Ep 22 | Transforming B2B Sales Strategies with Ben Simms of MarketSource Inc

If you’re (still!) looking for new ways to disrupt your B2B Sales initiatives, these useful tips and ideas from Ben Simms, Vice President of Commercial Client Services at MarketSource will come handy.

About Ben:

As the leader of delivery for commercial client services at MarketSource, Ben is responsible for deploying and executing a wide range of B2B sales and marketing solutions for Fortune 500 and enterprise clients across several verticals and industries. Ben’s client engagement programs manage inside sales, account development, brand advocacy, and channel sales teams for some of the most iconic brands in the B2B space. He has an insatiable thirst for learning how different industries can most efficiently grow revenue and share knowledge management principles to instigate strategic thinking. The #1 motivating factor throughoutBen’s profession has been growing careers.

Prior to MarketSource he spent 15 years as a leader in admissions, marketing, and operations for higher education institutions to launch careers for graduates and now enjoys growing careers at MarketSource on behalf of his clients. Combining his experience in education and passion for rock music Ben has a “side hustle” as the owner of School of Rock – Johns Creek, inspiring people to rock on stage and in life, which was voted “best music lessons in North Atlanta” by Appen Media. Ben has lived in 13 states calling Georgia home since 2013.

He holds a BBA from Western Michigan University and an MBA from the University of Colorado. Ben lives in Johns Creek with his wife, Christina, and two rock star sons. You can follow him on Twitter  or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Top ten takeaways from the episode:

  1. “I’m a fan of high amount of sales prospecting touchpoints.”
  2. “If you have a high volume of attempts within a timeframe, you get more results.”
  3. “Sales and marketing alignment is an age-old question that I don’t think will ever be solved!.”
  4. “Sales and Marketing conflict can actually help challenge the status quo.”
  5. “The one thing Marketing is responsible for (always) is generating leads.”
  6. “Its never only about impressions and touches and triggers.”
  7. “Sales should have SLAs – how quickly will they respond to a lead, how quickly will they follow up.”
  8. “I believe Marketing should focus on Demand Generation and Inbound leads.”
  9. “Its more common to have BDRs and SDRs report to Sales and this also gives more results.”
  10. “Data is improving dramatically and in a quick way. I’m excited about technographic data which analyses digital signals to see who is using or recently purchased different technologies. ”
About the podcast

Sunny Side Up is a series of 15-minute podcasts. Leaders and innovators share what they’ve learned in the B2B tech sector on topics related to marketing, product management, sales, and leadership.

Ep18 | Creative ways to Gate Content and Get more Leads with Pamela Muldoon, The Pedowitz Group

Pamela Muldoon of The Pedowitz Group returns to our podcast series titled Sunny Side Up to discuss the future of gated content and what leading brands do to gain leads with this strategy.

Key Takeaways from the episode:

  1. A lot of folks in B2B sales are finding it very tough to break through the noise to connect with their target accounts. Having your own podcast gives your team the unique ability and often times the ability for sales too to break in to new accounts starting with the aim of interviewing your ideal clients on your podcast.
  2. The big reason we see audio content  gaining attention is because of the nature of the way that we live and do work these days. 
  3. The timing for podcasting is really really good as we touched upon. But the thing I would encourage folks to think about is this idea of content based networking where you collaborate with your ideal clients and potential referral partners to create content.

Here’s the complete transcription:

Paroma (00:13): Hi, Pamela, Welcome back to the DemandMatrix podcast series. We are  really happy to have you here for the second time. How do you feel?

Pamela(00:21): Hello. Hello. It is so good to be back. Thank you so much for having me. 

Paroma(00:31): You’re most welcome. And this time we basically wanted to try and touch base on creative ways to make content gating an interesting venture. So that’s the main aim of this episode and the last time I think we touched base on a lot of content marketing strategies and we touched a lot about content gating as well and this time we hope to share a lot more creative ideas with our audience.

Pamela (00:56): Perfect. It’s a hot topic right.It’s one that I think every marketing team continues to have internally and kind of monitor externally what other companies are doing and what works and what doesn’t work. So I don’t know if this is ever going to become an old topic anytime soon. Right. It’s just it’s something we’re all dealing with every single week.

Paroma(1:17): Yeah let’s just discuss some of the most common and basic factors here.What are some of the hits and misses when it comes to promoting gated content assets according to you.

Pamela (1:27): I think there’s a couple of things. The whole intent here is to get your content  in front of the right person at the right time. Right. And so the challenge with that is we have a lot of platforms you know between our social media platforms and our own website and email right. Different platforms so we can get things in front of our folks. I think one of the misses we have is not taking into consideration how these different platforms play into the audience journey. I’m sure anyone listening to this feels that way. And so sometimes you know trying to find the generality is what gets us into trouble. And so really understanding if I’m putting a piece of gated content out on say Facebook or Twitter, how  I’m positioning that, how am I teeing that up in terms of the messaging, in terms of the headline, just really being cognizant and then aware that even though I might be the same buyer that comes in and touches your information through various platforms how I receive it needs to work with that platform. So I think that’s one area we could all use some improvement on. And I think one of the reasons we are challenged with that is because of resource constraint, it does take time to do that. And then I think another mess for us especially in B2B (and I hate to say it), the B2B tech space but especially in the B2B space we still see forms that are just super long, just way too much information especially when it’s from an awareness lead generation capacity.  And asking for the e-mail address, the name, the phone number, what part of the country or perhaps world, all of those questions actually tend to turn folks off initially and that’s part of the “building the trust process” to ask me those questions…. So I think there’s still some room for improvement with how we reach out and do this promotion, but at the same time one of the wonderful things we have is so many different ways to do it now versus even say five years ago.

