Data-driven and scalable.

Those are the two characteristics most B2B marketing teams today seem to strive for. And while there’s really nothing wrong with either of the two, at Drift we have a somewhat unorthodox approach to both.

Being data-centric is good for the obvious reasons: Data isn’t biased. It’s factual.

It can help us set measurable goals and track our progress. It helps us figure out which tactics to double down on and which ones to forget about. It informs our decisions — but note the distinction here — it can never be the sole driver.

Because here’s the thing: While data can be very useful, it can also be very dangerous.

And that’s because data is inherently backward looking. It can tell us whether an existing tactic is working but it won’t help us decide whether or when we should try something new.

It can make us believe that automation is the only thing worth doing. And when framed poorly, it can make it look like we’re already doing everything we can to grow the business when in fact we’re wasting all our growth potential on repeating the same thing over and over — only marginally better.

Second, the very reason why B2B marketers are so obsessed with data is its ability to tell us whether or not something will scale.

And that’s quite natural, too. In a world obsessed with automation, volume and growth, it’s no wonder that most marketing teams would ideally like their marketing tactics to be repeatable at scale.

But the problem with becoming obsessed with scale is that we forget why we’re doing marketing in the first place. By becoming data-centric, we essentially lose out on our ability to be customer-centric.

And so while killing our lead forms and spending hours on a single headline may seem absurd, these seemingly unscalable things are in fact what have helped us grow.

Because instead of worrying about our numbers, we’ve been focused on people — and more specifically the kinds of experiences they have with Drift. In fact, just like our product team is building our platform with the customer at the center of their universe, the marketing team is doing marketing with the customer at the center of ours.

By talking to people instead of staring at spreadsheets all day, we’ve learned that people don’t actually like filling out forms, that they don’t even open marketing emails and that they’d much rather buy from people they know than a logo with a cool html template.

None of the plays in this book will scale on their own. And that’s exactly why they’ve helped us cut through the noise, grow faster than our competitors and thrill our customers. Because we don’t obsess over scale. We obsess over experience.

One final call-to-action. Obviously, no pretty, well-formatted button you can click. Instead, we’d love to hear from you. Email us with what you thought of this book. We’ll produce volume two some day and the only way it will be better than this version is if we hear from you.


The Drift Marketing Team

Dan can be reached at
Dave can be reached at
Alex can be reached at
Sara can be reached at
John can be reached at
Janna can be reached at

About The Authors

Dave Gerhardt – Dave is currently the VP of Marketing at Drift. Dave was employee number ten at Drift (and the first marketing hire). He is obsessed with building an audience. He is the co-host of Seeking Wisdom which 50,000 people download a month at the time of publishing this book. You can connect with Dave on Twitter at @davegerhardt.

Daniel J. Murphy – Daniel is the Director of Product Marketing at Drift. Daniel has worked at several B2B SaaS companies including Onshape and HubSpot in numerous roles including product marketing, marketing ops and demand generation. Daniel is a self proclaimed marketing nerd and loves working with startups. You can connect with Daniel on Twitter at @_danieljmurphy.

Sara Pion – Sara is a Growth Marketer at Drift. She started as a customer advocate, helping to create the support team at Drift. Since joining the marketing team, Sara has used her knowledge of the platform to help Drift and customers optimize their usage of the platform to drive ROI. You can connect with Sara on Twitter at @sara_pion.

Alex Orfao – Alex is responsible for Drift’s email communication strategy and channel marketing efforts. She’s been in the B2B SaaS space for 5 years, working in demand generation roles at companies like LogMeIn, HubSpot, Bullhorn and Brightcove. Alex got her job at Drift by responding to an automated marketing email. You can connect with Alex on Twitter at @Alex_Orfao.

John DeWolf – John is a software engineer on the marketing team at Drift. He currently oversees all of marketing’s websites and infrastructure. In John’s first two weeks at Drift he completed both the Philadelphia marathon and a website redesign. You can connect with John on Twitter at @TheJohnDeWolf.

Janna Erickson – Janna heads up the event team at Drift. With over 10 years working in events at fast growing companies like HubSpot, Kayak and now Drift, Janna has had a ton of experience pushing the boundaries with live events. She is primarily focused on Drift’s annual conference HYPERGROWTH — the fastest growing marketing and sales conference in the world. You can connect with Janna on twitter at @BostonJanna.

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