Heidi Bullock is the VP of Demand Generation at Marketo. In this interview, Heidi shares her thoughts on the future of measuring marketing, advice from her dad, and what she hopes people will learn from her panel at Opticon 2015.
Which Opticon sessions are you looking forward to attending?
I am really looking forward to Scaling Your Testing Program for Maximum Impact. I am interested in learning more about best practices for scaling testing and how other companies are handling this challenge. I think most marketers know the importance of testing – the trick is how to do it in a way that impacts the business and doesn’t kill everyone in the process. There are so many variables to test across channels (mobile, social, web, etc.) so I am interested to hear the presenters’ take on this.
Give us an overview of your session. What are you excited to share with attendees? What would you say about it in a tweet?
I am fortunate enough to be on a panel with Brian Kelly, CEO, KISSmetrics that will be moderated by Jessie Becker, the CMO of Optimizely. We will be discussing how our companies have successfully grown — and continue to grow — and some of the approaches that have helped us get there. I am excited to share some practical tips that attendees can go back and try right away.
If I had to summarize in a tweet, I’d say, “10 out of 7 marketers will learn a cool tip to grow their business by attending the #KISSmetrics #Marketo session at #Opticon”.
What excites you about the future of your specific industry/role?
I am energized by how our industry (tech and marketing) is evolving so quickly. I know some people feel overwhelmed by all the new advancements but I think it is pushing marketers to do better marketing. Customers and potential customers now expect companies to know them and communicate with them in a personal and relevant manner. This isn’t a new concept, but I believe we are getting closer to being able to do that in a real, scalable way. I also am very excited about the ability to measure online marketing. At Marketo, we’re big on measurement and have the tools to effectively do it. I know where to invest and how to protect my budget. I have worked at many companies where that has been much harder to do so it’s an area I feel very passionate about. I believe it will be more common and easy to do in the next few years for all marketers.
What piece of advice has really stuck with you through your career?
I guess it’s probably something my dad said. When I was in college I recall struggling in an organic chemistry class and I told him I was ‘really trying’. He said, you know when a jeep is stuck in thick mud and the driver accelerates? The jeep is still stuck. His point was effort does not always equal results and there is a difference. Learning to identify when you need to approach a challenge in a new way is a good skill that has helped me.
What’s your relationship to A/B testing and optimization at your company?
A/B testing is really part of the DNA at Marketo. We have testing built into our platform and it is something we discuss regularly. I do like to have a hypothesis prior to testing. I think it helps prioritize the tests that can drive the most impact. I do not believe in testing just to test.
What do you read/listen to/watch to stay fresh on news, trends etc., about your industry?
I do my best to stay current by reading blogs by folks I respect, scanning the cool articles that come in over email (I like MarketingProfs, Which Test Won, Moz, Forbes), and most importantly talking to other people in businesses in similar roles to mine – that is often where I learn the most.
If you could run an A/B test in your life, what two things would you want to test against each other?
There are so many ways I could answer this question – but for fun, I would like to do some A/B tests on the standard conference call music versus something fun that attendees could choose. My hypothesis: Meetings would be more enjoyable and people would be in a better mood if they could hear a cool song, versus the standard music we have all heard 100 times a day for the last 6 years