In this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast, you’ll be introduced to Rebecca Corliss, VP Marketing at VergeSense. Rebecca is based in Boston and will share her thoughts on marketing for startups. 

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Listen to the Podcast Interview

 

Rebecca Corliss began her career at HubSpot, where she was one of the first 50 employees and created a program called Inbound Marketing University which later morphed into today’s HubSpot Academy. After eight years at HubSpot, she left to rejoin the startup world. In her free time, Rebecca is an “aca-preneur” and professional singer -- she has founded two Boston-based a cappella groups, including The Eight Tracks.

 

Watch the full episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast to learn more about:

    • Building marketing teams from scratch
    • Finding empathy with your buyer in a B2B context
    • Hiring the best of the best, most ambitious people for your marketing team
    • Starting client relationships by answering questions they have
    • Using data to validate marketing strategies
    • Why B2B marketing is the fun marketing

 

Rebecca has advice on building a marketing team from scratch:

“The reason why I love startups particularly is that you build from scratch. That's really what I love to do. And I would say those, I like to call them intangibles, drive passion, hunger, and curiosity. These are qualities that you either have or you don't. These qualities help new marketers flourish.” 

 

Rebecca talked about how the marketing approach changes depending on where you’re first trying to intercept a prospect:

“You need to map out not only the needs at each stage but also the mindset where empathy comes in... (determining) their mindset and really being authentic towards it. That's how you can make sure you speak to them aligned with what they care about at that moment.”

 

Rebecca also shared why it’s not always about revenue:

“You can be their hero. You could be the answer to their problem that they're ready to invest in. Start the relationship by answering the questions they have and make sure they have the right product information to know that it fits their needs. And then really dig into the sales process in order to find their true needs. You’ll have a customer that's really excited to get started to implement this new product.” 

 

All of this and more is discussed in this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast. To learn more about Rebecca Corliss and contact her with any questions about the topics discussed, you can find her on LinkedIn or at VergeSense.

Lightly Edited Transcript

 

 

Rebecca Corliss:

Well, first, I'll claim my bias, which is that I love startups. The reason why I love startups is mainly because you build from scratch. That's really what I love to do. And I would say those, and I like to call them intangibles, such as drive, passion, hunger, curiosity; these are qualities that you do not teach. You either have them, or you don't. Those qualities help new marketers flourish because those are the things you rely on to figure things out, especially in a startup context.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the B2B Digitized Podcast, where leaders of B2B technology startups and scale-ups learn how to use digital transformation to differentiate, educate, build trust, improve competitive positioning, close sales faster without compromise, and scale revenue growth. Now here's your host, Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run.

Joshua Feinberg:

I'm Joshua Feinberg from the B2B Digitized Podcast. And I have with me today a very special guest, Rebecca Corliss, who is VP of Marketing at VergeSense. Rebecca, thanks so much for joining me today on the podcast.

Rebecca Corliss:

Thanks for having me. It's great to see you again. I feel like we have to take every moment to see each other, even if it's in this digital form, to really appreciate the opportunity to reconnect.

Joshua Feinberg:

I know. It's probably only been, I want to say, about a year and a half, since the last Inbound conference, but it feels like 18 years ago, not 18 months ago.

Rebecca Corliss:

It does. A totally different era.

Early Marketing Team at HubSpot

Joshua Feinberg:

That's terrific. I think the first place I'd like to start is that I've known you for probably the better part of 10 years or more, dating back to the early days of HubSpot's marketing team. But can you give us a little bit of an introduction of how you ended up being a college student, how you stumbled across HubSpot, how you were involved in the early marketing team, early video, early live streaming, early building out of courses, and user groups and evangelism? Can you give our viewers and our listeners a little bit of background?

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah, sure. Happy to. First, my original background is PR. That's what I studied in college quite a bit of time ago, but it was a really good opportunity in terms of learning writing. And I met this incredible individual named Mike Volpe when I was a new college grad. I think what he saw in me was energy, ideas, creativity, and a musical background, which I never thought would be relevant for the marketing world. And he gave me the opportunity to create HubSpot's first-ever marketing music video.

