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Dave Kellogg SaaStr 2021: A CEO's Guide to Marketing

  1. A CEO’s Guide Marketing (The 5 Things You Need to Know) Dave Kellogg EIR, Balderton Capital Principal, Dave Kellogg Consulting Author, Kellblog @Kellblog 1
  2. You Thought You Founded a Technolgy Company 2
  3. Why Did You Found Anyway? Founders create a product business that needs distribution, … only to discover one day the business they’re running is a distribution business that also makes a product 3 90th
  4. What’s The Scariest Thing a CEO Can Hear in a QBR? 4
  5. The Marketing Session’s Up Next 5
  6. Why is The Marketing Session So Scary? Lost in unfamiliar territory that you didn’t grow up in Overwhelmed by a blizzard of acronyms and buzzwords Buried in a sea of numbers (e.g., counts and conversion rates) Confused by ill-defined terminology and process Drawn into conflict between sales and marketing 6
  7. And maybe you’re a little afraid to admit you don’t understand all this 7
  8. “OK, that was great. Next session, please.” (and continue to live, paraphrasing Thoreau, a life of quiet marketing desperation) So you say, 8
  9. Your Marketing Guide Today is Dave 10+ Years a CMO ● Versant ($1-15M) ● Business Objects ($30M-1B) ● Alation (gig) 10+ Years a CEO ● MarkLogic ($0-80M) ● Host Analytics ($8-50M) 10+ Years a Director ● Alation ● Aster Data (exit) ● Granular (exit) ● Nuxeo (exit) ● Profisee (exit) ● Scoro ● SMA 9
  10. 5 Things Every CEO Should Know About Marketing 1. Reverse-engineer marketing from buyer empathy 2. Marketing is all about funnels 3. Models are, at best, guiding abstractions 4. Messaging is a structured FAQ 5. Use a pillar profile to hire your next marketing head 10
  11. Deriving Marketing from Buyer Empathy The Buyer’s Question: Why buy one or why buy yours? ● Answer incorrectly at your peril ● Listen to Gong recordings ● Read market research ● Look at category formation ● Action: custom periodic study Buyer Consideration: Low or high consideration? ● Price is only one criteria ● Risk, scope, oppty cost ● In PLG, only initial is auto-low ● High means “long copy sells” ● Action: mix of long/short tools ● Action: seminal white paper PLG = product-led growth, see resources page 11
  12. Imagine You Were Buying a Solution ● Where would you go for information? ● What evaluation process would you use? ● Who you want to speak to as references? ● What third-party sites or analyst groups would you leverage? ● What process would you use to make final decision? (e.g., people) ● On what criteria would make final decision? (e.g., vendor vs. product) Action: don’t just imagine; ask customers about the process Action: use market research to answer these questions And your team’s effectiveness depended on it 12
  13. Marketing is All About Funnels: Conceptual Awareness Consideration Trial Purchase ● Have you heard of X? ○ Unaided, aided ● Would you consider buying X? ○ Price, quality, positioning, fit, reputation, substitutes ● Have you tried X? ○ Ease of trial, prioritization of trials ● Did you purchase X? ○ Bought competitor, deferred Action: use market research to understand this 13
  14. Enterprise SaaS Funnels: Marketing & Sales SAL (S1) SQL (S2) Solution Fit Demo Vendor of Choice Legal Won Visitors Names Responses Leads MQL SAL Marketing Sales 14
  15. Remember There are Four Pipegen Sources Stage 1 Oppties Stage 2 Oppties Marketing SDR Outbound Alliances Sales Outbound And document (count-based) S2 oppty generation goals for all of them 15
  16. Tips on Funnels ● Remember to create pipegen goals for all pipegen sources ○ Overallocate when starting new sources (need 200 oppties, allocate 220) ● Measure and goal pipegen by oppty count, not ARR dollars ● Make marketing the quarterback of the pipeline ○ They should forecast pipeline coverage (e.g., NQ, NQ+1) from all pipegen sources ○ Avoid R4Q analysis and the tantalizing pipeline problem ○ Owns making the plan, across sources, for fixing forecasted problems ● In general, look first at these rates (approx. ranges) ○ MQL → S1, range 5-15% ○ S1 → S2, range 60-80% ○ S2 → Won, range 15-25% 16 Example rates are anecdotal from my experience; see Sirius Decisions or equivalent for data NQ = next-quarter, R4Q = rolling 4-quarter
  17. We Can Build Elegant, Integrated Models 17
  18. But Then Reality Hits You in the Face 18 ● 15 contacts ● 4 buyer roles ● 75 touches ● Nurtured up to 2 years ● Across 2 different companies ● Heard from friends ● Recommended by partners ● Saw us in search results ● Downloaded e-books ● Talked to us at a tradeshow ● Asked Gartner who to evaluate ● 20 webinar attendees ● Ran RFP process and committee Reality is anything but linear; beware the Excel-induced hallucination
  19. “All models are wrong, but some are useful” -- George Box 19
