In today’s MarTech conversation, we chat with Scott Logan, VP of marketing at Kronologic. Logan explains the challenges of marketing a brand new B2B service. He also highlights the importance of creating content that tells a good story.
Tell us about Kronologic
Kronologic was founded a little over two years ago, but actually was started before that when the CEO and COO, who were both working at VMWare at the time, were trying to solve the evergreen challenge of most leads failing to convert to sales appointments. When their solution ended up providing a 2X increase in bookings, they knew they had something special and founded Kronologic. Today Kronologic brings a new solution to the sales and marketing world with their calendar monetization engine. Through the automated sending of tailored and timely calendar invites, their customers are seeing faster revenue growth through the entire customer lifecycle than they thought possible.
Marketing already does all this work on the front end to know the exact addressable market, the exact ideal customer profile, they're tracking engagement, they're doing this lead scoring. Usually, the next step is to have a sales rep cold call them or send a bunch of emails. Well, if the intent really is there, it's not a smart or easy sales process to call them and email them 100 times.
A good buying experience is to present them with a meeting invite that has enough context in it to include a one-click accept calendar invite, a description of what the meeting will cover, and any next steps.
What we found was that when you do that, you can multiply the amount of meetings you set by two to five times, because it's so much more efficient, and so much easier. It literally eliminates the prospecting or lead chasing component out of the process.
What do you do in your day-to-day work as VP of marketing?
I'm basically in the driver's seat of owning market presence, analyst relations, press relations, and demand gen, but because of my sales, to sales operations, to marketing operations, and demand gen background, I almost always skew my work to demand gen: I always ask myself and my team, “What is this going to do for the sales team?”.
One of my first mentors, she always said, “You're in demand gen, so tell me right now if there's anything that you're doing that doesn't affect the sales team. If the answer is no, this doesn't affect sales teams, you should probably hand it off to someone else.” I take that mentality for almost everything that I do.
So that's my approach. And I also make sure that I create really close relationships with my sales team. I find that even as a marketing leader, it really allows the demand gen engine to evolve quickly. So I try to spend half of my time with the sales team and I think that is really a huge key to marketing success.
What are some of your goals at Kronologic?
Our goal is to turn time into value. We know that time is the most important part of any sales rep’s day—or anyone's day, really. When we look at how time is spent in the sales process, way too much time is spent trying to land that meeting—we're showing over 30% from our surveys. And it takes an average of 4.4 emails to book a meeting.
We think we can make a more seamless buying experience, where it's going to be easier for the buyer to make a decision on whether or not they should meet with you. On the rep side, we want to completely eliminate the lead chasing component. Accepted meetings literally just show up in all the empty spaces on their calendar, all they have to do is show up.
What are some of your challenges at Kronologic?
One of my challenges is—and it is a great challenge to have—is to keep the marketing growth up to the pace of the sales growth. I have more budget than I would normally have at a seed stage company. Because of our success, we've had really great investment. But it's keeping up with all the things that you need to keep up with in a fiscally responsible manner.
I would love to be doing more awareness, instead we are strategically picking our spots on when and where, and with which analysts to work with. Really focusing on driving the sales pipeline right now is my number one focus and finding as much awareness as possible within those activities as possible.
I guess another challenge would be just the question of how do you promote something that is new? How do you tell the story about a product that has never been told before?
What has been most effective and why?
In terms of promoting a brand new product, what I'm finding is the best way is to find stories that apply directly to the specific pain points of each persona.
So, if we have a general story that is our last-mile problem solved by a Calendar First™ approach, then deals move so much faster and conversations move so much faster. When you can say, “Well, what's your pipeline suffering from? Let's just be honest, my pains are the XYZ, putting my cards on the table… is this familiar? What are you facing?” If we already have some pre-canned anecdotes of customers that we can relate to that, that's where the key is.
It's so tempting to talk about how cool or how revolutionizing your tech is, but we've found you never really get them excited until you connect with them emotionally about their challenge early on. Then everything you talk about from then on relates back to that.
How does content marketing fit into your strategy?
So content is everything—I think content is still king. The problem is that there's so much good free content everywhere. And so it's asking, “How do you break through the noise on that?” I keep going back to the storytelling component.
So, for instance, our CRO refuses to have us make a product sheet. And I initially thought, “Well, that's silly.” What we came to find out is, he's right.
People don't want another product feature sheet. They probably don’t even help in most cases, because almost everybody is just saying they do everything. There's no way to find a differentiation by comparing product guides.
So, what we've done instead of a company overview is persona-based market guides. We create content that says, “Okay, you're a demand gen manager who focuses on events. Here's what we think is the new best practice on how to get meetings and appointments and pipeline out of your events.”
Now this content is prescribed to show this manager how to use our platform to achieve their goals. We put the use case in front of you and walk you through the steps, then show you what the end result is. We also try to include case studies.
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