4AM Demand has officially been in business for one year!
In some ways it feels like yesterday that we were telling you about the launch of 4AM. In other ways, it feels like we’ve been doing this for years. Maybe because this is what we were always meant to do. And, while I may have a few more gray hairs now than I did a year ago, I could not be more excited and energized about running into years two and beyond.
To commemorate this important anniversary, I thought a good Top 3 list was in order. I might even do two if I’m feeling crazy. Because, really, who doesn’t like a good list?
First, and foremost, it’s been a privilege to get to know, and ultimately help, our customers grow their businesses. In our first year we have had the honor of assisting more than 20 customers, digging into their systems, demand-gen plans, digital channels and messaging to help them solve problems. As we have consulted with them, most have also been able to see the benefits of the 4AM platform as we use it to enable everything we do.
We are truly overwhelmed by and grateful for the conversations we have had and the interest we have generated in 4AM.
Each conversation teaches us something and while each company is unique in their own way, they’re all trying to overcome similar challenges. They may not realize it, but each one has helped us shape some piece of who we are: our platform, our services offerings, our ideal customer profile, and our message.
2021 and the start of 2022 are responsible for what has been coined “The Great Resignation.” Hiring and retaining exceptional people is harder than ever, which is why I’m incredibly proud of the team we have built at 4AM. Each person has had a direct impact on our customers, and each person brings something unique to 4AM.
To our team, who embraced our mission at 4AM and who live it everyday, thank you. You all play a role in building our brand, story and culture. Let’s continue to do great things, solve big problems and have some fun along the way. You all just hit different. (IYKYK)
In February of this year we officially launched the 4AM Platform. The platform started as an idea in a conference room nearly 10 years ago when we said “there has to be a better way.” It first manifested itself as a thought process, which made its way into a series of spreadsheets and powerpoints, which morphed into a way of life for demand generators. To see it come to life in the form of a SaaS platform is one of those experiences in life that make you want to slow down, take a deep breath and really appreciate it.
For years we worked on demand-gen and marketing operations teams, sifting our way through spreadsheets, SFDC reports, and Hubspot/Marketo/Eloqua dashboards to rationalize data, make sense of it and use it to tell a story back to the business. Not to mention, try to align sales to the story, quickly run budget scenarios, find the latest and greatest persona or target market information or plan the reverse waterfall. Among the countless other things demand-gen teams are juggling on any given day.
And now here it is, all in one place. We use it to help our consulting clients tackle these same challenges. We have signed up design partners, free users and paying customers and we continue to hear the same thing over and over again. “Wow, this is so cool. This will save us so much time.”
These conversations embolden us. So get ready, you’re about to hear a lot more on that front.
Can you hang with me for a second Top 3? I love taking a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come in our first year, but 4AM is already looking into year 2. So, let’s talk about:
If there’s one thing year 1 has taught us it’s how important it is to have a solid marketing operations foundation underneath you. Clean data, automated processes and workflows, and a smooth handoff to sales are all truly critical for demand-gen to work well and be repeatable.
For that reason, we’re doubling down on helping companies get this right. We have worked with and talked to too many whose tech stacks are dragging them down instead of propelling them forward.
Getting the most out of the 4AM Platform requires some best practices on the marketing automation and CRM front. We’re building these best practices into how we develop our platform and we’re taking those best practices to customers in the form of consulting services. As demand generators we’re in a unique position to help companies do this right, because we not only understand the systems and tools, but we understand the end goal they’re there to help serve.
It’s critical and we can help.
Once the tech stack is in a good place to make things hum, you need a solid strategy on how to put your message in front of the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Once your CEO or CMO hit “go” on spending on demand-gen programs, how do you make sure you have the right budget and program mix, to get in front of the right audience, with the right message and experience to bring them into your sales funnel?
In the early days it’s all a test. And we hear a lot of “we tried XYZ, but we’re not sure if that’s what we should be doing or if it’s really working.” Let us help. We can’t guarantee that we can set you up with a demand-gen strategy that will work 100% of the time, but we can guarantee that the combination of our experience and our platform will give you a head start.
Digital marketing is a specialized skill set. And in a digital world, optimizing your SEO, paid search and advertising is not something you can afford to overlook. In our first year we learned that this is typically the very first follow-up question we get after taking someone through our approach to marketing operations and demand-gen strategy. “Do you have any digital expertise?”
The answer is a resounding yes. We pull all of this data into the 4AM platform to give you a holistic view of your program metrics. And, if you lack the expertise in house to build and execute a digital strategy, we can do that too.
Our first year taught us that these three areas are the perfect combination of where customers seem to experience the most pain, how our platform ties together the different and specialized aspects of demand-gen to reduce the chaos, and where our team has the most expertise to really move the needle for people.
We’re proud and humbled by what we have accomplished. We’re excited and full of passion to take it to the next level as we head into our second year. We hope you’ll stay along for the ride.
We’d love to connect!