Sean Doyle
Hosted by

Sean Doyle

Sean is a principal at FitzMartin, and our leading mind and voice on sales and marketing strategy. Sean is particularly adept at applying the science of behavior change to the art of sales and marketing.


Mac Logue: Hello everyone, welcome to the podcast Aligned. I’m your host, Mac Logue, with my co-hosts, Sean Doyle and Anna Svarney.

Sean Doyle: Hey, y’all.

Anna Svarney: Good morning.

Mac Logue: So this podcast is about marketing and sales, and that often misunderstood area where the two overlap.

Sean Doyle: Marketing and sales alignment, that is the holy grail. Is it not?

Mac Logue: So we have a really great show this week. I have been able to spend some time with Lori Sullivan who—

Sean Doyle: I love Lori.

Mac Logue: Yes she is awesome. She is the marketing director at Fleetio. They are a tech company, started in 2012. And they’ve had some exponential growth. They’ve had some explosive growth. Lori has been there right in the middle of it all. We spent time talking about a variety of subjects but a good bit of the show is about marketing technology, which I know is a hot topic these days especially among CEOs and how they go about choosing technology how they go about using it to align their sales and marketing functions their staff.

Anna Svarney: Yeah. Mac my all of my clients are curious. They don’t really know how to do that or what they should be using in terms of technology. I get this question all the time so I can’t wait to hear what Lori has to say I know she’s kind of been at the forefront her company being a software company they’re quick to adopt quick to that and see how something works for them and how it doesn’t. So I look forward to it.

Mac Logue: Yeah. So it’s a wide ranging conversation and I think you’ll find it very interesting. So let’s just jump right into it.

Mac Logue: First of all what does your company do.

Lori Sullivan: Fleetio is a business to business software as a service or SaaS company. We build fleet management software. So, think tracking analyzing and improving Fleet Operations for tons of different businesses in multiple industries around the world. You know for a services company like Stanley Steamer they’re a great example customer of ours. They are trying to serve their customers every day. They’re meeting customers at their residences or businesses to do their job. They’re not really worried about vehicle operations. That’s not their core business. They just want their assets to run and make customer appointments on time. So we automate the fleet management process a bit. We also exist is kind of a centralized database for our customers as well. So think maintenance data fuel data parts and inventory. Fuel efficiency all these different things are centralized and housed in one spot so you can pull reporting that’s meaningful to the business. How much are you spending on maintenance for specific vehicles for the full fleet and really get that well rounded reporting that you can send up to management to executive leadership. And so it’s really a a full solution to help manage Fleet Operations.

Mac Logue: You have a fairly broad definition of the term fleet don’t you.

Lori Sullivan: We definitely do so a lot of customers in Fleetio, they manage vehicles of course. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. But people can manage boats, drones, bikes—tons of different types of assets in Fleetio, equipment as well. We have a ton of landscaping businesses as customers who you know they’re tracking different types of equipment in Fleetio as well. So we really see ourselves as a mobility platform. You know we’re thinking larger in terms of transportation we’re really thinking larger in terms of assets. There’s a ton of different types of assets out there that a business may leverage on a daily basis to do their job and to really carry out their their core business functions and so we want to be able to pull those assets into Fleetio and report on them to help track and improve the efficiency of utilizing them.

Mac Logue: Talk a little bit about how someone becomes a customer.

Lori Sullivan: Most people have a traditional marketing and sales approach, where sales kind of owns the majority of the funnel. Well, for us we really call our marketing and sales funnel a high velocity approach and all that means is that instead of marketing owning just kind of the awareness stage and, you know, kind of getting people interested in a product, we really own most of the funnel all the way from awareness down through, you know, when someone is almost ready to make that purchase. So marketing and sales are really tightly aligned at Fleetio.

