities that are available so yeah
you totally know that there the more
information we get the more the smaller
the decision we’re having to make the
more granular the the actions we’re
going to have to take which just means
we again we’ve got to be more agile
we’ve got to start looking more
empirically of what we’re doing you’ve
got to start understanding the the value
we’re trying to deliver not just for us
but for our buyers as well for those
personas as well and we need to start
aligning our teams across inbound that
band all the different delivery
mechanisms tactics to make sure we focus
on that value and I think agile is is
fundamentally the way we need to do it
yeah makes sense to me that’s great and
then another topic is
on telemarketing and I imagine that
telemarketing is a as a growing means of
outreach especially with gdpr and in
Europe I think you know we all know that
the teller is a it’s a very successful
part of out of what we do in b2b
marketing we know that it delivers
results you can just look at our
waterfall benchmarks organizations that
have teller versus organizations that
don’t and Teller provides great
qualification a great granularity great
focus in terms of delivering demand but
what we’re going to be talking about
summit in our in our teller New Age of
Terror presentation we’re going to be
talking about how much more you can do
with terror and how much more you need
to do with temper because as we start
looking at going from just being about
individual leads to being about working
with demand units which were settled by
groups of different sets of demand we
should be taking that highly valuable
resource because teller is a is a very
valuable resource etre it’s a human
resource that we have so it has more
intelligence than the timbrel marketing
automation systems and some other
marketing systems we should be utilizing
that and leveraging for that for the
internet they have to identify buying
groups to just shift from being either
just being less driven to really
understanding the signals that are
coming from from buyers and and really
taking it and utilizing for what it what
it is which is a highly complex highly
effective resource and moving into that
new age where where we’re leveraging it
better inside of our marketing programs
and campaigns so it gets to be I think
with Kelly is unique because it’s an
interactive relationship and not just a
matter of sending an email by putting
out an ad or whatever but actually a
communication and being able to drill
down to specifics of what the client’s
needs are and what yeah people are in
support yeah it’s all from the first
it’s often the first point of contact
human point of contact that the prospect
will have with the organization you want
us to make sure that’s right and tells
also being asked to do more it’s not
it’s not just mapping on the phone it’s
also about running chat sessions it’s
also about about some of the other
interactions telly can use in a more
intelligent way to to help drive that
buyer interaction in that one it’s not
going away it’s just it’s tricky to get
people answer the phone sometimes yeah
absolutely so hopefully what hopefully
the call also involves you know adding
value to the client giving them
something that you know giving them
something that neither hook them
absolutely and I think that some where
we’re starting having out having a
discussion about what that what that
next level of next level of thinking is
around around programs about what we’re
doing and I think there’s been a bit of
a you know I’m guilty of this from when
I was a practitioner I was doing this
back in 2010 11 and 12 we tend to focus
on what value are we getting ourselves
we tend it’s how many leads my
generating what kind of mqr to my
generating how am I going to fit these
through sales we turn in them tend to in
that in there in a muck and bollocks
that is our day-to-day lives of trying
to get the job done
we tend sometimes to really neglect what
the buyer value is in these interactions
I think bringing that back in that
balance of what’s the value to the buyer
what value to us at each of those each
of those interactions is really
important because by providing value to
your point what you’re actually doing is
you’re you’re progressing that buyer on
their back on their buyer journey it’s
not our body and it’s their body I mean
you’re progressing them along their
buyer journey and you naturally will get
the getting the value as an organization
later on by doing that we often forget
that it’s a really not good point
customer centric and then giving them
value ideally get to the point where
they’re calling calling us yes the
different matter yeah
and then and then your third
presentation you’re gonna have a
fireside chat with some with some
marketers yeah we’ve got a every every
year we we do a couple of couple of
awards one of them are our ROI awards
which your return on integration awards
and then we have a second set which are
and the ROI rewards
organizations that work across sales
marketing product teams to deliver
exceptional results and then we have
peer Y awards program of the Year awards
where it’s about individual individual
