How this B2B marketer is looking to harness data to connect the marketing-sales dots

Stephanie Dechamps' experience wrangling layers of data will apply as she goes for growth at Boomi

Ever-sophisticated use of intent data and predictive intelligence, along with a stronger emphasis on marketing’s contribution to revenue, are firmly in the sights of Boomi’s marketing chief as she looks to fuel growth at the tech vendor.

Stephanie Dechamps joined the integration-as-a-service platform, Boomi, as marketing director, APJ, in May. She started her career in business journalism before moving into media buying and marketing. This lead to corporate social media then B2B media agency, DWA Merkle, followed by senior marketing positions with Oracle.

Throughout her career, harnessing data insights and importantly, using them to drive better marketing decisions, has been instrumental in building pipeline. Even in her early days powering social media campaigns, Dechamps says she was fascinated by the power of data. Responses to her social media marketing at Jones Lang LaSalle gave her feedback she had not received as a reporter for the Wharton Business School magazine. 

“The beauty of social media was to be able to track the response, track the shares and the likes. I really got hooked on this," Dechamps tells CMO. "From social media, I moved into social media marketing for corporate channels, then into digital media, where you can track further responses. We had many more metrics and I really loved being able to see what the response was. 

“I got really, really addicted to data, and loved to see not just the impressions but the click-through rate.” 

Dechamps joined SAP as APJ social media specialist before being recruited to DWA Merkle as an account director for digital marketing. It was there she had the chance to dig deeper into the numbers and understand the power of data-driven marketing metrics for strategic decision making. 

Stephanie Dechamps, Boomi marketing director APJCredit: Boomi
Stephanie Dechamps, Boomi marketing director APJ

“What I learned from my time at the media agency, working with big clients including Cisco and several other B2B tech clients, was to ask: ‘What does that data point mean for the business?’," Dechamps recalls. "This is where you step up from looking at and optimising the data to understanding how data translates into business results. For my stakeholders and clients at the time, it meant going beyond a click and registration on a page and looking at how it turns into a lead, then an opportunity and revenue.” 

The power of harnessing data at scale was realised during Dechamps’ time at Oracle, which she joined as marketing director for CX JPAC in 2017. During her tenure, predictive intelligence and account-based marketing were heavily employed to improve the company’s run rate. An ever-growing range of data sources were incorporated, including website engagement and first-party, third-party and intent data on external vendor platforms. 

“You have a combination of behaviour on your own property as well as on external property, plus firmographics, or demographics of the company - company size, industry and so on," Dechamps says. "The magic comes from combining the corporate, intent and behavioural data.” 

Read more:  B2B marketers driving customer centricity 

While building a full picture through data is hard, it’s what enables brands to personalise at scale, Dechamps continues. “You can be much more specific about how you're targeting your audience, what you're going to say to your audience and how you're going to engage with them.” 

Dechamps sees this as a particularly important capability in Australia, where people have high expectations of brands with which they’re interacting. Personalising experiences in a contextually relevant way has arguably become table stakes. 

“Imagine you're going to target an account and then you want to talk the IT audience, the finance audience, the HR audience and maybe the decision makers versus the level underneath," she comments. "You need to start building that framework for different personas. In the ideal world, you want to speak differently to those people. So you want to give them certain types of assets to consume.

"To the c-suite, you want to talk about their business painpoints and how to solve those, and you want to bring them into a workshop to try to identify, strategically, what to do and how to do it. When you talk to the end user, you talk about how practically it's going to positively affect their work if they change this and that. It's a different persona and audience each time.

“I've been able to thrive and to grow because I had data. And I've been able to optimise my campaigns and to be more specific, personalised and better targeted because the data was connected.” 

Reining in personalisation

This doesn’t mean hyper-personalisation is always the answer, however. Dechamps learnt the hard way building personalised user journeys has to be done “within the limit of what’s reasonable”. 

“You want to have top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel and a certain level of re-engagement. You need to build assets at the three different stages, you need to work on that re-engagement, and ask yourself where do you drive this particular lead to?” she says. “But once you go into how detailed these journeys can go, and how many personas there are, it is about the limit of what is doable.” 

Dechamps cites her time working on Oracle’s ERP solutions as a case in point. 

“Building global campaigns was probably taking four or five months and involving a lot of people building content, the journeys, building what we want to do, what we want to say, reviewing the content, assets, doing all the translation and then setting up that campaign," she says. “I realised we didn’t need to be that detailed or that we don't need to go to that level of hyper-personalisation.” 

Instead, Dechamps refocused efforts on specific points in the journey where personalisation could deliver the highest commercial impact. 

“That hyper-personalisation wasn’t bringing the same level of return as the investment in terms of creating the content, defining the user journey, building the landing pages, doing the media buying. So we thought, can we do personalisation by industry? And if we do, how do we get that information? 

“We realised we didn't have enough information to be able to target by industry, but to personalise by industry when people arrive on the website.

“So personalisation at scale looks fantastic on paper, but you have to look at what it’s worth in terms of workload and resources and balance that against the return you will get.” 

Data as key to marketing-sales relationship 

While extensive use of data at Oracle was key to improving marketing’s campaign results, it was also an important tool for building connection with the sales team. 

“This is really where marketing can add value to the business, not just by only driving pipe, but becoming an advisor, based on the information we have, and bringing intelligence to the sales team,” Dechamps says.

“It’s about becoming a partner to the sales team. With the data and the facts, I can show where we are at and dig deeper into any question they will have. There are differences in how you go to markets in different regions as well. You have to treat prospects differently. With the data, I can either see where a prospect is, or I can look at the data at a level of granularity to see, for example, if I should do a more digital approach versus more of an event approach. Or should I adopt more of a partner approach from one region to another region?” 

Dechamps is now working to put a strategic marketing framework in place at Ipaas vendor, Boomi, to drive growth. When she joined the firm, Boomi’s parent company, Dell Technologies, had just announced a definitive agreement to sell Boomi to two prominent private equity firms, Francisco Partners and TPG Capital. 

“It's once-in-a-working-lifetime opportunity to be at Boomi because the company is at the stage where it's growing from a small to a medium-sized company,” she says. 

Dechamps will be guiding the company’s regional marketing strategy as it prepares to transition into becoming a standalone entity. Her emphasis is a net-new approach. 

“Marketing activity will be geared towards gaining new market share. That makes it even more relevant for me to have as many insights and data points as I can to understand firstly, how campaigns are performing and secondly, to have insight into our prospects,” she says. “Again, it’s about going back to intent data, predictive intelligence and all of those tools to help with more specific targeting, using my dollars where it's more likely to convert.” 

Another significant emphasis is on connecting the dots through to conversion and commercial outcomes to prove how much revenue marketing is able to deliver. 

“In the earlier days of B2B marketing, we're looking at marketing-qualified leads [MQLs]. Now we’ve moved to pipeline, pipeline numbers, pipeline dollars, and how much of those [MQLs] turn into sales-accepted leads," Dechamps says.

“But if it stays in that stage of accepted leads and it's not progressing at the end of the day, I have may have created a lot of pipe but it's not converting. I now want to see what is converting. I'm not just looking at the MQLs and the opportunities and the pipe, I'm also looking at the revenue.” 

This revenue perspective ensures a CMO is speaking the language of the company’s main stakeholders and CEO. 

“The way for CMO presenting back to the board is not just about presenting the numbers," Dechamps adds. "Of course, we create pipeline, but it's also presenting contribution to revenue, pipe and revenue internally.

“That’s about bringing in all those data points to see how efficient we are from a dollar perspective, or  improving conversion rates from the marketing funnel but also going beyond the marketing funnel.”  

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