24 minutes | Jan 11th 2021

Databox: Brian Moseley, on Best Practices for Building a Martech Stack

Brian Moseley of Databox shares about the exponential boom in marketing software available, and best practices when building your own Martech stack. Danny: Alright, so let’s jump into this episode. We have Brian Moseley from Databox who’s joining us today. Brian, hey, thank you so much for coming and joining us. For those who don’t know you, if you could just introduce yourself to the audience, tell us a little about your background, who you are, what you’re doing at Databox. Brian: Sure, my name is Brian Moseley. I live in sunny Boston, Massachusetts. And I’ve been in Martech now for a little over five years. I started working at a marketing agency, and that led me to working for the marketing automation software company called HubSpot. Danny: Small company– yeah, sorry. Brian: Well, ironically, we were a small company when I started. That was back in 2013; we had about 500 employees. I went through the IPO with them. So I was on the agency side doing sales and onboarding new agency partners. Then, I had a sales manager role for a year, and that led me to follow a mentor of mine, Pete Caputa, over to become the CEO of Databox. So when Pete took over this last January in 2017, I came over as director of sales, and coming up on my two-year anniversary there. So it’s been a pretty good ride. Danny: That’s awesome. That’s great. So actually, for those who aren’t familiar a little bit with Databox, what exactly do you guys do? Brian: So we’re a data visualization tool. There’s a lot of us out there. There’s probably two dozen that I could recommend in good faith that are great tools. And the thing we do which is similar to every other tool is we take data from a lot of different places and consolidate it into a slick-looking, consistent dashboard. Danny: Great. I’m curious about this. Are you guys exclusive to marketing or just all things data? Or is there a particular niche you’re trying to focus on? Brian: That’s a great question. So every company should be focusing on some niche or vertical or ecosystem in some way, shape, or form. Otherwise–you can never be all things to all people. So I think a mistake that a lot of these data visualization companies in this space are making is that they try to go too wide. The playbook four or five years ago in this space was, let’s connect to everything that’s possible. And as we all know, the world has finite resources, and it’s impossible to invest in and support hundreds and hundreds of APIs. You can do it, but you won’t go deep into any one, and it leaves your customers wanting more complete integrations with fewer apps rather than trying to connect to hundreds of apps. So Databox does focus on marketing and sales technology stacks. Again, there’s other companies that focus on Martech and sales tech stacks as well. But that’s our ecosystem. Danny: Perfect. No, great. I was just curious about that, yeah, because data obviously is a big thing across the board, and there’s a lot of data out there. So great to know. So when we were talking before a little bit, before we started here, on a call previously, a little bit about the Martech stack. And for those in our audience, it’s new, when we talk about Martech stacks, we’re talking about basically all the different marketing technologies that you might have, whether it’s a HubSpot or using Databox or using Zapier, whatever, the 800– I don’t know how many there are now. I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of SaaS companies there are. Taking all of those and then putting them together to be able to say, okay, well we want to be able to do ads, and we want this to lead into email marketing, and we want that to– And we want to be able to do retargeting, all this good stuff. Sometimes there can be a little bit of a problem. And so one of those things was that we talked about what happens when your Martech stack just goes wild, Martech gone wild? We were joking around with some stories and things about that. But I think it really resonates. It’s a real thing. Tell me a little bit about your experience with Martech gone wild and what you’ve heard from other customers that, I’m sure, doesn’t happen to anybody else. Brian: So 10 years ago, the only thing you had to check for digital marketing was Google Analytics. I cared about, how was I ranking? Did I get more people to my website this month than last month? So it was really easy. But Google Analytics has become really complex, and I mean that in a good way. But being complex, it also allows people to not focus as well on one thing. So now, 10 years later, now we’ve got Salesforce and HubSpot CRMs. You’ve got your email system, whether you’re using Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign or HubSpot. Now, you’ve got chatbots like Drift. Now, you’ve got conversational marketing. And then, you’re running Google ads and Facebook ads. The thing I learned at HubSpot was all marketers feel that 50% of their marketing isn’t working, but they don’t know which 50%. And now that there’s a lot more tools out there and a lot more channels out there, organic social media, paid social media, the list goes on and on. So just like I said, you can’t be all things to all people, you can’t do everything, especially if you’re a relatively smaller marketing team, six or less people. So you’ve got to stick to your guns, and you’ve got to stick to what’s working. Typically, a content strategy is really good. A promotional strategy around social is really good. And then, maybe one other thing that you’re taking a flyer on, like something that you’re testing. Maybe