MarTech Interview with Jennifer Ross, CMO at Intentsify

Explore Intentsify’s intelligence activation platform that delivers precision intent using NLP in an exclusive interview covered by MarTech Cube!
MarTech Interview

Jennifer, could you tell us about your background and how it led you to become the CMO at Intentsify?

As CMO of Intentsify, I empower marketing, sales, and customer success leaders with accurate and predictive customer and market insights. These help accelerate alignment and revenue growth with powerful integrated technology, data, and programs that activate dynamic, future-proof go-to-market strategies.

Most recently I led the B2B Marketing Executive service at Forrester and SiriusDecisions, a global research and advisory firm that empowers the world’s leading marketing, product, and sales leaders to align with one another, execute with precision, and accelerate growth. My team and I acted as trusted personal advisors to leading global CMOs, providing actionable intelligence, transformative frameworks, and expert industry guidance. In turn, we equipped executives to modernize and elevate sales, marketing, and product performance, and deliver exceptional audience-centric go-to-market strategies.

Prior to joining SiriusDecisions, I’ve held marketing leadership roles at both established and startup B2B companies, including JD Edwards, CosmoCom, IBM, Alteryx, and Telelogic, building and scaling high-performing world-class marketing teams that drive outstanding growth.

What sets Intentsify apart from its competitors in the market, and how does the company differentiate itself from prospective clients?

Intentsify’s Intelligence Activation Platform combines the latest AI technologies with next-generation intent-derivation methods to deliver Precision Intent: the first and only intent data solution using natural language processing (NLP) to calibrate intent models precisely to your unique business offerings, messaging, and use cases. We are the only intent provider in the market doing this today.

Using advanced NLP, Intentsify’s platform analyzes customers’ (or competitors’) websites, marketing materials, and value props to automatically select and weight each monitored topic, keyword, and product by relevance to each specific use case.

With the resulting buyer intelligence, users across every GTM team know which accounts are in-market, their buyer-research stage, and the issues they care about, allowing them to prioritize accounts and select the right channels, messaging, and content to use for each. Combining signals from multiple types of sources—and further incorporating customers’ own first-party data as well as other third-party intent signals—Intentsify’s precision intent prevents the skewed buyer insights that result from limited signal coverage.

Intentsify’s NLP analyzes your online messaging to automatically select and weight the right topics and keywords, significantly reducing the time, effort, and need for specialized skills to activate the full power of intent.

Precision intent is the first and only intent data solution that provides signal visibility at the URL level, giving confidence in the validity of the data. It doesn’t just identify there’s intent, it reveals the source. Other intent data offerings on the market today lack visibility into the exact URLs being consumed and only leverage a limited number of intent sources, covering only a small fraction of all the research that companies perform during their path to purchase. Ultimately, the absence of these capabilities can skew intent-driven insights.

Intentsify enables customers to use buyer intent intelligence to inform digital programs that are more effective and efficient. A common use case for our clients is to integrate their intent-fueled content syndication and display programs into a holistic, synchronized program that is continuously optimized by performance data and changes in buyers’ research activities.

What are some of the key trends in marketing technology that you’re keeping an eye on?

Forrester Research has been predicting the concept of convergence for demand and ABM for a few years now based on how interactions have expanded across the buyer’s journey, and the leveraging of technology, data, and tactics to meet buyers where they are. Companies are having ABM discussions for thousands of accounts, which requires new ways to scale.

Intent data and intent data providers are a crucial component of driving the scale required and there are different categories of providers and different technologies to enable the capabilities required to drive scale and efficiency. Organizations don’t want to add new technologies in an economic downturn. They want better leverage out of the technology they have and there’s an appetite for a solution that consolidates the technology-enabled capabilities across marketing, sales, and customer success. It is going to be interesting to see how this impacts the B2B technology landscape.

Additionally, every marketer has their eye on how to leverage AI to drive revenue, and I’m especially eager to witness how the technology will continue to transform our industry in the coming months and years. One-third of organizations currently utilize AI, and 80% of executives say automation can be applied to any business decision. I see this every day in my work at Intentsify, where we empower our customers to identify buyer intent and trigger an appropriate response leveraging our AI-powered technology. This new wave of innovative marketing and sales technologies empowers revenue-generating teams to connect with buyers in a more automated, personalized, and timely manner.

How do you measure the success of your team and the company as a whole?

There is no shortage of metrics B2B marketing leaders can use to manage their business and success can be measured in various ways. The goal is to ensure that the metrics used are the right balance between value to the business and buyer and customer value. Value to the business includes efficiency and effectiveness metrics such as bookings, pipeline, win rate, deal size, customer acquisition cost, retention, upsell, and wallet share. Value to the customer metrics includes things such as satisfaction scores, utilization rates, cost savings, and productivity. Somewhat harder to measure but important to include in customer value are things like trust, ease of doing business with us.

However, a successful business isn’t just defined by happy customers; happy and fulfilled employees are a huge part of that as well. It is important to me, and Intentsify as a whole, that employees have the proper resources to contribute, grow, succeed—and fail—and that they feel they are part of a culture of curiosity, collaboration, innovation, and learning.

