TheNextCMO’s latest podcast is with Mark Feldman. Mark Feldman is a B2B data industry pioneer who helped build NetProspex into a B2B contact industry powerhouse leading to its acquisition by Dun & Bradstreet in 2015. Prior to founding Custom Made Data, Mark held growth marketing and revenue operations leadership roles at Localytics, Motion Recruitment Partners, and Backupify. In this podcast we discuss what types of data Marketer's should consider purchasing, Plannuh’s positive experience with Custom Made Data, and how marketers should think about buying data to align with their target audience.
Mark Feldman - https://www.linkedin.com/in/markfeldman
Custom Made Data - www.custommadedata.com
Mark’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in being on The Next CMO podcast? - https://info.plannuh.com/the-next-cmo-podcast
For more info about Plannuh, check out our website
Kelsey Krapf 0:00
Welcome to the official podcast of the next cmo hosted by planner, makers of the first AI driven marketing leadership platform for quickly and easily creating winning marketing plans, maximizing budget impact and improving ROI. The next cmo is a thought leadership podcast for those that are CMOS or want to become one. My name is Kelsey craft, and I'm the senior marketing manager. And I'm Peter Mahoney, the founder and CEO of planner and welcome to the next cmo podcast.
This week, we're honored to have Mark Feldman, the founder of custom made data, also known as mjf services. Mark is a leader in the go to market space with 20 years of experience growing global SAS and professional service businesses and also has a passion for data. How's it going today? Mark?
Mark Feldman 0:59
It's going great. Thanks a lot for having me on guys.
Peter Mahoney 1:02
Yeah, pleasure to have you on board mark. And we should start with a little bit mark, Anna and I have known each other for a while now. And and we should just set the table a little bit with some of your experience because you've got an interesting background of marketing, executive leadership operations stuff, revenue operations, and in etc. So give us a little bit of your background and get us started mark.
Mark Feldman 1:29
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Peter. So I definitely have a kind of interesting background and not take a traditional path to where I am. So I've always been very passionate about growth, either growing my own business or working for high growth companies. So I started working in b2b technology for a company called net prospect. So as an early executive there in the in the data, b2b data space, and then I have held various marketing and growth leadership roles, and most recently at localytics, which is a planet customer.
Peter Mahoney 2:10
Yeah, that's great. And and Mark, and I got to know each other there, obviously, and localytics had a successful sale to upland software back was it this last fall, I can't keep track anymore back in
Mark Feldman 2:24
end of January. So it feels like many, many moons ago, but it was just a couple months ago, pre pandemic right before everything changed.
Peter Mahoney 2:35
That was probably good timing, I suspect.
Mark Feldman 2:38
I think we're very lucky that everything happened when it when it happened. So
Peter Mahoney 2:42
yeah, and of course, for those of you who don't know, localytics localytics actually was a very data driven company. localytics had a really great and has now part of upland, a great platform for mobile data, data analytics and mobile targeting and messaging, etc. And, and I suspect your association with the company probably had something to do with your fondness and affiliation with with data and targeting Is that right? Mark? Yeah, absolutely.
Mark Feldman 3:12
I think as a as a marketer, passionate marketer at hearts and a data person. It's I've always had the most fun in my career working for companies in the mahr tech space. So localytics is now upland software, but was just highly focused on. It's really it's really like think of it as a marketing automation platform for a large consumer brands that are across the mobile web and other channels.
Peter Mahoney 3:44
Yeah, and I got to know the company really well, and was was excited for for the outcome for everybody. And it's a great local Boston company here. So what we're going to talk about today, though, is really exciting to me is more on the b2b side of data, because you've now gone and after a storied career In, in this area in being a marketing and operations and revenue leader, you've now started your own your own business and focused on focused on providing targeted data. And what why don't you give us a little bit of a background on the business that you've set up, Mark?
