Q&A with John A. Steinert, Chief Marketing Officer at TechTarget

MEDIA 7 | October 17, 2019

John A. Steinert, Chief Marketing Officer at TechTarget helps bring the power of purchase intent-driven marketing and sales services to technology companies.

With a strong drive to help customers achieve their business objectives faster and bigger, John and his TechTarget team connects the information needs of enterprise tech buyers and the go-to-market efforts of solution providers, ensuring that everybody wins.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
JOHN STEINERT: 
That’s easy. Marketing inspired me to get into marketing. I’ve always loved great communicators and the formats used in communications. As a kid during some pretty tumultuous times in American history, I was surrounded by great political, guerilla, and yes even commercial communications. Speeches, hearings, demonstrations, TV, advertisements, even album covers and t-shirts made a strong impression on me. Obviously, with the rise of the internet, long-tail video channels and social media, things have blossomed to an even more amazing level.

M7: How does TechTarget's Priority Engine™ support tech vendors to achieve their marketing and sales objectives?
JS:
 By helping companies see and interpret real buyer needs and preferences, Priority Engine first provides a relevant, permissioned basis for a marketer to intercept a buyer’s journey and then it assists users in taking very specific influencing and engagement actions. Because Priority Engine provides the actual permissioned people doing buying research, it saves tons of resource that’s commonly wasted chasing prospects who don’t have a need and leads that are actually dead ends. And because Priority Engine shares the real needs and preferences of the actual buyers with both marketing and sales when they share the platform, it enables far better conversion at every step, from funnel, to pipeline, through to renewal.


"To truly enable sellers with content, the content needs to reflect what we know about this specific buyer’s needs and preferences."

M7: What according to you is content-enabled selling and how does it help drive a buyer’s journey?
JS: There are two key pieces to content-enabled selling. The first is the content itself – what it is and how it assists the buyers in fulfilling the necessary or required steps of their buying process. The second is how we adjust our own approach in response to buyer inputs and feedback.
To truly enable sellers with content, the content needs to reflect what we know about this specific buyer’s needs and preferences. To perform better, your content needs to be more buyer-centric. This can be achieved when product marketers and sales enablement folks are consuming real purchase intent insights from Priority Engine and leveraging them into evolved content outputs.

Then there’s what I’ll call the “personalization wrapper” – how the communications that accompany the assets present and create context for that use-case relevant material. These wrapper – be they email copy, call guides, etc. must be built with an eye to the nature and the stage of the relationship at hand. Marketers and sellers alike need guidance on the proper way to do this.

It’s not as simple as “you liked this so of course you should want to buy this”. Buyers need help with both their rational business needs and their more emotional needs around both their company, their department and themselves. The “personalization wrapper” is a useful metaphor for being holistically considerate of the person and the company you are interacting with. Obviously, this is substantially more nuanced than simply recognizing what company they are from. It’s about ingesting what you can see are their expressed concerns and preferences, learning from that, and shaping your own communication in that context.

M7: What features make TechTarget's 'Data-Driven Display' drive B2B demand and accelerate sales?
JS:
 Because it’s fueled by permissioned knowledge of exactly who is performing research at any given moment, TechTarget’s data-driven display advertising can deliver higher engagement rates and higher conversion.  When used in conjunction with demand generation techniques and intelligent sales outreach, independent studies with leading 3rd parties have achieved remarkable lift across the funnel as compared to what’s available when using more generalized “intent” data.


"The biggest mistake of all that’s commonly still made in marketing is to not use prospect behavior as a critical guide."

M7: What is the biggest mistake B2B marketers make while targeting specific prospects?
JS:
There are many actions that teams continue to take because they’ve simply been tasked to take them.  There are old-school KPIs, typically focused on process outputs rather than business outcomes that perpetuate chronic under-performance. Take, for instance, a narrow focus on cost-per-lead – too often this incentivizes continued purchases of higher and higher volumes of lower and lower quality. To wean themselves off of this Catch 22, teams should work to turn their attention to down-funnel metrics like conversion-to-opportunity – measuring cost per opportunity is a much more useful predictor of pipeline yield.

But the biggest mistake of all that’s commonly still made in marketing is to not use prospect behavior as a critical guide. When marketing (and sales) energies are spread evenly over active and inactive prospects alike, energy is wasted on those who are not in-market, and that investment of time and resource is not available to increase attention on those active buying teams that should be converted. By focusing more intently on those prospects that are actually demonstrating in-market buyer’s journey behaviors, teams get far more out of their investments.