functions and how they’re delivering
exceptional results so we’ve got a
couple of people in our in up here Y
session one of them focused on a VM and
the one that I’m looking after which is
focused around demand marketing and they
doing some some neat stuff around
predictive intent around bringing their
day to get them together and how
bringing that data together getting
decent views of that data providing some
levels of AI and machine learning into
that to really be a bit more predictive
and a bit more focused and we’re seeing
a big trend towards this at the moment
in the organization’s win this award
extreme networks they’ve had a really
really good job and they did a really
good job right from the outset they
understood the getting proper data
aggregation and building a proper view
of their data was the foundation that
then would lead to them improving the
business and they’ve had some really
good results I’m not going to give it
away because it’s the client speaking
and not me but that’s a really good
session to come along to if you’re
looking for inspiration isn’t about
marketers how to improve your conversion
rates absolutely I love hearing from the
marketers themselves nice to hear from
the experts but it’s nice to hear from
the marketers and from their point of
view so it said Oh that’ll be definitely
something I look forward to I mentioned
predictive and and intent signals and so
forth have you found much success with
that and then or do you have some
particularly I think you guys do a good
job of not recommending any particular
technology but more concepts is that
correct yeah we we tend to be yeah we
tend to be we tend to try and
we tend to be vendor agnostic I think we
look at we look at success across the
principles as much as the more than we
do the individual tools you know other
people do that intent and intent based
AI machine learning whistling dramatic
impacts people who are using that and
using that well people that are looking
at buyer groups versus just this is just
looking at an individual leads to get
there that that more what tangible set
of signals from a group of people inside
an organization based on an individual
need that’s paying huge dividends and
and it’s you know x times three times
four times five times twenty
improvements in terms of in terms of
demand at the top of the funnel in terms
of effectiveness I I think that’s the
new that’s one of the new norms that’s
coming out and in fact with which
showing our research is showing that um
that that’s gathering AI is gathering
gathering play pace it’s becoming not
just about doing better but it’s also
it’s also a risk mitigation strategy as
well because once you’ve set it up and
once you’ve got it working it will
continue to learn hopefully you know I
said that probably so that meeting you
can continue to give you value as as the
technology changes the landscape changes
so it’s a it’s a big thing for us and I
think we’ve built our demand here the
waterfall around the the concepts of
that and the way we start to look now is
well once we’ve got that part of its
figured out the remaining water fall
then we’ve got the end the technology in
there gonna be some pretty strong
implications for for organizations and
how they had to work to deal with that
as I spoke about a little bit earlier
and you mentioned AI and machine
learning so you know the fact of the
concepts of continuous continuous
learning continuous growing is such a
great concept yes
and the implications for marketing is
the marketing role becomes a a different
role it’s less about what do I do next
and it’s more about how do I provide
that best next content that will really
engage those um those buyers and to the
point we made earlier give them the
value they need to progress into
becoming a client I think you also
mentioned you know the sales and
marketing so sales and marketing having
to work together you seen where have you
seen the success is it important for
sales to take a lead or marketing to
take the lead how do you how do you find
where there is success and the
collaboration between the groups yeah I
think it’s I think it’s less about who
takes who takes the lead over all the
more about about defining what those
roles are and defining what the
engagements are and be very defined
about what the definitions are so you
know we serious decisions fall on the
fact that organizations that are line
across sales marketing product grow
faster they grow better they have bigger
the revenues and the first place that
tends to start is in demand generation
where it is about aligning sales and
marketing to a common set of objectives
a common set of set of rules about how
they engage so one of the things I spend
a lot of my time doing when I work
client is walking them through how they
need to do something as simple as how do
you properly define a lead so that the
organization can get behind that the
definition and work towards it we see on
a regular basis and when I was a
practitioner I had this the argument of
sales saying I want more leads so you
open up the the gate at the top of the
funnel and you give them more leads and
then they come back and say better
