Many companies still use print marketing, trade shows and traditional consumer outreach even in an era of digital transformation. Shashi Seth, senior vice president at Oracle Marketing Cloud, and Neil Tolbert, director of marketing communications at Mack Trucks, tell CXOTalk how to ensure ROI in B2B marketing using a multi-channel approach.

“One thing we’re really digging into is with the data and how we associate party IDs to mastered account lists and really getting into the data behind those accounts that we have in Eloqua and do our truck ordering and manufacturing system,” Tolbert says. “We complete that whole buying cycle from start to finish and then be able to attribute that back to where they came from. Was it the tradeshow, was it direct type in from a print ad URL, or was it a digital ad they clicked from a social channel or digital channel?”

“The world has really transformed and changed. Marketing and sales are coming together,” Seth adds. “I think it is our job to connect the dots in many different ways… That is what marketing is doing. It’s converting it into sales. It happens in so many different ways because so many different channel relationships and so on and so forth.”

Seth has over 20 years of industry experience in the internet industry, working in Big Data, Machine Learning, Cloud and Algorithms at iconic brands like eBay, Google, YouTube, and Yahoo. He’s chartered with transforming the Marketing Cloud Industry at Oracle and holds more than 25 technology patents.

Tolbert is a digital marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of experience in e-commerce. He is the Director of Marketing Communications for Mack Trucks, where he is responsible for internal and external communications including print, digital, and social advertising, social media, lead generation, and mobile strategy. His previous experience includes digital marketing for a large multiline dealership including Toyota, Nissan, and Chevrolet.

Transcript

Michael Krigsman: Welcome to CxOTalk, coming to you from the Oracle Modern CX Conference. We're here in front of a live audience, and I'm speaking with Neil Tolbert and Shashi Seth. We're talking about multichannel, business-to-business marketing, and how to prove ROI.

I'll begin with Neil Tolbert. Neil, your marketing is quite interesting because it spans the range from digital to print. Give us an overview of your marketing strategy and the marketing activities that you undertake.

Neil Tolbert: Yeah, sure. If you look back five years, the marketing that Mack did at the time was pretty much tradeshows and print trade press. That was about the extent of it. Over the last five years, we've really focused on a digital transformation, really bringing and building our social channels and also Eloqua, the tool, and started building that prospect database.

Then when you look at our demographic in trucking, we have young people who are entering that are really engaging with us across social: Twitter, Snapchat, and various early tech platforms. But then, we also have the older demographic who is still very much interested in having print, reading the trade press magazines, and having something either in the truck with them or at a truck stop where they can get their hands on it. Billboards, things like that, direct mail, we do quite a bit of that when we need to target certain segments.

Michael Krigsman: Shashi, what I'm hearing, as he's talking, is even though their demographic is kind of split between the digital audience and the traditional, they're still using URLs. They're still trying to emphasize and bring people into the digital fold. And, at the same time, they've got this real mix of advanced technology with technology that's been around a long time like print and billboards.

Shashi Seth: Yep. Yep. It all works, right? I think the reason to take the old tactics and bring them into the new world is simply that you have a better understanding of the user. That's where you get them. Hook them. Get information out of them. Then you can nurture them. These are tactics that I think a lot of people use in different ways, and it's phenomenal to hear from every single customer that we talk to.

Michael Krigsman: Neil, tell us about the demographics. How did you decide that this dual prong strategy is the right way to go?

Neil Tolbert: Well, we track everything that we do, and we know that sometimes we question how effective is print anymore. [Laughter] But, given the fact that we're tracking URLs, we can look back and, in 2017, I know that, for us, 20,000 people actually manually typed in a URL out of a print ad, and so we know that, okay, we have to stay here. It's not dead yet. But, every year, we shift a little bit more and more of our budget to digital. That's just one aspect on how we know we need to stay in print for the foreseeable future. Then we just try to, like we said, utilize the hashtags in print or get them from offline to online and really immerse them in content where they'll want to organically engage with Mack and participate in the content.

Michael Krigsman: What you're both saying is that, at the end of the day, you've got a body of data. Somehow, regardless of where you're touching that customer, you need to be measuring that data and doing something with that data. Neil, tell us about your KPIs, your metrics. What kind of data are you collecting? How do you use it?

