How To Drive Pipeline with Interactive Demos

September 12, 2023

In the dynamic world of B2B marketing, conventional wisdom often suggests that marketing teams have complete sway over the buying journey. However, Natalie Marcotullio, the head of Growth and Operations at Navattic, challenges this notion.

In this conversation on Demand Gen Chat, hosted by Tara Robertson, the head of Demand Gen at Chili Piper, Natalie shared her perspectives on the multifaceted nature of buyer influence and the pivotal role of adaptability in modern marketing strategies.

The Myth of Perfect Buyer Influence ✨

Natalie opens with a thought-provoking take on the supposed omnipotence of B2B marketing teams in shaping buyers' decisions.

She questions the common narrative that buyers meticulously traverse a predefined path from the top of the funnel to the middle, culminating in a perfect purchase decision.

Instead, Natalie asserts that today's buyers are empowered with a wealth of information from the outset.

They conduct their research, comparing pricing and features while navigating multiple browser tabs.

Natalie's insight underscores the need for marketers to embrace flexibility and adaptability, acknowledging the diversity of buyer journeys and preferences.

"As marketers, we often create these linear paths in our minds, assuming that sending the right email at the right time will magically guide prospects forward."

The Significance of Buyer Intent 🎯

While data-driven strategies and buyer intent hold undeniable value, Natalie advocates for a nuanced approach.

She urges marketers to avoid fixating solely on intent data as the ultimate guide.

Instead, she underscores the importance of contextual understanding and individual buyer preferences.

"Overemphasizing buyer data can be misleading. A single search doesn't encapsulate a buyer's suitability for our offerings."

Natalie highlights that the mere act of a potential customer Googling "product demos" doesn't necessarily equate to being a perfect fit.

Her perspective urges marketers to incorporate broader insights beyond data points.

Evolution of Navattic's Marketing Focus 🔎

Natalie's role as the head of Growth and Operations at Navattic provides her a unique vantage point on evolving marketing strategies.

She shares the journey of Navattic’s marketing focus, illustrating the transition from the initial emphasis on brand awareness and educating the market about interactive demos to a more targeted and data-driven approach.

Having fortified their foundation, the latter part of the year witnesses a shift towards precision targeting through Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns and conversion rate optimization, all poised to drive growth in the inbound pipeline.

Wrap up 🔄

In this ever-evolving landscape, Natalie's insights underscore the transformative power of innovative strategies.

Her views resonate deeply with marketers looking to navigate the intricate web of B2B marketing.

By embracing flexibility, redefining the role of intent data, and adapting marketing approaches, professionals can not only enhance customer experiences but also redefine the very essence of B2B marketing itself.

Episode Links

Follow Tara Robertson on LinkedIn:

Follow Natalie Marcotullio:

Check out Navattic:

Listen to Navattic’s podcast Revenue on the Rocks:

Check out Mutiny:

Metadata’s playbooks:

Read the B2B Buyer Journey Report:

Follow Arthur Castillo:

Follow Andrew Capland:

Follow Brendan Hufford:

Follow Mark Huber:

Episode Transcript


Tara Robertson

Welcome back to Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host, Tara Robertson, head of Demand Gen at Chili Piper. In this episode, I'm joined by Natalie Marcotullio. Natalie is the head of Growth and Operations at Navattic. We chat about things marketers should keep in mind when you're rolling out an interactive demo on your website, maybe for the first time, and how Natalie is growing inbound pipeline at Navattic. As a marketing team of just one mighty marketer, I learned a lot from Natalie. I hope you enjoy our conversation.


Tara Robertson

Natalie, thank you so much for joining me on Demand Gen Chat.


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, thanks so much for having me.


Tara Robertson

Super excited to chat with you. I know you're a one woman show over there at Navattic. So really excited to dig into all you're working on. I'd love to just start with I hear you have a hot take around just how B, two B marketing teams influence buyers. And what is your take on that?


Natalie Marcotullio

I think my biggest hot take is just this concept that we have so much influence over our buyers, right. That our buyers are like, perfectly the way I think about it is like breadcrumbing down from top of funnel to middle funnel, and then they'll be perfectly ready to buy. And I think about the way I buy software and I have ten tabs open. I might go right into like, what are your features? Even if I've just heard about your software, I might want to know your pricing from the first time I ever even hear your brand.


Natalie Marcotullio

So I just think we're so good at doing research, right? We've all gotten become experts of online buying. COVID made us all so good at online buying. We can all do our dig, up our own research. We have so many channels, communities to find it now. I just think it's funny as marketers, we still think we can lie out this perfect little path that all of our prospects are going to take and know exactly when, like, oh, if I send them this email at this time, it will perfectly nurture them to this next step.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, I think that's a really good point is just to think about how you actually buy things. I can relate to the tabs. I have probably ten things open right now that I'm checking out, and some of them I start with pricing. Sometimes I start with customer stories. It really just depends where I first hear of them. Maybe I hear about them on Slack and someone mentions this cool story and I want to dig into that.


