How a Small Team Measures and Scales 300 ABM Campaigns with Isaac Ware from UserGems

April 19, 2023

Demand Gen Chat is back in 2023 with a brand new season!

In the first episode of Season 4, Tara Robertson chats with Isaac Ware, the Director of Demand Generation at UserGems.

Issac shares his experience running account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns with a small team and their ability to run 300 one-to-one ABM campaigns per month!

Isaac also discusses the challenges of attributing success to a specific team in ABM programs, especially when using paid media to measure success. He suggests tracking which ABX accounts are turning into revenue. He also shares how his team heavily aligns marketing, ADR, and sales to make the most of their ABM program, and walks through how they personalize ads to each account, while tracking job changes to target the right people at the right time with their ABM ads.

The Challenge of Attribution in ABM Programs

Attribution is a major challenge when it comes to measuring the success of account-based marketing (ABM) programs.

Often, it's difficult to attribute success to a specific team, whether it's sales or campaigns.

In addition, using paid media to measure success through demo requests can lead to misleading results.

But by delving deeper into what's happening behind the scenes, one can see the true success of ABM campaigns.

For example, the CEO of a target account may tell the VP of marketing to meet with the company's Demand Gen person about their ABM program, which may lead to an introduction to a CRO or VP of sales.

Therefore, it's important to not rely solely on attribution when measuring the success of ABM programs.

A Better Way to Measure ABM Success

According to Isaac Ware, his team at UserGems uses their own tool to measure the success of their ABM campaigns.

Ware explains that traditional attribution is not a good measure of success in ABM campaigns and that revenue is the best way to gauge success.

He also emphasized the importance of collecting screenshots and recognition from prospects to help build a customer journey outline.

Ware also suggests looking at which ABX accounts turn into revenue as a metric for success.

How UserGems Runs an ABM Program

Finally, Isaac and Tara discussed the account-based marketing ABX program that Issac is running at UserGems and how they execute it.

They track how many of the accounts they spend on turn into opportunities and how many of those that have been ABX in the past 90 days have turned into revenue.

They use their own tool, UserGems, on the ABM/ABX side and align marketing, ADR, and sales heavily with their ABM program.

They also customize ads with logos and language and track job changers for those ABM ads.

Wrap up

ABM programs are a powerful tool for B2B marketing, but measuring success remains a challenge.

While attribution is important, it should not be used as the only gauge for spend.

Instead, it is important to look deeper into what is happening behind the scenes to understand the true impact of ABM.

By tracking revenue and understanding the journey of prospects, marketers can gain a better understanding of the true success of their ABM programs.


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Full Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Tara Robertson: Welcome back to a brand new season of Demand Gen Chat. A lot has changed in B2B marketing since our last season in 2022. We went from gross at all costs to do more with less, to never wanting to hear the phrase do more with less again ever again, ever again. While I'll try not to say that phrase 10 times for episode, I will be sharing the secrets to how, what the most successful B2B marketers are reaching their growth targets even in 2023.

[00:00:23] Tara Robertson: I'll be joined by some of the smartest people I know in marketing who will share the secrets of what make their marketing team successful, along with the tools, tactics, and channels that other marketers should test out for themselves. Let's get started. Welcome to a new episode of Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host, Tara Robertson, head of Demand Gen at Chili Piper.

[00:00:42] Tara Robertson: In this episode, I'm joined by Isaac Ware, Director of Demand gen at UserGems. UserGems actually came onto my radar last season when it came up a couple times as an under the radar tool that's been growing really quickly. So I was excited to chat with Isaac about what they've been doing on the marketing side to grow with a lean team and how they use UserGems' data internally to power some of their marketing campaigns. He also gave us a sneak peek at how they measure their 300 one-to-one ABM campaigns. Hope you enjoy my conversation with Isaac. Isaac, so happy you could join me today. Thanks for coming on Demand Den Chat.

[00:01:14] Isaac Ware: Yeah, absolutely. It's, uh, it's, it's great to be on, always listening to them, so it's, it's fun to be on it.

[00:01:20] Isaac Ware: Yeah. Glad 

[00:01:20] Tara Robertson: we can make the time. So I'd love to start with, um, a marketing hot take of yours. Just get right into it and see if we are on the same page about that.

[00:01:29] Isaac Ware: Yeah, definitely. Uh, this one, this, these, I think hot takes and marketing are always interesting because there's, they're, they're hot takes for some, but also I feel like a lot of the hot takes have just kind of devolved into something everybody agrees with, and everybody's just kind, kind of jaded around a lot of topics.

[00:01:43] Isaac Ware: So always a tough one. But I think one of the ones that I've been hearing most often that I also am experiencing, um, is just around ABM attribution. Um, my belief is that ABM programs will always look really bad in terms of attribution. Um, and one of the problems I see with it a lot of the time is people are basing ABM spend or their programs or how they're testing things based off of the wrong attribution.

