Why G2 Reviews Are More Important Than Analyst Reports

Metadata is once again in G2’s latest reports in the leader quadrant and continues to be #1 in customer satisfaction!

We recently announced Metadata’s return as a Leader in G2’s Summer 2021 Grid© Report for Account-Based Advertising, receiving the highest overall satisfaction rating among all products in the category.

This reprise is significant to restoring brand awareness in a dynamic market and capturing the voice of our customers.

Constantly optimizing products and services is a default setting for us. Using accurate insight is critical, and where better to get that from the user, their experience, and their feedback?

All eyes are on G2, and we think they have a winning approach.

That’s why we’re firm believers that customer reviews are far superior to analyst reports.

Why We Rely on G2

I received positive feedback from my recent LinkedIn post reacting to what Manny Medina from Outreach says on analyst firms.

“They spend 59 minutes telling you how your software is just a feature in someone else’s solution and then try to sell you their consulting services.”

I couldn’t agree more with Manny. Innovation isn’t coming from analyst firms.

Word of mouth has become the #1 channel in B2B marketing. Think about the modern buying process.

If you want to invest in an ABM platform, you’re not going to start hopping on demos left and right until someone sells you on their solution.

You’re going to do your due diligence and research online, see what customers have to say, and ask your friends in the B2B space if they know a good platform.

It’s for this reason why G2 is so insanely popular.

The word of a customer will always carry more weight than the word of the company itself. That’s why I believe G2 is the future of how people will purchase, with less focus on the analysts and more on direct customer feedback.

But it’s essential to get a solid understanding of how G2 works and how you can make the most out of it.

Why do we love it?

For one, G2 was conceived in a basement by five SaaS technology entrepreneurs that loved working together and loved building companies that helped entrepreneurs thrive.

We have an innovative tech marketplace where businesses find, review, and manage the technology they need for growth. G2 aims to be the trusted source to help operators make educated technology decisions.

The benefit is the third-party validation in the market — directly coming from the customer’s path to purchase.

They operate to ensure it’s a valued source of information so that buyers can make accurate comparisons between products. It’s equal access and representation, which helps to contextualize user-informed feedback.

G2 knows analysts are not vendors or users of the software they are reporting on, and their focus is on helping buyers select the best software using peer reviews from the ones who have used it – not analyst reports.

How We Rely on G2

We use G2 in so many ways at Metadata. It’s one of the things we know we can point to that has helped us tell our story and stand out to customers as an early-stage startup.

Here’s how we rely on G2 at Metadata:

  • We use G2 content in all of our marketing
    Social proof is the best kind of marketing, so we turn our best G2 reviews into quotes and testimonials. We include them throughout our website and add them to our landing pages.

    We add the latest G2 badges to our website, email signatures, and social profiles whenever the quarterly reports are released.

  • We build Metadata audiences from G2 intent data
    With G2 intent data, we can see which companies are looking at our G2 profile, competitors’ profiles, and relevant product categories.

    And with the G2 integration we announced earlier this year, we can automatically target potential buyers at these companies using Metadata campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • We use language from G2 reviews to improve our messaging
    The best product marketers use the same language their audience is using.

    We look at how our customers describe what we do and how we make their lives easier in their G2 reviews. Their language helps us stay on top of our messaging, so we know it will land with our audience.

Make the Most of It

Online reviews matter. They impact your website traffic, brand loyalty, length of your sales cycle, and ultimately – your revenue.

Any business that does not have an effective customer review strategy fails to benefit from customer feedback.

You need to have the right resources in place to generate more reviews and update your existing ones. The real value comes from analyzing each review, good or bad.

Here’s where you can start if you’re new to customer reviews on G2:

  • Keep your profiles on G2 and LinkedIn up-to-date

    G2 reserves the right to remove any reviews, comments, or other content contributed by users if their profiles are missing critical information.

  • Make “asking for reviews” a normal part of the customer success process

    Don’t assume customers, even the most loyal ones, will take the initiative to write a review. 70% of customers will leave a review when prompted, so one of the best ways to encourage customer reviews? Just ask.

  • Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews

    Find friendly and unique ways to ask customers to write reviews. You can word your ask using different open-ended questions like “Tell us about your experience.”

Our rise in the latest G2 rankings proves that listening to our customers, not analysts, was the right call for us. It helps us expand on what’s working and build a better product for our customers.

While many things influence buying behavior, few are more impactful than genuine reviews from real customers. They should be a top agenda for any company striving to remain relevant, drive revenue, and grow its reputation.

Category Creation: What I’ve Learned From Some of the Biggest Names in SaaS

I’ve had the opportunity to interview forward-thinking founders and business leaders on category creation. 