Rebecca Corliss:

My goodness, this was in 2008 when YouTube started to take off, and marketers were thinking, "Ooh, we might be able to use creative videos for marketing. Imagine such a thing." And that was my big break. I joined HubSpot when there were 50 people. The marketing team was a mere five people, and it was my opportunity to learn each facet of marketing.

Rebecca Corliss:

When there was something brand new to be built, the theme I say is that they put Rebecca on the job, and I loved that. And that's how I learned that I'm genuinely a startup person. And so that brought me to cool things like how we met in the HubSpot User Group program and having the opportunity to work with these outstanding individuals, and showcasing how HubSpot can affect the marketing world in these little micro-communities across the United States and the world. It brought me the opportunity to build a program called Inbound Marketing University, which has since transformed over and over again to be HubSpot Academy, which is such a resource today with the fantastic leaders leading it. And it's been a cool place to really build my foundation and move forward.

Joshua Feinberg:

It's really interesting if you think about the same interest and background in music and creativity and realizing how quickly marketing would be a place where not only education and trust-building needed to be combined with entertainment to a certain degree just to keep people's attention and keep them engaged and also stand out from the crowd. And I remember that first video, “You Oughta Know,” from Alanis Morissette, is that right?

Rebecca Corliss:

Yep. That's exactly right. I'll tell a quick anecdote. So imagine me, a new gal at HubSpot, and Mike is very creative, and he always likes to dig in, and he wants to make sure the content is going to be high quality. And I love that about him. And so when I was presenting the lyrics to the song -- this is all pre-recorded -- we're sitting in a conference room with some of my colleagues, and I printed it out, which even that sounds archaic at this time. Still, I printed it out for everybody, and I was going to read it. And Mike looks at me, and he goes, "Don't read it. This is a song. You have to sing it." And I think, "Oh my goodness if you're going to put me in this situation, I'm going to sing the heck out of it." And I belted in that conference room, and then they thought, "Okay, this will be great. Yep. This works." It was a fun moment.

Advice for New Digital Marketers

Joshua Feinberg:

It's terrific. So I think the first place that would be super helpful to get your thoughts on is for someone that is brand new to get into marketing, digital marketing, in a company that sells to other businesses B2B -- what advice would you give to someone, if you think back to yourself, maybe going back ten years or so fresh out of school, maybe somebody you connected with through the BU Alumni Network, or maybe a friend of a friend. They ask you for advice; what should they be thinking about to build their career up, to be successful in a marketing role and a startup that sells to other businesses?

Rebecca Corliss:

I have two directions to answer that. First, for anyone considering B2B, one of the things that I think is a shame is when people think of B2B as boring marketing. I like to say B2B is where the budgets are. Like, that's the fun marketing. It is the reason why so many B2B products are called solutions. It's because they're actually to address real problems that businesses have and are investing in. So I guess that's my first step. Any new grad that's thinking, "Oh, I want to do fun marketing." Like B2B is fun marketing. It's fun to have businesses spend thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. That's exciting. So anyhow, that's thought number one.

Rebecca Corliss:

And thought number two, I mean, bringing on my own experiences and thinking back when I entered the marketing world, I would say marketing yourself is your best asset. When you're early in your career, you don't necessarily have a foundation yet. Maybe you have a few internships. Maybe you have a newer job, but marketing yourself -- and that can mean how you create content and use the digital world to showcase an idea that you have or show the type of content you can create or successfully drive results.

Rebecca Corliss:

I remember I had the opportunity to hire a woman who said, I have this Instagram account, and it has 350,000 followers. And that was the basis of the whole conversation. I said, “Tell me how!” And it was so clear that she, on her own, had stumbled upon what her audience would be, what the content would be to attract them, how she would cause the engagement to create this great resource. And I said that's all marketing. You did it by yourself on your own. So I would say lean into that idea, and that will be great.

Joshua Feinberg:

In the earlier years of HubSpot, there were stories of people creating music videos as part of the interview process, people running creative LinkedIn campaigns targeting employees at HubSpot, and Facebook ads targeting employees of HubSpot. And what better way to get your hands in an active project that showcases your expertise than building your blog, building your podcasts, a YouTube channel, and driving campaign results. Account-based marketing!