Paroma(03:44): Absolutely that’s true. So what have you been seeing in terms of the ills when it comes to gating too many content assets? Everybody has a whole bunch of e-books and whitepapers through which they like to indirectly reach out to their target audience but oftentimes we see a lot of small and medium sized brands geared to have many assets. And you know when you’re a smaller company what we also observe is that not many of the audience base would want to share their details to see what you’ve written because there’s a lot of information that’s already free and they probably want to rely on big brands or established brands to read the information. So what are your thoughts on this aspect, the ills of gating too many of your content assets.

Pamela(04:27): You know it’s such a catch 22 scenario isn’t it when you have a small team. For example if your resources are constrained. One of the beautiful things about marketing automation and the ability to ask for gated information is really that automation process can really be almost an outsourced extra marketing team member right. And I think that’s where the danger also lies, is when we have such a reliance on the expectation that if we can get them to download this and then download the next piece and the next piece they can do this progressive profiling faster. Right. But the danger in that is that we’re doing it from a very selfish place. We were kind of being I guess controlled by our own lead management process right. If my audience is one that’s really hesitant to provide the information then you have to come back to the trust factor and this is where I do think it’s really making sure your social media presence and your content marketing presence are aligned very strongly that you know it’s kind of interesting with smaller organizations. I think they do that well or do it better because you’re just more agile. But these larger organizations, the irony is that in our ability to break down silos we actually created more silos in the marketing department. So we now have a social media person and often I’ve worked with organizations from an enterprise level where they’re not even involved in the content ideation process. They’re not involved. These areas that you would assume a social media presence would automatically be involved. You know the messaging and how it’s going to be teed up for getting them to follow through on the gated content. So I think when you’re feeling that you’re actually getting in the way it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself- How can I better build trust with the audience that I’m looking to build trust with. And what are ways we can do that. Again you have these amazing platforms. Maybe it’s an opportunity to adjust how you’re sharing your information and where you’re sharing it. So that when I am coming into something gated I feel like I do know and trust you which is so critical in today’s world.

Paroma(06:44): Right, Okay, so at this point what have you seen some of the leading brands do?

Pamela(06:50): Yeah. Since I knew we were going to be talking about this I was doing a little bit of research and it’s funny because a lot of the larger brands and you and I, we work in the marketing of a lot of technology in the B2B space right. So the challenge with that is we kinda know the brands well from our own personal selfish needs. So I say that from like some brands like say Salesforce or Oracle or these larger technology marketing brands there are so many things they do well with in terms of gating or providing valuable information and they also do a nice job. They also do a nice job of providing even something as robust as an e-book or a whitepaper like you mentioned free at certain stages so that we’re not feeling like we have to give our information for everything. However on the flip side to this sometimes the larger companies also are challenged. They might be great at getting you to come in but I think they jump on the sales conversation still too quickly right. It’s very challenging to find a large brand that is doing all aspects of this well there’s pieces they do well. They think that you know what I just downloaded a whitepaper to get information that you sent me in an email. Now you’re already calling me on a telephone. Right. I think of digital marketers and sometimes they do a really nice job of balancing the free information along with the gated information. And here’s the key to this-> when I do take in something that’s gated all the other information you share with me especially when you’re sending me additional emails, will it continue to fulfill that same level of quality? This is where I think some of the larger brands kind of fall flat. They start off really strong but then they kind of fall into their old routines. Right. And so then of course the challenges are in unsubscribing – are you going to continue to give me the quality that I expected from the first touch. And eventually if it feels like you’re gating too much that isn’t good  so we unsubscribe. So this is a never ending process right. For all of us in terms of putting out quality information not just at the initial gate but even afterwards and moving forward.

Paroma(09:45): Right. So here’s a slightly more tricky question. As a content marketer we as content marketers rather would focus on a blog primarily to get relevant traffic to the website. What do you think is better as a strategy to just have one type of content format for example like video, audio or text and continuously use that to increase volumes as well as traffic to the site. Or should they still be focused on different forms. Gated content or philosophy is something you often say will never go away.

Pamela(10:30) : It’s really a great question. I think there are certain formats that just lend itself naturally to being better unjaded. And what I’m automatically thinking of is say awareness level content for podcasting, for audio for example when you think it’s a very challenging medium to get right so it can be a wonderful medium if you’re building a nice solid audience and listenership to drive that loyalty and trust right into your website and into other information into the score in a lead score process. And part of the reason of this is because when you think about YouTube or the different podcast subscribe apps like Apple you know their Apple podcast app. There’s such a high expectation that it’s just available with one or two clicks. Right now it’s really challenging to gate it. You have to be very very cognizant that what you’re getting is truly valuable and that you can truly only find it here. So that’s where to kind of answer your question. I think we’re seeing generally some really good success with lead gen video and audio because it’s such a great trust building platform right. You see me you hear me. This is the real deal here. At the same time when you do start to drive more of a gating conversation it really comes back to what is it that I can do to provide value. And I don’t have specific statistics around like mediums like whitepaper versus e-book but I do believe that when you’re giving me something that I can truly take action on easily that becomes more valuable. So I think our checklists are resources those types of things are great lead gen gates because you’re fulfilling on an immediate promise. And then of course you need to fulfill it along the line. So it’s a really interesting question I think I would lean toward some of these more trustworthy mediums, audio-video to be great generators and necessarily not gate them until you feel that you’ve already developed some kind of rapport with them.  If we were to transcribe this and then type it all out it’s just not the same .(Some of the value would get lost ) as it does the emotion, the wow she seems to sound like a nice person. Right. Right. They all come into play and then you throw a video on top. And now I get to actually look at you and see you and know your smile and and all those little nuances on a very subconscious level. Build this trust in rapport so that when you do get something of value that might be a little more text based. I feel a sense of loyalty, I feel a sense of trust. So it’s a great question. I think it’s one of the reasons we see those mediums not gated as much especially in the awareness stages.

