Podcast: Why You Should Start Moving Away From ABM

Shahin Hoda 22  mins read Updated: May 17th, 2024

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Why should you start moving away from ABM

Episode topic: Why you should start moving away from ABM

In this episode, host Shahin Hoda chats with Jon Miller, CMO of Demandbase, about the current state of account-based marketing and why organisations should consider moving to its more grown-up sibling.

Based on his years of experience founding and managing global companies such as Marketo and Engagio, Jon highlights the mistakes marketers make while executing their ABM strategy and why Account-Based Experience (ABX) is the next frontier.

Jon discusses how ABX uses the tools provided by ABM hand-in-hand with the customer experience focus of demand generation.

Jon concludes the discussion by sharing his take on the future of Account-Based Experience (ABX) and how it will evolve in the next three years.

This episode’s guest

Why should you start moving away from ABM

Jon Miller, CMO at Demandbase

Jon Miller is the CMO of Demandbase. Over the last two decades, he co-founded global companies such as Engagio, which merged with Demandbase in June 2020 and Marketo, which Adobe acquired.

Jon is the author of many books, including Demandbase’s Clear and Complete Guide to Account-Based Experience (ABX) and Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation.  

He was named Most Influential Marketing CEO of the Year by the Corporate Excellence Awards, one of the 10 Most Influential Tech Marketers globally by B2B Marketing, and a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250M by the CMO Institute.

Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Harvard and has an MBA from Stanford.

Connect with him on LinkedIn

Conversation segments on this episode:

  • [02:00] Jon’s ABM journey and the origin of Engagio
  • [03:47] Two styles of marketing - DemandGen and ABM
  • [04:23] Problem with the current ABM approach being taken in the industry
  • [04:48] ABM has lost respect for the customer experience that DemandGen has
  • [05:25] Inspiration of ABX
  • [06:15] ABM is not just about marketing
  • [08:48] Traditional marketing teams are paid on New Business Opportunity
  • [09:27] Goals for pipeline creation
  • [09:55] Focussed on hiring an SDR for calling the existing customer base
  • [12:06] Sales and marketing need to look at the same data
  • [13:34] Implement a sales and marketing stand-up 
  • [14:59] How to get sales engaged with the marketing team?
  • [18:05] What is Dark-Funnel?
  • [20:40] Relevance of attribution for marketers - it should be treated as a model and not a science
  • [23:20] What’s next after ABX? - see more adoption across more industry sectors
  • [24:04] Convergence between data providers and workflow providers
  • [26:58] Convergence of ABM and marketing automation

Resources mentioned on this episode:

About the Growth Colony Podcast

On this podcast, you'll be hearing from B2B founders, CMOs, marketing & sales leaders about their successes, failures, what is working for them today in the B2B marketing world and everything in between.

Produced by Shahin Hoda & Alexander Hipwell, from xGrowth

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Episode Full Transcript:

[00:14] Shahin Hoda   Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode. I'm Shahin Hoda with xGrowth and today I'm talking to Jon Miller, CMO of Demandbase. Jon is one of the pioneers and trailblazers, not only in the ABM space, but in the B2B space in general. He was a co-founder of Marketo and one of the first people to predict the rise of marketing automation back in the day. Most recently, he launched and founded Engagio that very quickly became one of the key players in the ABM space right until its acquisition by Demandbase. Now today, I'm talking to Jon about what new developments are happening he's seeing in the ABM space, and what is he predicting in the near future? I'm super-pumped for this conversation. Jon, thanks for joining us.

[00:42] Jon Miller   Yeah, thank you for having me. Good topics to talk about. 

[0:46] Shahin Hoda   No absolute pleasure. As I said, I'm a big fan. And I've, you know, I've consumed a lot of the content that you put out. I printed out the second edition of the ABM book and went through back to back when I was kind of starting with ABM, and we were figuring out things. So. But one of the more interesting things that you've recently started talking about, is this transition from account-based marketing to account-based experience. Why are we seeing this transition? Why do you think this is important? 

