It’s never been a more exciting time to be a demand generation professional, especially when it comes to tech. With thousands of marketing technology tools available, many demand gen practitioners are well versed in a variety of tools and techniques to drive revenue, deliver qualified leads to sales, and build demand for their products.
In such a critical function, the marketing technology acumen of a demand generation professional ranges from lead management to inbound marketing, account-based strategies to email marketing, and much more.
We sought the perspective of the top 40 demand marketers to chat about the world of marketing tech, learn their path to becoming demand gen superstars, and to uncover their personal SkillStacks (a snapshot of their marketing technology expertise.)
In this edition of “What’s In Your SkillStack?” we caught up with Eddie Morales, Director of Demand Generation at Revel Systems
Check out his SkillStack: “Demand Growth Stack”
About Revel Systems: Revel Systems is a San Francisco-based technology company providing businesses with iPad Point of Sale solutions. See their company stack here.
Eddie’s Path to Demand Gen Superstar at Revel Systems:
I was pretty lucky to get into digital marketing as a Digital Marketing Associate in my first marketing gig at Bills.com/Freedom Financial Network. This is where some critical lessons were instilled in me, including B2C digital marketing chops, the principle of return on investment, and the lesson that leads are gold. The CEO, a marketing guru himself, told me before I left the company to “add value” in my next endeavor. This has stuck with me throughout my marketing career.
From there I went on to work as a product marketing manager in a Virtualization/Cloud/Infrastructure business unit at Red Hat. Though I technically worked on the product marketing team, I was actually doing demand generation and digital marketing. In fact, at this point, the term “demand generation” didn’t seem to be a widely adopted term yet. “Digital marketing” or “e-marketing” was more common. This was my first B2B marketing gig and I was astonished by how big the gap was between B2C marketing and B2B “digital marketing.” It was an amazing experience to work for, and with, some really intelligent people.
I then joined a late stage startup, Tintri, as a Sr. Program Marketing Manager (on the Demand Generation team.) I picked up my Marketo chops there, met some great people, but decided to leave for a better fit elsewhere and the opportunity to build my own demand generation team, marketing tech stack, and more.
He describes the importance of paying it forward:
I think the discipline found in B2C marketing, with its focus on ROI, applied to a B2B marketing environment has been crucial for me to evolve to where I am today. And, I couldn’t have gotten here without the mentors, managers, colleagues, and friends in the industry that helped me reach this potential.
I’m now inspired by my own team, in which I see rockstars in the making, and can’t wait to see what their careers hold for them. It’s all about paying it forward and enabling team members, who have so much potential, to help them get to where they need to go in their careers. This is an entirely different and new challenge and opportunity for me, and I think it’s a critical one. I tend to be very cognizant of how I mentor and grow my team, which includes owning any flaws/bugs that I’m responsible for creating while building out the marketing tech stack. I’m now in the process of learning what it means to be great leader, and that’s becoming more important than being a great individual contributor.
The role of technology in demand generation:
Tech is mission critical for demand generation today. We’re fortunate to have so many tools at our disposal to help us align to goals and performance metrics that help drive businesses forward. I’ve never had a marketing position where reporting and analytics weren’t central to any demand generation or marketing related activity, and you can’t get this level of reporting without technology. Without technology, you can’t go-to-market effectively or drive demand, but this should be pretty obvious. If this is not obvious, then you may be behind the curve, but you can catch up quickly with all the information around marketing tech, ad tech, and more literally at your fingertips in today’s world of information.
What tools Eddie can’t live without:
I like to think of Martech as inclusive of major advertising platforms, which are valuable for driving demand into the funnel, leveraging inbound marketing. We’re in the process of setting up both BrightFunnel and Invoca with hopes that these become ones we can’t live without either.
We asked, “if you could invent a tool what would it do?”
I wouldn’t rule out that I can’t invent a tool given that I have people close to me with the technical development chops that could help me build something really useful. I’ve always had a desire to build my own tool for the AdTech/MarTech space, but I’d rather keep doing what I’m doing right now so I can learn more about real pain points that aren’t being solved.
As Scott Brinker said at the MarTech SF Conference this year, we’re still in the early days of MarTech. However the landscape is quite crowded so it will be interesting how things evolve over the coming years.
We asked, “which tools need a commitment to training in order to fully leverage?”
I think the “core” technology tools, as Scott Brinker talks about in “Hacking Marketing”, need the right skills to make sure the foundation of the MarTech stack is rock solid. Those core technologies are the Marketing Automation and CRM platforms, in my case Marketo and Salesforce.
If the core is not stable it will be really hard to get the most out of these tools, especially when it comes to reporting and analytics. In addition to this it will be easier to get the most out of “edge” technologies that you want to test if you are confident in your core.
Too many executives have the misunderstanding that you can buy expensive technology, or spend a lot of money on an advertising platform, and it will just magically start working and instantly provide value. Most pieces of technology are not “turn-key” and require the right people with the right skills to get the most out of the tool.
We asked, “which of your tool vendors offer the best training and support?”
I think Marketo does a good job with documentation and training. Plus there’s a community of thought leaders in the Marketo Nation which you can learn from, and are typically really helpful. In terms of support we’ve found one person who is a rockstar at Marketo, but it took us a several tries of talking to support before we found this person.
On the area of the stack that sees the most investment:
Top of funnel lead acquisition programs is where we are heavy with investments, since we play the lead volume game. A top area of investment in the stack will be in for funnel analytics, BrightFunnel, to help us get out of labor intensive “spreadsheet land” with countless pivot tables.