Lori Sullivan: So marketing you know we’re using a lot of digital channels kind of operating from an inbound marketing standpoint. You know most of our marketing campaigns marketing channels point people back to our website at and they’re they’re able to raise their hand in one way or another. So it might be something you know not so warm. They may download a white paper or they may take a warmer action like requesting a demo of the product or signing up for a free trial. And so when we deem someone a marketing qualified lead, or an MQL, we pass those off to our sales team. So someone is familiar with Fleetio. They’ve been to our site. They’ve raised their hand in one way or another and they’ve done some action that was warm enough or hot enough to warrant them going to a live salesperson and actually carrying out a product demo and getting into the ins and outs of their specific needs.

Lori Sullivan: But marketing’s main function is to fill the top of the funnel with quality leads. We focus really heavily on quality not quantity. We do some nurturing as well and in the middle of the funnel to push people more toward a product demo or trial; that handoff from marketing to sales happens near the end of the funnel you know near the bottom of the funnel when someone is really to that point of making a purchase decision.

Mac Logue: Talk a little bit about the early days you when you went to work at Fleetio in 2015. You were early in the development of the company.

Lori Sullivan: Yeah. Employee Number Six. It’s a little crazy. We just eclipsed number sixty two, I believe. And that’s been a little over four years. So it’s been a crazy ride and really cool to watch the growth.

Mac Logue: Talk a little bit about that. What is it like being part of a company that’s growing at that kind of pace while you’re also trying to invent an entire department an entire business function at the same time.

Lori Sullivan: So I was the first marketer at Fleetio back in 2015. And you know we had a Web site at the time, we had been generating leads. You know we had the ability to request a trial and things like that on our website. So we had a marketing function.

Lori Sullivan: We really weren’t propelling it forward in any way we had it build what I call now a marketing engine, an inbound lead generation engine.

Lori Sullivan: So when I came in to the mix it first of all for me it was a super exciting opportunity to come in and really build something from the ground up and we were still building the product up as well. I mean we had a great product and we had really our core functionality which revolves around fleet maintenance and fuel.

Lori Sullivan: But since then I mean our product has become incredibly robust. And with that we’ve really changed the way we message. The messaging becomes more complex as there are more things to communicate and more value to communicate. But, it’s a really unique position that we were in at the time in 2015 because there wasn’t a clear market leader amongst our competitor set so, one, there was a large opportunity for differentiation. We came in as this modern SaaS company, so we looked different we felt different. Our creative was different our branding was different. So we were a little bit of a disruptor, which was really interesting; so big opportunity for differentiation there, which we capitalized on. And then because there was really no clear market leader there is a pretty low barrier to entry. And so, we were able to leverage things like content marketing and organic search to make the most out of our limited resources at that time. That resource was me. In addition to people, I mean, we weren’t spending a whole lot in our marketing efforts either.

Lori Sullivan: Focusing on organic really propelled us in those first couple years, that I was on the team. So focusing on content, thought leadership content, like our blog, creating white papers, creating case studies—all of those content marketing tactics and strategizing around the keywords that we really wanted to and needed to rank for. I credit a lot of early success to those types of campaigns and those types of projects. And still to this day, you know organic search is a huge piece of our marketing strategy.

Lori Sullivan: You know we are hiring pretty quickly right now but we’re focusing a lot of those efforts on content related roles. And that’s because we want to continue investing in something that has proven to work really well for us.

Mac Logue: It’s safe to say your team moves really fast. And you try a lot of things. Talk about that a little bit; in those early days, I’m assuming, you tried a lot of strategies you kept the ones that worked, you discarded things that didn’t work. What was that environment like work in.

Lori Sullivan: So that’s one of my favorite pieces of working at Fleetio, working in that tech startup environment. And I’m happy to say that we’ve really maintained that mentality even to this day with you know over 60 employees. That’s one of the things that I tout in the hiring process a lot because I think most people are going to be really motivated by that.

Lori Sullivan: So in the early days, we tried a lot of things we learned a lot of things. You know our organization has always been very nimble. We like to stay that way especially on the marketing side. Even as we’ve stepped up the number of people that we have contributing to marketing everyone has the mentality of pushing out a version 1 and then iterating; we test things really often and either prove their worth or prove they’re not worth our time. And so that’s the core mentality that we take on the marketing team. I mean in marketing as you know there’s a million things that you could be doing. And so figuring out what works and figuring out what doesn’t is you have to do. And to me figuring out what doesn’t work is almost as exciting as figuring out what works because it kind of allows you to say no to that moving forward and really focus on the things that do matter.