M7: How does 'Data Cleanse' assist marketers in email verification and contact record accuracy?
JS: 
Some percentage of the data coming into your database from form fills, other manual entry and so on naturally contains incompleteness, mistakes and outright falsehoods. Furthermore, people move around, both inside of companies and between them. So even once-accurate data decays amazingly fast. To counter these realities, your data practice should put into place a variety of processes that together comprise a mature “data cleanse and append” approach. In this way, you can address data quality issues at both the point of entry and over time. At TechTarget, we offer our clients cleanse and append services both directly via our Oceanos offerings and indirectly via our Priority Engine platform wherein the data goes through rigorous checks and verifications before it qualifies to be shared.


"Even once-accurate data decays amazingly fast. To counter this reality, your data practice should put into place a variety of processes that together comprise a mature “data cleanse and append” approach."

M7: When did you start working, how old were you, and what was it?
JS:
 My first stable paid position, $1.40/hr, was at age 14 pumping gas at Greene’s Exxon. I was super excited because I got to wear the striped shirt with the logo patch! I loved washing windshields and checking the oil, especially when my superior CX delivery got me a few cents in tips!


ABOUT TECHTARGET

TechTarget (Nasdaq: TTGT) is the global leader in purchase intent-driven marketing and sales services that deliver business impact for enterprise technology companies. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies’ information technology needs. By understanding these buyers’ content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase intent insights that fuel efficient and effective marketing and sales activities for clients around the world.
TechTarget has offices in Boston, London, Munich, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, visit techtarget.com and follow us on Twitter @TechTarget.

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SymphonyAI Retail CPG Partners With PredictHQ To Improve Supply Chain Demand Forecasting AI Accuracy

SymphonyAI | September 22, 2022

SymphonyAI Retail CPG, a leading provider of end-to-end, integrated AI-powered merchandising, marketing, and supply chain solutions for retailers and CPG manufacturers, has announced a partnership and integration with PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company. Customers of SymphonyAI Retail CPG Supply Chain Demand Forecasting AI will benefit from more timely, accurate forecasting results through PredictHQ’s demand intelligence data.SymphonyAI Retail CPG provides AI-driven forecasting results, which show a vast accuracy and performance improvement over traditional statistical models. However, AI-driven solutions are only as good as the contextual data provided to them, and PredictHQ enhances the quality and quantity of that contextual data. By accessing PredictHQ event data along with other existing data used by SymphonyAI Retail CPG Demand Forecasting AI, retailers gain access to even greater accuracy and reliability in their forecasts. The partnership will result in PredictHQ’s verified and enriched event data being integrated into SymphonyAI Retail CPG’s forecasting systems. This will enable SymphonyAI Retail CPG’s customers in 17 countries to better preempt and prepare for the demand impact of events such as public holidays, school holidays, and observances. “Faced with unrelenting supply chain chaos, retailers and CPGs who use data-driven, AI-based solutions gain deep competitive advantage and measurable business results, Our industry-leading AI modeling provides superior forecasting for retail demand planning, so customers can optimize product availability and decrease out-of-stocks, waste, and spoilage, and gain deeper insights into sales patterns and anomalies. The partnership with PredictHQ will broaden access to rich, critical data within and outside customer organizations.” -Raj Marimuthu, chief customer success officer and GM of supply chain management at SymphonyAI Retail CPG. “As the pace of change in shopper demand patterns, market conditions, and supply chain constraints accelerates, demand forecasting AI that uses state-of-the-art models reduces guesswork and gives users a more strategic view,” said PredictHQ CEO Campbell Brown. “We are delighted to team with an AI innovator like SymphonyAI Retail CPG to enhance contextual data with seamless access to global and localized events, seasonality, weather, and more.” About PredictHQ PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, empowers global organizations to anticipate changes in demand for their products and services. PredictHQ's demand intelligence API aggregates events from hundreds of sources and verifies, enriches, and ranks them by predicted impact so companies can proactively discover catalysts that will impact demand. With PredictHQ, businesses gain a leg up on the competition and remain confident in their ability to meet customers' ever-changing needs. About SymphonyAI SymphonyAI is building the leading enterprise AI company for digital transformation across the most important and resilient growth verticals, including retail, consumer packaged goods, finance, manufacturing, media, and IT service management. SymphonyAI verticals have many leading enterprises as clients. Since its founding in 2017, SymphonyAI has grown rapidly to 2,000 talented leaders, data scientists, and other professionals. SymphonyAI is an SAIGroup company, backed by a $1 billion commitment from Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. About SymphonyAI Retail CPG SymphonyAI Retail CPG, a SymphonyAI vertical, is a leading provider of end-to-end, integrated AI-powered merchandising, marketing, and supply chain solutions for retailers and CPG manufacturers worldwide. Harnessing the power of AI, SymphonyAI Retail CPG solutions enhance agility, performance, and revenue growth across the retail value chain from source to consumer. Trusted by more than 1,200 leading retailers and manufacturers, SymphonyAI Retail CPG serves 15 of the top 25 global grocery retailers, the top 25 global CPG manufacturers, thousands of retail brands, and hundreds of national and regional chains. SymphonyAI Retail CPG is transforming retail and building a culture of contributing to positive change: SymphonyAI Retail CPG achieved 2022 Great Place to Work certification in all nine countries for which it was eligible.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Trellix Launches Advanced Research Center, Finds Estimated 350K Open-Source Projects at Risk to Supply Chain Vulnerability

