How B2B Companies Can Use Intent Data More Effectively with Casey Carey

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Welcome to another episode of Three Minute Marketing, where we interview some of the world’s best and brightest growth marketers, usually across different channels.

I’m super excited today to have Casey Carey here with us. Casey is the CMO of Kazoo HR, a disruptive HR and recruiting platform. Before, in his previous lifetime, he had a long career leading marketing initiatives for some of the biggest brands in tech, including DoubleClick, Google, Marketo, and Adobe. So basically, Casey is an absolute badass.

Many B2B brands are hot on using intent data. Many are just dabbling and it’s not a major influencer, but I asked Casey if he could tell us about how he’s been using intent data so far and the impact that it’s having currently on his marketing programs.

Show Notes:

  • Intent data is not an incremental approach; it’s disruptive to B2B.
  • First, his company started by bringing data in and getting into a rules-based lead scoring model.
    • This helped Casey inform outbound SDR sequences.
    • His company saw a 3x bigger response and connect rate with this approach.
  • Casey saw the value of lead scoring, but he also realized that anything incremental isn’t scalable.
  • He came across 6Sense, a great tool that helps reorient your business around an account-based model that asks you to consider the buying stage of the account as it relates to the buying stage of the individual. This helps you to create more focused marketing campaigns.
  • Kazoo uses a swarm strategy: reaching out in display; activating that data in LinkedIn, email, outbound sequences; and pushing that data into Google Ads.
  • If you’re dabbling in or considering intent data, pick just one or two use cases. If it works, scale it up.

Bonus discussion after recording:

  • Casey sells multiple products, so having intent data keywords allows his company to customize outreach.
  • Intent data is about categorizing your site’s content. When a prospect consumes content, it shows up as intent data under that category.
  • Third-party data can be very informative in lead scoring.
  • Once a prospect racks up a certain number of points, they get routed to the business development rep.
  • They usually look at data in the last 30 days.
  • Casey sees 15 to 30% account view-through rates on average.
  • You can take all that data and put it in a predictive model to see what opportunities are most likely to open in the next 90 days.
  • You can use 6Sense to build custom segments and activate those segments on other ad platforms, like Google Display.


– Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of Three Minute Marketing, where we interview some of the world’s best and brightest growth marketers, usually across different channels. So we really like to talk with sort of Swiss army knife marketers, about search, about social, analytics, conversion rate optimization, and everything in between. I’m super excited today to have Casey here with us, Casey is CMO of Kazoo HR, which is a disruptive HR and recruiting platform. Before, in his previous lifetime, he had a long and storied career leading marketing initiatives for some of the biggest brands in tech. I’m talking about DoubleClick, Google, Marketo, Adobe. So, Casey is an absolute bad-ass and I’m super excited to have you on the show today.

– Oh, Chris, thanks. It’s a pleasure to be here, absolutely.

– Yeah, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to ask you, I’ve narrowed it in. Full disclosure, Casey and Kazoo are a client of WebMechanix. They are in the B2B SaaS technology space. Many B2B brands in general, are hot on using intent data, the Bomboras, the 6sense of the world. Many are just dabbling and really it’s not a major influencer, but Casey, I would love if you could tell us just a little bit about how you– Or about your journey using intent data so far, and the impact that it’s having currently on your marketing programs. That’s what I’d like for you to talk about and your three minutes starts,

– Cool, yeah.

– Now.

– All right, let’s do it. Yes, intent data, honestly, not an incremental approach, it’s disruptive, I think to B2B marketing, in general. I first got exposed at Marketo where we integrated and launched Bombora as part of the Marketo offerings and, was really fascinated by what they’d been doing. So we started out, just kind of bringing the data in, and putting it into a rules-based lead scoring model. And really, our initial use case was prioritizing the outbound SDR outreach sequences, and, initially saw like three times better reply and connect rates by using intent data. So we realized, if used correctly, we have something really valuable here. But, what we also realized was one of the limitations was anything that’s rules-based is not scalable.

– Yeah.

– So, we fortunately came across 6sense, and we’re big 6sense user, which has an intent data network. We’re actually now leveraging the Bombora data as well within that, but really, using that data to score potential buying stage of our target market. And it really, I think, does a couple things for you. One is, it helps you reorient around an account-based model So, what’s the buying stage of an account versus the buying stage of an individual? Which really helps with that. And it really focuses your marketing campaigns. So, we have high fit accounts that are in market, and we basically have a swarm strategy. We’re reaching out to them through display, we’re activating that data into emails, we’re activating it in LinkedIn, we’re activating it in our outbound sequences for our SDR team, pushing that data into Google ads for retargeting. So, any place we can activate that data and swarm that account, that buying committee and those contacts within that account, that’s what we’re doing. So, it really helps us drive the decisions and strategies around velocity and spend across all of our segments which has proven to be a really powerful way to go about it.

