How to Earn Trust and Get Buyer Attention with Thought Leadership: Interview with Jamie Barnett

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 Jamie Barnett, the CMO of Netskope. Now what does Jamie do at Netskope? She’s defined three primary things she focuses on: defining the market and ensuring Netskope’s leadership and uniqueness within it, efficiently pulling high quality prospects through the marketing funnel, and building pipeline efficiently with a razor focus on dollar pipeline per dollar investment, and the third is closing more high quality business at a faster rate than their competitors. It’s a very specific focus and I’m impressed with that, Jamie. So what does Netskope do? They give IT the ability to find, understand and secure sanctioned and unsanctioned Cloud apps. So the way Netskope describes it, “With Netskope organizations can direct usage, protect sensitive data, and ensure compliance.” So, Jamie, welcome to the podcast, it’s great to have you here.

Jamie: Thanks. I think we’re going to have fun today.

Glenn: I hope so. You and I were talking about a couple of concepts that I really want to highlight and let the audience know what we’re going to be covering here. So the first was how do you take data from your customers and prospects and create value around it? And I know you have several examples on ways we can do that. And then the second major topic when we’re done with that will be to talk about your knowledge marketing technology stack and you have a unique marketing technology stack. You’ve chosen different tools than many other companies and you’re using them for very specific reasons. I think we can learn a lot from you.

Jamie: Well thank you, I appreciate that. Yeah, we are big into data. Part of our product is analytics so we try to be very analytical in the marketing team both with how we run our marketing process, but also in using the analytics from our product sets. We have a Cloud based solution so we try to take data that we can ascertain and we do it in an anonymized, aggregated fashion so we’re not looking at an individual customer’s data, but we look at things in aggregate and we try to pull out best practices and learnings that we can share with our customers and I just kind of take a step back about why even do that. We believe that the best thought leadership, and we try to be a very thought leadership oriented company. We don’t want to be touting our wares we want to be teaching the market. So we think that the best thought leadership is really going to be content that gives our customers something of value.
Before we even start to tell them about our product, before we even start to give them a sales pitch we want them to have something from us that they takeaway and use today. Whether that’s a statistic that they can put in their presentation, whether it’s a business justification for doing something in the Cloud, whether it’s a policy that they should be considering in their cloud we want them to have something for free that they can use and it adds value to their job today.

Glenn: Let me jump on your bandwagon here, Jamie. I give talks very often and my most popular talk is called “Content Strategy and Operations” and one of the things we talk about is the importance about leadership and how companies don’t invest as much as they know they should in thought leadership because ultimately the buyer wants that from you. They’re not ready to talk about your product, they don’t even know you exist. So if you can seed the market with information that’s valuable to the buyer then they’re going to start paying attention to you so I whole heartedly support your strategy here.

Jamie: Thanks. I mean, even the market the way that the market has come about and we’re in the B2B market although I assume it’s similar for B2C, it must be–

Glenn: It is.

Jamie: –people are looking for, they’re learning, they’re teaching themselves and so much of the buying process happens before they’re going to even engage with a salesperson. I’ve read as much as 60 to 70 percent of the buying process happens online and they nearly made that decision before they even engage with you. So that content is really going to be important.

Glenn: All right, great. Tell us how you use that data and create thought leadership. You said you had a story behind that.

Jamie: Yeah, so first of all I’ll just give you a couple of examples of things we do and hopefully this gives listeners ideas for what they can do for their business. Obviously, you don’t have to have a Cloud to do this. You can gain your data in other ways by surveying your customers, by even just looking at your own buying information in your CRM. Like if you use Salesforce there’s a lot of data that you can ascertain about buying behavior which can give you insight into what matters to customers, but fortunately we have all this data at our disposal so we use it.
The kind of things that we develop as a quick aside, we do something called the Netskope Cloud Report where we pull together this data in an aggregated way an show things like policy violations and numbers of apps used and type of apps, how many apps, how many files within an app constituted data policy violation and things like that. And then we’ve pulled together things like best practices, policy templates, get started guides. We do a video series once a week called Movie Line Monday which is a best practice not a sale pitch. So what we try to do with this data is we approach the problem from two standpoints. So one is we take data and we put it together in a finding and the second thing is we try to marry it with a customer’s story. So sometimes we’ll put the data in the report and then when we do a press pitch or something like that then we’ll tell the story. So just maybe an example or two of that to give you a flavor.

Glenn: That would be great.