Trellix | September 22, 2022

Trellix, the cybersecurity company delivering the future of extended detection and response (XDR), announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence. Comprised of hundreds of the world’s most elite security analysts and researchers, the Advanced Research Center produces actionable real-time intelligence and threat indicators to help customers detect, respond and remediate the latest cybersecurity threats. “The threat landscape is scaling in sophistication and potential for impact We do this work to make our digital and physical worlds safer for everyone. With adversaries strategically investing in talent and technical know-how, the industry has a duty to study the most combative actors and their methods to innovate at a faster rate.” -Aparna Rayasam, Chief Product Officer, Trellix Trellix Advanced Research Center has the cybersecurity industry’s most comprehensive charter and is at the forefront of emerging methods, trends and actors across the threat landscape. The premier partner of security operations teams across the globe, Trellix Advanced Research Center provides intelligence and cutting-edge content to security analysts while powering our leading XDR platform. Python Tarfile Vulnerability Highlights Software Supply Chain Complexities In coordination with today’s launch, Trellix Advanced Research Center also published its research into CVE-2007-4559, a vulnerability estimated to be present in over 350,000 open-source projects and prevalent in closed-source projects. It exists in the Python tarfile module which is a default module in any project using Python and is found extensively in frameworks created by Netflix, AWS, Intel, Facebook, Google, and applications used for machine learning, automation and docker containerization. The vulnerability can be exploited by uploading a malicious file generated with two or three lines of simple code and allows attackers arbitrary code execution, or control of a target device. “When we talk about supply chain threats, we typically refer to cyber-attacks like the SolarWinds incident, however building on top of weak code-foundations can have an equally severe impact This vulnerability’s pervasiveness is furthered by industry tutorials and online materials propagating its incorrect usage. It’s critical for developers to be educated on all layers of the technology stack to properly prevent the reintroduction of past attack surfaces.” -Christiaan Beek, Head of Adversarial & Vulnerability Research, Trellix. Open-source developer tools, like Python, are necessary to advance computing and innovation, and protection from known vulnerabilities requires industry collaboration. Trellix is working to push code via GitHub pull request to protect open-source projects from the vulnerability. A free tool for developers to check if their applications are vulnerable is available on Trellix Advanced Research Center’s GitHub. About Trellix Trellix is a global company redefining the future of cybersecurity and soulful work. The company’s open and native extended detection and response (XDR) platform helps organizations confronted by today’s most advanced threats gain confidence in the protection and resilience of their operations. Trellix, along with an extensive partner ecosystem, accelerates technology innovation through machine learning and automation to empower over 40,000 business and government customers with living security. More at https://trellix.com. About Trellix Advanced Research Center Trellix Advanced Research Center brings together an elite team of security professionals and researchers to produce insightful and actionable real-time intelligence to propel customer outcomes and the industry at large. Driven by the industry’s most comprehensive charter, our skilled researchers detect trends ahead of the market to empower our customers and partners to solve for emerging threats. More at https://www.trellix.com/en-us/threat-center.html.

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