– Yeah, no, that’s amazing. And I had so many different questions on my mind, but overall, if there’s somebody who’s kind of dabbling with intent data, but wants to get very serious, what would you suggest?

– Yeah, I think my initial suggestion would be pick one or two use cases. When I kind of look at new technologies, or new data, and say like, “Hey, if I can’t get it to work here, it’s not going to work anywhere.” So I really say like, “This is a very specific use case, let’s go ahead, bring it in, test it, let’s look at the results.” And, if it works, then figure out how you scale it to roll it out and really take advantage of it.

– Brilliant, okay, love it. Well, our time is up, but use case wise, you might say, “Hey, let’s try it with an industry.” For instance.

– Yup. Or, well, let’s try with this channel or, whatever, yeah, exactly.

– Okay. All right, well, our time is up, Casey, unfortunately. Casey and I are going to continue riffing if you want to hear the rest of our conversation, there should be a link in the show notes. Casey, tell the audience where they can find out more about you or Kazoo HR.

– Sure, absolutely, best place to connect with me is on LinkedIn, Casey Carey, I’m at Kazoo. And, if you want to reach out via email, [email protected].

– Wonderful, love it. All right, everybody, join us next time for another great one. And, Casey, you stay on the line and let’s talk.

– Cool, thanks everybody.

– Yeah, now we can just riff about anything, really. The production team is going to go through. So, we can talk about like the specifics of your account, if you want.

– Yeah.

– Or we can just continue riffing. And if there are no show notes, it’s not a big deal.

– Yeah, I think, one thing I would add is, it’s been kind of interesting as… We have multiple products that we sell. So we’re a platform with kind of multiple solutions. So, having the intent data keywords allow us to customize our outreach based on areas of interest has been pretty fascinating, and so–

– Hey could you, ’cause I know for a lot of people intent data is something that they like, understand theoretically,

– Sure.

– But can’t necessarily wrap their arms around it. Are you able to share your screen and just give us a glimpse? Obviously, don’t reveal anything like too proprietary.

– Yeah.

– But if you have like a dashboard, or just something that can help make it more tangible for folks that are just getting into it.

– Yeah, absolutely, let me log in real quick.

– Yeah.

– It’s funny you asked that ’cause I’ve been evangelizing it for about a year and a half now across the company with the CEO and the exec staff trying to help them understand what we’re up to.

– How much does it cost?

– We’re paying 6sense 95K a year right now.

– Is it–

– By far my most expensive line item, yeah.

– Yeah, but what if–

– So far, so good. Like, we’ve obviously had to not do some other things because of it, but it’s based our entire strategy’s built on top of it, so–

– You’re getting three X response on your outbound even if it was just that, if that was your benefit, it would be worth it.

– Yeah, absolutely. And, to be honest with you, Chris, like, we’re not going to outspend, our competitors are all VC-funded and we are private equity. So, we figured like we just have to be better.

– Let them be lazy and just spend– waste a bunch of money, and we’re just going to be really good at what we do.

– That’s what it’s all about, man, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about– I mean, there’s a number of ways that you can get an edge, it’s all about a little bit of edge. So if you can drop a hundred grand, and get an edge to the tune of three X over your competitors, I mean, that’s what it’s all about.

– Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Like I could easily waste that much doing other things like, contents indication or something. I’ll show you a couple things here real quick. So, generally, how I think about intent data is, they’ve basically categorized the content on websites. So, if I was to go to, which is the main HR website, and I read an article about performance management, like that article would be categorized as about performance management. So, whether it’s analyst sites, publisher sites, organizational sites, like, wherever this content lives, they’ve basically categorized it so that when I, as a prospect consume that content, it basically shows up as an intent signal for that topic within a database, it’s kind of simply how it works. The mechanics are much more complicated but, so you’ve got a set of terms that I’m interested in. So, one of the terms I’m obviously interested in is performance management, or recognition programs. So you’d basically define those terms that basically becomes a filter for these intense signals that flow into your marketing programs. So what we’re looking at here is all the activity. So this is US, a bunch of US accounts that we’re targeting. And, what you can see down below is the branded keywords, terms, and the two generic keywords. So it looks very much like a search program, in a lot of ways. But, it’s basically looking at these intent signals versus providing search engine result pages. So, and then there’s– So, there are two ways to think about this. There’s the third-party data, so it’s all these networks of data that create kind of this cooperative. But there’s also your own first-party data, which is your website activity, or email click-throughs, that kind of stuff. So, both of those are intent signals. Before the third-party data was available, we always used our own data and we could do a lead scoring model of Marketo or something. If you read this article, or clicked in on this email, that’s 10 points. And when you get to 50 points, you go to the SDR. So this kind of opens the aperture significantly on behavior outside of your website. Like it’s a hundred X, or a thousand X, what you’re looking at, versus what we had before.

