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How a CMO leveraged Salesforce marketing automation, with Josh Bradley (video + transcript)

On August 25th, 2019, DESelect CEO, Anthony Lamot, had the honor of interviewing Josh Bradley who is the CMO of 4C Consulting. Josh talks about Salesforce Marketing Cloud and how 4C uses it in their B2B context. They cover subjects like Salesforce Pardot (including specific examples like “how to use page actions”), lead scoring, re-marketing, segmentation, and much more.

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Transcript

Intro

Anthony: Hey there. This is Anthony from DESelect. In today’s interview, I’ll be talking with Josh Bradley, the CMO of 4C. Josh will be explaining what it means to position as a services provider that is a pan-European platinum Salesforce partner. But we’re actually going to be covering a lot of ground in this interview. So he’ll be talking about how to build a brand and also how they become more targeted which is of course a subject close to my heart. Specifically he’s going to be talking about how they start to focus on, for instance CPQ and they’ve got industry focus, for instance, in manufacturing. Besides this, if you’re using Salesforce Pardot, you’ll find this interview very interesting because he’ll be sharing some concrete lessons learned of how they are using Pardot in their organization including the topic of lead scoring which is very tricky as we will discuss but also how building data is so useful for retargeting and then for remarketing in fact. Lastly he’ll also be going into how important it is to have a segmentation strategy. Again,a topic close to my heart. So I hope you find this interview very interesting. Now don’t forget to subscribe to these videos here on your YouTube channel so you can stay up to date when we are releasing more content like this. Other than that, I hope you enjoy it.

 

Interview

Anthony: Alright. Hi Josh. Thanks for having us here in your office.

Josh: Thank you for having me.

Anthony: Yeah you’re most welcome. I think it’s best for our viewers perhaps first if you tell a bit about yourself then also what your business does.

Josh: Sure. So I’m Josh Bradley, the CMO of 4C. We’re a Salesforce implementation partner. We have offices across Europe: London, Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels, Lyon, Oslo, our most recent open, and also Dubai. So yeah, pan-European platinum Salesforce partner.

Anthony: You seem to be growing very quickly. Do you have a favorite office?

Josh: Hard choice but I’m from London, which is where I’m based, which is a fantastic city. But it’s nice to get out to Dubai as well, on the sunny part of the world and yeah, pleasant office with a great view.

 Anthony: Great, it sounds great. I mean it’s probably very different from the rest of Europe.

Josh:  Yeah completely. And the culture there, and how you engage your customers, how you go about selling services like software. It’s a different market, it’s an emerging market but one of Salesforce’s fastest growing emerging markets. It’s an exciting place to do business. Yeah I enjoy it.

 Anthony:  Sounds cool. How do you market, how do you go to customers?

 Josh: Yeah it’s a good question. We have, as an organization… we’ve focused a lot on building the 4C brand over the last couple of years, building a positive reputation around the implementations that we’ve carried on… strengths in the areas of manufacturing high tech. So really you’re sure to drill down into those industries. When I first joined four years ago, I always say that we were we were like a mile wide and an inch deep. Trying to be everything to everyone.

 Anthony: Right.

Josh: Following multiple acquisitions in France and the Nordics and obviously 4C is a Belgian business and acquiring my former employer and associates, we were able to sort of bring together all the strengths of the group and say… well where do we want to focus? Why do we flag our strengths? Now we’re using much more – I guess – distinctive and targeted messaging around things like CPQ, Agreement Cloud (which is Docusign really fun to do. And we also have, like I said, a focus on high tech and manufacturing, which should become important. And non-profit as well certainly in the UK. So, we’ll come onto this, but trying to target different customer segments certainly on business size as well… we’ve evolved from being an SMB focused business to a more CBU and enterprise-focused business as we’ve grown.

