Startup Spotlight Growth Series: Metadata

September 16, 2020

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LinkedIn Marketing plays an important role for B2B startups looking to scale. But what are the learnings and strategies fueling their growth? We’re excited to help answer this question with our new Growth Series: an inside look at startup marketers’ approach to successful growth. As your team builds your own marketing strategy, perhaps the perspectives shared here will help you optimize, learn, and grow faster.

For our first installment on this series, we’ve interviewed Metadata’s VP of Marketing, Jason Widup.

LinkedIn: In a sentence, tell us about Metadata. What is a fun fact about Metadata that we wouldn’t find on your LinkedIn Page or website?

Jason Widup:  Metadata is a new Autonomous Demand Generation Platform that launches and manages hundreds of campaign experiments and optimizes them to revenue-based metrics. A fun fact you wouldn't know about us is that we are a highly distributed and diverse team — we even won an award last year for best workplace diversity in the Bay Area.

LinkedIn: What does growth mean to your team? How does your team measure growth?

Jason: To us, growth means finding the right companies for our product and achieving a net-zero churn rate with double or triple digit annual revenue increase %'s. Growing while making up for a negative churn rate, to us, isn't the right growth strategy.

LinkedIn: What’s something you wish you knew when first getting started with your paid growth strategy?

Jason: I wish that I had the confidence to define a "lead" correctly. A lead is not an email address. Looking at a lot of new email addresses as a success, and having your sales team chase them is a recipe for misalignment. To be a lead, there has to be some type of intent.

LinkedIn: How did your team identify and optimize your ICP's buyer’s journey? 

Jason: Lucky for us, we use our own platform to specifically do this. Our platform allows us to run hundreds of campaign experiments - testing different combinations of audience, ad, headline, creative, offer, etc. - and then it automatically optimizes to the campaign experiences that ultimately drive the most downstream revenue.

LinkedIn: What adjustments have you made to your growth strategy over time that have had a significant impact on results?

Jason: As we've matured over the last year, we've shifted from a focus on top of funnel paid campaigns with gated content and email nurtures, to more of an organic "pull" focus where we're more present with smart and helpful content made freely available, and allowing our prospects to pull themselves through with a resulting hand raise. We're in the middle of that shift now but all early signs point to this being a good shift.

LinkedIn: How do you balance your sales cycle and measuring ROI from paid marketing initiatives?

Jason: Lucky for us, our sales cycle on marketing-sourced leads is only around four to six weeks. It becomes much easier to measure impact of campaign activity when the cycle is that short and you're not dealing with a huge buying committee. This will get progressively more complicated and difficult as we move up-market — but works for now.

LinkedIn: How do you achieve and measure successful alignment between sales and marketing?

Jason: This one is easy —  I don't hide behind vanity metrics like leads, MQL's, etc. — I measure myself on late-stage opportunities sourced from marketing. When you take that kind of accountability, the sales/marketing relationship becomes that much simpler.

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