Jon Miller, Director of Marketing and Product at Demandbase, is a marketing entrepreneur and thought leader. Previously, Jon was the CEO and founder of Engagio (acquired by Demandbase) and co-founder of Marketo (Nasdaq: MKTO), a leader in marketing automation.
Jon is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Dreamforce, MarketingProfs B2B, Marketing Operations Executive Summit, OMS and Marketing Nation Summit. He is also the author of numerous eBooks, including the Complete and Clear Guide to Account-Based Marketing and the Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to move from marketing automation to ABM?
JON MILLER: While we were running Marketo, we had a lead-based demand generation model that was actually quite efficient. But as we got closer to our IPO, we got diminishing marginal returns. We realized that we needed a second engine, one that would allow us to target larger companies because we wanted to move forward in the market. So we started working on an exit strategy and we didn't even call it account-based marketing (ABM) back then. But that was it.
We identify accounts and collect ways to prosecute them. It worked, and that was the good news. The bad news was it was manual, and I freaked out my team trying to twist Marketo and Salesforce to track the things I wanted to track because they weren't account-based systems. When I realized that the approach worked but was too difficult with existing lead-based technologies, I was inspired to create a new platform.
M7: How do you practice ABM on Demandbase? What have you learned from using your own lead generation product?
JM: Our ABM approach at Demandbase is twofold. First, we believe in creating different styles of ABM for different account levels. That is why we practice one-to-one marketing for some; one in a few for a larger number of accounts, but still very limited; one-to-many for the rest of our universe of destination accounts fall into a one-to-many group. This combined strategy allows us to differentiate the amount of resources we put into each account based on their potential value.
Second, we drink our own champagne. We use intent data and our pipeline forecasting analysis to determine when any of our accounts show signs of being in the market or ready to sell. When we have one of those signals, what we call a Marketing Qualified Account (MQA), we increase it to one to a few or one to one so we can spend more time and attention on those who are in market accounts. .
M7: What's your marketing mantra for standing out in an overly saturated MarTech space?
JM: Our main mantra is "Think big, start small and move fast". Customers want to get started quickly, in less than 24 hours, and don't have months to learn and implement a new tool. That's why we want the product to be incredibly easy to use and get up and running quickly. Ultimately, however, our users are sophisticated companies executing complex strategies. ABM can be very powerful and we don't want to give people toys. So while we make ordinary and easy things super easy, we also strive to make difficult things possible. The solution is very powerful and flexible, allowing our customers to evolve and adapt as they grow in the sophistication of ABM.
M7: What do you think are the top three marketing challenges in the post-COVID-19 era?
JM: COVID-19 accelerated six years of digital in six months. So buyers who had never thought of making a complex B2B purchase completely online have now become incredibly used to doing that kind of thing. To be successful after the pandemic and beyond, marketers will need to continue to lean on their digital transformation and optimize their digital strategy.
Additionally, COVID-19 has raised buyer expectations, so organizations need to retrain in their approach to sales. Marketers shouldn't jump on "everything that moves" or track every campaign response. Instead, they need to really know where each buyer is on their journey and align their go-to-market with appropriate actions accordingly.
Finally, the pandemic has shown that some companies have prospered during this period, such as Zoom, and other companies have struggled much harder. So another challenge in the wake of COVID is that marketers need to review their target account lists to really understand which industries and companies are doing well so they can double their growth.
M7: What do you read and how do you consume information to stay on top of your game?
JM: Whenever I need to speak or write about a topic, I make sure to educate myself on it as much as possible. Luckily, one of my "superpowers" is synthesis. I'm really good at absorbing a lot of information, from what I read and see. Just hook me up to the fire hose and I can bring it all in and connect the dots.
Also, as I work with my team on product development, we are always innovating the product based on customer demands and needs. So I am constantly learning by listening to customers and seeing how they operate.
Demandbase offers the only end-to-end ABM platform that helps B2B companies identify, win, and grow the accounts that matter most. Our success would not be possible without the driven and collaborative teams here at Demandbase. As a company, we are as committed to growing careers as we are to creating world-class technology. We invest heavily in people, our culture, and the community around us, and have continually been recognized as one of the best places to work in the Bay Area.