Q&A With MRP’s Scott Matthews: How Predictive Data Is Impacting ABM & SaaS Technology

Published: August 10, 2021

ScottMatthews2With B2B buyers demanding personalized buyer experiences that mimic their consumer experiences, marketers have adopted new data-driven strategies to enrich their outreach. Furthermore, as organizations continue to double down on ABM, they have begun to leverage new data sets such as intent signals, buyer preferences and more to build buyer and customer experiences that drive engagement.

Scott Matthews, the new CEO of MRP Prelytix, sat down with Demand Gen Report to discuss his recent appointment and the future of MRP in the B2B SaaS technology space. He also dove into how the B2B buyer experience has changed in 2021, the impact predictive data is having on ABM programs and how SaaS technology can help marketers provide value and increase revenue.

Demand Gen Report: How has technology and customer experience impacted the way marketers do ABM in 2021?

Scott Matthews: The Covid-19 pandemic forced a sudden shift to remote operations and radically changed the way B2B firms reach prospects. Sales and marketing teams are almost entirely reliant on digital signals and connections to surface prospects, identify qualified leads and close the right deals.

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The great thing about digital is that every signal can be harnessed and processed. This shift should be a tremendous advantage to gain new insights into customer needs and behaviors and connect the right message with the right buyer at the right time, all the time, and everywhere. Instead, companies are struggling due in large part to disconnected platforms and a lack of data orchestration.

Structurally, enterprise organizations today have sophisticated go-to-market approaches. Most ABM solutions are not equal to the challenge of supporting large enterprise teams who need to collaborate on programs across multiple product lines and geographies. But without a unified ABM approach and technology platform, costs explode and teams market at cross purposes, sowing confusion and even frustration among target accounts.

DGR: Data has always been vital for ABM, but the types of data marketers are using changes constantly. How are you planning to help MRP adapt to those changing data types?

Matthews: With rapid digitization in recent years, not only have channels multiplied, but so has the accuracy of data and disruptions to the buyer experience. Unfortunately, much of the data is unintelligible because it’s disconnected and incapable of delivering the company-level information needed to discover in-market accounts and pinpoint their topics of interest.

To optimize marketing actions, enterprises must simplify the enterprise operating environment, take control of data and leverage every channel at their disposal to connect with target accounts. This includes capturing intent data in multiple languages with full geographic context to indicate buyer location and buyer centers, as well as marrying this true intent data with predictive analytics to prioritize accounts and identify the next-best action across all channels.

The MRP platform combines real-time capabilities for harnessing intent data with predictive analytics to identify and score an account’s stage in the funnel, as well as the priority, timing and likelihood of action. Marketers can act on intent data in milliseconds, connecting with identified target accounts almost instantaneously with the right message to engage their goals and interests.

DGR: As the CEO of CrowdTwist, you innovated the concept of loyalty as a person-based behavior that can be modeled using predictive analytics and actioned using communication tools. Do you have plans for implementing this innovation at MRP? What are the first steps?

Matthews: MRP and CrowdTwist are built around the same concept of using data in new ways to reach and engage customers in a contextually relevant way. When I started at CrowdTwist, our idea was to look at the people buying a product or service, figure out how and why they behave the way they do and model this behavior across web, mobile and social to predict the best action to engage them. 

At MRP, we’re taking intent signals from hundreds of thousands of places and systems, processing first- and third-party data to predict buyers’ next likely action, and then orchestrating the right tactic of communication and resolution of the intent.  MRP is evolving its ABM model to increase the probability of success on behalf of our customer and deliver better results with less effort and higher payback.

DGR: Considering your experience in the SaaS and technology spaces, there’s bound to be some carry-over. How do you feel your expertise has prepared you to lead at MRP?

Matthews: This is my third role as CEO of a SaaS-based company, so I’ve had the chance to really understand how to build sustainable software businesses that have high percentages of recurring revenue. This includes delivering very high value and very low churn rates for the constituencies who use our software. 

The bottom line is that we are successful when our customers are successful. It comes down to prioritizing management and strategically investing in the right opportunities.  At MRP, we are overwhelmingly investing in technology to continue our leadership position. We will spend 3X more money in R&D this year than last, and this investment in our platform will extend our differentiation of features and functionality for our customers.

DGR: What is your vision to lead MRP to deliver truly personalized and orchestrated experiences for B2B organizations? What do you think it will take to get there?

Matthews: Technology and scale are going to win. It’s that simple.

Therefore, we continue to make such investments in our technology so that it can parse through billions of pieces of data in real-time to allow marketing to make far more efficient decisions as to who they should contact, when and with what precise message. The goal is to make the top of the funnel much more stratified than it currently is, and use intent signals to move a buyer through the sales cycle in the most condensed timeline possible

This is achieved by building a world-class platform that can process a huge volume of data in real-time, not as static chunks. The platform ingests more than 1.7 trillion signals a month to drive superior outcomes and fuels enterprise marketing excellence with analytics that are 50X faster than Hadoop, while requiring one twelfth of the resources. So, we are well equipped to help enterprise marketers turn data into incredible outcomes. The global scope of MRP, and our ability to capture and use intent data worldwide, sets us apart.

DGR: Customer value is becoming more and more essential to generating revenue. How do you plan on helping MRP provide customer value through its platform?

Matthews: One way is by delivering far better and more efficient integrations with other large enterprise systems to both show our ROI and prove quantitatively that the MRP platform is returning multiple times on every dollar spent. It’ll also make it faster and easier to move first, second and third-party data in and out of our platform. We’re putting a lot of emphasis on integration to ensure a seamless environment versus the siloed environment that plagues many marketing departments today.

Another important driver of value is collaboration. We are focused on how we can best connect marketing teams and their functional experts in a collaborative environment that enables them to share a real-time view of each target account and coordinate their actions at each. We are also looking at how non-technical people can create and adjust AI and ML models — no black boxes here — to take control and truly optimize sales and marketing programs. We envision a world where organizations are empowered to collaborate and win through MRP.

DGR: Where do you hope to take MRP in the next few years?

Matthews: Innovation is tantamount. If we can’t innovate and lead through technology, nothing else will matter. You will see us make increasingly higher investments in technology that continue to expand the capabilities and value of our platform. Our customers don’t want to be integrators. They don’t want to have to stitch together a bunch of small solutions. Instead, they are looking for a single platform that is seamlessly integrated — and this is what we will give them. 

In the months ahead, we will continue to expand on the global nature of our company and the multiple channels of execution, which is what our customers value so much today in MRP.

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