When it comes to marketing automation platforms, the choices can seem endless. Jeff Day, Senior VP of Marketing at Act-On, discusses the key considerations mid-market marketing teams should consider when selecting a platform.

He explains the buyer journey, what customers need at each stage and how to create automated programs that encourage a buying decision.

Find out how to use data to identify what is engaging customers and inform where you send them next.

Listen to the podcast now via the links below:

Transcript: Interview with Jeff Day – Act-On

Speakers: Mike Maynard, Jeff Day

Mike: Thanks for listening to marketing B2B Tech, the podcast from Napier, where you can find out what really works in B2B marketing today.

Welcome to marketing B2B technology, the podcast from Napier. Today I’m joined by Jeff Day, Jeff is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Act-On. Welcome to the podcast. Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here, Mike.

Mike: So what we’d like to do at the start of the podcast is to find out how people ended up at their current role. So do you want to give me a bit of background to your career? And what made you choose to join Act-On?

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. I think my career is maybe a little less traditional than some other marketing leaders, but without going through the whole trajectory. I started out as a engineer at Intel, many, many moons ago. And as I like to say, I kind of fell backwards into marketing. I really enjoyed being an engineer, but knew I didn’t want to be an engineer for life, got my MBA, started doing product line management for Sun Microsystems. And then I really wanted to get into the startup space. And so I joined this startup. And I think on day one, they said, Yeah, we hired you for Product Management. But we really want you to run marketing. And I’m I don’t know anything about what we call outbound marketing at the time. They said, Yeah, we’ll work together, we’ll figure it out.

Great, let’s do this. It sounds fun. And then it’s you know, so it’s been two and a half decades doing marketing ever since. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, I’ve really enjoyed the startup or the growth space, and have, you know, been the head of marketing at Aptio, very successful company highspot, an up and coming very successful company, domain tools, many different sort of smaller and startup companies, as well as some really big and great places to learn how people do it at scale, like, I ran partner marketing for technology partners for AWS kind of built and grew that organisation. And that was a great experience as well. Oh, and then you asked me about how, how I got tacked on. And so yeah, just another great step, or another chapter in the story is opportunity to work with this great company, it’s been around for a while. So it’s not exactly a startup, but they’ve got, you know, a fantastic product and a really great team, you know, at this stage of my life, I my number one criteria is that, who are the people I’m working with, and the better be fun, smart, driven people, or it’s, it’s not fun on a day to day basis. And so really great people that act on great product. And I think we’ve got a great opportunity in front of us to really take what our core charter was in building a marketing automation platform that was sophisticated, yet easy to use, and affordable for the mid market customer. And really living up to that promise and kind of winning that mid market entirety back from from sort of all of these bigger, more expensive players.

Mike: That sounds really interesting. I mean, you know, I think the market information space is is an exciting space, because you’ve got a couple of really big, well known players in the enterprise. But actually, you know, from my point of view, I see companies like act on actually closing that gap with those suppliers. I mean, is that where you see the real opportunity?

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. And, and so we have a the sophisticated and fully featured enterprise platform, we have for some time, but we’ve really focused on delivering the core of those features and making it very easy to use, because our bread and butter or bass has been those customers growing up from maybe the upper SMB, and the lower mid market and growing up into needing, you know, full scale marketing automation platforms. And whereas, the quote, other companies, the more you know, sort of the titans of the industry, they’ve really done this feature race, to the top of what we like to call the Bloat cycle, right, which is these very expensive platforms that, you know, promised to do all these things. But at the end of the day, the vast majority of marketers are using it for the core features that we are very good at, right, the core of marketing automation and the rest of that stuff you’re paying for, but you’re not getting the value out of it.

Mike: So I think maybe one thing we ought to do is I mean, we’re assuming everybody knows what a marketing automation platform is, is listening, but that’s probably not the case. Do you want to explain, you know, what a marketing automation platform is, and what you see as being those core features that everybody needs?

Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. It’s good. Good to set the context. Think about how I structure this. So yeah, so marketing automation, I think most marketers would agree that it is the core foundation of martec. For, you know, a mid market or enterprise marketing marketing team, right, there’s a lot of stuff in the mahr tech space now, and I kind of laugh, as I think of all of the software that we use. But really, the foundation is this marketing automation, because it is the primary way that you engage with your customer and prospects in an automated and multi channel way. And so multi channel, you know, in this case means email for sure, as a core website, social media, you know, text, and all these sorts of ways that you’re, you’re engaging with your customer. And so marketing automation provides the ability to reach out your customer through those channels. Automated means that you can set up automated programmes that are multi touch, you know, based on triggers, or activities that that a customer does, for instance, landing on a web page, downloading a piece of content, and you’d say, Hey, you downloaded the five steps for perfect marketing automation.

And, for instance, for example, and you could follow up with another piece that says, you know, hey, we’ve got this great offer for helping you, you know, optimise your marketing automation. Anyway, I’m digging into the weeds a little bit here. So the core capabilities within marketing automation are these multi channel outreach, the ability to track then what your customers are doing, they land on your website, or respond to an email, or many, many, many other things. And then segment, your customer base, and the content that you want to send to that customer base. And so that you can have more personalised and custom content going out through multiple channels, right. So it takes it from essentially email blast that you would from, say, an email service provider, kind of a one touch, blast everything sort of approach to multi channel multisegment, automated capabilities based on the signals that you’re measuring, for customer engagement. I think that reflects the actual power of market information platforms today that they are able to do a lot of, as you say this, this what we used to call the outbound communication, as well as the tracking as well as the segmentation. I mean, there’s a lot there.

In terms of Act-On specifically, how would you position act on it in that world of marketing automation? Yeah, well, I guess I’ll kind of repeat a little bit of what I said, because it is also how we see ourselves today is, you know, we were founded in 2008, to be a sophisticated and powerful yet easy to use and affordable marketing automation solution for the mid market customer. And that is very much how we see ourselves today and how we play today, our core customer base, we have many customers and sort of the upper end of SMB, very strong in the mid market, and more and more enterprise customers who are recognising the value to benefit ratio that we provide, were very strong and financial services and business services, manufacturing, and of course, technology. And, you know, our sort of our vision as this next inflection point of technology, you know, base foundation technology, namely AI is coming out, right, is that we want to be everything I just said about high value and easy to use. And then, you know, the most intelligent platform to so how can we use AI? bring that into our technology, again, to help those mid market teams realise value out of their efforts?

Mike: So that’s interesting. You talk about mid market. I mean, one of the things I think a lot of people when they first start looking at market information platforms is they look at the range of pricing. And they kind of scratch their head and go, yeah, how comes? It’s so big. You know, you talk about your strength in mid market. Why do you think the enterprise vendors can justify such a high premium?

Jeff: You’re gonna get me on my soapbox here. Yeah, I mean, they’ve been very good at getting customers locked into not only their marketing automation platform, but their whole ecosystem around, you know, CRM and ABM and analytics and all of this stuff, and then they charge you based on your total overall database of contacts within the system. And once they have you, they’re able to kind of keep ratcheting up the price and make it very hard to move. But we’ve taken an entirely different approach and said, again, just really focusing on the value and recognising that those mid market customers don’t have the deep marketing budgets to be able to keep up with those pricing models.

Our pricing model is based on active contacts, meaning out of your whole entire contact database, we only charge you based on the ones that you’re engaging on a month to month basis. So if you’ve got, you know, I don’t know, picking numbers out, right, like, if you’ve got 200,000 contacts in your database, but you’re only mailing 100,000 of them, we’re only going to charge based on the 100,000. So again, you’re only getting charged for, for what you’re using.

And that’s pretty unique. I think in in this sector, I mean, most people just count the contacts and billing for every contact. Whereas if you’ve got contacts there that aren’t engaging with the website that maybe have opted out, act on, it’s actually quite a good option, because you don’t have to pay for them. Yeah, for sure. Right. And I, you know, I’ve used, I’ve used Marketo. In the past, I used Pardot, very briefly, but I remember, definitely going through the exercise of like, Oh, our contracts coming up, like let’s go through, let’s go through our database and, and call all the ones that we aren’t using, so that we can get into the lower price threshold.

