A lot of what works for B2C doesn’t work for B2B.
MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional journey?
DMITRI LISITSKI: I started my career in consumer advertising doing media buying for large FMCG companies like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's. After doing this for a few years, I was inspired to move from B2C to B2B, so I founded an IT outsourcing company called GlobalLogic. It’s now become a very large company with more than 20,000 employees globally. When I started my IT outsourcing business, which is now called GlobalLogic, I tried to apply everything that I had learned from being a consumer marketer, but I soon realized that B2B marketing is fundamentally different. A lot of what works for B2C doesn’t work for B2B and that was the inspiration behind me starting Influ2. It answered the question that I had been contemplating for almost a decade: ‘how can I make advertising work well for B2B companies?’
M7: What makes Influ2 stand out among other advertising platforms available in the market today?
DL: Our vision is innovative because we take a Person-Based Advertising approach to B2B marketing. We’re the first advertising platform that offers this strategy, and this allows B2B marketers to target actual decision-makers and to get relevant content in front of them at the time that they’re open to receiving the information. It also solves one of the biggest challenges that B2B marketers face, which is they don’t know who is clicking on their ads, so the amount of clicks doesn’t convert into leads. With Influ2, every ad visitor is identified, as well as how many times they interacted with the content of the ad and the time at which they engaged with the ad. This not only helps marketers identify new leads but also helps them to develop more thoughtful and personalized content.
If we can’t put our own platform into work then it’s just unethical to sell it to others.
M7: You were recently at the B2BMX 2021 conference with Aristomenis Capogeannis, Director of Revenue Marketing at NVIDIA. Could you please tell our readers some of the key takeaways from your discussion?
DL: Hearing directly from Ari was another proof-point of how a Person-Based Marketing approach can truly help companies better target their prospects and help to close the gap between marketing and sales, thus increasing their leads and marketing ROI. For example, Ari and the NVIDIA team were seeking to drive growth and the traditional ‘spray-and-pray’ tactics that they had been using for years weren’t working. Also, there was a divide between sales and marketing-sales needed to better understand how to operate the martech, and marketing needed to do a better job identifying leads and supporting sales in closing leads.
So, Influ2’s platform helped the NVIDIA team implement a person-based approach that targeted at the individual level and connected with actual decision-makers and not just sent a communication to various people with a certain title across a large account. Also, we assisted the NVIDIA team in tailoring ads to a specific person, capturing behavior and intent to measure engagement at a personal level. This drove conversations and ultimately, drove sales. Additionally, our solution allowed Ari and team to adjust their marketing efforts to better support sales and create one revenue operations cycle. Ultimately, the campaign they launched with Influ2 achieved an 89% account match rate with 28,485 targets reached and 273 engaged accounts.
M7: The New York VC Network included Influ2 in the Top 20 out of NYC Top 50 companies that are raising their Seed/Series A funding. What was the strategy behind receiving this prestigious recognition?
DL: The New York VC Network recognized us without us applying for the honor, so we were surprised and delighted to receive the recognition.
M7: What are your preferred marketing channels, given your target customers?
DL: We have actually used Influ2 for all of the company’s Account-Based Marketing efforts, so we essentially ‘drink our own champagne.’ This has been a big contributor to our success and has driven triple-digit growth since we first launched in 2017. It was a very hard decision to limit ourselves to using our platform only to acquire new customers, but I believed that if we can’t put our own platform into work then it’s just unethical to sell it to others.
Just connecting with employees at a target account doesn’t mean that you’re being successful - you have to engage the actual decision-makers or buying group.
M7: What is your strategy behind helping your sales team present your products and services in an engaging manner to your potential customers?
DL: We’ve used our own platform for all of our Account-Based Marketing efforts and this has helped us drive triple-digit growth since we first launched in 2017, so that’s been a great proof-point for our sales team. Also, it shows that we believe in our product so much that we use it ourselves and that it can drive enterprise-level leads. Sharing this with potential leads helps our sales teams build relationships, but we only need to share a product demo to turn a lead into a new customer. For example, one of our customers, DISCO (an all-in-one e-discovery software solution for legal services), agreed to co-present a case study at this year’s B2B Marketing Forum, which took place this past April. Their Director of Marketing, Keith Schrodt, was my co-presenter and he shared how Influ2 captured his attention.
DISCO markets to lawyers who bill their time in 15-minute increments so it’s very hard to capture their attention since their time is so valuable. DISCO was looking for ways to overcome this challenge, and Keith, who is also very busy, shared why he reached out to Influ2 after receiving a few of our ads. He said, “if they can reach me, on my time, when I’m taking a lunch or evening break, and I’m seeing these ads and recognizing them - and the messaging resonates with me; then if they can do that to me, let’s look into this technology and see if we can use it to get in front of our personas and audiences.”And, Keith took a screenshot of our ads and shared them with his CMO. So, often our sales strategy is to let our platform speak for itself by showing what the technology can do.
M7: Could you please share a few words of wisdom to the aspiring marketers today in the context of imprecise marketing?
DL: The biggest challenge that B2B marketers face is that they often fail to grasp how imprecise their marketing is. Often, it feels like using account-based advertising isn’t bad, but just connecting with employees at a target account doesn’t mean that you’re being successful - you have to engage the actual decision-makers or buying group. For example, if the account is Microsoft - a company with 150,000 employees - and you serve an ad to 30 people within the buying group, the chances of hitting the right person are .02%. The odds don’t sound that bad, but it also means that only 1 out of 5,000 impressions hit the target, with 4,999 hitting the wrong people. And, this level of imprecise marketing is something that most companies can’t afford, so it’s important to really understand the true ROI that you’re getting out of your marketing initiatives.