As an entrepreneur and founder of Metadata, I’m gaining invaluable insight with every recording. 

The first six months of our Category Creators podcast have helped to demystify what it means to actually be called a category creator, how to build a category, and all the missteps along the way.

With new founder friends, Friday afternoon drinks and many laughs, I’m learning as I go. 

Anytime you’re creating something that the market has never seen before, you need to define it and evangelize the category. That process will come with certain signals and triggers that you’re on the right path.

Here’s the top four lessons they all shared: 

Customers will often lead the way 

My guests have all had a resounding common theme—Great category creator companies always have their customers top of mind.

Mark Organ, creator of two new categories of marketing software as founder and CEO of Eloqua and Influitive, said it all revolves around getting close to your customer any way you can. 

The first job of the category creator is to market the category more than their own company. Often that starts with their customers being their crusaders.

Many of my guests didn’t even like the name of their category at first. They weren’t interested in acronyms. But their customers were first to call it that.

Biggest takeaway? Be more customer driven.

Don’t get too attached to a word you happen to like. It’s often your customers who determine who you are and what the category is better than you can. 

“It’s all ego issues,” said David Cancel, founder of Drift. “It’s actually very simple. Find exactly how your customers express it, find some phrases, test those phrases, and those will probably be way better than your product marketing or your CEO’s way of describing it.”

Beyond validation, our guests work with their customers to standardize metrics and define processes.

Whether organically through ongoing customer engagement, or more formally through advisory committees, categories are not created in silos. They were listening 24/7. 

Don’t focus on the analyst hurdle—be innovative!

It’s vital to take something disruptive and get the Gartner and Forresters of the world to repeat that same narrative. With disruption comes negative attention, but it’s still beneficial for an analyst firm to help the broader market digest the idea.

Dee Anna McPherson, CMO of Invoca and influencer of the Enterprise Social Networking category, recalls one analyst calling them, “the smoke that creeps under the door and chokes you–the drug dealers of the software industry”. 

How did she respond? By getting a critical mass of customers calling Gartner analysts and lobbying as their voice.

If you want an analyst to create a wave in your space, one of the biggest factors is the inbound call volume they get from their paying customers.

Knowing that, she brought attention and attracted people to test out the software first.

This started a lot of buzz around them. Analysts can’t ignore their customers.

And because they were being inundated with calls from IT people asking about this new software, it got their attention and they finally came around to embracing the new category.  

Convincing analysts why the old way of doing things is not effective anymore can be a hard task, but building a customer community who champions what you offer is an innovative strategy.

You need competition

When you’re in the throes of creating a new category, competition helps legitimize the market you’re after.

My guests knew that in order for it to be a new category, their competitors needed to embrace it. They knew that the competition validates the presence of a category. 

Your marketplace will continue to evolve as competition forces differentiation. Instead of negatively treating it as direct competition, frame it as validation of the space. But be sure to highlight the key differences in your approach.

And don’t sweat the smaller competitors. Every market is sure to have a lion, a bunch of tigers, and a few house cats. Focus on the kings of the jungle you’re trying to disrupt. 

You will have a fail moments

The wisdom from failure is irreplaceable.

We learn so much about how to replicate success but it’s equally important to learn from failures when building a business let alone creating a new category.

My guests collectively seem to feel that failure was their biggest teacher. Sure, it’s soul-crushing at first, but they learned to forgive themselves, share their story, and be vulnerable.

Listeners benefit from these stories. They can connect at a human level because failure resonates with everyone.

The wiser you become from these missteps, you see it as a strength instead of shame.

Removing limiting beliefs is something most category creators are good at. They see what’s possible with experimentation and have the right conversations with the right people.

David Cancel addressed finding the things that no one else is willing to do through a culture of experimentation. “We just had this discipline over and over again of just experimenting, experimenting, experimenting,” he said. “Don’t ever do something that someone else is doing.”

These leaders have defied the status quo in creating something that didn’t exist. Their path of most resistance paid off and there’s much to be learned from their formative experiences.

Even when they don’t realize what they’re doing, we learn how these founders go out in the wild and figure it out. Uncovering these hidden absolute truths with tools and processes is the best kind of schooling. 

Grab a drink of choice, (as will we!) and join us for our latest episode!

The future of the marketing technology landscape is autonomous

Today marks a big milestone for Metadata as we announce the closing of our $6.5m Series A.  

This marks a new stage for our company as we transition to our go-to market motion, and strive to introduce our technology and practice to the public, leveraging our early adopters as our advocates.

Companies like Drift, Pendo, Zoom and 100+ others trust the Metadata platform to execute hundreds of experiments, fine-tune their marketing mix, and produce a predictable pipeline that translates to revenue. 

