Podcast: How to Reach the Buying Committee

Shahin Hoda 23  mins read Updated: February 9th, 2024

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How to Reach the Entire Buying Committee at Your Target Accounts with Jon Panker from TechTarget and Gregory Wood from SAS

Episode’s topic: How to Reach the Entire Buying Committee at Your Target Accounts

In this episode, host Shahin Hoda chats with Jon Panker, Managing Director APJ at TechTarget and Gregory Wood, Head of Marketing, Data Analytics and Technology at SAS about the need of targeting the buying committee in an account rather than a single decision-maker. 

Join us while we discuss what constitutes a buying centre, why are they relevant, now more than ever and what should marketers do to target them effectively.

This episode’s guests:

How to Reach the Entire Buying Committee at Your Target Accounts

Jon Panker, Managing Director (APJ) at TechTarget

Jon Panker is Managing Director for APAC at TechTarget, a purchase intent-driven marketing and sales services provider. He oversees regional sales, product marketing, audience development, operations, client consulting and editorials. Jon has been living in Sydney since 2016 and has launched the company's offices in Singapore, Sydney and Bangalore. He also manages TechTarget's strategic partnership in Japan. 

Connect with Jon on LinkedIn

How to Reach the Entire Buying Committee at Your Target Accounts

Gregory Wood, Head of Marketing, Data, Analytics and Technology at SAS

Greg is a Director of Marketing in Marketing Sciences & Technology team focused on delivering insights across the business that help marketers reach our customers across their omnichannel journey. He applies a strategic mindset to improving our go to market approach supported by people, processes, analytics, and marketing technologies.

Connect with Greg on LinkedIn

Conversation segments on this episode::

  • [01:37] What does a buying centre look like?
  • [04:18] 3 areas of focus while marketing to a buying centre
  • [07:13] Ego – a barrier to marketing to a buying centre 
  • [08:46] Understanding the role that each individual plays in the purchase cycle
  • [13:34] Start with personas and end with behaviour, while marketing to the buying centre 
  • [19:43] Data on job title combined with content consumption patterns drives marketing
  • [25:54] Being data-driven doesn't mean embracing every data source
  • [30:31] Advice for B2B Marketers and Sales professionals

Resources mentioned on this episode:

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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.

Hosted by Shahin Hoda & Alexander Hipwell, from xGrowth

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Episode Full Transcript:

[00:18] Shahin Hoda  Jon and Greg, thanks for joining me, Greg. Where are we having you on the pod from today? 

[00:49] Greg Wood  Where we're having me? Sydney, Australia, that's where we're having me, in my backyard, in the sun. It's beautiful today. 

[00:56] Shahin Hoda  I love it. We're having pretty good weather here in Melbourne. So we are in competition with Sydney weather. Well, what about yourself, Jon? 

[01:06] Jon Panker  So I am speaking to you from the Kakadu, not the actual National Park. We have named one of our conference rooms, Kakadu, so I'm in the office in Surrey Hills, and I'm talking to you from Kakadu, our conference room. 

[01:21] Shahin Hoda  I love it. Let's talk about this whole component of focusing on the whole buying committee, right? Why is talking about the buying center, the buying committee in B2B an important topic? Jon, let's let's start with you. 

[01:37] Jon Panker  Yeah, I mean, I think if you take a look at Shahin, at research into what buying centers look like, you will very quickly realise that we're not talking about a single buyer scenario in almost any instance of technology buying. Whether you believe serious decisions and their phrases that demand units exist, or you look at buying committees as they're called, in some cases. We're really talking about a collection of individuals that come together to inform a purchasing decision within their organisation. 

[02:11] Jon Panker  Our own research at Tech Target recently conducted found in Asia-Pacific, the average size of a buying committee is about 5.2 people. I think LinkedIn puts it somewhere just over six people. The Content Marketing Institute says that, within large organisations, there's typically at least four people involved in making a purchasing decision. But we've got to get away from this sense that we're marketing to one person and start looking at accounts and the individuals that make up the various buying committees for technology purchases. And so I think Greg and I are both in agreement that marketers need to think about multiple constituencies when they're going to market and not this single buyer scenario. 