Tara Robertson

But yeah, we can't control as much as we think we can. Unfortunately. Or maybe it's fortunately and people are just figuring out products in a different way than they used to.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think it's a little more fun. I think then you just got to put your name out there, just try to be as many places as you can and worry a little less about, oh, does this perfectly match their intent at this stage?


Tara Robertson

And what do you think about buyer intent in general? I feel like that's kind of another hot topic. But curious, your take on that.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think obviously being data driven is important, right? Like if someone for example, right now, we're thinking a lot about demo intent data. So if someone made it all the way through my interactive demo, they saw the whole thing, clicked around my platform, they're probably more qualified than someone who just landed on my website for the first time. So I do think there is value there and to use it strategically. But if someone one time Googled product demos, that doesn't maybe mean that they're a perfect fit for us. I think sometimes we overindex buyer data.


Tara Robertson

It's a good point, trying to be in the middle somewhere and not go all in maybe on some of the intent data, but it can be helpful for sure. I'm curious again, you're a one person marketing team. So what does your focus look like in the second half of the year? And how is that different than what you've been working on so far this year?


Natalie Marcotullio

So I'd say the first half of this year and a lot of the end of last year was a lot around content and getting our brand out. I think especially for our stage where we're at Navattic, it's a pretty competitive market. It really kind of blew up out of nowhere. Like, when I first joined, no one knew an interactive demo was, and now it's much more popular. So for us, our main priority for the past, I'd say six months was we got to get our name out there, we're going to be forgotten, we're going to get left behind.


Natalie Marcotullio

The category creators, whatever you call it, they're being created, I guess, during this time. So we focus a lot on thought leadership, educational content, creating our own original content. We created a podcast, LinkedIn posts, a lot of data and reports, just actually launched one with Chili Piper Report all around be to be buying. So our focus was more really that, like I said, more educational content and just awareness.


Natalie Marcotullio

And now for the second half of the year, we feel like we've gotten to a pretty good spot. So now we can really focus on being a lot more targeted. Now we can go out and do ABM campaigns because when we reach out to these companies, they're not going to be like, what is an interactive demo and who's Navattic, we've laid some groundwork. We have enough website visitors where we can do conversion rate optimization.


Natalie Marcotullio

We can use things like Mutiny to personalize our landing pages and to do a lot of A B testing. So I think for us, it happens to work in halves, but it's less about time of, I guess just little time in the year. And for us, a lot more about where we are in our stage and we're kind of ready to move on to that next phase and become a lot more targeted and data driven. And we're still going to do all the content stuff as well, but layer on top of that.


Tara Robertson

And when you say you feel like the foundation is there, people know what an interactive demo is. Now, how did you figure that out? Was it feedback from your sales team? Was it what you were hearing from other marketers?


Natalie Marcotullio

A combination? So one feedback from sales team, like now when they jump on calls, it's no longer, this is kind of cool, I'm exploring it, but don't really get it. It's much more I'm evaluating these five people and this is why I want this. And then also, yes, speaking with customers, speaking with just like networking events. When I first joined, I'd go to a networking event and like I said, people be like, what? Who an interactive demo?


Natalie Marcotullio

Navitic. No one knew it was. And I'm not saying we've fully made it yet, we still have a lot of work to go. But I just feel like we're in a better spot where more people understand what it is, where we can, again, do some of those more, I guess, advanced marketing tactics.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, and it sounds like some of that I mean, it's nice to be data driven, like you were saying, but some of that is really just gut feel. When you're going to an event and you meet people and you explain what you do, if they get it right away, that's obviously a great sign that you're in the right direction. But sometimes you meet people at an event and they say like you were saying, navitic, navitic. And they're not sure what you're saying. So that's a sign that, okay, maybe we're not ready to do things like targeted ABM, or maybe we need to step back and do more kind of brand building campaigns.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think that's where conferences have a lot of value because at least for me sometimes I know I can be in a LinkedIn bubble and I'm like, everyone knows us. Look at all these people who are commenting and all this. But then I'm like, okay, these are all people who live on LinkedIn. They tend to be maybe a little more data or I guess just want to seek out those best practices. They want to learn about technology.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think conferences is a great place to gut check yourself in time. Get a little ego realization of like, okay, the average marketer still might not know interactive demos, or they're getting a little closer. I think, though, it's one of the best places to figure that out. Yeah.


Tara Robertson

Other than events, is there anything else you found useful to do that gut check? Because I know for us, we have a pretty small marketing team, but we often run things by each other on Slack of, hey, is this line too much? Or what do you think of this meme? Does it make sense? Do you have any tactics for yourself as a team of one, to get that gut check from others?


