Data, MarTech and Personalization-The Holy Trinity of Digital Marketing ( Jay Fry, Sr. VP Marketing of New Relic ): Interview with Jay Fry

Glenn: Hi, everyone. I’m Glenn Gow, Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Welcome to Moneyball for Marketing where we talk about the incredible changes happening in marketing organizations around big data and marketing technology. We feature marketing technology insights from the top marketers in the world. The reference to Moneyball is from the story of how the Oakland A’s baseball team were able to win and win and win because they figured out how to use data and technology to their advantage. If you’d like to learn about how to use big data and marketing technology and marketing to help you win visit us at or email us at And now on to our podcast.
Today I am very pleased to welcome Jay Fry, Senior Vice President of Marketing at New Relic where he runs corporate marketing, and enterprise go to market programs. So how does Jay describe New Relic? New Relic is a software analytics company that makes sense of billions of metrics about billions of applications in real time. Our comprehensive SaaS based solution provides one powerful interface for web and data mobile applications, and consolidates the performance monitoring data for any chosen technology. Jay it’s great to have you here.

Jay: Glad to be here Glenn.

Glenn: So you and I were talking earlier about how New Relic is really a big data company. Tell us about your perspective on using data in the world of marketing.

Jay: Well I think the interest and focus on data for us, we have T-shirts all over the place here that say data nerd on them, so it would be logical that we use that in terms of every phase of our business. We sell and work with customers who are using data to figure out what’s going on with their applications, and how that’s effecting customer experience and their business in the end. And we then as our own marketing data nerds turn around and try to use the information that’s coming from our systems, and sometimes that product, and sometimes that’s other pieces of marketing technology that we use to help make decisions. And that’s sort of core to what we do. We have a group focused and organized around that, and it really informs a lot of the day to day activities, and even just outlook of how people talk to each other here.

Glenn: Well let’s start with an example of one of your customers and how they use New Relic. And the data that they’re taking advantage of, what do they do with it.

Jay: So there’s a couple different ways that people do this. And a lot of times folks like one example that just spoke at a recent conference at future stack. They’re using our insights product to give them data about what individual customers are ordering, and things that they; I don’t know if you know Café Press but they do T0shirts on demand; and they help their customers find interesting items that they are trying to track down that usually match some special interests that they may have. And they use that to use the data about what people have bought and are doing apply that to what customers see when they come to the website, and how they interact.

Glenn: So Jay does that mean personalization.

Jay: That’s part of of it, but you could also tell the individual customer experience so that IT operations folk can look at it so when something goes wrong on the website, they can figure what it was that impacted them, and how much it impacted their business. And they can then turn around and promote to those individual customers that have had a different experience.

Glenn: So a combination of personalization and performance monitoring?

Jay: Yeah it’s an interesting connection. Another one of our customers that spoke at Future Stack was Roku who have those streaming devices. And they do something similar, and they’re watching the experiences that people have, and especially the day after the holiday season gets going, people start to log into their capabilities and launch their systems, they can see what kind of experience they’re having and whether people are getting stuck or not, and often special incentives or continue their way through the acquisition process and with the data that they get from our product.

Glenn: Well I think that’s fascinating because many marketers we talk to are interested in personalization. And what’s driving that Jay is that consumers want it, whether they’re B2B or B2C consumers, they are starting to expect whether it’s explicit or not, the web experience to be more about me. And I need you as the vendor could be smart about me, because I’m going to drift towards companies that personalize for me. And it’s a fascinating development that’s going on.

Jay: Especially when that interaction has something to do with the money changing hands. That’s when they get really picky about it, and it’s absolutely warranted. And the technology is there, and frankly a lot of it is being driven by the focus on mobile and people needing things right now. But I think just in general I think it’s par for the course.

Glenn: You were telling me a story about how you work with Twitter. And I’ be very interested in hearing that connection.

Jay: Yeah, actually New Relic has been one of the most frequent and most aggressive users of twitter to et to our customers and prospects. WE do put a lot of content out there. Obviously we have our Twitter handle that’s going all the time. But also we’re trying out lots and lots of new offerings from Twitter themselves, and have worked with them I and in a lot of cases we’re the first people to try out the graphical cards, some of the video input, a lot of the new things they try, they come walking by us first and say hey do you guys want to try this out and see if it works. Because we have a lot of developers which are our early users and initial folks who try the product.