Lori Sullivan: We’ve always been a really measured marketing organization as well. We have a lot of tools in place to give us full visibility into literally everything we do. So that again that gives us the freedom to know when we test something if something is going to make an impact, if it’s not. And that’s been testing everything from the types of content to different trade shows that we go to within the industry, too types of video creative that we’re pushing out there. We look at how these things influence conversion and and go from there.

Mac Logue: Talk about your team a little bit. The makeup of your team started with you. How many people are in marketing now.

Lori Sullivan: Right now, on the marketing team, we have seven people. So again marketer number one right here back in the day.

Mac Logue: Seven times the size you were.

Lori Sullivan: Yeah exactly, in four years, which is pretty crazy. But yeah I think building out a marketing team was super exciting for me. It was something that stepping in I was really motivated by. I’ve really enjoyed the hiring process and really scoping out the best talent. You know we always say when we’re hiring anyone in our company if it’s not a hell yes it’s a no and for us like that has really allowed us to hire the best people for the job. And so the makeup of a marketing team I’ve learned over the past four years and in building one out. It’s a unique blend of so many different types of skill sets and personalities. So in comparison to a sales team or a finance team you know it’s it’s a different animal because it’s it’s quite diverse and so that’s been really exciting to bring people in and see those different personalities and different skill sets blend together and then strive for a common goal.

Lori Sullivan: For us again our our common goal as a team is lead generation. So we focus really heavily on content marketing. We have someone that manages our content marketing efforts and then we have people on that team that focused heavily on writing, you know, things like blog posts, White Papers, case studies. And then we have someone who focuses more on the creative side storytelling through video, and then we also have someone who focuses on paid media. So paid campaigns whether that is retargeting people who have already been to our site or, you know, grabbing prospects from different areas of the Internet.

Lori Sullivan: And then of course we have creatives, designers that really contribute to everything we do; our website, our marketing and sales collateral, trade show displays, everything you could think of from a design perspective. And then we also have a marketing engineer on our team.

Lori Sullivan: You know, we’re a technology company so engineers are plentiful within our organization. But I was really excited when we were able to hire an engineer dedicated to marketing and so engineering on the marketing side really looks like internal systems. So things like our CRM system our marketing automation system wiring those up and managing kind of the ins and outs of the day to day there and then also growth engineering. So looking at the full funnel and figuring out how we can optimize and actually doing the work the implementation work to act on that. So it may be improving our trials sign up flow or the onboarding process during a trial.

Lori Sullivan: Everyone on our team is super analytical. We’ve done a really good job of hiring people who are very analytical. They’re analytics- and data-focused and data driven. Every single person on our team has a KPI that they focus on in their role. Usually it’s tied to lead generation or closed revenue from inbound leads but everyone has a KPI things that they track on a regular basis and so it’s been crucial that everyone that’s joined our team be very analytical as we have a lot of data at our fingertips and we want to leverage in the best way marketing of course is only one piece of the puzzle.

Mac Logue: Describe your sales group and how it’s organized.

Lori Sullivan: Yes. So our sales organization is growing really quickly right now as well. I would say we have around 10 people focused on inbound sales. We also have a really small subset of the sales team that does some outbound work, as well, but they don’t work inbound leads. So as far as marketing passing off leads There’s around 10 sales people that actually work the inbound leads that that we provide them.

Mac Logue: You’ve passed off a lead to sales you know an awful lot about those people. Talk a little bit about technology within your group your core marketing technology.

Lori Sullivan: So as a technology company, we obviously build software so we like to think we’re really good consumers of software as well and that we make good choices around software. Because of that we know the value of B2B software. We leverage tools to help, you know, teams across the organization do their jobs more efficiently and get better insight into things. But on the marketing side, I would say we probably have, of the teams in our company, one of the most robust tech stacks. We leverage a ton of tools on our on a daily basis.