– Yeah, are there real time activity notifications? Are you able to see like, “Hey, here’s the organizations that browsed this week or this month?”

– No, it’s a pretty big lift for all this data to get pulled together, and get aggregated, and normalized, and pushed into the platform. So, we’re mostly looking at activity over the past 30 days. And, we could probably set it up like, hey, they looked at a competitor or something. And, we could flag that, but it’s not going to be like today. It would be like in the last couple of weeks, kind of–

– Do you know, we’ve… I’ll tell you this, ’cause it could be useful for you. It would probably be a compliment to this– I don’t know if it could be integrated, necessarily, but, we’re partnering with this small tech shop on the West Coast. They have this innovated– Or this unique technology, which is like– Are you familiar with the LeadLanders and the Leadfeeders of the world?

– Yup.

– Basically, visited.

– Yup.

– So it’s that, But it also seeks to extrapolate down to the individual. So, for every a hundred visits, it might be able to match 20 or 30 of them back to not only an organization, but also an individual. We’re in the early stages of testing, and testing with one of our larger B2B clients. But I’ll let you know how that goes.

– Cool, Yeah. One of the things, and this is pretty cool actually. So, 6Sense, you tell them, kind of functionally level and title, who your personas are, and they actually score both the accounts, and the contacts.

– Yup.

– So your account score is an aggregate of all the contacts, but, not all contacts are created equal. Like, if somebody in engineering read one of our articles, that doesn’t matter, what matters is director of HR. So, they definitely do the contact level as well. Some of the ABM platforms only do account level, some add the contact level stuff.

– Yeah, so– Screen, which is a graph that looks like analytics across the top, we’ve got these tabs website activity, B2B network activities, 6sense media campaigns, external media campaigns, marketing engagement activities. So, some of those are self explanatory, what it would probably show, or what are the B2B network, and the 6sense media campaigns?

– Yeah, so the B2B network is all the third-party data. So, this is going to be the lion’s share of the data. So this is just the third-party data that’s coming in, branded keywords, generic keywords, number of activities. So this is kind of the part of the web that most of us never had visibility into until it passed. 6sense media campaigns is, specifically, the campaigns that we’re running, they’ve white-labeled up AppNexus. So we’re running a bunch of display. And so, this is the engagement against these accounts through those campaigns.

– So you’ve got 5,000 accounts reach, so that’s 5,000 accounts that match your criteria.

– Yup.

– There’s that click-through rate, the matched impressions, interests, and–

– And account view through rates, yup. We’re seeing kind of on average 15 to 30% account view-through rates.

– Very nice, very nice.

– Yeah.

– Well, this is awesome, man. And I wonder, I am curious, like in terms of the B2B network activities, so it sounds like 6sense can somehow sort of monitor individuals and determine what they’re reading about, even on third-party sites. Does it show you like, hey, here are the top publishers that your audience is looking at?

– No, they don’t really reveal the sources which is interesting. It’s a little bit, I think of their secret sauce, and how they kind of get to this. And, they all take a little bit different tech whether it’s Demandbase, or Bombora, 6sense, they all have a little bit different sources of data at this point, and how they go about it. And I think like one of the things I always kind of tell my stakeholders is, this is not a perfect science, it’s directional.

– Yeah.

– Directional’s so much better than nothing. So, and then, I think the real power of this is– I’ll show it to you real quick, Chris, is a– So you take all this data, and you run it into a model, and a model that’s trying to predict the likelihood of an opportunity opening with that account in the next 90 days. So, they’re basically looking at all the data, that historical data, both the third-party and the first-party data, the stuff that’s happening on your website, and basically saying, “We’re just looking at that data, we know which opportunity’s opened, now, which parts of that data actually are able to predict those opportunities opening and create a model around it.” So, what we did is buying stages. So, target is very little activity awarenesses that began to look at some of this content, and kind of top a funnel, if you would, that leadership kind of stuff. Consideration starts moving into much more solutions-based content, kind of mid-funnel. And then, as they move into decision and purchase, both their activities increased, but the types, and level of content they’re consuming both on our website and other areas are starting to predict that they’re in market and looking to purchase.