Natalie Marcotullio

I do sometimes rely on my CEO, head of Sales, especially for messaging, sometimes with head of sales, but that's where I think communities like LinkedIn, we're pretty lucky. We have some great advisors at Navattic too, who I can gut check. So I've now made enough. I guess marketing friends is the best way to put it, where I can sometimes gut check with them and especially what's really nice. So I try to find someone who's special.


Natalie Marcotullio

Their specialty is that exact thing I'm working on, and say, like, hey, you're an expert at this. Does this make sense? Does this resonate? And are there any pitfalls that I'm not thinking of or anything that best practices I should just know before I dive into it?


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's a great point. On a small team. I mean, you're doing everything, so a little bit of everything. But when you talk to marketers at bigger companies, I know for me, some of our customers most of their day is managing the funnel and looking at conversion metrics. And I just think like, oh, I wish I had the luxury of having that be my role. So it can be interesting to talk to people on bigger teams where they're so specialized and you can really learn from just what different marketers are working on.


Natalie Marcotullio

Exactly. Yeah, and especially because if they've like the example I keep coming back to is if you're an expert on LinkedIn ads and you run thousands of LinkedIn ad campaigns, you might know that an average click through rate is going to be pretty low with LinkedIn ads. Unless you're an expert at it, you're probably not getting 10% click through rate. And then if you're brand new to LinkedIn and you go and set up a campaign and you get a 0.5% click through rate, you might be like, oh my God, I am terrible at LinkedIn and we should never use this channel again.


Natalie Marcotullio

So sometimes just having someone who can be like, no, that's normal, or maybe do these tweaks and maybe that's a little bit on the lower end, just even that type of gut check is so helpful. Just be like, Am I on the right track?


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's a really good point, especially on the metric side. On the CRO front, I know you mentioned earlier you finally have enough traffic to actually run CRO tests, but being in some slack communities around CRO now, I'm seeing the conversion metrics improvements and just thinking, like, we had really lofty goals when we first started doing CRO, and some of them have panned out really well. But other times you need that gut check of, am I crazy to expect this conversion, or just tossing out benchmarks like them?


Natalie Marcotullio

Exactly. Like when you're setting those OKRs. And you're kind of just guessing. It's nice to have that second look.


Tara Robertson

Yeah. And sometimes you can settle lofty.


Natalie Marcotullio



Tara Robertson

But you can't really get away with that every single quarter or every month without hitting it, right?


Natalie Marcotullio

Yes, exactly.


Tara Robertson

Yeah. So speaking of OKRs and metrics, I'd love to hear what you're focused on for obviously, I'm sure pipeline is one of your targets, but how do your metrics ladder up to pipeline?


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, so we're right now a majority inbound shop, so my metrics are just directly pipeline. So the way I measure every quarter is I have a certain pipeline and number of Ops goal. We have pretty standard pricing prices on our website, so we can pretty easily calculate our ACV, how many Ops do we need to hit our pipeline? Those are my main. OKRs. I then backtrack it to figure out how many MQLs do I need, how many leads. So then I can internally, week over week, just check like, are we on track or not?


Natalie Marcotullio

But my main numbers are just really pipeline because that's at least for on net new sales. That's basically our main form of revenue right now.


Tara Robertson

And since you mentioned MQLs, I have to ask, how do you define an MQL? At Navattic, we have the most basic.


Natalie Marcotullio

MQL and I don't even know if some people would take us as MQL. We have nothing gated on our website, so we don't really get an email until you literally book a demo with us. So an MQL is just how many people booked a demo with us?


Tara Robertson

So that makes your metrics really straightforward to calculate then? Because once you figure out that conversion rate to demo exactly, that's what's really nice.


Natalie Marcotullio

Like, forecasting is really easy here. And because also we have public pricing, our pricing is pretty straightforward. It doesn't kind of go all over the place. So it is pretty nice. Usually I always joke with our head of sales that I have this perfect little formula that I calculate and then he'll have his little gut check as far as what quota should be and what our goal should be. And I'm usually pretty close with my formula. He gets annoyed. He's like, It's not just all about the numbers. I'm like, but my math hasn't been wrong yet.


Tara Robertson

That's really nice. And that's helpful to have the gut check from sales too, obviously, but to be able to have a formula for yourself. I know a lot of marketers have goals of like thousands of MQLs, but then they get maybe five opportunities, so they're probably really envious of the setup that you have. But is there anything else further up funnel that you're looking to track? Because obviously measuring demo requests and MQLs is great, but you can't always impact that every single day.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think one big thing for us is word of mouth leads. So that was when I was talking about all that brand awareness stuff, educational content that's pretty hard to measure. How you're doing on it? So for us, figuring out how many people literally said, how did they hear about us? Word of mouth, that was a big test of that, okay, are we kind of getting a little more of that virality? Do more people just know about us?