Which is, that’s exactly the behaviour you don’t want to have to do in marketing, wasting a lot of time pulling a bunch of contacts out, you know, playing games, you may want to go back to those contacts, you know, maybe you just like you’re not marketing to them right now. But you know, you’ll find a reason to market to them in the future, or you’ll want to just see if you can refresh some of them. So, yeah, we hope that our customers don’t have to play those games.

Mike: I love that. I think that’s a great approach. You mentioned a little bit about, you know, the kind of industries that are benefiting from act on, one of the things that that, you know, interests me is, is what kind of marketer or marketing team really benefits from using a product like Act-On? I mean, do you need a big team? Is it a small team? Is it a team that’s, that’s driven by a database, I mean, what characterises a great customer.

Jeff: We like customers that pay us on time and are loyal and only say great things about us on on online. being cheeky.

What we’ve found, and how will we kind of talk about our customers, internally is that we have a great number of customers that we call graduate errs, and they’re the customers that are either in growth mode, or growth mode and company size or growth mode and the number of customers they’re reaching out to or whatever it is, but they’ve graduated from, you know, a simpler Mar tech stack, usually around an ESP system, email system, want to move into marketing automation, and need a system that’s, you know, easy to use, because they have a smaller team, or they just, they don’t have the sophistication or the experience with marketing automation, right. So they, they want a system that’s high value, easy to use. And so we tend to play very well in that space, helping people maximise the value and how to use marketing automation tool for people who either have smaller teams or don’t have experience with it. And I think part of that goes to not only our product, but we’ve invested in and take pride in our Customer Service and Support teams as well who are very accessible to our customers. Because our customers often come to us and say, Hey, how do we do this? How do we do that? How do we can you help us with this thing? And we want to be there for him? Right? So to answer your question is yeah, we do get a lot of these people who are moving up into what we call the graduating mode or playing with marketing automation for the first time, and you want to make sure that the AVID system that they can they can really use and get into it quickly and effectively.

Mike: So it’s interesting. So you talked about the importance of support? I mean, is there anything else you do to help people train themselves up? Because you know, someone coming to market information for the first time? That’s quite a steep learning curve?

Jeff: Yeah. And for sure, right. So we have, we have a very well thought out onboarding process where we meet with the customers, we get them the initial training they need, we have and again, we pride ourselves on this, we have a support team that’s actually available to our customers that when you call you can talk to somebody and you can get help. And we can do online meetings to help our customers. You know, if it’s a if it’s a question on how to or something they’re stumbling with, or an integration, or whatever it is. And then of course, we have, you know, our online knowledge base. We have regular webinars and workshops to help people improve and learn how to do new things that they maybe didn’t know before. So yeah, we take we take a lot of investment and pride in making sure that our customers know how to get the most out of our products.

As interesting I mean, one of the things we have talked about is the range of features in marketing automation platforms today. I mean, is it the case that most people use a relatively small number of features. Is that what you’re seeing? Or are you seeing people using more and more features, we see that most marketing organisations use the core of the marketing automation platform, like the stuff that I was talking about earlier, what we also see is that there are many features in many platforms. And I’m trying not to point fingers, you obviously hear that that you just don’t, most marketers don’t use, right. Either it requires a level of sophistication to use the product that most marketing teams don’t have, or it’s a, it’s a feature that kind of sounds great, but really isn’t in practicality, all that useful.

You know, and so here’s, here’s an example from my own history. And again, I don’t want to name names, but Right, I was using one of the marketing automation platforms. And not only did I have my internal marketing ops team to help me set stuff up, I had my like web and designers to design forms and pages and emails, which was, you know, that’s a, that’s a pretty decent sized team right there to support this one marketing automation platform. But then I’d also have to get off site contractors to do the very specific, you know, in platform development in that sort of own special language, and how forms are displayed on and like, that’s, that’s a pretty high level of sophistication that we’re asking many of these mid market marketing teams to have. And so, if that’s what you need to deploy some of these features, you know, very customised, personalised websites, you know, higher order sort of automated social media, deployment platforms, things like that, like, you know, it’s they’re not going to do it. And what we’re seeing and what we’re hearing in the market is that a lot of marketing is like, yeah, we get that, but we actually don’t use it at all, because it’s just, it’s just too complicated.