Mark Feldman 4:26
Yeah, absolutely. So my new venture custom made data is in the b2b data space. And what we do is we we see b2b data as a strategic asset for companies. And I think there's just a tremendous opportunity for companies like plan and other b2b companies to really uplevel their database and have it really match well with their addressable market with their personas. So what we do is we use a kind of combination of research errors and automation, and we build just very large, just completely complete, scalable and highly targeted databases for b2b companies.
Peter Mahoney 5:11
Yeah, and we're gonna get into this a lot more because as, as we talked about a little bit earlier, the, the importance of data is, is increasing. Now, in a lot of ways, not only is targeting becoming more and more important, and the expectation for performance out of marketing, but there there are these days fewer options to engage your customers in, there's more competition around around paid media that's out there. So the idea of building up your own media asset and building up your own data asset is is incredibly important. I think for, for companies in full disclosure, we have been, we are a customer of marks also in we've been so that building our data assets is actually a really important part of our overall strategy. Because we have a fairly targeted functional market where we're focused on on reaching Marketing Leaders, like hopefully the the people listening to this podcast, and in building out more and more of a data asset in a very targeted way is pretty important for us, too. So. So yeah, I'm excited to get into some of the specifics. There, Mark.
Mark Feldman 6:33
Great, yeah, looking forward to it.
Kelsey Krapf 6:36
How should marketers, you know, think about buying data, and what types of data should they consider purchasing.
Mark Feldman 6:43
So I think there are really two different times in a company is evolution where it should be buying data. And one is, when you have a scalable, repeatable, really like sales and marketing motion, and you have been running some campaigns, and now you want to, you just want to do more bringing more leads. So that's a good time to to buy data. And also, when you're starting out, maybe you're a startup, or maybe you're an established business, marketing a new product, and you need people to reach and engage with. So that's, that's really kind of the two times where it's ideal to buy data.
Peter Mahoney 7:24
Yeah, and we're sort of a little bit of both of those marks. So we engaged with Mark for, you know, one, we're still a relatively young company. But we got to the point where we really defined our ideal customer profile. And we started to see what was really working for those people. Obviously, we think everybody should have planted, but you know, there's a segment of those people who tend to be more responsive and get faster benefit from the platform. And once we figure that out, we said, aha, this is really working. How do we build scale into what we're doing? And so I think that's really the the, one of the elements you were talking about, Mark, once you have a sense for who your customer is, what seems to be working? How do you get more of them? And I suspect they're probably to two basic strategies, though. One is, one is around, I know who I'm going to go get get me more of them. And the other is, I'm not sure who to get, can we start to build a set of test cells? So we can go figure out and run a bunch of experiments and figure out who's who's most responsive? So do you see people applying data to sort of the testing to try to define who's, who's going to work in your target audience? Or is it or is it a little bit of both?
Mark Feldman 8:47
So I think no matter what, it's always great to be doing testing. So one of the one of the things when you buy data from an outside company is that it comes with with segments already built in. So you know, job functions of everybody in job levels of everybody. So those are variables that you can use to test. So if you have an ebook, you can say, does it work better with CMOS or directors, you have industry categorization that's already built in. So that allows you to really kind of experiment whether you're already going to know your market really well. You can test test messaging, as you go with different with different segments within your database. But you can also then send more broadly and look at what comes in Are you getting the more senior people resonating with this particular content, maybe you think something's more strategic, but it turns out that lower level people who want to learn more and who want to move up in the organization are reading it so. So I think kind of at the core, you want to have as many like as many variables as possible, like baked into your data so that you can kind of read what comes back and you can target until A lot easier.
Peter Mahoney 10:01
Yes, so So talk to me a little bit Mark about the kinds of the kinds of data that you might consider. So there are few things. There's democrat demographic data, as you, as you discussed, there's things like intent data, or these people who are, are looking for a specific product and service, do they have an existing product or service etc? So so what are what are the types of data that people should in general, consider when they're, they're looking to, to leverage data for their marketing.
