Jon Miller reinventing marketing

In today’s day and age, with the advanced technology at our fingertips, it’s hard to imagine a world where you didn’t have a place to capture leads. It’s hard to imagine a world without a search engine that allowed you to bid for a spot to show up at the top of the results page. It’s hard to imagine a world where each lead that you captured had to be followed up with manually.

That world existed in the not-so-distant past – it was just a short 13 years ago.

From this need arose a new way of thinking, which was followed by a new technology category: marketing automation.

However, as we’ve learned more about how to efficiently and effectively grow and scale businesses, new challenges arose. We are, once again, charting into new territories in marketing with new questions in search of solutions.

What does the future hold? How is marketing being reinvented?

I sat down with Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio, to get his thoughts. Jon led the marketing automation charge when he started Marketo 13 years ago, and now he’s looking to reinvent marketing again in today’s modern era.

Here’s Jon.


Brandon: Hey guys, Brandon Redlinger here and I’m joined by Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio. Welcome, Jon.

Jon: Howdy.

Brandon: So, you were one of the forefathers of modern marketing about 13 years ago when you started Marketo, Marketing automation was the new hot sexy thing, now what’s marketing today? What are we going to be doing to reinvent marketing in the modern era?

Jon: Yeah I mean marketing’s changed so much in those last 13 years. When you think about it, 2005 when we were first starting Marketo, Google AdWords is only a handful of years old. And marketers really for the first were generating leads with any kinds of scale. Because of things like Google AdWords becoming available.

And so the business problem way back then was getting a place to capture these leads, to store them and do something with them. And so tools like Marketo and the other market automation tools evolved really to solve that business problem – which is a real business problem. And the whole category got created around that which is great, but the world’s way more complicated now.

Brandon: There’s a lot of change.

Jon: Yeah, it’s not just about generating leads off of an online form and doing something with it. Couple of the big changes, obviously one that gets a lot of buzz today is people are realizing that in the B2B world you’re not just selling to one lead. It’s about accounts, it’s about buying centers, it’s understanding interactions between different people. All too often what happens in a lead-based world, which you get with traditional marketing automation is the new lead comes in, and maybe the SDR follows up.

And maybe or maybe not they qualify it depending on it could be a junior person. Next day, another lead from the exact same company comes in, does it even get routed to the same person, who knows? They miss out on the fact that you’re getting this aggregate multiple signals when you live in that kind of disjointed, lead-based world. That’s a big change that’s happened in marketers is we sort of realize that to sell big serious, upmarket accounts, we can’t just be in the lead-based model.

I’d go on for hours but just one other key change is the rise of recurring revenue models. The SaaS was early back then, now that’s just the way you sell stuff, whether it’s razors or meal services or enterprise software. As a result, the marketing framework needs to change. Tools like Marketo were built with a mental model of it’s about getting the new customer.

Brandon: Yeah.

Jon: Once that quote on quote person becomes a quote on quote customer, it’s kind of done.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s onto the next one.

Jon: At Marketo if we generated a response from somebody who worked out one of our customers, we didn’t even count it, because that was just not the model. The model is new, new, new. The recurring revenue world, vast majority of revenue comes post-sale.

And it means that the way we think about funnel changes, the way we think about how do we treat leads changes, it means understanding that there’s different buying centers within an account. That needs to change as well. So the traditional market automation tool just aren’t built to solve these things. I was trying to do this new kind of marketing at Marketo, five, six, seven years ago, and I realized how hard it is to deal with a lead-based infrastructure.

That’s what lead me to start Engagio. It was like all right let’s build solutions that compliment your marketing automation so you can add it into your existing tech stack but basically fills in those holes so that that way you can use the stuff you have but bring in this more account-eccentric lens, full pre/post sale buying centers all that good stuff.

I think that’s exciting. I think as a marketer, it’s harder than ever today and I think as we as marketers need to step up and change the conversation. We need to change the way we’re talking with ourselves and with our sales teams and start bringing in this new more account-centric lens, new modern approach to things, and frankly, that’s going to require some new technology.

Brandon: Yup, I love it. It’s time to change the conversation. Let’s do it.

Jon: Okay.

Brandon: Thanks Jon.

Jon: Thanks.