Paroma(13:40): Right, when it comes back to smaller and smaller companies and maybe even mid-sized companies they may not necessarily have an entire content marketing or a content team either. So when it comes to posting content regularly on their pages on their websites and when it comes to content gating, how would you divide the efforts so that is a priority for both. Or should they be dividing the effort if at all.

Pamela(14:01): It’s a really great question. I think there has to be some dividing up of efforts because as we mentioned earlier it’s still such a prevalent part to their lead management process right. I don’t know that you will ever see gating totally go away because it’s so vital to B2B, to be able to segment people right or to be able to allow your internal sales team or your sales staff to start gaining insights. And what a great way for marketing and sales. I mean we struggled for so many years for marketing and sales to align and work together. Now we’re seeing that much more today and partly in play because we’re developing content that’s gated based on what sales is telling us is important to the audience right. So it’s really kind of a delicate relationship. So if you’re on a small team I think you do need to take into consideration maybe even a 50/50 or possibly a 60/40. And what I mean by 60/40 is 60 percent free-40 percent gated. Or maybe even 70-30. I think the majority of your valuable content for free is still extremely powerful and important because it is the best awareness tool you have and that is the best differentiator you have in terms of your brand and companies value proposition and your ability to put your voice out there so you do want to make sure that you have solid content that’s in front of them whether it’s a consistent blog, a consistent podcast, a combination of these things but you still will need to consider some type of gating methodology. I believe just simply because it makes it efficient right. It makes the efficiency of our small teams to be able to provide data and information to our executive teams or to our leadership that keeps this motor running and all of those moving parts become part of a bigger whole. But I do think perhaps a little more on the free but making sure that you have something in parallel that’s working with your campaigns so you can track your data there as well for sure.

Paroma(16:06): Right. So let’s go to another another point. There’s always access to free information and if teams get their content and readers not really  interested in sharing their contact information in exchange for that content, they’ll still find a way to find what they’re looking for. You know even if it’s like reports or an old statistic or any kind of information, it’s not for certain that they’re going to share that idea because they will find what they want online. The online space is really vast. So what content marketers started doing is focusing on adding value to the content that they get in exchange for this contact information that they wanted. This is my question here. Is this enough of a strategy to draw people to exchange this valuable information, you know, like their email ids. Brett Yeah yeah yeah. Is there another way for them to maybe lock an offer behind this gated content, this gated form, or another way to create or portray this kind of content. Because it seems to be getting a little more competitive and stagnant now that we look at.

Pamela(17:14): It kind of goes to that idea too. It’s not always about more right. It’s about the quality. Kind of equates to this value right. What is the value. What is it that we really want to provide our audience that is valuable to them. And then on top of this Paroma we can put our customer journey down on paper right and we can put it in a circle we can put it in a line. It doesn’t matter. I still am going to come at my own pace based on who and what I am and what I know right. So it’s just a mess out there. And you’re absolutely right. So I think a couple things that we have to take into consideration in today’s world is this- the strength and opportunity for these content hubs. And when I say content hubs obviously there are some platforms I think of, there’s UberFlip that has a content hub methodology, these content hubs I think are going to be more of the future of where content needs to go to kind of answer your question as to how do we keep our audience engaged when they are free but can go anywhere. But also we still need to drive them to some downloads so that we can track them. I think even taking a step back and saying how do we keep them engaged for as long as possible on our site. Right. And so this requires two things. It requires 1) a platform where all of our content is very easily within one click. I can go through my own journey one click at a time through the information you provide and that’s what content hubs tend to be able to do well. So there’s that platform and then the flip side to this is in resources and this is where we always get a little hung up especially if we’re a small team. How do I develop an entire juries worth of content for the what if scenario. Right. And this is not easy but it really is doing the foundational work well on your buying journey stages as well as your personas so that you’re developing all of this great trust value content and it’s going to happen or going to  feed your audience when they want it. Keeping them there, keeping them on your space because you’re absolutely right. There is no such thing, we are all a commodity today right. Services are products that are so special and unique. They’re the only one who does it. So it’s very easy for us as searchers on the Web to find it from multiple sources. I think the other piece to this is building trust and building relationship. And we hear those words quite a bit but when you think about it once I feel like I’m very aligned to a brand or person within a brand, it changes the conversation. It changes my search and the other piece to this is as we move in to more voice controlled search right with your Alexa’s and your Siris right. We need to really understand how search is being done moving forward and creating our content so it aligns with that because unlike Google, our search and voice is the most popular, it is going to rise to the top. So it’s going to be a very interesting mix here in the coming. You know shortly in problem what two three four years to see how that plays out. But I think content hubs and keeping them on for as long as possible is where we want to start focusing to be able to handle some of these other challenges better.  

Paroma(20:37): So I just have another question, tell me when it  comes to  smaller and medium size of companies, would you even advice them to avoid creating gated content assets, is that a better way for smaller teams to drive traffic, using free content?