Mark Feldman 10:33
So I so I would step sort of back, like one sort of step of abstraction first. So there's, there's really two different dimensions, that you should think about what data one is the company or the organization that you're targeting. And it could be in different industries that might be intent, information, geography, there's a lot of attributes about a company, it's, it's almost like infinite, and then there's the people. So people within that organization, that's the second level, so on the on the person level of their persona, graphic level, there is some basic information about the function that that person's in the level that person is at within the company, then there's also information like how long has that person been in their role, if they're new in the role within a few months and looking to make changes to the marketing department, then that's something really interesting to segment on. So there's, there's really kind of a long tail of things that you can do. And the key is to find those right variables that work for you, and then just get just go out and acquire more of that. So if you're a business that is selling API security software, you may find that different industries work better, or maybe you don't work in healthcare, because there's some HIPAA compliance thing that you don't do. So you want to kind of really understand on the company level, what are the right dimensions or industries to go after? And then who are the right people within those companies, and maybe they're bigger companies. So at a bigger company might sell to a director level person at a smaller company might sell to a C level executive. So it's really important to have those just really well defined and understood.
Kelsey Krapf 12:18
Now, I know privacy is obviously a massive concern for you know, even other countries, certain states, California, for instance, has strong regulations. Europe, how do you deal and navigate with the privacy of the purchase data?
Mark Feldman 12:34
Yeah, and that question comes up a lot. I think it's on everybody's minds. And it's a it's a very, kind of very, like big, blinking light kind of issue. But I think, personally, I find that there's a lot more scary words, and legal ease and fines. But in reality, I think it's pretty, pretty straightforward to navigate around privacy, really, you have North America, you have Europe with GDPR. But kind of at the end of the day, for any jurisdiction, whether it's GDPR. In the EU, or North America, the US or Canada, you are allowed to send outbound email, and make cold, cold calls to people if there's a kind of a relevant SEO relevant business reason. So you need to make sure that everybody has the right to opt out. If they object to the marketing, and then GDPR, which I think is on everybody's mind right now. Because the laws, they're fairly new. They have six categories of people that you can send email to. And one is this just very broad and flexible basket called legitimate interest. So if you can show that you have a legitimate interest in that person, you can send them direct mail. And direct direct marketing is actually just is actually called out within the law of GDPR. So you if you have a legitimate interest, and that can be direct marketing, for that person, you have something that may benefit their business or benefit them. You can send an email to them unsolicited. And I think a lot of people don't realize that. But you can do that. But really just want to underscore you have to allow people to very easily opt out if they object to the marketing.
Peter Mahoney 14:36
Yeah, that that's critical, of course. And I think one of the things that is an important consideration when you look for a partner to provide data is someone who understands the the data privacy regulations can help you navigate them, has appropriately sourced data so they they know how to out value To data etc. So those things are really incredibly important mark. And so tell me a little bit more about because I think as a marketer, you often see these spammy kind of, Hey, I can sell you 72 zillion names on a list, you don't know where it came from, you don't know what it is. Tell me about the difference between those kind of those kind of data providers and in a real professional, high quality data provider?
Mark Feldman 15:28
Yeah, absolutely. That's a great question. And those companies have been around for time immemorial. So I think like, what one thing that everybody should know is that a business contact data is public information. It's a business fact. So there's nothing proprietary, there's nothing really special or private about that the fact that Peter Mahoney is a CMO of planet, that's just a fact. So what data companies do is they compile those those facts, that information and then sell it. So one of one of the biggest challenges is that people change jobs, you know, marketers CMOS turnover, was it like 1.2 hours? Is the sort of latest I think,
Peter Mahoney 16:13
so it's about 15 minutes. Yeah.
Mark Feldman 16:15
All right, minutes. Now it's up there. So people change change jobs, often, even like pre COVID. The change was about 3% a month, so so data quality goes down very quickly. And when you're working with a data provider, you need to understand from them, what's the recency of that information? Do they do they update that information? Or once you once they compile it or capture it? How often do they check the quality of it, that's really important. That's, that's probably the most important thing is to understand that. But then also, you want to think about do they provide those metadata fields like job functions and levels and industry information, so that you can target and some really relevant quality content to your customers? So and then you should always just make sure that that the company stands behind their product, if you have a problem with the data, if the quality is lower than what you expect? Will they replace it for you? Or what's their guarantee?
