It’s the 6th episode of Meaningful Conversations with B2B Experts – No fluff. Meaningful conversations only.

You don’t learn how to do B2B marketing at school – Even though you have a marketing degree, what you have learned at uni is mainly rotated around B2C marketing.

(Interesting.)

What are the challenges of successful B2B marketers? How do they find out the way to their success? What’s their view about B2B and B2C marketing?

And more importantly, how marketers can benefit from a strong alignment with sales and customer success?

With all these questions in mind, we interviewed Florence Broderick, CMO at Carto.

You’ll learn what’re the preferred qualities you need to have to be a better marketer, how to strike a balance between gated and un-gated content, and form a better connection with other departments in your organization.

First, let’s check the highlights:

Highlight 1: What do you think are the major differences between B2B and B2C marketing?

95% of the decision-making in b2b is rational.

If you’re selling to a CTO or selling to a data scientist, and they’re looking at different software, they’re gonna do a feature comparison, they’re gonna do a trial, see which one saves the most time gives them most of the best data, whatever it might be.

But then I do think there is that 5% are like: “Are you the salesperson, how fast are they? how helpful? Were they the customer success person? How many of your problems do they solve when you work with them? “

So of course, there’s still that human factor. And that’s really important.

Sometimes, a great Customer Success and Support team can do a lot to position itself against a superior competitor. But yeah, I think it’s, it’s an interesting one.

Highlight 2: What are the best marketing advice you’ve received?

  1. Not be scared of the numbers

Be familiar with all the key metrics relating to your sales cycle.

How many days? What’s your average sales price? What’s the conversion from MQL to opportunity, opportunity to close won? I think that’s probably the most important thing.

Then, you can apply your creativity and work out, okay, what campaigns are going to make those numbers move? 2. Don’t get obsessed with the numbers

Because very often there are vanity metrics.

Lead flow might be booming, but if none of those leads are actually the enterprise or mid-market perfect ICPs that you’re looking for, then why does it matter? Try and focus more on pipeline creation and opportunity creation.

Highlight 3: Gated content or not?

The classic marketer’s debate. I think it’s important to have a mixture.

We gate customer stories but give a little bit of a teaser about the solution and the problem that was solved. Then if they want to read the whole story, then they’re probably a quite qualified lead if they want to read the whole story. Therefore, I think gating makes sense.

But we put out a lot of educational content on our blog that’s not gated, for example.

Webinars we gate both for people to watch them live and also on-demand. Yeah, I think I’m not against gating. I think it all depends on what’s the product that you’re selling.

What is your customer looking for? What does or doesn’t make sense to gate?

Highlight 4: Considering many marketing projects take some time to get the results, how do you convince your stakeholders to buy in?

The average sales cycle is a couple of months, but the really big enterprise deals are obviously much longer.

It’s been an education process and they read a lot of our content over the years. Eventually, they realized that location intelligence is something that they really need within their business.

I think when it comes to convincing stakeholders about different initiatives, I think you just have to benchmark, see what other players in your space are doing, and players outside of your space.

I think just keeping an eye out, showing what the industry is doing, and asking our customers about what they saw in their journey with us.

I’m always asking CSMs and executives, SDRs. Beyond the data that’s in Salesforce and HubSpot of where the lead came from, but how did they end up there? Was it that a friend shared that blog post with them or was it that this was organic? Sometimes as much as you can capture through automation.

Actually, asking the question to understand the customer journey is a very good way.

Highlight 5: What’re the differences between high-performance Customer Success managers and low-performance ones?

Proactive versus reactive, not just replying when you have an email. When you put time – when a good CSM asks you to put the time in the diary, you feel you’re going to get value out of that. I don’t like meetings for the sake of meetings with account executives or CSM post-sale.

I don’t think I should be having to ask when something new – I have seen that you’re launching this new thing. Tell me more.

It should be like, hey, I really think that this new part of our stack could be helpful for Carto because I saw on LinkedIn that you’ve hired four SDRs and therefore, X could be really helpful to you.

Want to check the uncut full text? Here's your transcript.

