Jamie Grenney
Scaling Demand Gen to Build the Next Unicorn
Jamie discusses how he approaches demand generation as a means to scale four core engines: inbound pipeline, outbound-sourced BDR pipeline, AE-sourced pipeline, and partnerships. He dives into the death of cold outreach, the right way to make impactful video, how to cultivate a great sales and marketing relationship, and much more.
OwnBackup believes that no company operating on the cloud should ever lose data. With comprehensive backup, visual compare, and fast recovery capabilities, we have helped hundreds of organizations through data loss and corruption crises. Our solution also provides enterprises with the performance and reporting required to meet compliance regulations in a number of industries. We provide secure, automated, daily backups of SaaS and PaaS data, including Salesforce. The company was co-founded by technology veterans with deep experience in data-recovery, data-protection and information-security. OwnBackup’s solutions provide built-in protection against data loss and corruption caused by human error, malicious intent, integration error and rogue applications. All of this has helped make OwnBackup the top-ranked backup and restore ISV on the Salesforce.com AppExchange, a venue the solution has been listed on since 2012, and to gain recognition as a Gartner “Cool Vendor” in Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery.
Enterprise Software

Jamie spent 11 amazing years at Salesforce learning from the best. His specialties include product marketing, enterprise software, category creation, ops, and the full range of sales and marketing playbooks. From there he spent 5 years working at startups backed by Redpoint, A16Z and Sequoia. Jamie is skilled at building marketing teams, working with sales and product, and scaling high-growth businesses. Prior to OwnBackup he led a large product marketing and enablement team at Okta.

Episode Summary

This episode features an interview with Jamie Grenney, CMO of OwnBackup. Prior to OwnBackup, Jamie spent 11 years at Salesforce learning from the best in the business. Most recently, he led a large product marketing and enablement team as a Global VP at Okta, and is now working on making OwnBackup into his fourth Unicorn. 

On this episode, Jamie discusses the death of cold outreach, the right way to make impactful video content, how to cultivate a great sales-marketing relationship, and much more.

Key Takeaways

  • Why cultivating a great sales and marketing relationship is key to scaling demand gen and requires empathy, deep understanding of each others’ jobs, and putting aside your ideals to earn trust.
  • How the shift from cold outreach to warm introductions is forcing companies to come up with smarter ways to break through the noise and leverage relationships at scale.
  • Where video plays a role in today’s demand gen strategy and how you can leverage it to deliver a clear, concise message in a hyper-sharable format.


Inbound pipeline, outbound BDR-sourced pipeline, AE-sourced pipeline, and your partners. Those are the four engines you want to think about. How do you build those for scale, how do you measure them, and how do you grow them 5 or 10X. Think about those engines, and what can we do to increase their respective productivity.
I think one challenge that some companies have is they have a product that is not verticalized, but they go after vertical messaging. It can take a ton of time and energy to maintain a bunch of vertical messaging. When you go into verticals, you've got to think about what is the vertical and how am I going to solve that problem all the way through?
Conversational marketing is an uncuttable [budget item] because I think it's the future of how we engage our prospects and customers. It’s less about forms and more about getting them to the right person who can help. It's about improving the quality of conversation, and it's about making sure that you make the connection in real time.
One thing that I see fading away is cold outreach. Every company has a pipeline gap to fill, but cold outreach makes no sense at all…generally cold outreach is expensive, inefficient, stressful, and it often yields disappointing results. These days, if you're a high value prospect, you're bombarded with unsolicited calls and emails and advertisements that you're going to tune out. So marketers really need to figure this out.
Sometimes you have to relax your ideals to earn trust. You have to put yourself in [sales’] shoes. Understand that it's more important to be effective than to be right. A really good lesson in bridging the sales and marketing divide is to think about what is the right pace to introduce things to sales and how do you build trust in those relationships.

Episode Transcript

(1:55) Jamie’s First Job in Demand Gen

  • In high school, building haunted houses!
  • He learned how to drive demand gen using flyers, posters, and word-of-mouth marketing

(5:13) Jamie’s Demand Gen Strategy

  • You have to take a step back and think about the big picture. The four engines to think about are inbound pipeline, outbound BDR-sourced pipeline, AE-sourced pipeline, and partners.
  • Focus on how you build those for scale, how you measure them, and how you grow them
  • Various demand gen teams fit into each of these four engines: inbound pipeline is fueled by events and paid acquisition, outbound pipeline is fueled by ABM efforts, and partners are fueled by partner marketing
  • Additionally, the marketing org also has marketing ops/analytics team, a content marketing team, web team, product marketing team, and a customer advocacy team