It’s been a long road to reach this point, but the need for augmenting human marketers with 100x execution capability is taking off. 

We are excited to join the Resolute family, and welcome new support from York IE and Stormbreakers. I’m also proud to have entrepreneurs such as Mark Organ and Ilya Volodarsky share our vision and invest in the round. Finally – I’m humbled by our customers (UpKeep, UIPath, and SocialChorus to name a few) and employees who participated and put their trust in the company.

Over the last six months, we’ve been tracking ahead of our goals: inbound demand, demo requests and pipeline have surpassed our expectations by 2-3x. While the world changes, we are changing with it. Metadata is at the center of the digital transformation, replacing clunky legacy procedures with new, agile processes, and putting AI and experimentation at the center of operations.

In today’s world, being able to adapt to change, leverage data, and be truly experimental is key to staying ahead. This agility is written into Metadata’s DNA: it’s practiced throughout the company, and evidenced in our product and customer success. With artificial intelligence becoming more of a status quo, I am very excited about our opportunity!

The time is now

In our industry, the most dramatically changing field is audience targeting. In the last few months, the work environment drastically changed, exposing the weaknesses of traditional IP- and cookie-based targeting. Our technology was positioned better than any other to adapt to this charge. With this funding comes confirmation from the capital markets that we are doing the next big thing. 

The $6.5 million raised in this round will allow Metadata to broaden its potential as an autonomous demand-gen platform. In an industry of over 8,000 martech vendors, Metadata raised this round during a downtime, while many other vendors saw declines, wrestled with underfunding, and experienced longer cycles.  We are on a path to change the status quo, transcending the constraints of traditional demand gen and enabling autonomous marketing to become a reality. Our recent funding solidifies the notion that we are heading in the right direction, shaping an autonomous martech landscape for the future.  

When we started Metadata four years ago, we focused our efforts on our technology and customer development. Today, after perfecting product-market fit and bringing in exceptional talent, our demand has sky-rocketed and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. Because of this accelerated momentum from customer demand, we are able to fuel our go-to-market motion and to establish category leadership.

Metadata is synonymous with demand gen. We aren’t just another marketing technology. We’re disrupting the traditional ABM space and redefining how to look at marketing in a customer-centric way. We’re removing human error from the equation and replacing it with AI automation that matches the scale needed in today’s marketing technology. 

B2B Marketer Obstacles and Why ABM Isn’t Working Optimally

Technology is only as good as its user. The move to automate is more than a way of removing some of the tedium from marketing–its bigger goal is to improve reliability. We have found that human error is often the biggest barrier to scalability and optimization. If you can eliminate the mundane tasks most vulnerable to mistakes, you can free up time for the marketer to focus on what they do best— strategic and creative tasks.

Our value prop is to replace the monotonous parts of ABM, and transform B2B marketing through AI and automation. Instead of manual inputs primarily operating sales and marketing technologies, AI and experimentation are driving the car, increasing the accuracy and versatility of performance.

Metadata doesn’t compete with the other marketing technologies; we enhance their operations and maximize their utilization. Too many companies invest in middleware that takes advantage of their martech stacks but ultimately adds little value. Metadata generates an ROI on every previous investment. 

How To Transform ABM As We Know It 

Since Metadata’s inception, we have strived to disrupt the marketing space. We injected experimentation software into account-based marketing, long before marketers ever realized how essential experimentation might be. In the first two years of existence, we chose the ABM marketing archetype as the first use case. Our goal is to apply this technology not just to ABM, but to brand awareness, sales acceleration, general demand generation, and other sectors of the marketing ecosystem. 

Meanwhile, the ABM category is consolidating. We saw this with the Demandbase Engagio acquisition. We should anticipate more acquisitions in the space, as more incumbents look to become an “all in one” unified platform and absorb smaller, differentiated competitors. While ABM consolidates into fewer players, new categories will arise. The intersection of AI, Data, and RPA (e.g. UiPath & Automation Anywhere) creates a perfect environment for autonomous marketing technologies: platforms can operate many of today’s mundane and repetitive marketing tasks at a speed, scale, and accuracy that humans simply can’t.

To the Future 

This latest investment is a vote of confidence that people beyond marketers believe in Metadata. It’s a validation of the path that Metadata is setting. Their demand is the real proof–the increase in customers in the last three months speaks most strongly to their belief in what we do. We’re crossing the chasm, from visionaries and early adopters to pragmatists. 

The future of the marketing technology landscape is autonomous at its very core. It will become the status quo to implement Metadata as the execution layer to connect the marketing stack. It is the marketer that’s needed for the future.

metadata.io Named Leader in G2 Account-Based Advertising Software for Summer 2020 Report

Highest Satisfaction Scores for Overall Customer, Features, Integrations and Campaign Planning

San Francisco, CA, Sept. 2, 2020 — metadata.io, the autonomous demand generation company, today announced it was named in the top leadership position in the G2 Summer 2020 Grid® Report for Account-Based Advertising Software.