[02:56] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, having that complex sales environment, having to deal with multiple people is such an important component. Greg, how do you tackle this at SAS? I mean, you know, there are a lot of companies or a lot of marketers or even sales individuals who, you know, they're all about that C-level, right? That main decision maker as director, how do you approach it at at SAS. 

[03:20] Greg Wood  And look, I don't disagree that they're an important player, right? So I'm a pretty simplistic kind of character. I think about how I buy something as my baseline to go to. I'm not the CEO of my home company, it might be another CEO of my home company. But if you go to buy a car or a large purchase, you're always asking the opinion or view, doing some research, having someone else look at it with you, you might sign the cheque, someone else might look at the features and functions, I might ask my parent or brother or a relative or a wife. And that's I think, essentially how you buy something. 

[03:50] Greg Wood  And the larger the purchase decision, the more inputs you tend to take into that decision, unless you're already very familiar with the product or the organisation and you have on a panel or some such thing where you know that that's your buying process. And the kind of decision is partially made by a committee already. That's easy. But at SAS as we do really carefully consider who's in the buying group, the buying centre, or demand unit, we use all those terminologies. And I look at that digital marketing. It's kind of split into three kinds of parts, if you break it down. This kind of hygiene marketing piece. It's automation, journey management. It's purely digital, and it's getting a message across multiple people across multiple deals and at the same time. So that harm of a message is communicating with at a hygiene kind of level. 

[04:39] Greg Wood  We do a lot of hub activities. They might happen in a geography, they might happen at an ABM level targeting a specific account. And we do a lot of work around hub activities that attack a specific deal. So if we know there's a deal in a space, or just a data management deal going on, we do know how to target individuals that have buying behaviors or consume content that match that particular deal cycle. So we do a lot of custom kind of hub marketing around that. And we have a lot of hero activity. So brand is pretty important in this game as well. Having the right people in organisations, even if you don't know them, aware of your brand, your brand message, your image, what you're all about. 

[05:24] Greg Wood  So we make sure we have this kind of great mix of this brand, this demand-based marketing and this kind of engagement marketing happening at every level in the organisation. So even if we don't catch some ideal, and often you can't catch them on a deal, it's up to sales to often put that person in their CRM system as a player in the deal. That doesn't always happen. So you don't always know the player's name. So as a marketer, we spend a lot of time doing really careful segmentation of lookalikes. What do people behave like in deals, how we target those individuals and personas with the right value proposition at the right time. 

[05:57] Greg Wood  And timing is really important in buying centers as well. Not everybody needs to know everything, all the same things, or at the same level or at the same time. So we spend a lot of time in our marketing, just making sure we get across those levels of hygiene, hub and hero, getting across all buying types, and presenting brand demand and engagement material at the right time in a sales cycle to everyone who feels relevant. And we do that digitally. Most of the time with some mix of face to face, obviously, this year, it's almost all digital. But some clever digital, some clever virtual with some funny elements built in to just build that attraction to the audience. So we are pretty holistic about our approach to buying centers at SAS, and we use a lot of analytics to drive that in the background. 

[06:40] Shahin Hoda  I want to definitely come back to that fun thing that you talked about. I want to dig deeper into that. But let's, you know, one of the arguments that you most definitely have heard is yeah, okay, cool, buying center, you know, demand unit, whatever you want to call it, but the decision maker is this person. So I'm just going to go after that person. What is the problem with that? What is the problem with that approach? 

[07:03] Greg Wood  It's not factual. I guess that's my problem with that approach. It's just um, it's a very historic kind of thing, it gets to the buying, gets into the power of the soul. If you've done sales training for lots of sales training courses, in my time let's get to power. But none of them have ever said, let's ignore what else. But I think there's a real attachment to ego. I'm talking to the CEO, I'm talking to the Chief Risk Officer, I'm talking to the CMO. And we've got this in control. So my ego is taking over a deal. What we want to have is a facts takeover deal. And let's market and sell to everybody who is part of that deal at a time or part of that opportunity. I think it's closed-minded, basically to think there's only one person who's important. So kill the ego is what I say. 