Natalie Marcotullio

And then LinkedIn followers, website traffic that's also been pretty big to see. Is anything we're making a more direct impact?


Tara Robertson

And what about on the customer front? Are you also responsible for measuring anything there, or does it stop once the opportunity is closed?


Natalie Marcotullio

I'm not directly responsible for, let's say, like NPS Score or Customer health. That is our CS side. Like I said, those word of mouth leads or referral leads that I'm more responsible for and part of. So I work pretty closely with our CS team on customer advocacy. So, for example, I help out. We have a customer ambassador program where customers will be invited to a special event and might get special swag know little extra I do.


Natalie Marcotullio

While I don't directly get measured for, like I said, customer health, I do work closely with our CS team to try to make sure we're doing a lot to bring just joy to our customers because we know that goes a long way with them referring us and then talking about Navattic.


Tara Robertson

I love to dig into so obviously interactive demos. You mentioned maybe a year ago people weren't talking about it too much. Right now, I feel like I see it everywhere. Not just because I'm connected with you, but it is definitely one of those tools that's becoming more of a must have versus nice to have in people's tech stacks. So one piece of feedback, or I guess concern that I hear from marketers is, hey, we'd love to implement this, but I can't impact my demo request number. I have to hit that MQL or that demo request number every month.


Tara Robertson

Is there anything you would either advice you would give them or maybe that assumption isn't necessarily true. I'm curious how you would address that.


Natalie Marcotullio

Both have advice and would say, we heard that a lot more, I think near the beginning, and maybe people just aren't telling us as much. Like, people who come to us are obviously kind of past that hurdle. But I think the biggest thing is we have seen these increase website conversion rate. On average, we see about like three x conversion rate. And we have a few different case studies. Don't have a big report that shows that yet, but a few different case studies as far as how we got to that number.


Natalie Marcotullio

And so generally, these are supposed to help with the number of demo requests. But what I tell people is this shouldn't be replacing your demo. Our data has shown that these should only really be like eight to 15 steps, which is about 30 seconds. So you're not going to get your whole product value across in 30 seconds. What it really is. Some customers have described it I love this as like a bite sized snack.


Natalie Marcotullio

It's just a little taste. It's just something to get you excited. It's the appetizer, but by the end of it, you should want the full meal. You should want to go take that demo. And we have ways to embed CTAs throughout your interactive demo. So you shouldn't take a demo and say, oh, I get it, I'm good. It should be something that entices you to want to learn more. And we've seen that companies who do really high value driven demos that are shorter have better conversion and completion rates.


Tara Robertson

I love that analogy of the appetizer because I think a lot of people, when they hear interactive demo, they think, oh, but I have to shove all my features, all my benefits, into this 30 seconds or 1 minute, and then there won't be anything left. So it's really just picking the most important things you want people to get excited about and then give them that option. Right. To follow up with a demo.


Natalie Marcotullio

Exactly. It's funny, we often hear from customers, the hardest part is really that boiling it down, like choosing those two to three AHA moments and figuring out what you want to show over actually building it out, because is your product is awesome. You probably have so many really cool things to show. But I always say, talk to your sales team, ask them what are the first two things they demo, or if they could only demo two or three things, what would they show? And you'll get a pretty good idea of what you should prioritize and put in there, and then maybe what you can again, leave to the actual sales team to do.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's a great piece of feedback because I feel like, again, as marketers, we get pressured to shove all the benefits and features really up front. So hearing that feedback loop from sales of, okay, if I say I only had two minutes with someone, what would I have to show them? And kind of boiling that down would help a ton.


Natalie Marcotullio

Exactly. And we have ways, too, where if you wanted to show multiple features, we have a little checklist feature so someone could dive into the part just they care about. Or we've had some customers create these beautiful demo libraries where you can go in and basically click into the exact feature that you're interested in. So if you're a more complex product and you're like, I cannot boil this down into 30 seconds, natalie, that is insane. There are ways to get around it, but even all of those individual demos should still be again, we see highest completion rates, highest conversion rates. Eight to 15 steps.


Tara Robertson

Keep it short and value focused and say you as a marketing team, or as the marketer on the team are convinced and you want to run with this, but the rest of the team who, say, controls your website isn't sold. How would you recommend moving forward to try to sell it to them or try to prove it out?


Natalie Marcotullio

We've seen customers do this in two ways. So one is if you're a marketer and you have permission, start running it on paid ads. So do it on LinkedIn ads, use the CTA Google ads, and then once you get some data, take that back to your team and say, hey, we've seen these landing pages for our paid ads do really well, let's put this on the website. Or you could use it first in outbound motion. So it's funny because a lot of times marketers are like, oh, my sales team is going to hate this.


