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

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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D2L Highlights New D2L Brightspace Product Features to Help Enhance Accessibility and Ease of Use

PR Newswire | October 19, 2023

D2L, a global learning technology company, today highlighted enhanced Brightspace product features — developed over the past six months — that can help global learners and educators simplify the learning experience by bringing learning solutions together in one place. I'm thrilled to share that D2L continues to invest in its existing solutions and broaden its portfolio of products, partner solutions and services to assist educators, organizations, and learners in their readiness for the future, said Rajesh Talpade, Senior Vice President of Product Management at D2L. D2L's new and enhanced product features can make it easier than ever to offer effective learning in online and blended environments to help see that learners have the opportunity to succeed. New D2L Solution for Businesses Announced in September 2023, D2L introduced a new, all-in-one solution for businesses: D2L for Business. This integrated, easy-to-use corporate solution combines the benefits of an existing network of world-class education providers, skill development solutions, and expert consulting services as an learning experience platform (LXP). Empowering Learners, Educators and Administrators Brightspace functionalities and offerings that can provide customers with tools and resources to help enhance outcomes and save time. Brightspace now offers: Even more Creator+ tools for educators, including: new accessible layouts, expanded types of interactive elements, and a fully accessible hotspot practice question type. This can help enable educators to continue building beautiful and instructionally sound content using familiar Brightspace workflows. An AI-driven, first line of contexual help and support embedded within Brightspace Brightspace Virtual Assistant. More datasets and improved data dashboards to help make it easier for educators and businesses to gain insights and understand metrics in their organizations. Simplifying Workflows Recent Brightspace updates continue to make workflows more intuitive, efficient, effective and consistent. This includes: An improved Quiz experience that can offer support for high-stakes exams with strict time limits, support for synchronous quizzing windows, and other improvements. A familiar and upgraded Discussion experience with workflows to help bring new functionality to educators. New content authoring functionality to help make it easier to manage both the required and optional course materials. In addition, enhancements to the Media Library are now more user-friendly, with new time-saving indicators to track progress and surface common actions. And, new changes to course merging options that can empower educators and save administrative time. New self-enrollment enhancements for Brightspace customers that offer professional development opportunities and allow educators to see that learners are enrolling in the right courses. Uniting a Stronger Ecosystem D2L has also enhanced its robust learning ecosystem by simplifying access to Brightspace and encouraging new interactions among educators, administrators, and learners. These updates, features and tools include: An easier, course registration process through Course Merchant, a modern e-commerce experience, whose front-end course catalog and payment and enrollment system is now offered as a D2L product after more than nine years as a key integration partner. Visualized Brightspace Analytics within Ellucian Experience, help advisors to quickly identify at-risk learners by aggregating Brightspace data with external data to holistically determine appropriate intervention. Early access to D2L Link, which can connect Brightspace with the systems of record clients use every day. The integrations enabled through D2L Link can help minimize manual tasks and see that data is synchronized between systems. D2L's new IntegrationHub, built on LTI 1.3. and launched as a new catalog site that lists partner solutions that are available for integrations with Brightpsace. The IntegrationHub makes it easy for Brightspace users to browse D2L's extensive list of integrated technologies and solutions, such as accessibility tools, student information systems, secure proctoring assessment platforms, and many other partner solutions. For more information on the latest features and updates, please visit What's New at D2L. About D2L D2L is transforming the way the world learns—helping learners of all ages achieve more than they dreamed possible. Working closely with clients all over the world, D2L is supporting millions of people learning online and in person. Our growing global workforce is dedicated to making the best learning products to leave the world better than they found it. Learn more about D2L for K-12, higher education and businesses at www.D2L.com.

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