[07:48] Shahin Hoda  Oh, you bring up ego. Yeah. Yeah, I think you, I've never thought about it from an ego perspective. Yeah, you're right. I mean, there's a fair bit of ego boost over there talking about, you know, I'm speaking to the big guy, don't worry about that, right? I got it covered. You know, you don't need to mess around with this. 

[08:06] Greg Wood  I think and that's maybe that's okay, for a rep, or a seller, right? But as marketers and as other people in a sales cycle. So their presales people in the cycle are engineers who are involved. They're not talking to the C-level guys. So clearly, there is a buying team of some description or support people that are decision makers. There's a community of other people that see me in services, in consulting services, in maybe the cloud architecture team, architects, engineers, they're all talking to people in that deal. So it is obvious that he's not just a C-level person involved there. So we need to wipe out that leveling thing, I think. 

[08:44] Jon Panker  And you know Shahin, if I can chime in here. I think it's really important to understand the various roles that these individual constituents play in the purchasing cycle. So if we think about the most senior decision maker, likely the CIO or the CTO, this is someone who is very involved early on and understanding business requirements and setting requirements for a project. This is someone who was involved in budgeting. But then this is also a leader who takes a step back and delegates a lot of that pre purchase research to a broader team, people who are gathering functional requirements, who are vetting solutions, who are doing a lot of that digital research that Greg referenced to inform a really smart purchase for the organisation. 

[09:27] Jon Panker  And then finally, the most senior decision maker is someone who comes back in toward the end of the project, and plays a part in ultimately selecting someone from the shortlist. So we can't discount the value of much of this buying research that's actually being conducted by people other than the most senior decision maker. And I would also say we also shouldn't discount the veto power that the people who are going to be working with technology have, in terms of determining which solution is right for them and for their teams. So even though I may not sign the check, I may have the ability to put the kibosh on a purchase that quite frankly, I don't think is going to meet the needs of my team. 

[10:13] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, that's a really good point. 

[10:15] Greg Wood  I think Jon raised an excellent point. Because that is, there's a lot of mental models that already exist. So we talk a lot about, you know, marketing analytics and driving people to have good choices and get good information, read our content. But there's also fixed mental models that people have. I don't like that vendor, I don't like that product. I like this product. And and because I've used it before, it's going to be the best one. So there's a lot of decision making that happens outside of what you think is providing good information at the right time to the right people. 

[10:45] Greg Wood  And you've got to get over that in the decision making kind of process and supersede those mental models in a way that's really easy for people to make a jump from. I like blue companies, and I'll only buy from a blue company. And that's a real challenge, I think about getting in the head of just one decision maker. Because that thus biases exist in individuals' heads. If you get into more people's minds in the process and get across more individuals with a great message, you can actually start to break down. So there's mental models that have been challenged internally about what the status quo might be and start to make a decision that's a little bit more in line with what the company's trying to achieve, rather than what somebody's preference has been previously. 

[11:41] Shahin Hoda  We spoke about why it's important, right? And why people should focus on it. I want to dig into the how a little bit because, you know, even when sometimes we go or marketers or sales teams or growth teams, whatever you want to call them, sit down to build an ideal customer profile. And they say, you know what, these are the main decision makers that are in there. That's not always the same thing in reality, right? You might identify four key decision makers, you might say, you know, I, the solution architect, the CIO, the solution architect, and you know, this end user here and another one from the IT team. That's not always the case. 

[13:00] Shahin Hoda  And you might even go and build those personas out and even find those people that the companies that you target, but still, organisations operate differently, you know. Org charts get structured differently. Somebody might have the responsibility that you might not have, you might not have that visibility into that company. So how should marketers start thinking about focusing on the buying center, right? What should the approach be? And where should they start? Jon, you want to go with that? 