Neil Tolbert: For us, our KPI is really just driving consideration for the Mack brand. If we look at our funnel at the top, it's awareness. Mack is a 118-year-old trucking company. We like to think we don't have an awareness problem. People know what a Mack truck or who Mack Trucks is.

The next step for us is in the interest. How do we get people interested in it? Then that third step is consideration. How do I see you go from, okay, you clicked and had been interested, to now you're considering and you filled out whether

Michael Krigsman: Welcome to CxOTalk, coming to you from the Oracle Modern CX Conference. We're here in front of a live audience, and I'm speaking with Neil Tolbert and Shashi Seth. We're talking about multichannel, business-to-business marketing, and how to prove ROI.

I'll begin with Neil Tolbert. Neil, your marketing is quite interesting because it spans the range from digital to print. Give us an overview of your marketing strategy and the marketing activities that you undertake.

Neil Tolbert: Yeah, sure. If you look back five years, the marketing that Mack did at the time was pretty much tradeshows and print trade press. That was about the extent of it. Over the last five years, we've really focused on a digital transformation, really bringing and building our social channels and also Eloqua, the tool, and started building that prospect database.

Then when you look at our demographic in trucking, we have young people who are entering that are really engaging with us across social: Twitter, Snapchat, and various early tech platforms. But then, we also have the older demographic who is still very much interested in having print, reading the trade press magazines, and having something either in the truck with them or at a truck stop where they can get their hands on it. Billboards, things like that, direct mail, we do quite a bit of that when we need to target certain segments.

Michael Krigsman: Shashi, what I'm hearing, as he's talking, is even though their demographic is kind of split between the digital audience and the traditional, they're still using URLs. They're still trying to emphasize and bring people into the digital fold. And, at the same time, they've got this real mix of advanced technology with technology that's been around a long time like print and billboards.

Shashi Seth: Yep. Yep. It all works, right? I think the reason to take the old tactics and bring them into the new world is simply that you have a better understanding of the user. That's where you get them. Hook them. Get information out of them. Then you can nurture them. These are tactics that I think a lot of people use in different ways, and it's phenomenal to hear from every single customer that we talk to.

Michael Krigsman: Neil, tell us about the demographics. How did you decide that this dual prong strategy is the right way to go?

Neil Tolbert: Well, we track everything that we do, and we know that sometimes we question how effective is print anymore. [Laughter] But, given the fact that we're tracking URLs, we can look back and, in 2017, I know that, for us, 20,000 people actually manually typed in a URL out of a print ad, and so we know that, okay, we have to stay here. It's not dead yet. But, every year, we shift a little bit more and more of our budget to digital. That's just one aspect on how we know we need to stay in print for the foreseeable future. Then we just try to, like we said, utilize the hashtags in print or get them from offline to online and really immerse them in content where they'll want to organically engage with Mack and participate in the content.

Michael Krigsman: What you're both saying is that, at the end of the day, you've got a body of data. Somehow, regardless of where you're touching that customer, you need to be measuring that data and doing something with that data. Neil, tell us about your KPIs, your metrics. What kind of data are you collecting? How do you use it?

Neil Tolbert: For us, our KPI is really just driving consideration for the Mack brand. If we look at our funnel at the top, it's awareness. Mack is a 118-year-old trucking company. We like to think we don't have an awareness problem. People know what a Mack truck or who Mack Trucks is.

The next step for us is in the interest. How do we get people interested in it? Then that third step is consideration. How do I see you go from, okay, you clicked and had been interested, to now you're considering and you filled out whether it's a form fill or whether it's attending a webinar with one of our product managers? It's really doing that deep dive.

It could be traditional; they show up at a tradeshow booth and now we're shaking hands. I know I swiped his badge. I can see where he came all the way down into right here he is now.

For us, we are purely B2B, and we have a dealer network across North America with 380 dealers that sell it, so at some point, we have to say, "Okay. Here. Here is this guy. We've done what we can do," and we can share with you all the content that he's downloaded. We can share with you that he has expressed good interest. We feel like we've done our part. Hopefully, they go sell him a new Mack truck.

Shashi Seth: Neil, how many of your new leads come in through events, or what percentage of your new leads?

Neil Tolbert: For percentage, it varies. The tough part and, I think, really a tool like Eloqua, it'd be difficult to not have because the buying cycles are so long. Even though the guys are standing on the tradeshow floor today and we're shaking hands, I can go back in Eloqua and see that his original lead source was at a tradeshow. I may not see him order that truck for another six months, and he may not take delivery of that truck for another four months after that, so now you're at a nine-month window.