(Transcription Automated)

Jan 00:00

Yeah. Fantastic. So the first one, obviously, is the biggest one. And that I asked everyone and I have some pretty different answers. I received so far. Like, Why did you choose to work in marketing? Because you also have a big background in business development, I think. And so that would be really interesting to to understand why marketing?

Florence 01:26

Well, I would say b2b marketing just ended up happening. I think when everybody leaves University, and they think they want to work in marketing. They’re gonna work for like a big b2c brand. And, yeah, it’s gonna be catch up and baked beans. But instead, I ended up at Telefonica and accidentally started a career in b2b marketing, which, actually, I think is there’s a real shortage of people who know about b2b marketing and SaaS, in certain markets, more so in Europe, obviously, than the US. But yeah, I ended up in b2b and very, very happy with it. And actually, it will probably be difficult to go to b2c now. Because it’s a very different skill set. But I really enjoy marketing to a rational buyer. It feels like it’s easier than trying to sell a market to the masses. That’s rational.

Jan 02:21

That’s interesting. Do you think that’s like, that’s the major difference or that that you know, because in university like I recently graduated, also studying marketing. And they don’t speak about b2b marketing in any of the courses or classes. Right? It’s all How can I convince the consumer? Like, that’s really interesting, I think. So. What do you think are like the major differences? So why do you find it so cool to sell to a rational buyer?

Florence 02:50

Well, I think that, you know, 95% of the decision making in b2b is rational. You know, if you’re selling to a CTO or selling to a data scientist, and they’re looking at different software, they’re gonna do a feature comparison, they’re gonna do a trial, see which one saves the most time gives them most of the best data, whatever it might be. But then I do think there is that 5%, which is like, do you the salesperson, how fast are they? how helpful? Were they the customer success person? How many of your problems do they solve when you work with them? So of course, there’s still that human factor. And that’s really important. And sometimes, you know, a great Customer Success and Support team can do a lot to position against a superior competitor. But yeah, I think it’s, it’s an interesting one.

Jan 03:39

Yes, this data driven, that’s like, let’s do a try, let’s evaluate the bias of very educated or getting more educated, they can really make their own decisions. And yeah, you must say that sitting in like a demo, and then they expect tell everything about themselves. And you go like, I know this already, right? Yeah, like I’m very well educated already.

Florence 04:00

yeah, I think I think there’s actually a lot of problems with that in SaaS in that people have become very obsessed by the the SDR qualifies you and then in the second call, you have the account executive. And sometimes I don’t think common sense is applied. So very often I will say to our SDR is if you have had web requests come in through the website and they vote said very clearly what they want. And then a technical buyer who wants some quite technical questions answered. Maybe you even take that solutions engineer, pre sales person to that first call with an account executive don’t waste their time, they don’t want to go through three different hoops just to get a product pricing. So sometimes I think that kind of SaaS playbook of this is my funnel. And this is how you move through it is actually quite dangerous, and you can lose deals in the process.

Jan 04:47

Yeah, I must say like, we’ve been experiencing the same you know, like, we always ask like, to make the best use of your time. Like, why don’t we bring a solution engineer already to it. To the first call, and because because that’s what we’ve been also experiencing, like, you know, they are sitting there like, I don’t want to get like medic or bandits, or however you call it. And they know that what what they want already so interesting. We I have I have a very interesting question to that later on. But you’re also like you already been like going into this a bit like about the advice that you’ve been giving? Or like received? And what what are like the top three, or the best piece of advice that you received, like going into like this b2b marketing role? Is there anything that comes to mind?

Florence 05:36

Um, I think one of them, the most important ones is around being pneumatic numerate and analytical. You know, being in a tech company in a SaaS company, Jen, generally speaking, the people working in the company, engineers or pre sales people who are technical and very familiar with numbers. And so I think it’s really important that sellers and marketers also use data. Yeah. And the great thing is that this, the platform’s really do give us so much data. So you know, in my role, I look at the data from outreach a lot. Now looking at data from Gong a lot. In on the marketing side, looking at what’s going on in HubSpot, what’s going on in Google Analytics. So I think one of the most important things is to not be scared of the numbers. And you should be just as familiar with all the key metrics relating to your sales cycle. How many days what’s your average sales price? What’s conversion from mq l to opportunity, opportunity to close one? I think that’s probably the most important thing. And from there, then that you can apply your creativity and work out, okay, what campaigns are going to make those numbers move? But then I have to say, sometimes it’s important not to get obsessed with the numbers as well, because very often they’re their vanity metrics. Like if lead flow might be booming, but if none of those leads are actually the enterprise or mid market, perfect ICP is the you’re looking for, then why does it matter? So we try and focus more on pipeline creation, to unity creation?