quality leads so getting that first of
all getting that definition of what am
what a good lead is for the organization
is important secondly then having the
the alignment around who’s going to take
what at what part of the waterfall
how to tell you to hand over to sales
how sales going to hand back to to
marketing and how that whole process
works is really important once he got
that aligned that basic revenue engine
is it is optimized you’ve then got the
the main pumping out the way we can
start talking about um what do you what
are our big initiatives what are the
business objectives how much did
marketing kind of contribute how much is
sales going to contribute and that will
vary based around a number of different
different things going in an
organization in the marketplace
sometimes it will be more about
marketing taking the lead and generating
all the demand through through
e-commerce that’s kind of a digital
first approach sometimes it will be
about marketing be that being there to
support sales through the through the
top the middle and the funnel but
primarily working at the top we find
that organizations that talk together
win together basically make them make
sense so is the applications typically
that you work with is it typically
bringing in new net new prospects or is
it building the current the current
clients and today it’s a it’s a
combination we tend to find that that
smaller high-growth organizations it’s
more about and this is obvious now
saying it is more about the the new
logos bring new logos net new demand as
you get into more mature organizations
and larger organizations it’s there it’s
then that Landin expand had it but we’re
in how to read cross sell Hadary upsell
having maximise on revenues heathery how
do we keep our recurring revenue stream
working as effectively and efficiently
as possible and what we what we do find
is depending on organization we we find
that all of those things that are
important and i certainly my timer and
motorola I was walking working kind of
right across the extremes of selling
$40.00 accessories you would sell son on
a regular basis and it was all about
keeping that children up to the same
people and we were selling those in a
sales cycle of
matter of week right up to I remember
the the biggest deal I was working on
took 12 years to close and and happened
once every 20 every 20 20 years and that
was a and that was essentially a renewal
a renewal gig for building that demand
so you find a lot of organizations where
they will have there is not just one one
method of generating demand there are
multiple methods of shipment generation
come on they need to be agile enough to
to do that as well
so as far as the putting together little
wires backing it so it’s a before ABM
you need to you need to figure out who
the who the target audiences may be
segments it prioritize it figure out who
within the company to reach out because
it’s no longer one person at the company
one lead at the company it’s probably a
dozen or dozen potentially different
different folks on the buyer committee
so how do you how do you go about
figuring out and prioritizing who to go
after number a number of techniques we
serious is is kind of famous for
building a number of a number of models
out and we if I was looking looking to
work with an organisation on how they
make their decisions we’ve got something
called the the demand spectrum which
helps organizations think about yeah
that that right at the top of ABM which
is sales and marketing totally aligned
you know the you know the client
inside-out you go to their kids weddings
and and you keep that relationship going
through through through a life of
working together that’s right at the top
next one down is your industry segment
segment marketing which is about having
you know a couple of a couple of hundred
maybe up to a few thousand in a segment
and less sales and marketing alignments
and that one then down one level you’ve
got focus demand which is still
potentially that segment base but you
know you’re talking about reaching out
to small to me
enterprise’s potentially their smaller
deals and then finally that for base
demand at the bottom which we’re seeing
less of so what are the things we speak
about we clients about is understanding
where they are of which of those
strategies is going to work for which of
their groups of clients and then we can
have the conversation about well what do
we actually need to go and get the job
done in each of those what does mean you
know what do the programs look like do
the campaigns look like that we need to
execute those decisions on whether we go
for to your point whether we go for the
whole buying group that may be in a big
deal may have 15 20 people it takes a
lot more effort versus ones where it is
just buying high-volume low-cost stuff
that may go to e-commerce where we’re
really looking at one or two personas in
that bottom level but it’s it’s almost
inevitably it’s a combination it’s never
just one share but it’s never just moved
to a VM and forget about everything else
it’s never just to move down into the
small to medium sized enterprise it’s
about maintaining two or three
