Keara Cho

AMA: Salesforce Sr. Director, Demand Generation, Keara Cho on Demand Generation Strategy

April 9 @ 10:00AM PST
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Salesforce Sr. Director, Demand Generation, Keara Cho on Demand Generation Strategy
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
The most simple answer I can give is that they are both very similar - demand gen and growth marketing roles drive X% of the company's Pipe Generation and Revenue. Both are responsible for driving cross-selling, additional users and add-on/upgrades, new logos and new business for the business. Now the difference is what channels demand gen owns vs. what growth owns. As a result of this, where demand gen and growth will sit in an organization might differ (i.e. demand gen within the CMO org, vs. grown can sit within Product). Here are some of the stages that I think which function owns what. Customer Acquisition (Demand Gen & Growth) What are we trying to solve for? We want to optimize the traffic we get from all of our marketing tactics - like SEM, SEO, retargeting - so we get as many people into the conversion funnel as possible. In-trial Experience (Growth) The ultimate goal here is to build a product that is so great and valuable and the product creates active daily users on its own. But we know people are busy and it’s easy for people to forget all the apps and trials they sign up for. Retention (Growth) The first 90 days is a critical stage for customer success. If a new customer is not onboarded correctly, they will attrit. What can Growth do to help encourage our users to onboard correctly? (i.e: Onboarding newsletter with tips and tricks on how to get started, scalable webinars to get users to onboard correctly, partner with support to provide the right marketing assets/how-to guides/blog posts, and more). Cross-sell, Upsell and Upgrades (Demand Gen and Growth) There are 2 paths to generating more business from our existing install-base: Self-Service (Growth) and routing a hot lead delivered to Sales (Demand Gen) Self service: We look at feature usage and all the 1st party data we’ve gathered via a form. We then target our users with the “next best action” that is just for them. This type of promotion is in the apps you use everyday - like Netflix - they will show you a recommended list of shows/movies based on the ones you’ve viewed already. So my list of “next best” shows to watch is going to be different than yours. Same concept here. The recommended “next best action” is going to dynamically change for your users based on their app usage. That’s self-service. Lead/Opportunity Generation: The second cross-sell/upsell motion falls under Demand Gen. You can build propensity to buy scores based on the 1st party data (titles, what company segment they’re from) and then we pair that with what features they’re using inside the app. These can be signals for a product qualified lead score model - just like lead scoring but you’re now looking at product signals. For example, 5 mean they will buy regardless if a sales person is involved or not - so we leave those leads alone and let them Convert. A 4 or 3 might indicate buying interest but they’re not fully ready to self serve - and we can route them back to our direct sales channel. A 1 means they have the lowest probability to convert, so let’s not pass them to sales and nurture them via marketing journeys. As you can see there are so many ways to build marketing programs and we’re just getting started. Think about what AI can do on top of this.
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
Please see my answer for this similar question: When designing a demand generation strategy, at what stage do you audit internal departments to determine if there is sufficient stakeholder buy-in and infrastructure needed to support success?
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
Here are a group of internal stakeholders that I believe is important to get buy-in and approval. I would ensure every group listed below have seen your plan prior to getting it launched as each group can actually help provide assets/ideas to complement your plan. Sales leadership (Informer): Please note I specifically didn't put Sales leadership as an approver. This doesn't mean you shouldn't work with your Sales leaders often and early to get their feedback on your strategy but make sure every decision you make nested underneath that strategy is back by data and historical trends to predict the desired outcomes. Field (sellers/AEs, inbound/outbound sales rep (Input): You should always find a handful of seller to understand what painpoints your customers/prospsects are facing in market and whether or not your messaging resonates with those pinpoints. Product Marketing (Influencer): Messaging and positioning is a critical part to your success! Ensure you bring PMMs on early and often to ensure you are on point with pitch and value propositions. Your boss/VP/CMO (Approval): This one is obvious but I would absolutely make sure you get sign off on this by your chain of command to ensure your plan is complementary to the rest of the overall global marketing strategy. Customer Marketing (Influencer): It's critical to have customer success stories to validate your product/services! Your prospect/customers are going to ask sellers how other customers are using your product/services similar to them or in their industries. ABM (for up market, Influencer): Make sure your plan doesn't overlap with ABM's plan! Product (if you own PLG, Informer): same logic as ones listed in the "sales leadership" section above. Sales Enablement/Sales Programs (Informer): doing things in silo will never work. Amplify your impact by ensuring everything you do aligns with sales programs and the enablement programs for the quarter. That way, whatever you are creating demand for, your sellers will have the proper education/training to sell the solution and they will have tools from sales program and target accounts to go after. Once everyone signs off on your plan I would recommend you check in mid campaign and post campaign.
