Growth Gurus: QASymphony’s Chief Marketing Officer
A multi-award-winning recognized industry thought leader, Kira Mondrus joined QASymphony as Chief Marketing Officer in the fall of 2017. As CMO, she leverages broad-based global marketing leadership experience and deep knowledge of operations and best practices to craft product marketing and brand awareness strategies that drive global demand, exceed revenue targets, and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
What has been your most successful marketing campaign? Why was it successful?
At QASymphony, we've built a buyer-centric perpetual demand engine that is focused on several personas and is aligned closely to each of their buyer journeys. We have a well-balanced marketing mix of digital and face-to-face tactics, depending on the target persona, target segment, as well as stage of the buyers’ journey. The key for us has been aligning content to each stage of the buyers’ journey to be as relevant as possible to our target buyers and meet them, where they are, when they are ready to engage with us, whether via digital or in-person. We have also coupled broader demand generation strategies, with Account Based Marketing, focused on a smaller number of strategic accounts for acquisition as well as expansion.
Why was the perpetual demand engine a different approach for QASymphony?
We had to spend quite a bit of time up front learning about our target buyers and their buyer process and then created a ton of content so we could answer the buyer's questions at every stage of their journey. This enabled us to build an 'always on' marketing engine that runs across a variety of marketing channels and isn't bound to a marketing calendar promoting different themes for a finite period of time. Instead, our buyers engage with us (largely via inbound) when they are ready.
What marketing strategies and tactics have been most successful for you?
We've pivoted away from 'traditional' time-bound campaigns.
Rather, we have a variety of marketing channels (PPC, content syndication, intent based digital advertising, webinars, events, etc.) promoting a wide variety of content to drive inbound engagement. Once a lead engages with us, we then nurture them with our web site as well as email marketing. Our web site serves as a nurture hub - once we know who you are, we serve up content that is relevant to your persona as well as buyer journey stage, so that you are always being 'nurtured forward'. Since launching this approach at the end of last year, we've seen our MQL to Opportunity conversion rates grow dramatically. Today, more than one out of every two leads passed from marketing converts into a meeting. We've also seen opportunity acceptance rates grow by 15%.
Can you share more about how your website services as a nurture hub?
We have implemented a personalization engine that not only serves up content relevant to persona, but once cookied, we also know the buyer stage of the visitor and serve up content that progresses them to the next stage of the buyer journey. For example, if we know that the buyer is at a later stage, we will serve up more product-specific content, case studies, competitive overviews, RFP guides, etc., rather than promoting thought leadership content that focuses more on how to solve a problem. This way, nurture progression takes place on our web site, as well as via email marketing.
What marketing KPI’s are most critical to you as a SaaS CMO?
At the end of the day, it's all about our contribution to bookings/revenue.
However, in order to ensure we are going to hit our targets, we look at the following KPIs:
- Top of funnel quantity (engaged leads, MQLs)
- Conversion rates
- Opportunity creation, quality and velocity
- ROI (both tactic and content)
- Customer engagement, marketing contribution to renewals, upsell and cross sell, LTV
We use multi touch attribution to look at the full contribution from marketing influence in addition to contribution from marketing sourced leads.
Can you explain more about how you use multitouch attribution to look at full contribution?
We track every single interaction with our buyers.
When an opportunity is created, and a contact role is assigned to that opportunity, we look at all of the interactions the individual had with our program (content download, event attendance - they had to fill out a web). We then take the value of the opportunity and divide it by the number of interactions and attribute a portion of that opportunity to each of the interactions. For example, if we had a $100K deal and the individual came to an event, downloaded a white paper and signed up for a demo, we would attribute $33K to each of those tactics.
Additionally, we look holistically at marketing contribution as the sum of source and influence. Marketing sourced implies that the individual was unknown to us before engaging with a given marketing tactic. Influenced means that they were already in our CRM (via list acquisition, sales created, or legacy marketing program) and potentially engaging with a BDR/SDR and/or an opportunity and also engaging with various marketing tactics. In this scenario, marketing didn't source the lead, but had influence on the deal. As we move further into targeting Enterprise companies, I envision that we will have fewer sourced leads and more influenced. This type of attribution is especially relevant for account based marketing.
Any quick tip for a company that is just starting an Account Based program?
First and foremost, you need to have complete alignment with sales that this is the approach you'll be taking on together. I prefer to call it Account Based Targeting, so that all of the responsibility doesn't fall to marketing. If sales isn't committed to the approach, you won't get far. Next step is selecting the target account list and aligning on roles, responsibilities and SLAs.