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

MEDIA 7 | October 17, 2019

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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We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Pete Hoene, whose leadership has resulted in SES GS achieving outstanding growth rate of over 30% in just the last five years. We wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.” -Brigadier General Billy Bingham, USAF (Retired), Chairman of the SES GS Proxy Board. I am excited to join SES GS and honored to lead the combined team where we will be delivering best-in-class solutions and state-of-the-art multi-orbit satellite networking capabilities, said David Fields, President and CEO of SES GS. SES GS will be significantly expanding its differentiated value proposition for the US Government, with a trusted multi-operator network integration and service management solutions. The breadth of our capabilities, now spanning both connectivity and integration, allows for building, managing and supporting the most advanced satellite networks solutions for our US Government customers. About SES: SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over ~8,200 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 366 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content. About SES Government Solutions: SES Government Solutions (SES GS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions, and is exclusively focused on building, managing, and supporting the most advanced satellite network solutions for the US Government. SES GS leverages a proven multi-operator network integration and management capability, an extensive global terrestrial network, as well as access to SES’s multi-orbit satellite fleet. It also offers US Department of Defense customers the essential tools in cybersecurity for mission-critical operations, coupled with a proven track record in governance and compliance. SES GS operates under a proxy board, enabling it to support classified projects, and it has been present in the US Government satcom market for over four decades.

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CYBERSECURITY

CornerstoneAI Announces Strategic Partnership with Carahsoft to Deliver AI Data Bias and Cybersecurity Solutions to Federal Government Agencies

Carahsoft | August 05, 2022

CornerstoneAI, Provider of Ethical and Responsible AI Services and Solutions, and Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, today announced a partnership. Under this agreement, Carahsoft will serve as CornerstoneAI’s Master Government Aggregator®, making their artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions available to the Public Sector through Carahsoft’s reseller partners and NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) V, OMNIA Partners and National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) contracts. CornerstoneAI’s mission is to ensure the development and ongoing maintenance of responsible AI usage by agencies within the Federal and State Government space. AI plays a critical role in nearly every aspect of business and accelerates the creation of high-impact digital and automated solutions. CornerstoneAI provides AI audit, remediation and development services, including cybersecurity to maximize these benefits while maintaining necessary boundaries and implementing precautions against misuse. “Partnering with a company as reputable as Carahsoft, provides a clear path to further our mission to eliminate data bias in AI/ML and bring responsible AI techniques to the top of AI development agendas, I am confident that our partnership with Carahsoft and its resellers will provide Government agencies a competitive edge and advantage in the continuous modernization effort.” -Eric Barberio, Executive Advisor and COO of CornerstoneAI. Preserving ethical operations is crucial to any technology field and CornerstoneAI makes this task simple. Through CornerstoneAI’s efficient auditing and detailed reports, agencies can improve their data ecosystems and build trust by identifying challenge areas and implementing effective solutions to eliminate machine learning bias and AI discrimination. “With the addition of CornerstoneAI to Carahsoft’s AI solutions portfolio, Government agencies have access to solutions that can ensure their AI systems function at maximum quality and accuracy, We look forward to working with CornerstoneAI and our resellers to help agencies take ownership of their AI diversity and create an equal opportunity, inclusive society.” -Michael Adams, Director of AI Solutions at Carahsoft. About Carahsoft: Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator® for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Open Source, Customer Experience and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles. About CornerstoneAI Inc: CornerstoneAI Audits, Inc is the creator of the BiasFinder AI technology designed to assess bias within machine learning AI systems of any size and provides data-engineering and social ethics consulting assessments of AI eco-systems having established an audit program to attest to Fairness, Accuracy, Transparency and ensure AI systems are Explainable to all stakeholders.

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