you’re testing video or chat or conversational marketing. My advice is, you can’t do everything, so focus on three things. Find what’s working, and try to really simplify your life because the more you make things complex, the less you’re able to prioritize. And that’ll really kill a marketing team’s resources. Danny: Absolutely, and I love the stat about 50%, just trying to figure out what that is. It’s kind of paradoxical, if I’m using that word right, in the sense that you go from, maybe if you’re transitioning over from a traditional sense of marketing over to digital– we’re doing that because we can measure, and it’s amazing. But then, it’s almost like you go way overboard, and you’re like, there’s so much that we’re measuring that we’re not even measuring what we’re measuring. It’s next level. It’s Inception right there. Brian: It is. Yeah, if you were just measuring lead form fills or goal completions in Google Analytics, life would be great. The nice thing about HubSpot, if you’re using it, is they do a great job of measuring three KPIs: visits, leads, customers. And if you want to add two more bonus KPIs, it’s the conversion rates between all those, so the visitor to lead conversion rate and the lead to customer conversion rate. If you’re a B2B company in manufacturing or industrial, really those are the five metrics you should be tracking, and everything else should be feeder metrics into those top five metrics. So there’s this concept that we didn’t invent, but it’s in our methodology. It was invented by Franklin Covey, actually, back in the ’90s. And it’s relevant now more than ever in the digital age. It’s called the Four Disciplines of Execution. And the methodology describes two different types of indicators or metrics: leading indicators and lagging indicators. The best example I can give is the simple sales one. In sales, you have to make 50 phone calls to book a meeting. And then, you have to have 10 meetings to book an appointment, and then, 10 appointments to sell a deal. Everybody understands that funnel. So the calls and the meetings and the appointments, those are all leading indicators, and the lagging indicator is– they call it a lagging indicator because once you see it, it’s already gone; you can’t change it. So that’s your monthly sales. But that applies to marketing also. So how many blog posts you create, that’s a leading indicator. How much traffic comes out the other end, that’s a lagging indicator. So what I think a lot of marketers are missing is this ability to think in that way that we’ve got these few, very critical activities that we can do that are going to lead to this outcome of more marketing-qualified leads for my sales team. So I challenge marketers all the time and say, what are your three things, what are the three levers you can pull to actually influence that MQL number? Is it the number of blog posts? Is it how long the blog posts are? Is it how many times you’ve posted on LinkedIn? What are your weapons, and what are your leading indicators that are going to help you tackle your lag? Danny: Absolutely, and it makes sense. And I absolutely love that, especially with the analogy too with sales over to marketing because, again, a lot of our audience sometimes is very transactional, so that’s one thing. But then, the other piece is that sometimes it’s like, well, marketing over here, it’s just flyers and things. No, the reality of it is, if there’s a funnel and it’s a real deal, and you mentioned a great acronym, MQLs right there. So for those who might not be familiar with that, we’re talking about marketing qualified leads. So really, we’re marketing them, we’re building awareness about us and our services and how we can help solve those challenges. And once they’re ready, they become SQ, they would go to that sales qualified lead. Okay, we know that they’ve got the budget, the authority, the timing, the need. Not everybody that’s going to come to our website necessarily is qualified, and we want to sell to them. I love it. And actually, you said Franklin Covey. It was the four disciplines– can you say that again? Sorry. Brian: Yeah, it’s the Four Disciplines of Execution. There’s a whole book on it, which I read, and I got a lot of value from. But all you really need to know is wrapped up in a five-minute YouTube clip just called The Four Disciplines of Execution. It’s a really great intro into the methodology. Danny: Perfect, and that’s awesome. Alright, I’ll take a look at that. Thanks for sharing that. That’s great. So what would you–there’s a couple things in there you said that I think– not a couple; there’s a lot you said that was great. But one thing in particular that I was latching on is, I’ll ask you the same question but in two different ways, depending on where we see a lot of our audience that’ll come from. One, for those that are just starting– it’s funny; we hear the whole Google Analytics thing where, oh, we’re doing this, and we’re trying to figure out SEO, all that stuff. But for those that are saying, hey, we’re just starting, and we just want to go into the– what would you recommend from a Martech stack? You touched on it there. What are those big things that– concretely, what does that look like? Brian: Yeah, so it depends on the size of your company. But there’s some really great free tools out there. SaaS companies have been forced to become far more generous in their free offering because there are so many options out there. So it’s this capitalist point of view that more options means more choice and a better product. So tools I love: Google Search Console is free. I don’t know how many people know about it, but if you are looking