Jamie: Good, cool. So one of the findings that we came up with recently is that eight percent of files in a company’s Cloud storage constituted data policy violations like personally identifiable information or PCI, PHI, et cetera. And so we’ve had this happen with several of our customers. We married this with one of the examples which is really a stark, a stark example which came from a hospitality company. They run hotels around the world. They have several hundreds of thousands of users and they sort of organically grew up using the Cloud to do things like share planning documents, collaborate on events, maybe a business event that they were going to host they would collaborate with a business user or ever just internally and they would use Google apps to do this. And increasingly they kind of became concerned that they would find the odd instance of somebody uploading, for example, the scanned image of a passport or a list of customers that had personally identifiable information or something like that which really gave them pause and so they did a security audit and they did okay on the security audit, but they failed in one area and that was Cloud. So they realized that in order to remain compliant with PCI as well as insure that they didn’t have an embarrassing data breach where they would lose personal information which would really hurt their brand they embarked on this process including using our products so we used a combination of the data, that eight percent, where we looked at our entire cloud and their story to really tell that story as well as in part some best practices in our content.

Glenn: Okay, all right. And you had mentioned you may have some other stories for us as well.

Jamie: And I do as a matter of fact. So we have a second example. One of our customers who was a media company and so, of course, you can imagine they have a lot of business partners that they deal with and they had a pretty senior person in their business development organization who was leaving the company and one of the things that they did is they did a forensic look back. This is very common in traditional IT systems, especially larger, more security conscious organizations have pretty good forensic technology and so they can look and see what people did if they need to in things like email, but they don’t necessarily have this for the Cloud so what this company did is post the person leaving, they went back and reconstructed an audit trail and found that the person had download some proprietary contracts containing very sensitive information with partners, downloaded those contracts from their corporate instants box and re-uploaded using their personal credentials into their own Dropbox.
And then they found that they shared those contracts because you can see the file name and stuff like that, and that they shared those contracts with their new employers. So it was very, very simple for them to see this and just a real cautionary tale for what can happen when you’re not sort of looking at what folks—or if you have a big Cloud instants and that can create a blind spot. And so we married that with data that we had in our Cloud which showed that for every upload of sensitive content there were three shares.
And I think it just kind of brings to life and if you kind of look at that, the stat along I think is interesting, but if you marry that with something that actually happened, the company then went when they found out about this big basically a breach or exposure of content to their competitor they went to the competitor and they said, “You have this content that belongs to us.” So they were able to retrieve that content and then of course the employee in question was neither employed at the old company nor the new company because the new company realized they couldn’t be associated with something like that. So they really used that to their advantage to really do something good, but it’s a real cautionary tale and so I think that our customers, many of whom have had similar kind of suspicions, really use that as a way to bake a best practice. And frankly whether they use our product or not I kind of don’t care I just want to earn their trust and share something with them. So many of the folks that we’ve talked to have said, “Yeah, we’re going to do something very similar. We’re going to implement a forensic program and do a look back any time we have an employee who departs the company, and we’re going to look at their cloud usage as well.” So, again, it’s really about earning the trust by sharing this information, again, irrespective of whether they buy our product.

Glenn: And what’s interesting about that, I think, is we can take that story and turn it into thought leadership and we can share without talking about who that particular company was you can now—you talked about earning trust, you can now say, “Based on the data available to us as a company looking at multiple companies we see this patten or we see this percentage of issue and that enables you to create that thought leadership and expose the market to what’s happening because you’re using your own data to market to prospects about what the issues are.”

Jamie: Yeah, that’s exactly right. I think that, especially in markets that we play in, if it’s a competitive market, if it’s an important market, an up-and-coming market typically the buying process is going to be highly charged. Our customers—we recently an instance in which somebody was going to buy our product. We were sort of going through the buying cycle. We were at the 80 to 90 percent and we kind of had an 11th hour brouhaha where our competitor got involved in our—the CEO of the company that was going to buy our product picked up the phone and called the CIO and said, “Why aren’t you considering this competitor’s product?” I happen to sit on the board of their primary investor. So there’s this sort of pressure and the CIO had to tell the CEO, “No, we’re going to buy this product.” Which tells you, again, irrespective of whether they buy ours or anyone else’s they have to justify their decision. They have to feel like you have their back and that really starts in the very beginning with establishing trust. And so it’s really important for me as a marketer, again wherever I am, to earn the trust of the market by providing the right content in a non-salesy way that is going to give that prospect something of value with no expectation of anything back.

