Jeff Perkins is a super brilliant MarTech maven who has honed his craft as the CMO at QA Symphony.
Here are a few interesting facts about Jeff before I dive into the video highlights:
- Favorite Book: Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy and Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
- Marketing Heros: Gary Vaynerchuk and Jill Rowley,
- Jeff’s Musings: singlemindedproposition.com
- Favorite MarTech Companies: Terminus and Optimizely
Quick editor’s note before pressing play: we shot this when Jeff was at a prior company, but it’s such a great video we wanted to use it for a #TBT
Here are my top five highlights from Jeff’s interview:
1) IT makes the rules. Marketers break the rules.
The biggest strain on the Marketing and IT relationship is marketers with credit cards in hand. Marketers move at breakneck speed to keep pace with the market while IT strives to preserve process and security. The problem with this approach is that they often slow down the software implementation process which frustrates marketers. A SaaS solution only takes a few moments to get up and running versus a six to 12-month procurement process as Jeff recently experienced. “Rigid CIOs who make the lives of marketers more difficult are the ones who will die off,” said Jeff.
The next generation CIO will embrace the marketing department and view it as an opportunity rather than an opposition. They will use marketing as a fertile testing ground, as PGi does, to try new technologies. Successful pilot testing in marketing can result in implementation across the entire company where everyone benefits. Alternatively, there is minimal investment and little time lost if desired results are not achieved.
2) Agile lead generation is the lifeblood of PGi.
Marketers traditionally waited for three months (or more) to discover they were driving bad leads over to sales. Sales never knew they were supposed to communicate to marketing that they needed better leads. This lack of communication resulted in a war between the two departments. A war that plays out in companies every day.
Jeff’s unique blend of responsibilities has him more involved in the sales process than the average marketer. Lead quality, or lack thereof, is the number one thing that keeps him up at night. He wants to ensure that his marketing team generates quality leads that result in closed deals. Jeff has implemented an “agile lead generation” approach to this challenge by having a single marketing team member dedicated to communicating with the sales team. This team member regularly checks in with sales regarding lead quality to ensure expectations are met. Jeff’s team can then take this valuable feedback and immediately adjust campaigns to increase effectiveness.
3) Always Be Testing.
Many companies spend money to drive traffic but don’t think about what their prospects are actually doing once they land on the site. Optimizely is a game changer for PGi because it allows them to get smart with their content strategy and website through simplified A/B tests.
“You never know what works and what doesn’t until you start testing,” said Jeff.
He found they had a large amount of video content on their site and started questioning how effective those videos were at converting people. They tested the hypothesis against a product page that didn’t have video and saw an increase of 450% in conversions on the page that had videos. When you multiply those results across 100s of pages, the results are exponential.
4) Chat Coverts Customers.
Traditional chat systems were reactive meaning that a website visitor had to click a button to initiate a chat. Jeff discovered Olark, a proactive chat, and generated $150,000 in annual contract value as a result. This tool connects with salesforce.com and gives actionable back-end analytics so Jeff’s team can optimize campaigns. He admitted that the sales team was initially skeptical, but later viewed it as a game changer after they saw people converting on the website.
5) Build Your MarTech House On a Great Foundation
Marketing automation is the foundational component to any great MarTech strategy. PGi had outgrown their previous marketing automation platform and were not getting the level of service and support they needed. Jeff set out to find a best-in-class provider and landed on Eloqua. Switching providers was not easy, as Jeff admitted. He was fortunate to have seasoned MarTech people to assist with the migration. Now that they are up and running with tons of new capabilities, they have realized that Eloqua is truly an enterprise-grade tool that provides great value.
Big thanks to Jeff for taking the time to join me and share more about his innovative approach to B2B marketing and sales. It is truly fascinating how they have built such an amazing MarTech stack and have the results show as a result. Want to meet us in person? Come see us at the CMO breakfast on May 12!.