One thing we're really digging into is with the data and how we associate party IDs to mastered account lists and really getting into the data behind those accounts that we have in Eloqua and do our truck ordering and manufacturing system. Whether the dealer tells us or not that, "Yeah, I've contacted this lead that you sent me, and I've quoted him," that we can go back in the tool and say, "Well, we passed these leads and these party IDs and, now, six months later, we can see these party IDs were quoted trucks. Then three months later, we could see those party IDs were ordered trucks." We complete that whole buying cycle from start to finish and then be able to attribute that back to where they came from. Was it the tradeshow, was it direct type in from a print ad URL, or was it a digital ad they clicked from a social channel or digital channel?

Michael Krigsman: This notion of attribution, Shashi, during your keynote this morning you mentioned that now marketing must serve sales.

Shashi Seth: Look. The world has really transformed and changed. Marketing and sales are coming together. There are so many CMOs who not only have revenue, but have the marketing, the sales funnel as part of their job as well.

I think it is our job to connect the dots in many different ways, as Neil talked about sending that lead over to a dealer. That is what marketing is doing. It's converting it into sales. It happens in so many different ways because so many different channel relationships and so on and so forth.

Attribution gets hard when all that happens. But, it is still very important for us to go figure it out because, if we don't, folks like Mack Trucks have no idea if they're spending their money in the right way. So, let's make sure that we connect all the dots, do a true funnel, end-to-end attribution model, and that's something that we've started thinking about and making sure that products like Eloqua or Responsys have that built in. So, when you run a campaign, you should be able to see it, touch it, feel it, and be able to make good decisions. If you let the platform play it out, then that data will be fed back so that you get more optimized campaigns next time around.

Michael Krigsman: Attribution is based on data. So, Neil, I know that you use data in order to stay close to your customer.

Neil Tolbert: Mm-hmm.

Michael Krigsman: You're gathering truck telematics and all kinds of different data. Tell us about that.

Neil Tolbert: Yeah, so if it's a mom and pop truck company, then it's one guy, it's his truck, and he's everything related to that truck. But, as you start to span that out, you get into bigger fleets, and there are 5 to 10 or 20 to 50 trucks, and fleets with 100 trucks, now you have multiple people touching that truck. The decision-maker who is writing the checks and purchasing the truck is not always the guy that you're talking to or the guy that we may see shopping us and filling us out. He may not be the guy standing here on a tradeshow floor.

Then past that, after the sale is that servicing and taking care of the trucks. Every Mack has telematics that's running on it. They're all there. We know where the trucks are, and we have a very, very strong uptown presence.

Back in Greensboro, we have a building that's staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365. It's monitoring all Mack trucks through Guard Dog Connect. The call center may see something going on with the truck that the driver may not see, so it could be a check engine light is about to come on, but it's not on. We will get that phone call, and we'll proactively reach out to that fleet manager. It keeps it from going down. It just increases his productivity and profitability with the truck.

Michael Krigsman: All of this data, then, comes into the service of, again, staying close to the customer.

Neil Tolbert: Correct.

Michael Krigsman: Why don't we finish by, in a minute and a half, asking Shashi to share your advice as you look across the landscape of your customers? What advice do you have for marketers?

Shashi Seth: Simple. Focus on the few things that will matter the most. I often see people go for very complex campaigns, processes, flows, and data. I think the best thing you can do is focus on improving the amount of data, the quality of data, and going after the simple things, iterating until you get them right, and then moving on to the next journey. Don't try and eat a sandwich all in one go. Take small bites. Get it done. Move onto the next one. Learn from every step of the way.

Maybe you have some advice too.

Neil Tolbert: No, I just always say it's just the journey. It's not going to happen overnight, and you just have to, to your point, pick out what's important; start small.

The first thing we did doing Eloqua was set up those different truck segments. Those were our four buckets, and everything went into that. As we got more sophisticated, we started saying, "Okay. Now, in that bucket, I want to go deeper and be able to break it down." It's just been evolving since day one. Hopefully, it'll continue to evolve for the future.

Michael Krigsman: Wise advice: Start small, get it right, move onto the next thing, and then grow.

Neil Tolbert: Yeah.

Michael Krigsman: Thank you so much, everybody, and thank you to our panelists.

Shashi Seth: Thank you. Great to be here.