[00:02:09] Isaac Ware: They're trying to attribute it to a specific team, whether it's sales or campaign team, or especially if you're using paid media for these ABM programs like LinkedIn and you're trying to actually use demo requests as a metric for success on ABM programs, most of the time the campaigns will look terrible. So I, I would say a lot of the time attribution is always a hot topic, but attribution around ABM should never be used as a gauge for your, your only gauge for spend, basically.

[00:02:37] Isaac Ware: And I think, I think one of the best examples recently that I saw of this was we're running 300 one-to-one ABM campaigns every single month. And nearly, if you looked at the metrics within LinkedIn, it never looks like a success. Um, the demo request volume just isn't there, just always looks bad. But then when, when you really dive into what's going on behind the scenes is when it really shines.

[00:02:58] Isaac Ware: So for us, like, we just got one from one of our target accounts where the CEO told the VP of marketing to tell their Demand Gen person to come meet with me about our ABM program. And that kind of sparked a conversation around how we're using UserGems on the ABM side of things, which was able to lead to an intro to the, I think it was a CRO or a VP of sales.

[00:03:18] Isaac Ware: So when you look at that in, in terms of attribution, it's, it's, it's terrible, but how often that happens, um, where we're either starting a conversation, LinkedIn messages or a screenshot of the ad is being sent in Slack internally and talked about internally, and we have no idea what's going on in that side of things unless somebody's actively telling us, um, campaigns can look really bad. So yeah, don't, don't use traditional attribution for ABM campaign.

[00:03:43] Isaac Ware: I 

[00:03:43] Tara Robertson: love it. Yeah, I feel like ABM and attribution, both of those are hot topics separate, [laughs] but we can combine them.

[00:03:48] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:03:48] Tara Robertson: That's definitely a touchy subject, um, for some of us marketers. But I love that you mentioned how your team is using UserGems. I wanna get into that in a little bit because it's a tool that came up on the podcast last season, I think at least two or three times, um, from different people that are using UserGems. So I'd love to dig into that. When you think of attribution and those metrics on the account based side, what metrics should people be looking at? I know you said it's great to get those screenshots, it's great to get that kind of recognition from the prospect, but not everyone's gonna be that upfront and tell you that kind of journey that they experience with your ads. So are there other metrics that people should be looking at when they're running, say, you mentioned 300 different LinkedIn 

[00:04:26] Isaac Ware: campaigns?

[00:04:27] Isaac Ware: Yeah, yeah. I think ultima- ultimately always kind of a boring answer, but comes down to revenue. Um, demand gen shall, should always be tied to pi-, tied to pipeline and revenue.

[00:04:36] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:37] Isaac Ware: Um, so for us, we're watching which of those ABX accounts are turning into revenue versus other accounts, um, and using that as a gauge. Um, and it's, it's, it's kind of the end all, be all metric, but, um, it's the only true way to, I think, fully gauge the success in those campaigns.

[00:04:52] Tara Robertson: So, to compare those two, are you saying that you have a whole set of accounts that you do not run ads against so that you can see the difference? Is that the main way you're tracking 

[00:05:00] Isaac Ware: that?

[00:05:00] Isaac Ware: So we we're at a high volume of ABM. So eventually...

[00:05:03] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:05:03] Isaac Ware: Eventually every single one of our target accounts will have a Ben ABM.

[00:05:06] Isaac Ware: [laughs]

[00:05:07] Isaac Ware: Um, but currently we're, we're just kinda looking at as like, uh, how many of these accounts we're spending on, um, are actually turning into opportunities. So we have our, our normal ABM and we have more of like a customized ABM, It's a lot easier on a smaller scale to say we look at this, we're looking at how many we ab, ABX this month. Um, how many of those turn into opportunities. When you look at the larger scale, we're looking sometimes even 90 days out. And you're saying like how many of these...

[00:05:32] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:05:32] Isaac Ware: ... that have been ABX in the past 90 days have actually turned into, um, opportunity or revenues. Yeah.

[00:05:38] Isaac Ware: Cool. 

[00:05:39] Tara Robertson: And you, you said ABX a couple times in there, is that...

[00:05:41] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:05:41] Tara Robertson: ... for you guys purely on the paid ad side. Are there other programs that you're running with, say, an outbound team?

[00:05:47] Isaac Ware: Yeah, so we run it on both. Um, and this kind of ties into how we're using UserGems on the ABM ABX side of things. And so the account based everything program for us is, um, is really heavily marketing, ADR alignment and marketing sales alignment. Um, how our ADR team is actually using this. So I mean, if you take us take a look at a 300 one-to-one ABM program on the paid media side of things, it's definitely a heavy lift and we're customizing ads with logos and language and tracking job changers for those ABM ads. Um, and that's extensive.

[00:06:25] Isaac Ware: Where this really falls apart for a lot of people though, is operationalizing this on the ADR side of things. Um, you pass over 300 target accounts every single month to an ADR team, and they have to do account research on those, it really, really falls apart. They're trying to, they're trying to scrounge up one or two contacts to reach out to those, um, and it, and it really falls apart. So UserGems, what, what UserGems does on the ABM side of things actually surfaces the buying committee at all those target accounts.

