Latane Conant is the CMO of 6sense, a leading AI-powered account-based marketing platform. Creating winning go-to-market strategies, effectively driving change internally and externally, incubating innovation, rocking a sales pitch, relentlessly watching the numbers, and motivating a global team is her perfect typical day at the office.
In just one word, how would you describe the customer’s buying experience today?
What do you consider to be the most exciting developments in marketing right now?
As a marketer, using the power of AI to really know the B2B buyer like never before, and to be able to answer critical questions about who the buyer is, what attracts them, what they really care about, and what engages them is one of the most exciting things happening in marketing right now.
This opens an entirely new world for our marketing and sales teams to work together to deliver a truly compelling prospect experience. We don’t need to rely on bogus form fills, or sending out mountains of spam, or wasting our BDR’s time with fruitless cold calls that nobody wants to answer.
Using AI-based predictive insights, we know exactly not only which accounts are “in market” for our solution, but what messages will resonate.
As a CMO, how do you see the CMO/CDO relationship evolving in the digital era?
You have to be “data-driven.” But CMOs know this and have been doing a much better job of analyzing data and adjusting accordingly. The next wave of transformation is not just analyzing insights but being able to make predictions that trigger the next best action with AI.
“I have a saying, No data, no decision. This helps ensure we always bring data to the equation.”
But even if you have all the right tools to be sophisticated with data, it is still hard to get people to adopt and trust the AI. So a big part of the CMO’s job is change management — working cross-functionally to redesign processes and behaviors to be insight-first. And everyone on the team needs a real-time dashboard of their KPIs so they are loaded with insights and can see what is happening with them.
I also urge CEOs looking for a great CMO to vet for demand gen (table stakes) and to hire for brand.
“Brand is the new black.”
Has 6sense been able to target Gen Z customers successfully?
Since we focus on B2B, Generation Z is just hitting our radar in the workforce. Fortunately, 6sense picks up digital signals and turns them into insights that help customers design their go-to-market strategy and then ultimately effectively execute engagement. So we will know how, when, and through what channels to market to Gen Z successfully. And with Gen Z entering the workforce, they will add new perspectives and ideas to the big data mix.
Which marketing tool do you consider more valuable — email or SMS? Why?
Today you have to be multi-channel and understand a prospect’s timing. Email alone just doesn’t work and text can be evasive if not timed appropriately. 6sense maps the best engagement strategy based on what we know about the account, what we know about the personas in the account, what their real-time behavior is showing they are interested in, and last but not least, where they are in their buying journey.
Armed with this information, marketing teams know the best tactics and channels to use. I don’t want my sales people making “cold” emails, calls or texts. I want their valuable time spent on accounts and personas that are warmed up and receptive. I also want to arm them with a full picture of the account and personas engagement to date, including the topics they care about the most, so when they make the connection it’s a great conversation.
“Brand is about understanding demand gen inside and out, but also rethinking what your company stands for and connecting in a more human, emotional way. Brand is what will get you above the fray.”