Glenn: And tell me how you track the impact of Twitter.

Jay: It’s interesting. Sometimes it’s very specific because you can track it to particular tags with Marketo and Salesforce systems with particular pieces that get downloaded. But then there’s also a good 60 percent of the traffic on our site is sort of tagged to brand or organic but is very much connected to what we do on Twitter. What we’ve noticed is that if we start to cut back on our Twitter spend it impacts the organic traffic on our site. So even just beyond just the specifics of hey there was a particular campaign that we ran, and it had this particular piece of content, this is actually a broader thing that we would watch and have connected.

Glenn: Can you talk a little bit about some of the other ways you do online demand.

Jay: Yeah, we are very well known for I mentioned the data nerd t shirts, but one of the things we do is offer trials to customers that as they think about getting started with us, and a lot of that goes through either Google search or advertising on a lot of the sites where we think developers are going to be. And basically the offer is get the agent working in your system and start using it and we’ll send you a t-shirt. And the content around that has been focused primarily on hey try this out, you’ll love it. It will help you give visibility to your applications. And the interesting thing as we’ve been selling to larger and larger companies is that we’ve had to change in that approach a lot of the messaging and some of the locations we’ve been placing a lot of these things.

Glenn: Talk about that, how did you know it was time to start changing the messaging and locations that is typically done by persona work.

Jay: That’s exactly right. We were talking with the developers who are our main persona. But as we started to talk to people in larger organizations, we realized that they would bring other people into the room. They would bring operations people that would help run websites and mobile apps. They would bring architects; they would bring the business folks. And a lot of times our traditional approach of trying to get folks to download and use trials in larger companies are a lot more scared of restrictions and they have things they don’t have control over. And so there are a lot of people involved in the sales process sometimes 10. And so that to us said time to do a little bit of understanding, knowledge, research on who are these other people, what do they think about, what are they like, what do they know. And what are the messages they are going to get where they are going to respond to things.

Glenn: And something else that you mentioned earlier which is something I like about persona which is where do they for their information. IF we know where they are going, we need to make sure our content shows up there.

Jay: That’s also in person too. But then there’s also hey are they getting there daily does of news from hacker news, or Tech Crunch, or something that’s more interesting or relevant to a CIO even.

Glenn: Talk to me just a little bit about marketing to developers, because I would argue that they are the least friendly towards being marketing to.

Jay: That would be the kindest way to say it. They hate marketing, they really do. And with good reason, because most marketers don’t have a lot of empathy for, I mean most marketers, it’s hard to have empathy for folks that don’t have any interest in being marketed to. It’s very difficult. So you really have to get inside and understand what it is that makes them tick. And they like to play with software, so that’s the thing, show me is one of their favorite phrases. And then we also try very hard to have a very human sense of humor, and a little bit of quirkiness in how we approach things, so it’s not this faceless company that’s approaching them, but somebody that has something that’s useful for them and it’s got a little bit of a personality as well.

Glenn: Nice. Good. Talk to me a bit about your marketing technology stack. What you have in it, and how you use each of the components.

Jay: Sure, we have a pretty, I mean if I showed you the slide it’s very wide and very deep. We try out a bunch of stuff. Our main tools that we use are Marketo and Salesforce, but then there’s lots and lots of other things that are on top of that. Optimizing demand base, Infer, so we’re constantly trying out new things as they come on board. But then most of the core of what we build we run through Marketo and Salesforce, and the sales team is really well integrated with Salesforce. Our communication back and forth with them via chatter works out pretty well. Marketo is the core of all our email campaigns and activities, and then sometimes we combine things that we find in some of these approaches with some of the more external things like, we connected one of our campaigns to a very particular audience. We did a billboard campaign in the geographic are where the people were. We sent them some direct actual physical mailers. And knowing who we sent it to we measured our website traffic using Demand Base to figure out what they did and did they come to the sit after that. And that was one of those things by watching and targeting it so closely, we saw a 42 percent increase from that campaign over those few days of those particular targets. And so there’s a lot of very specific things that we do to try to make those connections. And that’s where the messaging also becomes very important.

Glenn: I had a question for you about experimentation. Some companies like to look at every piece of software that comes along, I call it the shiny object syndrome. And they can often become overwhelmed with how much software they’re actually using in the marketing technology stack. And often even ignoring what’s already available to them in one of the more expensive software packages they’ve already purchased. But then there are other companies that have a more disciplined philosophy around experimentation and testing. Tell us a little more about your perspective on that.

