“Know your customer, know your market and know your competitors “
1. Tell us about your role in True Influence?
I am the Chief Executive Officer of True Influence®, which I co-founded with Chief Technology Officer RK Maniyani in 2008. I am a recognized thought leader in marketing and sales process, analytic CRM and database marketing, with more than 30 years of operational experience.
I drive True Influence’s vision of combining innovative technology with marketing expertise to help businesses connect with the right B2B purchase decision-makers. I am passionate about how the smart use of data can improve marketing ROI and fuel higher revenues.
Before co-founding True Influence, I served as CEO of I.T. Selling Worldwide, a marketing process consultancy with clients including industry leaders Eloqua and Vovici. Previously, I worked as a Senior Vice President, Technology Markets for global marketing firm Harte Hanks and Senior VP for Avectra, a start-up that now is part of the Abili decision-support platform for non-profits.
I am is a life-long learner, mentor and coach. I hold a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Villanova University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Maryland.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
When we first started True Influence, we targeted the emerging B2B sales and marketing automation software category. By 2010, there were more than 200 B2B marketing automation installs worldwide, so we surveyed the landscape for a new opportunity to use our marketing technology. We found that it was capable of dramatically expanding the reach, scope, and relevance of behavioral data used to identify and engage with in-market B2B prospects. As a result, we created the True Influence Relevance Engine™ and began to focus on demand generation. We have continued our journey in the demand generation market since that time. This has paid off for us as we have received two awards for our InsightBase® solution – 2019 MarTech Breakthrough Award for Best Influencer Marketing Management Platform and the 2019 B2B Innovator Award for the C-Suite Strategy Award.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading your marketing sector?
Technology is upgrading our market sector through the use of advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). We developed our True Influence Relevance Engine™, where advanced analytics using natural language processing, machine learning, and AI to analyze web search behaviors and page content identifying intent data. The intent data is then compared to behavioral levels forming a baseline. The baseline is compared to current activity for every individual. The advanced analytics use variables for 6,500+ topics (hardware, software and service solutions) that are essential to B2B markets and to identify billions of intent signals.
4. How has a data-driven approach contributed in the growth of your marketing sector?
Intent data is where we see the most growth. Intent data provides the B2B marketer and sales, with the identification of meaningful intent signals that represent real opportunities to engage and connect with a target audience. True Influence’s intent data is more expansive than what’s available from data co-ops or single-source providers, providing a comprehensive base for the advanced intent analysis. Intent behavior is monitored by both executive and managerial customer personas to give a complete picture of organizational buying dynamics. Further we are able to identify the exact individual who is showing the behavior along with the buying group. As you know in the enterprise, purchases are made using buying groups.
5. How does content help in driving high impact results to a marketing campaign?
Companies invest in high-quality content that explains the benefits of their product or service and builds their company’s reputation as a leader in the B2B marketing space. But competition is fierce, and even the best in-house email lists and web channels represent only a fraction of the total B2B buyer audience for a message.
So how do they get their content in front of those B2B buyers who are actively in-market and researching their next purchase? True Influence’s PersonaBase® program couples the extensive reach of our content syndication offering with the power of intent to find exactly the right B2B personas and audience for content, at exactly the right time. Our InsightBase® intent monitoring solution identifies accounts that are actively researching a product or service. We deliver co-branded email campaigns that promote whitepapers, webinars or other valuable content to contacts who are eager to learn more. The result is a steady flow of top-quality demand generation to drive every aspect of a B2B marketing and sales strategy.
6. Can you explain how online behavior of users helps in delivering more precise insights?
We use online behavioral data for all of our solutions to help create a 360-degree view of the customer journey. Adding this element of intent data’s powerful market intelligence and customer insights helps to determine when a target customer is in the market and ready to buy. Our InsightBase® is delivered based on audience criteria and selected topics to include only data that is essential to a specific solution or service.
7. How do you describe your PersonaBase Solution?
PersonaBase® delivers top-quality demand generation when you need it. Marketers always need more qualified contact records, but organic audience activity on a website and social channels will come and go. Companies can’t afford to exhaust their own opt-in email list with redundant offers. The reach and diversity of our content syndication database ensures the steady supply of new, highly qualified and fully validated contacts needed to fuel Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and other B2B sales strategies.
Our PersonaBase team is devoted to helping exceed an organization’s ROI and campaign performance goals. We respond immediately to optimize campaign parameters and address any concerns. Our years of experience as a leader in intent-driven demand generation gives us the insight to help design a content syndication program that beats expectations.
PersonaBase email campaigns promote content as being value-added learning for B2B decision-makers, building an organization’s reputation as a thought leader and long-term partner in their customers’ success.
8. What advice would you like to give to the technology start-ups?
Know your customer, know your market and know your competitors.
And always manage your finances through discipline and structure, so that your company has money, even in difficult times.
9. How do you prepare for an AI-centric world?
We use AI in our Relevance Engine™ and continue to look at ways to increase its use in our business – marketing, sales, operations.
10. What are the major developments you are planning?
We were first to market with contact intent and identifying buying groups. We will continue developing and innovating in intent, as well as expanding our True Influence Marketing Cloud™.
11. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
Technology is the life blood of True Influence. We use technology and create technology. I am a life-long learner, mentor and coach. As such, every day we use our own technology as well as key technologies in the industry. I lead by example to inspire my leadership team and the rest of the organization to use our technology every day, learn about new technologies and bring that learning into our company. My team supports me by being proactive in not only understanding our technology but understanding the relevance of other technologies in the industry and how it affects what we do.
12. What movie inspires you the most?
Band of Brothers. I am a life-long learner, mentor, and coach. I’m also a big World War II buff and feel that history gives us a greater perspective to make better decisions.
13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture. Can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
True Influence is a multicultural company. We embrace our India team as well as other global cultures. Take a look at the pictures – our 10-year anniversary, family day and various celebrations throughout the year. Now with COVID-19 we continue our journey together with our intranet as well as zoom meetings that include: parent and children weekly meetings where the kids share the favorite place they have visited, play their instruments, read stories, children and parent yoga class, and the like.
Please see a sample of the pictures we have taken.
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
I use the usual apps that are included on a phone such as the Calendar, Camera, Facebook, Twitter, Maps, Uber, and Zoom. Recently, I’ve been more active using LinkedIn.