Lori Sullivan: But I would say the two core tools that we leverage on the marketing team really across marketing and sales is our CRM system; so we use Salesforce. And our marketing automation system; we use Marketo for that. And to me those are really the two core systems that everything else kind of revolves around. The two are tightly integrated and that’s really important for us because obviously we want to maintain that sales and marketing alignment. It’s incredibly important for us.

Lori Sullivan: And so that tight integration between the two systems that kind of sits at the center are kind of the nucleus of our toolset that becomes more complicated I suppose as as you add new strategies add new tools add people as your marketing function grows and expands and scales talk some more about the other kinds of tools that you’re looking at.

Mac Logue: I mean you can talk broadly and you know that they’re analytical tools. There are all these different kinds of technology that are available. Talk a little bit about some of the things that you use and and how they integrate.

Lori Sullivan: So I would put some of the tools that we use into a couple different categories. One category would be attracting new customers, generating leads. So when we focus for instance on the organic side, you know, we’re doing a lot of keyword research.

Lori Sullivan: We’re trying to figure out how well we’re ranking for things; how well our competitors are ranking for things; if we’re not ranking so well for a certain term. And so we use primarily a tool called Spy fu and we also use Google’s search console for that on the organic side. Those are incredibly important tools for us.

Lori Sullivan: We of course use some of the ad platforms like Google AdWords. We use a tool called AdRoll to do some of our retargeting campaigns as well. We actually advertise on Bing as well. So we use Bing Ads.

Lori Sullivan: We of course leverage social channels. You know for us we we think about each social channel a little differently. We have some paid efforts on a couple of them. And then there are some like Instagram, for instance, that we really leverage as a recruitment and kind of culture tool. So we we think about them differently based on their format and how our market actually interacts with them.

Lori Sullivan: And then on the measurement side, on the analytics side, we have a number of tools that we leverage. So one in particular is Google Analytics, which most modern companies should be using if they have a website. And I hope they would. We leverage Google Analytics, you know, to track everything happening on our site conversion as well.

Lori Sullivan: We leverage a tool called Mixpanel to look into the leads that we’re getting whether they are still anonymous or not to segment some of that data and look at specific events that are happening behaviorally on our on our site and within our product as well. We pull those events, once someone actually signs up for a trial and is actually in the Fleetio product. We can look at what those actions are that they’re taking on the product side in Mixpanel as well. So Mixpanel is event based, and again we can segment that event data and look at specific properties alongside these events. We can also map out funnels. So a simple example of a funnel.

Lori Sullivan: You can map in Mixpanel would be, you know, the event is “visited our pricing page.” The next event is “CLICK TO SIGN UP button.” The next event is created account. So very simple funnel, but you’re able to really see how many people did each event and what the top to bottom conversion is across the funnel. And you can build out quite complex things. But that’s a really simple example.

Lori Sullivan: And then another analytics tool that I’ve always thought is super interesting is called FullStory. It is a tool that actually records, in a video format, visits to your website, mostly anonymous unless we know their information for some reason; like we’ve generated them as a lead before. FullStory will really allow you to see firsthand their journey through your Web site. Where are they spending time. Where are they having issues. Are they jumping right past all the conversion points that you want them to click. So it’s a really interesting tool. We use it on the marketing side to look at visits on our marketing site. But on the product side, we use it as well to look at where people are having issues and troubles in the product, to improve both user experience on our website and in our product.

Mac Logue: One of the obvious questions that comes to mind you we’ve got all these tools that you’re you’re running, you’re experimenting with and sort of the way we approach websites. We think it’s always like an experiment. Web sites never really done. You’re always trying and doing things.

Lori Sullivan: It’s a living breathing thing.

Mac Logue: All of these tools or most of these tools or creating information, creating data about people who come to your website or people who are maybe even a known prospect, somebody who signed up for something. Talk about integration. It Seems like that would be one of the biggest most important challenges to overcome as your whole system develops.