Pamela(21:01): I’m probably a little on the fence here. When I think through that question because here’s the challenge when we talk about small teams we talked about lack of resources.Right or the inability to create more, we’d have to be really focused for our efficiency. And this is where I think content gating, marketing automation technology platforms are super helpful for small teams. The challenge of course is that we don’t want to feel like there isn’t the emotion behind the content. So I would still encourage. I think what it is is about streamlining really, looking at your buying, turning your personas in your content ideation as kind of a Venn diagram right and deciding where based on your business objectives, where my gaps what’s going to drive the best results for our business and start to decide there are developing perhaps a campaign or two that includes some gated content that’s very specific to those objectives so that it’s working somewhat in an automated sense that you’re still tracking and tweaking if you have to. But there’s an automated element to it so that when you have those up and running you can spend more time developing these free resources for consistency purposes and to keep some fresh content out there so I really think it still has to be a balance. But when you’re using the automation on a small team use it as smart as you possibly can and be very cognizant that you’re using it as almost an additional team member right. Not just to make your life easier but let’s have this team member actually work with you on the  business.

Paroma(22:35): I think this was an interesting take on content gating and how people can do it a little more effectively or optimally. And you as a content  marketer don’t see it going away anytime soon. Me as a content marketer, I do hope it does because you always have this. I have this opinion that there’s a lot of content out there and you know gating things is not necessarily the best way to get people out or filter leads if I can find another way to do it and find another way to engage with my audience of course by using content in creative ways. I’d rather go for something like that because what I see is people struggle to promote that gated asset as well. Yeah. Yes. And you know there’s a lag there it’s not as simple as OK I’m going to create a 10 page, 23 page e-book and I’m going to publish it here and I’m going to hope people know. No, you have to promote it and re-promote it and redistribute it. And I think what’s required in this space is creativity so so yes it’s interesting to see how fellow content marketers like you and many others do believe in how gated content will stay. What might change is the way we do it but hiding things behind a lead form is not going to go away anytime soon. Yes so I guess this conversation was interesting and I hope you return for something else.

Pamela(23:53): I’m right there with you Paroma. I hope that we can move away from this. You know I think one of the challenges we have is that it took us a long time to get our sales and marketing teams aligned and we used gating and marketing automation and tracked how content is engaged through these platforms as a way to make that alignment happen. And just as it took that long to get to this point, to your point, I would love to also see gating eventually move to the wayside because I believe there is enough quality content. We have to. It’s promotion is critical critical critical but it will take some time I think to now kind of re-educate all of those people because this moves so fast right. And then I kind of equate it to be over if you’ve ever worked inside of a really large enterprise and you have new software that’s going to be implemented throughout the entire organization. It can take like two to three years from the first computer that gets the software to the last computer right around the company. I kind of equate that with some of our marketing challenges. It changes quicker or more quickly than we can actually implement. But I’m with you. I have hope that we’ll move to less gating. I just think it will take some time. Yeah.

Paroma(25:08): I’ll see you soon and maybe next time we’ll have a video interview because I remember you mentioned the audience would probably have a better connect when they see video content so yeah.

Pamela(25:18): Yeah that would be great. That would be fantastic. Yeah I’d love that.

Paroma(25:21): So thank you so much again for participating, have an awesome day ahead.Thank you.

Pamela(25:26): You too.

Pamela Muldoon Sunny Side Up Podcast episodePamela Muldoon is a Revenue Marketing Coach with The Pedowitz Group and comes to TPG with over two decades of traditional and digital marketing experience. She specializes in campaign and content strategy with a passion for helping clients develop a content marketing culture across the organization. 

About the podcast

Sunny Side Up is a series of 15-minute podcasts. Leaders and innovators share what they’ve learned in the B2B tech sector on topics related to marketing, product management, sales, and leadership.


Ep16 | B2B Marketing and Data with Paroma Sen of SAP

Data drives all of marketing today. But how can marketers and companies use it optimally to plan their B2B marketing efforts? Paroma Sen, the Innovation and Industry Marketing Lead at SAP India  shares her views in this podcast episode.

Key Takeaways from the episode:

  1. Demand is like energy, you cannot create it from zero from nothingness you can only convert it from one form to the other, like you can convert potential energy into kinetic energy if you remember you know  high school physics. Demand today exists in the world in the form of customer pain points and when we take that, harness it, articulate it and contextualize it, then we can work those pain points into demand.
  2. But marketing is ultimately any form of marketing going back to basics, it’s about putting your message where the customer eyeballs are and data helps us fine tune that approach, data tells us where to go where to make best use of our budget to put our message where.
  3. Having intent data, being able to tell what the context and the behavior of a person is…with respect to a certain product or service that you’re trying to put out there. Which is great. I mean that’s the gold mine right. That’s what we all want, we all love. But the other side of that now is GDPR, where the lines are being drawn, where we are seeing consent and privacy being a priority.

Here’s the complete transcription:

Host: (0:06) Hi Paroma, welcome to the DemandMatrix podcast series titled Sunny Side Up. We’re so happy to have you here today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Speaker: (0:23) Sure Paroma, and its a funny coincidence that we are both called Paroma Sen. But yeah. Thanks for having me here. Happy to be able to speak to your audience through this opportunity. Telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Paroma Sen. I lead Innovation and Industries Marketing at SAP in India. I’ve been in this role for about two years now. And yeah my primary responsibilities are around demand generation. We are responsible for pipeline generation so sales can take it forward, which ultimately leads to revenue.

Host: (1:00) Great! So what led you to this current position at SAP India. Can you tell us a little bit about your past experiences. Have you always been in a similar field.