[00:06:53] Isaac Ware: So it's not like a data warehouse where we're pulling old data, but we actually go out every, every single month and get those fresh contacts, put them into the CRM. So all the ADRs have to do is push them into sequence and do their outbounding. So it removes that whole, um, account research and contact research side of the ABM program. So it runs a lot more efficiently. And it also helps, I mean, on the, on the emotional alignment side of things too, where if sales isn't frustrated with, or ADRs aren't frustrated with marketing because they're throwing 300 accounts at them every single month without the, the correct contacts in there.

[00:07:25] Isaac Ware: That's, that's a pain point I hear all the time is, um, depe- depending on the role, I mean, yeah, I'm getting these account lists, but there's no contacts in there for me to reach out to, so it's basically useless. Um, so being able to surface those is, is huge on the marketing and sales side of 

[00:07:38] Tara Robertson: things.

[00:07:39] Tara Robertson: And when you say surfacing those accounts, obviously you're using UserGems...

[00:07:42] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:07:42] Tara Robertson: ... for that. [laughs]

[00:07:43] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:07:43] Tara Robertson: But I would love to dig into a little bit about who owns that on the marketing team and owns that relationship with the ADRs.

[00:07:50] Isaac Ware: Yeah, definitely. So it's, uh, I mean we have, we have ADRs as a part of the marketing team. So Sarah's our ADR leader. Um, and that, and that relationship is just kind of an ongoing thing between paid media and that. Luckily though, I would say, a big piece of this is the automation. I mean, you're not having to constantly reach out and contact, like, Sarah and be, like, "Hey, we're running this," everything like that.

[00:08:13] Isaac Ware: Um, we just passed the accounts over. The contacts are already there for her team to run with, so we don't have to really do a ton of like, in-depth collaboration. So that really helps that relationship a lot.

[00:08:23] Isaac Ware: That makes a ton of 

[00:08:23] Tara Robertson: sense. And in terms of, this is one thing that I know we've talked about this internally so many times, launching those targeted accounts to cer- or certain ads to targeted accounts. Um, who within marketing owns that? Do you have like an ABM team, an ABM manager, or is that just fully owned by 

[00:08:40] Isaac Ware: the paid side?

[00:08:41] Isaac Ware: Yeah, so, uh, Quinn on our team manages just the ABM section. So the actual...

[00:08:46] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:08:47] Isaac Ware: ... creation of the ads, the, the selection of those accounts, everything like that on the ABM side of things. Um, but it sits within, uh, demand gen, paid media. Yeah.

[00:08:56] Isaac Ware: Cool.

[00:08:56] Isaac Ware: Definitely, definitely a small team over at UserGems so I mean, it's the paid media side is, is me and Quinn and some people on that side of things to actually execute the, the campaign creation 'cause creating 300 campaigns every single month is, is definitely a heavy lift.

[00:09:11] Tara Robertson: Yeah, I was really curious to hear about that because obviously we're small too, but a lot of our listeners...

[00:09:15] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:09:15] Tara Robertson: ... are also on small teams. There's some even one person marketing teams. So what else? What does the rest of the marketing team look like? I know you're very focused on the paid side, but how big is the marketing team overall at UserGems?

[00:09:27] Isaac Ware: So, Trinity is our VP of marketing. She handles a lot of the product stuff, but she, she has her hands in everything. I mean, as every small, small marketing team kind of has to do. Dozier is on the content side of things. Um, Amber's organic social. And then we have Quinn on the ABM side of things. But besides that, um, outside of the ADR team, which sits within marketing, um, that's about it.

[00:09:51] Isaac Ware: But it was kind of a, it was kind of a dream come true marketing team coming in. Um, I came in January of last year, but we had an amazing organic social presence. We had amazing content already been create been created. Um, playbooks really just, like, valuable content. So being able to come in from the paid media side of things, having all of that set up, um, I think is a, is ideal, ideal situation. I think a lot of companies rely on paid media really heavily at first and kind of neglect those. So this was, this was a little bit backwards in a good way and it was, it was an awesome team to jump in with.

[00:10:23] Tara Robertson: Yeah, it sounds like a great lane team, which is fun. [laughs] It definitely...

[00:10:27] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:10:27] Tara Robertson: ... can be overwhelming sometimes. But it sounds like you came at a good time. Um, how has it changed in the year-ish? I mean, it's more than a year now, about a year and a quarter. [laughs] Um, since you joined, you mentioned it was a little bit backwards, where paid wasn't a focus previous to you joining. What has really changed in 

[00:10:43] Isaac Ware: that time?

[00:10:44] Isaac Ware: Yeah, definitely. So, so when I joined there was, um, I mean we actually did, uh, the ABM program was up before, before I showed up. So it was really interesting. So the, there was, there was light paid media activity going on already, um, with the ABM program. So I think the, one of the biggest changes is kind of adding new premiums, but really just really diving into paid media using UserGems' data, um, which is something we hadn't really done fully.

[00:11:08] Isaac Ware: So now paid media for us is, is biggest pipeline driver as, as a lot of people. But, um, it's also post-demo requests. So we're using it for paid media, um, marketing, like multi-threading of open op.