Mike: I mean, that’s really interesting. So for someone listening to this, maybe they’ve already got a marketing automation system, maybe they’re they’re graduating up to a buying a marketing automation system. I mean, what do they need to do to run great campaigns? I mean, how can you really get the best out of a marketing automation system?

Jeff: Yeah, I mean, it’s, maybe it’s a little bit back to the basics. Or maybe maybe it’s not basic for for some customers. So maybe that’s a poor choice of words. But I think it is that you understand your customer, target with, with how you want to reach that customer based on your understanding, and then execute and sort of build on that a little bit more. It’s used the tools that you have within marketing automation and other tools on who your customer is, and how they’re engaging with you, and what content is, you know, they’re using, right, what are they getting from your website? What are they opening on your emails? What’s the what’s the content that they’re consuming any step along the way. Use that then to for the targeting sequence to build good automated programmes within marketing automation that reaches, you know, that particular segment of your customer base with meaningful content every step along the funnel. So for instance, we do a lot of financial services, outreach and engagement with customers. And so you know, one of the segments that we have within marketing automation is specific to financial services types, and even specific within like insurance and credit union, and brokerages. Right? And so we can give them the content that is relevant to financial services use the financial services, language, you know, even insurance language versus brokerage language, content that is meaningful to them, which would be very different than content that is meaningful to manufacturing customer or a technology customer, right. So I’m diving in, but I’m hoping this is useful to people within your audience. So target, you know, understand your customer, Build Content and automated programmes that reach your target audience where they want to be reached with content that they want to consume. And then execute. And that’s, that’s using the marketing automation tool to create these automated programmes, reach them through email and social media, and on your website. And then rinse and repeat, like analyse that, see how it’s going, what’s working, what’s not iterate, build out more useful content and keep going.

Mike: You know, I think I think there were some really good nuggets in there. I’d like to just go back and maybe pull a couple of those out. So one of the things I think that people find difficult as they move into using marketing automation is the level of insight you get. And so we still see you know, some clients and that they’re using marketing automation as kind of a an email sending tool. And I know that’s a problem. But I think what you’re saying is actually use the data to find out what people are interested in. And if you could just expand on that a little more and talk about how people can do that.

Jeff: We’ve got to, oh, yeah, yeah, data, data data, right. We’re also data driven, or we should be also data driven. And I love this aspect of it, because it takes it from, you know, hey, I’ve got this good idea of what I think our customer wants to hear to, well, let’s go in and look at how they’re engaging with us and what they’re looking for and what they’re searching on and, and make sure that the data supports our thoughts or guides us in our decision making. So, you know, the data that we collect, specifically in the instance, is all website engagement.

Right? So as a customer or prospect, even an unknown prospect comes to your website, what pages are they landing on? What content? Are they downloading? Where are they going, and then tracks their engagement from any initial point through the whole sort of journey with you? Right? So if you’re using marketing automation, they download a piece of content, you send them an email, did they open the email? Did they click on the email? What did they do next? Did they you know, attend a webinar? Did they attend listened to a podcast? Maybe although I say that I don’t think we can measure if they listen to a podcast or not.

But we certainly get it if they attend one of our webinars that we host and using that data, not only to see sort of at the cross sectional level, like how well is our content performing? How well is our page performing? How well is our email performing, but then to say, Okay, let me look at my financial services, customers and prospects, or let me You know, I can right peel it down one more sub segment and say, let me look at my insurance prospects. What is their journey? When they hit our insurance page on our website? Where are they going next? What content are they engaging with? Right? So you can really use that data to drill in and see what your customers are doing? And how your output is doing. Right? Your content, your page, your email? I think that’s really interesting. I mean, you’re talking about using data, you know, not only to work out what’s causing the prospects to engage what’s exciting them, you know, where they’re spending time, but also, you’re using it to work out what to send them next. And I think that that brings me to my next question. You talk about automations and funnels. And so maybe you could just unpack that concept a little bit. And explain how the automations in in a marketing automation tool, help move prospects through that sales funnel, the marketing funnel? Yeah, absolutely. And right, and this is the core and the beauty of marketing, quote, automation, over just, you know, email blasting, right? It’s the idea that maps to in a sophisticated sale, or in any complex transaction, every buyer goes through that age old process of awareness, consideration and 10 purchase, right? And I will die on that hill for anybody wants to argue.