Speaker: (1:08) Anything but that! My background actually was in engineering and so I did my Masters in Computer Engineering and by the time I realized that if I had to do a job writing code from 9 to 5, I might as well put a bullet in my head. So then I went ahead and did a masters in advertising and then I thought hey I have a degree in advertising, a degree in engineering. What the hell do I do from a shop front. Thankfully marketing found me or rather I found marketing and I started working in technology marketing. I’ve worked in semiconductor companies selling chips. After that I came back to India in 2013. And I worked in NDTV heading marketing and content for one of their verticals called NDTV ethnic. And then I came to SAP here. This is my first time working for an “I.T” kind of a company. I’ve always been in technology but this is the first time in information technology. And it’s been a fun journey learning everything.

Host: (2:14) So I’m going to ask you a trick question next. What did you like more, your role at NDTV or what you do at SAP?

Speaker: (2:21) Oh I love what I do at SAP, I think B2B marketing has so much depth to it. B2C was fun. That’s what I did at NDTV and I really honed my digital marketing skills there. But when it comes to strategy and really big deals, a big difference to the world, that would be B2B in a large company like this, I love it here. Yeah.

Host: (2:42) Great! So do you want to elaborate on the problem that your company or your department solves?

Speaker: (2:46) Sure, so SAP has been around for all of what 45 years now. We help companies, businesses, governments run better. We are on the side of things that runs operational efficiencies. And so on, so forth…we say that when our customers run better that’s when we feel that we’ve done our job. That’s our purpose in the world. In terms of what the core problem is that we solve here, we are looking now at making enterprises intelligent. Right. So the world is sitting on tons and tons of data. An intelligent enterprise is one that makes use of that data to generate insights. So what would they be able to do with those insights? They would be able to do more with less resources. They’ll be able to empower their employees. They’ll be able to give a best-in-class experience to their customers and they will be able to be future-proof by creating new revenue streams, new business models and so on. So that’s where we were. That’s the value we give the world.

Host: (3:45) You’ve been pretty heavily involved with demand generation activities, do you want to share some thoughts about that?

Speaker: (3:51) Sure Paroma, So you know,  Demand Generation, we use the word demand creation demand generation. But I always think that demand is like energy, you cannot create it from zero from nothingness you can only convert it from one form to the other, like you can convert potential energy into kinetic energy if you remember you know  high school physics. Demand today exists in the world in the form of customer pain points and when we take that, harness it, articulate it and contextualize it, then we can work those pain points into demand. Right. That’s the way I think about demand generation from a B2B perspective. What becomes critical then is the value proposition and how you message the story. Because unless that is there you’re constantly creating and reaching the same leads.

Host: (4:39) Right. So in this entire digital marketing spectrum and social selling space which are again functions you’ve been part of. How have you seen it evolve over the past couple of years. Also given this martech boom and of course love for data that you mentioned, everything’s data driven and we are sitting on a pile of data. 

Speaker: (4:58) I remember when I was in University pursuing Advertising- At that point we used to talk about the world of digital being pop ups and banners and very very in your face advertising. Today its much more sophisticated, we have search engine marketing, we have content syndication. We have optimization techniques of websites. And then we have social selling. So I happen to be a gold level social selling trainer. But marketing is ultimately any form of marketing going back to basics, it’s about putting your message where the customer eyeballs are and data helps us fine tune that approach, data tells us where to go where to make best use of our budget to put our message where. Where that audience of one is, I’d use the term audience of one very, very closely because ultimately every individual in the world wants a very very personalized, relevant, contextualized message which makes him or her an audience of one. The data is out there which allows us to give that very very unique experience.

Host: (6:03) So I will dig little bit deeper here, how effective do you think intent data is in all of this and in B2B marketing specifically.

Speaker: (6:09) Intent data, again there are two sides to this right. So obviously from a marketer’s point of view this is awesome. Having intent data, being able to tell what the context and the behavior of a person is…with respect to a certain product or service that you’re trying to put out there. Which is great. I mean that’s the gold mine right. That’s what we all want, we all love. But the other side of that now is GDPR, where the lines are being drawn, where we are seeing consent and privacy being a priority. And if we have a perfect way to reach out to a person but that person says hey I don’t want to be contacted by you then that falls flat. So I think that itself is evolving as well and will continue to evolve. I don’t think we’ve hit the answer by any means. We are prioritizing privacy as a community today. But there has to be a balance in there. Right. Where I mean at what point do you say that technology I want to use it for convenience and therefore if I’m in the market to buy a bed, I want to see ads for a bed. And there I will compromise on my privacy to be reached. So that balance – we are still reaching… it’s an evolving road. And I think intent data is important here. There will be changes down the road because of GDPR. But it’s certainly evolving and we are not at the motherload yet.

Host: (7:21) A lot of B2B marketers run data driven campaigns, they rely on data and  you know it’s a data driven environment today but it’s also a very Account-based Marketing inspired environment I think. Half of the B2B segment seems to support the idea of Account- based Marketing. How would you tell people to align their digital marketing and ABM efforts.

Speaker: (7:42) Great great question! ABM (Account-based marketing) is usually obviously done for the larger accounts and when you have a large account, you require a lot of depth of marketing rather than breadth. You have to think about all the levels of stakeholders in that particular organization that needs to be influenced. So I would go about thinking through an ABM strategy is how to position oneself from a thought leadership perspective and it connects toward you mentioned earlier about social selling.Right So. Rather than doing product pitches…position yourself whether you’re a salesperson or a marketing person. You’re an individual and you’re positioning yourself as a person with some expertise who can provide a customer an idea, thought about something a leadership position. So it’s very important for people who are selling to create their own social brand and to engage socially with their customer base. And build that equity in oneself. So ABM rather than  a generic one size fits all approach has to be very very specific and that thought leadership has to be an integral part of the strategy getting to that market.