[01:21] Jon Miller   I think the best way to talk about it is to actually rewind a little bit first. And how I got into ABM in the first place. You know, because obviously, I was at Marketo and, you know, we built Marketo on a kind of traditional demand generation model. You know, where we ran campaigns, webinars, and content, and we'd capture leads. And then we'd like to nurture them, score them and pass them to sales at the right time. And that- it really did work for us and help to drive our growth. But it sort of started, well and what was great about it, you know, is our sales people weren't just cold calling folks and kind of weren't going after people who didn't want to talk to them, right? We waited until somebody's score got high enough, you know that when we called them, they would actually be probably interested in talking to us. 

[01:29] Jon Miller  And that was a really good thing. But the problem was, there were limits to how far we could scale that approach. You know, I couldn't double the number of webinars, and double the number of leads, I certainly couldn't double the number of blog posts and double the number of leads. And so we needed some new ways to drive growth. And what we did is we, we just called it outbound marketing at the time, where we sort of just identified some of the bigger accounts that we really wished we could get as customers but who weren't coming in and responding to our campaigns. 

[02:44] Jon Miller  And we started trying to figure out how to go after them. And ultimately, that is what became known kind of as account-based marketing. And it was the challenge of doing that kind of other marketing at Marketo. That inspired me to start Engagio, because I realised how hard it was to measure the results and orchestrate the actions and things like that. So at the time, I sort of started using this analogy to describe the two styles of marketing. You know, what the demand gen inbound, stuff that we had been doing, that was like fishing with a net, where I didn't care specific lead responded to my campaign. I just cared, did I get enough response? 

[03:00] Jon Miller  Whereas account-based marketing outbound motion was like fishing with the spear. We identified those big whales and those big fish and we went after them. Okay, so that was sort of an Engagio era, if you will. And then you fast forward a few years, and I'm looking at how I see companies practicing ABM, and I realised there was a problem. And the problem was that they were going after accounts, big interesting accounts. But regardless of whether that account was actually interested in hearing from them. And you know, they were spamming them with, you know, SDR cadences, maybe they were sending them bottles of wine or you know, who knows what. 

[04:08] Jon Miller  But you know, across all these things, what I realised is that ABM had lost that kind of respect for the customer experience that demand generation have. In demand gen, we only call people when they are kind of ready. And in ABM, we're going after people who may not be interested in hearing from us. And what I realised was obvious, in my analogy, which is it doesn't feel very good to get poked by a spear. I realised, we needed something new and something different, something that could kind of combine that respect for the customer experience that demand gen had with the precision and targeting that traditional account-based marketing. 

[04:49] Jon Miller  And that was the inspiration for account-based experience or ABX, you know. And that kind of control to combine both those things and attempt to really, you know, we're still going after accounts, but we're gonna align how we interact with them and treat them based on where they are in their journey, you know. And only kind of stick the SDRs and salespeople on them, if you will, at the right time. And will use other strategies and other tactics of other pieces. 

[05:24] Jon Miller  So that's the big idea of account-based experience. The other reason why I think it's good is oh, has a cool acronym of ABX. But the other reason why I think it's a trend you're going is because there's another flaw in account-based marketing inherent just in innate, which is that it was, frankly, just about marketing. And anybody who's practiced ABM knows it's not just about marketing, you know. We obviously need sales and other teams, you know, heavily, fully involved as part of the whole process. So I just like the ABX concept is a bigger umbrella that kind of can bring all the departments into it.

[06:05] Shahin Hoda   So Jon, that makes sense. That transition from kind of demand gen to ABM to ABX, it makes sense. With this whole transition to ABX, what do you think about account expansion and customer marketing? I know I remember you talking about, used to say, 80% of revenue now comes post-sale, post-purchase. And a lot of focus needs to be put on, marketers need to put a lot of focus on and that 80% that is after an SDR closes a deal. How do you think that comes into the mix?

