Revenue Operations

Recipe for a Strong Marketing Analytics Tech Stack

We love our AMA’s at the RevOps Co-op! This time around we double dipped and were lucky enough to have Srikrishna Swaminathan (Sri) and Praveen Das for Factors.AI. They are Co-Founders of the marketing analytics platform with Sri serving as CEO.

They had great perspectives on all things Marketing, including:

  • Building a Marketing Ops company
  • Leveraging Journey Analytics beyond Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Building a Modern Analytics Stack for a B2B Marketer

Our moderator for this week was Robert Gammon, Senior Consultant at Cortado Group and a frequent Co-op contributor. 

A little more about Sri and Praveen:


Praveen Das, Co-Founder & CPO of Factors.ai, is a Product Leader with 10+ years of experience building Data, Analytics, and Segmentation Platforms. He is from the beautiful state of Kerala, India and his hobbies include running, reading non-fiction, and Bollywood movies. At Factors.ai he is focused on building the next generation, AI-powered Marketing Operations platform which enables B2B marketers to drive more revenue and cross-functional alignment.


Srikrishna Swaminathan, Co-Founder & CEO of Factors.ai, is a Business Leader with 10+ years of experience. Had started up & built $ 100 Mn + P&L at InMobi (AdTech platform). At Factors.ai he is focused on bringing together a world-class team to build a disruptive Marketing Operations platform for B2B marketers. He is from Bangalore, India, and outside of work is passionate about quizzing, history, and flying kites.



Robert Gammon

Howdy Everyone and welcome in! Today were talking with 2 super smart Entrepreneurs Praveen and Srikrishna about:


  • Building a Marketing Ops Company
  • Leveraging Journey Analytics Beyond Conversion Rate Optimizations
  • Building a Modern Analytics Stack for B2B!


A quick intro about Factors.AI : Factors.AI empowers B2B Marketing Teams to make sense of their diverse customer data and make smarter, faster decisions. With Factors, Marketers can say goodbye to data aggregation, manual analysis and spreadsheet errors, letting their AI uncover root causes and highlight anomalies for immediate action.


Srikrishna (Factors.AI/Community Partner)

Thanks a lot for the introduction Robert Gammon. Very excited to be here.


Praveen Das

Hi Everyone, Excited to be here and look forward to the discussion.


Robert Gammon 

So Praveen and Srikrishna, how do you explain what your company does to a stranger... or your grandparents?


Marketing Attribution is oftentimes looked at as the pinnacle of GTM analytics and so can often be intimidating.


Praveen Das 

I would say… “We help Marketing Teams at B2B companies reduce the amount of manual effort in doing data analysis and focus more on the exciting work of campaign activation. Analytics is largely seen as a chore, an unpleasant but avoidable step. We help make using data for informing decisions enjoyable and pleasant.”


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner) 

In one line I would say "Helping Marketers understand their customers and impact of marketing on revenue."


Robert Gammon  

That's simple enough!


Ok, so when it comes to Revenue... there's one big question I always ask. When you were deciding to build a business geared towards RevOps the question had to come up…. What IS RevOps? Or what is your definition of RevOps?


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner) 

RevOps for me is the organization level function to understand levers affecting revenue and forecast.


Praveen Das 

In my view ‘Operations’ is everything around optimizing existing processes to achieve higher efficiency and alignment, keeping in mind specific metrics.


Revenue Operations is hence the workstream of focused effort to optimize revenue related metrics such as Pipeline, Deals Won, Average Selling Price, Conversion Velocity. 


Robert Gammon 

Optimize Optimize Optimize! Such a great way to say that. 

Praveen, I love the statement about making analytics enjoyable! What have you seen your customers discover in Marketing Ops that created a sense of delight or joy?


Praveen Das 

So, analytics involves a bunch of critical but irritating issues such as:

  1. Understanding the core data model - so in the case of Marketing, notions of campaigns, medium, web sessions, conversions, salesforce objects and fields therein.
  2. Since we are focused only onB2B marketing we understand all of these concepts out of the box.
  3. This allows our customers to ask high level questions to our product such as, ‘How are customers in industry A different from industry B WRT content consumption’ or ‘Are users with job title A more likely to be high quality customers than users with job title B’.
  4. Our product can answer these high level questions taking a lot of manual work away from the end user.


Robert Gammon 

That's great! Alright So let's talk about some of the data modeling. Can you talk to us about some of the critical data points through a customer journey we should all be looking for ?


Praveen Das 

Top things that come to my mind include:

  1. UTM Hygiene and Consistency (esp in channels where auto tracking is not an option).
  2. Website Event Instrumentation for high value actions such as forms and ensuring tracking pixels are placed appropriately (in the head without blocking scripts). Specifically handling SPAs and cross domain tracking.
  3. Enforcing Lead Lifecycle stages and status in CRM, without exceptions.
  4. Handling recycled leads by either creating by updating the status and stages appropriately.
  5. Tracking non digital marketing campaigns (webinars, emails) properly with the appropriate statuses, which is particularly hard in Hubspot (and other CRMs) as compared to SFDC.


Beth Doran (Boclips)  

Re: #5, what makes this hard in HubSpot?


Praveen Das 

Campaign Member Object in Salesforce is more fully developed and easier to analyze in my experience.