This continues the recent accolades for the company, moving up since last year’s report and being named in several Summer 2020 reports as a leader or high performer. The top score is sourced from actual customer feedback and includes: estimated ROI, meets requirements, user adoption and likelihood to recommend.

Metadata was named a Leader based on receiving a high customer Satisfaction score and having a large Market Presence. metadata.io received the highest Satisfaction score among products in Account-Based Advertising. 99% of users rated it 4 or 5 stars, 99% of users believe it is headed in the right direction, and users said they would be likely to recommend metadata.io at a rate of 93%. Additionally, Metadata customers noted that they achieved positive ROI within just seven months compared to 12 – 31 months from competing platforms and the industry average of 16 months. Metadata is also in the Marketing Account Intelligence, Account-Based Analytics, and Account-Based Orchestration Platforms categories.

“Our customers are using Metadata to drive change in the industry, embracing autonomous software technologies to improve the way they execute their demand generation and ABM programs and leveraging technology to pinpoint audiences that are most likely to buy through scaled experimentation,“ Jason Widup, VP Marketing, Metadata. “We value our relationships with our customers and are honored to see this leadership spot from G2 for the Summer 2020 report and high scores for Metadata across repeated G2 reviews. We look forward to continuing to help our customers achieve faster ROI and leverage Metadata to efficiently scale their demand generation efforts.”

Metadata’s autonomous demand generation software is a massive advantage for marketing teams as it sets the entire martech stack on autopilot by connecting existing tools and putting them to work. Metadata’s rapidly growing customer base continues to praise the technology for helping achieve B2B marketing results beyond the scale and scope they previously thought possible.

G2 Crowd’s Grid is based on real, unbiased user reviews and rates platforms algorithmically from product reviews shared by G2 Crowd users and data aggregated from online sources and social networks. The G2 Crowd ranking takes into account several factors buyers should consider including product attributes, vendor market presence, customer satisfaction, G2 Net Promoter Score® and the quality and age of reviews. Vendors in both reports are ranked by customer satisfaction and market presence. A few headlines from customer reviews include:

  • “Paid Social Experimentation and Pipeline Effectiveness on Autopilot”
  • “For anyone evaluating ABM platforms – Metadata needs to be on your shortlist”
  • “Great value add for DG teams looking to scale”
  • “metadata.io Perfects ABM Audiences by Adding Faces and Names to Them”
  • “Stopped leaking wasted marketing spend”
  • “Metadata is a no brainer for B2B and ABM marketers!”

“Marketers are under constant pressure to show ROI, automate processes with marketing software, and deliver results of campaigns,” said Kara Kennedy, Director of Market Research, G2. “In G2’s Summer 2020 Grid® Report for Account-Based Advertising, Metadata received an overall high customer satisfaction score. Reviewers gave the product high marks for features related to integrations, testing, and digital advertising. Metadata also provided the fastest time to ROI of any product in the report.”

About Metadata

Metadata is an autonomous demand generation platform that automates the most critical but often tedious tasks in marketing to help companies efficiently scale their demand generation efforts. Through machine learning, a proprietary corporate-to-personal identity graph, and automatic optimization to revenue KPIs, Metadata’s platform generates demand from target accounts and converts them to customers much faster than legacy methods. Innovative B2B marketers at Zoom, Pendo, Udacity and Vonage rely on Metadata to create harmony between marketing and sales, lower costs and save time, and ensure marketing drives revenue. Drive outcomes today at https://metadata.io/ .

metadata.io Ranks 233 on Inc. 5000 List

Named in top 250 of the 2020 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America Annual List, Reporting an impressive growth rate of 1869.18% revenue growth over three years

San Francisco, CA,  Aug. 12, 2020 — metadata.io, the autonomous demand generation company, today announced that Inc. Magazine revealed the company’s ranking as No. 233 on its 39th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. 

With three-year revenue Increase of 1869.18%, this is the first year that company has made the Inc. 5000 list and will be featured in the September issue of Inc.

The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. This achievement puts Metadata among an elite group which has included companies such as Microsoft, Vizio, Intuit, Oracle and many other well-known names that gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000. 

“This is an incredible testament to our innovation and efforts to transform marketing and ABM as we know it,” said Gil Allouche, CEO of Metadata. “CMOs today are under constant pressure to create pipeline at scale and show the insights and impact on revenue and ROI of each program. We are listening to our customers and passionate about offering an autonomous demand generation platform that consistently and reliably delivers marketing KPIs with minimum time and effort. Our rapid growth and this prestigious acknowledgment are validation that our continued work will disrupt the status quo as marketers know it.”