Lori Sullivan: Yeah, integration is crucial for us. We think of Salesforce, the CRM, as kind of a single-source-of-truth and integrate most of our other tools into it. Luckily Salesforce is a very open platform. They’ve built a business on integration. And so most of the time modern SAS solutions have a Salesforce integration. You know, that was one of the reasons we went with that product.

Lori Sullivan: So integration for us is super crucial when I’m looking at a new tool and kind of analyzing it. The fact that they integrate with Salesforce or integrate with Marketo is definitely something I look at right off the bat. So one tool that I haven’t mentioned yet that we leverage, it’s kind of a backend type tool; It’s not something I really ever log into. It’s really a data infrastructure tool called Segment; it’s really an event library. We use it on the marketing side and track events on our site. So “watched video,” “downloaded white paper” — those types events. We also use it on the product side to see what people are doing in the product and the cool thing about Segment is that they also are a very open platform. Their business is integrating and sending data into other systems. So we’re able to tightly integrate Segment and send data into all the other systems we use like Mixpanel, like Google Analytics, like Salesforce, like Marketo. And so that kind of event library propagating out to all of our other systems really keeps things consistent and pushes that data out to everywhere we would really be looking at it or looking for it. And so I think that is a great tool to ensure that your data doesn’t get siloed.

Mac Logue: Interesting, because you hear that from a lot of people, if you talk about this with many people. You know that’s one of the biggest challenges people face is how do you get all these disparate systems to talk to one another.

Lori Sullivan: Absolutely. One, it’s not just people, you know, focusing on marketing and sales systems either. I mean we see that in our customer base. You know, obviously we build technology. And just as Salesforce has done, we also have integrations with other adjacent solutions to fleet. So we, as a product, integrate with telematics solutions, fuel cards, maintenance shops, and I’m sure there will be others in the future. Because we really see the importance of integration. It just promotes further automation and better data visibility and you’re really able to centralize all of your data to get a well-rounded view of what you’re spending what that means for you, how the fleet is operating and how that impacts your business.

Lori Sullivan: So our future is really as this open platform where we don’t want to hold your data hostage. We want to pull in data from other systems or, you know, products that you’re using so that you can leverage it in a better way alongside, you know, your other fleet data.

Mac Logue: You have all this this automation, this software that you’re integrating into your marketing function. How does that affect the composition of your team.

Lori Sullivan: I don’t think it necessarily affects the composition or the roles we hire for. I think it definitely affects the skill sets that the people we bring in need, though. For instance I mentioned everyone on my team is quite analytical, where not all designers are analytical, not all content marketers are analytical. They may be good at writing but they don’t always have to be analytical.

Add speaker: Everyone on our team is analytical and I think, because we have so much data at our fingertips, because we leverage these really robust and powerful tools like Marketo and Salesforce, you really have to a have some experience with that type of technology and have experience analyzing some type of data that may come out of a system like that.

Mac Logue: That suddenly becomes more important because as as things scale as the technology becomes more sophisticated and more robust, it’s easy to see where you reach a point where you’re awash in data. You are so covered up in data how do you how do you make sense of it. How do you sift out those things that affect sales the most that are that are the most influential in terms of decision making.

Lori Sullivan: Yeah that’s a great question. I think that’s something that everyone faces. You know, there’s a ton of analytics tools out there and you can onboard all of them and they may do great things for you, but you still have to make sense of what they’re spitting out at you, right?

Lori Sullivan: So you know for us it’s always been iterative. You know even just this past year we’ve figured out how to track inbound or, I should say, closed business from our inbound channels, versus just the quantity of leads that we’re generating. That’s been an iterative process over a number of years. And we’ve leveraged multiple tools through those phases. So I think it’s it’s a little bit of trial and error to figure out what matters and act on that. And it’s definitely ensuring that you have data that is centralized but also you have a good enough tool to visualize that data in the right way, where it doesn’t become overwhelming.

Mac Logue: That leads to a big question. How do you choose the tools you you go with? I mean we talk about thousands of different choices. There’s no way you can know all of them much less trial them. So how do you how do you go about choosing the technology that you use.