Glenn: That’s great. That’s very powerful and I’m a big believer in it. Well, Jamie let’s shift gears a little bit and we actually don’t have a lot of time to cover this next topic so I just want to make you aware of that. Tell us a little bit about your marketing technology stack and some of the tools you’re using and how you’re getting the most out of them.

Jamie: Cool. So I’ll go through this quickly and obviously we need CRM and marketing campaign management so we use Salesforce and Marketo for those. A couple of the newer things that we’ve implemented recently that we really loved and helped us to get a lot out of the content one thing is Uberflip. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Uberflip.

Glenn: Uberflip, yeah.

Jamie: Yeah, so they basically make the best use out of your content that is on your website by allowing you to bring all of your content into an area and create channels so you don’t have content that may be really good and valuable, but it gets buried down many scrolls down or pages down in a website. It helps you put up these little tiles and serve up the right content depending on where somebody is on the website. It’s very useful, Uberflip. And then another one we’ve implemented recently is from a company called Dynamic Signal, the app is called VoiceStorm. Again, there’s a theme here, we’re trying to get our content out. We’re a young company, a startup, so we want to make sure that we’re making the best use of the content that we’re creating. So, VoiceStorm allows us to create social advocacy among our users like our sales people, they can go in, it helps us to serve up content for them to go share on their social channels with just like one or two clicks, so it’s super easy. We use Wistia for video, for our video platform. This allows us to get the most out of the videos we create. Like I said, we create a movie once a week and it creates for SEO purposes it creates a transcript of that content automatically. Again, Hootsuite to help us manage our social.

Glenn: Mm-hm.

Jamie: We use AdRoll, Outbrain. We use Trello for project management. And then just I’ll leave you with a less obvious example, one of the things that we use that we kind of adopted from our engineering team, they use—they’re big Atlassian users, so they use JIRA and Confluence and HipChat.

Glenn: Okay.

Jamie: And we have piggy backed on that because, again, because we use so much of our data in our cloud that we create our own requirements, the marketing team, by the way we also run on an agile process, they run an agile process, so do we, so we’re on three week sprints.

Glenn: Mm-hm.

Jamie: And so, we use Atlassian to create our requirements and to communicate and make engineering aware of and back ourselves into the engineering process as if we are a stakeholder like any other customer. So, it’s a great way for us to stay abreast of what’s going on in the engineering team, stay close and make sure that our voice is heard.

Glenn: And that’s really interesting to me because most marketers are not talking about the connection to project management and the connection to engineering when they talk about marketing automation and yet I believe you’re telling me this is doing exactly that.

Jamie: Absolutely critical. Absolutely critical that marketing have a seat at the engineering table. Obviously we are coming at it from a very different angle, a very different perspective. We want them to feel as much of a—like there as much of a stakeholder in our success as we are in theirs. One of the things that we can do for them is help them participate in thought leadership, so when we put out a piece of Best Practices or a Cloud report or something like that we can package it up and make it into a presentation to give at conferences and there’s no better person to give such a presentation than the VP of engineering or a chief scientist because those guys, people want to hear from those guys. They’re smart, they have great backgrounds to talk about this, they’re talking with their peers, and so it’s a great way for us to give them a platform and give them kind of a stake in the company success and the success of our thought leadership marketing.

Glenn: Very nice, very nice. And if I recall, what was the number of software applications you think you us in marketing and they’re all Cloud based?

Jamie: Oh, we use hundreds in our marketing team. I personally have used 67 in the last 30 days.

Glenn: That’s amazing.

Jamie: It’s nutty!

Glenn: I’d love to see the picture for marketing technology stack.

Jamie: I can show it to you.

Glenn: Okay. All right, Jamie, we’re out of time, so that was fantastic. Thank you for summarizing that very quickly for us and I love what you’ve put together here and I love the story about how to use you’re own data and the data about customers and prospects to create valuable information for the market you’re pursuing. So, thank you very much for sharing all of that with us.
Jamie: Thank you, thanks!

Glenn: All right, talk to you soon.

Jamie: Okay, buh-bye.

Glenn: If you like this podcast please subscribe and rate us on iTunes and tell your friends about us. You can also go to our website,, and sign up for our free monthly newsletter featuring the very best of our marketing insights, featured Moneyball for Marketing podcasts, and one of our favorite features called, “Bad Marketing,” or email me at Thanks for listening to Moneyball for Marketing from Crimson Marketing. Have a great week and let us know if we can help you in any way.