Host: (8:49)  Right, So yes we all know how content and personalized content and data play a heavy role in ABM efforts. So where do you see (I think I’m sure you guys use content as a core marketing strategy SAP as well.) Right. So where do you see this changing and how do you see this changing in the next couple of years. There are changes in consumption patterns as well. So how would you tell people to align all of this together.

Speaker: (9:15) So absolutely, content consumption is changing by the day, by the second in some cases. Right. Artificial intelligence, brand intelligence we’re using a lot of these techniques to understand more on what is happening and how we make our investments more measurable. For example even in India, today people are still so heavily spending their marketing money on television which has least measurability among many many other mediums. But here people still invest in TV. So there are ways of using image recognition to see how much your logo is visible in a certain campaign and for how long it has been visible and how does that compare with competitors. So there’s a lot of that crossover happening. Another example- IoT and I talked about data. I hear IoT a shit load (excuse my language!). It will give another spin to intent data. For example if my fridge tells a marketing organization that the milk is running out or if my pollution meter is telling somebody that the pollution is high, would I want to be contacted for replenishment of milk or for air purifier, maybe yes. So, again…yeah there’s a lot happening with the data, with how data is being generated and consumed, all of that is changing and involving. We don’t know where it’s going but. The journey is ON.

Host: (10:41) Everything is a lot of more convenient for the end user.They just have to do less of everything to get more of everything. Its an interesting journey and following all of this digital marketing,content marketing,ABM as well.As a marketer who is planning a strategy what would you put most emphasis on, especially when it comes to B2B lead generation.

Speaker: (11:03) So yes. So it depends on which market segment we’re going after. what is our (Targeting) base. You’re right. No market is complete, your marketing strategy cannot even start without the First basic market segmentation. If I have to segment my customer base by size of customer, there’s a very simplistic way of doing it. Largest customer and midsize customers and smaller customers obviously, you’ll have a pyramid shape there with the largest customers fewest in number would be on top, for them I would do more Account-based marketing, more in-depth reaching out to as many stakeholders as possible then by the time I get to the bottom of the pyramid there are hundreds and thousands of customers at the bottom. Maybe tens and hundreds of thousands of customers as well. I would have a much more digital presence there because they are the ones looking for information. They’re the ones hungry out there looking for information. They don’t have sales and accounting  teams knocking at their door with  full fledged plans, but they’re looking at using the right keywords. Being able to pull in their search search is to our benefit. That would be the core of the strategy. Right.

Host: (12:04) So I think you’ve shared some pretty interesting insights and I thank you for spending this time with us today. Are there any other key takeaways you’d like to share with our audience?

Speaker: (12:12) Sure. I think if I had to take a step back, why is it that all of us do what we do in marketing. I think I was attracted to marketing. Given my background because it is the one field I see which is such a beautiful blend of art and science. I mean we use data so much, that’s the science part of it. But then there comes the art part of it where you have to create a unique, delightful experience for a customer, for an audience of one. And that beautiful balance is why I do marketing right. People are afraid of artificial intelligence coming and taking away their jobs. Through my career I’ve seen that I have evolved from every job I’ve never held two jobs that have been similar. And there’s been constant learning. I mean I personally see one of my biggest flaws in me is that I get bored very very easily. It’s my job and my work that keep me mentally stimulated, active and striving to learn. That learning, that constant upskilling, that constant desire, that hunger for knowledge is what will keep an individual out there from losing their job or from losing their job to an AI or bots. So that’s my takeaway for myself, for everyone out there. Learn, keep yourself on the edge  because that spot will make sure that you stay unique as someone who will continue to deliver value for an organization.

Host:   That’s great that’s a wonderful a piece of advice! Thank you so much Paroma for spending this time with us and I look forward to speaking with you again!

Paroma Sen is the innovation & Industry Marketing Lead at SAP India. As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 404,000 business and public-sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

About the podcast

Sunny Side Up is a series of 15-minute podcasts. Leaders and innovators share what they’ve learned in the B2B tech sector on topics related to marketing, product management, sales, and leadership.

Ep11 | Kira Mondrus of QA Symphony shares her views on content gating

Kira Mondrus, the Chief Marketing Officer at QASymphony shares her views on the most debated topic of webforms, content gating and ungating.

Ep08 | Magento’s Content marketing strategy

Jess Weimer, the head of global demand and growth marketing at Magento, the #1 digital commerce platform, shares her thoughts on content gating strategies and key areas for collaboration with sales, product marketing and the content team.

Ep06 | Create challenges for yourself

Nishit Jain, Technical Leader at Media magic technologies shares his experience of moving to a startup after working with large companies and why it turned out to be a good decision for him.

Ep05- Be open about your failures

Darryl Zuzarte, a Regional Leader who runs one of the most ambitious startup programs in India shares his insights for entrepreneurs, including the skills, dedication and the resiliency required to succeed with your startup.


Key takeaways from the episode

  1. The successful traits for an entrepreneur is the leadership skills , great team working, product idea and knowledge and a hunger. The hunger is a very important aspect because if that dies over the early stage, that’s the end.
  2. There are almost 200 corporate Accelerators opened up in India putting their money into startups which is a big increase in conventional incubators. So this is the best time to startup in India.
  3. There are many kind of resources available at India startup website and even there is program freely available  for early stage of entrepreneur in association with UpGrad (
  4. Good resources for an entrepreneurs-Peter Thiel’s ‘Zero to one’ and ‘Losing my virginity’ by Richard Branson are must reads.