Metadata’s autonomous demand generation software is a huge advantage for marketing teams as it sets the entire martech stack on autopilot by connecting existing tools and putting them to work. With Metadata, B2B marketers can take the guesswork out of their demand generation campaigns by getting the right content in front of the right people and building a predictable flow of MQLs and pipeline. Experimental marketers from companies like Zoom, Pendo, Udacity and Vonage have experienced as much as a 4.5X ROI in as little as 90 days using Metadata. Metadata’s rapidly growing customer base continues to praise the technology for helping achieve B2B marketing results beyond the scale and scope they previously thought possible. On average, Metadata customers achieved positive ROI within just seven months compared to 17 months from competing platforms.

Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.  

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000. The top 500 companies are also being featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 12.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held virtually from October 23 to 27, 2020. As always, speakers will include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

About Metadata

Metadata is an autonomous demand generation platform that automates the most critical but often tedious tasks in marketing to help companies efficiently scale their demand generation efforts. Through machine learning, a proprietary corporate-to-personal identity graph, and automatic optimization to revenue KPIs, Metadata’s platform generates demand from target accounts and converts them to customers much faster than legacy methods. Innovative B2B marketers at Zoom, Pendo, Udacity and Vonage rely on Metadata to create harmony between marketing and sales, lower costs and save time, and ensure marketing drives revenue. Drive outcomes today at https://metadata.io/ 

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000

Methodology

The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

For more information on the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/

Demandbase + Engagio: ABM Consolidation is Here

The ABM category is consolidating.

Today, Demandbase announced that it’s acquiring Engagio, and it comes as no surprise. As the default leader in ABM, Demandbase looks to innovate and unify its platform, and Engagio is a piece of that puzzle, providing that account-level view that makes Engagio unique.

The recent addition of a seasoned SVP of engineering from Oracle (shout out to Supreet) puts them at “Toyota” status: reliable, popular, and legacy technology.

We should expect more acquisitions in the space, as more incumbents look to become an “all in one” unified platform and roll-up others onto it. See Terminus’ (Ramble, Sigstr) and I expect IVP/6Sense to be active as well.

As new technologies will emerge, some from B2C tech – the need for a central command and control station grows and becomes more vital.

Twelve years ago, Demandbase disrupted the marketing space with a new way for an old paradigm. The goal was to denounce the old way of “lead generation” and look at accounts as “markets of 1”. Solid idea, but with an OK execution – as many problems started to appear.

The primary problem has been the human element – a technology is only as good as its user. You can give the best technology, data, content and creative to a mediocre marketer, and you will get mediocre results. This problem still exists and is the main limitation of account-based marketing as it stands.

The secondary problem is data – ML is only as good as the data behind it. Dozens of data providers with different taxonomies, regions covered and unique attributes made it impossible for the average user to make sense of it all. Thankfully, Zoominfo is leading the charge to become the master database of the B2B targeting landscape.

While ABM consolidates into fewer players, new categories arise. The intersection of AI, Data and RPA (e.g. UiPath & Automation Anywhere) creates a perfect environment for autonomous marketing technologies: platforms that can operate many of today’s mundane and repetitive marketing tasks at a speed and scale that humans simply can’t.

Autonomous execution is the new wave of automation. Instead of relying on the human element as the primary operator of the sales and marketing technologies – AI and experimentation are driving the car, increasing the accuracy and versatility of execution, and freeing up time for the marketer to focus strategic and creative tasks.

It’s the difference between Toyota and Tesla. The future of the marketing technology landscape is autonomous at its very core.

Learn more about Metadata and its place within ABM.

Triggered or Influenced By Marketing?

 

This is a true story. The last 2 CMOs I’ve worked for have both had a strong opinion that they do NOT want to “do attribution”. And I don’t blame them! I think a lot of CMOs are in this camp and many have been burned by trying and failing to get attribution right. You can spend months or even years, and a lot of money, only to realize that your fancy attribution model is about 1.3% different from “last touch”.


However, the very next thing these CMOs ask me after saying they don’t want to do attribution is, “but, can you tell me which marketing activities are working and which are not”? Oh no, this is where we get stuck! My very next statement is, “you know, simply by asking me that question means we have to agree on some type of attribution!” By simply labeling any marketing KPI with a channel or campaign, it means we are going to “do attribution”.


These days, there is an expectation that some type of attribution will be available. Even if it’s just first touch and last touch, in order to associate anything we do in marketing to specific KPIs means we’re attributing.

