B2B Innovators Series: Mason Power

August 1, 2014

MasonMason Power is CMO Of iLEVEL, a cloud software company which aggregates financial information on startup companies for venture capitalists, private equity firms, fund managers, and other investors. Power describes iLEVEL as an “Edgar database” of private firms. Prior to joining iLEVEL, Power held sales and marketing roles at AgencyPort, Internet.com, and Bloomberg.

Bizo: How would you describe your marketing philosophy and what role does data play in it?

Mason Power: We use technology to harness data to better pinpoint who we should call next. The old way of doing it was you had a list of companies that you should be doing business with. Then you sort them by largest firms, presuming they're going to be the ones paying you the most, and you pound the pavement until those guys relent and they sign your contract. The problem is not all of them are ready, willing, or able to buy and deploy your software at that given time. So, you end up having couple of dry quarters in a row and then all of a sudden a couple whales hit. You have a great quarter. You feel terrific, but it's not predictable. Your acquisition costs go through the roof, because you're pounding people at times where your supply and their demand do not meet. Instead, by using digital data to sift through thousands of companies and the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people who work at those companies, you can skim off those people who have told you they're ready to buy your product – i.e., they form fill or are demonstrating the right behavior based on the pattern that you've seen before on your website. You can call the people who are most ready and best fit your market segmentation. You're filling in your quarterly pipeline with people who will have a lower cost of customer acquisition and who are ready, eager, and willing to buy your product. So what kind of data do we harness? Well, primarily, we're looking at people's engagement with us. Plus, who they are so you take that behavior score and their demographic score. What I mean is that a more important decision maker at a firm doing something moderate is more important to you than the high engagement of a low ranking individual at that firm. And you track that and obviously, you set up your lead scoring based on what patterns you've seen to date.

Bizo: Your product is a software-as-a-service offering. What insight about your customers can you derive from being able to analyze how customers are using the product?

Power: We can see the usage of our system and know that certain segments are a better fit for our product than others. For instance, among our client base, we have buyout, real estate and credit fund managers who own mature businesses and need to track a broad array of financial and operating metrics. On the other hand, we have some venture capital firms -- including some who invest in early stage businesses where there are only a few metrics (e.g. cash, burn rate and ramp time) . So if I look at our clients who invest in those companies, the amount of data and usage of our system is much lower than if they own a going concern. We can apply the data on usage of our product to understand and discern how businesses and segments are using the data. The next thing that I'm working on is I'm developing personas. I have the data from usage of our product to decide which ones of those personas are most likely to end up being happy users. This helps us better target prospects who are both ready to buy and likely to be satisfied.

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.