[13:33] Jon Panker  Yeah. So Shahin, I think it's perfectly reasonable to start with personas. And think about who logically is likely to contribute to a purchasing decision in your space. And then to think about content to meet the needs of each one of those individual personas. And I think Greg has stated this really well. Content in a variety of different forums to be consumed by individuals who have their own preferences for how they like to learn. And once you've got that foundation, it's a great place to start, syndicate that content and promote it. 

[14:06] Jon Panker  But we live in a really interesting world, where even if we have a preconceived notion of who these personas are likely to be, and what organisations are likely to call them, behavior has the ability to trump, what we may have baked into our marketing plan is our ideal customer, or our ideal persona. And so we should not discount the fact that people have the right to consume content based on their own interests and their organisation's purchasing priorities. And ultimately, we may uncover through a content syndication effort, if done right, that there are people outside the realm of who we ordinarily considered to be buyers for our solution, who actually are buyers for our solution. 

[14:54] Jon Panker  So not discounting people who fall outside of our notion of the right buyer, and viewing them as an acceptable lead to be marketing to is a really important notion that all of us need to embrace right now, starting with personas is great. But let's not exclude other people because our behavior doesn't lie. If we're consuming content in a particular area, pre-purchase content in a particular area, there is a likelihood that we are part of that purchasing decision, and we should embrace and market to that individual. 

[15:31] Shahin Hoda  Greg, what are your thoughts on that? 

[15:32] Greg Wood  I have to agree with Jon 100%. But we do, you start with a persona, it's a logical place to start. We end with the behavior. So we're really driving hard at looking at people's intent. So what are they looking at? Why might they be looking at that? What are they consuming, that kind of dictates that they're part of something? And that's behavioral. And we find in a lot of cases that people cross departments, across teams are consuming like content on a wide topic at one time. And as a seller and a marketer together, you might not realise that one deal going down is happening across five departments. 

[16:08] Greg Wood  There are decision makers from different places and influencers from different parts of the business that you just thought, this is just an IT decision we'll talk to IT. Well, this is just a decision in the risk team or the marketing team. It actually can span things. And as John says, There are people who like to get involved from lots of places in the business. So we're very strong on behavior. We do a lot of work with people like Tech Target, in terms of syndication to try and understand behaviors. To do a lot of work gaining intent data at an account level and at a content level. To try and understand what people really are looking at and why. And trying to analyse and bring them together to see if they are part of one intention. Because there may be people keeping contact with multiple intentions and multiple buying groups at one time. 

[16:55] Greg Wood  Not all companies are buying only one thing at a time, right. So we're trying to differentiate out who's this uber buyer, who's going to influence across the business, then who's got an influence in the current opportunity, and who's likely to target for a specific topic or a more broad based set of SaaS messaging. And we bring that down to just dropping insights. And to do that, we have to collect a lot of data. So the goal of data from Jon's team, we collect a lot of data internally, multiple providers to try and get that really, really holistic view on what, what the customer is looking at. And try to make sure the message really relates to the customer. So you've got to think much more. I think strategically, as you mentioned, you can't just focus on what you know. 

[17:37] Jon Panker  I agree 100%, with Greg, and I'll give you some numbers, Shahin. And that just kind of back up the points that Greg just made. We did a buyer survey about six months ago. 40% agree that decision making is now more distributed across teams than it was a year ago. 25% say generalists, people with general titles are more important than ever, in driving purchasing decisions. Two-thirds say there's more involvement beyond the traditional titles they'd assume, for their particular solution area. And 55% agree that line of business professionals are more involved in making technical purchases. So it is very difficult to rely exclusively on our preconceived notion of these personas. Intent should drive our marketing strategies, just like Greg said. 

[18:28] Shahin Hoda  So you know, I've been part of campaigns where there's a persona built, and then they go to the market, right? And then somebody who is not part of that persona, starts consuming that content. And then the marketing manager is like, nah. Nah, we don't, don't worry about that, right? And then they come back and say, why didn't our marketing campaign didn't work? What were we failing? And I think what they don't realise is that organisations are a group of humans and humans don't operate the you know, like a machine exactly how you want it to operate. 

