If you’re reading this, you probably fit the Metadata audience. If we’re lucky, you might even fit our ICP. (If you don’t, we don’t hold it against you.)
Instead of just selling you on all things Metadata, we want to take this space to give an honest (if not unbiased) breakdown of when it makes sense to buy Metadata—and when it doesn’t.
We honestly believe that most demand gen teams will see a major impact by using Metadata. But, if I’ve learned anything from BANT and living in Chicago, it’s that there’s a season to everything.
We’ll spare you the pitch slap.
Why is money talk always so uncomfortable?
If you’re not spending at least $20k every month in paid social ads, Metadata might not be the right fit just yet. And, no, it’s not because we want you to spend more (our pricing isn’t based on a cut of your ad spend).
It’s for two other, semi-related reasons:
First, we know that getting truly experimental with your social ads requires a good chunk of change so that you can get statistical significance (and maybe even get a little funky with it as you try new things out).
The $20k mark isn’t arbitrary: we’ve found that our most innovative customers invest at least $50k to actually learn something (and then do something with what they’ve learned).
Based on our work with these customers, we recommend that you give every experiment at least 2x the spend of your target cost-per-Lead.
In a phrase: higher spend matched with experimentation means you can improve your messaging, your targeting, and your ad creative.
Second, and a little more simply, we don’t want you to have to pay 40%+ of your total ad spend on our platform (pricing starts at $3,950/month). We’re marketers, too. We wouldn’t spend 40% of our ad budget on a platform, and we want what’s best for you.
The Metadata price tag is well worth the outcome, but only if you have the ad spend to support experimentation.
You know how you always hear the same Ziprecruiter ad read on every podcast you listen to?
Don’t do that to your audience with your campaigns either.
Letting your ad creative and content go stale will cost you, and you won’t get the results you’re looking for out of your paid campaigns.
Whether they’re in-house, from an agency, or just a really great freelancer, you need access to copywriters and designers who can help you consistently refresh your campaigns.
Without the updates, you’ll exhaust your audience instead of educating and engaging them.
To keep your campaigns fresh, we follow a three-part testing philosophy called the 3 As:
Say you want to get as many leads as you can with a bunch of different ads (or blasting your budget at the same ad creatives).
We’re not here to tell you how to run your marketing, but we can tell you one thing: you don’t really need an ABM or demand gen platform for that approach. You can do it natively in the social ad platforms you’re using.
Here’s why we believe in quality over quantity: when a customer first starts using Metadata, often their lead volume goes down and their CPL goes up.
It freaks customers out.
But, with time, they see that better targeting with Metadata means they’re generating much higher quality leads at a lower cost-per-MQL. Even if the cost-per-Lead is a little higher. (Don’t believe me? Check out our conversation with FiveTran.)
Higher quality leads for your sales team means more conversions to pipeline and revenue.
It’s why one of our main metrics for assessing ROI with Metadata is looking at Lead-to-Opportunity and Lead-to-Customer conversion rates before and after implementing our platform.
Long story, short: if you’re jamming your funnel with garbage that doesn’t convert, wouldn’t you want to pay more if you knew these leads would actually convert to pipeline and revenue?
1:1 just isn’t our thing.
Yes, it’s highly requested. But we’ve never seen better performance from a 1:1 ad compared to a 1:few or 1:many campaign.
(Most of the channels we work with don’t support 1:1 display ads anyway, for consumer privacy reasons.)
Since 1:1 campaigns are entirely customized, you can’t truly experiment to learn what can be applied to other accounts and campaigns.
Sure, you can use 1:1 ads and see good results—but the one-off approach clashes with our core experimental philosophy.
There’s another upcoming complication: with the pending (and much reported) death of cookies, it’ll get even harder to measure the accounts you’ve personalized campaigns for. (Maybe you get impressions and clicks from 1:1 ads, but what revenue impact did that view or click have?)
Our take in more concrete terms: the ROI rarely makes sense for building content, creative, messaging, and execution on a single account unless your deal sizes are 8+ figures or your TAM is <250 accounts.
First: Metadata is not an all-in-one solution for ABM. Second: an all-in-one ABM solution doesn’t actually exist.
It’s not that we don’t believe in ABM, exactly. It’s more that we think of ABM as a marketing approach, not a marketing technology. You shouldn’t be limited by what an ABM platform can or cannot do. Every marketer has different requirements, so to think that there’s an all-in-one platform that will do everything you need it to is borderline insane.
Side note as an example: G2’s “ABM” category has a ton of subcategories for each tool, including targeting, advertising, tracking, gifting, and more.
These are some of the elements ABM platforms tackle, to varying degrees of success:
You might have already gotten the sense that we don’t think of Metadata as an ABM platform (it’s not).
Instead, we look at the Metadata platform as an operating system for B2B marketers.
Metadata sits in between, not on top of, what you have in place.
We connect your systems of record to your systems of action so you can get more use out of your existing technology and advertising channels.
Everyone (including us) wants qualified hand-raisers.
If only it were that easy.
Only about 1% of your target audience is actively looking to buy whatever you’re selling, so lighting up “Request a Demo” across all your (cold) audiences just isn’t going to work.
Whether you believe in funnels or not, you need to be willing to educate your target audience on problems they may or may not be aware of.
That stands in stark contrast to blasting them with ads about why your company or product is better than any of the alternatives in the market.
More than 50 years ago, Eugene Schwartz tackled prospect awareness in his classic book Breakthrough Advertising. He breaks awareness down into five distinct phases:
We typically use the three middle stages when we get prospects and customers up to speed with a winning approach to demand gen and account-based marketing.
Only by moving from problem to solution, and then from solution to product, can you get to the deal.
This takes time, budget, and a big investment in content. But it also means that when your audience is ready to buy, you’ve already made their shortlist.
Experimentation is usually challenging (and scary) for B2B marketers. Most avoid it.
You spend so much time fighting for new messaging, new designs, and new offers. You’re so confident it’s all going to land until it doesn’t.
It’s frustrating. It’s humbling. It sucks.
If you’re not experimenting because you’re too scared to fail, you’re looking at it the wrong way.
Experimenting with your campaigns helps prove marketing ROI and, even more importantly, prove you’re not wasting money.
It helps you quickly identify what’s working and what’s not. So you can double down on the experiments that do land and kill the ones that don’t.
By killing campaign experiments that don’t land, you get to learnings faster so you can apply them to your next campaign.
Sure, you can still use Metadata if you don’t want to experiment much with your campaigns. But you’ll 100% miss out on the most important of the platform and leave revenue on the table.