[06:37] Jon Miller   Yeah, I mean, it's super important. I mean, just if there's like such a bias built into Marketo, and the traditional demand generation processes, towards just focusing on the new business, the new logo. And then I got to tell you, today, like so many marketers, they're measured and paid, just one kind of new business opportunities and pipeline. And the whole kind of post-sale tends to almost be like, left as an exercise to the reader at a lot of companies. But exactly as you say, That's disconnected from where companies actually make money. Obviously, software and service companies make money on renewals and expansion. But so many companies are subscribing today that kind of kind of true across the board. 

[07:23] Jon Miller  So your ABX, ABM always did talk about marketing to customers, as well, as you know, talking to accounts. I just had, like a lot of people who were out there, you know, poking their customers were spears, and were focusing on getting into accounts, right? And so again, because ABX brings a sort of more holistic view of the experience, I think it does do, you know, or it's intended to kind of heighten the focus on the entire customer journey. And yeah, you got to create awareness and new accounts and create opportunities and new accounts. 

[07:55] Jon Miller  But you also need to sort of work on your open opportunities and your existing customers, and kind of find a holistic balance there, which is great in principle, and there's nothing about ABX that are even ABM that sort of prevents that. I think honestly, the real challenge is that the way marketers are measuring competence gonna have to change to really get some change in what people if somebody's being measured on how many MQLs they created, or how many new business opportunities they created, that's what they're going to be focused on. 

[08:32] Shahin Hoda   That's an interesting question. How do you think it should change? Like, what are some of the models that you've seen that work for, you know, sales, and maybe sales, development and marketing compensation, so that it matches ABM initiatives a bit better or ABX initiatives a bit better? 

[08:52] Jon Miller   Well, just specifically, in terms of compensation? 

[08:54] Shahin Hoda   Yeah. Have you come across anything?

[08:57] Jon Miller   I mean, so like one of the things we do at Demandbase, you know, it is we have goals for pipeline creation. That is both a new business pipeline, as well as expansion pipeline, new creation. So that's like a baby step, right? Just making sure that people are thinking about that as when they're planning their campaigns and planning the programs, hey, how we're going to try those expansion dollars? At Marketo, we actually eventually got to the point where we hired an SDR who focused on calling into our customer base.

[9:35] Shahin Hoda   Oh, wow. 

[9:36] Jon Miller   What was happening was we would get customers just signing up for our regular webinars and downloading our content. And they would be meeting our criteria for being quote unquote,  a lead. But the SDRs were not calling those people. They weren't following up on them because they're only paid on generating new business opportunities, you know. And so what we realise is we needed, you know, somebody just kind of really follow up on all this interest. You know, hey, Mr. Customer, why'd you download that eBook? Oh, you're interested in this other thing? Well, let me introduce you to our sales. I mean,

[10:12] Shahin Hoda   I love that.

[10:13] Jon Miller   I just think it's just changing the things we do a little bit but to have a focus on, how we are going to expand the account, not just, you know, let get our foot in the door in the first place.

[10:24] Shahin Hoda   So you brought SDRs which, which nicely kind of feeds into my next question of what should the regular interaction between sales and marketing look like now that we're talking about ABX in this context?

[10:39] Jon Miller   Yeah, I mean, then the model needs to change. I mean, the traditional demand gen model was, I think, really modeled on like a relay team with a baton handoff. Yeah, we're marketing, we generate the lead and they hand it to the SDR who qualified, handed it to the salesperson to close it, who then handed it to a customer success person, you know, and it was this very linear process that had rules. And I think we're in a world, especially if we're trying to focus on account experience, where a much better analogy is more like a football team, where you have players in different positions, and then they're passing the ball back and forth. You know, as they kind of move up and down the field. 

[11:23] Jon Miller  It's a much more kind of orchestrated, integrated dance. And to make that happen, you know, I think it's easier said than done. But I think just a couple things that seem to work, know, are one, you just got to be looking at the same data. You know, that's actually the big problem that I had, or one of the biggest problems that we had at Marketo, when we're starting to do ABM ourselves. You know, marketing was used to looking in salesforce and looking at leads. And salesforce was used to looking at accounts, and we were literally not on the same page, you know.