Some important questions covered in the interview

  • What are the traits of a successful entrepreneur and what kinds of efforts do you need to put to create a successful startup?(02:39)
  • Darryl’s recommendations for entrepreneurs on how to keep going after failures.(05:21)
  • How to plug yourself into the startup ecosystem?(10:45)
  • Useful resources for anyone planning to startup.(14:27)

Here’s the full transcipt

Meetul(00:42): So, in general, you know the podcast series is as I mentioned you know it’s designed you know towards entrepreneurs and helping entrepreneurs in India to help them with this whole journey which you know has lots of ups and downs many time more downs than ups. But somebody such as yourself who actually works with a lot of entrepreneurs I think you’ll be great for our listeners to understand a little bit about your background what you do and then we can carry forward is to know some of the traits of successful entrepreneurs.

Darryl(01:12):Sure.So just to begin, Meetul I have no background or founder and never tried to startup .Maybe that’s something look forward in future good because you work with so many entrepreneur and founders that also think that okay you’ve got something going here . Yeah so I’m more of a business guy. I have done my MBA and I’ve been Nasscom in the last seven years and more overworked a lot with enterprises and in terms of delivering the program to these guys over the last couple of years. When I moved to startups when I say startups I mean in terms of creating programs for startups in Pune. And trying to impact in any form, any measure because of the whole objective is to impact them in terms of connections and terms of customers, in terms of investments. Maybe the help terms of or mentoring workshops anyway possible because of each of these touch points. Yes. Just to give a background that goes out of sight in 2012 with the intention of the big startups because primarily the Nasscom as trade body was so founded for IT companies. Then when the switch happened and everyone started talking about innovation in the way 2010 and 2011. That is like okay now we have created different for startup, that’s how we started with Bangalore and now we have are our centers in association with all the state governments across the country.

Meetul(2:39): So as I mentioned you know somebody works with entrepreneurs in India one thing is amazing where the entrepreneurial spirit is super alive and very very vibrant. Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. But I think entrepreneurship takes a lot more than just an idea and somebody who works with entrepreneurs on a daily basis as either a mentor as a friend as a customer as an advisor or maybe a shoulder to cry on. What are the successful traits you know of an entrepreneur is that you have seen you know in India or at least what it takes to be successful?

Darryl(03:13): Yeah.So, you are rightly said we have different kinds of a entrepreneur. For example, you know those who experienced going from the industry. And you have a new wave of entrepreneurs coming in from colleges and students. They both have a different set of issues they both are coming with different leadership style is different traits what we notice is that you know while you have entrepreneur with experience and non-experience. They all have similar struggles individually when they have product. We have various stories where our one of startups had a lot of customers for starters but there were no funds in and there was a source for them to actually cater to them. So that is a very different form of a problem to have why the majority of sites are actually looking for a lot of customers. So, VC would kill for, VC will kill for that. And that’s something which the Indian Startup foundership actually look for because in the end that form of leadership And configure it takes for that particular founder to keep cool and loses stuff during that particular situation. Being resilient, while you will not see it is coming with the extremely early stage of entrepreneurs. This is something very important because if you look at everyone starting up right now. And so many startups sort of good jobs as a result of so filling the gaps left by other startups.But at the end of most of it doesn’t work out for some another reason. That’s general statistics even if you look at all the startups are funded probably 7 or 10 still not getting success in the future, right? So, again it needs leadership skills,great team working on it, a great product idea and knowledge. In the end, I think the determination of the hunger, the hunger is a very important aspect because if that dies at the early age, that’s the end.

Meetul(05:21): So, that’s going to be a very interesting question. Right. I mean in the sense that India, in general, has a culture and its design in such a way that you know you go study the reason you go study because you can get a good job if you get a good job you will make money and hopefully they will help even find your bride and groom. I have had people asking me what is going to be my title. Can you put a manager in my title so I can find a good bride or groom with it? Well, the resiliency that is required to build a successful startup culture much time we know may or may not force foster that right. Have pressures from your relatives or your friends or whoever else to do it. Why are you doing this? And you know even if the first one fails or the second one fails they tend to give up after that. So again coming back to the treats. How would your recommendation to the entrepreneur to make sure that  they can keep going? As opposed to giving up after seeing maybe the first or second failure this is not something for me?

Darryl(06:26): So, that one thing Indian culture is not very used to hearing his failure right? Yes, In our culture we see failure as very bad, there is no way to understand what went wrong? Or what it did not go right? And not everyone is talking about failures.I mean if you, I failed in my startup I will probably talk about it why I failed because I want answers right.A lot of time cultures also play a very important role as you said but that’s changed now because families are realizing that starting over is not going to be the same game. How to study? you have to get job 9 to 6 and you have to work in the industry. Things are changing right now, all this come as a roadblock, I think again you know talking about been open about what went wrong on understanding what went wrong and why you fall along the way any cultural differences I think that should probably take ahead for these guys.

Meetul(08:05): Especially for millennials right there are just getting started that the time is on their side. In addition, I think it is just very important to realize that that age plays a role especially in a startup as far as the millennial are concerned we are coming out and thinking about again building the startups where they may or may not have some of the baggage which others you know that we have her age on their side might have access to resources right. I mean like here accessibility is such a huge area I see that it has not very well known that what another resource that available to startups. What would be your recommendation for these entrepreneurs? Moreover, as far as resources are concerned they can lean on or they can essentially go tap into.

