Can you tell us about the importance of B2B martech partnerships, like the one you just had with HubSpot?
To understand the importance of RollWorks’ partnerships with HubSpot and Marketo, it’s necessary to step into the shoes of the modern marketer.
If you can picture the iconic “The Scream” by Edvard Munch then you have an idea of what most modern marketers feel. This anxiety is driven by two primary factors.
First, there are so many martech solutions which is far more than one person or more team can evaluate.
Second, buyers are only spending 17% of their time with potential vendors which mean that most buying activity happens outside the traditional marketing funnel and is hidden from marketers.
The RollWorks’ partnerships with HubSpot and Marketo address both of these concerns.
For most modern marketers their Marketing Automation platform (MAP) is the center of their universe.
So for a new platform to be relevant to them it needs to make their MAP more valuable and usable. By integrating deeply with bi-directional synchronization between HubSpot or Marketo, the RollWorks Account-Based Platform allows marketers to seamlessly engage with both known buyers inside their funnel and unknown buyers who are a good fit and maybe also showing intent outside of their funnel.
Marketers only want to consider new solutions that integrate well with their existing Martech stack and provide new complementary functionality to reach buyers outside of their traditional funnel.
How have ABM practices evolved in the last 2 years, especially with new adtech integrations, data management and Customer data intelligence available at a far greater scale?
If you were to gather a random sample of 100 B2B marketers into a room and ask them “Are you doing ABM?” and “If yes, can you describe how you are doing ABM?” it’s highly likely that the most common answers to the second question would involve activities such as sending a physical gift to high level prospects or inviting important executives to a VIP event.
So, most marketers conceptualization of ABM is that it’s predominantly for large enterprises targeting their top 50 known accounts with in person, slow, expensive, human-powered activities. This used to be called Field Marketing.
At RollWorks, we believe ABM should be for every B2B company regardless of size or sophistication targeting the 1000s of known and unknown high-fit accounts with digital, fast, affordable engagement driven by account data and machine learning.
RollWorks is a division within NextRoll and a sister company to AdRoll.
RollWorks combines the dynamism of a 2 year old startup having been in market only since 2018 with the scale of an 11 year investment in data and machine learning by NextRoll and AdRoll.
RollWorks applies machine learning to account scoring, account suggestions, advertising bidding, and advertising budgeting by leveraging infrastructure that delivers over 2 million machine learning predictions a second.
It’s these twin capabilities of account data and machine learning that is at the center of our strategy of democratizing ABM. We want every B2B company whether they have 50 employees, 500 employees, 5,000 employees or 50,000 employees to have access to a platform that allows them to identify and engage the buying committees throughout the entire buying journey within all the accounts that matter to them. This is only possible with a digital platform powered by a high scale account data foundation and deep machine learning infrastructure.
We have seen significant growth in ABM practices. What kind of benefits are you offering to Marketing and Sales through your recently announced Packages?
Our recently announced packages for the RollWorks Account-Based Platform were designed because we want to democratize ABM. This means that every B2B company, regardless of size or sophistication, should have an appropriate entry point using the platform. To do that we introduced four packages – Starter, Standard, Professional, Ultimate.
Every package includes the 3 core solutions of Identification, Engagement, and Measurement so customers can identify and engage that accounts that matter to them and measure the impact of that engagement. Every package also includes the integrations to HubSpot, Marketo and Salesforce.
Data privacy and security are major concerns for all SaaS and Cloud companies today. How are you coping with the heightened challenges?
Our commitment to data privacy and security pre-dates the current COVID-19 challenges so nothing really changes in this respect. We’ve demonstrated our commitment through compliance with regulation such as GDPR and CCPA.
We also participate in industry forums such as IAB’s Project Rearc to proactively work on data privacy. We demonstrate this commitment to data privacy and security through the transparency of a Trust Center.
Additionally, we’ve adopted Privacy by design which is an approach to systems engineering where privacy is the default mode throughout the engineering process and not an afterthought. Our 11 years of experience of handling first-, second-, and third-party data puts us in a strong position to understand and address the challenges of data privacy and security that work for all parties.
Tell us a little more about your COVID-19 preparedness, and how do you see the martech community evolving in the next 2-3 months?
We think about COVID-19 preparedness along the two dimensions of people and time. On the people dimension our first priority was our employees and we moved to mandating working from home for all employees globally on March 5th which was 12 days before the San Francisco shelter in place public order.
Once we had 100% of our employees working safely from home, then we started to think about how to best serve our customers. We did this through guides that helped B2B marketers address the demand gap from cancelled in-person events and operate in a down economy.
We also partnered with Womply to help customers fast-track their Paycheck Protection loans from the CARES act. Finally, we launched our Starter package because we believe ABM is just good B2B marketing and should be affordable to every B2B company. It really is just a more precise, more targeted version of the demand gen plays you’re probably running today. And everyone should have access to this, especially now.
On the time dimension now that we know this is a marathon and not a sprint we’re entering a new phase of trying to understand what the “new normal” is for marketing. We’re listening and learning like everyone else, but three trends seem to be emerging.
The first trend is an accelerated shift in budget and activities towards digital. There’s a funny image circulating right now of a survey that asks, “Who led the digital transformation of your company?
A) CEO B) CTO C) COVID-19.” COVID-19 is circled.
The second trend is the rise of the virtual event as a major marketing play.
Examples of this are LinkedIn extending their capabilities into polls and live video so B2B marketers can host live events and companies such as Okta executing a massive virtual event in just 3 weeks. The third major trend is community amongst B2B marketers. We’re living through a massive, ever-changing experiment and no one has all the answers. So we expect to see informal and formal communities of marketers emerge to share and learn.
One piece of advice to every aspirational ABM leader in the industry:
I spend a lot of time in my role as President of RollWorks talking to C-suite executives about ABM. The term has entered the common lexicon and they’re trying to understand it’s real or just a buzzword. I often approach this discussion with a thought experiment.
I ask them to imagine them walking into a room with their head of marketing and a piece of paper and a pen.
They hand the paper and pen to the head of marketing and ask them to write down a description of the ideal customer profile for their business in the next 30 seconds. They then leave the room and walk into a second room with their head of sales and a second piece of paper and a pen. They then hand the paper and pen to the head of sales and ask them to write down a description of the ideal customer profile for their business in the next 30 seconds.
They then compare the two descriptions.
Do you believe they will match?
If a CEO isn’t confident they will match then that’s a strong indication that there is a lot of inefficiency and wasted money in the marketing and sales budgets.
This is the essence of ABM. It’s an objective, data-driven identification of high-value accounts, and engagement of buying committees within those accounts through coordinated marketing and sales efforts to turn them into customers.