[19:06] Shahin Hoda  And, this is what we get out of it. I think it's it's fascinating when talking about intent, and you're talking about, you know, collecting that data, you know, what are some of great, what are some of the data points that you found to be very pivotal, like you would say, you know, what, if we don't have this kind of data, we're not going to go and we're not going to go forward. What are some of those, you know, top top two, three data points or type of data that you heavily consumed about your customers? 

[19:38] Greg Wood  We love everything data, we're a data company. We love consuming data, love saving data, we love analyzing data. At the end of the day, I'm kind of seeing some of the key drivers for us. It's not just the job title type things anymore. It is the, it's the family of content they're looking at. So I'm kind of rolling it up a little bit from we can't get too tied down, is it - are they looking at like disk storage, if it's that kind of purchase at that level, we have to roll that up a little bit to an interest. So we've got an algorithm that builds an interest score. So we take lots of intent data. And we model that against our value propositions. And we build the interest score. And it's a probability that a contact or individual consumer is interested in that particular value proposition. 

[20:25] Greg Wood  To do that, we need a bunch of data. But you know, the most important thing to me is what are they interested in? What's driving their thought process? What could have grabbed their eyes? So it's that high level topical area? And for us, it's like, are they interested in analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence? Are they interested in data quality data management, whatever else? Are they interested in fraud, AML, security intelligence? If we can go in at that level of their interest, then add to that their organisational type, because that really helps us if we understand what industry or sub industry somebody is in. It's a real driver for how we targeted marketing to that person. 

[21:04] Greg Wood  Clearly, if you have someone interested in analytics, AI and AML, but then we can retail, probably a different message than if they work in a financial services or capital markets kind of industry or sub industry. So those intersections are super important to us. Intending to drive interest across industry is really important. Geography is important as clearly all organisations can, unless you're selling a pure online product, you can't sell every product in every market, because you can't resource that. So understanding where you're from. And then if we can overlay market research information from the likes of an IDC, Gartner, Forrester, which we do a lot in terms of market size, growth and intention, we get a pretty decent picture of what someone's interest looks like.  

[21:48] Greg Wood  The thing I would not ignore is, what their behavior is, on a given day. So we can do all this work in the background, that's all really important. We get these great fields of interest, we built this great model, but somebody might do something completely outside of what you're expecting them to. And you can't count them as an outlier. They're a real individual with real behavior. So that real time capture of change behavior, then allowing your marketing processes to capture that and like regenerate a profile on the fly and remark that person with the appropriate content now, it's about not being fixed in that we're in a channel now this was your interest, you're staying interested in that for how long we could allow you to do this. 

[22:26] Shahin Hoda  I'm telling you how to consume this ebook. Just research. 

[22:29] Greg Wood  That's why, I think if marketers are thinking strategically about targeting, they are going I've got my eight pieces of content now, I know you talked about disk storage, you are down that path for five weeks. That is certainly not a strategic mindset. We're not trying to do that. But we see it happening in marketing, right? You get the same email over and over and over again, until you either teach it completely unsubscribe or whatever. So our goal is to be so mindful about what we send to customers. If they are changing their intention or changing their signals to us that we can change our messaging to them to make sure we're really getting in tune a bit thinking about that moment in time. 

[23:07] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, Jon, when you said over there about decision makers are becoming more, are having more generic titles. I can't remember exactly what you mentioned. But you know, something in the lines of their titles are becoming more generic and harder to identify. I remember, we were working with one of our clients. And, you know, we're like, so let's just go through your CRM and see who bought, who reached out to you first. And in these past deals he had, and was just like, General Manager, General Manager, General Manager, and we're like, how, you know, in a company that has, you know, 5000 employees, we can't go and just target general managers. Like, there's just so many of them. And that is so hard. And, you know, it's fascinating that you said that because, you know, intent then starts to play a very huge role in there and behavior. What are your thoughts on that and the rise of the generic title of decision makers? 