– Yeah, and that’s what I was actually going to ask. So this model is based on a blend of first-party and third-party data?

– Exactly, yup. You don’t see any target or awareness counselor ’cause they’ve actually filtered them out for this segment, but–

– And did you create those stages, and define them? Or is that target awareness consideration decision purchase? Is that just–

– Yup, you basically– It’s part of your implementation. They basically run that model, backtest it, and then, it’s a dynamic, it’s a learning model. So, as more activities create more opportunities, the model learns and continues to adjust over time.

– Yeah, one thing that I really like to do a lot is take things that are working well in B2C, and then see how they might be adapted in B2B.

– Yup.

– But, this gives me a thought, ’cause one thing that I said on a recent podcast was I love in B2C commerce the add to cart button.

– Yup.

– Beautiful, intense signal. And you can do all types of fun stuff with it on the e-commerce side. I wish there was such a thing on the B2B side, like I generally accepted a tenth signal, but–

– There’s a few of them. I always think like the G2, or the other review sites, are high intent signals, particularly, if they’re doing a comparison view. If they put you and two of your three-year competitors up, and do a little comparison view, super high intent signal. Yeah, yeah. That’s actually a really good one, the versus searches too, like, Kazoo versus, you know.

– Yup, yup. Yup, exactly, yup, for sure. So, I think there’s some of that in the B2B, but I really liked your thinking there.

– Now you know what’d be really cool, in terms of the keyword level targeting that you’re doing. So, that looks, both in terms of the content of the keywords and just visibly how it’s portrayed, a lot like the custom intent audience builder within Google ads.

– Yup, exactly.

– So I wonder, if you were to take those same keywords, build an audience on Google ads, and run traffic to the site, if it would have a higher account match rate than normal.

– Yeah, it’d be interesting to check that out. And, I think that’s one of the areas, once we get a little further down our maturity curve on our page search, would be– Are there gaps or areas where we can better align at least from a a keyword perspective, our page search campaigns with our display and the other campaigns we’re running.

– Now, is this all anonymized data? There no PII in this platform?

– No, like the contact data all sets in Salesforce. It depends, I guess, what you call anonymized. A lot of it obviously is IP address-based. And that they’re identifying IP– A graph basically of IP’s that connect to companies. And, interestingly, like last April, May timeframe, the performance of the data tanked ’cause everybody moved out of the offices. And, they’ve been able to kind of reconnect and rebuild the network in that graph, as people have logged into sites and, kind of started doing work from different IP addresses significantly. They’ve kind of rebuilt the new graph now. And I think we saw that on like the Google site, as well. Like, search performance, and algorithm updates, and all the things that had to kind of readjust for how people were now interacting with the web.

– Yup, another big topic on a lot of brands minds these days is CDP customer– Yeah, customer data platforms, which, sit basically, on top of, or alongside data warehouses, and CRM, and they ingest all that data, and allow for segmentation, and activation of audiences.

– Yup.

– I mean, this is kind of a CDP in a way.

– Yeah, I would– And, full disclosure, I’m actually an advisor to Lytics, which is a CDP.

– Oh, yeah.

– But, I would consider this to be an embedded CDP. In that, it’s almost a bespoke version of the CDP. It’s built for B2B, it’s built to drive kind of their activation platform, in general, but it is for all intents and purposes. There’s a CDP setting under it. Like, they have multi-sourced all the firmographic data, and the contact data.

– Yeah.

– And they do the overlays and maintenance on that, it connects to Salesforce, so they basically have all your customer data, and attributes in it, as well. And then they’re overlaying all the intent data and putting a model on it.

– Yup, now I know we’re right at 4:30, and I do want to be sensitive to your time but I am wondering on 6sense, are you able to build custom segments and then activate those like on Google display, or?

– Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve built, just for an example, a credit union segment, which has 583 credit unions in it. And, we’ve got 47 that we think are in market for one of our products.

– Yeah.

– So, we’ve activated that segment everywhere we can. The good news is you can push the segments into custom dimensions in GA, so you can pick them up in Google ads.

– Awesome, very cool, very cool. All right, my man, well, I could go on for hours, but, I don’t want to,

– Yeah.

– Keep you too long. I do want to talk to you again soon ’cause I’ve been looking into Kazoo, I know that there was– There’s been some rockiness, but I do want to hear a little bit more about your experience and kind of have a brainstorming session specifically about Kazoo.

– Cool. Yeah, absolutely, I appreciate it. And, yeah, thanks for the opportunity to be on the podcast.

– Absolutely.

Casey Carey

Casey CareyCMO of Kazoo HR

Chris Mechanic

Chris MechanicCEO & Co-Founder

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