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And also the drive that an individual has. And I would say when you're an ambitious company hiring the best of the best, and that's your goal, you can't teach drive. You either have it, or you don't. And seeing those instances in which someone does something, you would never have thought, that's going to catch someone's attention because that's a person who will enable him or herself to make things happen. And that's exactly the type of teammate that you want on your team.

Joshua Feinberg:

Do you see those instincts being even more important in a startup kind of culture, as opposed to walking in and being one of 50 people on a marketing team?

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah. Well, first, I'll claim my bias, which is that I love startups. The reason why I love startups particularly is because you build from scratch. That's really what I love to do. And I would say those, I like to call them intangibles, such as drive, passion, hunger, curiosity; these are qualities that you do not teach. You either have them, or you don't. Those qualities help new marketers flourish because those are the things you rely on to figure things out. And especially in a startup context, you're doing things below your pay grade and way above your pay grade. And you need to lean into those intangible skills to find the resources and the information to make sure you're making great, informed, smart decisions. So it's very, very important to have those.

Joshua Feinberg:

Thanks for adding that, because I think it's so important to contextualize for the kind of company that someone is working at, the size of the team, and how versatile they need to be versus how specialized. And it seems that makes an enormous difference depending on whether you're one of the first five people hired or one of the first hundred people hired in a particular role.

Rebecca Corliss:

I think that's true. For example, when I think of even HubSpot's evolution in the first early days, I think back to my now really close friend and someone I respect quite a bit, Ellie Mirman; we did everything. It didn't matter. We did everything purely because everything needed to be done. When I left, the marketing team was approaching 200 individuals. It was amazing. And so now it was celebrated and needed was this specialization and this ability to optimize and unlock value in this specific area so deeply. And that's a different skill set. That's a skill set that is incredibly valuable as well. That is impactful in larger businesses where you always need to figure out how you one-up yourself, one-up this channel, and one-up this strategy to continue to drive growth.

Team Turnover: Getting Marketing Back on Track

Joshua Feinberg:

That's some excellent advice for someone that's just at the beginning of their career. What insight would you offer to someone who's got at least a decade of experience in a marketing role, focusing on B2B, and maybe they've had a tough year? Maybe the company they were working with was hit hard, especially by the pandemic. Maybe there's been a lot of turnover on their team, a lot of churn within the customer base. What would you advise someone in that role to help them reset and get back on track?

Rebecca Corliss:

That's a great question. And also, my heart goes out to those in that position because there's been a whole lot of shakeup in our world in the past year. So my thoughts -- there are a few things. One, I love the word consultative, being consultative. It applies to the B2B marketing world. I think it applies to the interview process as well. I would say going into an interview, and this is the approach I took when I had the opportunity to interview for my company now, VergeSense, is a user interview process to pretend that you're a consultant in the role and think about solving problems even within the interview process, if it's natural to the conversation of course.

Rebecca Corliss:

And the reason why I like that idea is for two reasons. The individual interviewing allows someone to imagine the types of problems they will be solving and confirm that they're interesting. That's important. And two, I think how that portrays the individual is you start talking about the actual work. And I think that often creates the hunger in the employer to say, "I can't wait to have this conversation on the other side of the hiring contract." Wouldn't that be fantastic? So I would say dig in that way.

Rebecca Corliss:

I have another tip. I'm going to tell you about one of my pet peeves. It might make a few people angry because I think it works for some people, but I don't think it works as well in startups, growth-stage startups, et cetera. It's when people are excited to flaunt their playbook. It might be a hot button item, but a lot of folks will say, "I have a playbook. I have a playbook that I do." And on the one hand, I'm sure they do. I bet they have a fantastic set of strategies and tactics that they've applied here, here, and here, and it's worked great. And I think that's excellent if you plan to continue to stay within the same space. However, if you're a startup person being a figure-it-outer and knowing how to ask the questions to figure out what's right here is, I think, more unique and super valuable because it shows how you tackle issues in ambiguity where there isn't a lot of information. So that's my takeaway there too.

Joshua Feinberg:

So somebody that's rolling up their sleeves and figuring out the personas, figuring out the jobs to be done, and figuring out the whole journey as opposed to just coming in and assuming that because whatever they did in the previous role worked, that we should just do a find and replace and reuse that same playbook.