Darryll(08:59): My recommendations for this side that they have to see visible and more explosion to works as an ecosystem.A lot this guy being constrained from their own four walls and at the end didn’t know what’s happening outside in their own mind at space. A lot of the problems that these guys face answers are in ecosystems they should be visible, you need to understand who is contributing to ecosystems in terms of, what are their strong points? I think the stage right now in Pune or particular in India is pretty much we have all the required stakeholders in ecosystem contributing own their equal way. So, even there is a shortage in terms of resources or any form that somebody on other will provide help. For example, if we come across the startup and find ‘hey this guy lacks in design, this guy lack in UI’, we will plug you with somebody who can really help with that.The point is that it’s all available out there it’s just that startup needs to bit more visible, bit more talking, need explore the each and every angle of an ecosystem. Right now it’s right time if, you compare 2018 and 2012 there’s a big difference in terms of support, infrastructure everything. Right now it’s much easier to startup but it’s very difficult to take your product in excel because everyone is doing something very different.

Meetul(10:45): So, somebody such as yourself you know was working with governments trying to help these startups and help them get to the next level or at least figure out the right things how can they plug into your ecosystem where somebody is thinking about it. They are doing a startup. They want essentially to be plugged in into your initiative. How can they do that?

Darryl(11:04): So it’s very simple. You know we have an online application process where they have to plug in but what we trying to capture is what help they require.  what part of the sector they have done you know you know if you reach out to the government or if you need to reach out to the industry or connects with our customers based on that is how we plug these guys you know for example if you want to contrast with transport department, we do have, we are working with transport department I will just give an example of we are doing a hackathon right now with transport department of Maharashtra, With the soul idea of creating awareness on road safety. So, you are running this across India process and these are games are made, even serious game or even you know gamified in learning.So, when we reach out the public like that we take this and we it to government And then, in the end, this becomes something which they work for the startup for.Governments are opening up to Startups you know corporates are opening up for startups if you are looking at the recent statistics there are 200 more corporate Accelerators opened up in India they are now putting their money into startups which are a big increase in conventional incubators like conventional accelerators corporates playing major role So, there is progressive incremental involvement from each and every stakeholder toward startup now and I’m bouncing back to my previous point it’s a much better time to startup because the helping hands extended by each and every, What do you say that’s great. It’s phenomenal.

Meetul(12:43): Are there any resources you would mention. You know I mean like you mentioned like that 200 corporate companies providing insight. There are accelerators such as yourself or incubator such as yourself who are providing help to the startups. If somebody is just starting on the spot or somebody on the journey and trying to figure out where do I start mine I mean are they any place where these resources are available, mention, or they have access to that they can figure out okay. These resources are available to us.

Darryl(13:13): So, just to just to step back a bit if you look at the startup India on the website. The entire list of accelerators and incubators across the country are mentioned there. There is even a program for early-stage entrepreneurs which is free in association of UpGrad in terms of if it’s a student and if doesn’t know about entrepreneurship, maybe he has an idea for that product there is course available for that particular person on website and they can go through it’s not getting into much structure manner. If I was like 2013 still will be confused where to put my hand and what would I grab but right now it’s all structured take-up look at startups India website everything details there comment scheme is put in place funds are put ten in place. Union bank one of the bank which giving away the funds up to like 2-3 CR without any collateral now provided that you have to certified with a TIPP, that is another things. But these are step by step processes you know if one knows about all these would be a much better position to actually what say extract it and make good use of the advantage.

Meetul(14:27): Okay, fantastic. Well, this has been a great insightful interview I am sure we are going to put more information into the blog post regarding you know the discussions that we have. As a parting thought, you know any books, any resource any recommendation you can provide.

Darryl(14:43): Yes, Peter Thiel ‘Zero to one’ and my all-time favorite Richard Branson this is my bit more tradition businessman ‘losing my virginity ‘by Richard Branson the beautiful book.Peter Thiel ‘Zero to one’ even whose aspiring to be an entrepreneur please take a look at ‘Zero to one ‘eye, it just changes the perspective.‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz that’s another great book and resources.

Darryl Zuzarte is managing a Startup Warehouse in Pune which is part of 10000 startups, an initiative of NASSCOM, which is one of India’s most ambitious startup program with Google as prime sponsor. It is aimed at incubating, funding and supporting 10,000 technology startups in India over the next ten years. The program is supported by Google, Microsoft, Intel, Verisign, Kotak Bank and almost every other Accelerator, Incubator, Angel Network, Venture Capital Fund from India and Abroad.

About the podcast

Sunny Side Up is a series of 15-minute podcasts which shares concentrated analysis and advice from startup founders, B2B marketers, sales and product leaders. We welcome your ideas for future topics. If you know someone who would like to be on the show, give us a shout.

Ep04 | It’s about people

Amaresh Shirsat, COO at Qualitia Software share his experience of founding startups and what it takes to products that are really useful. He also share his thoughts around building the best teams and the culture from very early on.

Ep03 | Dealing with Bureaucrats

Young founders of, Vijay Chuttani and Ritesh Kothari explain how they recognized a huge gap in market and their experience overcoming the obstacles of dealing with bureaucrats to build a business around a government initiative.

Ep02 | Paying off the tech debt

Mahesh Gawali, the Head of engineering at IntouchApp shares his motivation behind joining a startups and how in order to change something you need to make changes yourself for others to follow.