LET’S ABSTRACT THIS A BIT

What even is attribution? From its purest definition, attribution is measuring points in time that caused a change or outcome. It’s our desire to attribute a given outcome to the thing, or set of things, that created that outcome, positive OR negative – because we can learn from both types of outcomes.


Real-world examples exist all over the place. Someone getting sober. An airplane crash. Getting a new job. In each of these outcomes, there would be a series of conditions and activities that led to it, not one single thing.


When we translate this to marketing attribution, we can quickly see why most of our traditional models won’t work. It’s not that one, single activity got someone sober, just like it’s not one single marketing experience that drove someone to purchase.

HOW CRAZY SCIENTIFIC DO I NEED TO GET?

We all know about first touch, last touch, and linear attribution. Some of us may have gotten fancier with a U-shaped or W-shaped model. And some of you unicorns have probably even taken this to fractional-credit attribution and know that Paid Search got 4.35% credit for a given deal!

 

 

The way I like to think about these is that you wouldn’t necessarily rely on one of these – you would look at several of these to best understand which activities/channels/content are performing which functions with your prospects. For example, if I want to understand which activities are “opening the door”, I’d look at a first-touch model or one that gives more credit to early touches. If I want to understand which activities are “sealing the deal”, I’ll look at a last-touch model.


And when you look at multiple models, you start to get an understanding of how your activities are impacting parts of the prospect’s experience.

BEST MIX OF SOPHISTICATION AND SIMPLICITY

At Metadata, we pride ourselves on doing smart things – and often times the smartest things are the simplest. What’s really important to understand when it comes to marketing performance? Money in, money out, triggered deals and influenced deals.

 

 

To be a triggered deal, the very first lead from an account has to be delivered by a marketing program. That lead has to be created prior to any opportunity creation date for the account. And that lead has to be a primary contact on that opportunity. If all of those conditions are met, that is a marketing-triggered deal.


To be an influenced deal, there has to be marketing activity trackable to any lead that is associated with an account that has a closed deal. Of course, only marketing activities up to the closed/won date are attributed.


And by digging into this data a bit more, you can understand the specific marketing activities that are bringing net new deals to the table, vs. the activities that are helping to move deals through the funnel. Also important to understand that a deal can be triggered AND influenced. If the conditions of triggering are met, there is also going to be other activities that happen that influence the same deal.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

First, you have to set proper expectations, and in lots of areas. First, on timing – it’s hard to predict how long this will take. Most of it depends on the quality of your historical data. If you have to make changes to how you capture and store data, you’re going to need time to build up enough of that data to model against.


Also set expectations in terms of what types of outcomes your stakeholders should expect. For example, when you’re done, is this going to tell them exactly how to spend their budgets across all the various channels and campaigns? Nope – not even close. However, if you don’t set that expectation, your stakeholders will.


Start small – if you try to do a sophisticated fractional model before getting perfect with a basic model first, you will likely fail. It’s critical to get the basic ones correct first > that will give you the comfort that your data collection is ok and that your team can manage it.
Finally, for most of us, it’s important to remember that these are all still very human interactions that we’re trying to model out. And humans do odd things that don’t always fit models.

metadata.io DOES THIS ALL FOR YOU

Why waste so much time building a model to tell you what happened in the past when you can leverage a platform like metadata.io that will use this data in real-time and optimize your campaigns to the best mix of triggered and influenced deals.
If you want to show your CMO real marketing impact KPIs, schedule a demo and we can help.

ABM Best Practices: Named Account Marketing

Sometimes it feels like your lead generation efforts amount to throwing money out the window.

   

If your sales and marketing teams are spending time and money to bring potential customers into the funnel, but your hit rate is single-digit, then it’s time to think about using Named Account Marketing.

What is a Named Account in ABM?  

The term ‘named account’ might have come up during your latest brainstorming session about a strategy for lead generation. And no, it’s not those off-color nicknames you might have for your more challenging prospects.

 

A named account is one that has been identified as a valuable potential customer, based on predefined metrics, such as sales revenue, location, ‘fit’ with your industry, strategy and current customer base, existing relationships and current needs (on both sides of the table).

 

Responsibility for calling on this prospective company – and all relevant decision makers from the CEO to the purchasing manager — is then assigned to a specific sales and marketing team.

 

At metadata.io, we call these opportunities ‘target accounts.’  We’ve outlined our approach for identifying buyer intent and developing persona insights in earlier posts. Our guidelines help you dig deeper than basic metrics to more precisely define your target or ‘named’ accounts.   

 

Benefits of a Named Account Strategy

 

In a B2B world, decisions are rarely made by a single individual. According to the Harvard Business Review, “the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today, and these stakeholders come from a lengthening roster of roles, functions, and geographies.”

