Scott Vaughan is a marketing technology architect.
Scott Vaughan is the CMO of Integrate, a company focused on automating third-party demand generation processes. Scott came up in his career around many IT professionals and often looked up to CIOs for inspiration, so he’s a tech lover at heart. As he puts it, his current role as CMO sits at “the intersection of marketing and technology with a good dose of media.”
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Scott via Google Hangout. He shared his thoughts about marketing technology, customer experience, and my favorite topic: account-based marketing (ABM). Before we dive into his insights, here are a few fun facts about Scott:
What’s his favorite business book?
While Scott reads countless martech blogs, he prefers to read mystery novels for pleasure so that he can free his mind up to be creative.
Seth Godin’s Blog – Scott reads Seth’s posts on a daily basis because the concepts presented make him think differently, and he finds the analogies highly relatable.
Favorite accounts on Twitter?
• Scott Brinker – Scott Vaughan commented on how much work his fellow Scott has done to bring together the martech community along with raising awareness of the profession as a whole.
• Jay Baer – Jay is a New York Times Best-Selling author and helps marketers drive conversion optimization through content marketing.
If he weren’t a marketer, what would he be?
A teacher. He really enjoys watching his team learn and thrive each and every day, and he can see himself doing the same in the classroom.
Without further ado, here’s my video interview with Scott Vaughan:
Scott presented a wealth of insights during our conversation, and here are my top five:
1. The Real Role of the CMO
One of the things I really like about Scott is how matter-of-fact he is in his thought process. When I asked him what CMOs should truly be focused on, he nailed the response.
“The CMO role is really focused on understanding the customer and their lifecycle. That’s the most important thing, along with organizing communications, engagements, and all other activities [centered] around the customer.” – Scott Vaughan
One of the most fascinating shifts he has observed lately is the transition from pure focus on revenue to shining the marketing spotlight on customer experience. While you need both, Scott brought us back down to earth when he said, “Let’s be honest: the customer revenue is going to reign to the top. And if you can’t show business and customer impact, you are not going to be in this role.”
While the hype around activities like conferences and events is exciting, Scott said, “at the end of the day our metrics are driven by revenue.” It will be interesting to watch how marketers handle this balance between focusing on customer experience while still meeting revenue expectations.
[Tweet “”If you are not focused on revenue, you will not be in the #CMO role very long.” — @ScottAVaughan”]
2. Why Are B2B Marketers Still Focused on Leads?
I’m baffled that B2B marketers are still heavily lead focused because nobody closes a lead; they close accounts. It’s accounts that bring in revenue and drive the business forward. I asked Scott what he thought about this.
“We have been talking about experience and we haven’t even gotten leads right. If you organize around the customer and focus on segmenting, account-based marketing, you will be able to deliver a good personalized experience that creates the best customers.” – Scott Vaughan
3. Push Button Phenomenon
The core idea of what Scott calls the Push Button Phenomenon is simple. “It’s just so much easier to push a button,” he explained. “If you have a marketing stack, marketing automation platform, or customer data platform, it’s so much easier to say, ‘I’ll push a button to get programmatic, retargeting, search, AdWords, et cetera.’”
This theory comes from Scott’s extensive experience with selecting martech solutions and building marketing technology stacks at a wide range of companies from startup to enterprise. The ultimate goal of the Push Button Era is to get your stack and processes aligned after putting the right technology in place. The other key components to making this work are having competent people to manage the stack and using data to fine-tune the process.
I really like Scott’s thought on an omni-channel marketing strategy. “You have to go where your customers are, and you have to balance across channels.” As marketers, we have a tendency to want to be everywhere, but the reality is that we need to be where our customers want us to be.
[Tweet “”The best channel to be on is the one your customers are on.” – @ScottAVaughan #CX”]
4. Flipping The Funnel
The idea of flipping the funnel involves one core idea: starting with the best-fit potential customers and focusing on how to acquire them instead of casting a wide net and hoping that somehow those customers will make it through the funnel.
“We’ve done some many things to that damn funnel. We’ve flipped it, turned it sideways, made a journey out of it and even changed the name to customer experience funnel.” – Scott Vaughan
His words may sound a little biting, but after Scott finished throwing jabs at how marketers have become obsessed with revamping the funnel, he noted that “the concept of flipping the funnel is right on.”
It all comes down to “finding your best customers and cloning them, which is how we have traditionally developed our best personas,” said Scott. “If you have a customer who is delighted with the solution, knows how to use it, and can articulate [the value], you should go find more of those.” In other words, go after accounts that match your ideal customer profile (ICP) instead of desperately trying to generate as many leads as possible.
5. Building the Right Stack
I recently had the pleasure of having David Raab at the Terminus office here in Atlanta, and we talked about MarTech Jenga. The object of the game: assemble the most complete marketing stack before everything collapses. Similar to David Raab, Scott is very passionate about building the right stack. In our interview, he shared insights from his previous role where he had to help consolidate 24 databases and 13 different social tools into a more streamlined stack.
“In order to understand where your gaps are and take inventory of what you have, you have do what I call a blueprint. This involves an old-school Visio diagram or whiteboard session where you lay out your systems and processes, regardless of whether they are automated or manual, along with the data you are getting from them. It will allow you to see where there is either a gap or overlap and helps you prioritize.”
Scott has helped several Chief Marketing Technologists conduct this exercise recently and his team has even published a workbook that can help you do the same. “Until you take inventory and lay it out, you can’t make good decisions [about your MarTech stack],” he said.
Another value of having this blueprint is helping to weed out martech vendors. “Imagine that you go to a company holding this blueprint and ask, ‘Where do they fit in? Where they would add value, and who do they integrate with?’” said Scott. “It changes the conversation.”
Marketers also increasingly find themselves having to sell the need for marketing technology to their executive board. “Imagine that you are walking into a board meeting. You have to use something that communicates — in a very visual way — the value that each piece of technology will drive and why you should consolidate or add on a tool,” commented Scott.
I love this idea, and I think it’s something every B2B marketing team should do. You can also use an online stack grader, such as the Account-Based Marketing Stack Grader that we use here at Terminus, to accomplish something similar.
[Tweet “A #MarTech blueprint identifies gaps & overlaps in your #B2BMarketing stack. – @ScottAVaughan”]
Learn More About Marketing Technology
Scott Vaughan clearly knows his stuff, and I had a blast speaking with him about marketing technology and account-based marketing. To learn more about getting started with ABM and how technology plays an integral role, download the Beginner’s Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing now.