Peter Mahoney 17:20
Yeah, though, those are great tips mark. And in certainly, I think most marketers have worked with data providers of varying quality and, and over the years, and their results have have varied as a result, pretty significantly. So it can, it can make a huge difference, obviously. So tell us a little bit about how, how people should think about leveraging data to increase the performance of their campaigns. And one of the things that we worked with you on specifically is, is really you've talked about sort of some of the metadata that's important. So talk about maybe how, how the importance of some of the additional data that may be available, or may be, you know, custom custom acquirable those things, how can they help performance overall for campaigns?
Mark Feldman 18:20
Yeah, absolutely. I'm going to use your cmo, Scott as an example. So Scott came to me a few months ago, and said, You know, we're growing. And we want to pour more fuel onto the engine into the engine to generate more more business. So the first thing we did is that we talk through Who is your ideal customer? What do they look like? And some of the things that Scott mentioned is that there, you know, but besides the sort of revenue range, over 20 million revenue under a billion, there are some other things that really indicated what a good customer looks like. And one is that they have more than five people on the marketing team, that they have a marketing leader who's a VP or or a CMO. They have multiple offices. Ideally, they're they're global, they have marketing campaigns that run in different channels. So those are those are sort of custom examples of very custom metadata. So if you what I what I asked my customers is, I asked their sales people like Tell me about the last deal or two that you closed, what was it about that customer that made them a just have, what was the pain that made them come to the decision that they need to buy something, whether it was from you or your competitors, and then number two, what was the attribute about them that made them buy from you instead of the competition. So and you can boil those down into data points and then use that to source data that is going to Not just respond to your marketing campaigns, but your salespeople are going to be highly successful with. So with planner, we took those dimensions and had our research team. Look globally, what are the companies that have five people or more in the marketing team, have a VP or a CMO are running campaigns in different channels, we can kind of tell if somebody is running LinkedIn campaigns if they're running AdWords campaigns, so they do they have an email signup on their website, so they're probably doing email. So we take those things and really identify a body of all the companies globally that meet that definition. So So that's, that's number one. And then you can also find data points to exclude companies. So if if they're a public company, and their stock is nosediving, or they're in the hospitality industry, which is suffering tremendously under COVID, they're probably not going to be spending much money bringing on new vendors, so can exclude those as well. And that's a key thing is to ask your sales, sales people's like, what are the red flags when somebody comes along? If you had an inbound lead, and you call them and you find out some information in that call that you say, this is a terrible lead? What what are those things? So I have another customer who makes security for API's. And they, so obviously, you need an API, but they have some a solution that that works in most industries, but they don't have some things that are HIPAA compliant. So if somebody comes in, in the healthcare industry, that's not not a good client for them. So you can kind of figure out what are the what are the good things, what are their I call them green flags, and the red flags for those companies. So those are, those are really going to be different for every single company. So I think it's important that you understand what those attributes are, that make a company look good for you and bad for you. And that you can use those to filter companies. And then the next level down is the people. And, and then it's really just matching the right people to those companies. And they're really dependent on the type of company different industries have different titles, for example, they, they buy differently, so so you really want to kind of match all of that together.
Peter Mahoney 22:27
Yeah, I have to say to mark, it's been interesting that the, the process of figuring out the right data to buy has helped us with our our message in our sales process. Because, you know, we went through and as part of this process, we really thought about, I mean, one of the things as an example that you brought up is the idea of multiple locations, and in a global footprint. And these tend to be people who, you know, for us because people are collaborating with online platform for building and managing their marketing plans and budgets. And and that becomes even more and more of an issue if you're in multiple locations that everyone is right now because they're at their home location. And in even more complicated if you're dealing with, with multiple currencies as an example. That's another pain point for people. And so it really helped us think through the process of what was it about a about a prospect that was going to turn them into a likely customer? So it's, it's been, it's been a really valuable process for us overall.