Jan 07:09

Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s very interesting. Like, we have all the same, like, the same goal in the end is, you know, close deals faster, like accelerate revenue, Mr. AR, nr or something. But sometimes, you know, we have opposing metrics as right, I get counted on the amount of meetings I book, you get counted on, you know, the amount of second stage opportunities, you may be put into the funnel, right? And so how do you find like, the way to fine tune or line like your your revenue, because you work closely with your BDR team as well? Like, what do you tell them?

Florence 07:45

Yeah, I think the most important thing is that everybody is able to step back from what their target is and what their commission plan is linked to, and know what makes sense for the business. We were working with an opportunities target before. And so because it was about the volume of opportunities, I think, sometimes maybe some of our videos will maybe spending a little bit too much time on opportunities that weren’t the big enterprise or higher end of mid market, ones that we might want. So by moving to a pipeline, Target, then suddenly, okay, they’re really big deals, you know, they’re worth spending the time on spending more time on them, and maybe just learning, the smaller ones not use up enterprise sales time. Because, you know, that’s the idea of an enterprise sales team. And that’s a tricky one where, you know, so many SaaS companies have both a product lead growth model, but then also the enterprise side. And that’s, you know, in the case of carto, free trials are a big source of enterprise opportunities for us. So, yeah, it’s working out how you navigate the two things and use sellers time most effectively.

Jan 08:54

Cool. Yeah. whilst they are like, super interesting topic, we also also discussing that a lot like how do you think, you know, if you lead, we spoke about a very educated buyer coming into maybe, maybe Cardo. And you say that the free trials are very important to you, because they can actually lead to like high education sources like, or like high value opportunities and high high win deals? How do you make sure that the buyer is sort of saying not setting themselves up for like failure, while like trying to platform for free or going for a free trial? If you experienced that, that they you know, like setting it up? And they go like, this doesn’t work, like maybe starting to look into another solution or something like that?

Florence 09:42

Yeah. Are there two ways that we do that? There’s obviously the marketing automation side of things that guides people through that trial, in terms of Okay, this is how you create your first maps and these are the datasets that might be interesting to you. And this is the typical workflow that a data scientist would have using our platform. So we let automation do quite a bit of the work. But when it’s a really strategic customer, obviously, we give that personal handholding that what people expect and want when they’re going to buy a premium product. So, particularly in the case of carto, our customers have normally have a very specific use case would be like site selection for restaurants or, yeah, marketing for our home billboards. And in that case, it’s really important that we step in and tell them how we know what those problems before, show them the templates that we have, and show them what datasets might be most useful to them. Yeah, yeah. Makes sense. Oh, I

Jan 10:37

love your bias. They are they remind me of my German heritage, they know exactly what they want, like very technical. That’s so cool. Yeah, and you get prospected a lot. And you’re VP, you were like, close to three, SDR party, what what’s the craftiest? way? You have been prospected? Or Yeah, so far.

Florence 11:02

I think that, you know, some of the events, companies do an exceptional job at times have positioned themselves not as events companies, as consultants to, you know, top enterprise brands and saying that we’re, you know, we’re looking into solutions for x company. Sometimes it’s the way that they do their messaging is quite imaginative, I think for you know, and they’re selling event sponsorships. And so I think they can be quite creative. So I always think, actually, that when you’re hiring videos, actually videos from the events world, and recruiting world can can be really, they can work really well, just because their skill sets very similar in many ways. I mean, in terms of other prospecting channels, I’ve seen some great loom videos come through the jobs, including from yourself, young. Thank you. included. And then also LinkedIn voice notes, I think, have been quite a big one, everyone’s talking about them. So probably soon, there’ll be too many LinkedIn voice notes, and it won’t be original anymore, then you’ll start to need, you know, sending a pigeon or something with a message instead. But

Jan 12:12

very personalized, and high impact one, the pigeon is on its way, speak a few weeks.

