Generally speaking, someone with a title like Chief Marketing Officer has a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in all aspects of marketing. Because of this, a CMO is the perfect person to know what is more and less likely to work. So what are the top 5 tried and true marketing strategies that executives recommend to other business leaders? As part of this interview series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Josh Thomas.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! To start, can you share a bit about what brought you to this specific career path?
My background is as an agency consultant and sales executive. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, I began my career helping F1000 clients grow their marketing contributions to increase retention, optimize their technology stack, and tell the story of their business contribution more effectively.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you're grateful for?
My wife Courtney has been instrumental in my success both personally and professionally. She has been not only a tremendous partner in raising our family but a stellar marketing leader in her own right.
One story that stands out is from early in my career at an agency. I led a pitch for a new approach after our client needed a dramatic change from their original strategy despite significant investment in the current approach. I was if I was up for it, but her confidence in my abilities and her own marketing expertise was instrumental in my success.
She spent countless hours preparing me for the pitch and strategy session, role-playing different scenarios and pointing out areas I wouldn't have otherwise considered. Thanks to her, I delivered a winning proposal that marked a turning point in my marketing career based on the results of the new approach.
I am grateful for her unwavering support as my biggest supporter. She has consistently played a crucial role in my success, and I wouldn't be where I am today without her.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
Madison Logic leads the way in empowering B2B marketers to leverage data-driven, full-funnel, account-based marketing (ABM) strategies that identify the accounts most likely to purchase, accelerate the customer journey, and shorten sales cycles to positively impact ROI. Our unique proprietary data signal enables B2B marketers to more easily identify and prioritize their target accounts, activate global multi-channel ABM campaigns, and gain full visibility into program performance through comprehensive measurement and reports.
We also measure our success differently, by focusing on customer performance and ensuring that its solutions drive real business outcomes for its clients. This focus on data and performance sets Madison Logic apart from its competitors and positions us as an industry leader.
Are you working on any exciting projects now? Tell us about it!
We have a new project in place around how we tell the story of what our proprietary data can yield for enterprise marketers. I'm excited because when we look across the market, this is a significant gap for marketing leaders asked to do more with less.
We believe it will help organizations take a more sophisticated approach to account prioritization, where they can then understand who is most likely to engage and the content that will best help them drive higher conversion across the sales cycle and efficiency of their overall media investment.
With so many different types of marketing out there, has any one area had a bigger impact on your business over the rest?
The biggest I've found is taking a digital-first approach across an integrated approach. I haven't found one particular area—from demand generation to content to product marketing—to be overly instrumental to success. Each ensures the other is successful.
The biggest shift I've seen is that marketers are consistently looking for the latest technology when the part that is most required is consistent: delivering an experience needed from a client or prospect to move to the next stage of the buying process in the most appropriate format for that individual and buying team. If you can do that in marketing successfully toward your objectives, the rest works itself out.
How often do you try a new marketing strategy, and which ‘boxes’ does it need to tick before you’re willing to implement it?
I tend to be slightly risk-adverse given my responsibility to be fiscally responsible for the marketing budget. I also prefer fewer independent projects and strategies run at any given point due to switching costs. That said, I think it's important to think about marketing strategies and tactics like a stock portfolio. Some strategies are low-risk and lower-reward, high-risk and high-reward, with most somewhere in between.
I will invest in a new strategy typically on a quarterly or bi-annual basis with "smoke tests" (tests to see if it's worth pursuing) usually fairly frequently as long as it's not overly disruptive. The boxes that needed to be checked are that it has a high potential yield, must satisfy the business requirements for what we're goaled on or asked to accomplish, and ideally some level of recognizable customer value. If it doesn't have a high potential impact and it's largely unproven, it's a no for me (for now).
Can you share a time when a strategy didn’t deliver the results you expected and what you learned from the experience?