[11:57] Jon Miller  And so I think step one is just getting a common view of the account that marketing and sales can share. So that way, when you're saying, hey, we're, you know, we're talking about ABM, oh, we're talking to the same ABM and we're talking about the same information about them, okay. Again, it's really foundational, but it's key. And then from there, I think what you can do is you can sort of slowly almost sit down and decide, what are the things that we want to know about? When it happens, in one of our accounts, and it might be, you know, as broad as a rep saying, anytime one of my target accounts is on the website, send me an alert, right? 

[12:38] Jon Miller  Or it might be more sophisticated, hey, if I have a target account, and they have a VP or higher who downloads your book, I want to know about that. So I can do a personalised follow up, you know, or maybe I have an open opportunity that suddenly started showing intent for a competitor, you know. Those are all things that maybe a rep would actually want to get proactively alerted about. And that's your communication on the field, right? We're kind of talking to each other. 

[13:05] Jon Miller   And then the last piece that I think really enables that kind of integrated, orchestrated team is to implement like what we just call standups, which is taken from the world of Agile software development, but put in place a meeting once every two weeks, with a marketer, a sales rep and an SDR maybe. That's it. No managers, this is not an ideal review, or an account review or a pipeline review. This is just what's going on at that rep's accounts and what are we gonna do? You know, what place do we want to run? What activities do we want to do? It sounds really simple. And yet, it's so powerful just to get marketing sales, talking about the same accounts, looking at this, you know, built on that foundation, I'm looking at the same data.

[13:53] Shahin Hoda   How do you approach when marketers would say, you know, I'd love to do that, but you know, I'm really having a hard time getting buy-in from sales or for them to commit or, you know, I'm worried if they then, you know, not being receptive. You know, I've heard that a lot from marketers, I don't know if you've come across that.

[14:13] Jon Miller   Well, I think part of that depends on where you are in your ABM-ABX journey. You know, to get a stand up in place, you have to have already had some buy-in from the sales team, you know. And so I think you almost have to rewind a little bit like, you know, if you want to just start practicing an account-based strategy, in general, how do you get sales on board with that? 

[14:35] Jon Miller   And, you know, the, probably the single best thing I've seen is, you know, you it's usually pretty doable to get them to engage in a conversation around which accounts they want to focus, you know. And it can be as simple as, hey, we're going to be doing marketing, Mr and Mrs. Salesperson, you know. We can do it broadly or generally, or we can focus it on the accounts you care about, you know. Would you like to tell us which accounts you care about or would you like to have as guests? You know, usually they'll say, sure, I'll tell you the accounts I care about, You know, and at that point, you're sort of brought them into the discussion around, okay, well, why do you know which these are the accounts? 

[15:20] Jon Miller   And then if you actually can start telling them things that are happening at those accounts that they just said, they care about, and you're marketing to them and lo and behold, they're actually showing up on the website, right? This is all good, because it's like, hey, these are the accounts. You said you care about it, you know. And then they're probably ready to be like, huh, should we maybe talk about what we want to do to better engage with these accounts that you said you care about? You know, and it kind of goes from there?

[15:42] Shahin Hoda   Got it. No, that makes sense. And I think the analogy of the use of passing the baton versus a football or soccer game, I think, sounds like the Nirvana of account-based experience, right? Like that. Players are so tuned in to what they, the you know, the other party does that they are able to work as a team, like a soccer team or football team. I mean, that sounds like Nirvana. For those at a more advanced level, any other experience, any other advice that you can think of? I mean, we talked about a few of them.

[16:24] Jon Miller   That's what I talked about at those different levels, right? You know, yeah, that might be an advantage. If you're at a company like marketing and sales, we don't even talk to each other. Like, you know, how do you get to that? And that's sort of why, like, just start by getting a common view of the data is written, you know, I mean, because like, that' your first baby step, and so, you know, when you're looking at account, they're looking, they know what marketing campaigns are affecting their accounts. You can see what emails what, you know, which ones are following up on, which emails are sending, you know. And just having a shared view, I mean, it's not the only reason marketing sales can't get along, but if you don't have the same, it will exacerbate the problem.

