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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Minimize the Cost and Downtime of Disaster With Scale Computing's Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Service

PR Newswire | October 25, 2023

Scale Computing, a market leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions, today announced its Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Planning Service, designed to help organizations establish a comprehensive, regulated plan for responding to unforeseen downtime. The service provides Scale Computing customers and partners with the tools, guidance, and resources to create a playbook for data backup and recovery, enabling businesses to endure a disaster scenario with minimal loss. Scale Computing also recently announced that it is a finalist for the Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Project of the Year in the 2023 SDC Awards for its work with Austrian managed service provider GiGaNet and its long-time partner the Zillertaler Gletscherbahn group. Voting for the SDC Awards is open at sdcawards.com/vote until November 10th, 2023. Data breaches are one of the biggest and most costly contributors to downtime for businesses. In 2023, the average cost of a data breach globally reached an all-time high of $4.45 million, a 15.3% increase from 2020. Simultaneously, the average length of business disruption following a ransomware attack in the United States reached 24 days last year, up 60% from just two years prior — a significant increase when downtime costs exceed $300,000 per hour for over 90% of mid-sized and large enterprises. For more than half of those businesses, the hourly outage costs range from $1 million to over $5 million. Recovery from an outage adds additional expense from which many enterprises are unable to bounce back. "Disaster can strike at any time, and every organization needs a consistently regulated playbook for how the business will respond — from action plans to recovery plans for bringing online the mission-critical servers businesses depend on," said Jeff Ready, CEO and co-founder, Scale Computing. "Knowing what systems need to be protected, planning for the ability to recover them, and having a full action plan for recovery should be at the forefront of every IT department's agenda, at the beginning of any infrastructure addition. With Scale Computing Platform, the plan for disaster recovery starts before equipment is even put into production, so IT leaders have a plan in place from day one that they can enact to ensure their business stays up and running, with minimal loss, should disaster strike. Our Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Planning Service enables businesses to proactively classify systems based on their importance and implement a robust action plan, ensuring that our customers' and partners' critical systems are protected, validated, tested, and ready for recovery at any time." Whether a minor data loss or a business-wide shutdown, having a well-defined business continuity strategy is crucial to minimize financial impact, ensure continuous employee productivity, meet compliance and regulatory requirements, decrease liability obligations, reduce downtime, and minimize the risk of negative exposure. Scale Computing's BCDR Planning Service includes planning, deployment, documentation creation, and disaster recovery testing, covering every aspect to keep businesses prepared and resilient. The service is offered to Scale Computing Platform customers, which brings simplicity, high availability, and scalability together to replace existing infrastructure for running virtual machines with an easy-to-manage, fully integrated platform that allows organizations to run applications regardless of hardware requirements. About Scale Computing Scale Computing is a leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged solutions. Using patented HyperCore™ technology, Scale Computing Platform automatically identifies, mitigates, and corrects infrastructure problems in real-time, enabling applications to achieve maximum uptime, even when local IT resources and staff are scarce. Edge Computing is the fastest-growing area of IT infrastructure, and industry analysts have named Scale Computing an outperformer and leader in the space, including being named the #1 edge computing vendor by CRN. Scale Computing's products are sold by thousands of value-added resellers, integrators, and service providers worldwide.

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