to get into basic SEO, and you don’t outsource that, and you really want to understand keyword rankings, Google Search Console is a great thing to read up on. There’s some awesome short YouTube videos. You can get certified and become an expert in a couple of weeks. Mailchimp is one probably everybody’s heard of. They’re an awesome way to send out email and communicate with your clients. And then, there’s two other ones that I would recommend. If you’re not already using a CRM, I would recommend HubSpot Free CRM. It’s a great way to close the loop. A really difficult thing for marketers is closing the loop and getting that back from sales of, hey, these three leads are awesome, but this one isn’t great. So let’s get more of these three because all three of those closed. We call that closing the loop, and if your sales team isn’t closing the loop, or if you’re not making it really easy for them to close the loop, a CRM, especially a free one like HubSpot, is a great way to start. And then I would recommend, if you’re looking to– I think everybody can benefit from conversational marketing these days, direct offers of a free plan which allows people to communicate with a bot on your site or communicate with one of your internal customer service people or salespeople. I get a ton of meetings every month booked from our pricing page. It’s one of our best sources of qualified leads. People are on your site; they have a question that you can answer now. Do you really want them filling out a form and then hoping that your sales rep gets back to them? Maybe not. What if they can help qualify that lead directly on the website? So that would be my top five free marketing stack. Danny: Awesome, no, I love it. It’s funny because you mentioned chatbots on there. It was one of our things we put out for early 2018, the big things you’re going to see coming out here. And I think it’s absolutely awesome from multiple areas. But all those things, some great free tools, so thanks for that. Now, I’m going to ask that question a little bit differently now. Alright, for some of those– let’s go back to those who, they’re on this train. They love it, and they’re like, okay, we need all the things, and here’s our Martech stack, and here’s–and then, they’re like, wait a minute. What are we even doing? Is this even valuable? How do you diagnose that situation? What advice would you give to somebody to say, okay, how do we evaluate what is important and what isn’t? Brian: Yeah, so I had a company say that exact thing to me, and what they did is they did a SaaS showdown where they literally took a whiteboard, and they had a bracket like NCAA college basketball. And they put these 17 different tools that they’re using. It was like SEMrush versus Drift, and they laid it all out. And they wrote down how much they were paying for it and how much it was saving them time. That’s a good way to figure out, evaluate your stack is just do a competition and invite your team and see who protests the most. The thing I’ll say about software, I have to educate people a lot on how to buy software. The way I think about buying software is more like you’re hiring a person. And you can hire software, and you can definitely fire software if it’s not doing the job. I think a lot of people expect software to come in and solve their problem, but that’s not how I look at it. If you have an existing process built out that you’re doing, and that process is tight, and it’s repeatable, then and only then should you be evaluating software to come in and automate it. But if you don’t really have a great process built out already, I wouldn’t look to software to solve your problem. The best example I can use is inbound marketing. If you’re creating blog posts, publishing them to WordPress, sending them out in Mailchimp, publishing landing pages in Leadpages, building forms in whatever you’re building forms in, if you’re doing all of those things already, then HubSpot makes a ton of sense. But if you’re not already doing inbound marketing or you haven’t already committed to it, it’s like a gym membership. It’s not going to solve all your problems. So I would, if you’re trying to figure out what in your tech stack makes the most sense, I would think, okay, what do we have good processes around, and which softwares are we using that are actually automated, and if we actually took those away, and we had to go back to doing things manually, would that be bad? Would it be really, really bad? If it’s not really, really bad, you can probably cut that tool. Danny: Yeah. No, I love about the… how to go buy software, make sure we do this right because that is– you’re absolutely right, 100%. If there’s no process around there, I hear this all the time. Hey, we’ve got HubSpot, or we’ve got Pardot. We’ve got Marketo, whatever. Marketing automation, it’s automated. We just do it and then, all of a sudden our marketing is there. It’s done for us marketing because that’s what it is. It’s marketing automation. I go, not exactly. We hear the same thing with Salesforce, integrating CRM or anything like that. Those are some really great stuff. Brian: You only get out of it what you put into it, and you’ve got to really plan out your attack. And that’s why sales people can be very helpful in that. I think salespeople get a bad rap a lot of the times in SaaS. They think that they’re trying to sell you the dream, but in all actuality, I think a really good sales person at Marketo or Pardot or HubSpot, I think what they’re trying to do is assess your current process, evaluate it, and then help you figure out how to fix your problem. And maybe it includes their tool, and maybe not. And