[17:05] Shahin Hoda   I hear you, I hear you, you talked about data. And you talked about having a clear view, we talked about intent data, there's this whole concept that is getting more and more popular about the dark funnel. And hey, there are things that we can't see customers doing, but they're really important. What are your thoughts on that? What are your thoughts on attribution in today's marketing space?

[17:31] Jon Miller   Well, I mean, I think attribution and dark funnel concepts are sort of different. I mean, the whole dark funnel thing is, you know, just, you know, putting a fancy name on a problem that's been around forever, you know. Which is, you know, we don't know, you know, what our customers are doing. I mean, but that's the whole point of what marketing automation did in the first place, right? It started giving us the ability to score and focus our time and energy on the right accounts, right? The only thing that's new today, is the fact that we're all adding behaviors for what people are doing off of our website, as well as on our website, right? 

[18:09] Jon Miller  Traditional market automation only scored, hey, they're visiting this web page, they downloaded that eBook, because you still want to have access to that data. But you also want to know, oh, hey, your target customer is researching these topics out on the open web. And that's where intent data comes in. I will first say intent data is super important. 

[18:15] Jon Miller  You know, if you don't want to, you know, poke your customers with the spear, you know. You should know, you know, what are they interested in? And when are they showing increasing interest? And use those signals to figure out when to reach out, you know. But to somehow say like, that's like, magic, something that never existed before, I think is, you know, kind of missing the history of how marketing technologies actually evolved. It's just, you know, one other signal that we have, that we didn't kind of have before.

[18:56] Shahin Hoda   There's a lot of conversation around, hey, marketers shouldn't focus on attribution. I don't know if you've come across it. I can assure people who don't like it. Yeah. What are your thoughts on some of these, some of the thoughts that are coming from that side that hey, marketers should, should really not focus on attribution and look at some of the other areas. And that attribution biases, marketers and stuff like that, what are your thoughts on that?

[19:23] Jon Miller   So I mean, first off, I think attribution when done properly is super crazy important. Because in the end, if you're a marketer with a marketing budget, your company is entrusting you to invest dollars to help the company. And if you can credibly come back and say, I invested these dollars, and this is what I got for that, right? Then you're being an irresponsible steward of the budget that your company has entrusted you with. You're very likely going to be put in a position of trying to figure out what you're going to do with less budget, right? If you can't kind of make those connections. 

[20:09] Jon Miller  So attribution is the best way to start to tie those, you know, I spent this, I got this, you know. And so at the highest level, I'm a big fan. Where attribution can go very wrong, is if people start treating it as somehow an exact science with precision down to the last decimal, because it's not, right? At the end of the day, it's a model, right? And there's different attribution models that are going to say, I'm going to allocate it this way, I'm going to allocate it that way. And depending on the assumptions you make, you're going to get a different answer, you know.

[20:44] Jon Miller  And so by definition, it's an imperfect science, right? So, to sum all that up, that attribution is saying, hey, we ran this event, and we got 143% ROI, right? Cuz you don't know if it's 143 or 174, right? Good attribution is saying, I ran these two different programs. And this one clearly did better than that one. Because whatever model attribution I did, you can see it got more, you know. And so using that, therefore, to make decisions around where you should invest your company's dollars, and make more of those dollars, now, you're actually making good factual decisions, you know, and that's where I think attribution serves really, really well.

[21:32] Shahin Hoda   I love that approach. I love that balanced approach, who's like, hey, yeah, don't don't treat it as science. It's that it's a it's, it's a model. And in the technical sense, models have outliers, and there's a margin of error, and there's all that stuff. Okay, got it.

[21:49] Jon Miller  And in particular, this one's biased by the assumptions built into the model. And that's okay. You know, just be aware of what it is.