Lori Sullivan: Well, I think the first thing to know is there’s not a perfect piece of technology anywhere in any vertical. I think the second thing to know is that obviously software is always evolving, especially web and mobile based software.

Lori Sullivan: But when I’m looking at a new solution first I look at integration. So integration with segment is important, for us, because like I said it kind of runs the back end event library that we we leverage. Integration to our CRM and our marketing automation system is really important because those are really the the nucleus of our toolset.

Lori Sullivan: So integration would be first, second would be feature set. What do we need it to do? What’s missing? You know kind of compare across some of your top choices create a feature matrix, you know, what is tool A missing that tool B has, and vice versa.

Lori Sullivan: And then finally would be—I’m a huge fan of tools giving you a free trial, we do that as a product because we want to get people into our software because we know we have a good user experience. I’m always a little wary when you can’t do that right because I really like to look at the UI to the user interface and the user experience is big for us. We’re probably a little critical of user interfaces just because we build that. But I would say as a as a third piece the UI and user experience—how easy is the software to use, is really important.

Lori Sullivan: So integration then feature set then UI.

Mac Logue: How do you source information or do you do you do much research on what other people think of a particular piece of software.

Lori Sullivan: Yeah. So luckily there’s a million reviews and lots of information at our fingertips. I mean I typically start with a Google search honestly but there are some great review sites out there for software.

Lori Sullivan: So Captera is one software advice, is one technology advice. There’s a ton and I’m pretty familiar with those, because we have listings on those as well. So pretty familiar with how their categories and rankings and reviews work. I trust Captera. They usually, in most of their software categories like marketing automation software, have a number of products listed and also a number of reviews, so they make it easy to kind of compare feature sets. But also look at what real people are saying about the product on multiple levels, whether that is feature set pros and cons, simplicity, user experience and price. I rely on review sites a good bit when I’m looking at another product to add to our tool set. I find that most of the time they stay pretty objective and just pull in customer and user reviews pretty well and it’s easy to access easy to compare, as I rely on that data a lot.

Mac Logue: Might you demo several different options within a particular tool.

Lori Sullivan: I’ll usually demo my top two, just because I feel like I can through research I can get pretty far and then once I solidify the top two I’ll I’ll actually do a demo because typically with SAS solutions now most people are posting a demo video on their site. You could just watch most of the time it involves a salesperson and you know kind of a longer conversation so I’ll usually demo my top 2 tools when I’m making a decision and really get into a conversation at that point.

Mac Logue: So, you’ve got this system set up you’ve got all these tools in place a prospect a person is interested found you through a Google search or clicked on it and comes to your website they go through the whole process you’ve learned a lot about them. They’ve qualified themselves, as a as a legitimate lead, and you turn it over to sales. What is that handoff look like?

Lori Sullivan: So, the handoff between marketing and sales really happens in our CRM system, in Salesforce. It’s an automated mechanism where you know a lead is assigned to an account executive based on a couple rules that we that we’ve implemented.

Lori Sullivan: And then at that point, their goal is to do a product demo. We find that, again, if we can not just get someone into the product, but really walk them through the product alongside, you know, kind of pointing out the value to them ,as well and tailoring that conversation to their specific needs.

Lori Sullivan: Because all businesses are different, all are different. Even down to something as simple as the makeup of their fleet. You know, a fleet that has all F1 50s is gonna be a lot different than a construction fleet that has heavy duty equipment as a part of their fleet makeup. Or a landscaping company who has a ton of equipment that they’re going to be tracking. It’s always a different conversation based on the specific fleet and the specific needs. So that product demo is really crucial just because it’s always tailored.

Add speaker: So you’ve you pass off a lead to sales they sign up and become a customer. How do you measure the contribution of your marketing towards, I’m talking about attribution at this point, how do you . . . how do you assign sales back to your marketing tools? How do you identify those things that are really working, that are that are actually working towards somebody making a decision? How do you attribute your marketing? Do you attribute marketing?

Lori Sullivan: We do attribute our marketing. It has been a long iterative process to get there. Previously, I would say about a year ago, we were at the point where attribution for us looked like tying lead quantities to specific marketing channels. Now, we are at the point where we can tie inbound revenue, closed business, back to marketing channels.