Natalie Marcotullio

And then we see time and time again marketing will buy these demos, sales gets a whiff of it and they're like, I want that. I want to send that out to my prospects and start just doing it. Especially the BDR outbound team because they know all the time they reach out to people and they say, that sounds cool. What does your product actually do? So if you can get, like a little I would call a little Tiger team of sales reps who want to try interactive demos, get them to use it in their sales process, and then once they see some results if the AES if they have some of their sales cycles or BDRs, get some more meetings booked, the second sales like something, they'll talk about it. And I always find if sales gives it the thumbs up, much easier to convince leadership than sometimes as marketer, which can be frustrating, but it always helps to have them in your corner.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, if you can get one or two sales reps super excited about something, then that's usually a win for your execs. Like you said, it's kind of frustrating sometimes, but it helps versus just having the marketing team on side with something.


Natalie Marcotullio

And also sort of automatically eliminates that. Oh, but will sales be scared to use it? If you can say, oh, but look, sales is using it?


Tara Robertson

Yeah, it's funny because I've heard that objection too for interactive demos is oh, the sales team won't like it. But I've never really dug into why. I've just heard that gut reaction from marketers and I think in general, we're just always scared of not having enough meetings or enough leads for sales. But they know that they need more to get prospects excited to show up. They're not just trying to get someone to fill out a form, they need them to actually come and talk to them. Right, yeah, I was going to say.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think on sales time they'd rather send someone a demo. Obviously they want to have meetings, but they want them to be qualified. They don't want to waste their time talking to someone who has no idea what your product does. So they understand the value of warming up the leads before they have to talk to them and sort of sometimes can eliminate that awkward first meeting of so what do you do? Yeah, why are we here?


Tara Robertson

Again, that can be really helpful. And so say your marketing team is on board, your exact team is on board, and you're ready to roll out your interactive demo for the first time. Do you have any tips for, first of all, how to promote it, but also just how to roll it out across your site?


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, so if you're putting it on your website, we've already talked about short focused, AHA, moments storyboard out and then get everyone's feedback internally before you build it. So we have a little storyboard builder that we always send to clients. It's basically like an outline for your demo. Get that internal feedback because it's much more annoying if you build out your entire demo and then suddenly your CEO is like, no, we need to show this feature.


Natalie Marcotullio

So that helps. And then, as I mentioned, consider breaking it up. We see that demos that are shorter get better engagement. As I mentioned, that checklist feature we've seen that can have a 17% higher engagement versus just making one super long demo. And then another big thing is put it above the fold. This kind of is obvious, but we've seen demos above the fold or that have a little maybe link or like a CTA button that links to it have three times the engagement, though, below the fold. Which again, makes sense. People don't know it's there. If it's below the fold, they're probably not going to engage with it.


Tara Robertson

And what about for having it as a CTA? Again, going back to that kind of competing with your demo request CTA, have you seen is that a common A B test that people run where they have book a demo or see it first kind of thing?


Natalie Marcotullio

We actually see it mostly as a secondary CTA. It's usually not companies. And that kind of goes back to the point of will this eliminate the number of demos I booked? We don't usually see companies replacing their book a demo CTA with it in this day of buying. I don't think you have to. I know it used to be old marketing practice of oh no, you only have one CTA. And again, you draw them down to this one perfect funnel and breadcrumb them. I talked about the beginning. I don't really believe in that. Give them options, right? Like they are high intent, they'll book a demo. If they're medium intent, they might just want to go start exploring the platform.


Natalie Marcotullio

So we do usually see it as that secondary. Take a tour CTA next to book a demo.


Tara Robertson

And when you say thinking about it as kind of a middle of funnel, if you want to call it that, not that we can really control it. But is there typically anything you're seeing people replacing with the take a tour CTA or is it usually a brand new offer that people are trying it?


Natalie Marcotullio

If anything, it might be replacing a video or like a one pager. So we've seen, for example, one of our customers, Trainual, they did an A B test with a video pre. They're a free trial, they're a PLG. So video pre sign up and then an interactive demo and saw a 450% increase when doing the interactive demo versus the video, which is one of those stats where I was like, I don't believe it. The customer tells you that and you're like, no, but we saw the data.


Natalie Marcotullio

They use mutiny. So a real a b testing. So typically that or a lot of times just nothing. Like all they had was the one CTA.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, I was curious because that's what I see a lot. Is it's just like book a demo or nothing? Essentially that's kind of the B two B offer, right? So it's good to have something for people that, again, they might not be ready to talk to sales this minute, but they're getting there. So kind of moving them along.