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
I have lengthen explanation in the other questions digging into each channel and the importance of it. For the sake of time, here are the channels that are critical to demand gen: 1. Organic/web 2. Paid digital 3. Email 4. Events 5. Webinar 6. Direct Mail 7. Field events 8. CxO & Top Accounts
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
Having accurate data and good data is the foundation in delivering success. You have to be able to quickly answer this question: “For every dollar I put in market, how much am I bringing back to the organization?” If you can't answer this with confidence, then you can't even begin to drive success of your programs. We all know when we put garbage in, garbage comes out. Reports are great but only if the input of the data is accurate. Which is why it is critical to focus on the data structure to make sure we have a good foundation to surface up the data. And ensure you have the right connectors that allow marketing top of the funnel/mid-funnel metrics to your company's revenue data. Marketing leaders will ask each other: “How do you do lead gen” and think there’s a special channel they didn’t know about. Unfortunately, I wish it was that easy. What I’ve found is that the ingredient to building a world-class marketing organization is how a company uses martech to effectively automate workflows and track ROI. Your reporting and data visualization should be able to help you answer these high level questions: * What is marketing’s impact to the company’s pipe gen? * What channel or tactic drives the most pipe gen? * Which grouping are your highest converting leads? * Are your strategies delivering quality leads, pipeline and positive business outcome? * What is the audience mix in your strategy? (i.e: how much new business vs. cross-sell/upsell/upgrades is your team bringing in) Having the right data is critical because: 1) We need to know where our business stands, 2) if things look off we can investigate and react early before it becomes a firedrill, and 3) identify which strategy works and which doesn't.
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
Alignment with sales distribution models: sales teams typically slices their segmentation by company size or revenue bands. Marketing should also create strategy based on how sales go to market. Many more mature sales organizations will also have segments by vertical and industry-first GTM varies dramatically by vertical/sub-vertical (i.e. Healthcare GTM is going to look very different than Communications and Media). If your company segments by company size. I would ensure you have a different strategy for: 1) Enterprise: heavy focus on field events, incorporate ABM against your company's/sales Top Strategic Account, clear strategy on CxO strategies (i.e: how do you nurture relationships via your strategic events and 3rd party? how should you think about executive roundtables and dinners?) 2) Mid-market: similar motion to Enterprise but less costly CxO in person events and ABM will not show up in this segment. 3) SMB: this is about volume and closing deals quickly and get customers in the door and start to upsell/cross-sell when appropriate. Ensure you have a clear strategy to drive leads, optimize digital/website, ensure you are doing everything you can to optimize every stage of the lead>opportunity funnel (i.e: web forms to MQLs, MQLs to valid/sales accepted leads, leads to stage 1 opportunity, and etc).
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Keara Cho
Keara Cho
Salesforce Sr. Director, Field MarketingApril 9
Determining what types of campaigns/tactics to include in your strategy starts with you understanding every milestone metric in your funnel. What is your acquisition cost? How much does it take to bring a lead in? How much does it take to get a sign up- everything you do need to map back to how much you spend? Having clear answers to these questions will allow you to optimize and get more efficient overtime. Let's dive into some examples. For example, You might find that facebook drives you a ton of traffic and newsletter sign-ups but it doesn’t help you drive trials. Based on your data, Trials are your highest converting offer. So what do you do with Facebook? Do you cut your spend? No, you set the strategy based on what it’s designed to do. If it’s effective in driving contacts for your email database, you judge the effectiveness of that channel by that metric. Here’s how you do the math. You take your CAC, customer acquisition cost and back into all the various metrics upstream and this backwards math can help you figure out what the maximum dollar amount you can spend to acquire each email subscriber. So you’ve got people in your database, while it’s great to get sign-ups if your traffic doesn’t convert, it hurts your bottom line. So you have to look at activation and your 1st time purchase metrics. If you are a B2B company, you need to know whether or not the deals you are driving from your marketing programs ultimately make it to closing or if you have a more e-commerce like product, you might be measuring app usage and digital transactions. Let me give you an example, you might find out that specific non-branded search terms might cost you a fortune because there isn’t a lot of volume. However, if you have the right reporting structure in place, you might find this has the highest returns because you get revenue from it. The point is, look beyond that form complete. Now the last piece here is Retention. Lastly, at a SaaS company or any company in fact, if you can’t keep your customer’s happy, you fail. LTV is something I’ve been obsessed about at every role i’ve taken because I think that’s a metric that we should all strive to hit. It tells the full story. For example, just because you acquisition cost is high to start, don't cut a program right away. You need to factor in assumptions for LTV. You will have segmentations of customer that are going to be with you for a few years, and/or grow into using more products/features - that value of the customer dramatically increases and the initial cost per acquisition can sometimes be misleading.
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