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah, exactly. I can give a story. So HubSpot, everyone knows HubSpot in terms of being so strong in the content marketing world and thought leadership. This is a funny story in a different way; when I joined my last company, Owl Labs, I didn't want to rely on the way we did things at HubSpot;  I wanted to discover on my own and use real data to make those decisions. And so I actually dug into advertising and these different paid channels quite a bit. Anyway, the long and the short of it, I at least got data to find out that content marketing was still very effective in this context, but it was wonderful to have that true data to validate the amount of investment we needed to do. So I think that's important not to assume; use your data to decide.

Joshua Feinberg:

And then, just when you think you have it all figured out, the past 14 months comes along and changes so many people's playbooks and strategies on product services, target markets, and messaging.

Rebecca Corliss:

Absolutely. And that's when I think those figure-it-out skills, the dig in, what do we do now? Maybe we're dealing with uncharted territory here. Being able to navigate that is crucial, especially when things you don't expect come your way.

Joshua Feinberg:

When I was doing a little bit of research about VergeSense, because I was curious, it really struck me how the founder could have, obviously nobody had the foresight to see this coming, but to be in a place where he could make such a significant impact on offices, buildings being able to safely reopen, got to have amazing opportunities around content marketing, webinars, worksheets, and helping people figure all this stuff out.

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah, absolutely. Honestly, when I had the opportunity to consider the position, it was that very element. And we know it is a marketer's dream. And I said,  “This is going to be fun.” This will be fun to solve a problem that, it's fair to say, is on the top five list of every leadership team across the world. It's fascinating. It means that you need to have a high bar on what you deliver, but it was a ton of opportunity.

Rebecca Corliss:

For the context, for those who might not know VergeSense, we're an enterprise, hardware, and software company that creates a workplace analytics platform to measure how people are using your office space. And also, in terms of being agile, the original real driver to purchase was to make sure you had the right amount of real estate to match your business.

Rebecca Corliss:

That's still true. That's still really important, but now it's all about -- if you're a workplace strategist, you have no idea when people are going to come to your office on the other side of this, how they will use it and what they will need, and having data to validate is essential. So from a marketing standpoint, we have an enjoyable education opportunity in terms of offering our market and offering our buyers who are leaning on the expertise of our teams to share information like, how do you progress in these uncharted times? How do you reopen your office? How do you do that safely and productively in a way that drives collaboration? It's super fun.

Joshua Feinberg:

You think about it too, you mentioned something early on about college students having a perception that B2C marketing is much cooler than B2B. Suppose you think about a commercial landlord or developer with a 30, 40, 50 story high-rise sitting pretty close to empty. In that case, there are enormous financial implications to helping them get companies and tenants that are in a position to start filling up space again safely.

Rebecca Corliss:

Huge, huge. I saw another tip for those considering B2B versus B2C or B2B industry specifically, for me, and this is maybe why people like B2C often, for B2C, you can imagine marketing the products you buy yourself. And I sometimes think that drives appeal because you have that empathy. I think you can find empathy with your buyer in a B2B context all the time.

Rebecca Corliss:

So with VergeSense, I thought, "I'm someone who can't wait to go back to the office. It will be different. Probably won't be five days a week, but I cannot wait to get that in-person time." And so, even imagining that, I could feel genuine empathy for the employees that our customers serve, the impact of the decisions that our customers are making to think about how to reopen their space. And that empathy is then our motivator to think about how we attract our buyers and support them best.

Intercepting a Prospect: How the Approach to B2B Changes

Joshua Feinberg:

That brings us to the next question that I wanted to ask you: how that empathy and how that approach changes depending on where someone is in the research and purchase decision. We know the stats that everyone throws around. There's an enormous amount of shift from the seller to the buyer. Buyers do tons of research before they're willing to speak with someone from a sales team anymore. For a good reason, they're able to get access to tons of information or by asking questions on Google, and Siri, and Alexa, and posting questions on LinkedIn, and Twitter, and Facebook, all day long. How does your approach to B2B change depending on where you're trying to first intercept a prospect?

Rebecca Corliss:

Sure. And I think it also -- how much emphasis you put depends on the length of your sales cycle, too, right?