Florence 12:19

Absolutely. I think there’s a lot of people doing imaginative stuff with direct mail as well. You know, the rich desks and Sunday sides of this world seem to be doing quite well, just because, you know, during COVID, people haven’t had offline experiences. And so when something physical arrives, rather than something digital, I think that can be quite effective. But I don’t think you know, it’s not a case of Okay, I’m going to send this person some swag. It’s like, find something personalized to them, and go from there and work it out. So yeah,

Jan 12:50

yeah, I would love to have to do that as well. We’ve been looking into that. But we’re just not there yet. So we have to use the word device and the images to convince somebody to Yeah, jump on a call. That’s, that’s cool. Yeah, I would love to get some merge, you know, like, you’re like, Okay, thank you. But you also, I don’t know, you maybe feel a bit guilty as well, like, nowadays send you some thing. Now, like, I have to reply, it was so nice. I don’t know. That’s cool. Great, great tips for for everyone who wants to prospect flow, send stuff.

13:25

Sometimes write a great email can actually still do the trek. You know, when they when somebody manages to get something in that subject line that’s really top of mind for you at that point in time. And then I’m not saying like, oh, lead generation, because yeah, VP marketing thinks about. But you know, when they’ve actually researched the account and seen that, you know, our Google partnership is a big thing. And so driving leads for Google Cloud might be really important, or you know, that that works. Well.

Jan 13:54

Yeah. And then the question is, where can you? Where can you get this insights from? Because there’s probably nothing your screen go out screaming about? But yeah, super cool. Now, thanks for sharing. And big one has been discussed a lot. Next question is gated content or not? Why?

Florence 14:15

While the classic marketers debate, basic content, or no. So I think it’s important to have a mixture, we get customer stories that give a little bit of a teaser about the solution and the problem that was solved, then if they want to read the whole story, then you know, they’re probably quite a qualified lead if they want to read the whole story. And therefore, I think gating makes sense. But we put out a lot of educational content on our blog, for example, you know, that was

Jan 14:45

very nice.

Florence 14:46

That’s not gated webinars, we gates, both for people to watch them live and also on demand. But yeah, I think I’m not against gating and I I think it all depends on like, what’s the product that you’re selling? What is your is your customer looking for as to what does or doesn’t make sense to gate? Okay,

Jan 15:10

that’s a very, very interesting answer, because I had a lot of people right now they say like, I’m against gating, you know, like, put the value out. And then, you know, we’re going to try to convert them on a different ways. That’s really, really interesting. And but probably, you know, you have a very sophisticated buyer, and it’s just worked for you. I mean, you work at Carter, you know what you do? And so that’s, I was, I was a bit surprised by that answer to yours.

Florence 15:35

Yeah, you know, maybe it’s an old fashioned an old fashioned way to do it, and maybe more more automation to nurture the leads that are out there, and that perhaps haven’t come through as an mq l from something that’s gated? I mean, maybe that’s the way forward, but it’s working for us.

Jan 15:52

Yeah. Thank you. So so good. I love that. And we do do like the silo questions, you get the silo questions a lot as well. or otherwise, I have another other super interesting one. I don’t want to take too much of your time here. But can we take the considering this one? Which which question, considering that most marketing projects take sometimes to get results? How do you convince your stakeholders to to buy in? That’s a good one? That’s a good question.