Lori Sullivan: So we leverage a couple tools to do that. And we’ve actually built our own kind of backend systems to do that. That’s what ended up working well for us.

Lori Sullivan: But there are attribution tools out there and even some marketing automation systems have some pretty good attribution tools. But you know for us that was the endpoint that we wanted to get to being able to say within a given month marketing generated X amount of revenue. So getting to that point was a huge success for us. We definitely have done that in the last year and we leverage that data, you know, to—we report on that data to our entire company. And we also leverage it to make decisions moving forward.

Mac Logue: So budgeting decisions?

Lori Sullivan: Yea. Do we need to be spending more in our paid campaigns? Can we step up how we’re ramping budget for paid campaigns for month over month, for this year? Do we need to be spending more time and resources on the organic side of things?

Lori Sullivan: You know it really allows us to say truly what is working and what is not. And to see which channels are not only generating the most leads, but the most valuable leads because not all MQL is created equal. You know we’ve found that we generate some pretty valuable leads through organic means. So, again, recently we’ve been best been investing in more people on the content side.

Lori Sullivan: So attribution drives so many different things in your marketing organization. If you can do it right. You know, we’ve also even changed the KPI and goals that we’re working toward. Instead of just working toward, you know, an MQL quantity goal for a month we’re trying to close X amount of revenue. So we actually tie our monthly goals to revenue.

Mac Logue: You see a lot of strategies relative to attribution. You know there are different models assigning lots of weight to the first point of contact; lots of weight to the last point of contact; more sophisticated algorithms that they try to distribute responsibility across a number of different contexts. How would you say your model is built?

Add speaker: Yeah. We focus pretty heavily on first touch with the caveat and expectation that there’s always outliers in that situation. We also have found that attribution has been pretty difficult for us, and one of the reasons we chose to build our own back end way of tracking it instead of using an out of the box solution was because our our models interesting in the fact that we have Accounts, and we have Users, as customers. There may be 40 users on one account.

Add speaker: And any one of those users or usually multiple users touches Fleetio in some way. I may have done the initial Google search to find a marketing automation system, but maybe someone else on my team actually starts the trial because I ask them to do that. So there’s so many different intricacies and situations that can happen when it comes to attribution. I think setting the expectation that it’s never 100 percent perfect is important, but we focus mainly on first time touch. We do track first touch and last touch, we have that data. But when it comes to assigning assigning revenue to specific channels, we usually rely on first touch data.

Mac Logue: I’m going to assume the leadership in your organization, they they appreciate the effort to attribute sales to your marketing channels. How does that affect your job, since you’ve implemented some of these strategies?

Lori Sullivan: Yes. So one of I think the challenges as a marketer no matter if you’re in-house or in an agency but especially in a growing organization like Fleetio, where now we we funnel a little more budget into things. But we historically have had pretty limited resources and so our leadership has always been, you know, of the opinion that you can prove that something works, we will help you pour the fuel to the fire. And so, I’ve only, like I said, until about a year ago been able to prove MQL quantity, and now that I can tie it to revenue. This year, we’ve been able to really scale up our budget for paid campaigns. And so I’ve only like I said until about a year ago been able to prove MQL quantity and now that I can tie it to revenue, this year we’ve been able to really scale up our budget for paid campaigns. We when we were working on this attribution model that we’ve put in place, we did so hand in hand with finance with our CFO so that he really understood what we were doing every step of the way and really believed in the model. And it has really enabled—

Mac Logue: It’s made your life easier.

Lori Sullivan: Yes exactly. Exactly. I always make friends with finance.

Mac Logue: Always make friends with finance. Good rule of thumb; life lesson. That’s awesome. Thank you. Thank you for joining us.

Lori Sullivan: Happy to.

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In our podcast, Aligned, we talk about the strange and often misunderstood overlap between sales and marketing. It’s the area where most of our clients have struggled in the past — and that might be true for your company as well. If so, let’s talk about how better alignment can lead to a more profitable business.

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