  20. Using Models as Guiding Abstractions ● Build them, integrated from sales hiring to demandgen budget ○ Recognize their limitations ● Use models as tool of enlightenment, not oppression (model myopia) ○ Don’t hold executives’ feet to the fire over the model outputs ○ Hold them accountable for pipeline coverage and sales performance ● Pro tips: ○ Judge sales by capacity realization in under-staffed situations ○ Use demandgen cost in cost/oppty analysis; measure S&M effectiveness with CAC ● Action: ground yourself with these two sessions at every QBR ○ Win/loss analysis to inform why you are winning and losing deals ○ Win-touch analysis to remind you of the reality of how deals get won 20
  21. Messaging is a Structured FAQ ● Messaging is standardizing the answers to commonly asked questions ● What needs messaging? ○ Your company, your product, your new announcement, … ● What should be included in messaging? 5W+3H ○ Who? ○ What? ○ Where? ○ When? ○ Why? ○ How? ○ How much? ○ How different? 21
  22. Messaging Should be Simple, Ergo Memorable ● Impose simplicity: turn a grey reality into black and white ○ Good: we have aggregate-awareness, they don’t ○ Bad: our aggregate-awareness is better than theirs ○ Worse: only we have “true” aggregate-awareness ● On offense, you want black and white ○ Only we have Query Log Ingestion (QLI) that uses logs to improve search relevance ● On defense, you want grey (i.e., muddy the waters) ○ Well, actually we both have a Consolidation module now, ours came out last month ● Follow the Rule of Threes ○ The answer to every question is always three points 22 You should be able to tell your story on a paper tablecloth
  23. The Magic of Messaging: The Ternary Tree Intelligence ● Query log ingestion ● Behavior analysis engine ● Expert identification Collaboration ● Wiki pages ● User referrals ● Conversation threads 23 Remember 9 things by remembering 3 things about 3 things Guided Navigation ● Intelligent query editor ● Real-time suggestions ● In-built governance (Example only: similar, but not identical to the messaging of an affiliated company) What differentiates us from the common alternative?
  24. Conceptually, Marketing Has Four Pillars 24 ● Assess what you need ● Assign 1-5 points per pillar ● The trick: you only get 15 points ● There are no 20s ● There are no (5, 5, x, x)s ● I’m a (5, 3, 5, 2) ● Series A maybe (5, 4, 2, 4) ● Series E maybe (3, 5, 4, 3) Product Marketing Launch Messaging Content Demand Generation Digital Programs Events Marketing Comms PR/AR Stories Brand Sales Development Inbound Outbound Hybrid
  25. Using Marketing Pillar Profiles 25 0 1 2 3 4 5 Product Demandgen Comms SDRs Desired Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Candidate 3
  26. Summary and Conclusion ● Odds are you’re spending 2x+ on S&M compared to R&D ● Welcome to running a distribution business: sales, success, marketing ● Marketing need not strike fear into the hearts of the e-team ● Great marketers make it easy; bad ones obfuscate ● Remember the 5 things you need to know 1. You can reverse-engineer marketing from buyer empathy 2. Marketing is all about funnels 3. Models are, at best, guiding abstractions 4. Messaging is a structured FAQ 5. Hire your next marketing leader using pillar profiles 26
  27. THANK YOU 27
  28. Appendix 28
  29. Resources, I ● Benchmarks/comps: comparables/enterprise/valuation-metrics or or ● Product-led growth: or ● Marketing buzzwords: abbreviations/ ● Martech landscape: supergraphic-2019/ ● Market research: hypothesis-file/ ● Buyer question: fly-free-and-soup-is-good-food/ or dave-kellogg-marketing-in-hot-and-cold-markets/ 29
  30. Resources, II ● Long copy sells: 2013-5 or ● Sample market research firms: or or ● Bradley effect (lying to pollsters): ● SAL/SQL name inversion: and-sql-appear-to-be-defined-backwards/ ● Inverted funnel model: demand-generation-funnel-part-i/ and an-inverted-demand-generation-funnel-part-ii/ and startup-needs-an-inverted-demand-generation-funnel-part-iii/ 30
  31. Resources, III ● Pipeline forecasting and coverage: about-we-focus-on-next-quarters-pipeline/ or quarter-analysis-to-understand-your-pipeline/ or coverage-to-better-understand-pipeline-and-improve-forecasting/ ● Funnel conversion firms: (now Forrester) or (now Gartner) or ● Sales bookings capacity model: sales-bookings-productivity-and-quota-capacity-model/ ● Messaging / imposing simplicity: impose-simplicity/ ● SDR reporting: 31
  32. Resources, IV ● Me rambling on marketing: from-a-pe-portfolio-company-ceo-summit/ or and-marketing-working-together-presentation/ or on-the-yes-and-marketing-podcast/ ● Positioning: ● Sales: ● Persuasion: ebook/dp/B08HZ57WYN/ or ebook/dp/B000Q9J0K6 32
  33. Resources, V (Books) 33 Five marketing classics (my brand-manager daughter’s Christmas present) See Revised to swap out a more pop marketing book for Crossing the Chasm