Florence 16:29

That’s a good question. Because events are a really good example of that, right? So I think sometimes people think you’re like, I’m going to go to a trade show, I’m gonna lead scan 200 people, and you know, find the five of them, or 10 of them are going to turn into opportunities, and within a couple of months, and that’s how it works. But it really, really doesn’t, I mean, average sales cycle is a couple of months. But the really big enterprise deals are obviously much longer. And so I can think of deals that we’ve closed this year that somebody that we met at a trade show that we ran back in 2018. And you know, it’s been like an education process, and they’ve read a lot of our content over the years. And eventually, they realized that our location intelligence is something that they really need within their business. So I think when it comes to convincing stakeholders about different initiatives, I think you just have to benchmark see what you know, what other players in your space are doing and, and players outside of your space. Because actually, very often marketing ideas or marketing initiatives that we have, don’t come from companies in GIS and location intelligence, they come maybe from, I think, five trends, a wonderful example of a company doing really cool things, in terms of the way that they leverage, power marketing with snowflake, Google Cloud, etc. So I think just keeping an eye out showing what the industry is doing, and asking our customers about what they do, what they what they saw in their journey with us. I’m always asking, asking CSM and account executives SDRs, beyond the data that’s in Salesforce and HubSpot of where the lead came from, but like, how did they end up there? Like, was it that a friend shared that blog post with them? Or was it that they This was organic, and you know, sometimes, as much as you can capture through automation, actually asking the question to understand the customer journey is a very good way.

Jan 18:30

Exactly. Yeah. That’s, that’s great advice, like, out of your space, you know, apply the other ideas, and then sort of mingle up your your own thing, and then try it out. Very cool. And you spoke about a bit already, we touched on this question a bit. But if you would like to improve the way how you buy software, what and how would you would you change that? Mm

Florence 19:00

hmm. That’s a good one. The way I buy software, how would I improve it? We I touched on it in that I don’t want to be SDR aid, when it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes it really does make sense. But yeah, I think it’s less about when I buy software, but you can really tell the difference between a high quality customer success manager and a poor customer success manager. And, you know, some of these platforms are their outreach Gong. I mean, they’re so powerful. And it can be quite difficult on your own to realize everything that you can get out of their solutions. So if you have a really good CSM, who can show you the way they’ll do the work for you, but show you the way that is extremely important for retention for them and for us to actually get the most out of these different platforms. So if I could change the way I would just always have a really high quality CSM Which which actually because of the way on something I’ve noticed is obviously you have mid market reps or mid market CSM and then you have the enterprise ones and because we’re not huge, huge company yet, we we obviously get like a mid market CSM and I think typically, companies logically but their best ones on enterprise. But But now there’s CSM that stick in my mind has been fantastic like the one we have a jitsu is exceptional and to really make sure that we get the most out of the platform. And that’s a game changer. So I would say hire really good people in CS.

Jan 20:39

I love this is one of the core values of our CEO, he actually jumped sometimes he jumps in to know to make sure that that Yeah, and also the small ones are highly valued. So yeah, I think it makes so much sense. But it’s hard for success as well. I don’t know, I would love to hear your opinion, because you said like you can easily spot a good CS manager and a bad one or like someone that needs improvement. It’s hard to fall into like this, you know, helping stage where you just set up everything for for you flow. And instead, like you spoke about like being an anti strategic advisor, right? Like, how can I make the most out of jitsu? Maybe How can I make the most of Gong, you know, all the different tools and features that you can use there? Well, how do I I would love to dig in this question a bit more, because it’s just super puzzling. Um, so what do you mean? What’s the follow up? The good versus bad customer success manager, since it was so important to you,

Florence 21:41

proactive versus reactive, not just replying when you have an email, like Actually, I and when you put time when a good CSM asked you to put time in the diary and you’re you feel you’re going to get value out of that. I don’t like meetings for the sake of meetings with account executives or CSM post sale. need to feel like you’re going to get something out of it. Whether that’s, oh, that’s a great one, like new features. I should i don’t think i should be having to ask when something new, I’ve seen that you’re launching this new thing, tell me more. It should be like, Hey, I really think that this new part of our stack could be helpful for Cardo because I saw on LinkedIn that you’ve hired for SDRs and therefore, x could be really helpful to you. And you know, do you get it, you can use it, they can use automation to be able to do that to be honest. But very often they don’t. So that’s that’s extremely helpful when those new product releases come and they’re on it and ready to tell you about it. Yeah, I love it. Maybe I’m not I’m not a CS yet, but it’s like the the mindset of a BDR as well like a good PR, a good marketing as well. They also realize the science and then like, send a message that’s actually relevant or meaningful. We try to call it meaningfulness, too. Thank you.

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