Month: June 2018

Field Marketer Friday: Melissa Narvaez

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, Melissa Narvaez of Mulesoft  joins us with over eight years of senior management experience in the tech industry.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading:
I’m part of the North America Field Marketing team at MuleSoft, responsible for the Eastern region. I support the Eastern sales team with different programs, from hosting educational workshops to customer appreciation events and conferences. Our team supports five regional sales teams, divided into North, South, East, West, and Federal. We produce around 40+ events per year, including trade shows, and our 9 main regional conferences which are in New York, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, and DC. Our audience is very technical so our events are more tailored to product education and opportunities to have hands-on experience with our platform. We partner with the sales team and corporate marketing team to identify topics and use cases that are relevant to our customers and prospects based on their initiatives.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
We work closely with our digital & marketing ops team to track and measure the effectiveness of our programs. We use Marketo for marketing automation and Cvent for event management. We use different metrics to measure success, from number of registrations, attendees, email click-through rate, but overall we focus on measuring opportunities sourced and influenced. Today, we’re focusing our efforts on mid-funnel mostly, so moving opportunity conversion, vs. generating new leads or contacts. These opportunities can be both net new or expansion in existing customer accounts.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

    • Over-communicate with your sales team and make it easy for them.
      Salespeople are busy people, we all know that. It’s not enough with sending them emails telling them about your programs, you need to talk to them, remind them, literally market to them. Keep it top of mind, give them templates, cheat sheets, 3 bullet points highlighting the value of your event, so they can easily consume and share it with their customers.

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    • Customers want to listen to other customers, not you.
      Although we’re great at talking about our product and the value it brings, no one does it better than actual customers.

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    • Understand the business.
      A Field Marketer is not only an event planner, we’re tightly aligned to the sales team and work with them on a day-to-day basis, so it’s critical we understand what’s going on in our region, with our customers, and in the sales cycles. Be part of sales calls, team meetings, even joining an Account Executive at a customer meeting, there’s a lot you can learn!

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ABOUT MELISSA NARVAEZ

Melissa has over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. She started in sales and after majoring in Public Relations transitioned into Marketing. Before her current role, she led global marketing efforts for MuleSoft’s training & certification in San Francisco, building training marketing from the ground up. Her passion for customers brought her to Field Marketing (and New York!) where she’s leveraging her cross-functional experience to test out new programs. Melissa is from Venezuela and lived in Argentina, so she knows a thing or two about wine, salsa, and soccer. She is a photography enthusiast and enjoys traveling the world with her husband, who she met on Tinder— long live technology! Check out her profile on LinkedIn and be sure to follow her travel adventures on Instagram @melinarvaez.

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Field Marketer Friday: David Dolnick

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Welcome to BDI’s Field Marketer Fridays where we interview a new marketer every month with the goal of sharing lessons learned, insights, and perspectives about the ever-changing landscape of field marketing. This week, David Dolnick of GoodData (formerly of Skillz Inc.) joins us with over ten years of experience in senior management and event and field marketing within a range of industries from IT and computer software to publishing and renewables.

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What is your role and summarize the number and specific types of field marketing programs you are leading:
I am the Events Manager at Skillz and in charge of all lead generation events. As the first event hire at Skillz, I am tasked with building our field marketing program which we will be rolling out at the end of Q3 and throughout Q4. The field events will be lunch-and-learns as I have learned these are optimal in terms of getting the highest turnout.

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How do you measure and track your field marketing programs?
Although we have not rolled this out yet at Skillz, I will measure my field marketing programs the same way I have throughout my career – MarTech stacks. At Skillz that will be via Salesforce and Marketo.

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What are your top 3 lessons learned about Field Marketing?

    • Build a great relationship with your SDRs and SDR managers.
      Because the SDRs are so critical in helping build the target lists and making the invitations, their efforts and quality of work is a big factor in your success. Creating Spiffs and excitement are really important. I also like to build attendance into the reward. For example, the SDR who confirms the most attendees gets to attend the event.

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    • Reason to call!
      When I was an SDR (many years ago), I loved it when I had something new to call about, instead of my same old pitch. In the case of field marketer, it’s a program that is free, informative, and social. Making sure your SDRs are excited about this program and the pitch is critical and it gives them another reason to call their prospects and a fun one as well. “Are you free for lunch next Tuesday?” is a lot better than, “what is your identity and access management strategy for 2019?”

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    • Restaurants that are closed at lunch.
      This is a great strategy for lunch-and-learns as you no longer need a private room, the entire restaurant is your private room! You get even more laser focused staff, your food is the only item being cooked, you can put signage wherever you want (usually), and you get the parking lot to yourself which feels so exclusive!

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ABOUT DAVID DOLNICK

As Senior Event Manager at Skillz, David leads all lead generation events. Prior to Skillz, David held event marketing positions at Oracle, SolarCity, Sitecore and OneLogin. He’s a huge foodie who loves cooking, especially BBQ and pizza. David is also a huge sports fan with his fandom and heart directed to the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Chargers and Clippers. Check out his profile on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @dolnicksays.