Joshua Feinberg:

Yeah.

Rebecca Corliss:

Let's see. So one of the ways I think it changes, and it's important. One, I think you need to map not only the needs at each stage but also the mindset. That's where that empathy comes in -- what is their mindset? -- and being authentic to it. And that's how you can make sure the way that you speak to them aligns with what they care about at that moment. I'll take a VergeSense example; if we start sharing sensor and platform tech specs when they're just figuring out what reopening policies look like, that doesn't align. So that's important.

Rebecca Corliss:

Once you've mapped out that mindset, I think you can then think about what will have the most value to them at that stage. And then I think going into that consultative solution-based focus, you can have the most impact, because the best sales cycle, the best sales journey is one where you're in the mindset of, "I need to find people who have the problem that I solve." Because at the end of the day, you could be their hero. It's not even about making revenue. You can be their hero; you could be the answer to their problem that they're ready to invest in.

Rebecca Corliss:

And so how can you make sure you start the relationship by answering the questions they have, then make sure they have the right product information to know that it fits their needs, and then really dig into the sales process to get that nuanced view into what their true needs are and talk about how that's going to work. Where does it work? Where does it not work? And how do you make sure it fits in order to then ultimately have a sale in which you have a customer that's really excited to get started and implement this new product.

Joshua Feinberg:

You bring up so many really interesting, subtle nuances that so many people seem to often overlook. If I think about the brand buzz and perception that people had of HubSpot 10, 12 years ago, it was basically that you taught hundreds of thousands of millions of people about SEO, about digital marketing, about how to set up their Twitter profile the right way, about how to do LinkedIn right. So much so that many times they learned these great things and had a great perception of HubSpot before they even knew, "So what does HubSpot do?" And being able to connect the dots like awareness, consideration, decision, and staying with them through that whole process is a big part of it.

Joshua Feinberg:

But I think just the same as I always tell people, your goal is to get them to fall in love with your content. And then, by extension, fall in love with your brand. And then it's a much easier process of them seeing you as the educator, as the trusted advisor, helping to shape the criteria that they use to evaluate the whole process. And when you do that right, not only are you on the shortlist, if you do it correctly, many times in a B2B context, you are the entire shortlist. Whether the prospect tells your sales team, that's another story, but it's a great way to differentiate a neutralized competition.

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah. Right on. And I would say we saw the sales journey beginning at that point when someone... Remember, this is 2008. Googling? What is blogging? That's where the sales process began. And our top of the funnel, the timeline in which we focus on the top of the funnel, was maybe 50% of the full journey. Because once you came in, our sales cycle, in terms of talking to sales and closing, could be a matter of months. So really, the time that we needed to focus on that beginning journey could be even longer than you might expect those individuals who -- we'll put it real into context.

Rebecca Corliss:

When building Inbound Marketing University, it was 2009. What was happening in 2009? This terrible recession. And so, real long play, I was honored to be a part of building the certification program. People use that to better themselves in their career and get a new job, which is wonderful. What we all wanted to do was get back to work. And then, they advocated for purchasing HubSpot. And so, that's even the longer journey, and it really goes down to earning credibility, and I would say earning trust.

Joshua Feinberg:

It's an interesting place that HubSpot ended up in the last couple of years, too, putting a lot more emphasis on getting college professors to use HubSpot in the classroom, which I can relate to. My job during college was working for IBM, and Apple did the same thing, and Microsoft did the same thing where they went on campuses. They were trying to get professors to adopt the platform because they knew if you were a Windows user, all through college or a Mac user all through college, there's an excellent chance the first time you had a chance to pick your preferred platform if you're using HubSpot in the classroom as opposed to an another MarTech stack or something like that, it's the same idea, that comfort and the familiarity tends to breed loyalty.

Rebecca Corliss:

And even today, I'm in the position where I'm hiring for a handful of roles myself and with my team at VergeSense, and I smile from ear to ear when I look at someone's LinkedIn, and I see HubSpot certified, inbound marketing certified. It just makes me so happy because, one, I'm glad for the HubSpot brand continuing to flourish. That's wonderful. And two, I love seeing the full impact. That is as good as marketing can get; marketing that impacts the full ecosystem and the full marketer, truly to better their world and their lives—and then to see the opportunity that comes from that.

