About the Guest Brian Kotlyar is VP of Marketing and Growth at Hightouch, a Data Activation company that helps businesses automatically get their most valuable data into the hands of their business teams. Before this, he was SVP of Marketing at New Relic, where he helped to lead a tripling in growth rate under the watchful eye of the public markets. He has worked extensively in building and growing multiple B2B startups successfully, including Sprinklr, Intercom, and Dachis Group (acquired by Sprinklr). Connect with Brian Kotlyar Key Takeaways Achieving growth targets requires revisiting and redefining strategies, especially with old playbooks proving less effective. Start small and specific. Initiating projects on a smaller scale allows for better risk management and paves the way for innovative solutions. Massive system-wide projects often fail due to their complexity and need for clear direction. Data warehouses can efficiently ingest and manage vast amounts of data, making them invaluable for B2B marketing. Tailoring marketing strategies to individual or account-specific needs can significantly improve outcomes. Sometimes, the most effective solutions are straightforward and don’t require overly complex technological implementations. Innovative data utilisation can lead to impressive efficiencies and results even with limited resources. Properly used, data can replace the need for large teams or budgets by automating and optimising processes. Thoughtfully constructed advertising campaigns with a data-backed foundation can achieve remarkable cost-effectiveness. Don’t be confined to conventional B2B platforms; explore and leverage B2C platforms for targeted advertising when the data supports it. Ground all strategies and innovations in reliable data, using it as a foundation to build upon. Despite technological advancements, specific fundamental business and marketing skills remain crucial. Marketers should focus on future outcomes, understanding that today’s efforts will yield results in the longer term. Quote “If you’re not figuring out how to build up a deep well of first-party data, manipulate it, and then use it to resurrect old tactics and invent new ones, You’re in some trouble.” – Brian Kotlyar Highlights from the Episode What motivated your move from stable jobs to startups, and how has it shaped your career? Brian’s career has always been directed towards rapidly emerging markets, leveraging the importance of timely positioning. He recalled instances from companies like Sprinklr, which dealt with the rise of social media, and Intercom, focusing on messaging. His experience with New Relic revolved around software management in cloud environments, and the transformative nature of data warehouses in businesses drives his latest stint at Hightouch. Brian’s success often comes from acting well during significant industry changes. Could you share insights into your framework for making career decisions and evaluating opportunities? Brian visualises this process as a pyramid, with the foundation being the market’s potential. He then considers the company’s viability within that market, followed by the team’s efficiency and creativity. Another layer is the technological edge the company might have despite the ease of replicating software. Finally, personal passion for the role plays a crucial part; feeling excited about the work and remaining passionate even during challenging times is essential. Brian emphasises the importance of not merely chasing a paycheck but genuinely resonating with the role. Why does B2B marketing pose such a formidable challenge, and in what ways has the advent of cloud data warehouses offered solutions to tackle these complexities? Traditional methods like SDR automation and the conventional funnel model must improve effectiveness. Advertising on platforms like LinkedIn can be challenging, and the efficacy of the age-old marketing-to-sales funnel is now under scrutiny. With the rise of models like product-led growth and the increasing demands for growth targets, it’s time to revisit our strategies. A potential game-changer lies in the unprecedented depth and quality of data in modern data warehouses. As B2B marketers, harnessing this data is crucial. The importance of building a comprehensive first-party data resource cannot be overstated. Using this data to rejuvenate time-tested tactics and carve out new strategies to stay ahead is essential. What advice would you give to a B2B marketing team struggling with data alignment and system integration challenges, especially if they’re hesitant about utilising all available data effectively? Bran’s advice is to tackle large tasks in incremental steps. For B2B teams, his recommended approach is to define specific use cases and reverse engineer solutions. Large-scale projects have historically failed, while strategies focusing on specific use cases and leveraging data warehouses have proven successful. Such approaches allow for better data management, streamlined processes, and more efficient solutions. As the data warehouse landscape evolves, what noteworthy trends have you observed recently, especially regarding skill requirements and the expanding possibilities offered by data-driven tactics? Brian advocates for starting small with any project, emphasising its ability to allow for a safer space to make errors and to encourage creativity. He highlights the significance of personalisation in marketing, mainly when dealing with multiple accounts. While technology can aid in this endeavour, he also stresses the importance of easing the workload for sellers. Brian presents an example from his experience where account research was automated and loaded into Salesforce’s notes, reducing the time needed for manual analysis and enhancing the efficacy of the sales reps’ work. Could you discuss the current launch of your ABM program and shed light on how your company is utilising data to shape and enhance its strategic approach? Despite being just a tiny team at Hightouch, Brian dives into the power of utilising data effectively in account-based marketing. He sheds light on their remarkable efficiencies and advancements, surpassing those of larger companies with more lavish budgets. Specifically, he discusses the company’s innovative approach of integrating GPT results with a headless CMS, enabling dynamic landing pages personalised to specific accounts. Furthermore, he highlights the company’s unique ad strategy on platforms like LinkedIn, allowing them to achieve highly cost-effective results. What essential skills should marketers and sellers focus on for the future, and how would you reverse engineer a resume to fit upcoming job requirements? Even as the tech landscape continuously evolves, foundational skills are timeless. As readers, it’s clear that our ability to be process-driven and quantitatively-minded will always be invaluable. Yet, Brian underscores an urgent call to action: the need to adapt to new tools, be perpetually curious, and challenge ourselves to master the complex technological environment around us. He offers real-world examples from his team, showcasing diverse ways to handle today’s data challenges. He urges us always to be forward-thinking, ready to adapt and redefine our strategies. Good reads: Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners? Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker Wynter Shout-outs François Dufour – Marketing Partner and CMO in Residence at Decibel Partners Manav Khurana – Chief Product Officer at New Relic, Inc.