Natalie Marcotullio

Exactly. And I think especially when thinking about it for demand gen purposes, like if you are putting it in LinkedIn ads and stuff when I'm on LinkedIn and this kind of maybe counters my point at the beginning of intent, but I think there's some obvious things still, right? Like if I'm on LinkedIn, I'm probably not really looking to go book a demo with someone because let's be honest, I use LinkedIn as an escape from work.


Natalie Marcotullio

So I might not be there wanting to do more work or sign up for more meetings, but I might be ready to see what your product does. That's going to take me 30 seconds. So it kind of is that like middle of funnel option? If we're going to use the word funnel, that gives you a little taste but isn't too much of a commitment.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's totally fair. And especially on, like we were saying, channels on LinkedIn, you might be in line at the grocery store and you just pull out your phone for a few minutes. You're not pulling out your calendar and looking at what's coming up. You're just browsing and seeing what you can cross off your list. So just to be more practical of the context that your offers are in exactly. So moving kind of outside of interactive demos for a minute, I'd love to just talk through your campaigns in general that you're running on the demand gen side at Navattic.


Tara Robertson

Have you had to make any tough cuts or pause programs the last couple of quarters? I know a lot of people obviously have been in that boat who are listening. So curious if there's anything that you had to again, cut or pause and how you make those. Decisions yourself.


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah. So we're kind of lucky because I'm a team of one to start. We had a lower marketing budget. We've always been pretty careful over how much we spend. So no huge cuts. But I'd say there wasn't that much to cut from the beginning, which makes it easier, I think, though I do try to any campaign I'm running. So, for example, I mentioned this ABM campaign. We're running a lot more LinkedIn campaigns for the first time.


Natalie Marcotullio

And while we know that LinkedIn isn't necessarily a place that you always get direct conversions, I still want to see is this audience after a quarter, maybe after a month, is there any of them that move down the funnel or booked a demo? So we do it about quarterly evaluating. We find that's enough time to see did actually make an impact on pipeline and ops versus just, did we get a bunch of clicks from this?


Natalie Marcotullio

But I think there's also a little bit of a gut feeling working. Like you can use some of the top of funnel metrics to be like, okay, these ads aren't performing as well. Maybe I click remove this and start something new. I think those top of funnel idea or keep using the funnel again, even though I wanted this whole rant of.


Tara Robertson

It, I know I do it too. It helps.


Natalie Marcotullio

Exactly. Just easy to describe those more early metrics let's call it that. Those early metrics, things like clicks and stuff, that I try to iterate much faster than quarterly. So while I might not stop an entire LinkedIn campaign, I might pause a few ad groups. So every time I launch a new campaign, I do try to launch it, make it big overexpand. If we're going to think about Google Ads, maybe start with Phrase Match and then whittle it down and optimize it, and then after a quarter, evaluate, okay, I've optimized this campaign. I put in the work.


Natalie Marcotullio

Are we still seeing ROI? Yes. Now? Yeah.


Tara Robertson

I think quarterly, especially for like you were saying, campaigns like LinkedIn, if you're using a brand new account list or new targeting, a lot of marketers, especially now that I talk to, are being asked within a week, hey, what are the results? Like, should we pause? Should we double down? And it's so tricky because, again, some metrics you can see, okay, no one's clicking, no one's interested. This is very obvious.


Tara Robertson

But other times, if it's going back to your account base campaign, you might need a whole quarter to see if it's working, especially as a team of one. Have you run into any pushback on that kind of quarterly performance check in, or is it something that you've had control over?


Natalie Marcotullio

I think the key there is start small. So start with one smaller experiment. If you're doing LinkedIn for the first time, don't go out and spend $50,000 a quarter on it. If you can test as small as possible, and there are a few ways that you think are going to be successful and kind of diversify, then at least you can buy yourself a little more time to get that quarterly cadence, maybe monthly. You could always try seeing, am I getting demos booked from this? But I still don't think that's enough time.


Natalie Marcotullio

So I do think if you phrase it, I think the ultimate hack to marketing is phrase something as an experiment. Say to your boss, like, okay, we're experimenting with LinkedIn ads. We're not committed to it, but I need a quarter to run this experiment. Only we'll spend this much and we'll use the learnings from it. That gives you a little more leeway sometimes.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's a great way to put it, especially being upfront with, I'm only spending this much, instead of, hey, I'm going to spend 100 grand this week.


Natalie Marcotullio

Is that okay?


Tara Robertson

Obviously, then you're going to have to make a case for what's going on. But starting small and scaling, that is really good advice.


Natalie Marcotullio

I also just think as a team of one, it's how I can function, right? Like, if I tried to go into every new thing I did and went full force, spent 100K, which I don't have, but if that's how I approached it, I would be so overwhelmed. So even internally for myself, it feels a lot better to say I'm not committing to now doing five LinkedIn campaigns. I'm committing to experimenting with LinkedIn and seeing if it is worth investing more by time and energy.