Joshua Feinberg:

I've often said that in a lot of ways, the free education that a SaaS company like HubSpot has put out should make the marketing professors at a lot of universities very nervous that they need to keep raising the bar to be able to justify the tuition investment and the time investment of a formal higher education approach to teaching these same courses because that constantly runs, comparing these different options.

Rebecca Corliss:

Or the evolution that can come from it; is this a rising tide that raises all boats moment where university systems also think about what they can uniquely provide that maybe they weren't prioritizing before. That's the best in every world.

Biggest Mistakes in B2B Marketing

Joshua Feinberg:

The real-world experience of encouraging somebody to build their first blog, build their content offers, doing customer insight research, giving all these super hands-on things, so when they walk in for their first interview, someone's like, "Wow! We have people that have been here three or four years that haven't gotten to some of these things yet.” A real-life demo and portfolio. When you look at the big picture, at what some other companies do with approaching a B2B marketing, B2B sales enablement, what do you think is the biggest mistake that many companies make that's preventable if they knew better going into it?

Rebecca Corliss:

One thing that comes to mind, and this is especially true right now, as we're a full enterprise sales process, and it’s been a long, long journey given the investment of our platform. I've been thinking a lot about attribution. And one of the problems that some folks could adopt accidentally is putting too much value into the lead sources. I used to think this way all the time at HubSpot. They loved lead sources. Where did it come from? It came from social, came from organic search, came from email, came from a BDR; great. I think it's really important to capture that.

Rebecca Corliss:

Some businesses put 99% of their marketing ROI evaluation into just the entrance point, where I think it might even be irrelevant in some cases. That's what I believe. I think businesses, especially if you have a lengthy sales cycle like ours, who invests in understanding all the touchpoints that a prospect has along the journey to becoming a customer, I think that's more impactful because ultimately you're doing this -- not this territorial mechanism to give credit and celebrate and win.

Rebecca Corliss:

I mean, sure, that happens, but that's not the value to the business. The value to the businesses is understanding where to invest more. And so, I think companies who aren't investing more into just that full attribution picture are really losing the opportunity to understand where they should put more dollars or where they should take dollars out to keep growing.

Joshua Feinberg:

It's interesting, too, to see all the different models that people are using to try to justify that they've completely figured it out. Still, it’s so easy to see at the same time things that sometimes get attributed to organic search, paid search, or a brand search on the company that started with something much more impactful happening that wasn't as easy to measure.

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah, yeah. Or a new lead comes through a partner. That's awesome. But it's actually because they read a press release, and then they asked the partner. Or vice versa, we get a new lead from a webinar, but it's actually because a BDR did a quick phone call, and they went and jumped to the website. I think we need to lean in, especially as digital marketing gets more sophisticated, in seeing how these things weave together and just accept that there isn't this binary -- which cup can I put this customer win into? It doesn't work that way. And embracing that, letting go, and saying, "All right, I know that these experiences we have together. I want to measure the whole ecosystem; ultimately, because it's not about credit, it's about knowing where to invest."

Joshua Feinberg:

You think the pressures of so many companies in the space following these playbooks, having venture backing adds to complications? Because there's an impatience to show that something is working and measure things in the short term that sometimes are difficult to measure in the short term? Especially when I think about a startup trying to get to product-market fit or go to market fit and there just being so many unknowns.

Rebecca Corliss:

Interesting. I think when things aren't going well, or you have a big goal in front of you, there's a lot of pressure. And I think when there's a lot of pressure, there's often an instinct to go to the nearest answer or the most obvious answer versus the best answer, the most impactful answer. So I think in that dynamic, that absolutely could be the case. I also think that there’s a real marketer leadership opportunity to say, "I understand why there's interest in being really binary about categorizing a customer by a source. But ultimately what I want to do--"

Rebecca Corliss:

You go back to the value you're trying to provide. "Ultimately, I want to be able to have conviction where I want to invest, and the method to have that clear answer is this.” And so, this is what's going to serve us more than that. And I think when a marketer can step back and speak to the ecosystem in that way, in those high-pressure situations, that's going to be much more successful and a real moment of credibility for them.

