We Talked To 10 Of The Best Marketers At SaaStr Annual 2016 About The Future Of Marketing

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In just two years, SaaStr Annual has grown to be the biggest and most influential meet-up for SaaS marketers around the world — so we wanted to sit down with the best of the best — from growth marketing leaders to sales leaders — while we were out in San Francisco to learn more about what they are focused on in 2016 and get a glimpse at the future of SaaS marketing.

10 Of The Best Marketers At SaaStr Annual

We picked out a few highlights from our conversations in the post below, and you can listen to each interview by clicking on the time stamp next to each marketer’s name.

Who’s Job Is Growth At Your Company?

This was the one answer that every marketer could agree: growth is everyone’s job.

Tweet about this: growth is everyone’s job.

What Keeps You Up At Night As A SaaS Marketer?

“I worry sometimes that Marketers don’t really understand “why” we’re doing certain things. We get lost in the minutia and overconsumed with “the tools” that we lose track of why were spending energy on a particular project at all. The core ethos of product marketing needs to be product-centric and focused on solving market problems. Are we taking the time to figure out how our messaging is accomplishing this? Or are we just firing one more blog post into a cacophonous echo-chamber?”

– Sean Zinsmeister, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Infer

“Innovation. Keeping on top of the trends. Making sure that when a true competitor comes, that we are leaps and bounds ahead of them. The network effect that there is today is so valuable, and first to market really gets you there. As a marketer, the thing that keeps me up at night is losing our creative edge.”

– Julie Persofsky, VP of Customer Strategy, Influitive

What’s One Trend You Like In SaaS Right Now And One Trend You Don’t Like?

“People are getting a lot more targeted in their sales and marketing efforts. There’s a lot less of the spray and pray method — and they have to be focused, given all of the noise out there. But something that I don’t like is that everyone thinks that they have a product that has no competition.”

– Brad Rosen, Director of Sales, Marketing Products, G2 Crowd.

“I’m a little worried that we’re getting too fixated on outbound. We’ve had a lot of success with inbound marketing. It’s hard. Hiring the right people is hard. Creating great content is hard. But it’s a very long term play and it’s incredibly important.”

– Tristan Handy, VP of Marketing, RJMetrics

“Content marketing in general I love and hate. (When it’s) done correctly, it endears your users to you and you provide value. When you can make them better at their job before they even buy anything, then you’ve done right by them and you’ve contributed to a positive ecosystem for their role. Our philosophy at Entelo is that we want you to be better at your job if you’ve run into us, even if you never end up buying from us. But when you don’t do it well, it just looks desperate and half hearted and it’s just not going to work.”

– Rob Stevenson, Digital Marketing Manager, Entelo

How Do You Market To Your Existing Customer Base?

“Customer success is a really big buzzword right now, but I think that you can’t get close enough to your customers. Dharmesh (Shah) yesterday said that there’s a difference between a customer that has high usage and a happy customer, and the closer that you get to your customers, the more you’ll know.”

– Drew Beechler, Marketing Analyst, High Alpha

“Upsells are a very important metric. We just came off a 5x increase in existing customer spend this past quarter. Much of this growth was driven by adoption of the new Infer Prospect Management Platform, launched in November 2015. This metric is dear to us because in addition to net-new ARR, it demonstrates a strong adoption of our products which is healthy for the overall macro-level growth of our market. The other important currency for us is customer success stories. Predictive technology is still very new to the market, and it’s important that we demonstrate continued success with every deployment. This helps build credibility for not only our brand but helps to drive overall market interest and adoption in our space.”

– Sean Zinsmeister, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Infer

“We have multiple product offerings and part of that is how do you — in a strategic way — relaunch products to customers through webinars, testimonials, case studies, and how do you nurture that customer base and segment that customer base to find products that are suitable for them with targeted messaging.”

– Sarah-Beth Anders, Director of Product Marketing, Greenhouse

“We’re very much a part of the land and expand model. As a far as customer growth, we’re tracking tons of actions that are happening across our platform, and we trying to get an understanding of how people are using it so we can either automate the process for the longtail, or dig in on some of the bigger accounts to understand where they are getting value and see how we can provide more.”

– Sam Laber, Director of Marketing, Datanyze

“We’re seeing a big portion of revenue coming from existing customers. We have a stellar customer success team and we just started working on post-sale, customer success manager enablement. So now we’re applying similar tactics and methodolgies that we’re using pre-sale on the sales enablement side, so we’re using HubSpot in conjunction with Salesforce with automated workflows to increase the efficiency of the team and to set up those touches so over time we can engage with our customers and build value. You need to build value for your customers prior to asking for something.”

 Lena Shaw, Director of Marketing and Growth, LeadGenius

 

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