[00:11:21] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:11:22] Isaac Ware: Using UserGems' data, um, expansion, churn prevention, um, so kind of helping with those renewals. So really just built out using all the data we can from UserGems, piping that right in LinkedIn and uh, kind of using our, or using our own tool to the, to the fullest.

[00:11:38] Tara Robertson: Yeah, so it sounds like kinda your secret sauce on the team is really using that data from UserGems. For people who aren't familiar with UserGems who haven't checked it out yet, what type of data are you able to surface and play around with for your paid 

[00:11:50] Isaac Ware: campaigns?

[00:11:51] Isaac Ware: So there's two main pieces of UserGems. So it's that, it's the job change tracking, so chap- tracking those champions, users, everything on that side. So when they get promoted or they change jobs, you can immediately go and sell to them again. Um, really valuable on the marketing side for staying in front of them, um, congratulating them on that job change, um, and helping with those, like, social proofing and converting, reminding them of previous success.

[00:12:15] Isaac Ware: Um, but a lot of it too comes in on what we call usually like the automating, multi-threading. Um, and it goes a lot deeper than that too. So yes we're, we're surfacing those contacts into your CRM at all your target accounts, so showing you who that buying committee as is at those accounts. But we're also using that, so for example, at when an op opens up, we're using that to target multi-thread on the marketing side, specific to personas.

[00:12:41] Isaac Ware: So when an opportunity opens up with UserGems, we're showing that buying committee ads in marketing, sales, rev ops tell them, "Hey, somebody at your team is talking with us. Do you wanna join the conversation?" And kind of pulling them in through marketing. Um, we're also using that for account expansion as well.

[00:12:59] Isaac Ware: So for a lot of our customers, they brought us in on sales and marketing, but churn prevention and, um, reno- yeah, so renewals, churn prevention, expansion is really important right now. So what we're doing is actually reaching out to CSMs. So we're surfacing CSMs in our CRM, pushing them right over LinkedIn, showing them ads around that use case. Basically telling them, "Hey, you already have UserGems. Might as well add this in." Um, especially because it's such a huge pain point right now with, with 

[00:13:26] Tara Robertson: churn.

[00:13:27] Tara Robertson: Yeah. I feel like churn and the cross-sell, upsell piece is something that, at least marketers that I'm talking to, it wasn't a focus six months ago, and all of a sudden it's, the board is asking, your execs are asking, "Hey, what are we doing for customer uh, upsell? What are we doing on the retention side?" So that's, it makes some more sense to be surfacing that right now to 

[00:13:45] Isaac Ware: CSMs.

[00:13:46] Isaac Ware: Yeah, it's been so cool seeing that on, I mean, the marketing side, having our customers using it, the marketing side, but also seeing all the different ways our customers using are using that on the customer success 

[00:13:55] Tara Robertson: side.

[00:13:56] Tara Robertson: And when you come across, it sounds like this opportunity, obviously we're aligned to make sense that customer marketing is a focus, but how does the ADR team surface this type of insight to you guys? Or is it something that you're always collaborating with them so you know, "Okay, this new persona makes sense for us to target"? Where is that kind of conversation getting?

[00:14:15] Isaac Ware: I think it's always evolved. I mean, sales use case for UserGems has always been so clear. I mean, we're kind of job change tracking and multithreading are the two biggest, um, like, sales playbooks.

[00:14:25] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:14:25] Isaac Ware: So it's been really obvious on that side. So we help operationalize that. Um, but that's just kind of naturally evolved over time where marketing, that data needs to be used on the marketing side as well, especially as people move further and further away from less important leads or em- like, less important MQLs, things like that.

[00:14:42] Isaac Ware: [laughs]

[00:14:42] Isaac Ware: And more towards like a pipeline focused marketing program. That...

[00:14:45] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:14:45] Isaac Ware: ... acceleration of the deal, the multi-threading on the marketing side, tracking those, the warm customers. I mean, we have to be more efficient than ever. Um, it's not like the, the good old days, um, where we just throw, throw a spend out on, on paid media and things will just come flying in. You have to be really intentional with who you're targeting. Um, so it made a lot of sense on that side of things. And then it's also evolved with our customers as well.

[00:15:07] Isaac Ware: So I mean, there are certain customers that are using, um, that data to make their programs more efficient. So like, one of the, one of the ones like Karina from Gong uses a lot is using that champion job change as a signal for what accounts you should be targeting, um, with your ABM program. So does this account have previous users at this account? If yes, then that's gonna be a priority ABM account. And then again, as markets changed, CR- customer success is, is bigger than ever.

[00:15:35] Isaac Ware: Um, we actually, I believe, saw a customer success led purchase of UserGems for the first time that this last year, um, which is really interesting to see where it wasn't led by sales, wasn't led for, led by marketing, but I mean, cu- churn preventions become so important that customer success is really interested in spending on solving that problem.

[00:15:55] Tara Robertson: Yeah, I feel like that's a brand new, at least in my experience, a new bucket of just buyers and spend in general, the CSM customer side. Because marketers and sales were used to buying tools. We have, we usually, I mean, maybe not right now, but usually we have budget. We're exploring tools, but it's a brand new persona to kind of sell into. Did you guys run into any roadblocks on that? Or is it just something that, because the CSM ICP is so new for you guys, it's kind of unclear what that journey looks like?

