Here we are now with the third installment of our 7-part interview series, “Inside the Demand Generation Agency”. Today, I’m speaking with Zach Klinger, HiP’s Director of Business Development. Zach is another of HiP’s MBAs and an Ithaca College School of Business alumni. Before joining our agency, he cut his biz dev teeth at ChannelEyes – a Gartner Cool Vendor that offers an enterprise mobile platform for technology vendors to engage with current and new channel partners. Since arriving at HiP, Zach has driven a series of large deals, most notably one with Business.com. Additionally, Zach has brought in multiple emerging brands such as SocialChorus.
As you’ll see, Zach also has a powerful grasp of his mission, and some organizational insights that only a professional sales exec could share.
Based on what you know of other agencies in the B2B demand generation space, what do you describe as differentiating about how HiP gets the job done for clients?
Demand generation is a combination of science (data, automation software) and art (targeting, content). The main HiP differentiating factor is our blend of this duo.
Rather than utilizing a rigid, step-by-step approach to demand gen, HiP treats every campaign uniquely, providing it with the attention and strategic vision it deserves. First and foremost, we allow our clients to tell their own story. We operate as brand guardians, aiming to act as the unseen seeder in the harvest process. We get to market with exceptional speed while remaining flexible and agile during the campaign creative process.
Our creative services team and small army of copywriters produce derived content (abstracts, landing pages, thank you pages, etc.) to be approved by the client within 48 hours. The carefully crafted message is then broadcasted to a precisely defined target audience during optimal time frames. HiP keeps historical broadcast records that allows us to track engagement by days of the week, time of day, type of offering, target group, etc. – this is key. It’s also vital to note that clients have dozens of targeting options ranging from job title, industry, department, geography, company size, revenue, etc.
Another big differentiating factor of HiP’s services resides near the end of the process. Our team of call verification analysts verify each lead delivered. Without ever fatiguing the lead, a member of this team will likely speak to a gatekeeper to confirm the current employment and title of the lead. A brief 30 second call makes a noticeable difference in lead quality and return rate.
In sum, HiP is efficient. Despite implementing intricate practices throughout the campaign process, HiP never fails to act swiftly, and effectively, to deliver the highest quality leads from your defined audience.
With HiP as a content-centric demand gen agency, we strive to ‘drink our own champagne’ when we do demand generation for ourselves. Can you describe what that means to you?
In short – this means utilizing methods that are tried and true. Our own internal best practices, if you will. Start to finish would look something like this:
First – ensuring that we choose the most appropriate asset for the defined target audience of that particular campaign (content, language, tone, design, stats, etc.). Is this going to resonate with my audience? Am I accomplishing my primary goal? The primary goal being high-level brand awareness and familiarity with the product or service at hand – and perhaps shaking loose some low hanging fruit.
Second – optimizing subject lines, abstracts, and calls to action. We cover all of the minute details before broadcast.
Third – responsive form and email design for mobile users. It is crucial to account for this audience.
Fourth – optimizing the broadcast schedule by utilizing historical engagement data. We like to get granular – time of day, day of week, and accounting for time zones and target group fatigue, etc.
Fifth – the big question is always, what do you do when the campaign is over? We like to personally send one to one email leads, thank them for their interest in the topic, and finally, offer to answer any questions or provide guidance on future endeavors. We’ll also provide a supplementary piece of content to keep the lead engaged.
This methodology is tried and true, and has produced fruitful demand gen harvests for HiP and our clients countless times.
In most companies, sales and marketing alignment is an elusive goal. How would you say that’s different at HiP? Why does it work here?
Sales and Marketing alignment is crucial in any business for a plethora of reasons, including setting expectations, planning and executing campaigns, analyzing results, and determining what success looks like.
Advantages at HiP include close office proximity. Yes, it makes a difference. This is especially helpful because the next success factor to our alignment is the interweaving of work. My Marketing Director, Matt Leap, involves me in writing campaign language and I typically serve as his proofer of copy/content. Imagine that? In turn, I ask my Marketing Director to assist me with crafting follow-up messaging to leads. Essentially, we intertwine our efforts while leveraging our individual strengths. I’m more process, big picture, communication oriented while Matt is more detail and numbers oriented. We also take on joint projects to collaborate, most recently working with our Creative Services Director, Jory Hutchins, to redesign our entire website.
We both understand our success is vested in the other’s performance. Successful marketing campaigns equate to sales. And of course, more sales means more money in his budget! Finally, we travel to trade shows together and stay well versed in the other’s roadmap.
So what do you keep in your business development briefcase?
Being responsible for business development at HiP requires attention to detail. Typical buyer personas include syndicators, agencies, and direct clients. Depending on their needs, solutions will range from traditional email marketing lead generation, sales prospecting, or webinar/event audience recruitment. I’ve been fortunate enough to help implement each of these solutions to companies from syndicators to start-ups.
Oh, and in regards to my physical business development briefcase – I don’t have one. But that is a great idea!
Let us know what you think:
- Do you have any questions for Zach?
- Are Marketing and Sales aligned in your organization?
- What are your biggest challenges in working with leads?