Early in my career on the agency side, we were working with a fast-growing startup that worked with large, enterprise retail brands. We built an entire campaign around how these existing clients could get more value from their investment via a freemium offer which would allow them to collect customer Q&A in a new and scalable approach. Our multi-channel campaign flopped because our team didn't realize the dynamics of the relationship.
The new product was leveraged by an entirely different buying center that didn't see the value because their own customers weren't pressing them for the solution. Because the client had a two-sided marketplace, once we used the retailers' insistence on the brands using the new offering (they gained their own data and insights from the brand usage), performance skyrocketed.
Lesson learned: Brand is important. Organizations care about what they are goaled on and what their key customers think are important, even if an existing vendor with a small footprint has data to prove otherwise.
In your opinion, is it better to try out new marketing tactics or to stick with what you know works? How do you decide where to allocate your budget and resources?
Business leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve, and leveraging new marketing tactics is a big part of that. Taking a long look at the data and results of marketing campaigns, as well as learning more about your target buyers, will provide marketers with proven strategies and tactics that you can then automate, personalize, and always improve in real-time. The more detailed data you have access to, the better insights you’ll have into what’s working.
Having reached this point in your career, what are your most successful marketing strategies? What results did you see?
- Knowing What Accounts to Go After: Data is key to understanding the accounts actively in-market. Without it, you’re pretty much just going at it blind. Madison Logic’s ML Insights combines multiple datasets to create a signal of the accounts most likely to purchase, allowing our clients to accelerate the customer journey and shorten sales cycles to positively impact ROI. Marketers report achieving over 15% higher account engagement and over 22% higher conversion by leveraging ML Insights data to prioritize the right accounts and engage the buying committee across a multi-channel ABM strategy.
- Knowing Who Within Those Accounts to Engage: Research suggests the typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group. It’s not just enough to know which accounts are actively in-market; successful marketers must also know who within their target accounts is researching and engaging with relevant content and messaging. This is another area where data plays an important role. Insights brought together by multiple sources of first- and third-party data to uncover opportunities to captivate these individuals and drive conversions.
- Knowing How to Engage Them: With research showing that up to 90% of the buyer’s journey is completed before a prospect ever reaches out to a salesperson, the most effective marketers engage prospects throughout the entire funnel—from problem identification to the selection of a vendor. By leveraging data to match content to the buyer’s mindset within their customer journey, marketers can balance the brand-building necessary for long-term revenue growth with the lead generation necessary to support sales now and in the future. Marketers who employ a full-funnel, always-on, multi-channel ABM strategy maximize engagement and marketing budgets. Our own clients report seeing a significant increase in accounts reached including 53% increase in account engagement and 507% increase in 3-year ROI on their marketing investment.
- Optimizing Strategy Through Pipeline Impact: Measuring the success of your ABM campaign must align with company goals. Do you want to increase revenue? Prove marketing’s ROI? Improve conversion win rates? Today’s leading organizations understand that aligning on a single goal across sales and marketing is critical for the revenue organization, particularly when broken down into success metrics at each stage of the customer journey to help quantify success. Marketers that take a data-driven approach to campaign optimization generate more revenue from target accounts, improve the ROI of their marketing efforts, and increase win rates through more relevant and personalized marketing content for their target accounts.
What expert tips can you share with those who are just starting to build out their marketing strategy?
To begin your marketing strategy you need to know to really understand your audience and the buyer’s journey, especially since B2B marketing can feel erratic and responsive and won’t lead to many closed deals for your sales team. I suggest an ABM marketing approach since it takes a holistic and personalized approach to the buyer’s journey based on account attributes and intelligence through data. When you conduct these strategies, you’re putting your desired customer first, and thinking through what they need to move through their buyer’s journey. From there, marketers can utilize intent data to pinpoint key topics and content engagement.
Lastly, if you could inspire a movement that would bring a great amount of good to the most people, what would that be?
High-speed internet for all. The internet has evened the playing field for all individuals to express their creativity and expertise, learn something new, and connect with people they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
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