The top three metrics that marketers need to follow while running campaigns – in conversation with Paresh Mandhyan

Paresh Mandhyan, Digital Marketing Director, VWO

Speaking at Growth Stage

Time slot: 4:30 PM – 4:50 PM

Speaker’s dossier:

  • Some interesting facts from the biography
    • After completing his MBA from the University of Wales in the UK, Paresh had a lucrative offer from the Bank of Scotland.  However, he strongly believed in the growing Indian economy and hence came back to India to kick off his first SaaS stint with Sterling Testing Systems (HR Tech) in 2008.
    • Paresh spearheaded the growth of email marketing for Cvent, scaling it to 40 million email sends a year with 85% of the NBB being touched by at least one of these email campaigns!
  • Career achievement

Paresh has over 12 years of experience working in India, the UK, and the US in various aspects of the marketing mix and has been focused on executing effective growth strategies with integrated GTM and personalized omnichannel marketing.

He has been instrumental in setting up marketing processes and functional teams from scratch for various B2B SaaS companies including RateGain, Cvent (acquired for $1.83B), BirdEye, and is now the Global Head of Marketing at VWO.

  • The role and key responsibilities in VWO

As the head of marketing at VWO, a Martech SaaS player in the experience optimisation space, Paresh is responsible for the global GTM, branding and demand generation to scale VWO’s growth. Leading a team of 20 marketers, Paresh is responsible for directing the overall marketing spends and delivering ROI along with the achievement of key marketing KPIs.

Julia – Having such rich experience in building marketing products, what are the key criteria for successful building marketing strategy?

Paresh

1) Absolute clarity in what you are chasing would be the top criteria in my mind. At any given point of time as a marketer, you should be able to answer, what exactly you are selling and who exactly you want to sell to. Ideally, this should cascade down to the marketing group from the company-wide strategy and goals (if it does not or is not clear, go back to the drawing board). Any deviation in the growth/scale years should be seen as a red flag. And if this is not working for the organisation from a growth perspective, go back to the above two questions and recalibrate.

2) Positioning can make or break your growth. Unless you have built a compelling positioning that speaks to the ‘who you want to sell to’ audience both emotionally and from a business standpoint, you can have the best go-to-market strategy but it is more likely to fail. A lot of work needs to be done on the positioning as a part of the marketing strategy and NOT after.

Julia Three important metrics every marketer needs to check while running the campaign and why?

Paresh:

Often marketers alienate their goals/KPIs from the overall organisation goals. We get so focused on vanity metrics such as traffic, clicks, downloads, etc. that we miss measuring if our efforts are moving the needle. The top three metrics that marketers need to follow while running campaigns:

  1. Conversion rates across the entire funnel. Typically, I have seen marketers drop the ball at traffic to lead conversion rate. We need to go way beyond that, follow the trail right to the end. This will enable marketers to effectively spend marketing $$.
  2. CAC and LTV of opportunities won segmented by campaigns. Understanding which campaigns, channels, and tactics give you the best return in a lifetime (many of us just track upto the lead to close only) is crucial. Higher the LTV from a particular channel/campaign, the more flexibility you can have with the CAC. This would enable you to test expensive channels.

Julia -Coming to marketing processes and its optimisation – do you have any case study to share with our audience?

            Paresh –

  1. A great example of this would be how we manage our marketing projects, timelines, and effectiveness at VWO. We implemented marketing scrums about a year and a half ago and it has worked wonders for us. While there are many debates around this topic as marketing is a dynamic function and I agree. To tackle this, we run smaller bi-weekly scrums and allocate 80% bandwidth to predefined activities that are a part of the scrum. Remaining 20% bandwidth (and it is a lot with 20 people team) is reserved for time-sensitive and unforeseen projects. This has helped tremendously and over the past year, we have improved our delivery timelines of tasks and also commit to completion ratio drastically.
  2. Automate where possible (read: everywhere). One thing that marketers lacked historically was the automation mindset. Today, I see a lot of marketers (including myself) working very closely with the engineering teams to automate as many processes as possible. A prime example would be how we automated sending out an actual calendar invite (like you would receive for any f2f meeting) to webinar registrants with a personalized link dynamically embedded from GoToWebinar with the help of engineering. This improved our webinar attendance rate by over 10%!
  3. Create a culture of experimentation. As marketers, we are so focused on execution and meeting our day to day targets that we don’t leverage the power of optimisation to amplify the results. In today’s marketing landscape, everything needs to be tested and optimised for a better experience. It is no longer a good to have, your audience expects & deserves this.  In our team, we vouch for this mindset and it has shown results. From testing email subject lines to most important elements on our website home page to our content writers who run experiments with CTAs on their content and even headlines! In short, optimise everything you do!

Julia: Assuming the marketer is running a campaign and wants to test a few ideas – how can VWO help?

Paresh: For those of you who are not familiar with us, VWO is an experience optimisation platform that enables marketers to understand the visitor behaviour on their site, easily run tests via visual or code editor and finally send push notifications to visitors that drop off.

VWO Testing supports A/B tests, Multivariate test and Split URL tests. Even marketers with no coding experience can simply load the page they want to run tests on and make changes based on their ideas. With VWO Testing you can:

  • Visualize your funnel and identify conversion leaks
  • Understand how visitors interact with your website elements and where they drop off using heatmaps and session recordings
  • Easily change the headline, CTA, images, or any other element on your page
  • Modify existing pages or create multiple variations of the same page
  • Make styling changes such as background color, font styles, and borders as well
  • Drag, move, resize, and hide options let you make layout changes like bringing a form or an offer to the top of the fold
  • Get an entire library of widgets to test with
  • Segment & run tests based on your visitor’s behavior
  • Keep your data clean even with multiple tests on the same page
  • Track the impact of an A/B test across the entire funnel

All of this and more from one integrated platform which comes with an in-built program management layer to make experimentation a program and not a one-off activity.

Julia: The feature you are proud of the most in VWO?

Paresh: While there are many amazing features that marketers leverage throughout our platform, my personal favourite is ‘Form Analytics’. It is a known fact that a lower number of form fields leads to a higher conversion rate. However, we never look at data to substantiate this and more importantly, we don’t ever consider the type of field, order of fields, or even try to understand which fields are causing the most friction. This is where Form Analytics comes in. For every form on VWO website, I exactly know the time spend on each field, completion rate of each individual field (irrespective of the form submitted or not), % of users dropping off on each field (read: friction) and also test results of swapping the order/placement of fields. Combine this and you have powerful data with the potential to improve your form completion rate by double digits easily. Every website, B2B or B2C has a form today (checkout or lead gen) and given that this the most important step in the journey, it definitely requires a little more attention and love than we give it today!

Julia: We’re really excited to host you as a speaker of SEMrush Marketing Show, what would your advice to all attendees be and will it be possible to catch up with you during the conference?

Paresh:

  1. Marketing should not be considered a cost center but a profit center and we marketers need to adapt our mindset and strategies accordingly. CMOs today have a seat at the table where they get to play a role in shaping the overall growth trajectory of the organisation and it is super important for marketing as a function to understand those goals and align everything they do to ensure it moves the needle for the most important metrics.
  2. I would love to meet like-minded marketers at the show. You can reach me via LinkedIn or I will also be available at the VWO booth #1 for a quick chat.

Julia: Connect with Paresh online on Linkedin.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pareshmandhyan/

Interview was taken by Julia Aslamova, Country Marketing Head (India) at SEMrush.