[24:07] Jon Panker  Yeah, I mean, I think there are a few things driving this. First of all, you know, look at your own organisation and consider some of the wacky titles that people have, right? I mean, there's often no rhyme or reason to why we call someone something and sometimes their job evolves to have authority, responsibility for a variety of things that their title would never lead you to believe they're in charge of. And then, you know, secondly, within technology, there are now so many cross functional, cross discipline areas that require people from different groups to participate in a purchasing decision. That muddies the waters.  

[24:49] Jon Panker  And then I'll throw a third spanner in the works. Which is if you take a look at where most organisations post-pandemic were making cuts, specific cuts within technology teams, it's staff. And some of that is done through attrition, right? People leave and they don't get replaced. And as a result, you have folks who are now responsible for things that they were never responsible for before. Because there are fewer people. And as a result, you cannot allow someone's title to guide whether or not they are appropriate for your content, your marketing message or the buyer for your solution. And I'll say one other thing, because I mean, I think Greg understands data and embraces data, and also quantifies the value of what marketing is bringing to an organisation better than anybody I know, hands down. 

[25:18] Jon Panker  And I think he would agree that we should all acknowledge that there is certainly no shortage of providers out there promising us data. The thing we have to understand these days is that not all data is created equal. And being data driven doesn't mean embracing every data source. It means making smart choices about where that data is coming from, and prioritising what you're investing in, and what you're using to guide your strategies. I would argue that the closer you get to directly observing the behavior, the more reliable the data is. Who's on your own website? Hey, you've controlled that content, right? If you've built that content, and you know what story that content is telling, you can understand the mindset of the person who's consumed that content. 

[26:37] Jon Panker  You know, Greg would probably prioritise interactions on SAS' own website, above pretty much anything else. And I would say, as a publisher and a data provider, the fact that we have a direct relationship with an audience, and that we're directly observing what that audience is doing, with pre purchase content, tagged against very granular solution areas, gives us an incredibly high degree of reliability behind all the data that we're providing. The further you get from the source, my argument is, the less reliable that data is. And so I think we shouldn't confuse the fact that just because data exists, it should all be treated equally, or all be utilised for that matter. 

[27:20] Greg Wood  Greg, is there anything you want to add to that? 

[27:22] Greg Wood  I do fully agree with Jon. Our aim almost all the time, and not to be, like, selfish about people is to have people consuming the SaaS ecosystem. We like people to find our content so interesting and engaging that they want to stay in our ecosystem. So if we're acquiring contacts, for marketing through another channel, we might purchase some intent data, we might just have advertising or whatever it might be. We want to attract them into our ecosystem because we can trust the data around the ecosystem. We know what we've sent them, we know that they haven't seen necessarily. We're staying away from competitive messages because they are an ecosystem servicing our messages. And we want that to happen. And we want to rely on that. 

[28:05] Greg Wood  But we're not so foolish to not know that people look at other people's ecosystems as well. So having intent data from other providers, like a tick target also helps us. If you align that with someone it seems to have content and understand what other vendors they're looking at through somebody else's platform. That can be a real eye opener for a corporation like ours as well, to really understand what the competitive landscape looks like, what people are feeling and seeing and thinking, when they're thinking of your solution. Who else they're thinking of it the same time? 

[28:36] Greg Wood  And then helps us get our targeting really significantly, so I don't want to be pigheaded and say yes, everything that says ecosystem is the only way because people live in multiple worlds. So I think it's really important. We have a great balance in the way we do things, our own ecosystem to our ecosystems. I love first party data, the closer you are to someone's behavior, I honestly believe the more you know the truth of it. That is the same in all scientific experiments. You want to observe behavior so you can predict it. If you're not observing it, you're kind of estimating it. And that's a different game, but it's important, but I'd rather have a first party. 

[29:11] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, I think I think you start to go down a lot of false positives when you're in that environment. And you're never really speculating on data in terms of is this person buying, you know, going to buy or not? 