 

A Named Account strategy improves the efficiency of your selling efforts. Here’s how:

  • Assigning responsibilities prevents duplicated efforts by your sales team,  

  • The customer will have a single point of contact for streamlined communication.

 

The decision to move to a Named Account selling strategy can exist outside of Account Based Marketing.

 

But simply identifying potential customers to call on without a supporting marketing plan is like buying all the ingredients for a great meal, leaving them on the kitchen counter and hoping the meal appears.

 

Named Account Marketing acts as the ‘chef’ bringing together the right combination of ingredients to deliver a compelling, ‘tasty’ and personalized message for potential customers to savor, so much so that they return to the buffet for more.

     

 

Tailoring your informational menu to specific accounts can be completed manually, but data-driven approaches are more likely to improve your team’s efficiency as they develop targeted materials and strategies.

 

To get the most out of your named account marketing efforts, focus on these ideas:

  • Remember your customers are people – not leads. Although targeting activities may be data-driven, you’re still dealing with 3D, real human beings who, for the most part, are trying to do their best every day to fulfill their responsibilities. Listening to and establishing connections with customers – beyond the products and services you are selling – can start with simple actions like asking about their challenges or gathering reactions to issues affecting their business. Just as the chef chats with his customers prior to serving them food, your marketing efforts should include conversation, not a one-way monologue.

  • Be there for your customers when they need your help. The earlier conversation helps build trust and provides you with insight into current needs. With that context, you can develop and deliver content to make life a little easier for your customers, adapting information to reflect specific roles. As needs change, so can your content. Timely, relevant information deepens the relationship with the customer and enhances your team’s credibility and value.

  • Communicate in the customers’ language. The chef doesn’t tell you about the emulsified egg yolk, melted butter, water and vinegar reduction. He tells you about Hollandaise sauce, or better yet, he shows you the mouth-watering sauce and you’re nodding and saying, ‘yes, please’ to another spoonful.

Conversational, engaging, funny content makes you approachable and relatable. Even though we think the metadata approach demonstrates out-of-the-box thinking that will create a paradigm shift and leverage big data to generate high ROI, we try not to mention it.

  • Have a robust menu of content. While you can’t address all the styles of learning with online content, you can develop a menu of informative resources to meet the varied needs (and data appetites) of your audiences.

  • Infographics provide quick visual summaries of complex information.

  • Videos add a dimension of sound to images and have a range of uses, from product demonstrations to expert interviews, customer testimonials and personalized messages.

  • Webinars can facilitate social interaction and group learning.

  • Landing pages can also encourage interaction while delivering specific information in a variety of formats.

  • Case studies can act as a surrogate for ‘hands-on’ experience, since they illustrate through words and visuals how your solution helps address customer problems.

  • Whitepapers offer logical, fact-based and detailed explanations to download and read in a solitary and as-needed setting.

  • Determine the best methods for reaching your customers. At metadata.io, we know that getting the right message delivered through the right channel will make your marketing efforts more effective. We can quickly and easily evaluate your content menu across several online channels using multivariate testing to help you find the best combination for your customers.

  • Refine your ‘menu’ and communication approach over time. As conditions and customers change and evolve, you’ll need to tweak your named account marketing efforts. Even the chef adds a bit more salt (or butter!) to the Hollandaise sauce occasionally to improve customer satisfaction.

How Named Account Marketing Works for You

 

Named Account marketing facilitates conversations, fosters trust and builds relationships. It allows you to walk with customers in their environment, at their pace, and demonstrate how your company can help address the problems they’re facing.

 

When done right, Named Account marketing will lead the customer to turn to you and say, “Thanks, now, let’s draw up that contract and I’ll get you a purchase order.”

 

And the best news? You don’t have to go to the Culinary Institute (of Marketing) to provide a satisfying marketing program to your Named Account. We’re here to help.

Unlocking B2B Account-Based Marketing on Facebook

Facebook’s B2B Problem

Marketers have to decide where they want to spend their budget, and that’s a big question when you have so many channels and sources to choose from: Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter, and Facebook just to name a few. For B2B marketers, the decision will usually come down to where their best prospects are likely to be and where they can target their dollars effectively. Linkedin and Google usually float to the top, which are two of the primary channels for B2B marketing. But what about tapping into Facebook’s huge audience?


When targeting for B2B, LinkedIn and Google have always been more popular and effective than Facebook, because of their more specific business targeting capabilities. For example, in LinkedIn you can target by your prospect’s title, department, industry, company size, location, etc. In Google PPC, you can bid on terms that you know your prospects will be searching for. And in Google Display, you can target based on things like search buying intent, retargeting, and some business attributes. Sure, you can do some of this in Facebook; however, most users aren’t adding that information to their profile.


