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Exclusive Q&A: PathFactory VP Discusses Rebrand From LookBookHQ, Evolution Of Content Activation

Elle Woulfe LookBookHQ

At the SiriusDecisions Summit in Las Vegas this week, LookBookHQ announced that it has rebranded to PathFactory, aligning to the company’s newly released content insights and activation engine. The solution aims to provide insights into the impact of content on the buyer journey and help marketers optimize content to grow ROI proactively — similar to the types of content recommendations you see from companies like Spotify and Netflix.

In an exclusive Q&A, Elle Woulfe, VP of Marketing at the newly christened PathFactory, shares her thoughts on and experience with the rebrand, how their solution has evolved over the course of the past couple of years and how B2B content marketing will now shift from passive monitoring to actively understanding how buyers consume content.

Demand Gen Report: Tell us about the rebrand and PathFactory’s content activation platform. Why do you feel now is the right time to rebrand?

Elle Woulfe: This is a pivotal moment for us. If you think about the way that we expect to consume content in our B2C world — whether you're shopping on Amazon, watching videos on Netflix or listening to music on Spotify — those companies collect a tremendous amount of data about how you consume information. That is at the heart of how they deliver content. They know everything about what you're interested in, what you've done in the past and they use all of that to anticipate what you want next. In our B2C lives, that's the expectation we have — that our needs and preferences will be met. B2B marketing doesn't work that way. The way that we distribute content is we push it out all there and we hope people will find it. We don’t collect tons of data about how people consume information and we don’t use that to then recommend the next thing that they should consume. So, we stretch out the buyer’s journey, we make it really hard for people to find the information they need — why should it be so difficult?

Content activation is the opposite of that. It's the opposite of this very passive approach where we're just hoping people will find the information. It's about collecting tons of data about how people are consuming information, what they're interested in and how much time they spend with stuff. It’s about using all that data to then say, “Hey, the last time you were here, you looked at this thing, you spent this much time on it, I'm going to recommend you look at this.”

It's just about aiding that buyer, connecting them with the next thing that they need to accelerate them through that buyer’s journey. Remove the obstacles, remove the dead-ends, remove the gaps in that process and let the marketer know where they are in that journey. Not that they clicked to fill out a form, but that they are actually showing what we call engaged intent; that they are truly in the process of deciding because they are really consuming that information. It's just the psychology of buying. It's helping the buyer in that moment find and consume the thing that they need. It's funny that it sounds complicated because it's so unbelievably simple.

DGR: Can you expand a bit more on the new enhancements to the product?

Woulfe: Basically, we have always had an engine. We call it the PathFactory Content Insight and Activation Engine, and that engine has always powered our platform. It's what enables us to make smart content recommendations. What we've done is make that engine a lot smarter. We've done that through enhancing the data that's available to the engine through third-party integration both with CRMs and some third-party data [providers] and gathering hundreds of signals from visitors, accounts and analyzing content using AI.

We've always been able to tell marketers how visitors are engaging with content. That's been our game. We've been able to then drive a recommendation for what asset they should consume next. We're now able to provide far more context around questions such as “was that a good engagement? What stage of the funnel is that buyer at? Are they in a current opportunity? What account are they at?”

So, we're able to take that visitor-level data and provide much more context around what it means. That's going to give the marketer better and deeper insight. It's also going to power a better content recommendation.

DGR: What inspired the new branding? How did the name come about?

Woulfe: As you can imagine, it was a pretty exhaustive process. We had actually started to do a lot of work on our messaging back in Q4 of last year. We didn't go into it with the purpose of rebranding. It came about pretty organically as we thought about how we present ourselves in the best possible way and give people the best experience with our brand. Our brand, our value and our vision are all about providing both buyers and the marketers who serve those buyers with a path to relevance, a path to engagement and a path to revenue. So “path” really felt like an essential part. It just really felt like such a great embodiment of everything we're about. Then, we love “factory.” We love the idea of being able to create efficiency, being able to deliver these experiences at scale and being able to deliver a predictable experience to a buyer. So, those two things joined up just felt like the exact right combination for us.

We worked with Velocity Partners on the rebrand, and they are unbelievably brilliant. They are a joy to work with. I just think we've done something really cool with this brand.

DGR: Was there any concern you would lose the recognition and the buzz that LookBookHQ had built over the years?

Woulfe: Yes, you're always going to be concerned about that. I've spent the past three years here trying to build a brand, build recognition and get people to pay attention to us, and I think we've done a good job. I've watched some rebrands in our space over the past two years and there have been little blips on the radar — I’ve taken great pains to make sure that we don’t do that. That's why you're going to see us do a lot of stuff around this launch. We've sent out a hundred direct mail packages informing a lot of people about the fact that this was coming because we want them to help us create buzz and excitement around this. We’ve done some really special stuff at the [2018 SiriusDecisions Summit]. We've basically paused all our demand generation campaigns, and we're running a bunch of brand campaigns for a few weeks. We're launching a series of new assets, as well.

We’re not just launching a new website. We’re launching with a whole suite of new collateral. There's really no piece of this that hasn’t been thought out. It's incredibly well orchestrated and I really hope that we'll bridge the gap between people knowing LookBookHQ and transitioning to PathFactory.

DGR: When it comes to the evolving tech landscape, how has the content technology vertical inspired this rebrand, in particular?

Woulfe: There are roughly 7,000 tech solutions out there now, and it's really hard to stand out. You’ve got to be doing something special. I think you'll see with the rebrand that we have worked really hard to differentiate, at least, from a brand aesthetic point of view. We worked really hard to not be boring, to be really creative, clever and interesting. So, the market has certainly played a role in what we're doing here.

This is less about rebranding the company and more about the evolution of our product and the value it provides to marketers. We believe this is the biggest transformation in B2B marketing since marketing automation. We think this changes the game for how marketing works for B2B marketers. So, coming up on that, it felt like this was our moment to really signal something huge was happening.