There’s a lot of talk about flipping the funnel and compressing, and I’m like, Yeah, you might compress. And but everybody still goes through that mental process, whether you’re buying enterprise software, or a car, or I don’t know, you know, a Valentine’s Day dinner for a special someone.

And so you want to align your programmes and your content through a multi touch way that aligns to that thought process, right. So your first touch is just trying to attract the prospect with you know, an answer to a problem they think they have, right. And it’s really about awareness, hey, we do this, we solve this problem for you. Maybe you didn’t know you had this problem. So hey, you have this problem. And like, we’re the ones to help you with it. Bring them in, get them engaging with you, then, you know, just deepen the engagement a little bit more, tell them a little bit more about what you do, eventually try to convince them that you are the best solution for that problem, that’s when you get sort of into consideration in the intent phase. And once you’ve, once you’ve got them into the intent phase, which means they want to buy from you, then it’s about hey, convincing them of the economic benefit of you know, the need to do it now give them all of the things that they need to feel good about the purchase and maybe convince their you know, finance team or their manager, whatever, that they need to do this, right. So it’s, it’s really peeling apart that whole sales process and creating these automated programmes that give them the information that they need to help them make the decision.

Mike: That’s a great way of looking at and it’s about this idea of giving them what they need to make the decision I think is brilliant. I think a lot of marketers we think they forgetting? How do I work that out? You know, how do I create this this model of a funnel that identifies, you know, what the prospects thinking? And therefore what I need to give them? Do you have any tips or advice on how to do that?

Jeff: Wow, you know, I suppose that is a little bit of the art and science of marketing, a few things come to mind, you know, one, it’s, it’s goes back to what I said before is use the data to analyse what’s working, right, you can put, like, if you’re starting totally from scratch, put a bunch of stuff out there, you know, you’re probably in your position, because you’re smart, and you know, the market. So put some stuff out there, see how it works, measure, tweak, put some more stuff out there, measure tweak, right, another approach, which I am a huge fan of, it’s the it’s the sales and marketing alignment idea. I like to work very closely with my sales teams, because they are the feet on the street, they’re the ones that are usually having the verbal conversation, we’re on a podcast, so you can’t see me picking up my phone right now. But they’re the ones having the verbal conversation with the prospects and getting that immediate and, and sort of deeper feedback on who they are what’s working, what they’re interested in what they’re asking for, whether they’re asking for, you know, at this point, they’re probably in the sales cycle, right. So, you know, if they’re asking for economic justification, if they’re asking for, you know, an RFP, if they’re asking for case studies, or customer referrals, or whatever it is, use that information to give them what they want.

Offer them case studies, offer them economic justification, you know, whatever that is, right. And so you can, you can start to use both the signals, I guess, three things, you know, your own knowledge and just sort of what you’re learning and reading on the internet, and everybody’s on knowledge, use the marketing automation to collect the data, and talk to your sales teams, talk to the people that are talking to the customers and, and use that as feedback as well.

Mike: As great advice, and I think a lot of people will feel a lot more comfortable with with kind of that framework, and particularly, you know, leaning on the sales team. And I know, we’ve done that a lot at Napier. And often the sales team can can really give you good pointers. So I love that advice. I mean, I think, you know, we’ve talked about the importance of, you know, thinking and the people behind the marketing automation is about, you know, intelligence that drive great campaigns, but actually a lot of hype today, it’s all about AI.

And I’m just really interested to know, you know, your view of how AI is going to impact marketing automation. And, you know, I’m sure you can’t tell me any plans that have been announced yet. But, you know, equally I’m sure Act-On is looking very closely at how AI can benefit users.