Mark Feldman 23:37
Yeah, and, and one of the key things that you mentioned is like turning into customers. So I think when you're buying data, you have to really just hone in on what a good customer looks like, and what is a customer that's going to move through the sales through the sales cycle at a good pace. What does that what does that look like? and boil it boil that down into data rather than focus on top of the funnel and key wells and leads? So I think it's, it's really it's really simple. And companies using ABM are going through or account based marketing go through a process where they figure out what are the right accounts so so really, what you need to do then is not just come up with content campaigns that work well. But what is the right data that's going to support your go to market strategy, whatever it is,
Kelsey Krapf 24:28
when should you purchase data versus rent data?
Mark Feldman 24:34
So I would say that you should try all of the above. So purchasing data works well when you have content and you have the channels and delivery mechanisms to to engage. So most companies have a marketing automation system, they have somebody who writes content. So if you have that, you're going to get a lot more efficiency. If you use your own, by your own, so and then you can use that data for, for sales territory planning for other things as well, you have it, it's like the backbone of your sales and marketing. However, I think like, the reality is you email people you reach out to them. There, they're going to, some people are going to engage, some people aren't. So you want to go try other channels, and with email and other content that's, that's delivered by other brands, that is going to get more people to click and download and engage with you.
Peter Mahoney 25:37
Yeah, we're a little freshness we we definitely are believers in, in building and owning the data asset. And part of that is, you brought up a really important part Mark was that after you have the data, obviously, you have to create something compelling to engage the audience with because if you don't have compelling, interesting content, then you know, it's, it's just gonna go stale, you're gonna, you're gonna lose the, the right to communicate with these people over time, they're, they'll either opt out, or they'll just go stale in and be non responsive. So finding a way to deliver relevant content to people is an important part of the investment overall, in speaking of investment, talk to us a little bit about how marketers should think about the overall business case, for purchasing for purchasing data. And in what should they look at, as far as an overall an overall ROI for this kind of event purchase.
Mark Feldman 26:40
So with with data, data is usually one of the least expensive parts of your spend. So it's, it's probably a rounding error for a lot of the people listening here. So it's relatively cheap, I think it's, it's less about the ROI of the data, which I think if you have a sales motion, and a marketing motion, that's effective data is not even gonna show up as a material cost for you. It's more about making sure that you have the right data that's really matched well to the audience that you want to go after. And, and I think marketers should spend more time than they do today, just thinking thinking about that and thinking about the data. And not just as an afterthought of something inexpensive that we just have to buy a list. But really, like who is who is the audience that's really working, that's really this content that we just spent so much time and effort and money developing? And it's really good, and people love it, like how do we find more more people that are going to love it that are going to convert into customers, so and then once you sort of decide to do that, you want to get every single person that exists in the world that matches that definition. And exclude people who are outside of that definition, who are who are going to be annoyed or not find your content relevant. So you want to kind of have all of that in there. And, and I think very quickly, you'll see, you'll see ROI, you're, you're spending really like pennies per per name, on average, or per contact record on average. So you know, if your average sales 5000 bucks or 500,000 bucks, it's pretty, it's pretty easy to see ROI.
Peter Mahoney 28:25
Yeah, and, and I can, I can tell you that one of the things that was exciting for us Mark was not only not only the the direct value of, of the data and and how it turned into actual real life customers, which is kind of fun. But the The other thing was that we just developed a much better understanding of the who the audience is the size of the audience. And that was really exciting for us, right, seeing just the size of the audience, there are a lot of people who met our definition of our ideal customer profile. It's It's amazing, you know, you see people who engage with, you know, for instance, one of the primary offers we used was our new book, The next cmo, a guide to operation marketing excellence available where you get books, or on our website. And it was amazing to see all these people who responded to that offer, because it was relevant, obviously. But just going through and whenever I saw someone come through, I look at all of the responders because I'm a nerd like that. And every single one is it's exciting to say, hey, that's a really great profile of the company. I've never heard of those people. And they're like a million of those things out there. So just getting the sense of who's out there in the audience, broadening your overall audience and getting a real understanding first, sort of where they are with the diversity of the audiences. I think that that has been incredibly valuable for us and but but Kelsey, you should just go through just some of the high level results. We got from The campaign's we've been running because it's been pretty exciting.
