Predictive Marketing At Splunk: Profiling Customers

How do marketers that are in the business of predictive analytics apply their own technology to their marketing? We recently discussed this topic with Renaud Bizet, Senior Director of Marketing and Operations at Splunk, who shared many fascinating insights with us.

About Splunk

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Splunk (Nasdaq: SPLK) produces software for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated big data. Splunk’s mission is to make machine data accessible across an organization by identifying data patterns, providing metrics, diagnosing problems, and providing intelligence for business operations. The platform captures, indexes, and correlates real-time data in a searchable repository from which it can generate graphs, reports, alerts, dashboards, and visualizations. Splunk has over 15,000 customers worldwide and reported FY’2018 revenue of $1.27 billion.

We asked Renaud about a customer case study that illustrates the Splunk solution in action, and he gave the example of Dubai Airports. He said Dubai Airports, which previously consumed 2.5% of the energy used in all of Dubai, implemented Splunk to streamline their operations by, “triangulating massive amounts of data to allow quick decision making in real time.” They have been able to optimize resources and cut energy usage by 20%, and he said they also use Splunk to monitor the luggage, to keep the security lines moving, and to keep the bathrooms clean.

Background and Career

Like many of the guests in this series, Renaud said he was both a “left and right brain” person, and was comfortable with numbers and processes but also enjoyed creativity in problem-solving. He started his career in Finance and quickly realized the constraints he had to work under were too strict, and he wasn’t given the opportunity to problem solve in creative ways. He said he loved the combined “art and science” aspects of Marketing, which is what led him to pursue it as a career.

Prior to joining Splunk, Renaud was Senior Director of Global Marketing Operations at Marketo, which he said was, “the best boot camp imaginable, it gave me first-hand experience in building a strong demand generation engine.” He said he gained a lot of insights into the “Marketo secret sauce” working alongside David Cain (SVP Global Marketing & Operations) and Heidi Bullock (SVP of Global Demand Generation).

We asked Renaud about his favorite websites to keep updated; he said he often visits TechCrunch and reads whitepapers from analysts like IDC and Gartner. We also asked about books he highly recommends. He said “from a soft skill standpoint, I enjoyed Multipliers by Liz Wiseman, which shows how great leaders are able to extract more value out of their teams and empower them to thrive. This is the most rewarding aspect of my job, being able to build new teams and see them grow.” He said he also enjoyed Youtility by Jay Baer, which he said “does a great job of providing a framework and clear examples on how Marketing can generate value by first genuinely wanting to help people and then over time reaping dividends. I am a big fan of the long-term investment lens on how Marketing should be providing value.”

Predictive Marketing

Renaud shared interesting insights on “predictive marketing” from his time at Marketo and which he is now beginning to implement at Splunk. To identify prospective new customers at Marketo, he said his team would look at key characteristics of their best existing accounts and, “triangulate over 5,000 signals to see what their ideal customer profile looks like.” He said these key attributes were not so much about the traditional segmentation dimensions like “size or vertical market,” but rather they found it more relevant to identify companies with a savvy marketing team. To do this, he said, they would look at signals like skillsets on LinkedIn, who was on the Board of Directors, the types of job postings for marketers, their social media activity, and the tech stack they were using.

For existing customers, he said they are looking at their customer’s interaction with the platform and use predictive technology to assist. They can see, for example, which parts of the platform customers maybe be struggling with or what types of activities they spend the most time on. From this, they can send appropriate information such as video tutorials on the most relevant aspects of the product.

Renaud said, “we drink our own champagne” and leverage the Splunk platform for their Marketing Operations. They provide dashboards to, “help Marketers and the Sales Dev team make decisions on the fly and to understand where they stand performance-wise in real-time.” He also said: “we leverage Splunk for more complex ad-hoc analysis to truly understand correlations across massive data sets. For example, is there anything in particular about certain leads (e.g. demographic, firmographic, behavior, etc.) that makes them better candidates for increased funnel velocity or SQL conversion? Are there sales reps that tend to extract more value from seemingly identical MQLs? What is an ideal campaign cadence for a given segment that yields higher quality MQLs?”

We will continue with more insights from our conversation with Renaud in the second part of this article, to be posted soon.     

Shastri Purushotma: Executive Producer – Ziff Davis B2B

Shastri is a partner at VaaS Advisors – a Value as a Service consulting company. He has written many articles for various Ziff Davis publications as well as the Huffington Post and Washington Post.

Predictive Marketing At Splunk: Profiling Customers

Guest Author Sep 25 2018 | 8 Mins Read

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Jeff is a Silicon Valley veteran with 25 years of experience in sales, marketing & channels. 15 of those years have been in SaaS startups, prior to joining Ziff Davis to head up sales, channels & alliances for their B2BSignals division. Ad adviser to startups in his free time,Jeff also enjoys the game of chess and being outdoors. 

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