[00:16:25] Isaac Ware: Yeah, I don't, I don't think it'll be like a primary buyer, like over sales or marketing ever, but I think it'll, it'll start becoming more and more common as, um, like, CFOs are pushing for churn reduction. Um, I think like the more CFOs concerned about a problem, the more likely customer suc- success is gonna start getting that budget, um, to solve those problems.

[00:16:44] Isaac Ware: But it's really cool to be able to buy on one team and then all of a sudden sales marketing is able to use that tool or sales buy so now marketing, CS is able to buy it. So we quickly become ingrained in a lot of companies across all the teams. Um...

[00:16:57] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:16:57] Isaac Ware: I think it's one of the, one of the biggest things now is like, even, even on the non-marketing side of things for, for churn and expansion, I mean, just for customer xe- success to know, "Hey, this champion just left your account. You need to go find a new champion." Or on the expansion side of things, "Hey, this previous user at Cisco just joined this new company. Reach out to them so you can help expand this account. Or add in a new champion at the account." Has been huge for them.

[00:17:23] Isaac Ware: So when you 

[00:17:23] Tara Robertson: come across a new use case, like say for example, someone's getting a new job or they got promoted and you wanna start creating landing pages and ads around that, who comes up with that kind of messaging and offer? Is that collaboration with marketing and ADRs? Is it purely marketing kind of telling the ADRs, "Hey, we're doing this"? Or what does that collaboration look?

[00:17:44] Isaac Ware: Yeah, definitely, definitely a lot of collaboration. I think as a small team, it's a lot less structured...

[00:17:48] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:17:48] Isaac Ware: ... um, than some of the, some of the larger teams where I've, where I've heard, I mean, they, they have really small pods and this is the pod that executes this. For us, a lot of it is, I mean, I have discussions with customers and CSMs and ADRs, kind of whoever you can gather information from to include, um, on that landing page is huge. Um, one of the landing pages that we've built recently though is, is really heavy on kind of building off our own data.

[00:18:10] Isaac Ware: So everybody kind of gets the gets the use use case on the UserGems side of things. So just kind of try to figure out a way to communicate that more clearly. Show exactly how the timeline of UserGems works for instance.

[00:18:22] Isaac Ware: For 

[00:18:22] Tara Robertson: at least like selfishly, for my own purposes, we don't work with our ADR team too much on cr- the creation of that offer and that landing page, but I, we should obviously. [laughs] So I'm just...

[00:18:31] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:18:32] Tara Robertson: ... kind of selfishly wondering how you work with them to, obviously it's not their job to write website coffee, but they can have some really interesting insights sometimes.

[00:18:40] Isaac Ware: Yeah, I think ADR is, I think one of the most valuable things you can sometimes pull from them is what's working for them on the email side of things.

[00:18:46] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:18:46] Isaac Ware: So like what outreach is working, what content, what subject lines, what, what videos they're sending out are working best and kind of using that to, to your own benefit on landing pages and, and similar things. So really heavily collaborative effort, um, just kind of pulling from as many different sources as you can. But yeah, for ADR is definitely kind of looking at what's, what's working on the email side of things helps a lot.

[00:19:08] Tara Robertson: Yeah, and that makes a ton of sense 'cause they have the volume, right? It's...

[00:19:12] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:19:12] Tara Robertson: They've sent this email a thousand times, [laughs] so maybe they know for sure like, this subject line is gonna work. We should run with that on, say, paid or even on the blog somewhere else that you can put that 

[00:19:22] Isaac Ware: content.

[00:19:24] Isaac Ware: I think too, ADRs have a lot of different insights to, in, into certain industries. So sometimes you'll hear little tidbits of information during their outreach about, um, what a certain company's struggling with. And you can kind of drill down into, like, specific industries. And a lot of that is from the surface you aren't able to tell. But when you start talking to people at the individual level, so sales and ADR, um, you can really get a lot better view on what's going on within a specific industry that you might be able to help solve or a specific pain point that you should be serving as a headline on the landing pages.

[00:19:53] Tara Robertson: So you mentioned earlier that, obviously, you're kind of doubling down on the CSM, persona that you're looking at cross-sell. Has there been anything that you've had to make some tough calls on cutting or pausing, especially owning paid, obviously there's a lot of scrutiny on budgets right now? Um, so curious if you've had to take a hard look and pause anything in the last few months?

[00:20:14] Tara Robertson: Yeah, 

[00:20:14] Isaac Ware: we've been, we've been really fortunate on the, on the cuts side of things, um, especially on the marketing side. Um, we're...

[00:20:20] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:20:21] Isaac Ware: ... we're fairly lean in terms of marketing tech stack, we're pretty extensive as a, as a cu-, or as a whole. We're pretty extensive with our tech stack. Um, across all teams, but marketing specifically, were fairly lean. Like, we don't have an ABM platform. We don't use intent data. So a lot of that stuff is fairly lean for us. So the only real cut that we've had, um, was like Facebook ads for us, just wasn't performing at the level LinkedIn was, cut it. Um...