disciplines across that demand spectrum
and so it sounds like a lot of it
depends on the potential upside of the
relationship as well as the current
relationship and yeah different
variables like you mentioned absolutely
so you’re how much do you do you see the
impact of GDP are that affect your life
for your clients lives much I think yes
it does the people it’s the people it’s
it’s effective for the better and the
people have embraced it and used it as
an opportunity we I think with many
things that this isn’t just a marketing
thing it’s um it’s across all water life
we tend to overuse things and I think we
tended to I tended to overuse email in
in recent recent years and it’s worked
really well for us but
meant that we’ve had we have necessarily
used the the best industry best
practices when using our email and I
think that’s led to GDP are watching
appeal has done as a positive is its
it’s meant that people actually have to
start using email properly you have to
start think about thinking about the
prospects on the other end of the
receiving end of the email and tidy up
their databases and I think when people
have done that they they’ve seen by a
stronger engagement on their outbound
campaigns the people that are obsolete
developed it in because they’ve been
identified the people that are
interested and are doing less of any
less of a shotgun approach to the to the
market so I would say if people are
coming to us and they’re saying that
that they’re getting better results from
GDP are they’re doing it properly if
people are coming to us and saying
they’re not getting getting the results
they need because of GDP are I think
there’s still more work to do to change
the mindset inside those organizations
to be more by a focused exam well and it
gets back to your point before I mean
the if you have the the clients into or
the prospect interest in mind and that
drives things that should help quite a
bit because then you’ll reach out to
them on these things that are important
to that they’re not relevant to them and
just be careful about it and be
sensitive about what the client says
just didn’t what they’re asking for
yes being focused on buyers needs and
understanding what their needs are and
how you can you can you can service
those needs you can support those those
needs you and answer their questions do
you can add their value that’s that’s
exactly that’s how are you how are you
born prevail use yourself like winning
by each others make them so you you get
a chance to see cool things going on
what what are you seeing in the
marketplace what do you with your what’s
your prediction of how things are
heading on Legion and a be and what are
we gonna be talking about at next year’s
conference and then five years from now
how are things changing um
I think I think agile is going to be
agile ways of working I’ve said this one
when I’m focusing on of course I gotta
think it’s agile agile agile I think I
was going to become more and more
important people are going to be using
and more people that are getting more
success out of it I see one it to
science to the extremely well and
they’re they there
Edea fiying if that’s a guarantee
defying their entire organization I was
having a chat with somebody not too long
ago about how do you have you implement
agile into finance to enable you to be
more agile about where you spending
money because you don’t necessarily know
when it’s going to be happening
throughout the year and you may want to
to understand how that does need to work
support your Angela shit so I think
agile is going to be important that
that’s going to be driven by other
things I’m just going to be driven by
personalization we said right the big
miracle that that we’re getting more
we’re getting more data we’re getting
it’s not that there is more data about
it we’re better able to understand the
data we’re better able to capture the
data and we’re better able to capture
the complexity and understand what
complexity is there complexities always
been there we can now understand it by
by gathering more data analyzing it
so as we our eyes open up to that by the
way I’m stealing that from another one
of the analysts as our eyes open up to
that we start realizing that this is
about groups of people it’s not about
individual needs because it’s about
groups of people we need to be more
personal and we need to understand that
when we’re talking to them they have
different needs whereas in the past we
thought it was just one need so that
complexity is leading us through to
greater personalization that greater
personalization is leading us through to
implementing I and back to the thing of
well we need to start acting differently
as as marketeers and working differently
to market is beautiful well this has
been great I appreciate you sharing your
wisdom is there any other any other
questions I said asked or any other
words of wisdom you have to share only
was I was I was just say when he when
I’ve come with an open come with an open
mind and and if I see you in the evening
I might buy you a beer as well I look
forward to it
great diamond it’s a pleasure I look
forward to seeing you this offset
channels thank you