Jeff: Yeah, for sure. And just as you know, the hype cycle is very high right now on AI changing just about everything we do everywhere. It’s gonna have a big impact on on marketing automation, as well. You know, we are I said, we wanted to be the most intelligent marketing automation platform. So we’re definitely looking at machine learning and AI and how we can use it to help the marketer work smarter, right, provide scoring and insights and intelligence that that helped them improve their own marketing and work smarter and segment better, and all of that, right. I don’t think I’m giving anything away there. But you know, I think there’s a lot of things that could happen also in the in the generative technologies like chat TPT, right. That could be I don’t know, monumental for the marketing automation and for marketing in general, one of the things that was obvious to me, coming out of AWS, where we are generating just a tonne of content that was tuned to each of our segments, right. And as you can imagine, AWS has many, many, many segments that we’re working with, well, you know, something like Chet GPT, could be very useful in driving efficiencies and saying, Hey, we want to create this piece of content, please generate this content for all of these different industries. And then, you know, my specialists would go in and instead of spending hours and hours and hours writing original content, they take what we’ve been given through the generative AI and tweak it in, you know, maybe an hour or two. So I think in the same way that could be applied, you could think that that could be applied in for marketing teams using marketing automation. Like oh, I need a new piece of content, boom, let’s let’s crank out something quickly. Make sure that it’s good and what we want to say in tune I don’t think there will ever Well, I shouldn’t say that anybody who’s ever said there’ll never be a time was proven wrong. But I for quite a while now. There’s always going to have to be human intervention to say hey, this piece of content really what we want to be saying and the way that we want to be saying it, using the words that we want to use So there’ll always be that that editorial overlay. But yeah, I think there’s some pretty exciting stuff that that could make our marketing teams more efficient.

Mike: That’s fascinating. I think that there’s loads of options. And I love the way you’ve started with actually using AI for more of the data analysis, because I think in many ways, that that’s the area that perhaps people find the most difficult. And having help in terms of segmentation and understanding, you know, the intent? I think that’s interesting. You know, so I really liked the way you you started with that. Good. Yeah, thank you, I think there is just a tonne of promise there and, and providing real value. You know, in my opinion, I guess you didn’t ask for it, but I’m gonna give it anyway. I think there’s this

you know, we don’t want to think too large and crazy, right? Because that’s the natural tendency of like, Oh, what, you know, total out of the box thing? Could we could we think of an innovate, I think a lot of the value is going to come from kind of doing what we’re doing mentally today and automating that and driving it through machine learning, right? Like, scoring or these insights around, you know, how could you improve your email? Or what is your financial services segment customers using today? And just presenting that to our customers, as opposed to them having to go and analyse and find it themselves? So yeah, I’m very excited for that.

Mike: It sounds like you’re a real optimist about the future of marketing. I mean, I’m interested to know what would you say if a young person came to you and said they were considering marketing as a career?

Jeff: Well, to date myself a little bit, I started that that first job that I told you about where I started, my marketing career was right around the time when like Google Search, Google AdWords was coming out and marketing automation was just being formed. I remember working with those teams on how would you use this right. And so what marketing is, even for me today is so different from what it was 25 years ago, when I started, I guess some advice is, it’s twofold. It’s to two sides of the coin. One is never forget the basics, right? At the end of the day, as a marketer, you have to engage your audience in ways that provide value to them, right, we had this thing back then called Value Add marketing, which sounds funny now, but it’s really just about him making sure that you’re giving the user what they want, not the message that you want to push on them, right. So don’t tell them about speeds and feeds, tell them about how they could use your system to improve their lives. So kind of get back to the basics that way, make sure you’re focused on that, and that you’re engaging your customer in ways that help them along the buying journey. And then the flip side is the total opposite and is very much aligned to what we were just talking about about AI. It’s like, wow, you better you better be a technologist. And don’t be afraid to dive deep into the technology and to get the most out of it. And even to the point where learn how to write a SQL query or learn how to code or, like, the more depth you have in that space, the more power you’re going to have at your hands to leverage this technology.

Mike: Oh, that’s that sounds like great advice. I mean, triggers well, and I’m actually going to cheat I’m gonna say you can’t say us act on has been the best marketing advice. But what what’s other than using act on what is the best marketing advice you’ve ever heard?

Jeff: There was this story I’ve I’ve kind of been giving it to you and dribbles a little bit. It’s this bit about being value add to the customer. Don’t think of yourself as someone who pushes your message onto the market. Think about someone who really helps that buyer get the information they need to make a buying decision. And if you do that, you’re going to build credibility and trust with that buyer, and they’re going to want to buy from you. So at the end of the day, it is self serving, but you can’t start that way. Gosh, other advice, best piece of advice I ever got. Plastics, plastics, my dear boy plastics.