Natalie Marcotullio

So then when I go to invest time and energy, I have validated it is worth it.


Tara Robertson

And what about on the organic side of things? Because obviously I see you posting a lot of great content on LinkedIn, you're growing your organic following. But that takes time and it's a commitment. Have you made kind of a promise that you're going to focus on that to yourself or maybe internally to your team? Or is it just something that you know you need to be doing even though you're spread very thin?


Natalie Marcotullio

That was similar to the experimenting, right? Like, I tried doing some posts, I tried a variety of posts, but I wasn't posting daily. I was maybe posting twice a week, which that was pretty easy to start. And even now I don't always post daily. And when I saw a few of those do well, and now I think we see our fourth highest lead channel is LinkedIn. Not just us, but like other people talking on LinkedIn then that's when was like, okay, now we ramp this up. Made a lot easier and palatable, I will say too, a lot of my LinkedIn posts are very much repurposed, whether it's repurposing our podcast we do or blog posts, which are I almost directly take the because I outline all of our blog posts and then send them off to a writer to write them. But I basically take the outline of the blog post and just post that to LinkedIn.


Natalie Marcotullio

So I do it in a way where it still adds time to my day and commenting and engaging and all that. But it's not a huge lift because coming up with the actual content is just repurposing all content we're already putting out there.


Tara Robertson

That's a great way to reuse what you're already doing because the creating fresh content is to me at least, that's the most time consuming, is you're just staring at a blank post trying to figure out, okay, what should I write this week? But if you already have that bank of outlines that you've already written, that's a great tactic.


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, I think whenever I hear an interesting customer snippet or see something, someone say something, a question on interactive demos, for example, that I write those down and then that's future inspiration. And at first I was thinking, again, going back to that funnel, but first I was like, I can't just post about really niche interactive demo topics on LinkedIn. I'm going to alienate my audience. They're going to be like, stop talking about interactive demos.


Natalie Marcotullio

And then I got some early signals where people were saying, no, we really like this content. No one else is publishing it. So that's also where I started experimenting with it, but didn't double down until I got those signals where people know we like this, keep doing it.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's a good point about sometimes when you niche down in that way, it ends up being so helpful for people. Because, again, even I'm not in the interactive demo space at all. But it's a topic that's come up when I've spoken to other marketers of, hey, I'm scared about doing this, or I'm scared about if I roll it out, this will happen. So there's clearly so much content that people are thinking about in that space, but I haven't seen anyone else covering it, at least so far. So definitely doing something right there.


Natalie Marcotullio

I always joke, probably I try to speak to customers as much as I can. I look at interactive demos daily, so I'm like, oh, I'm glad this random, useless knowledge of interactive demos is going to good use.


Tara Robertson

LinkedIn is one of those places where sometimes I think things are way too niche and people won't care. And that's the post that does the best. It's always so surprising.


Natalie Marcotullio

It has shocked me, these posts. And at this point, I have a formula for them, but they have always outperformed everything else. And I never thought they would because again, they're pretty niche. Like I said, they're just summaries of blog posts. Like, no one wants to read a blog post anymore. But it's just so funny that you turn into a summary and then suddenly, I don't know, it seems like magic.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, I mean, it makes sense. I think of all the blog posts that I have open, probably right now in my tabs, that I'll never get to, but if you summarize it for me, I would read it right now.


Natalie Marcotullio

No, it's just too much content out there. I'm the same way. I'm always thinking, oh, I want to read this or that, and then it's just too hard, there's too much good information.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, it comes to Friday and then you start closing off your tabs because you just need to get them all closed for the week. Maybe that's just looking ahead to the rest of this year. I'd love to hear if there's anything you're looking forward to. I know you mentioned really briefly that we put out a best practices report together, but anything else that you're curious to look into for the rest of the year?


Natalie Marcotullio

I think just continuing to think about what partnerships could look like. So again, for this, we did this co data report, which I've seen a few companies do, but a lot of times It's companies and we've also done this posting your own proprietary data. So it's really fun to get to work with another company and also just have someone helping you as you're. Making this report as a solo marketer was fun just to be me and it just made me think so often when we think partnerships, it's just, okay, let's do a webinar together, let's do a blog post together.


Natalie Marcotullio

But what are some different ways that we can maybe push the boundaries a little bit and do co marketing in a way that isn't just the typical channels we think about? So I'm excited to keep thinking through that. Another really big thing we've been trying is like co case studies, but then packaging in a way that it's not. So case study, if that makes sense. Like almost joint customer enablement, right? Like if you know that a lot of your customers are also using this other tool, how could you work with them to provide the enablement to get customers to adopt them both together and then maybe get that customer to do a little video series where they talk about it?


