How Do You Avoid Funnel Blindness? With John Steinert, CMO of TechTarget
A lot of activity happens outside of your funnel. Customers talk to colleagues, do research on 3rd party sites, read articles written about you, or interact with any other media that you do not own. This makes it hard to track them in your funnel, thus we are all subject to “funnel blindness.”
It’s a term that I’ve been hearing more recently, and I wanted to dive deeper on the subject. That’s why I John Steinert, CMO of TechTarget, “How do we overcome funnel blindness?” He offers advice on how to get insights into your target accounts during these tricky situations so that you don’t lose your customer along the journey.
So I’ve been hearing a lot about funnel blindness, right. A lot happens outside of our funnel, so how do we avoid this funnel blindness? Hey everyone, Brandon Redlinger here, Director of Growth at Engagio, and I am stoked to be talking today with John Steinert, CMO at TechTarget. Welcome, John.
Hey, good to be here, Brandon
Alright, so I know you have some great thoughts around this. What can people, oh first of all, what is funnel blindness, and what can people do to avoid funnel blindness?
Well, so I gotta tell you, there are two types of funnel blindness, and my team, and with our clients, I think it really frustrates me that so many people suffer from it, and they haven’t figured out how to solve the problem. You know, we’re all kinda closed in sometimes and focused, laser-focused on what our assignments are, so we’re working super hard, and this is the first type of funnel blindness, working super hard on the KPIs that are staring us right in the face, and the marketing tactics that we have to execute this month, and next month, and the kickoffs that we have to do, and when those things seem to go well, we pat ourselves on the back.
Meanwhile, outside our walls, the market is doing things, and so when we think about what is the real definition of success, we really want to, we claim success only with reference to everybody else who we’re competing within the marketplace, so we have to be aware of what’s going on in the market, so the first type of funnel blindness is being blind to what’s externally valid in terms of measures of success. Now, where this gets to be a huge problem, is that, with respect to demand generation, a lot of people rely too much on what’s coming to them, and they’re not seeing the demand external to their company.
We’re all proud of our company, and companies that are younger than ours have grown incredibly, companies like yours, and it’s easy for you to think that you are known to everybody, but there are folks out there today who are thinking about buying automation for ABE stuff, and they’re really not thinking of Engagio. But you wanna know who those folks are. So you gotta look outside the funnel. So that’s the exterior funnel blindness.
Now there’s the interior, too, where you’re so intent on how you do things in your company, and what you’re told to do, that you start drinking your own Kool-Aid. That you believe your solution is the greatest. That you believe the way you express yourself in your content is the way customers and prospects are thinking about their problem. And so you build a lot of content that doesn’t resonate.
So that blindness can only be, and looking for signals, demand signals, from companies that are looking for solutions that you know, or looking for solutions to problems that you know you have a solution for, but they’re thinking about it in different ways. You can see this in SEO, you can see it in the kinds of purchase intent data that we supply, so you want to figure out what customers are looking for, prospects are looking for, and you want to shape your content to serve their needs.
The second part of that internal funnel blindness is if you are a lead-based organization, you are blind to account-level effects. So you’re not taking into account what’s going on at the customer’s entire company, at their account. You’re not taking it into account. And this is a huge problem if you’re over-reliant on leads because of two main things.
The first is, all leads look like good leads. This leads to something called false positive, and leads that look like people really love your content so they must be interested in buying something. And yet the account itself is not showing signals that suggest there are buyer’s journeys. So great lead, bad account, but you treat it the same as a lead from an account that might be good. So false positives are a huge problem. They are a symptom of funnel blindness. And then there’s false negatives. That’s where you’re not getting any leads from the account, but in fact, the account is lighting up and they’re in a buyer’s journey.
So, for those you have to look for other sources, or for both types, other sources of account insight that can tell you whether or not the account is in a buyer’s journey and this is where purchase intent works, and it’s, directly to ABE automation, because you’re going to execute plays based on account-level activity and against the prospects that you can see that are active on the topic, whether or not they’re leads with you.
Got it, love it. Thank you so much, John. Anything else?
Just I’m saying in 2019 think accounts.
I love it. Couldn’t agree more.