[21:58] Shahin Hoda  Got it. Got it. Love it. Last question I want to ask you, before we kind of go into some rapid questions, is, what do you see in the next few years for ABX? Like, what is gonna I mean, we've got to the ABX era, what do you think is coming next?

[22:13] Jon Miller   How much time do you have? I mean, so the ABX today, the ABX market today feels a lot like Marketing automation did. Kind of circa 2010 where the platforms are matured. It's kind of clear what the core capabilities are, and the shortlist of leaders have kind of emerged. So it's sort of less of a question of, should I buy an ABX platform, and more hey, which is the right one for me? You know, and so that's an interesting time for the market, because it lets us kind of really think about what's the next wave of innovation.

[22:44] Jon Miller  So I think we'll see the sort of three things I'm thinking about there. The first is just a natural extension of the maturity of the market, I just said, which is we're gonna see more adoption, I think across more verticals. You know, if you look at most ABM programs today, especially people who've invested in technology, there's a heavy skew towards high tech companies, you know. But a Demandbase in particular, you know, we see financial services companies, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, consulting firms starting to adopt this stuff, you know. 

[23:19] Jon Miller  And I think that's sort of one trend we're gonna see, is becoming more mainstream in more verticals. The second trend, I think, we're gonna see is probably, to me, the most exciting because potentially the most transformative. And that's, we're already starting to see a convergence between data providers, and workflow providers. Now, by workflow, I mean, sort of marketing technologies. So to explain that back to the Marketo days, you know, you would never buy data from Marketo, you know. You bought Marketo, and then you bought data from somebody else, and you put it into Marketo. 

[24:01] Jon Miller  And then things got blurry with ABM, because in order to sort of predict the accounts, who were good for you-. Demandbase and other ABM vendors were basically buying data, about accounts, buying intent data, or technographics data and bringing it together so that they can sort of build their models and ultimately come back and say, hey, here's our recommendations for the accounts, you should be going after, you know, things like that. And the problem was that all you know, all the vendors were buying data from the same sources, you know. And then those sources, about a year and a half ago, started drying up. 

[24:45] Jon Miller  You know, the Zoom info was a big source Dun and Bradstreet was a big source. And what happened is they started buying workflow companies, right. Their data vendors are kind of moving into workflow. And all of a sudden, they're kind of a little squirrely about hey, do I want to keep only my data to these companies that are increasingly bigger than my competitors. At Demandbase, we saw that and we're like, it's a game of musical chairs, we don't want that music to stop, and we don't have our own data. So we went, and we acquired some of the leading data providers, B2B data providers out there, you know. 

[25:17] Jon Miller  And so at this point, ironically, we actually provide data to some of our a- own competitors. And increasingly, I think we're gonna get into a world where it's not just about what your technology can do, but it's about what data you actually have. And that will, the other thing that I think we're interesting to think about is, um, you know, 10 years ago, Marc Andreessen wrote software that is eating the world, you know. And what's happened is, I think, especially when it comes to things like AI and big data analytics, the software side of things has increasingly become commoditised. You can go to Google, or Amazon or open source to get very sophisticated machine learning algorithms. 

[26:04] Jon Miller  Today, what actually differentiates the ability to have kind of great predictions and great AI isn't who's got the algorithms, it's who's got the data that feeds the algorithm? You know, and so, these things are all coming together, where, you know, I think just, you know, increasingly in the next three years, you know, when we talk about ABM, we'll be talking about data, as much or more than things like predictive analytics and AI, and, you know, and so on and such forth. 

[26:33] Jon Miller  And then the third trend, which I won't spend too long on, even though it's probably really interesting, you know, is I think we're finally starting to see some companies and talking about an analyst talking about the long awaited convergence of ABM and marketing automation where, you know, probably I'll predict within two years, some companies will not buy a separate marketing automation tool, you know. And we'll be able to get enough of marketing automation functionality from their ABM platform, that's all they're gonna need.