Kelsey Krapf 30:03
Yeah, definitely. I mean, like we shared with you, we're a successful customer to start. And we've generated, you know, 29 meetings in one month through your program. And this is huge for, for meeting our goals for q4. And if you look at cost per opportunity, and you know, the value that we've gotten through your program is great. And we have been able to actually add that back to revenue, we closed one of our deals last month. So it's really great to see and how can people you know, learn more about your services? Or make that partner with you in terms of what you provide?
Mark Feldman 30:39
Yeah, absolutely. And I'm happy to help anybody, anybody listening. So my website is custom made data.com. And you can come to my website and fill out a contact us form. You can also email me at mark at Mark J. feldman.com. And one of the things I do is just part of the discovery process is I do a workshop, it's it's free, where we really talk through your ideal customer profile. And, and including what I mentioned, the green flags and the red flags. And, and Peter, you touched on this, and a lot of my customers have these aha moments, they bring together sales marketing, C suite on these workshops, and just really align on Who should we be going after what what. And that's, that's really a key foundational piece to alignment across your go to market teams. So they see like we we really want to focus in on companies of this size these these different titles, maybe marketing's personas need to be tweaked a little bit to match how sales views the world and where they want to engage. And then marketing can create really focus more strategically on content that aligns really well with who the sales people want to talk to. So that's, that's something I offer that for free. It's part of just part of the discovery process. So I'm happy to do that with anyone listening.
Peter Mahoney 32:06
Well, that's great mark. And yeah, it was definitely beneficial for us, as we alluded to earlier. And one of the things that's helpful, obviously, is that not everyone who has your kind of business, actually was a practitioner of marketing. And having spent that, that time in your career, doing the job, I think puts you in a great perspective to help do this. So you take a very consultative approach, which is really great. And it is something I think all marketers should have a data strategy around, how are they going to? What are they going to own? What are they going to develop? Where are they going to augment that with outside data? How are they going to get it, etc. And in Mark, and his team, certainly are a great source of some of that. So, so yeah, really great, Mark. What I appreciate about this is, I think this is a super, hopefully tangible, specific kind of conversation for people, as Kelsey mentioned, you know, we, we, we just went through this process, we acquired data within the last two months, and already have customers and cash from customers, I mean, talk about a fast ROI, in built a built a pipeline from a very quickly. So it's, it's a great strategy to look at, and encourage other people to consider it. So I think with that we're about to wrap up. But, Kelsey, I think you have one more question.
Kelsey Krapf 33:35
Yeah, I think Mark, it's really easy to get data. But it's, it's not so easy to get really good data. And that's one of the services that you've definitely provided for us is, you know, right in our target audience has been absolutely nailed. And the research and the amount of effort you've put into getting, getting that data definitely shows but what advice would you give to CMOS or those aspiring to be one in terms of data?
Mark Feldman 34:02
So I would say that, really just put some thought into your data strategy so that it matches really well with your go to market strategy, like combine those together. So you're aligning and really maximizing your efforts across marketing by having the right data and identifying the right people to engage with.
Peter Mahoney 34:24
Great, well, thanks, Mark. Great, great advice, as usual, and and I think we have to wrap up so Kelsey, let's take us out.
Kelsey Krapf 34:33
Yes, thank you so much for your time today mark. Really appreciate it. We'll make sure to include mjf services in the show notes below. And make sure to follow the next cmo and planner on Twitter and LinkedIn. And if you have any ideas for topics or guests, you can visit our website and fill out our new podcast form under our resources section or email them to the next email@example.com Stay tuned for the next community launching soon and have a great day everyone.
Peter Mahoney 35:03
Thanks everyone. Thanks, Mark.
Mark Feldman 35:05
Thanks Peter. Thanks Chelsea enjoyed it.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai