Today’s post features a Q&A with Brian Kardon, CMO of Lattice Engines, provider of predictive apps for marketing and sales. Brian has been named a Top 10 Global CMO for companies <$250 million revenue by The CMO Institute and a Top 10 CMO on Twitter (@bkardon) by Social Media Marketing Magazine. Prior to his role at Lattice, Brian was the CMO at Eloqua and the driving force behind their explosive growth in the Revenue Performance Management sector. It was then that Quarry began its agency partnership journey with Eloqua, and when we first met Brian. I caught up with him again recently, this time for a chat about his latest endeavors in the field of Predictive Marketing.
Richard: First up, what is Predictive Marketing and why is it something marketers need to understand? (Can it help us make smarter bets?)
Brian: Predictive marketing works by taking all the data about contacts and accounts in the world – from both internal (e.g., CRM, marketing automation, etc.) and external (e.g., blogs, websites, government sites, social media channels, etc.) sources and applying modern data science to solve marketers’ top challenges – Who is going to be my next customers? How do I convert them? How can I find more of these ideal customers? etc. The amount of data and technology available to marketers is fueling the need for predictive marketing. Many marketers who have successfully adopted marketing automation are now looking for the new “new” thing. They are looking for an edge. However, from a performance standpoint, the best that marketing automation can do is provide a view into what happened in the past. It can show how prospects responded to various marketing channels or which campaigns performed better than others. But marketers really want to figure out how to improve results going forward and ensure they are driving towards top-line revenue goals. Predictive marketing can help do just that and understand buying intent.
Richard: Is Predictive Marketing more valuable for B2C or B2B marketers?
Brian: It’s equally valuable for both B2C and B2B! B2C companies like Amazon, Netflix and Pandora have been using predictive marketing techniques to tee up the best recommendations for their users. More than 35 percent of Amazon’s revenue today is driven by its recommendation engine via predictive analytics. Over the past few years, B2B marketers have been taking note of the revolution and have been adopting predictive marketing [techniques]. Our customers have seen measurable lift across their opportunity creation and revenue goals.
Richard: Can you share an example of a B2B brand that’s using Predictive Marketing effectively?
Brian: DocuSign, a global leader in digital transaction management and the world’s leading provider of eSignature management, uses Lattice predictive lead scoring to address the “curse of abundance” that companies with large top-of-funnel volumes routinely confront. Virtually anyone who signs a document is a potential target for DocuSign. Its lead database swells to roughly 135,000 leads per quarter and its lean sales team of 25 reps can’t possibly engage every lead. With Lattice, DocuSign is able to connect data from CRM and marketing automation with thousands of additional buying signals from the Web, social and other external sites. The shift to predictive scoring has allowed DocuSign to focus on the most likely revenue opportunities first, driving a 38 percent lift in the production of sales-qualified leads and a 22X return on investment in the first two months.
Richard: Where is Predictive Marketing heading? (Your prediction for it, if you will.)
Brian: Right now we are seeing a lot of activity around predictive lead scoring, but predictive marketing will continue to evolve. Once marketers master predictive lead scoring, other areas for improvement throughout the funnel will arise. Eventually, we’ll lose the phrase predictive as it will be so fully baked into all marketers’ processes and it will be an integral part of business.
Richard: What do you enjoy most about your current role as CMO for Lattice Engines?
Brian: The most exciting thing for me is to be a part of a movement that helps shape marketing in the future. I did this at Eloqua and I am happy to have the opportunity again at Lattice. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention my team and our incredible customers. Each day I get to work with some of the brightest marketers on the planet. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.
Richard: You’ve said you love working at inflection points. What advice would you offer marketers with brands facing disruption?
Brian: You need a mindset that is excited about a journey where you don’t necessarily know the final destination. Change makes us all better and gets us out of our comfort zones.
Richard: Lastly, what’s your favorite business book and why?
Brian: If you work in technology, you have to follow Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com. I love his Behind the Cloud book that tells the story of how he grew the company from idea to industry leader. There are tons of very specific stories and tips that are incredibly valuable and relevant to all marketers.
Richard: Thanks Brian.
So, what’s your prediction – could predictive marketing be the new “new” thing in marketing technology? And in what ways could predicting buyer intent give your company an edge?
PS: If you want to learn even more about Predictive Marketing, check out this new infographic by Lattice Engines.