 Anthony: But it’s interesting because I do want to get to targeting, but maybe before we go there, let’s spend a minute on positioning because you mentioned when you came in – if I can say it that way – basically 4C was a little bit of everything. Now I hear you mentioning two things really: Product focus such as CPQ but also industry focus like manufacturing. How do you balance that because it sounds like a trade-off to some extent.

Josh: Yeah, I think when you go where the money is, right… Where the big deals are that’s often what happens when you’re a growing services business like yourselves. You know we follow like what we’ve invested and love as an organization the technologies of CPQ and demandware. We know for example that manufacturers are big adopters of that technology. So that’s a big space where they’re playing. We know in the e-commerce space, high tech for example, CPQ is becoming much more popular. There’s a higher purchase rate in those two industries. It wasn’t the exact reason we chose them but I believe that we’ve got the skill set. I think we have 35 plus consultants now and that’s in CPQ and building space so we’ve kind of build up a reputation in the services sector and possibly we’ve got some fantastically big customers online in that CPQ space. It’s not just manufacturing and high tech but financial services and a few other places so you know if I was to choose… it is a balancing act but I think it’s where are the sales coming from? You know it’s a buy and not even a bottom line business and CPQ has been a big driver of sales for us.

 Anthony: Yeah. Great. So that’s a bit about the positioning and the expertise that you bring as 4C to your customers. Now one of the domains that you’re active in is marketing automation. So I’m curious, you know marketing automation is a phrase thrown around a lot in recent years. What does marketing automation mean for you? Let’s start there.

Josh: Sure. I think for me marketing automation is being able to mark your customer’s journey from the initial touch point of engaging with your brand online. So for us, you know, I think of what that looks like for a lot of our prospects and leads and customers. It’s coming onto the website, completing an inquiry, downloading a bit of content, being put into a specific list or segmented into a group, going on to a nurture drip campaign being, inviting to events and the various bits of content and being linked to alerts to send to our business development (BD) and sales team for further qualification and recycling. We’re sorting the customer’s actions on things like page actions either engaging with different products or services available online and then ultimately that sort of nurture, building a profile, being able to pass on warm leads to our BD team and our sales team.

 Anthony: Right and you’re obviously a B2B business. Can I ask what is the tech that you use for the before mentioned nurturing flows? 

Josh: We use Pardot

Anthony: Okay, and are there some lessons learned that you can share with us about that?

Josh: Yes. Probably my biggest takeaways, you know one of my favorite features of Pardot… I love page actions. And I think if you understand how to use them properly…

Anthony: How do you use them properly?

Josh: Good question. Right. So it’s about setting up real time alerts, scoring (page scoring), unique scoring on certain pages for prospects. So if you want to know when someone is really engaged and see our managed services product or our CPQ product, we’re able to find out when people visit certain blogs related to let’s say managed services. The managed service product page they go on to find out what that is. This will track them over time, send real time alerts or notifications out to the salesperson or the BD team leader, saying prospect is assigned to you. So it helps them understand what is this. Potentially old lead or brand new lead looking up and it gets them talking points and it just keeps that real-time. Is that the real-time engagements closed your sales team? So that’s driving sales projections. I’m a big fan of form handlers just because they can be manipulated and you can develop them to integrate within your website. Again that’s probably the biggest one out there… until we realize where they want to be part of. Obviously, also customer profile and your lead scoring etc.

 Anthony: About lead scoring… We’re actually starting to circle back slowly to targeting this way. Lead scoring seems to be something very hard to pull off. I find that with customers it’s almost elusive it seems. To what extent are you able to leverage that?

Josh: It is difficult and you really need to set it up yourself, you need to know what, because it’s very fluid. It can change, right? The score changes all the time you create web pages and bits of content. You need to set up your scoring parameters very early on I think, to get it right. And you need to stick to those parameters. And again it’s about how you set up alerts. I think you need to begin things with page actions because all of a sudden you get a summary of a score of 500. But what does that 500 mean relative to what the prospect or the lead has been been doing on your site? There needs to be a history behind that. And that’s, I think, where it comes to lots of planning before we sort of execute. So to answer the question: It is difficult to get it right but I think, like anything in marketing, it boils down to strategy. First decide about what that map looks like. What is a hot lead? What is a cold lead? One of the keys of the pages are actions that feed into that score …

 Anthony: …and the finding process underneath that.