hopefully they’re honest enough to tell you that and be transparent about it. Danny: No, absolutely. That, again, totally makes a lot of sense. Okay, so wrapping up a little bit– actually, one of the things that we get asked quite a bit is, with so many different platforms out there, and there’s so many different technologies you may be using. It’s funny; it’s like you get this one. This is 80% of what we need is right here. But then, now it takes another 10 platforms to fill up that next 15%. And that five, you’re just like, ugh, we’re not quite there. But one of the really big challenges we see is, okay, great, we’ve got all these different things. Golly, how do we measure that and look at, is it really achieving the goals that we were trying to get after? How do we generate reports? Where I’m leading is, I’m seeing some data visualization tools might be a little valuable to do that. What does that look like on your end? Brian: Yeah, so again, taking a step back from software, step one is: fix your process. I see a lot of reports, as you can imagine. People are sending me their reports. I probably see 50 a month. And they say, here’s my report; it’s a headache. It’s a bunch of PowerPoint; it’s 40 slides. I say, how do you build it? And they say, we go into Google Analytics, and we take three screen shots. And we go into this, we go into this, and we put all these screenshots into a PowerPoint, and we present it to our boss. And we’re really excited. The boss flips through it and says, okay. My eyes glaze over; and then, they hand it back to us and say, what am I looking at? The problem there is, the human brain is not built to analyze 40 to 50 to 100 metrics in a PowerPoint. That’s not right. And the question I ask people is, realistically, as the marketing team and the resources that you have, are you realistically able to influence all 100 metrics on that PowerPoint? And then, I’ll pause, and they’ll say, no. I’ll say, okay, then why are we– what does it matter, then? Let’s simplify; let’s cut. Let’s pick 5 to 10 key company goals or marketing objectives or initiatives that you’re trying to influence, and let’s put a number to it. The language is a SMART goal. It’s an acronym; it means specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-limited. What are your SMART goals? Maybe it’s traffic. Maybe it’s leads. Maybe it’s sales. That should probably be in your top three. But then, maybe it’s Facebook ad impressions. Maybe it’s Google ad reach. Maybe it’s the number of organic traffic coming to the blog. Pick those top 10 metrics, and really focus on those. Buy a $300 TV off of Amazon; put it up in your marketing office, and then, find some free dashboard solution that you can connect all your sources into, put those top 10 metrics up on the screen, and then, set goals around them for the year. And then, break those goals down quarterly. Break those goals down monthly, so if it’s 12,000 visits for the year, that’s 1,000 sessions or visits a month. That’s really easy. Now and only now can I start saying, okay, how do I get to 1,000 every, single month? That’s a much easier question to answer than, how do I get more sales or whatever. Danny: Yeah, no, absolutely. It totally makes sense. Well, Brian, I really enjoyed our conversation. We talked about a lot of different things. Is there any other parting words you may have as we wrap this up? Brian: Measure the metrics that matter so that you can do the things that you want to do like getting off work early and going and spending time with your family. Danny: There you go. That’s awesome; that’s important. Brian, well, I really appreciate the time. For those who are watching this, we had a few technical difficulties before we started here, but we really appreciate your patience on this. If anybody has any questions, if they’d like to reach out and ask you any advice or questions or anything, what’s the best way of reaching you? Brian: I’m on Twitter @bmose14 or just come to the Databox website and hit me up in the Drift chat. I’m there all day. Danny: Awesome; that sounds great. So Brian, thanks again. We really appreciate it. And yeah, this has been awesome. Brian: Sounds good, Danny. Danny: Alright, thanks. Alright, so there we go. Another great episode with Brian Moseley from Databox and a lot of great takeaways. Listen, if you are just jumping into this and you’re trying to figure out your Martech stack, one of the big things that I took away was just keep it simple. And honestly, even if you’re already heavily invested in this and your Martech stack is huge, again, go back to the simple things. I can tell you, for 90% of you out there, you’re going to want to look at what Brian was talking about, looking at your traffic. Let’s look at your leads, your conversion. That’s really the big thing because it’s really, how are we going to fill up that pipeline, and what does that look like? More traffic to your website, and we can convert them better, and then, we can get them into leads. And let’s close the loop, like he said. Let’s figure out what our marketing activities are doing to actually really generate sales and really do that. So anyways, thanks again for watching. If you’re listening on iTunes, we’d love a review. If you’re on social media, share, like, comment, all that great stuff. If you have any questions, reach out to us at IndustrialSage.com/questions. We’d love to answer them for you. And thanks again for watching. I’m Danny Gonzales, and this is IndustrialSage.   hbspt.cta.load(192657, 'ee6f69de-cfd0-4b78-8310-8bdf983bdcc9', {});   Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. 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