(9:51) OwnBackup’s Persona & Vertical Strategy

  • Executed a big research project to define personas by aggregating sales learnings and distilling that down into three high-value targets: Salesforce platform owners, C-level executives (CIO, CTO, and CEO), and compliance/risk owners.
  • Each persona has a unique pain point that they build a messaging foundation for
  • OwnBackup has also established a vertical strategy, as several verticals that are important to their business are highly regulated and it’s important to speak their language
  • One challenge companies face is they try to take a vertical messaging approach but don’t have a vertical product strategy
  • Vertical messaging takes a ton of time, so you have to focus on how you solve those unique problems all the way through the product

(20:03) Jamie’s Uncuttable Demand Gen Budget Items

  • AppExchange marketing program: Since OwnBackup has such a strong focus on the Salesforce ecosystem, this is a major demand gen channel for them
  • Conversational marketing: Prospect engagement is moving away from forms and is now about getting the prospect to the right person to have the right conversation with them at the right time.
  • Video: Video delivers a clear, concise message in a format that’s really easy to share. 

(22:03) Why Video is an Effective Demand Gen Strategy

  • Jamie ran the entire video live events program at Salesforce, so he’s seen across a ton of examples which types of video are most successful
  • Demo videos get the highest view counts and are super-powerful assets because there’s strong intent behind the people watching them
  • A good demo video comes down to a good script. You don’t need a huge budget to make an effective demo video.
  • Need to think about cost per view, which helps frame the value of the video plus how you’re going to promote it
  • Must think about all the channels the video could be promoted on, how to equip the sales team to use it, how to incorporate it into marketing nurture programs, etc.

(30:07) Cold Outreach is Dead

  • Every company has a pipeline gap to fill, but cold outreach makes no sense. It’s expensive, inefficient, stressful, and often yields disappointing results.
  • High-value prospects are bombarded with unsolicited calls and emails that they tune out
  • Jamie is convinced that marketers will find a way to break through the noise by getting warm introductions at scale

(32:11) How Jamie Measures Marketing Program Success

  • Pipeline is job number one, but it’s not enough to hit a pipeline number. You must also think about pipeline coverage to ensure sales reps in various territories and markets have the pipeline they need
  • Also want to think about customer acquisition cost (CAC) across various marketing programs and channels to gauge their respective effectiveness

(33:34) Jamie’s Most Memorable Demand Gen Campaigns

  • One of his favorite campaigns is one he’s working on right now. It’s a direct mail campaign that will send a Hero Grill to several high-value target prospects with messaging around “be a hero” and “save the day”. It will tie into a virtual event where grill recipients can join a virtual cooking session hosted by a chef.
  • One of Jamie’s most memorable campaign flops was back in his Salesforce days. He was running a product line called Salesforce Ideas, which powered their idea exchange. He purchased a bunch of domains for top-target accounts, such as “myappleidea.com” or “mytoyotaidea.com”. The intent was to buy the domains, set up example websites, and use them in outreach to the prospects. Within a couple of days, he started receiving tons of cease-and-desist letters. It was a mess up, but good learning lesson.

(39:08) How Jamie Develops Relationships with Sales

  • It starts with regular one-on-one meetings up and down the sales organization
  • This helps to establish empathy for their jobs and gain perspective on their challenges
  • Jamie likes to ask sales leaders about how they reach their sales goals. This sheds light on what works, where there’s friction
  • It’s ultimately about building trust and creating a good feedback loop

(41:13) Jamie’s “Dust Up”

  • Jamie has two memorable dust ups in his career
  • The first was in a recent role, where he came in to run marketing. Things were broken and the sales and marketing relationship wasn’t great. 
  • He figured that if he jumped in and started fixing things, that it would improve the relationship with sales. But the more he pushed to deliver for the team and make things data-driven, the more the relationship eroded.
  • Jamie’s learning: sometimes you have to relax your ideals to earn trust. It’s more important to be effective than to be right.
  • Jamie’s second dust up involved an epic, last-minute project to launch an ideas exchange for Dell within 7 days of a big event with Michael Dell and Steve Jobs.
  • They decided to power the ideas exchange on Dell’s servers because the servers Jamie had access to at the time wouldn’t be able to power the load. This would end up being Salesforce’s first on-prem deployment. They stood everything up and the event went off without a hitch, but Jamie was instantly called out because of the challenge they would face in getting off of Dell’s servers and back into Salesforce’s servers.
  • Jamie’s learning: Never fail alone. You have to think about all the people potentially impacted by something and make sure they’re in the communication loop. 

(43:54) Quick Hits: Getting to Know Jamie

  • Favorite recent book: The Emerald Mile
  • Alternative career: Building haunted houses
  • Favorite quote: “Nothing is more highly to be prized than the value of each day.”
  • New shelter-in-place habit: Electric biking
  • Top advice for a CMO trying to figure out demand gen: Measure what’s taking place today, and invest in an ops/analytics foundation and find good people who understand the systems

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