In Hubspot to persist campaign member status changes, you might have to add custom fields with timestamps to the best of my knowledge


Sri Ganesan (Rocketlane)

Is there a perfect no-brainer tech stack today for a marketing team to get productive instantly and avoid all busy work that our teams have to do today? What would that comprehensive toolset look like?


Robert Gammon

Sri,Love this question. Analytics tech can get over complicated really quick.


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner) 

That depends on the stage of the company. Assuming it’s a Series A high-growth firm with a lot of inbound leads, channel marketing and content, I would recommend Clearbit (Deanonymization), Hubspot ( CRM, CMS, Marketing Automation) and a strong analytics product to stitch and visualize the data.


Robert Gammon

Srikrishna, that seems like a legit framework. Lets see:

1.Channel Marketing tool

2. Something to handle Attribution

3. a CRM

4. Data Visualizer


Seb van Heyningen (RevOps Co-op) 

Thanks for doing this, y'all! I have a question for ya - When an org has already advanced to a level of maturity that they have multiple inputs (ads, landing pages, BDRs, events, etc) and are struggling to understand attribution - What advice do you have for them? How do they upgrade their attribution model without disrupting the flow of business?


Robert Gammon 

I see Seb van Heyningen has entered the ring! Happy to see you here, sir!


Praveen Das 

Seb, I would recommend starting with simple funnels and measuring campaign influence of each campaign against the end outcome. SFDC does this well for offline campaigns.


Moving beyond influence would be questions like which campaigns help convert from Stage 1 to Stage 3, or which campaigns help attract vs close.


The last aspect would be cost efficiencies and bringing in the entire spend / ROI aspect.

Best to look at it as a roadmap with quick wins along the way.



Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner) 

For later stage firms, the tech stack becomes more complicated, with specialist Marketing Automation (Marketo) + CRM (SalesForce) + Chat (Drift/Intercom)+ Data enrichment + Intent Data products + Analytics & Attribution suite. Without a strong Analytics layer, you would end up working with Data Engineering and ETL tools to bring together data and then visualize them on BI. This doubles the cost and maintenance.


The key is the ability to bring in campaign data to website events and leading to CRM & product data. GA doesnt get campaign cost data, SFDC reports are not built for analytics and marketing data. Amplitude/Heap work for product event data.


Robert Gammon

Praveen, fantastic approach: "Best to look at it as a roadmap with quick wins along the way". I think it's easy to be overwhelmed with insights and miss great opportunities to improve. How do you see marketers sequencing or creating roadmaps?


Praveen Das

Most of our current customers are working on a planned analytics roadmap for 6 months with very specific milestones for every month. Depending on the stage of the company this can range from:

  1. Tracking KPIs
  2. Monitoring some key funnels
  3. Conversion Rate Optimization
  4. Simple Attribution models to contact stages such as SQL
  5. Multi Touch Attribution of Deal Value to Cost
  6. Bringing in website de-anonymisation and intent signals into analytics


Robert Gammon 

Thanks, Praveen. So let's talk about Marketing Ops as a function of a RevOps team... How do you see good marketing analytics influencing conversations and Initiatives within the business?

Basically, why is it important for a Go To Market organization?


Praveen Das

Marketing Operations would involve a bunch of work around Campaign Execution, Vendor Management, Analytics and Data Management. 

Analytics is important for a Go To Market organization because it could:

  1. Inform planning and goal setting for the upcoming quarters and years: Whilst plans need not necessarily be extrapolated from the past, it does provide guard rails.
  2. Keeps everyone focused on current goals and % achievement. Also informs changes / pivots to be made in marketing investments.
  3. Helps marketing teams build a portfolio of long term and short term initiatives each with their own evaluation criteria.
  4. Lastly, keeps the sales and marketing teams aligned, leading to a better focused GTM effort.


Robert Gammon 

We are ALL about ALIGNMENT! 

Alright, Srikrishna, as a CEO in this space, where do you see the Martech industry as a whole heading over the next few years?


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner)

🙂 MarTech is a truly exciting space, as more new subcategories are getting built and we have more data in our hands!!


This basically means a lot of tools, a lot of siloed data and companies trying to figure out how to put all pieces of the puzzle together and drive execution.


Robert Gammon

THIS^


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner)

This is where customer journey analytics, attribution and importantly Marketing Ops/Ops as a strategic function becomes relevant.


As a CEO, I am very excited the macro trends are in favor of analytics. But where I see real winners are when it comes to applied AI and surfacing that up to key decision makers at the right time with context.


AI powered Marketing Operations Platforms will be integral to B2B companies as they grow their digital footprint.


Robert Gammon 

AI is impossible without the right data at the right time so I think you're onto something!!


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner)

Yes, for AI to be relevant you should be able to bring in the data and stitch it together. That takes a lot of plumbing and difficult data engineering!!

We do the plumbing and have the AI layer on top of it.


Robert Gammon

Well that brings us to the end of our AMA session with Factors.ai! I want to thank everyone again for joining today and keep your eyes and ears and slack general channels open for more content just like this!



Erin O'Neill (RevOps Co-op)

Thank you to all that participated! And thank you to Srikrishna, Praveen, and Robert!


Praveen Das 

Thanks Erin and Robert!


Srikrishna ( Factors.AI/Community Partner)

Thanks a lot for this opportunity Erin, Robert and the RevOps Community. Really enjoyed the session and the questions. The live chat mode also was very refreshing and a cool experience.


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