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TopicPulse: Enterprise AI

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Welcome to TopicPulse, a blog series about the intersection of Account Based Marketing (ABM), Field Marketing, and Content. Since 2016, BDI has produced 160+ B2B events for 36 clients in 33 cities which have attracted 4,000+ leaders. Needless to say, we’ve learned a ton about which topics attract attention from business and technology executives. The objective of this blog is to simply share insights so others can benefit from our experience.[push h=10]

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My inaugural post was on Enterprise Blockchain – Beyond Cryptocurrencies. You can check that out here. Today, I’d like to focus on Enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI). Enterprises are currently exploring how to use AI to improve decision-making and customer experiences. While the media hypes the promise of wide scope AI, smart enterprises embrace very specific opportunities consisting of narrowly focused machine-learning solutions that target a particular task. Large organizations are experimenting with cognitive services that use deep learning algorithms to deliver insights from massive amounts of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. This is happening across all industries.

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As Field Marketers, we need to connect our content to important hot topics like Enterprise AI to attract the attention of senior decision-makers. Ask your senior leaders and product teams to explain how AI relates to your product roadmap. Get their insights on how your product and company are positioning themselves with artificial intelligence.

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Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a Fortune 1000 CIO for a minute. Think about how many invitations they get to events. How are you going to differentiate your invitation vs the others? At BDI, the data is clear. The hottest topics- such as AI or Blockchain- will receive more response and more event registrations than tired topics- such as digital transformation or cloud. The reason is simple. These leaders are responsible for setting their company’s strategy, and they’re looking for valuable educational and networking experiences that will help them do so. Our job is to provide events with programming that will help them achieve this goal. Then they will be warm and give permission to sales to build relationships and eventually sell to them. It’s all about their needs, not ours.

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Please comment below to let us know if you agree, disagree or have any questions.

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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Tip of the Month: Venue

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to! This month’s tip is all about choosing the right venue for your event.

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So you figured out the best location for your field event (see last month’s post on how to pick a location). Marketing and sales are aligned on producing an event to attract new logos and position your company as a thought leader. Next step is to select a venue.

[push h=10]At BDI, 99% of the venues we use for our clients are private rooms, located within best restaurants in town. These are the restaurants with strong local brands that senior leaders already know and in many cases, love. They dine at these restaurants with their significant others, as well as business colleagues. Having an attractive venue is one of the several main ingredients to producing successful field events. While throughout the years we have built an internal venue database in just about every major metro area, we find Yelp to be the best publicly available tool to perform location-based research of the best quality restaurants with private rooms to meet our venue requirements.

[push h=10]The next step is to reach out to the list. Most restaurants have a private event section on their website with an online form and contact information for event managers that specialize in corporate events. If they don’t, that’s a red flag that often disqualifies them. While we complete their online inquire forms when possible, we also send them an email with our own form, asking questions that are often not covered or addressed on their websites and/or their common responses. The list of questions we ask is quite long but here’s a taste:

  • Do you host multiple events at once?

  • Are you open to the public at the same time as our event?

  • Is the room truly private separated by walls and doors? Please provide photos and dimensions of the room.

  • Are there any obstructions within the room that may block line of site during a presentation?

  • Is there any renovation in progress at the time of our event date?

  • What is the location of the kitchen to the room selected?

  • Where does the serving team exit/enter the room from?

  • Does noise filter into the room when this occurs?

  • What is the maximum seating/capacity of the room?

  • What type of tables do you offer and what is the maximum seating per table?

  • Can you offer a three-course plated meal? Please provide lunch menu options.

  • What A/V is built into the room?

  • What type of parking is offered at lunch? Valet? Self-park? Street parking? Third party lot?

  • What is the food/beverage minimum and is there a room rental fee?

[push h=10]After you select the best venue, it’ time to move into contract with them. I can write a separate blog post about contract negotiation best practices so I will save that for another time. Once signed, we send the contract back to the venue and ask for them to complete a Venue Prep Questionnaire. This document has additional information needed for the planning stages, such as the need for barstools for the panelists, table numbers, printer on-site for name badge printing day of, if needed, shipping information, address to use for parking, printing of menus with logo, and more details specific to the room selected. We are proactive throughout the planning stages about communicating with the venue when needed. Two-three weeks prior to the event, we provide a menu selection to our client. Once confirmed, this and the logos for the menu are shared with the venue. At this time, you begin to work on AV needs as well.

[push h=10]As you get closer to the event date, a final count and room set up is required. Be mindful that each venue has their standard requirement of time when this is needed. When providing this, we also include pertinent information necessary such as the amount of barstools needed, room set up with amount of tables with specific number of place settings, pre-poured water in glasses by 12pm, request a registration table, ask for table numbers to be provided (when applicable), provide the flow and timeline of the event with number of panelists so their entrees/desserts be held until after the presentation, parking solution decided upon, and a reminder to use client logos on the printed menu. This is requested to be on the Banquet Event Order (BEO) to be received and reviewed for accuracy. Things like the menu, non-alcoholic beverage options, if AV is set up by the venue are also listed on the BEO. Every venue offers their version of a BEO, so have your own checklist to compare and confirm information. The BEO is more important than the original contract in making sure everyone is clear on the expected needs for the event.

[push h=10]On the day of the event, we arrive no less than 2 hours prior to the start of the program to give ourselves plenty of time to make any last minute adjustments to the room setup, meet with the A/V staff, and perform set up activities. Remember that the entire venue staff is part of the success of your event. Work collaboratively and enjoy the event!

 

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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