Q&A with Madison Logic new CMO Jenn Steele on the company and future

We talk with Jenn Steele, new CMO of Madison Logic, about their company, platform, and future. This is part of our martech company of the week series.

Madison Logic recently hired Jenn Steele as their new CMO. She’s previously held positions at Marketo, Bizible, Amazon, and was employee #90 at HubSpot. (She also advocates for women in business, which makes her a champion in my book.)

Madison Logic is an account-based marketing (ABM) platform that helps B2B marketers convert their best accounts faster by finding and engaging with the most influential individuals throughout the buyer journey—but we’ll get into what that looks like here in a bit.

Last month, Madison Logic was named by Inc. magazine to its annual Inc. 5000 list (of fast-growing private companies) for the sixth straight year. They’re among the fewer than 6% of companies that have achieved this honor in the nearly four-decade history of the list.

And to top it all off, they’ve scored a slot as this week’s martech company of the week. In this series, we try to humanize a bit of the dizzying 7000 vendor-landscape. We pick one extra cool martech company and help you get to know them a bit better.

This week, we sit down with Madison Logic CMO Jenn Steele for a quick Q&A.

ClickZ: Tell us a bit about your background and how you ended up at Madison Logic.

Jenn Steele: I have a martech and tech background. I did my undergrad at MIT, so I’ve sort of always had the technology component. I started my marketing career as employee #90 at HubSpot, then I went to Amazon, and then a number of other startups in the space.

CZ: How and why was Madison Logic was founded?

JS: The company has been around since 2005, and we’ve been doing account-based marketing (ABM) since 2012. ABM has felt a bit like the flavor of the week these past few years. But the truth is 67% of the B2B buyer journey happens before anyone reaches out to a salesperson. We help people find the best accounts and engage them when it matters most.

Madison Logic’s mission is to make B2B marketers the driving force for change and growth in their organizations. As a B2B marketer myself, that’s an exciting proposition. I personally understand the needs of a B2B marketer; I speak the language. I know their most likely pain points because they’re my pain points as well. Comprehensive account-based marketing—where digital advertising and lead gen come together—meets those pain points head-on. A primary pain being, how can marketing teams drive the revenue that’s expected of them?

When it was founded, Madison Logic prioritized something we called company targeting, which was just account-based marketing by another name. This evolved into ActivateABM, our account-based marketing platform that unifies digital advertising and content syndication, fusing it with a robust suite of analytics that demonstrate the real ROI of account-based marketing programs. To have the opportunity to share such powerful tools with my fellow B2B marketers is exciting.

CZ: So in more straightforward terms, how would you explain what you do to someone not in the space?

JS: I like to say that fundamentally ABM is a fancy word for sales with a digital component. It allows us to digitally reach the same people that a sales team of yore would have had to use a lot of legwork to get.

CZ: What’s the underlying technology and tools behind your platform?

JS: We have a huge data management platform—various platforms. We use cookie data, IP data, etc, and sew all that together.

It’s about getting the right messages to the right people at the right time. So the right messages, you can kind of figure out by talking with your sales teams about what resonates. The right time, you can more or less get from data about open rates, etc. But the right people? That’s tougher. You need a ton of demographic data.

CZ: Who are your main competitors?

JS: Our primary competitors are Terminus and Demandbase. Marketo also has an ABM—but they’ve been our customer for more than 10 years, so somehow I don’t really count them.

CZ: What’s your value-add over the competition?

JS: Our #1 value-add is our data. Terminus does cookie targeting, but then for instance they offer intent data as an extra add-on. Demandbase does IP targeting with intent data, but it’s not as powerful as cookie-based targeting. So we’ve got what both of them have for targeting ads, and then we do targeted lead gen as well.

Because obviously, you could have hundreds of pieces of data—but one actual lead at that target company is so much more powerful.

CZ: Where do you land on the Scott Brinker martech landscape?

JS: Display & Programmatic Advertising, and also ABM.

When I left HubSpot, the martech landscape was at 500. When I joined Bizible, I learned it was at 5000. My first thought was, “What happened here??” I couldn’t believe how much it had grown, and still is!

CZ: Say I’m a new customer. Walk me through how it works.

JS: So you’d take your current Salesforce or Marketo platforms and add our integration. Then Madison Logic would start carving out your target list. It takes the information you already have and narrows it down. It can filter it by industry, by stage in the funnel, by deals with X amount of money—by really any data point anywhere in Salesforce. And then it can also create lookalike data—additional lists that are similar to what you have or that maintain certain filters you want.

And then it also does the actual display advertising. So you would upload your ads and your content, set a budget, and basically say “go.” Or if you prefer, we have add-on services that can build that content out for you. And I must say our teams are quite talented.

CZ: Cool, that sounds very useful.

JS: I’m a fan of it! Been putting it to a lot of good use for myself here at our own company.

One of the best parts of this is that you can set it up so that it displays different content to different people depending on which different stage they’re at in the buying journey.

So as a marketer, I can unify what I’m saying to a certain person with what that same person is hearing from the sales team. As that person progresses through the buying journey, they’ll also automatically start receiving new messaging that corresponds to that new stage.

So with our team right now, we’re actually building out our specific messaging that we want to put out based on each customer persona.

CZ: What are the biggest challenges you anticipate for 2019?

JS: We’re doing the opposite of what nearly every other martech vendor is doing. Most people are going up-market. They started mid-market, and now they’re moving to enterprise.

We’re the opposite. We already have people like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft as our customers. We actually started at enterprise, and now we’re figuring out how to move to mid-market, and even to smaller companies.

CZ: What are you doing to prepare?

JS: Well, the company hired me. I have enterprise, mid-market, and SMB experience. And like I said, we’re building out our customer profiles, with specific messaging to meet each of those.

CZ: Are you the first CMO?

JS: Not in our history, but I’m the first in a couple years. Until recently, marketing used to roll up through sales.

CZ: Any upcoming new product launches or updates?

JS: Right now we’re doing a lot of reorchestration, but we may have something big coming in January—stay tuned!

Employees: 96

Customers include: IBM, Dell, AWS, Workfront, Marketo

Year founded: 2005, but doing account based marketing (ABM) since 2012.

Funding status: Profitable, acquired by private equity in 2016.

Headquarters: New York

For more information, visit their website or Twitter @madisonlogic

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