[29:28] Shahin Hoda  All right. Okay, sounds good. This has been great. Now what we have is rapid questions. I want to ask four questions and give me a quick answer as fast as you can. And then we will wrap it up. So let's start with yourself, Greg. The first question I want to ask you is, what is one resource that fundamentally changed the way you work, or live? This could be personal, it could be professional, you know, this could be a book blog podcast, a conversation, a talk that you watch TEDx, whatever it is what comes to mind, 

[29:59] Greg Wood  It's this great podcast I listen to every Tuesday, called Hidden Brain on NPR it is a fascinating journey into the psychology of people in their behaviors. No marketing related, but super interesting. 

[30:13] Shahin Hoda  Jon? 

[30:14] Jon Panker  I will give you a marketing related one. I really enjoyed the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek, our management team in APAC within TechTarget. Read it and it is a principle that I can come back to when we're making decisions. Does it support our why? 

[30:30] Shahin Hoda  Love it? Alright, question number two. If you could give only one advice to B2B marketers or salespeople? What would it be, Greg? 

[30:39] Greg Wood  Put yourself in the customer's shoes. It's just so important. We forget that every day, we do super interesting things. And we go down great paths and rabbit holes. But think like a customer, probably the most important thing I could ask anyone to do. 

[30:52] Shahin Hoda  And we do it for ourselves. Jon, what about you? 

[30:55] Jon Panker  One of my colleagues came up with this phrase that I think is beautiful, which persists through the silence. Just because someone doesn't want to talk to you doesn't mean they don't want to hear from you. And give generously with the expectation of very little or nothing in return and people will appreciate that.

[31:15] Shahin Hoda  I love that. That is good. That's good stuff. Number three, what are the influencers that you follow in marketing and sales space? Greg? 

[31:25] Greg Wood  I really like Scott Brinker from Chief MarTech. So I follow Scott's work. I followed him from the very beginning of his work. We had him out here doing a tool before he was famous. He thinks really nicely about how marketing technology is there to serve the needs of the customer. So I love Scott Brinker's work. I love the Stackies as well, which SAS was a top 10 winner this year, which is great. 

[31:49] Shahin Hoda  Who was that? What was the second one? 

[31:51] Greg Wood  The Stackie. I love the Stackie Awards. So it has this great award program. You submit your marketing stack in an interesting graphical format. It gets judged by lots of people it's a really cool kind of geeky martech kind of thing. But I like it. 

[32:05] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, we love our tools in the marketing space. I love that. Actually, I haven't heard of the Stackies, I'll check it out. Jon, what about you? 

[32:13] Greg Wood  Yeah, go look at the Stackie.  

[32:15] Jon Panker  Um, so you know, I like Simon Sinek and I like Seth Godin. I like them, because I think they have this incredible ability, maybe genius to take the complex and boil it down to something that is so simple, and actionable. And I'm very envious of that skill. 

[32:33] Shahin Hoda  That's true. It's a hard skill to have, right? I think Einstein said, you got to make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler to find balance. But okay, what about last question I have. Greg, what's something that excites you about B2B today? 

[32:50] Greg Wood  As B2B marketer, I think what's really exciting is just our ability now to really provide customers with what's important to them at the right time. It's that it's not broad brush, you're not getting a rubbish email, you're getting content that you're interested in. I think that's a super exciting kind of move forward for B2B marketing right now. 

[33:11] Shahin Hoda  Yeah, you don't want to be generic. Jon? 

[33:13] Jon Panker  I mean, we have come so far as an industry, and we're in the midst of a data revolution. I am so excited to see how marketers are embracing data and having data at the core of everything that they do. And then I think also, especially in our part of the world, seeing more traditional sellers start to embrace data and build data into their activity into their outbound to personalise their messages. That's incredibly rewarding. And I think we are in the very early days of watching that come to fruition. And I'm really excited about what the next couple of years look like. 

[33:52] Shahin Hoda  That is definitely very exciting. So personalisation, like both of those kind of tie into the element of personalisation. So I love that. Well, that's a wrap for this episode. Thank you very much, Greg, Jon, both of you. I really appreciate your time. There's just plenty of golden nuggets in this chat. And it was a pleasure having you. 

[34:13] Jon Panker  Thanks Shahin, appreciate it. 

[34:14] Greg Wood  Great to be here.

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