Jay: We’re probably somewhere in between. I think we’ve got a pretty methodical setup with what we have in place. But we try to play around quite a bit, because you do find new things that you maybe didn’t know existed or had capabilities. And if you don’t try it out or at least give it a shot, you’re going to miss something, and going back to Twitter, the risk-reward there for trying some of their new capabilities is pretty high on the reward side, because those who are trying new technologies on the marketing side of things generally get a huge bump, because being one of the very first out the gate, and then it sort of settles back, and as everyone starts doing the same things they became less effective. So we tend to look around quite a lot, try a couple things, do some experimenting, if it doesn’t work we kill it and don’t feel bad about it, and if it does work we do more of it. And the budget each quarter shopped around and shifted based on how things are doing.

Glenn: Right. You also told me about your marketing ops organization, and how you’re not looking at just one funnel but also multiple funnels. That’s fascinating to me, tell me about that.

Jay: Yeah, we are like funnel incorporated. We started out with one very basic funnel, small and medium businesses and developers coming in the door. And from just getting interested and trialing a product, and then eventually buying. And as we’ve gone into larger organizations, we actually keep track of multiple funnels that are different by segment. So the larger enterprises, theirs takes a lot longer, and has more people involved. SO there’s another set of funnels. And then we went from single product company to now a cloud platform that ha up to 5 or 6 things that you could possibly acquire from us. Some free some paid, but we keep track of all of those. And then as we’ve grown over seas as well, we’ve got a US funnel, the European one, we’ve got the Asia Pacific, and then split those by country. So suddenly you’re looking at this permutation of funnels on the wall that are pretty messy, but there’s actually a lot of work that we still have to do to try and connect the fastest way to get through each one, and also ways to optimize, and where people come in ways that we didn’t expect.

Glenn: Right, so question about that. Many clients we talk to are looking at who’s coming into the funnel, and they’re looking all the way through to MQL, and our argument is that that’s not far enough. You need to go all the way through not only customer acquisition, but understand how much you’re getting from that customer from a profit perspective, and ultimately through lifetime customer value. Can you talk a little bit about how you view that?

Jay: Believing it and doing are obviously to separate things. It’s hard to do but it’s a big part of what we focus on. We’ve got a whole group, a customer success group that’s all about making sure that customers are successful, and our business is successful past the first sale. Because for us usually the first sale is generally very small, and we then work closely with the customer to make them successful, and then they either do more with the same product for additional applications, or it grows because its so successful. When they find the things that they need to know about, and data about their browsers and users, so they buy other products. And then we have to build on that as well. So I totally agree with you, I think that’s the key. The trick is to then weave things back into the marketing process so you don’t treat those folks like they’re brand new, because they’re valuable customers, and then the measurement side of it, there’s a lot of attribution issues that you end up with. But in the end, it’s pretty easy to watch the dollars at the end and connect it back to things you worked on. It’s required, really important.

Glenn: And really, what we’re all trying to do is tell us what we need to invest our money going forward in marketing.

Jay: Yeah, and then it makes it much more logical to make the case if you’ve got to make a case in front of the executive team. We just had our big conference so one of those stats we were watching was there are lots of people who attend, that’s great, lot’s of those are prospects and many more are customers, how many of those have some open opportunities that said they’re working on. And then we’ll watch those and see how they progress, and see which things started and finished as a result of that conference.

Glenn: That’s great so I’ll ask you one last question Jay. Tell us a little bit about your view for the future as it relates to measuring the impact in marketing. Just like a year out. In perfect world, what would you guys be doing differently?

Jay: I think that we would probably be doing a little more persona specific things on our website and in our outbound communications that either are based on data we already have about you, or behavioral data we can assume a couple of things based on what you’re looking for and where you’ve been. And I think we have a lot of opportunities to do more there, and be much more precise with how we use our web properties, and our promotional adds as well to really map to what people are looking for. It goes back to the personalization comment you talked about very early on. The more you do it, the better it’s going to be, because it’s going to be stuff that’s very effective, connected to what you’re looking for, and tailored to what you need.

Glenn: Fantastic, I like that connected to what you’re looking for and tailored to what you need. I think we should use that as a tagline. Thank you so much this has been a pleasure I’ve learned a great deal.

Jay: Thanks for having me.

Glenn: Alright, talk to you soon.

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