Marketers are generating a lot of interest and demand by advertising their products on Facebook because of how easy it is to get people to convert from newsfeed and lead gen forms, but B2B marketers are being left behind. This is because the vast majority of Facebook revenue comes from B2C marketers, which is who Facebook tailored their product to. Because the native targeting tools are limited, it only leaves B2B markers with one viable option, which is having to manually upload their own custom audience into Facebook. The problem with this is that most B2B marketers have a database filled with business email addresses, while most people signed up with Facebook using personal emails, resulting in a match rate under 5%. This leaves you left with 3 bad options on the table; you can over-advertise to people who don’t care, you can reach only 5% of the people you want to target, or you can ignore the channel completely. None of those are going to help you hit your revenue or MQLs goals.

Solving B2B on Facebook

metadata.io can unlock ABM on Facebook for you by bringing B2B targeting to the channel. With our platform, you can now target on Facebook by title, industry, company size, company name, contact, seniority, department, location, and the tools in their tech stack. If an account shows intent for your product, metadata.io will find the correct contacts and translate that audience into personal email addresses, business email addresses, mobile device IDs, cookies, and IP addresses. metadata.io will use these pieces of information to identify and match the correct contacts on Facebook, with an average 40% match rate, resulting on average in a 10x increase in reachable audience (which we believe is the highest possible today in a B2B setting), without sacrificing quality.


Once the platform has identified your target prospects, we run dozens to thousands of multivariate tests, operational tasks, and paid digital campaign optimizations in real time to ensure marketing investments provide positive ROI and desired results. metadata.io is the future of B2B marketing.

 

About metadata.io

 

 

metadata.io is a B2B ABM orchestration platform that uses AI to optimize campaigns to outcomes that CMOs care about, at unbelievable scale. Metadata’s patented AI operator leverages your existing technologies to identify your ideal cusomer profile, build lookalike and named-account custom audiences, then automatically deploy campaigns at scale to deliver a predictable, qualified inbound lead flow. Customers like Nutanix, Splunk, Zoom, G2, and Zendesk trust Metadata as their ABM technology partner.


Want to learn more about how we can help you target and reach your business audience more effectively on Facebook?
Contact us today

 

Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

Metadata recently won a Timmy Award for Best Tech Workplace for Diversity, and it motivated me to write a post that’s slightly adjacent to my normal topics of B2B MarTech and ABM automation. This award recognizes a technology company that treats diversity as a necessary ingredient for creativity and success. I wanted to talk a bit about why workplace diversity is so important to me and to our company, and how it ultimately benefits our customers.

I participated once in a team-building activity that really highlighted the importance of diversity to everyone participating in just the hour it took to do the exercise. When we came to the event for the day, we all had assigned seats – about 5-6 to a table, with about 10 tables filled. The point of the exercise was to build an exact replica of a relatively simple man figure made from Legos.

The example Lego figure was behind a curtain and only one person from each table could inspect it at a time. You couldn’t take notes or draw anything while looking at it. When you got back to your table, someone else could go look, and you could discuss, write things down, plan. We did this for up to 30mins, then when we thought we were ready to build it, we were timed at how long it took us. One more thing, before beginning, the group leader predicted which table would win – and put that in a sealed envelope before we started.

Table times were incredibly varied, from a low of 1m 40sec to a high of over 15min! The surprising thing was that the closest team to the 1m 40sec team was over 6min long! When we were all finished, the group leader showed us his prediction, and sure enough, he predicted the 1m 40sec table. How did he do that?

A week before the exercise, everyone had taken an Insights personality test. The tables were arranged by people’s Insights colors (red, yellow, blue, green). The winning table had the most diverse team using these Insights categories. Every other table was made up of people from the same Insights category. This was the clearest, fastest example of the importance of diversity in the workplace I’d ever had and it made a lasting impact on me.

There are so many reasons why diversity produces better results. Some of my top include:

  • Multiple perspectives are critical. It’s just as important to hear the perspective of the person who has the least experience as it is to hear the perspective of the person who has already done this 4-5x. Both are important to achieving a better result.
  • Employees and customers feel more at home. Metadata is represented by so many countries, cultures, characters, and mixed ages and genders. There’s no single cohort to feel outside of.
  • Diversity fixes bugs – in products and processes.All types of problems, from code issues to HR challenges, are simply better resolved in a diverse environment. When you have too many people who think alike, you get the same result over and over. That’s not what we’re after.

And from a personal standpoint, it’s incredibly important to me to give opportunities to those who may be traditionally left on the sidelines, make less money, has less of a voice, grows up in poverty, may be considered too old or too young. In my experience, these are the people that work the hardest and almost always have a positive impact on culture.

What do you think? How has diversity impacted you, your career or company?