Interview with Co-Founder, President & CEO of Full Circle Insights – Bonnie Crater

“One of the most significant changes is that buyers are more sophisticated, especially on the B2B side.”

1. Tell us about your role at Full Circle Insights and how you got here?
Before co-founding Full Circle, I was a marketing VP and executive at a number of software companies in Silicon Valley, including Genesys, Netscape, Network Computer Inc., Salesforce, Stratify, and VoiceObjects, which is now called Voxeo. Prior to that, I worked at Oracle Corporation for 10 years, serving as VP of the Compaq Products Division and the Workgroup Products Division among other roles.

The rise of data-driven marketing inspired us to found Full Circle Insights. We don’t think marketers should need a PhD in statistics to understand how their campaigns are performing, so we set out to build a suite of intuitive performance management products that give marketers the insight they need to drive revenue. As CEO, I oversee operations and work with the board to implement strategy.

2. What is it that you found lacking in the Marketing technology environment that pushed you to start a company of your own?
Marketers need to know how campaigns are performing at every stage of the marketing and sales funnel so they can accurately attribute revenue to marketing spend. There are a lot of great martech solutions out there, but until we developed Full Circle as a native Salesforce solution, marketers struggled to link their martech-generated data to numbers inside Salesforce, which operates as the de facto revenue system of record for many of the world’s most innovative companies.

We started Full Circle to help marketers generate the data they need for campaign insight within the same framework as their sales colleagues. This approach creates a single source of data truth within companies, making marketing’s data more credible and giving marketers a way to demonstrate their role in the value-creation chain and take their rightful seat at the strategy table.

3. How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
The industry has evolved significantly in response to big data, mobile, new digital channels, changing customer expectations and new buying patterns. One of the most significant changes is that buyers are more sophisticated, especially on the B2B side. Regardless of the length of the sales cycle, buyers today tend to do much of their research on products or services online, anonymously, at an earlier stage in the funnel. A recent report found that more than 40 percent of buyers conducted anonymous digital research within the first 90 days.

Since this research is conducted anonymously, marketers have struggled to gain insight into how marketing content is driving subsequent buying decisions. Full Circle’s new Digital Source Tracker product solves this problem by linking anonymous digital touches with identified leads in the CRM system. That lets marketers identify which programs drive acquisition, create opportunities and lead to a purchase. Digital Source Tracker lets marketers make more informed decisions about where to invest marketing dollars so they can optimize digital spend.

4. Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and AI centric solution handling, where do you see Full Circle Insights fitting in the ecosystem?
I see Full Circle on the leading edge of the space because we give marketers the tools to generate insight they can use to continuously improve performance, and our solutions integrate with the technology stack sales already uses. It’s increasingly imperative for sales and marketing to work together to optimize the funnel, and our products facilitate better alignment.

For example, Salesforce Einstein is a breakthrough AI for CRM solution that can help sales professionals understand customer needs to an unprecedented degree, provide support teams with the tools to solve customer problems before they are even aware of a pain point, and allow marketing to deliver a highly personalized customer experience. Full Circle is a perfect fit for this ecosystem, which requires high quality data and maximum collaboration across departments.

5. How do you differentiate Full Circle Insights from the competition?
We make it easy for marketers to understand campaign performance, use those insights to allocate marketing spend effectively, and demonstrate marketing’s role in influencing the pipeline and generating revenue. We deliver complete funnel metrics across marketing and sales and provide marketers with bullet-proof data.

The fact that we deliver reliable marketing data inside Salesforce and are compatible with leading marketing automation solutions sets us apart. Because our team has broad experience with CRM, product management and marketing automation, we’re able to deliver solutions that facilitate collaboration across department boundaries, and that’s a critical advantage for Full Circle Insights clients.

6. What changes are you majorly concentrating on to enhance and plug-in a more actionable customer interaction and communication model?
Digital Source Tracker is a key focus right now because it makes anonymous digital customer interactions visible and therefore actionable, indicating which digital communication models are most effective at the top of the funnel. Without Digital Source Tracker, marketers typically don’t know how leads become prospects. Did they click a digital ad, read a white paper or other digital marketing collateral? Until a prospect fills out an online form or makes contact with sales further down the funnel, their early activities are typically a mystery.

With Digital Source tracker, marketers gain insight into the early stages of the buyer journey. They can identify anonymous digital touches once the prospect becomes a lead and attribute revenue to marketing spend appropriately — even in the earliest stages of the buyer journey. That’s a real breakthrough.

7. What tools would recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
Salesforce Einstein is an amazing Sales Hack because of its seamless integration into so many of the Salesforce products companies already use. Users simply put their data in Salesforce, and Einstein uses the data to help people work smarter and predict customer behavior more accurately.

I believe the future of martech will involve collecting and connecting all the anonymous and known data we can gather about prospects and feed it into tools like Salesforce Einstein to generate better, faster insights.

8. What do you think are the new standards of tech integrations? How do you manage the dire data complexities that come along with tech integrations?
It’s critical for companies to be more collaborative today, which is why I believe it’s so important for sales and marketing to be on the same page and share a single source of data truth. That requires using a common tech stack, and for many companies, especially in the B2B space, that means the CRM.

Marketing and sales will still have point solutions to address their diverse needs, but their data needs to match to take advantage of new capabilities like those offered by Digital Source Tracker, which uses lead data in Salesforce to allow marketers to identify what works and what doesn’t at the top of the sales funnel. Tech integration is crucial to drive collaboration, and working within the same ecosystem simplifies it.

9. Which startups in the martech and adtech industries are you keenly following?
In addition to Full Circle Insights, I’ve been following Everstring for the ABM solutions, Outreach for their sales enablement solutions, and Pathfactory with their content activation service.

10. Elaborate on your best digital transformation content marketing campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
My favorite measurement story is actually a combination of measuring the impact of PR.  We looked all the responses on non-PR days versus PR-days and saw that there was a significant lift on inbound responses

11. What book are you currently reading?
The Persuasion Code: How Neuromarketing Can Help You Persuade Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.

12. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
I like the old African proverb. If you want to go fast, go alone.  If want to go far, go together.


About Bonnie Crater

Prior to joining Full Circle Insights, Bonnie Crater was a five-time vice president of marketing and executive at many software companies in Silicon Valley. Bonnie held vice president and senior vice president roles at Genesys, Netscape, Network Computer Inc., salesforce.com, Stratify, Realization, and VoiceObjects (now Voxeo). A ten-year veteran of Oracle Corporation and its various subsidiaries, Bonnie was vice president, Compaq Products Division and vice president, Workgroup Products Division. In 2013, Bonnie was named one of the “100 Most Influential Women” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, in 2015 the Sales Lead Management Association named her one of the “20 Women to Watch” and in 2016 Diversity Journal honored her as one of the “Women Worth Watching.” Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.

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