Tara Robertson

I love that. Metadata has some really great I think they call them playbooks around that. And yeah, theirs are so detailed and in the weeds. And again, it's super niche because you have to be using them and another tool for it to be applicable to you. But that's the kind of content that is super relevant for people that are looking to, again, do what those two tools together can do for them and fix their funnel in different ways. Or maybe it's running ads against different tech that they can target.


Natalie Marcotullio

I think similar to the LinkedIn post, we assume that buyers don't want that much detailed information until they buy. But we've all been burned by buying a software that know I integrate great with salesforce and then it doesn't maybe. So I do think having that very niche content, it just validates this person. Oh yes, someone else has done this, and it has worked. And also here are use cases I could use it for. So I would encourage people to not be scared to show off some of the more advanced, like, Playbooks or workflows that their product could do.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, especially as, again, if you're buying tech and you might not be the main end user, but you're buying it and then kind of handing it off to a different team to use, you want to make sure that those integrations work as promised. And sometimes hearing it from a customer is a very different story.


Natalie Marcotullio

Right, exactly. And then you just get to hear how they use it. I think that's when I think about what I'm also looking forward to this year, really trying to use our customers more to teach our customers, because we've seen time and time again, we might share how we use it internally, we might share best practices, but it comes best coming from another customer. And I get it right. No matter how plain and dry we just try to say it, we're obviously always a little biased, so sometimes people just want to hear it from a friend.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, and not even biased. Sometimes customers just do things with your product that because you're so close to it, you didn't even see. Which always blows my mind. The way that people approach things can be so different for the exact same product.


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, that's a great example. All the time for us, we see customers using interactive demos in ways we'd never imagined. And sometimes it's not till customers get to talk to each other and we've sat in on some of these conversations where we get to hear those nuggets of gold, like, oh, you're using it for that? I never would have thought about that.


Tara Robertson

Yeah, it can be surprising until you kind of just put them in a room together and let them talk and see what you come up with.


Natalie Marcotullio



Tara Robertson

Cool. So, love to move on to our rapid fire questions with you. Is there another marketer you follow that our listeners should go check out or could be a couple different marketers.


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, well, first off, I didn't include this in my notes, but got to give a shout out to Arthur, who I've been working on this report with. Been so fun. If you don't follow Arthur at Chile Piper, you'll see a lot of this is a little later, but you'll see us talking about the report, and he just has awesome stuff. Also on the B, two B buying experience. On top of that, someone that I love, Andrew Kaplan, if you don't follow him in growth space, brendan Hufford, also in the growth space. And then we were just talking about metadata. Mark Huber.


Tara Robertson

That's a great list. And we'll add all those links in the show notes in case you're not already following them. But I think I'm following all of those guys already and what's under the radar. It could be a channel or a tactic that you're really loving right now on the marketing side.


Natalie Marcotullio

So I realize I already said this, so I'm going to have to think of a new one. But I did mention taking blog summaries and posting that on LinkedIn. I'm going to give another LinkedIn tip because I'm just having a LinkedIn day, so it's on my mind. But one thing I've also been doing is not just posting when something comes out, but as much as possible, teasing it. So I do this every week for a podcast.


Natalie Marcotullio

We talk about a topic and rather than just posting the video, I post the Monday before it comes out, a little tease about what we're going to talk about. And also so that gives me another piece of content. And then the day that the podcast does come out, then I can then link back to it in that post. I think I stole this from Mark Huber, actually, so I'm going to give him credit for that. But that's been fun just kind of stretching my content as much as possible. And I think so often when we launch something, we only think about, how could I make as many posts after the fact? Not as much. How can I tease it out?


Tara Robertson

Yeah, that's a really great point. I feel like the tease thing, I've noticed it with some reports and bigger content pieces, but with something recurring like a podcast. I haven't seen too many people doing that, but that makes a ton of sense. And lastly, where's the best place to go follow you for more of your content?


Natalie Marcotullio

This is going to be so obvious, but yeah, LinkedIn, that's where I am most of the time. Maybe a little more than I'd like to be. And then also, if you go to Navattic, you can see some customer examples if you're curious to see more interactive demos. Awesome.


Tara Robertson

Well, I'm sure most people listening are on LinkedIn, so hopefully you get a couple new followers from that. But thank you so much, Natalie, for joining me today.


Natalie Marcotullio

Yeah, this is so fun. Thanks for having me, Tara.


Tara Robertson

And thanks everybody for listening. We'll be back in two weeks with a brand new episode.



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 5 seconds and helps other marketers like you discover Demand Gen Chats. 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, chilipiper helps B. Two B 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. And that's just one of the many revenue impacting things that Chilipiper does. Visit to learn more, and thanks again for listening. We'll see you on the next episode of Demand Gen Chat.

Tara Robertson
Natalie Marcotullio
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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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