[00:20:45] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:20:46] Isaac Ware: ... so pretty, pretty minor hit on that side of things, but LinkedIn as a whole has continued to produce for us, um, between ABM, convo ads, things like that. Um, so a lot of it for us has just been getting more, just like scrutinizing spend a lot more. So like, what are we spending on?

[00:21:01] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:21:01] Isaac Ware: What are the campaigns doing? Um, we've been more careful around, like, live events, in-person events. Um, for us, we're only attending B2BMX and SASTA. Um, so for us that's, that's cut down since last year. Um, but overall, no, no major cuts or no major cuts to the tech stack, which has been, been a huge blessing. Yeah, 'cause that's, that's definitely not, not the, not the trend right now.

[00:21:25] Tara Robertson: Yeah. It sounds like you've been lucky [laughs] in a lot of ways.

[00:21:28] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:21:28] Tara Robertson: Um, I'm curious for LinkedIn specifically, 'cause this is one area that I've been hearing mixed things on this, but, um, for convo ads and in-mails, have you guys noticed any changes there recently or are they still performing for you?

[00:21:43] Isaac Ware: Definitely changes.

[00:21:44] Isaac Ware: Yeah.

[00:21:44] Isaac Ware: Um, that's one thing that I think is gonna be, I think one of our, one of our biggest things right now is just diversifying LinkedIn and adding...

[00:21:51] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:21:51] Isaac Ware: ... more channels outside of LinkedIn. So trying to find what, um, exactly is gonna be the next convo ads. Um, whether that's highly, highly personalized stuff similar to ABM, but maybe focusing on specific industries or in feed versions of incentivized demos, things like that. Um, that's definitely top of, top of mind, sure. I think this, the rest of this month, um, just, just trying to figure out...

[00:22:13] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:14] Isaac Ware: ... what, what exactly that's gonna be. Because even, even that 20 to 40% rollout or whatever LinkedIn said it was definitely, definitely impacted everybody on the convo ad side of things, especially with how many of us were relying on that for a really consistent, predictable pipeline.

[00:22:28] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:28] Isaac Ware: Um, I think it'll be really interesting to see kind of how creative we have to get. And I think every, every platform kind of goes through this evolution. I mean, I was agency before and Facebook constantly went, went through these where was one thing was just absolutely cranking out, uh, leads or conversions. Then all of a sudden it switches 180 overnight. Now you have to go find something new. And I think, I think that's a lot of what to, like, p- paid media marketing is. Is just being able to find whatever that next thing is, ride it for as long as you can while, while you're trying to add new stuff in to, to diversify for whatever, for whenever it changes inevitably next. So, yeah.

[00:23:03] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:23:03] Isaac Ware: Definitely has impacted us a little bit.

[00:23:05] Tara Robertson: And when you are trying a new channel, or you mentioned moving existing ads into in-feed, do you have kind of a rough formula for how much money you're willing to spend before you see results? How long do you typically give things 

[00:23:19] Isaac Ware: to work?

[00:23:20] Isaac Ware: I get this question a lot. Um, and I think one of the biggest things I learned on the agency side of things is sometimes you have to go a little bit beyond what's, like, statistically significant. Um...

[00:23:30] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:23:30] Isaac Ware: ... I saw too many campaigns get shut down because they were statistically significant where you can turn them back on, wait a little bit longer, and all of a sudden they were. Um, and I think what I check this up to a lot of the time is there's so many variables outside of what we can see on every single one of these platforms that makes it so statistical significance really isn't that significant on a lot of these platforms.

[00:23:53] Isaac Ware: So there is a little bit of a kind of a gut feeling and kind of watching the numbers day to day. Um, and when you've seen, like, millions and millions in spend, you can kind of get trends of like, "Okay, this one definitely is not gonna work," even before it's statistically significant. And sometimes you'll see little hints of success before something will like truly take off. I think just, I think managing a lot of spend over time, um, and managing a lot of campaigns over time is, is one of the best ways to kind of, kind of get a gauge of that.

[00:24:19] Isaac Ware: Um, 'cause I don't necessarily have like a specific spend level or a specific time amount. Um, you just kinda have to watch them really manually and, and, and see what's going on with those, um, which isn't the answer people always like, but it's, uh, it's one of those. It's, it's worked well for me. So that's, that's where I lean on.

[00:24:34] Isaac Ware: Yeah, no, 

[00:24:34] Tara Robertson: it makes sense that some things just come with experience, right? I mean, yeah, I'd love it if every AB test we launched, we had stats say in two days and I can promise that we'll [laughs] get those results, but sometimes you just launch something and you just know this isn't, this isn't going well. I can just tell in a couple of hours.

[00:24:50] Tara Robertson: Yeah.

[00:24:50] Tara Robertson: But other times you have to be a little more patient with it.

[00:24:54] Isaac Ware: On the attribution side too, I mean so many, so many campaigns too, you, you launch them and, and they look like they're not working, but then all of a sudden you start hearing about them on calls or somebody's like, screenshotting and sending it to you like, "This is awesome." So, you know they're impacting pipeline in some sort of way.

[00:25:07] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:25:07] Isaac Ware: So even if it isn't a direct conversion, you might have to shift the goal of that specific campaign to something that's less demo request focused and more just, "This is gonna be a touchpoint in the process. People are gonna see it."

[00:25:19] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:25:19] Isaac Ware: "They're not gonna convert, but let's just keep it here for, uh, for social proof's sake or education's sake." Yeah.

[00:25:27] Isaac Ware: And when you come 

[00:25:27] Tara Robertson: across things like that, because we see that obviously a lot with we, with our podcast, with the ads. People will kind of mention something offhand on a gong call or we'll get a screenshot. Do you have any trouble explaining that to, [laughs] to your exec team, or are they fully bought in that we can't measure everything and that's just part of the game now?

[00:25:46] Isaac Ware: Yeah. Well, I'm, I think I'm very fortunate in that, yeah, we're all, we're all bought in on that and we've all seen it so much.

[00:25:52] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:25:52] Isaac Ware: Um, I think small teams especially, your CEO's, a lot more involved than a CEO at a 500, 600+ person company. So they get a lot of those impacts that, um, somebody else wouldn't. Um, especially like our VPs fully bought in on that. We see it all the time. And that's actually like one of the, one of the things we track is, like the, "We see you guys everywhere."

[00:26:13] Isaac Ware: [laughs]

[00:26:13] Isaac Ware: Um, because we started cheering, we started cheering that so much at Gong Calls. We, we, we started tracking that as one of our metrics. Um as a, as an interesting way to track that. Uh, whether that's organic, social or paid or we were really heavy on LinkedIn with, with employee posting. Um, and that comes through, obviously, on like the self-reported attribution. Um, but a lot of time you just hear that generic one in gong and it's kind of a, it's a feel good metric, but it's also means you're on the right track.

[00:26:40] Tara Robertson: And when you say you track that, do you actually have, is it a checkbox? What are you tracking when you say that?

[00:26:45] Tara Robertson: Just as 

[00:26:46] Isaac Ware: a, as a trigger in gong. Um, so tracking...

[00:26:48] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:48] Isaac Ware: ... that phrase in gong and, and whatever it pops up, we're, we're tracking when that happens. Um, and hopefully we can dive in deeper, um, but not always.

[00:26:56] Isaac Ware: Yeah, I 

[00:26:57] Tara Robertson: feel like that's an underutilized feature of Gong. I'm sure they have tons of content around this, but there's so many triggers you can set up if you have things like more on the dar- social side, like, if you do a ton of LinkedIn organic, you mentioned a lot of your employees are posting. That's the kind of stuff that, again, you're not gonna see it in Salesforce necessarily, but you can set up those triggers, which is 

[00:27:16] Isaac Ware: really cool.

[00:27:17] Isaac Ware: And, and that one too, I mean that's, that's something that's kind of guided a lot of our alignment within the marketing team as well. So, for instance, because that's one of the things we're focused on, when I launched one of our ABM programs, Amber on the organic social side of things, added in an employ- an employee advocacy or an employee engagement thing around those target accounts too.

[00:27:35] Isaac Ware: So we wanna make sure that, yes, it's happening on paid media, they're seeing us everywhere on paid media, but also we wanna see, or they, we want them to see our employees posting, commenting, liking, just really involved with their company as a whole. Just so we stay top of mind. Um, just 'cause we see that as really valuable.

[00:27:52] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm. 

[00:27:52] Tara Robertson: Yeah, I think that's, again, one of the benefits of a small team. It's not paid versus organic. Who've brought in the lead or who brought in the deal? [laughs] Um, but it's really you recognizing that there's gonna be multiple touchpoints no matter what. So working together on that.

[00:28:06] Tara Robertson: Yeah, definitely.

[00:28:07] Tara Robertson: I'd love to just kind of look ahead to the future a little bit. I know it's still early in the year, [laughs] um, but is there anything that your team is working on that you're excited about or maybe a new tool that you're looking into? Just something coming up that is getting you really excited?

[00:28:22] Isaac Ware: I think, I think one of the biggest things for us is just, like, how our customers and we're using it for expansion and churn reduction. I think one, that's one of the biggest things.

[00:28:30] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:28:31] Isaac Ware: Um, and we're not necessarily excited about, like, any specific tools or anything like that. Like, we're not looking to add a bunch. We try and stay as lean as possible on the UserGems side of things, but just, like, finding new ways to use our own data internally, um, before we could roll it out to our customers. I think that's really exciting. Um, it's one of the things that I'm always, I'm always on hopping on sales calls, um, to talk about how we're using it and kind of brainstorm with our customers about how they could possibly use it. So just kinda rolling out those as playbooks to the customers and just kind of seeing how the, how the product's gonna evolve over the next year. Um, it's 

[00:29:02] Tara Robertson: really exciting.