How can businesses encourage collaboration and teamwork among their GTM teams, and what role does technology play in this process?

Encouraging collaboration and teamwork can lead to better decision-making, improved productivity, and increased innovation. Cross-functional collaboration allows team members to work together across different departments, such as marketing, sales, and customer support. This can help to break down silos and promote a more holistic approach to delivering greater customer value.

Leveraging the right technologies plays a key role in promoting collaboration efforts. For example, collaborative project management tools, communication platforms, and virtual collaboration software can help team members share information, collaborate on projects, and ensure everyone is striving to reach the same goals efficiently and effectively, even if they are in different locations.

What technologies or tools have you seen be particularly effective in promoting collaboration and alignment among GTM teams?

The technologies and tools that are most effective in promoting collaboration are those that enable a shared view of the customer across the organization. B2B marketing and sales leaders need to be aligned on who their customers are, what they need, and how we’re going to support them across different stages of their lifecycle, who does what and when, and how we manage interactions between those functions.

Recent data indicates cross-departmental collaboration is the number one challenge to effectively executing a GTM strategy. Both intent users and non-users reported that implementing intent data helps sales and marketing teams to become better aligned.

Intent data supports use cases throughout the entire customer life cycle in two fundamental ways. First, it provides audience clarity by pinpointing the accounts on which marketing, sales, and customer success teams should focus time, energy, and resources. Second, it increases engagement efficacy by surfacing each account’s buying stage as well as their specific concerns, interests, and priorities. This allows GTM teams to select the most effective mix of channels, tactics, and messaging. The combined effect is powerful: GTM teams experience greater efficiency, improved prospect and customer experience, increased conversion rates, boosted return on media and tech investments, faster sales cycles, and most importantly, significant revenue growth.

What is your approach to risk management and decision-making?

There’s an element of risk in almost every marketing endeavor. I find it helpful to apply a structured process that includes evaluating the need for a change, what is the context around considering a change? What is the risk of not doing it? Why and how is it critical for success? And then, assessing the requirements, what information is needed to develop a plan, who will be required to support the change? Who will be impacted? What are the desired outcomes? What does success look like? How will we measure success? What investment is required?

These questions must be answered with both qualitative and quantitative data gathered through interviews, benchmarks, quantitative research, etc. Through this approach, the business risks associated with the disruption caused by a change or transformation are identified, and mitigation strategies are formulated. Additionally, key threats to project success are defined and strategized on in a premortem session. Questions to consider: What business disruption may occur during this type of transformation? How can the negative impact of that disruption to the business be minimized? How can overall disruption to the business be minimized? What internal and external factors present the greatest risks to success in this endeavor, and how can that threat be reduced?

How do you ensure that Intentsify remains competitive in a rapidly evolving market?

Companies must continuously innovate and enhance their products and services to stay ahead of market competition. Remaining nimble like this requires a commitment to research and development, staying up to date on the latest technologies, and remaining open to new ideas and approaches. By understanding customers’ needs, pain points, and preferences, marketers can tailor their products and services to meet those needs better—and pivot accordingly. This requires regular feedback and engagement with customers to stay on top of changing needs.

Overall, the key to staying competitive in a rapidly evolving global market is becoming agile, adaptable, and focused on meeting customer needs. Companies that are willing to embrace change and continually innovate will be better positioned to succeed in the long run. Now more than ever, B2B enterprises must specifically rely on accuracy, precision, and reliability to target the right audiences at the right time and drive continuous revenue. Intentsify is committed to delivering our customers the experience and support they need to implement robust GTM strategies.

Can you discuss any long-term goals or plans for Intentsify, and how the company plans to achieve them?

We pride ourselves on being leaders in the intent data space and remain committed to providing the most impactful precision B2B buyer intent data available in the market today, and solutions to act on that data for customers across the globe. Recently, we opened a new headquarters in Westwood, Massachusetts, increased hiring by 91% in the U.S. and abroad, and saw a 56% increase in year-over-year revenue. Additionally, our company appointed Ajay Subherwal as Chief Revenue Officer of EMEA & APAC in February 2023.
And earlier this year, Intentsify launched next-generation precision intent, a patent-pending evolution of our proprietary intent data. Using advanced natural language processing (NLP), precision intent is the first and only intent data solution to generate signals using models calibrated precisely to a customer’s unique products and business offerings. I’m confident that Intentsify will continue to support global expansion efforts, accelerate growth, and scale for rapid product innovation.

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Jennifer Ross, CMO at Intentsifyt

Jennifer Ross is CMO of Intentsify, a software company that delivers next generation- level intent data. Jennifer empowers marketing, sales, and customer success leaders with accurate and predictive customer and market insights that accelerate alignment and revenue growth with powerful integrated technology, data, and programs that activate dynamic, future-proof go-to-market (GTM) strategies. A leader in the space, Intensify is the only company in the market to offer precision intent, the intent data solution that uses natural language processing (NLP) to calibrate intent models precisely to a business’s unique and evolving needs. LinkedIn.
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