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Measuring the B2B Customer Journey: SmartBear CMO Bryan Semple on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Hosted By:
Kerry O'Shea Gorgone
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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Bryan Semple is chief marketing officer at SmartBear, a company that specializes in automation, development, and monitoring tools to build better software and applications.

I invited Bryan to Marketing Smarts to talk about the evolving B2B customer journey and how modern marketers can measure the impact of their efforts.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

C-suite marketers can't "steer the ship" correctly unless they know all the bolts and welds (05:41): "Unless you operational view of the world, I've worked for some CMOs in the past that just aren't able to dive into the details of how does PPC work, how do you evaluate a PPC program, tell me about SEO, why are these numbers up and down. And one of the things from my time in the Navy on the boat was you knew how everything in the boat worked, so you could go and ask questions of people....

"It's the same a modern CMO. Unless you can go down and have discussions about what's going on with digital advertising and understand what people are presenting you in terms of the data, it's very hard to add value and it's very hard to make sure that the being spent correctly.... CMOs today, VPs of marketing, anybody in marketing, you need to have an understanding of the minute details of how the business does operate if you're going to be effective and drive things correctly, because the model in these high-velocity models is very complicated and you have to be a master of all the details."

Forget year over year: you need to check certain metrics daily (09:38): "We actually do daily numbers.... I've got eight screens across the way behind my desk, and they actually have a bunch of daily metrics up right now in addition to real-time traffic metrics. We look at numbers daily and, when it comes to traffic, we actually look at traffic on an hourly basis and we compare it to the same amount of traffic a week before....

"We're feeding an inside sales team, so we can't wait a week to say 'oh yeah, something broke last week.' So the daily and the weeklies tend to give you validation that everything is working correctly. It's going to quickly spot if you've got traffic jumping up and down what's going on. If suddenly your form conversions change...something happened on the site. So the weekly is almost a way just to validate that everything is operating correctly. For anyone that's got Salesforce...or Marketo or HubSpot and they're using GoToMeetings and WebExes and they're sending out emails, there's a lot of moving parts in this system.

"The 'close-often ones' are to make sure things aren't broken, and then where you get the longer trends is when you do the month-over-month comparisons...and then when you get to the quarter to quarter, that's where you spot the longer trends of where your business is suffering or things are changing you don't catch.

"On a week over week basis, traffic doesn't generally doesn't change that much. Your form conversion rates generally don't change that much (or actually they will depending on what you get sent out). Your 404 errors on your site. What you see is, week over week, things generally don't change that much, and if they do, you need to understand why they changed and what you did. You're almost looking for the absence of change and when you do see a dramatic change you should understand exactly what happened there."

To learn more, visit You can also read Bryan's blog at and follow Bryan on Twitter @vk_bryan. And don't miss his MarketingProfs University course on Marketing Measurement & Analytics!

Bryan and I talked about much more, including scoring leads, trade show ROI, and more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

This episode brought to you by Citrix GoToWebinar:

GoToWebinar—a leader in online events—is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. GoToWebinar helps businesses worldwide reach over 40 million people each year.

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

This marketing podcast was created and published by MarketingProfs.

This episode features:

Bryan Semple, chief marketing officer at SmartBear. Check out Bryan's blog at, and follow him on Twitter: @vk_bryan.

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone is senior program manager, enterprise learning, at MarketingProfs. She's also a speaker, writer, attorney, and educator. She hosts and produces the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast. To contact Kerry about being a guest on Marketing Smarts, send her an email, or you can find her on Twitter (@KerryGorgone) and on her personal blog.

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