Josh: Yes, exactly, building a process with your BD. Are your sales team narrowing down those leads? Are they picking up the phone or engaging with them via email?

 Anthony: Sure. So for targeting itself, let’s say tomorrow you want to do a campaign. I’m assuming it’ll probably be for a specific thing like CPQ. Perhaps even for an industry. But what are the next steps? How do we do that specifically?

Josh: So to build a campaign… if for example, I’ll take we have an existing installed base of let’s say 500 Salesforce users within a particular industry. We would go out and do an analysis of the data that we have. Say we have potential buyers. Is there an opportunity when we speak to the account manager, salesperson or the tactical person working on that? And if they’re obviously happy for us to email them, we’ll put them into a larger campaign, which will have been built by one of the marketing team. That will contain various bits of content, blogs, webinars and eventually get a lot of research as well in the sector. We usually do have a couple of events throughout the year as well, so there’s an opportunity to pick up the phone and say: “ou know, we’ve not spoken in maybe a year or two. We know you have Salesforce Cloud. Would you like to come along at a CPQ event ? We’re going to have a guest speaker.” And now, by that stage we’re hoping that then they have received a couple of emails, going through the nurture process, which you can see in Pardot, where we can see they might have gone through. So it might be some remarketing there as well, which is always useful. Now that’s a channel that we do use as well. We’ve got that customer data and we know that they are interested.

 Anthony: I’m trying to imagine how this process goes. Is it that in marketing, when you first make a – let’s say – a base selection. Or you set the industry and install base, for instance. But it sounds like that then you go to the next step, which is validating that with sales.

Josh: Yeah. Well I want to go back to some of the philosophy that I’ve been learning more recently. I’ve completed a mini-MBA on how you should go around. Stop me if you want to… but going into segmentation, targeting and positioning: I think a lot of companies nowadays, whether they’re working on B2B or B2C, make the mistake of jumping through the end of the tactics when they’re doing that segmentation, targeting and positioning. So what channels are we going to use for the last events, e-mails, PR content or whatever that makes an integrated marketing communications mix? Well I don’t know for you… but a lot of businesses don’t take the time to set strategy to listen to the customer. It’s what you call market orientation.

 Anthony: What I hear is… people go directly to letting salespeople pick a list of customers?

Josh: Exactly. Rather than planning and listening to what your customer has to say, what the market has to say. Well it’s actually what can your business learns by listening and then going out and doing your segmentation, your targeting, building your position from there. So what’s the message around CPQ or the evolution of what 4C wants to be for a customer? It’s not just about Salesforce for us but it’s about delivering value through management, consultancy and technology: things like AI and big data as well since we’re moving forward. So again, listening and then trying to go back to look at what segments actually are, what market segments you want to tap into and then who really knows what segments you will position to yourself.

 Anthony: You mentioned segments. Do you have something completely predefined segments, like, tomorrow… if I want to send out an email with your Pardot environment to a manufacturer in CPQ with already sales quotes, is there something like that consumable?

Josh: Roughly. Again it depends how good you are with your data especially if you’ve got a strong Salesforce set up… Which we’re lucky to have and has taken years of refinement. So if you’re strict with your data, your sales team are on the ball, all the mandatory fields are completed and you’ve got industry, location etc, then splitting and managing that data is a dream. If it’s not then I hope you’ve got a good internal allotment. Are you on sales alone so I could pick another few, but it boils down to how to manage your data especially in marketing to existing customers. I’m not sure things like Pardot can help using formulas having the right fields -that’s why when you go to a computer contact webform, you get asked your first name, last name, industry, location. All of this helps with the actual splitting while segmenting of the data as well.

 Anthony: All right. And there’s one side question here because we are often using the terms targeting and segmentation. Maybe it’s just in the Belgian market but I hear the phrase campaign selection often used for this process. Is that something you use?

Josh: It’s not a term I’ve come across. Perhaps it’s stuff going on inside the tactical environment and for more than a year, I have lost touch. Yeah, so far I’ve not come across it.

 Anthony: Is there some sort of distinction between targeting and segmentation?

Josh: Well I think your market segment is the data. I’m sure this is what we’re wanting to do and this is the segment we want to go into, while  targeting increases drilling a bit further and building the profile that you would go after in that segment, if I’m correct.

Anthony:  It aligns very well with the way I see it. I would say targeting is when you’re doing a specific campaign you’re probably going to leverage your segments that you hopefully already have, if your CRM is good. But then within that you may add an extra filter for instance.

Josh: Yes. So if you wanted to go after CFOs who fell into the financial services industry and they were the decision makers, you build your target  profile which I think it’s telling you to go after something very specific. I can’t remember the name of it trying but if you really want to do that sort of deep diving, you can really pen yourself, your business to one or two key target segments and build the profile of exactly who you’re going for which is interesting since it takes a lot of work ethic and a lot of research as well.

Anthony: But it can pay off.

Josh: It can pay off mostly, yeah.

Anthony: Excellent. Well you’ve answered a lot of my questions. Is there any question you want to ask me? It’s something I like to ask the interviewees during this series.

Josh: Sure. I’d like to ask you – excluding Salesforce, because we both work in a Salesforce environment-  what would be the organizations you think are making a big impact with their marketing program or marketing to their potential customers very well?

Anthony: Yeah, I find that a really challenging question. This is the part where the viewers find out that this is not entirely scripted by the way. But Salesforce is great. But other than that, especially because we are a technology company ourselves, we are very big on Slack. I think what makes Slack interesting is that, to a large extent, their marketing has to do with their product management. What I mean is that they started with a very niche segment that they served. Concretely, to offer some more features for developers with more technical profiles. And I think they knew that these people were the entryway into the companies to launch this sort of software. If you have a developer team in your company that’s starting to use Slack, they also happen to be the decision makers who can say, ‘oh we can just roll this out for the rest of the organization’. So I think it’s partially targeting. It’s definitely also positioning and the way they put the product forward.

Josh: Yes they did. They did a great job. I love how Slack is like a traditional SAS business. They didn’t go having momentum on marketing and kind of evolved organically but I feel that their biggest asset is probably being a player in the SMB space for intercompany communication or even external company communication. We use it to engage with a lot of our external suppliers. It’s a fantastic platform for us in base.

Anthony: It’s interesting. But on a side note I just remembered something else I find interesting. Some of the ways that B2B businesses are marketing these days are starting to be adopted by B2C. The most recent example I came across is… Salesforce has their Dreamforce with a massive keynote by their CEO Marc Benioff. But I was very surprised when I went to the website of Airbnb and they had their CEO’s keynote on the front page. So it’s not that this has to be B2B and this has to be B2C and there’s no lessons learned between them.

Josh: I think the lines are becoming more blurred. I think if you look at the buying habits, there are certainly things that impact buying decisions for B2C and are overflowing into B2B as well. It’s interesting when you look at the evolution of platforms like G2, or disrupt organizations like Forrester and Gardner, which are becoming the Amazons and the Airbnbs of this world which have completely shook up consumers buying a product. They want to read reviews and that’s arguably the most important thing on a buying decision in the B2B space as well. Peer to peer reviews is so important. These are the big things that contend in case studies but I think you’ll find neither of them a bit farther down the line and the evolution of peer to peer platforms like G2 crowd are having a big impact on the purchase decisions in innovatively space.

Anthony: Absolutely. And I think that’s a good statement to round up this interview. I want to thank you for your time.

Josh: Yes. Thank you.

Anthony: Thanks

 

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