[00:29:03] Tara Robertson: Yeah, I feel like playbooks, use cases, those are just, I mean, I'm seeing them everywhere now, but I love to read them all [laughs] and see all the different formats that marketing teams are coming up with. It's really cool to see, especially when you have a tool that you can use yourself. That's always fun, [inaudible 00:29:16].

[00:29:16] Isaac Ware: Yeah. Makes it, makes it easy on the marketing side when, when you're using it every single day, makes it easy to talk to, messaging, everything like that.

[00:29:23] Tara Robertson: So moving on to our quick fire round, I have a couple quick questions for you. Is there another marketer that you follow that our listeners should go 

[00:29:30] Isaac Ware: check out?

[00:29:32] Isaac Ware: Yeah. Um, I would say Claire from Cobalt, I think... So we just, we just did a, a session at B2BMX together and it was really cool seeing her approach to demand gen. Um, for us, for a lot of traditional marketers selling into sales marketing, um, it's, we're, we're blessed with how easy it actually is. Um, and then when you look at industries like cybersecurity, like Cobalt House is selling to, um, they're really skeptical buyers. They're really intentional, they're really heavy on referrals and what they've used in the past.

[00:30:04] Isaac Ware: So I think she's really interesting to listen to about their approach to marketing, 'cause I think it has a lot of rollover to selling into sales and marketing and a lot of the areas that we could, we could approach differently. So, I mean, job changes are huge for her. Uh, multi-threading, getting into the, finding the warmest path into those accounts and being more intentional about marketing efforts has a lot of value on our side of things. Um, so I think it's really valuable listen.

[00:30:27] Isaac Ware: Cool. Yeah. I'll add that link 

[00:30:28] Tara Robertson: into the show notes. We will come check out her presentation. And what's in under the radar? Could be a channel or a new tactic that your team is really into right 

[00:30:36] Isaac Ware: now.

[00:30:38] Isaac Ware: I would say job, job change, job change, tracking, multi-threading, um, sound, sounding like a broken...

[00:30:42] Isaac Ware: Mm-hmm.

[00:30:42] Isaac Ware: ... record, but for, for a lot of people that just start doing it. Um...

[00:30:46] Isaac Ware: mm-hmm.

[00:30:47] Isaac Ware: ... being able to automate that process as much as possible is huge. Um, but again, we, we have to be more efficient and we're, we're, I mean, budget's getting cut, lower head counts, things like that. Like, you really have to find the warmest path into those accounts. And it's just, it's such an obvious easy win. I mean, people have bought from you in the past, if you aren't systematizing that or operationalizing that, um, it's just this massive chunk of pipeline that's just sitting there. Um, and a lot of the time it's really sitting there waiting for your competition to swoop them up. Um, so I think getting on that as quick as possible is, is a huge, huge play, especially going into 2023.

[00:31:22] Isaac Ware: Yeah, I think the 

[00:31:22] Tara Robertson: competition piece there is key right now. People are hungry for sales. [laughs] It's, they're gonna swoop in if you 

[00:31:28] Isaac Ware: don't.

[00:31:28] Isaac Ware: Yeah.

[00:31:28] Isaac Ware: That's a good point.

[00:31:29] Isaac Ware: Yeah. We see, we see it on that side of things too. I mean, especially if you're competition as... UserGems, it's one of those two where, um, you're, you're watching those, those customers, if they've used both products in the past and they, the one switches jobs, the quickest person to act on that is usually gonna be the person that wins that deal.

[00:31:45] Tara Robertson: Great. And lastly, where can we go to find out more about you? Where are you most active, Isaac?

[00:31:50] Tara Robertson: Yeah. 

[00:31:50] Isaac Ware: Um, most active on LinkedIn. Not as active as I wish I was. Um, this and, and podcasts are usually the only, only two places people will see me on, on the internet.

[00:32:01] Tara Robertson: Great. Well go follow him. Hopefully we'll encourage him to post a bit more. [laughs] 'cause you have a ton of great, great insights to share, so we'd love to see you getting more active on LinkedIn.

[00:32:10] Tara Robertson: Awesome.

[00:32:11] Tara Robertson: Thanks so much for joining me 

[00:32:12] Isaac Ware: today.

[00:32:12] Isaac Ware: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Tara.

[00:32:15] Outro: Thanks for listening to Demand Gen Chat. Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson and produced by me, Nola McCoy. If you're enjoying the podcast, please leave us a five star rating on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. It only takes five seconds and helps other marketers like you discover Demand Gen Chat.

[00:32:34] Outro: Also, if you'd like to have a question answered in a future episode, you can connect with Tara Robertson on LinkedIn, send her a DM with your question, and it could be answered on a future episode. Finally, if you've gotten this far and are wondering what Chili Piper even is, Chili Piper helps B2B marketers book more qualified meetings for their sales teams. You can't afford to leave opportunities on the table, so let your lead self-qualify and schedule a time with the right rep instantly.

[00:32:59] Outro: And that's just one of the many revenue impacting things that Chili Piper does. Visit to learn more. And thanks again for listening. We'll see you on the next episode of Demand Gen Chat.

Tara Robertson
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Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue.
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