Joshua Feinberg:

There's the extra complication too of post-purchase. What does retention look like? Is it someone that's a really good fit? Someone who’s getting value enough out of their investment that they're going to stay and become a customer, a marketer’s dream of being a great evangelist and promoter? Or are they at the other extreme where sales pushed hard just to get it over the finish line, and maybe it wasn't the right fit?

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah. And I think that just emphasizes that measurement doesn't end at the purchase. Continue collecting that data. The data you collect may evolve, but continue to collect that data because that will be impactful, especially if you're at a startup or a scale-up phase in which more data will inform what you do and how you prioritize.

Joshua Feinberg:

That's terrific. The final area I wanted to ask you about today was to get your thoughts on where B2B digital marketing, where B2B sales enablement, where the whole B2B playbook is headed in the next 12, 24 months, or so. Is there something that you see going on right now that seems like it's going to be this big inflection point where we'll look back and be like, "Oh yeah, that was the big thing that was changing everything."

Rebecca Corliss:

Sure. So where my mind goes -- it is relevant to the time right now -- is what marketing channel have we all lost that might have an opportunity to be reborn, and that's events. Physical events, in-person events. And I know for our market particularly, events are great. I know in the meantime, we've done the digital events, and that's been wonderful from a demand end standpoint, as a means for our reps to talk to their customers, et cetera. But we've lost the depth. We've lost the depth in that. We've gained accessibility. That's interesting. We've gained access to it. We can now join without traveling. So that's a win, but we've lost the depth.

Rebecca Corliss:

I hope that those who produce events from a marketing standpoint are those who use events as a marketing channel to use this disruptive moment to think about how we can take the winnings from this disruption and what we miss and actually create a new, totally fantastic marketing channel event type that can impact businesses. So that's where I put my bets on a lot of changes happening very soon.

Joshua Feinberg:

Online events and offline events and getting back into traditional conferences and trade shows.

Rebecca Corliss:

Or maybe something totally different that neither you and I are thinking of right now. I don't know.

Joshua Feinberg:

Yeah. That'd be interesting to watch that space continue to evolve because anyone that had large investments in that had to get really, really creative the last 12 or 18 months with running virtual events and to try to keep -- But then what's interesting too is, I see in the next few months that a lot of traditional IT events that I've gone to over the years are coming back in very reduced capacity with all kinds of safety measures and as hybrid events, I guess, with the idea that they're keeping everything warm with the idea as we move into next year, that they'll look to return to where they were in years past.

Rebecca Corliss:

I’m an optimist. Joshua, I have to be. I'm an optimist. I can't wait to see what creativity is born from this because I think these moments are so impactful. And I know they will flourish, and I expect it will be in a newly evolving form.

Joshua Feinberg:

Every inflection point in the last 20 years or so between the housing bubble between post 9/11 brought so much innovation and technology and rethinking how companies communicated in workplaces. And it's hard. One talks about the idea that we've had a decade of digital transformation in a matter of months. It will be interesting to see how that plays out with all these new experiences.

Rebecca Corliss:

So true. So true.

Joshua Feinberg:

Well, thank you so much for joining me for this podcast interview. It's been super helpful and insightful. And I know a lot of the viewers and listeners that are going to watch and listen to this will get a lot of value from hearing about your experience and building and deploying B2B digital marketing and startups and scale-ups and all different contexts. I know you're active on LinkedIn. Is that the best place for someone to reach out to you if they have any questions or want to connect with you?

Rebecca Corliss:

Yeah, that would be great—Rebecca Corliss on LinkedIn. I love to connect there. That's where I have some of my most fun conversations. So please, please find me. It'd be great to connect.

Joshua Feinberg:

Absolutely. And I'll make sure I include a link to that with the show notes too. Thanks again so much for joining me, Rebecca. It's been great. I wish you all the best in growing your career. And I look forward to continuing to see great things coming from Rebecca Corliss.

Rebecca Corliss:

Thank you so much. And thank you so much for having me.

Joshua Feinberg:

You're very welcome.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for listening to this episode of the B2B Digitized Podcast. To subscribe and leave a review, check us out at b2bdigitized.com or wherever you like to consume podcast episodes, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

 

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