That was out of a movie sorry. Yeah, you know, I think it’s been I don’t know if it was a piece of advice. I remember working with this. This gentleman, Kevin Joyce has also been in the market for a long time back in those early days. And we really talked about how we use, you know, Google AdWords to test our message and test the market very quickly. And then you know, that that moved into like a B testing with email. And so I think it’s, I’ll take that as a bit of advice of like, hey, use the technology that you have available to you today to learn and think about how you can do marketing better because it’s always the is the process of try something be smart, you know, be a little edgy, try to reach your customers, and then measure it and test it and do a B testing and test another message and see what works and just tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak, right, it’s very rare that you’re going to come in and hit a homerun right off the first pitch, like, go in and put your best foot forward and measure and tweak and improve. And that’s, that’s always been my path to success is in building really strong and high performing marketing engines is going in there doing your best work, and then and then adjusting stuff to improve.

Mike: That that’s awesome. And I think, again, very optimistic advice. You know, you don’t have to be perfect first time. I think that’s a great bit of advice. You know, people listening to this, I mean, if they’re not using a marketing automation platform, or maybe they are and they feel that it’s time to change. I mean, how would they go about, you know, evaluating act on it? Do you have any advice as to, you know, what they should consider when selecting a platform?

Jeff: Great question. I guess I’m gonna reflect on how I’ve done similar technology assessment and purchases is, you know, you start with really being honest with yourself on what you need, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Because it’s, it’s so easy to get sucked into the shiny object mentality, right? Like, oh, that feature sounds really cool. Oh, that feature sounds really cool. Oh, yeah. Wouldn’t it be great if, when, you know, that might not be something that you even have the capability to skill set in house? Or the resources to do? Right? So go in with a very clear list of, hey, what’s most important to me? What are my nice to haves? What’s the price point that we want, and then you talk to a lot of vendors, be sure to you know, get demos and really get an understanding for how easy it is to use the system, right? Because how easy it is use the system at the end of the day is a sense of how much use you’re gonna get out of it, and how efficient like if you can get the whole team trained up on using a marketing automation platform, because it’s it’s pretty straightforward and easy to use, then you’re gonna be very efficient, leveraging that marketing automation platform. If you know, CMA is really complicated. And you’ve really got one expert in house, that person then becomes the bottleneck, right? So again, don’t I guess the point is, I get in, understand the usability, make sure that is a level that you believe that you’ve got the skill sets in house to make use of it. And then you know, test and demo and also look at the other what we used to call the intangibles, which is outside of the product, the support of the online resources for learning the sort of knowledge base, the ecosystem of people that outside of the company that are available to you all of that that’s the entire package. And it’s all worth assessing, and making sure that you are getting what you want going into it.

Mike: Thanks. I mean, Jeff, you’ve been great as a guest, it’s been fascinating to hear you talk about marketing automation, I think you’ve done a wonderful job of avoiding being, you know, too much of a salesperson for your own platform. And it’s a very competitive industry. And there must be a temptation, I really appreciate that. I’m sure there’s people who’d love to know more, whether it’s about Act-On marketing automation. If anyone listening wants to get in contact with you, what would be the best way?

Jeff: Yeah, I think if you want to get in touch with me personally, find me on LinkedIn, reach out, I’m on there at least a couple of times a day. If you want to learn more about act on as a company or as our product, best to reach out through those various channels through our website, something like that, because because otherwise I’ll be a bottleneck to getting you in touch with the right people.

But you know, thank you for you know, this this time, Mike, and thank you everybody for listening. And yeah, this has been fun. I’m obviously very passionate about marketing and the space because it’s it’s just a fun world that we live in right now.

Mike: Thanks, Jeff. I’ve really enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for being a guest.

Jeff: Thanks so much.

Thanks so much for listening to marketing B2B Tech. We hope you enjoyed the episode. And if you did, please make sure you subscribe on iTunes, or on your favourite podcast application. If you’d like to know more, please visit our website at Napier B2B dot com or contact me directly on LinkedIn.