Paul Albright, CEO and Co-Founder of Captora, was a recent guest on our B2B Nation podcast. The series explores a variety of marketing trends and challenges through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode, we discuss why marketers should focus more on their top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) strategy, whether more campaigns are better, how TOFU campaigns scale, and more.
Below are some of my favorite excerpts from the conversation.
We’re going to figure out how to measure brand awareness with revenue.
“We’re on the road to applying math to that question. The way that we’re thinking about it is we have a CEO group, a few of our CMOs, and our customer base are having this discussion right now. If you think about the market cap of a company, let’s just say it’s a billion-dollar company for argument’s sake. That number is the multiple of your revenue, and it depends on what segment you’re in, what your growth rate is, what the efficiency of your business is, and what the multiple is of revenue to your market cap. That is where it starts. What is the value of your brand? What multiple is applied to your revenue for that brand, and how does that compare to other companies in your market segment?”
What’s a new customer worth to you?
“What’s the lifetime value of a customer, and does it expand? You can start to tie this in with revenue. Now you’ve created value for your overall brand. You’ve created a value of your overall customers. How much you are spending to acquire those customers? What’s the association of someone finding you or influencing the purchase that found your brand and found your brand to be positive, versus someone who struggles to find it? You can compare that to customers who find your brand and discover less positive things about you. How does that hurt your sales cycle?”
We’ve applied mathematics to those variables to create a simple way to look at it.
“Look at the overall value of your company and your brand and your ability to rank quickly. For example, when I create a new campaign and launch a new product — when that part launches or I move into a new geography — my brand is very strong. My ability to become one of the top handful of companies in that new geography speeds up dramatically. It used to take me two years to be seen as a top player with a new product and a new market. I can now be seen as a top player in three to six months. How much does that mean to the overall value of your company? You can start to work backwards from that based on the business value of that product and the association you have with the brand.”
Most companies don’t need to go very deep.
“If you can make my brand more powerful in the digital world, that’s worth 5 percent of the company value, or even higher, because my competitors aren’t as smart digitally, and we know that’s the future. Winners are going to be the ones who are most proficient with digital marketing.”
Mature companies don’t have that argument.
“They would say, ‘If it costs $20 million to become the strongest digital player in our category, then that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the value.’ For new companies, they have a different discussion. If I’m an emerging company in a new market, and I’m worth a billion dollars, but my competitors are worth $50 Billion, we have a slightly different model. Over the next six months, I can come back to you with a very specific way to look at that and the math around it.”
We found that the CEOs cared most about their digital index.
“How do I compare to other companies from a digital branding perspective from the strength and quality scores that I’m getting? That was number one. The second most important thing is: How many key phrases that describe my products or describe my brand do I own versus my competition? Meaning, I’m on page one, or I’m ranking above my competitors. As a lot of CMOs and CROs know, one of the worst emails you can get is from your investors or board or CEOs saying, ‘I just did a search, and we’re ranked fifth, but our competitors are one, two, three. Why is that?’
“Getting in front of that is the second most important thing — where we can start ranking for keyword phrases and improving our customers’ digital potency. We can then associate that with the brand, associate that with ranking and quality score, and that’s very changeable. That allows the CMO and the marketers to show that they’re creating millions of dollars of value, not just pipeline.”
To get to the future of the top-of-the-funnel, you have to look to the past.
“Back in the 90s, there were the big three. You had ABC, NBC, and CBS. Advertisers or marketers would sponsor an entire show — you know, Mutual of Omaha brings you Wild Kingdom. Now you fast forward, there are hundreds of channels, online and offline. Very few people are watching live TV, and all the statistics around Internet advertising passing spend on TV advertising by 2020. It’s very interesting to see how that’s matured. The same thing is now happening on the digital marketing side. We’re going to see more channels.”
Our typical customer is managing four to seven digital channels right now.
“We’re going to see the top of the funnel expand quite a bit. It’s going to branch into more channels and become more data-driven. It will be faster, better, simpler and a lot more personalized. The good news is that while there’s scaling of channels, it’s not just about cranking out a bunch of campaigns; it’s about quality. It’s about understanding where to optimize, how to manage your budget more efficiently so you can invest in the right areas. From a budget and reporting standpoint, we’re going to move to more of a trading-floor style. The marketers are going to act like Wall Street traders. They’re going to have six monitors on their desk, showing activity across different channels and campaigns. They can simulate budget spend and project results.
“There’s definitely going to be more pressure, because the budget is going up. The good news is, more budget is going to marketing. The bad news is, with that budget comes more pressure to deliver faster results. Get more moneyball people on your marketing team, build it to be data-driven, and take the guesswork out of marketing so you have more control.”
There are no more surprises.
“Three or five years from now, the concept of marketing being surprised by a competitor or by something that’s going on in the field or from some other place will be gone. Marketing will never be surprised. There will be so much monitoring and sensors out there to give inputs to the marketer that marketing will truly drive the company and know when the competitor does something before anybody else, know the buyer better than anyone else in the company. It will be an exciting time to be in marketing. If you don’t want the ball, move to a different function, because it’s coming.”