[27:05] Shahin Hoda   I love that. That was actually a question that I wanted to ask you in the middle of the conversation. I was like, that's not very related. And I love that you kind of see that going in that direction that the ABM platform becomes this all encompassing, and a lot more suitable for the B2B organisation, especially the ones that are going after these enterprise accounts. That was a really high note, I'd love that answer, Jon, really, really appreciate it. I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions before we wrap up, you get to go. 

[27:37] Jon Miller   Yep. 

[27:38] Shahin Hoda   All right. What is one resource could be book blog, podcast, talk, whatever it is, that has fundamentally changed the way you work or live, what comes to mind?

[27:48] Jon Miller   There's a book called Turn the ship around, which has a very profound effect on how I work as a leader, as a manager. It's by a United States submarine captain, nuclear submarine captain. And yeah, like most of his books, you can summarize the whole thing in just one or two ideas. He taught his crew to stop asking for permission to do things. And instead just come tell them what they intended to do. And then he's still got him. I mean, he's in charge of nuclear submarines, he can't let them run willy nilly, right?

[28:22] Jon Miller   So by them, telling him what they intend a he's able to sort of supervise, you know, and make sure, like, they're not gonna, like do something really stupid, but also gives him the opportunity to ask questions to leverage his experience and wisdom to guide them, perhaps, if they hadn't sort of thought about certain things. So I found that to be a really great metaphor for how I want to manage and lead teams, you know, is just trying to, you know, teach my people, 't ask me for permission. Just come tell me what you intend to do. But also be prepared, I'm going to ask questions.

[28:54] Shahin Hoda   Got it. Jon, who are some of the influencers, you kind of follow, whether it's in the leadership side, or in the B2B marketing space?

[29:03] Jon Miller   I couldn't have possibly come up with all the things I talked about in ABM, without kind of the work of folks like the ITSMA, you know, and Bev Burgess, kind of at the ITSMA has been a big influence. And honestly, the annals firms, you know. Whether it was the, you know, way back to Megan Heuer at SiriusDecisions. She's not there anymore, you know, or Craig Rosenberg from TOPO or, you know, Gartner and Forrester doing today and I still think that some of the best ABM thinking is still frankly coming from, you know, from the analysts and the vendors, you know, kind of, you know, in this space. And then in terms of management, besides trends to ground the other. I'm also a fanboy of Patrick Lencioni and his books on leadership.

[29:56] Shahin Hoda   Awesome. All right. Last thing I want to ask you is more personal questions are different from the usual questions that we asked and the rapid fire, right? And I'm probably interested in this because I have a technical background and I want to know, you come from a physics major, you have a physics background in physics, and you've kind of transitioned to marketing. I'm really curious, how has that helped you with kind of getting into the marketing space, it's a, you know, I don't want to say it's a strange transition, but it's an unusual, you don't see that very often? Oh, 

[30:32] Jon Miller   Yeah. 

[30:33] Shahin Hoda   How has that helped you?

[30:34] Jon Miller   There's two pieces of my background, I think have helped make me the marketer I am today, you know. One is physics. You know, marketing is increasingly as much as the sciences are increasingly left brained, as well as right brained. And I think, you know, just physics taught me to think analytically and rigorously appropriately. And I mean, that has helped me, you know, as a marketer, in many ways. 

[31:00] Jon Miller The other piece, my backgrounds, less less on my public profiles, but, you know, if you go back, I was on the journalism and debate teams in high school. And so I spent a lot of time writing. I did a lot of creative design, and a lot of public speaking. And those have all been fantastic skills to sort of take forward into, you know, a marketer day because I create content and I give presentations. So I think both those kinds of that kind of content side of things, as well as the quantitative side of things, I've been very valuable as a marketer.

[31:35] Shahin Hoda   Love it. Jon, this has been a great conversation. I really enjoyed it. I really appreciate that you gave us time and came on the podcast. Thank you so much. 

[31:45] Jon Miller   Cheers

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xGrowth brings a very structured approach to ABM. It’s been amazing working with you.

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When I think ABM, I think xGrowth. xGrowth were 100% committed, the whole team was just like our business partner. I would say you are not a business vendor; you are our business partner.
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Reena Misra
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