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Ep18: John Fernandez, SVP, Marketing at Glia

Data Always Tells A Story

Episode Summary

To "Tell a story with the data" is John’s top priority when analyzing and looking for patterns. In episode #18 of our Datavana Podcast, John Fernandez, (SVP Marketing at Glia), talks about data infrastructure and programs he utilizes to better inform on decision making processes. He is a champion pattern finder, and understands people and how they work to get things done.

"Numbers are really my goal" states John.

Alignment is also very important to John, who advocates that tech and RevOps teams are an effective measure for creating an ideal, holistic business state. He argues an organization can only have an intelligent conversation about what the data says when alignment is achieved for:

  • Metrics
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Terminology
  • Brand voice

Avoid bad handoffs and keep conversation consistent with your customers, as “You're one company to them."

Ep18: John Fernandez, SVP, Marketing at Glia
Name: John Fernandez
What he does: Revenue Marketing Pioneer | SVP, Marketing
Company: Glia
Noteworthy:
- Led organizations through $1.3 billion in equity events between Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C (2x), Acquisitions (3x) and IPO.
- Spoken at premier industry events such as Dreamforce (3x), Marketo Summit, SiriusDecisions Summit, Content Marketing World, Eloqua Experience, and Conductor C3 (3x), and won awards such as DMN 40 Under 40, Gold Stevie (2x), Bronze Stevie, IAC (2x), and Communicator.
- An accomplished chess player, John has played internationally throughout North America and Europe, as well as organizing such successful events as the New York Masters.
Where to find John: LinkedIn

Episode Highlights

Trust

"It's often a big challenge to sort of let go and trust, you know? Trust, but verify. Stay on top of it, manage the outcomes. Very often the ability to trust that a marketer is going to get us the pipeline we need at the win rate we need, is a challenge. You have to earn that trust. Especially if you're just coming into a company, you have to earn that trust. It takes a while. But that's often the hardest, the biggest frustration the reason that I think I see from other folks towards more senior executives and founders."

Data Nirvana

"Data Nirvana for me is the win rate is X. ‘You agree? It's X.’ ‘I agree, It's X.’ We can now have an intelligent conversation about what this number means? Is this number good or bad? If it's good, how do we get more of it? If it's bad, how do we fix it? And those are the conversations I want to have. Too many data conversations have, ‘I think this number is this number. And I think this number is this number.’ And that's why there's a data backlash these days is because of these data fights. You have your data. I have my data. My data tells a different story than your data does. All we're doing is arguing, it’s brutal. That's why people don't like it. They're not productive business conversations."

The Same Boat

"I can maybe create more pipeline and have a lower win rate, or less pipeline and have a higher win rate. But at the end of the day, did we hit our company numbers? Numbers are really my goal. I'm responsible for it. Win rates are on me, so the quality's gotta be there. And that means I'm gonna pressure sales. And that's never fun for my head of sales, but we're all in the same boat. We're all trying to hit the same number."

No Escape

"The problem with marketing is there's a lot of things within marketing that you have to do; create a good brand, corporate marketing and PR type things we need to do. The goal of a marketer should be very, very simple; find our targets and literally surround them. They should never be able to escape us. They should never be able to escape us digitally. They should never be able to escape us in their inbox. They should never be able to escape us on their telephone. They should never be able to escape us in their LinkedIn, and they should never be able to escape us in the physical places they go to, once we all get the vaccine and life comes back to normal."

Data Infrastructure

"I have a data infrastructure that can give me every cut of the world. And what I'll literally do is I'll say, ‘Here are the fields that are important to me in CRM, and I will track them.’ There's 15 of them at the opportunity stage. And there's around 40 for our customer. And we do a lot of work to make sure that we have all that data. That data is rock solid. It's perfect."

Garfield and Odie

"It's Tableau workbooks. I do everything. You'll hear the term from me a lot as I have two files, one is Garfield and one is Odie. Yes, named after the cartoon. Garfield is my customer data, 40 fields for every single customer, every piece of insights they can ever have. And these are board ready materials. I will be taking Tableau views from Garfield and provide that to my board. Odie is dumber and faster, but it's effectively a live export from Salesforce of the entirety of our pipeline."

Key Insights

  • Nobody has clean data. John thinks universities can be doing more to help teach and develop a realistic understanding of B2B industry processes. He directly targets universities teaching business intelligence, data insights and management programs. He says they’re not pulling their weight helping to frame real-world applications for database management. "They seem to fundamentally fail to understand that if I spend a hundred hours working on data, I'm spending at least 80 hours of it cleaning the data. Nobody has a clean data set, right? We have to do so much work to cleanse and understand the data, just to analyze it."
  • Determining Success. Every company is different and has different benchmarks or measures for what determines success. John explains he has three macro level goals that he aims to meet, and presents to colleagues and to his board. "One is the total amount of pipeline created in dollars. We need X amount of pipeline to get there. Two is the win rate on that pipeline. And then the third is a macro level ROI on my organization."
  • Master of none. In the modern B2B world, marketers have to be very versatile creatures. They often need to meet benchmarks and deadlines whilst covering a range of other specific commitments including; maintain brand image, corporate marketing, and PR tasks. John contends that the goal of a marketer should actually be very, very simple; find targets and surround them."They should never be able to escape us. They should never be able to escape us digitally. They should never be able to escape us in their inbox. They should never be able to escape us on their telephone. They should never be able to escape us in their LinkedIn, and they should never be able to escape us in the physical places they go to, once we all get the vaccine and life comes back to normal."
  • Speak the same language. RevOps, according to John, is one solution to an ideal state of holistic alignment. From experience working within a misaligned workforce, John understands that a siloed approach to operations is a recipe for failure. He asserts that alignment and consistency is important when communicating with the customer during a handoff between sales and marketing. "Everybody was using different definitions and we couldn't align it and the systems just crashed. It took us 13 months to define the word ‘booking’. The technology handoffs were the huge problem. You're one company to them. So you have to keep the same conversation with them."

Top Quotes

[06:41] "We have more data than we can shake a stick at."

[13:31] "Well, I don't blame the world for being slow on RevOps, but the technology has changed a lot."

[13:56] "Customers don't care what stage of the funnel they're in. You're one company to them. So you have to have the same conversation with them."

[19:35] "Sales is the easiest to measure, but it's the hardest to manage. It is much easier to manage marketing. It is much, much harder to measure marketing exactly. That's the trade-off."

[27:09] "The state of Nirvana of Data is where I don't have to question the data."

[34:06] "A lot of marketers need to be Babe Ruth just to stay alive. They've got to be very, very deep on technology and tactics, but also strategy. I've got to care about both. But that's not in most people's DNA."

[38:32] "The very first day I joined, we actually were publicly traded at the time we got offers to go private. And so literally I'm in my boss’s office at nine o'clock in the morning, Monday morning, just starting, he looks at me and he goes, you've got to get together all the data we have because we have to tell a story of why we're worth more."

[39:52] "We literally spent half of a year cleaning this data and getting it there. It was very, very interesting for me. That was where I came upon the realization that I can't always have every piece of data."

[44:46] "The challenge for a lot of founders is that managing outcomes is hard. It's a lot easier to manage effort."