Data Awesomeness, David Ogilvy and Why Marketing Is the New Finance

Part of a new blog series featuring "Real Moments with Marketers"

March 19, 2015

This week, I had the opportunity to interview not one but two “awesome” marketers at a SaaS time and workforce management company in Redwood City, CA called Replicon. Together, they complement each other to form a fierce and formidable demand-gen marketing machine. Read on to discover what Brett Chester, VP of Online Marketing, and Victor Lin, Digital Marketing Manager of Replicon think about the future of B2B marketing, how they're using LinkedIn to dominate the space -- and generally why they think working in demand-gen marketing is the coolest gig in the land.

Q&A with Replicon's Best: Brett Chester & Victor Lin

LinkedIn (Cori): Well guys, nice to meet you. Let’s get started.

Brett: First and foremost, we are super happy working with the LinkedIn team and we are pleased and impressed with our results to date.

LinkedIn (Cori): Whoa, right off the bat? I didn’t even ask you a question yet; interview finished!

Brett: (laughs) To be honest, we haven’t been your biggest fans in the past. But now, we are happy and we want to give your team a huge pat on the back.

LinkedIn (Cori): That’s great to hear. Our technology has evolved and so has our team as a whole. Just curious, what marketing tools have you used in the past?

Brett: Traditionally, we have had an internal list-building team (including LinkedIn Sales Navigator) — where we internally build lists and email prospects via our marketing automation system. We normally hit a 12% open rate off a cold list, which is exceptionally good. With LinkedIn Sponsored InMail, we hit a 48% open rate. We haven’t seen open rates like this in a long time.

Victor: I’ve worked with Sponsored InMail in the past and I never saw open rates that high. We found success due to a combination of efforts both internally and through the help and guidance of our LinkedIn team.

LinkedIn (Cori): Why did you choose LinkedIn?

Victor: We introduced LinkedIn to the marketing mix to test out how the channel could work in conjunction with our existing mix and in comparison of our internal email sends. And, we had heard that your programs had changed to become more metrics focused. So, it just made sense to try you guys.

LinkedIn (Cori): What were your findings?

Victor: We found that the best marketing mix in the LinkedIn ecosystem was Sponsored Updates in conjunction with Sponsored InMail. Our click-through rates were on average 30% better than when we used one of your direct competitors. Compared to our internal efforts, our Sponsored InMail response rates were 11x better.

Victor: By combining Sponsored Updates and Sponsored InMail, Replicon’s cost per lead was 73% lower than with the other product we had tried.

Brett: And in case you weren’t paying attention - that is a lot!

LinkedIn (Cori): Let’s keep it real. How do we compare with our competitors?

Brett: To be completely transparent, LinkedIn not only outperformed from a spend perspective, but you hugely outperformed on the customer service front. Ben Faw and Ayelet Konrad have gone above and beyond on multiple occasions. We can’t thank them enough.

LinkedIn (Cori): That is great to hear and not surprising at all. Now let’s switch gears; let’s get personal. What one word would describe you as a marketer?

Brett: That word is AWESOME...Seriously now, I’ve always considered myself to be a marketer and I feel like it’s literally in my blood — I live and breathe it. So, I think because of this so many things come to me intuitively. So I suppose maybe intuitive works best.

LinkedIn (Cori): What about you Victor? What one word would describe you as a marketer?

Victor: Nowhere near awesome. I would say data-driven.

LinkedIn (Cori): That’s two words.

Victor: If it’s hyphenated, it technically becomes one word. Look, marketing is the new finance— you should always be measuring and recalibrating to be successful. If you don’t know where your money’s going, you might as well just be throwing it out the window.

LinkedIn (Cori): What excites you about your job?

Brett: Being successful. And I mean that in a tongue-in-cheek way. I enjoy trying new things. Working as a marketer, I get to try different marketing mixes, push boundaries, and experiment to find success. How cool is that? Not many other places you can have so much fun!

Victor: For me, I like the challenge of demand-gen. I like to quantify success and show what we are doing really well. I like to ask myself, “How can we do better? How can we beat our personal best even more?”

Brett: Keeping a demand-gen team of 30 people challenged in a meaningful way is super cool. We push the boundaries on a daily basis and Victor spearheads this effort for us.

LinkedIn (Cori): Where were you and how old were you when your marketing light bulb switched on?

Brett: I started my first marketing company called Ad Infinitum, meaning “to infinity” at 17. I love marketing and knew that it was my passion at an early age. Side note - in spite of this, my parents forced me off to law school.

LinkedIn (Cori): We’re glad you found your way back! So where do you see B2B marketing headed?

Victor: It’s no longer strictly just “B2B”.  As trite it sounds, it’s all about human-to-human interaction. The more B2B marketers can connect with our potential customers as individuals, the better off we’ll be. I believe we can learn a lot from B2C companies and the B2B and B2C worlds are colliding.

Brett: Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly B2B marketers are quickly heading towards adopting the basics of B2C marketers and that is, understanding the need to foster meaningful relationships.

LinkedIn (Cori): Last question -- Who is your marketing hero?

Brett: David Ogilvy – I am constantly quoting him - although badly. He was and is a pioneer of one-to-one communication.

Victor: Ogilvy is actually a rival of who I think beats him – my marketing hero is Howard Gossage, aka the Socrates of San Francisco. He created interactive marketing as we know it. He arguably is the father of digital marketing.

LinkedIn (Cori): Ready, fight! Just kidding. Thank you both for your time today.

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